cthomas2390 (228) - Colorado, USA - FEB 8, 2013
Still breaking into the sour beers, but this one was a gem. Pours a nice ruby brown with little head. Aroma has definite funk and horse blanket characteristics, while the taste is one of a mild tartness reminiscent of sour cherries. A nice sour finish that sticks around for a bit and tempts you into another sip. Quality. dmradus (227) - Ithaca, New York, USA - APR 23, 2007
UPDATED: APR 24, 2007 Bottle at Delirium Cafe, Brussels. Beautiful dark red bordering on brown with ruby highlights in the little amount of light that finds its way down to the Delirium basement. Aroma is strongly sour cherries, with oak components running alongside. One of those funky scents that really gets up into the nostrils and tickles them wonderfully. Taste is subdued sourness, with some lactic acid component, and vinegar. Berries and cherries are also present, as well as a strong oak character. Drying and sour finish which is rasping on the tongue. Strong carbonation fades to creaminess and then sneaks back in the swallow. Nice, probably doesn’t match Rodenbach Grand Cru though. dylan88 (227) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - JAN 8, 2011
33 cl bottle. Pours reddish brown with a big head. In aroma there are hints of cherries, raspberry, yeast, roasted malt. Flavor mostly fruit and sugar, with a sour finish. Thin body with medium carbonation, eraserhd10 (226) - new haven, Connecticut, USA - APR 18, 2004
My first ever experience with the style known as a Flemish Sour Ale and I'm incredibly impressed. A dark, rich burgundy color. A very layered, complex taste. Definitely can taste the "sourness" but also black cherries, dried apricots and a strong, STRONG presence of Balsamic Vinegar. Must be drunk slowly and carefully to be fully appreciated! jerd16 (226) - Gloucestershire, ENGLAND - MAR 27, 2014
Dark ruby pour with 1 finger off-white head. Dark fruit, belgian yeast, some oak on nose. Qualities combine to create a bouquet reminiscent of a red wine. Very light beer despite decent carbonation. Very sweet at first, before sour cherry sweets overwhelm. Not grindingly sour as some can be. It achieves a leaning balance. Dark fruits. Fairly dry on finish.
bradlyc77 (226) - Sebastopol, California, USA - MAR 22, 2009
On tap. Deep ruby brown, aroma is acidic and malty. Tart taste with some cherries, brown sugar, some raisin, and woodiness. Not a huge fan. mixinnixon2000 (226) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 24, 2009
Bottle. pours dark red color with small off-white head. great sour/tart flavors from various fruits. what you expect from a sour ale. Phatz (225) - Paradise, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 2, 2006
Earlier Rating: 5/1/2008 Total Score: 3
bottle. pours dark brown with thick brown head. very interesting taste. my first sour ale. I didn’t know it was retired.
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.
doubleipa (224) - Georgia, USA - JUN 29, 2007
I’m not very familar with this style since I’ve ever had one of these on draft. However, I certainly will try as many of this style after having this one. This was really a spectacular beer. I can’t say I would’ve appreciated this several years ago. Very sour aroma - duh! A little bit of vinegar, cherry, raspberry, and oak. Kind of hard to describe as the sour is so predominant. Taste is really huge. Incredible levels of tartness. Nice frothy head and a light ruby color. Great mouthfeel - very lively. I can’t wait to pop open one of these at the next neighborhood party and offer this to someone.