Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

3,427 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,427
Reviews: 1,374
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 159
Gots: 420 | FT: 7
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: 3,427 | Reviews: 1,374 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of LargeCrab
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%

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!

Photo of Jefe76
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%

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.

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.

Photo of Ed2
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Photo of MikeCactusGordon
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%

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.

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,427 ratings.