Known for their classic bière de garde (translating to, "beer for storage," a classic French country ale known for its toasted malt aromas and malt sweetness), Jenlain can trace its brewing roots back to the turn of the century. Originally based out of Felix Duyck's farm in 1922, people were coming to the Brasserie Duyck well before 1968 when they officially attached their most popular style, Ambrée, to the name of the village the brewery resided in, Jenlain.
Still a family business, Jenlain is now entering its fourth generation with Felix's grandson Robert currently running operations, continuing to take Jenlain's classic beers into the future. Ahead of its time, Jenlain was the first beer to be bottled in 750ml champagne bottles with a wired cork. The bottles we sampled, though, were regular ol' 11.2 oz ones with caps.
Jenlain's Bière de Mars ("March Beer), is brewed with ingredients from the last season's harvest and is meant to commemorate Winter's end. This spring beer poured with thin carbonation and an almost straw-like color. A bit hazy, it had an aroma akin to a gentle, malty sweetness with notes of lemon and honey. After tasting it, we found it to be quite sweet and very grassy with a little bit of lemon and strawberry hard candy. If the Easter Bunny drank beer (and why wouldn't he?), this would be his go-to brew.
7.5 % ABV
With a fine, champagne-like carbonation, this blonde bière de garde poured a pleasant and light orangey-yellow. A slight hop aroma with some residual yeast coming through, the Blonde was a tad maltier than the Printemps. This beer also proved to be slightly vegetal with a strong foliage aroma. Not too dry overall and at over 7%, this one masked its booziness up until the very end when it came through slightly on the finish.
7.5 % ABV
Jenlain's pride and joy, and their first distributed beer, Ambrée pours a coppery amber with medium carbonation. Notes of burnt caramel and dark fruits hit the nose. This one was the maltiest of the three, but is overall well balanced and slightly rich, but not quite as sweet as the others. Ambrée is a great, malty, table beer that would go great with any meal.
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