Dismiss Notice
Hello, is it beer you're looking for?

Learn more about beer. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for as low as 68% off the single issue price.

Subscribe now →

Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,430 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,430
Hads: 3,843
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 22.93%
Wants: 201
Gots: 671 | FT: 12
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Verhaeghe visit their website

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Duchesse De Bourgogne Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,430 | Hads: 3,843
Photo of seaoflament
3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark ruby color with a fluffy two inch mass of foam. Great retention and some lacing as I drink.

Aromas of tart cherries, oak, caramel malt, vinegar and hints of vanilla. The aroma reminds me a bit of strawberries and cream. Tart and sour strawberries with the acidity and sweetness of sour cream.

Taste is good. Sweet berry flavor right away with a tangy vinegar finish. A huge taste of ripe fruits, peaches, strawberries, grapes, and an oak flavor binding everything together. I thought this one would be more sour or at least tart but it's pretty sweet.

Well carbonated and delicate on the palate.

It's a good beer. I was in the mood for something tart or sour but this one was too sweet. Even though I was in the mood for a different type of beer I still feel that the sweetness hurts the drinkability of this beer.

 833 characters

Photo of doughanson78
3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A: Dark amber/deep ruby red color. One finger off white head with decent retention and lacing.

S: Tart cherries with touches of sweetness. Slight vinegar aroma. Light funkiness. Some nice caramel malt notes.

T: Some sweet caramel upfront. Sweet and tart cherries, and sour apples in the middle. A vinegar tartness that has a slight metallic taste. Slight herbal notes.

M: Light body. Medium high carbonation. Very crisp, finishing a touch dry.

O: Pretty decent sour. The metallic flavor isn't really off but it would be nice if it wasn't there.

 584 characters

Photo of Monsteruss
3.68/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The foam when poured was a fluffy dark wheat, lacey, thick and ever-lasting (alot o' foam). Color was reddish/brown, amber, mahogany and deep rose red. Smell was deep, robust, rich, alittle bitter, fruity/orange and carmel undertones. Taste was very deep and rich. Fruity with a hint of high-alchohol content, chery sour apple highlight (like others from their beer line). Mouthfeel - very heavy-bodied, smooth and sour. Drinkability - you can't just 'slam' this beer, it need to be taken in slowly like wine.

 509 characters

Photo of FosterJM
3.68/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

287th review on BA
bottle to flute
330ML capped (best by: 18/2/12)

App- A slightly hazy mix of light brown and some crimson. No real head developed on this one. A slight ring of bubbles around the edges.

Smell- Cheers, to the forums of BA for telling me exactly how this would smell. Soy sauce and vinegar. Was not the best smelling thing IMO.

Taste- I do have to say it tasted better than it smelled. It was a pleasant mix of sweet flavors (cherry) Tart and some other slight fruits.

Mouth- Was a bit thin to me but I was expecting that from the style. Very high carbed, like a nice spritzer Had a nice tart aftertaste

Drink- Not as bad as what I thought but for the top-20 rating in its style, I thought it was a nice suprice. Was nice to sip on while relaxing. Had a nice profile of sweet/tart flavors to it.

 816 characters

Photo of OnThenIn
3.68/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Two fingers of thick brown head on top of a extremely dark ruby color. Stunning.

S: The smell is sour with some serious cherry aromas. A hint of sweetness. A bit of oak smell and a bit of funk as well.

T: The taste is funky with sudden sweetness and a cherry flavor that is slowly taken over by a mix of citiric and acetic sourness, which linger for a while. The sweetness is a bit too much, but I dig the complexity and overall flavor.

M: Medium with pretty good carbonation.

D: The sweetness kinda kills the drinkability. I wish the sour was a lot more powerful to balance out the sweetness.

 600 characters

Photo of hunteraw
3.68/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

"Interesting" is the word that seems to fit this beer best. It's the first really sour beer I've had, so comparison is tough, but I'll do my best. Pours an interesting garnet brown color, little head, fairly clear. Aroma is interesting: dark fruit and vinegar. Not particularly sweet in the nose, which is promising. Taste upholds that conclusion - not overly sweet. Every sip is puckering, but not to the point where it's not enjoyable. Lots of character: tart, fruit and wood, but nothing is too dominant. Mouthfeel is good, not syrupy at all. Carbonation seemed right. Drinkability is the tough part. I enjoyed it, but I'm glad I was splitting a bottle because I probably wouldn't have wanted to drink the rest of it on my own. Maybe it'll grow on me.

 754 characters

Photo of BoitSansSoif
3.67/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a darker scarlet amber/mahogany, with light head. Aroma was of cherry, raspberry, spice, and vinegar. Palate was a mix of cherry, apple, and spice, like an applesauce with a cherry twist and some cinnamon. A little on the sweet side, but decent, and a pleasant drink.

 274 characters

Photo of necoadam
3.66/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Damn this is an interesting beer. Granted this was my first time I've tried a flanders red, I didn't know what to expect. Poured out like thick cough syrup. Dark ruby with lots of carbonation. Smell..at first it was like soy sauce. But once you keep whiffing it, it smells like wine somewhat. Cheeries and plums comes to mind when smelling. Taste was unique. Beginning is tart, sweet and sour. Very complexed. Once the sourness goes away, fruits hit the palate with some woody finish to it. Finishes very dry to my surprise. Worth trying out.

 542 characters

Photo of LordAdmNelson
3.66/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a syrup colored reddish brown, clear, with about an inch of creamy sandy head that leaves a bit of lacing. I am really excited for this one. Smell, however, is a bit of a let-down, I actually get a bit of booze (at 6%??), some medium roasted malts, and a bit of pear, apples, and vinegar. It's not as strong as I had hoped, and the booze in it is a little disconcerting.

Taste is pretty good. I must say that I prefer Monk's Cafe, though I'm starting to understand why MC is not a good example of this style. The tart, sour, and vinegar of MC are way over-the-top compared with Duchesse. It's got a nice apple cider vinegar kick to start, drifting into a nice smooth brown ale. The subtlety of the different aspects of this beer are pretty nice. The brown malts to it though get to be a bit cloyingly sweet, very syrupy.

MF is decent, a bit prickly, medium bodied, dry finish. Not as dry as I would have preferred, however. Sweetness on the back end of this one gets in the way of the drinkability, though this is a nicely crafted Flanders.

 1,049 characters

Photo of Stevedore
3.66/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle, best by 2/10/2015. Served in an Unibroue tulip at Pigs in a Fur Coat, Madison WI, 9/27/2014.

A- Dark burgundy colour with a LOT of offwhite head. It took quite a while to completely pour this, as it was clearly overcarbonated. Pretty off-putting. Lots of fluffy thick lacing, though. [3.5]

S- Cherries, brown malt sweetness, a bit of lemon acidity. Solid, nothing too complex. [3.75]

F- Some more complexity here- sour lemon acidity, raisins, grape juice, brown malt sweetness with an oaky, earthy middle finished off by a slightly acidic but metallic finish. I'm not a fan of the finish, unfortunately. And it's quite a bit sweeter than I expected it to be. [3.75]

M- Medium bodied, a bit thick and syrupy for a sour although it seems to be about right for the Flanders Red style. Fairly drinkable although the sweetness is a bit of a turnoff for me. [3.5]

O- Not that big a fan of this beer, but I wouldn't turn it down if there were no better options available. A bit too sweet for me. [3.5]

 1,015 characters

Photo of malthead
3.65/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

My first time for a Flanders Red Ale, best before 10/07, served in a tulip.
Very dark red color, nice little red-tinged head. Smell - wow. Like a fine, aged balsamic vinegar. Sweet, darkly fruity at first, but with a vinegar bite after smelling it for a while. Taste - again, wow. Kinda grows on you after a while. It's both sweet and tart. Dried fruit, tannic, maybe a very dry grape juice. Mouthfeel is a little too slick for me, and while interesting, this just isn't very drinkable for me - not sure I'm even going to get through this one. Just too much for me right now, I guess.

 585 characters

Photo of np0x
3.65/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is a great introduction to sour beers, with a soft approach to the vineous flavors in the flanders style. As I drink more and more sour beers, this beer's back sweetened style is less palatable. But the complexity in this beer will blow the mind of someone who hasn't had a sour beers and it won't create a phobic sour beer hater...

 342 characters

Photo of mkorpal
3.65/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

750ml bottle poured into two well used New Belgium globe glass. Pours a beautiful red wine like mahogany red creating a one finger, slightly off white head. Looks great.

Smell is of sweet cherry pie and a bit of rounded vanilla. Smell is very sweet, overpowering any funky sour that I would have liked.

Taste is of very sweet cherry pie and oaky vanilla. Sour and funk take a backseat, as the sweet fruit dominates the beer like none other. Taste is still good, but it is missing the sour that I want in the style.

Mouthfeel is heavy and syrupy. Sour doesn't do much to balance the sweet. This sweetness really hurts the drinkability and mouthfeel. More balance would be greatly appreciated.

it's an ok beer, to be sure. but there are others in this style that I will go to.

 778 characters

Photo of JohnnyDuvel
3.65/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've seen this beer many times. Finally decided to give it a shot. Served with a steak and scallops dinner. Smells like red wine,
tastes a lot like a lambic (but not quite as carbonated or overtly fruity). Tart and sweet, certainly a complex "beer". Ultimately, this was too sweet and distracting to have with dinner, would be better with dessert. Not quite my style. Lambic fans should grab this up!

 402 characters

Photo of cvfish
3.65/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - This beer poured a brownish color with ruby highlights that produced a tan head that had decent retention and laced the side of the glass nicely

S - The aromas produced by this beer were the caramelized malts, cherries, and some sourness

T - The taste of this beer started with a caramelized malts flavor that was quickly overrun by a sour cherry/apple flavor that dominated my palate and did not leave

M - The mouthfeel of this beer had a light to medium body with a moderate amount of carbonation

D - What can I say about the Duchesse? Very unique, not something that I was quite into, but there again maybe something that will grow on me

 648 characters

Photo of ILiveOffHops
3.65/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I first tried the Duchess at the Dove. I couldn't believe how much it tasted more like a tart wine than a beer. That was my first try of a Flanders, and this is my tasting of it at home. Still the one and only Flanders I've tried.

I got this bottle from a friend who bought it at Harrington's in Chelmsford...a great beer store if you live in northern MA. The Duchess is an unbelievable red color...almost opaque. I've never seen a red glow like the one this beer gives off in front of light.

Smells incredible...like cherries and other fruits. Some tartness too

Tastes more tart and much more sour than the aroma suggests. Still sweet at the same time and the sweetness grows over time.

I'm not sure how drinkable this style of beer is in general...at least for me. I'm not going to blame the Duchess for this..in fact I feel like if I had an appropriate meal I could have 2 of these with dinner. Overall, the Duchess is a brew I would only have once in a while. Too much flavor and sourness for an "everyday" beer. Even so, I give this my approval.

 1,062 characters

Photo of vicsju1991
3.64/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured from a 12 oz bottle into pint glass
A - dark pour, looks a little reddish when held up to the light
S - all i can really smell is the vinegar
T - fucking amazing, green apple, lemon, little viniagrette taste, with a delicious green apple finish
M - a little puckery, nothing too extreme
O - very good beer, my first sour, highly enjoyable

 346 characters

Photo of Cthulhusquid
3.64/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Look: Dark brownish red, blood red when held up to light. Head seemed to retain well.

Smell: Nose of red wine and balsamic vinegar. Notes of cherry and caramel.

Taste: Same as above.

Feel: Creamy and smooth up front with an acidic bite in back. I feel that it was a bit too vinegary for my tastes.

Overall Impression: Very interesting. Definitely an acquired taste, but intriguing enough for me to try more of the style.

 430 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(Served in a snifter)
A-Pours a deep chocolate brown body that is almost opaque with a nice carbonation of tiny bubbles. It has a tan head that fades to a few clouds of head around the edge of the glass.

S- Black cherry, dried cranberry aromas with a sharp vinegar smell.

T- tart cherry flavor with a strong acidity. Hints of currants or cranberries are present. A slight hint of vanilla is present but the acidity dominates. Hints of port flavors in the finish.

M- Medium-light body and not any fizziness from the carbonation. It has acidic pucker at the finish but no sweetness or alcohol in the finish.

D- The sourness fades about 3/4 of the way through the beer. It starts to mellow after your taste bud get used to the shock. It has an almost red wine taste and it would be wonderful to develop that more at a port taste with other flavors popping out aswellas the acidity. Definitely an interesting experience.

 932 characters

Photo of ElGordo
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours from the 330ml bottle a deep brown-ruby hue with a huge, beautiful, creamy light brown head that retains very well. Nice lacing, too. Interesting nose of sour cherries, dark wood, light sweet malt, and a touch of Belgian yeast. Palate is exceedingly complex - sweet, tangy fruit (dark cherry, raspberry) is dominant, accompanied by notes of light malt, a faint hint of brown sugar, and good amount of acidity. Finish is mostly Rich, creamy mouthfeel is almost perfect.
By and large, an interesting beer that should be tried by anyone interested in Belgian styles. This is my third or fourth encounter with the Duchesse, though, and it's always difficult to finish the bottle.

 683 characters

Photo of hooliganlife
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

pours deep deep brown with hints of ruby red. creamy head that builds and hangs around for some time.

vinegar, big time. slight red wine and sour grape. slight hints of apple cider vinegar

quite sweet and subtle unlike the scent. light sour notes and very light vinegar. i pick up some red grape juice/wine through out. a bit metallic at the finish.

smooth, slick, light carbonation, light overall.

not quite the flanders red i was looking for. the sourness was too subtle however the grape flavor was nice. very middle of the road.

 537 characters

Photo of geexploitation
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Beautiful looking beer; deep mahogany, caramel highlights, thick taupe head. Aroma hints at much sourness underneath, along with green apples and some unrefined sugar. On the palate, surprisingly sweet, especially at first, with soft carbonation that holds the sourness at bay for a bit. In the mid-palate, the sourness comes out, but it's still attenuated by a significant malt presence. Bubblegum, jolly ranchers, and a hint of nickel in the finish. Considering the substantial sweetness here, the finish is unexpectedly dry. Overall, a good Flemish red, but not the best I've had -- I'm looking for something with a bit more dry sourness.

 641 characters

Photo of mvanaskie13
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up with a group of red sour ales from the the foodery on n. 2nd st.

Poured from the bottle in to a small tulip tasting glass. Appearance is deep red and amber tones, with very light lacing on the glass. A little darker than I would like for a sour red ale.

Smell is a very sweet, with mild malt undertones and a light, very light vinegary finish.

Taste is sweet, with not enough vinegary bite for my taste in sour beers, but the less vinegary taste makes it a little more drinkable and easier going down.

Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, flavors do not linger as strong as i would have expected, which makes this a very drinkable beer.

Overall, a little disappointed but a nice take on this style.

 709 characters

Photo of ajm5108
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Definitely an acidity to the main sour note, and the oak is very present as well along with some peach and other dark fruit. head was a little foamy for my liking.

 164 characters

Photo of tut2528
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours with very low viscosity, ½ fingers worth of head formation but actually leaves a very fine film around the edge of the glass. Decent carbonation is noticed upon swirling the beer. Color is more on the opaque side resembling a syrupy/maple color with slight touches of red. Moderate lacing.

S: Oak is very dominant, and smell resembles a red wine. There are strong fruits present and I don’t get as much sour character as I have with sours (limited at this point personally). This one is very complex as I feel that the aromas are changing by the minute.

T: This one does not have a strong sour taste. The oaky aspect is present and it is in a nice balance with other flavors. Lot of different flavors come out, especially as this one warms up. Molasses comes to mind along with an apple aspect. I also get a bready note as well and a slight tartness to it. After taste consists of brown sugar and cherries.

M: High carbonation on the mouth feel. Goes down rather quickly and decently smooth. The mouth literally salivates while drinking this one enticing you to drink more.

O:I thought the balance was decent and it drinks very much like a wine or champagne.

 1,174 characters

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
92 out of 100 based on 1,430 ratings.