V Cense - Brasserie de Jandrain-Jandrenouille

Not Rated.
V CenseV Cense

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very good

83 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 83
Reviews: 40
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 11.47%
Wants: 5
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie de Jandrain-Jandrenouille visit their website

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Phyl21ca on 08-17-2009

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 83 | Reviews: 40
Reviews by eduardolinhalis:
Photo of eduardolinhalis
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle served in a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a beautiful dark color. Clear. Forms a thick, solid and creamy beige head. Good persistence and some spotty lacings left in the glass

S: Sweet nose. Strong notes of caramel. Red fruits. Spicy too: notes of honey, black pepper. Flowery hops and Belgian yeasts in the end

T: Follows the nose: sweet and fruity. Strong notes of caramel and crystal malts. Notes of honey, black pepper and red fruits. Flowery hops. In overall, a sweet, malty, peppery and watery taste. Mild hops bitterness in the very end. A bit metallic too

M: Light, watery and slightly molasses body. Medium to low carbonation. Caramel and pepper as aftertaste

O: Good drinkability. Quite close to an amber ale, in fact. Too mild spiciness to a Saison but still a pleasant beer

More User Reviews:
Photo of pat61
4.24/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

It pours a clear chestnut color with a nice creamy one finger head. The aroma has sugars – caramel or molasses with a little spice in the aroma and they admit to adding a secret spice. This is their amber. It’s a good drinking beer and probably leans towards the Farmhouse ale biere de garde category with its sweetness and spiciness.

Photo of hagbergl
3.74/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I had a glass of Jandrain V Saison at Lord Hobo in Cambridge on the recommendation of one of the servers. I was glad to try this interesting take on the style.

Appearance (4/5): Jandrain V pours a hazy straw/yellow color with a minimal white head. It has that typical, great look that quality saisons often have. Nice, tight bubbles and a bit of carbonation is visible when looking at the beer from above.

Smell (3.75/5): Some Brett and peppery, yeasty funkiness going on here in the aroma! One thing that's very interesting about this particular saison is that the Brett has imparted a bit of lactic tartness to the beer. Underneath the funkier smells I detect some light sweet malt. Interesting, though not quite a beauty.

Taste (3.75/5): Lightly noble hoppy flavor that I didn't detect in the smell hits first. A bit of tartness from the Brett flexes in the middle and back. Spicy, peppery, musty yeast is also quite notable and makes this more than your average, run-of-the-mill saison. There's also a fruitiness that comes on late that tastes similar to black cherry. The flavor is fairly complexed, though a bit jumbled and incoherent. The unpredictability keeps the beer interesting, but I'm not enamored by the flavor. The 7% is well hidden.

Mouthfeel (3.5/5): The mouthfeel lacks in the carbonation department a bit (it would have benefited from a more spritely carbonation level), but the beer has good medium body to it.

Overall (3.75/5): Jandrain V Saison is a very interesting take on the farmhouse ale style from a Belgian brewery that we don't hear a whole lot from. Its complex yeastiness is something most American breweries couldn't hope to reproduce. It's definitely worth a try, but I wouldn't name it as a standout in the style category.

Photo of Sammy
3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle sample at Mondiale 2010, Day Two. Hazy grapefruit body with a white head. Below average mouthfeel. A decent bitterness in taste and in aroma,zesty orange, offset by very sweet, drinkable but not very drinkable. More hoppy than anything else. Not the best saison I have had.

Photo of augustgarage
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into my Troubadour tulip.

Copper-tinged burnt umber, cloudy liquid - surprisingly dark, crowned by three fingers of dense rocky beige stiff peaks. Hefty caverns of lace - delicate tears.

Aromas reveal a surprising hopiness - with pine and peaches dominating. Light, almost toasted malt and a touch of spice (nutmeg?). Increasingly floral as it warms - suggesting potpourri.

Bitter palate entry, suggesting evergreen, fiddlehead ferns, and earth. Some vague scalded sugar/stale coffee elements emerge later on. Malty and lightly peppery finish - fairly dry overall though. Oddly, this reminds me in some ways of a Belgian farmhouse ale mixed with a NW IPA.

Medium-light bodied, well carbonated, but not especially effervescent. Mildly astringent.

Quite dark for the style, and the American hops are an unusual addition. An interesting experiment without veering too far from tradition.

Looking forward to VI, which I've heard is a witbier...

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear deep copper/orangey color ale with a medium foamy head with average retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of light funky ester with some typical Belgian malt. Taste is less complex then anticipated with some funky ester and light semi-sweet Belgian malt. Light dry hops are very subtle and somewhat hard to distinguish. Body is somewhat full with average carbonation and no alcohol is detectable. Not too bad but not as complex as I had hoped for.

Photo of largadeer
3.51/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Garnet colored with good clarity, really nice looking. Pours with an inch of froth that settles to a sticky collar. A lot of brett on the nose, not sure if that's intended with this beer, but it works either way. Barnyard, strawberry, mineral, light toasted malts. Very yeasty and funky with sharp esters. Tastes funky, somewhat metallic. Big fruity esters, reminds me of strawberry rhubarb pie. Little bit of toasty dark malt, but more yeast centered. Mouthfeel is a bit fizzy, slightly thin. Brief finish. Pretty enjoyable and unusual farmhouse ale.

Photo of metter98
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy red in color and poured with a thin white head that has good retention properties and consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface. A slight amount of carbonation is visible from the rising bubbles.
S: There are strong aromas of floral and citrusy hops along with notes of berries and hints of citrus. The flavor is very complex for the style.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, except that the hops are subdued and the flavors of berries are stronger.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a quite tart on the palate and has a moderate to high amount of carbonation. There are some hints of dryness in the finish.
O: The beer is slightly unusual and isn’t as refreshing compared to other beers in the style, but it’s very complex and interesting to drink.

Photo of mwilbur
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 750 mL bottle into tulip.
A: Pours a dark orange-amber hue with high carbonation producing a 1-2 inch bubbly light tan head. A bit different for style.
S: Soft and fresh hop bite. Citrus and melon fruit aromas. Hint of earth and funk.
T: Melon with mildly bitter hops. Hint of tart and sweet grapefruit.
M: Light body. Bitter and slightly oily feel. Sweetly acidic. Dry and bitter hop finish.
D: An interesting take on the style. More of an amber saison with a hop kick. A decent brew, but nothing to get too excited about. There are several better examples of saison out there.

Photo of ShanePB
3.48/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle, poured into two snifter glasses. Acquired from the Michael Jackson Rare Beer Club, and shared with my girlfriend on a relaxing summer night outside.

A: Dark rustic amber body with an overall brown hue to it. A fluffy and sudsy slightly off-white head sits atop. Retention is fairly nice as well is the lacing. It's much darker than I expected it to be for a Saison.

S: Dark roasted malts, slightly floral hops, biscuits, some very dry and hay like funk. It doesn't, to me, have those very light, fragrant and sweet notes I expect in a Saison. Even for a Belgian Saison it's definitely something different.

T: A lot of roasted spiciness comes off first, along with a sweeter caramel malt flavor. A touch of pepper, floral hops and some vanilla is left in the finish. This is a very disappointing and weak flavor profile, and completely departs from my expectations for a Saison.

M: Very thin and watery. Bubbly, very carbonated, just an okay feel here.

Both my girlfriend and I agreed, this wasn't a bad beer and was drinkable but did not meet my expectations for the style. I wouldn't buy another bottle but it was nice to sample once.

Photo of rdickey
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark amber into a Chimay goblet. A fine off-white head dissipates fairly quickly, leaving uniform lacing.

Smell: Green apples, together with a mix of citrus and some hops that I can’t identify. There’s a very slight hint of funk, but it’s not at all dominant – just lurking in the shadows.

Taste: This beer is not what I usually expect for a saison. Hops are in front, balanced with toasted malts and a little dark fruit and spice. There’s not a lot of the funk that I usually associate with a saison. Finishes dry.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body. Perhaps a little too much carbonation; it almost keeps the beer from sitting down in your mouth.

Drinkability: Pretty damn drinkable. It’s not the most complex saison you’ll ever drink, but it might be one of the more quaffable; sort of a lawnmower saison.

Photo of Cozzatoad
3.48/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle, label says best before see bottle but i can't find it

A- Pretty intense orange colour. One finger white head that shows both good retention and lacing. A bit of hazyness and quite a lot of yeast sediment in the last pour

S- Delicate malts with caramel notes along with a light yeast note. Fruity notes of stawberry and cherries in the background. Maybe the faintest citric touch. Overall very much on the sweet side but still soft and delicate

T- Quite sweet for the style with notes of caramel and honey from the malts. Subtle fruity notes on the back of things as the smell suggested, with strawberry being the easiest to pick up. Some slight floral/herbal hints showing up from time to time. A bit of citrus in the aftertaste. Quite dry on the finish. Sweet for the style as the smell suggested. Reaper16 nailed it by saying subtle but not complex

M- Light to medium body with medium carbonation, a bit too watery given the ABV

O- Decently refreshing. Being so fruity this is not your typical saison, but still a not very interesting or complex one in my opinion. Highly drinkable and overall still pleasant. I'm a saison fan, but i was not impressed with this one

Photo of rfgetz
3.35/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy copper tinted brown, big poof of khaki bubbles, gone quickly. First whiff brings mild notes of brown sugar followed by moderate spice, bready yeasts, light notes of flowers, grass and herbs, earth and mud. Taste is more muddled then nose hinted at, malts are mildly sweet, yeast is bready, spice is light, grassy and herbal qualities peek out at the end with faint touches of orange and flowers on the finish. Medium bodied, smooth with some lingering sweetness, carbonation is controlled. Very mild, muddled taste until the finish. Not a favorite in the style.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.2/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle served in a lambic basket at Moeder Lambic St. Giles during last week's Belgium trip. Reviewed from notes.

Served in a Jandran-Jandrenouille goblet.

Pours a moderate brown that is fairly transparent with a big head.

The nose is pretty tame when it was first poured, but then becomes much more complex as it warms up just a little bit. Nice bit of toast and spice along with a bit of pepper. Other spice in there as well. Quite complex. Good phenolics combine well with toast and a bit of roast. Light chewiness and a good body. Dry finish and a slight bitterness. Very nice.

Photo of kmo1030
4.23/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a red-orange hued amber with a thick shy of white head that fades to a dense ring. herbal hops, green apple, citrus and caramel are the major players in the nose. there is a faint whiff of hay and mint.
in the mouth the are some denser fruit flavors in addition to whats on the nose. plum comes to mind, fading into some strawberry oddly enough. the caramel is still there as well as some earthier characteristics remeniscent of root vegetable or butternut squash. the hops are present in a grassy herbal capacity.
the mouthfeel is soft and finely carbonated and medium in body.
overall a great darker saison, lots of complexity going on, and i like the substantial hop character.

Photo of Rifugium
4.42/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First had: on tap at Pinocchio's, Media, PA

LOVED this beer. Poured a hazy golden brown with a thick white head that was well retained. Aroma of biscuits and lightly toasted malts, with a good balance of citrus hops. Very complex taste; very bready with lots of citrus and melon tones; pleasantly hoppy and crisp. Perfect carbonation. Medium body, and a crisp, dry finish. Very drinkable; great beer!

Photo of Reaper16
3.08/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750mL bottle served into a tulip glass

Pours a dark orange-red, bordering on brown. So, garnet, basically. I didn't expect this color at all, which is exciting. Less than one finger of tight buttermilk foam. It dissipates pretty quickly, leaving sparse lacing behind it.

While the color of this beer is boisterous for the Saison style, the nose is all subtlety. There's a base note of breadcrusts, like amber malts. I pick up on cherry pits and rose petals. Which is to say that V Cense is fruity and floral, but very quietly so. Some herbaceous quality comes out as the beer warms, but again only quietly so. This has the distinction of being subtle but not complex -- there isn't a whole lot going on here. That's fine, of course.

The taste is similarly subtle-yet-not-complex. There's the amber malts, of course. These are brightened up by a flavor that reminds me of honey-lemon cough drops. I'm thinking that flavor is part phenolic. Regardless, there isn't a lot of flavor being pumped out by this yeast. Some strawberry comes out after a while, which is very welcome. A bit of a floral finish. Also pennies, weirdly; kinda' distantly metallic. This is an alright saison, but there isn't anything exceptional about it.

The mouthfeel is pretty solid. It's quite light-bodied but there's enough carbonation to make it OK. This is a dry beer, which suits me fine. Overall, this is a pretty average Saison. It does its job competently, but I certainly wouldn't go out of my way to acquire this again. It's like an inferior version of Stillwater Stateside Saison.

Photo of avalon07
3.67/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a slightly hazy consistency. There was a quarter inch of foamy, somewhat long-lasting head. Average lacing.

S: A pretty good aroma of malt, yeast, and some spices.

T: Tasted predominantly of malt, Belgian yeast, pepper, with a hint of fruit. Not nearly as dynamic as Jandrain-Jandrenouille's other saison, IV.

M: A well carbonated beer with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: A drinkable beer, but not the best saison I've ever tried.

Photo of DefenCorps
4.22/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at 72 Hours of Belgium yesterday.

Dark copper with a dense, off-white head with great retention and lacing. The nose is really, really fruity. Tropical fruit, citrus, grapefruit, lemons, all incredibly well-balanced. A little hop character, light malts with brown sugar and caramel, and a nice yeasty aroma. The palate opens dry with flavors of caramel malt that's been fermented bone dry . A lot of floral and botanical character. Drying on the finish with a little caramel and plenty of tropical fruit, this is an excellent, excellent beer.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The excitement grows when introduced to authentic Belgian saisons, for these are the driest, spiciest, and fully characterful beers of the Belgian family of ales.

V Cense pours with a creamy and darker appearance than is usual. Russet bronze hued beer releases its creamy carbonated head to cap the beer with a blanket of off white foam. Approaching nearly dunkel-like aesthetics, only the abundance of carbonation and delicate creme tells me otherwise-that this beer is indeed Belgian.

Spicy aromas of mild toast char and black peppercorn tingle the nose with confidence and sharpness. Backup notes of caramel, red apples, and figs are unusual in the aromatic profile for saisons, but traditional versions have been known to exert a lot of lead way in demonstrated flavors. Yet, the highly phenolic notes of medicine (maybe band aid and light smoke) seems to dominate the balance, taking away from the dry-estery mix.

Stronger flavors of caramel and red apples are boastful, even more so than the light apple, lemon, and herbal notes of contemporary saisons, yet this more robust example balances with spicy peppercorn, dry toast, and overall mediciney taste. It's that medicinal note that strikes me as a bit misplaced and begins to dominate the balance in somewhat distracting manner.

Medium bodied, the richer taste translates to slightly elevated weight to the palate. Moderate alcohols could be higher, yielding a drier and more airy impression to lift the beer from the mouth and adding the elements of refreshment and drinkability to a better degree. Finishing lightly powdery and minty, the warmth helps to dry the beer and create a short lived finish.

I'm all for a revisit to old world recipes of saison and their inherent experimentation as long as the dry fruit balance to spicy pepper remains intact. Here, the spice overtakes the beer and disappoints the palate, if ever so slightly.

Photo of emmasdad
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks very much to my friend Ken for sharing yet another beer I had no clue even existed. And as is most often the case, I enjoyed it very much. Poured a lightly cloudy amber color with a big white head. Aromas of floral hops, Belgian yeast and a little caramel. On the palate, this one is medium bodied and drinkable, with citrusy hops and Belgian yeast.

Photo of Beerenauslese
2.85/5  rDev -24%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Body is a cloudy reddish brown. An aggressive pour is required to produce a half inch head, which then quickly dissipates to a ring. Little to no lacing.

Aromas of dark malt, dark fruit, vanilla, cinnamon, and funk.

Tastes of sweet malt, a little fruit rind, vanilla, some funk, cinnamon. The finish is dry with a taste of charred malt or wood, in either case, tastes like a campfire.

Body is light as is the carbonation, producing a somewhat flat mouthfeel.

This has an unexpected profile for a Belgian farmhouse ale, being dark and with charred flavors. Is it aged with charred wood? It is disjointed and it just doesn't come together for me.

Photo of Chico1985
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750ml split 2 nights ago, reviewed from notes.

This poured a brownish amber color, darker than expected, off-white head retains fine. Pretty cool and unique dark farmhouse thing goin' on. I get apple, pear, musty grape, earthy/farmy yeast, light caramel malt, lots of various spice rack (cinnamon?). Good foamy carbonation with a dry finish.

Better/more interesting than expected, the spice element is nice somehow blend well with farmhouse/dark fruit/wine-like flavors. Would like to try this again.

Photo of Mebuzzard
2.71/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer had promise. I was told it was pretty good by a fellow geek. Perhaps I got a bad bottle, the price dictates I won't try it again.

Pours a dark cherry red and amber. Clean and clear. Nice pinkish head. Slick lacing.

Aroma is faint. Nothing really to it at all. Some sweet caramel and light malt. Hints of faded spice.

Nothing bad in the taste, but nothing stands out or even has any strength. Sweet caramel, very light. Maybe some spices and faint red plum.

Horrible feel. Slick and light. Nothing there. Carbonation either escapes or was never there. This is a bland beer all around, save the visual.

Photo of StJamesGate
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cherry amber with craggy pitted sandy head that refreshes from a stream of bubbles in the middle.
Apple spice, waxy yeast, brown bread and some orangey US hops on the nose.
Stewed apple, red pear, autumn leaves, raisin bread and dried cranberries with an ester hit, a hint of cocoa, slight yeasty white pepper there tangerine and tea leaf hops.
Citrus finish and spicy linger.
Medium, round, some chew, no burn.

There are lots of other reviews here talking about honey and lemon like this is a saison, but that's not what going on.
This is an amber farmhouse ale ,like Jenlain, dry-hopped with Amarillo (which everyone also seems to miss.)
There's also a mystery spice in there, which shows up big, making this pretty wintery.
Some fruity notes recall a dubbel but the spice and hops hide that along with any distinctive yeast character.

Unique and interesting but not quite extraordinary - falls short of JJ's other numbered beers.

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V Cense from Brasserie de Jandrain-Jandrenouille
85 out of 100 based on 83 ratings.