Monday, January 25, 2010

Duchesse De Bourgogne a Flanders Red Ale

I have never had a flemish sour red before so I knew that this one could be a VERY different beer experience for me. I picked this one up because it was in the book, Michael Jackson's Great Beer Guide: 500 Classic Brews that D got me for Christmas. It's a really cool book if not just for the pictures. There is a different beer on each page with a picture of both the bottle and the beer in its customary glass. There is a lot of good tasting notes on each one. I went through and tagged all the ones that seemed interesting. I now have a LOT of neon green tags in this book. My goal is to eventually make it through all of them.

Enter, Duchesse De Bourgogne. This bear is made by Brouwerij Verhaeghe in Vichte, Belgium and comes in a cute little(yes cute) 11.7 oz bottle with a creepy woman holding a bird on her finger on the label. The woman is supposed to be Mary Burgundy some really old Belgian king's daughter who died young.
The beer itself is a blend of 8 and 18 month old beer that has been matured in oak casks very much like a classic lambic that is a blend of gueuze(sour) ale.

The beer is a really pretty(yes I said pretty) copper color with a creamy tan head that leaves nice lace on the side. Smelling the beer I could tell it was going to be fruity and sour. I could definitely smell the oak, some chocolate, and a porty raisiny aroma. The first taste knocked me off my game. I have never tasted a beer where I just DIDN'T want to finish it. Miller Light, Coors Light, yes they all taste like peepee but it's not like they taste BAD. Now I know that didn't makes sense but you get the idea. I was not sure I wanted to go on with this one. The best way I can describe this is flat Cherry Coke that has been aged in a brandy barrel. Does that sound yummy to you? Me either. I actually let it sit on the table while I watched the game with the Lawyer and contemplated whether I was really going to give up. I got a glass because I ALMOST switched to Cognac and then I manned up and took another sip. It was warm...warm, oaked, Cherry Coke. It was better, Warm, Oaked, Cherry Coke is better than slightly chilled, oaked Cherry Coke. I rejoiced, slowly finished it (it wasn't even 12 oz!) and swore that I will never drink that beer again. Ever. Ever.

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