Whoa, that first sip is a doozy!
A Review of Duchesse De Bourgogne by Verhaeghe Brewery
Posted on 4/9/2011 by Chops
Sour ales can be very difficult to review. Not because they're too complex, just because they're sour. It really takes a certain kind of palate to find these beers appealing. It's quite literally a ''love it or hate it'' style of beer. If you hate one sour ale, chances are you'll hate them all.

I've had a handful of sour ales at this point and my initial impression is always the same: vinegar. Think about taking a swig of balsamic vinegar and you are properly prepared for your first sour ale experience. So why drink them? Because once you get used to the sour after a few sips, these ales are extremely rewarding. They are crisp, fruity, aggressive, and they leave one hell of an interesting aftertaste.

Duchesse De Bourgogne is my favorite sour ale at the moment. I get these whenever I need to mix things up. It pours very clean and has a deep red appearance. It's a gorgeous looking beer, very pleasing to the eye, which of course makes you want to dive right in and go for that first sip. And you do. Whoa! Vinegar. Note to readers... be careful with sour ales. You want to smell them several times before taking your first sip. Get your nose use to the front end, which is extremely aggressive and unforgiving. But then you take another sip, then another, then another. All of the sudden, cherries appear. Then hints of oak and citrus. Flavors seem to come from all directions and it seems impossible to catch them all. Each sip is different, and the flavors carry well into a lengthy aftertaste. That's what makes sour ales so interesting.

So I highly recommend you try a Duchesse De Bourgogne, if nothing else to have the experience of a quality sour ale (Flanders Red Ale to be specific). Just be sure to commit to the experience because that first sip is a doozy.

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Duchesse De Bourgogne by Verhaeghe Brewery
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