L'Ambrée D'Esquelbecq / Thiriez Amber
Brasserie Thiriez

L'Ambrée D'Esquelbecq / Thiriez AmberL'Ambrée D'Esquelbecq / Thiriez Amber
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Style:
Farmhouse Ale - Bière de Garde
Ranked #39
ABV:
5.8%
Score:
87
Ranked #17,298
Avg:
3.91 | pDev: 11.25%
Reviews:
50
Ratings:
80
From:
Brasserie Thiriez
 
France
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  9
Gots
  8
SCORE
87
Very Good
L'Ambrée D'Esquelbecq / Thiriez AmberL'Ambrée D'Esquelbecq / Thiriez Amber
Notes: Local name - L'’Ambrée d'Esquelbecq
US Import - Thiriez Amber

Description on US bottle label:
Daniel Thiriez painstakingly crafts his rustic farmhouse ales in a rustic farmhouse brewery in the beautiful countryside of French Flanders. This brisk Amber Ale is really a luminous golden-red. It is perfectly balanced, with a soft, fresh hop bitterness playing off a hearty whole-grain maltiness, and accented by an entrancing nose of earth and spice that is typical of French farm-country brewing.
Reviews: 50 | Ratings: 80 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of GreesyFizeek
GreesyFizeek from New York

4.24/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Allen Burger Venture in Buffalo, NY.

This one pours a creamy dark brown, with a tight white creamy head, and lots of lacing.

This smells like toasted bready malt, earthy funk, clove, spice, grassy hops, caramel, and some slight oxidization.

There's a great earthy, clovey, and rustic yeast character here, with a nice slightly bitter and very dark bready malt character. There's a great creaminess, some light vanilla, caramel, and a firm grassy hop character.

This is creamy, crisp, and very drinkable, with a very smooth finish.

This feels fairly by the book when it comes to this style. It's excellent.

Nov 21, 2019
Photo of Beginner2
Beginner2 from Illinois

3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A good find. This style is increasingly hard to find. (I seek it out, but most the new ones I have are from American crafters.)
Looks unambiguously brown, cloudy and foam is gone before dinner is. Smells much better, malty and true to style.
Tastes are the same, and some interesting spicing comes into play. Mouthfeel is thin, not terribly so... but OK given that....
Overall, this complemented a starchy risotto. I'm looking forward to more from Thiriez, especially their biere de gardes.

Nov 27, 2017
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.07/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

despite whatever technical standard you want to set for a beer like this, it is my personal preference of styles to drink right now, these rustic european saison types, and so whatever is wrong with this, some sediment, some over the top residual sweetness, or some heaviness that doesnt belong in most beers of this light alcohol content, i like it, and thats what its all about. i dont think this is as incredible as some of the others they make, but its pretty darn good in the belgian amber or saison category. copper brassy colored with some clarity aside from the fish food flakes in the bottom of the bottle. head is off white and puffy but it fades. the label art is different than pictured here, prettier, shelton brothers looking, but i dont know who imports this (thanks though!). sweet and nutty, honey flavored, toasted with some toffee, baked heartiness, and almond notes, good but somewhat simple. oxidized for sure, this should have been kept in the dark or not packaged in green glass or something, i like a little of that in the style, but this is overrun with it. there are some vegetal hops later on too with the drying but also sort of cloying yeast, it fools with me, but the bitterness of the hops lasts after the swallow. its fizzy and old at the same time, reborn in the bottle or something, but i bet this is a lot better when its newer and closer to the source. i liked i a lot, and its worth the money, but i liked their other flavors better, at least they travel a little better. probably only worth it for the euro saison heads, if thats a category of drinkers and not just a self superlative...

May 31, 2017
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Jwale73 from Rhode Island

3.35/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

330ml bottled served in a tulip. Lot 519 3/2017 printed on the label. Pours an amber hue with a dense, creamy, off-white head. Clarity has a slight haze. Nose is grassy with a hint of noble hops and spice. Taste consistent with nose; however, more spice and light metallic quality towards the back. Mouthfeel is light in body with a pleasant, even carbonation. All and all, not really my thing.

Oct 22, 2016
Photo of dipso123
dipso123 from Oregon

4.04/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer has a wonderful malt character that is unique among the 2-3 other Biere de Garde I have tried. I found it too thin and the yeast character seemed more Westmalle than I would expect, but I found the abbey character a pleasant mix with the unexpected malty-ness.

May 01, 2016
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TheManiacalOne from Rhode Island

3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On-tap 12/3/2015 at Armsby Abbey in Worcester, MA, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep amber color, with a short dense off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains fruit, caramelized malts and some hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of fruit and caramel. Then a touch of smokiness creeps in along with a hearty malt character breadiness. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The smokiness strengthens as you continue to drink the beer. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly smoky.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good smoky representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while if you’re looking for something different.

Dec 04, 2015
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babaracas from Florida

4.16/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a red tinged dark orange, one finger thick creamy cream colored head settles to a thin layer, a few rings of lace left on the glass. Smell: fresh bread, loads of caramel, dried cherries, a little soft apple and spice cake, mild earthy hopping. Taste: caramel, apple-pear juice, quick bite of date bread; substantial spicy and earthy hopping to balance with a touch of pepper in the finish. Get the sediment into the glass, adds some apricot jam into the mix. Medium bodied, creamy feel, with a mineral touch it tries to dry out but finishes sticky. Delicious.

Oct 17, 2015
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Jerseyislandbeer from Jersey

4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from the Het Kasteelhof on Mont Cassel, Cassel, Nord France. Pours a cloudy amber colour with a white head. Aromas of cherries, vanilla & hops. Tastes start with a sweet fruity flavour, after a few sips you can taste the cherries & vanilla as well as maple, with a aftertaste of hoppiness. Overall on a very hot summers day a beer that that goes down lovely!

Sep 06, 2015
Photo of RobinLee
RobinLee from Wisconsin

4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice amber color with tan/off-white head.

Aroma is lemony funk, hay, spicy earthy hops.

Taste more or less follows the nose, with a touch of added malt sweetness. Finishes clean, like a lager, pulling you to go back in for another drink.

Carbonation is nice and fine, great mouthfeel.

Interesting, my first foray into biere de gardes. I can see the parallels between this and the Belgian saison tradition.

Mar 07, 2015
Photo of pat61
pat61 from Minnesota

4.54/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thiriez Amber pours a clean creamy orange amber with a little haze and a 2” off-white foamy head that quickly dissipates. Caramel and fruity notes dominate the nose augmented by spice and floral notes. Light short cake covered in stone fruit and a trace of caramel dominate the palate with a moderate hop accent on the finish and a touch of tartness for balance. The carbonation is superb with fine soft bubbles that give a luscious mouth feel. It is very smooth and thirst quenching. The body is medium.

Feb 01, 2015
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draheim from Washington

3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL into a tulip. Pours a clear amber w/ a 1-finger head.

Aroma is tart and oaky, earthy, a little sweet.

Taste follows nose. Amber malt, oak, and a sour earthy quality.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied w/ a semi-dry finish.

Overall a unique cross between a saison and a Flanders oud bruin. Nice.

Mar 29, 2014
Photo of metter98
metter98 from New York

3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is nearly clear amber in color and has a moderate to high amount of visible carbonation. A careful pour resulted in a two finger high off white head that gradually died down, leaving a large pillow of bubbles in the center of the glass and a thick collar around the edge.
S: Light aromas of sour apples and pale malts are present in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste has a light amount of sourness with notes of grainy malts and apples as well as some hints of earthy yeast.
M: It feels nearly medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer tastes unique for a French bière de garde because it's a little sour (but not to the degree of a Jolly Pumpkin beers) and pleasantly adds an interesting twist to the taste. It is quite easy to drink and the bit of sourness also masks some of the grainy malts and earthy yeast.

Mar 13, 2013
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum from Canada (AB)

3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle - no US description on this label - pure français, bébé!

This beer pours a murky, medium-dark golden amber hue, with two fingers of fizzy and foamy faded beige head, which leaves a few sparse islets of lace around the glass as it hastily drops away.

It smells of sweet, musty bready caramel malt, some earthy and faintly funky yeast, overripe plums, subtle prickly spice, and soft grassy hops. The taste is more semi-sweet bready malt, some further defined spices - nutmeg and soft cloves, chiefly, which render an obvious gingerbread or cookie note - with a twinge of edgy white pepper, a lessened fermenting fruitiness, and dry, hay-like, and wild grassy hops.

The carbonation is a tad frothy, and more or less meek overall, the body a somewhat unstable middleweight, though this does little to affect the steady smoothness. It finishes with a trend toward all things dry - crackery malt, dried fruit, musky yeast, and ashy and leafy hops.

A decent farmhouse amber ale, the inherent fruitiness rolling nicely with the friendly yeast jabs, and an agreeable, varying hop bitterness helping keep things interesting. A wee bit complicated, so better if you've the time to sit back and contemplate. Otherwise, it also slips down alarmingly fast, if that's your bag.

Jul 12, 2012
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rarbring from Sweden

2.75/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A brown/red brew, almost clear, an off-white head that is very short-lived, fizzy, leaving no lacing, small curtains.

Smelling dusty and old cellar, dried yellow peas.

Starting sweet, some brown bread, red fruit marmalade, old wet concrete and some bitter metallic finish.

Little carbonation, fizzy bubbles, rather soft and slightly oily texture, medium body.

Not interesting enough, just too sweet and a bit off.

Jul 08, 2012
Photo of Evil_Pidde
Evil_Pidde from Sweden

4.16/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark amber, hazy pour with a quickly disappearing tan head. No lacings. This is the darkest Biere de Garde I’ve ever seen.

S: Fresh grass, honey and spices dominated by fresh fruits; oranges, pears and green apples. Faint sourness in the back.

T: This is very dry and fruity, almost like apple cider. A bit more maltyness than usually. Yeast and some spices. Otherwise the taste follows the nose.

M: Long bitter and dry aftertaste. Body is medium (actually rather full, considering the style) while carbonation is mild to medium.

O: A very nice Biere de Garde; perhaps the rich malt is a bit too much for some – I loved it!

Mar 08, 2012
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VelvetExtract from Massachusetts

3.67/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Old discounted 1pt 9.4 oz green bottle. Not expecting much for $1.99

A-Pours dark copper with a violently carbonated head. Head fizzes and pops and the carbonation rising from the glass is incredibly aggressive. Head crackles down to a quarter-finger layer that leaves dotted lacing.

S-Aged apple cider. A previous review describes the smell as 'musky'. Musky is the perfect word for the nose. Smells like a barn. A tiny bit sour. I am expecting this to taste strange.

T-A bunch of strange flavors here. The flavor ends with a lasting dried grass/hay flavor. Oats and grains. Funked, and yeasty. Distilled fruits. Apple syrup. Unique flavor.

M-Carbonation is wild and expressive. Taste lingers forever. Medium bodied with a sap-like feel. Sugars coat the palate.

O/D-For 2 dollars, I do not care how old this beer is. Judging from past reviews, this one held up quite well during its extended stay on the shelf. Very different. Adds a new dimension to my tasting experience.

Aug 28, 2011
Photo of PEIhop
PEIhop from Massachusetts

4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Perfect Pint from Sam Adams

A - A beautiful deep-honey color with much carbonation. The head is extremely bubbly but quickly subsides into minor froth.

S - There are fruit notes here: apple and pear. The fruit is balanced very nicely by caramelized malt. Hop presence is very subdued, however grassy, floral aromas gently waft from the glass.

T - The taste parallels the nose but with one exception, the introduction of grape notes. This adds more complexity without compromising the wonderful aromas.

M - Light-bodied with a lot of carbonation.

D - This bottle went down VERY easy...very enjoyable and thirst quenching. If you haven't tried this farmhouse, it's definitely worth seeking out and trying.

Jul 07, 2011
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muttyd from Alabama

4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very different looking bottle when compared to the one in the picture.

Pours a very hazy amber with an absolutely massive white fluffy head. Head persists throughout, sticks all over the glass. Aroma is very musty, grassy, and has an apple fruit sweetness. Flavor is similar to the nose; sweet/tart apples, pale mallt sweetness, and finishes with a slight metallic/acidic sourness. Some grassy hops in the finish, but it is muted by the yeast spice/funk character that is associated with a saison. Llight to medium body & well carbonated. Slightly more malt forward than your average saison, but this one is still very refreshing. Drinking really well on this hot, dry day in Boston.

May 30, 2011
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JamnesCameron from Illinois

4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a New Belgium globe glass, pours a deep amber with a big three fingered light tan head. The head drops slowly, but remains around a finger's depth. Some solid lacing.

Aromas of big toffee malt. I can tell this won't be as dry as my favorite saisons, but this is Biere de Garde, meant to be maltier. Some dark fruits. No real hop aroma to speak of.

Flavors of toffee, tobacco, dark fruit, a nice layer of sweet maltiness. There is likely enough hop bitterness to keep it from getting too sweet, but you really can't pick it out. Finish is medium, with toffee and dark raisins hanging on for the ride.

Mouthfeel is medium, chewy. Good level of carbonation.

Overall a very nice BdG. One of the better examples. Seek it out.

May 17, 2011
Photo of jsanford
jsanford from Georgia

3.82/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this bottle in the back of the cooler at my local shop. Think it's pretty old, this doesn't get distributed to us anymore.

A - Pours a dark orange-amber with a huge foamy head that dissipated quickly. Lots of gnarly "floaties".
S - Aromas of honey, flowers, pepper and herbs, and pears with a gentle caramel malt backbone.
T - Similar to the nose, more pears, herbs and pepper. the honey notes really dominate this for me, though. Almost like carbonated, alcoholic honey. Quite tasty.
M - Medium-light bodied with a slightly syrupy mouthfeel that surprised me. Highly carbonated with a dry finish.
D - Nice and drinkable, especially in lieu of champagne as a meal-starter.

Dec 24, 2010
Photo of chinabeergeek
chinabeergeek from Massachusetts

4.06/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml brown glass bottle w/ cap, no date found. (more recent batches use a green glass bottle, with a golden plastic wrapper around the cap.)

from notes, tasted in june 2009. poured into duvel tulip.

deep amber honey color. nearly clear on first pours. tho subsequent pours all have particles of sediment afloat. ENORMOUS head formation, with overflowing meringue icebergs! off-white and fluffy like a latte. slowly fades to constant thin layer, replenished by etching. puffy foam. consistent big rings of lace, w/ curtain in between.

aroma: apple, pear. caramelized maltiness. gentle grassy hops, spice/pepper and herbs, w/ gentle to mod phenols. faint farmhouse character. more ripe apple and herbal notes into the end.

taste: apple fruitiness, light caramel, gentle euro hopping w/ mild to moderate bitterness. moderate phenols bring up the spiciness (nutmeg?) and herbs (parsley? coriander?). complex, but just a tad on the watery side.

light to medium body, w/ some light astringency from phenols. crisp w/ otherwise moderate, fluffy carbonation.

taste score should be 3.8, and overall drinkability 4.5; numbers are adjusted to reflect this.

Oct 24, 2010
Photo of Richardberg
Richardberg from New York

3.25/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - poured into a pint glass. Enormous white head leaps out of each pour, even an hour after the bottle was opened. Doesn't retain too long but leaves a fair bit of sticky lacing. Beer is a hazy yellow-orange -- really hazy -- enough to be totally opaque despite the light color.

S - golden malts, farm funk, cider, bit of white pepper & lemon zest

T - main smell components appear as you'd expect, but the more subtle elements (peppery/zestyness) don't. somewhat unpleasant aftertaste, dunno how to describe -- not bitter -- acrid? soured? (in the sense of "rotten", not "acidic") overall character is ok but too weak for a light ale that's nearly 6%.

M - light body, well carbonated but not as ultra fizzy as the head might indicate. main complaint: it's very watery.

D - moderately easy to drink but not especially enjoyable

Feb 14, 2010
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rhenning from New York

3.57/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

25.4 fl oz green bottle purchased @ Met Foods, Brooklyn and poured into Ommegang chalice glass.

Hazy bronze in color, a gentle pour yields 2.5-3 fingers of fluffy bone white head that recedes to a smattering of foam within a minute or so. No lacing to speak of.

Nose is sweet, consisting of pear, warm apple cider, a pepperry spiciness/mustiness that I can't quite put my finger on, light yeast and a touch of alcohol coming through.

Taste generally echoes the smell, without many surprises; Malty sweetness right up front that sticks around throughout the palate, tree fruit cider, a bit more hop presence than in the nose, but less perceived alcohol as compared to the smell.

Mouthfeel is medium and pretty thirst quenching. The haze makes the beer look more viscous than it actually is.

The bottle went down pretty easily so I gave it better than average marks for drinkability. It's just a little sweet and juicy for more than a couple of pints.

Feb 10, 2010
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weissbierdrinker from Belgium

2.7/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a muddy amber color with a thin head that fades quickly and leaves no lacing.

Smell is of musty fruit, carrot, and some kind of trash smell I can't describe.

Taste is of peach, carrot juice, etc. Not very pleasant at least to my taste. Looked like it would be a good beer, but it's not. I'll try something else.

Nov 16, 2009
Photo of donkeyrunner
donkeyrunner from Massachusetts

3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

My first Biere de Garde.

Cider colored with a large, fizzing white head. Constant jetstream of tiny bubbles emitting from the glass bottom. Good retention. A little heavy on the active carbonation as foam shot out as I opened it and proceeded to spew even when left on the counter.

Smells farmy. Earthy fruits such as spiced apples and vegetables like squash come to mind.

Tastes of heavy, bready caramel that mellowed out into roasty apricot and fall fruits. Yeasty, somewhat musty, character. Aggressive fizzy carbonation.

Jan 17, 2009
L'Ambrée D'Esquelbecq / Thiriez Amber from Brasserie Thiriez
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 80 ratings