Ambar Especial - La Zaragozana S.A.

Not Rated.
Ambar EspecialAmbar Especial

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BA SCORE
67
poor

61 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 61
Reviews: 33
rAvg: 2.75
pDev: 24%
Wants: 1
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
La Zaragozana S.A. visit their website
Spain

Style | ABV
American Adjunct Lager |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: rastaman on 08-12-2002

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 61 | Reviews: 33
Photo of Gimenez
4.85/5  rDev +76.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Es una de las mejores cervezas

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.78/5  rDev +37.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Crystal-clear, straw yellow color, blessed with a big, softly settling, fluffy white head.
Aroma: empty, but inoffensive.
Very smooth, rich, malty flavor. Pleasant right off the start. Light bodied, but surprisingly tasty. I think I got a very fresh bottle, just off the plane from Spain, where it rains mainly on the...veranda...um, scratch that...anyway...
Tiny little hops gently ride on the palate, quickly covered over in a blanket of light, sweet, delicious maltiness.
Based on the previous reviews, I was set for a let-down, but happily cast off that presumption. Quite a nice lager, nothing wrong with it, a beer I can live with, and garner pleasure from. Just plain nice. Thumbs up from me!
...and I've been told that Ambar is a family name involved with the brewery, not any connection to the English word, "amber".

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.75/5  rDev +36.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

La Zaragozana's Ambar Especial pours a slightly hazy, light amber colored body beneath a frothy head of white. The head retention is fairly good, and it leaves some nice 'mountains' of lace along the side of the glass as the initial head receeds. From there it maintains a thin lid of creamy foam that slowly receeds to an average collar.

Delicately toasty, grainy, and mildly sweetish malt greets you in the nose, and a gentle swirl of the glass reveals some of its floral and grassy hops.

The body is medium and a touch dextrinous, and it's restrained, fine-bubbled carbonation leaves a light caress on the tongue before it passes smoothly away.

The flavor is fuller than the nose suggests, and it surprisingly malty with a sugary/honeyish edge that's almost like unfermented wort. Hmmm? Spicy and floral hops cut through the malt, and a solid bitterness anchors it nicely, leaving it to finish dry with an edge of raspy bitterness left behind.

It's certainly not the best-made beer, but apart from lacking a little bit of finesse it's well-made with no flaws or defects. I think it could be a bit smoother and better rounded, but it's quite interesting, and a great change from the more commonly available clear golden lagers. Probably worth trying.

Photo of BeerResearcher
3.5/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11oz dark brown bottle. Very generous 06/09/05 best before date.
It pours a shiny brassy gold color with a medium sized white head. Lots of low-lying clingy little bubbles rise up from the sides and bottom of the glass.
The smell of grain, cut dry grass lasts awhile. A touch of alcohol vapor rises up then fades.
A taste bread dough, unsalted Saltines and light sugary sweetness balances well with sharp hoppy flavors. Grapefruit rind zest, lemon bitterness and a bit of metallic tang gives this an edgy, cutting quality.
Warming alcohol is noticed in the background.
Not bad!

Photo of granger10
3.28/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer poured a dark golden color with a medium sized frothy white head. Decent amount of bubbles race to the top. Decent lacing around the glass. The smell is floral and grassy but not hoppy. The taste is strong on the sweet malt flavors but there's not much in the hops dept. Finish is sharper than most lagers and decently refreshing. All in all this is a good beer but I couldn't have too many of these because of the sweet malt abundance and lack of much else.

Photo of tesguino
3.25/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A lager from spain; intense deep yellow, little pale; aromatic like broiled hops; taste harmonic, wide, clean, like velvet; try with spanish tapas, paella valenciana; spiced mexican food; serve in a pilsner glass; this is an example of spanish good beer over the average; 80% recommended.

Photo of mhuber
3.25/5  rDev +18.2%

Pours clear, medium copper color, not much head. This is a full-flavored beer with just a bit of sweetness to it.

Photo of woodychandler
3.24/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Being as that our options for buying single bottles of beer are so limited, I tend to pounce like a (Pitt) panther on any that I see in various coolers that I scour. This was just such a recent score.

From the bottle: "Lager Beer Biere Speciale Bier Cat I Birra Speciale Super"; "Brewed & Bottled in Spain, Espagne, Spanien, Spagna, Spanje".

My pour produced a foamy, soapy finger of bone-white head with moderate retention. Color was a deep-gold with NE-quality clarity. Nose smelled especial with an odd sweetness, not honey-like as lager should be, but with a kind of chemical quality, too. Not as odd as Minhas, but not right, either. Mouthfeel was medium and the taste was not all that bad, with a cereal sweetness along with a metallic tang and a smoky, anise quality. Okay, I have no idea what adjuncts went into this one, but it surely did not include corn. This was one strange piece of chicken. Finish was semi-dry and not all that bad, if it really is an AAL. I was surprised, but still not a fan.

Photo of Dukeofearl
3.08/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Had at our local Spanish restaurant last night- $5.00 for a 33 cl bottle. Gotta love restaurant prices. I had never heard of this puppy before, and the waitress described two other Spanish beers as "like Corona" and "like Heineken", and Ambar was "darker". So that was the information I was going on.

The room was dark and I couldn't read the label, nor see the color very well. But my best guess is that it was a darker than macro golden-orange, with a smallish head in a standard pint glass.

Aroma is sweet malty, slight caramel notes and a little flowery. But in general, weak. Flavor is sweet malts with the ever so slightest oily hop bitter finish. Not complex, not terrible. Mouthfeel was disappointingly thin.

I had this with some very good (and very expensive) Spanish food, and maybe the mood set me up, but I thought it went OK with the tapas and I enjoyed it. I recognized that it's not a "best of class", but considring the style, you could do a lot worse!

Photo of ADR
3.04/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Clear and medium gold in appearance, a soapy white head starts at 1/2 an inch but is no where to be found in 40 seconds. Some partial ring laces on a pint glass. Decently malty aroma, a bit of watermelon. Flavor begins slightly nutty and husky, not bad in overall composition but straying toward seedy. The mouthfeel falls apart pretty early though, heads to a watery realm with very minimal hoppiness spread out at the finish and without bite. Too much apple core in the aftertaste. Carbonation is moderate and not too fizzy. Pretty unremarkable but the aroma and the beginning give it some distinction for what it is.

Photo of ChristopherWIU-UTPA
3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I have had this beer on multiple occasion in Spain, Morocco, Portugal, and the United States. In the United States I procured this Spanish Beer at Friar Tucks in Savoy, Illinois. Pours golden clear, with average head, some lacings, and average carbonation. Has a malt taste, notes of rice, hops, and grains; it has aroma similar to Budweiser, which fades rapidly. It leaves a metallic aftertaste, pretty refreshing on a hot day, and it won't leave you bloated. For an American Adjunct Lager it is really well made for a big brewery.

Stationed at Rota Naval Station 2003 (U.S. Army)
Morocco May 2013
Madrid/Toledo Spain May 2013
Portugal June 2013

Photo of Redrover
3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this one at 1492 which is a very good tapas restaurant located in downtown Chicago. I figured Spanish beer & Spanish food should go well together. This was much better than the Estella I also sampled.

Beer poured a nice amber/gold with a decent tan head . Some lacing.

Mostly a fresh malty nose on this beer. Hints of bread and perhaps a little fruit.

Taste was a little on the sweeter side and I‘m guessing that’s due to a large does of malts. Not a lot of hops in this one. Went well with most of the food but it could not stand up to the spicier foods. I think I really needed a good IPA.

Mouthfeel was creamy, drinkablity was average. So far, the best of the Spanish beers I’ve sampled.

Photo of bark
2.97/5  rDev +8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The smell is malty with semi-sweet notes. Bitter hints in the background. It is clean and a bit simple.

The colour is pale yellow (5 EBC), the liquid is clear. The finger thick head is white; it sinks quickly leaving no lacing.

The taste is clean and light with some malty sweetness and a barley noticeable bitterness. The aftertaste is light with some bitter hints, a touch of sulphur and sweet hints of cereals.

The carbonation is medium to strong; the small bubbles short-lasting. The liquid is a bit smooth.

An average adjunct lager. Probably a great thirst-drencher.

Photo of karait95
2.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: straw color very pale maybe some golden hues inside, body looks very light with some carbonation and a withe little head that disappears fasts and doesn't last on top of the beer, nothing to remember.

S: some malts can be sensed but nothing important and not something to notice.

T: average flavor to say something positive a malty body is sensed just that.

M: not very pleasant sensation it is light and to refresh but not nice, a lasting ending but not the good one that you remember.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.91/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Medium amber with a sparse cloud of fine particulates. The bone white cap is good-sized after my usual pour and shows off a 'bubbles piled upon bubbles' look on its upper surface. A decent amount of cheese grater lace completes the picture of a better than average looking American macro lager.

The nose, however, is standard issue Euro pale lager. How is it that pale lagers from Europe all smell alike and are easily discernable from their American counterparts? I can't even blame a green glass bottle since this one is brown. In any case... undistinguished pale malt and musty noble hops. Ho-hum.

Better on the palate, if only a little. I'm appreciative of the malt base since it's more sturdy and more flavorful than the style average. Those noble hops still aren't adding anything of value though. One good feature is that sweet and bitter complement one another nicely throughout each mouthful, with bitter edging ahead on the finish. This is actually decent beer.

The mouthfeel holds up its end of the bargain even if there's nothing especially noteworthy about it. It's on the medium-full side for the style and is appropriately carbonated. I'm pleased to see a pretty good lace display now that most of the glass has been uncovered.

Ambar Especial is an acceptable pale lager from a country not generally known for brewing. Although it's unlikely to turn any heads, it is superior to most of what comes out of Eastern Europe. Having said that, I would think that the Spanish could do a whole lot better if they put their minds to it.

Photo of jdhilt
2.83/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a one-finger white head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Clear amber color. Hoppy nose. Medium carbonation and light-medium bodied. Best before 6/9/05. Starts and finishes on the mildly hoppy side, really unremarkable, it would make a good lawn mower beer. $1.35 for a 330ml bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, MA.

Photo of tone77
2.65/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a brown 11.2 oz. bottle. Has a light golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is sweet, grains, corn. Taste is not so good. Something a bit sour or medicinal like is present, along with grains and corn. Not sure what it is, but it's not pleasant. Feels light in the mouth and overall I was not impressed.

Photo of TMoney2591
2.65/5  rDev -3.6%

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

I think they spelled "Amber" wrong... Anyway, this stuff pours a clear brass-straw topped by a finger or so of relatively short-lived dirty white foam. The nose comprises corn, wild rice, hard water, and light sweet vinyl. The taste brings in more of the same, a sweeter, less watered-down version of your usual macro fare. The body is fairly light, with a light moderate carbonation and a slightly watery feel. Overall, this is as bland and unfortunately-everyday as it gets. Its Spanish origins aren't helping, as they're not contributing anything. Pass, and then some.

Photo of 1fastz28
2.63/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

first beer from spain, atleast i think so, but if this is like other spanish beers, zzz

its like a crappy version of budweiser, a generic plane lager.

looks average, has a slightly more amber color to it, but thats about it.

smell is of corn and water, taste is prety boring, a mixture of adjuncts, corn, water, and a little bit of alcohol.

its somewhat refreshing if that means much of anything.

Photo of endovelico
2.58/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into stein.

Appearance: Pours a yellow-golden brew with a thin cap that holds reasonably for a macro-lager. Slight lacing and decent head retention. Non perceived effervescence.

Aroma: Assertive grainy aroma with strong adjunct notes. Prominent enough, albeit not really that pleasant. Faint evergreen hops aroma.

Taste: Bland and unremarkable. You can just barely taste the sweet corn. Theres a noticeable metallic twang to it aswell. Very uninteresting.

Palate: Medium high carbonation. Light bodied. Low bitterness. Dries out but leaves a metallic / adjuncty taste.

Drinkability: Very unremarkable even by macro-lager standards. It's very light, yet i struggle to finish it. Overall, it's probably as low as i'll rate a beer without severe flaws.

Photo of koolk
2.53/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Amber in colour (duh!) with a chunky head.

Nose is non-exsistant, very little going on. Some malt, bread and grains but that is it.

Palate has a hint of sweetness and a bit of roundness to it but flavour wise it still struggles with light malt and only a touch of hops.

Pretty average stuff.

Photo of budgood1
2.52/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

pours out a clear dark golden colour, with a thin but tight frothy head. enough lacing to satisfy my eyes. light grainy aroma...i swore i smelled tomatos too. grainy taste in the european style, but much more subdued than the german or eastern european counterparts. the sturdy malt base is held together by some light hopping, but pretty much the entire beer revolves around the coarse graininess. the body is fullish and rounded and the mouthfeel is a bit rough and tumble. finishes with a lingering graininess that gets annoying. drinkability is ok if you like a change of pace and enjoy the euro offerings of american style lagers. overall, it's uninspired and rough around the edges. i wouldn't recommend it, but if you see it, try it.

Photo of patre_tim
2.51/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

A: Deep golden filtered with soda like carbonation and a floating white head of 1 finger.



S: Malt, a slight astringency, perhaps a hint of paper and animal offal.



T: Malt, apple juice, astringency, wet cardboard, iron, a light bread, some dull bitterness and animal offal.



M: Medium light body, lots of big bubbled tapioca like carbonation, a cling to your tongue astringent finish.



O: Got at Ginko’s supermarket in Kunming, drank here March 14th, 2015. We don’t get many from Spain here so that was a pleasant surprise. As far as a beer its not awesome.

Photo of josanguapo
2.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Playing KB Dark Side. In Legado de Yuste glass. An Average macro lager. Drinkable

Photo of daliandragon
2.44/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Picked up this run of the mill looking lager at Sam's Blue Light in Durham, which is a fine establishment by the way. Plain brown bottle, oval red label without any interesting picture or design. I remember being unimpressed with the Spanish beers I had a few years ago while visiting that country but maybe this will be a surprise..

Dull bronze color without more than a thin cap of head or any other signs of life. Nose has a stronger malt profile than anticipated, with some recognizable chocolate strains and a fruity aroma as well.

Taste has a decent malt presence but also some strange yeastiness that flattens the flavor out a bit. Buttery, chemical tones also intrude upon the natural ingredients. Mouthfeel is almost flat, strange for a macro lager. Aftertaste is unpleasant enough to make me cringe. No surprise here, I won't be drinking this again unless I'm desperate.

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Ambar Especial from La Zaragozana S.A.
67 out of 100 based on 61 ratings.