Duchess de Bourgogne

duchess.jpg
And now for something completely different! Duchess de Bourgogne is not from the Western United States, contains almost no noticeable hops, mostly comes in 11.2 fl oz. bottles, and features one of the most neo-classically emo girly portraits we’ve ever seen on a beer bottle. It’s not typically the beer we cut our teeth on, at least on these pages. And yet… fucking incredible beer. And, the Duchess keeps popping up in our world! (We recently paired her with not one but two recipes, drooled over her in our first radio spot and featured her prominently in our beer and bike brouhaha.) Still, she made us too nervous, downright intimidated, for us to be able to pen a review until now. We kept chilling.
Despite the look and the 6.2% ABV, make no mistake: this is a dark lady. She’s a traditional, flagship Flemmish red ale brewed with roasted malts only and aged in French oak, hence the brownish, oxidized-blood color and the sweet savory notes.
First pour reveals a filmy, slick off-white head that clings on the sides of the glass and forms a clump in the middle like a pendant; beer jewelry. First notes include slightly rotten bread, raspberry and wood chips. On first taste, the Duchess is puckery sour, not unlike kamboocha… in fact eerily similar to kamboocha. Much like that fermented mother tea, the Duchess’ beauty largely hinges on another kind of age secret: the beer is a mixture of ale ages 8 months and 18 months lending it an insane complexity, like a young misses whose adventures bestow on her a sexy middle-aged countenance. Or think of bubblegum beer, fizzy, neon-colored sour candies designed to taste exactly like cask ale. A red Chimay lollipop.
Dairy Pairy: Torta la Serena
Soundtrack: Psychic TV’s “Godstar”

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11 Responses to Duchess de Bourgogne

  1. Marleigh says:

    I gave this a try at the Lucky Baldwin’s Belgian Beer Fest II two weekends ago. Quite good, though it didn’t ring my bell quite as much as the Rader Ambrée or the regular ol’ Leffe Blonde did.

  2. Rob says:

    Which of LA’s finer booze merchants carries this?

  3. EVAN says:

    Another excellent question for the “Great L.A. Beer Run” Guide to the left of this post…
    Short answer: Galco’s and Red Carpet and Wine House should have them. But the lowest price is at Whole Foods (just around $3) if you can brave it!

  4. Aubrey says:

    I love this beer. I think it tastes like worshteshire sauce- in a really good way.

  5. You Pschic Blog creepzz! I didn’t even wanna bother reading your IZ on the Duchess before I already was getting eerie over ‘Bouch associations. Come to think of it, I was veer leaning towards forking the by the way to Echo Park to hook up a pinkie of Muther’s tea party, aiming to start one of my own. Portland did that to me. Did it also the Hair of the Dog!! Big love and misses…

  6. She is indeed my Queen, and I’m looking forward to seeing her at Red Carpet this evening. You guys gonna make it?

  7. She is indeed my Queen, and I’m looking forward to seeing her at Red Carpet this evening. You guys gonna make it?
    Great podcast by the by

  8. She is indeed my Queen, and I’m looking forward to seeing her at Red Carpet this evening. You guys gonna make it?
    Great podcast by the by.

  9. Aaron says:

    I gave this beer a shot about a year ago and I couldn’t stand it. I was very excited to open it and enjoy a new exotic brew, but it was too sour. Tasted like sour apples, and moldy bread….just couldn’t enjoy it at all. I am the only reviewer I’ve heard who didn’t like this beer, which makes me a bit concerned, but not enough to try this again. I love your blog, by the way

  10. aaron says:

    I gave this beer a shot about a year ago and I couldn’t stand it. I was very excited to open it and enjoy a new exotic brew, but it was too sour. Tasted like sour apples, and moldy bread….just couldn’t enjoy it at all. I am the only reviewer I’ve heard who didn’t like this beer, which makes me a bit concerned, but not enough to try this again. I love your blog, by the way

  11. EVAN says:

    Though, excellent, I think we’d both agree that it’s a ‘taste’ beer that you either like or you don’t. As a side note, we had the Duchess on tap once and it was far milder, like a cider or something, that might be your entrance to her.
    Thanks for reading!

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