This is an aged Belgian red ale, which is ‘ripened quietly in oak barrels for two years’, according to the label. It has an extremely pungent aroma of rich grapey fruit, with acidic notes, very much like a slightly sour red wine or possibly a gueuze. In the mouth it is slightly sweet, extremely acidic and fruity, with grapes and even cherries discernible, and very lively. Despite the sweetness it is not at all cloying, even thin, with little or no trace of malt. Finish is sharp and fruity.
Duchesse de Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe is the traditional Flemish red ale. This refreshing ale is matured in oak casks; smooth with a rich texture and interplay of passion fruit, and chocolate, and a long, dry and acidic finish. After the first and secondary fermentation, the beer goes for maturation into the oak barrels for 18 months. The final product is a blend of younger 8 months old beer with 18 months old beer. The average age of the Duchesse de Bourgogne before being bottled is 12 months.