Brouwerij Riva S.A.

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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.
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Reviews: 217 | Ratings: 233 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by marcobrau:
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marcobrau from Illinois

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

Yikes. I really shouldn't have had a pint of this ale.

As a Belgian Strong Pale Ale, Lucifer certainly satisfies. It's a straw-colored ale with a bright, mousse-like head that falls quickly, but leaves a little trademark sugary Belgian lace. It has the spicy complexity one hopes (in both the nose and the flavor) and a sublime mixture of sugary sweetness and hop spiciness. The mouthfeel was very smooth off tap. I detected a noble hop character that I enjoyed. Sadly, the most memorable quality of this ale was its boozy character. (I sampled this beer at the Thomas Dun Pub in Quebec City and I didn't realize that the "medium" sized serving was an Imperial pint.)

Overall, a very enjoyable, but strong pint (even though I'd prefer to sip this beer out of tulip glass).

Jun 20, 2007
More User Reviews:
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Proteus93 from Virginia

3.43/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pale yellow pour, foamy thick head. Straight forward, but decent.

S: Modest, slightly sweet apple-peel like aromas.

T: A sugar-apple quality. Wants to be crisp, but ends up a touch cloying to my palate... just a little too sweet.

M: As mentioned in the taste, maybe a little cloying in feel, too. It's got a little bit of carbonated expressiveness, but I'd prefer it a little drier.

D: I could probably only go through 2 of these tops before it got far too sweet.

Mar 12, 2008
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beerthulhu from New Jersey

3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

"04" Aged 3 years before drinking.

A: Huge jelly fish like floaties in bottle. Pours a light golden color with a moderate white head. Lots of suspended peppery floaties in glass.

S: There was some light malt (straw) on nose and some nice spiciness. Also present was a good yeast funkiness, resembling a farmhouse yeast strain.

T: Pale malt, spicy character, coriander, orange peel, some candi sugar. Theres some fresh fruit, apples, and pears.

M:syrupy texture, medium viscosity.

D: Overall a good beer that aged well and decent per style. Not particularly outstanding amongst others but a solid good beer none the less.

Sep 27, 2008
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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
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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
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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
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Kraken from Maryland

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

Poured from a corked and caged 750ml bottle with no born on date. Slow pour yields a massive 5 finger white chunky head. A multitude of very fine bubbles with great retention and lacing. Sides of the glass are coated with sticky foam. Beer pours a very pale golden yellow. Lots of yeasty floaties.

Smell- Nose is very peppery with hints of clove.

Taste- Lots of light hop bitters, with a slightly metallic taste that fades over time. Sweet, almost verging on too sweet. Peppery, hints of citrus. Very smooth and easy to drink but verging on cloying. Slight cork in the taste. Very dry finish tells of the higher alcohol content.

Mouthfeel- Zippy plenty of carbonation. Slightly sticky.

Drinkability- Very drinkable, unfortunately the higher alcohol content and $9 make this unsessionable.

A very good example of the style. Give it a shot if you enjoy the style.

Sep 30, 2008
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Lexluthor33 from New York

3.36/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale yellow with a big foamy head that settles to a decent lace. The aroma is cloves,malts and hops.The taste is sweet malts,alcohol with tones of hops and yeast.
The feel is high carbonation that calms a bit after it warms and a smooth,but dry finish.

Notes: A decent brew for the style,but not something I would pay top dollar for. I just feel it was not complex and the balance was just o.k.

Aug 03, 2008
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TroyS from Idaho

3.43/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm 99.999% sure that I've got the correct brew, but the label and brewery are different than has been noted on the site. Let me tell you what I've got and I'll note the differences in 300 words or less;) I got Lucifer in a 330ml(11.2 oz) bottle from The Grape Vine in Pocatello, ID. The label is different from the one pictured on this site as;) The label on the bottle that I got has a label that shows mostly beer with bubbles and head on the top of the beer, of course, right? Well..."Lucifer" is in a red font with a crown graphic to dot the "i" and what I think are devils horns below the "ci" in Lucifer. the label is different and the bottle is kinda a stubby brown bottle. The other notable difference is that this "Lucifer" is bottled and brewed by Liefmans Breweries of Belgium. It's still a "Belgian Golden Ale" with quite a kick; this little devil packs a 8.5% ABV.

Ok...differences aside, I hate the name of this beer, but apparently I'm who they're marketing to, the beer. It's a good strong ale. It poured with a hefty head that dissipated nicely, especially for a higher ABV beer. It was super cloudy with some monster floaties in it; it's a bottle conditioned beer. Good stuff, but don't know that it deserves the 2004 World Beer Cup for stamp, which is on the label, for a golden ale. A bit hefty for a golden ale in my opinion, but I'm Troy, not a beer judge;)

All in all, it's a very nice brew that I'd buy again if it were under a different label;)

Jun 17, 2008
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bmxatv from Pennsylvania

4.8/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This beer rules. 1st had it on tap at Issaac Newtons in Newtown, Pa. Pours a nice golden yellow with a fantastic frothy white head. Smells of fruits and nuts are present but the real treat is when you bring it to your mouth. Your nose immediately catches the fine aroma and alchochol smell is seductively present. This beer was like a party in my mouth, lots of carbonation and full body fill your mouth with pleasure. Just be careful as you can easily get smashed on this brew. This beer is usually on tap at most Belgian bars in center city if you're in town try Monks or Eulogy, you won't be dissappointed!

May 11, 2008
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Stinkypuss from Pennsylvania

3.43/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. Hazy straw yellow with a bit of head and some nice lacing.

S. Wheats and some spice.

T. Very very light, unanticipated. Held some clove and banana tones, and the bready yeast was there too.

M. Light and crisp. Coats the palate with a bitter aftertaste.

D. Fairly drinkable, and a good session brew. A bit expensive and not too special.

Jun 01, 2008
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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
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JRed from New Jersey

3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a mellow gold yellow with large frothy white head. Sweet aroma of lemon zest and floral notes battle it out while alcohol stings the nostrils. Strong taste awaits, that warrants sips rather than gulps. A light, bubbly wine-like taste initially transforms into a sinister, lashing alcoholic bite to finish the drink. A coating of alcohol slithers down the tongue and doesn't let you forget it. The alcoholic taste shoots beyond what the ABV gives away. Kind of like the devil himself, alluring and intriguing at first but in the end his hideous side shows and you can't get that picture out of your mind.

Oct 25, 2008
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SickBrew from Washington

3.62/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This very pale brew has a nice aroma with almost a touch of Vanilla. Nice head but it fades quicker than some of the other Belgian Styles. It was a bit zingy on the first drink but mellowed after a few sips. I actually liked it more with each successive drink. Overall this is a fine golden ale and worth a spin if you haven't had one yet.

Aug 10, 2008
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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FreshmanPour77 from Minnesota

2/5  rDev -45.1%

Nov 18, 2011
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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
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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
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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
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sleazo from New York

2.88/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this beer years ago when I first went to Italy. I was only 19 or so and dont really remember it, so here goes another shot. Found it at the Garden in Greenpoint.

A-Light pilsener colour with a steady stream of large bubbled carbonation. The three fingered head quickly dissipated to a large bubbled 1/2 finger soapy foam.

S-I can smell this from a distance away. Smells of some cheese which I cannot put my finger on. A sour apple thing is going on here along with some alcohol. I dont think I like the way this smells but it is potent.

T-Not as bad as it smells but still rather average for what a Belgian Strong Pale or Tripel can offer. The first thing that hits you is a tartness the same Grannysmith apple from the smell. After that it is some metal and alcohol. The metallic twinge lingers as a tickle on the tongue. You get some hops here which I would guess are Czech or German pilsener butu they seem fairly generic in the background.Not too much going on here, there should be a sweetness to balance it out but there isnt.

M-Light and highly effervescent. Still for a Belgian should be thicker.

D-I feel like this is a gimmick, a pale version of what it tries to be which is Duvel. I wont have this again. It isnt a bad beer and I would rather have this than a Bud, but compared to the greats in the style it kind of sucks.

Jun 26, 2007
Lucifer from Brouwerij Riva S.A.
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 233 ratings