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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

3,602 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,602
Reviews: 1,425
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 175
Gots: 522 | FT: 11
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: 3,602 | Reviews: 1,425
Photo of unclejimbay
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was my first notably sour beer to date. I enjoyed it much more thnan I thought I would. It was almost to the edge of undrinkable with it's dominant vinegar character. It was just edgy enough where it kept me sipping more to revist the cherry, fruit and tart notes whispering out of my snifter.

Appearance was ruby red with brillant clarity. Excellent head, retention and lace.
Smell is a bold balsamic and cider vinegar reduction wafting with some red wine and dark fruits (most notably cherries).
Taste as it smells, fruity red wine character greeted by your childhood easter egg dyes of yesteryear. Repeats mellowed balsamic reduction memories over and over again, in a good way, but almost overdone. Almost overdone, but not quite.
Mouthfeel is sour. Tart. Sharp. Medium body & carbonation. Wow this is a very curious and moving target taste.

On the drinkability...
2 of us slit the small bottle. My wife couldn't finish hers. I was hesitant at first, but gladly finished hers up as I warmed up with this strange concotion. In the future I would gladly split a bottle with someone for the right meal, but would not do it solo or too frequently. I would pursue this with the right food pairing or when I have a sour beer craving (a new concept altogether as of today, thanks to Duchesse!)

Seems like it would god very well with a rich steak, salty meats, subtle balsamic salads or nuts.

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

Poured a clear dark amber brown with an off-white head which lingers and clings to the glass. Aroma of sour lactobacillus and other lambic type bacteria. Slight oak aroma and deep fruity aromas are present. Flavor is unbelievably good. Complex flavors of fruit, malt, subtle sour nature, deep fruit and a lasting slightly sour fruity finish. The body is med-light and very refreshing.

11.2 ounce bottle, best before date of 04/05/04.

Photo of DamienI
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%

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

Not the beer that I was expecting. Poured an almost black brown with a beige frothy head that quickly dissappeared. Smell was intensely strange with raisins, cherries, and balsamic vinegar. I was expecting something sour, but this was indulgently sweet. The taste reminded me very much of the dressing used on a Killed Spinach Salad - Sugar and vinegar are quickly heated in bacon fat and poured over the spinach. That is the taste which solidified wiht me, and not in an offputting way at all.

You've heard the term smooth as silk, and that is an accurate description of the mouthfeel here. No carbonation detectable at all, but somehow a thin film of lace clung to the glass with each sip. Alcohol does not assert itself. This beer was a perfect nightcap after a bottle of La Roja.

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 rob_o_rob
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of dcmchew
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of slayer3604
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
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*.

Photo of Harvest06
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: brownish ruby red, no sedemint,

S: vinegar, tart cherries, caramel malt , sour green apple, slight funk, brown sugar

T: front sweet fruit - cherries & subtle apples, middle vinegar, finish is nice and sour

M: Medium body. Medium carbonation

O: Slightly sweeter than Jacobins. Making it slightly less drinkable.

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

Presentation: 750 Poured into snifter and chalice

Appearance: Dark reddish brown, plenty of carbonation. Moderate sized head with soapy lacing around the edge (in Chimay glass with nucleation point). No lacing in snifter without etching.

Smell: Vinegar malt, dark malt with hints of caramel. Slightly alcoholic in aroma.

Taste: Sweet vinegar, followed by grapes and cherries. A full out candy-sweetness with mild bitterness. Not very complex but the flavors that are out front are absolutely superb.

Mouthfeel: Sweet and smooth with mild but perfect carbonation.

Drinkability: Surprisingly easy to drink. It drinks fast, but its something you want to savor. A super beer overall. The price is a bit steep. Will drink again but not for a while. Ommegang Rogue was a lot more vinegar At 9.99$

Photo of doc_logic
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of Metalmonk
4.39/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Photo of bret27
4.39/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtest of TimB.

Look: Reddish brown, transparent clear w/not much head.

Smell: aged oak, fruity tartness. very fragrant+interesting.

Taste: A lot going on. Tart/sourness, raspberries, oakiness w/aged fruit.

Finish: Oaky then fades to sweet overtones after. Crisp, dry tartness.

Overall: Complex w/various aged beers combined. Didn't even know this was a sour before I tried it and was pleasantly surprised.

Photo of Rickymt72
4.39/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of MeisterBurger
4.39/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep, dark muddy ruby topped by a large bubbled head. The head retention is fantastic on this. Great lacing.

The aroma is sour cherries and beechwood. Almost vinous. The maltiness builds.

The taste is like cream soda in its sweetness. No. It reminds me a lot of the strawberry pop I used to love as a kid. Very dry and woodsy in the finish. Sweet and fruity without being cloying thanks to a sour cherry taste and just a hint of balsamic vinegar. Dry and velvety at the same time. The balance is a little off in the sweet to sour ratio in favour of the sweet. Some lingering toastiness in the aftertaste. Somewhat reminiscent of cranberry juice.

It's medium bodied with a perfect level of carbonation. There's something very creamy about this.

Overall an interesting beer with some sherry like characteristics present in the aroma and taste. It's complex and full flavoured while at the same time very approachable.

I'd definitely get this again.

Photo of wagenvolks
4.39/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked & caged bottle into the appropriate DdB goblet.

Pours an attractive, ruddy amber hue with a clear body that supports a quarter-inch of creamy cappuccino head. Nice retention and spotty lacing left behind. The aroma is absolutely intoxicating, with an acetic tartness of apple flesh that just started to brown before being dipped in caramel. Supporting notes include leather, a hint of pepper, and some barnyard funk.

Oh, yum. Why have I not tried this beer until now? Delicious, delicate notes of toffee and caramel malt join with a drying tartness on the finish that leans toward apple cider and various other dark fruits (e.g., raisin, fig, and plum). I wish the sour flavor matched that of the aroma, as it's a bit subdued in comparison. Still, the well-carbonated body adds some zest to the finish, and the medium consistency is juicy and surprisingly thirst-quenching. Hard to believe, but this made an excellent night cap for a day spent moving furniture in the hot Houston sun. Easily a must-try, and one I'll be sure to have again.

Photo of treehugger02010
4.39/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I don't remember what store I got this from, but it was somewhere is New Jersey. I poured it into a snifter.
Appearance: A brown body that was pretty much translucent with a tan head on top. The retention was great and the lacing was pretty darn good as well.
Smell: A bit of an oxidized aroma, but past that there was dark fruits, mostly tart, hints of a solid malt backbone.
Taste: Very tart, dark fruit, not much hop presence. Not much to say but wonderful.
Mouthfeel: Rigid yet gentile.
Drinkability: Awesome.
Don't drink and review.

Photo of Ek0nomik
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured In: Snifter
Purchased At: Riley's (Madison, WI)

Appearance: Pours a beautiful dark red and brown color with a finger and a half of thin bubbly head. The head is here to stay, with it never quite disappearing. There is still sitting a thin layer of creamy brown sitting on top. The amount of lacing is also quite impressive, with small and medium sized spots scattered across my glass along with a few lines trickling their way down.

Smell: The nose is sour and acidic. The acidity is vinegar like; the sourness is fruit-like, like cherries, raspberries. The smell is really pleasant, I just wish it had a little more punch to it. It's more mellow than I had wanted.

Taste: The palate follows suite with the nose. A sour and acidic wave crosses the palate, with notes of vinegar, plum and cherries. It's enough tartness to almost make me pucker on each sip, but it's not quite there.

Mouthfeel: A medium bodied beer, a bit on the thin side. A nice pleasant level of carbonation right after the pour makes it really easy to sip on.

Drinkability: This is a fantastic beer. A very flavorful and balanced flanders ale. The sourness is there, the acidity is there and the fruit is there. This will end up in my crate again without a doubt.

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

Pours a dark red mahogany with a substantial head that dissipates slowly leaving trails of lace behind.

Sweet and sour cherry nose.

Crisp, yet smooth, refreshing and complex. These Flanders Red Ales are such a joy on warm days.

Very drinkable and enjoyable, just a notch behind Rodenbach.

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

Appearance: Beer pours with a nice white head that is constantly being replenished by tiny little bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass. The beer is red brown and fairly brilliant for the color.

Aroma: Mostly that winey funk that often accompanies sour ales. No hope aroma, no distinguishable malt aromas.

Taste: Very wine like, subtle sourness, mostly lactic acid and not vinegar. Starts off nice and sweet but with a dry finish. No sour twang in this beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium light body, medium carbonation, very smooth and coats the inside of the mouth very nicely.

Overall: Wow, very solid flanders red. It is nice that the sour is not lip puckering but instead smooth.

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

We pour a glowing ruby red brew. It holds a three finger head of fat, creamy tan bubbles. This shows excellent retention, leaving thick and chunky lacing down the glass as it slowly dissipates. There is a slight haze, with little flecks of sediment noted, while carbonation appears moderate. The aroma is bright with caramel and pale malts, warming oak, and huge puckering tartness of yeast and fermented cherries. Warmth brings out bitterness of plastic phenols, a heavy blanket of basement musk and dust, and light ethanolic fire. Our first impression is that there is surprising sweetness to balance out the immense tartness. As we sip, metallic musky yeast, honey sweetness, grape and strawberry sugars, pale toasty malts, and peppery spice of booze mix for a complex start. The middle peaks with enhanced sweetness of grape and “sweet tart” candies. The latter affords pucker amongst the sugar, giving an aged, fermented quality to the fruitiness therein. The finish comes with pale malts, grit, souring funky yeast, that tartness of aged cherries (much like a kriek), and brown apple sweetness all washed through with a significant coiny cleanse. The aftertaste breathes of plastic phenols, solidly pale malts, light and dry oak, bittered metallic coininess, sweet cherries and apples, and general tartness of yeast and that same fruit. The body is medium, and the carbonation is medium. There is excellent slurp, cream, froth, and smack to each sip. The mouth is coated in this bubbly glory, but soon dries with gritty astringency along the tongue and tooth line. The abv is appropriate, and the beer drinks very nicely.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was the complexity of flavor, and the unique balance of sweetness to even out the classic puckering tartness. From the moment of the pour we knew things would go well with this one. The coloring glowed, and the head stood tall and strong. The aroma gave us a lighter hint of the excellent mash of flavors within which, alone, would have you coming back for more. The feel only builds this desire, as there is nice frothy slurp to each sip. This is an outstanding beer.

Photo of Sam21
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Deep dark ruby red body with a fluffy off-white head that clings and sticks around. Really appealing!

S- Winey fruit. Cherries. Raspberry balsamic.

T- Wonderfully sweet at the onset. Heavy sugared cherry flavor. This is soon joined by acidic puckering notes that are reminiscent of cranberries. It's a perfect balance of sweet and sour.
MF- Light body held up by very tingly and fluffy carbonation. Leaves you with a juicy sticky palate - think about the post- lemonade feeling.

O- Simple, complex, and extremely refreshing. It's a perfect balance of sweet and sour. This beer is outstanding. If only it wasn't so expensive.

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

Had this beer on tap at the Toronado in San Francisco in September, 2004. Served in a authentic Duchesse glass. Watched as it poured with a small head that didn't remain for long. A very opaque, mahoganey color. Almost like blackcurrant juice. A beautiful hue to it. Tons of lace that just stuck to the side and didn't disipate. Smelled both sweet and sour at the same time. A typical Flemish stlye taste but better. Not too sour as I expected. Maybe a cranberry taste or even something nutty in the background. Aftertaste is good as well. A definite great beer that I will have again.

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

Apples, apples, apples. This beer pours dark with a reddish tinge. For some reason, I thought it'd be lighter. As other people have said, it smells like apple cider vinegar, but not bad. I think it's pleasant. It tastes like fresh apples, like I picked them myself--more sour than sweet. It's not overly sour, though. In fact, I thought it would be more sour. I really like this--it's very refreshing.

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

Well decided to write a review for this one I have had many of these on tap But this one is from a 750.
Bottle poured into a snifter produced a good of white head that goes to a ring of bubbles around the glass. The body is a clear dark burgandy it really is a nice shade at that.

Aromas of sour cherries and funk filled my head. The aromas are not as good as from a draft but the fruit profiles are still good.

A nice sweet tart thing develops with the flavors .It is much sweeter cherry than a Rodenbach but less than Kasteel Rouge. This brew is always a nice brew to enjoy with a meal. There is a nice feel in the mouth with enough carbonation to keep it crisp and dry in the finish.

A very good example of a Flanders and a style that I truly enjoy I always grab this when I see it on tap. I found a bottle cheap up north I guess they didn't know what they had. So it was a fine treat for a winter's day

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Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,602 ratings.