Caracole Ambrée
Brasserie Caracole

Caracole AmbréeCaracole Ambrée
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Belgian Strong Pale Ale
Ranked #47
Ranked #8,764
3.97 | pDev: 11.34%
Brasserie Caracole
Very Good
Caracole AmbréeCaracole Ambrée
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Reviews: 147 | Ratings: 225
Photo of REVZEB
3.96/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The smell is very inviting with warm toffee, juicy orange, and bright spices. Taste is more jammy with a rush of sweet fruit with the caramel malts, and a yeast complexion that gives the beer a yogurt aftertaste. Nice feel through out, but especially the foretaste.

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Photo of Beginner2
4.14/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed in "Michael Jackson's Great Beers of Belgium", and called it "lean, elegant and long, with lingering Styrian hop and orange-zest flavors."

This brasserie (me talking) does yeast well. (I've Had their four brews that have American distribution. Very atypical of me, I've bought 4 packs of all ... my highest recommendation.) Their Ambree gives me a mouth-watering complexity to unwrap.

Looks start with lots of foam rising quickly out of the bottle, but settles down.
Smells are mostly malty, dried winter fruits and a nice yeast working on them both.
Taste's complexity would suffer a disservice if I were to describe it. Because complexity is so subject to personal interpretation, it is best to enjoy this ale instead of writing at length about it ... But the short of it... Taste Balance is achieved with subtle hops; entering just before this fruity ale gets syrupy. Feel is moderate and soft, which it should be for the malty, yeasty richness that is enjoyed here.
OA: yeasty richness will bring me back to this ... if I find it again.

7/17/17 Getting harder to find, I found a bottle bottled 30 months ago... and it has started to deteriorate. But the richness is still there; the age seems to make flavors seem less distinct. No change in rating. I'll just need to find it fresher.

4/18/18 Hurray ! Found another 4 pack. Slightly edited the review above. Enjoyed before, with and after dinner.
1/9/19 Found and finished another 4-pack. These four seemed less fresh. (They even may have been from the same April shipment... hard to tell as the BB dates are not evident to me.) At any rate, it seems that either shelf-life or consistency could be an issue even for the great Belgian houses. Regardless of freshness, I still think this house has a great yeast.

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Photo of detgfrsh
4.43/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up on clearance at my local bottle shop. Marked best before 09/2011, but this is a style that cellars well so I'm not too concerned. Copper color, cloudy, with large foamy head. Smell is sour with some light and fruity notes. Smooth feel, maybe a little light. Complex taste with notes of spices, malt, and plums. Some alcohol warmth to finish. This is great, a little hard to describe because there's a lot going on.

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Photo of stevoj
3.22/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle from Tres Bonne Cuisine. Lively bottle, had to get it in the glass right away, initial high airy, foamy head. Murky brown pour with lots of particulates. Sugary sweet, yeasty aroma. Lots of sweetness in the taste, plums and molasses. Slick body, but kind of thin. Lingering sweetness.

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Photo of patre_tim
3.44/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: Copper and cloudy with lots of carbonation, 1 finger of yellow beige head.

S: Tomato pasta sauce, bock like malty dark notes, caramel, toffee, very light floral quality that is almost an afterthought.

T: A sort of bock like quality, syrupy and sweet then it turns sour, I mean literally a sour quality until the finish. Also some metallic. Lemony.

M: Highly carbonated and foamy, slightly syrupy body.

O: Was surprised by the sour quality, but it is growing on me as I sip, and the flavors are melding together nicely. Got in Kunming, drank April 18, 2015.

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Photo of babaracas
4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear darker amber with huge dense cream-colored head, fades slowly leaving an ice cream scoop of foam in the center and a thick sheet of sticky lace down the glass. Smell: pils and candy sugar sweet, fruity with nectarine and berry skin, punchy slightly musty grain note. Taste: pils graininess, spicy, apricot jam with a splash of orange juice and peel, toasted grain note, earthy in the finish. Carbonation builds during the sip pushing the feel from juicy to pillowy, then slicks back, finishing sugary and drying. This is really tasty. A bit hoppy to fit, but otherwise comes off like a nice biere de garde.
Best before the end of 03/2015.

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Photo of Sam-VW
3.74/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - amber colour with generous head. Great retention leaving loads of lacing

S - strawberries, Belgian fruity yeast, some citrus hops with a sweet malt backbone

T - starts with a bit of an alcohol kick with lots of Belgian yeast flavours some citrusy fruity hops on the finish with sweet malts

M - great body, so smooth. Finishes very sweet.

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Photo of FLima
4.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice amber orange color with a huge thick head with great retention and leaving some laces.
Aroma of orange flavored effervescent vitamin C with some banana and strawberries.
Pleasant flavor with slightly fruity sour notes, a bit of toasted malts, orange skin, strawberry juice, cloves, a touch of banana, figs and green apples and finishing with a hint of pine. Dry aftertaste with a relative to style decent bitterness.
Light to medium body with effervescent carbonation. Alcohol of 7.5% abv is well hidden.
Very good Belgian ale with a unique taste but also pleasant and easy to drink.

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Photo of deebo
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this one on tap in Bruges a couple years ago and remember liking it so brought a bottle back with me from latest trip.

33 cl bottle marked as lot F with a BB date of 12/2013. Poured into a pokal glass this beer is lively with a couple thick fingers of a white bubbly head that recedes to a thin layer that laces the glass a bit. A hazy amber with orange hues.

Aromas of spicy phenols, floral honey, and orange peel on top of a grainy malt character. Very nice.

Taste is clean malt with a very slight toastiness, heavy on spicy phenols with just a hint of typical Belgian yeast esters that reminds me of bitter orange. A slight hop linger that is mostly spicy with a little bitter oily bite.

Mouthfeel is on the high end of carbonation which works well in this beer to carry all the flavors. A soft finish with a bit of zing and just a hint of bitterness. Moderate malt mouthfeel with little alcohol bite.

Overall this is a refreshing and very enjoyable Belgian brew. I'd be glad to drink this one regularly. Nice beer.

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Photo of Jetulio
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

33 cl bottle poured into a Big Tulip glass (Gulden Draak glass)
App/ copper colour with some haze. Big white foamy head (3 fingers)
Smell/ malty with a little touch of vinegar and spices
Taste/ dry malt that ends with fresh fruity sweetness after a touch of sour
M/ medium-full bodied with medium carbonation. Refreshing in mouth thanks to the dry and fruity taste. Nice Belgian ale.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from 2/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a nice cloudy orange color; thin white head and light lacing. Sweet malt, citrus, light fruit and spice aroma. Flavor is an interesting mixture of sour and sweet light fruit with Belgian yeast spicing excellently blended. Medium bodied. Very complex and pleasant to drink.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.07/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Back label has notches indicating best before end 03 2013.

A- Pours a dark copper color with a 1/2 inch head that meanders away to a paper-thin ring around the edge of the glass and minimal surface foam. Average lacing.

S- Belgian yeast and caramel malts along with a hint of booze and spice.

T- Very even amounts of Belgian yeast providing a banana flavor, toasty malts that accentuate the sweetness and a kiss of spice. There's also a trace amount of wet cardboard taste as it warms. Alcohol is present only in short tings.

M- Light and somewhat watery but with a substantial body to pull things through. Medium-low carbonation is more on the low side.

O- Not as outstanding as Troublette, but still quite good. Can't wait to review Nostrodomus

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pour is beautiful copper with some haze. The large tan head is kind of soapy/foamy and sinks into nice lacings after a while.

S: Yeasty, Belgian style. Dry, almost all the sweetness is gone. Lots of fruity notes as well as faint spices.

T: Even dryer taste than smell. Very dry, almost sour - reminds me of a mild Geueze. Then there's lots of fruit and yeast (no brett though).

M: Long sour, bitter aftertaste. Body is mild to medium while carbonation is quite offensive.

O: A refreshing beer that has lots in common with dry cider. Complex.

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Photo of RickS95
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not quite as dark as some others, but pours a rich mahogany. The head is thin and fleeting, but an attractive off-tan color that leads to a creamy froth left on top.

An inviting smell of raisin, heavy malt notes, caramel, dark fruits and spices, with a slight alcohol note as well.

Taste is very similar to smell with all the smells accounted for on the tongue, but a welcome addition of some chocolate at well.

Mouthfeel is deep and complex. It's sweet and spicy, a slight bitterness in the dry, cleansing finish. Everything is good, but the feel is a bit watered down or loose, not tight like some other Belgians. Medium-bodied.

A really good beer. All the pieces are there, just a loose end or two. Would make for a great dessert beer or nightcap.

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Photo of bark
3.57/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

7.5 % ABV according to label.

The beer makes a loud pop when I open the bottle. The beer is pale amber (20 EBC), the liquid is clear. The finger thick compact head is off-white. No lacing occurs.

The smell is phenolic with distinct notes of Belgian yeast. Dried exotic fruits, some bananas and red berries. Lots of sweet candy-like notes, but no toffee (diacetyl). Some bitter hints in the background. Very clean notes.

The taste is less sweet than the smell, it is almost semi-dry. Mixed exotic fruits, red berries, blac currant, some yeast and hints of fruit candy. The aftertaste got some light clean bitterness, green vegetables, minerals and some leather and alcohol in the finish.

The carbonation is very strong, but at the same time very smooth. The liquid is mid-smooth.

A very clean and balanced Belgian amber. Not the most complex one, though. Still it is quite enjoyable.

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Photo of mrfrancis
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark, hazy amber with a billowing white head. This beer has a nice unfiltered look about it.

S: A combination of earthy hops, caramel, apple skin, and subtle spices is present on the nose. These scents blend pleasantly as the beer warms.

T: Opens sweet and fruity with notes of apple skin, caramel, oranges in syrup, spice, dark bread, and earthy hops. The finish is clean and long with flavors of earthy Styrian Goldings, caramel, and orange dominating.

M: Medium-to-full bodied with a slick, yet mildly prickly feel to it. Heavier than it feels.

O: I was really impressed by this beer. Among Belgian strong ambers, this one is a keeper.

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Photo of hwwty4
3.26/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Best by 12/08.

Poured a corked and caged 750ml into my New Belgium globe. I bought this bottle in a 99 cent old beer sale at one of my local beer stores. I figured this had a chance of being tasty even after 4 years past its best by date. This beer pours a really pretty burnt tangerine with a decent 3 inch fluffy white head that leaves zero lacing whatsoever. The head quickly goes away. Zero retention. The aroma is interesting. Big notes of caramel and burnt sugar. Underneath is just a hint of green apple. Nice notes of toasted bread. The flavor is up front constitutes much of the nose. Dominated by burnt sugar and caramel. Notes of nutty bread and dark fruits. Quite a bit of date and fig for the style of beer. A whole lot of burnt sugar. The mouthfeel is light with a prickly carbonation. Overall, this is a pretty good beer. Maybe a bit past its prime but tasty none the less.

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Photo of Filosoof
3.43/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Being a great fan of Saxo and Troublette, I was glad to open this bottle. This gladness disappeared very quickly. And the disappointment was so big that I didn't finish my glass. You will understand what happened to the bottle.

Looks very good. Smell is that of a strong amber, with sweet sugary tones. The taste is that of a sweet amber, maybe king of ambers. But as amber is not my style, this could not turn me over.

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Photo of rarbring
3.59/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thee beer is hazy light amber, an off-white even head, little lacing, some curtains.

The smell is yeasty, Belgian yeasty, spices, cardamom, some sweet sugar nuances.

Starting sweet, bread and syrup, hard bread, spicy bitter notes.

Little carbonation, slightly coarse with a big body, a long dry finish.

A rather standard Belgian strong, a bit on the coarse side.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received in trade from GPHarris, thanks again for the opportunity! Pours a slightly cloudy deep amber color with a huge fluffy white head that prevents pouring the 11.2 oz in one shot. Smells of candy and brown sugars, spicy, yeasty, fruity nose. Taste is sweet and malty with candied fruits, figs, orange marmalade, caramel and hints of spice. Sweeter than I expected, but tasty in its complexity. I don't get a whole lot of that Belgian yeast twang, but really I'm ok with that. Spirited level of carbonation, medium body with a sweet sherry like mouthfeel. I probably would have never bought this for myself, sadly I would have missed out because I really enjoyed this one.

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Photo of ThaCreep
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smells of brown sugar and yeast with a slightly fruity touch to own belgian pale ales. Typical color of amber. Entry on the palate with a spicy Styrian hops well controlled. Spices - coriander, cloves - they are very present and they persist in the palace and a beautiful way until the finish. Light and round at a time, easy to drink, it has only a slight if not a bit greasy. Belgian beer.

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Photo of SmokinSmyth
3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beer advocate says abv 8.0%, my bottle says 7.5%. Poured into a tulip glass, one finger of head that dissipates fairly quickly, no lacing to speak of. A cloudy orange/amber color.

Smell is fruity, but mild, with a hint of malt.

Taste is very fruity, with a trace of honey.

Feels bubbly in the mouth, quite a bit of carbonation in the mouth, with a strong finish.

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Photo of Snamnoum
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - This beer has one of the largest heads I've ever seen. Easily 4 fingers maybe 5. The body is extremely clear for a belgian and has a light amber orange hue. The head retention is good and leaves a think frothy pancake of foam in the middle of the glass. Plenty of sticky lacing.

Smell - Phenolic, with lots of bananas, cloves, and some medicinal notes. Malt is bready. Yeast also gives of some sour/tart notes. The hops are aromatic and floral.

Taste - as a first timer to what the bottle describes as a Belgian Amber this is like an american amber on steroids blended with a belgian strong pale ale or a fruity tripel. Its light toastiness plays well off some massive sweetness. Also some fruitiness from the yeast gives off the aroma and flavor of figs and dried apricots. Subtle tanginess and tartness help reign in the unfermented sugar and keep it from being crushing. Alcohol is present but not abusive.

Mouthfeel - medium bodied beer with lots of carbonation and a somewhat syrupy feel.

Overall - as my first foray into "belgian ambers" I quite enjoyed this. It was a tad to sweet in my opinion but is saved by the complexity imparted from the yeast and malt. I'll bet this would be great with some time on it and a nice ripe blue cheese.

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Photo of trevorjn06
3.87/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light amber/copper color with a massive, rocky off-white head.

Aroma is ripe fruits, light floral, light banana, peach, yeast, some toasty malts, mild spice and breadyness.

Taste is wonderfully fruity, bright and balanced by toasty malts. Begins with oranges, peaches, bready/sweet malts and yeast character that transitions into toasty malts, fruity yeast and a mildy tart flavor. The finish leaves tart peaches and apples with some lingering malt and yeast spice/bitterness. There are hints of alcohol.

Mouthfeel is very effervescent with medium/low body.

Overall this is a quite good Belgian ale, though I prefer their Blond, Saxo.

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Photo of
4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this at Pohendellikelder in Brussels in March, so I am writing this review from my sparse notes and memory.
The beer was sparkiling and amber in colour, as one would expect from the name, with a solid inch of frothy white head.
The aroma was fairly complex - sweet malty honey notes tempered by yeasty cider and pear, with a slight tartness, and some citrus and spice.
Taste was subdued but rich honey, coriander, tart pear and bitter grapefruit.
Although I suppose it might lose something in the journey across the Atlantic, I would love to try this beer again and taste more carefully if I ever encouter it in North America.

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Caracole Ambrée from Brasserie Caracole
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 225 ratings