Caracole Ambrée | Brasserie Caracole

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88
very good
146 Reviews
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Caracole AmbréeCaracole Ambrée
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brasserie Caracole
Belgium

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 10-06-2002

BEER STATS
Reviews:
146
Ratings:
221
Avg:
3.93
pDev:
14.25%
 
 
Wants:
7
Gots:
12
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 146 | Ratings: 221
Photo of AcesFullup
5/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the beer I want on my deathbed.

I realize that others do not hold it as high, but this is the best beer I have ever experienced.

The taste has that perfect mix of Blgian hops and mouthfeel.

It has a perfect chalkiness and flavor that never gets old.

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Photo of marc77
4.55/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Caracole Amber is brewed for export and at 8% ABV, is slightly stronger than Ambree. Tremendously thick, creamy and dense ivory white head tops a hazy dark orange hued effervescent brew. Sticky lace is left. Ripe, sweet, tangerine - like citrusy fruit hit the nose at first, then tart, unripe orange and pear ensue. Creamy, slightly buttery malt emerge as the beer breathes lending an orange julius impression in aroma. Trace mustiness is present as well. Not unlike the aroma, the flavor is dominated citrus notes. Citrus rind, sugar coated lemons and mellow green apples provide the fruitiness. Spiciness emerges as light clove phenol and trace peppery alcohol. Taken altogether, this beer is a pleasant balance of light fruitiness and spice. Malt character, although overshadowed, is perceptibly bready w/ light caramel malt providing both dextrins and mild sweetness. Hop bitterness surfaces late, and superbly contrasts both fruitiness and malt sweetness, and rounds the overall flavor profile out. Moderate in body, w/ a smooth, yet crisp mouthfeel. Finishes w/ a snap of honey like sweetness, but otherwise clean and satisfyingly dry. Caracole Amber is a delicious Pale Strong. Deceptively light and soft on the palate. It abounds in crisp, refreshing citrus esters yet is well balanced all around. Superlative drinkability. Bottled 5/2002.

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Photo of JackTheRipper
4.53/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: First off, this is the coolest label art I've ever seen. I have no idea what it is supposed to be, but this is one to save. The beer: Pours a very hazy honey color with a big fluffy head. Nice lacing on the glass. The yeast in the beer doesn't move around at all, it just sits there at whatever depth it likes, which is bragable. I shouldn't have this much fun shining my penlight through it and staring at the yeast, but it's fun.
S: Predominantly a musty citrus aroma. I suppose all those lovely little critters are responsible for it, and it's a good thing. There's also a nice sweet malty aroma that comes out as the beer breathes a bit. No real hop aromas noted.
T: Faintly fruity, with a bit of an almost banana-like flavor noted. There's also a bit of a peppery twang that gives way to a nice malty finish. Super yum.
M: Medium bodied, dry finishing. Carbonation is nicely done, better than La Fin du Monde. Alcohol level is very well masked, but this beer will warm your spirit very nicely.
D&N: This is an awesomely well crafted beer. I'm really fighting the urge to give this one straight 5's in the ratings. The only reason I won't is the fact that I haven't had that many of this style, so I don't have a big mental database to compare it to. If you see this beer, buy a few. You won't be disappointed. From the cool label all the way through to the last sip, this beer rocks.

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Photo of cdizinno
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle with best by date of 12-08 (a little late, hopefully it's still good?!?!) Poured into a Duvel chalice.

A - Beautiful amber color with a very slight haziness. Off white head that laces when settled. Bubbles like a champagne. Lots of floating particulates left in the bottle, but poured with none.

S - Very nice floral scents with undertones of spiciness. Slightly overpowering alcohol ester, but it may be due to the age. I'll have to try a fresher bottle in the future.

T&M - Very good. Slightly sweet, fruity medium bodied ale that leaves a mildly pleasant dry aftertaste.

Notes: Gave this a try due to the relatively lower cost compared to other premium ales and I will definitely get another "fresher" bottle to compare notes.

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Photo of jsanto
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

s - bottle with cork that popped off good. served in a trappistes rochefort glass. when i got i home i noticed the best date of 06/2007.

a - maybe that is why the appearance was a little muddy. with a dissapearing head.

s - there was not much smell left, but remember i missed the best date by almost 2 years. but as it sat the smell get caramel.

t - i really enjoyed the flavor, almost like licorice and alcohol mixed up. maybe it got better with age.

m - still carbonated and a nice finish.

d - alot of good beer for the price. it beat alot of the higher priced belgians, and i would buy again. i really enjoyed drinking this beer. i saved the bottle, just to remember the evening.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mildly cloudy rustic orange capped by a buff colored head of stiff, airy foam that leaves little lace. The pleasantly spicy, yeasty nose is one of the more enjoyable (for the style) in recent memory. The yeasties don't make the mistake of overpowering the fruitiness of the nose, but instead, work in tandem with it. No alcohol is evident; surprising given the ABV.

On the palate, Ambree is a wonderful melange of flavors that combine seamlessly. One word that comes to mind is organic. Not in the 'free of pesticides and additives' sense, but in the 'unified, well-organized' sense. Sweet and bitter vie for supremacy with neither getting the upper hand.

Clove and white pepper cannot be ignored, but don't bury the other flavors under a blanket of spice, as occasionally happens in beer of this style. The finish is wonderfully long and consists of clove-spiked, sweet, musky fruit (peaches and apricots). A generous amount of carbonation livens up the proceedings without even approaching the limits of tolerance.

The theme that Caracole Ambree embraces can be summed up in one word: power. This is incredibly flavorful beer with an ABV that invites sipping (the better to appreciate its myriad charms). It was a pleasure to consume and was a pleasant surprise. The bottom of the glass came much too soon.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazed, amber-y coloration, long-lasting head, a creamy puddle of whitish moss...

Nose has that uplifting buzz that comes from yeast and hops that only occurs in fine Belgian ales...spices and round, fresh, dark fruits abound here, in a zesty blend...I like it, I like it...

A blitz in the mouth, as well, a shimmering shower of hops and spice on the tongue...apples, melons, kumquats, (why not?)...a beautiful beer, with a relaxing effect. Possesses that special unearthly quality found in better Belgians, that makes the uninitiated cry, "this isn't beer." Oh, yes, it is, Sonny-Jim, better get up to speed, right-quick!

Ful bodied, long, lingering, yeasty/hoppy finish, bright and lovely...that's how I'd put it. And yet another reason to adore the Caracole Brewery and the fine folks out there in Falmignoul.

Half the 750ml bottle is left...excuse me, while I relax with some Coltrane and let the world fade away!

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Photo of goochpunch
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a hazy peach with some moderately active carbonation and a creamy white head that maintains a sturdy body. Leaves some sheet like lacing. The overall presence of this makes me think of a saison. I like it. Aromas of apples, bananas, a little mango, spicy yeast, and faint hops. Tons of caramel as well. Flavor is mostly of the malts that sat more in the background in the aroma, along with some spicy and slightly musty yeast tones. The fruit is all still there. Touch of grain. Alcohol hardly there. Finishes rather dry. Light and bubbly like champagne sets off the flavor profile just right. This is incredibly flavorful and refreshing. Great drinkability.

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Photo of beerceller99
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This 33 cl. bottle states an 8% abv...
Cloudy, rusty orange hue with an off white head. Spicy, black pepper and sweet malt smell. Medium bodied and mildly carbonated. Nice, smooth taste of spicy black pepper and sweet grains. Has a mild yeast and hop tang to finish.

I really like this beer and Caracoles' other products, too bad it costs $4.00 a bottle at the market.

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Photo of allboutbierge
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Expiration date of 12/2010

Massive head of gigantic off-white bubbles. No notes of yeast in the nose, fairly hoppy and spicy. Flavor is a bit unique and unexpected. Slightly sweet, but the bitter notes carry the day. Extremely effervescent. Yeast was left in bottle.

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Photo of detgfrsh
4.43/5  rDev +12.7%
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 Gueuzedude
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a lightly hazy amber-copper color that is topped by a tan head. Aromas of musty coriander, cider, raisins, hint of alcohol, and a general fruitiness are found in the nose. This beer is well carbonated and spritzy. The taste is spicy up front with a bit of sweetness that peeks past the initial spritzy carbonation. This beer finishes with a an astringency and a hint of musty cobwebs. I purposely swirl my glass to release some of the intense carbonation. The beer becomes much softer and notes of apple come to the fore. The sweetness picks up a bit as well. There are some nice spicy notes here (a dry pepperiness is part of this), as well as notes of orange. This is a very well made interesting beer.

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Photo of Morris729
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This bottle of Caracole Amber has some interesting artwork as it shows a boy in a snail costume holding a giant blade of grass in one hand while standing, mesmerized, over a burning candle on the ground. Pours a hazy orange color with a bubbly white head that fades into a sticky lace. Nose is sweet malts with some underlying aromas of fruit and spice. Moderate in body with a slightly buttery texture. Taste begins sweet with notes of apricot and honey followed by some spicy flavors of vanilla and cinnamon. The sweetness is balanced by acidic hop resins towards the end of the taste. The 8% ABV is fairly well hidden. A pretty nice beer and definitely worth a try if you can find it.

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Photo of soper2000
4.4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After struggling with the bottle cap for some time (man that thing didn't want to come off), I finally decant (w/o the yeast) into my gulden draak tulip. Even with careful decanting it pours a hazy orange with a 2 finger white head. Nose is yeasty with hints of spice and and light fruity aromas. Taste was not what I was expecting. Delicate aroma but taste was in your face, but in a good way. I get a lot of earthy spices which fight with the fruity yeast for dominance, but out of nowhere a massive wood like flavor cuts through. Outstanding beer, although quite fatiguing on the palate.

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Photo of TripelJ
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz brown bottle with my favorite lonel snail on the front.

Appearance: Cloudy amber/gold, almost apricot with a nice size off-white head. Very cloudy with little light coming through despite the beers lighter color.

Aroma: Sweet and malty with a mellow citrus aroma. Caramel and cinnamon. Mild spicyness from the alcohol, but this is very subdued.

Tatste: Smoooth... wow is this smooth. Very creamy mouthfeel with a sweet malty start leaning towards a mild citrusy finish (grapefruit).. Hops are present, but not overwhelming.

Overall: DANGEROUSLY drinkable--RESPECT!!

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Photo of carpezytha
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in tulip

A: Huge bulbous head on murky amber body. Head reduces to a think film with a small island in the middle, leaving indistinct lace traces.
S: Barnyard , dried pit fruit and almond husks.
T: Creamy maltyness with a funky edge. Earthy backdrop with just a faint echo of hops. Some hazelnut. Some orange rind. A little bit boozy for this ABV.
M: Creamy.
D: Quite quaffable.

The art on the label is memorable and exquisite.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brown 75cl cork and caged bottle, opened and consummed 31st Jan 09.

Poured into three different chalices, the last one getting the sediment.

Very impressed with this fine amber beer, typical Belgian feel to it, full bodied, rich and wholesome. Good spicey aroma, with hops and yeast coming through too. The last chalice had everything you'd want from an Amber, but with an attitude, great beer.

I drove past the brewery last summer, but its visitor centre was closed (it was too early in the day) and I couldn't hang around, pity. This is the third beer I've reviewed from them and I've enjoyed them all.

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Photo of KCHopHead
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The local restaurant that had this listed it as an Amber so I was in for a surprise. I sampled a friends bottle but had to rate this because it was so delicious.

The foam was a little out of control and may need some packaging adjustments. The taste was amazing and different. A lot of good hops for a Belgium beer. The mouthfeel was strong and bubbly, but still good. I would like to get some more of this.

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Photo of nickfl
4.34/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - A few seconds after I removed the cage, the cork liberated itself violently, but fortunately there was no gushing. The beer pours with a small, off white head that disappears quickly and leaves virtually no lace. The body is a hazy amber-brown with some orange highlights.

S - Malty with some toasted notes and a bit of acetic sourness in the background.

T - Malty sweetness up front along with a bit of musty funk and some peppery yeast notes. A big toasted malt note in the finish along with minor sourness and some bitterness to balance.

M - High carbonation, a medium to slightly chewy body, and a nice, dry finish.

D - While this beer is not overly complex, it is well put together and quite satisfying. The aroma is has just enough going on to keep things interesting, while the flavor comes together with excellent balance and a level of dryness that makes for a very drinkable beer.

I see this pairing well with savory, but mild, foods; and for some reason I can't help but think of trying this with turkey and stuffing. I am definitely going to pick up another bottle of this to try on thanksgiving.

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Photo of MJR
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This appears to be the same export version of Caracole Amber (8%abv) that Marc77 reviewed, so here we go...

Appearance: Pours an amber/light brown body that allows no light penetration...yeah, it's opaque! Like the other Caracole brews I reviewed tonight, this one starts with a massive head that shrinks down to a respectable cap that leaves good lacing down the glass.

Smell: The aroma is dominated by citrus fruits, along with a slight sweetness. I could be picking up on a touch of lactic tartness, or I could be insane...they're both strong possibilities.

Taste: The flavor is packed full of the citrus fruit flavor that took over the aroma. There's a touch of spiciness (pepper?) buried deep in there, as well as a soft bready character. The flavors seem to meld together towards the end, and sharpen a bit. The alcohol is well-hidden and the little bit that does show up comes across as rounded and in the background. Finishes with a touch of hop bitterness. There's a nice combination of fruity esters and maltiness in this brew, and I think it's well balanced with the hop profile.

Mouthfeel: Fairly thin bodied with a dry mouthfeel that finishes with a mild acidic bite.

Drinkability: Excellent. Caracole really seems to score high in the drinkability area, as all of their beers that I've tried are complex and full-flavored, but go down easy and just beg for another sip. Good stuff here!

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Photo of EmoBeerGuy
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried this brew at the Publick House in Boston on recommendation of the bartender who, as they always do there, really knew his stuff!

Great "amber" this tasted almost like a Saison to my out of work palate.

Really refreshing beer that I could drink a few of on a Summer night.

And pay the price!

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Photo of beveragecaptain
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml corked bottle. Caracole pours out a hazy orange color with an off-white head. The aroma is spices, orange, zesty hops, and apples. The flavor is malty with some apple and orange fruitiness. The finish is tangy with tasty Belgian yeast. Some grassy hops. Spicy coriander and pepper come out as the beer warms. Medium to full mouthfeel. Absolutely no trace of alcohol. Great drinkability. A tasty Belgian amber ale.

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Photo of ypsifly
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Undated 750 that is corked and caged, poured into a chalice.

Loud POP when the cage is untwisted. The cork bounced off of no less than three walls, just missed a window, and scared the shit out of my cat.

Hazy amber supporting a two finger head of white that shows strong retention and leaves layered lace.

The belgian sugars and chalky yeast are upfront in the nose. Dry like there's a drop of lemon juice paired with english hops. Some suggestions of melon rinds.

The taste carries a lot of the dry and citric notes. The hops seem more pronounced as is the melon. Has a cantaloupe or honey dew flavor that is quite pleasant. Candy sugar in the background really rounds this one out. Nice dry to bitter finish. Nicely balanced.

Nice full mouth. The sugars are cleared by the hops and save this one from even approaching syrup. A beer this tasty could always be called drinkable.

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Photo of longarm
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light orange color with huge head of fluffy yellow foam. Some lacing.

Earthy hops, pepper, orange and belgian yeast aroma.

Smooth light malts complemented with bright fruit flavors resembling oranges, pineapple and maybe grapefruit. Some pepper too or am I whack??? Initially sweet, but absolutely no residual sweetness. Great thirst quencher and flavorful delight rolled into one.

Mouthfeel dry with residual alcoholic hit.

Exceptionally easy to drink. A great warmer on a cool Spring day or a cooler in the hot Summer. I couldn't believe how easy this was to drink.

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Photo of beardtongue
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's a party we are throwing for my wife's birthday. We also happen to have four friends staying with us that weekend, and trying to get ready while at the same time entertaining them and keeping my toddler in his diapers has been pretty stressful. She can't drink, so there isn't much alcohol at the party, but down in the basement once all the guests have been taken care of this is my reward. I find it dramatic, poured into a tulip glass it foams straight to the top before receding to about an inch and adds a lot to mouthfeel. This beer delivers in every way, tasting spicy the way you'd expect a belgian to taste, but with a specific kind of honey, and for a moment I imagine that Caracole built this recipe specifically to showcase a discovered honey that they enjoyed and couldn't get enough of. It seems familiar, like a wildflower honey, or would it be a monoflower honey that would give such a specific taste? At any rate, the experience is enjoyable to say the least, and another agonizing trip to the liquor store balancing the desire for something new with the cost has seen vindication. Highly recommended. At times life seems like Dynamo City, engineered to suck the life out of you and tailored to maximizing your own energy-draining needs. But whether it's music, friends, or a beer, when you encounter a practitioner with gads of creativity and energy to spare, the effect is heart warming exuberance, and the sum is no longer cumulative but exponential.

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Caracole Ambrée from Brasserie Caracole
3.93 out of 5 based on 221 ratings.
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