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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 Raebies
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

In the glass it is a golden brown with medium fizz. I drank it a little too quickly straight out of the fridge, but the complexity still came through. Clean, distinct flavours of pine hops and banana fruitiness. A mild to medium acidity. I am definately curious about trying other beers in the Leffe range. It packs a whollop at 8.2% ABV.

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

330ml bottle poured into tulip glass.

pours copper colored with a 2 finger head which dissipates with moderate lacing

mostly malts, some fruits in the nose, plums and raisins.

taste is fairly sweet, malts and same fruits throughout, with a noticeable alcohol sweetness at the end

overall, I quite enjoy it. better than several other Belgian Strong Dark Ales I have sampled

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Photo of aeolianshredhead
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a light copper brown with a fairly big off white head which lessens down to half a finger of foam after a while. Decent looking. Leaves some inconsistent lacing.

S- Malts! Pretty much malts all the way through with that nice, raisin/plum scent. Smells very appealing. I don't pick up any alcohol on the nose at all.

T- What we have is some malts upfront followed by definite raisin/ plum hints which finishes with some light bitterness. All in all, this is quite a sweet little number albeit lacking some robustness. Best part is- no hint of alcohol. Although, I would prefer a little more warmth on the back.

M- Nice mouthfeel. Very smooth with a good body and decent carbonation. Pleasant.

O- This is a good beer. It really isnt absolutely wowing me but it is definitely an above average brew. Pairs well with dessert food bit also stew or something similar. Nice effort.

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

We pour a brew that radiates an orange-brown color when held to the light. It produces a massive two and a half finger head of cream colored bubbles which retains nicely. The lacing left as it slowly departs is impenetrable. There beer is fully transparent and the carbonation appears active. The aromas that fill the nose are characteristic of any other Leffe beer. The malts are soft but strong, with dashes from minimally burnt and caramel malts. Otherwise the other prime component is that Belgian yeast they seem to like. It is slightly tart to the feel, but sits nicely with the malts. Esters abound with faint banana and vanilla. The final thing to waft off the surface is a spicy booze quality, that mixes with a syrupy strawberry sweetness. As we sip a bitter grain hits up front. This transitions quickly into a softer caramel malt. There is also dark fruit here, of figs and plum, which sits with a black pepper booze, much as it did in the nose. The middle is much milder, with a complete toning down of the heavy flavor components, which are distilled into a simple malt and yeast balance. It is somewhat bitter, as in the onset, but much lighter on the malts. Moving to the finish we see a revival of the robust booze character and a brief flash of sugary sweetness and a cooling affect from the esters. There are also faint phenolic cloves to round everything out. The aftertaste breathes with characteristic Leffe grain, yeast, darker fruit, and booze. The body is medium and the carbonation is high. The feel to each sip is a bit thin and watery, as far as the liquid itself goes, but the quality to the lips is with a nice froth and smack. The head provides a continual creaminess throughout the experience. The abv is nice and high, and the beer drinks quite easily.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was the aroma. While it shared many elements exhibited in all Leffes, despite the stylistic differences, it found a nice balance between darkness, fruitiness, and booziness. This enhanced as the beer warmed. Where we fell a bit was in the corresponding flavor, which seemed to show the lighter side of what was promised by the nose.

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

first review in a little while, poured into a tullip at room temperature.

A-pours a brownish amber, pretty clear but with about 2 inches of fluffy white head even though it was a careful pour. big bubbles pop away leaving a lot of sticky lacing,and about a half cm that simply refuses to fade away.

S- upfront a whole bunch of sweet malts, caramely, with dark fruits, sultanas and raisins, with a touch of alcohol.works together and nice.

T- much like the taste, a toffee maltiness, that dominates upfront followed by alchoholy dark fruits, sulatana, raisin and dried fig. but not too much more.

M- creamy to begin with, but that is cut through by the carbonation soon after, making it feel a bit lighter bodied than it should. slightly dry finish by the end.

O- i enjoyed this beer, looks good and a good nose, but lacks a bit to taste and in the mouth comparitively. still, a very nice beer that im glad ive tried and a beer im sure i will feel like in future.

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Photo of SirChuckles
3.6/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Just because it's a "typical" Belgian, doesn't mean it can't be tasty. This hard-to-find Belgian gives your taste buds notes of caramel at first, followed by a little wheat and typical Belgian malt. If you like either the Leffe Blonde or Brune, I think you'll enjoy the Radieuse. It is a little heavy on the carbonation side, so definitely a beer to take your time with.

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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 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 heygeebee
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

from notes...

Pours a deep copper, two finger head. Some lacing. See them bubbles racing toward the surface!

Typical Belgian aromas. Some toffee and caramel.

Taste is quite sweet, malts, caramel, with little a bitterness. Warms as it goes down, but not too much alchol noticeable given the ABV.

Mouthfeel is quite light for the style - wouldn't have minded a bit more 'chew'.

Really quite good.


Don't try one of these warm. Taste is dominated by cough mixture / throat lozenge / almost a bit of the dreaded wet cardboard as well as an aftertaste...

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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 rvdoorn
4.37/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle 2000 vintage.
Look: poured a deep red-brown color, leaving almost no head
Smell: Heavy sweet malts, caramel, nuts, vanilla, dark fruits and spices.
Taste: Sweet plums, caramel, but also some red cherries. Spicy and creamy.
Mouthfeel: Medium-low carbonation, thick body
Overall: By far my favorite leffe, and as shown by this bottle, with great aging potential

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Photo of kjc51478
3.38/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark appearance with small head.

S: Chocolate and spice with noticeable hop scent.

T: Very pronounced hoppy flavor with chocolate and spice notes. Not enough balance for me though.

M: Good carbonation and smooth finishing

O: Has some overall weaknesses with balance but a decent beer.

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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 iguenard
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fast gone head of pale brown. Beer itself is a red-browning color, very estery with some lace on the glass to boot. Sugar, heavy malted aromas,
much like sweeter version of a Maudite™. Hints of spice, raspberries, alcohol and corriander. Fruity and sweet. Strong amlt tastes, chocolate malt and a bitter-like hops bite kicks in once the alcohol starts up. Nice balance, a bit on the rough side as far as transition goes, Very thick body for an amber ale. Syrupy sweet, enough to hide powerful alcoholic taste. Warm and filling, strong and calming. Creamy. Very sweet and spicy belgian amber ale, a bit put back by its strength though for the kick, it's totally worth it. Great with red meat, italian meats.

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

The Leffe I accidently drank turns out to be a great mistake! The reddish hue of the beer sits below a nice head. It smells a bit like the Bruin but with a slightly more yeasty complexion. I love the taste, not like the Blonde cousin in that you can sense a malty alcohol hint that follows a fruity wetness you just have to have more of. Wasn't as good of a mouth feel once it got a little warm, so recommend having this one cold in your Leffe stemware! Overall a very good beer, but I wish it was more available in the U.S.

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Photo of BoitSansSoif
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a clear dark reddish amber with beige head, decent retention, bits of tracing.

S-Cloves and more cloves, bubble gum, dates and figs, Belgian yeast. Notes of cloves fade and caramel rises as the brew warms. Final aroma before finishing glass is of toast with cherry preserves.

T-Sweet toasty malt with vanilla, apparent but fleeting dark fruits, and a toasty and spicy finish. The aftertaste is on the sweet side alcoholic warmth and the hops just taking a small bite out of the sweetness.

M-Medium creamy body, moderate carbonation. Goes down smooth for the alcohol.

D-Another good offering from Leffe...easy to find, easy to drink.

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Photo of RuudJH
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Colour dark orange to brown, fluffy head, nice carbonation.
Smell of malt and bread, red and dark fruit.
Taste is bittersweetness. There's some fruit, but mostly syrup and malts. The hops are very present, especially in the aftertaste.
The announced koriander is hard to notice.
The 8.2% abv is well hidden: the beer has a warming quality to it.
Overall a well crafted and pleasant beer.

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Photo of kflorence
4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a lovely deep amber, cherry in color with half an inch of frothy white foam atop. The cherry notes really shine through when held up to the light. Plenty of lacing around the glass as you drink. Carbonation levels look good.

S: Smells of dark fruits, sweet malts, vanilla and yeast which lends the beer an overarching "bubble gum" smell. Reminds me a lot of Leffe Blonde, with the addition of a darker fruit and roasted malt characteristic. Enticing, if a bit on the sweet side.

T: Surprisingly, the dark fruits don't shine through much on the tongue, with the exception of some subtle raisin and cherry. What really comes through to me are the sweet, roasted and caramel malts, vanilla, spice and the yeast, which, like in the aroma, blends to create a "bubble gum" flavor. Hops are hardly noticeable and the alcohol is masked superbly well, almost undetectable. Very similar to Leffe Blonde, but with a bit more of a fruity/roasted characteristic.

M: This is a medium bodied beer with perfect carbonation and a lovely, creamy and slightly chewy mouthfeel. It is highly drinkable for a higher ABV brew and goes down super easy.

O: Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by this beer after having tried some of the other Leffe beers and being only mildly amused. Leffe Blonde was the first offering of theirs I tried and I really enjoyed it, so I was very interested to see what their other brews were like. This one is a tad bit on the sweet side, but not overly so, and has enough flavor and complexity to keep me happy. It's high drinkability for such a high ABV brew is also quite impressive. I am usually not too fond of Belgian strong ales, but this one is certainly an exception. Cheers!

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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 Cozzatoad
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at a local pub (not that much of a pub, this is possibly the best beer they have)

A- Amber to brown colour, not much head. Good retention at first, but after some sips it fades completely, leaving a very minimal lacing

S- A sugary aroma, with dark fruits and prune. Would be way too sweet if it wasn't for some roasted coffee notes that bring a nice balance. It doesn't get a 4 because the aroma is actually a bit weak

T- Nice. At first sugary malts and yeast are dominant, with a nice fruity aftertaste. In the finish sweetness is more pronounced, with caramel and dark fruits growing strength

M- A bit too much carbonation burns on the palate, especially when the beer is colder; that is not good for a beer dominated by sweet flavours. A part from that, an overall round body and still a adequate smoothness

D- Surely drinkable but alcohol is too much detectable, especially while swallowing

Not a tremendous beer, but sure an enjoyable one

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Photo of Everydayoff
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured into a Leffe chalice by freshness date.

Clear ruby brown hue, thick off-white foamy head with rather good retention, it dissipates into thin layer atop and leaves with some lacing. Carbonation is barely detectable.

Esters yield a note of fresh plum and raisin. Faint honey and some caramelized malt can also be detected.

The taste makes me surprised. It is a combination of very well balance sweetness and fruitiness between malt, plum, raisin, some other dark fruits and sugar while hop bitterness is silently breakthrough just for decoration.

Silky smooth yet a bit sticky mouth feel from its medium chewy body with fine crispness and carbonation, finish is properly dry swiftly leading to next sip.

In considering its purely balance, Leffe Radieuse has won with quite enjoyable and easy drinkable quality without doubt.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Leffe Radieuse, bottled version, enjoyed at a bar in the handsome Pasaje Gutierrez in Valladolid, Spain.

Appearance: Pours a deep ruby/amber color, slightly hazy and opaque. Huge head, initially four fingers, soon receding to two before settling. Very frothy, good retention.

Smell: Slightly raisin-y, dark fruit, prunes. Reminds me of a barleywine. Dark sugars, slight creme brulee aroma. Sweetness. Caramel and toffee.

Taste: Disappointing after that great and complex nose. Starts smooth and finishes boozy, malty, with that characteristic dark-fruit feel all around. Sweet and creamy as it goes down. Dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and carbonation. Very creamy and smooth. Slightly boozy, more so as it warms up.

Drinkability: Grand! 8.2% but goes down easy. Not too filling.

Overall, slightly disappointing, considering the superb nose, but very drinkable. A bit too boozy, but fine. One of the better Leffes.

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Photo of 77ships
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Amber/light ruby coloured with 1 finger head that quickly thins but does remain for quite a while. No lacing.

S: It has a sweet aroma with a hint of raisins and yeast.

T: The taste itself is a bit too watery at first with an aftertaste that is really heavy on spices and not much else, some very minor hints of sugar and raisins are to be found.

M: It is surprisingly easy to drink given its ABV, the body is a bit too thin, the carbonation is generous.

D: Overall Leffe Radieuse comes across a bit too much like a weaker and less balanced version of Leffe Brune. Too much of the taste is trapped in the aftertaste and most of that is spices without much else to balance 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 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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Leffe Radieuse from Abbaye de Leffe S.A.
3.79 out of 5 based on 297 ratings.
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