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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