I’m sure I’ve seen the Duchesse De Bourgogne on the shelves during one of my many beer hunting adventures, but it wasn’t until I read our friend Don’s review of this beer that I made the decision to actually buy a bottle. Since I absolutely enjoyed the Monk’s Cafe Flemish Sour Ale (yet another Don recommendation), I was looking to dive deeper into the beers of Flanders.
Here is what I was able to find out about this beer from D&V International (they import this beer into the US):
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe is the traditional Flemish red ale. This refreshing ale is matured in oak casks; smooth with a rich texture and interplay of passion fruit, and chocolate, and a long, dry and acidic finish. After the first and secondary fermentation, the beer goes for maturation into the oak barrels for 18 months. The final product is a blend of younger 8 months old beer with 18 months old beer. The average age of the Duchesse de Bourgogne before being bottled is 12 months.
It sounds like alot of love goes into the making of this beer. Let’s see if all of their time and effort is worth the trouble…
- Appearance: Clear, reddish brown color. Half inch head with big, bubbly foam that dissipates slowly. Moderate lacing.
- Aroma: Sour cherries. Carmelized sugar. Balsamic vinegar reduction.
- Taste: Well carbonated, with oodles of tiny bubbles that pop and fizz on your tongue. That first taste reminds me of a cherry flavored Sour Patch Kid, i.e. quickly dissipating cane sugar sweetness, followed immediately by ripe, sour cherries. Lots of red wine like tannins take over at mid-palate and lead you to a tart, mouth coating, and somewhat astringent finish.
The Duchesse De Bourgogne is one seriously flavorful beer! I really enjoyed how the sweet and sour elements went back and forth on my palate as I slowly finished off the bottle. And here’s the best part: the flavors actually improved as it came up to room temperature. Overall, I found this to be a well balanced and very session worthy beer. I will definitely be buying this again.