1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Leffe Radieuse - Abbaye de Leffe S.A.

Not Rated.
Leffe RadieuseLeffe Radieuse

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

204 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 204
Reviews: 121
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 14.4%
Wants: 14
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Abbaye de Leffe S.A. visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  8.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-30-2001)
View: Beers (12) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 204 | Reviews: 121 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of vancurly


3.33/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle quotes a best by 12/2/08. Don't know if that's dd/mm or mm/dd.
Poured into an old Leffe chalice that I got in a gift pack.
Dense beige head, holds for a time, fades with drinking. No obvious carbonation.
Colour of russet, burnt orange, chestnut... appealing.
The nose is initially subtle, but picks up with the ambient temperature... fresh hops are first to come out, but then sweet candy, orange, a hint of raw steak. As it warms further, some malt becomes apparent.
While no obvious carbonation, the fluid expands in the mouth, releasing the dissolved CO2.
The flavour belies the nose... it's all spice. Cinnamon, musk, clove. You could marinade a pork fillet in this beer... What malt there is makes a late appearance, as the ale warms in the glass. There is a light hint of hop flavour at the finish, but by then the bitterness kicks in.
With this, there are notes of fennel/anise... this seems to carry into the mouthfeel, where the bitterness is more reminiscent of absinthe or campari.... more of a harsh digestive bitterness, than the more familiar hop bitterness.
An interesting drink, but I don't know exactly how to tackle it....

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2006 09:58:05 | More by vancurly
Photo of ernie

Russian Federation

4.08/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark red color, very deep, big head with a little tan, propler lace.

Aroma very complex and rich, a mixture of malts, dark caramelized sugar, fruity yeasts, honey and cherry brandy.

Start warming, malty, sweetness restrained. Big body that make you realize the real gravity and alcohol content dut doesn't abuse you. Nice interplay of malts and yeasts, hoppy and medicinal tones in the finish, great long bisquity aftertaste.

Good beer, recommended!

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2006 18:58:54 | More by ernie
Photo of GreenCard


2.73/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: ruby-brown, great clarity, medium layer of off-white spongey foam that slowly collapses leaving a few strands of lace, OK head retention

Aroma: hints of tropical fruite (pineapple? banana?), fresh bread

Flavor: initially quite sweet (like all Leffe's), then it calms down a bit as the peppery alcohol kicks in along with a generic "hop flavor", hint of cinnamon and/or clove, finishes semisweet with a sugary aftertaste

Mouthfeel: medium-full body, fine but zesty carbonation, fair amount of alcohol warmth

Other comments: I have a lot of animosity towards Leffe for many reasons which I will not go into here (OK, perhaps I'll mention one reason: newbie Belgian beer fanatics tend to think Leffe is a good example of Belgian brewing), but I think I have done pretty well in being objective in this review. This is the only passable Leffe beer. The rest are utter crap and I refuse to review them.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2006 18:54:27 | More by GreenCard
Photo of mdagnew

United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)

3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle bought from Sainsbury's...

Poured a dark red / chestnut brown colour... Slightly off white head poured medium sized and faded to almost nothing...

Aroma - Sweet toasted malts, dark fruits - prunes, figs. Light treacle notes, some spiciness / pepperiness, nutty...

Taste – Sweet toffee / treacle maltiness, light spicy hops, nutty, raisins, quite noticable alcohol...

Feel - Quite sharp. Medium body. Pretty drinkable for the strength..

Overall - A pretty good beer... well worth a try...

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2006 11:35:37 | More by mdagnew
Photo of DaPeculierDane


2.42/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Seems more like an Amber with light fruit notes. Strangely bitter. Much less fruity than expected. Kind of mixed up and confused. I don’t think that this beer quite knows what it is. Color is an off brown rouge, almost raison colored. Very little white head that doesn’t last. Mouthfeel and taste are very alcoholic and strong. The brew becomes acidic as it goes down almost burning the tongue. Too sweet also. Not very good at all.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2006 20:52:24 | More by DaPeculierDane
Photo of JohnW

United Kingdom (England)

3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with light texture head, medium dark colour and clear. Sweet heavy smell with a darker hue, which is followed by the taste. Rich fruity and fairly sweet, but balanced by a bitter slightly burnt caramel flavour that follows and lingers as you swallow it. That takes some of the initial heavy sweetness away and makes it a pleasant drink, though not the best example of this style of beer from Belgium, but worth drinking. You can detect the similarity of family style and flavours with the lesser strength Leffe beers.

John W
Bham UK Jan 2006

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2006 22:25:14 | More by JohnW
Photo of Finite


4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

In-offencive smell, very nice with a hint of fruit and smooth malt. Smell was a little faint for me and a bit hard to pick

Head formed to about 1 inch then settled down after a few mins, with constantly inviting blubbles and a resting head which disipates to a thin film of very light tan brown froth. Its colour is dark amber red.

Sits very nice in the mouth with a nice hint of thickness to the whole mix, not much carbonization at all. Definate coffee and malt blended taste, then comes the cherry or fruity sudgestions. After taste is malty and of alchohol but no where near offencive. Im surprised this beer is 8.2% because its hard to spot yet not totaly evasive still a hit of it if very small.

I quite enjoyed this beer and being one of my first dark ales in a very long time I will be back for more!

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2005 10:06:36 | More by Finite
Photo of atigerlife


4.33/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

33cl bottle poured into a Leffe glass.

The head was quite thin and quickly dissapated. An interesting brown/orange/red amber color.

The smell was sweet with hints of cherries. The taste was very pleasant. Caramel and molasses hints. A cherry-wine like taste in the backgrount. Light. Quite a subtle taste considering its ABV. The carbonation was quite light with a creamy feel.
Overall, I was very pleasantly surprised with this beer. I have always liked Leffe, but this was my first taste of Radieuse and it is as good, if not better, than the brune [and definitely better than the blonde].
I ate this with steak and blue cheese. Absolutely perfect!

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2005 05:30:50 | More by atigerlife
Photo of wl0307

United Kingdom (England)

3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

BB date 03/07/07.
A: I choose to serve it warmer than the recommended low temp. (5-6C are you kidding?!) in a big, tulip-shaped wine glass; a dark chestnut-brown hue with a little reddish intervention, the beige beer-head is short-lived but settles to a very thin, foamy layer sustaining well.
S: besides the expectable note of preserved dark-fruits, slightly sour spice, candyish-orangey peel, and a pinch of brown sugar, a rather refreshingly sharp hop aroma makes itself felt in the background. The sweetish malty note deep in the background is even similar to a strong pale malty lager--quite nice actually.
T: pouring in the mouth a very creamy texture of dark malts accompanied with a lively spicy touch...quickly leading to an intense bitter taste like herbs or root-vegetable on top of a typically Belgian spice-mix--coriander seed and curacao peel. Hops make a more explicit presence well in the aftertaste, and the finish is quite clean and light, without any unpleasant residual sugary and alcohol taste.
M&D: quite lively mouthfeel for such a strong beer of 8.2%abv., remaining not too gassy and not flat. However in the aftertaste it turns a little bit thin. Overall a medium-bodied and quite flavoursome strong dark ale, this is a balanced beer b/w sour-spiciness and sweetness, with a finer taste than Leffe Blond and Brune.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2005 01:38:33 | More by wl0307
Photo of Beersignal

Quebec (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beautiful chestnut brown colour, with ruby highlights under a decent cream coloured cap of medium lasting foam. Crystal clear, no lacing.

Subtle notes of malt are picked up at first whiff and are followed by hints of cinnamon and cloves. Some ripe berries in the middle and slightly syrupy in the finish.

Medium bodied, warming alcohol. Flavours of fruit soaked in rhum near the middle, followed by faint notes of cloves and nutmeg. Finishes on tones of bitter alcohol and metallic hardness.

All around decent beer, but lacking the imagination I have come accustomed to in Belgian brews not to mention there was hardly any hop aromas and flavours to speak of.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2005 23:35:54 | More by Beersignal
Photo of hefevice


3.45/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Pours clear redish dark amber with a bug bubbly biege head which in my case did not stick around for long (although I think I am having a bad day, on the previous drink in a different glass a hefeweizen went completely flat on me) but left reasonable lacing. Aroma is phenol spices with light molassis/golden syrup (you may need to be an Aussie to get that reference). Taste to me is quite dry, again the golden syrup and a little spiciness peeping through momentarily before being dominated by the alcohol. Nowhere near as subtle with the alcohol as a other Belgian Strongs I have tried and for me this was the main disappointment to an otherwise reasonably solid brew.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2005 09:26:13 | More by hefevice
Photo of Weizenmensch


3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I remember disliking this the first time I had it, but was quite impressed this time.

Appearance: Pours with a large head with large bubbles that dissipate quickly. Lacing is sticky and good. Colour like black tea, that orange-brown hue with a reddish tint.

Smell: Very impressive and unusual. Smells sort of like a Kriek - strong cherry and stone fruit aroma, elements of candied sugar and honey, the smell sets it up to seem a much sweeter brew than it is.

Taste: Belies the smell, but is still good for a strong one. Chewy and bitter, an unusual hoppy taste (not particularly potent). Quite light-bodied for a dark ale like this - obviously due to the filtering (as said before, leaving this unfiltered would have intensified the flavours). Coffee and bitter stone fruit notes are clear. Actually quite refreshing for the style.

Mouthfeel: Nice and fluffy, a little creamy, carbonation is good. Froth seems to form in the mouth nicely.

Drinkability: Pretty good... I wouldn't want to have too many in a row. Hop character is bitter and you'd get sick of it. Nice one to start the night though: strong but quite easy to enjoy for the first ale of the evening.

Overall, I was surprised at having initially disliked it. Perhaps my palate has improved since last time I tried it. Not as good as the Bruin but quite unusual and worth the high price to try it. Somewhere between a Kriek and a strong dark ale: interesting.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2005 11:46:05 | More by Weizenmensch
Photo of watermelonman


3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pouring to a nice red and brown color, this beer looks inviting. The head develops into a good size that shrinks but not entirely, and a few lines of lace are left behind.

The smell was appealing but disappointingly weak. The taste had more flavor, giving a twist of friut up front with a fairly strong finish. Hops are not powerful but do kick in at the end. The drinkability is good, especially considering the alcohol content.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2005 04:13:52 | More by watermelonman
Photo of joecast


3.1/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

forms a large foamy biege head that settles to a dense cap while admiring its other properties.
lightly carbonated clear deep amber color.
aroma of sweet fruity maltiness. almost thickly so. slight bit of alcohol makes its way through.
somewhat uninspiring taste pushing the malt but lacking much complexity. again, slight alcohol in the taste which could be overlooked if there was more to cover it.
smooth, though light mouthfeel once up to drinking temp.
why heavy, dark beers are filtered i will never understand. imo, bottle conditioning gives the chance for so much more to be experienced by the drinker (mouthfeel, flavor, aroma).
well, a lazy effort - maybe.
uninspiring - yup.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2004 21:28:37 | More by joecast
Photo of revdrjbob


3.15/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Another brew sampled from my Leffe glass, but I find it's not as good as the Blonde. Different styles, yes, but not the best.
Poured a dark amber/ red colour with the usual white fluffy head and active carbonation.
Aromas of slighty dark malts (CaraAroma?), spices, and a hint of alcohol.
Tastes of alcohol, sweet malt, dark fruits, slight malt, and spices (cinnamon and corriander?). Little to no hop. Finished with an alocohol warmth and a clean snap.
Easy drinking, but not my fave.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2004 04:14:42 | More by revdrjbob
Photo of paterlodie


3.48/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Long time since I tasted this brew last time. Probably cause I don't like most of their other beers. This one is worth trying though. Nice appearance; nice foam and a clear and nice and bronze-brown colour. Smell is malty, most carmel but also some yeastarome. Taste is matly and full with an alcoholic and dry finish. Good beer but like most of the big breweries nothing real special.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2004 18:45:24 | More by paterlodie
Photo of Sigmund


4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33 cl bottle, bought in Denmark. ABV was 8.2%. Large thick head, clear reddish brown colour. Surprisingly weak aroma, but what there is, is pleasant: Ripe and dried fruits, just a faint hint of barnyard. Flavour has malts and spices and a great deal of alcoholic warmth.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2004 09:51:32 | More by Sigmund
Photo of donnebaby

North Carolina

4.13/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fine light brown head of even little bubbles. The body is brown and transparent. Head sits nicely on top of the brew. Looks chic and refined. About 2 cm. of head endures and hazy ring soaks up the droopy lacing as it falls.

Smell is poignant cooked apples and cinnamon.

Dry and earthy elements dominate the palate. Chewed coffee beans with only a small current of sweetness--which helped me imagine some red fruits thrown in, like black cherry liqueur.

A creamy mouthfeel emerges after an initial watery carbonation blast. Overall light in body, I found this beer to be refreshing and drinkable. Exceptionally smooth for it's over 8% ABV. My favorite of the Leffe's I've tried.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2004 10:37:01 | More by donnebaby
Photo of Boto


4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

25cl. Bottle: "Supermarket" beer here in Europe. This pours a really decent dark ruby color. The aroma is mostly malt sweet, but also has yeasty and bready notes. Some hop spiciness and floral notes. The taste is caramel, some fruits, a hint of bitterness in the aftertaste. I wish we had beer like this in US supermarkets!

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2004 17:29:01 | More by Boto
Photo of Dukeofearl


3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured a 33 cl bottle brought back from my recent trip to Italy (this is what they carry in grocery stores in Europe- I am so jealous!). Pours a medium reddish brown, with translucent orangish-red highlights into a Leffe goblet. Quite pretty, actually, although the thin head quickly disappeared.

Aroma is very nice- sweet caramelly toffee & roasted notes, with high-sugar fruits (apples, dates, figs) and some chocolatey feelings.

The flavor is nice and creamy- not as sweet as the aroma (which is good). The alcohol went right up into my sinuses from the first sip. Flavor is slight sweetness, bready & malty, with root beer characteristics. At the end of the swallow, the flavor turns sharp (yeasty and musty and a little hoppy). Generally the flavor was excellent at the beginning, but I did not care for the finish. After I went to bed, I was trying to think about this beer, and that's when I thought of a good, slightly sweet root beer (not like the really sweet varieties). Mouthfeel is excellent.

Overall, I really like this, but I wish the end flavors weren't as distracting from the rest of the presentation.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2004 15:44:44 | More by Dukeofearl
Photo of koolk


3.23/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A dark amber to red colour with a slight head and light carbonation.

A spicey, sour aroma with only touches of sweet malt smells.

Palate struggles to hide the high alcohol and it ends up becoming warm and drying. At least its not sweet and cloying. Again spice and white fruit flavours dominate.

Not the best Leffe, but like I said it isn't sweet like the Blonde, but struggles with the alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2004 00:55:28 | More by koolk
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

2.8/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pourred a nice copper brew with a huge head that stayed on for a while (What a start!). Mix of spice is not present enough for my liking and would have expected better body from a belgian strong ale. Alcohol is well hidden. Overall, I wasn't impressed and I had better brew from Leffe. I had this from the bottle and wondered if it wouldn't better in a draught format.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2003 18:04:56 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of Naerhu


3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Massive white head on a deep red body.
Aroma: Light sour apple aroma.
Taste: Unripe cherry and apple flavor. Solid long lasting bitterness with apple juicey finish.
Mouthfeel: Lightish in body considering the hops. I guess it is the corn they use in this.
Drinkability: This was a joy to drink, though I will not be looking for it again.

first tasting on 1 may 03.
drank again on 7 Nov. 03 with same results

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2003 08:02:23 | More by Naerhu
Photo of Mitchster


4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Drank this in Venice, Italy. Sparkingly clear, reddish caramel brew forms a beautiful, peaking light tan head atop small bubbles with excellent retention and exquisite lacing. Carbonation is moderately strong. Aroma is phenolic cloves with a nice amber malt character, hints of bananas and red fruits. Mouthfeel is immediately spritzy but ends with a smooth and pleasantly dry finish...moderate body throughout. Taste begins with spicy phenols and bright herbal hops, followed by a feel of alcohol without any discernable taste of it. The most pleasant character of this brew is the finish, which has a light molasses character and a sweetness towards the back of the throat which complements the phenols. There is a dry, slightly woody character with just a hint of alcohol in the finish. Despite all these nice characters, they don't seem to form a cohesive whole and are in competition with each other...the beginning is too harsh and doesn't blend into the finish...it's very abrupt. A 33cl bottle gives me a pleasant buzz. A well made brew, but it doesn't compare to superior offerings by Unibroue in a similar style (think La Fin du Monde).

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2003 05:01:44 | More by Mitchster
Photo of ipogios


4.5/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a prune-juice like colour topped by a nice thick head. Aroma and taste are dominated by fruits with alcohol hints. Nice fruity long lasting after taste. Alcohol level is 8.2% but it felt around 5.5% when i drank the beer. It goes down quite easily and is very pleasant to drink. Another wonderful beer by Leffe

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2003 16:01:44 | More by ipogios
Leffe Radieuse from Abbaye de Leffe S.A.
85 out of 100 based on 204 ratings.