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Bruegel Amber Ale | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

309 Reviews
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Bruegel Amber AleBruegel Amber Ale

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Belgium | website

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-02-2002

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Reviews: 309 | Ratings: 390
Photo of desint
2.36/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Bottle poured in a Bornem chalice, Giraf Gent

Malty, little caramel, no complexity.
Tastes like it was poured through a used sock, but i'm quite sure there's nothing wrong with my bottle.
Will revist in a couple of months just to be sure.
For now: very disappointing effort from Van Steenberge.

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Photo of StoutHunter
1.83/5  rDev -47.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I got a bottle of Brouwerij Van Steenberge's Bruegel Amber Ale that my brother is sharing with me. So far I haven't been top impressed with this brewery but I'm interested to see how this Amber Ale turns out, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date. Poured from a 11.2oz smaller bottle into a Belgian tulip.

A- The label looks nice, the vintage scene on the label give it an old school European vibe, it's a little eye catching. As soon as I pried off the cap it foamed up and started to gush, it poured a burnt orange color that took on more of a amber color when held to the light with two fingers worth of off white head that quickly died down to a thin ring that stayed for a while and it left a good amount of spotty lacing behind. This was a pretty nice looking beer, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a medium amount of sweetness followed by some immediate off flavors that consist of stinky socks and vomit being the first aromas to show up. Up next comes a fruity and dark fruit aroma followed by a sweet vomit aroma at the end. This beer had a very bad aroma, I'm not sure this is how it's suppose to be.

T- The taste doesn't seem to be as bad as the aroma, but it still it isn't good, it's fairly similar and it starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness with a sweet apple juice flavor being the first to show up. Up next comes all those aspects that I got in the aroma, but this time they are lighter and not as offensive. Right at the front was an off sourness and it had a off tasting aftertaste. This wasn't a good tasting beer, there were too many off flavors.

M- Not smooth, off, a little prickly, medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation.

Overall I think something was off with this beer, it seems similar to what some people have noticed, but mine seems to have more off flavors. It should be the same age as the other beers that came in that Belgian pack and all the other ones seemed fine, so this might be and off bottle and I will have to try it, but as it is my rating stands. Better luck next time guys.

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Photo of FLima
3.61/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Amber color with a thick two finger head with good retention and leaving strong laces.
Fruity aroma of oranges, caramel and a hint of apples and bananas
Assertive flavor of oranges, lime drops, mild spices, a hint of apple juice, herbal hops, light butter and dough, minerals and fruity yeast. Dry aftertaste with a mild bitterness.
Light body with medium carbonation.
Very refreshing and easy to drink beer, being well balanced and not overly sweet. Don’t expect high complexity, it is a very pleasant beer that you could even session it with a great cost/benefit.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.74/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a clear orange amber with a one finger, off-white head that dissipates to a ring around the glass leaving lots of lacing. Aroma of sweet caramel malt, dried and fresh dark fruit, Belgian yeast. Flavor follows aroma, with dark stone fruit, milder dried dark fruit, sweet caramel malt, apple juice and Belgian yeast, finishes with mild grassy hops. Medium bodied with good carbonation. A pleasant, semi-sweet Belgian pale or amber that is slightly lighter in flavor than I hoped, but well made and balanced. This is somewhat old bottle that has held up quite nicely.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.84/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this bottle at Abbey Bar @ABC in Harrisburg, served chilled in a snifter.

The color is brilliant amber with good clarity and visible carbonation with 2 fingers of bone white head with fine bead, lace clings well and retention is very good. The smell is sweet with some grain esters and light belgian yeast fruitiness in the nose with mild tropical accent. The feel is very good with moderate sweetness and medium body with moderately high carbonation and semi-dry finish with mild bitterness and subtle alcohol on the palate.

The flavor is very good with a generally yeast fruitiness in the taste with slightly ripe banana and honey-like malt flavor which is sweet but not cloying and there is a subtle spice element with light bitterness in the finish. Overall this is a very good pale ale, a bit sweeter than most but the carbonation is high which makes it seem balanced and drinkable.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.33/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bruegel has a very thick, foamy, rocky, off-white head and a hazy, golden appearance, with lots of heavy lacing left behind and a good amount of streaming bubbles in the beer. The aroma is of sweet brown bread, bread crust, and toffee. Taste is of those elements, with a tea aspect and mild bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium and slick, and Bruegel finishes semi-dry, sweet, and pleasant. Overall, this is a nice, well-made beer, and I rate it as being excellent. I recommend it.


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Photo of acevenom
4.82/5  rDev +38.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked this up as part of a six pack sampler of Belgian beer. Poured into a chalice. This beer had to be poured immediately lest the beer would have flowed out the bottle. The beer pours hazy amber with a large white head that dissipates quickly, but leaves a nice cap of head. This beer appears to be very carbonated. Plenty of lacing is left behind during consumption. The aroma is of sweet caramel and bread. The yeast also brings fruity esters (raisin) as well. It's such a terrific smelling pale ale. The taste follows the nose. It's bready, but also mildly sweet with caramel and raisin flavors. There's also some mild spices and a somewhat grassy flavor. The hop bitterness is low. The flavors aren't strong or cloying, but milder and very enjoyable. The body is light with high carbonation. The finish is slightly dry. The drinkability is very high. This is an excellent beer. If you find this beer, you should definitely try it.

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Photo of ProfPayne
3.8/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I liked this beer much more than I expected too. I think it has a tremendous amount of flavor for 5.2% ABV and it's true to its belgian heritage. Lots of caramel and raisin - balanced. I got it as part of a 6 pack Belgian beer sampler and initially rolled my eyes when I saw that one of the beers was this low in alcohol. But I'm a convert!

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.38/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a New Belgium globe glass. The beer is a shiny bright orange copper color with a foamy, sea-frothy white head that dissipates to a film with large bubbles. Nice sticky lacing. The beer smells amazing, and complex: bready yeasts, fruits, and caramel come to mind. I taste sweet caramel followed by a drier, biscuity bread flavor to finish. It is delicious. The mouthfeel is medium to light with a slightly dry, carbonated finish.

Overall, as I have been finding my way around ambers lately, this one was a delight. It's very Belgian in that it's complex in taste and smell. It's very good, and I could drink a lot more of these if it weren't for the price.

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Photo of hoppyweasel311
3.53/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark golden color... good lacing... head didn't last that long. Lot of tiny bubbles rising to the top.

Aroma- graham crackers, slight bit of honey

Taste- Cloves, malt, slight sweetness

Mouthfeel- Thin mouthfeel with good amount of carbonation.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.19/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from a stubby Euro bottle into a Grimbergen goblet.

A: Bright and pale golden amber color with a thin head of frothy white foam that leaves some sudsy lace behind. Clarity is nice and streams of carbonation are present.

S: Faint and a little non-descript; some lightly toasted, metallic grains, cooked veggies and a little damp hop leaf.

T: Sweetened cereal malts up front with a lager-like corn taste and light fruitiness near mid-palate. Finish lacks the fruity, spicy, yeasty profile of a well-crafted Belgian. Hop bitterness is very low all around and this hits the mark of mass-produced Bud American Ale than anything else.

M: Thin and sharp with a slightly sticky sweet vegetable resin. Watery with a slight metallic twang.

O: Pretty bland all around and not really what I was expecting or hoping for. Sort of surprised it's a Belgian ale at all, but I digress. At 5.2% ABV, it mirrors the "Bud of Belgians" for the ale category and would likely be accepted among that demographic of drinker.

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Photo of Filosoof
4.2/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tonight I had a wonderful dinner in the beautiful Pieter Brueghel restaurant in Hilvarenbeek (The Netherlands). I asked for the beer card and got in stead of that this beer in a hundred year old looking silver mug, as a surprise, to drink blindly. "This is the greatest amber of Belgium", was the only thing the waiter said.

I smellt caramel but in a lightness I don't know from ambers. The taste was even better because of the bitterness I usually miss in ambers. Touch of vanilla and liquorice. Mouthfeel good. Overall: in this occasion it felt that the waiter was right!

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Photo of bmwats
2.99/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 33 cl bottle into a tulip.

A: Light brown. Pours about a 1 and a half finger, foamy, white head. Settles slowly. Some nice spider web lacing.

S: Pungency overpowers anything else. Raisin and yeast. Sour milk.

T: Light malty flavor, with slightly sweet notes, and a little bitterness and pine.

M: A little washed out. Plenty of carbonation dilution. Nondistinct bitter finish.

D: Light body, with a little malt, and a slightly bitter, dry finish.

Atmosphere is decent. Really nice, foamy head and plenty of spider web lacing. Nose is a little off putting. Very pungent and sour overpowering character. Flavor is light grains with a little sweet and a little bitter. Overall, this is a fair quaff.

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Photo of jondeelee
4.2/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smells strongly of honey--the expensive wildflower kind found in organic markets, that is--as well as boasting hints of apple cider, banana, and a slight spiciness that is somewhere between allspice and cloves.

On the tongue, honey is also the first flavor to come across, but that quickly evolves into a far darker flavor than would be expected, given the brew's golden tint. Think sweet molasses or light maple syrup here, or perhaps pure cane sugar with just a touch of pure vanilla. Light fruity esters hang just behind these darker sugars, with banana, apple, and pear notes dancing backstage, and far, far beneath them, lovely little hints of toasted grains. The aftertaste is dominated by honey and lightly-toasted biscuity grains, and lasts a considerable time longer than would be expected. There's virtually no hint of hops in this brew, except for a slight fuzz about the aftertaste.

Overall, this is a fine, full-bodied beer, and brought an unexpected and pleasurable dark sweetness to the table.

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Photo of russwbeck
3.38/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: Clear yellow pour with a nicely sized white head. The lacing is great.

S: Crisp smell. Nice amount of hops with a malt backbone. Hints of candied sugar.

T: Light Belgian yeasts and candied sugar. Balanced out nicely with a crisp clean finish.

MF: Fully carbonated. No hint of alcohol. Light a bubbly.

O: Drinkable, but not great.

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Photo of NStLincoln
3.49/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours amber as promised that's slightly hazy. The head grows fast and looks like root beer float foam. Tiny bit of sediment poured out at the end.

Metallic smell with some major malt action going on. Like a spiced fruit bread.

Tastes better than it smells. Loads of malt that ends super refreshing hops pop at the end. Licorice and caramel notes.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.96/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I picked this beer up in a variety pack that had three beers that aren't readily available here in Houston. Since I have been sipping on Real Ale's Remember the Alamo Golden Ale, I think that my palate should be good with a 5.2% Belgian Pale. Let's give it a go:

Appearance: Pours a frothy clear amber color with a huge 2" head after as mild of a pour as I could do, and there are tons of bubbles rising to maintain the head. The foam itself is of mixed size bubbles. There is a creamy layer on top, but some of the rest of the bubbles are getting pretty big as they all merge together. After drinking the beer, there is a solid amount of lace left on the glass. The whole time, there is a solid stream of bubbles rising to the top of the glass, and the head never goes away...standing at about 1/16" forever. This is a nice looking beer, no doubt.

Aroma: I initially got a little bit of Belgian yeasty esters mixed with some mild toasty notes and and even more subtle caramel presence. There is a good bit of clove coming out as the beer sits a bit. Hops are there, but are more earthy than anything, so they are accentuating the malt more than anything.

Taste: The beer follows the aroma pretty well. Mostly malty with some caramel and toasty notes from the malt and there is some reserved hops. The yeast doesn't seem to be as big in the flavor as it was in the initial parts of the aroma. The beer is medium to light bodied with somewhat high carbonation, so it is quite active as it goes across your tongue. The finish is balanced toward the sweetness with no alcohol noticeable. Only the bite from the carbonation and the attenuation is drying out the finish.

Opinion: This is a pretty good beer overall, but I am not sure how well it fits into the Belgian Pale Ale category. If it was sitting next to just about any of the Ambree styles, it would be a serious contender, so that is how I plan to score it. Overall this is a beer that I wouldn't mind coming back to if I wanted a flavorful light gravity beer, this is one of the better ones that I have had recently. This seems to be a fresh example of this beer, and I am sure that this particular one from the batch would last very long. I may go back and re-review the Piraat beer again from this pack because the last one I reviewed was a bit stale. Anyway, I would not deter anyone from trying this beer, and I hope that you get to try as fresh of as an example of it as I obviously am.

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Photo of BricksandPorter
2.9/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

Poured refrigerator cold into glass tulip after one (maybe) too many Gulden Draak’s.

P – A pale Copper-yellow with hues of red and orange. A clear pour runs a quickly receding chalk white head that sits on top, fades to a ¼” thick cream film and doesn’t move. No chance for an overpour here. And the label is wicked cool – Belgian bagpiper.

N – Buttery malts, no hops. Hints of wheat, minerals, and a faint whisp of heather. Kind of disappointing.

T – Vanilla, butter and citrus are medium to low contingents. The most identifiable taste is the mineral-ness of the water. It almost gives a citrusy –lime feel to the whole thing. This is a very light, and delicate flavor with very little in the way of bitterness, but the aroma on the taste (and especially the burp) give a backdrop of a Saaz hopping. I hear that aging the hops is big with Belgian trappist type brews, perhaps that is where this taste is coming from. Its more along the lines of a light American lager than a Belgian pale.

M – Medium to low carbonation makes the character a bit flimsy. Uneventful weight combined with the delicate flavor makes me wonder if this is an experiment of some sort. Its not BAD, but in all honesty, its not GOOD. Kind of syrupy. Kind of clammy. Kind of mineral-ly. Probably the worst part of this brew.

D – I hate to say it, but the mouthfeel kind of ruins it. If you take a sip and enjoy the taste for a microsecond and then swallow, it will be alright but if you stop too long and enjoy, you’re in for a bad experience. I couldn’t do too many of these. Too much mineral. Almost tastes chemically.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.15/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

566th Review on BA
Bottle to Tulip
330 ML

Gift pack of Belgium from Bevmo

App- For a pale ale this beer is a little bit on the dark side but has a very nice one and half finger head to it. Slow to disspate. Nice retention on this beer.

Smell- A way off note of grass and bread that seem to work for me. It was a bit off but still retained a pale quality which I was kind of expecting.

Taste- This was a tad too buttery for the style and a bit too malty for me. Its pretty average.

Mouth- Light bodied and almost high carbed. Left a bit of a dough film on my tounge.

Drink- For a free gift pack for dad's day. Ill take the chance to try some new beers. Probably will give it another shot in the future but may wait awhile.

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Photo of chinchill
3.13/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

330 ml bottle from a Belgian sampler 6-pack. A towering head quickly filled my pint glass as I hastily poured beer from a bottle that overflowed upon opening. Several pours were needed to empty the bottle into my oversized glass.

A - clear light amber with a huge sudsy head with medium retention. Leaves globs of foam on the sides of the glass.

S - sweet & yeasty, with lightly toasted malts. Detectable hops. Hints of butter and bread dough.

T - Sweet; more yeasty and less hoppy than aroma suggests. A light bitterness and a bit of sour in the finish. Has Belgian yeasty complexity, but is less hoppy [for BPA; not for an amber], or more yeasty, than I would like. Relatively poor finish.

M - good, if rather high, carbonation; medium/light, near watery body; crisp, semi-dry feel.

O - about average for style

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Photo of puboflyons
3.98/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on June 6, 2011. There is an amber-yellow pour with a puffy, long-lasting head, and a slight cloudiness. The aroma is malty but there is a melted butter type character that I cannot otherwise define. Maybe it was the yeast. Not much in the way of hops on the nose.The body is better than medium although it breaks down into carbonation quickly on the tongue. There is a weird bitter and buttery combination in the flavor with a slight hopped ending.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.82/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml stubby bottle.

This beer pours a hazy medium golden amber hue, with two fingers of foamy, almost rocky, off-white head, which leaves a coral reef ring of lace around the glass on its way out. It smells of sweet, muted caramelized malts, a bit of breadiness, and some nice, earthy Belgian yeast. The taste is more bready in the way of malt, some fruity spiciness, that unavoidable Belgian yeastiness, very soft in this case, and earthy hops. The carbonation is moderate, the body medium-light in weight, and a little too zingy to deem outright smooth. It finishes off-dry, the yeast coming up a bit more to challenge the malt for top billing.

An generally enjoyable Belgian amber ale, the expected sweetness mostly tempered by the inherent yeast complexities.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.13/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz Bottle

Appearance – Clear copper colour with a large size fizzy and frothy white coloured head. There is a lot of carbonation and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for close to 6 minutes before it was gone.

Smell – Malts, an earthiness, metallic, breads/grains, wood, butterscotch

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an above average amount of carbonation. I can taste malts mixed with grains and a smokiness. There are also notes of butterscotch and a bit of a cherry sweetness. I can also pick up on a metallic and rusty flavour. It finishes with a malty burnt/roasted aftertaste.

Overall – It seems like a well crafted beer but it was a little harsh tasting. It seemed to get better as it approached room temperature but it still wasn’t all that drinkable. Another beer that falls in the category of ‘happy I tried it, but wouldn’t seek out again’.

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Photo of Beer4Baltimore
3.23/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

- from the notes and a brewery sampler pack.
A - coppery colored clear ale with plenty of bubbles.
S - just a little yeasty with some sweets.
T - slightly metallic sweet with more bitter than the nose picks up but not much.
M - a crisp light feel with a little residual coating.
D - one is fine.
It's just too metallic to be a session beer for me.

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Photo of DaveBlack
3.88/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Rich copper color with very little head that fades into a mottled layer on the top of the beer. What little head there is sticks to the sides of the glass fairly well, leaving some gentle lacing.

S: Not a whole lot happening on the nose, and this is, in my opinion, this beer's weakest characteristic. A weak smell which packs a heavy amount of malts and a slight banana aroma from the yeast.

T: Not as much malt on the taste profile as I would have guessed. Gentle malt sweetness rolls into big hit of the banana yeast flavor, slight bitterness on the finish from some hops and the mouth is left feeling sweet.

M: light-medium body with quite a bit of carbonation from minuscule bubbles. Smooth, coats the cheeks and roof of the mouth ever so slightly.

O: I'm pretty pleased with this beer. Though not a great beer it has a lot of the Belgian characteristics that i like in a might lighter, lower alcohol package. Very easy to drink, and won't sneak up on you the way some beers can.

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Bruegel Amber Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
79 out of 100 based on 309 ratings.