bdjames29 (273) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - SEP 7, 2006
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: MAY 13, 2007 Tap at Dilly Delli in Cincinnati. I have recently updated my rating on the Duchesse. I found the first sample to be off-putting but I have since acquired a taste for this odd brew. A very cindery, vinegar flavor which you might think is bad but quite the contrary. After a few sips youíll be coming back. Give this a try - twice.
ALLOVATE (2619) - Perth, AUSTRALIA - SEP 4, 2006
1.7 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 4/20
Yeah,...umm...huh?.... , wow, this was...., O.K. Iím..hmm. Donít know. Wow, again. Err, nice label. Bottle was recycled, scratched and aged, good to see. Oh yeah, and that beer. Hmmm....
Poured into a chalice at just below room temperature. Tired, lazed back in our hotel in Brugges, it was hot outside. Clear, iridescent cola brown body that rose a decent head that later receded quietly to a thin film of tan that left minimal legs. Aroma, huh, aroma, yeah, this reminded me solidly of a fine bertolli malt vinegar. The vinegar is of the highest grade, it is drenched and oozing of souring malt, light savoury spice and you just know it would best be accompanied by a quarter of chips and a side oí battered fish. Oddly it held a hint of bitter caramel, but then. In the mouth it is cloyingly sweet, salty and tart with some nasty fortified wine flavours. Licks of souring, mouldy cheese, madeira, dank liquor, crayfish puree, and shards of old, overused wine casks that have been left to fester. If I was to talk of this beers complexities I would be lying, because as far as rapid or prolonged age in ales goes with the lapse in subtle nuances, after a while it becomes, well..., this! Iím sorry, I didnít get this one. I obviously need to be set on the straight course, but if it involves tasting this one again Iíll pass. I love others of its style but this I could not do, sorry. Beer tasting is afterall subjective!!! (25cL, 25/05/07, De Bier Tempel, Brussels, Belgium)
Phatz (225) - Paradise, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 2, 2006
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Wow! This beer was definitely the beer of the night! So much thanks to BA, íYBSoberí for this beer was phenomenal!
This was my first Flanders Red Ale and I am going to make it a point to seek out much more of this! I thought I was in heaven. I know I am in love with the Duchesse (donít tell me wife;-).
Appearance: This Duchesse poured out a beautiful dark caramel color with some golden tan highlights on her elegant body, and then fantastic head made of tight off-white foam. This leads into the sticky circles of off-white lacing, left lining the glass.
Smell: The aroma is quite vinous, with a wine grapes aroma, a nice tartness, (those not in the know might think her a port wine) and yet an underlying caramel sweetness. It is spiced and complex; very much like the Holiday Spiced Wine from Mount Hope Winery (with what might be cinnamon and a splash of lemon in the aroma as well).
Taste: The taste, like the smell was very complex and pleasing! The front of the palate is mildly tart dry grapes and then there is a nice layer of brown sugar and caramel that sweetens up the palate. Layer upon layer I realized more and more tremendous depth as the fruits began to reveal themselves; first apples and plums, cherries, a prune and then mixed berries. All the while, I couldnít help but to think, this beer must be oak aged because the magnificent flavor of oak, and a subtle hint of leather, kept swatting at my taste buds. This beer has an incredible depth of character and flavor. Her finish is sour (not too much) just the prefect degree (tipping the scales to tart). That tartness carries into the aftertaste as well, balanced with the loving touch of gentle sweet fruits, leaving you with wonderful memories of how she treated your tongue. I could hardly keep my tongue in my mouth. I had to dive in for more. Sheís irresistible!
Mouthfeel: Tight little bubbles of carbonation treat your mouth just right. 36-24-36 this sweet lady has a perfect medium body with just enough dryness to force you to pucker up, and enough lingering sweetness that you enjoy it.
Drinkability: I want her all to myself all the time. $65 a case and I would pay it too. Are all Flanders like this? I may be in trouble. Now that I have gone Flanders I may never go back!
Hope this is helpful.
jhumphries69 (1034) - Tyrone, Georgia, USA - SEP 1, 2006
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours brown/dark amber with a light, thin head. Aroma is sweet, some bubble-gum, and tartness - hints of prunes, vinegar, and molasses. Flavor is sweet and caramely in the beginning, fruity and spicey in the middle, and finished very tart and dry. The sour/tart flavor is a bit funky (quite unlike sour or citrus fruits), but very mellow and palatable.
Kevin (2154) - New Mexico, USA - SEP 1, 2006
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
tap at falling rock after a shitty night of work. well the keg blew while i was getting my glass, so it was a frothy beer i recieved. turbi purple body with a white lasting and lacing head. smelled of plums, ink, a woody sourness is barely discernable drom the yeasty twang. flavor was dark fruits and more ink. really tasted like chewing on a pen and having it bust, but not really in a bad tasting way. some yogurt like flavor of plums and sour grapes. lingering earthy sour flavor that was nice.
Adverse2Bitter (35) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 30, 2006
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
A well balanced top fermented Belgian ale. The blending of 8 and 18 mouth aged ale shows in the sweet flowery aroma . The taste of this beauty is equally refined. Sweets Fruits and spices seam to great the taste buds before wine like characteristics take over. The ale finishes well, and has a pleasant aftertaste of fresh spices. As a wine lover, I feel this is ale is the perfect gateway into the world of beers /ales for the uninitiated. Possibly my favorite Belgian
shigadeyo (3287) - Harrison, Ohio, USA - AUG 29, 2006
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JAN 15, 2007 I had the privilege of trying this on draught today (8/29/2006)... Color looks very dark brown, but when you hold it up to the light it is actually very red and clear - maroon would be a good way to describe it. Moderate carbonation with a nice creamy head. Aroma initally screamed of vinegar, but then became more fruity (cherry-like) as the beer warmed a bit. Flavor was great - LOTS of thing going on there. It is a wonderful play of sweet, sour, tart, fruit (cherry), maybe even some vinegar type flavors in there. I was quite impressed by the complexity and thoroughly enjoyed this brew...
This was my second Flemish Sour Ale (first was Rodenbach Redbach) and I must say that this style is really growing on me quickly.
10 oz draught; $4.75 at Dilly Deli. Rating: 8 4 8 3 16 = 3.9.
UPDATE (1/15/2006): Sampled again on 1/14/2007 from a 750 mL bottle at Lanceís "Harvest Ale" homebrew day. Thank you to everybody that was there for the great conversation and great beer! I had a great time and look forward to future brew days... --
This beer was just as good, if not better, from the bottle as it was on draught! Iíve heard that this beer can very some from batch to batch and bottle to bottle, but this particular bottle was quite good! Poured a dark brownish-red color with a creamy tan head. The aroma, like the flavor, is a wonderful blend of sweet and sour cherry with some acidic and vinegar notes. There are lots of great flavors (cherry, grapes, oak, berries and other fruits, vinegar, malt, spice, and more) at play on the tongue. This particular bottle seemed a bit sweeter than the glass I had on draught. Also, more of flavors and characteristics from the oak aging (slight woodiness, creamier, smoothier) are also more apparent in the bottled version. Overall this is my favorite Flemish Sour Ale so far (albeit Iíve only had a few). It has yet to disappoint me! I am really starting to develop the palate and appreciation for this style of beer. SO GOOD! New rating: 8 4 8 3 17 = 4.
Jerre (2969) - Waregem, BELGIUM - AUG 27, 2006
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Deep, mahogany color. Fruity aroma. Huge flavor. A bit of maltiness. Strong tartness on the back of my tongue. Wonderful blend of flavors. Slight oakiness. Possibly a touch of barnyard but it tastes like lactic/pedio dominates the funk. Excellent beer!
thebeertourist (5098) - Oslo, NORWAY - AUG 25, 2006
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Red-brown colour (or may I say burgundy) with a creamy offwhite head that is smallish, but persistent and lacing. Nice fruity aroma as of cherries, but full of sour yoghurt notes. Flavours balance between sweet and sour, ending woody and dry. Very fruity. Good carbonation, slightly oily texture. One of the classics -simply a great drinking experience.
Jwasciuk (198) - Lowell, Michigan, USA - AUG 22, 2006
1.8 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 4/20
Aroma is of bread and molasses with moderatly perfume and earthy overtones. It poured clear and red with a light brown fizzy head which didnt last long. The taste was a surprise, sweet and acetic at the same time finish was lightly bitter and again the vinegar was promanate, light to medium bodied watery and fizzy with moderate alcohol flavor.