Brasserie Duyck - Jenlain Blonde (French Country Ale)
Brewery: Brasserie Duyck, Jenlain, France Name: Jenlain Blonde Style: Biere de Garde (pale) Origin: French Traditional
French Country Ale, or Biere de Garde, can vary in color from a golden amber to a dark brown, and this is Brasserie Duyck's lighter offering; it comes off like a French version of Saison and in many ways the style as a whole is the farmhouse beer of France. Poured this 750ml bottle into a pilsner glass (my theory being the similar continental/noble hops must benefit in some way from pilsner glasses in the release of the beers aroma). The head was a little sticky, off white, and the beer is golden-yellow color, very much in the vein of saison colors, but also reminiscent of America's lagers. The aroma bursts with hops and herbal notes, but underneath that is a hint of yeast and caramel sweetness. The beer hits the tongue sweet malt first, but a nice bite from the hops follows that quickly. There's more bitterness and hoppy flavor here than in the darker French Country Ales (which is an OMG Beer! favorite, see two American versions - Two Brother's Domaine Dupage and Schlafly Biere de Garde). The color of the beer perhaps deceives you into expecting a lighter body, but the light carbonation and the malt sweetness makes this a medium bodied ale. The finish is dry, but slightly cloying. Great bottle to split with friends over a rustic dinner.