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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,441 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,441
Hads: 3,883
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 23.17%
Wants: 211
Gots: 690 | 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: 1,441 | Hads: 3,883
Photo of taylorhamrick
3.71/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this at the Hopleaf, while their draft coolers were down.

Pours out hazy and amber colored. The head is white colored, fizzy and loose looking, that kind of falls back and leaves only a bit of lacing. Looks about normal for the style. The smell is just very vinegary, almost to the point where it sort of turns you off. Reminds me of Easter egg dying day. There's a nice tart note in the background, a hint of sweetness, but the vinegar smells make it hard to pick anything else out. I'd call this score more of a median score than an average score, because it smells all but average - but it doesn't impress me, yet doesn't disappoint me at the same time. The vinegar carries over to the taste, but it's much more to my liking here. The tartness still came through in the taste, but the beer still had a moderate sweetness, quite enough to make this one enjoyable. This one does a good job with the style, and in terms of flavor, is a beer to shoot for, but something I still think can be passed. Pretty enjoyable if you can get past the vinegar smell. The body is actually a bit thin, but is still quite pleasant thanks to the tartness. Not very malty, but just enough sweetness to get by. The carbonation is nice, bites just a bit without getting in the way. The drinkability is good, this one must be consumed rather slowly, though - just as the whole style ought to be. But overall, a good drink, something like a night cap for this one, and I'd recommend it to others hoping to explore the style.

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Photo of Bierman9
3.71/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed from an 11.2oz bottle, with a best before date of 19Jan08. Label says 6.0% abv....

Poured into a small tulip glass, the Duchesse has a lovely, clear, deep ruby hue. Luscious! Head is beige and steady at about 1/4", fine and tight. Carbonation heads topside at a regular pace, and lacing left behind is superb. Great looking bier! The nose is tart and cherryish, yet show sweetness at the same time as sourness. Very nice. Body for the Duchesse was a smidge under medium, with a light, bubbly, airy feel on the tongue. Not overly prickly, though.

Flavor has sweetness, with a syrupy cherry character at the start. Quite good at the outset, though in mid- to late-sip a funky, bitter aspect kicks in. Has some vinegar and woody traits, and reminds me somewhat of the horse-blanket flavor some Belgians have. Though not overly off-putting, it does put a damper on what was a great start to the flavor profile. Finish is crisp and dry. Still, tastes rather nice, all in all.

Zum Wohl!

overall: 3.9
appearance: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | mouthfeel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5


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

Drinking Date Nov. 2nd 2011
Expiration: 03/13

Glassware: Tulip

Appearance: Dense brown with a red tinge; frothy beige head.

Smell: Very sweet and musky; fruity aroma maybe a little bread-like. Inviting smell

Taste: Sweet grape-ish flavor (wine-like); Tangy and fruity throughout. Not a lot of complexity or depth. Definitely redefines my box for beer tastes, though... Only the aftertaste had a little of the yeasty/malty flavor that reminded me of 'beer'. To me, it tasted like carbonated muscadine wine. (If you haven't had muscadine wine...It is similar to grape but with muskiness, more sweetness, and less acidity)

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied; highly carbonated.

Overall: I know this is supposed to be a standard for the style but I did not find a depth of flavor and I did not much care for the very sweet flavor it did have. Not a fan, but it was interesting to try. This was my first Flanders Red Ale, so nothing else to compare to.

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

Reddish brown hue with active bubbles. Very funky, sour aromas, cherry and wood are hidden in there. Flavors are very vinous and complex. Wet horse blanket and funk dominate over the mellow dark fruits and sour sweet finish. Very cool beer, and definitely a good standy sour. Mouthfeel is very lush and vinous, melts across the tongue. Funny to see the love/hate thing going on with this one, newbies think it taste like vinegar, but those in the know find it delectable.

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

Poured into a Duvel Tulip. Ruby-garnet brown body with a medium head with below average retention. Lacing is a bit spotty.

Aromas are of sour fruit, red wine, over ripe cherries, and a surprising almost cheese-like pungency along with some bready yeast and a very subtle vinegar smell.

Taste is of more yeast and sour fruit along with the same pungency picked up on the nose. Also some mellow woodiness. Overall not as much sour as I look for in the style. Sour pungency is the best thing this beer has going for it and there's not enough for my tastes. Otherwise this beer is a little on the ordinary side. Lack of agressive flavors should keep this drinkable but I lost interest before I even hit the bottom of the glass.

Overall an okay intro to sours because of it's mellow character and availability but a far shot from what this style has to offer. I skipped this beer on my sour education and I really don't feel I missed out.

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Photo of frank4sail
3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 fl. oz. best before 2-11-04

Sharp vinegar (balsamic) and a slight sweetness of ripe dark fruit (plum) in the nose. Deep purple opeque look in the goblet. 1/2 inch pale beige head that is persistant. Inital tangy/sweet/puckering fruit taste of bing cherries and ripe plum is then followed by a sweeter woody finish. Medium mouth. Good but due to many factors not very drinkable.. a case of these would last you a very long time.

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

Pours a dark ruby/brown color with a decent head that is tan in color with hints of a pinkish hue. Decent head retention and mild lacing.

Complex aroma. Sweet, a little malty and I'm getting a whiff that oddly enough reminds me of vinegar.

A lot of interesting flavor. Fruity, sour and tart with a dry finish and bit of sweetness lingering

Medium bodied and smooth in the mouth with a nice balance of carbonation.

Overall a decent beer but a bit too sweet/tart/fruity for me.

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

Poured from a bottle into a flute

A - Dark red with no head, lots of lacing on the side of the glass as this one disappears

S - reminds me of red wine vinegar with a hint of cherry

T - tart cherry flavor is very balanced with the sweetness, mild oak flavor. Certainly not unpleasant but I was expecting more tartness from this.

M - Medium body with an average amount of carbonation

D - Easy to drink but not all that memorable. While the flavor isn't bad it just isn't all that exciting. I was hoping for more sour notes than this. I would drink this one again sometime but don't plan on seeking it out.

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Photo of mjc410
3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass at Pizzeria Paradiso in Georgetown, Washington, DC. This brew left very sticky, lasting lacing, despite having only a thin ring of bubbles comprising its head. The bubbles were light tan, and the body was a translucent ruby-brown. The nose was led by grapes, then cherries, a touch of vinegar, and pepper. Very nice! The taste wsa quite similar, and pretty dry, and quality overall, but with a bit too much acidity. The body was medium-light, with also a light but tingly carbonation. A bit harsh, but still enjoyable.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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]

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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.

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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...

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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.

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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!

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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

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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.

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Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
92 out of 100 based on 1,441 ratings.