CamdenD (1113) - Madrid, SPAIN - AUG 9, 2006
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Full of, as my sister put it, vinegar on the nose. Not terribly offensive, but not terribly inviting. I love sour ales normally, but this one tasted like a mismatched half & half. This beer did grow on me as it sat in the glass and is obviously far far from terrible, just not harmonius, to this tongue.
FrankJohansen (3608) - Sabro, DENMARK - AUG 12, 2006
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle. Amber colour with a nice moslty lasting creamy head. Aroma and taste of malts and citrus. Nice flemish.
DerWeg (1551) - 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.
Arayaga2 (1899) - portland, Oregon, USA - OCT 30, 2006
3.1 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Nice and dark with a reddish hue, and thin white head. Aroma is effervescent cidar vinegar with spices. Taste is better than I expected... not nearly as sour, and fairly sweet with very little pucker in the finish. Not a favorite, but not bad for its style. $3/11.2
mobster07 (18) - Portland, Oregon, USA - NOV 17, 2006
3.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
11.2 oz bottle. Up front sourness followed by a orange, cherry aroma and some vinous qualities. Clear burgundy in color with a small off white head. Aggressive up front sourness, rounded with hint of sour cherries, sherry like, somewhat acidic and a little bitter orange peel. A little astringent for my tastes and the sweetness lingers on the back of the throat. Pretty good job of playing the sweet and sour contrast but seems a little rough around the edges. The aggressive sourness makes it a little one dimensional IMHO.
elektronikfagtekniker (891) - kbh, DENMARK - FEB 20, 2007
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
bottle. dark amber color. no head. buttery aroma. berrys in aroma too. lots of berrys in taste. woddy and acidy. strong and sweet.
beerslayer (753) - New Jersey, USA - OCT 8, 2002
3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
Sweet fruity and sour very much like a wine maybe too much for my tastes
JoeM500 (1907) - Crown Point, Indiana, USA - NOV 4, 2002
3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Whew.... Cheap Heinz Vinegar smell. Sour to no end at first sip!?!? What is this??? Before you dump yours, let it sit a while. Some complexity appears after it warms, more appley and cherrylike with some still unavoidable vinegar notes. There’s a time and place for this beer. The middle of a Sunday night ’TV & Tasting Party’ isn’t the place! I like Venoms Idea of pouring some on a salad. It would be great with Spinich leaves.
Uglyradio (791) - Greenville, South Carolina, USA - APR 9, 2003
3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
Deep, reddish brown color with a thin, off-white head, the aroma is very fruity and sour with hints of vinegar. This is unlike anything I have had. The flavor is sweet and malty, with a bit of tartness and sour notes. It reminds me of some salad dressings, but not in a bad way. This beer is difficult to describe. Very complex and has some nice flavors, but the vinegar notes get to me a little.
Silphium (3188) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - MAY 7, 2004
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
Mmmm...no. Every now and then I stumble across a beer that is unique but simply not good. This is one of those beers. I can confirm the balsamic vinegar aroma and flavor (even bordering on raspberry vinaigrette), but I also picked up a honey/soy aspect I didn’t much care for either. Cloyingly sweet with a metallic aftertaste. Notes of sour apple peel and salt were also detected. About the only compliment I have for this beer is its deep red body. Otherwise, this is reminiscent of a cheap port. Though the beer isn’t awful by any means, I still believe the Duchesse should be put to pasture, perhaps as fertilizer.