1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

3,411 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,411
Reviews: 1,372
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 161
Gots: 408 | FT: 8
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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Duchesse De Bourgogne Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,411 | Reviews: 1,372 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DamienI
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of DeanMoriarty
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle (with a best before date of 30-11-11) into a Bitburger branded footed pilsner glass.

A: Brownish amber with a small head with good lacing.

S: Chocolate, wood, cloves and somewhat sweet and vinegary.

T: Sour and bready but really well balanced with sweet woodiness. There's a real distinct berry/wine flavor in the aftertaste that is real nice as well.

M: Medium bodied and rich with nice carbonation.

D: Real easy to drink, but as much as I enjoyed this one, I wouldn't have more than one or two in an evening.

Photo of ThaBobfather
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a great reddish hue with some solid light brown/tannish head the nearly pours over with foam.
Smell is acrid, the good kind of acrid with a vinegar hint.
Flavor is complex. Slight sourness followed by some kind of smooth fruit/acidic taste, maybe I'm getting cherries, maybe pomegranite.
Finish is long, the oak maturation gives it such a greatly smooth and long aftertaste of sour and fruit.
Drinks great, it's tough to find sours that are drinkable and this is definately.

Photo of rob_o_rob
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of dcmchew
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of mmmbeer
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330 mL brown bottle, best before 10/18/07. The Duchesse is a blend of 8 and 18 month old ales that have been aged in oak casks. It pours a lightly-sedimented mahogany that thins to amber near the bottom of the flute, and has medium to light carbonation that goes up to an inch of yellowish/brown head that leaves nice sheets of lacing. The aroma is sweet and sour, lactic?, with fruit (berries?), chocolate?, mild oak, iron, and maybe some green hops, all blended very nicely. It is a delicious beer, both sweet and tart, with a lactic or wild sourness, a mild bitterness, raspberry/blackberry, cherry?, chocolate?, and maybe some green/leafy hops, but is overall just a touch too sweet. The body is light to medium body, smooth, with a tannic dryness, and medium carbonation and finish. Overall very refreshing and quite drinkable - not too sour and fairly balanced. I could probably drink two or three in a row without too much trouble.

Photo of FanofHefe
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 fl. oz. bottle, best by 10-12-2012. Poured into a Chimay chalice. Deep, ruby red body that is clear, but lets very little light through. One-finger tan head that retains well and leaves creamy lacing all along the glass.

The first aromas to come through are definitely tart notes of cherry and lemon. There is a slight sweetness of caramel malt and candy sugar in the background. As it warms, plenty of oak character comes through in the aroma.

Wow, this is delicious. The primarily sour notes in the front combine cherry, lemon and tart apple, and are not mouth-puckering, but pleasant. The malt balance is nearly perfect to add some sweetness to the mix. The taste is very complex; no hops, woody oak, and deep maltiness combine with tart flavors.

Light mouthfeel, that actually seems somewhat creamy smooth. Odd to say for a tart brew. Easy to drink, this is an excellent brew. Highly recommend, especially for those who may just be starting to drink sour, tart beers.

Photo of doc_logic
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of JMScowcroft
4.39/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Brouwerij Verhaeghe - Duchesse De Bourgogne, poured into a Lawson's Tulip.

Look - Super carbonated blowover! Pours and settles deep ruby with a fizzy head that skirts away quickly. Sticky chunky lace.

Smell - Belgian sour with fruity cherry tartness. Brett. Lots of complexity.

Taste - Tart and fruity with a touch of sour. Quite rich and sweet cherry.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with high carbonation. Dry and drinkable.

Overall - This is a good beer, will have to try more of this style. I recommend this though something tells me others in the style are less sweet and more sour. I still dug it.

Photo of dill
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured from an 11.5 oz bottle into a flute glass.

A - deep amber in color with a thin white head.

S - smells of vinegar and some fruits.

T - taste is similar with a sour vinegary note as well as fruit juice.

M - creamy mouthfeel with a tight carbonation.

D - one of the more drinkable flanders reds i have had. this one is really good.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Ruby red brown with a nice caramel tan head leaves appitent amount of head leaves lacing that's beyond my belief. Aroma: Clear caramel malt with massive amounts of amber tones that left me in a frenzy solid looking flemish ale. Taste: Sharp cherry taste with an incredible amount of sourness that is somehow still enjoyable sets your spirit free excellent taste that can'e be let go. Tart fruit flavor that brings any oud bruin competition. Mouthfeel: Heavy carbonation medium bodied ale nice. Drinkability: Excellent solid array of flavors that proves this is a classic staple of the oud bruin or flemish style ale tradition good stuff.

Photo of MMAJYK
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A. Bright mahogony color. Nice and clear with a nice little head that dissipates rather quickly.

S. Cherries, apples, muscadines, and a touch of wood.

T. Grape skins, lemons, strawberries, and bubblegum.

M. Light in the mouth and high carbonation. Zingy and refreshing.

D. This beer is quite drinkable as it is one of the most refreshing drinks I've had in a while. Paired with Chicken Alfredo was excellent!

Photo of goochpunch
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle: best before 09-08-06

Pours out dark brown with outlines of ruby when put in direct light. The head comes and goes quickly, but will leave a slight ring if agitated. Smells of balsamic vinegar, tart berries and oak. I also detect an eau de elmer's glue, but oddly enough, it's a good thing here. Tastes of tart fruit, specifically cherries, alonside oak tones, a slight alcohol presence, and a grape-juice/wine-like acidity. I got a lot of the same wine-like characteristics as I did with the Vichtenaar, but with this brew, they seemed more married to the other flavors and don't stand out AS much. Mouthfeel is vibrant and biting. Leaves me dry. Excellent. This one seems a lot more mellow than the Vichtenaar I reviewed earlier, both in the flavor profile and mouthfeel. Fantastic beer.

Photo of bluejacket74
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml caged and corked bottle, cork states expiration date of 12/09. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a reddish/brown color with about a half inch off-white head. Head retention is average, lacing is good. It smells like tart cherries, apples and vinegar. The taste is similar to the aroma, it tastes like slightly tart cherries, apples, plums and a bit of funk and vinegar. The taste isn't quite as sour as I expected it to be, but I think it's pretty good. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's creamy and slick and well carbonated. Drinkability is pretty good, it's smooth, refreshing and very enjoyable and easy to drink. I'd buy this again in the future, I think this is a pretty good brew. Recommended.

Photo of wedge
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's been too long.

Beautiful chestnut colored body with a small, creamy pillow of a head that quickly reduces to a plush, bubbly ring. Oaky balsamic sharpness first hits the nose along with sour cherry, berries, caramel, and dusty red wine. Big, sour, well-rounded flavors like sweet, acidic fruit, tart cherry, wood, light tannins. Dry and puckering. This takes me back. Less vinegary than I remember. Excellent...

Photo of atigerlife
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours amber with a small light brown head. Big carbonation rising.

Aroma of hay, vinegar and cherries. Interesting.

Taste is lightly sour, sour plums, sweet dark cherries, apple and grape. Quite a lot going on here.

Mouthfeel is light, cleansing and smooth.

Overall, very good, very drinkable. Good with a variety of foods.

Photo of SDDanC
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into tulip from tap at sd toronado. Pours a dark brown with a small bit of amber. Creamy, but thin, egg white head that does not linger very long. Nose is spice, vanilla, and sour yeast. On the tongue it has a very smooth and sweet vanilla taste that coats the mouth. Sourness is subtle but comes out most in the middle then gives way to the vanilla and dark fruits. Mouthfeel is great, comfortable carbonation that compliments the toned down sourness.

Overall, awesome beer, nice switch from the fruity, tart sours

Photo of jakon
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle purchased for $8.39 on 7-1-7 at Tanasbourne Haggen.

Pours ruby, with a forced 2 inch head which actually sticks around for a bit despite the implied acidity. The aroma initially reminds me of vinegar. There's cherries and other fruits in there too, but I'm mostly getting vinegar. I'm expecting a very sour and funky brew. But the first thing I notice is how sweet it is. I'm disappointed with this discovery until I realize just how clean that sweetness is, and how well balanced it is with the rest of the characteristics of this fine brew. Seems like new flavors expose themselves with every movement of the tongue. This is one of the most complex beers I've tried. I can't pick it apart. I have no idea what it is that's contributing to this dynamic flavor profile. Incredibly balanced, incredibly flavorful, but at the same time, the exceptionally clean finish makes for a highly quaffable brew. This is the sweetest beer that I actually liked. An eye opener.

Photo of smason505
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Neorebel
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a barely translucent shade of reddish brown, with a soda-like head... Very nice! Fairly high carbonation level. The aroma reminds me of apple cider vinegar, cherries, port wine, a mossy type of earthiness, and rosemary herbs. I love the nice, tart flavor, which contains essences of cranberry, raisin, currants, caramel apples, citrus, funky Belgian yeast, and fresh red grapes. It's nice and light, going down easily. Slightly sticky mouthfeel. It's got a juicy finish, which leaves the drinker wanting more. Overall, this beer is simply exquisite... a fantastic sour that every beer advocate MUST try!

Photo of drperm
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Don’t try this at a beer festival in the midst of sweet stouts, hoppy IPAs, or complex Abbeys. You won’t like it and you’ll give it a bad grade, simply because it’s so different from everything else. Sort of like drinking a strong Cabernet-Zinfandel blend with palak paneer and chicken jal frazie -- you’ll end up thinking that the wine is bad. Rather, this beer, a remarkable example of Flemish Red Ale, should be experienced on its own, or better yet, with dinner.

It is matured in oak casks, giving it a rich depth. It has a sourness reminiscent of Gueuze or unfruited Lambic, but has much more to offer than the Gueuze that I’ve tasted. There is a mild fruity (applish) acidity to the finish giving it a wine-like quality: not for nothing is it called the “Burgundy of Beers.” It is this acidity coupled with the pleasant sourness and wine-like dryness that makes it go so well with a variety of foods, from artisan cheese to seafood (I expect – I’m dying to try it with mussels and frites) to venison (I had it with a savory meat pie loaded with cardamom and other spices), and I’m sure there are other wonderful pairings lurking out there to be found.

Definitely a keeper. It’s also not nearly as high in alcohol (about 6.2% ABV) as other Belgians, so it won’t knock you out for the rest of the evening.

Photo of idurra
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- The color is hazy reddish brown, almost cherry wood. About 2 cm of beige head that quickly subsides, leaves a pleasant lacing.

S- Pleasant smell of early souring milk, or even sourdough

T- The sweetness is pleasant, the sourness not overpowering, and both work together to great effect. Surprising floral quality to the taste, rose water or rose hips. No significant bitterness.

M- The mouth feel is medium bodied. Not very tannic.

O- Overall excellent, the perfect sweet and sour in the world of beers. Goes well alone or with a milder tasting dish such as white fish of shellfish.

P.S. The artwork on the sticker is great.

Photo of Cavery
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ML bottle into the official Duchesse De Bourgogne glass, straight proper. Shared with SundaySour on this Friday night.

Bottle indicates best before the end of the world, check.

A: Deep dark black opal, this is how I'd imagine a dragon's eyeball to look. Dark reds, earthy browns, and prismatic oils shimmer underneath a half finger head. The brew is at about ~45F, so I can't blame the Duchesse for rocking a pixie cut. Solid speckled lacing gets her a nice set of side-burns, the andro-look.

S: Grenadine covered cherry skins dominate the front, while a smell of old rules the middle. When I sniff this beer I get a visual: cobwebs in a rusty pipe, covered with a mixture of sherry and lingenberry jam. An unusual transition of the tartness leans toward gojji berries. A complex but very clean nose.

T: Cherry skins, lime, and a bittering carob. A dash of balsamic vinegar makes this an ultimate beet salad pairing. So sweet and so light, a crisp pink lady apple bite keeps me praising the Duchesse. How is all that flavor in there? Vinegar acidity increases with the temperature. This is just like fine salad dressings, you want to try and get just the right amount in your mouth. Too big of a gulp and you'd hate it, too little and you'd be left wanting. The challenge is taking that perfect rip.

M: Just so buttery smooth, the carbonation is so strong yet restrained. A master class in mouthfeel, the liquid levitates in your mouth above so many layers of bursting bubbles that you swear it never makes contact with your mouth. The Duchesse is a witch, burn her. But you can't, because you love her.

O: This really is just a classic. Definitely one of those beers you introduce to a new drinking buddy as an introduction to sour styles. The execution of this flanders is so clean and crisp, that to dislike it is as unholy as disliking your grandmother's apple-pie. Avoid such blasphemies, and take your time with this one. Explore the different flavor experiences to be had with different sized mouthfuls. Notice how she can be as sweet as you want her to be, and as tart as you want her to be. Revisit this one a few times before you come to any conclusions about it, each bottle is a variation on a theme. It's ever so sensitive to temperature and glassware, give her the care she needs. After many dates, hopefully you'll come to see her as the beautiful siren that she is.

Photo of jmdrpi
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750mL corked and caged champagne-style bottle, with best by date on cork. poured into snifter

appears a deep dark brown with creamy head. but head up to light, a brilliant garnet color. head coats to the end, and great lacing.

funky aroma, a little musty and sweetness. but not off-putting.

taste is slightly sour start, but finishes more like a biscuity malty brown ale. complex and very enjoyable.

extremely smooth mouthfeel. couldn't be better.

I thought this beer had a great reputation, and it did not disapoint.

Photo of bark
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The colour is dark red-brown; the liquid is clear. The low off white foam slowly sinks down leaving a small amount of lacing.

The smell is… Ehhh… Different. Sticky sour notes chemical of acetone, red fruits, barrel-aged flavours, some bitterness and a hint of chocolate. Cool.

The taste is very complex, yet balanced and smooth. The first very sour chemical flavour passes quickly leaving room for a fruity sweet note: Red apples, cherries, raspberries, strawberries… There is a mild sour note with some earthy flavours and a growing matured flavour of wood and strong wines. The aftertaste is fruity and sweet with a gentle low bitterness.

The carbonation is medium strong with lots of short-lasting small fresh bubbles. The liquid is creamy and a little bit thick.

I have never tasted anything like this. Much more fruity and matured than the fruit Lambics, still it is very sour and chemical.

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,411 ratings.