PhillyBeer2112 (2474) - Oviedo, Florida, USA - MAY 24, 2004
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: FEB 4, 2008 First rating, I’d like to preserve: Grapey with balsamic vinegar in the nose and flavor, which is sweetish and complex, but man, that balsamic vinegar is everywhere, hard to judge of its good or not. I like vinegar and had only recently sat down and tasted some quality stuff, but when its the dominant flavor of a beer...? Dark amber color. Acidic and strong. Hard to rate.
Next up, a few years later and a second bottle of it, and no hints of balsamic vinegar. Yes, there is plenty of acidity, but its also quite sugary sweet and presents with a bit sweet n sour profile, moderately vinous, only vaguely fruity. Fairly smooth and easy to drink too. I’m keeping the numbers the same actually, but for entirely different reasons.
beerbuzzmontreal (3490) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - MAY 21, 2004
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Small bubbly head, reddish color with medium carbonation. Great sour fruit aroma. Sour, fruity, sweet, complex, reminds me of some good port wines. Slightly bitter finish. It is a beer I like to drink last in a session, I like the fact that the foam clings to the glass, a very good and enjoyable beer.
jimhilt (2341) - Bow, New Hampshire, USA - MAY 17, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours with a two-finger white head leaving that fades quickly but leaves a good lace. Clear, deep reddish amber. Nose is raisin. Tastes of raisins and apricots, smooth with sweetness but has a slightly tart finish. Complex - sweet and sour. A 330ml bottle was $3.50 from Colonial Liquors, Acton, Ma.
Dixen (1465) - Flagstaff, Arizona, USA - MAY 17, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle at DBF 2004. Deep red body, with a nice white head on top. The aroma is sour, sweet, leather, balsamic vinegar, very complex. Flavor is about the same, and some saltiness. Very good one. Im beginning to like these sour ales.
humulus (339) - Salem, Missouri, USA - MAY 11, 2004
2.2 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 10/20
I’m rating this with ample leeway to the fact that I just can’t learn to appreciate this style nor do I understand what a good Flemish Sour is. It should have a nice balance between sweet and sour flavors. I tasted both, but there is certainly no balance. Balsamic vinegar flavor dominates, brown sugar super-sweetness comes in second then there is a salty aftertaste. Try as I did to enjoy, to look somewhere for some inkling of pleasure, I found only shrieking taste buds and cringing lips. It tasted as though it were made with stagnet, metallic drinking fountain water. While I admire anyone that can enjoy this beverage, as far as I’m concerned the Duchesse wears no clothes (actually, she is kinda hot).
Silphium (3111) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - MAY 7, 2004
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
Mmmm...no. Every now and then I stumble across a beer that is unique but simply not good. This is one of those beers. I can confirm the balsamic vinegar aroma and flavor (even bordering on raspberry vinaigrette), but I also picked up a honey/soy aspect I didn’t much care for either. Cloyingly sweet with a metallic aftertaste. Notes of sour apple peel and salt were also detected. About the only compliment I have for this beer is its deep red body. Otherwise, this is reminiscent of a cheap port. Though the beer isn’t awful by any means, I still believe the Duchesse should be put to pasture, perhaps as fertilizer.
Cornboy (424) - Eastampton, New Jersey, USA - MAY 2, 2004
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
I have never enjoyed a beer more than my first Duchesse. I was amazed, and still am.
It is not for everyone, one of those love/hate beers.
Has a distinct aroma and taste of balsamic vinegar with a contrasted, but complimenting sweetness.
I honestly took an hour to drink my first one.
Amazing, complex, Duchesse...
mkobes (2138) - paramus, New Jersey, USA - MAY 2, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Very fruity. Enjoyable beer. Falvor is fruity. Tastes like sour fruit.Deep red in color. Nice head. Malty flavor. Too sweet.
MaiBockAddict (1497) - Good Beer Bar Deprived, New Jersey, USA - MAY 2, 2004
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Deep clear reddish brown. I do not think that this was bottle conditioned. Nice light fluffy tan head. Aroma of sour fruit and Earth. Flavor is malty, fruity, caramelly, and slightly sour. Dry finish. Light and fluffy palate. Also a little to the sweet side.
MullMan (1099) - New Jersey, USA - APR 30, 2004
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
pours very slowly like a thick syrup. large bubbles form the tannish coppery head in slow motion. body color is brownish red. vinuous notes, dried berries and yeast. mouthfeel starts unusually viscous and syrupy, then gets cherry sweet and sour. flavor gets malty sweet then sour again. balsalmic vinegar is so there. flavor continues to go back & forth. dry finish. micro-density lacing makes L shaped patterns, lasts longer than the head. like a dry cherry soda.