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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

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

3,045 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,045
Reviews: 1,345
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 132
Gots: 286 | FT: 9
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
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Ratings: 3,045 | Reviews: 1,345 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of endovelico
endovelico

Portugal

4.33/5  rDev +4.1%

It's been awhile since I've reviewed a beer and couldn't be happier to review this historic and exotic specimen.

I poured the beer into a dimpled stein, reviewed the beer under low artificial light and drank it cold.

Appearance: This beer displays a clear mahogany color, without any sort of floaties or sediment. The white head that forms is fizzy, holding reasonably well throughout the session. Could have used a more luscious head, although i'm aware this is dificult given the limit on hop character on these types of beer.

Aroma: Medium high intensity and flavorful, albeit a bit muddy. Cherry, cinammon, Cedar wood, green apple, vinagar and port. No hop aroma to speak of.

Taste: High intensity, flavorful and layered complexity. Cherry, green apples on the frontend. The wood, warm alcohol and candy build the backend.
As it warms up i start picking a faint nuttiness and chocolate like complexity. No hop taste.

Palate: Medium full bodied. Soda sweetness with lactic twang. Medium to medium high acidity. Medium high sourness. Medium low to low carbonation. Low bitterness. Long finish. The sweetness and sourness battle out as the taste lingers. Was actually expecting more sourness. Alcohol barely noticeable.

Drinkability: This seems to me like a fine archtype of what a Flanders Red Ale should be: It has nice complexity, it is intriguing, it is challenging on the palate plus there is no noticeable flaws. I do think however that it could benefit from less sweetness. The alcohol isn't too evident, so there would be decent leeway to do it. Would have again and it makes for a good gimmick beer to shock your friends.

04-05-2010 23:35:11 | More by endovelico
Photo of ggroller
ggroller

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev +4.1%

I just drank my first Duchesse on Christmas Day 2004 and was completely excited about what I saw and smelled in my glass without even taking the first sip.

The color was a dark, velvety, burgundy brown with a large fluffy head similiar to one seen on a Beligian White.The aroma was like nothing I have ever smelled before. Sour cherries was the first thing I noticed followed by sweet cherry and orange mingled with woody earthiness. Upon taking the first sip I first tasted sour then sweet; just like the aroma.

This beer is very drinkable and in my opinion a session beer. It was sweet but not too sweet. Sour but not too sour. And the finish left my palate clean and wanting more.

12-28-2004 13:48:37 | More by ggroller
Photo of ryantupy
ryantupy

Minnesota

4.33/5  rDev +4.1%

A - Pours a dark ruby red color with a ncie small but consistent head.

S - Smells of oak and cherries.

T - At first you notice the oak and cherries but then slowly it develops a dark fruity spice flavor.

M - Silky smooth mouthfeel.

D - You can drink this one for hours.

10-28-2008 16:00:24 | More by ryantupy
Photo of aerozeppl
aerozeppl

New York

4.33/5  rDev +4.1%

A: Super deep brownish red color. Eggshell white head with a nice amount of lacing.

S: Funky musthouse. Beyond this powerful smell you do get hints of cherries. Malt. Tons of sour and tart hints.

T: Damn. Really really complex. Starts off tart. Not mouth collapsing into itself tart but enough to remind you what this is. Then it goes into a cool sweetness. Hints of honey and cherries. Malt is in there as well. Hints of nuts and the barrel abound.

M: Medium body with a slightly thick tone to it. Good light carbonation.

D: The most drinkable example of this style I have had so far. At 6% why not?

05-24-2008 00:58:09 | More by aerozeppl
Photo of homersimpson
homersimpson

North Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +4.1%

Clear tawny red/brown with a sedate tan head.
Sourish malty nose, somewhat like a confectioner's shop.
Medium smooth body.
Hits your tonue with a quick sweet / sour flavor. Very candylike. Citrusy up front like a demented lemonade. Smoothly transitions and leaves your mouth with a fruity syrupy flavor that hangs around for the next sip.

09-07-2004 22:48:13 | More by homersimpson
Photo of ski271
ski271

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev +4.1%

On tap at Zeno’s in State College. Ruddy amber with a very small, off-white, foamy head. Vinous, medicinal, sweet smell with alcohol and tawny port-like aromas. Tastes is of sour fruit (most notably cherry) over a light malt backbone. It has a medium body and a slick texture. Flanders aren’t my thing, but going by style this one was pretty damn good! Definitely worth a try.

05-20-2007 17:17:25 | More by ski271
Photo of rarevos
rarevos

New York

4.33/5  rDev +4.1%

Poured into Chimay chalice. Bottle has "Best before 29-04-07" printed on the back.

A: Deep ruby with a full finger of fluffy, off-white head. Head doesn't take long to reduce, very thick lacing left behind. Sticky trails clinging to the glass.

S: Wow. There's a sharp oaky wineyness at first. Underneath is some fruit, like red wine grapes (pinot noir, sangiovese) grape, pear, plum, and cherry.

T: Wine flavor first with notes of the above-mentioned fruit. There's a lot going on here. Some maltiness underneath, but the strongest flavors are the grape, plum and cherry. A bit of "unfiltered, natural apple juice" creeps in, too. Tartness towards the end that builds to a crisp/dry sourness in a very clean finish. Is better as it warms (the sweet malt stands out more), so heed the suggested temperature.

M: Can a beer be "soft"? This starts off very smooth and builds to a nice tingle.

D: Oh dear Lord. This is wonderful stuff. At 6.2% abv, this isn't like an ordinary sipping beer, but you still do have to sip it. Odd. Very strong flavors, and a very sophisticated-feeling beer. It has vaulted to the top of my list of personal favorites.

09-08-2006 00:25:46 | More by rarevos
Photo of trevorjn06
trevorjn06

Washington

4.33/5  rDev +4.1%

Pours a mahogany color with ruby highlights and an off-white head that recedes quickly. Leaves some lacing on the glass.

Aroma is very fruity, figs and plums up front with some cherry and hints of dark caramel and tartness.

Taste is not nearly as tart or vinegary as most Flanders ales I have tried, it is very fruity, not overly sweet though. The fruity flavors (plum, raspberry, strawberry and hints of fig) dominate but are accompanied by a tartness that enhances the brightness of this ale. Midway through there is some caramel, light vanilla, malt and light oak flavors that lead into a finish of tartness and raspberries.

Mouthfeel is medium/light bodied with high carbonation and a mouth-coating flavor.

Overall this beer surprised me a bit, I haven't been a huge fan of any Flanders red or brown ales that I have tried to-date, but this beer is fantastic. It is sweet, tart, has a complex fruitiness (despite having no fruit in it) and a wonderful finish. I will be drinking this again.

12-07-2010 04:34:45 | More by trevorjn06
Photo of RevChico
RevChico

Ohio

4.33/5  rDev +4.1%

A: Poured into a goblet. Color was a mixture between mahogany and cherry wood. When poured head was about one finger thick, which dissapated rather fast. Lacing was exceptional and was there for the entire beer.

S: I picked up a good amount of different scents in this one... Dark fruit came though, as well as a very strong port wine scent, toasty, currants, molasses, peat, soy sauce, and a faint hint of chocolate.

T: Sweet up front then went into a tart dark berry & cherry profile. One of the flavors that was lingering in the background that took me a minute to put a finger on was toasted almond. Chocolate was there but very faint as well. This beer for sure had some flavor charactaristics that were similar to a port wine.
Very nice after taste.

M: Medium body, nice bubble feel on the tongue.

D: I think it's a great beer but I could only go for a few of them due to the sweetness.

The bottle I poured had been aged for at least two years in my cellar. I can't really remember what it tasted like when I drank it when I first got my hands on a few bottles. I do not remember there being as many scents at the time though. Over all a very nice beer. Would lend itself very well to many different foods.

01-18-2008 00:28:00 | More by RevChico
Photo of dherling
dherling

New Jersey

4.33/5  rDev +4.1%

Poured out a dark reddish brown with a minimal head that drops quickly. The nose is sour, even vinegary. There are also some nice notes of fruit and mustiness. I pick up some faint spice and sweetness lingering as well. The taste uncovers the sweet and extremely fruity notes from the nose. The body is amazingly sour grape juice, with a subdued bitterness that really works. Totally different than the nose, a nice surprise. Medium bodied, with good carbonation. The finish is pretty dry, like white wine.

11-17-2006 01:48:34 | More by dherling
Photo of Daniellobo
Daniellobo

District of Columbia

4.33/5  rDev +4.1%

Rich and long red ale.

Presentation: 750 ml green corked bottle. Stylized screen printed label with the name of the brew printed vertically and a small icon with a classic Flemish image of the Duchesse with a bird at the bottom. Back label offers a brief narrative going over history, local context, intent, and composition. Shows best before date printed on the cork (jan 2012), and Alc. by Vol. (6%) Served in a wine glass.

A - Deep red-brown pour with a generous bubbly head, fair retention with a small surface ring, and touches of lace.

S - Sweet and sour fruit, with a soft tart sense around fermented apples, a bit acidic.

T - Rich fruity sourness, tart memories of raw cider, acidic yeasty touch. Nice and long range with dark sugary fruits, and a light citric touch.

M - Light-medium body with good carbonation, generous early on and with a good tingly retention in the finish. Nice acidic dry, and fairly clean finish.

D - Great complex red ale, nicely rounded and pleasing.

Notes: This is a very nice red ale, very similar out of the blue to the Rodenbach Grand Cru, maybe a side by side tasting would open up a rich range of differences. Maybe the biggest difference is in the final vinous long range that may be missing here and instead a fruity range takes over, but this does not hinder the quality of either brew.
Again memories of fermented apples in a complex fruity range similar to some raw ciders from Northern Spain.

07-25-2010 16:33:44 | More by Daniellobo
Photo of celticfutblclub
celticfutblclub

Massachusetts

4.33/5  rDev +4.1%

11.2 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - a dark reddish brown that is slightly opaque. head sticks around for quite a long time.

S - sour apple, sour dough and a bit of maltiness in the background.

T - once again sour is very apparent but its not overbearing. sour apple is the taste that comes to mind with this.

M - feels good there is a lot of carbonation but it seems to fit for me with a sour beer.

O - ah the new overall rating (im a fan). overall this is a very good beer. i've only had a couple of sour beers in my life but i enjoy them and this is definitely the best i've had to date. I'm putting a 4 here as I feel the taste rating should be somewhere between 4 and 4.5 (which is also where i feel the overall score should sit).

definitely see myself getting this again (when i have the money to drop one a $20 four pack which probably wont be soon.

03-20-2011 23:23:39 | More by celticfutblclub
Photo of htomsirveaux
htomsirveaux

Texas

4.33/5  rDev +4.1%

Pours with a small tan head, lightly carbonated. Color is very dark brownish red, almost opaque. Smells sweet tart and sour, like cherries and dark chocolate. Medium body, good mouthfeel. Taste is very fruity-tart, sweet and juicy. Cherry fruity flavors throughout. For all the sweetness, finish is relatively dry.

As others have noted, as good as this beer is one is plenty and personally I would like a little less sugary sweetness.

07-22-2006 06:18:57 | More by htomsirveaux
Photo of jtslay
jtslay

Colorado

4.33/5  rDev +4.1%

This is my first beer of this style. This is a very fruity beer that has a dry aroma of fermented fruit. This beer was a recommended way of getting into Lambics. This is one of the most complex beers I have had in a while. It is definitely better as it warms through around 45 F. I was surprised by the complex mouthfeel. This is about as drinkable as wine in my opinion.

06-29-2007 21:54:24 | More by jtslay
Photo of angrybabboon
angrybabboon

Rhode Island

4.31/5  rDev +3.6%

Consumed 9/12/13

Appearance: Dark red with equal parts deep amber and brown - mostly hazy, but some clarity around the edges - pours with a large, decidedly Belgian, beige head - dense and creamy - fades to a smaller but still solid cap, leaves some nice streaks of lacing

Smell: Holy Balsamic vinegar, Batman - high quality Balsamic vinegar, with some interesting lactic sourness - damp, wet, funk - some very nice woody oak notes - very fruity and sweet, with some serious cherry juice and tart cherry - some nice, pale and caramel malts at its base - some earthiness, and something that reminds me of chocolate

Taste: Sweet and fruity, with some nice tart, sour, and funky notes - sweet cherry flesh and some tart cherries, with some other berry fruit flavors - definitely sweet, almost candy-like, but it works thanks to the other flavors - some serious Balsamic vinegar - woody, damp and wet funkiness, with some tart, and some lactic sour - some light, pale malts and straight-up caramel - lightly earthy - light bitterness

Mouthfeel: Medium body, nicely carbonated, smooth, nice to sip

Overall: This is where Archer's code name really comes from

I've been meaning to try this for years. This was a small bottle, probably split up from a Duchesse gift pack (insert sound effect here). But now I suppose I need to get some of these to age, as this greatly exceeded my expectations. I have had a handful of harder to get, more expensive Flanders Reds. And this is really among the best I have ever had. Seriously.

09-12-2013 05:22:35 | More by angrybabboon
Photo of BeerDocT
BeerDocT

Georgia

4.31/5  rDev +3.6%

I've never had a Flanders Red Ale before and do not know what to expect. Really looking forward to this.

Appearance 4.0: Poured out a deep, translucent brown with -you guessed it-- red highlights. Nice 1" head that finally dropped to about 1/8". Excellent lacing.

Smell 4.75: Wow! Amazing bouquet on this beer. Sharp vinegary pungency is tempered by a bleu cheese smell that is -upon further reflection-- really a smell of some type of brewing agent (i.e. a wild a vociferous yeast strain like Lambic). There are also a many, many layers of smells in this beer: cherries, honeycomb, mustiness, oak tannins, cabernet wine...on and on and on. Amazing and I cannot imagine a beer having a more complex and nuanced nose.

Taste 4.25: Front overwhelms the palate with a huge hit of vinger-level sour and slight hints of sweetness with a lovely ripe plum taste. Middle is sweet with big waves of vinegar, interesting tastes of almond and a general smoothness. Finish is also smooth, with hints of sweetness and a very refreshing hit of sourness. This is the level where other tastes come out: tanins, plums, raisins, oak rosin, barley malt...excellent. Aftertaste is short and refreshing.

Mouthfeel 4.0: This beer's conditioning does an excellent job of accentuating the taste of the beer.

Overall 4.25: This beer is amazing. Complex, balanced and utterly enjoyable. If you have never had a Flanders Red, I would recommend you try this one. It reminded me of a Lambic, but perhaps how a Lambic would taste without the delicious fruit additives. What you get is an equally excellent beer, maybe even better in some respects, notably the bouquet. Sour and just all around excellent.

01-19-2014 06:43:57 | More by BeerDocT
Photo of BMMillsy
BMMillsy

Florida

4.31/5  rDev +3.6%

Pours dark red with medium head that disappears quickly with no lacing left on the glass. Smells like tart cherries, beautiful. Bit of vinegar, heavy sour here. Taste is tart cherries., uckering on the palate. Bit of a dry woody oak finish. Crisp mouthfeel with good carbonation. Really enjoyable though a bit pricy.

10-17-2013 23:40:19 | More by BMMillsy
Photo of hopsbreath
hopsbreath

Oregon

4.3/5  rDev +3.4%

The Duchess! One of the most complex and refreshing low ABV beers I have ever experienced. I've enjoyed this and Rodenbach Grand Cru on multiple occasions and have decided that as far as the Flanders heavyweights go, this is my favorite. On to the review.

The appearance is crystal clear ruby-garnet body with a two finger tan head that is made of very tight champagne like bubbles that quickly dissipate to the wisp collar that is typical of a beverage with champagne like carbonation. Minimal lacing shows up. 4/5

Aroma is heavy on red-wine vinegar with a touch of red stone fruits. Medicinal qualities and that "band aid" thing show up but works well with the aceitic character. 4/5

Puckering, sour, vinegar poured from oak barrel dance across the tongue as the taste builds. Each sip builds on the previous. Some sweet cherry shows up at the mid-way point and delights the senses. There's more to this beer that I just can't explain. The experience is one to be savored. The Duchess clearly dominates Rodenbach at this juncture. 4/5

Mouthfeel is pure champagne. Soft soothing carbonation slides across the palate with a delicate nature that no other beer can equal. The perfect score is the result. 5/5

Drinkability is through the roof! The mouth puckering quality of this is spectacular and makes me want that next sip that much faster! Every time I have this beer I try to enjoy it slowly but it screams to be drunk fast. Another perfect score! 5/5

My wife has told me that if we ever renew our vows, The Duchess is going to make an appearance at the toast. It really is that good and classy. Try this now! Beer will never seem the same to you again!

07-02-2010 03:19:06 | More by hopsbreath
Photo of elricorico
elricorico

Alberta (Canada)

4.3/5  rDev +3.4%

Pours a dark brown with a ruby tint, with a bit of visible carbonation running into the head. The head is about three fingers of beige foam, and has fantastic staying power. Sticky lacing holds on in clumps along the glass.

Red wine jumps out of this brew as the dominant aroma. Vinegar, tart cherries and a mustiness all round out the smell. Overall it is very different from what I am used to smelling in a beer, however I like the effect.

The taste is delicious. A great mix of sweet and tart. Sweet cherries and candy sugar up front followed up by a puckering grape tartness to the finish. An acidity to the finish makes it that little bit more interesting.

The mouthfeel is another strength to this one. Certainly there is a thickness to it, and between the ready carbonation and the acidic finish this beer stays lively and interesting all the way down.

The overall effect of this beer mellows as the bottle comes to an end, and one is enough for me during an evening. That one is a great one though, and this is a beer I foresee keeping around. My wife really likes this one too.

06-24-2006 04:20:33 | More by elricorico
Photo of Proteus93
Proteus93

Virginia

4.3/5  rDev +3.4%

A: Red with an amber hue through the flute. A rich, deep, head that leaves liberal sticky lacing behind.

S: Something of a plum-like scent? Almost like the fruit in a wooden crate, maybe a little closer to a mass of cherries in a shipping crate. Can't really make out the specific fruity aroma, but it is certainly Almost a touch of a solvent like aroma in there - it's not cedar, but that's what is coming to mind at the moment.

T/M/D: Crisp, tart fruits. Peeled cherries, lightly spiced, but sour through the end. Maybe a little more on the sweet than sour side, and something of a champagne like taste and mouthfeel in there. The puckering sensation leans more towards being lip-smacking than a cheek-sucked in sourness. An intriguing ale, and a style that I'd like to look into further.

02-03-2008 02:49:03 | More by Proteus93
Photo of devlishdamsel
devlishdamsel

Washington

4.3/5  rDev +3.4%

S: Single 11.2 ounce bottle from shelve of local beer section in natural market. It was the last bottle. I thought about picking it up last week during a haul, but hesitated due to the price tag. Luckily she was still there when I returned and a friend of mine who is a local distributor sang her praises.

Appearance: Darkish red ( sadly the tulip style glasses i used were a very dark glass, its possible my perception of the color could be off due to this.) Very frothy voluminous white head.

Smell: As this was aged in oak casks for a bit i could definitely smell notes of that.

Taste: Exceptionally complex, with a very mild bitterness and slight sour acidity. I sipped on this with dinner and finished off with pairing it with fruit later. This beer pairs amazing with fruit, especially pineapple.

Mouthfeel: slightly carbonated in texture, but almost smooth like a cider. the froth on the head is composed of very fine bubbles.

Overall: Definitely a win! I will definitely add this beer to my rotation of Belgians as it deserves no less.

12-25-2012 02:35:50 | More by devlishdamsel
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
DarkerTheBetter

Pennsylvania

4.3/5  rDev +3.4%

I found this on-tap at McMenamin’s in Philly.

This beer pours a murky root beer and gold color, but when held to the light, it reveals a glowing cherry. The head is a thin film of slightly tan.

Smells of musky sour cherries and a dry, crisp red wine.

The flavor is similar with a similar musky sour cherry with a light creamy wheat in the background. There’s also a little orange and lime here too.

The mouth feel is light to medium bodied with a very active carbonation.

I’m just a sucker for this style, so I loved it. A little heavy feeling, but delicious!

07-25-2006 16:21:50 | More by DarkerTheBetter
Photo of flexabull
flexabull

California

4.3/5  rDev +3.4%

Bottle courtesy of klikger, thanks again!

Pours a deep amber color with a sizable off-white head.

Aromas are potent! Cider vinegar, earth, clay, and spicy breads.

Flavors are not as power packed as the nose. Light cola sweetness, bready, spicy, earthy, and subtle funky cider vinegar notes. Finish is dry and tart. Very balanced between malt sweetness and yeasty sourness.

Mouthfeel is very nice. Full and smooth, well carbonated.

Drinkability is great. What a great example of the style. I think I prefer Rodenbach though, the nose on this one is just a tiny bit off putting to me. Don't get me wrong though, this is still a top notch beer.

06-19-2010 18:16:51 | More by flexabull
Photo of TenHornsProud
TenHornsProud

Colorado

4.3/5  rDev +3.4%

Having recently purchased an oak barrel for homebrewing purposes, I needed to "research" some barrel aged "sours," as that's what I'm looking towards.

Sweet Duchesse here begins a quest that will surely destroy my bank account, home life, and possibly work life as well. So it goes.

She is nice and red, i mean a darker kind of sexy red, not ginger. Smells of vinegar and oak with some kind of fruity sweetness...a good sign.

Fantastic mouth feel, high carbonation. Taste's of sweet, sour cherry and beer, minor funk cuts through to make it interesting. Drink it too quick and all you get in vinegar, so don't. I'll be drinking this again.

02-19-2011 16:03:22 | More by TenHornsProud
Photo of srandycarter
srandycarter

California

4.3/5  rDev +3.4%

Was happy to find this one at the Main Tap Tavern in El Cajon.

A - Clear ruby, nice liw white head, some lace.

S - Sour, tart fruit. Bright sour cherry.

T - Wonderful cooked and sour cherry. Nice malt aspect.

M - Medium body, good balance. Clean finish.

D - Would drink this one all night.

08-25-2012 17:37:44 | More by srandycarter
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,045 ratings.