Name: Jenlain Noël
Brewery: Brasserie Duyck
Country of Origin: France
City & State: Jenlain, France
Style: Bière de Garde
Alcohol Content (ABV): 6.80%
First Brewed: 1950
Price: $6.00 (Found this bottle on sale at Sun Devil Liquors in Tempe, Arizona.)
Deep copper in color with an impressive head. Some earthy hop on the aroma overtakeen by spice and herb nuances. The palate is fruity and malty before a spice and hop character builds up along with an alcohol warmth. Alternately floral and carmel on the finish.
I was JUST talking to Patrick about French beers. He said there aren’t any good beers from France. He is wrong! I actually like 1664. I still have a bottle from when I first visited Paris. They still sell it, and you can get it pretty much anywhere. I have had several beers from France, but 1664 is the most memorable. Curious to see if this French Christmas ale is worth trying. Oh, and happy holidays!
I found this bottle in a shopping cart in the clearance aisle at Sun Devil Liquors in Tempe, Arizona. That is probably one of my favorite bottle shops in the Valley. They have a bar, too. If you are ever there, you must go downstairs and have a beer. It’s worth it. Trust me.
OK, it’s time to drink. Also, I am going to start mentioning Erick in every beer review. I am talking to him right now on instant messenger, and since he is such a big fan of what we are doing here on 1001 Bottles, consider him our mascot! Cheers, Erick!
In the Glass: This bottle has a cork, and most corked beer “pop” when you open them. This one… Not so much. It seemed pretty flat when I poured it, too. The tasting notes talk about this “impressive head” but I didn’t see that at all. I hope this isn’t a bad bottle because this beer isn’t actually distributed to Arizona. They get a lot of beers like that at Sun Devil Liquors. The beer does look malty… That’s for sure.
Nose: That smells malty. It has a nice subtle sweetness to it, too. I actually hope this is fairly flat as I am not in the mood for a lot of bubbles. Although, I did announce my new job today. I did think of getting a bottle of champagne to celebrate. This had a cork. Close enough! Let’s drink. Cheers!
Flavor: I LOVE it. It’s flat, but it tastes like a well aged barleywine. That is really nice. It’s too cold, but that is a great beer. I do think this is too flat, but is a really good example of the style. The spice is obvious, and I can tell why this is considered a Christmas beer. I actually REALLY like this beer. I wonder if I tossed it in the microwave… Nah, I will wait.
Mouthfeel: It’s flat. There is no carbonation whatsoever. That’s not a bad thing, though. It is almost thick. Not quite chewy, but getting close. I would love to see this beer barrel aged. I have been sand that a lot, haven’t I? I guess the trend is setting in.
Aftertaste: The finish is nice and the aftertaste is malty and sweet. I am really getting some nice caramel notes on the finish and it keeps me going back for another drink. I might not have the patience to let this warm up.
If I was doing a blind taste test, and you said, “Ricky, what style is this?” I would say, “That is either a barleywine or an old ale.” It’s neither… But man, that is a good beer. I am going to force myself to let the rest of this sit. I am in no rush. I still have 2 weeks until Christmas!!!
Jenlain Noël – The bottle says: “Each year, to celebrate the holidays, Brasserie Duyck brewed a single batch of this very special ale as a gift to its loyal customers. Slightly darker than the classic Ambrée, Jenlain Noël is produced with three French barley malts and three varieties of the most aromatic hops from Alsace.
This fine, unpasteurized ale has such a rich aroma glow, a dense yea, and a fabulous floral nose, with suggestions of caramel and citrus fruit in the alate, but unlike many Holiday ales, Jenlain Noël is brewed without the addition of flavorings or spices. Enjoy, and best wishes for the holidays!”
Well, unfortunately, due to a mistake on my part, I don’t have my original review of this beer. I accidentally deleted it before editing and posting it. Oops! I do remember Ricky talking about it being flat, though, and I remember thinking that it just had a funny taste to it. Parts of it were good, but it really wasn’t very balanced. I’m sorry I don’t remember more, but I know I didn’t rate it as high as Ricky did, so I’m just going to guess here. Sorry!