Amber Ale | Grolsch Bierbrouwerij N.V.

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144 Ratings

Brewed by:
Grolsch Bierbrouwerij N.V.

Style: German Altbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-06-2001

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 144 |  Reviews: 97
Reviews by manahansf:
Photo of manahansf
3.68/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep but very clear amber color topped with a thin white head which fades quickly into a fine lacing around the glass. The nose is full of toasted malt aroma with hints of toffee and caramel. The flavor is also toasted and malty sweet with a moderately thin body and high carbonation levels. The finish is sweet and fades quickly to a clean end.

The key to this one is freshness. If you can find it somewhere still in the box, try it out. Otherwise its spoilled and hard to enjoy.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of twi1609372
3.96/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at the local pbblix. It's amber in color, as it should be, it is an amber ale. It has a good aroma. It has a complex, robust taste and yet it still pretty smooth. The mouthfeel is there and it is pretty strong, you feel this ale, and it compliments the taste. All in all a pretty good ale.

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Photo of Jason
3.56/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz clear bottle, “Ingredients: water, malted barley, malted wheat and hops” stated on the back label along with a freshness date.

Appearance: Deep garnet colour with a thick unwavering lace that leaves a few rings of lace on the glass.

Smell: Mixed twang of fermented wheat and hops, some sweetness and some graininess with a vague toasted aroma. Do I decent a by-product that smells like mustard seed?

Taste: Thick medium body with a smooth crispness from a mild carbonation. Maltiness has potential and seems to flow very well with sweet grain and toasted flavours. Hops are a touch weathered but provide ample bitterness, malt flavours and hop as well seem to pull back towards the end in more of a filtered fashion leaving a trace graininess and ghost like hop in the finish.

Notes: We can all assume this is an Altbier or something close to it, I dare not say “German” or I might offend. It’s much further away from American or English styles so that is what they must have been going for. Who really cares right? This is a decent amber ale and goes down just as good as their lager.

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Photo of olradetbalder
2/5  rDev -37.7%

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.86/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

One of the lightest looking amber ales I've seen. Very light amber. Tan head though? Funky old aroma. Like a barn.

Taste, a little better, heavier than appearance would lead you to believe. Very smooth, lacking bitterness or hop character. Nutty. Is this an amber, alt or brown ale? Can't tell by drinking.

Overall, not my style, just tasted unadventurous, a solid malt beer for people who don't like hops or bitterness. Too pricey for me to drink when I'm not all that high on it to begin with.

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Photo of ADR
3.72/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Half of a 12 pack, the other are the Lagers...

Clear deep amber color with a minimal head that skims the top of the glass but that forms nice and delicate lace. Sweet aroma, sub-caramel and more like dark brown sugar with some sense of straw. Bready and biscuity malt profile, less carbonation than the Lager. Hops are slightly metallic, somewhat grassy, and are early-comers to the flavor profile. Finishes fairly clean with some tart apple impression. Not bad, Alts rarely are super memorable for me but this is a quaffable beer.

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Photo of rastaman
1/5  rDev -68.8%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

this beer didn't impress me whatsoever, infact it tasing like crap, thin murky brown liquid witha sweaty taste, yuck.

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Photo of Brenden
3.26/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

This alt is darker than amber, on the darker end of the style at a dark sort of brownish-red that's bright and completely clear but for the darkness. The head is creamy, sort of an eggshell white color. It achieves a full finger on top of the beer and remains pretty steady there, falling but very slowly. A sturdy rind of lace is left at the top of the point where it's settled, followed by some good patching.
The aroma is fairly light, malt forward with some dry, wheat-like malts but with a bit of herbal leaf showing a light hops presence as well. There's a mix of vague things, including vaguery in sweetness and spiciness with a sort of tangy twang that detracts a bit.
It shows a little less of the tang, which comes off as a weird note on the nose that doesn't quite fit. It's got some toasted grains on the tongue while remaining pretty wheaty, and the light hops comes through, this time a bit grassier.
It's lighter in body that expected, though it actually fits fairly well and isn't watery or overly thin. It does lean a little too much in that direction, but not heinously so. It's definitely crisp, with a fair smoothness off of even carbonation.

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Photo of zjungleist
3.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I like this beer better than regular Grolsch. Color is ok, clear amber. Taste is roasted malt with a slightly metalic/chemical aftertaste. Hop profile is ok, but not great, over powered by the sligthly sweet malt. Mouthfeel is a little thin, but it does go down smooth. Imagine if Newcastle made a light beer. Although, I would wager the ABV is slighly lower than Grolsch lager.

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Photo of Sammy
2.81/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Foam city on amber and then some pleasant malt followed by metallic dry sweet astringant bitter aftertaste. Grassy thin/medium mouthfeel and lively carbonation. Canadians seem to like this, outside of Quebec. The type you drink cold on a hot summer day. Could do worse, signature grolsch definition.

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Photo of cliff1066
3.75/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of beerluvr
4.1/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours into the glass with a nice long lasting rocky white head. Great tea-colored liquid, smells a bit of new mown hay with a light malt aroma. Mouthfeel is light-bodied, due to the addition of wheat malt, with some sweet malt flavors creeping in. Finishes sweet too, with just a hint of hop bitterness. Overall smooth and very the clear bottle/cool label presentation too.

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Photo of bditty187
3.56/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Darkish reddish-brown (amber), off-white head, no real depth or staying power but it did produce waves of lace. Clean nose, hints of malt and grain. A solid dollop of malt hits your tastebuds, a faint hint of roastedness. Medium body, good consistency. Not complex yet very enjoyable… pleasing. Clear bottles scare me but I reckon this would make a very good session beer. Try it, recommended.

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Photo of BrewAskew
2.82/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Looks great with good head retention and lace. Smell is weak but all-malt. Flavor is very weak malt and a slight sharpness contributed by the wheat malt and hops. Mouthfeel is smooth but a bit watery at times. Finishes clean and refreshing. Not offensive in the least.... but BORING.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.72/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a cranberry-amber, clear, with a light foamy beige colored head that left a fairly good rim lacing and maintained nicely enough.

S: soft smoky toasted munich, with a dry woodiness and a noble flowery hopping which was quite nice as well.

T: much the same, a light smoky toasted munich with a fresh noble flowery hopping. There was some sweet burnt sugary notes and a touch of cinnamon and alcohol. Overall a decent dry amber with some dry hints of alcohol lingering on the finish.

M: light, watery and a tad disappointing considering the potential of the nose and flavor. Softly carbonated.

D: Decent drinkability, could have a couple of these with a nice dry toasted woodiness and equally nice flowery hopping makes for a decent example though the mouthful hinders a better rating.

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Photo of avylover
3.31/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Came with a grolsch "Bremasters Selection" 12pk. 2 different beers...what variety!!! Enough with the sarcasm. I paid $8 for this 12 pack and at that price it was a steal. A clear brown beer with nice bubbly white head. Smell is slightly skunky and somewhat flowery. Taste is crisp & mellow with a slight maltiness. Very easy to drink and a good easy on the wallet session brew. There's really not much bad to say about this beer, yet nothing stands out either besides the trademark holland skunk factor. A decent beer,and for the price it's hard to beat.

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Photo of Symphonic
3.2/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Unfortunately, I was in a smoky bar when I tasted this, so that could have affected my review. That said, the aroma I could smell, besides the smoke, was pretty good, slight caramel and some aromatic hops. Clarity was great, 3 out of 5 on sweetness, light body, since it was bottled, I had no head :( Good carbonation, and of course you can reuse the bottle for home brewing (always a plus)

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.47/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle: Poured an amber color ale with a huge off-white bubbly head with good retention (even leaves mark after each sip on my glass which is quite good for macro-type beer. Aroma is only about malt, but it’s so weak that I would qualify this as neutral aroma. Taste is mildly refreshing with again malt being the only thing really noticeable. Overall lack of character does not make this beer very interesting.

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Photo of buzzy
3/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of GrandpaGeorge
2.98/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A huge step backward in my search for the best Altbier. I'm sorry, but calling this an Altbier is like taking the phrase "Fine Pilsner" on the "Miller Lite" label seriously. This is a watered-down, slightly hopped-up version of Newcastle Brown Ale. Medium brown/red (almost artificial-looking) color, slight head, lots of bubbles; smell is hops (even a bit of skunk?) and the taste is (like I said) a Newcastle clone. Nothing against Newcastle; but it is what it is. I was not impressed. To paraphrase a former VP candidate, "I know Altbiers; I've tasted Altbiers; and believe me, this is no Altbier."

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Photo of Boilermaker88
3.63/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I hadn't had this brew in nearly six years, since I first saw it while stationed on Okinawa. Seeing it again at my local Trader Joe's, I figured I'd give it a try again as I liked it back in the day.
Poured from a clear (uh, oh!) 12oz. bottle, it had a clear amber hue and a bubbly yet durable off-white head that left rings of lace on the side walls. The smell was rather subdued - some sweet malt and caramel and some light, almost residual, floral hops aromas. Bonus, no lightstruck "off" aromas! The taste follwed the smell almost to a "T"; some grainy sweet malt and caramel flavor up front, some light dark fruit notes, and a mild hops bitterness in the finish. The feel was medium-bodied, smooth and clean.
Grolsch's amber ale is a decent beer that doesn't have any major flaws other than it's profound unremarkableness, if that's a word. It was one of my starter beers a few years ago and it would be a good one to use to introduce beer drinkers to the craft brew world. No complaints here.

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Photo of jaydoc
3/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of matjack85
3.75/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of peabody
2.78/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours out like dark ice tea with lots of off white suds.
Smell is just like any other macro, yeast and malt and not much else.
Taste is a little more yeasty and alcoholy than the Blonde. Mabey just a little more sugary malts that hide the caramel.
Mouthfeel is clean but leaving you wanting something just a bit more.
Drinkability is OK but there are so many more macros that are better than this.( I suppose that is not a good thing to say).

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Photo of Amalak
2.12/5  rDev -34%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Brownish in color, no bubbles, thick four finger head, dissipates fairly quickly but leaves a solid lace. Very bitter scent to it, not that good.

Ugh. Not much ale, more American Macro Lager. Kind of flat. While it is better than most Lager, when you're expecting an ale, this was disappointing.

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Amber Ale from Grolsch Bierbrouwerij N.V.
Beer rating: 3.21 out of 5 with 144 ratings