05 March 2009

Jenlain Bière de Printemps

I grabbed this one while in the LCBO with my cousin and his girlfriend. I was looking to fill an LCBO "Mix 8" and because of Amanda's urging to hurry up, I took it off the shelf and put it in my carton. Once back at my cousin's I had a closer look at my purchase and realized (based solely on the "flowery" label) that this beer would classified by my friends as being in the same category as Pride (a pro-gay beer that was marketed in Ontario for a short time in the 1990's - and no I have never tasted it). In fact, I might have sinked it right then and there if not for the cool devil motif on the neck (the label did have one redeeming quality that can't go unmentioned). Further inspection showed this to be a product of France with an abv of 5.4%. This product also contained the "sea monkeys" that were present in Cooper's Sparkling Ale. Unable to decipher the rest of the French on the label, I did further reasearch on the internet:

In 1991, the brewery decided to revive an old custom harking back to the 14th century when there were no means of refrigeration. Beer was then traditionally brewed in early December and stored over the winter under naturally cool conditions. The first barrels were only opened in March, as the days started to become warmer. It has a fresh, springlike bouquet with dominant tones of malt and grains. It is made using a top fermentation yeast, malted barley and newly harvested Alsation hops. With 5.4% alcohol by volume, it is a pure malt beer that is highly refreshing. It has a fine white head and clear golden colour, a dominant hoppy taste with a hint of fruitiness. Best served between 5 and 6°C.

I wouldn't describe what poured into the glass as "clear". It was more like a murky-orange with distinct "sea monkeys" when held up to the light. It had no scent at all, and very little flavour. Perhaps the lack of flavour was due to it being slightly colder than the recommended 5-6 degrees, but I could see it being refreshing on a hot summer day. In fact, it was so watery tasting that people that hate beer would probably drink this one (if they weren't initially turned off by the murky colour). As Amanda put it, the taste was "smooth and inoffensive - like cross-country skiing." Fans of such watery fare like Coors Light would probably enjoy it, but I can't see myself ever buying it again. Still, it was probably the best beer I have ever tasted from France (which in all honesty isn't saying a whole helluva lot).

1 comment:

John III said...

You didn't have your pinky finger in the air when you drank this did you?