Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

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

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50  | next → last
Ratings: 37 |  Reviews: 25
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.)

 2,092 characters

Photo of trevorwideman
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a hazey orange-red colour with a full inch of head, impressive retention, and lots of sticky lacing. There's lots of sediment in there, and carbonation is fairly mild. Aromas of funky yeast, sharp cheese, ripe fruit: peaches, pears, oranges, dried apricots. Spicy hop aromas, peppery and lightly herbal.

On first taste there's a ton of things going on here, but the fruity yeast dominates the palate right off the top. Pears dominate, and a light banana, orange peel and apple character. Zesty, peppery hops follow, along with a massive malt presence that speaks of vanilla and caramel. Rich and sweet, but not obnoxiously so. Mouthfeel is creamy and medium bodied, carbonation is never obnoxious. Wet at first, but finishes dry enough. I could have a couple of these, but that'd be it. The booze really sneaks up. Tasty stuff to be sure, and a surprisingly easy drinker.

 917 characters

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....

 793 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 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

Photo of Boto
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
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.

 409 characters

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.

 688 characters

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 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.

 1,932 characters

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.

 751 characters

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 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.

 721 characters

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50  | next → last
Rader Ambrée from Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu
Beer rating: 3.67 out of 5 with 37 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.