Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

3,731 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,731
Reviews: 1,463
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 188
Gots: 610 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,731 | Reviews: 1,463
Photo of kingcrowing
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
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

Photo of 57md
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

Photo of therica
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

Photo of Daredevil
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
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

Photo of yourchoice
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

Photo of Illini5596
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

Photo of nomad
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
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."

Photo of Mar02x
3.72/5  rDev -10.6%
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.

Photo of ritzkiss
3.72/5  rDev -10.6%
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.

Photo of Zorro
3.72/5  rDev -10.6%
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.

Photo of Sixpoint
3.72/5  rDev -10.6%
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.

Photo of callmescraps
3.72/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Grabbed this guy based on some interesting reviews. Definitely excited to try something different. Expiration of 12/09, so should be no problems there.

Appearance - A deep, dark amber, almost brown, with a solid couple inches of head.

Smell - Super funk. Sour apples, some almost sweat-sock mustiness with serious earthiness. You gotta rate this smell for what it is. Not exactly a bouquet of roses here, but funky in the way it's supposed to be.

Taste - Um, hard to say. It comes with some serious sourness. I mean serious. Then it comes with some sticky sweetness. Almost some honey. Then some booziness. Reminds me of a super-hard cider.

Mouthfeel - Hard to judge because there is so much going on with the flavor. Nothing special.

Drinkability - Gotta be below average. This is super intense, super sour, and good in its' way, but you only need one. Some people just won't like it, and that makes sense.

Um. Wow. This is a funky, smelly, sticky sweet, deep as hell combo. It's good, almost undrinkable. Definitely worth a shot though, I'm going to polish this guy off.

Photo of Justin8mypants
3.71/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Aromas of balsamic vinegar and dark fruit. I get a lot of vinegar in the taste but just enough to balance the sweetness of the plum and grape flavors. Mouthfeel is soft but well carbonated. Overall a very interesting beer. Much more complex than I had anticipated.

Photo of taylorhamrick
3.71/5  rDev -10.8%
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.

Photo of Bierman9
3.71/5  rDev -10.8%
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

986

Photo of BeerMeInMS
3.7/5  rDev -11.1%
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.

Photo of Tripphop
3.7/5  rDev -11.1%
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.

Photo of berkey
3.7/5  rDev -11.1%
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.

Photo of frank4sail
3.7/5  rDev -11.1%
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.

Photo of dstc
3.7/5  rDev -11.1%
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.

Photo of jpmclaug
3.7/5  rDev -11.1%
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.

Photo of mjc410
3.7/5  rDev -11.1%
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.

Photo of seaoflament
3.7/5  rDev -11.1%
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.

Photo of doughanson78
3.7/5  rDev -11.1%
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.

Photo of Monsteruss
3.68/5  rDev -11.5%
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.

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,731 ratings.