GarrettB (1315) - San Diego, California, USA - MAY 24, 2006
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: OCT 3, 2007 : Elegance, as inherited by primogeniture and blue blood, has long passed. In its place is something we prefer to call class, which is related to archaic elegance but only remotely. Anybody can have class; the magnate in his vogue mansion or the cad on the street. It isn’t easy to learn, and it’s impossible to buy, but class can be acquired through assiduous and diligent work. Elegance, as the wealthy were expected to have in years past, is altogether unattainable for those outside the upper classes. It is the very impossibility of having elegance that made it so sacred. But even many members of the rich found it challenging to fill their role as the elegant blue blood. The first and most obvious requirement is to be ejected from the womb of a bourgeoisie, and preferably to have been fathered by one. After that, it was merely a game of chance against in-breeding and developed tyranny that sculpted the quite literally nouveaux rich into adulthood. History is replete with cases of royal albinos, trisomy 21, incompetence or just plain idiocy, and there are plenty of historical accounts of upper class children who accrue an unnatural concept of class warfare and, when they mature, exercise their power with excessive enthusiasm. Let us take the few remaining cases of the beautiful, the wise and the kind regal individuals; those coursing with blue blood and compassion; those who regale us from fairy tales and a few justly optimistic histories are the ones we speak of having an elegance no longer found today save for a few obscure descendants living on vestigial fortunes. But I’ve found one. She’s remarkably gentle but rich, formal but enjoyable, sweet but mature. The Duchess de Bourgogne, though fictitious, is a blurry depiction of a bygone royal lady whose personality doubtlessly charmed her family and subjects alike. She is the altruist from above, showering the ground with coins and flowers from her ivory tower. She is only a story, but one that nicely summarizes the Duchess de Bourgogne Flemish sour ale. The crepuscular and mellowed tone of the beer nuzzles against the glass below a margaritaceous crown of foam, baring nothing to the unobservant eye. It’s a chaste and modest drink, hinting at its alluring flavor by breathing a slow but diligent waft of green apples, confectioner’s sugar, orange zest, shining red cherries and oak. Below this divine vapor sits the chaliced drink, reverently waiting for imbibing. There the eager drinker finds a similarly rich batch of flavors. Faint vinegar coarseness guides the column of tastes, featuring a light and sweet honey, red and white grapes, orange zest (amongst other citrus) and a very heavy and bombastic conclusion of oak. Poignant and garrulous as the Duchesse may be, she still fits the appellation “elegant” nicely. The blend of friendly and charismatic flavors allows anyone, be they friend or foe to beer, to pick up a glass and enjoy. If the rich, bold, sweet and sour flavors do not suffice the claim to elegance, then at least the extrovert, humble and generous nature of the Duchesse does. These are, after all, higher qualities that we aspire to. That is, if we want to be classy.
jimvy (131) - O’Fallon, Missouri, USA - MAY 24, 2006
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: OCT 2, 2006 Bottle. Brilliant reddish color, extremely clear, thick light tan head that last. Aroma is sour with a fair amount of dark fruit--cherries and plums, and perhaps a touch of smokiness. Body is medium. Well balanced between malt and sourness. A light sweetness upfront, followed by a significant sourness that last into the finish. Dark fruits are there and again, a hint of smokey character. Overall, fantastic beer if you like sour beers (and I do!). The sourness is significant enough to be a key part of the beer, but there is enough balance to make it fairly easy to drink. I love it.
Gr0ve (2177) - Oslo, NORWAY - MAY 22, 2006
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle, Københavnske Øldage 2006. Dark reddish brown. Clear. Sourish malty and a little bready. Light alcoholic nose. Distinct raspberry-like flavour. Medium-bodied and sourish on the tongue. Wonderfully refreshng. Complex and rich. Dry sourish mellow finish.
gunnfryd (13596) - Kristiansand, NORWAY - MAY 20, 2006
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle. red brown colour with a beige head. Flavour is fruity apple, cherry, alcohol and yeast.
french tickler (649) - Aylmer, Quebec, CANADA - MAY 17, 2006
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Nice white wine smell to it. The aroma might be a little to much on the vinegarish side, but still smells good. Slight taste a bitter apple cider. While the sweet and sour taste of this beer starts to decipate you can feel the yeast coming out. Overal GOOD belgian beer.
Dedollewaitor (15109) - Odense, DENMARK - MAY 17, 2006
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: DEC 31, 2006 Bier rouge: Clear browny read with little white head. The smell is sour and fruity (cherries) and at the same to time you can smell vinegar & oak. The carbonation is lively bubbly. The taste is pretty much like your first senses tells you. Good on a warm day in the sun!
trokini (1025) - San Diego, California, USA - MAY 15, 2006
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Very enjoyable beer. Pours a clear brown with no head. Aroma is sour malt and apples. The taste is very light and smooth. Sour up front that turns sweet, almost like a brewer’s take on champagne. It got better as it warmed. Will definitely seek this one out again.
ross (2128) - weddington, North Carolina, USA - MAY 13, 2006
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Dark colored pour with a small head that bubbles away quickly. Smells sour and fruity. Taste is the same but it provides a nice oaky flavored backbone to it to nullify the sourness. An interesting brew to say the least. I liked it.
mjg74 (2910) - La Mesa, California, USA - MAY 11, 2006
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottled. Pours a dark ruby color. Aroma is sour, with hints of champagne. Slighty sour up front with a roasted flavor. Some sweetness. Very tart at points. Reminds me a little of champagne for some reason. Slightly fruity in flavor. Pretty full flavored.
Bartzilla (590) - La Mesa, California, USA - MAY 8, 2006
3.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Nice! Sour. Like eating salt and vinegar potato chips, minus the salt and potatoes. This would be a great summer brew. A good example of a sour beer that’s not overdone for the sake of a large ingredient list. I’d love to make something like this, but I don’t have the patience for the souring process or the fermentation time.