Rader Ambrée | Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu

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Rader AmbréeRader Ambrée
37 Ratings
Rader AmbréeRader Ambrée

Brewed by:
Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by dogfooddog on 07-02-2006

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 37 |  Reviews: 25
Reviews by zeff80:
Photo of zeff80
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a somewhat cloudy, amber/brown color. It had a thick, long-lasting, light tan head that left some nice lace.

S - It smelled of yeast, lemon and other sweet fruits. Some muted caramel malt aromas.

T - It tasted very sweet. Nice fruit flavors, lemon and citrusy flavors. It had a light caramel malt flavor with some sharp spiciness.

M - It was crisp and smooth. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a pretty good ale. Nice sweet fruity flavors and a good dose of caramel.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of ADR
3.28/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Large 750 ml bottle, an odd label saying "Belgian Ale with natural flavors added" and "brewed with natural malt flavor" (which doesn't imply corn but probably liquid or dry malt extract). Contrary to the listing here (at this time), 10.5% ABV. Hazy brown with an orange tinge to it, large white head of almost 3/4 of an inch. Thick laces, sheets on the glass. Malty aroma, quite a bit of flesh fruit, mainly unripe nectarines. Well-carbonated, almost fizzy, mouthfeel is a bit heavier than light. Taste is primarily sweet and leaning toward sugary, lacks a lot of yeast character. Similar fruit characteristics as the aroma. Somewhat of a strange close, kind of a leafy green tobacco impression and a reminder of lightly steamed spinach. OK, not a lot of personality or mouthfeel to match up well with the overall sweet aspects.

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Photo of mattfancett
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of cjgator3
3.87/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle poured into a goblet. Pours a dark and murky amber/brown color wtih a large off-white head and a lot of little particles floating around. The aroma features sweet bready malt with dark fruits, spices and yeast. The taste is definitely on the malty side with alcohol soaked fruits and yeast. The mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied. The drinkability is hindered somewhat by the high ABV. Overalll, this is a pretty solid brew that I enjoyed and would purchase again. Recommended.

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Photo of bditty187
3.97/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dirty bronze in hue, amber I suppose, lightly hazy; color-wise it is unimpressive to look at. Tiny, poorly formed head, white foam, at the apex the head, if you can call it that, was nothing more than a soapy cap, thicker around the edges. (The second pour produced a slightly bigger head.) Even though the head size was poor, head retention was excellent. Sadly, there was no lacing. (The second pour produced some lacing, once I consumed some more beer.) All in all, the appearance is respectable if not flawed.

The nose is very nice, toasty caramel malt aromas arrive first but quickly thereafter I detect some apricots, apples, figs, pears... which mixes very well with some spiciness and yeastiness. Some earthiness adds depth, so does the soft alcohol heat. Pepper. Leather. Crackers. The nose says what I want a Strong Belgian Amber Ale to say. Moderate potency, chatty... I find the bouquet to be quite inviting.

I am very surprised at the sweetness (the nose did not indicate this), caramel dominates but there is good depth with crackers and bread. The palate is pleasantly spicy and "hot" with ample fruitiness... apricots, pears, figs, dates, cherries, and apples. I love the mix of "dark" and orchard fruits. There is a respectable malt backbone; almost no sign of hops (which is okay). I didn't know what to expect with this beer, Belgian Amber Ales are sort of a bastard style. Rader is sweet and spicy, hot and yet the alcohol is surprisingly hidden. I don't consider this a great Belgian ale, a good one, yes. Cleaner than expected finish; mild, sort of sweet aftertaste with some spice and heat. Nice.

About medium in body, modest carbonation which is fitting for this beer. The mouthfeel is above-average.

Easy to drink; I would have never guessed this beer was 10.5% ABV... dangerous! How good is this beer? That is the question. I think this is a good beer. Something I'd recommend and I might have too as the 2 cent label isn't going to sell this beer! Anyway, for less than $8.50 a 750ml I have no complaints. New to Omaha... glad it is here (well I did order it.)

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Photo of dgallina
2.98/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml brown bottle dated best-before 06/06/2009. While the label looks the same as what's pictured here, the brewery marks this beer as 10.5% ABV.

Pours slightly cloudy copper brown with some floating sediment. Big one-and-one-half inch of head that leaves good thick lace. Smells predominantly fruity; dusty lemon and lime over yeast, black pepper, and musty leaves. Simplistic and overly sweet flavor that's lacking good balance. Taste is dominated by sugary malts that lead to a bitter medicinal finish. Leaves an unusual and very unpleasant vegetal leafiness behind (tastes something like brussel sprouts). Medium body with plenty of carbonation. Not a good beer. Undistinguished at best, though I'd consider the vegetal quality a clear defect.

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Photo of Lnedrive14
3.4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very, very light gold with the whitest head i have ever seen. good head retention and lacing. taste was high on candied sugar - very predominant. very mild malt and yeast character; i think that is definitely what was lacking. only a moderate alcohol kiss, especially for 10.5%. Mild hop character and a hint of citrus. Really it is the raw sugar that takes over here.

I think this beer could have been better with a little bit more to it. body was good - nicely carbonated and light. not the best beer i've had, but one to try.

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Photo of desint
3/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.92/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dumpy 33cl brown bottle, best before 10 Jun 2011, drank 22 Aug 2010: poured into a 2000 special Duvel tulip.

Light amber, or dull orange depending on your mood. Managed to pour the beer without any grist getting into the glass, even so the beer had a haze/mistiness to it. On top sat a huge, large bubbled head, white in colour.

Yeast esters more than anything elae, very Belgian in its smells, malt aromas outnumbered any hop smells but the whole aroma was enough to excite my tastebuds.

Tangy and interesting, sweet molasses vieing with a hop bitterness and some spice elements (peppery maybe?). It is one of those pesky Belgians that hide the alcohol content so well, the 10.5% ABV only becomes apparent towards the end of the tasting as the beer warms in the glass.

Highly carbonated, but not 'fizzy', it might have benefited with a little more time to age, as it seemed a bit 'young' or 'green' to me.

Most enjoyable and one I wouldn't be frightened to try again. It went well with raw hazelnuts.

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Photo of biernack
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of auxiliary
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance - Dark amber brownish color. Nice off white head and lefts some lace.

smell - Yeast, sweet fruits, and sugar smells here.

taste - Taste of sweet malt, licorice, and a finish with some bittrness.

mouthfeel - Medium body.

drinkability - Nice tasting beer fro a high ABV.
Lots of flavor in a glass of this.

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Photo of middkid45
3.28/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of josefnewsong
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best by date: 06/06/09

A - pours a cloudy deep brownish orange with 1 1/2 fingers of soapy white head that recedes at an average pace and leaves some lacing
S - not getting much more than belgian yeast, a lot of sugar, and tiny hints of tart fruits
T - belgian yeast and candied sugar as expected, a nice touch of alcohol warmth right in the middle, becomes a little boozy as it warms, no bitterness to speak of...tastes almost tripel-like
M - on the light side of medium-bodied, an optimal amount of carbonation, slightly sticky and not too dry...an enjoyable mouthfeel for certain
D - at 10.5% it doesn't get much more drinkable than this...it's possible the sweetness may be cloying for some but I could keep drinking this for a while as I don't find it too overwhelming

I'm sure this ale has a couple years on it and I'm curious to try it fresh...not that I think it would be much better or worse, I would just love to compare the two. I wouldn't be surprised if the aged version is a bit more enjoyable. If you're looking for a high-alcohol content/drinkable Belgian, grab it. My only criticism is that I wish there was a little more complexity, maybe some spice or hop characteristics.

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Photo of John_M
4.33/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a rich, amber honey color with very good head retention and lacing. This beer looks quite impressive. Don't get a lot on the nose, but having had it before, I'm a bit surprised. There is a hint of gingerale, superimposed on some sweet malt and spice. On the palate this beer is absolutely luscious/delicious. It has a creamy mouthfeel, with moderate sweetness. I get flavors of casova melon, fuji apple, butter, honey and cream. The beer strikes me as decadently rich. The beer has a long, creamy, smooth finish. The abv. is noticeable, but it's so delicious, it still comes across as quite drinkable. It would not be a good idea to drink a lot of this, but still...

This beer is just excellent. Along with the Rader Blonde, one of my favorite Belgium beers. Fabulous stuff....

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Photo of NewGeneric
3.62/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got handed a bottle of this at the WYES International Beer Festival in New Orleans. Opened it the following night and poured an opaque rust color with thick, slightly off-white foam that left plenty of lacing. Smelled of spices, raisins, and bready yeast. Tasted similar with some hints of plum, quite sweet and tart as well. A bit overcarbonated, somewhat oily, plenty warming. This was definitely a sipping brew, no more than one at a time also.

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Photo of BucBasil
3.52/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap into a tulip glass at Delirium Cafe in Brussels.

A: A very deep brown, clear when held to light. 2 finger offwhite head that doesn't seem to ever go away. I actually got excited when this beer came out. Rare occurance for me.

S: Caramel and butterscotch without much else in there...

T: Good malt profile - caramle and a slight buttery note. Butterscotch flavor. Fresh bread.

Not very balanced. Good but not a great beer. Looks amazing though...

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Photo of flagmantho
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 330mL bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: hazy light-brown hue with a thick finger of frothy white foam. Not too bad.

Smell: rich malty aroma (it is sweet, like Whoppers) with an interesting component that's almost piney. Could this be the hops? Hard to tell.

Taste: sweet and smooth. Rich malt flavor but with plenty of alcohol coming through. There's not a lot of complexity here, either, but it is not bad.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a deliciously rich carbonation and creaminess. Good stuff.

Overall: this beer is a little bizarre but I find it rather satisfying. I grow a little bit fonder with each sip.

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Photo of Howlader
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of xxHelderxx
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this into my new chalice! I feel like a knight pouring from a corked 750 into this monster.

Anyway, the color on this is pretty good. I could stand for a tad more clarity but its still good. Nice smooth head, it settled to the consistency of something like a guiness...silky smooth. Lots of lacing on this one as well..

The smell was chapmagney. Orange/citrus zest with some yeast and alcohol behind it.

The taste is sweet immediately, with the same orange/zesty/spicey type notes up front fading into some stronger yeast/alcohol flavors.

The mouth on this is a bit tart but tastey. The carbonation and body of this beer make it otherwise easy on the tastebuds and I dont imagine i'll have any trouble polishing off that 750ml.

The drinkability of this beer is what you would expect in a Belgian Pale Ale. Very refreshing despite the 10.50 abv. Give it a shot.

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Photo of bensiff
2.44/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This appears to be less an amber and more a dark pale ale with more brown than red like a nice carmalized scottish ale. The head lingers leaving the beer with a nice white cap giving an overrall excellent appearance. The smell has a distinctive sour character with a slight brininess to it. The flavor is overly sweet which hides a sour background. The brine taste is also trying to balance the sweet, but instead tastes like a beer line was improperly cleaned leaving salt residue. The high alcohol is well masked by the thick body and sweet taste. Overrall this is not the most drinkable of beers and certainly not worth trying again given all the other great Belgian ales in existence.

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Photo of brentk56
4.08/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cloudy medium amber color with a two-finger head that leaves a film of lacing around the chalice

Smell: Bready and spicy, with candi sugar, spice cookies and rotting nectarines

Taste: Opens with a sweet and spicy combination of spice cookies, coconut, candi sugar and tropical fruit (passion fruit and nectarine); after the swallow, the balance between the white pepper and the sweeter flavors edges in favor of the sweet, candi sugar and coconut

Mouthfeel: Medium body with prickly carbonation; warmth on the finish

Drinkability: Although it is just a tad too sweet, this is a very nice Belgian that has not been widely distributed in this country

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Photo of dogfooddog
2.12/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Another hidden beer from Val Dieu, where they do not put there name anywhere on it. This beer is described as being flavored with a malt distillate, which I believe is corn-based. Also contains wheat from what I can make of the german and french on the label.

Nose is corny, surprise. Taste is fairly sweet, with tones of corn and malt dominating any hop character. Given the use of adjuncts, I can see what V-D doesn't want to put their name on this. Though only 6.5%, the alcohol comes through this as well fairly hot.

Completely unremarkable adjunct-based belgian beer. Unless you are a compulsive beer taster, skip this one. I have had adjunct-beers from central america that were better than this adjunct-beer.

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Photo of chrisroarshack
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Slatetank
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

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Rader Ambrée from Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu
Beer rating: 3.67 out of 5 with 37 ratings