“Duchesse de Bourgogne” is a sweet-fruity ale with a pleasant fresh aftertaste.
The name of course refers to Maria, Duchess of Burgundy (Brussels 1457 - Bruges 1482), spouse of Maximilian of Austria, who was just one of the many rulers of Belgium before the country’s independence.
This short history lesson aside, I simply love this beer.
Duchesse de Bourgogne is a top fermented, ruby red Flemish ale at 6.2% ABV (for purists: old brown or West Flemish red-brown ale), brewed using traditional methods from the southern West Flanders region. This ale is brewed with roasted malts and with hops with a low bitterness. After the main fermentation and the lagering , the “Duchesse de Bourgogne” matures further for 18 months in oak casks.
The beer is complex and tart, reminiscent of wine, with hints of balsamic vinegar and sweet and sour cherries. It would be a perfect complement to grilled meats or a well-balanced cheese board.
The Duchesse de Bourgogne is best served in a chalice-shaped glass between 8 and 12°C.
Duchesse de Bourgogne is brewed by the Verhaeghe brewery in Vichte West Flanders, Belgium. http://www.brouwerijverhaeghe.be
The brewery itself has a history which go back to the 19th century. The makers of this excellent beer are by no means new arrivals to the extensive Belgian beer landscape. The family business, known for brews such as Cambrinus, Vichtenaar and Echte Kriek, was founded as a brewery-malt house in 1892 by Paul and Adolf Verhaeghe.
The brewery is to be commended for its choice to focus on quality rather than quantity and its Vichtenaar and Echte Kriek beers have already won awards.
You can find Duchesse de Bourgogne on draft at Franklin in Traverse City, and in bottle at Café Anvers!