Amber | Brouwerij Hof Ten Dormaal

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84
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42 Reviews
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BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Hof Ten Dormaal
Belgium | website

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by tempest on 06-25-2010

BEER STATS
Reviews:
42
Ratings:
69
Avg:
3.73
pDev:
15.82%
 
 
Wants:
2
Gots:
5
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 42 | Ratings: 69
Photo of SummitVA
2.67/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - The half bottle that wound up on my kitchen counter after the cork popped from merely removing the cage was a nice ruby auburn; the half bottle that wound up in my glass was a brilliant muddy brown with about 4" of head. Overcarbed to say the least.

S - Nice phenolic spiciness. Sweet malt and dark fruits. Some mustiness.

T - Saison yeast characteristics foremost with huge clove flavor. Grainy sweetness finishing with a metallic flavor that I can only attribute to the disturbed yeast pulled up from the initial explosive opening. A bit of the mustiness in the nose is here. Much spicier than I had anticipated.

M - Medium. A decent "amber" saison.

D - Just not that pleasant in its current state, which I admit is entirely a function of the pour. Fortunately there isn't that much to drink.

Overall - Would love to try a bottle with carb levels in line, but as this brewery has nearly killed me and a friend (who almost put an eye out opening a blond), I think I'm done.

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Photo of mrfrancis
2.75/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a dark amber with a fizzy white head that quickly recedes into a thin mousse. When held up to the light, sluggish streams of effervescence are clearly visible. Looks like a pretty typical amber.

S: Faint aromas of caramel, chalk, minerals, earthy hops, and spicy, fruity yeast are present on the nose.

T: Notes of caramel, woody spice, earthy hops, dark bread, chalk, minerals, cider apples, and funky yeast wash across the palate. The finish is oddly brief, but very spicy and funky, with notes of yeast, caramel, minerals, and earthy hops.

M: Very light-bodied for the style with surprisingly crisp, forceful carbonation. In the mouth, this ale displays a chalky, dry texture that is a bit off-putting. Drinking this is a bit of a chore.

O: This is a very mediocre saison. I was expecting so much more. Hopefully, the other Hof Ten Dormaal beers will be more appealing to me.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.02/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From on tap in to a tulip glass

Consists of a cream colored appearance of very tight bubbles of barely a finger head. The rest of the beer is of a perfect caramel color opaque, that leaves a decent lacing upon quaffing

Nose. what nose? There's a nose on this beer? I smell barely ANYTHING, some faint yeast that's about it.

Taste however gets a considerably better after the closed bouquet. A very light aromatic body with faint tastes of honey, but still rather empty. Pleasurable and above average but lacking in a bold profile or of something distinct.

Afterfinish is incredibly sharp guessing from the so called barley/hop content. It is not bitter but is "sharp" it jumps out in the finish which is kind of jarring. There is also a slight club soda finish, and a feeling of a slight chewy wheat ale consistency also. That's not necessarily a bad thing.

Drinkabiliy I would say is just about down the middle, I could have another, but I am not aching for one. Lord knows I've hard worse Saisons. However, as you continue drinking it the sharpness is less noticeable making it more enjoyable.

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Photo of brentk56
3.28/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: A big explosion as the cork is eased out, but the beer is not a gusher and pours out with a mountain of foam on top of the hazy amber liquid; the retention and lacing were less than initially expected, however

Smell: Buttery toast topped with brown sugar with apples, minerals and herbs adding a subtle counterpoint underneath

Taste: Diacetyl-laden, up front, with buttery toast and caramel; the minerals, herbs and apples appear in the middle; yeasty and sweeter, after the swallow, but chalky on the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate to high carbonation

Overall: A beer that is all over the map and not in a particularly good way

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.29/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #44 (Sep 2010):

Heavy sea-foam head, turbid amber color. Spicy nose, a bit creamy with vague caramel or confection, lemon-ish herbal and obvious yeast flavors. Big burst of crispness from a lighter, dryer body. Bready, buttery, earthy. Dried fruit of apple, pineapple and kiwi. Yeasty with dried grain throughout; phenols are present, but are on the light side. Wet and alcoholic as the warmth creeps farther down the throat. An interesting beer to try, no doubt, but it just seems scattered and almost a chore to drink.

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Photo of emsroth
3.3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

375 mL corked bottle

Appearance: cloudy dark amber. Saw some yeast chunks floating into glass, perhaps I should have let the beer settle longer before drinking. Light tan head, more like beige, that lasts throughout the session.

Aroma: sweet Caramell with hints of fruit. Red grapes and Apple. there is a lights touch of alcohol in th end which I always love in Belgian beers.

Taste: strong caramel flavor with a candy like sweetness. The flavor is definitely a bit too sweet but it has a redeeming dryness. The hops are rather nondescript but they have a touch of piney dryness that certainly complements this farmhouse ale. It reminds me of a classic, sweet British ESBs but with a belgian edge. It is helping to redefine my notion of farmhouse ale.

Mouthfeel: the body comes equally from the caramel malt and the carbonation.

Not my favorite Belgian, and certainly not the zestiest farmhouse ale, but one worth enjoying.

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Photo of julian
3.41/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Coppery brown in color with good clarity and a little bit of haze. A creamy white head that dissipates leaving a nice layer of foamy goodness on the surface.

S: Caramel and toffee sweetness, hints of maple and candi sugar with a vanilla like bready quality. cereal and toasty. One of the sweeter examples of the style.

T&M: Sweet toasted malt. Light yet medium bodied. crisp. Slightly peppery and mild hop bitterness.

O: I'm not sure this is a Saison, but this is definitely a Belgian farmhouse ale of the darker, amber variety. The definition of Saison is pretty open and relatively unspecific anyway, so this very well could be a traditional interpretation of the style. It's a bit too sweet for my liking and the toasted malt tends to dominate, like a marzen or oktoberfest but nevertheless this was enjoyable.

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Photo of trappistlover
3.47/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(375ml bottle from Total Wine Desert Ridge). Pours hazy orange color with nice fluffy off-white head. Moderate carbonation. Aroma of dried pit fruit, lemon, spice, and hay. Taste is sweet with some light bitterness. Fruits come through as well. Medium bodied with a slick texture. A bit fizzy. Finish is slightly bitter. A decent beer, but not sure I’d actively search it out again because of cost/other great beers out there.

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Photo of metter98
3.48/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: There was so much carbonation in the bottle that the cork exploded out as soon as the wire cage was twisted off. The beer is hazy brownish amber in color and poured into a snifter glass with a three finger high foamy off white head that has good retention properties. It took a long amount of waiting and several pours to finally get all of the contents out of the bottle.
S: The nose has lots of yeasty aromas and is quite spicy. There are also some hints of fruits.
T: The overall taste is filled with flavors of grainy malts and spicy hops.
M: It feels medium-bodied and dry on the palate with a very high amount of carbonation.
D: Drinking this beer takes a lot of patience because you can't pour out everything out all at once due to the overcarbonation.

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Photo of sk8man121
3.51/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12.7 ml bottle poured into Allagash chalice.

A: Upon untwisting the cage, I fell into a delirious spell as the cork wooshed by my nose at breakneck yet slow-motion speeds a la the matrix. I'm lucky to still have my sight.

After the gushing subsides, this pours a mostly opaque, muddy copper. 4-finger (yup) head dies down to 1, leaving lacing on the glass. As this almost killed me, I must dock it 1 whole extra point.

S: Farmhouse yeast and apples up front. There's a nice spiciness here. Smells like Saison Dupont.

T: Caramel-apple up front. Fresh bread and spices from the yeast in the center. The hops lend a very unique hint of tobacco to backbone. Finishes semi-dry and somewhat muddy.

M: This is undoubtedly over-carbonated, which gets in the way at first. While creamy to start, this finishes fairly thin.

O: Despite almost losing an eye, this was an interesting beer and was worth trying; I especially enjoyed the tobacco qualities. Won't be purchasing again, however.

Worth trying, but ultimately nothing to write home about.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Should have known to be careful when opening this one since the cork was already pushing out with the cage still intact. After the cork shot across the room and I thanked God that I didn't lose an eye I poured this into a goblet. This beer poured out with a massive head on it, the color of the beer was a traditional amber tone. The head took a white to settle and with each attempt to fill the glass I had to wait for the head to go down. Them smell of the beer is decent, it's got some hops and some sweet malts. It doesn't really smell too much like a Saison to me. The taste had a decent bitterness to it along with some sweet malts in there. The mouthfeel was bubbly and quite active. Overall not a bad brew.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.55/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a tulip)
Best Before C,E,2,12
A- This beer pours a deep garnet body with microtrails of carbonation racing to a thick boiling head that soon fades to a thick ring.

S- The clean aroma has earthy flinty yeast hints that grow into a cider aroma with some woody toffee hints in the finish.

T- The clean taste has a touch of tartness with a dry woody cider flavor that grows and grows. There is a soft dry toffee note with a hint of alcohol taste in the finish.

M- The scrubbing fizz as a spicy texture to the medium mouthfeel with no alcohol heat really noticed till it is pretty warm.

O- The dry cider characteristic is the strongest flavor with other much softer hints in the background. Not much yeast character and not much malt either.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.58/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours medium amber with a good head and some lace. Some retention.

Candied notes and malt, with some spice, funk and booze. An odd mix.

Malt is sweet, then dries out with yeast and spice. Fruit, mild dried bitterness, and yeast/malt finish with some booze.

Medium body, good carbonation.

OK beer, but not a favorite. A bit all over the place.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.62/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12.7 ounce corked and caged bottle, best by 4/12. Served in a tulip glass, the beer pours a cloudy orange/amber color with a couple inch off-white head. Lots of carbonation in this one, I could only pour about 2/3rds of the bottle (if even that much) into the glass before I had to let the head settle down some. The head stays around for a while, but there isn't much lacing. Aroma is mostly fruity, it smells like apples, tropical fruit, bready malt, pears, hay and lemon peel. It tastes like caramel malt, apples, bready malt, yeast and a little bit of peppery spice. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's somewhat slick and has very high (but soft) carbonation. I think it's a decent brew, but I'm not sure if I'd buy this again for $5.99 a bottle.

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Photo of manitouman84
3.62/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poors a turbid orange/amber with a fair amount of yeast and a lot of carbonation, bubbles dissipate without much lacing. Smells spicy and fruity; lemon, citrus, grapefruit and others all present. Hits the tongue with a light phenolic spicyness, followed by apple, grapefruit and a dry malt finish. Not too sweet, clean on the mouth, not a heavy bodied beer. This is a good beer, although maybe a little 1 dimensional given the style to me. I found the dark more interesting.

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Photo of woosterbill
3.62/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Corked+caged bottle into a snifter; thanks to JAHMUR for sharing.

A: Loosening the cage causes the cork to explode with deafening force, followed by some serious gushing; once things calm down enough to allow an actual pour, it results in a hazy orange body under a huge head of frothy, off-white foam. Yeah, it's overcarbonated, but it's not unattractive.

S: Sweet, fruity, and spicy, with tropical fruits, yeast phenols, and bready malt. Quite nice.

T: Dryer than expected, with lots of malt, spice, and stone fruit. Intense phenols on the back end. Intriguing, but not especially tasty.

M: Decently full body with moderate carbonation. Ok.

O: There really wasn't much about this beer that reminded me of a classic Saison, and that was a disappointment. The mixture of malt, spice, and fruit on the nose was enjoyable, but such balance didn't quite come through in the flavor. I won't be seeking it out.

Cheers!

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Photo of CaptainPiret
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

True to its name, it pours an amber color with a slight orange tint. The head is foamy, stuck around for a while, and left a lot of lacing as it went down the glass.

Grass, green apple and some yeast came to mind when taking a whiff (there is quite a bit of yeast lounging around the bottom of my glass).

It was an impressive start for this beer, with its nice appearance and multi-flavored smell, but the taste left me wanting more. It's duller than the smell let on. I still get the grass but the apple and other sweet aromas aren't nearly as detectable, and something bitter grabs me at the end. I was expecting a creamier beer, but it was a bit watery.

Overall, this is a pretty decent beer, but not one of the better saisons I've had. Worth drinking but not going out of your way for.

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Photo of sitarist
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque, tarnished copper color. There is three fingers of foamy off white head taking its time receding. The head falls to a thick foamy top-coating that leaves patches of lacing.

I smell over ripe apples, musty basement, lemon, caramel, and wet dog. Its not as spicy or phenolic as I expected, but it is funky.

I taste ripe apples, pepper, coriander, and lime. The flavors are a lot more spicy than the nose suggested. It has a weird / funky aftertaste.

Medium body with quite a bit of carbonation that scrubs across my tongue. It has a long finish.

I find it easy to drink despite all of its weirdness. I could go for another.

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Photo of Brenden
3.74/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The pour brings up a big, dense, fluffy pillow of pure white head that settles to a solid finger in height and comes to rest on top of a thickly opaque color I'd call amber regardless of the name. It leaves deposits of lacing in thick patches almost as fluffy as the head itself.
A touch of funk on the nose brings up some earth, and it consists mostly of spiciness and a sort of nondescript sweetness with an evident yeastiness.
Green apple flesh, earth and butter (?) with yeasty overtones comes out with grains underneath and more fruit flesh. Interesting. Spiciness sticks around, as does a certain tanginess. Butter goes away, and more of a woody dryness helps in that regard.
Heavily carbonated, this beer displays a medium body with a sharply crisp tang before a yeasty dryness takes over.

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Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

375 ml bottle into tulip glass, best before 11/2014. Pours lightly hazy deep copper amber color with a 2-3 finger fairly dense and fluffy off white head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of lemon zest, pear, apple, black pepper, caramel, toast, brown bread, herbal, straw, grass, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast ester and dark/bready malt notes; with solid strength. Taste of lemon, pear, apple, black pepper, caramel, toast, brown bread, herbal, straw, grass, and yeast earthiness. Nice amount of earthy yeast spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, pear, apple, black pepper, caramel, brown bread, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice robustness and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast and bready malt flavors; with a very nice malt/yeast balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, crisp, and lightly prickly/bready mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very good amber saison. Good complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/spicy yeast and dark/bready malt sweetness; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

 1,427 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a super hazy dark beige color ale with a super huge off-white foamy head with perfect retention and excellent lacing. Aroma of rustic Belgian malt notes with light barnyard notes and funky ester. Taste is a very nice mix between some rustic Belgian malt notes with funky yeast ester and light barnyard notes. Body is extremely full with limited filtration and great carbonation. Very complex beer with nice artisanal touch and rough edge not removed.

 465 characters

Photo of ONUMello
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.7oz bottle poured into a tulip
A: Hazy amber with a lingering 1+ finger head
S: Sour with malt and citrus notes
T: Sweet, only a bit of sour with bready malts, Belgian yeast and dried fruits, most notably cherry
M: Medium-bodied, smooth, a bit sweet with light carbonation
O: Not sure why this beer isn't rated better. Not the most complex ever but unique and tasty

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Photo of Ohiovania
3.81/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really tight and carbonated but oddly sweet and caramely. Just a vestige of barnyard. Thickest mouthfeel I've ever had on a saison before.

After halfway this is way to sweet. Gonna try and cook with the rest.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Note: Be very careful opening, HIGHLY carbonated. The cork shot off as soon as the cage was slightly loosened.

Appearance -- Pours a rich amber/orange with MASSIVE tight white head.

Smell -- Bright citrus, coriander, dark fruit, earthy/funky yeast, earthy hops, some alcohol.

Taste -- Follows the nose pretty well. Splash of bright citrus (orange peel?) and spice, peppercorn, clove and faint banana, earthy/funky yeast, dark fruits, caramel and cane juice malt sweetness, earthy/herbaceous hops in the finish. Mild alcohol presence.

Mouthfeel -- medium to light in body with high carbonation. Mild alcohol warmth.

Drinkability -- The commonality between this and the Blond is pretty significant, although this has more sweet and caramelized malts and more alcohol presence. I preferred the Blond, but this is still exceptional.

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Photo of jbonapar
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

YIKES! What a start to this beer! OVER CARBONATED EXPLOSION out of the bottle! What excitement. I've never seen a cork fly that fast in my life. I was 1/2 way through loosening the wire over the cork and POW easily broke the sound barrier!

Ok, on to the taste

What aroma.. Spicey slight hopiness a wee bit citrusy...Floral. Fantastic

Taste: wow. I love a good saison, my favorite style when done well. This captures it. Starts off immediately with a sweetness that is quickly overtaken by a spicy bite...A slight sourness lingers as the bitterness comes on at the end. THen, the spice comes back and just stays until the next sip. I also notice a bit of vanilla in there...Just fascinating and complex. One of my new fav's.

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Amber from Brouwerij Hof Ten Dormaal
84 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.
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