Once upon a time not too long ago there was a bar in SoHo ( South of Houston – pronounced How-stun) in Manhattan that had the bad fortune to order for cases of Jenlain ale. Actually, it was my good fortune as they sold the beer as a loss leader for $4.00(US) a bottle. To the best of my knowledge, I drank every one of those bottles of beer. And so, I approached facing this beer with a great deal of anticipation…
According to the brewery website:
“Formerly known as Sebourg beer, this abbey-type beer with 6% alcohol by volume was rebaptized Saint Druon de Sebourg in 2000, as a tribute to Saint Druon and the little church in Sebourg, the next village to Jenlain. Druon, a homeless but pious orphan, wandered the roads until he settled in the village, and is still honoured and revered by pilgrims each year. The brewery is now one of the church benefactors and contributes to the cost of renovating the edifice. “
“Malted barley and 3 varieties of hops grown in Alsace form the basis of this recipe, which, unlike Duyck's other beers, also contains wheat from the Beauce region of France, milled in the traditional way by Sebourg's miller. And to give it an even more distinctive flavour, the Duyck's use a specific strain of yeast exclusive to the beer.”
This is a bright yellow golden beer topped with a glistening fairly rocky head of small bubbles. The Belgian lace is a little disconcerting as it looks more like foam than lace.
The first impression is a generally fruity type aroma. The second impression exposes accents of apple and pear, and finally, the grainy undercurrents of malt. The moments between lip and sip reveals very little.
This beer is neither too dense nor too thin.
There is a particular house flavor imparted by the yeast used to ferment this brew. It strides ahead of any influence of either the hops or the malt. Nevertheless, when you try to find the two basic flavors of this brew they are there to be found.
The finish to this brew was on the sweet side. However, at the very end there is a bit of honeysuckle flavor left on the palate.
There must be a public-relations reason to call this a French abbey ale. It is quite similar to the Jenlain that I have had before. . This particular product is a good representation of a commercial abbey ale. It’s a good place to start, but I wouldn’t want to stay here.
The flavors of this particular brew would go well with a dish of mussels or clams, steamed in the same beer.
The brewery Site: http://www.duyck.com/indexuk.php
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