Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

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Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

3,429 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,429
Reviews: 1,374
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 159
Gots: 420 | FT: 7
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: 3,429 | Reviews: 1,374 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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.

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.

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.

Photo of oh_sacred_hops
4.36/5  rDev +4.8%

Photo of abeeronthebeach
4.36/5  rDev +4.8%

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Photo of 80x2HopHead
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%

Photo of Green1981
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of tubeyes
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A Very dark reddish, min head, great lacing.
S some pretty wild fruity, mushroom, oaky smokey goodness
T very sweet tropical citrus fruit upfront but mellows to a more carmelly grapefruit end
M very delicious and easily drinkable, great even carbonation and a fruity caramel aftertaste
O very enjoyable and complex. Flavors swirl and emerge and play around on tongue and cheeks. Had on tap in a squat tulip glass at OSDH in a presidents day special for FDR.

Photo of SubpoenaDeuces
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Duchess Du Bourgeone - flemish ale, flanders red - 6% abv

A: It looks like a maraschino cherry juice with a bit of amber added to it, a transparent stage blood color with steady cabonation, 11oz bottle pours a formidable 2.5 finger head, off pink in color

S: theres a tart bitterness to it, almost vinegar in the dryness on the nostrils, with hints of underlying sweetness

T: it starts out tart with a sour cherry note that reminds me of a wine-based jolly rancher, but rounds out to a nice sweet mellowness, no hops present on the finish, the drying effect comes up front but finishes with the sweet so it becomes for another taste.

M: mouthfeel is as thin as the appearance connotes, its very light and watery on the palate but the dryness to it adds a bit of complexity to the chewiness, namely your own mouth lining degrading like the sands under tide.

D: It is a good beer, fun to split with someone, but not an all purpose beer. I cant see it being very civilized out of doors, not especially housebroken, but a refined anemic purebred that is for show and posterity only. However, the fleeting joy is like a puppies feet upon your shins, you jsut wouldn't welcome 4 or 5 in your home, for obvious reasons.

Photo of bunnyhustle
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've been in a beer funk but this may have pulled me out of it. Pours very dark but upon examination turns out to be a dark ruby color with thick, creamy, off-white head. Amazing retention and good lacing. Very nice looking beer. Smell is tart with some sour green apple, vineager, and some yeast as well. Taste has a complex bunch of flavors but the ones that stuck out most to me was a sweet grape. Some apple and pear as well. A sharp tartness to it that is very well balance by a nice sweetness. Very complex beer. Mouthfeel was medium and its very smooth going down as it leaves you a nice aftertaste. Overall a great beer and the lower ABV makes it very drinkable.

Photo of Danny1217
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brownish red, with some bubbly carbonation. Nice off-white head, with excellent retention. A half hour into it and there's still a little layer of foam.
Smells of sweet and sour fruits. Berries and some caramel like sweetness. Not as pungent as a lot of sours beers, and that works to its benefit.
The sourness is mild, but it's definitely there. Nice berry taste. Strawberry, cherry, some grape. A bit of a bread like character. Medium body, not too thin, but not overpowering either. Delicious.

The sour beers are winning me over. Duchesse is one of my favorites now.

Photo of jdhilt
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a two-finger white head leaving that fades quickly but leaves a good lace. Clear, deep reddish amber. Nose is raisin. Tastes of raisins and apricots, smooth with sweetness but has a slightly tart finish. Complex - sweet and sour. A 330ml bottle was $3.50 from Colonial Liquors, Acton, Ma.

Photo of WeezyBoPeep
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed a little goblet of this on tap at The Imperial on Orange, Orlando FL.

A: Deep crimson with a smooth, excellent tan head.

S: Red wine vinegar, cherry juice and fresh dough.

T: Follows the smell exactly with a welcome sweetness and a tart finish. Hints of cane juice and sour apples.

D: I don't see how anyone could call this undrinkable.

Photo of acehart1
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2006 Vintage, sampled on Jan. 22, 2011

Deep red, brownish color. Extremely pungent smell. Almost like vinegar. The smell almost overpowers everything else. The taste is much better than the smell. This stuff goes down much too easily. Very complex and drinkable, almost too drinkable. Dangerous. Very, very nice. We paired it with a brie with currant jelly. Very nice mixture.

Photo of goblue3509
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown reddish color which when held up to light gives off a deep dark ruby red color. The beer is clear with strong visible carbonation and a slim head. Nice lacing is left of the glass. The aroma is big and hits you hard a nice vinegar smell rounded out by dark fruits sour cherries and plums. The taste is almost exactly like a champagne and white wine mix. The is a sour cherry tatse but also a green sour apple and white grape taste with a hint of oak at the back end. The mouthfeel is crisp and clean again this beer has the feel of champagne in your mouth. Overall this is a great beer nice big aroma and great taste.

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,429 ratings.