Mary of Burgundy “ruled the Burgundian territories in Low Countries and was suo jure Duchess of Burgundy from 1477-1482. As the only child of Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, and his wife Isabella of Bourbon, she was the heiress to the vast Burgundian domains in France and the Low Countries upon her father’s death. Her mother died in 1465, but Mary was on very good terms with her stepmother Margaret of York, whom Charles married in 1468.”
But today, for the beer lover at least, what Mary’s most famous for is that the Flanders red ale, Duchesse de Bourgogne, from the Brouwerij Verhaeghe, is named for her though the label is a different painting of Mary.
Their importer, Specialty Beer, describes the beer like this:
DUCHESSE DE BOURGOGNE from Brouwerij Verhaeghe is the traditional Flemish red ale. This refreshing ale is matured in oak casks; smooth with a rich texture and interplay of passion fruit, and chocolate, and a long, dry and acidic finish. After the first and secondary fermentation, the beer goes for maturation into the oak barrels for 18 months. The final product is a blend of younger 8 months old beer with 18 months old beer. The average age of the Duchesse de Bourgogne before being bottled is 12 months.
This week’s work of art is not strictly beer-oriented, except that we use our fives senses, and in particular smell and taste, to create and enjoy the flavor of beer. It’s by the Austrian painter Hans Makart and it’s title is Die Fünf Sinne, or “The Five Senses.” The oil painting consists of five panels completed in 1879, though other sources claim he worked on it off and on from 1840 until 1884.
Here’s a description of the painting from the Columbian World Exposition of 1893.
The five-paneled oil painting which is portrayed above was, on account of the notoriety of its author, one of the chief attractions of the Austrian galleries in the Art Palace. It was a study in the nude, showing five different views of an ideal female human form. The senses of Smelling, Seeing, Hearing, Feeling and Tasting are represented as in action, and in Tasting, Eve plucks the fruit from that forbidden tree “whose mortal taste brought death into the world, and all our woe with loss of Eden.” The sense of Feeling, on the other hand, flatters woman with a recognition of her principal attraction, the love of the young and the joy that comes with its touch. Hans Makart, the sensational Austrian painter, was born in 1840 and died in Venice in 1884.
Below are “Smell” and “Taste” shown a little bigger, since those are the two most important for tasting beer.
Monday’s holiday ad is for Samichlaus Bier, now brewed at Schloss Eggenberg in Austria each year on December 6 — today — because the beer’s namesake, Santa Claus, or at least St. Nicholas, has his feast day today.
Below is an interesting graphic of the changes in Samichlaus bottles over the years from 1984 to 2004.
File this under news of the weird. According to the UK’s The Sun, the European Patent Office had to reverse their decision denying a company the right to produce a beer called Fucking Hell, when they were able to prove that Fucking is a real town in Austria. Or rather village, since there are only 104 people who live in Fucking, which is just 2-1/2 miles from the German border.
According to Wikipedia,
It is believed that the settlement was founded around the 6th century by Focko, a Bavarian nobleman. The existence of the village was documented for the first time in 1070 and historical records show that some twenty years later the lord was Adalpertus de Fucingin. The spelling of the name has evolved over the years; it is first recorded in historical sources with the spelling as Vucchingen in 1070, Fukching in 1303, Fugkhing in 1532, and in the modern spelling Fucking in the 18th century, which is pronounced with the vowel oo as in book. The ending -ing is an old Germanic suffix indicating the people of the root word to which it is attached; thus Fucking means “(place of) Focko’s people.”
Brewery spokesman Stefan Fellenberg said they plan to brew a Helles style beer. After years of trying on vain to keep people from stealing their town’s sign, and engaging in intercourse either in front of it or in town, the village instead decided to cash in instead. They may have gotten the idea from nearby Wank Mountain residents, who gave them some advice recently. Frankly, I can’t really blame them, though no doubt the U.S. will never give label approval. Guns and violence, yes. Sex, never. Even the Sun piece wouldn’t print either the word Fucking or Wank even though they’re legitimate place names. I’m constantly amazed at how utterly fearful we are about just … words.
Here’s another humorous addition about the signs in the village. “One version of the sign features the village name with an additional sign beneath it, with the words “Bitte — nicht so schnell!”, which translates from German into English as “Please — not so fast!” The lower sign – which features an illustration of two children — is meant to inform drivers to watch their speed, but tourists see this as a double-meaning coupled with the village name.”