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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

3,567 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,567
Reviews: 1,414
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.46%
Wants: 174
Gots: 502 | FT: 10
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: 3,567 | Reviews: 1,414 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Rayek
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Cheeky Monk in Denver, CO. Served in a Duchesse De Bourgogne glass.

A: Deep ruby color with a small cream colored head. Clarity is very good. Head retention is only fair. Leaves a heavy lace behind.

S: All I can think of is red wine when I smell this. Heavy on the dark fruits, plus a light pepper bite and a slight sourness that keeps the fruit aromas from being too sweet. Extremely complex.

T: The complexity of the nose transitions perfectly into the flavor. Tart grapes, cherries and cranberries dominate. Balance is created more by sourness than the peppery hop bitterness. Balance is great. Finishes somewhat dry, with lingering dark fruit flavors.

M: Medium body feels substantial in the mouth and has the right amount of carbonation.

D: This was easily my favorite beer at the Monk. A good sipping beer that I wish was served in a larger glass. Almost frighteningly good to my pallet. Well worth a revisit.

Photo of gonzo138
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- pours a clear deep red, has a tan colored head that doesn't retain too well but does retain nicely

S- a little bit of tart sweetness, and a pleasant apple cider vinegar-ish smell to it as well

T- a little tangy, fruity sweetness at first followed by a mellowed tart sourness thats not too overwhelming, very pleasant

M- medium/ light body with moderatwe carbonation

D- could definitely have a few of these without getting sick of them, a very interesting style of ale, wish I could find more representations of this style

Photo of EMV
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a pretty impressive Red Ale out of Belgium that I picked up at a SAQ (gotta love that place) on a whim, and is definitely a nice spicy alternative to whatever you normally drink. This one pours a rich dark reddish/brown with about an inch of creamy head that fell fairly quickly, leaving a great lace. The aroma is tart, yeasty, and very sharp, giving a great prelude as to what the beer is going to be like.

The taste itself is excellent and complex, with both sweet and sour flavours vying for dominance. There's a fruity touch there, and a smooth aftertaste that really rate this one high on the drinkability. It's one to be sipped and savored rather than gulped, and the ample carbonation is also very pleasant. Like I said before, I would definitely recommend this as an alternative to your regularly scheduled brew on one of those nights you need something a little more spicy.

Photo of coalcracker
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a brownish-red with good head retention. Lacing forms as the tasting progresses.
Smell: Cherry and fruity in nature. Also can detect a bit of red wine.
Taste: Fruity start with cherry, wine, currant, and a little raisin. The sour notes arise toward the middle of the tasting with a bready finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium and lively. Smooth until the sour notes hit.
Drinkability: Very drinkable,but probably not a brew best served for sessions. More appropriate for slower and enjoyable tastings.

Overall- Extremely complex. I love the Flanders red style (as long as they are well-constructed). This hits the mark.

Photo of mikestan06
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first sour - picked up a 12 oz. bottle on recommendation in Dallas. Poured into clear tulip glass.

Pours a dark reddish-brown with a tight tan head. Lasts throughout the glass - 10 minutes on and still sitting strong! Sticky lacing coats the side of the glass.

Smell is sweet, dark cherry and fruits? Taste is tart, almost mouth-puckeringly. Cherry and fruit come in strong. Like melted lifesavers.

Sticky in the mouth, really clings to the tongue. Little to no carbonation makes for smooth drinking.

Photo of cuttsjp
4.41/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 750 mL cork and cage bottle poured into tulip glass

Appearance: Beer pours a deep reddish-brown with a fluffy cream-colored head that starts off big and dissipates into a small film on the surface, with some of the most amazing lacing I've ever seen

Aroma: Sort of a sweet, musty cherry smell with a slight tart kick and a little funk, not as much as expected though

Flavor: Delicious. Tart cherries up front with some nice raisin/plum sweetness balancing the whole thing out. Some definite malty tones stand out in this one...edging on the side of an Oud Bruin (even though BA classifies it as a red). A tiny amount of hop bitterness graces the finish. Great to see how the flavor opens up as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and silky, with very balanced carbonation.

Drinkability: Amazingly drinkable, especially for a style that people seem to think is less accessible. I really enjoyed this a lot and could easily foresee drinking a whole bottle by myself. Great price, too! $10/bottle for something that is definitely as good as much more expensive ones.

Photo of dorianmarley
4.41/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, dark crimson. Thick foamy head with nice lacing. Truly gorgeous when held up to a light.

Nose is bready, earthy, sour, and slightly sweet.

Taste is exceptional. Nice blend of sweet malt and sour contrast. Whole-grain breadiness gives it a full flavor. French vanilla finish smoothens the whole sensation. A beer that a novice or an expert could love--the flavor is so well-balanced; chuggable, even.

Mouthfeel is very creamy, with mild carbonation.

Overall, excellent. One of the best Belgians I have had.

Photo of Rickythejeweler
4.41/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Best before: 05/10/2013

A - Dark garnet-ruby, one finger off white head, great lacing.

S - Belgian yeast, cherries, molasses, dark spices, mixed berries, brown sugar.

T - Sour cherries, black cherries, strawberries, raspberries, candi sugar, caramel, sherry oak, belgian yeast, slightly tart.

M - Smooth, medium body, moderate-low carbonation, slightly dry finish.

O - Better than expected! Very drinable, first Flanders red ale and it was a pleasant experience.

Photo of Hopswagger
4.41/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

P: Pours a clear reddish brown body with practically no head. Just a white ring that stretches around the sides of the snifter.

S: A sweet fruity base with tart acidity causing a delicate sting in the nose. A nicely balancing oaky vanilla presence that is accompanied by subtle skunky yeast. Hints of chocolate cordial cherries and cardamom infused syrup.

T/M: Wow! Super complex and balanced. Wild cherries, lightly smoked oak, plums, tart white grape and delicate gulab jamun presence. Syrupy mouthfeel that swirls around nicely and becomes creamy while finishing with tart fruit.

O: I'm still a novice when it cones to Flanders but this is probably the best I have had to date. The flavors marry perfectly and the mouthfeel is orgasmic. In having trouble findings flaws. This is sure to be a go to for this style. Cheers!

Photo of smttycty
4.41/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Though I love my late-night after-work mini mart with it's good selection of single bottles, my luck at finding imports that haven't been staring at the UV lighting too long is about 50/50. I asked the clerk to fetch me a bottle of this one from the back side of the reach-in. At almost $0.50 per ounce, I wanted to improve my odds.

The dark tea-colored body was clear, the off-tan rocky crown short -lived, and the lacing minimal. But once I shoved my nose into the snifter, it didn't want to come out. I found a nuanced melange of tart fruit, rich chocolate, fig pudding, and sherry.

A few local brewers have been trying their hands at this style, but my first sip washed away all expectations for another "learn-to-like-it" vinegary concoction. This beer is all silk and satan. Tart cherries and granny smith apples wrapped in a softly spiced European pastry. With no bitter flavors to be found, the wonderful yeast qualities are testament to the attention payed to the blending of the newer and older vintages. As the flavors slowly dissipate the sweet flavors at the front of the mouth are fully distinguishable from the tart flavors in back.

Light bodied and very lively without being sharp, kind of a thick blanket of effervescence. Like a vacation I don't want to leave, I'll come back again and again.

Photo of JuliusCaesar
4.41/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a deep red with an inch tall white head

S: Aroma of Belgian yeast and fruit

T: Not overly sour but has a good bite to it. Fruit and candy. Sweet but balanced

M: Good carbonation

Overall: This is candy not beer. The Duchesse is one fine lady

Photo of mick303
4.41/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a wine glass, produced a nice tan reddish head that has really solid retention. Colour is a dark ruddy brown, essentially opaque. It has a great lacing and film.

Smell has a pleasant tartness, vinegary fruitiness. A pervasive sourness, red wine cask. A really interesting interplay of flavours, balanced and complex, with a supporting malt body, not much bitterness, and a sour prickle.

Taste has a wonderful, floral and tart opening. Quite a bit of sourness initially but this is countered with more developing slightly sweet malt. Hop character is restrained, but a really nice earthiness comes through. Finish is delicate, and really smooth and dry, subtle red wine tannins and oak. Continues to combine and blend seamlessly, sourness isn't too strong, really complex flavours.

Mouthfeel is moderate bodied, but with a ton of richness, just on the cusp of being syrupy on the palate but without much sweetness. Carbonation is pretty light, but suits nicely. Finishes nicely crisply, definetly pleasant, and highly enjoyable as a sipper but without too much body to be too heavy.

A very excellent beer. Hard to find faults here, and its really tasty. As far as the take on the style, it isnt as in your face sour as others, and seems to have a more balanced approach and flavour, with a slight roast malt sweetness on the palate that brings it all together really well. A great beer with a ton of flavour worth trying.

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

Bottle is a beautiful big 1 pint , 9.4 oz.er , corked and caged , with a painting style label of the duchesse.

Appearance: This flanders red poured a very deep shade , with some purple and brown mixed with it's styles characteristic crimson color. The head was of small proportion , almost tan, with some slick lace.

Smell: An acidic but not overpowering scent with some wine-like qualities, wood/oak, some red fruit hints like dark cherries, and just a touch of apple.

Taste: Where do i start... wonderful flavor in this beer , lots of complexity. Some tart and lightly vinegary flavor of red fruits gushes over the tongue, cherry moves to an apple quality that is soon covered in and mixed with perfectly balanced malty sweet layers, chocolate , vanilla/creamy, caramel, then some oak and a flash of fruit in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Kinda creamy and full , yet very refreshing

Drinkability: A superb beer , one of those beers that makes you feel like you've just expanded your beer horizions further again. Awesome complexity and balance , very unique. The mix of tart fruit and sweet flavors was very unexpected and memorable , ah Duchesse you tell of what beer can do.

It also paired very well with some dark chocolates with ginger inside.

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

From a just-shy-of 12oz bottle, poured into a standard cabernet wineglass. Part of a food/ wine pairning.

Poured with a slight brown- tinged head; the beer color has a mid- caramel with red undertones. The smell itself is amazing- a hundred different smells pull you in multiple directions; you get just a hint of the fruity tartness that lies under the surface;
The sip is a little tart and malty at the same time; there's a full toffee/ caramel feel and a syrupy sensation, but none of these aspects are overdone; they are restrained just the right amount to let the dried tart cherry taste underneath through; the tartness is 'almost' masterfully balancing the sweetness; I would have preferred a hair less.

I thought this was a great beer when I tasted it alone; then I had it with food.... oh my gawd.
The meal was a pork tenderloin with a portabella/ shallot/ cream sauce (if anyone wants, beermail me and I'll share the recipie). The underlying sweetness matched nicely with the shallot/ cream sauce, and the muskiness of the beer and that of the mushrooms were perfect together; The tartness/ cherry sensation was less pronounced but still detectable with food. mmm....

anyway, overall, this is a fantastic beer. Alone, a single bottle can occupy you for an extended period of time; however, it would be tough to have more than one (kind of like very how you can only take so much rich chocolate) at a sitting. I can see how it's probably not for everybody; Definitely try it with food, especially something with cream or that has similar body.

Photo of LargeCrab
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of Jefe76
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%

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

11.2-oz. bottle poured into a 22-oz snifter.

A = Pours a deep red almost like stained cherry. Frothy off white head.

S = Sour dough bread, malt, sweet and sour notes. Very complex.

T = Great example of the style. Starts with a lot of tartness, then brings on undertones of sweet flavors.

M = Great medium-heavy body. Light carbonation.

D = This is a very distinctive beer and I'll gladly drink this again.

Photo of Ed2
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of mooseo
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

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

Didn't know what to expect with this one. But i'll compare it to Scarlett Johansson since she was in the Girl with a Pearl Earring.

Poured a foamy white one finger head, Reddish brown. Probaly like Birdy's hair would have been in The man who wasn't there if it was in color.

Smells funky, red wine, vinegary, Like how Steve Buscemi's Apartment must have smelled in Ghost World.

I actually like the taste of this it alternates between supersweet and tart sour taste, very complex, keeps you guessing, Kind of like the Island, not a great movie, but she's hot in it.

Alternating tart and sweet finish, good enough body, leaves me feeling uneasy, but I want more, like Match Point or Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Did I mention Scarlett Johansson's hot?

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

Popular with the ladies!

How come no one has created a "best historical ruler beer" thread yet, i.e. Duchessese De Bourgogne, Kate the Great, etc?

Cinnamon red color with a decent tan head. Retains a thin skim that leaves spashy lace in it's wake. Expiration 6/10.

Smells like apple vinegar and making Ukrainian Easter eggs with my mom. That however opens the door to cherry infused malty bread pudding sweetness and a whole world of depth.

Sweet caramel covered cherries with a sour tinge. Bits of sour bob up and down just to mess with me. As the sour fades from the aroma it seems to seep into the taste creating a circular pattern of intrigue between sour and sweet. Delicate but outgoing mouthfeel.

My biggest qualm with this beer is inconstancy. It's my girlfriend's favorite beer so I drink it alot but it's rarely the same twice. Sometimes sour takes center stage, sometimes sweet, sometimes its perfectly balanced and unilateral (which is when Duchesse is at her best). Sometimes I think I just haven't figured out an aging schedule, sometimes I think it's just an off bottle.

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

Beautiful burgundy brown infused with ruby highlights and multitudes of streaming bubbles that form a thin but lasting head. The smell was a little sweet initially, but rapidly changes to a very winelike aroma. Flavor is great. Sourness up front, grapes and tart cherries, caramel malt backing that does't quite balance the tartness and a lingering vinous mouthpuckering semi-dry finish. Very good. The tartness builds with each beer so if you are planning on making this a session keep some palate cleanser handy.

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

A: Deep mahogany colored body, slightly opaque in clarity, with soft brown highlights. Effervescent head builds quickly producing a rich tan one finger head that readily disintegrates leaving a lathery film -- still manages to create a decent lacing pattern.

S: Red table wine aroma at first glance moving to soured fruits like plums, apples, and white grapes. A sugary sweetness moves in shortly after, reminiscent of the charred sugary crust of a creme brulee.

T: Half sour light fruits as witnessed in the aroma, pears, plums, apples, and white grapes. Again, after the initial whiff of fruit, sugary malts come into play with toasted caramel and artificial sugar, saccharin, sweetness trailing off into a tart finish.

M: Light to medium bodied, decent carbonation, vaguely syrupy, and leaving off tart and dry.

D: Sour ales just really appeal to me, I found that this beer is incredibly palletable, and just kept me wanting more.

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

"Exp. date: Jul 2011"

A. Pours a brownish-amber with a creamy tan head.
S. Sweet malt with sour cherries on oak with some musty farmhouse smells.
T. Tastes like a lambic with malt as the fruity focus (rather than cherries or raspberries). A nice level of tartness with an ample sweet malt profile that balances nicely. Some subtle cherry and oak flavors also come through.
M. Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation - just enough to pick the tartness up off of the tongue.
D. Wonderful. This is a wonderful sour that I could definitely see myself picking up again - especially since it's now available at the grocery store I regularly shop at.

Photo of FFreak
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%

Bottle dated 'Best by' 4-29-2015. Poured into willy glasses and shared with a friend.

This has a beautiful dark reddish brown color, like cherry cola or root beer, with an ample off-white head that persists throughout leaving tons of lacing.

Smell is of cherries and sour grapes with some funky yeastiness. Very interesting.

Taste is just wonderful. It's so different than anything I've had before. It has very vinous qualities and leans a little towards vinegar, but in a very subtle way that leaves the underlying cherry and plum flavors intact. It makes you think sour, but its actually sweet and fruity at the same time.

Mouthfeel is also very interesting. Almost has a champagne-like carbonation, somewhat fizzy, but still soft. It tends to make you want to sip it even though it's not big at all.

Overall, this is one of the most interesting beers I've ever experienced. Takes the experience to a new, different level. Well worth trying.

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,567 ratings.