Ambar Especial | La Zaragozana S.A.

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72
okay
69 Ratings
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Ambar EspecialAmbar Especial
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
La Zaragozana S.A.
Spain
cervezasambar.com

Style: American Adjunct Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by rastaman on 08-12-2002

BEER STATS
Ratings:
69
Reviews:
36
Avg:
2.78
pDev:
23.02%
 
 
Wants:
2
Gots:
11
For Trade:
0
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Ratings: 69 |  Reviews: 36
Photo of olradetbalder
1.5/5  rDev -46%

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.75/5  rDev +34.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

La Zaragozana's Ambar Especial pours a slightly hazy, light amber colored body beneath a frothy head of white. The head retention is fairly good, and it leaves some nice 'mountains' of lace along the side of the glass as the initial head receeds. From there it maintains a thin lid of creamy foam that slowly receeds to an average collar.

Delicately toasty, grainy, and mildly sweetish malt greets you in the nose, and a gentle swirl of the glass reveals some of its floral and grassy hops.

The body is medium and a touch dextrinous, and it's restrained, fine-bubbled carbonation leaves a light caress on the tongue before it passes smoothly away.

The flavor is fuller than the nose suggests, and it surprisingly malty with a sugary/honeyish edge that's almost like unfermented wort. Hmmm? Spicy and floral hops cut through the malt, and a solid bitterness anchors it nicely, leaving it to finish dry with an edge of raspy bitterness left behind.

It's certainly not the best-made beer, but apart from lacking a little bit of finesse it's well-made with no flaws or defects. I think it could be a bit smoother and better rounded, but it's quite interesting, and a great change from the more commonly available clear golden lagers. Probably worth trying.

 1,265 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.91/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Medium amber with a sparse cloud of fine particulates. The bone white cap is good-sized after my usual pour and shows off a 'bubbles piled upon bubbles' look on its upper surface. A decent amount of cheese grater lace completes the picture of a better than average looking American macro lager.

The nose, however, is standard issue Euro pale lager. How is it that pale lagers from Europe all smell alike and are easily discernable from their American counterparts? I can't even blame a green glass bottle since this one is brown. In any case... undistinguished pale malt and musty noble hops. Ho-hum.

Better on the palate, if only a little. I'm appreciative of the malt base since it's more sturdy and more flavorful than the style average. Those noble hops still aren't adding anything of value though. One good feature is that sweet and bitter complement one another nicely throughout each mouthful, with bitter edging ahead on the finish. This is actually decent beer.

The mouthfeel holds up its end of the bargain even if there's nothing especially noteworthy about it. It's on the medium-full side for the style and is appropriately carbonated. I'm pleased to see a pretty good lace display now that most of the glass has been uncovered.

Ambar Especial is an acceptable pale lager from a country not generally known for brewing. Although it's unlikely to turn any heads, it is superior to most of what comes out of Eastern Europe. Having said that, I would think that the Spanish could do a whole lot better if they put their minds to it.

 1,555 characters

Photo of woodychandler
3.24/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Being as that our options for buying single bottles of beer are so limited, I tend to pounce like a (Pitt) panther on any that I see in various coolers that I scour. This was just such a recent score.

From the bottle: "Lager Beer Biere Speciale Bier Cat I Birra Speciale Super"; "Brewed & Bottled in Spain, Espagne, Spanien, Spagna, Spanje".

My pour produced a foamy, soapy finger of bone-white head with moderate retention. Color was a deep-gold with NE-quality clarity. Nose smelled especial with an odd sweetness, not honey-like as lager should be, but with a kind of chemical quality, too. Not as odd as Minhas, but not right, either. Mouthfeel was medium and the taste was not all that bad, with a cereal sweetness along with a metallic tang and a smoky, anise quality. Okay, I have no idea what adjuncts went into this one, but it surely did not include corn. This was one strange piece of chicken. Finish was semi-dry and not all that bad, if it really is an AAL. I was surprised, but still not a fan.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.65/5  rDev -4.7%

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

I think they spelled "Amber" wrong... Anyway, this stuff pours a clear brass-straw topped by a finger or so of relatively short-lived dirty white foam. The nose comprises corn, wild rice, hard water, and light sweet vinyl. The taste brings in more of the same, a sweeter, less watered-down version of your usual macro fare. The body is fairly light, with a light moderate carbonation and a slightly watery feel. Overall, this is as bland and unfortunately-everyday as it gets. Its Spanish origins aren't helping, as they're not contributing anything. Pass, and then some.

 624 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.78/5  rDev +36%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Crystal-clear, straw yellow color, blessed with a big, softly settling, fluffy white head.
Aroma: empty, but inoffensive.
Very smooth, rich, malty flavor. Pleasant right off the start. Light bodied, but surprisingly tasty. I think I got a very fresh bottle, just off the plane from Spain, where it rains mainly on the...veranda...um, scratch that...anyway...
Tiny little hops gently ride on the palate, quickly covered over in a blanket of light, sweet, delicious maltiness.
Based on the previous reviews, I was set for a let-down, but happily cast off that presumption. Quite a nice lager, nothing wrong with it, a beer I can live with, and garner pleasure from. Just plain nice. Thumbs up from me!
...and I've been told that Ambar is a family name involved with the brewery, not any connection to the English word, "amber".

 832 characters

Photo of tone77
2.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a brown 11.2 oz. bottle. Has a light golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is sweet, grains, corn. Taste is not so good. Something a bit sour or medicinal like is present, along with grains and corn. Not sure what it is, but it's not pleasant. Feels light in the mouth and overall I was not impressed.

 316 characters

Photo of Latarnik
2.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of Evil_Pidde
1.68/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A: Pour is straw colored and the white small head sinks quickly into decent lacings.

S: Corn galore, sweet malt and only faint bitter hops.

T: The corn is dominant. Sweet malt and bitter hops are in the back. Some citric notes.

M: Body is light and carbonation strong. Aftertaste holds some bready notes combined with bitterness, but to me it's very artificial.

O: On a warm summer day on a beach in Spain, why not? Otherwise; you could pick a better beer.

 462 characters

Photo of jdhilt
2.83/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a one-finger white head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Clear amber color. Hoppy nose. Medium carbonation and light-medium bodied. Best before 6/9/05. Starts and finishes on the mildly hoppy side, really unremarkable, it would make a good lawn mower beer. $1.35 for a 330ml bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, MA.

 326 characters

Photo of harpus
2.5/5  rDev -10.1%

Photo of bark
2.97/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The smell is malty with semi-sweet notes. Bitter hints in the background. It is clean and a bit simple.

The colour is pale yellow (5 EBC), the liquid is clear. The finger thick head is white; it sinks quickly leaving no lacing.

The taste is clean and light with some malty sweetness and a barley noticeable bitterness. The aftertaste is light with some bitter hints, a touch of sulphur and sweet hints of cereals.

The carbonation is medium to strong; the small bubbles short-lasting. The liquid is a bit smooth.

An average adjunct lager. Probably a great thirst-drencher.

 579 characters

Photo of bpfrush
2/5  rDev -28.1%

Photo of KarlHungus
1.9/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

This beer pours a watery, clear, pale bronze color with light amber tints. The aroma is of caramel malt, but it is so faint that it is nearly impossible to detect. The taste is like the aroma. It is a little stronger, but not by much. The mouthfeel is light bodied with an annoyingly high level of carbonation. Overall, this is a bad beer that I will not drink again.

 367 characters

Photo of josanguapo
2.5/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Playing KB Dark Side. In Legado de Yuste glass. An Average macro lager. Drinkable

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Photo of patre_tim
2.51/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

A: Deep golden filtered with soda like carbonation and a floating white head of 1 finger.



S: Malt, a slight astringency, perhaps a hint of paper and animal offal.



T: Malt, apple juice, astringency, wet cardboard, iron, a light bread, some dull bitterness and animal offal.



M: Medium light body, lots of big bubbled tapioca like carbonation, a cling to your tongue astringent finish.



O: Got at Ginko’s supermarket in Kunming, drank here March 14th, 2015. We don’t get many from Spain here so that was a pleasant surprise. As far as a beer its not awesome.

 572 characters

Photo of jazzyjeff13
2.57/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A 330ml bottle with a BB of Jan 2017. Acquired a while back from Aldi. The label features a golden triangular emblem that is vaguely reminiscent of Bass ale....

A: Poured into a pilsner glass. A deep golden hue with light carbonation and some floating sediment. Produces a small head of foam that rapidly dissipates.

S: Aroma of stewed malt with a grainy character and hints of cooked leaves. Subpar.

T: Tastes of stale, watery malt with a touch of graininess. Mild stewed leaves in the background; faint harshness. Not great.

M: Mouthfeel is smooth and relatively full-bodied for a mass-produced lager. Light carbonation. Aftertaste of stewed leaves/cooked grain.

O: Meh - not brilliant, even by macro standards. Lacklustre looks, while the aroma and flavour are grainy and a tad harsh. Body is OK. Possibly a bit stale, though within date. A below average lager - when in Spain drink the wine.

 900 characters

Photo of Vancer
2.34/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours surprising light amber - kinda straw yellow with a tint of copper from the 11.2oz bottle, no dating. Not to bad of a white head, and an attempt at sheet lacing.

Euro skunk with a malt backbone in the aroma, quaff is a lifeless club soda - with a bit of beer mixed into the brew. Not offensive, but nothing going on either. Glad this is a one and done sample.

 365 characters

Photo of Redrover
3/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this one at 1492 which is a very good tapas restaurant located in downtown Chicago. I figured Spanish beer & Spanish food should go well together. This was much better than the Estella I also sampled.

Beer poured a nice amber/gold with a decent tan head . Some lacing.

Mostly a fresh malty nose on this beer. Hints of bread and perhaps a little fruit.

Taste was a little on the sweeter side and I‘m guessing that’s due to a large does of malts. Not a lot of hops in this one. Went well with most of the food but it could not stand up to the spicier foods. I think I really needed a good IPA.

Mouthfeel was creamy, drinkablity was average. So far, the best of the Spanish beers I’ve sampled.

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Photo of ADR
3.04/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Clear and medium gold in appearance, a soapy white head starts at 1/2 an inch but is no where to be found in 40 seconds. Some partial ring laces on a pint glass. Decently malty aroma, a bit of watermelon. Flavor begins slightly nutty and husky, not bad in overall composition but straying toward seedy. The mouthfeel falls apart pretty early though, heads to a watery realm with very minimal hoppiness spread out at the finish and without bite. Too much apple core in the aftertaste. Carbonation is moderate and not too fizzy. Pretty unremarkable but the aroma and the beginning give it some distinction for what it is.

 619 characters

Photo of rarbring
1.93/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

The beer is clear pale straw colored, small bubbles, a white head that settles quickly, but leaves some lacing.

The smell is weak, very corn cereal, a bit sweet, raisins and strawberries- No acidity, no bitterness.

Starts sweet, once more the strawberry association, some corn flakes, anonymous fruity tones, like esters, a slight sour, lemon, and bitter soap presence.

Medium low carbonation, small bubbles, no body, a chemical soapy feeling. A somewhat dry finish.

Overall I find it hard imagining this beer to be good in any situation.

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Photo of Noelito76
2.5/5  rDev -10.1%

Photo of rastaman
2.1/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pretty similiar to any other lager on the markey, sweetish, thin bodied, boring, and lacking in any malt and hop character, curse the people who import this into Australia, booooo!

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Photo of TastyTaste
2.01/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Medium to dark crystal clear body, which sits under neath a big bubbly off-white head that is about 3/4" after the pour,with fairly good retention after fading to 1/4". Smell is immediately recognizable as adjunct. Corn and gran are in the nose. Taste is very sweeet, you can almost taste the corn kernels. Too sweet, cloying even, bordering on malt liquor, in offensiveness. Mouthfeel is ok, head is creamy enough. Try it if you have neve had a beer from Spain, if you have, avoid.

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Photo of daliandragon
2.44/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Picked up this run of the mill looking lager at Sam's Blue Light in Durham, which is a fine establishment by the way. Plain brown bottle, oval red label without any interesting picture or design. I remember being unimpressed with the Spanish beers I had a few years ago while visiting that country but maybe this will be a surprise..

Dull bronze color without more than a thin cap of head or any other signs of life. Nose has a stronger malt profile than anticipated, with some recognizable chocolate strains and a fruity aroma as well.

Taste has a decent malt presence but also some strange yeastiness that flattens the flavor out a bit. Buttery, chemical tones also intrude upon the natural ingredients. Mouthfeel is almost flat, strange for a macro lager. Aftertaste is unpleasant enough to make me cringe. No surprise here, I won't be drinking this again unless I'm desperate.

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Ambar Especial from La Zaragozana S.A.
2.78 out of 5 based on 69 ratings.
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