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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

3,411 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,411
Reviews: 1,372
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 161
Gots: 408 | 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: 3,411 | Reviews: 1,372 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nathi
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very nice beer.

Somewhat cloudy, small head, nice amber color.

Excellent sourness in aroma. Light prune-like maltyness and subtle oak character.

Very rich flavor with storng sourness balancing it out. Complex malt flavor with raisnes, caramel and toffee. Excellent oak character, adds nice complexity and gives a port like character when combined with oxidized malt richness.. Sourness is a bit simplistic but balances out the flavor very well. A well balanced, and very drinkable sour ale. Very rodenbach like, a little less complex, but very nice.

Photo of warmstorage
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 ounces, bottles states 6% ABV. Poured into a wide-mouthed wine glass at cellar temp.

Pours medium to deep brown, dense beige head, dissipates and leaves little lacing.

Aroma is lactic and sour and pleasant. Mouth is tingly and hopping with the bright acidic nature of the beer.

Taste is sweet tangy lactic acid sour tangy goodness. A distinctly sweet fruit taste, ripe pears maybe. A solid Flanders ale, it delivers the fruit and sour body very capably without overwhelming.

An excellent, tasty beer which I'll keep buying and enjoying. Not for non-beer-geek friends, for sure, but an outstanding beer nevertheless.

Photo of depechemode1983
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance - Deep Reddish Brown looks think tan head that sticks around for some time. Good amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell - Sour tart fruit smells. I smell cherries and green apples. Smells amazing.

Taste - Wow. Sweet tart cherries, with lingering dry sour finish.

Mouthfeel - Full moderately carbonated mouthfeel. This beer really coates the mouth well.

Drinkability - Very drinkable. Leaves you wanting more and more.

Notes - Well worth the 21.99 for the four pack I bought. Would actually consider buying this again. This would be a good beer to introduce to non beer drinkers that like fruity drinks. My sister doesnt like beer at all. She loved this enough to ask me for one of my bottles.

Photo of smttycty
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Though I love my late-night after-work mini mart with it's good selection of single bottles, my luck at finding imports that haven't been staring at the UV lighting too long is about 50/50. I asked the clerk to fetch me a bottle of this one from the back side of the reach-in. At almost $0.50 per ounce, I wanted to improve my odds.

The dark tea-colored body was clear, the off-tan rocky crown short -lived, and the lacing minimal. But once I shoved my nose into the snifter, it didn't want to come out. I found a nuanced melange of tart fruit, rich chocolate, fig pudding, and sherry.

A few local brewers have been trying their hands at this style, but my first sip washed away all expectations for another "learn-to-like-it" vinegary concoction. This beer is all silk and satan. Tart cherries and granny smith apples wrapped in a softly spiced European pastry. With no bitter flavors to be found, the wonderful yeast qualities are testament to the attention payed to the blending of the newer and older vintages. As the flavors slowly dissipate the sweet flavors at the front of the mouth are fully distinguishable from the tart flavors in back.

Light bodied and very lively without being sharp, kind of a thick blanket of effervescence. Like a vacation I don't want to leave, I'll come back again and again.

Photo of FunkyFibes
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- It pours a ruby red/amber color with a tight, creamy one finger head that dissipates to a thin film on top very quickly. It leaves light lacing behind.

S- A nice sour cherry and apple aroma with an equal part oak showing up.

T- Splashes in with a nice sour wash right off that brings the cherry and apple flavors to the forefront. The malt is very present imparting a wide array of notes mixed in with some more subtle oak woody tones. I'm surprised with how much is going on that everything is so discernible, and my palate isn't overwhelmed. An overwhelming sign of the great craftsmanship involved in this brew.

M- Medium bodied almost delving into chewy. The light carbonation and dryness from the oak help to keep the sweetness from overpowering the palate.

O- I have been on a sour kick as of recent, and the complexity of this one really blew me away. There is so much going on, but is so well constructed that you get to enjoy every piece individually and as a whole with each sip. Man did this go great with dinner!

Photo of TagOnlyForNow
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I wish that I liked wine. But I will be more than happy settling on being a beer snob. This beer tastes like what I wish a good wine would taste like. Fruity with the sour flavor. Does not produce a head which makes it feel more like a wine or specialty mead or barley wine.

I love this beer. It is my new vice. It has removed me from all of the Belgian Heffes/Whites.

Photo of beerguy101
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Deep ruby color. Medium head. Aroma is slightly vinegar and malts. This is DEFINITELY a Flemish Sour Ale. A big bold sour tartness up front, gives way to a nice vinous fruitiness somewhere in the middle. Fruity and sour and vinegar and sweet all at the same time. Very reminiscent of a Rodenbach Grand Cru. Very complex flavors. Nice beer. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed this style. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is vinous and slightly bitter . WARNING::QUALITY CAN VARY FROM BOTTLE TO BOTTLE

Photo of allengarvin
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, served into a tall chalice. Exp date on cork is 06/09. The color is dark ruby, clear when held to the light, with a small head of foam. Aroma is complex and interesting: a solid underlying tartness is dominant, but there are also notes of cherry, soda crackers, red wine. Up front the flavor is initially quite sweet, but the taste develops after a moment, with a lot of yeasty, very ripe fruitiness, a touch of coppery-metallic hardness, and a finish of woody sourness, like a low-acidity vinegar. Body is full, creamy, with a little tannic mouthfeel.

Excellent beer; I'm glad it finally made it into the Texas market.

Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This delightful Flanders Red Ale was served on tap on 11/11/11 at Beer Geeks in Highland, IN. It was my third beverage on the evening, but by far the best.

Radiating a deep brown-amber hue, the ale was served in flute glass with an inch head. A fruity-sour aroma tickled the nose without much effort. The aroma was quite potent. As with most good sour ales, the taste was potent. A sour fruitness was the immediate impression; this included hints of tart cranberry and raspberry. The sensations continued into the tart and fruity aftertaste. The carbonation was a little more aggressive than I would have expected, but this did not subtract from the experience. Duchesse is a delicious and refreshing experience.

Photo of maximum12
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Have heard a few songs of praise from the raised voices of local BAs about the Duchesse, so when I found myself at the Lowertown Bulldog for lunch, it seemed a good time to introduce myself. Good afternoon, Duchesse.

Amberish pour with little to no evident carbonation, she just lay there flat & still. Smell was sharp, tangy.

My taste buds shouted in surprise when the Duchesses arrived; I was expecting a sour blast, but instead she came with tartness, & a clean feel of sparkling grape juice (which I've always loved!). The expected sourness was nowhere to be found, only a Bottle Cap-like sweetness mixed in with the tart grape/cherry/fruits. A second sip confirmed all of this & more, & I was happy. The wife took a sip & was sad she didn't have a glass, too.

Drinkability? Damn straight. Down like kiddee Kool-Aid. My mouth might pucker up in protest after two, but it'd be worth it.

This is nothing at all like the only other Flanders Red I tried, but an excellent beer that could easily be utilized as a gateway to craft or Belgians. Duchesse, I bow to you, & hope we meet again.

Photo of Onibubba
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Not the beer that I was expecting. Poured an almost black brown with a beige frothy head that quickly dissappeared. Smell was intensely strange with raisins, cherries, and balsamic vinegar. I was expecting something sour, but this was indulgently sweet. The taste reminded me very much of the dressing used on a Killed Spinach Salad - Sugar and vinegar are quickly heated in bacon fat and poured over the spinach. That is the taste which solidified wiht me, and not in an offputting way at all.

You've heard the term smooth as silk, and that is an accurate description of the mouthfeel here. No carbonation detectable at all, but somehow a thin film of lace clung to the glass with each sip. Alcohol does not assert itself. This beer was a perfect nightcap after a bottle of La Roja.

Photo of CharlesRiver
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a dark reddish-brown with a nice off white head that seems to last. The smell is wonderful. Sweet, sour, balanced and simply amazing. The smell is a perfect five.

Taste is much more smooth than I expected. Cherries, wood, and a tad on the sweet side. No alcohol is present. So smooth and so balanced I am amazed this beer is aged in oak.

To be honest, I am sure there are better beers from this style. But, they are not that easily available. This is the best that I have had from this style and I can't wait to try more.

Photo of Rayek
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Cheeky Monk in Denver, CO. Served in a Duchesse De Bourgogne glass.

A: Deep ruby color with a small cream colored head. Clarity is very good. Head retention is only fair. Leaves a heavy lace behind.

S: All I can think of is red wine when I smell this. Heavy on the dark fruits, plus a light pepper bite and a slight sourness that keeps the fruit aromas from being too sweet. Extremely complex.

T: The complexity of the nose transitions perfectly into the flavor. Tart grapes, cherries and cranberries dominate. Balance is created more by sourness than the peppery hop bitterness. Balance is great. Finishes somewhat dry, with lingering dark fruit flavors.

M: Medium body feels substantial in the mouth and has the right amount of carbonation.

D: This was easily my favorite beer at the Monk. A good sipping beer that I wish was served in a larger glass. Almost frighteningly good to my pallet. Well worth a revisit.

Photo of gonzo138
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- pours a clear deep red, has a tan colored head that doesn't retain too well but does retain nicely

S- a little bit of tart sweetness, and a pleasant apple cider vinegar-ish smell to it as well

T- a little tangy, fruity sweetness at first followed by a mellowed tart sourness thats not too overwhelming, very pleasant

M- medium/ light body with moderatwe carbonation

D- could definitely have a few of these without getting sick of them, a very interesting style of ale, wish I could find more representations of this style

Photo of MeisterBurger
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep, dark muddy ruby topped by a large bubbled head. The head retention is fantastic on this. Great lacing.

The aroma is sour cherries and beechwood. Almost vinous. The maltiness builds.

The taste is like cream soda in its sweetness. No. It reminds me a lot of the strawberry pop I used to love as a kid. Very dry and woodsy in the finish. Sweet and fruity without being cloying thanks to a sour cherry taste and just a hint of balsamic vinegar. Dry and velvety at the same time. The balance is a little off in the sweet to sour ratio in favour of the sweet. Some lingering toastiness in the aftertaste. Somewhat reminiscent of cranberry juice.

It's medium bodied with a perfect level of carbonation. There's something very creamy about this.

Overall an interesting beer with some sherry like characteristics present in the aroma and taste. It's complex and full flavoured while at the same time very approachable.

I'd definitely get this again.

Photo of EMV
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a pretty impressive Red Ale out of Belgium that I picked up at a SAQ (gotta love that place) on a whim, and is definitely a nice spicy alternative to whatever you normally drink. This one pours a rich dark reddish/brown with about an inch of creamy head that fell fairly quickly, leaving a great lace. The aroma is tart, yeasty, and very sharp, giving a great prelude as to what the beer is going to be like.

The taste itself is excellent and complex, with both sweet and sour flavours vying for dominance. There's a fruity touch there, and a smooth aftertaste that really rate this one high on the drinkability. It's one to be sipped and savored rather than gulped, and the ample carbonation is also very pleasant. Like I said before, I would definitely recommend this as an alternative to your regularly scheduled brew on one of those nights you need something a little more spicy.

Photo of coalcracker
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a brownish-red with good head retention. Lacing forms as the tasting progresses.
Smell: Cherry and fruity in nature. Also can detect a bit of red wine.
Taste: Fruity start with cherry, wine, currant, and a little raisin. The sour notes arise toward the middle of the tasting with a bready finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium and lively. Smooth until the sour notes hit.
Drinkability: Very drinkable,but probably not a brew best served for sessions. More appropriate for slower and enjoyable tastings.

Overall- Extremely complex. I love the Flanders red style (as long as they are well-constructed). This hits the mark.

Photo of MaxBrews
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 750 Poured into snifter and chalice

Appearance: Dark reddish brown, plenty of carbonation. Moderate sized head with soapy lacing around the edge (in Chimay glass with nucleation point). No lacing in snifter without etching.

Smell: Vinegar malt, dark malt with hints of caramel. Slightly alcoholic in aroma.

Taste: Sweet vinegar, followed by grapes and cherries. A full out candy-sweetness with mild bitterness. Not very complex but the flavors that are out front are absolutely superb.

Mouthfeel: Sweet and smooth with mild but perfect carbonation.

Drinkability: Surprisingly easy to drink. It drinks fast, but its something you want to savor. A super beer overall. The price is a bit steep. Will drink again but not for a while. Ommegang Rogue was a lot more vinegar At 9.99$

Photo of mikestan06
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first sour - picked up a 12 oz. bottle on recommendation in Dallas. Poured into clear tulip glass.

Pours a dark reddish-brown with a tight tan head. Lasts throughout the glass - 10 minutes on and still sitting strong! Sticky lacing coats the side of the glass.

Smell is sweet, dark cherry and fruits? Taste is tart, almost mouth-puckeringly. Cherry and fruit come in strong. Like melted lifesavers.

Sticky in the mouth, really clings to the tongue. Little to no carbonation makes for smooth drinking.

Photo of Celtics17
4.41/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Big cherry flavor. Very strong vinegar aroma, and the taste is strong following that smell. The taste of salad dressing or balsamic vinegar is big. A very big sweet and sour beer. I don't get much barrel aging in this.

This is a clean and powerful tasting sour, and one of the best you can get everyday.

Photo of JuliusCaesar
4.41/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a deep red with an inch tall white head

S: Aroma of Belgian yeast and fruit

T: Not overly sour but has a good bite to it. Fruit and candy. Sweet but balanced

M: Good carbonation

Overall: This is candy not beer. The Duchesse is one fine lady

Photo of mick303
4.41/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a wine glass, produced a nice tan reddish head that has really solid retention. Colour is a dark ruddy brown, essentially opaque. It has a great lacing and film.

Smell has a pleasant tartness, vinegary fruitiness. A pervasive sourness, red wine cask. A really interesting interplay of flavours, balanced and complex, with a supporting malt body, not much bitterness, and a sour prickle.

Taste has a wonderful, floral and tart opening. Quite a bit of sourness initially but this is countered with more developing slightly sweet malt. Hop character is restrained, but a really nice earthiness comes through. Finish is delicate, and really smooth and dry, subtle red wine tannins and oak. Continues to combine and blend seamlessly, sourness isn't too strong, really complex flavours.

Mouthfeel is moderate bodied, but with a ton of richness, just on the cusp of being syrupy on the palate but without much sweetness. Carbonation is pretty light, but suits nicely. Finishes nicely crisply, definetly pleasant, and highly enjoyable as a sipper but without too much body to be too heavy.

A very excellent beer. Hard to find faults here, and its really tasty. As far as the take on the style, it isnt as in your face sour as others, and seems to have a more balanced approach and flavour, with a slight roast malt sweetness on the palate that brings it all together really well. A great beer with a ton of flavour worth trying.

Photo of Ek0nomik
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured In: Snifter
Purchased At: Riley's (Madison, WI)

Appearance: Pours a beautiful dark red and brown color with a finger and a half of thin bubbly head. The head is here to stay, with it never quite disappearing. There is still sitting a thin layer of creamy brown sitting on top. The amount of lacing is also quite impressive, with small and medium sized spots scattered across my glass along with a few lines trickling their way down.

Smell: The nose is sour and acidic. The acidity is vinegar like; the sourness is fruit-like, like cherries, raspberries. The smell is really pleasant, I just wish it had a little more punch to it. It's more mellow than I had wanted.

Taste: The palate follows suite with the nose. A sour and acidic wave crosses the palate, with notes of vinegar, plum and cherries. It's enough tartness to almost make me pucker on each sip, but it's not quite there.

Mouthfeel: A medium bodied beer, a bit on the thin side. A nice pleasant level of carbonation right after the pour makes it really easy to sip on.

Drinkability: This is a fantastic beer. A very flavorful and balanced flanders ale. The sourness is there, the acidity is there and the fruit is there. This will end up in my crate again without a doubt.

Photo of FACEMEAT
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle into a pint glass

A: Garnet brown in appearance with a light tan head that held strong and left a good bit of lacing.

S: Sour berries and stone fruit with burnt sugar and butterscotch.

T: This brew joins tart and sweet flawlessly. A sweet rush comes initially, followed by a tart twang that left me yearning for another sip.

M: A bit too much carbonation with a medium mouth feel.

D: Very drinkable, indeed.

Photo of amicar
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a just-shy-of 12oz bottle, poured into a standard cabernet wineglass. Part of a food/ wine pairning.

Poured with a slight brown- tinged head; the beer color has a mid- caramel with red undertones. The smell itself is amazing- a hundred different smells pull you in multiple directions; you get just a hint of the fruity tartness that lies under the surface;
The sip is a little tart and malty at the same time; there's a full toffee/ caramel feel and a syrupy sensation, but none of these aspects are overdone; they are restrained just the right amount to let the dried tart cherry taste underneath through; the tartness is 'almost' masterfully balancing the sweetness; I would have preferred a hair less.

I thought this was a great beer when I tasted it alone; then I had it with food.... oh my gawd.
The meal was a pork tenderloin with a portabella/ shallot/ cream sauce (if anyone wants, beermail me and I'll share the recipie). The underlying sweetness matched nicely with the shallot/ cream sauce, and the muskiness of the beer and that of the mushrooms were perfect together; The tartness/ cherry sensation was less pronounced but still detectable with food. mmm....

anyway, overall, this is a fantastic beer. Alone, a single bottle can occupy you for an extended period of time; however, it would be tough to have more than one (kind of like very how you can only take so much rich chocolate) at a sitting. I can see how it's probably not for everybody; Definitely try it with food, especially something with cream or that has similar body.

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,411 ratings.