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Cellaring Flanders Reds/Duchesse de Bourgogne

Discussion in 'Cellaring / Aging Beer' started by Bugs318, Dec 25, 2012.

  1. Bugs318

    Bugs318 Savant (320) Quebec (Canada) Dec 9, 2011 Verified

    Anyone ever had much experience with this? (How) do they age? I know sours are often the exception to the rules about aging average strength beers, but can't find much via search on this/these specifically.
  2. I'm a new member who'd also like to know. Cellaring beer is a new concept to me.
  3. StaveHooks

    StaveHooks Savant (495) Oklahoma Nov 18, 2008

    I cracked a few 2010s about a month ago. They were still good but I prefer it fresh. The fruit was more dull and it lost all of the crisp snappiness thats there when fresh. The age didn't seem to make it any better. I believe duchesse is pasteurized as well.
    Bugs318 likes this.
  4. knucks999

    knucks999 Aficionado (190) Colorado Sep 30, 2008

    Yes, it's pasteurized and had artificial sweetener added. Cellaring would be a waste IMO.
  5. I have tried to verify your claim of added 'artificial sweeteners' but I have found no evidence of this in my searches. I have found a few posts making this accusation, but nothing definitive. Do you care to elaborate?
    Bugs318 and JxExM like this.
  6. gueuzer

    gueuzer Savant (270) Colorado Jun 9, 2010

    It's actually unpasteurized (as stated on the label), but probably filtered. Could be the same end as far as no viable bugs, or it could not; I don't know what kind (if any) filtration they use. I very highly doubt there are any artificial sweeteners.

    Almost all Belgian-derived Reds are pasteurized due to ropy and acetic acid issues derived from the large amount of pediococcus and acetobacters in these beers. La Folie is as well, but Red Poppy might not be.

    Cellaring pastuerized or heavily filtered Reds will eventually create oxidative effects (sherry, toffee, etc) and a dulling of the fruit flavors, which could be good or bad depending on your tastes. Very good examples (Rodenbach Grand Cru and La Folie) appear to be less susceptible to oxidation, most likely due to good brewing practices. They seem to become less sweet after the first few years (usually an improvement), before the oxidative effects take force. A two year old Rodenbach Grand Cru is a thing of beauty, and crushes a fresh bottle IMO, as the flavors come to the forefront and are not masked by the sweet young beer.

    90's bottles of Rodenbach grand cru and Alexander (a kriek flanders red) are still aging beautifully even though they were pasteurized. The fruit flavors are still incredibly vibrant and the oxidative flavors are minor and add depth to the beers. These however, are the exception to the rule and were the work of the Flemish Master Peter Broukart (now of New Belgium).

    Well-brewed, unpasteurized (or less filtered) Reds will dry out over time and get more funky and sour. They will not develop much oxidiative flavors as the residual pedio and brett can consume the inherent oxygen. However, a poorly brewed and or bottled, unpasteurized Red will develop unpleasant acetic (vinegar) tastes if the brett and pedio can't consume all the oxygen and acetobacter is allowed to flourish. I've seen this a lot in homebrewed flander's reds.
  7. SeaOfShells

    SeaOfShells Savant (350) California Feb 22, 2011

    Artificial sweetener in Duchesse? I call BS.
    Morpheus likes this.
  8. YoDude

    YoDude Aficionado (180) Illinois Nov 21, 2008

    My experience is to drink the Duchesse before it's expiration date. Rodenbach is fantastic fresh as well as aged.
  9. brother_rebus

    brother_rebus Advocate (525) Pennsylvania Jul 28, 2014 Verified

    I dont know if thats true. It can be sweet though.
  10. brother_rebus

    brother_rebus Advocate (525) Pennsylvania Jul 28, 2014 Verified

    Im cellering a few xaviers by newport storm. I had one a yr and a half ago. And it was stellar.
    Curious to see if i should yank em now.
  11. lookrider

    lookrider Advocate (510) Pennsylvania Apr 22, 2007 Verified

    I've got some Cuvee des Jacobins Rouge that have a couple years on them and show no ill effects from time
  12. AndrewK

    AndrewK Savant (435) California Oct 20, 2006

    The owner of Verhaeghe posted on the BBB forum they they don't use saccharin, but that was 10 years ago. Of course that's around the same time I started hearing those rumors, so if it wasn't true then it probably isn't true now.