L'Ambrée D'Esquelbecq / Thiriez Amber | Brasserie Thiriez

L'Ambrée D'Esquelbecq / Thiriez AmberL'Ambrée D'Esquelbecq / Thiriez Amber
BA SCORE
69.7%
Liked This Beer
3.88 w/ 76 ratings
L'Ambrée D'Esquelbecq / Thiriez AmberL'Ambrée D'Esquelbecq / Thiriez Amber
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brasserie Thiriez
France
brasseriethiriez.com

Style: Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by TheLongBeachBum on 10-12-2004

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#11,807
Reviews:
48
Ratings:
76
Liked:
53
Avg:
3.88/5
pDev:
11.6%
Alströms:
0
 
 
Wants:
7
Gots:
6
Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 76 |  Reviews: 48
Photo of Sammy
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.07/5  rDev +4.9%
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...

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Photo of metter98
3.88/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.92/5  rDev +1%
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.

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Photo of olradetbalder
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.92/5  rDev +1%
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.

 864 characters

Photo of mdaschaf
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.48/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Overcast overripe apricot with so much carbonation that the beer is very nearly opaque. As I type, there's a slow-motion eruption of foam from the bottle that hasn't slowed in the several minutes since the crown was cracked. The foam in the glass is ecru in color and is as airy and insubstantial as it gets. Not one shred of lace actually sticks to the glass. I love the rustic look of the beer though, even more so as it becomes murkier and murkier with each successive pour.

I like the nose too. This isn't the most aromatic or the most complex Biere de Garde that I've ever smelled (all five of them), but it's grain-like and yeastspicy and even a trifle hoppy. As I continue to sniff, I'm not as enamored as I was at first. The head is nearly gone; maybe the best parts of the aroma went with it.

The flavor is the nose in liquid form. I've always thought of Biere de Gardes as one of the more complex styles. Thiriez Amber isn't all that complex. That isn't to say that it isn't good, just that the flavor profile is a 'what you taste is what you get' sort of proposition. Actually, it isn't all that wonderful. The beer needs a flavor hook and hasn't really been given one.

As advertised, this is one of the least hoppy versions of the style that one is likely to run across. I still had high hopes that there would be enough toasted maltiness and enough spiciness to get the job done. The beer certainly doesn't lack whole grain flavor (Grape-Nuts cereal) or spiciness, but there's nothing to tie it all together, no spark to light the fuse and get the mouth party rollin'.

I'm not so sure that the yeast strain is so wonderful after all. It seems to me that any Belgian yeast worth its salt wouldn't allow such an unfocused flavor profile as this. I'd like to be able to say that Thiriez Amber could at least be enjoyed with all manner of artisinal cheeses, but it would probably lose what little personality is possesses after the first bite. This isn't bad beer at all, it's just that my disappointment is bringing out more negative comments than positive ones.

The body is acceptable. The mouthfeel could use a little help. What started out as one of the most bubblicious beers that I've ever seen, is now very nearly flat. With regards to carbonation, the beer passed from 'too much' to 'too little' without ever stopping at 'just right'. I'm not sure what the cause is, but the brewery would be well advised to fix the problem. Thankfully, my bottle of Thiriez XXtra didn't suffer the same fate.

Thiriez Amber isn't a Biere de Garde that I can recommend. I find it interesting that the most delicious and most accomplished version that I've ever had--of what is one of the most Belgian (and French) of all styles of beer--was brewed in Michigan, USA. For the time being at least, Jolly Pumpkin's excellent Oro De Calabaza is the style leader in my eyes.

 2,885 characters

Photo of AlexFields
2.95/5  rDev -24%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Not loving this. Slightly tart, and odd. Love the blonde but this is just a little strange.

91 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.42/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Large bottle, capped and w/o freshness dating, bottle calls this a "rustic farmhouse ale", not sure how it lands in the "American amber/red ale category"?... Pours cloudy, dark amber, with active carbonation and lots of tiny bubbles continueing to stream upwards. Head is light tan, frothy, long lasting and leaving coating and thick lacing. Nose is brightly of citrus peels and some light chocolate. This ia a brightly flavored and tasty brew, notes of vanilla, honey, citrus, chocolate, caramel and toffee,yeasty breadyness, floating under the surface, lovely stuff, complex, smooth and nuanced. Well worth a try, yes they do brew world class beer in France!

 660 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy orange that carries a brown touch. Nose is slight antiseptic. Flavor carries the same. A bit wilder than I would have expected really. Slight citrus is there (oranges). But the antiseptic really keeps a constant presence. I have to say that it's really dry too. Feel has a well bodies liquid and the carbonation is slightly lower. It's interesting that this is a biere de garde. It strikes me as fairly wild. Overall this is something worth trying, but you really need to be open to the slight funk that lambics and wild ales bring to be able to fully appreciate this one.

 587 characters

Photo of Eziel
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Certainly pours a nice amber color, a mix of red and copper notes. The beer is incredibly well carbonated, it in fact starts to foam out of the bottle as soon as I pop the cap, and lots of floating yeast bits are kicked up and make it into my glass. Luckily it makes it's way into my glass with out spilling a drop. The myriad, of quickly cascading streams of carbonation keep aloft a fluffy, three-finger thick, amber tinged tan colored head that forms a rocky surface as times wears on. Malty aromatic notes of caramel and toasted grain are joined by a light fruitiness reminiscent of tart plums and raisins and a spicy yeast character that evokes notes of clove, pepper, and perhaps a hint of ginger. Overtime a nice sour sweet apple note becomes quite prominent and pleasant.

The taste is dry and spritzy up front, but leads to a fruity sweet note that is magnified by the caramel malt notes. The sweet malt notes and fruity yeast character remind me of sweet plums and fragrant apples; these notes actually linger for quite some time in the finish. The finish also has a lingering, lightly astringent bitterness to it, which adds a nice balance to the sweetness. This beer is so well carbonated that the spicy, zesty, almost peppery character of this beer is magnified in the front of the mouth as you first take a sip of this beer.

This beer is light and refreshing, yet still manages to have a nice heft to it that makes it a bit satiating as well. Refreshing, yet satiating I really how the beer strikes a balance between these two, disparate descriptors. As the beer loses a bit of its spritzy carbonation it begins to become a touch more satiating, but it is still not heavy or chewy. The malt character is quite nice here as well; I really like how the best Farmhouse Saisons can have such a pronounced malt character despite all of the other exotic yeast characters and flavors.

 1,896 characters

Photo of pat61
4.54/5  rDev +17%
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.

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.16/5  rDev +7.2%
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!

 634 characters

Photo of avalon07
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from one of the big bottles to a tulip glass. Started as a deep amber color - which changed to a brown when I poured the remainder into the glass - with a very thick consistency. Lots of sediment. Huge amount of head and good lacing.

The smell was pretty interesting. It had a somewhat funky, barnyard aspect to it, but was also rich in hops and spices.

As far as the taste goes, the aforementioned hops and spices made the biggest impact. There was a slightly acidic quality to it, though not overwhelmingly so.

This had a good amount of carbonation, but, as I said, the finish was a bit acidic for my taste. A mixed bag on the mouthfeel.

This is decently drinkable beer, though not my favorite. It is nice to see the French can actually do beer well.

 764 characters

Photo of weeare138
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to dickinsonbeer (dick-in-some-beer)
Appears a hazy light gold with a chunky head that is from the 3/4 Liter bottle that spewed like a mother in labor.
Smell is of plum, grapefruit, spices, and doughy bread.
Taste is of the same aromas.
Mouthfeel is smooth, mildly sugary, and balanced.

 297 characters

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.67/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

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Photo of PEIhop
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

 725 characters

Photo of Jwale73
3.35/5  rDev -13.7%
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.

 401 characters

Photo of Bighuge
2.77/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Got a gusher here. Foams over and keeps foaming and foaming after I pop the bottle cap off. Even after I pour what I can into a goblet, the bottle continues to foam over.

So this beer is an orangeish amber color. Dirty white head. And LOTS of it. More than half my glass to begin with. Aroma is lemony, pepper and yeasty. Some hay as well. Herbal hop traits too. Taste is candy like in swetness, but earthy in the hop department. The mouthfeel is quite spritzy and very gaseous. Not impressed.

 497 characters

Photo of samEBC
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of ccrida
4.77/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle poured into an impy pint, Thiriez Amber is a real gusher, pulled from the cellar and thrown in the fridge for about an hour wasn't enough to stop it from filling my glass with 90% foam, spilling on the counter when the cap didn't come off immediately, and slowly over foaming as I let it sit a second. When it's all said and done, it's hazy amber with very fine dark particle sand a sugary looking, medium bubbled head that leaves pretty heavy, foamy lace.

Smell is classic BdG, strong sugary caramel malt that is amplified by the fruity farmhouse esters that I love so much, very candy like, but not in a simple syrup kind of way, more complex.

Taste is also heavy on the sweet fruity esters and malt backbone, a little iron, and dusty hops on the finish. Just so damn good. So much flavor, but smooth and balanced and easy drinking, just incredibly well done, exactly what I want from a BdG. I have come to really love low ABV, full flavored beers, and this one is about as good as it gets, save for extra dimension provided by wild ales!

Mouthfeel is very carbonated, medium light bodied, with a nice chalky bite of bicarbonate drying it out.

Drinkability is the tits. Can you ever have enough? No! I want to suck on this all night...and a have some more when I wake up!

 1,295 characters

Photo of jrenihan
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of Mattias
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

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L'Ambrée D'Esquelbecq / Thiriez Amber from Brasserie Thiriez
Beer rating: 69.7% out of 100 with 76 ratings
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