Brewed by Duyck
Style: Bière de Garde
Jenlain, France
Serve in Stem glass, Tulip


on tap

Local Distribution

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RATINGS: 229   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.18/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 204   ABV: 6.8%
The festive season just wouldn’t be the same without this speciality beer whose arrival is always long-awaited. The tradition of Christmas beers is particular to northern Europe. In the years following the Second World War, the breweries used to sell an original, richer and stronger beer at the same price as year-round beers: this was their gift to their customers. The Duycks have perpetuated this custom by creating a special beer sold at the usual price. Produced with more malt than Jenlain Ambrée (3 different types of malt made from French grown barley and 3 varieties of the most aromatic hops from Alsace), this top fermented, unpasteurized beer, best served at between 6 and 8°C, has a rich amber glow, a denser head and stronger alcohol content (6.8% alcohol by volume). Darker than the traditional amber beer, its torrefied undertones are reminiscent of flowers and caramel. And the 2002 Christmas beer had a hint of orange.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Rastacouere (6166) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - FEB 5, 2006
Gentle copper-orange shade comprising a sticky white foam. From the original nose emanate all kinds of unusual flavours, highly earthy and humid, sea air, corky and strongly tannic. Malts unveil definite nutty character while diplomatic infusions offer orangey and ginger nuances. Deep tea character in mouth constrasts with the rather dark malts, but somehow fits the wet wood aspects. Light-medium bodied, fitting carbonation. In the absolute, this was not a favourite, feeling a bit superficial and metallic at times, but there are some idiosyncratic elements in there that make it a must try.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 9/20
iowaherkeye (2703) - Ocean Beach, San Diego, California, USA - FEB 3, 2006
750ml bottle, dunno the date. Pours a clear copper amber with small diminishing head.Aroma of a mild skunkiness, a little mustiness, some yeasty tartness, (also a little bit of that orange chocolate candy?). Well, I taste the same chocolate orange thing, so I don’t feel that I was an idiot for smelling that, very small amount of bitterness, some toffee malts in there as well. Kinda watery on the palate. Decent beer at best. I think this may be my first bière de garde, so maybe I may just not like the style yet--but this also could be just a kinda sucky beer. Too much damn orange chocolate

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
MartinT (8957) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JAN 30, 2006
Any first impressions?
-A comfy head recedes over the reddish-amber glow.
-The sweet oranges aren’t overdone in the aroma, which is also comprised of soil particles and yeast.
-The sweet fruity malt presentation offers peaches, apricots, and oranges.
-This is a well-rounded mouthfeel, with quite effervescent carbonation.

What if you dig deeper?
-Earthy yeast and dryness tickle the back end.
-Caramel fruitiness is fun but gets a little bothersome halfway through the glass.
-"Nouveau goût à l’orange"?!? That was a scary neck label. Thankfully, oranges are well-integrated.
-A sweet bière de garde novelty which can please the masses, as well as a few beer geeks.

Bottle; no date.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 9/20
Styles (2014) - Lincoln Park, Michigan, USA - JAN 23, 2006
Can’t discern the bottling/best buy date. Was really looking forward to this after the printemps I drank the other day, dissapointed to say the least. Transparent bright copper/amber with off-white head. Aroma is very skunky with a big dose of orange zest coming through to take over. Flavor much the same, very harsh combination of skunk and orange, while being metallic in way. Just couldn’t get into this beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
BBB63 (6507) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - JAN 14, 2006
I had a nicely worded commentary about this beer but the server logged me off and I lost it. WTF it was only a few minutes since I brought up this screen. I am pissed off right now.

Anyway, this bottle is over a year old and was a complete surprise. It was soft and smooth, yet kept me interested till the last drop. Sadly this review does not do the experiance justice and I am too angry to rewrite it since the beer is now gone.

Oh it posted now, damn it!

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 9/20
luckygirl (1223) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - JAN 13, 2006
UPDATED: JAN 20, 2006 Had this at BJ’s Winter Ale Fest. Beer poured a clear, medium-amber color with an average-sized, fizzy, off-white, mostly diminishing head. The aroma was pretty darn off. Behind the light malty notes of sweet molasses and hoppy notes of pine, there’s an overpoweringly unclean, distracting aroma of tin can. Can’t really get past that one. The flavor is lightly acidic and lightly bitter with a short, lightly bitter finish. The body is medium, the texture is watery, the carbonation is fizzy and the finish is lightly metallic and unclean. I don’t know if this is a bad bottle—I’ll check it out again when I get a chance to make sure this wasn’t just bad luck.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Epor (13) - FINLAND - JAN 11, 2006
Bottle (750 ml). A kind of a taffy colour, thick head. Spicy, fruity, cellar flavour, but kind of thin, not bad but not especially good either.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
beervana (781) - Libertyville, Illinois, USA - JAN 4, 2006
One pint, 9.4 fl oz (750 mL) brown bottle purchased from Di Carlo Wine and Spirits (formerly Armanetti’s), Mundelein, IL. 6.8% ABV. 2005 vintage. Clear red amber ale having a small diminishing white head with space lacing. No discernable carbonation. Nice spicy orange zest aromas. Medium bodied that starts with light malt sweetness and spicy, orange flavors. Finishes with pleasant light malt aftertaste. I thought this was a Belgium beer but it’s French – oh la la! An outstanding drinkable winter brew. Loved the spicy orange aroma and flavor. Sampled on 2005 Christmas day with visiting family members who unanimously gave it a “two-thumbs” up.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
turbo (1271) - Arizona, USA - DEC 31, 2005
Bottle poured a dark caramel with a nice thick head. Aroma is yeast and citrus with a spice, citrus and caramel. Smokey, burnt wood flavor on the finish.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Bockyhorsey (2626) - Mesa, Arizona, USA - DEC 29, 2005
Had a musty bar/basement aroma. Caramel color body with thin head. Flavor was mostly spice driven but not bad. Wet wood and roasted aftertaste that was decent. Good Brew variety of things in this one.

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