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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

3,352 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,352
Reviews: 1,369
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 155
Gots: 382 | 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
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Ratings: 3,352 | Reviews: 1,369 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of UberWasser
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brown bottle served in a snifter.

Freshness date is 27/05/05, so this beer is about a year beyond that. And from what I've noticed in the reviews, the Freshness date is set about two years after bottling...so this bottle was capped back in 03, most likely.

The bottle popped nicely, but upon the pour, the reddish brown beer is topped by a very small and fizzy head. There is no retention to be spoken of, leaving it looking flat in the glass. But the color is nice. I am worried that time has flattened my beer, though, as I move on to the sniff.

Which pleases me greatly. It smells a bit...old. Not in a bad way, though. When you combine it with the winey, fruity, vinegary and woody scents that rise from the glass it makes me feel like I'm walking through an old wine cellar, with all of those aromas permeating the air.

Now what really surprises me is that when I take a sip, my mouth is filled with a warm prickley carbonation...where was all of this when I poured it? Seems to have worked itself stubbornly in the beer, only to be released as it slips between the lips. Its the perfect sensation to go with the fruity, champagne-like flavors that dominated the front and middle of the mouth. This fruity and grapey character lasts until a few seconds after the swallow as a pleasant just-ripened raspberry tartness rises to provide some drying balance. This taste lingers for some time, with a slightly twiggy, woody flavor slowly unfolding to mingle.

This is a beer that just plain works...not sure what it would be like fresh, I will have to find another bottle, but I am glad I took the risk grabbing this one, because it was quite the experience.

UberWasser, Aug 06, 2006
Photo of SuperSpy
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A brown-red color, an almost coca-cola like head. Head retention is a little on the weak side but it does retain a nice foam cap and there is some good lacing.

S - The aroma is tart and acidic with hints of sour cherries and raspberries.

T/M - The flavor is tart and sweet but finishes nutty and earthy with a hint of oak. There is plum and dark cherries. The beer is light and tingly which pairs extremely well with the tart flavor.

D - I could sip this all night. A great Flanders Red.

SuperSpy, Sep 19, 2010
Photo of scott451
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 350ml bottle into a Duvel tulip. Clear dark reddish brown with a big tan head which soon diminishes to a persistent thin layer. Strong lacing. Very light carbonation.

A very evident sourness in the smell. A nice sweet and sour balance in the taste. Lots going on here. Some woody flavours - very mellow though. Hints of fruit. A long finish

Mouthfeel is very creamy but fairly light. The light carbonation goes well with the sweet sour finish. Very drinkable

scott451, Sep 28, 2010
Photo of Boto
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draught @ Eulogy: This one pours a very dark, ruby red color. There was almost no head or lacing on mine. Nice sour aroma. Hints of cherries to it. The taste is quite good. It has a mainly sour malty taste, with some residual sweetness. Sour cherries and apples are prevalent, but not overpowering. Very Good!

Boto, Aug 03, 2007
Photo of fostachild
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours an awesome clear dark brown/red color with a good amount of light tan/offwhite head - nice lacing afterwards.

smell is nice - super sour, alcohol. sweetness - tons of fruit/berries.

tastes delicious. sour, sweet, fruit, wine, slight alcohol. interesting balance and well done. enjoyed this a ton! definitely recommend trying one out.

fostachild, Aug 19, 2011
Photo of beertunes
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served in a Chalice. Thin light tan head that dissipates quickly. A quite lovely deep brown with a reddish tint. Strong vinegar aroma. Flavor has the vinegar, but not as noticeably as the aroma. That musky, deep flavor is quite enjoyable. A sharp, wine like taste. I'm having trouble finding descriptors that fit the taste of this beer. The body is solid if a little thin. Very drinkable, if these flavors fit you. I enjoy this beer a lot, even though I have a difficult time describing it.

beertunes, Feb 06, 2009
Photo of photomike
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a beautiful beer. Pours a deep, deep clear red with a 2 finger khaki head. Retention that sticks around like my annoying neighbor Joe. Guy never leaves! Thick, long lasting lacing like I've never seen.

Smell is of vinegary, sour apples, slightly vinuous, like a dry Riesling.

The taste is incredible. The vinegary apples are definitely there and prominent, but this is a complex beer. On the forefront is very noticeable funk--I have actually heard people use the words "sweaty socks" to describe this taste, and I'm surprisingly comfortable with that given my distaste for using really unappetizing terms to describe a beer's flavor. The funk fits, and doesn't stick around too long. Immediately following the wave of funk, your palate is hit with some sourness that quickly turns into a really pleasant smooth sweetness, and then a nice sour finish. Man I am loving this.

Smooth and creamy, and perfectly carbonated, I am actually getting a bit of chewiness. Not as clean as I expected it to be, but that is not a bad thing.

I could drink a lot of this, but it is definitely one to be savored. I will be disappointed to see the bottom of this glass. If only it would stick around as long as Joe. Get out you damn fool!!!

photomike, Apr 14, 2009
Photo of slayer3604
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

a- thick, lasting white head, with a bronze/brown body with filthy lacing and churns of carbonation.

s- tart lactic cherry cola, a wiff of effervescence and the TINIEST hint of vinegar.

T- Mild, but full of flavor. a crisp hint of cherry, taffy, sour cream, fig and toffee. I really wish it was more tart and acidic! such a good beer for 10.99 a 750ml though.

m- light, but when you swish it around it becomes a lathery crusade upon thine palate. nice dry finish.

d- i could drink this shit up every day of the week. well....i order beer so why not? *marks down one case of duchesse for wednesday's delivery*.

slayer3604, May 17, 2009
Photo of kaseydad
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I picked up the Duchesse after many times passing her by due to the uncertainty. My wife picked her up for me at Whole Foods and unfortunately it was placed facing the cold box near an auxillary vent...of heat...which was keeping cheese cold. Go figure.

After 24 hours in the cold, the Duchesse and I had our rendezvous.

Being my first Flanders Red Ale, she went easy. She poured a nice reddish brown color with a single layer of foam. A light carbonation was also present.

She yielded a major vinegar aroma with a whisp of cherry in the background.

She tasted of a sweet vinegar on the initial sip with a nice sweetness on the back of the tongue and lips. A very intriguing taste for a newbie to this style.

It was a nice refreshing brew to some of the others I have tried in the past and is very drinkable if you can get past the ever-present vinegar smell.

kaseydad, Feb 12, 2009
Photo of EnemyWithin
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle with exp date of 03/2012 on cork. Poured into Duvel tulip glass on Jan 27, 2012.

Appearance: 5

Dark brown, with hint of dark cherry, body. Pour with a 1 inch dense white head that tender to persist nicely. Actually a great looking beer.

Smell:4

Tart fruit, especially cherry, and prominent sourness, with a slight vinegary note, dominates. Mild, appropriate funk detectable. Also get a mild spiced note from yeast. Overall, pleasant aroma that lets you know this is a sour beer.

Taste: 4.5

On first sip, very intriguing and complex. On further tasting, I detect a tart cherry presence, with a slight candy sweetness. This quickly transitions into a more bold pure sourness, with strong persisting cherry fruit notes as well as a touch of lemon. Midway through, there is a soft funk detectable. Flickering faint notes of spice also are present at times.
Finishes relatively cleanly with lingering sour/tart fruit notes. Overall, undoubtly sour, but well balance IMO.

Mouthfeel: 4

Nice soft moderate, somewhat creamy carbonation. Body is mild-moderate thickness, at times feels slightly thin possibly, mainly at the finish. But in the end, this is not a real big deal. Still a good mouthfeel overall.

Overall: 4.5

Great sour beer. Good flavours, with a nice complexity of layers. Sourness is prominent, but not through the roof. Incredibly easy to drink. The alcohol content of 6.2% makes is reasonably to drink a bottle on one’s own. I know that this a beer I will drink frequent to satisfy a sour-craving.
Highly recommend.

EnemyWithin, Jan 28, 2012
Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Medium brown toned body with a foamy beige one finger head.

S - Tangy and tart, also fruity and fresh. Some grainy scents are there too.

T - Alot of fruit tartness like cherries and possible red grape/apple. This beer is also acidic and has wine like qualities. The alcohol is smooth and crisp. The back of the tongue gets some wood aftertaste and the beer has some sour dryness to it as well.

M - Very effervescent and clean mouthfeel. The beer has a lighter-medium body and is very smooth and refreshing.

Notes - I enjoy sours and this is one of my favorites of the type. Its always good, easy to drink and just an overall quality choice.

BeerForMuscle, Mar 08, 2011
Photo of hagbergl
4.36/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

750 mL green bottle into my Rodenbach Grand Cru glass. This is the first time I have had a full glass of this beer, so I'm interested to see how it compares to other great Flanders Reds, like the Bruery's Oude Tart and, of course, Rodenbach Grand Cru.

Appearance (4/5): The Duchesse pours a dark red-brown with a rocky, slightly choppy tan/light brown head. Lots of soapy lacing on the sides of the glass when I tilt it. Beautiful color; wish there was more head to top it off, but that's nitpicking a little too much.

Smell (4.5/5): VERY DISTINCT: The Duchesse has a pronounced balsamic vinegar smell to it that is unlike other sours I've smelled. Black pepper, blackberry, black cherries, pomegranate are prominent notes, too. Very interesting and unusual.

Taste (4.5/5): Very fruity: blackberry and pomegranate in the front, the beer resolves into a slightly vinegary, mildly sour finish. Sweet to start, but the beer dries out nicely and regains some of its tartness in the finish. Not noticing much of the balsamic character that I picked up in the nose in the taste. That’s fine with me, though!

Mouthfeel (3.75/5): Duchesse de Bourgogne is slicker and smoother than most sours (this due to a medium carbonation level). While it doesn't necessarily make the beer LESS drinkable, a higher carbonation level would really give this beer a boost. Could this be due to a bottle that's been sitting around a while? Maybe. But I'm reviewing the beer I have in my hand. Next time I pick this beer up maybe it'll be different.

Overall (4.25/5): Duchesse is a very good Belgian sour that gets a lot right: it has a great balance of tart and sweet, an excellent nose, and looks very nice in the glass. I do wish it featured better carbonation for sure, but that doesn't detract too much from the beer's overall quality. Very good, and I concur with others on BA that this is a good introductory sour.

hagbergl, Jun 05, 2014
Photo of Roguer
4.36/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a beautiful light brown from the bottle, resulting in a deep mahogany brew in the glass. Thick, three fingers of light tan head. Nice retention, and scattered lacing. Beer is actually fairly clear when held up to the light, with a dark garnet highlight.

Sour aroma from the pour, implying a vinegary taste. There's a light, floral note, along with wood, and some fruity and yeasty appearances. Mostly drowned out by the sourness.

As is typical with this style, the flavor is far more balanced and nuanced than the powerful aroma. Sweet and sour are present in equal amounts: a light touch of vinegar, wood, flowers, honey, dark fruit, pecans, wheat, and yeast.

Very lively, with a nice sting, and a solid puckering effect. Medium feel, but full in flavor.

Flanders red-brown ales never fail to impress and satisfy me, and this is no exception. Exceptionally delicate and nuanced, this is a fantastic brew, and should be accessible and drinkable even to sour novices.

Roguer, Feb 05, 2014
Photo of oh_sacred_hops
4.36/5  rDev +4.8%

oh_sacred_hops, Sep 25, 2014
Photo of abeeronthebeach
4.36/5  rDev +4.8%

abeeronthebeach, Jul 23, 2013
Photo of Sirwootalot
4.36/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the bulldog downtown in minneapolis, mn.

Pours a rich, dark ebony-brown with a nearly nonexistent pure white head. The smell is borderline unpleasant, like dirty underwear or rotting flowers. Each sip is elegantly, richly layered with notes of berries, balsamic vinegar, and dry malt. It's utterly delicious, and the taste evolves to an earthier, maltier molasses as it lingers on the tongue. If there are hops, they are utterly undetectable. The mouthfeel is sweet, silky, and slightly astringent.

Overall, this is a fantastic beer that makes me feel like i should be dressing up and pairing it with a cigar; it's easily the tastiest sour i've had to date and a new favorite. I'd score it even higher if it didn't smell so odd.

Sirwootalot, Jun 19, 2013
Photo of Todd
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 250ml brown bottle. Freshness date on the back. Gorgeous artwork on the label.

Appearance: Deep brown/ruby red beer with an active carbonation level and a bitty, pillowy, off-white sticky head with incredible staying power.

Smell: Soft, acidic, wine-like and oak aromas.

Taste: Smooth and soft up-front. Medium-bodied, at times even chewy. A tart flavour begins to build, and in parallel does a malt one. Tart flavours are like sweet ripe cherries with an underlying wine acidic quality that eventually goes metallic on the palate. Citric lime-like flavours mingle in with the fruity cherry. Malt flavours range from sweet caramel to chocolate and seem to flux in and out, with mild bready notes. The finish is clean despite everything going on, with trace malt and fruit flavours.

Notes: I must pause for a moment and thank the beer gods ...

At the top of my list for incredibly complex and unique beers. There's so much going on, and the combination of sweet and tart is like a damn art performance in the mouth. Definitely one of those "wow!" beers that proves how intricate a beer can actually be.

This particular sample was brought over from Belgium in 03/2000. Like other Flanders reds, this beer was also aged in oaken casks.

Todd, Oct 15, 2001
Photo of Dantheman4162
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is one of my original reviews, so i regret that its not as detailed as I would hope.
Poured from a 750 ml bottle
Reddish brown ale, Very sweet, almost wine like. a little tart after-taste. It was a very good beer and I highly recommend it. I'm going to need to try this one again.

Dantheman4162, Jan 13, 2009
Photo of dwren89
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: reddish mahogany, sticky, foamy off white head, good clarity

Aroma: funky barnyard smell, musty, fruit sweetness, slight sour notes and acetic nature

Taste: barnyard Brett character, mustiness, slight fruit character, yeast does the hard driving of flavor here, malt provides a canvas for the yeast to paint the picture

Mouthfeel: moderate carbonation, smooth character, medium body,

Overall Impression: A truly different sort of Flanders Red primary driven by its Brett yeast character and subsequent musty, barnyard flavors. Berry fruitiness plays in the background as well as malt sweetness. Hops round out but are not noticed in flavor or aroma.

dwren89, Jun 12, 2013
Photo of Metalmonk
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a large Gulden Draak tulip glass. Foamy bone-white head that all but disappears in a minute or so. Beautiful lace and gorgeous deep red-brown color, can just barely see through it.

Complex aromas, with tartness full-on and up-front. Black and sour cherries mingle with hints of rhubarb. Or a just-opened bag of soft Sweet Tarts candy. Also getting some funk in the background (like the yeasty funk in the amazing Flemish Primitive Wild Ale).

Cherry tartness dominates the flavor with some oak barrel woodiness. Delicious and highly drinkable. Pleasing dryness in back. Full body, with sourness coating the mouth. Robust enough to feel like an ale, but only just. Undeniably delicious.

Metalmonk, Feb 05, 2006
Photo of Rutager
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 330cl bottle with a bb date of 28/07/2013

Appearance. Pours a rich and deep red-amber with almost a finger of off-white head that settles, but sticks around and leaves some nice chunky lace.

Smell. Sour cherries and spoiled apples and banannas with a bit of woody funk. It smells better than that sounded...

Taste. Cherries again along with strawberries, sweet apples, a little malt vinegar and just a bit of musty funk and fresh cut hardwood.

Mouthfeel. Medium body, full carbonation.

Overall. Great stuff. Maybe just a little sweet, but tastes gooood.

Rutager, Mar 14, 2012
Photo of Beejay
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A brown pour but Dark Ruby Brown in the glass. Just beautiful color and clarity. Nice off white head on the top, which gently settles into a foam, then bubbles with a stronger ring.

S: Slightly tart with oak notes, and vinegar. Some raspberry or other dark berries in there as well.

T: Tart at first, but this leads to a sweet berry flavor. Tart at first, but not overpowering, then a gently, though strong sweet flavor. Absolutely interesting and one of a kind.

M: Very nice. Clean on the palate, no weird aftertastes. Carbonation is extremely high, though that works for this style. Perhaps a little harshness in the back of the throat as it warms.

D: Just a very nice beer. Both aggressive and mellow. A strange combination, and one I wish I had a few more bottles of. Very nice.

Beejay, Jun 24, 2010
Photo of Px2GrafX
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

presentation: 11.2oz. bottle with a black label on the front displaying a rennaisance painting of what is assumed to be the duchesse de bourgogne. she has a bird on her finger. a lot of belgian text. "flemish art of brewing" on top of label. 6.2%abv is displayed and there is a best before date of: 17-03-06. the back label says this is "blended with between 8 and 18 month old beers following careful maturation in oak casks".

appearance: pours a deep dark red with a light tan head in a tulip glass. beautiful ruby read highlights and looks a lot like a less opaque red wine. head is a nice 1" fluffy head that drops to a patchy capper after a few minutes. laces very well.

smell: first smell is sour and wine-like. woody and there are some other fruit aromas. grapes and cherries. lightly spicy aroma typical of a lot of belgians.

taste: sour cherries overlying a lightly woody undertone. champagne-like flavors as well. not much hop bitterness. caramelly sweet mixes with champagne and wine and bready flavors. quite a lot going on here. finish is sweet and sour and inviting.

mouthfeel: very creamy medium-heavy body. surprising. very smooth with a silky smooth swallow. carbonation balances the smoothness well. excellent mouthfeel.

drinkability: drinkability is good but seems to be more of a sipper. alcohol is well hidden. taste and finish make this an inviting drink, but the champagne-like creamy mouthfeel and sourness slows the drinking down a bit. slow drinking, but very easy to drink.

overall: this is an amazing red ale. i have to get some more of this. i wonder how it will change over a year. nice sweet and sour flavors remind me of what a fruit beer should taste like. complex now and maybe even more so after laying down. a must try.

Px2GrafX, Sep 19, 2005
Photo of 80x2HopHead
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%

80x2HopHead, Yesterday at 11:50 PM
Photo of rarbring
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A clear red ruby beer, a small off-white head, some lacing and good curtains.

The smell is cask y oak, red vinegar, some cured meat and stable.

The taste is sweet, but fresh, fruity, dark bread, red vinegar, some acetic acid notes.

A light carbonation, small foamy bubbles, soft and refreshing, a light sour dry finish.

A very invigorating and well balanced Flemish red ale. This was beer 1000 here at beeradvocate.

rarbring, Nov 12, 2011
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,352 ratings.