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Grolsch Amber Ale - Grolsch Bierbrouwerij N.V.

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Grolsch Amber Ale
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96 Reviews

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Reviews: 96
Hads: 142
Avg: 3.22
pDev: 21.74%
Wants: 3
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Grolsch Bierbrouwerij N.V. visit their website

Style | ABV
Altbier |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-06-2001

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 96 | Hads: 142
Photo of Sammy
2.81/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Foam city on amber and then some pleasant malt followed by metallic dry sweet astringant bitter aftertaste. Grassy thin/medium mouthfeel and lively carbonation. Canadians seem to like this, outside of Quebec. The type you drink cold on a hot summer day. Could do worse, signature grolsch definition.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.16/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A delicate and flavorful session beer; but maybe a bit dull in the end. Starts off with a brilliantly clear, abundantly carbonated deep golden / light copper hue, with a favorable foamstand that laced throughout. Aromas show a balance of malt and sparged grains with a mild noble hop (grassy) scent. Mild sulfers is the only deterant in the nose. Flavors also take on a nice malt / grain blend, albeit a bit strained. Sweetness takes on light toasty, biscuity, yeasty heartiness with light hints of caramel and powdered sugar. Sweetness is balanced by German hops, but don't offer much in the way of flavor. Feels light, nearly watery; thus finishing with a linger of grassy hops and mild grain-husk astringency. Fair beer that either needs to be flawless in it's style or gain a bit more intensity in flavor and feel to win beer-lovers over.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.47/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle: Poured an amber color ale with a huge off-white bubbly head with good retention (even leaves mark after each sip on my glass which is quite good for macro-type beer. Aroma is only about malt, but it’s so weak that I would qualify this as neutral aroma. Taste is mildly refreshing with again malt being the only thing really noticeable. Overall lack of character does not make this beer very interesting.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.13/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dim orange-bronze with amber highlights. I imagine the clear bottle is meant to show off the color of the beer and thereby increase sales. It seems to me that non-skunked beer would result in more revenue, but what do I know? Are there any American breweries that bottle in clear glass? I don't believe I've seen one.

The head is somewhere between dark cream and palest ecru and is deceptively firm. A blunted cone of foam remains in the center of the cap as it falls, leaving finely speckled lace in its wake. What makes it to the glass looks like that fake snow that people (used to?) spray on their windows at Christmastime.

The nose is dominated by a toasted graininess and a whiff of earthy-spicy hops. I'm pleased that no skunks are in the house. Amber Ale tastes a little better than Grolsch's standard lager, but I've tried to block that beer out of mind, so an informed comparison is next to impossible.

The flavor follows the nose, more or less. It's lightly toasted malty with a balancing amount of hop flavor and bitterness. I'm reminded of sweetened tea in the initial portion of the flavor arc. Things become increasing bitter and dry at the midway point and become progressively so through the medium length finish. The light body and the clean mouthfeel increase drinkability, even as the barely acceptable flavor decreases it.

The best that I can say about Grolsch Amber is that it has no major faults. As noted above, I consider it to be a better beer than its more famous, green-labeled, swing-topped brother. Unfortunately, that's far from a ringing endorsement.

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Photo of zeff80
3.24/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours out an orange color with a one-finger head. No lacing.

S - It smelled of malt and grass.

T - It tasted very grassy and of light malt.

M - It was crisp and light-bodied.

D - This was pretty good. Sometimes with "old-school" imports branch out it isn't so good, but this was pretty good.

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Photo of Jason
3.56/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz clear bottle, “Ingredients: water, malted barley, malted wheat and hops” stated on the back label along with a freshness date.

Appearance: Deep garnet colour with a thick unwavering lace that leaves a few rings of lace on the glass.

Smell: Mixed twang of fermented wheat and hops, some sweetness and some graininess with a vague toasted aroma. Do I decent a by-product that smells like mustard seed?

Taste: Thick medium body with a smooth crispness from a mild carbonation. Maltiness has potential and seems to flow very well with sweet grain and toasted flavours. Hops are a touch weathered but provide ample bitterness, malt flavours and hop as well seem to pull back towards the end in more of a filtered fashion leaving a trace graininess and ghost like hop in the finish.

Notes: We can all assume this is an Altbier or something close to it, I dare not say “German” or I might offend. It’s much further away from American or English styles so that is what they must have been going for. Who really cares right? This is a decent amber ale and goes down just as good as their lager.

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Photo of WesWes
3.53/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours an amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a mildly sweet crystal malt scent along with a dry aroma. It's simplistic, but good smelling. The taste is decent also. It has a basic malt bill; pale and crystal malts. It's semi-sweet with a dry finish. It goes down easy with a smooth taste. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a pretty good amber ale. There's nothing special going on here, but it tastes good nonetheless.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.78/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Having tried it's famous pale brother already, I decided to give this a shot. On to the beer:

Poured into a glass, a thick head arises from the copperish-red body. It's a sweet beer, kind of a hybrid of Bass and Newcastle. Toffee, toasted malts, and a soft gentle hop aroma. Firm, crisp, and easy to drink, I found their Amber Ale to be a pleasant surprise.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.3/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A light amber pour and I glugged into a glass so the head built up pretty well. Still, it did not stay long.
smell of sweet malt and soft fruit. Some faint apricot or pear. slight skunk, but not like their lager.
Taste is light, some malt and thin citrus. A hint of lemongrass seems to be around, too. Some skunk.
Smooth to a point. the malt gets old after a while. Overall, better than the lager, wish the skunkiness would go away.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.72/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a cranberry-amber, clear, with a light foamy beige colored head that left a fairly good rim lacing and maintained nicely enough.

S: soft smoky toasted munich, with a dry woodiness and a noble flowery hopping which was quite nice as well.

T: much the same, a light smoky toasted munich with a fresh noble flowery hopping. There was some sweet burnt sugary notes and a touch of cinnamon and alcohol. Overall a decent dry amber with some dry hints of alcohol lingering on the finish.

M: light, watery and a tad disappointing considering the potential of the nose and flavor. Softly carbonated.

D: Decent drinkability, could have a couple of these with a nice dry toasted woodiness and equally nice flowery hopping makes for a decent example though the mouthful hinders a better rating.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
3.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm sampling this 6 months or so after it's "best by" date. The beer doesn't taste like it's been affected. Grolsch Amber is brown in color with an average-sized, creamy head. Aroma is malty, not too strong, but inviting. Taste is malty sweet, reminds me a little bit of Newcastle Brown, but is better tasting. Finish has a mild lingering sweetness. This is a good, sessionable beer, not too complex, but very much worth drinking.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.86/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

One of the lightest looking amber ales I've seen. Very light amber. Tan head though? Funky old aroma. Like a barn.

Taste, a little better, heavier than appearance would lead you to believe. Very smooth, lacking bitterness or hop character. Nutty. Is this an amber, alt or brown ale? Can't tell by drinking.

Overall, not my style, just tasted unadventurous, a solid malt beer for people who don't like hops or bitterness. Too pricey for me to drink when I'm not all that high on it to begin with.

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Photo of Gusler
2.26/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Picked up a bottle of this beer for the “Hell of It”, as I never cared much for Grolsch, but it has been almost 3 years since I had a sample, and it was only $.99 a bottle.

The beers color on the pour a burnished copper with a massive head that is frothy in texture and a light tan color as it evaporates the lace forms an adequate covering upon the glass. Nose is malt, clean and fresh, start is sweet, lots of malt, top cadaverous, finish is lightly acidic, lightly hopped, dry aftertaste, a “Benign” beer, and one that I suppose is suitable for a summer cookout, as it does “Wet Your Whistle”!

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Photo of clayrock81
3.4/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Decided to pour this into a pils glass rather than a stange or flute. The smell was sharp as the carbonation kicked up there, leaving a foamy two-finger head. I picked up hints of citrus and yeast, plus earth tones but nothing too hoppy and no strong malt presence. The taste is different though, as the frontkick is drying and hoppy, but it passes over the tongue smoothly as there might be coffee or roast/burnt malt in there. For the price of the 6-pack it wasn't bad, and that aids its drinkability. It is just not complex/lacks depth that holds it back.

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Photo of Brenden
3.26/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

This alt is darker than amber, on the darker end of the style at a dark sort of brownish-red that's bright and completely clear but for the darkness. The head is creamy, sort of an eggshell white color. It achieves a full finger on top of the beer and remains pretty steady there, falling but very slowly. A sturdy rind of lace is left at the top of the point where it's settled, followed by some good patching.
The aroma is fairly light, malt forward with some dry, wheat-like malts but with a bit of herbal leaf showing a light hops presence as well. There's a mix of vague things, including vaguery in sweetness and spiciness with a sort of tangy twang that detracts a bit.
It shows a little less of the tang, which comes off as a weird note on the nose that doesn't quite fit. It's got some toasted grains on the tongue while remaining pretty wheaty, and the light hops comes through, this time a bit grassier.
It's lighter in body that expected, though it actually fits fairly well and isn't watery or overly thin. It does lean a little too much in that direction, but not heinously so. It's definitely crisp, with a fair smoothness off of even carbonation.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.28/5  rDev +32.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

There I was in Trader Joes tonight, scouring the ‘singles’ section (the beer that is; I have lobbied the Manager for a “single women Aisle” but sadly to no avail) and I spied a lonely bottle of “Imported” Grolsch Amber Ale. Never seen this before “I thinks”, so what the heck, and it’s only a single and at least worth a Review “me thinks”.

Comes in a 12 fl.oz (355ml) clear glass embossed bottle with a distinctive shape, all sealed with a crown cap. Once removed, it poured with a *massive* head that was ever so slightly off-white, and rocky, it appeared to collapse at the edges and not in the middle leaving a huge rocky crusty uneven head in the middle and a smooth 1” head at the glass edges. It looked very “Germanic” at times.

The color reminded me of a light Newcastle Brown; in fact, I almost mistook the Bottle for this homely offering at first glance. It is Amber color mixed with a reddy-brown hue, a very appealing color in the clear glass bottle I have to say. Carbonation is average, retained and released when swirled.

Nose is pungent and quite noticeable from a distance, this really surprised me. Sweet smelling malt, grains and some fresh wholemeal bread smells. No clinging odors – just a very clean precise overall smell. Nicely done.

Initial tastes are sweet, with some malt in front of the mouth; middle is wholesome, strong flavors of sweetish malt, digestive biscuits and fresh baked bread. Mouthfeel is serious as well. The bitter end has a lovely fruity twist, hard to explain, reminded me of soft old pears that I would pinch from a nearby Orchard when I was a child in England. Superb!

I expected a lightweight beer I will be honest – but Bloody Hell, I have been Broad-Sided big style. I’m totally flummoxed.
“Well I will go the foot of our Stairs”, as my Grandma used to say.

A very nice surprise, I am quietly highly impressed by this very drinkable beer. And all for just 80 cents. Not bad. I would buy this again for sure; well as soon as they start to sell it in the new "Single Women Aisle" anyways – LOL.

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Photo of Brent
3.03/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Malt profile took some thought to sort out. Some vague chocolate malt flavors and a smokeyness that waffled between a peat smoke and oxidation. In a blind tasting, I'd probably have tried to put this in some sort of Scottish category. A bit of brown sugar thrown in for good measure. Not bad, but at the same time there was not a lot that engaged me.

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Photo of Reidrover
2.96/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz clear bottle.
Pours a very crystal clear light brown ale, with orange hints and a nice sized creamy/rocky off white head.
The aroma is strange and subdued like a sickly lager.
The taste also is rather odd,like regular grolsch with some malts added..the bitterness shows at the end, but as this goes on its not quite the disaster I thought ar first..ok.
The mouthfeel seem to be the best aspect of this beer, its rather lush and smooth and with a nice hoppy bitter after taste.
A drinkable brew no doubt..and it was ok IMO, but not one i would reach for with better beers available.

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Photo of tgbljb
3.53/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured a medium copper with tannish chunky head that threatened to escape from the glass. Smell is very minimal with a slight malty caramel sweetness present. Taste is very malty with some dry hoppioness initially noted, but rapidly fades to to leave only the caramel malt. Finish is also big on malt. A very easy to drink beer. Nothing special.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.04/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I know I've had better samples of this beer in the past, but if they insist on selling it in clear bottles then they will have to live with the consequences. I'll give this beer high credits for a very attractive beer. Nice frothy head with great stamina, attractive amber colors with hues of brown, and light red. Clear. But because I think my bottle was old both the aroma and flavor were flat and dead. Each had a malty quality that wasn't necessarily unpleasant, just dead. The other area for credit was the very soft mouthfeel. In fact that is what made the bottle worth finishing. Maybe if I have a fresher bottle sometime I'll update this and give it the credit it may deserve.

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Photo of Floydster
2.43/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle purchased as part of a six pack that was on sale at Cooke's Market in El Segundo

Poured into a Firestone pint glass with a dark amber color, more brown than red, small 1/4 inch white head that mellowed very quickly, no retention or lacing

Smell was weak, the only thing I could really idenitfy was toasted malt and it needed to warm for about fifteen minutes before I could get any kind of aroma

Taste was also disappointing, hoppiness was overwhelming and took over any malt that was present, sometimes bread-like tastes that were chewy but not much, got a little sour towards the end when the beer had reached room temperature, this one really needs to be drank as cold as possible, definitely not a winter beer, but it could potentially be refreshing during the summer, overall very faint flavor qualities

Not a good mouthfeel, body was nothing and it was overly carbonated

This stuff is very light and has a low alcohol percentage, but the taste would get really old after a while, not filling but could become too much due to its one dimensional flavor

Did not expect much from this to begin with, but it was even worse than I thought it would be, I would not drink this again or recommend it to anybody either

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Photo of Pegasus
4.23/5  rDev +31.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep and clear dark amber color with a large cream-colored head that retains quite well. Carbonation is moderate; the excellent lace leaves prominent rings in the glass. Aroma consists of dark and bready malt with hints of brown sugar, quite pleasing. Taste begins with solid bready malt notes, reminiscent of home-baked dark bread. Finishes dry with substantial mild hops and dark fruit notes. The mouth feel is creamy and smooth. This is an unflaggingly excellent beer that I will assuredly buy again.

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Photo of beerguy101
2.04/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Light amber color, medium white head. Aroma is grainy and malty and sweet. Lighter bodied altbier. Lightly hopped, medium malts, slightly sweet. Mild flavor. Finish is clean. Aftertaste is slightly hoppy, some malts, no bitterness. Kind of bland, but a least it dosn't have any objection flavors.

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Photo of ADR
3.72/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Half of a 12 pack, the other are the Lagers...

Clear deep amber color with a minimal head that skims the top of the glass but that forms nice and delicate lace. Sweet aroma, sub-caramel and more like dark brown sugar with some sense of straw. Bready and biscuity malt profile, less carbonation than the Lager. Hops are slightly metallic, somewhat grassy, and are early-comers to the flavor profile. Finishes fairly clean with some tart apple impression. Not bad, Alts rarely are super memorable for me but this is a quaffable beer.

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Photo of bditty187
3.56/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Darkish reddish-brown (amber), off-white head, no real depth or staying power but it did produce waves of lace. Clean nose, hints of malt and grain. A solid dollop of malt hits your tastebuds, a faint hint of roastedness. Medium body, good consistency. Not complex yet very enjoyable… pleasing. Clear bottles scare me but I reckon this would make a very good session beer. Try it, recommended.

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Grolsch Amber Ale from Grolsch Bierbrouwerij N.V.
75 out of 100 based on 96 ratings.