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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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 37 |  Reviews: 25
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 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 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 desint
3/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of wl0307
3.2/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Purchased at the UTOBEER stall, Borough Market, S. London. The beer label has English translation of the background info. of the beer: "a traditional beer brewed in an old fashioned way with bottle fermentation flavoured with a subtle malt distillate aged in oakwood casks". Bottle-conditioned, coming in a short Belgian brown glass bottle. BB 12/2007, served lightly-chilled in a large Burgundy bulb wine glass.

A: pours a murky, dark amber hue; coming with a tight and creamy off-white beer head with some retention and leaving even sheets of lacing along the way.
S: abundant flower-estery yeastiness upfront, backed by plenty of chewy and rough amber- or caramel-malts, dried orange-peels, sweet lemon, a tiny tinge of ripe peaches, and semi-strong alcohol at the back... the residual notes are reminiscent of Chinese green-bean paste and crystal sugar, just like most Belgian pale ales. Overall the composition of the aroma is not too bad and too burning for its 10.5%abv.
T: lots of caramely malts and crystal sugar upfront, skirted with a mildly sour-sweet citric fruitiness, while a semi-sharp texture reveals from obviously high alc. content... the sweet and rough malty (and mildly citric) palate is quietly taken over by increasingly dryish hop bitterness lingering at the back, with a touch of licorice-spiciness and a semi-tangy and dryish woodiness (due to the oak-cask ageing?) lagging behind to add to the overall complexity. Alas, a slightly sticky feel is hidden at the tail, maybe coming from the rich dose of unfermented sugar.
M&D: the carbonation is semi-sharp at first, with lots of micro-bubbles bursting on the tongue, but for a 10.5%abv. beer the body is moderate and easy to manage. Overall the complexity of flavour is not that remarkable, and the alc. does lend a heavy bearing on the overall enjoyment. That said, this is an above-average pale pale alright. No harm to try it once in a life time.

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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.

 828 characters

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

Photo of Honeybourne
3.36/5  rDev -8.4%

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.

 540 characters

Photo of mattfancett
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of Knapp85
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a really nice amber color, the head is a light fan color that leaves a decent lacing. The smell of the beer is a little tart bit has a sweet malt aroma also coming off of it. The taste of the beer has a good malty flavor with a pretty good hoppy bitterness. There was whist a hint of tart cherry I was picking up in ther but not much. The mouthfeel was nicely carbonated and was medium bodied. Overall I found this err to be pretty decent and would drink it again.

 488 characters

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...

 463 characters

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 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.

 624 characters

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.

 873 characters

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 Slatetank
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of Latarnik
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of brandon911
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of Sparky44
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

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.

 485 characters

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.

 494 characters

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.

 1,006 characters

Photo of dnichols
3.92/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured a 750 ml corked and caged bottle into a chilled challis. I purchased this bottle in January 2007 at Liquid Solutions in Oregon City, Oregon.

A: It poured a deep orange tinted gold with a mammoth off-white head of better than four fingers. The head very slowly receded leaving a beautiful lacing down the side of the glass.

S: There was a gentile fragrance of orange peal backed by a semi-sweet caramel and hints of alcohol and spices. This is a beer that does not jump out of the glass at you. It recedes into the glass requiring you to seek its aroma.

T: It has a tasty sweet malt and sugar front followed by a zesty citrusy flavor (mandarin oranges) that introduces and is then replaced by a warm candy finish. The combination of carbonation, hops, and alcohols cleans the palate leaving a fresh feel in my mouth that eagerly seeks the next sip.

M: It is a medium bodied beer with a freshness and zest that makes it a joy to experience. Nothing outstanding but nothing that is off-putting. This is a well balanced easy to drink beer.

D: I had to check twice to remind myself that this is a 10.5 ABV beer. It is not dry nor does the alachol leave a bitter or sour flavor in the mouth. This is a classic pale ale with good balance between malts and hops. Very drinkable.

Comment: I last had this beer in January 2007 at an informal tasting with a large group of friends. That night we sampled 15 beers (more than we should have but about as many as we could). We opened the bottle late in the evening so it was difficult to get a fair review completed. I set a bottle aside to taste and review later when I was less influenced by my peers and an ocean of diverse beers. I’m glad I waited…it’s a good solid pale ale that looks great and tastes good.

 1,769 characters

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