Cellaring Flanders Reds/Duchesse de Bourgogne

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

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  1. Bugs318

    Bugs318 Zealot (550) Dec 9, 2011 Quebec (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    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. Morpheus

    Morpheus Initiate (172) Dec 25, 2012 Alberta (Canada)

    I'm a new member who'd also like to know. Cellaring beer is a new concept to me.
  3. StaveHooks

    StaveHooks Meyvn (1,335) Nov 18, 2008 Oklahoma

    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 Initiate (0) Sep 30, 2008 Colorado

    Yes, it's pasteurized and had artificial sweetener added. Cellaring would be a waste IMO.
  5. Morpheus

    Morpheus Initiate (172) Dec 25, 2012 Alberta (Canada)

    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 Initiate (0) Jun 9, 2010 Colorado

    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 Initiate (0) Feb 22, 2011 California

    Artificial sweetener in Duchesse? I call BS.
    Minnesinger and Morpheus like this.
  8. YoDude

    YoDude Aspirant (284) Nov 21, 2008 Illinois
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    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 Crusader (750) Jul 28, 2014 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

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

    brother_rebus Crusader (750) Jul 28, 2014 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    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 Defender (614) Apr 22, 2007 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    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 Aspirant (235) Oct 20, 2006 California

    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.
  13. Giantspace

    Giantspace Defender (626) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    found a box of Rodenbach red bottles best by 2010. Been sitting in my basement and they are bad. Really thin and almost tasteless. These are the small bottles and came in a full cardboard box.

    I also think that if the beer is pasteurized its not worth a cellar. I think Rodenbach is pasteurized, at least the red and Cru

  14. brother_rebus

    brother_rebus Crusader (750) Jul 28, 2014 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

  15. AugustusRex

    AugustusRex Devotee (408) Apr 12, 2013 Ontario (Canada)

    I emailed them, they don't pasteurize or use sweetener. My bottles have sediment and are unfiltered, which is weird for the style.
  16. stakem

    stakem Poo-Bah (4,934) Feb 20, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Anyone know how many years out they put their best by dates?

    For example, if i had a best by Dec 2016 marked on the cork, when was it bottled?
  17. Raj

    Raj Disciple (321) Jun 25, 2014 Washington
    Beer Trader

    I have had a 12oz bottle of duchesse in my cellar for like 18 months. This thread is making me curious. I'll open it this evening and report back.
  18. Raj

    Raj Disciple (321) Jun 25, 2014 Washington
    Beer Trader

    Opened duchesse last night and I overall it was a little sweeter and creamier than I remember from fresher draft versions. The caramel sweetness and balsamic vinegar notes were more prominent, and it wasn't very sour. I haven't had fresh duchesse in like 2 years; I remember it being more tart but my palate may have changed as well.

    I think aside from the caramel malt notes coming out a bit, I think it's aged well and there weren't any off flavors for the style. With that said, I think I prefer the fresher version (which of course is already aged).
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