larsga (7157) - Oslo, NORWAY - OCT 1, 2006
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: AUG 27, 2008 Small light beige head; deep dark red body with ongoing carbonation. Acidic vinuous aroma with notes of wood and some tartness. Taste is deep acidic and wine-like, with notes of wood and a balancing sweetness. Very complex, yet harmonic. Tart aftertaste of wood. Excellent balance. Intense, acidic palate which is at the same time surprisingly clean for a sour beer. This is a great beer. (0.25l bottle.)
DerDoppelbock (22) - Aachen, GERMANY - OCT 1, 2006
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Stark an Wein erinnernder Geruch, säuerlich und voluminöse Blume, mit Malztönung. Der erste Schluck verdeutlicht, dass es sich hierbei um ein „Flemish Sour Ale“ handelt. Geschmacklich zeigt es dann die Vorzüge dieser doch eigenen Biersorte auf und kann sich mit Süffigkeit behaupten. Fruchtig-säuerlicher Antrunk, hält sich aber in Grenzen, und im Mittelteil kann sich das volle Bouquet entfalten. Der Abgang baut glücklicherweise das aufgebaute Aroma nicht ab und bildet so ein gutes Finish.
KingpinIPA (841) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - SEP 26, 2006
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: NOV 2, 2007 Reddish amber color. Smell of sour fruit, malt, some oak and minor caramel. Taste of sour apples and prunes with vinegar and some hops. Taste of oak too! Very sour with a rotten apple bitterness at the end. Had this again and had to re-rate this one. Very good ale. Just a bit below Rodenbach but very enjoyable.
mkgrenwel (605) - North Shore, Massachusetts, USA - SEP 16, 2006
4.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Fan-f’n-tastic. Huge body and flavor. Dense and velvety. Flavors of oak, cherries and wine. All blended together extremely well. I’m not getting that spice on the back end as others. It’s just rich and oaky. There is sourness, as you would obviously expect, but it is subdued. Sweeter than I am used to in the style, but both are well balanced. Just a gorgeous beer. The flemish sour is probably the greatest use for oak in the world.
beermouth (435) - Langeskov, DENMARK - SEP 15, 2006
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Deep reddish colour with a big white head. Fruity, yeasty and woody notes. Well balanced sweet flavor with hints of spices.
reakt (950) - Greater London, ENGLAND - SEP 9, 2006
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: SEP 2, 2007 Bottle from the Rake, se1. I asked for a red sour ale and of the two on the menu, this was the one I’d not yet tried. Clear red in colour - looks like red wine until you notice the barely-there off white head. Strong nose of vinegar with a yeasty overcast. Offered a whiff to two nice ladies sitting with us - they quickly pushed it back. An acquired taste I guess. Strong taste of balsamic and grapes with an unidentified spice. Hints of oak like that of a good cabernet. Long, sour finish. A little salty. Sticky feel - I really don’t know how else to explain it. Very good, but definitely not my favourite Flemish sour to date.
Augustijn55 (82) - Izegem, BELGIUM - SEP 8, 2006
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Red-dark colour. A good Flanders red, however I found it a little too sweet and a little less tart than I prefer. This is a great looking brew though, with an excellent rocky head and nice lacing.
The favorite of my father.
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 you’ll be coming back. Give this a try - twice.
ALLOVATE (2840) - 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. I’m..hmm. Don’t 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 o’ 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! I’m sorry, I didn’t get this one. I obviously need to be set on the straight course, but if it involves tasting this one again I’ll 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, ’YBSober’ 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 (don’t 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 couldn’t 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. She’s 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.