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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

3,607 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,607
Reviews: 1,426
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 176
Gots: 528 | FT: 11
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,607 | Reviews: 1,426
Photo of mmcave
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Before even pouring it I could smell that slightly vinegary kombucha smell ( which I'm slowly growing to like). Pours dark coffee with deep red highlights. The head is small but pleasantly leaving lacing. With further inspection smells of Belgian yeast minor hops and mild sweet vinegar. Taste is complex, sweet, slightly fruity esters mixed with a tinge of bitterness. Sour cherries and the bottom of apple cider, nice bit of acidity, might be good for food. This is a really different ale than I'm used to the only other I've had at all similar was a gueze lambic, but I know this is a very different beer. I enjoyed this I might even buy others like this, but its something I will slowly learn to enjoy.

Photo of CaptainIPA
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aggressive pour into a Hennepin tulip. Garnet chestnut color with a thick and creamy khaki-colored head and impressive retention. Settles to a patched lace. Aromas of apple cider and sour cherries.

Opens with sour cherry tartness and the tang of apple cider. Pleasant prickly effervescence. Suggestions of lime citrus co-mingle with tart fruit flavors. A hint of balsamic vinegar surfaces. Finishes dry with a subtle oak tone.

Great balance between sweet and sour. Exceptional drinkability. Outstanding. I'm extremely bummed I don't have another bottle of the Duchesse to sip and savor.

Photo of Brandegee
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from big bottle into goblet

A: Dark caramel brown, lacy head
S: One of the all-time great beer aromas, with intense wood, banana and sour esters
T: Dark fruits, lots of plum and raisin. Obvious sour but a surprising serving of sweet berry fruits accompanies the sour. Pretty amazing.
M: I'm not a fan of huge carbonation and this has a lot of it. That's part of what gives it a "cider" vibe, I guess. It's not objectionable at all, however, and the smell/taste really defines this beer.
O: I've had a number of Flemish sours prior to this bottle and I have to say the DDB really has the formula. Definitely the best of the style that I've had, and a stunning helping of flavor in this beer makes it memorable. I'd love to have this with some intense French cheeses.

Note: Buy this in the big bottle, for the corkage experience. I don't know if this contributes to the experience, but the bottle art is far better than the small bottles.

Photo of SolomonGrundy
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Actually, it's Verhaeghe VICHTE - sorry folks...Pours a beautiful dark cherry red with a half-finger's worth of creamy off white head...decent carbonation...Aroma is wonderful...Some funk, some spice, lots of black cherry and raspberry notes. Very nice so far, one of the best I've seen to this point. Wow!! Very sweet, to some it might be cloying. Brilliant flavors - mostly fruit like cherry and raspberry - very fruit forward to the point it's almost wine-like. This is lucious...The carbonation really rounds out the sweetness. It's really like a black cherry soda with less sugar and with added alcohol. Some may hate this, as it's less a beer and more a Lambic fruit ale, emphasis on the fruit. I love it and think it's awesome anytime of year...must find folks...

Photo of meeekyh
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Very nice looking beer. Deep amber with a slightly red hue. Head is unabashedly tan, full, and leaves thick lacing.

Smells of oak, vinegar, grape, a bit of grain and alcohol.

Flavors are tart, sweet , full, oak, cherry, cider-vinegar, slightly metallic. The taste is freekin' awesome. The oaking has given it a complexity all its own, and beyond that there is a complexity and flavor that is amazing.

Mouthfeel is full and smooth, high carbonation and lingering tart and slightly sweet finish.

It is just a bit odd to be super-drinkable, but it is quaffable.

I am pleased with this beer. It is a style I have tried once before but that one really lacked the complexity of this one. This one is a treat.

Photo of SShelly
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lets start off by saying damn I love this beer...

Sweet malt in the nose with a touch of sour bacterial edge

Lots of sweetness in the mouth that fades to a light sourness that lingers just a little on the pallet, very smooth, creamy, not harsh, leaves the mouth wanting more...

A wee bit expensive but worth every penny. also a great transition beer for anyone who thinks they arent into flanders red's, very easy to get into.

Photo of Firkin-Bunghole
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 fl oz bottle with best before date 11/30/2013
A: This one gushed when poured. Luckily didn't lose any. The pillowy foam subsided in a couple minutes and about a fingers worth of foam remained. Color was more dark red with brown
S: Smells real nice, cherries with slight woodiness
T: Tartness & sourness explodes during first sip. Took me back a little at first made my mouth and cheeks pucker. The sour/tart feelings do linger for a long time after finishing. Feel good that I had this beer at the end of the night.
M: Couldn't hold this one in my mouth for too long. Is well carbonated and feels medium
O: This beer takes me back to my youth when I would eat a roll of Shocktarts or a bag of Sour Patch Kids. The only down-side which might be a plus budget-wise is I can't have more than 1 of these in a sitting. Will buy a 4-pack of this next time instead of a single bottle. Also, really like to see a long best-by date printed on the bottle.

Photo of Skidz
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours out bright copper-brown and sits deep, ruby brown in the glass with a good sized, battered tan head, fading to a faint skim, pushed to the sides with some good lacings.

Smells of sweetened caramel and dark brown sugar, tart and sour in the back. Tart cherries and golden raisins mingle with figs and browned apples. Wooden hues along the sides, faint leafy hops.

Medium sweetness and well-matched tang and light acidity up-front, boasting pre-ripe tart cherries, pears, apricots and raisins. Fantastically mouthwatering, juices drip all over. Brown sugar coats the crowd and melds to bits of charred oak. Finish is equivalent to the introduction, but fades out with a very mild, almost non-existent bitterness hinting on grape seeds.

Crisp in the mouth with tact carbonation. In time with some gentle swirling, this mellows out into the delightfully smooth, silky body that lies underneath. This is built for an overnight stay in the mouth.

I cannot find a flaw large enough to constitute a complaint as this beer is highly drinkable and warrants many more encounters. A very finely crafted ale.

Photo of Dbrulet
4.44/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of SFBeerGuy
4.44/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle reading a best before date of 02-04-11.

A- Poured a crystal clear deep amber red with a thick and lively tan head. Champagne-like carbonation and fizzy foam that stayed for a long while before receding, leaving sticky lacing in the glass. Head remained for the entire drink.

S- Dark chocolate covered sour cherries. Tootsie Rolls. Licorice. Mouth-watering aromas.

T- Sour cherries up front with a tart snap. Sweet rock candy shows through. Currants and dark fruit is present. Slight toasted bread crust compliments hints of dark chocolate in the finish.

M- Not too puckering. Slight acidity. Lively and light bodied. Full carbonation tickles the pallet. Enjoyable bone dry finish which quickly takes the sourness and tartness with it. Very pleasant.

D- Incredible drink. Thirst quenching and a great complement to all sorts of food. Sweet and tart without being overbearingly puckering. Glows as it warms up! Best when served at recommended temperature. Got better to the last sip!

Photo of skinny_mcginley
4.44/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of CharlesRiver
4.44/5  rDev +6.7%
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 Kiro
4.44/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of JC333
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Bierguy5
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle, 6% abv. Cork indicates expiration date to be 05/2011. Pours a slightly cloudy darker amber color, with some shades of ruby. A nice steady stream of bubbles supports a frothy off white head. Nice retention and lace.

Some sour fruit up front. Earthy and oaky. A bit of a funky note that blends in with the earthy notes.

A bit of sweetness up front. A very sharp tartness. Fruity flavors are restrained until the middle, where some juicy notes come through. Finishes with a bit of earthy hops and a drying oak character.

Lighter in body with a good amount of carbonation. So refreshing. Very little trace of alcohol. This is world class.

Photo of Celtics17
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
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 IrieJackalope
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

One of my favorite beers, finally sitting down to give this one a review.
Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into my Belgian goblet. Pours a dark red, crystal clear with a good amount of head, leaving lacing down the glass as it disipates. The smell is sweet, tangy and oh-so inviting. I once heard someone describe the aroma as fermented ketchup and bowling alley shoes, but it's pretty damn wonderful if you ask me. The taste is equally amazing. A bit of sweet malt paired with a delicious tang that I've come to crave over time. Despite it's sour elements, the beer finishes pretty clean, although there's certainly a bit of the liveliness that lingers behind. Honestly, I could drink this stuff all day. I know it's not everyone's cup of tea (or beer rather) but the duchess will always have a space reserved in my beer fridge. Definitely worth trying at least once, it might even change the world of beer for you forever.

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

Presentation: 11.2 oz bottle poured into a Chimay chalice. (the date on the bottle said best before 17-3-06.) The beer book I have showed it in what looked like an oversized wine glass, and that was the closest thing I could find to match.

Appearance: poured a very dark reddish brown, the carbonation was spritzy. A small head formed initially then faded qickly into a lace around the edge of the glass. A small, almost clould-like puff remained in the center though.

Aroma: Very faint, what I could detect was slightly sour.

Taste: I'm new to this style, and this is easily the most complex beer I've ever tasted, so here goes. At first it is sweet and pleasant, reminiscent of cherries. Then it takes on a more sour flavor, almost like a red wine, but not quite. the finish was rather vinagery, but still pleasant. Throughout the entire time it remained very smooth and semi-sweet.

Overall: This is a beer I wasn't sure I'd like, and I came away pleasantly surprised. I'm not sure I'd want to drink it on a daily basis, but it is truly a remarkable brew. I'd rather break it out once a month or so simply to remind myself how truly complicated and different beer can be. Once you're at this point you're light years away from anything the average person imagines when they think of beer, but that's the whole point, isn't it?

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

Review #200. Thanks to Goliath for the amazing hookup of this brew. Poured into a tulip and I am amped.

A: Pours a very dark red, almost brown. Once I hold the tulip up to the light, there is not doubt that this lady is red. A beautiful dark, murky red. The head was slightly off white, and I got a little over two fingers on the pour. The head receeded slowly down to a white ring that is very thick and lasting. The lacing is sticky and soapy. Spotty lacing designs casually laze about the glass. Just damned beautiful.

S: The scent of this baby is very nice. Cranberries, strawberries, and raspberries. Berries everywhere. Grapes?! This smells a bit like a merlot when you swirl the glass. Just an interesting combo. As this puppy slowly warms, you get the scent of some thick caramel. Sweet and sour overall for the aroma profile.

T: So damned tasty. This beer gets better as it airs out and warms up. Initially just some sour cranberry flavors kept me entertained. As it slowly warms, more and more sour fruit come out. Strawberries show their face along with some raspberry. There is also some plum in there. All of the fruitiness is sour, but perfectly sour. Nothing too crazy, just perfect on the way down. There is a slight hint of vinegar but nothing overwhelming. As it warms even more, caramel and a bit of breadiness comes in to round out the flavors. This brew is amazing.

M: Medium in body. This beer has a very sour and tart feel. It really challenges the taste buds. It lingers all around the mouth and really lets you enjoy everything it has to offer. There is absolutely zero hint of ABV. This brew really coats the mouth witha thick, almost syrupy texture. The amazing thing about this brew is just how long it lingers. Just perfect in feel.

D: This beer is amazing. I want more and I find myself nursing this because I don't want it to end. I could easily drink this in a couple gulps but that would be a waste. The Smell, Taste and Feel are all great. This brew is great. If I ever run across some, I will buy at least half a case. This brew is so dynamic. Loving it.

Photo of jera1350
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours into a Duvel Tulip a deep burgundy color that is semi transparent. The head is light tan creating a wonderful contrast from the body. Some lacing and wonderful retention.

Sour smelling reminiscent of silage. Sour dark fruit, woody and earthy.

Juicy cherry, blueberry and blackberry flavors. Sweetness from the fruit flavors. Some balsamic, earthy and woody notes as well. Very deep in complexity. The sourness is there, but not strong in any way.

Velvety smooth with soft carbonation. About medium bodied with a super dry finish.

Great drinkability. I am loving this and am a little upset that I haven't tried it sooner. An awesome all around beer that I will definitely have again.

Photo of eandersen
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Nice deep ruby with a 2 finger off white head. Dissipates quickly. Leaves some really impressive, thick lacing.

S - Balsamic vinegar upfront followed by deep wine like berry smells; dark raspberry, elderberry. Maybe a little bready malt. Slight oakiness.

T - The deep dark berry tastes come through much more than the nose would suggest. Definitely more ripe cherry than is detectable on the nose. Tartness at the front of the mouth, but not necessarily a balsamic tart, almost more of a lactic acid tart. Very nice sour. Super easy drinking.

M - Very smooth. Carbonation is somewhat less than I expected for the style leading to a slicker mouthfeel than many sours. But I'm totally OK with that.

O - Really excellent sour, will absolutely return to this. I could see this aging exceptionally well.

Photo of ricke
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

Photo of Mora2000
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark red with an off-white head. The aroma is tart fruit with a little bit of vinegar. The flavor is a great combination of sweet and sour. The flavors include oak and lots of dark fruit such as plums, cherries and possibly apples and grapes. You get some tart cherries as well as a lot of sweeter fruit to balance out the tartness. Thin mouthfeel and low carbonation. A great beer.

Photo of soper2000
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Having this on-tap at the Hopleaf was a wonderful experience and compelled me to purchase a bottle for review. It poured a very handsome burnt maroon with a small tannish head that quickly retreated to only provide a nice lacing on the glass. Smell is ever so slightly tart with a nice woody/earthy background and a small note of yeast is present as well. Taste is quite refreshing and complex at the same time. Tart cherries eventually yield to a massive oakiness that lingers on the tongue. Finishes sweet. Very good beer in my opinion. On-tap was just a tad better for me, but I'm sure that was due to my surroundings and the gigantic bucket of mussels sitting in front of me.

Photo of Gusler
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well, this is one of those beers that I feel is better from the bottle than the tap, have tried it both ways several times and the bottle wins out, we did a side by side tap and bottle and to a person, everyone thought the bottle better.

The beer as it evacuates the dark brown bottle pours a deep incarnadine color with a majestic crown of tan upon that body, the consistency creamy and the residual lace a thick and clinging sheet that obfuscates the glass. Nose is sweet, fresh and crisp, hints of over ripe fruit, cherries comes to mind, bit of oak also noted, a real treat for the olfactory and ocular senses start, is sweet and malt laden, top is middling in its feel to the palate. Finish is benign in its acidity, the hops spicy and pleasant, with the aftertaste lingering long upon the palate, a true work of the brewer’s art.

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Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,607 ratings.