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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

3,174 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,174
Reviews: 1,356
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 148
Gots: 334 | 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: 3,174 | Reviews: 1,356 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of trevorjn06
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

trevorjn06, Dec 07, 2010
Photo of RevChico
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

RevChico, Jan 18, 2008
Photo of dherling
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

dherling, Nov 17, 2006
Photo of Daniellobo
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Daniellobo, Jul 25, 2010
Photo of celticfutblclub
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

celticfutblclub, Mar 20, 2011
Photo of htomsirveaux
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

htomsirveaux, Jul 22, 2006
Photo of jtslay
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

jtslay, Jun 29, 2007
Photo of angrybabboon
4.31/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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.

angrybabboon, Sep 12, 2013
Photo of BeerDocT
4.31/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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.

BeerDocT, Jan 19, 2014
Photo of BMMillsy
4.31/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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.

BMMillsy, Oct 18, 2013
Photo of hopsbreath
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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!

hopsbreath, Jul 02, 2010
Photo of elricorico
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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.

elricorico, Jun 24, 2006
Photo of Proteus93
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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.

Proteus93, Feb 03, 2008
Photo of devlishdamsel
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

devlishdamsel, Dec 25, 2012
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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!

DarkerTheBetter, Jul 25, 2006
Photo of flexabull
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

flexabull, Jun 19, 2010
Photo of TenHornsProud
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

TenHornsProud, Feb 19, 2011
Photo of srandycarter
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

srandycarter, Aug 25, 2012
Photo of thegodfather2701
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is my first beer of this style so that should probably be kept in mind when reading my review.

A-Pours a beautiful cherry/brown with an excellent off white billowy head.

S-Tart and sour, cherries and apples jump out at me, and just a hint of citrus. Its pretty complex and strong.

T-I would be lying if I didn't admit the first sip took my breath away. At first I couldn't decide if that was a good thing or a bad thing, but it was definitely a positive. It tastes like a strong carbonated water with sour cherries and apples. Vinegar comes in for the finish but is accompanied by some sweetness.

M-Carbonated but in a good way because it helps make it exceptionally refreshing.

D-I don't know if I could drink more than one of these in a sitting because it is unlike any beer I have ever had. But I definitely enjoyed the experience and will try other beers of the style.

Overall, I enjoy this beer and would drink it or other examples of the style. It is very interesting and refreshing.

thegodfather2701, Dec 09, 2009
Photo of chugalug06
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Large straw colored bubbly head. Lacing is spotty. Brew has is a nice clear burgundy color.

Light green apple tartness. Some light peach and apricot.

Smoothly (heavy) carbonated, surprising judging by the head. Flavors are intricate and blend well. Lots of peach, apple, and pear. Bitterness is slight, burn is none, and bite is slender.

A bit all over the board, but recommended. A nice well distributed Sour. Relaxing and unique for a Friday after a busy week.

chugalug06, Nov 17, 2012
Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%

Poured from the tulip into a large snifter.
Pours a nice dark reddish/plum hue with a thick, substantial head.
Smells of brett like yeast, dark fruit, spice.
Tastes amazing. Raisin, plum, with some mild spice and brett tartness.
Mouthfeel was perfect, inviting.
This is a flat out wonderful beer. Unique and delicious.

BoldRulerVT, Aug 31, 2014
Photo of malty
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my Rodenbach 8 oz. stemmed glass a beautiful ruby red with orange-copper edges. A creamed colored fluffy/dense head stands steady at 1". Visible racing carbonation.

A quick few swirls of the glass and a FRESH carmel covered tart apple scent erupts. A prolonged inhale detects cinnamon, concord grapes and pickled brussel sprouts. What a unique assortment of scents!

The liquid touches my lips and replicates basically everything I smelled. Tart & sweet for sure. Definitely more on the sweeter side of any Flemish red I ever tasted. Reminiscent of sweet iced tea with bitters. Faint molasses that brings hearty Dopplebocks to mind. Sweet candi sugar ending.

Mouthfeel is delectable. Fine and kinetic carbonation makes this a joy to drink. Not nearly the dry/tart finish I was expecting.

Drinkability is good. Tone-down the sweetness and it would be perfect.

Overall an utterly unique ale with many (in a good way) schizophrenic combinations of fresh and boisterous flavors. I'm still a little perplexed, but I do know I like it a lot. The sweetness is a little too much from what I was anticipating. But it's good to get your socks blown-off every once and a while! Fantastic beer.

malty, Jun 05, 2006
Photo of barczar
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a brilliant amber with a frothy beige head. Tart cherry and acetic acid open the aroma, with toasted oak and vinous qualities adding complexity. Flavor is very acetic, with toasted barrel drying out the finish. Tart cherries and balsamic vinegar are evident. Puckeringly sour, with cherry lingering in the finish. Slightly spicy, phenolic aftertaste.

barczar, Jul 26, 2014
Photo of gory4d
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours clear burgundy with a fluffy pale head that leaves lacing down the sides of my tulip glass. Smell is like a mild raspberry vinegar that kicks my salivary glands into action. The taste is something else; if you don't like sour beers, this won't convert you, but it starts with a sharp fruit kick like dried apricots, giving way to a sweet malt flavor that immediately opens up into a mouthwatering sourness that lasts. It's nice and smooth, and I could drink this all night.

gory4d, Apr 05, 2008
Photo of Crosling
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark red. Extremely vinous nose (Pinot Noir), with hints of ripe red fruit, muffin batter, overloaded with blueberries, a light touch of caramel and of course. lactic and acetic acid funk. Quite vibrant. Rich compatibility between the sweet malts, bright fruits and sweeteners (?) and the funky and sour lactic and acetic, lightly woody tones. Really more of a mild Red, but very characterful and complex.

Crosling, Apr 24, 2006
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,174 ratings.