Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,417 Reviews
THE BROS
93
outstanding

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Reviews: 1,417
Hads: 3,764
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 13.48%
Wants: 188
Gots: 636 | FT: 12
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Verhaeghe visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Flanders Red Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-15-2001

Belgian top-fermented reddish-brown ale, a blend of 8 and 18 months old beers following the careful maturation in oak casks.
View: Beers (13) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,417 | Hads: 3,764
Photo of meathookjones
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This appeared a deep brown caramel color with a fairly tall light tan head. Scatterings of lace were left as this was consumed and the head retention was minimal. Holy Crap when I first poured this I took a big whiff and was hit with a HUGE funky tart aroma that was a bit overpowering. After letting it air for a bit it became much more pleasant with a bit of fruity tartness, a slight vinegar smell and some woody notes. Flavor wise this was super tart on the first sip that made me think it was going to take a while to get through this glass. After it warmed a bit I found it much more tasty and palatable with a nice mix of tartness and sweetness balancing each other out with the tartness taking a slight lead. There were fruit flavors and woody notes in the taste as well and a fairly nice lingering sour after taste. Mouthfeel was about medium with a soda bubbly feel to it that kind of detracted from it a bit but not much. This was a real sipper for me and I would definitely have to be in the mood for one of these to drink it. I would have it again in the future but I doubt more than one bottle at a time. Very interesting stuff that deserves a shot if you come across it, and I suggest letting it air out and warm a bit for the best experience. (1,258 characters)

Photo of nouseforotacon
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

After being floored by the tart, sour bomb that is a Cantillon Rosé on my birthday, this brew ended up rather tame and mild in comparison. Best before date of 29-04-07.

Pours out a dark brown and ruby bottom with some transparency and haze. Small tan foam on top that sticks to the glass and leaves a bit of murky foam.

Smell is a vinegar-hater's (which I'm not) worst nightmare. Over-the-top cider vinegar smell, with hints of green apple and tart cherries. Very vinous with a little oak, chardonnay-like grapes, and sweet malts/toffee.

Sourness in the flavor is well-regulated and by no means unbearable. Pleasant green apple/sour cherry on the tongue, with a vinegar-like acidity. Oak-aging imparts a wonderful, deep, wood flavor that mellows out the sourness well and gives the brew a dry finish. Medium body.

This one is not bad. I'd be interested in trying more flemish ales, but I can fully understand others' gripes with the style. I don't like to drink malted vinegar, but there's more to this one beyond the pungent aroma. (1,048 characters)

Photo of Shadman
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark ruby red brown, fizzy head. No real retention or lacing to speak of.

Whoa! Interesting smell. Mix between old wood and a weak balsamic vinegar.

Tartness, like a sharp cidar apple. Malt vinegar sourness. Smooths out a bit after that into a spicy marinated fruitiness...and yes the marinade includes some vinegar.

Lighter body coupled with some active carbonation help counter the tartness.

Reviewed this according to the style discription. Lot's of stuff happening here flavour-wise. A sipper, not a session beer and really not one of my favourite beer style. An aquired taste IMO. (589 characters)

Photo of beersheppard
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Apperance: dark rub, mahogany, with tan head.

Smell: raspberry vinegar, brown sugar, musty

Taste: predominant flavor here is sour cherries, unripened grapes, and very sour with a long aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: is intense, with good tingle.

Drinkability: a good beer and good example of this type. But, it would be hard for me to have more than one of these. (358 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A nice burgundy color, quite clear and pours with almost no head. Tastes lightly sour, with a hint of sweetness. Smells lightly woody and a bit sour as well. This beer tastes tart with a hint of cherry. A much more everyday, easy drinking version of Rodenbach Grand Cru. Maybe some hints of vanilla in the taste, followed by a bit of tannic background. No bitterness just a wonderful marriage of tart and sweet flavors. A hint of alcohol in the finish. (452 characters)

Photo of MbpBugeye
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml cork and caged. I must say this bottle and label are pretty good looking, especially amongst Belgian imports.

A- A very loud fizzy, cola like head rises up only as I pour. It fades as soon as the pour is done. The beer doesnt appear totally flat after that though. There are still the occasional little bubbles that hang out around the edges and some small wisps floating here and there. The color is a very deep and rich red. The beer is very clear, so back lighting makes this beer shine.

S- A touch weak on the nose for a sour but its very complex. Its acidic, lactic, fruity/berry like, cheesy, tart. There are notes of melon, berries, red wine, cheese curds, butter, salt, maybe some vinegar.

T- Lots more berries and melon and lactic sourness. Its very sweet as it hits the tongue with lots of blackberry, raspberry and cantaloupe. The middle is where the lactic sourness, whey and sour milk come in. The finish is like a sour, dry red wine.

M- Low carbonation, especially compared to all the other sours Ive had. The body is approaching full and is very slick until it comes to a dry finish. Sweet berries linger on the lips.

D- This is definitely a strange beer. I like it, but I think its going to become a bit cloying as it is quite sweet. I should have had someone help me with this bottle. (1,312 characters)

Photo of Bobikel
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - A very clear deep red with an extremely rocky head that dissapates and leaves a little lacing in its wake.

Smell - Deep maltyness and an apple like tartness give way to some black pepper, earthy notes.

Taste - Semi sweet with a mild sourness persisting. Grassy and fruity.

Mouthfeel - Slick and oily. Light carbonation.

Drinkability - Fairly easy drinking, although a little to sweet for much more than one glass. More carbonaiton would help here. (472 characters)

Photo of TheRealBigC
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is definitely a good beer, but I've had other Flanders ales that were better and, most importantly, more sour. The sourness is what I love about the style and Duchesse De Bourgogne doesn't deliver quite as well as others. Even the bext most prevalant Flanders, Rodenbach's Grand Cru, does. So you're not going too far out of your way to get that extra goodness. I feel like I'm underscoring a bit, but for the price, I'm going to make sure I reach for Rodenback over this every time. (488 characters)

Photo of ncketchum
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Chilled bottle served in a Chimay chalice

A = pours a dark brown/red with one finger of tan head with good retention.

S = smells of malt, sour cherries, bread

T = wow, not what I was expecting. refreshing with sour cherries, lemon, no hint of alcohol

M = thin, more carbonation than expected, dryness follows

D = high drinkability, very refreshing, overall a very nice beer. Will have this one again. (406 characters)

Photo of cjgiant
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Original review: This is not my style of beer, to be certain. However, I did find myself enjoying it. My ratings will tend lower here, but for a style that doesn't hit me right, I would be happy to have one of these in the future.

Re-review:
Have become more appreciative of sours, so gave this a re-try. It was kind of a sweet-n-sour beer. Definitely increasing my review, but not as sour as I'd like.

A: dark ruby-brown, creamy edge lacing
S: sour cherry or maybe grape, a little semi-dry wine perhaps. Definitely a sour yeasty, maybe Brett-like backnote that just indicates sour notes.
T: much like the nose, tart cherries, wine notes (not very "beer-like" to my narrow definition), yet with a maltiness that replaces the yeasty mustiness of the smell. There are also some white raisin tastes, on the sweet side.
M: not much there except a little pucker from the tartness
O: mostly mentioned above, but this seems like a soured up barleywine, or a tart semi-dry wine. (972 characters)

Photo of michaelphines
3.74/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Very pretty deep red almost amber color. Head was fleeting and didn't leave much lacing. I have to say my girlfriend washed these glasses with dishsoap recently, so I'm sure I didn't get the best view.

S - The smell is a little bit overpowering for my nose. It's a strong fermented fruit smell, but goes a little far. Almost a rotting smell. Bottle marked best before 18-3-11, I was told this was the intended smell.

T - Initial taste is all berries. Strong cherry flavor on the tip of my tongue. Which fades as it goes down. Just as you think the taste is over sour notes on the back of the tongue and a dry, slightly bitter aftertaste. Definitely complex. Makes you take another sip to ride again

M - The carbonation, a little more than average tickles the tongue on the sweet notes and intensifies the dry finish on the sour notes.

D- Drinkable, but I wouldn't say sessionable. A beer you want to enjoy by the bottle, not by the case.

The smell initially turned me off to this beer. Offensive to my nose, but very deliberate. Maybe you'll like it better. The taste was a ride. I'd definitely have it again if offered, but likely will not buy it in bottles again. (1,176 characters)

Photo of xgrigorix
3.74/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brown 33cl bottle. Best by date printed on back label.

Full russet brown in colour, with reddish highlights. Large sized bubbles begin to form almost immediately, and intially look like particulate matter floating throughout the beer. A small tan head forms, but doesn't hang around for long.

Fruity aroma, with plenty of vinegar like sourness.

Fruity, sour, tangy. Cola sort of flavour running underneath the hole thing. Medium bodied, rustic carbonation. (465 characters)

Photo of canucklehead
3.74/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

New to BC this is a nice find. Pours russet brown with minimal head, the kicker is the intense sour smell on the nose. I can't say I like the smell but it defines this beer as out of the norm. The flavours are a mixture of sourness, old cherries and vinous notes. I love how this beer tastes like it has been down in the cellar forever. Not a session beer by any standard but very drinkable in small quantiites. (411 characters)

Photo of denver10
3.74/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark amberish-brown with a nice big beige head. Aroma is smoothly sweet and tart; some brown sugar, ssome fruits such as dark cherries, plum, raisins, some vinegar. Flavor was pretty much the same. A lighter mouthfeel to this, worked well for the style. Overall, a wonderful beer. (288 characters)

Photo of kingcrowing
3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Wow what a crazy beer! This is a classic sour and its got a really good bite to it. It smells like vinegar but it really has of complexity to it and I have to say its one of the most solid sour beers I've had! Even my girlfriend likes it!

Sorry for any typos I reviewed this on my friends phone (295 characters)

Photo of 57md
3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Looks like balsamic vinegar. Smells a bit like balsamic vinegar. The taste? You guessed it but the sour vinegar essence is not nearly as bad as detractors of this beer claim. Quite the contrary, the dry sourness is interesting.

Not really my thing but I can recognize the skill and craft that goes into this offering. (318 characters)

Photo of therica
3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Nose-- beef with Worcestireshire or A-1 Sauce?!?!? No way.

Taste-- yes, it's true! With some bitters. Very very strange. As it sets for a few minutes, there's a nose of liquor something like brandy, and taste becomes a little more flat and salty. Prune is probably partly responsible for the steak-sauce taste, because that's what many of them use as a base.

Appearance-- poured a surprising dark-tea color, minor light-brown suds that didn't last more than half a minute, but with lacing throughout the drinking.

Yes, another "add this to your bizarre list" beer-- a specialty beer, which I can appreciate for its unique creativity, from an objective point of view. From a subjective point of view, this beer is too far afield from being "beer" that I can't see myself buying another bottle to sample-- especially at closer to $4US a bottle. Unless, however, I really want to startle someone. (902 characters)

Photo of Daredevil
3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

elegant appearance ... malty smell .... taste is almost soury as a Berliner Weisse, thus a good thirst quencher, granny smith paired with smoky, sandalwood and malty hints, no bitterness in the aftertaste ....
an interesting, elegant brew, a bit too soury for my own taste (272 characters)

Photo of yourchoice
3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review is working off notes from a few nights ago...

A- Beer poured a muddy brown. Very little head and moderate lacing.

S- A very tart fruit on the nose. Sour.

T- A sour, tart fruit taste, with a subtle champagne presence. The champagne subtetly highlights this beer for me.

M - The tartness pleasingly puckers, but it seems a bit thin.

O - The bomber size is as about as much as I would want. I enjoyed the sour experience, but I hope to find something more to my liking next time I venture for something deemed sour. (524 characters)

Photo of Illini5596
3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Excellent beer, strong fruit flavors, almost grape like, with a spicyness and definite effervescent feel. The taste is a nice mix of tart and smooth, with a sharpness in the aftertaste. While I really love this beer, it isn't one I'd have every day, or even every month. It has a bit of a thick and sticky mouthfeel, and isn't as drinkable as I would like, when compared to the excellent taste.

A good one to try and have on rare occasions. (443 characters)

Photo of nomad
3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a transparent deep red color. Had a soft bubbly head from a good amount of carbonation, and negligible lace. The nose was of oak, apples, and an almost rum smelling alcohol body. I could almost smell the sour that it tasted of. In all, I wish the scents were stronger, as their complexity from this beer's special brewing and aging proess is unique and excellent in the beer world.

The taste was of dry red apples and a great palatable sour - from start to finish, it really bit up at my mouthroof as I swallowed. Had a slight oak character from its cask aging. The malt was not readily apparent but quite nice, a good base strangely tempered by the blending (8 month old batch with a 18 month old batch) and fermentation process of Belgian red ales. In all, the taste was mouth watering, and so calm (again from the aging and blending) but not boring. Some tannins came in on the finish, and eventually the beer took on a unique sour & woody fruit taste.

With a slight tingle on the tongue, a thin and watery body, and a moderate length finish, the mouthfeel was lightly dry turning to a bud salivating end. Quite interesting as it lingered in my mouth for awhile – like the taste its calmly complex. Very interesting, must be great with food. If you enjoy quality red wines (like myself), check this out. Hop heads and fans of big tasting beers might find it boring or too "sweet." (1,397 characters)

Photo of Mar02x
3.72/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer in the Mug, a pub in Middleburg. I just pointed at a beer that seemed interesting to me.

A - A red looking beer with a off white head. No visible carbonation.

S - It smells like sour wine and cherries. Somewhat similar to Rodenbach grand cru. I just don't like sour smells.

T - A beautiful cherry beer, sweet and a little sour.

M - Its quite sticky to my palate. The carbonation is medium.

O - A nice beer for a sour one. I would even say its worth buying. (477 characters)

Photo of ritzkiss
3.72/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle pours a dark maroon with hints of cherry red in the light; gorgeous foam on top that leaves sticky lacing down the glass. Beautiful looking beer.

Smell is dominated by vinegar - perhaps a little too much so. Hints of sour cherries, a faint sweetness. I can relate to the comment on it reminding one of ketchup - an all too acidic, tart ketchup.

The taste is less intimidating than the smell. Hints of vinegar, lots of fruitiness (cherries, plum, apple) - well integrated with a sweet malt background.

This is an extremely sweet beer and a true sipper. The sourness blends well and is not overwhelming. For a non-beer drinker this would stun the socks off of them - this is beer? A really well balanced and yet complex beer. Worth checking out. (758 characters)

Photo of Zorro
3.72/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear dark red brew with some floaters in it.

Strong sour smell with a cherries and fruit scent. Is this a sour Lambic? Harder sniffing uncovers spice and a sweet smell too. The sweet smell is malt.

Flavor is very sour, with woody flavors. Cherries are present; this strongly resembles a Kriek Lambic in flavor. After you get over the sour shock other flavors come out. Add Honey, Mustard, and olive oil to this and you will have an interesting salad dressing.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Not real drinkable, it's to sour for most. (541 characters)

Photo of Sixpoint
3.72/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Ahhhh. The Duchesse.

I'm a big fan of the Flanders Red Ale style.

Poured a deep burgundy color, murky color that I recognize from wild yeast, lactobacilus.

I liked the aroma - sour cherry, tart, musty. However, it seemed to be comprimised by a blanket of molasses. I hope it doesn't pervade the taste.

It did. DAMNIT. Syrupy blanket pervading and busting up precious hop and sour wild yeast.

Too thick a body to keep me interested; I love a good, dry, tart Flanders Red.

Pretty drinkable, but I think I could only have one or two. (549 characters)

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
91 out of 100 based on 1,417 ratings.