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


on tap


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RATINGS: 235   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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Heathen (1500) - Wilmington, Delaware, USA - FEB 19, 2010
THOUGHTS: Like nothing I ever tasted before. Not very Christmasy tasting, but a very nice Christmas gift. Not the greatest beer I’ve ever had, but a very unique beer and after try over 800 beers that’s saying something. I wasn’t used to grassy hops being matched with the very malty, nutty, toasted flavors and aromas. It made for a very different profile. TECHNICAL: Bottle. When it poured it looked clear, reddish, brown (chestnut), but when held to the light it was mored of a dark orange to light brown. It had a small to average, off-white head that mostly diminished and didn’t leave much lacing. The aroma was moderate to heavy toasted, nutty and caramel malts; light to moderate grassy hops; peach, cherry, apricot, and toffee. The initial flavor was rather sweet; while the finish was very sweet, lightly bitter and ever so slightly sour with an average duration. There was caramel malt, toast, nuts, champagne, red wine, grassy malts, cherry and a little citrus. The light to medium body was very easy to drink and was a bit syrupy and then ever so slightly dry with rather fizzy carbonation and a dry and slightly astringent finish.

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…

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.

Jokes (1455) - 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.

pumpmaster (1437) - Pembroke Pines, Florida, USA - JUN 4, 2012
750 ml bottle purchased at Total Wine Pembroke Pines, FL for $1.99 Very good, better price.

EricE (1372) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JAN 8, 2011
Clear dark orange brown pour. Not much going on in the nose. Some metallic and tangerine notes. Tangerine flavor with herbal, minty notes. Okay.

nbutler11 (1305) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - DEC 19, 2008
The label looks like a title card from an old movie, so I couldnt resist trying this at Papago. Pours a warm amber color with an off white head. Smells and tastes almost like a sweet pale ale. Flavors of hops, orange peel, faint peach, and skunky yeast. Yawn.

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.

DenverLogan (1264) - North Bend, Washington, USA - DEC 15, 2007
Copper color; small disapating head. Slight aroma of amber malt, caramel and toffee. Flavor also has notes of ginger, orange liquor, mixed spices and flowers like a light saison but this is a Winter brew, Brazil nuts, medium toasted malts, and honey. I’ve had this beer many times over the years and am always happy to see it again, though it’s not as big and bold as many of the Belgian holiday brews. This one I’m having is fresh but I’ve aged it and find it’s good at least two years old.

patrickfannon (1242) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 24, 2011
UPDATED: JUN 25, 2011 Bottle and Draft with Vinnie numerous times. Pours a juicy brown with a frothy, two-finger off-white head. Aroma of fresh Juicy Fruit gum, grapefruit, bananas, plums, fresh red cherries, Belgian candied sugars, malts, toffee, and some fresh raisin hints in the finish. Medium, perhaps even full, bodied with a soft, juicy, supple, yet supportive and rich mouthfeel. Flavors of ripe cherries, vanilla, Juicy Fruit gum, sweet malts and some slight red grapes. Finishes clean, refreshing, and moist. Superb beer. Tragically underrated.

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