Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

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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 ADZA
3.63/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a dark ruby colour with nice carbonation that leaves a one finger head,it has a real sherry,port,winish smell about it with aromas of dark cherry,raisins and brown vinegar aswell,it has nice mouthfeel that feels heavy at first then finishes quite light with a sour,bitter/sweet finish that has tastes of blackberries and some raspberries and definately has alot of similar characteristics as a fine port,i quite enjoyed this beer but dont think i could drink it all night.

Photo of skotster13
3.62/5  rDev -13%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Wow! Immediately you notice it's wicked viscosity. I wondered if it was liquid bread. The head was wonderful, though a bit disconcerting as areas of different color and texture appeared as I let the head settle. The smell of it was almost like barley-wine, though not too overpowering. The taste was magnificent, very well balanced. You can taste the woodtones immediately, but the aftertaste is very pleasant, smooth. The only thing that put me off a bit was the mouthfeel...like you almost had to coax the beer ouot of the glass...halfway to yogurt it felt at times, though it mellowed out on the tongue. All around worth fighting through it at least once...MAN UP!

Photo of Absumaster
3.62/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A red brown beer with a very small head to begin with and little carbonation.

Smell of oak, with distinct acidic notes and caramel which remind me of sweet-sour cherries.

Taste is fruity and complex with sour cherries, oak and a little citrus. The beer is fresh and has very little bitterness. Mouthfeel is sticky and syrupy, that make it taste like cherrie flavored lemonade or hard candy. The sourness is overruled by the sweetnes and I feel that this beer is somewhat artificial. Body is full which inhibits drinkability.

Photo of Arinthos
3.62/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle. Best by mar. 2013 poured a redish murky brown excess proteins contributed to a chill haze. Smell of abundant fruit such as apple pear currant and soft bready yeast. Tastaste is overwhelmingly cider like very unlike a lambic or other sour beers this is more of a sweet and kinda sour expierence. Mouthfeel was light yet a bit syrupy and carbonation was minimal and head was not around for more than 10 seconds. Overall it was a good example of the style but not my cup of beer and would probabaly not revisit. I will say though this is a grow on you type of flavor.

Photo of froghop
3.62/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours a clear brown with a small tan head, and little to no lacing.

smell is of wild yeast, some malt, and dark fruit.

taste is a bit watery, slightly sour, a little sweetness in the back, dark fruits and cherries, malt, and salmon berry, ends a little tart.

Photo of Brabander
3.62/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I drank this beer purely by coincidence this evening. I went for a walk in the town where i live and i saw my cousin Barry in a bar. Went in and got this beer from him.

From tap in the original glass the beer does not look spectacular. A deep darkred colour and the head disappears very fast. No carbonation visible.

Smell has some sourness but not unpleasant. The taste is like a sour ale, not my style but reasonable drinkable.

Photo of rajendra82
3.62/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Green (Ack!) Champagne style 750 ml. bottle with a wire cage, and an best by date of Oct 2007 printed on the cork. The body was dark red - bordering on brown, clear, fizzy, and topped with a two finger foamy beige head. The aroma was a complex mix of wood glue, soured cherries, saffron, floral hops, and a touch of hay. The taste was light, fruity, and airy. The flavor was sweet-sour like granny smith apples, pickles, vinegar, and whipped cream. The yeast presented itself as an earthy and slightly spicy background tone. Mouthfeel was very light and delicate. Towards the end the sweetness got quite a bit cloying, but I think this was an intentional effect using NutraSweet (or so I’ve heard).

I can see the craft in this beer, and the tangent that it has traveled along. It hasn’t gone so far as to become a malt vinegar flavored alco-pop, but is has flirted close enough to avoid frequent visits. Extra points for being gutsy.

Photo of teddibrewski
3.61/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I dont write too many ratings but people seem to be all over with this one, so im kind of excited for this one, Picked it up in belgium for 1.60 euros.. Hear goes, pours dark red smells like red wine vinegar... its a little to sour for me but I started to get used to it as i drank more of it. Not bad overall

Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.61/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Incredibly sweet smelling brew. There's a good vinegar smell to it. Smells like a sweet red wine vinegar - how puzzling.

Dark root beer color, seems clear, good-sized foamy head.

As expected it is oddly sweet. Soy sauce comes to mind, as well as vinegar. Good bit of tartness grows to battle with the sweet. Brown sugar sweetness, or maybe it's more like a Port with its syrup sweetness and accompanying viscosity. Finish lingers with sweetness and an overall funky feeling in the mouth. Very interesting and fun to have tried.

Reminds me of the one Oud Bruin I've had: too sweet and very peculiar. I had a Flanders Red at a homebrew competition and it was twice as tart and not half as sweet. I liked it a lot. This one is just borderline undrinkable to me. I suppose my palate is too young for the likes of Flanders.

Photo of tronester
3.61/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark red with a medium tan head that fades away pretty quickly. Smells of vinegar primarily with some maraschino cherries. Taste is quite unique. The beer is quite sweet tasting, with a balancing tart and sourness from the vinegar like flavors. The beer seems to share a lot in common taste wise with a sweet wine. The bitterness is very low. Mouthfeel is medium with medium carbonation.

This is quite an interesting beer. I've heard you either love it or hate it. Well, I am somewhat in the middle of the road. While the taste was pretty good, I think I would start to grow tired of it after a glass. Nevertheless, still a good choice if you want a more obscure style.

Photo of samshaw
3.61/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Medium umber hue, mostly opaque, but a clearer garnet on the edges of the glass. Not particularly viscous. Very thin head that dissipates quickly.

S: Strong vinegar aroma with hints of fruit and berry.

T: Fruit taste much more pronounced, with strong cherry flavor. Much less vinegary on the tongue.

M: Medium body with moderate carbonation.

O: Tasty and refreshing with its slightly dominant vinegar note in scent its only major drawback.

Photo of vette2006c5r
3.61/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Duchesse De Bourgogne pours a very dark reddish color with very little head. There is a wine like aroma, with sour fruit notes. The taste is much the same sour grape flavors, sweeter, similar to a wine. Full flavors and nice body, still a nice beer to sip. Overall a very nice sour ale.

Photo of SeanChouffe
3.61/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep red/brown color with an off white head. The head diminished almost immediately and left a thin sticky lace. The aroma is tart and more like wine than beer -- cider vinegar smell. The taste is tart like a cider. The mouthfeel was somewhat complex: tart at the beginning with a dry middle and an astringent finish.

I have had this beer a couple of times. It does not appear to bee a good representation of the style, but a style of itself. An interesting experience.

Photo of weeare138
3.6/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appears a semi-transparent red auburn with an off white head that fades into a mild collar.
Smell is of tart cherries, caramel, vanilla, oak, rhubarb, and bacteria.
Taste is of the same with oaky berries, brown sugar, and grassy, minty leaves.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, syrupy, sugary oak, and cherry flavors lingering.

Photo of Dawkfan
3.6/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Pours a deep burgundy, 1 finger cream colored head that reduces to a thin layer, a good amount of lacing left on my tulip.

S - Apples is the first thing I get, possibly some other sour fruit notes from pears and cherries. Definitely a vinegar sting as well.

T - Not as sour as I would of expected from my impressions of the nose. There's a fair amount of sweetness & woodiness mixed with the sour/vinegar taste that help balance this one out.

M - Medium body, highly carbonated, and fairly dry.

D - I've had this before and I didn't really like it, but I'm fairly new to this game and my palate has adjusted. I didn't mind it this time around, but 1 is enough for me.

Photo of harrymel
3.6/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Best by: 11/30/2011
Poured to NB globe.

A: Cherry finished mahogany with superb clarity. The peanut, two finger head dissipates quickly to sheet which creeps up the sides. Good lacing.

S: Acetic, sweet, apple skin, hints of soy sauce. Orange glaze sauce. Nicer than the first time.

T: Sweet and sour. Very clean white vinegar with a blend of apple cider vinegar in there. Good flavor to pair with a meal.

M: Medium mouthfeel, low carbonation. Slightly drying.

D: One of the more sessionable sours available. Not a beer I would recommend without a meal to go with it. This is not a good beer to be had alone IMO. I would recommend with chinese or japanese. Maybe even some indian dishes. Would also pair with saucy BBQ.

Photo of saintwarrick
3.6/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a wine-like garnet color with a medium sized white head, foamy around the edge. Aroma is like a vinegar dressing, not entirely sour, sort of like overripe fruit mixed with a merlot. The wine comparisons carry over to the taste, which starts out sweet like grapes before going sour, giving the beer a balance regarding those two characteristics. It's an odd sour, wine-like taste not present in other Belgian brew like classic lambics or gueuze. Easily the most wine-like beers I have ever had and one of the most unique.

Photo of jrallen34
3.6/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I drank this from a 750 ml bottle into a chalice.

This poured a light brown, almost a coca-cola that had its ice melted. It had a brown head that went away quickly with little lacing.

This beer is totally overwhelmed by its flavor which is dominated by vinegar. It is very tart with light notes of cherry.

It tastes ok, but the smell overshadows the taste. It is a light complex flavor, but nothing special for this red.

Photo of KevT
3.59/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I am just starting to experiment with sours, so my frame of reference for this style is not as big as with other styles. The beer has a dark, brick-red color with a wispy head. Nose was vinegary although not unpleasant. Taste not as sour as the nose would make you think it would be and it finished with cherries and a little caramel sweetness.

Photo of dogfishandi
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle at cellar temp poured into a bulb style glass. best before date: 02/02/2013

pours out a pretty crystal clear deep red color with some soapy off white head. thick foam. some nice thick retention. some webby lace. i was expecting some sort of yeast in the bottle, but there was none.

the intial aroma is full of vinegar. also some musty funk, sweet fruits, alcohol esters. just a hint of a nuttiness.

again, lots of vinegar. musty funk, just lightly acidic with some sourness, but nothing really mouth puckering. sweet malts, sweet and tart cherries and a bit of other fruit, mostly dark. some nutty, woodiness towards the finish.

a good feel on the palate, some good, bright carbonation. medium bodied. almost feels like a lambic, just a light sugary feel.

not super drinkable, one and done. i prolly wouldnt buy this again. i didnt really enjoy the vinegar and the nuttiness, but some good complexity.

Photo of bonbright7
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was glad the other reviewers cleared up what I was thinking about this ale: Was it ale or hard cider? I bought this on a whim at Whole Foods in Jericho NY while trying to follow up on the great beers of Beligum in the tradition of Westmalle, etc.

The creamy head with bubbles overflowed with an apple/champagne taste that was so strange in a delightful way I continued to explore the whole 750ml. I put it down for while and came back to see if it would change.

As no change came with time, I thought this would be great with pork or with a spiced ham.

Photo of Fish113d
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle poured chilled into a tulip glass

Pours a dark mahogony color with ruby tint. Head is thin, but a bit "lofty" (it is like a cloud in the sky) Off-white to tan color head. Decent light getting through. Decent.

Aroma is mainly of fruits (strawberries and cherries) with a strong oak wood dry aroma. Some vanilla also hits my nose as does a bit of alcohol. Maybe a bit of vinegar.

Definitely suits the style. A cherry-to-rasberry flavor up front along with a bit of oak barrel flavor. Alcohol is also on the menu as is a bit of a slight metallic taste that doesn't go well with me. Reminds me of champagne. I expected something a bit different I guess.

Thin body with a champagne quality feel. Bubbly on my tongue with a bit of alcohol biting me quick! Decent aftertaste though of souring cherries.

Overall drinkability? Not bad. I've had better in the style, but solid. The metallic flavor has me thrown a bit...maybe a "bad" batch. I'd have another just to see.

Photo of DagenhamDavis
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

My first 'sour' beer, so take that as you will. So weird! It tastes like a lambic, a Lindemans' Framboise, for example, but without the raspberry. It smells and tastes a bit like vinegar and wine, too. Complex and tasty with something of a metallic finish.
Honestly, It's a lot to get used to. I can't really see someone drinking this on the daily considering the substantial taste and cost ($6.10/bottle) . I will try again if I can find it fresh. This bottle was a little past its prime, and was probably not properly 'cellared' in the supermarket for a good 9 months...
Cheers to Flanders and the Duchesse- try it! You'll certainly be trying something unique.

Photo of UncleJimbo
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at The Sunset in Boston.

This beer poured a clear, dark brown color with creamy, tan foam that settled flat. The smell was a modest but pleasant lightly tart aroma. The taste had a mild tartness with some fruitiness (cherries) and a bit of dried fruit. There was a hint of tangy sweetness and some sour caramel flavor in the finish. The mouthfeel was tart and crisp with medium body and modest carbonation. The flavor lingered only briefly. This was a decent Flanders Red ale, but I expected more from it. The flavor and aroma seemed somewhat muted compared to others of this style. I will have to give this one a try out of a bottle sometime soon.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy cinnabar with orange highlights and a considerable amount of uprushing carbonation. The small, airysoft, golden beige head has a featureless surface and a less than impressive lifespan. A thin ring of delicate lace indicates the high water mark of the head, and a series of vertical streamers run down to the deflating cap. Although the color of the liquid is great, not much else impresses.

Duchesse is the most vinegar-like beer that I've ever smelled. It isn't overwhelmingly vinegary, but if I caught it in the midst of deterioration, I wouldn't have wanted to pop the cap much farther along. There's also a funky, sour cherry aroma that I find appealing. On repeated sniffs, the cider vinegariness isn't all that bad. If it's that dominant on the palate, though, I smell trouble.

Vinegar is still noticed... and still stops just short of being a deal breaker. I would love to taste DDB fresh so that I wouldn't keep flashing back to coloring Easter eggs as a kid. This bottle is still more than a month away from its 'best by' date, so maybe it's supposed to taste like this. It's puckeringly sour and acidic with sour cherries still running rampant. I'd be amazed if cherries didn't play some role in the brewing process.

As I get deeper into the glass, I can appreciate a fairly significant sweetness that's all the more noticeable because of the medium-full, lightly viscous mouthfeel. The seltzer-like carbonation feels out of place, but it does keep things from bogging down and becoming overly syrupy. It also eliminates much in the way of mouthcoating; the finish is surprisingly clean.

I'm conflicted about Duchesse De Bourgogne. I can taste the outlines of what must be an incredible Flanders red, but this particular bottle tastes like it's on the cusp of the point of no return. Even though it's still drinkable, I'm convinced that the Duchesse and I haven't met in the most optimal of circumstances. I'll keep an eye out and will give a younger, more vivacious version a second review.

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