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Duchesse De Bourgogne | Brouwerij Verhaeghe

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
91
outstanding
1,486 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,486
Ratings:
4,068
Avg:
4.09
pDev:
23.72%
 
 
Wants:
231
Gots:
825
For Trade:
16
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Verhaeghe
Belgium | website

Style: Flanders Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-15-2001

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,486 | Ratings: 4,068
Reviews by cps98:
Photo of cps98
4.5/5  rDev +10%

More User Reviews:
Photo of FFreak
4.4/5  rDev +7.6%

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.

 959 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.27/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

 1,815 characters

Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%

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.

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Photo of JDW4195
1.93/5  rDev -52.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

$20 a four pack and it is god awful...holy f'n s. This beer blows!!!

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Photo of Dinglehacker
4.34/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Poured into snifter. Little head, lacing shaped like the eye of Sauron. Looks black until held to light, then a murky red like a fine old piano.

Smells of vinegar, dark fruit, and soft malts.

Tastes tart and delightfully sour. Vinegar is now tempered with plumb, grape and cherry.

Feels a little dry, puckers the throat just a bit. Swallows tart, but does not linger or cause too much pucker.

First sour beer & first red ale I ever tried, and still the best. Not as sharp as Cuvee, not as overly saccharine as Delirium and Founder's Rubaeus (for comparison) might be. Not unlike a Lindeman's lambic, but more deserving the title of "beer." Sour beer is simply not for everyone, but for those who don't mind a mistress with snarl, Duchesse is among the most delicious of beers.

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Photo of Madtownbeerguy
4.8/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Been a fan of Flemish reds for a few years and for some reason I only just had my first bottle of this. I've heard it spoken of as a "gateway sour," which makes sense. But damn, it is just majestic, whether you've never had a sour or have been drinking them for years. Nose shows raspberries, and surprisingly does not give way to the the deep, slightly viscous and eclectic complexity that's about to unfold. Sweet, but perfectly balanced. Medium sour note, a bit of acid in the middle, hint of pinot noir, and then the most clean smooth finish imaginable. I could easily session a few bombers of this. Reminds me a lot of the New Glarus fruit beer series in its sweetness and acidic funk, bit the sour component pushes it to another level. Phenomenal beer that is a steal at the $12 price point for a 750ml.

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Photo of tlema1
3.53/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L: deep mahogany color, lacing tan head
S: tart fruits
T: very tart, acidic, not as sour as I imagined
F: long finish, I find it unpleasant
O: I rated to style, but this is a drainpour for me

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Photo of mothmanscott
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The rating below comes from multiple bottles over a period of several years: Pours a clear reddish to plum brown or ruby/garnet throughout when held to the light, producing 1.5 fingers of tan, finely bubbled foam, sometimes moderately lasting, sometimes shortlived head that recedes into a thin cap leaving a good coating of lace or sometimes no lace at all. Aroma is acetic & vinous, caramel malt, tart cherry, dark grape & cranberry with some woody, earthy hints. Taste is fronted by a battle of sweet & sour cherry, strawberry & some grape overlaying a thin maltiness backed by musty yeast, a metallic quantity and a peppery spice. The mid-sip is honey & grape with a "Sweet Tart" candy note. The finish is a faintly malty, sour yeastiness, dry with tart cherries, green apples & spice with distinct wood & metallic notes. The aftertaste is astringent & very dry with hints of oak, metal, cherries and apples. Mouthfeel is lively & medium bodied with decent carbonation, forward juicy, finishing dry & drawing. Very Complex!

 1,028 characters

Photo of jw4free
4.28/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: pours a near opaque dark brown. Limited off-white head, that fades to a champagne like bubbly. S: sour raspberry, cherry, caramel oak. T: cherry, fruity wine, but a sweet and sour interplay. F: bubbly effervescence, crisp, taste lingers pleasantly on the palate. O: seriously complex and dynamic. A real eye opener to unique styles of beer. Excellent beer.

 359 characters

Photo of SeanMNCraftBeerLover
2.32/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.25

Well I don't know what happened here... Was exited to have it... Looked great... Smelled decent.... Then all hell broke loose once it hit the lips. Maybe it was a bad line but damn this was not a good beer.

 207 characters

Photo of royalenfield
4.26/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I know this is not everyone's cup of tea, but I just love this beer. It isn't lip-puckeringly sour like some Flemish Reds, but it's still got a nice sour kick like a really good grade-school soccer player. For some reason it's always very popular with ladies, particularly white wine or cider drinkers. Perfect with clam chowder, carbonara, gumbo, and other creamy/spicy rich foods.

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Photo of Analog_kid
1.46/5  rDev -64.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

I bought this beer at Total Wine in NoVa, and looked forward to drinking it over the span of a week. Before I begin let's be honest, not every one tastes the same thing exactly the same way.

That being said, people need to get over this idea of sour beer, no matter how beautiful the packaging. Beer should be any of the following combinations:

• Hoppy
• Java-y (if that's a word).
• Malty
• Chocolate-y (if that's a word)
• Fruity
• Citrus-y (if that's a word)
• Spicy
• Good
• Excellent
• Meh

But among those flavors that a beer shouldn't be, is sour. Before I even bought this beer I came to our beloved BeerAdvocate to read up on the overall reviews. I thought with a BA score of 92 and Bros score of 93, there should be no question that this is a home run, so I greedily bought it like a kid buying the last piece of chocolate in a candy store.

My first smell of this beer made me jerk my head away in revulsion, as if I just smelled a jar of liquefied roadkill mixed with malt vinegar. But realizing that smells of beer can be a bit deceiving, I decided to get past the smell and let the liquid flow over my taste buds. Only after swallowing this concoction did I realize that I had made the worst mistake of my beer life.

I tried to give it one more try, hoping that, having paid $15 for one bottle, there would be some redeeming quality to this beer>. Alas, there was none.

This beer is beautiful to behold, I'll grant the brewers that. But as for drinking? No thanks. That being that, this is so heavy on the vinegar, maybe it would make a good marinade for chicken or beef short ribs. Either way, I'd rather drink an entire truckload of Iron City before I even consider drinking this again.

But hey, my friend absolutely loved it.

 1,771 characters

Photo of ham413
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Very similar to wine, goes perfect with steak....

50 characters

Photo of Kknee
1.15/5  rDev -71.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This is ranch dressing.....like legit. If this isn't old fermented ranch dressing, then it's witchcraft. This is hate in a bottle. It pours a very dark red, almost brown. The smell reminds me of rancid ranch dressing. The taste is...... you got it, ranch dressing. I love ranch dressing, but this is ungodly. Damn.

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Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

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Photo of Popsinc
3.38/5  rDev -17.4%
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.

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Photo of Marty
3.43/5  rDev -16.1%
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.

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Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.36/5  rDev -17.8%
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.

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Photo of DanGeo
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of tectactoe
3.79/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

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Photo of ricke
4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

 1,100 characters

Photo of t2grogan
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Zakk
4.5/5  rDev +10%

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Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
91 out of 100 based on 1,486 ratings.