RateBeer
overall
98
85
style
Brewed by Verhaeghe
Style: Sour Red/Brown
Vichte, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium
Serve in Snifter, Tulip, Tumbler

bottled
common

on tap
common

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 2385   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.7   EST. CALORIES: 186   ABV: 6.2%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Duchesee de Bourgogne is the traditional top fermented reddish-brown ale from the West-Flanders region of Belgium. This refined ale also known as "The Burgundies of Belgium" is a blend of 8 and 18 months old ales following careful maturation in oak casks. 100% natural and unpasteurized.


3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
beerledgend (1197) - Waterloo, Wellington, NEW ZEALAND - JAN 23, 2006
Rasin fruity aroma, almost like ribina, in fact colour almost similar, Dark ruby in colour with big white head. Warm mouth feel, slightly pepperry, almost shiraz like.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
OldMrCrow (1941) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JAN 19, 2006
UPDATED: DEC 16, 2007 From a corked 750 bottle. Pours a beautiful dark ruby with a short-lived head. The aroma is apple vinegar, oak, a hint of cinnamon. The palate is rich and lovely, much more full than the otherwise very nice Vichtenaar. The flavor begins nicely early, sweet and sour, lots of oak, grapefruit, lemon, malty and substantial, rich, sparkling lovely mouthfeel.

What a superb beer!

Note:Tasting two of the 12oz bottles, purchased around the same time in early 2006 from the same place, I’ve been hit midway through the taste with a phenolic blast of chloroform - a horrible, noxious taste and smell that is lacking from the corked 750. Presumably has to be a sign of infection; perhaps there was a bad batch put out at some point? Anyone know?

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
ryan (3186) - Beltsville, Maryland, USA - JAN 19, 2006
UPDATED: AUG 24, 2007 Original rating 1/19/06: Pours dark brown with a big, fading, off-white head. The aroma is balsamic vinegar, cherries, oak and sherry. The flavor is woody, wine-like with a nice balance of sweet and sour. This beer is a terrific place to start if just getting into this style, not as over powering as some. 10/5/9/4/19 4.7

Rerate I’ve had this a few times since my original rating. Sometimes it is on, mildly sweet, bright acidity, lots of cherries and grapes. Recently, I’ve had a couple of bottles that were very sweet and vinegary and quite bad. The one time that I managed to have this on tap it was fantastic, much like my origianl rating. Rating is a combination.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
balesjas (41) - Huntington Woods, Michigan, USA - JAN 19, 2006
A nice sweet/sour combination. I haven’t had many beers that really compare with this -- very unique. Kind of a cherry, fruity taste -- both the sweetness and the tartness remind me of cherry.

4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
dwyerpg (4637) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - JAN 19, 2006
Heavier than their Vichtenaar. It also is a little sweet and sour. A richer darker cherry flavor. A nice style.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
sammy3D (141) - Lawrenceville, Georgia, USA - JAN 17, 2006
Hmm. This is likely the first Flemsih Sour Ale that I have tasted. Pours an unusual metallic almost sparkling brown with a touch of red. Nice head forms with off white bubbles. Aroma is quite a unique combination of cut wood with old cheese and a dash of cooking sherry or port wine. Starts with a sugary sourness almost like a "sweet tart" and then finishes with a effervescence reminding me of a cherry soda. All sorts of complexities in the flavor with sour apple, dark chocolate, smoke, ginger, black cherry, notes of cedar and more. Like a soda with a medium to full body. A truly unique brew and a treat for me on this night.

3.9
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
harlequinn (2744) - Tacoma, Washington, USA - JAN 17, 2006
I would love to cook with this beer. Nothing could be quite better than this on draft @ the Bier Stein in Eugene. Pours a ruby garnet color with some nice head retention. This has an amazingly complex nose, with lots of earth wood, sour cherries and some musty horse saddle leather. Flavors are earthy and sour, with some vinegar and soy sauce, lots of dead wood. Tasty if you are in the mood for this kind of style, this is powerful stuff.

3.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
beervana (781) - Libertyville, Illinois, USA - JAN 9, 2006
(01.06.06) 11.2 fl oz brown bottle purchased from DiCarlo’s, Mundelein, IL. Bottled labeled as best by 08.07.06. Clear reddish brown ale having a large long-lasting off-white head with good lacing. Soft carbonation. Interesting tobacco leaf, cedar wood, and sour cherry aromas. Medium-to-full bodied having malt sweetness and earthy, dried fruit (sour cherry?), wood flavors. Some light sharpness noted. Finished with a lingering light tangy sweet and sour aftertaste. This is a good drinkable interesting sour beer, probably best as a digestif, and is definitely an acquired taste. Not for the timid.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
MesandSim (7118) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - JAN 9, 2006
A Mes rate: Bottle at Lowlander. Decent complex aroma a la Rodenbach but not quite as good. Sweet and some brown sauce in there too. Great looks, translucent dark red body with a small head but lots of lace. Sweet and tangy flavour with a touch of cherries and a brief finish sadly. Decent beer but just a little too sweet to be great if you ask me.

4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
kepano (246) - Los Angeles, California, USA - JAN 9, 2006
If you took a quick glance at the glass you might think little of this deep brown liquid’s appearance. Holding it up to the slightest sparkle reveals a beautifully clear vermilion hue that shines bright and illuminates the whole glass. The ephemeral off-white head fizzes off quickly leaving only a slight bubbly film that laces remarkably well in my trappist glass. The nose first reminds of a dessert wine, with plenty of red grapes and the familiar fragrance of Champagne. A distinct woody aroma builds the character of this beer and with the subtle notes of sour cherries and ripe strawberries create a certain complexity that unfortunately is diminished by the strong vinegar aroma. Fortunately the vinegar does not appear so prominently in the flavor. In fact the usual puckering sourness is considerably trimmed in this Flemish Red, making way for a surprising blend of sweet grape and apple juice. As the beer warms up, the sourness becomes a bit more salient especially in the increasingly lingering aftertaste. Brown sugar, vanilla and a burst of cherries and berries erupt on the tongue as it reaches optimal temperature. The palate is light and airy with just enough carbonation to create a certain volatility that lets this brew open tremendously in the mouth. Delicious and luscious, this an odd Flemish Sour Ale that is certainly better behaved than some of its more aggressive brothers and would probably be a good introduction to the style. Apparently it ages very well, so I hope to keep a few in the cellar and find out!


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