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Amber | Brouwerij Hof Ten Dormaal

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BA SCORE
84
good
42 Reviews
THE BROS
75
okay
Read the review
AmberAmber
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Hof Ten Dormaal
Belgium
hoftendormaal.com

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:
70
Avg:
3.73
pDev:
15.82%
 
 
Wants:
2
Gots:
5
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 42 | Ratings: 70
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 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 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 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.

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Photo of zeff80
3.99/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Not over-carbonated like some of the others. Cloudy amber color with a one-finger, off-white head of foam. It left sticky rings of lace.

S - It smelled fruity and yeasty.

T - Caramel with a fruity and yeasty kick. Nice and balanced.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a nice saison. I think it has aged some.

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Photo of nickfl
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with an over the top, five finger head of off white foam. It takes a few minutes for the head to settle enough for me to fill the glass, and as the foam recedes, it leaves thick lace on the glass. The body is a clear, golden amber color.

S - Bready malt with a hint of caramel and some spicy hops in the background.

T - Rich, bready malt up front with some spicy yeast notes and a bit of toffee. Clove and peppery yeast notes in the middle with some musty hops. The beer finishes with more intense, caramel and toffee malt as well as spicy yeast notes of clove and a hint of smoke.

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

D - A very nice, amber saison. The yeast character is musty and spicy with some of the "cellar" character that I normally associate with a biere de garde. The spicy, must, almost British hop profile melds nicely with the bready malt and spicy yeast, while the profound dryness makes for a very drinkable beer.

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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.

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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 tempest
4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 375ml bottle at Abe's Cold Beer for $4. The cork popped right off after I uncaged it and it took a good 5 minutes for the head to die down, leaving a hazy, dark amber body.

Like the Blond, this beer is dominated by a big spicy Belgian yeast character. It's full of cracked pepper, coriander, and clove with a mild floral undertone. There's a bitter, herbal hop finish and then a hint of bready malt.

This beer isn't super smooth like so many great Belgians, instead it has a rich bitter feel like a great IPA. I suppose I'd describe it as a dark Saison Dupont. Find this beer, it's delicious.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.96/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours coppery golden amber with a loose two finger off white head that dissipates to a thick cap with decent lacing. Aroma of sweet caramel malt, Belgian yeast and spicing with a lingering spicy component. Flavor is sweet caramel malt, light apple juice and clove up front with a drier, saison finish with a mineral element. Light to medium body with active, peppery carbonation. An odd hybrid of Belgian pale ale and saison. It starts as a more traditional fruit forward ale but finishes with a more saison yeast presence. Interesting, but kind of all over the place in flavor. It grew on me as I drank the glass.

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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 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 avalon07
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a brown-orange color and a thick, cloudy consistency. There was a huge, long-lasting, foamy/rocky head. Below average lacing.

S: A sweet aroma of hops, fruit, malt, and sugar.

T: Tasted of sugar, malt and light fruit up front, with a slightly hoppy finish. Generally, a well-balanced flavor.

M: Like Hof Ten Dormaal's Blond, this beer has an absurd amount of carbonation with a fairly dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: While I didn't like it quite as much as the Blond, the Amber is a highly drinkable beer.

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Photo of ccrida
4.04/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Carefully leaked the gas out while holding in the cork, once I removed it, it took awhile for it to slowly over-foam, but even a gentle pour into my large Gulden Draak tulip resulted into almost all foam. It settled pretty quickly, leaving chunks of big bubbled foam over a hazy, dark amber beer on subsequent pours.

Whoa, the first whiff I took to deep, was so spritzy it stung my nasal passages, and then quickly unfolded the sweet esters and malt, lychee and pith. I really like the intensity, even after the gas blows off and it stops burning, very nice.

Taste pretty good, complex but fairly well integrated. The fruitiness is present but tempered by a firm bitterness on the finish, but is still pretty robust. A little earthiness, fresh clean soil.

Mouthfeel is pretty dry, but there's some maltiness for sure, medium bodied, perhaps even a bit more so for the style.

Drinkability is pretty good, this is as advertised, a classic, rustic saison. I prefer the fruity esters vs the more spicy esters that farmhouses can exhibit, this reminds me of the fruity blaugies yeast, which I really love, and actually homebrew with a ton myself.

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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 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 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 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 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 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 Brutaltruth
3.91/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed from the small bottle in a snifter. This nice amber pours a hazy brownish copper with a quickly dissipating head of foam that leaves a thin ring and little lacing. Nose of heavy brown sugar candy malts, fresh bread, and subtle citrus and yeasty goodness. Flavors exceed the nose with Belgian candy sugar malts to the front followed by breaded malts and notes of cherries and dates that fades in the background with a light spicy rye quality that is most welcome mixed with a touch of coriander. Coating mouth feel, lightly carbonated and finishing moderately dry, this is an excellent brew that deserves a higher rating.

Cheers

 642 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

 368 characters

Photo of Bouleboubier
3.91/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

(poured into a St. Bernardus stemmed wine glass)

A: clear, coppery amber... bottle-conditioned foam that fades

S: vinous, bread crust, grassy

T: faintly musty-funky, mildly sweaty finish... essence of old caramel apple in the aftertaste... mellow bitterness of dying grass... doughy malt later comes to the front

M: roundish, clean... impression of approaching medium body... faint chewiness

O: kind of crosses into the Biere de Garde territory with its malt flavors - mild-moderate aged tone

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Photo of augustgarage
4.05/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Best before 2012. Poured from a 375mL caged-and-corked bottle into my Troubadour tulip.

Utilize caution, as the cork emerges with dramatic violence!

Cloudy golden brown/rust body with burnt orange and amber highlights. A voluminous angry outburst of papaya whip foam fills the glass, receding slowly to a lasting half-finger, leaving behind messy lacing and an adherent cakey collar in its wake. Glossy clear legs.

Candy sugar, spicy (noble?) hops, fermenting oranges, earth and vague spice in the nose.

Muscular yeast and barley on the palate. Faint caramel-like flavors emerge but are tamed by the phenols and some "barnyard" elements as well (though this funk remains earthy rather than sweaty or tart). Moderately bitter, grassy, and with a bright dry finish. Great evocation of terroir (as to be expected when the ingredients were all sourced from the farm it was produced by).

Effervescent, well carbonated, medium-bodied, and slightly slick.

A touch rustic, but still reeking of small-batch, high-craft authenticity. Definitely seek this out if you are a fan of traditional farmhouse ale.

 1,102 characters

Photo of impending
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-

375ml into a tulip. As soon as the cage is loosened the cork rockets, watchout kid, you'll shoot your eye out. Seriously dangerous yet not a gusher, a 750 would have pierced the ceiling. A deep gorgeous amber copper, amber toned head is large bubbled and dissipates fairly rapid, minor lacing.

Aroma is yeasty with dank fruits, they didn't fully ripen and have begun to turn. Sweet as of honey.

Taste is surprisingly strong of caramel, dubbel level. A mild dry twang begins the aftertaste which is pleasant slightly sweet minor bitter. Medium full bodied creamy smooth mouthfeel. A better dark bière de garde.
cheers
jd

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Amber from Brouwerij Hof Ten Dormaal
3.73 out of 5 based on 70 ratings.
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