The French name notwithstanding, Duchesse de Bourgogne is a Flemish red ale, made by the family-owned Brouwerij Verhaeghe
in Vichte, West Flanders. Part of the beer goes through three fermentations, the last while being aged for 18 months in oak casks. That's blended with 8-month-old beer, resulting in an exceedingly complex brew.
The beer is brown with glints of red, has a slightly sour and yeasty aroma, a fruity flavor, like good hard cider, with hints of cinnamon and stout, and a sweet-sour finish. It's very nice with nutty cheeses such as Gruyère or aged Gouda, or with blue cheese.
I recently found the Duchesse in bottle at Bi-Rite Market
(3639 18th St) and City Beer
(1169 Folsom), and on tap at La Trappe Cafe
(800 Greenwich). It also turns up at Toronado
(547 Haight) and The Trappist
(460 8th St, Oakland, 4 blocks from 12th ST BART).