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 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Camons (6483) - Hasselager, DENMARK - SEP 4, 2011
Bottle. Pours dark brown with a small offwhite head. Aroma of malt, chocolate, sweet fruit, spices. Taste is malt, caramel, choclate, oranges, spices. Medium body, soft carbonation. 030911

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
douglas88 (6477) - Portland, Oregon, USA - AUG 4, 2010
Bomber from the Bayou. Pours a ruddy brown color with a medium white head. The aroma is rich fruit cake and spices. The flavor is similar; very sweet caramel and candied cherries, malty, lots of spices, smooth and quite drinkable. I liked it. Smooth.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
blipp (6429) - Newark, New Jersey, USA - DEC 20, 2009
Draft. Pours amber gold with a thin head. Light aroma with a sweet malty hint. The flavor has a sweet malty base with some fruity and toasty notes and some light toffee notes as well. Not bad.

   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 6/20
Ernest (6419) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - DEC 23, 2004
Head is initially small, frothy, off-white, mostly diminishing. Body is clear dark amber. Aroma is moderately malty (cereal), with notes of DMS, vegetation, detergent, and orange. Flavor is moderately sweet, lightly acidic. Finish is lightly sweet, lightly acidic, lightly bitter, unclean. Medium body, watery texture, lively carbonation. Ugh...man oh man, what a shitty sample this was. Smells like someone dumped a can of Miller into an already bland French beer. Will get a second crack at this at BJ’s Winter Beer tasting, so we’ll see if this was a bad bottle...sure hope so, but frankly this just seemed like a poorly made beer.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
blankboy (6307) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - FEB 19, 2006
Bottle shared with HogTownHarry & tupalev -- courtesy of HogTownHarry. Pours a dark orange with a spare white head. Aroma of orange Kool-Aid, yeast and spices -- smells alright but not like any beer I’ve ever smelt. Sweet and odd flavour of citrus, sugar, malt and spices (and other stuff I can’t place) is somewhat cloying. Thin bodied. This is definitely unique but in the end it’s too sweet for me.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
BBB63 (6200) - 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 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Rastacouere (6142) - 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 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
HogTownHarry (6133) - Toronto (Harbourfront), Ontario, CANADA - FEB 18, 2006
Bottle (750ml). Shared with blankboy and tupalev - my bottle. Poured clear ruby with an average diminishing head. What a weird aroma! Exactly like tangerine Koolaid with mild seasonal spices, dead wildflowers and yeast - incredibly sweet, dusty and somewhat appealing in an odd way, but not really beer-like. Taste of bitter cloves, sweet fake grapefruit, candied fruits, mild spices; floral - it’s sneaky-strong, I realy really felt this one. Mouthfeel very lively but watery - almost sickly, syrup-sweet. Too sugary for me, glad I tried it ... just don’t seem to "get" bière de garde.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
AmEricanbrew (6030) - Same Trailer, Different Park, Louisiana, USA - DEC 16, 2009
Clear copper kettle color/ fleeting head. Strong chestnut, grassy earthy aromas. light/medium body. Earthy malty chestnut flavors with mild grass, lightly sweet caramel.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
ogivlado (6012) - Zagreb, CROATIA - JAN 19, 2007
Bottled(250ml). –Deep golden/amber coloured, medium sized pale beige head. Sweet malty aroma with notes of spice, fruit, caramel and toffee. Just a few tiny hop hints. Sweet fruity and mild alcoholic finish. Nice notes of banana and orange in the aftertaste. In comparison with other Duyck beers that I’ve tried this Noël is quite good.

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