Lucifer | Brouwerij Riva S.A.

233 Ratings
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Brewed by:
Brouwerij Riva S.A.

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
The brand and brewing was transferred to Het Anker in 2008.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-18-2001

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 233 |  Reviews: 217
Photo of ManekiNeko
3.66/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle served slightly chilled in a Maudite glass both for name resonance and similarity in shape to the offishul Lucifer glass.

Appearance: Clear yellow color with very active carbonation. An initial 1 1/2" tall white head of rather dense bubbles. The head never completely goes away and it leaves some rather impressive lacing on the glass.

Smell: Spicy pepper and medicinal hop aromas. Slight grass and sour apple notes. A presence of brimstone (OK, it's DMS, but allow me some poetic license, man). Worth a sniff or two, but you needn't spend a lot of time smelling.

Taste: Intense pepper and grassy flavors. A whole lot of non-bittering hop tastes. Not all that sweet or malty. A Belgian for the hophead, I'd say.

Mouthfeel: Extremely well carbonated, makes for a very piquant sensation in the mouth. Very crisp. Alcohol is just barely masked. I suspect that this beer would be infernally horrible when flat.

Drinkability: Ideal for spicy Thai food, I'd say. Maybe not the best Belgian SPA/Golden out there, but this is not bad to say the least. Worth a shot, but I find La Fin du Monde, Duvel, and New Belgium Porch Swing to be better beers of this vein. Worth trying for nostalgia's sake.

Other: To commemorate the act that garners enough karma for a splash of beer in the mug, I thought I'd have the beer that first turned me onto beer. Sure, I had had microbrewed 6ers and whatnot previously (and enjoyed them immensely). But this was my first Belgian style beer. I got it at Taste of Thai in Des Moines. When the corked and caged bottle arrived (I didn't know you could do that for beer), I knew I was in for a treat, plus it had a funky glass. I sniffed it, expected something brown in color and then was flabbergasted to see the pale contents of the glass. I had paradigm shift without popping the clutch. Time and experience tells me that this is not all that hot, but you always remember your first.

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Photo of StevieW
3.43/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz brown bottle. Poured a shiny clear yellow, maybe golden color. Bottle swirl produced some cloudy dull khaki swirls. Large, full dense off-white head. Odd, sour smell, lots of traditional lager smells. Smelled like an regular old beer with fresh cut hay mixed in. Lots of sour, old mushy malt tastes. Hay again. Tasted like a Coors Original more than a belgian golden ale, really it did. Then some spicy peppery mix of flavors rode in just in time. Sitcky sweetness. Some sharp citrus flavors slipped by. The mix got sweet and slick toward the end. Alcohol heat shows up more toward the finish. There are so many more impressive Belgian Ales out there, I can see this one getting lost in the shuffle.

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Photo of packetknife
2.56/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Hazy yellow color, very foamy very aggressive and lingering white head. Very yeasty on the nose and tongue, sharp and spicy. Seemed overly yeasty, maybe not bottle friendly? Across the tongue it had a pop-rocks type of sensation that I did not enjoy. Didn't feel like a high ABV though. Underwhelmed given what I read about it before.

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Photo of Dogbrick
2.77/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled at From The Vine monthly beer tasting Oct 13th, 2003: Hazy yellow/gold color with a medium thick white head and thin lacing. Aroma of spice, clove and yeast. Fairly crisp with a bitter character and flavors of wheat, pepper, fruit and a little alcohol. The finish is very carbonated. I really was not too impressed with this one.

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Photo of Shaw
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was surprised by Lucifer's color. It's so yellow and clear that it looks like food coloring was used. I hate to make the comparison, but the color is similar to a cheap American lager, only more deeply yellow.

Thankfully, that's where the similarity ends.

It pours with a huge, ultra-white head that quickly settles down, yet sticks around and clings to the glass as you drink it. Its aroma is a combination of malt and alcohol.

With an 8.5 percent ABV, this is potent stuff. But it still has a great taste: spicy, sweet, malty and with noticable alcohol.

Lucifer fits into the style of strong pale ale perfectly.

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Photo of Gavage
3.73/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer was served in a Lucifer glass, and it was a clear golden yellow color with a thick head that stuck to the sides of the glass. The aroma is slightly sweet but very floral with some citrus qualities. The beer is definitely sweet on the tongue with a good amount of bitterness. There is a slight dryness and bitterness on the tongue after swallowing. The alcohol seems to peak through a little to much, but it is not offensive. One Lucifer is plenty during a session.

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Photo of RBorsato
3.38/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear pale yellow with a moderate white head and decent carbonation. Light tinny malt aroma -- light sourness (from yeast?). Light metallic malt flavor with Belgiany yeast flavor strong. Light bodied and airy.

Very disappointing (along with Saint-Martin's...) for an M.J. Beer Club.

Label States: "Belgian Golden Ale" & 8% ABV

On Cap: June 2008
Tasted: 09/26/03

(11.2 oz. / 330 ml)

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Photo of oberon
3.33/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not a better example of a Blgiam pale,pourd a light goldrn color with a huge head,aroma is lightly spicey and a little mineral-like.Taste starts out quite sweet with a little spiciness and a dry finish.A straight forward ale but lacks alot of character in my opinion.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.21/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a huge white head that leaves gobs of lace. Hazy, light yellow color. Slight hoppy nose. Carbonation is intense. Flavor is slightly sweet but yeasty, starts sweet and finishes hoppy and fizzy. Disappointing for a Belgian especially a strong ale, maybe its the green bottle.

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Photo of RoyalT
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance – Deep yellow body with a typical full head.

Smell – There’s some nice yeast in the nose of this one. I can also pick up a few other aromas such as spice (clove and cinnamon), fruit (melon and banana), and alcohol.

Taste – This one isn’t as full of some of the other BSPAs that I’ve had, but the flavor still has a bite. The yeast flavor almost seems raw. The afore-mentioned spices kick in bigger as well (to the point that it is probably off-style), and the alcohol taste is very noticeable.

Mouthfeel – This is a nice, lively ale that will keep the taste buds busy.

Drinkability – I feel that this was the beer's weak point. I personally enjoyed the slightly off-style flavors, but this is not something that goes down easily.

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Photo of BierManVA
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Massive head! Had to slow the pour on this one. A very light golden color. Very good bier all around... taste, smoothness, drinkability. In fact, very smooth for the alcohol content. A little on the dry side, probably because of the 8% ABV. But not too distracting.

A very pleasant bier. This could become a standby. I got this via a bier club and don't normally have the opportunity to purchase. Would buy if I see it again


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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.05/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 11.2 fluid ounce green glass bottle with a gold and red label that simply says “Lucifer Belgian Golden Ale”, with a silhouette of a pitchfork holding devil stood atop the dot over the “i” in Lucifer. Recommended serving temperature is 55°F, no freshness date or strength listed.

Appearance: A very light straw color which was incredibly lucid at first, subsequent pours to top up my small Birra Moretti goblet resulted in a mild haze formed from the runover of the lees from this bottle-conditioned beer. A massive lovely white smooth head comprised of a plethora of uniformly sized bubbles immediately forms when first poured. The pearl white head has great staying power and leaves some lovely looking lace on the curved glass walls. A small number of streamers punctuate the beer throughout.

Nose: The air is immediately filled by a spicy herbal hoppy aroma as soon as the crown cap is prized off. A classic ‘Belgium Golden Ale’ aroma, which is hard to forget, and easily remembered.

Taste: An introduction of spicy hops, mixed with herbs and some light grain malts. Dry at times with a spritzy aspect in the mouth that lends a very lively feel to this beer. Light bread tastes at times that immediately reminded me of the Unibroue 10 that I had drunk last weekend. An accomplished Belgian Golden Ale that does not disappoint, but not the best exponent of the style.

Mouthfeel: I know its 8.5%, but the mouthfeel is nevertheless quite light. Astringent spicy hoppy finish lingers for some time.

Drinkability: I found this to be a very easy drinking Golden Ale that was good, but in the end just a tad short of being great.

Overall: The real test for a Belgium Strong Golden Ale, has always been, “would I swap this for a Duvel?” Well the answer is – No!! Nevertheless, this is a solid, tasty Belgium Golden Ale that drinks well and belies it strength, but sadly fails to live up to its ‘bold’ name.

A big thanks to Francisweizen for rekindling some old memories with this beer!

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Photo of granger10
3.01/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I was hoping that this would be a great beer, but I was let down. The appearance is just dreadful to me. Looks like my piss. Even the head looks odd. This beer seemed like it had too many flavors put in and it didn't know how to handle it. So it just made all the flavors weak except for the alcohol which tasted really strong, but not in a good way. The spicyness was good for a time and at times the malts and hops mixed well, but it was weird. At one moment this was a solid beer, at the next this was a horrible beer.

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Photo of tavernjef
3.67/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Color is a light golden straw, solid yellow, hefty tall white head of creamy froth that sits like a mall Santa in his red chair the day after Thanksgiving. Good lacing in layered strings and ink blot patches that stick like glue.

Aroma is a bit funky - strong soapyness and musty bad fruits like banana and bolonga put together and has been sitting a little long in the picnic basket.

Taste is way mellow with light but firm hop presense thats quick and lightly estery and lemony with a touch of orange and lime. A bit sweetish in candy and spice but undertoned and a bit loose. Airy sparklyness in its carbonation making the feel a bit frothy with a light textured medium body, much like just sucking the foam off the top. Finish is also undertoned and simple, but refreshing to drink. This Lucifers' fork don't poke, it'll dull you to death though if ya let it.

Thanks to Francisweizen for the sample.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.36/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appears a hazy golden hue with a vibrant bubbly white behemoth sized head that leaves thick even patches of lace in my snifter. Aroma is light stricken green bottle esque with the european hop aroma slightly turned a little enough to notice, however there is still enough pleasant fruit tones to cover up the skunky smell a little. The sweet forefront of this belgium golden ale has a shimmering malt wave profile that tickles the palate, just what a shame that this beer as the dimethyl offness caused by the light. Overall still an enjoyable Belgium offering, just makes me more aprehensive about ordering beer in a green bottle. Lighter in body nice full carbonation, overall a very drinkable beer just beware of the 8.5% abv I didn't know it was that high.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
4.03/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This unique Belgian Golden pours a dull butterscotch color with a full bubbly, slow fading head. Belgian lace sticks nicely in stages, letting you know just how big those gulps were. A damp earthy aroma mingles with hop, clove and alcohol. The lightly sweet malt body balances well with the citrusy bitterness and hint and camphor and slight spicy tartness. A mellow light herbal quality remains constantly in the background, softening an otherwise edgy and wildly flavored ale. Nice job!

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Photo of Morris729
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium golden color with one of the most unusual heads I’ve ever seen on a beer. It’s tall and foamy composed of many very large bubbles that dissipates in chunks leaving a rocky and patchy lace of foamy large bubbles behind. Nose is fruity and spicy with notes of peach, pineapple, clove, and vanilla. Medium in body with a zesty and spritzy texture. Taste is just a touch of malt sweetness overpowered by spicy clove and tropical fruit at first. Some woody oak flavors then come across followed by some peppery alcohol towards the end leaving a dry finish. An enjoyable big Belgian ale, but Lucifer is no match for the real Duvel.

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Photo of mzwolinski
3.69/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Cool name, cool enough looking bottle; I've been looking forward to trying this beer since I saw it on tap at Monk's a few months back. I was surprised right from the pour -- the beer is a very pale yellow compared to most of the Belgians I'd tried. That in itself was alright, but the head was disappointing -- thinnish, fizzy-looking, and quickly-dissipating. The aroma was an improvement -- lots of herbal/floral hops, an underlying honey/candi sugar sweetness, and a nice almost pineapple-like scent. Sadly, things went downhill after that. Mouthfeel was far too light and effervescent -- any attempt to swirl the liquid in one's mouth quickly turns the beer into fizz. Taste is zesty and sharp, with typical orange, coriander, and herbal hop flavors. Alcohol comes through way too strongly though. Not an entirely unpleasant beer, but it pales in comparison with its underworldly brethren.

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Photo of Brent
2.54/5  rDev -30%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Foamy head of tiny white bubbles, quickly faded to thin sheen of lace. Very busy carbonation bubbles race from the bottom of the glass. Pale yellow/gold, almost glowing. Sharp yeasty and somewhat metallic aroma. Flavor is rather coarse - lightly fruity notes quickly brushed aside by husky malt and raw alcohol elements. Duvel's unrefined cousin.

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Photo of CharlesRiver
3.71/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What an odd beer. My roommate poured his beer and it was a very clear golden yellow. My beer poured a cloudy, hazy yellow color. Very effervesent with a half inch head that seemed to last. The smell is pure, fruity, grainy, malty and sweet. The taste is peppery, malty, sweet and a bit of fruit.

Tim poured this beer from the first half of the bottle and I poured the last. I actually liked the taste of mine better but the look of his better. Still, a good beer that I would like to sample again.

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Photo of 49degrees
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An interesting brew that truly represents many of the characteristics of the traditional Belgian strong ale. In recent years, Lucifer has made its way to this side of the Atlantic in both tap and bottle form. I had the opportunity to enjoy this one on tap a few months back at the Tap House Grill in Bellevue, WA, but unwittingly got socked with a $11.00USD price for a tulip shaped glass of this stuff). Don’t get me wrong, this is very enjoyable beer, but not at that price. Thankfully, this review is based on their 11.2oz green bottle complete with gold-toned foil label and more than reasonably priced at $3.49USD.

The brew itself pours a very solid golden hue with a reasonable size head, which slowly gives way to a solid surface foam, a mid-size collar, but sadly almost no lacing.

Aroma wise, Lucifer clearly represents everything that the Belgian strong ales stand for --- strong and robust characteristics complete with an almost medicinal like quality, fruity hints and a slight earthy undertone.

Taste wise, both bottle and tap deliver a very strong kick, a pungent palette grasping attack with slight hoppy hints. Quite dry in comparison to some brews, it dishes up a fairly consistent fruity and yeasty hit that’s somewhat unique to this beer.

It appears to be clearly modeled after Duvel both in style, texture, alcohol counts and name with Duvel and Lucifer both meaning Devil. Duvel is the clear leader on this one, but Lucifer shouldn’t be discounted as a cheap knockoff. Just like the former, a modest level of attention needs to be paid to this one as its 8.5%abv will surely sneak up on unsuspecting guests.

All in all, if the price is right on Lucifer, be sure to give it a whirl, but don’t get sucked into paying some of the exorbitant prices that some retailers attempt to fetch for this one.

[ STATS:>> 10 oz draught / ABV: 8.0% abv / PRICE: $11.00 USD ]
[ STATS:>> 11.2 oz bottle / ABV: 8.0% abv / PRICE: $3.49 USD ]

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

All great things breed imitations, but not any old sparkling golden Belgian ale can match Duvel, no matter what Hellish moniker it adopts. Such is the case with Lucifer.
Pours out a hazy gold color, underneath a snowy white, brilliantly lacey and effervescent head. Aroma is quite shy, giving off bits of spiciness, but largely dry and soft, lacking any distinguishing phenols. A sparkling taste hops about the buds, but, again, not a lot of character. Dazzling hop presence, firm and fiery texture, good, solid malt body contributing to a underlying sweetness on the palate. A simple, but enjoyable finish. Overall, a pleasant, decent brew, but a far, far cry from the true Devil. More like Beelezebub Jr. the 3rd cousin removed on his mother's sister's side.

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Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Much better than I expected. A great belgian beer that poured with a pale golden look reminiscent of a Duvel, the head was also a little out of control at first(also like a Duvel). The smell and taste very very sharp and spicy and reminded me of a la fin du monde or a maudite from Unibroue. For those of you who know Unibroues beers than you know that this beer is a real treat. An incredibly spicy taste, with a great subtle, clean aftertaste, and a nice full mouthfeel round out this great Belgian brew. Very drinkablwe at 8.5%abv but damn expensive at the steelgarden where it was $6 for a single bottle!!!!!!!

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Photo of goindownsouth
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very good Belgian beer for those really just starting out in the world of fine beer tasting. It is what a fundamental Belgian should be to the beginner. It is a great golden color, yet not too light. The aroma is appealing with slight sweetness and spice, but not as much as say some other Belgians. This is one that would go well at just about any time. Well worth seeking out. Prost!

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Photo of mophie
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia. Bright golden color with a fluffy white head. Spicy, fruity, bubblegummy aromas and flavors. A bit of pear in the taste, along with peppery spiciness. Nice, but not the best Belgian on tap that day.

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Lucifer from Brouwerij Riva S.A.
3.63 out of 5 based on 233 ratings.
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