Verhaeghe Duchesse de Bourgogne

Brewery: Brouwerij Verhaeghe
Country: Belgium
ABV: 6.2%
Style: Flanders Red Ale
Other Notes: Top-fermented beer, matured in oaken casks, contains barleymalt and wheat

Brewer Description: (from website) “Duchesse de Bourgogne” is an ale of mixed fermentation. It is a sweet-fruity ale with a pleasant fresh aftertaste. 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 many months in oak casks. The tannins in the oak give the “Duchesse de Bourgogne” its fruity character. “Duchesse de Bourgogne” has a full, sweet and fresh taste: it is a ruby red jewel of 6.2 % alc. vol., that best is served in a chalice-shaped glass between 8 and 12°C. A perfect beer.

My rating: 3
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.91
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.8

Intro: A 750ml corked and caged bottle with an expiry date of December 2016, poured into a Cantillon ballon glass.
Appearance: It poured a clear reddish brown colour with a red hue and a one finger khaki head that has decent retention and leaves lots of nice lacing.
Aroma: Sour, tart, cherry, red wine, oak and sweet vinegar.
Taste: Sweet and sour but leaning a bit more towards sweet. Cherry, grape, cranberry and oak with a hint of balsamic vinegar.
Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with moderate prickly carbonation.
Overall: I am a huge fan of sour beers and this was a little on the sweet side for me. However, it was a still a good beer and easy to drink.

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Trappist Westvleteren Blond

Brewery: Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij Westvleteren)
Country: Belgium
ABV: 5.8%
Style: Belgian Pale Ale
Other Notes: Green cap. Trappist beer

Brewer Description: Not much info on their website and obviously even less on the bottle. But apparently this was the basic beer that the monks drink themselves. I think it replaced the Westvleteren 6, a Belgian Dark Ale with a red bottle cap and 6.2% abv.

My rating: 4
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4.46
My ratebeer.com rating: 4.3

Intro: A 330ml bottle with a minimum sell-by date of 29th October 2016 and poured into a Chimay goblet glass.
Appearance: It poured a hazy golden orange colour with a small amount of sediment and a nice puffy two finger white head with good retention and leaves great lacing. Actually, despite the sediment, this looks amazing.
Aroma: Bready, clove and banana with a hint of peppery spice and apple pie.
Taste: Strong breadiness but with clove and banana sweetness and a hint of bubblegum.
Mouthfeel: Creamy, medium bodied with moderate carbonation.
Overall: Wow. Actually this surprised me as its often overshadowed by the 12 and even 8, but I really enjoyed this. As a Belgian Pale Ale, it seems to be one of the best of its style and has great balance, very refreshing and easy to drink.

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Birra del Borgo Duchessic

Brewery: Birra del Borgo
Country: Italy
ABV: 5.3%
Style: Belgian Saison
Other Notes: Duchessa spelt beer cut with 20% of one year old lambic from Brasserie Cantillon

Brewer Description: (from website) A sort of “collaboration brew” with the famous Belgian brewery Brasserie Cantillon: an interesting experiment about spontaneous fermentations. Our traditional Duchessa – spelt beer – has been cut with a 20% of one year old lambic from Brasserie Cantillon. The result is a unique beer that extraordinarily merges the lambic sharp and sour characteristics with the gentle notes of Duchessa. A real gem not to be missed, as the former version’s great success confirms. Try it with different kinds of cheese, especially with blue cheese.

My rating: 4
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4.44
My ratebeer.com rating: 4.3

Intro: A 330ml bottle with a nice unique bottle shape and a best before date of April 2017, poured into a Cantillon ballon glass.
Appearance: It poured a nice clear golden colour with a one finger white head that dissipated fairly quickly but leaves nice lacing.
Aroma: Tart, lemon peel and oak with a hint of apple and funkiness.
Taste: Tart and funky with fruity lemon and apple. Not overly sour, and in fact I got a lightly sweet apple cider finish.
Mouthfeel: Dry, light bodied with high spritzy carbonation.
Overall: This was nice and refreshing. I am lucky to have one more bottle, which is a good thing considering Birra del Borgo is now under AB InBev and seeing the lengths that Cantillon have gone to, it appears that, even if this beer is produced again, that it will NOT be with lambic from Cantillon. Therefore if you can still find this, it’s definitely worth a try, even possibly a last try!

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Mikkeller Nelson Sauvignon Chardonnay BA

Brewery: Mikkeller ApS
Country: Denmark
ABV: 9%
Style: Bière de Champagne / Bière Brut
Other Notes: Fermented with champagne yeast, brettanomyces and enzymes. Brewed and bottled by Mikkeller at De Proef Brouwerij

Brewer Description: (from bottle) Belgian wild ale aged in Chardonnay barrels.

My rating: 4
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4.39
My ratebeer.com rating: 4.2

Intro: A corked and caged 750ml bottle with no best by or bottled on date (it might have been on the cap but rubbed off) and poured into a Lindemans flute glass.
Appearance: It poured a very nice clear deep copper colour with a one finger off white head that had decent retention and left nice lacing.
Aroma: Grape, white wine, oak and brett.
Taste: Similar to the aroma. Grape, white wine, oak, brett, apple cider and a hint of tropical stone fruit. Lightly sweet and sour on the finish.
Mouthfeel: Dry, medium bodied, moderate carbonation and sporadic light warming alcohol.
Overall: Very nice. A top Mikkeller beer and this is right on the fence of a buy beer and a must buy beer.

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18th Street Sour Note Berliner Weisse

Brewery: 18th Street Brewery (The Sour Note Brewing)
Country: USA
ABV: 3.5% or 4.3% (I’ve seen both, but nothing definitive, not even on their own website)
Style: German Berliner Weisse
Other Notes: Unfiltered, sediment may occur, do not recommend cellaring of this beer

Brewer Description: (from bottle) Berliner Weisse is a top-fermented, bottle conditioned wheat beer made with both traditional warm-fermenting yeasts and lactobacillus culture. Regional to Berlin, this sharp, tart, fruity and refreshing ale dates back to the Middle Ages and has been called ‘The Workers’ Sparkling Wine.’

Delicate, yet aggressive, sour beer is the culmination of great patience, immaculate attention to craft, & an immense amount of labor. Just as many find great beauty in the acerbic, tart, & earthy overtones of a great sour, we also find the same beauty in our hometown of Gary, Indiana.

My rating: 4
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.99
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.8

Intro: A 750ml bottle with no best by or bottled on date poured into a Cantillon ballon glass.
Appearance: It poured a clear golden yellow colour with an extremely thin white head that disappeared almost immediately with little lacing.
Aroma: Tart apple and lemon with a hint of grass and wheat.
Taste: Like the aroma, sour and tart lemon and apple with a hint of mango, grass and wheat.
Mouthfeel: Dry, light bodied with moderate carbonation.
Overall: Simple but extremely refreshing considering it’s 34 degrees outside. It’s printed on the bottle “we do not recommend cellaring of this beer”, and I did not intend to, but I estimate it’s maybe got a year on it, but in good conditions.

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