TheBeerLover (1026) - DC Metro Area, USA - JAN 25, 2006
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Duchesse de Bourgogne is a red ale in the style of Rodenbach. This 6.2% abv beer comes from the Brouwerij Verhaeghe of Vichte, Belgium. This beer, like Rodenbach, is actually a blend of two different beers. One of the beers is aged for 18 months in oak casks, the other aged in oak for an 8 month period. These two beers are then blended and bottled. This beer is very complex and delicious, gaining its complexity from the blending, and the aging in oak. This gives the beer a very vinous quality, and these red ales have often been called "The Burgundies of Belgium.".
Duchesse de Bourgogne pours to a deep red/brown color with a rocky white head, and a vibrant carbonation. The nose is wonderful, aromas of sweet malt marry with notes of oak and yeastiness. The palate is firm with flavors of malt, oak, hints of ripe fruit, and flavors of yeast. This beer finishes with a wonderful oaky, sweet and sour edge that lingers on the tongue.
This is a wonderful beer, and a great showcase of the blending of two different beers. The 18 month old red ale has strong, sharp, sour notes that marry with the sweet malty and yeasty notes of the 8 month old red ale. This makes for a very complex beer with vinous qualities. This beer would make a perfect aperitif, a beer to have with a meal, and a beer to use as an ingredient in many dishes. I would match this beer with a cheese course, steamed mussels, grilled steaks, beef stews, or pork dishes. This beer would also make the perfect match with roasted turkey. It has been a tradition of mine for the last few years to drink Grand Cru or a Belgian Red with Thanksgiving dinner. The sweet and sour tart flavors really cuts through the richness of the turkey meat and stuffing.
beerledgend (1196) - Waterloo, Wellington, NEW ZEALAND - JAN 23, 2006
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
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.
OldMrCrow (2244) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JAN 19, 2006
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
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?
ryan (3186) - Beltsville, Maryland, USA - JAN 19, 2006
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
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.
balesjas (41) - Huntington Woods, Michigan, USA - JAN 19, 2006
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
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.
dwyerpg (5087) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - JAN 19, 2006
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Heavier than their Vichtenaar. It also is a little sweet and sour. A richer darker cherry flavor. A nice style.
sammy3D (141) - Lawrenceville, Georgia, USA - JAN 17, 2006
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
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.
harlequinn (2744) - Tacoma, Washington, USA - JAN 17, 2006
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
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.
beervana (781) - Libertyville, Illinois, USA - JAN 9, 2006
3.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
(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.
MesandSim (7118) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - JAN 9, 2006
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
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.