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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

3,147 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,147
Reviews: 1,355
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 142
Gots: 324 | 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: 3,147 | Reviews: 1,355 | Display Reviews Only:
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 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
Photo of chickencoop
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

As a BA you hope and need to try every style out there, just to be well-rounded, so I attempted to enter the realm of sours, and failed when I started with a Supplication, just didn't get it. So thanks to Ed at Ledgers Liqours in Berkeley, he informed me that this would be where to begin. Now I know this isn't and American Wild Ale/ Sour, but i'll work up to that. This poured a deep amber, small head. Smell was sweet vinegar. Taste started pretty sour, but ended with a sweet vinegar taste. This is quite drinkable once you get going on it. Very good.

chickencoop, Apr 15, 2010
Photo of hardy008
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a ruby brown color, with a 3 finger off white head with nice retention and lacing. Nice aroma. It has tart cherries, green apples, cider vinegar, oak, and barnyard funk.

The taste is sweeter than I expected. Sweet and tart cherries, sweet green apple, oak, vanilla, and sugar. The barnyard funk and the cider vinegar I detected in the aroma, do not appear in the taste. This is wonderfully complex.

Medium bodied with medium carbonation. The aftertaste is slightly sweet and slightly sour. This is a very nice Flanders Red Ale. I recommend this beer highly.

hardy008, Feb 19, 2011
Photo of yeagerbm
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours into a goblet with a bright mahogany color not unlike a merlot, topped by a light brown head with very tight bubbles. The head is very frothy with a few aggressive swirls in the glass. Smell is soured fruit and a light vinegar aroma which took me off gaurd, being new to the style. Taste is very tart and fruity cherries yet sweet and relatively drinkable. I am very impressed with the unusually creamy mouthfeel with very dense carbonation. I may have to explore more of these diverse and fruity Belgian ales that I haven't been interested in exploring before.

yeagerbm, Aug 05, 2004
Photo of BillyBoysPie
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap in the appropriate glassware at the (soon to be if it isn't already) legendary Sergio's World Beers in Louisville, KY. Go. Now.

Reddish-brownish-purple with a dense white foam on top. Near perfect lacing with decent retention.

Tart and sour flavors dominate the nose. Well fruited, mostly cassis (currant) and raspberry combined with tart rhubarb like acidity. Some malt comes through, but the slight buttery is far more interesting.

Grape bubblegum and tart raspberry are in the front with some of the oaky, woody characteristics filling out the beer. It's very delicate, but really clean. Well balanced and very enjoyable.

Light, not too viscous. Enough carbonation to accentuate the tart without overpowering the sour.

Easy to drink - if you like the style, which I do. It's really fun and deep.

BillyBoysPie, Mar 13, 2010
Photo of Immortale25
4.29/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Dogfish signature snifter. Label says best before 09/11/2013.

A- Pours a ruby-like brown color with almost two fingers worth of head that retains well before making its way down to an 1/8 inch ring around the edge of the glass. A nice sheet of surface foam and good lacing. Actually looks quite nice.

S- Oh, but it will be sour indeed. Pungent, almost medicinal fumes of wild funk. I can actually smell the tartness which immediately causes my tongue to pucker and salivate slightly.

T- Oh my. That's good! Sweet in the front, very tart in the back and plenty of twists and turns in between. Has the candy-like fruit flavor of a lambic while still brandishing that assertive sourness. Also a noticeable use of malts which keeps that nice, solid beer body amongst the acidity.

M- Very drying and, of course, puckering. Medium-high carbonation.

O- Yes, it's quite tart and does very little to quench my thirst but, after your palate gets acquainted with those tastes, it's very well-balanced. I don't usually get into sours, but I wouldn't mind having this every once in a while. Hat's off to the Duchesse.

Immortale25, Feb 10, 2012
Photo of Hoppsbabo
4.29/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark copper, not particularly red. Nice though. Can almost see through it. Small but sustained off-white head comprising bubbles of various sizes.

S: The typical components of a Belgian dark ale with vinegar added.

T: Oh, my. Very complex. It's fairly sweet but balanced with sourness but not as sour as I was expecting. There's strong balsamic vinegar at the forefront then chocolate, cola and some coriander seed. In the aftertaste there's plum tea and a delicate green grape flavour that lingers for a long time afterwards, quite reminiscent of Remy Martin VSOP. Alcohol is completely imperceptible. From the dregs I get a touch of ginger beer.

M: A soft effervescence. Sort of foamy but not saturated with air. Ever so slightly sticky.

O: A quality beer but not something I'd drink often.

Hoppsbabo, Apr 14, 2013
Photo of barczar
4.29/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | 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 IntriqKen
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark reddish amber...very rich...with a half finger head that melted quickly to a sticky lacing all across the top.
Aroma is immediately vinegar...red wine...sweet fruits. Very complex.
Taste is slightly sour...cherries....raisins....no alcohol...a little apple peel.
Aftertaste is smooth...tiny sweetness...a little bigger tiny sourness.
Ok..this is the first of this style I've had but it is so complex, so very different from anything I've had before I don't know the right adjectives to describe it.
I'm sort of stuck with....interesting....totally different and unexpected....I like it....this should be the end of the day, not mid-day...how do I ever follow it?
I find it difficult to drink this beer slowly as I keep discovering new things in the taste with every sip.
I think this may be as complex as any beer has a right to be...yet somehow everything seems balanced...with each sip I keep thinking...'yeah...nice'...'this works'.

IntriqKen, Sep 09, 2006
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Carefully poured from a long-standing bottle it's a surprisingly clear, reddish-brown with orange-ish highlights. The light tan head rises up full at first, but thins shortly. The thin cap, however, holds to the end of the serving - no doubt buoyed by effervescent carbonation - and leaves some noteable lace. The aroma is soft with sugary sweet dark fruit (cherry, raspberry, plum) and an array of gentle lactic notes including vinegar, leather, and barnyard. It's also a touch of vegetal character, and the combination of sugar sweet and vinegar leaves it with a note that's oddly similar to ketchup. It's not bad, but it's sweeter, more chalky, and much less sour than many of the examples from the historic town of Oudenaarde. The body is light but with some dextrins, and offers a crisp and zesty mouthfeel from a very fine, effervescent carbonation. The flavor starts with a combination of tart, sharp fruit (raisin, raspberry, prune, currant, sour cherry) and sweetish caramelized sugar at the front of the mouth, leading into a more winey character with a big woody note and sweet maltiness at mid swallow. It finishes a bit chalky and dry, with a light stickiness throughout the mouth and a sweet & tart note on the tip of the tongue - sometimes followed by an earthy, musty and acidic burp. A very good beer in the Oud Bruin style, posessing a solid oak character and good fruitiness, but possibly a touch sweet. Overall, quite enjoyable.

NeroFiddled, Aug 15, 2002
Photo of Maction
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Mahogany with rosy amber edges and a thin straw-colored head that quickly fades to a mist.

S: A very complex nose, with sherry, leather, malt vinegar, aromas and some funky, swampy, earthy notes.

T: Complements the nose, with sweeter raspberry hard candy, balsamic vinegar, and mushroom-y finish

M: Wine like feel, with some sparkle at the end, and a sweet-and-sour finish.

D: This isn't a ballgame chugger, but a nightcap sipper, to be enjoyed by the fireside. Does that make it less drinkable than an ESB? I think not.

Maction, May 30, 2009
Photo of mscudder
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served in a chalice. Best by 2014-09-06

A - Light brown hue with a two-finger ivory head. Good head retention with fair lacing.

S - Smells like a lively sour! Cherry, wild yeast and vinegar.

T - Tart, sweet and a little sour. Cherry holds he spotlight and curves out nicely as it warms.

M - Smooth medium body on the tongue with noticeable carbonation.

O - An enjoyable beer that exceeded my expectations.

mscudder, May 07, 2013
Photo of musicforairports
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle into a snifter.

Pours brown, lots of ruby hues in the light. Two-finger head leaves a bunch of lacing.

Smells of black cherries, other berry flavors, sour oak funk, some vinegar.

Taste is lots of cherries and decent sour tartness start to finish. Sweet, full and fruity at first, turning to sour oak and finishing long and somewhat dry, with a lingering tartness. There's a lot of flavor here in the finish, perhaps a bit too much actually. The flavor it leaves on the palate is odd. The sour bite becomes very smooth after a bit. Some sweetness throughout.

Mouthfeel is medium and welcome. This one goes down easily without having a watery quality at all.

I like this. The sourness doesn't grate on you through the glass, and it's not a beer that make you pucker. I could drink a few of these, and I don't say that about many good sour beers.

musicforairports, Mar 24, 2011
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,147 ratings.