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


on tap


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RATINGS: 226   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.18   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 204   ABV: 6.8%
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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 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
AlchemistZ (493) - Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA - DEC 16, 2005
NOUVEAU GOUT. Dark red in color, rich with a tight-bubbled, tan, sustained head. Aroma is intense with tangerines and candied apple, sweet, and a touch of chocolate. Flavor is same as the aroma. Simple, straightforward, good development of intense flavors (to the point of almost being overwhelming) on the palate, lush for such a low alcohol beer, and pretty unique. Just a right amount of bitterness hits late in the profile to finish the beer.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Jukkabro (3484) - Tampere, FINLAND - NOV 26, 2005
Brown amber colored, little vanishing white head. Caramel, mild alcohol, licorice and orange in aroma. Medium bodied. Plum, aramel, sweetness in flavor, ends with lasting sweetness and mild alcohol.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 9/20
harrisoni (14138) - Ashford, Kent, ENGLAND - NOV 24, 2005
2005 75cl bottle from Auchan. Red chestnut colour with thin beige head. Almost like a nuttly, spicey malty shandy. Overly carbonated with spice/citrus finish. Bit of tea and candy sugar too. Not that nice. Lemon flavours and the spice are a bit artifial and it doesn’t all sit together very well.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
oh6gdx (20947) - Vasa, FINLAND - NOV 12, 2005
Bottled, 2005 version. Reddish amber (copper) coloured, big white sparkling bubbly head, which disappears quickly. Aroma is alcoholic, fruity and caramellish. Flavour is fruity with hints of hops. Also caramel and toffee in flavour. The dominating fruit is orange (almost orange marmeladeish). It gets better as it warms up, a bti colder than room temperature gives the most of the orange-marmelade flavour. Long orange in aftertaste. I like!

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
TBone (13000) - Pori, FINLAND - NOV 3, 2005
Bottled, 0,75 ltr (vintage 2005)
Color is typical to style: reddish amber-copper brown with quickly fading off-white head. Aroma is quite caramellish and suprisingly a bit alcoholic. Some fruits too there (orange is mentioned in the label). Palate is quite thin for 6,8% beer. In the start grassy hops are dominating together with chocolaty (!) notes, then fruity and metallic. In the finish there is some alcohol and light fruity hops. Typical bière de garde, not very Christmas-like, maybe plum flavors can be counted for it.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
sayravai (4673) - Helsinki, FINLAND - NOV 2, 2005
(Bottled, 0.75l) Clear, deep red-amber color with a medium, quickly fading, lemonadey-foamy head. Orange and mandarin aroma, slightly artificial and metallic. Sweet-toffeeish malt, oakiness and some alcohol, too. Toffee-malty, very caramely, sweetish flavor with orange peel / orange marmalade. Bitterish, slightly ashy, light to medium-bodied, very thin - almost watery, lemonadey-foamy-carbonated palate. A big disappointment even considering the style. I’m not sure if this is actually so much worse than the regular Jenlain, but the big bottle and christmasy looks sure do raise your expectations higher than an average table beer...

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
muzzlehatch (4424) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - JUN 9, 2005
750 ml bottle, no date that I could find. Slightly ruddy/hazy copper-red, largish lasting off-white head....big malty-caramel nose with hints of plum, sweet smoke and oranges....quite sweet and thick, almost cloying, little yeastiness, lots of caramel and grape and a bit of vanilla...on the finish, lightly bitter...carbonation low. I agree largely with what argo0 posted just below, though it worked a bit better for me...closer to a dubbel than anything else.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
argo0 (11653) - Washington DC, USA - JUN 6, 2005
(75cl bottle) Clear copper body with medium off-white head. Aroma is medium sweet, orange liqueur. Taste is medium sweet, orange, some spice, plum. Finishes with light alcohol astringency. Watery medium body, somewhat undercarbonated. Definitely not at all what I think of from a BdG.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
Papsoe (25083) - Frederiksberg, DENMARK - MAY 1, 2005
UPDATED: AUG 1, 2005 (Bottle 75 cl) I’ve had this beer years ago, but apparently Duyck has changed the recipe to "Nouveau Gout". Aromatized with oranges (artificially?) and it really shows. Almost a bit of Grand Marnier in this one too... Brown, almost chestnut-brown, not much head. Surprisingly light body for it’s strength. Bitterness only shows in the finish. 221203

(Bottle 75 cl) Old version 6/3/6/3/12=3 140201

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
hotstuff (4284) - Indiana, USA - APR 23, 2005
Bottle was corked and caged. Large sized ivory head that was mostly lasting, fine-medium sized bubbles, good lacing, carbonated, transparent, and a reddish brown hue. Aroma was malty, caramel and sweet. Flavor was sweet, lightly bitter, malty, and caramel. Mouthfeel was smooth and thin. Light-medium body.

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