Jenlain Bière De Noël | Brasserie Duyck

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Jenlain Bière De NoëlJenlain Bière De Noël

Brewed by:
Brasserie Duyck

Style: Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Dantes on 04-27-2004

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Reviews: 71 | Ratings: 88
Photo of Westsidethreat
3.18/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Paprika colored, fairly clean. Head is tan colored with an orangish tint.

S: Orange peel, cloves and subtle caramel,

T: Ever had orange tea? This beer tastes exactle like that. Like an orange candy with mulled spices, cloves and cinnamon. Really tastes a lot like it smells. Medium caramel backbone balances out the orange nicely. Finishes with a dirty hop aspect which I would consider a negative.

M: Medium body, thin across the tongue with fluffy moments.

D: Interesting beer. Becomes a bit too much after a while but fun while it lasted.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.85/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 750ml green glass bottle which has a very different label to that shown on BA – mine has a dark green background with a large Christmas Tree shiny red Bauble with a black band across it which has the word ‘Jenlain’ in white text set against it. Sealed with a small thumbed cork with the code H-5 on it, this is held is held in place with a silver colored cage and gold colored steel cap which has the word ‘Brasserie Duyck Depuis 1922’ on it. Neck and main label are similar in design. Labeled as, ‘Jenlain Noël’ and listed at 6.8% Alc.Vol. No discernable freshness date.

Appearance: Shining copper body with dark amber notes. Off-white head has speckles of brown eggshell and rises tall on the pour. Middling levels of conditioning try hard to support the head but it soon breaks down to a familiar looking thin covering, broken in places, with a thicker ring around the edges. Very light lacing but it does have a crusty texture. Solid appearance.

Nose: Crystal malt shines through. Earthy hops and spices add some organic hue to the aromas. Some plum and dark fruits. Simple profile but it has some depth which draws you in.

Taste: Lots of herbal malts, spiced hops and a deep fruity ‘toasty-roasty’ middle. Very dry, perhaps a bit too much, but the caked fruits and a delicate dark cherry background add some flesh and balance the dryness. Alsace and Hallertau hops blend well with the Plaisant, Carambi and Prisma malts. Soft spices and charismatic herbal highs are slashed by a clean cutting bitterness. Lots of Bière De Garde traits here but they are all amped up to add a Turbo-charged dimensions – bigger is not always better – but for once it does works.

Mouthfeel: Very dry with a kicking fruit angle to add some hydration but this one has a dry, almost powdery malt finish. It all seems to round out overall to lend a very healthy feel that supports throughout.

Drinkability: A pleasant partner for the night, it went down all too quickly whilst watching the day’s matches from the English Premiership League followed by the History of Metal on VH1. I could really go for another bottle of this one right now.

Overall: Brewed only once a year and pretty much the Jenlain Ambrée with a little supercharging on the malts and hops. Very nice though and great value at $6½….for once.

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Photo of JudgeRoughneck
4.42/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Aged one year. This is an ever so slightly hazy beer of deep amber color with a fizzy head that disappears almost entirely. The nose is earthy and spicy with sweet malt aroma and wisps of orange. Inviting and warm. The taste is a great mixture of high-pitched sugary-sweet malt, orange juice character, cranberry notes, a deep nut tone throughout and the occasional alcohol warmth. Earthy hop flavor comes up at times and there is an extremley subtle spiciness. No real yeast characterisitics to speak of.

I saved this beer for Thanksgiving and man was that a good call on my part. This beer goes very well with everything at the traditional table from salad to pumpkin pie. In fact, I think it may have matched the pumpkin pie the best. I was really amazed at the versatility of this beer at the table. I'll definately be picking up another few bottles of this for next year. It is hard to say what the aging did for it since I never had it young, but I suspect that orange flavor might have been a tad much when fresh.

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Photo of cbl2
3.21/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

$5.99 750 mL 6.80% No best by date.


Pours a slightly hazy ruby-brown with an inch of foamy off-white head on top. Head is slow to settle leaving behind a nice lace along the glass.


Bottle depicts oranges, though the aroma is more a tart cherry with some hints of sweetness.


Aroma may not be orange, but initial flavor certainly is. Develops into a overripe orange flavor that is offset by a weird bitter/rotting sensation. Orange/clementine flavors dominate throughout though.

Not like any saison I've ever had. Not sure I like this one, though I don't hate it either.

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Photo of hunteraw
3.6/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: appealing dark orange color, small head, very little lacing. surprisingly, the color is the most orange-like aspect of this beer. Nice color.

Smell: Malt is the big presence here, even though I was expecting orange from the label. Yeasty kind of earthy funk as well.

Taste: Surprising amount of bitterness here - from the strong malt in the nose, and the fruit on the label, I was expecting something overly sweet. I was pleasantly surprised. Orange seemed a little more present on the tongue than in the nose, but still I don't know that you'd find it if you weren't looking. Some of the same earthy, funky yeastiness toward the end. Finishes dry. Really not sure what style this is supposed to fit in.

Mouthfeel: carbonation is tame, light mouthfeel.

Drinkability: surprisingly well-balanced. Not at all what I was expecting (something fruity and sickly sweet), which wound up being a good thing, but not great in its own right, either.

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Photo of Sammy
3.77/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

just a very good balanced taste profile beverage that worked for my friend and I for supper. Orange taste was apparent and not over the top. A nice biere de garde, moderated spicey taste overall , some citrus, not too bitter nor sweet perhaps it was aged some.

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Photo of benito
3.07/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

From a corked 750 mL bottle.

As the label claims, this is a special biere de garde "ambree" with a "new orange flavor." The citrus is most defined in the bouquet, which has a pleasant orange character. Otherwise this brew pours a light amber and has a light, spritzy body on the tongue. There are fairly pronounced citrus and biscuit flavors too, but they are never quite able to overcome the fizziness of the mouthfeel. It is then, an imbalanced mouthfeel that proved to be this beer's biggest drawback. Drinkability is average, though, I doubt that I would be interested in exploring this brew further to have more than one glass.

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Photo of badbeer
2.58/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a dark reddish color with a quickly disappearing white head. Smell is of orange peel and some spice. Taste is sort of like watered down orange pop, which isn't a good thing. This could have been so much better, but it wasn't. Mouthfeel was thin, with medium carbonation. I didn't really care for this one, I would maybe try it again in a very distant future.

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Photo of Erdinger2003
2.98/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

The appearance starts out very nice the lacing is slightly apparant and the head doesn't completely dissapear for some time. The color is a good crisp ruby color.

The smell has orange and a smell that reminds me of a lager.

The taste is crisp and leaves a bitter aftertaste. It's slightly fruity, but very light on taste.

Body is light with good carbonation, although it is a bit watery.

It was worth a try, but probably not worth another try for a while.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
2.34/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: Green Wine Bottle with a champagne cork. Black/red label reads: “Jenlain: Biere de Noel, Biere de Garde, Ambree. Nouven Gout A Romantisce a l’orange, 6.8%.”

Looks and tastes like kiddy champagne, like the apple or white grape stuff that you give to ten year olds at New Years, only this stuff tastes and looks like orange Jello. I will hand it bitterness. This beer definitely has some great bitterness both in nose and MF. That part of the orange tastes real. Otherwise this fits perfectly into France’s love for crappy, fruity light beers to guzzle and get tanked on. This is just candy.

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Photo of Billolick
3.77/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Large bottle, caged and corked, label in languages besides English, says something about consuming before some date (I think) but I can see no dates.something about Jenlain never makes sense to me, maybe its the green bottles or the fact that the bottles allways seem to be slightly underfilled. Anyway, I digress, this one pours almond amber, cloudy, with a tan head, at first puffy, then fading to a 1/8 inch film and leaving plentiful stringy lacing. Aromatic nose of concentrated orange juice and cloves. More orange notes, soft mouthfeel, taste fades in the finish, worth a try, but nothing great, there are better and more interesting christmas brews and saisons out there

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Photo of Crosling
1.91/5  rDev -45.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Copper, with ample foam. Unpleasant aroma of corn, strawberry, lemon, orange gummy bears, caramel and dying flowers. Upon tasting, sickly sweet and only bareable in tiny baby sips. Tastes of melting plastic, orange seasoning, spice and toasted malts. Yikes.

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Photo of beveragecaptain
3.8/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, corked and caged. Purchased at Discount Liquor in Milwaukee. Jenlain Biere de Noel pours out a clear amber color with a sizable head. Fruity orange aroma, and a little minty. Malty and fruity flavor. Light biscuit flavor. A metallic hoppiness comes in at the finish. Just a bit of a woody flavor. Neither sweet nor bitter. There's no sign of the 6.8% abv. I really enjoy the real orange flavor, but other than that this is just a standard amber ale. Still, this is a pretty good deal at $5.70 for a 75 cl bottle.

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Photo of filabrazilia
4.43/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a brilliant clear copper with a nice off white head that leaves patterns of brussels lace on the glass. The clarity and vibrance of this amber brew is amazing.

There is a predominant bready smell that is balanced by fruit and sugar. A hint of spice asserts itself as well.

Wow. This beer tastes like a filtered saison. The mild sweetness is accenuated by a crisp smooth finish. Orange and pepper swirl around on my palate like a dervish. The lingering sweetnes is a nice exclamation to the fhinish. There is a bready quality as it warms.

The carbonation leaves a lasting impression on the mouth. The body is fairly thin--not as portly as some saisons. Very nice.

This is a great beer that I would gladly serve to family and friends. A complex beer that has some lager characteristics. What a wonderful drinking experience.

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Photo of neonbrown82
4.07/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

At $4 a pop, you can't really go wrong with a 750mL of this beer. Hell of a deal for a great beer. Pours to a clear golden amber color with a nice thick effervescent head that crackles like a bowl of rice krispees. The carbonation is quite vibrant. Lacing doesn't seem to want to stick.

The smell reminds me of a freshly peeled orange. Of course, there is also a bit of a malt smell as well as some candi sugars. Very zesty. Lacks any of the funky farmhouse saison aromas, but this is great!

The taste is a great mix of the citrus orange zest with the sweet malts and sugars. Also a bit bready. Only a slight bitter in the finish. I am usually not too fond of fruity beers, but this one really seems to hit the spot for me.

The mouthfeel is the weakest link here. This doesn't really seem like a saison in any way, shape, or form; but I still think it is a hell of a good, drinkable beer. I will surely buy more of this before stock runs out. It is too good of a deal to pass up.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.03/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the chalice crystal clear amber with an off-white and frothy head which rose tall and fell slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was earthy with a definite farmhouse yeast presence. The aroma was fruity and peppery. The neck label showed oranges, but the aroma was not that of citrus. As the beer warmed some caramel aspect became noticeable with a slight graham character.

The flavor was earthy with a strong caramel impression and a tannin character that was enticing and interesting. The flavor did contain some citrus fruit flavoring and a nice peppery spice. Also present was a light biscuity flavor and a decent bittering.

The finish was dry with a lasting light citrus and pepper into the aftertaste. The body was medium and the carbonation was relatively high. The earthy hop bittering and flavor lasted long in the aftertaste and the tannins added interest to that flavor. Sort of a tea character with the citrus, the tannins, the caramel and the earthiness.

750 ml corked and bailed green bottle. $6.75 at Wine Warehouse in Charlottesville, VA.

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Photo of Gusler
4.17/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer upon its pour from the 750ml green caged and corked bottle sets in my glass a luminous dark copper color with the head mastodonic in size, semi-creamy in texture and the color a nice light tan, after its destruction, a velum like sheet of lace surrounds the glass. Nose has a hint of chocolate and over ripe black cherries, also a touch of mushrooms, pleasant and appealing with the start sweet and the grain profile adequate with the top light to medium in feel. Finish has a disturbing acidity with the hops prickly in their spiciness, somewhat vinous, dry as a bleached desert bone, and a nice change of pace for me.

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Photo of lackenhauser
4.15/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very,very nice reddish color. Almost looks like a pale burgundy wine. Good sized head and a very nice carbonation level. Great aroma of orange and a hint of chocolate. Theres a somewhat cork aroma-almost wet cardboard like. Malty flavor again with the orange. Slight oak flavor. Theres some spiciness as well as a vinuous flavor in the backround. Nice bright mouthfeel-almost has a refreshing feel to it. A very drinkable holiday beer. Well worth seeking out.

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Photo of cokes
4.2/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear cherrywood with a large, frothy, bleached beige crown.
Nose of black cherry, corkboard, and cedar with a lightly sulfuric hop bite. As it warms, a big, encompassing bitter orange scent gains clout.
Begins with a notion of candied maltiness that mimicks chocolate-covered cherries...the ones that burst with an oozing caramel-vanilla goo. It disolves into clementine peel, musky red apples, toasted grain and carob before drying in the midsection with loud notations of rye bread, then into an even louder, parched maple and cedar woodiness. Rosemary, orange rind, cork, and thyme hop quotient, but with an exaggerated bitterness that rides on balsam and burnt rose petals.
Moderately rotund in the mouth with a stunted carbonation. This is a fantastic biere de garde, nearing the standards and subtle greatness of the Jenlain original (in that it sacrifices jaw-dropping attributes for a round tastiness and all-togetherness), if perhaps lacking its anytime, any place drinkability.

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Photo of Boto
3.47/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

25cl. bottle: This beer pours a crystal clear amber color. There was a bit of a tan head that lingers for awhile. Some spices and notes of orange to the nose. The taste is a bit spicy, with notes of the orange. A medium malty body backing it up. Not bad for a French supermarket beer.

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Photo of Dantes
4.38/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Package: Thick, green 750ml corked and caged bottle. Label is brightly colored, purple label, with a red border decorated with stylized holly leaves and chased in silver. Very festive, befitting a holiday brew. 6.8% ABV. No date information, but I don’t believe this has been sold since 2001.

Cost: NA

Presentation: Jenlain goblet at ~50°

Appearance: Deeply rich, reddish-amber with some cloudiness. Generated an impressive, pillowy, dense white head that clinged stickily to the glass. Thick coating of lees at the bottom of the bottle.

Smell: Generates a rich bouquet of herbaceous, crisply fruity, and malty scents. Refulgently floral in aroma.

Taste: Sweet and full, with more complex flavors than the aroma suggested. The herbaceousness resolved into lemongrass, new hay, and meadowy flavors. The fruitiness was composed of Macoun apple and tart citrus peel. The sweet maltiness was moderated by some bitter nuttiness and some toasted malt flavors. This is a bit sweeter and less complex than the offerings from 3 Monts, but still a rewarding beer, at a somewhat lower ABV. Had a moderately long, malty finish.

Mouthfeel: This has mellowed beautifully in its bottle-conditioned state. Carbonation was very fine and tight, without any noticeable loss. I poured this carefully, as I expected it to produce quite a lot of head. Silky smooth.

Drinkability: An excellent representative of the bière de garde style. While a somewhat heavy, filling beer, the lower ABV makes this something one can enjoy in quantity along with a holiday meal or afternoon hors d’oeuvres leading up to one.

Backwash: I was quite surprised (and happy) to come across this at the bottom of a crate of miscellaneous wines. Although Shelton Brothers is expected to bring this back to the USA, along with some of Duyck’s regular offerings, I haven’t seen the Christmas version of this beer for a long time. I hope this does return, as it’s probably Duyck’s best offering, improving upon the already good “regular” bière de garde. Although only 0.3% stronger, this is a much richer, warming beer, with a great deal more complexity than the standard expression. I don’t remember what I paid for this, but I don’t think it was much more than the $3.49-$3.99 that the regular 750's sold for. This price is likely to go up with the Euro and the passage of time, but I’m sure this will remain a bit of a bargain. This was one of the earliest Christmas beers I can remember being readily available, and it’s still one of the better ones. Now if only Sheltons' would bring in the minikegs...

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Jenlain Bière De Noël from Brasserie Duyck
3.52 out of 5 based on 88 ratings.
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