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


on tap


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RATINGS: 234   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.

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   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Ratman197 (14534) - Arvada, Colorado, USA - APR 18, 2006
750ml bottle poured a clear orange copper with a small amber head. Aromas of orange, toffee and just a hint of carmel. Palate was light bodied and crisp. Flavors of orange, carmel and some floral notes with a crisp sweet finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
IPFreely (1470) - Sanborn, New York, USA - APR 7, 2006
750ml bottle. Rich, deep amber color with a medium off white head. Pleasant aroma of oranges, toffee, light caramel, and a touch of farmhouse. Flavor is malty up front, touch of spice, a bit fruity. Medium full body, very drinkable. Nice beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
tiggmtl (4545) - East York, Ontario, CANADA - MAR 2, 2006
Wood, oranges, perfume, earth, flowers, tannins and hazelnuts in a complex and inviting aroma. Hazy, amber-brown coloured body is topped by a decent, off-white head that recedes to a partial cover and ring. Mild tannins, oranges and a kiwi-like, clean fruitiness lead through to the mild spices with a caramel flavoured malt backbone. Orange becomes stronger as it warms. Alcohol is notable in the finish. Dry, medium body with fair carbonation. Bottle (Half Time, Sep-05) enjoyed with MartinT, Olivier_MTL, Rastacouere and Siroy.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
blankboy (7637) - 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 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
HogTownHarry (6611) - 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 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Gorbalev (3000) - Ontario, CANADA - FEB 17, 2006
Big bottle shared with Hogtown Harry and blankboy, courtesy of harry/ Dark orange, bubbly thin head. Interesting orange Kool Aid aroma (Oh yeah!), and a little spice - hey, why not? Weird grapefruit bottle taste, mixed with bad dollar store cream soda. Some malt, but man, what a weird taste. Thin mouthfeel. Sugary. Not a disaster by any means, just weird.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Rastacouere (6177) - 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 (9765) - 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.

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