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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dinkle50 (1465) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAY 17, 2012
Clear red color. Small head. Aroma of spices and sweet sugar. A little chocolate malt aroma as well. Taste is a little caramel and sugar. Some iron taste in there too. Finish is a bit harsh as this burned a bit.

ryanscourt (1456) - Latrobe, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 7, 2013
Amber/copper in color, fairly clear. Metallic, malty aroma. Taste is of burnt malts with belgium like spiciness. Lively carbonation. Strange flavor profile. Didn’t do much for me.

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.

pumpmaster (1393) - 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 (1367) - 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.

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.

nbutler11 (1267) - Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, ENGLAND - 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.

patrickfannon (1241) - 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.

luckygirl (1223) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - JAN 13, 2006
UPDATED: JAN 20, 2006 Had this at BJ’s Winter Ale Fest. Beer poured a clear, medium-amber color with an average-sized, fizzy, off-white, mostly diminishing head. The aroma was pretty darn off. Behind the light malty notes of sweet molasses and hoppy notes of pine, there’s an overpoweringly unclean, distracting aroma of tin can. Can’t really get past that one. The flavor is lightly acidic and lightly bitter with a short, lightly bitter finish. The body is medium, the texture is watery, the carbonation is fizzy and the finish is lightly metallic and unclean. I don’t know if this is a bad bottle—I’ll check it out again when I get a chance to make sure this wasn’t just bad luck.

DenverLogan (1211) - LA, California, 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.

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