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Leffe Radieuse | Abbaye de Leffe S.A.

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Leffe RadieuseLeffe Radieuse

Brewed by:
Abbaye de Leffe S.A.

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-30-2001

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Reviews: 133 | Ratings: 297
Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish brown and has a spicy yeastiness. Above average mouthfeel. Satisfying though not exceptional Belgian. Yes got a little cherry and orange, cinammon,a little chocolate. Appropriate carbonation. Sufficient caramel sweetness to make itt drinkable.

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Photo of metter98
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear reddish brown in color. It poured with a half finger high light beige head that died down rather quickly, leaving some lacing on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of dark fruits and spices are present in the nose - cloves seem to stand out in particular among the spices.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and seems to be dominated by favors of dark fruits and cloves along with some hints of yeast.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The alcohol is well masked from the taste so this beer is rather easy to drink considering its strength.

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Photo of brentk56
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with several fingers of head atop; great retention and stickage

Smell: Fruity aromatics, with raisins and apple spice cake elements

Taste: Opens with a fruity character - the raisins and apple spice cake from the aroma start things off; by mid-palate; the spicy complexity of the yeast adds depth and balance; after the swallow the sweeter flavors linger while the spice fades

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate to high carbonation

Overall: A good beer but not in the same class as the top flight BSDAs; easy to drink and rather enjoyable

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Photo of biboergosum
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml red foil-capped bottle. Props to tbeckett for this bit of less than readily available abbey ale.

This beer pours a clear, dark copper hue, with three fingers of foamy, billowy pale ecru head, which settles slowly, but surely, rendering some decent 'Old Lace' lace around the glass. It smells of bready caramel malt, burnt brown sugar, vinous black fruit, and some zippy floral/earthy hops. The taste is more big bready toffee malt, dark candy sugar, some mild Belgian yeast, and a surprisingly prominent, and bitter, forest floor hoppiness. Lurking in the background, one can detect the simmering booze, but it remains a mere wraith at this point. The carbonation is on the down side of front and center, the body nice and full and a bit spritzy, and smooth nonetheless. It finishes with a relative echo of grainy, sugary malt, against a rising hoppy specter and booze warming.

The regular Leffe Blonde bores me, mostly because it's just, well normal. Lately, I've been macking on the BSDAs, as a sort of antidote (or partner in crime) to my DIPA predilection, and have made my way through all of the locally available offerings of the former. Great to try an another well-wrought example of big, boozy malts, but Belgian-balanced. Phew.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.83/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pourred a nice copper brew with a huge head that stayed on for a while (What a start!). Mix of spice is not present enough for my liking and would have expected better body from a belgian strong ale. Alcohol is well hidden. Overall, I wasn't impressed and I had better brew from Leffe. I had this from the bottle and wondered if it wouldn't better in a draught format.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.33/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

33cl Leffe bottle poured into ZBF 2010 stemware in me friend's gaff in Ghent, Belgium. Reviewed live.

A: Three finger head of fair cream and thickness, but good retention, especially for the ABV. Very dark copper colour; nontransparent.

Sm: Floral and fruity hops. Fruity esters. Very fresh. Refreshing. A mild scent, but rather appealing.

T: Caramelized malt alongside poorly balanced floral and slightly fruity hops. Esters from the yeast. Maybe even some grape is there, but it's so indistinct and muted it's hard to isolate. Not bold or particularly complex. Unrefreshing.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with a touch of dryness towards the finish - the reason for it isn't clear. Not at all complementary of the flavours on the body.

Dr: High ABV, but it doesn't come through. Drinkable but fairly low quality. Skip over this one; there are better beers in Belgium.

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Photo of smcolw
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great starting head which dies to a single bubble layer. The color is dark brown and cloudy.

Aroma: Pleasantly earthy, like freshly tilled soil.

Great balance--darker malt flavors with a strong level of alcohol warmth. There is hop in the background providing some balance. Lots of carbonation but the body holds up well against it.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.53/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Happened across a bottle straight from Belgium.

A - Crystal clear amber nut brown with deep orange/maroon highlights. Pours a thick creamy head that peaks well and lasts throughout the drink. Above average lacing.

S - Lovely ester character. Bananna, dark nuts, soft yeast. Light spice.

T - Delicious. Biscuits and honey. A low layer of orange marmalade. Reconstituted raisins. Ripe bananas. Mellow booze. Soft malt throughout. Backdrop of spicy herbal hops and yeast. I enjoyed it even more as it warmed.

M - Silky smooth. Round with a sweet finish. Refreshing carbonation and a boozy tingle on the backend.

D - Great smooth mouthfeel, and a well balanced flavor profile. Great drinkability for 8.2%.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I've had a taste of Radieuse before, but being at Leopold in Den Haag brought me a chance to drink a bottle on my own. Coming from a 330 ml bottle, on to the beer:

Beauty in a glass is a ruby red with orange and brown hues, a long lastng head, and webbed lacing around the glass. The aroma of dark candi sugar, soft yeast, prunes, and red grapes sets the tone for a fun aroma. Even more fun is the taste; while sweet, brings a lovely fruitiness, toffee, clove, and soft enough to continues to be consumed. It's medium bodied witha slight syrupy feel.

Given my lack of previous success with Leffe, I'm a little surprised by how much I enjoyed Radieuse. I would be glad to meet this beer again.

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Photo of biegaman
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Goodness gracious great balls of fire! By that I am referring to both the beer's fiery, well kindled amber tone as well as its sprightly and stalwart head that literally forced its way out the top of the bottle before I could even bring the glass near. This is one visibly spirited, hot-blooded beer and I love the way it looks all furnished in light.

I don't know that Leffe has been around since 1240 (as their labels claim) but I'd believe that the yeast they use has. It is seasoned, fervid and stratified into parts spicy, savory and fruity. It leaks hints of spice (clove, cinnamon) and the underlying malts briefly suggest custard and burnt sugar, or creme brulee as it's more eloquently known as.

It's usually at this point in sampling a Leffe product that I am let down. The proper physique, the enticing bouquet - it all adds up to nothing if the beer tastes of corn and malt extract, as more often than not these beers do. Leffe Radieuse, I'm sorry to say, is really no exception. The beer's flavours are timid and insipid.

Drinking this beer is like working my way through a box of stale chocolates somehow left-over from two Christmas' ago. There's the rubbery, plastic-like caramel chocolate, the now stale, powdery almond one, the long festered cherry-centered chocolate as well as the questionably toxic brandy-filled one. The chocolate itself is flavorless.

More malt (and better quality malt) is definitely what the doctor ordered. This mouthfeel is every bit as limp as the flavour is insipid. InBev is saving money somewhere - either skimping out on the grains or watering down their batches, the texture suggests they may even be doing both. Corn and ethanol roll on in what is an astringent aftertaste.

Leffe isn't bad beer; it's great beer compromised down to merely OK beer. I don't know what it tasted like in the 700 plus years before it was bought out by brewing giant InBev but I'd bet it depreciated significantly in the time since. I've never had a Leffe beer I didn't like - but I've never had one I cared enough for to want to have again neither...

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.62/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

33cl Bottle, best before 9th Feb 2013, reviewed Apr 2011. Poured into a Leffe chalice.

The body was a clear Mahogany Browny/Red colour above sat an off-white head of large bubbles that was to leave some good lacing as the beer level fell.

The beer gave off a slight hop aroma with red berries and summer floral smells mixed in.

The beer came across as a well carbonated, semi-sweet beer with hints of red berries in the flavours, especially in the aftertaste. The alcohol wasn't evident in the brew, well hidden considering it holds 8.2%ABV.

One of the Leffe stables better beers.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased from the local liquor store; one of the few things I hadn't reviewed there. Depressing there isn't a better liquor shop close to me, but the fact that they have this is a shining beacon.

Pours a very clear deep amber-ruby colour (no sediment here), with a thick and buoyant head of off-white suds. Lacing is pretty thick and decent, leaving nice rings as the head collapses. Body is quite light, and the bubbles that form as carbonation are large. Overall, looks very decent.

Nose is sweet and strong, with good fruity Belgian esters, and some deeper meaty elements. A little spice comes through as well to sharpen the characters and cut through the sweetness. Overall, it's a thoroughly classic, and very pleasant Belgian ale nose.

Taste is also very nice, with spice cake sweetness, a little dried fruit and peel bite, and a vanilla smoothness that progresses from the front to the back as other notes dip in and out. Almost no hint of the booze except to highlight and accentuate some of the sharper notes. This creates a lovely balance between the spice and the sweet, smooth underbelly. Delicious.

Wonderful Belgian brew, and one that balances drinkability with richness and character so pleasantly. Top notch.

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Photo of wl0307
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

BB date 03/07/07.
A: I choose to serve it warmer than the recommended low temp. (5-6C are you kidding?!) in a big, tulip-shaped wine glass; a dark chestnut-brown hue with a little reddish intervention, the beige beer-head is short-lived but settles to a very thin, foamy layer sustaining well.
S: besides the expectable note of preserved dark-fruits, slightly sour spice, candyish-orangey peel, and a pinch of brown sugar, a rather refreshingly sharp hop aroma makes itself felt in the background. The sweetish malty note deep in the background is even similar to a strong pale malty lager--quite nice actually.
T: pouring in the mouth a very creamy texture of dark malts accompanied with a lively spicy touch...quickly leading to an intense bitter taste like herbs or root-vegetable on top of a typically Belgian spice-mix--coriander seed and curacao peel. Hops make a more explicit presence well in the aftertaste, and the finish is quite clean and light, without any unpleasant residual sugary and alcohol taste.
M&D: quite lively mouthfeel for such a strong beer of 8.2%abv., remaining not too gassy and not flat. However in the aftertaste it turns a little bit thin. Overall a medium-bodied and quite flavoursome strong dark ale, this is a balanced beer b/w sour-spiciness and sweetness, with a finer taste than Leffe Blond and Brune.

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Photo of bylerteck
4.02/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Nice big two finger, white head on top of a bright and copper body with medium carbonation. Nice lacing all around as the head goes down too.

S - Really, really nice aroma. HUGE dark fruit aromas that present themselves sort of like booze soaked dates or raisins. I love the smell of this beer. Slight yeast character presents itself with some mild spice as well. Almost like a barley wine, great.

T - Yeast shows up alot more here with some more of the spice. Less of that great dark fruit character I enjoyed so much but still nice. Some sweetness presents itself in the finish with that boozy, dark fruit flavour. Didn't come close to meeting the expectations set by the aroma.

M - Lot's of carbonation, I'd say a bit too much. Lacks body as well.

D - Very easy to drink. Goes down smooth and has good flavours. Just wish it'd live up to that aroma. A decent ale from Leffe though.

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Photo of Viggo
3.12/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

330 ml bottle, in the Leffe christmas pack we got.

Pours a clear bronze, some reddish highlights, a bit of orange, very thin off white head forms, settles to a disappointing and thin ring, no real lacing, doesn't look good for a Belgian.

Smell is okay, sweet and sugary, some dark fruit, alcohol, banana, some decent esters, cherries and strawberries, pear juice, fusel, brown sugar, a bit of biscuit, one dimensional.

Taste is interesting, very sweet, brown sugar, honey, fruity sourness, some iron, fusel alcohol, cherries, banana, pear, dry finish, almost a little brett like, but very sweet and boozy.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Not doing anything for me, alcohol is in your face and much too sweet.

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Photo of dgilks
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bready yeast aroma with a light underlying spiciness and graininess.

Hazy, chestnut colour with a fluffy, off-white head. Decent head retention.

Unfortunately, it taste a bit oxidised with some cardboard notes, rounded malt flavour, touches of spice, banana and spicy alcohol. Decent.

Medium body with moderately-high carbonation.

A reasonable Belgian strong with a fair bit going on but it lacks a bit of X-factor for me.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.32/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at a café next to a canal in Brugge (the perfect location). I saw this in Europe 2 years ago (along with the 9 degrees) and have never seen it in the States since then, so I was glad to try it. Reddish-brown color, extremely good nose with estery and malty swirls, delicious malt bomb. I'll keep looking for a way to stock my fridge with this.

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Photo of Gusler
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours that deep ruby brown color that I love; the beige head is greathearted, with fine lace that clings mightily to the glass. Nose is malt, fruit sweet, hint of plums? Sweet malt start, with a skinny top, middling carbonation, hop spicy, very dry long lasting aftertaste. Complex flavors, and a quite interesting beer to say the least.

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Photo of Suds
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Radieuse reminds me a lot of the Leffe Vieille Cuvée, only a little less malty, and with a slightly different nose. The beer itself is a wonderfully clear chestnut color with a firm tan head. Nice smell that has elements of smoke, gourd, and alcohol. Peppery, slightly spicy, moderately malty, and very rich taste. Mostly sweet, but not overly so. Extremely smooth mouthfeel, despite quite high carbonation. Good brew.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours brown-garnet with a loose tawny head. Port on the nose. Spice cake malts with some prune followed by minty hops. Lively carbination, medium body, some heat.

Not sure where this fits in the portfolio, since it's a BSDA and stronger than the Brune, yet lighter and paler.

Easy drinker for the ABV, though.

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Photo of FLima
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice thick and consistent head. Copper red color.
Fruity aroma from cherry, also cloves and coriander. Good carbonation.
Sweet taste from malt combined with spices, and hints of plum. A little citric and not so bitter.
Alcohol (8.2%) was very well hidden, just left a slightly warmth in the aftertaste. Very balanced beer. Being Brazilian, I see Inbev products with some caution, but in this case we should be thankful that they are able to produce beer with such quality at decent prices.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.4/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pale amber/ruby. Inch-high off-white head fades to a thing covering. Good lacing.
Typical Belgian yeast aroma, some white rum, lots of phenols, then some banana, nutmeg and cinnamon and a fair whack of sweet malt. Remarkably like the dubbel I brewed the other day.
Flavour is mostly alcohol, some fruity malt, doughy yeast and some lemon. The alcohol and high sweetness combine to make a cloying finish.
Loads of alcoholic heat on the palate and too much carbonation. Used to think Leffe was the be all and end all of intense expensive beers. Thank god I got over the stage.

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Photo of shigg85
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought this at the Tobu department store in Ikebukuro, Tokyo. Poured into a white wine glass. Amazing dark hue with smells of banana and clove that pop out prominently, as well as apple and coriander. The taste matches with banana coming through the strong ethanol presence. Overall, this was a wonderful strong Belgian that I would definitely recommend and that I will be looking for again!

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Photo of laituegonflable
4.07/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rude crimson colour, slightly brown-tinged with voluminous cream-coloured head, sinks but retains to about a finger thickness. Fine threads of bead, lacing is pretty minimal though. Interesting and quite good.

Nose is sweet and fruity, with big hints of strawberry, sultanas and a slight buttery edge to it as well. Slight tart aspect and a mild pine wood aroma. Very Belgian, with a lot of rich, sweet aromas. Très pleasant.

Taste is very pleasant indeed with the deep, textured flavour of roasted barley providing the backbone to the palate. Elements of strawberry, light coffee characters and a nice burnt sugar edge. Finish is long and powerful and has a strong dried fruit flavour, mixed with a fresh citrus texture. Mouthfeel is nicely thick and has quite a grainy sensation to it, but leaves you really quite dessicated at the end. A lot of yeast spiciness helps with this, this has a definite savoury edge in spite of the potent sweet flavours.

Nice alcohol warmth to it as well; it permeates the palate without drawing attention to itself. This is a very pleasant beer. Doesn't scream at you or beg to be embraced, just warming and charming for its own sake. At 8.2% I'd call it eminently drinkable.

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Photo of Jeffo
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this at the bottle shop down the road.

Into my Leffe chalice.

APPEARANCE: Pours a one finger medium-thick off-white head with decent retention. Color is a sangria red and chestnut brown and is very clear with lots of carbonation in the form of small bubbles. Head slowly settles to a thick cap. Good film stays and leaves some decent lacing down the down the glass.

SMELL: A relatively strong nose of toasted and caramel malt with hints of sweet malt too. Some sweet fruit is there, red apples and some green grapes as well. Some floral elements as well as a touch of Belgian yeast in the background. Pretty nice overall.

TASTE: Toasted and caramel malt sweetness up front. A definite floral touch and herbal elements as well, as the label advertised. Some spicy Belgian yeast through the middle and then finishes with some hop bitterness. A mild but long lasting bitter aftertaste is pleasant and enjoyable. Not nearly as sweet as the nose had indicated and the alcohol is nowhere to be seen. A very nice job here.

PALATE: Medium body with medium-low carbonation; lower than expected given the carbonation visible. Creamy and velvety smooth on the palate, goes down easy smooth with no bite and finishes crisp and slightly dry on the palate. Good here too.

OVERALL: A very solid effort here. Leffe certainly makes some great beers, and this is probably their best one I've sampled to date. Unfortunately, the brewery gets forgotten sometimes, as their brews are so readily available here in Europe and across the pond. An enjoyable and drinkable brew, this one definitely comes recommended.

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Leffe Radieuse from Abbaye de Leffe S.A.
3.79 out of 5 based on 297 ratings.
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