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 tugdriver7
2.98/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A huge step backward in my search for the best Altbier. I'm sorry, but calling this an Altbier is like taking the phrase "Fine Pilsner" on the "Miller Lite" label seriously. This is a watered-down, slightly hopped-up version of Newcastle Brown Ale. Medium brown/red (almost artificial-looking) color, slight head, lots of bubbles; smell is hops (even a bit of skunk?) and the taste is (like I said) a Newcastle clone. Nothing against Newcastle; but it is what it is. I was not impressed. To paraphrase a former VP candidate, "I know Altbiers; I've tasted Altbiers; and believe me, this is no Altbier."

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Photo of treehugger02010
2.76/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 3

Drinking this beer was a very unique experience. I looked at the bottle and was very pleased with the appearance. When I took my first sip, however, I was rather suprised to find that I was drinking nothing but water. This beer had minimun tast at best. What was worse was that I couldn't feel the beer in my mouth at all. This critique might just be me, but I felt that I should have experienced a taste and experienced some sort of feel in my mouth, but none was givento me. This is why I wouldn't recommend this beer. Again, I am still looking for someone to shoot me in the direction of a book or place that can teach me more about the ways of beer.

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Photo of palliko
3.45/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is a copper color with good ivory foam and lacing. Aroma is strong: malt, dough, a faint hops. Initial taste contains sweet fresh bread, a thickish mouthfeel, crisp, bitter hops balanced nicely with malt. The mildly sweet flavor persists to the end, and the finish is barley, malt, fruity hops and is nicely dry. A well-brewed ale.

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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 becktone
2.94/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a beautiful crystal clear light reddish brown color. The head was about aout 1 inch thick and had good retention. The beer doesn't look that alive in terms of carbonation, but the color and the head make up for that.

This altbier doesn't have a very strong smell but I can smell a bit of the hops used in this beer. Its hard for me to descrive the taste of this beer , all I can say is that the same faint smell of hops that I get when I smell the beer is a bit more pronounced in the taste. The bitterness of the hops seem to become more pronounced as this beer becomes warmer. There is nothing special about the taste of this beer, nothing to really set it apart from any other. Don't get me wrong its not bad but neither is it good. If your looking for a good craft beer, I don't think that you'll find it here. This beer has a fairly light body and goes down pretty easily. This beer in my opinion could use alittle more carbonation but thats just me.

I probably won't buy any more amber ale from grolsch but I won't be opposed to drinking it again either.

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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 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 jayc333
2.84/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured an orangish red with a 2 finger white head. Looks sort of like an Irish red ale.

Smells a little dank, and leafy. Not really appealing to me. I hope this isn't a bad omen for the whole beer.

Taste is really lacking. I can't really put my finger on what it exactly tastes like, but it is definatly not strong. Also, I detect a metalic tinge.

Mouthfeel was probably the best thing about the beer. Very smooth, with little carboation.

Overall drinkabilty isn't that good. After the appearance, it went downhill. I still prefer this over Grolsch Premium Lager though.

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Photo of thechaacster
3.46/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear bottle. Pours dark copper with a thick, chunky, long-lasting head. Aroma of dark (I wanted to say caramel, but that didn't seem right) malt with a sharp hoppiness. Quite smooth malt flavor, very tasty. Hops provide solid bitterness, but there is something "off" about it. I can't quite put my finger on it, it's certainly not the skunkiness I've experienced with Grolsch lager. This is an altbier? If you say so. Either way, it is decent for a change of pace.

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Photo of blackthistle
2.84/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer is copper colored with a creamy white head. It has a malty bouquet with a slight DMS (dimethyl sulfide - corn) aroma. It has a nice, medium-bodied malty flavor with a light, clean, dry, bitter finish. Not as clean and smooth as Schmaltz's Alt, which I think is a better example of the Altbier style.

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Photo of Barraclou
2.56/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Bottled in clear glass, this beer poured a reddish brown colour with a typical euro pale lager white foamy head.

Smell: Skunky with some hidden malt and hops aromas.

Taste: It tastes like what it seems to be: a darker euro pale lager. The flavour is more malty rather than its regular sister, but it is quite far from being called a real amber ale. An altbier? I don't know that type very much, but I am not sure neither.

Mouthfeel: It is honest for that type of beer.

Drinkability: I am not impressed with this one. Yes, it is drinkable, but I would rather choose something else before drinking it. On another hand, it is easy to get something worst than this beer.

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Photo of AlexJ
2.68/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a perfectly clear light amber color with a surprisingly thick, but brief head of pure white.

The nose is subtle, with grainy malt, mild grassy hops, and an overall bready, pilsneresque profile.

Taste is about the same, rather balanced, but certainly a tame example of the style. Eager carbonation and a med/light body. Easily forgettable.

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Photo of Luigi
3.68/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep clear amber color with a big white head. Sticks around the glass a little bit. Clean hops aroma with a nice roasted malt and wheat back ground. Taste twangy from the wheat and hops. Roasted malts, some grains, and a clean finish. Smooth going down and very drinkable. I am glad I picked up a six pack.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
2.88/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a rather clear lemonade with a low amount of any reddish hues.

Light grainy pilsner-esque scents

Faint flavors of an English style ESB above all else. Not off putting but just rather bland.

Thin mouthfeel. Crisp carbonation.

Forgettable but not regretable. I've spent $3.00 on worse.

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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 Frozensoul327
2.91/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I prefer this over original Grolsch. Poured out to an Amber color, decent white foamy head that was quite dense when poured quickly. Aromas of hops with a touch of floral odors. Flavors of roasted hops and malt. Slightly crisp, but had a aftertaste of wheat in the finish. Not bad, but nothing special overall. Worth a try.

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Photo of KoG
1.74/5  rDev -46%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Oh boy am I sad that I chose the try this. At first it looked somewhat promising with a nice thck creamy head taht leaves a good amount of lacing and doesn't go away very fast. Had a bit more brown color than amber, but its an Altbeer on here and I thought it was an amber ale(silly me).

Smelled hoppy but watered down. Slight wheat comes through and trys to give it some resemblence to a beer.

Taste was too bitter and just very unpleasant. I'm not sure if I got a bad bottle, but this stuff was just horrid. Mouth was rather smooth until you swallow and get an extremely astringent, mouth numbing, rotten grain feel. I had to pour this after about 1/3 of the bottle.

On the bright side, it wasn't skunked even with the clear bottle.

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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 JohnnyDuvel
2.98/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Funny, before I became a BA (but after I started sampling better beers), this was one of my favorites. It was better in the swingtop bottle, which isn't available anywhere down here now. Now, this beer just tastes weak and thin. Overly sweet, with nothing really standing out. I like Grolsch lager (when I don't have a better option), but this is nowhere near as good as I remembered it a few years ago. How far I've come!

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Photo of clvand0
3.85/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'd never seen this one before a fellow BA brought it over for me to try. Pours a light amber color with a small head that dies off fast and leaves no lacing on the glass. The aroma is of sweet malt. Very little hops in the nose. The flavor is mostly comprised of biscuit malts with a slightly grassy hop. Seems slightly thin, but very good beer. This is a good session beer and much less skunky than the standard Grolsch.

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Photo of pootz
3.53/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle-clear: date coded for 1 year freshness dated...produced 4 months from the pour. Poured a clear copper tone with a nice 2 finger fluffy, sticky off white cap that has good retention (We are surprised) Aroma is understated: some musty malts grassy hops slight sourish tone like an alt. Body is smooth..silky, malt pronounced...nice departure of toasty nutty malts with the Hallertauer + Hersbrucker hops present but still in the background...finshes clean but mellow with the toasty malt after tase. This is a mellow altbier... the hops and carbonation are toned back to give it a flavorful nutty-malty hasn’t the sharp edges a well hopped German alt’s falvorful and quite drinkable I think it’s been underrated. Then again I may be biased I like Alts and this is a unique malty one.

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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 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 zjungleist
3.03/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I like this beer better than regular Grolsch. Color is ok, clear amber. Taste is roasted malt with a slightly metalic/chemical aftertaste. Hop profile is ok, but not great, over powered by the sligthly sweet malt. Mouthfeel is a little thin, but it does go down smooth. Imagine if Newcastle made a light beer. Although, I would wager the ABV is slighly lower than Grolsch lager.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
3.63/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I hadn't had this brew in nearly six years, since I first saw it while stationed on Okinawa. Seeing it again at my local Trader Joe's, I figured I'd give it a try again as I liked it back in the day.
Poured from a clear (uh, oh!) 12oz. bottle, it had a clear amber hue and a bubbly yet durable off-white head that left rings of lace on the side walls. The smell was rather subdued - some sweet malt and caramel and some light, almost residual, floral hops aromas. Bonus, no lightstruck "off" aromas! The taste follwed the smell almost to a "T"; some grainy sweet malt and caramel flavor up front, some light dark fruit notes, and a mild hops bitterness in the finish. The feel was medium-bodied, smooth and clean.
Grolsch's amber ale is a decent beer that doesn't have any major flaws other than it's profound unremarkableness, if that's a word. It was one of my starter beers a few years ago and it would be a good one to use to introduce beer drinkers to the craft brew world. No complaints here.

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