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 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Gusler (2653) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - APR 15, 2005
The beer upon its pour from the 750ml green caged and corked bottle sets in my glass a luminous dark copper color with the head mastodonic in size, semi-creamy in texture and the color a nice light tan, after its destruction, a velum like sheet of lace surrounds the glass. Nose has a hint of chocolate and over ripe black cherries, also a touch of mushrooms, pleasant and appealing with the start sweet and the grain profile adequate with the top light to medium in feel. Finish has a disturbing acidity with the hops prickly in their spiciness, somewhat vinous, dry as a bleached desert bone, and a nice change of pace for me.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Cornfield (5570) - Oak Forest, Illinois, USA - APR 8, 2005
This pours clear copper with a fizzy tan head. The aroma is grainy with caramel, orange, and floral scents. It has a spicy taste, hot malt with orange peel, white pepper, and a bit of nuttiness. It’s got a crisp, hop bitter finish. Tasty stuff.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
heemer77 (5129) - Urbandale, Iowa, USA - MAR 28, 2005
Dark amber color with a large off white head. The aroma is strong bread with some orange peel and deep citrus. The taste is sharp dark bread with a little bit of some oranges. This is almost like a light IPA. There is a light black pepper finish. This is a nice change of pace.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Jokes (1453) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 14, 2005
Clear reddish, amber body with a thick, fluffy off-white head. Slightly sweet, fruity malt nose. Sweet orange blossoms, caramel, whole grains, cinnamon, fresh baked bread and a layer-deep down-of earthy, subtle hops. The body is smooth and creamy with the mild effervescence providing depth and character. The flavors are pretty well crafted and almost completely devoid of fruity ale yeast remnants. The malt is the dominate force with just a touch of spicy orange peel and bitter hops at the finish. A tasty, well-crafted offering that’s much better than the other’s I’ve had from Duyck.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
iwantalambic (1478) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - MAR 2, 2005
750 mL bottle, corked & caged (6.8%): pours deep clear garnet with a very soft, tan cream. Unique and wonderful aroma of the freshest orange zest mixed with rich earth, a touch of both iron and honey, along with a complex spicy yeast. Sweet, malty complexity exists throughout the breadth of the palate: apples, spicy, coriander laced orange peels, fresh flowers, and delicate yeast texture. The flavours turn a bit sour as the liquid warms and at this point the alcohol sneaks up and I can’t help but think that I am experiencing a beer from ages past…

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
TAR (2518) - Lafayette, Colorado, USA - FEB 10, 2005
UPDATED: JUN 25, 2009 Rich rufous. Broken off-tan foam with some rockiness. Earthily aromatic blend of cork, hops, and toffee malt. Quite fruity. Hints of hazelnuts, candied orange peels, and spice cake. Fuzzy textured carbonation. Soft body touts an initial twang of fruitiness and medicine, which soon scampers into a lightly-toasted husk center. Subtle oxidation. Caramelized sugar-dusted malts stiffen the body and gain support from a rich fruitcake expression and rooty malt overtones. Flash of toasty nuttiness (Vienna?) eventually becomes muffled by the overt huskiness. Dryish effect from the alcohol. Zippy candied fruit notes tighten the flavor profile as they collide with herbaceous, anise-accented hops. Finishes with a dry malt edge, but wetly bodied, still, with rounded acidity fused with lovely notes of fruitcake over a Brewer’s Gold snap. The aroma is wonderfully unique, and while the rusticity is fairly evident, the artificial sweetness kills much of the flavor.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 9/20
DYCSoccer17 (3383) - Woodland, California, USA - FEB 5, 2005
GREEN bottle. Aroma is lots of DMS right away...I should have known better than to buy this green bottle situated on the top shelf...there are some roasty notes in the nose, but I dont get too much of the barnyard funk. There are citrus "clean" notes almost of a cleaning solvent present as well. Transparent light garnet color with a fluffy off-white head. Mildly sour to start with citrus orange notes. Sweet sweet candy sugars late finishing with a small roasty note. Poor on carbonation and very thin. This doesn’t really jive. Too sweet.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
Metalhead (632) - Lake Zurich, Illinois, USA - JAN 30, 2005
Fresh bottle 2 mos old.The first couple whiffs of this were pretty good. Mandarin oranges,some spice and candy like fruitiness. The first couple sips were the same. Within 10 mins or so everything good about this beer just faded out and it ended up tasting like a slightly sweet amber beer with some of those St. Joseph orange aspirin tossed in and a too dryish finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
DarkElf (3037) - La Jolla, California, USA - JAN 27, 2005
(750 ml bottle: $10 at O’Brien’s in San Diego, CA) I can safely say this is absolutely one of the most unusual and complex beers I’ve ever tasted. The aroma tells you that right off. It smells somewhat like a sweet malt liquor, but with a fairly strong orange scent. In the flavor, I get orange peel, bubble gum, a sugary sweetness, gummy bears, spices, and light bitterness. However, as the beer warms, I think the beer’s character really comes out. And I mean warming to room temperature. It’s a bit bottle, so I have plenty of time to actually finish it. At this point, a really nice English fruitiness and caramely maltiness emerges in both the flavor and nose, and adds a degree of familiarity. The palate is sweet, but the light bitterness keeps it from becoming cloying. Dark amber or light brown color, it’s hard to tell because I’m outside the bar and my only real source of light is from the car lot across the street. Clear in appearance. Off-white head is somewhat bubbly and gradually fades to a dimpled sheen. No lace. I think this beer takes some getting used to as it’s just so odd, but with an open mind and a little patience to let the beer open up, you’re rewarded with a pretty nice beer with a flavor that will stick in your mind for a long time.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Sickboy282 (1115) - San Diego, California, USA - JAN 27, 2005
thak you to the mighty DARKELF for sharing this bottle at o’briens. Pours an amber hue with no head. Aromas of orange peel, colve, spice, and a little mint. mmmmm...this is unique. Mouthfeel is medium odied with flavors of oranges, spice, cinnamon, and hone. The finish is slightly bitterm but the sugarary sweet, and bubblegum flavor mellows it out. This is one of the most unique brews I’ve had yet.

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