Brouwerij Riva S.A.

Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Strong Ale - Belgian Pale
3.64 | pDev: 12.09%
Brouwerij Riva S.A.
Retired (no longer brewed)
Notes: The brand and brewing was transferred to Het Anker in 2008.
View: Beers
Reviews: 217 | Ratings: 233 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of ThaCreep
ThaCreep from Belgium

3.34/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Creamy flavors but also - and this is a bit of a surprise - coming from the melted caramel candy used. Entry on the palate well balanced but soon turned upside down by an alcohol too far. Hops point the tip of his nose on the finish to give it a fine side and persistent. However, a slight lack of balance of power and especially compared to standard-model, the Duvel.

Sep 16, 2011
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85 from Pennsylvania

3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Found this was to be similar to a Duvel. The beer poured out as a nice looking hazy yellow color. The head was large and white. The lacing wasn't too bad here either. The smell of the beer was spicy and had some hoppy aromas coming from it. The taste was hoppy and spicy, there was some booze in there too. The mouthfeel was aggressive lots of tingling carbonation on the tongue. Overall it was a pretty cool beer to have had. A little bummed that it's retired now.

Jun 25, 2011
Photo of jlindros
jlindros from Massachusetts

3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap @ Armsby Abbey.

A: Huge glass with huge fizzy head, hazy amber orange color.

N: Nose of Belgian malts, yeast, and a touch of Belgian sweet malts and sugar.

T: Creamy Belgian malts again, slight pale hops with spicy flavors, strong flavor and boozy taste, some yeast too.

M: Semi thick with warming booze and decent carbonation.

F: Finishes pretty pale and slightly bitter. Lingering boozy malts and Belgian malt flavors.

Jan 20, 2010
Photo of nickfl
nickfl from Florida

4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured with two fingers of creamy, white head on top of a hazy, golden body. The foam settles slowly and leaves little lace.

S - Fruity notes of pears and some pineapple with lots of earthy hops and a bit of pilsner malt sweetness.

T - Sweet pilsner malt up front with earthy herbal hop flavors. Some spicy clove notes from the yeast in the middle along with some pepper. Finishes with moderate bitterness, more honey malt notes and canned pineapple flavor.

M - Medium body, moderately high carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - This beer has a great, plisner like character of rich malt. The fruity yeast adds complexity and helps to identify this as a Belgian, though the yeast character is cleaner than that of some other pale Belgian ales and the fruit notes in the flavor fall a little flat. Drinkable and refreshing, it is a good beer though there are better examples of the style that are readily available.

Jan 03, 2010
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler from Pennsylvania

3.93/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A bone white, marshmallow-fluffy head that appeared despite my careful pour as part of a training session on ale and pouring at Bridgewaters Pub. Nose had a big scent of alcohol. At 8.5%, this was no playing around. Properly poured, this was a beautiful deep-gold color, like liquid sunshine. The mouthfeel was full and creamy with a warm sensation from the alcohol. Finish was dry, definitely musty, yeasty, yummy.

Dec 08, 2009
Photo of jimiv73
jimiv73 from California

4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

wow the name itself scared me but i found myself very intriged anyway to try this! a definite belgium ale it pours off yellow and a nice thick frothy head white in color! their is a definite presents of yeast and citrus flavors with a slight hoppyness to it! beer tasted delicious if you duvel or victorys golden monkey!!! it felt good in the mouth there was lots of tingling and mouthwatering goin on! i give this beer a 4,5 in drinkability because its good and goes down smooth with a slight bitter feel on the tip of the tongue! plus you can drink alot of these lol!!! although a bit pricy @ 8 bucks a glass!

Nov 25, 2009
Photo of popery
popery from California

3.4/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

An okay Belgian, dry with a phenolic character. This is really nothing special, particularly with the overly assertive demonic title. It's a pale yellow-gold with a frothy head. The aroma has some grassy, herbaceous hops and a healthy dose of middle-of-the-road Belgian yeast. Flavor is dry with a touch of sour apples. This Lucifer is no dark lord of Belgian ales.

Nov 22, 2009
Photo of wchesak
wchesak from South Carolina

4.53/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Abbaye du Val-Dieu glass, would have used a Duvel glass if I had one

A - very large white head that left a large cloud like pile on top of the beer, the head lasted forever leaving lace along the way, the color was an opaque whitish/amber almost like a Belgian wit with a big more golden color to it

S - slightly fruity, lemony, some good spice from the hops also

T - light fruit at first, then spice from the saaz hops im assuming, then goes a bit dry

M - crisp, on the light side of medium bodied - just too much substance to it to consider it light bodied; very smooth

D - i couldnt put this beer down, the heat from the alcohol comes at the far back part of the throat and is not a bad thing, lets you know you really have a 8.5 beer

Nov 04, 2009
Photo of haddon
haddon from Kentucky

3.74/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a golden brown with a frothy head. head doesn't last very long. large clumps of sediment floating at the top

S- well-balanced aromas...banana, clove, apricots, yeast & phenols

T- dry taste with alcohol evident. hint of lemon but strong carbonation drowns out any aftertaste. little off balance for my taste

M- little too heavy on the carbonation

D- little light all around not much of a flavor profile. not too impressed with this belgian pale.

Oct 21, 2009
Photo of TLove
TLove from District of Columbia

3.1/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

(From Notes)

750 ml bottle to Stella Artois glass.

An intense amount of carbonation goes straight up the nose from the first sip. If you just started drinking this while reading through past reviews, slow down and let the carbonation die out first.

Stylistically, it is representative of its color and its thick, foamy head holds well throughout the drink. Slight floral notes, with some citrus (particularly lemon), grainy malts, and a honey-derived sweetness. Only slightly syrupy for a Belgian Golden Ale and the alcohol is definately notable, but not overpowering. Carbonation is strong throughout, as is the slight graininess. Semi-sweet, semi-smooth finish, but ultimately pretty dry and not as rewarding as I was hoping for. But for $3.99 at Rodmans in DC, I'll take one any day.

Oct 20, 2009
Photo of BARFLYB
BARFLYB from Pennsylvania

3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Corked and caged 25ozer into a large DFH snifter. I have not had this in about 5-6 years.

Bright sunshine, a bold yellow hue with some bronze outlines. A careful pour yielded just a bit of debris in the liquid. A unmistakable belgian head arose with a bright white look 2 inches high and would not quit. Spraypaint lace initially.

Lucifer is all about the Belgian yeast, it's the main scent coming off with Belgian candi, bubblegum and other like smells. Some tropical fruit with just a touch of light hopping. The alcohol seems well masked than it was when I had it last under a different brewery, as Hat Anker seems to have taken over the recipe.

Fruits mixed with yeast up front, thats for sure. A bit of alcohol as well, but masked well. Freshly mashed apples and some earthy floral hops. As it warms some malt sweetness evens the field and the flavor. Some spice on the finish, maybe coriander.

The feel is a bit bumpy once cold, and quite frankly once it warms as well. The carbonation is high, but not in the red zone. A lively feel. The alcohol and some banana linger on the palate afterwards. Light bodied and fairly well balanced.

Im thinking since this beer is in new hands, that maybe some tinkering has been done to the recipe, the alcohol seems well sheltered, and the flavor is a bit fuller. Still, this is not my favorite Belgian pale strong but it's getting there. This is a good one to go to from time to time.

Oct 18, 2009
Photo of nickd717
nickd717 from California

3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Cheeky Monk in Denver. Hazy blond color with a nice creamy white head. Aroma is sweet pale malt, sugar, yeast, and citrus. Flavor is more of the same, pretty sweet, with yeast, mild hop bitterness, and a touch of alcohol. Body and carbonation are medium. Drinkable, but nothing special.

Oct 02, 2009
Photo of mhatters
mhatters from Pennsylvania

3.47/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a corked 75cl bottle into a Duvel glass

Pours a yelloworange color with a thick white billowy head. A few pits of sediment got caught up in the glass. Slightly hazy.

Fruit and honey in the nose, light fruit - apple, pear.

A bit spicy, balanced by the fruit. The spice and fruit compete a bit, and then a honey sweetness comes through towards the finish.

A bit light light in the feel - lightly carbonated too. The spice hangs out a bit long in the finish.

Pretty good, but in a style with other great beers. I do not hink I want another. OK, not great.

Sep 27, 2009
Photo of Daniellobo
Daniellobo from District of Columbia

3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good and reliable Belgian Golden Ale

Presentation: 750 ml corked bottle. Simple and succinct label with an image of the liquid and an award icon. Minimal description of style noting second fermentation in bottle. Showsfreshness date on top the metal plaque covering the cork (06/2010 A7165). It neither shows IBUs or ┬░Plato, only Alc. by Vol. (8.5%) Poured into a tulip glass.

A - Crisp golden color under a very large foamy head that holds pretty well with touches of lacing as it goes down.

S - Sweet softness with faint floral notes.

T - Sweet maltiness with a touch of spices and a present but not overwhelming alcoholic tone, and a somewhat dry finish.

M - Smooth, light body with hefty carbonation

D -Nicely drinkable. Straight forward offering that still represents a quality Belgian standard.

Notes: Sure, it may not be the best of the style but it is a nice brew. The style is not my favorite but I like to keep a few of these around to open up beer sessions in particular to get eager beginners going with a nice and accessible brew. The average price of this import in the US is OK but may not make it an outstanding choice next to comparable golden ales. However some of the offers for these large bottles showing up recently on the East Coast make it a great choice to stock up a few.

Sep 18, 2009
Photo of mltobin
mltobin from Connecticut

3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Finally bought a stubby bottle of Lucifer after having seen it on beer menus and the restaurant being out of it.

Appearance is a golden color with bubbles and cloudiness inside with a fat 1 finger head at first that slowly loses its height.
Smell is sharp with spice, yeast is present and some alcohol.
Taste has more of that alcohol with some sugary sweetness, but it finishes light and easy overall. Mouthfeel contains carbonation, yeast again and more of those bubbles. And finally the drinkability is better than average, especially considering that Lucifer clocks in at an ABV of 8.5% This is a good belgian golden ale, but not a great one in my humble opinion.

Aug 23, 2009
Photo of thekanna
thekanna from Maryland

4.08/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a golden yellow with miles of billowy white frothy head.

S: Overall faint sweetness mixed with resilient Belgian yeasts. A slight spiciness hits the back of the throat when the aroma is taken in a bit more.

T: Yeasts with a wonderfully strong tinge of coriander, pepper, and honey. A slightly medicinal bitterness resounds on the tongue in the aftertaste, which detracts slightly from the beautifully rich honey sweetness in the body. Still, overall a very well-composed brew, with clear stages in the taste.

M: Nice effervescence; tingles the tongue very well.

D: Great to just sit, sip, and enjoy the flavor. I'm glad I picked this up, even though it was a bit pricey.

May 24, 2009
Photo of Vancer
Vancer from Illinois

2.52/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Wow, poured this without swirling, and I have more floaties and chunks that I could ever imagine, doesn't look too good in the clear golden brew from the squatty 11.2 bottle.

Phenolic plastic in the aroma, this is going south quickly. Blah taste of old summer fruit and malt. Not boozy, but not a good tasting brew either. Glad I only grabbed one for a taste - won't go back for anymore.

May 22, 2009
Photo of AccidentalKate
AccidentalKate from Washington

3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: A bright opaque yellow, with a light head but everlasting belgium lace.

Smell: Citrusy, with a hint of malt and grain.

Taste: Quite the lemony taste here, with a strong grainy backbone, and a decent finish.

Mouthfeel: Was weaker than I expected. Not as effervescent as I believed it would be. Sharp at first, but then quickly loses what ever zing it had and became a little watery.

Drinkability: A Good beer, with some flaws. Not perfect, but good enough for a hot afternoon.

May 09, 2009
Photo of TheMistler
TheMistler from District of Columbia

3.4/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours s pale and cloudy straw yellow. A wee bit reminiscent of champagne, actually. The head is not champagne like. White, big, and creamy, though with big ol' puffs as well. Belgian-characteristic retention. With the first few pours, some sediment. With the last - an absolute boatload. Not particularly pleasant looking.

A tangy nose, but overall pretty darn sweet - a very sugary bubble gum aroma. Champagne notes to the aroma to. We shall see with the taste. "Thick" biscuit malt notes.

Hard candied taste. Again, sweet. White bread bread malts. A bit of citrusy hops, lemon zest. Coriander. Slight hint of alcohol, definitely some numbing as the amount you've consumed builds, some peppery spiciness too. Dry yeastiness left on palate, a hint of sourness, surprisingly not that dusty.

Creamy in feel, with the breaking of the slight CO2 prickliness contributing. Surprisingly light in body, maybe on the light edge of medium. ABV hits the mind pretty hard, actually, which would be a problem if I found this more enjoyable to drink than I did.

Apr 15, 2009
Photo of jujubeast6000
jujubeast6000 from Texas

2.5/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Reviewed 10/23/2007 (bottle):

Pours a big foamy white head, with big bubbles, but is quickly diminishing. Body is a pale yellow color, and clear. Has a very flowery aroma, very sweet. Has a nice flowery taste, very Belgian-like. Somewhat bitter. Okay.

Feb 20, 2009
Photo of joedon
joedon from Minnesota

3.71/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Peering into this bottle, I noticed a lot of ugly looking sediment. Not yeast, but something that looked like it was growing. Naturally, I was i bit concerned and poured out the "good" beer before this nasty looking stuff on the bottom. Not sure how old the bottle was but I believe it hsa been properly stored, at least since I bought it.

Bright gold color with a bit of chill haze and a thin white head.

Smells of esters, spice and hops. Inoffensive but noticed.

Taste is pretty good. Very dry, no alcohol heat and good hop balance. Has a bit of sour finish. Lucifer reminds me more of a Bohemian pilsener than a golden ale.

Mouthfeel OK but a bit thin.

Very drinkable, considering it's listed at 8.5%. Not my first choice for Belgians but acceptable.

Feb 08, 2009
Photo of Rayek
Rayek from Colorado

3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Gold colored beer with excellent clarity for being bottle conditioned. Big and soapy white head has great retention and leaves heavy amounts of lace.

S: Spicy initially with a strong clove and coriander bite. Yeast is there with a slightly sour biscuit note. Oranges and apples linger in the background.

T: Rather sweet, despite the spicy nose. Flavors of oranges, lemons and apples start things out. A clove bitterness adds a nice balance to the proceedings. Finishes dry and tart.

M: Medium body is slightly watery.

D: This beer doesn't drink as strong as it is. The alcohol sneaked up on me and had me quite tipsy by the end of the 750ml bottle. If I have this again, I'll share it with someone.

Jan 20, 2009
Photo of pokesbeerdude
pokesbeerdude from Colorado

3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a single at Wilbur's in Ft. Collins, about $8.

A: Poured a pale blonde straw color, with a white rocky head, nice clumpy lacing, a fair amount of bubbles coming through.

S: some strong sour flavors coming through, a slight spicy hop characteristic as well. slightly metallic though, and somewhat offsetting.

T: very sweet and malty, spicy, nice hop characteristic, slight alcoholic flavor, some funky flavors as well, sort of sour.

M: somewhat thick, but nicely carbonated, interesting balance of heavy malts and thin carbonation.

D: not too bad, a little high on the abv for a session beer, but a fine beer nonetheless. a good stepping off point for the style. all in all a nice beer with a few offsetting flavors.

Dec 28, 2008
Photo of WalrusJockey
WalrusJockey from New Jersey

3.36/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

750ml bottle into Duvel glasses. Cork hood dated 04-09-08.

Appearance- crisp, clear, pale yellow, head is pure white, but marked down for a particularly low amount of head, especially compared to its inspiration.

Smell- pears, apples, alcohol, citrus, and rye smells. Very fruity.

Taste- pepper and rye, very gradually giving way to a small amount of pears. Swallow is very pear-y, and the aftertaste is malty and hoppy. The overall taste is strongly spicy, and not in the normal Belgian dark way, with cloves and cinnamon, but a hot spice, quite in contrast to the very sweet, fruity nose. To be honest, I'm not sure how much I like a beer tasting like cracked pepper over rye bread, with a fruit aftertaste.

Mouthfeel- average, decent. Carbonation is a bit light for the style, while the strong rye flavor means it doesn't go down nearly as smoothly as Duvel.

Drinkability- not great. I might drink this again, but I might not. I love the label on the 750 bottle, but unless the bottle breaks, I can't see *needing* to buy more.

Notes- for a beer so obviously inspired by Duvel, Lucifer has a lot to live up to. It not only fails to come close to Duvel, it seems to go off in an entirely different direction. The rye-pepper flavor isn't *bad*, per se, but it isn't wonderful, either, and paired with the incredibly fruity nose and combined with a sweet aftertaste, it makes a confusing package.

EDIT: as I finish the glass, I find that the odd combination of flavors is less bizarre, and more enjoyable. Still not sure about buying another bottle, but it is growing on me.

Dec 25, 2008
Photo of magictrokini
magictrokini from California

3/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Decent Belgian. Cloudy gold pour with a frothy white head. Good aroma of yeast, banana, clove, and orange-peel citrus. Lots of carbonation takes away a little from this beer. Smooth taste, more hops than advertised in the nose. Fruity sweet with a lighter malt profile than expected. Overall, it was kind of like a strong wit.

Dec 12, 2008
Lucifer from Brouwerij Riva S.A.
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 233 ratings