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Amber | Brouwerij Hof Ten Dormaal

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42 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Brouwerij Hof Ten Dormaal

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

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Reviews: 42 | Ratings: 70
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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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 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 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 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 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.


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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 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 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 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 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 rtepiak
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

the darker of the two in the series. Really into the self sustaining brewery and this one has a good sense of character. Just as much a ridiculously voluminous head as the blonde. I warn. Both bottles i had as soon as the cage was removed the cork went. You have about a half a second to start pouring. Pour is a lot of aggressive head which is a precursor to the body. One was a head and nothing but in a pint glass and the rest enjoyed in a tulip. The other had a nice head of three finger that grew as the intense carbonation rose. But it subsides. And at first that beer abv is separated in feel when the carbonation is that potent. Color of cloudy amber. Nose of orange and licorice. Palate is malty but of toasted and burnt toffee. Some clove, licorice and the and interesting bitter but sweet grassy of a candied bitter orange peel. Meaty mineral finish. Not better but better as it milds in carbonation.

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Photo of DeanMoriarty
4.32/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased a corked 37.5cl bottle from De Bierkoning and poured it into a tulip glass (it's the best I could do with what was provided for glassware at our apartment for the week).

A: Pours an unfiltered murky brownish/golden hue with a thick head that lasts the entire beer with just minor lacing in its tracks.

S: Sour, fermented, sweet and bready with a noticeable hop presence; also somewhat malty and woody with a liquor finish - absolutely phenomenal.

T: This stuff blew me away, the flavor is unlike any i've tasted - a cross between a tripel and an aged bruin. Sour and malty, yet sweet and bready with a distinct aged flavor (woody and spicy), the hop is there too (maybe Saaz and Amarillo ???).

M: Silky and light/medium bodied, well carbonated but with small bubbles that roll across the palate perfectly.

D: Bought one just to try it out and wish I had another. Perfectly balanced for easy drinking.

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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 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.

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