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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

3,343 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,343
Reviews: 1,367
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 154
Gots: 379 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Duchesse De Bourgogne Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,343 | Reviews: 1,367 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

amicar, Nov 21, 2004
Photo of LargeCrab
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%

LargeCrab, Nov 03, 2014
Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle split and poured into a Unibroue tulip. 6% ABV, Best before: See Cork, Exp: Jul 2011.

Thanks to Beerwolf77 for bringing this over last night!

A - A hard cork pull relieves our "don't be a gusher" worries. An effervescent pour let the Duchesse give up a loose tan head with quickly popping and sinking bubbles. Low retention with little lace left over. The color is a clear red-brown. It looks unassuming and kind of like you pored a Coke in a tulip.

S - An oaky wood nose with an astringent, acidic sour smell kind of aims it towards the sour category. Hints of vinegar don't ruin anything, rather, it adds an extra dimension to the tart sourness the nose has to offer. Toasty malts have toffee in the background and combat the sourness reassuring that the taste wont be a mouth-puckering beer. No hop presence in this at all.

T - Delicious malty sweetness with a touch of brown sugar and caramel sweetness with toffee shavings on top. A light vinegar touch and some tart red grape with a mild funkiness backs up the malty sweetness with good balance. Awesome flavor with great depth! Mmmm.

M - The light tart funk melds well with the light-medium body and moderate carbonation finish. Very nice texture and finish but nothing in the mouthfeel really adds to the enjoyment of the beer, rather, it just helps it's awesomeness along.

D - This beer is insanely drinkable. Before finishing my review my pour from the 750 ml bottle was nearly gone. I busted out my 11.2 oz bottle to enjoy some more. Fantastic flavor and good aroma with such a well-balanced flavor and finish. I could put down a 750 ml of this myself no problem. Thanks Bnieman for recommending this time and time again and thanks Todd for bringing it over!

BeerFMAndy, May 16, 2010
Photo of Jefe76
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%

Jefe76, Sep 26, 2014
Photo of Traquairlover
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2-oz. bottle poured into a 22-oz snifter.

A = Pours a deep red almost like stained cherry. Frothy off white head.

S = Sour dough bread, malt, sweet and sour notes. Very complex.

T = Great example of the style. Starts with a lot of tartness, then brings on undertones of sweet flavors.

M = Great medium-heavy body. Light carbonation.

D = This is a very distinctive beer and I'll gladly drink this again.

Traquairlover, Dec 01, 2007
Photo of techdiver
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark red mahogany with a substantial head that dissipates slowly leaving trails of lace behind.

Sweet and sour cherry nose.

Crisp, yet smooth, refreshing and complex. These Flanders Red Ales are such a joy on warm days.

Very drinkable and enjoyable, just a notch behind Rodenbach.

techdiver, Sep 05, 2008
Photo of LeeryLeprechaun
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Beer pours with a nice white head that is constantly being replenished by tiny little bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass. The beer is red brown and fairly brilliant for the color.

Aroma: Mostly that winey funk that often accompanies sour ales. No hope aroma, no distinguishable malt aromas.

Taste: Very wine like, subtle sourness, mostly lactic acid and not vinegar. Starts off nice and sweet but with a dry finish. No sour twang in this beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium light body, medium carbonation, very smooth and coats the inside of the mouth very nicely.

Overall: Wow, very solid flanders red. It is nice that the sour is not lip puckering but instead smooth.

LeeryLeprechaun, May 05, 2012
Photo of donkeyrunner
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Popular with the ladies!

How come no one has created a "best historical ruler beer" thread yet, i.e. Duchessese De Bourgogne, Kate the Great, etc?

Cinnamon red color with a decent tan head. Retains a thin skim that leaves spashy lace in it's wake. Expiration 6/10.

Smells like apple vinegar and making Ukrainian Easter eggs with my mom. That however opens the door to cherry infused malty bread pudding sweetness and a whole world of depth.

Sweet caramel covered cherries with a sour tinge. Bits of sour bob up and down just to mess with me. As the sour fades from the aroma it seems to seep into the taste creating a circular pattern of intrigue between sour and sweet. Delicate but outgoing mouthfeel.

My biggest qualm with this beer is inconstancy. It's my girlfriend's favorite beer so I drink it alot but it's rarely the same twice. Sometimes sour takes center stage, sometimes sweet, sometimes its perfectly balanced and unilateral (which is when Duchesse is at her best). Sometimes I think I just haven't figured out an aging schedule, sometimes I think it's just an off bottle.

donkeyrunner, Jan 07, 2010
Photo of gimmehead
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful burgundy brown infused with ruby highlights and multitudes of streaming bubbles that form a thin but lasting head. The smell was a little sweet initially, but rapidly changes to a very winelike aroma. Flavor is great. Sourness up front, grapes and tart cherries, caramel malt backing that does't quite balance the tartness and a lingering vinous mouthpuckering semi-dry finish. Very good. The tartness builds with each beer so if you are planning on making this a session keep some palate cleanser handy.

gimmehead, Mar 13, 2005
Photo of pjcors
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drank from a 750ml bottle. Shared with a friend. Still, perhaps a bit much for a beer of this style.

A- Dark amber in color, with a thin, lacy head.

S- When I first poured this beer I found the smell to be rather off-putting. It had a strange, chlorinated smell to it. It almost reminded me of the local YMCA pool. But the deeper I got the more other flavors began to express themselves. I got hints of apple, cherries, and maybe some pear? I couldn't really tell, but the overall fruitiness was readily apparent when you got past the pungent first smell.

T- This is where the beer blew me away. All of the strange aromas of the smell disappear after the first taste. This is nothing but goodness. The apples and cherries are immediately apparent. A sour taste begins to develop the longer you hold it in your mouth, but this is by no means a bad thing. It is actually a pleasant counter to the sweetness of the fruits. I had read previous reviews where people have said they've tasted a vinegar-like quality, but none of this was apparent to me. I got hints of lambic, but more earthy.

M- A very thick, sticky mouthfeel. Like I said before, a pleasant sourness starts to develop the longer you taste it. A slight carbonation is also present.

D- Very good. As I stated at the beginning, it can be a bit overwhelming when had from a 750ml bottle, but I can see buying an 11.2oz of this and thoroughly enjoying it. A great dessert beer to enjoy.

All in all, I was mighty impressed by this beer. The smell turned me off a bit at first, but it was a small problem with an otherwise delicious beer.

pjcors, Mar 07, 2011
Photo of phantomwyse
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep mahogany colored body, slightly opaque in clarity, with soft brown highlights. Effervescent head builds quickly producing a rich tan one finger head that readily disintegrates leaving a lathery film -- still manages to create a decent lacing pattern.

S: Red table wine aroma at first glance moving to soured fruits like plums, apples, and white grapes. A sugary sweetness moves in shortly after, reminiscent of the charred sugary crust of a creme brulee.

T: Half sour light fruits as witnessed in the aroma, pears, plums, apples, and white grapes. Again, after the initial whiff of fruit, sugary malts come into play with toasted caramel and artificial sugar, saccharin, sweetness trailing off into a tart finish.

M: Light to medium bodied, decent carbonation, vaguely syrupy, and leaving off tart and dry.

D: Sour ales just really appeal to me, I found that this beer is incredibly palletable, and just kept me wanting more.

phantomwyse, Feb 20, 2009
Photo of TheBrewo
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

We pour a glowing ruby red brew. It holds a three finger head of fat, creamy tan bubbles. This shows excellent retention, leaving thick and chunky lacing down the glass as it slowly dissipates. There is a slight haze, with little flecks of sediment noted, while carbonation appears moderate. The aroma is bright with caramel and pale malts, warming oak, and huge puckering tartness of yeast and fermented cherries. Warmth brings out bitterness of plastic phenols, a heavy blanket of basement musk and dust, and light ethanolic fire. Our first impression is that there is surprising sweetness to balance out the immense tartness. As we sip, metallic musky yeast, honey sweetness, grape and strawberry sugars, pale toasty malts, and peppery spice of booze mix for a complex start. The middle peaks with enhanced sweetness of grape and “sweet tart” candies. The latter affords pucker amongst the sugar, giving an aged, fermented quality to the fruitiness therein. The finish comes with pale malts, grit, souring funky yeast, that tartness of aged cherries (much like a kriek), and brown apple sweetness all washed through with a significant coiny cleanse. The aftertaste breathes of plastic phenols, solidly pale malts, light and dry oak, bittered metallic coininess, sweet cherries and apples, and general tartness of yeast and that same fruit. The body is medium, and the carbonation is medium. There is excellent slurp, cream, froth, and smack to each sip. The mouth is coated in this bubbly glory, but soon dries with gritty astringency along the tongue and tooth line. The abv is appropriate, and the beer drinks very nicely.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was the complexity of flavor, and the unique balance of sweetness to even out the classic puckering tartness. From the moment of the pour we knew things would go well with this one. The coloring glowed, and the head stood tall and strong. The aroma gave us a lighter hint of the excellent mash of flavors within which, alone, would have you coming back for more. The feel only builds this desire, as there is nice frothy slurp to each sip. This is an outstanding beer.

TheBrewo, Dec 04, 2012
Photo of Sam21
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Deep dark ruby red body with a fluffy off-white head that clings and sticks around. Really appealing!

S- Winey fruit. Cherries. Raspberry balsamic.

T- Wonderfully sweet at the onset. Heavy sugared cherry flavor. This is soon joined by acidic puckering notes that are reminiscent of cranberries. It's a perfect balance of sweet and sour.
MF- Light body held up by very tingly and fluffy carbonation. Leaves you with a juicy sticky palate - think about the post- lemonade feeling.

O- Simple, complex, and extremely refreshing. It's a perfect balance of sweet and sour. This beer is outstanding. If only it wasn't so expensive.

Sam21, Mar 04, 2013
Photo of GClarkage
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer on tap at the Toronado in San Francisco in September, 2004. Served in a authentic Duchesse glass. Watched as it poured with a small head that didn't remain for long. A very opaque, mahoganey color. Almost like blackcurrant juice. A beautiful hue to it. Tons of lace that just stuck to the side and didn't disipate. Smelled both sweet and sour at the same time. A typical Flemish stlye taste but better. Not too sour as I expected. Maybe a cranberry taste or even something nutty in the background. Aftertaste is good as well. A definite great beer that I will have again.

GClarkage, Sep 22, 2004
Photo of BeerAndBourbon
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

"Exp. date: Jul 2011"

A. Pours a brownish-amber with a creamy tan head.
S. Sweet malt with sour cherries on oak with some musty farmhouse smells.
T. Tastes like a lambic with malt as the fruity focus (rather than cherries or raspberries). A nice level of tartness with an ample sweet malt profile that balances nicely. Some subtle cherry and oak flavors also come through.
M. Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation - just enough to pick the tartness up off of the tongue.
D. Wonderful. This is a wonderful sour that I could definitely see myself picking up again - especially since it's now available at the grocery store I regularly shop at.

BeerAndBourbon, May 31, 2010
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 jbart
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Apples, apples, apples. This beer pours dark with a reddish tinge. For some reason, I thought it'd be lighter. As other people have said, it smells like apple cider vinegar, but not bad. I think it's pleasant. It tastes like fresh apples, like I picked them myself--more sour than sweet. It's not overly sour, though. In fact, I thought it would be more sour. I really like this--it's very refreshing.

jbart, Jan 14, 2007
Photo of joepais
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well decided to write a review for this one I have had many of these on tap But this one is from a 750.
Bottle poured into a snifter produced a good of white head that goes to a ring of bubbles around the glass. The body is a clear dark burgandy it really is a nice shade at that.

Aromas of sour cherries and funk filled my head. The aromas are not as good as from a draft but the fruit profiles are still good.

A nice sweet tart thing develops with the flavors .It is much sweeter cherry than a Rodenbach but less than Kasteel Rouge. This brew is always a nice brew to enjoy with a meal. There is a nice feel in the mouth with enough carbonation to keep it crisp and dry in the finish.

A very good example of a Flanders and a style that I truly enjoy I always grab this when I see it on tap. I found a bottle cheap up north I guess they didn't know what they had. So it was a fine treat for a winter's day

joepais, Jan 12, 2009
Photo of MikeCactusGordon
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%

MikeCactusGordon, Apr 03, 2014
Photo of ericj551
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Duchesse De Bourgogne pours a deep ruby red with a thin but lasting off white head. The aroma is sweet dark fruits, vinous and almost champagne like with some smooth spicy oak. The taste is sharp and tart at first, rounded off by a fruity sweetness with hints of berries and chocolate. It finishes with a light smooth oaky flavor, nicely balanced. Creamy and smooth, this beer is really delicious. It's a little on the sweet side, but that only detracts slightly from its drinkability.

ericj551, Sep 18, 2007
Photo of pootz
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a decadent dark garnet colored ale with orange highlights into my goblet. Tight 2 finger off white cap reduced to a thick surface lace that draped the gass sides with lace. Looks like a glass of burgandy with a head.

Nose: complex.. grape or cherry skins, fruits in blasamic vinigar, some woodyness light detectable sweetness. A delightful tart fruityness.

Medium body, puckering but silky mouth feel, vinous sweet and sour character.

Starts musty-maltty and quickly turns on the complexity...the tougue is pummeled with concord grape, apples, cherries, boysenberry, figs, vanilla pods, some tobbaco and lots of other tones too numerous to grasp in one mouthful....all this complexity is wrapped in a sweet and sour controlled acidy where the lactic acids and fruits are balanced off by sweetnes from rich malt and candi adjuncts. The finish is remarkably dry-tart where the vinous quility is experineced in a slow departure of tart fruit and musty-woody flavors...slightly sweet aftertaste.

MY God what a ride!! This is a great beer for what it offers...a speeding roller coaster of complexity in its delivery...it may not be everyone’s cup of tea but until you have tried it consider yourself deprived.

pootz, Oct 01, 2006
Photo of spointon
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this from a 750ml brown bottle into a DFH stemmed glass.

A= This ale poured a deep red/brown color with modest clarity and a 1/2" creme colored head. The head quickly dropped to a thin cap that was retained all the way down my glass. No lace to speak of...

S= The aroma was a muted combination of malt sweetness, acidic tartness, and wood.

T= Started off as a battle between malty sweetness and tart sourness and kept that going all through each sip. The sweetness reminded me of caramel and treacle while the sourness was reminiscent of dark cherries, plums, and wine. No hop presence to speak of, but an oakey flavor was noticable that helped to dry things further. The finish was fairly dry, but with a lingering hint of the sweetness remaining.

MF= Medium bodied with a very active carbonation level and a crisp mouthfeel.

D= This beer achieved the nearly impossible feat of being tartly acidic AND silky sweet. A very complex ale and one I will rush to buy more of...simply incredible!

spointon, Oct 11, 2009
Photo of unclejimbay
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was my first notably sour beer to date. I enjoyed it much more thnan I thought I would. It was almost to the edge of undrinkable with it's dominant vinegar character. It was just edgy enough where it kept me sipping more to revist the cherry, fruit and tart notes whispering out of my snifter.

Appearance was ruby red with brillant clarity. Excellent head, retention and lace.
Smell is a bold balsamic and cider vinegar reduction wafting with some red wine and dark fruits (most notably cherries).
Taste as it smells, fruity red wine character greeted by your childhood easter egg dyes of yesteryear. Repeats mellowed balsamic reduction memories over and over again, in a good way, but almost overdone. Almost overdone, but not quite.
Mouthfeel is sour. Tart. Sharp. Medium body & carbonation. Wow this is a very curious and moving target taste.

On the drinkability...
2 of us slit the small bottle. My wife couldn't finish hers. I was hesitant at first, but gladly finished hers up as I warmed up with this strange concotion. In the future I would gladly split a bottle with someone for the right meal, but would not do it solo or too frequently. I would pursue this with the right food pairing or when I have a sour beer craving (a new concept altogether as of today, thanks to Duchesse!)

Seems like it would god very well with a rich steak, salty meats, subtle balsamic salads or nuts.

unclejimbay, Jul 12, 2010
Photo of mithrascruor
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz. bottle poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a very deep crimson color with off-white dense film-like head.

Smell: Unusual but generally pleasant aroma. Reminds of apple cider vinegar, but a bit more mellowed out.

Taste: Very tart, but also sweet. Semi-bitter cherries, vinegar, sugar... Finish of crisp apples and a tart aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light- to medium bodied with a quite smooth mouthfeel. Very little carbonation; noticable most at the finish.

Drinkability: Though not a session beer (drink it slow), the taste really grows on the drinker. Perfect ABV with an intriguing taste.

Really one of the most unusual beers I've had. Takes a few minutes to adjust to, but overall I am enjoying it! Quite an enjoyable surprise; well worth checking out! I'll have to get this again.

mithrascruor, Feb 18, 2008
Photo of DamienI
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%

DamienI, Oct 02, 2014
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,343 ratings.