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Jenlain Ambrée | Brasserie Duyck

very good
208 Reviews
Jenlain AmbréeJenlain Ambrée

Brewed by:
Brasserie Duyck
France | website

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: 208 | Ratings: 302
Photo of Skidz
4.17/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out light amber and sits bright copper in the glass with a large, light tan head, fading slowly to a thick coating of skim with some nice lacings.

Smells rich and loaded with caramel and hints of toffee. Roasted nuts, brown sugar, honey and bits of raisins and figs shine through. Doughy apple droppings and a light dose of grassy hops provide a bit of spiciness in the background.

Tastes light and fruity up front, apples, pears and starfruit upfront. Caramel blends in and a moderate shot of leafy hops bitters up the mass of it. Slight and soft hints of nuts in the background. Finish is nicely bittered with lingering fruitiness.

Quite forgiving in the mouth with soft, delicate streams of carbonation. Medium body, highly refreshing and addictive.

I'm not blown away by this beer, but I am still firmly impressed. As drinking goes, this goes down with the best of them. Maybe a bit shy overall, but pounds it out nonetheless.

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

Another great Belgian / French beer. Its got a dark yellow - golden color, a bit hazed with a champaign like head and carbonation. Aromas of wine, musk, grapes, pears, apples and earthyness. Mild sweetness of honey combined with tart lactic acids create crispness and complexity. Not as musky, earthy, or pungent as some other Biere de Gardes. Lighter notes make this beer a better drinker. Finishes dry, tart, and crisp. Light alcohol is woven into the tartness and fades nicely.

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Photo of soper2000
4.22/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cork popped rather easily off of this 750 but thankfully there was nol rush of beer. Poured a nice coppper color with a quickly dissapating white head. Smell was delicate and floral. Taste is full of subtlities, slightly sweet and mayber pepper?? I don't know if my mind is playing tricks on me. A lot of malt is present though which grows stronger as it warms. Pretty drinkable in my book. A nice treat every once and awhile.

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Photo of ALEBOY
4.22/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Lovely rich amber colour with a small off-white head. Very fruity aroma with hints of cinnamon. Absolutely incredible tasting beer, very fruity with hints of peaches and other stone fruit. Very soft in the mouth( a party for the palate! ). A beatifull beer to reserve for special occasions, But i could probably only drink one or two at a time. Would go great with fruit or strong cheese.

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Photo of doktorhops
4.22/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

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Photo of the42ndtourist
4.23/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330mL bottle at the Esplanade Bier Markt in Toronto. Served in matching Jenlain glass.

Orange-tinted golden colour. Very light chill haze. The head is quite small and drops to a thin ring and covering layer. Still, it's quite appealing. Aroma hints at the flavours to come - a couple phenols, some citrus, maybe a slight mustiness. The flavours themselves - there's a sour hint to the beginning, followed by sweetness, hints of lemon, hops fade in and out. A dry finish leaving the throat crying out for more. A very respectable beer. There's pleasant flavours, nothing is out of proportion and everything is restrained in a wonderful understated harmony.

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

The beer poured light golden amber into the chalice. The head was white with a yellow hue and lasted to lace the glass.

The aroma was malty with caramel and dark fruit notes.

The flavor was malty with dark caramel and dark fruit. The beer started out on the palate sweet and became dryer with some bittering. The bittering and flavor hops stood out in the flavor.

The finish was dry with a slight bitterness lasting into the aftertaste. The body was medium to medium light.

750 ml bottle corked and bailed. Very refreshing and easy drinking beer.

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Photo of RedDiamond
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From a corked and caged bottle purchased at Whitesides, Corvallis after a recommendation from the clerk.

This is a delightful, soft-bodied farmhouse ale with a light fruity aroma that hints at cherry essence. There is no discernable hop presence to speak of here, just a slight backdrop of complimentary bittering. Body is clear auburn, with gentle carbonation. It leaves a very slight powdery yeast residue in the bottle.

This is a simple, refreshing, and smart beer with an understated elegance that’s easy to cozy to. You’ve heard of comfort food. This is like comfort beer; gently sweet with relaxed properties. Recommended.

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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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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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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Jenlain Ambrée from Brasserie Duyck
85 out of 100 based on 208 ratings.
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