Jenlain Ambrée
Brasserie Duyck

Jenlain AmbréeJenlain Ambrée
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Farmhouse Ale - Bière de Garde
Ranked #104
Ranked #32,174
3.77 | pDev: 13.53%
Brasserie Duyck
Very Good
Jenlain AmbréeJenlain Ambrée
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Reviews: 216 | Ratings: 327 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of r-m-kaylor
r-m-kaylor from New York

3.87/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked up 24 bottles on a whim - as the case was on sale...

7.5% abv, pours a clear amber with a tight white head of compact bubbles which settle into a laced ring relatively quickly.

On the nose, subtle saison (barnyard funk) smells - yeast layered upon a solid malt backbone.

On the mouth, up front - light and effervescent with taste following the nose and the taste is consistent through the middle to back of mouth with enough hops and effervescence to cleanse the palette -

Slight warming all the way down...

Overall, a real nice table bier, will age a few to see how the flavors evolve,

A solid purchase.

Nov 12, 2020
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Gajo74 from New York

4.02/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber color. A ginormous head displays excellent retention and sticky lacing throughout.

Aromas of spiced fruit laced with a touch of alcohol. It reminds me of one of those fruit salad desserts soaked in rum or brandy.

The taste follows the nose with fruity notes of apricot, apple cider, white raisins and peach, all spiced with a cinnamon like flavor, peppery phenols and alcohol spice. Sweet malt notes of honey and sugar are nevertheless offset by a dry finish that displays some hops bitterness.

Medium bodied, smooth and lively carbonated. Drinks like a fruity cider with a dry finish. Less rustic and sweeter than a Saison. I don’t know much about the style, however, I enjoyed this.

Oct 31, 2019
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eberesford from Canada (ON)

3.62/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not as misty as some report from this can bought in Saumur. Pours dark ruddy brown with an effervescent head that rather quickly settles leaving the beer looking rather flat. Aroma slight toasty grain - flavour: caramel, chewy, nutty finish.

Jul 06, 2019
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josanguapo from Spain

3/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From Saveur Biere. Can. In Teku glass. With pok cheese. Watching Broken Mirror 3x01. Caramel, a bit metallic, and some -yet not excessive- alcohol. Nothing specially memorable for the good nor the bad.

Oct 31, 2017
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ordybill from Georgia

3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. The appearance is a cloudy light brown color with a small white head. The aroma is overly sweet malt. The taste is sweet malt with a syrupy feel.

Oct 08, 2017
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Smakawhat from Maryland

4.04/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a can into a nonic pint glass. Best before April 20 2018.

Chestnut amber, golden with deep bronze and copper character body color. Vibrant orange, with an off white fleeting head but thin simple topped puck. Unique and lovely looking like amber.

Nose gives toasty grains and minimal caramel. Chewy sensing wheat like body and a punch of bread dough.

Palate gives up the solid goods. Deep bodied and full mouthfeel, thick and rich malted but controlled. Chewy body of light caramel but stays away from sweet flavors. Sticky almost lager like yeast pasty quality but is far more fruit like in flavor. Dry nutty finish with a mild but and nearly creamy flavored. Tangy very faint twinge of hay and barnyard character.

Great tasting solid brew.

Jun 02, 2017
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MoohMooh from France

2.73/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

The best thing about this beer is how it looks : it pours a nice amber color with little head, and some pretty lacing. When you dive in however, there's not much to like. It smells malty and somewhat bready, but alcohol tends to mask everything; the result is pretty flat and not really mouth-watering. Taste isn't much better, with malts dominating again, and just a touch of banana. It's somewhat sweet, but with a disagreeable sour aftertaste. Carbonation is medium to light, with a relatively rich body, but there's not much complexity to be found there either.

I didn't read reviews beforehand, so I can't say I'm disappointed, but it's not the first time I find mediocre a beer everyone is gushing over (at least here on BA)... Though once again, it's a style I'm not familiar with. I might try this again down the line, but I'll try some other bières de garde first.

Aug 19, 2016
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dar482 from New York

4.27/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The beer comes in a light to medium amber color, with a kind glow to it.

The aroma offers sugary and candy sweetness, chewy sweet malts, preserved apricots, cooked apples, hints of cork and musty qualities.

The flavor moves on with a wonderful balance of apple skin and sweet apple, white sugar, medium minus caramel sweetness, some earthy and spicy hop quality and a medium plus drying to cut the sweetness offered up front. Hint of metallic on the finish.

The musty and cork qualities are not too evident in this beer, but instead offering a wonderful dry quality towards the finish to cut the fruity and malty sweetness up front.

Jul 23, 2016
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AgentMunky from New York

3.3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 33cL bottle into a Jenlain glass at Pates et Traditions. Bastille Day.
A luscious ruby amber with lightest head.
It smells vaguely lagery-sulfuric/metallic. Touch of malty sweetness.
Full-bodied with a dose of the nosed minerals. The endtaste is murky malty sweetish. Kind of a mess, but no real off notes. Not clean, but with an elusive crisp acidity, like biting into a fresh red apple.
Pleasant enough, and interesting. Tastes more like a golden ale than an amber. Recommended once.

Jul 15, 2016
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Beginner2 from Illinois

4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

This ale, by either legend or fact, is credited with having saved its style; a product of that narrow ecological band between where grapes can no longer grow and where Belgium starts. It also serves as a transition zone between cultures. Curiously, this band held some of the horrible western front in World War 1 and Dunkirk. But, let's not read too much into a beer.

Looks are great, a modest head, nice lace and a very pretty amber (a compliment since men prefer blondes.)
Smell tells me a full malt flavor, but has modest spicing. (I like modest spices.)
Taste initially talks malts, but then the spice sort of asserts itself... which gives me a semi-dry finish.
With a modest low-bubble feel, Ambree' is a great ale to have with most foods. You might expect this for the French/Belgium table ... and you won't be disappointed. Cleanse the palate and eat more.
I am liking this style more and more. And I will have Jenlain often.

Reviewed at-length in Roger Protz' "300 Beers To Try Before You Die!"
Listed in the "1001 Beers To Taste Before You Die" this ale deserves to be there for helping save this food-friendly style... which, frankly, American crafters should make more of.

May 03, 2016
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drmeto from Germany

3.54/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

-pours a clear amber with a medium,foamy,offwhite head
-medium carbonation visible
-caramel,toffee,spicy,biscuity,nutty,brown sugar,plums
-medium carbonation
-light to medium body
-alcohol noticeable
I found this similar to Einbecker's Urbock Dunkel.
Good .

Apr 25, 2016
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Bruno74200 from France

3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Great smell but the taste is not as good. It's a typical bière de garde.
This supermarket ale is still more enjoyable than some other but isn't really peculiar

Nov 10, 2015
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RochefortChris from North Carolina

4.54/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy amber color with medium-low clarity. Off white head that forms lacing on the glass

Aroma is very malt forward, some slight oxidation, little to no hop presence, perhaps some slight mustyness

Sweet maltyness mainly from yeast strain, little hop character, some musty notes.

Medium-low carbonation, slight lingering bitterness from the hops but pleasant aftertaste.

Overall a very fine, traditional example of a hard to fine style.

Mar 06, 2015
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JoshJ from Australia

4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml corked bottle. Poured into a tulip. I've now had 6 of these as many weekends and it's firming up as my go to regular because the balance of elements lends itself to a very enjoyable, slowly sipped amber.

Personally I like strong ambers and almost sweet tasting notes and this is the perfect blend for me.

Glad I found this beauty, we don't a lot of variety in this space in Australia. Dan Murphys has started stocking it alongside the regulars like La Chouffe and Chimay. It's replaced La Chouffe for me if presented the choice ( and I LOVE La Chouffe )

Jun 19, 2014
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eduardolinhalis from Switzerland

3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle served in a tulip glass.

A: Pour a clear amber color forming a medium bubbled white head. Medium retention and lots of lingering, spotty and molasses lacings left in the glass

S: Sweet grains, toffee and honey. Strong notes of roasted and caramel malts. Bit fruity. Good flowery and citrus hops notes

T: Sweet malts upfront with strong notes of caramel. Notes of toffee, caramel malts and flowery hops. Moderate bitterness. Good bittersweet balance

M: Medium body. Molasses. Medium carbonation. Caramel malts aftertaste

O: Good drinkability. Good beer

Jun 10, 2014
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SmashPants from Australia

3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: a tall and very solid green 750mL bottle with a stylish label.

Appearance: pours a crystal clear, light orange-amber with champagne-style fine carbonation. A thick and creamy off-white head rises and lasts for quite a time. Slowly drops to a rocky cap. Looks great.

Aroma: a fairly complex nose of flora and earth, with a toasted malt and sweet honey,

Taste: some orchard fruits join the floral and earthen characteristics, with the toast and honey. Some spice behind also.

Mouth feel: the honey character becomes somewhat bitter on the finish, quite smooth too with spice and orchard fruit.

Overall: a very nicely put together beer - orchard fruits and spice, toasted malt and the honey is a very nice touch. Not a terrible price either, at AU$105 for 12 x 750mL.

May 18, 2014
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doktorhops from Australia

4.22/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I must admit I'm harbouring a soft spot for Jenlain after the Or, which was a Belgian-topping French brew. The big question mark this time is amber coloured, and in a delightfully cheap (by cork bottle standards) 750ml bottle that lured me from the shelf where it sat prominently next to Chimay Blue and Duvel, giants in their own rights... will it compete with the best of Belgium like its brother?

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Chimay chalice.

A: Ambrée in name, amber in colour. The body is a nice clear amber with large champagne bubbles present within and a ring of white lace around the glass.

S: Farmhouse characters abound; hay bales, apple peel and musty yeast all dominate the nose with added notes of burnt caramel providing a sweet/malty back bone. It's a different take on a Bière de Garde with that added burnt caramel, and it no doubt provides the "amber" in the Ambrée name.

T: Tasty, damn tasty brew! Above barnyard characters; hay bales, apple peel and musty yeast are all present, as is the caramel malt which really makes its presence known in the palate with a chunky-yummy-sticky caramel goodness. It is sweet, as expected, but not too sweet. There is a hint of medicinal hop bitterness in the finish, the balance is quite simply: spot on. A touch of metal is also detected but it doesn't distract too much.

M: Medium bodied, medium carbonation with a bit of malt stickiness thrown in. Jenlain Ambrée is no palate cleanser and it knows it.

D: Two for two Jenlain, I am officially impressed. This and the Or really do show that France can play with the big boys, a country heretofore known for its world-class wine and cheese is now (in my books) known for its world-class beer as well... actually another country that is known for its wine and cheese is also bringing out high quality craft beer much to my amazement: Italy. It's great to see this craft beer renaissance happening in other parts of the world; all for the greater beer [insert spooky voice: "All for the greater beer"].

Food match: Blanquette de Veau with lyonnaise potatoes, or Pavés du Mail would be a nice pairing, the creaminess of their sauces countering the cloying sweetness whilst keeping with the French theme of this brew.

Apr 16, 2014
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chogm54 from Australia

4.16/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I saw this 750ml corked bottle wedged between some Chimay Blue and La Chouffe at the bottleshop - with such esteemed neighbours, this beer must be worth a go....

a - as the name suggests, amber in colour, pours a thin white head with lacing.

s - subtle, sweet smells - honey, caramel with a slight malt, papaya and coffee when agitated

t - sweet flavours at the start - butterscotch, burnt brown sugar, with a slight malt tartiness and red grape flavour at the end.

m - moderate carbonation, dry texture with thin to medium body, slightly astringent alcohol finish, almost as much as you would expect from a 10-12%ABV.

Not too bad, I really enjoyed the sweetness but it may be too much for some. I might feel a bit different once I get towards the end of the bottle...

Mar 22, 2014
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PolarBear3 from Australia

3.47/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a clear amber colour with frothy white head that retains fairly well

S - Caramel, toffee apple, sweet malts on the nose. More like a sweet dessert.

T - Very sweet caramel, candy, a hint of some dark fruit, figs, cherries with a slight boozy finish.

M - Medium bodied with Medium carbonation

O- Not a bad beer but a little too sweet for my liking. Could only just finish the one. Gets rather sickly after a while.

Mar 07, 2014
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FLima from Brazil

3.07/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Pretty amber copper color, but with a thin head with short retention.
Surprisingly malty and hay aroma with earthy notes and caramels.
Sweet caramel malty flavor with herbal notes, tutti fruit, though mostly plums and oxidized apples, and candied sugar. No aftertaste.
Light to medium body with medium carbonation. Alcohol of 7.5% is well hidden.
Overly sweet beer with low complexity, not really pleasant after warming up. I kept lowering its grade. Definitely overrated.

Mar 01, 2014
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ryan1788a5 from Massachusetts

3.76/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Clear red-orange in color. Off white head retains fairly well at a half and inch. Delicate patchwork of lacing.

S: Caramel and crust from the malts. Toasted grain too. Juicy berries and some peach and apricot notes. Slightly musty and very subtly spicy yeast remains at an even keel in the background. Herbal and oily/spicy hops have some kick on the nose.

T: Caramel maltiness lays down a coating blanket of flavor. Toasted grains and crust. Juicy fruit tastes of apricot, peach, and suggestions of berries. Very subtle yeasty undertones. Oily, herbal, and spicy hops come out more toward the back end. Sweet finish of caramel and fruit with a subtle lingering spicy hop bite.

M: On the thicker side of medium bodied. Syrupy and coating texture is lifted a little by some firm and prickling carbonation, but not quite enough. Mild alcohol warmth and hop oils.

O: The hop bitterness and flavor comes on a bit stronger than in other examples of the style, but is still never in any danger of usurping the malt character. In fact, the flaw of this beer may be that the body is a little more weighty and dextrinous than it should be, and this makes it less drinkable.

Jan 22, 2014
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IchLiebeBier from Virginia

4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Russet colored; medium head

Aroma: Malty; spicy; fruity

Taste: Malty; spicy; tart; dry; complex finish

Remarks: One of my favorites. I'd buy it almost every time we went to Cora in Strasbourg. I missed it so much I homebrewed some.

Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores

Jun 15, 2013
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gr0g from New Jersey

3.61/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Amber-gold, hazy with some floaties. The usual billowing head I'd expect from a bottle-conditioned beer doesn't materialize. Still, there's about two fingers of foam, leaving behind scattered streaks of lace. Smells of sweet butterscotch with fruity notes of ripe apple and white grape. Yeast notes are barely there.

The sweetness from the aroma is quite prominent on the palate, though it dries out a bit toward the finish. Malty and somewhat fruity overall. The very fine carbonation is extremely soft, leading to a mouthfeel that's kind of dull and flat.

A bit too sweet and lacking in complexity, and the texture is a let-down, too. The basic flavors and aromas are nice, but the aforementioned faults make this a tepid recommendation at best.

Mar 31, 2013
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Bouleboubier from New Jersey

4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: big, poofy (2"), creamy, light-tan head - leaves a bit of lace - liquid is a crystal-clear, glowing, deep amber

S: extremely bold toasty-malty - the toast aroma is of a deeply-brown bread crust or a dried-out, slightly soured bread dough - also suggests copious crystal malt (though I know this isn't an ingredient) with a peculiar herbal edge to it (yeast-driven perhaps) - vague fruity esters in the background

T: quite possibly the most toasted-bread-crusty flavor in a beer that I've ever experienced - also in there is an apple cider or grape-like fruitiness in the back and a strange herbal-alcohol note - good bit moreish

F: slight warming sensation in the finish, pleasant and mellow - suggestion of a fullish body - the carbonation, aside from a tiny tingle up front, does not seem to factor in much - it kind of just drops off dry in the end, reminiscent of a German Helles or Pils.

O: nice, interesting, different - varies ever so slightly from the draft version I had a few months ago, as far as this here having a bolder toasty flavor and bitterness

definitely worth checking out!

Jan 06, 2013
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Knapp85 from Pennsylvania

3.47/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured out as a very nice clear orange color with a thin white head on top. The head fades quickly, no retention or lacing. The smell of the beer is sweet smelling with some grain aromas. Maybe a hint of honey on the nose too. The taste is sweet, caramel and honey-like flavors with minimal hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is light, a little watery, some moderate carbonation and drinkable. Overall is starts out sweet with a dry finish, it's a. Good brew but nothing something I would rave about.

Nov 04, 2012
Jenlain Ambrée from Brasserie Duyck
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 327 ratings