thebaldwizard (1205) - Ohio, USA - OCT 21, 2006
4.5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
This is one of my favorites for sure. The Duchesse pours out a medium to dark brown color a slight brown head. The Aroma is to die for--great sweet oak aroma combined with hints of bourbon and port--very complex and appealing. The mouthfeel is right on, with a good amount of carbonation. Taste is great--more sweet than sour. Lots of oak and molasses flavors. Great beer.
DerWeg (1590) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - OCT 20, 2006
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
Ahh, what’s over twelve dollars for a hard-to-get beer nowadays? Fact of life, some beers you have to try once regardless.
I did try this at BeerBistro today, and while I love BB’s selection, atmosphere & service, I was not much enamoured with the Duchesse.
My choice today was just a little too round and fat for me, the tartness was too simplistic, there was little complexity or finish, and none of the mysterious ’cellar’ notes I personally enjoy in Flemish ale.
Maybe those qualities evidently lacking would emerge if the sweetness were tamed over 3-4 years? Sadly, I only had 20 minutes! ;)
Liefman’s Goudenband and Petrus Oud Bruin are my winners, fresh off the shelf. I’m picky about Gueuze as well - I want immediately present character and at least a little demanding complexity (though as far as ’character’ I’m a wimp about Rodenbach GC Flemish, it hurts my head!!)
Simple sweet-tart Aroma did nothing for me (God I’m spolied) and the feel was a little unpleasantly sticky.
hiphops (286) - caldwell, New Jersey, USA - OCT 18, 2006
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
dark brown with red. frothy head. smells like malt vinegar mustard cherry oak. taste real sweet with only a trace of acidity. complex. brown suagr cherry wood very good beer little too sweet for me
PJMTL (9) - LaPrairie, Quebec, CANADA - OCT 18, 2006 does not count
4.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Good carbonation with a nice crisp, dry taste of Cherries, smooth body and a full mouthfeel.Tart with a lightly sour taste of sour dark cherry flavor and a slight hint of oak with a malty finish. I much enjoyed this Flemish Red Ale, a very good balance between maltiness and tart sourness
antzman (316) - Clarksville, Indiana, USA - OCT 15, 2006
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle. Thank you Dave Howard for sharing this one with me. Best before 03/02/04. Hmmm... that could be a bit troubling. And sure enough, one the top was popped, 1/4 of the beer came flowing out. Plenty of carbonation in this one! Luckily, I was able to save most of this one. Pours a medium brown with a reddish tint. HUGE head on this one, but based on the way it exploded out of the bottle, it is understandable. This beer was screaming to be drank, and I was happy to oblige. The arome of tart red cherries, with some woody notes. The flavor is very good. Excellent tartness, a hint of wood from the cask aging, and a clean tart finish. Excellent Flemish Sour Ale. I wish I could have recovered the lost 2-3 ounces of this one.
jpm30 (1587) - East Central, Georgia, USA - OCT 10, 2006
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
From a 11.2 slender brown bottle with best before date on the back label, 30.03.07, sampled at a cool cellar temperature served in a flute glass.
Poured a ruby hued brown with a frothy, foamy off-white head that settled into a thin lacing, small amount of laced, ringed sticking.
Aromas of a tart dark red wine, hints of dark cherries, and oak woody.
Good carbonation and a nicely crisp, dry and tart, carbonated smooth medium bodied mouthfeel.
Good tart, lightly sour taste, wine-like in it’s alcohol presence and tart, sour dark cherries flavor, a subtle sweet caramel maltiness, a little woodiness, a light lime towards the end and a dry, sour cherry and lime, woody, malty finish.
A very enjoyable Flemish Red Ale, a good balance between the tart sourness and malty sweetness, well worth trying.
themadmumis (347) - Westminster, Maryland, USA - OCT 7, 2006
3 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Never had anything like this thus far. Smells woody and sweet. Taste is even more extreme sweetness and clear oak flavor. Definately seems more like a wine than a beer with very mild carbonation and sharp, sour bite on the tounge. Unusual.
Stefano (1956) - Thisted, DENMARK - OCT 3, 2006
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours a dark ruby, small off-white head settles to a thin film quickly. Tart fruity aroma (apples), with some woody notes. Intense sour flavor, lots of fruit, very complex and vinous. Crisp acidic finish. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Mouth coating stickyness leads to a nice lingering finish.
pootzboy (1690) - Hopville, Ontario, CANADA - OCT 1, 2006
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottle: Poured a decadent dark garnet colored ale with orange highlights into my goblet. Tight 2 finger off-white cap reduced to a thick surface froth that draped the glass sides with lace. Looks like a glass of burgandy with a head.
Nose: complex.. grape or cherry skins, fruits in blasamic vinegar, some woodyness light detectable sweetness. A delightful tart fruityness.
Medium body, puckering but silky mouth feel, vinous sweet and sour character.
Starts musty-maltty and quickly turns on the complexity...the tougue is pummeled with concord grape, apples, cherries, boysenberry, figs, vanilla pods, some tobbaco and lots of other tones too numerous to grasp in one mouthful....all this complexity is wrapped in a sweet and sour controlled acidity where the lactic acids and fruits are balanced off by sweetnes from rich malt and candi adjuncts. The finish is remarkably dry-tart where the vinous quility is experineced in a slow departure of tart fruit and musty-woody flavors.....slightly sweet aftertaste.
MY God what a ride!! This is a great beer for what it offers...a speeding roller coaster of complexity in its delivery...it may not be everyone’s cup of tea but until you have tried it consider yourself deprived.
larsga (7242) - 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.)