Jenlain Ambrée | Brasserie Duyck

very good
209 Reviews
Jenlain AmbréeJenlain Ambrée

Brewed by:
Brasserie Duyck

Style: Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jermar on 03-09-2002

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Reviews: 209 | Ratings: 306
Photo of nortmand
4.85/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours crystal clear copper with a fluffy brown head.

Rich, earthy yeast smell. Caramel as well.

Full fruity caramel notes dominate. Ends with a light touch of acidic bitterness. Beautiful.

Full, rich mouthfeel with supple carbonation. Two bottles of Jenlain, some nice, crusty bread, brie and your secial other would make a perfect romantic spring picnic.

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Photo of ledemie
4.85/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Transparent rusty copper color, very clean, ivory head.

S - Malty with a refreshing background.

T - a citrus/raisin combination a nice maltiness, dry, slightly bitter. .

M - the beer has a mild carbonation.bitterness and lightly sweet caramel flavor.

D - This is a great beer, thanks to importation, a well crafted beer for the Belgium and Biere de garde lovers.

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Photo of rousee
4.72/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is so underrated. Amber color , nice head, nice lace-just a fabulous unique beer. This is your Thanksgiving beer as I could see it pairing perfectly w/ Turkey, stuffing, crannberry, etc.Smell is so subtle and mild, there is some woody elements going on--this is a nice beer. Just take my advice and buy this shit if you have the opportunity.

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Photo of cokes
4.62/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Smoky orange trimmed with a bountiful and long-lasting sandy froth.
Perfumed of lilacs and rose petals, touched with a cork spiciness and dashing malt sweetness.
Begins doughy and sweet, full of sugar cookies and toast smeared with apricot preserves. Corkboard and cedar, along with a dash of thyme appear midway as this gallops towards dryness. Ends with a fully expressed, but minorly bittered, floral notation, with those same lilac and rose promises from the aroma.
Mouthfeel is divine in its nible heft. A fully creamed, effervescent skim milk.
As easy to gulp as it is to savor.
It's perhaps not the most intricate biere de garde, but it's fully realized, cohesive and delicious. Just a joy.

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Photo of oelergud
4.57/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Corked and caged green glass bottle.
Slightly cloudy transparent copper and mahogany body. Orange tinted creamy head. Good retention and great lace.
Sweet and subdued pleasant scent. Mildly spiced and hopped. Abit of fruit and grain.
Great taste. Sweet and spiced, well balanced and just enough hops and grass. Mild aftertaste of sweet malts, some spice and hops.
Full body with a creamy feel. Good coating and abit slick as well.
This is one drinkable brew. Mild and sweet, spiced and slightly hoppy. Very good beer.


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Photo of Bighuge
4.57/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Murky looking brown with an orangish tint to it. Thin but bubbly off-white head. Retetion is adequate. The bubbly collar leaves some sporadic lace. Aroma is spicy, herbal, hoppy and earthy. Awesome. Nice earthy and herbal characteristics. Great farmhouse brew. There's a nice sweetness, but also a nice dry, hoppiness on the finish. Fruit nuances of pear and apple check in to add depth. Nice medium-full body. Perfect amount of prickly carbonation. Very refreshing. A 750 for $4?? Yeah, I'd be buying a hell of a lot more of this if it was available in this area.

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Photo of RochefortChris
4.54/5  rDev +21.1%
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.

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Photo of Naerhu
4.53/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Transparent rusty copper body with only the most minimal carbonation visible. Thin head and increadible lacing.
S - Malty with a fresh hoppyness.
A - Brilliantly malty, dry, slightly bitter. The initials flavors are really soft maltyness, with a woody and tobacco mid-palate and a finish that is a wonderful blend of bitterness and lightly sweet caramel flavors.
M - Super silkly and mild carbonation. GREAT!!!
D - This is a great beer!!! Great to sip after dinner while unwinding.

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Photo of VoodooBrew
4.5/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My oh my here's a good one...

Tropical fruit and a hint of chocolate appear on the lose of this medium gold-copper brew. There's raisin and clean, fruity notes on the palate along with sweet malt. The proper bitterness imparts a near perfect balance! This marvelously easy drinker is crisp, clean, and refreshing! Superb!

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Photo of RBorsato
4.5/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Peach colored with a nice full creamy light tan head, decent carbonation, and good lace. Spicy, yeasty, and fruity (prunes) aroma. Spicy malt flavors with a bit of orange fruitiness. Light-medium bodied and smotth with a dry spicy finish (anise and pepper).

Per BD website: With 7.5% alcohol by volume, this unpasteurized beer is made with 3 different types of malt produced from French barley, and 3 varieties of hops grown in Alsace. It is the torrefied malt that gives it its attractive amber glow and many-hued aroma.

Per M.J.-U.B. book: 6.5 % ABV

Per B.O.M. notes: 6% ABV

Best By: 01/2006 (lasered)
Tasted: 07/09/05

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Photo of sommersb
4.47/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted On: 02-13-2012
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 330 ml brown bottle
Glassware: Tulip
Purchased: Single from Grace's, Nashville

A: Cloudy and amber colored, with good lacing and retention from the medium-sized white head.

S: Malt sweetness, spices, grape/wine mustiness, caramelized molasses, and woodsy, floral hops make for a pleasant and complex aroma.

T: Rich and malty, with spices such as cinnamon and clove, ripe dark fruits, and a woody/oak flavor as well. Superb taste!

M: Smooth, with a medium body and carbonation that is medium to high. Finish is malty, slightly sweet and spicy. Good alcohol warming effect as well.

O: I liked this beer very much and would highly recommend it.

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Photo of jwc215
4.42/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml cork-caged bottle, poured into glass chalice:

Pours caramel copper with a thin white head that eventually becomes a swirling patch. Some lacing sticks.

The smell is earthy, barnyardy hay-like with caramel.

The taste is earthy/a bit musty/barnyardy with caramel, nuts and a bit of vanilla. Caramel sweetness stays just ahead of a bit of sourish orange marmelade and herbal bitterness - nicely balanced. Soft, subtley complex. It has a soft, almost woody, finish.

The feel is light to medium with effervescent carbonation.

Alcohol is very well covered.

A nice, very drinkable, well-balanced, classic interpretation of a Biere de Garde.

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Photo of marcobrau
4.37/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An amber colored ale that pours with a flourish of a foam that settles to thin veneer of bubbles. The aroma of toffee, nuts, fruit and sugar combined with a faint mustiness bursts from the glass and then fades, but is still noticeable after a few minutes. This beer is soft, malty, then fruity, with sugary notes. Finishes slightly dry, yet a bit slippery, with a tartness that tickles the side of the mouth. A medium bodied ale with a soft mouthfeel but slighty rough carbonation. There's some unsual fruity flavors towards the finish that are very interesting. I like this beer, especially at $2.99 a 750ml bottle. A very enjoyable, peculiar beer. Based on what I know about the style, this a very good Biere de Garde.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.37/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle, review #675,

A: Pours amber with a small white head, with average head retention, quite opaque.

S: Musty banyard character, grass, honey, caramel malt.

T: Strong malt comes on first, very sweet, hint of molasses cookies. Barnyard comes to balance it, with some mint jelly, earthy hops, and possibly light Brett.

M: Quite easy to drink, yeasty, dries out the tongue.

D: A classic biere de garde, I liked this one a lot, definitely has a raw, rustic feel to it, and it is endlessely drinkable until you get pissed, will buy this one again and again.

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Photo of Amalak
4.35/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had out of a 12 ounce bottle. It was caramel in color with a good tan head and lacing. Cloudy. It has a pungent vegetable, soapy scent to it. Very nice.

It's malty and floury. I'm not a pro, so all I can say is it has a very complex array of flavors. The malt hits strong. There's a kind of tree-bark aftertaste. Almost port-wineish in a way.

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Photo of 7ways
4.35/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

You know that beer that you've looked at on the shelf for years, but never bothered with, only to find out it's a revelation? That's Jenlain Ambree (and Blonde, too) for me.

Starts with a beautiful pour, rocky beige head and a stunning pale pink and amber hue.

The nose presents notes of peach, rain, floral hops, lightly toasted malt, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Yeah bitches.

Just a touch of hops on the palate, very mild at first, spicy and herbal after the jump. In between, there's sweet doughy malt with hints of orange, peach and pepper that transitions into a dry, rounded finish. Very well balanced.

Mouthfeel is medium, ample carbonation, very drinkable and refreshing. This beer screams for hearty country food, but could probably handle a lot more.

Highly underrated.

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Photo of Daredevil
4.35/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

glass used: Chimay

I had this bottle in my cellar for quite a while (actually beyond the so called expiry date), but it still tastes fresh and crispy ... the brew has a sort of 'artisanal touch', everything somewhat looks 'handmade': starting with the bottle, the muddy appearance and a not very elegant balance .... actually to my surprise even though this brew is rather tweedy, it's great pleasure drinking it ... caramelized toffees paired with vanilla, anisette and pineapple - sounds rather 'exotic', and perhaps is but for sure worth a try ... if only they could work on the slightly unpleasant sticky bitter-sweet aftertaste ....

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Photo of pradipta
4.33/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is the first French beer I have drunk, and I am overwhelmed. I guess something has to rub off from Belgium!
Pours a lovely clear orange-ish colour. The orange is so strong that it makes the head looks brownish. Subtle nose of toasted malt, caramel and licorice, and a mild but agreeable phenol and a promise of complexity which it delivers in a strong spicy taste and aftertaste. Surprisingly strong carbonation in the mouth. Agreeable and long-lasting aftertaste.

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Photo of GRPunk
4.32/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A- It poured a deep brown, almost like a dark cherry wood color. The tan head quickly turns to a light lace that leaves a good stick to the side of the glass. It's really a beautiful beer. I'd just hoped the head would stick around a bit longer.

S- It smelled quite fruity. It was something like plums with caramel characteristics.

T- More malt and fruit flavors. It tasted something like cooked plums/cherries/raisins and caramel with some spice in the background. It also had a hit of warming alcohol.

M- It was a little on the thick side (not in a negative fashion) with light carbonation.

D- Tastes good. Nice mouthfeel. It makes for a good drinkability.

Overall- A beer I'd have again. It has the flavor of a nightcap beer without the overwhelming alcohol effect.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
4.3/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle purchased at LaBodega in Riverside, CA, in August 2006 for $8.99. Black and red label as shown in the picture above.

I wasn't sure about this beer (I'm unsure about French beers after a bad Fischer incident, but that's another story for another time), but I generally like Farmhouse Ales, and I hadn't heard of it, so what the heck, give it a try.

This is one of those not-so-complex-but-really-tasty beers. I really liked it. Bready, semi-sweet, with a very filling mouthfeel, flavors of light citrus, honey, and peach syrup (but not overly sweet) with just enough farmhouse funk/spiciness to keep it from being a one-note fruit-sugar bomb. My wife likes it too, so I didn't get to drink the bottle- darn!

Recommended for a time when you just want something tasty, not too complex, especially if you want a break from hop monsters.

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Photo of mdagnew
4.3/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle bought from The Vineyard, Belfast...

Poured a golden copper / rusty orange colour... Slightly off white head poured quite big and fades to a nice layer...

Aroma - Nice caramel / biscuity malt, nutty, burnt orange hints, light pepperiness, floral, some woodiness...

Taste – Spicy maltiness, fruity (raisins), slight toffee sweetness, caramel, nice light hop bitterness, some vanilla hints underneath...

Feel - Quite smooth and slightly oily. Medium body. Very drinkable...

Overall - An excellent beer, very drinkable. Recommended !!

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.3/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz. bottle, the first time I've seen it in this format...

Clear, crimson coloring, intense carbonation, rocky, creamy, off-white head that stays a long, long time...

Aroma, sweet and rosy, fruits aplenty, the darker ones, grapes, berry, melon...

Taste: nice bit of hops up front, bold and bright, more brisk fruit shining through...refreshing and flavorful. Medium bodied, with a gentle, fruity, hoppy finish. Nice play on the mouth, this gives much and takes little, offers rewards with each new sip.

There are better biere de gardes, but once this is in my mouth, I find it hard to complain about a lack of transcendence in my glass...nice beer, 'nuff said.

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Photo of drperm
4.28/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was originally planning to bring the Castelian St. Amand Ale for this year's Thanksgiving feast, but ended up grabbing a bottle of the Jenlain Ambree (yet another notable French Biere de Garde) instead. It was definitely worth doing.

Jenlain, according to their own website (Brasserie Duyck), was the first brewery to package beers in 75 cL champagne-style bottles with wire-fastened corks. The Ambree is an unpasteurized biere de garde made from 3 different French barley malts and 3 different Alsatian hops. The 7.5% ABV is very very smooth.

Appearance: Lovely burnt caramel color with plenty of carbonation bubbles and a nice off-white head that thins out after a few seconds.
Aroma: Mild, caramelly, ever-so-slightly hoppy, faint hint of fruit -- peaches? and a whiff of hay to finish.
Flavor: Much more complex on the tongue than on the nose. A certain lagery quality reminiscent of Warsteiner (I seem to remember Castelian also exhibiting this lagery-ness), caramel/burnt sugar tones, a sharpness that says, "drink with farmhouse cheese!", and some rustic farm qualities: fresh grass, hay, nuts, herbs.
Palate: fantastically spritzy without being too champagne-like. Wonderful feel.
Overall: it’s no St Amand (still my favorite Biere de Garde, thus far) but more complex than Castelain.

The Ambree was truly excellent with Thanksgiving Dinner -- and what I especially appreciate, it was equally good with the main course and the dessert: it paired faultlessly with the turkey & dressing, gravy, veggie casseroles, and sweet potatoes, and then turned around and sang in harmony with the pumpkin pie, pecan pie, and apple crisp! Vive la biere francaise!

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Photo of goochpunch
4.27/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out an, essentially, still orangey-amber body with a thinnish head that reduces quickly. Leaves some here-and-there lacing. Smells of big caramel, toffee, sweet malts, toasted malts, and a touch of herbal and earthy hops. The intense caramel/toffee doesn't come off AS much in the flavor, but it is there. There is also more of a nuttiness and a toasty punch toward the finish, accompanied by some more pungent herbal hop. I get also a tad of orange in the aftertaste. Little bit of alcohol is perceived, but works well to balance some of this sweetness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a bit of a sticky feel. Bubbles could relax a little more for my taste. Solid drinker and a solid overall biere de garde.

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Photo of dar482
4.27/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

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Jenlain Ambrée from Brasserie Duyck
3.75 out of 5 based on 306 ratings.
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