Home > Sour/Wild Ale > Duchesse de Bourgogne (308 of 1001)

Duchesse de Bourgogne (308 of 1001)

Rating: 3.7

A beer I’ve been holding off drinking for the past six months or so now, this is one that I picked up on a trip to Whole Foods Market in Giffnock around March this year and decided to let settle before trying. The beer is a Flanders red ale from the Verhaeghe brewery in West Flanders that is a blend of 8 month and 18 month old ales, unpasteurised and matured in oak casks. Named in honour of Duchess Mary of Burgundy, the beer is a sour and fruit one that isn’t too dis-similar to a lambic style beer and therefore it should follow on nicely from the bottle of Lindemans Framboise that I reviewed here recently. The beer will also be my third Flanders red ale, following one from the flagship Rodenbach beer I tried around Christmas 2013 and the bottle of the same brewery’s Grand Cru that I sampled a year and a bit before that; both of which featured in the 1001 beers list and were beers that I really enjoyed so hopefully this one will be more of the same.

Duchesse De Bourgogne

Appearance (4/5): The first thing to note about this one is that it poured with an absolutely huge, foamy head that started at about four inches tall and gradually climbed a bit on top of that. The body is a dark ruby colour that doesn’t let much light through other than at the very bottom of the glass. There is some small bubbles at the bottom too and head retention is pretty good, perhaps a little too good given how big the head is but I’ll not complain too much.
Aroma (7/10): This one opens up with quite a lot of tart on the nose initially with some grapes and faint vinegar backing the tart up and given the beer an almost wine like aroma. There is some acidity before some cherries and plums come through and bring a bit of sweetness along with them; the beer was fairly deep and complex smelling with some raspberries in there as well.
Taste (7/10): The taste kicks of with a nice amount of sweetness coming off the back of some cherries and a few sugars. There is a fair amount of tart in the taste early on as well but it’s not quite as in your face as the others of the style that I’ve tried. There is some vinegar and red grapes coming through with plenty of sourness rounding things off.
Palate (4/5): Quite sour with plenty of tart, there is less carbonation than I’d been expecting with it falling somewhere around light-medium and it has quite a sharp, dry feel with no sign of any bitterness but the balance was a good one.

Overall (14/20): Quite a sour and tart beer but definitely not as strong in those departments as I’d been expecting when compared to some other Belgian sours that I’ve tried over the years. The nose in particular is quite a complex one with some good sweetness off the back of the fruits and a nice balance as well; a very nice beer and one well worth trying if you get the chance.

Brewed In: Vichte, West Flanders, Belgium
Brewery: Brouwerij Verhaeghe
First Brewed: circa. 1900’s
Type: Flanders Red Ale (Wild/Sour Ale)
Abv: 6.2%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Whole Foods Market (Giffnock)
Price: £2.89

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  1. October 19, 2015 at 13:25

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