1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

3,412 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,412
Reviews: 1,372
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 161
Gots: 410 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Duchesse De Bourgogne Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,412 | Reviews: 1,372 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of gbarron
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Brickstore Pub.

A - served in a nice tulip glass emblazoned with Duchesse de Bourgogne written upon it. Orangish, almost brown, large billowy head of thick bubbles, outstanding head retention and lacing.

S - candy sugar aroma, hints of tangy sourness. Little or no hop aroma. Tons of rich, sweet malty esters and some hints of alcohol.

T - incredible mix of sweet sugary smells and tangy sourness. Lots of fruity esters, dark grapes, plums, over-ripe apples. Great balance with tart sourness, but not overwhelming. Sweet and sour. Little hop presence.

M - medium to light bodied, a little fluffy. Carbonation is average. Slightly sweet finish.

D - great, great beer. Perfect balance of sweet and sour and bittnerness. One of the best sour Flanders ales I've ever had.

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

Poured from bottle into tulip glass.

A: Glowing reddish amber coloring with finger of head and nice heavy lacing. Good looking brew.

S: Sour cherry notes along with just a touch of vinegar.

T & M: Such an interesting brew, intriguing mix of sweet and sour. Sweetness comes across throughout the entire taste. Bitter cherry notes from the nose come through in the taste.

D: For a sour brew incredibly drinkable, this is such a fine and unique brew.

Photo of bret27
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
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 JamesS
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very nice dark copper/garnet color, a little shiny, that turned to more of a brown/garnet color later as the beer diminished in the glass, with great head and lacing. very nice sour and slightly fruity aroma. it has a great tart/sour flavor, a little fruity, that (with each drink) started sweet, turned slightly bitter, and became a nice mix at the end. Very smooth, just a bit of roughness at the end. Excellent beer.

Photo of tony223366
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From my beer journal. Reviewed on October 16, 2011.

A: Much deeper brown/red than I expected. Nice 2 finger head that is light tan/white. It dissipated to around one finger and stuck around. Good looking beer!

S: Mostly red wine. I'm also getting a nutty backbround that I wasn't expecting.

T: There's a great interplay between the tartness you'd expect from the flanders red and a deep malt backbone that's at times sweet and smooth. Delicious.

M: Medium body, nice carbonation.

O: I think this beer surprised me at every step. Great balance in this little bottle.

Photo of kbub6f
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

There's a very strange effect creating the head on this beer that I've never seen. It looks like tiny bubbles of carbonation gather in clumps in the bottom of my tulip glass. When enough have stuck together, they rise in a big gob through the beer to join the small tan head. It's a little disconcerting at first, seeing these pale gobs rising. The beer itself is dark red-brown and clear. Swoopy, thick, thick lacing. Loads of fresh bread waft out of the glass. Tangy, sweet toffee. Alcohol, prunes, sour fruit. That might be one of the fullest aromas ever. The beer starts spicy, with tangy fruit and toffee. The middle is thick, sweet, fruity, creamy. There's almost a little chocolate. The finish is bready, with sweet cherries and a dry edge to it. This is just one fruity, bready, sweet beer. Rich, flavorful. I can't really think of anything it compares to, but I really like it. Just a little too sweet for me, but the breadiness and cream are great.

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

Appearance: The pour is burgundy with ruby highlights and a frothy tan head.

Smell: The sweet malts in the nose bring cherries, grapes, and other ambiguous dark fruit, to compliment tart sourness. There is a faint spicy phenolic aroma as well.

Taste: The sourness comes out right away and sticks around as, at least, the co-dominant flavor. Cherries, blackberries, grapes, sweet candy, molasses, and a hint of vanilla round out the flavor profile.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with quite a bit of astringency.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. I'm sad to see my glass empty.

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

Label has a lady with a bird(?!) "Flemish art of brewing, Best before 2/11/04, 6.2% ABV 47-53 degrees, 8 and 18 month old mix." Let's see...anything else? Nope.

Poured into Broyhan goblet, this Flanders Red is a dark, ruby russett with some suspended yeasties floating around under excellent head retention that is PAINTED to the side of the glass.

Spicey sour aroma. Estery, musty antique trunk and root beer nose and a pinch of Wrigley's Doublemint gum. It rarely gets better than this.

Fisrt swigs: Gentle sour 7-Up pucker, dark fruit and Granny Smith apples, cherries, and a cider malty backbone keeps this from becoming overly sour. Vegetable and pickled beets lettuce leaf vegetal finish.

Lots of carbonation and medium feel, with an enjoyable carbonation.

Last swigs: Complex sour Cherry y-Up for adults sipper. A true Flemish sour. Best before 2/2004 eh? Hmmm...quite craveable. Special thanks to BA Shapudding for the tasting.

Beer is good. Happy interesting beering.

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

Poured from 750ml caged and corked bottle(best by Nov 2007 and 6%abv on the label) a ruby red with a large head of foam that settled down to a billowy layer with lots of nice lacing.

The smell is quite fruity, mostly sour cherries and some yeastiness. A *very* good nose, imho.

The taste is fruity sweet up front..I note cherries and pears with a hint of raspberry along with some good yeasty flavour..it's almost hitting me like a good flavourful Lambic. A few more sips in and the sourness that I mentioned in the nose starts to sneak up on me but wait, even at its peak, it is on the mild side. Yum. This Flanders Red Ale is taking a different route from the one I'm used to drinking and that suits me just fine. It is a super smooth drinker.

Halfway through the bottle and indeed, to the last pour, I hold up my NB goblet and see that the colour is *still* a clear ruby red, the smell and taste are *still* a delightful mix of sweet and sour fruit, the foam is *still* a sight to behold. I'm certainly I grabbed a bottle of this one on my last trip to Colorado. I would not hesitate to buy another.

Bottom line: Super smooth yet flavourful Flanders Red Ale. Do try it if you see it in a store near you!

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

Bottle at Uli's Restaurant in White Rock, BC.

A: Maroon coloured with a 1/2" off white head that disappeared in an average amount of time.

S: Smells very much like a lambic. Malt vinegar mixed with cherries in this case.

T: Slightly sour, malt vinegar, and cherries. Very nice taste to the finish and slightly boozy.

M: Crisp and refreshing, medium to low carbonation.

O: Excellent and very interesting beer. Often lambics are too sour for me but this style I could get into.

Photo of welldigger888
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Best by date of 8/14/08 poured a deep garnett hue with a pillowy head and respectable lace.

Sweet Sour fruit footish aroma with a wine like wood.

Sweet effervesence and sour twang that lingers. A deffinate wine like flavor that is woody and crisp.

Bubbley and dry to the bone.

Not familiar, but it seems to repeel the wife and kids, so it is a winner.

Photo of calebroberts811
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's name includes the word "duchesse" and the design is positively renaissance, so off the bat, I'm biased to like this beer.

A - Poured into a roughly two-finger head which dissipated rather quickly. Deep, bloody orange/red color. Tan creamy head.

S - A little cocoa, dark fruit, raisins, a bit funky "wet hay" smell, tobacco.

T - Sour and funky with hints of red wine vinegar. Strong notes of pomegranate and sour apple. Absolutely no hop character, but rather finishes with malty richness, almost caramel-like. It tastes a bit like a lambic but way more pleasant than a Faro or something.

Final verdict. This is one complex and peculiar little beer and one which I would love to drink with pork and sauteed mushrooms.

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

Bold, clear, reddish mahogany with a decent head and cap leaving behind some lacing. Ruby tinging in the light. Vinegar-astringence and some fruit: pear, cherry, apple. A slight whiff of that woody smell of a basement. Big, fruity and sour, this beer is a delicious mash of sweet and sour cherry and pear flavor. Some heat on the backburner. Puckering, smooth, dry, and a little spicy carbonation.

O: Loved it. Assertive, smooth and sour mash-up. Looking forward to trying more brown ales.

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

My first beer of this style. Pours a beautifuly dark red with a nice sized head. Recedes quickly to leave some good lacing on the sides and surface. Smell is tart with some mild fruit notes. Kind of like a fruit lambic. Taste is tart to begin. Spicy throughout. Rich earthy yeastiness in the finish. Red wine. There is a great background sweetness that makes this very nicely balanced. Really tasty. Medium bodied and well carbonated. Very easily drinkable. Overall I really like this- much more than I thought I would actually. Will have to seek out some more examples of this style.

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

Dank, dark ruby with orangeish highlights around the edges. Big, almost gushing, reddish-tan head.
Smell is tart, oaky fruit (cherry?) with olives, earth, and light vinegar. Interesting. Tastes much like it smells. Lively carbonation. Sweet yet dry tart fruits (strawberry, cherry). Musty oak accent throughout. Very interesting. Finish is fruity and tart. Mama likes. Medium-bodied, high carbonation, and quite drinkable. I like this style to begin with (represented by the few samples I've had) and this doesn't disappoint. Recommended.

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

Lovely clear, deep red/brown. Medium buff-coloured head, subsides quickly, lace persists.

Smells of tart fruit, red berries, hint of acetic. Something else interesting I recognise, but annoyingly can't place, hits the back of the nose.

On tasting, irst impression is sourness (but pleasantly so). Tart and refreshing, unsweetened fruit, a hint of caramel sweetness in the finish, with lingering stewed apples. Some malt, no bitterness at all. Refreshing sweet-and-sour, vinous.

Medium bodied, a definite tingle on the tongue and roof of the mouth, good lively carbonation, just right.

Very drinkable, clean and refreshing, unusual and interesting flavours, and well-balanced sour and sweet. Very complex, won't tire of contemplating the many nuances. An excellent beer I hope to be drinking regularly.

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

A - Dark red/brown. Could be clear, could be cloudy - I can't tell because it's so dark. Head is uninspiring and drops quickly.

S - Sour, vinegary smell. Notes of fruit and some mustiness.

T - Sweet, extremely fruity. Notes of concord grapes are very prominent. Oh yeah, it's sour too, but soooo grapey! Bitterness is very subdued, although present in the aftertaste. Very "fresh" tasting as well, which was unexpected from the aroma.

M - Medium bodied, with a spritzy carbonation. A bit of astringency in the aftertaste that feels somewhat drying.

D - I like this a lot. The major criticism is that the aroma and the taste seem a bit at odds at each other. Flavour is much mellower and fresher than indicated by the strong vinegary smell and mustiness.

Photo of shortbus7
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A dark red color with a slight head.

S: Dark cherries, apples, and vinegar.

T: There is so much going on in this beer it's amazing. Dark cherries, apples, red wine vinegar, and malt. This beer is more sweet and tangy than sour.

M: Smooth and slightly puckering.

O: This is a great beer and a great place to start with sours. The taste amazed me. So much going on but nothing became muddled.

Photo of bens0n
4.34/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Single 12 oz bottle poured into tulip.

Beer pours a murky reddish brown color, looks more brown than red. Out of control foamy light tan head, my bottle was agitated a little bit but this beer was extremely hard to pour without going overboard on the head. Retention is decent, some spotty lacing going on in my tulip.

Immediately upon cracking the bottle open I got a really loud psssst and air pressure gushed out a little bit of moisture onto my fingertips. Took a whiff of my hand and it smelled really nice and bready, reminded me of sourdough bread. On the nose its got the belgian yeast dominates most of it just like you would expect, but there are some minor sweet and tangy notes. Not picking up on very much oak.

Flavor wise the first thing I pick up is a tangy, tart, sour flavor then it finishes rather dry and crisp. Reminds me alot of a lambic, but it doesn't have the fruity notes. I would have expected way more yeasty flavors but the tart sourness dominates this beer. The finish is really interesting because your flavor pallet is wiped clean and theres no sour left. I was really expecting some oaked/woody flavors but they are so minor they aren't even worth mentioning.

Mouthfeel sensation is very interesting it starts out very intensely tart / sour, then finishes on the mild side. Its not like a lambic that you can taste inbetween sips, this beer shocks you with the sour punch then finishes dry and clean, beckoning you to drink another sip each time.

This was one of those beers that I always eyed when I saw it, but not being a huge fan of overly yeasty belgians I always stayed away. Figured I'd give this a shot after looking into it and finding out that it was a sour. Its definitely one of those beers to 'experience' pretty unique combination of stuff going on. If you like lambics / sours its definitely for you, if not, you will probably not enjoy this.

Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.34/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Picked this up at Top Hops a few weeks back, never having anything from Brouwerij Verhaeghe before or even a Flanders Red Ale, for that matter. Even though this reminded me of a Lambic, this completely caught me off-guard and was one of the more pleasant surprises that I've had in a long time. It's a bit syrupy for me but besides the slightly heavy mouthfeel, there was a lot to like about this beer and for a style that's not terribly common, it got my attention rather quickly!

Nice pour to this, with a mahogany hue, somewhat thick head, and lacing that slowly fell down the sides of my pint glass. Not a strong aroma to this either but there was lots of cherry, booze, syrup, and malt. The carbonation was good as well and the funkiness of this had me thinking that this was a Lambic, on the scale of a Lindemann's. This had a good amount of sour apple in the back and combined with a smooth and somewhat silky mouthfeel, made this beer quite easy to down for a Flanders Red Ale neophyte like me.

The alcohol wasn't that strong in this either and even though I only bought one bottle, I could have downed quite a few in a sitting. Very beers are this smooth and accessible while not being overly strong, tart, or sour, but this straddled the edge of those quite well. I couldn't taste the balsamic vinegar here and there wasn't any spice either so if you're new to this, get it and give a go - I can't imagine anyone not liking this beer!

Photo of brewsclues
4.34/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On-tap at Sharp Edge (Pittsburgh, PA) on 1/19/2013. Thanks for the brews, JJ.

One word: balsamic vinegar! (OK, two words.) Not the type of vinegar you slug when you're sick, or the type that makes your intestines pucker, or the type that you un-clog drains with. No, this is the sweet, complex, slightly tangy, and medium-acidic balsamic vinegar that you let age and import it from Italy for $40/bottle. The nose screamed it from the very start, and while I might say that Flemish Reds won't be everyone's bag, if you are looking for a great intro to the style, The Duchesse is a great place to start.

Duchesse is really quite complex, rich, and malty for a sour. Plus points for balance and a not-too-overbearing pucker-taste. But let me re-iterate: this is a big, bold, and tangy Flemish Red. Drier than I was expecting - quite sessionable.

Flanders!

Photo of blitz134
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had the pleasure of first having this on tap at the Brickstore in Atlanta. I'd never had a "flemish sour" as it was labeled and gave it a shot. I'm certainly glad I did as this has quickly became a favorite style to me and opened my eyes up to the world of sour beers.

This beer pours a lovely crimson, garnet red clear body with an initial tall 2 finger head which reduced down to a fairly thick half inch. The smell to me is amazing and one I have never found in any other beer. Its all about the balsamic vinegar, which I personally really like. Additionally there is a good dose of grape and other fruit aromas which remind me of a dark red wine.

The taste is of slight vinegar with a body of sour grape juice along with tart cherries. Its quite juicy and sweet on the tongue and finishes a bit sour, but not overpowering. When I had this on tap everyone who tasted it all agreed it was very interesting. This one sits a bit warm on my stomach although it isn't a high ABV brew.

Mouthfeel is a touch thin but coats the mouth well. Drinkability is good as well but it plays with my stomach a bit. I find this so tasty though that I can deal with that.

Overall, this beer (and the style in general) has an amazing flavor that everyone must try at least once. This is just one more example of the breadth of the capability of the beer world.

Photo of Billolick
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Ginger man NYC, Pours dark ruby reddish, cloudy and murky. Nose of must and old feet. Classic Belgian puffy head and leaves nice sheets of lacing. Not for the faint of heart or those lacking a sense of palate adventure. Intense flavors of sour cherries and sweet malts give this one excellent complexity. some nuts, some stinky cheese and some of this stuff and you're all set up for a flavor extravaganza!

Photo of bsp77
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from tap into small 10oz wine-like glass.

Appearance: Dark ruby-brown with thin head and slight lacing.

Smell: Apples, cider and vinegar. Mix of sweet and tart.

Taste: Really reminds me a mixture of cider, ruby port and malt vinegar. Definite notes of apple, autumn spice and tart sweetness. Not nearly as sour as Rodenbach Grand Cru (which I enjoy quite a bit), with more of a vinegary sweetness.

Feel: Not really sure how to review this. Reminds me of a smooth cider. Carbonation is certainly noticeable, but not beer-like.

Drinkability: Gets better with each sip and as it warms. I feel I could have just kept sipping all night - damn 10oz glass!

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,412 ratings.