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

37 Ratings
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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

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Ratings: 37 |  Reviews: 25
Photo of Knapp85
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

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Photo of brentk56
4.08/5  rDev +11.5%
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 zeff80
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
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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Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.08/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Autumn leaves orange with a fairly dense cloud of yeast that gives the beer a rustic look. The pearl colored crown is a thing of beauty in the way that only Belgian foam can be. It's richly creamy, rounded rocky and is a lace generator of the highest order. Whatever else this big ale is, it's a looker.

For some reason, Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu decided to add genever gin to both of their Rader offerings. Talk about an odd design choice. The nose is especially earthy and musky for the style and smells like juniper berries and assorted herbs. Imagine that.

Too bad I have little to no flavor memory of Rader Blonde. I do know that I liked it, and I'm groovin' on Ambree as well. It gets points for being different, but there's no way it would have gotten the above taste score unless it was also delicious. Good thing the gin isn't overpowering because that's one of the few liquors that I can't stand.

It tastes like pale malt is dominant by far, with a modicum of something more toasted in the background. Candi sugar adds a rock candy-like sweetness and grassy noble hops add a balancing amount of bitterness. Pears and apples add a fruity quality and the botanicals from the gin give the beer its uniqueness. Oak barrel-aged? Could have fooled me.

The mouthfeel is luxurious thanks to absolutely perfect carbonation. Heavy cream doesn't feel this silky smooth. It's hard to overstate the importance of proper carbonation when it comes to looks, smell, taste and mouthfeel. Get the bubbles right and everything else falls into place.

Don't let the unimpressive label fool you... Rader Ambree (like Rader Blonde) is wonderful beer. It's also interesting beer, which is almost always a good thing. If I paid less than $12 for this 750 ml bottle, it was well worth it.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of flagmantho
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
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 John_M
4.33/5  rDev +18.3%
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 BlackHaddock
3.92/5  rDev +7.1%
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 Latarnik
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of cjgator3
3.87/5  rDev +5.7%
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 wl0307
3.2/5  rDev -12.6%
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 Howlader
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Sparky44
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of Boto
4.15/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bottle: I had this one while visiting Eulogy in Philly. This one poured a hazy amber color with a small off white head. It left some lacing. There is some alcohol to the nose, as well as some spiciness, apples and a bit of the caramel malt. There was some effervescence on the tongue. The taste is somewhat spicy, with the alcohol mostly hidden. Medium maltiness with some residual sweetness. Decent.

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Photo of ADR
3.28/5  rDev -10.4%
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 desint
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of bditty187
3.97/5  rDev +8.5%
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 brandon911
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of mattfancett
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of Honeybourne
3.36/5  rDev -8.2%

Photo of BucBasil
3.52/5  rDev -3.8%
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 dnichols
3.92/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

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Photo of auxiliary
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
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 chrisroarshack
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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Rader Ambrée from Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu
3.66 out of 5 based on 37 ratings.
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