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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

3,141 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,141
Reviews: 1,355
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 142
Gots: 323 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Verhaeghe visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Flanders Red Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Belgian top-fermented reddish-brown ale, a blend of 8 and 18 months old beers following the careful maturation in oak casks.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-15-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,141 | Reviews: 1,355 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Morpheus:
Photo of Morpheus
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

Morpheus, Dec 25, 2012
More User Reviews:
Photo of BEERchitect
4.26/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

In the honor of the Duchess of Burgundy, a unique sweet and sour taste emerges in ale form- an unfailing choice for the curious palate to venture into the sour family, but with the malty-sweet support and a rich fruit flavor to balance its acidity. Its utmost complexity and refreshment is reserved for those who refine their palate but are tentative about sourness.

This Flanders red ale's tawny pour of browns, reds, and haze carry an inherent wine-like, cognac appearance that's shyly adorned with the daintiest of foam stance which It's similar to delicate coffee-like creme.

The nose is met with complex and succulent character that remind that strikes the olfactory senses with balsamic, chocolate, black cherry, weathered wood, soy sauce, red wine, and sherry wine. The sweet and sour interplay seems something much more of French reductions or Chinese cuisine than it does of beer.

Flavors are a dynamic sweet and sour interplay of to tart berries, mild toast but more so of vinous wine, savory umami character, lemon-like acidity,- its sour and savory combination can go on and on. Every point of flavor has a counterpart to balance, which carry the beer across the palate with a multitude of intrigue and wonderment.

Medium bodied, but the beer's tepid but acidic sourness makes the beer seem somberly tart while the succulent cherry and cocoa allow for a soft weight to be felt. Its moderate carbonation allows the beer to seep into the softer mouth tissues for fuller flavor but also ushers in a dry woodsy finish of crab apples with mild vinegary astringency.

Well balanced throughout, but the beer's sweeter and fruitier side buffers against any abrupt sourness which gives it a restrained property that not only challenges the palate, but soothes it with ample wine sweetness and toasty malts.

BEERchitect, Aug 25, 2005
Photo of FFreak
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%

Bottle dated 'Best by' 4-29-2015. Poured into willy glasses and shared with a friend.

This has a beautiful dark reddish brown color, like cherry cola or root beer, with an ample off-white head that persists throughout leaving tons of lacing.

Smell is of cherries and sour grapes with some funky yeastiness. Very interesting.

Taste is just wonderful. It's so different than anything I've had before. It has very vinous qualities and leans a little towards vinegar, but in a very subtle way that leaves the underlying cherry and plum flavors intact. It makes you think sour, but its actually sweet and fruity at the same time.

Mouthfeel is also very interesting. Almost has a champagne-like carbonation, somewhat fizzy, but still soft. It tends to make you want to sip it even though it's not big at all.

Overall, this is one of the most interesting beers I've ever experienced. Takes the experience to a new, different level. Well worth trying.

FFreak, Aug 31, 2014
Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%

Poured from the tulip into a large snifter.
Pours a nice dark reddish/plum hue with a thick, substantial head.
Smells of brett like yeast, dark fruit, spice.
Tastes amazing. Raisin, plum, with some mild spice and brett tartness.
Mouthfeel was perfect, inviting.
This is a flat out wonderful beer. Unique and delicious.

BoldRulerVT, Aug 31, 2014
Photo of oberon
3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby color with a nice creamy,sticky head that leaves waves of lace down my brandy snifter,aromas are all Belgian some sour cherry and malt vinegar with a touch of funk hits right on.Now I got alot more sweetness than expected in this brew,a kinda sweet/spicey mix that coats ur mouth with only a touch of sourness in the finish wich was unexpected.I picked up some cherry stone and iron notes a little more as I drank but this seems to stay more on the sweeter side for the style,true to the style not sure, but worth a try its a quality brew.

oberon, Aug 24, 2004
Photo of Popsinc
3.38/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: A dark ruby-brownish pour. Thin tan head.

Smell: A very fruity and sour nose. Ripe grape is prominent and there is also a hint of balsamic vinegar.

Taste: The taste here is much sweeter and more mild then the nose might suggest. A nice cherry sweetness creeps through and balances nicely with the tart nose.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and fresh...little sweet n dry on the finish.

Drinkability: The beer was decent but i would only question the how often would i actually sit down to drink this beer? I aprreciate it but i don't love it.

Popsinc, Oct 31, 2003
Photo of Marty
3.4/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a transparent deep rosy amber, which surprised me because I (for whatever reason) expected this to be an unfiltered. Dense, craggy, light brown head.

Smells very sweet, cider-like. Taste is very similar, and surprisingly simple. No hops to speak of, and not even particularly malty. Just FRUITY! Very fruity. Impressive that such a tart flavor could come just from yeast, because I was pretty sure there was a whole granny smith apple in that bottle.

Not something I would buy again, but worth a try.

Marty, Dec 29, 2006
Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - The body was nothing special, brown and clear with orangish-red tints, but the head was magnificent. It rose up mightily and lasted a lifetime. It came down lacing on the sides first while the middle held fast, so that in a few minutes I had a glass that was half beer half head, and the head was big but had pulled away from the edges while leaving a thick film. Awesome!

Smell - The light malt is dominated by a strong (but not sharp) sour aroma. The smell is very sophisticated and complex, though, and is mixed with clove and some cinnamon.

Taste - This is more balanced at the taste. The mild malt flavor stands a little firmer here, and the tartness is still strong but not as dominant. There's also a light sweet taste here and a tea-like quality that was very nice.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied and mild in its sweetness, this one was great to hold in the cheeks for a while.

Drinkability - I'm not a huge fan of the style, but this was great to sip on during the day.

Update - My original review was written off a 2003 vintage so I thought I'd delve into this delicacy again in 2009. The head didn't come up the way it did before but otherwise it was pretty much spot on. I am always taken aback when drinking this ale as to the sophisticated manner in which they bring in the cloves. They are not small, but the flavor and aroma both manage to sneak in unnoticed at first then halfway through the bottle you pick it up.

RoyalT, Dec 31, 2003
Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.35/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Filtered chestnut brown with a thick and luscious tan head. Plenty of carbonation streams visible.

N: Rotten fruit (dates, plums, and blackberries mostly) and sour apples. Vinegar.

T: Sweet and sour weirdness. Tastes like very, very rotten fruit – mostly plums and apples. Rotten to the core. Nasty stuff. The initial sip causes one’s lips to pucker violently but that is followed by this strong sugary rotten fruit sweetness. This is strange brew.

MF: Sour, then sweet, then sour again. Medium body with a lengthy slightly sweet nasty finish.

D: Low. This brew doesn’t sit right. Too much vinegar. I don’t think more than one goblet would be healthy.

DaPeculierDane, May 22, 2006
Photo of DanGeo
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

DanGeo, Apr 26, 2014
Photo of tectactoe
3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Figured it was about time I got around to this one, oftentimes an introductory "sour" for those trying to ease their way into the style. Deep burgundy body with rose tones near the top where light is allowed to shine through. The beige head crackles away swiftly into a wimpy little skin that doesn't even maintain full coverage of the brew for more than a few seconds.

Either you're gonna love the aroma, or you're gonna hate it, and it pretty much depends on how much you enjoy vinegar. Copious amounts of vinegar in the aroma, which a back panel of lightly sour cherries and some mild cranberry notes. Spicy, woody vanilla pops out when you inhale deep enough, though your nostrils are busy sifting through the heavy, heavy apple cider vinegar.

Now, I'm a fan of vinegar, though I have to admit that had the vinegar been so heavy on the palate as it was on the nose, it might be a difficult beer to finish. Luckily, the first few sips show me that the vinegar notes, while still prominent and forceful, are toned down to acceptable levels. Some simply tart cherries back the vinegar and smooth things out just a bit.

Mild cola, oak, and faint vanilla make up the rest of the profile, but vinegar-soaked cherries are the leaders of the pack at the end of the day. The tail end aftertaste contains some funk, but nothing too crazy or notable. With time, it seems that Duchesse goes from being more sour to more sweet; by the time you finish the glass, it will be mostly sweet.

Medium bodied, a touch heavier than you may expect for a sour ale, with heavier carbonation as well, and a slick, almost oily mouth feel. Duchesse de Bourgogne is a decent way to soothe your apprehensive friends into accepting the world of sour beers. For people who are already deep into that territory, this beer won't be too exciting for you, so hopefully you can see it for what it is: a mild mannered bridge into a whole different type of beer.

tectactoe, Jul 23, 2013
Photo of ricke
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving date: 2009-03-22. Served in wine glass.

A: Dark ruby color with dark brown hues. Slightly beige and uneven but thick head that dissipates slowly and leaves a decent amount of lacings.

S: Rather reminiscent of red wine. Plenty of vinous fruit aromas (ripe cherries, apples). Rum-soaked raisins, notes of oak barrel, yeast and gentle malt aromas.

T: A rather unique and very pleasant taste with plenty of wine-like flavors. Ripe cherries, grapes, over-ripe apples, earth. Yeast, gentle spiciness and hints of candy, butterscotch and chocolate. A tart note in the middle. Passion fruit. Faint vinegar. Oak barrel. Plenty of action going on here and the flavors blends beautifully. Very complex and well balanced. The malts are restrained from start to finish. Basically no bitterness in the finish. However, there are plenty of black currants, rum-soaked raisins and some spicy alcohol.

M: Full body, very creamy. Upon swallowing, it changes and gets drier towards the finish. Lively carbonation.

D: A fantastic beer with great vinous aromas and flavors. Very complex and well balanced.

ricke, Apr 05, 2009
Photo of Zakk
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Zakk, Jun 03, 2012
Photo of jono0101
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

jono0101, May 09, 2014
Photo of hopsleeroy
1.95/5  rDev -53.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

I was excited to give this style a shot. This is my first experience with the Flanders Red. Looked very nice on the pour with a deep copper body and a very minimal white head that dissipated quickly. The smell-lets say a tad sour. Reminded me of the fruity flavors and strong scent of balsamic vineagar. The taste was sour cherries! It just blasts you right up front and them dissipates. The Duchesse is well carbonated which accentuates the sour flavor up front then swallows fairly clean. The sour was too much for me. I felt like I was drinking vineagar. I only managed 4-5 sips and was done. There is a lot of flavor in there but the sour/vineagar flavor was so overwhelming it was hard to enjoy everything this beer has to offer. Everyone should give this a shot, but you may learn like me that this flavor does not suit your tastebuds.

hopsleeroy, Jan 17, 2008
Photo of wesbrownyeah
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Duchesse De Bourgogne 6.0% as stated on the 11.2oz bottle. Poured into Lindeman's flute glass.

A- Pours a carmel colored fluid that then boast a huge carbonated off-white head that stays around for the whole beer. Lacing is sticky and retains heavily in layers on the rim of the glass.

S- Scents are tarted sour cherries with light apple peel. Sweet burnt carmel malt lingers in the back of the nose.

T-M- Taste is impressive and unique. First is a dark tartness of plums, cherries and dates. Second there is a malty carmel brown suger flavor that blends itself together causing a strange sweet tart tangyness on the tongue. Thick malty film is left on the taste buds that offer a creamy mouthfeel allowing a nice drinkable Flanders style red ale.

D- Not my personal favorite but a beer i'll go back to for a different look on how tart can be mixed with malty sweetness.

wesbrownyeah, Feb 23, 2010
Photo of weatherdog
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 75cL bottle into two tulip glasses. One for me and one for my wife. The cork is labeled exp. 05/11.

It pours a brilliant deep red color with a two finger foamy dense head

Smells of acidity, sour fruit and vinegar notes. The nose is very inviting and promising for a tasty sour beer inside.

The taste is an explosion of colliding flavors. Starts a little tart with a lot of red fruit flavors. the middle is medium bard-yard brett and it finishes with the acidic vinegar and a surprising sweetness.

Mouthfeel is exceptional, a little tart but smooth and perfect carbonation level. Four a sour the drinkability is amazing. I'm drinking this faster than I wold have thought and it really goes down smoothly.

I haven't had many example of this style but I really am enjoying the trip. It wasn't as tart and sour as I had expected and the sweet finish was unexpected. I am unsure of the bottling date but i think I might pick up another bottle and let it age until closer to the expiration date to see how the tartness develops.

weatherdog, Nov 29, 2009
Photo of tbryan5
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

tbryan5, Jun 28, 2013
Photo of JacobMutberg
4/5  rDev -3.8%

JacobMutberg, Oct 10, 2012
Photo of joemetric
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

joemetric, Jul 10, 2014
Photo of Cuvie62
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smells vingary at first. Great follow. Kombychka like. Awesome beer. If I could brew beers at hone I would give thus shit a shot. You need a deserni g palate for this shiz. Give it a whirl. Trying yo make a 250 word review and all I can say is "You gotta Try this shiz" not annormal beer.

Cuvie62, May 25, 2014
Photo of dimitrov
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

dimitrov, Jun 08, 2013
Photo of blitz134
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had the pleasure of first having this on tap at the Brickstore in Atlanta. I'd never had a "flemish sour" as it was labeled and gave it a shot. I'm certainly glad I did as this has quickly became a favorite style to me and opened my eyes up to the world of sour beers.

This beer pours a lovely crimson, garnet red clear body with an initial tall 2 finger head which reduced down to a fairly thick half inch. The smell to me is amazing and one I have never found in any other beer. Its all about the balsamic vinegar, which I personally really like. Additionally there is a good dose of grape and other fruit aromas which remind me of a dark red wine.

The taste is of slight vinegar with a body of sour grape juice along with tart cherries. Its quite juicy and sweet on the tongue and finishes a bit sour, but not overpowering. When I had this on tap everyone who tasted it all agreed it was very interesting. This one sits a bit warm on my stomach although it isn't a high ABV brew.

Mouthfeel is a touch thin but coats the mouth well. Drinkability is good as well but it plays with my stomach a bit. I find this so tasty though that I can deal with that.

Overall, this beer (and the style in general) has an amazing flavor that everyone must try at least once. This is just one more example of the breadth of the capability of the beer world.

blitz134, May 23, 2005
Photo of sabitu
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

sabitu, Jan 03, 2013
Photo of bulldogg915
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

bulldogg915, Mar 06, 2014
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Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,141 ratings.