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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

3,137 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,137
Reviews: 1,355
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 141
Gots: 322 | 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: 3,137 | Reviews: 1,355 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of womencantsail
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

A: The pour is a dark, rich, red color without too much carbonation or head formation.

S: Loads of dark fruit, specifically sour cherries and currants. There is a nice lactic sourness along with a mild vinegar aroma.

T: Almost identical to the nose. A wonderful tart/sourness, but not overpowering. The cherries really come through here as well as a touch of sweet malt.

M: Medium bodied with a high level of carbonation and a crisp, dry finish.

D: I'm still getting used to these sour ales and this is a great one to start on. Nothing overly intense about it, but a nice beer nonetheless.

womencantsail, Jul 12, 2009
Photo of SethB2
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A - Beer pours a very deep amber color, nearly non transparent, with a decent sized whispy head that fizzles down to a nice ring around the edge.

S - Huge vinegar up front covering tart apples and a bit of woodyness. One of the more interesting beers I have smelled.

T - Sweet berries start this thing off before it quickly moves into a sour apple, tart flavor then yeilds the the vinegar that was on the nose originally. Very unique, and very good.

M - A tad on the thin side, but still not bad.

D - Very good. This is an excellent beer. The yeast in this thing do some really funky stuff.

SethB2, Aug 26, 2006
Photo of cypressbob
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

250ml bottle

Pours with a deep red body, burgandy hints of brown. Small light tan head with some retention, a fair bit of lacing

Smell, strong esters, super gluey esters too, tart acidic cherries.

Taste, crisp biting tart cherry, thick malty backbone. Lasting tart, vinegar on the palette. Esters again, red wine, other port notes

Another amazingly complex red ale, I could see myelf taking rodenbach over this mainly due to its amazing drinkability and session qualities but this is perhaps a tad more complex

cypressbob, Jul 30, 2005
Photo of utopiajane
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

Pours a beautiful brownish red color with a fat head of tan foam from a vigorous pour. Leaves beautiful and bubbly lace. Nose is at first a vinegar scent with fruit behind that. Fresh. The vinegar fades and you get woody earthy yeast. A soft slightly sour smell. And so much fruit! Cherries. Raspberries. Jam. Beautiful tart citrus and a woody depth. A hint of vanilla is fragrant and smooth. The taste is out of this world. The malt is like a soft whisper, a breath, a kiss. Bready notes.The fruit is bold and sweet. it's crisp and the carbonation is fizzy but doesn't bite. Puckering sour but a sweetness to rival that. It has tannins from the oak cask and a wine like acidity. it has tension like a good fruity wine that has a bold acidity. I can't decide if I taste cola or maybe cocoa. A woody dryness clears the palate.

This beer has a mouthfeel that is intricate and complex and delightfully light. It enlivens the palate and the senses.It drinks so easily and with so much character. The taste and the mouthfeel are intertwined and cannot be separated. The textures and the delightful and playful complexity brings forward fruit in both it's extremes. Sweet and tart. Lush, headdy, intoxicating.

utopiajane, Jan 04, 2014
Photo of Wench
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

Interesting aged ruby appearance with an off white head.
Vinous, with earthy sour cherries and soy sauce on the nose.
Delicious tang with more wine inspired notes of cherries, balsamic vinegar and soy. Malty, delicious and creamy in the mouth.
Interesting to bring to a tasting of Belgians, and a good example of this style.

Wench, Oct 28, 2008
Photo of walshclimb
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

Pours dark reddish brown with thick off-white to tan head that thins quickly and leaves a nice lace. The aroma is lightly sour with definite sweet cherry influence and a hint of fermented grapes, like port. The taste is complex with sweet cherry, port-like initial flavor with a tart aftertaste that is at once pleasant and strong flavored. Medium to full bodied with active carbonation. This is a very interesting dessert beer that goes very well with chocolate and cherries.

walshclimb, Nov 07, 2007
Photo of amatuerbeerguy
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

poured out ruby red color, off white head with lasting and lacing head retention. soured fruit, raison, floral, mulled wine aroma. some cherry, tangy, tart, sour, red wine flavors. moderate bodied with high carbonation. overall a nicely sour, tangy drink for the palate to dissect

amatuerbeerguy, Oct 02, 2005
Photo of jeranbrews
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

Purchased 12-'09. Consumed 2-'10 in a pint glass.

A - One finger of cloudy, speckled, yeasty beige head. The beer is a clear amber with tones of crimson. Nice mud slides of lacing down the side.

S - Hints of strawberry, sherry, and oak. The dominate smell is cherry but bread and yeast can be found too if you dig far enough.

T - This is an interesting mixture. Instead of the cherry flavors with beer as an afterthought this is more of a beer with cherry tones. There are hoppy caramel flavors that ride breast to breast with the cherry. The aftertaste is an acidic sour experience.

M - Positive emotions. Frothy mouth coating with medium body but without the syrupy feel of some lambics.

D - A great sweet desert beer. Complex and interesting. Sweet but unmistakably beer.

jeranbrews, Feb 07, 2010
Photo of weltywm
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

Poured into my Dogfish Goblet.

Appearance: Dark red/burgundy with a quickly dissipating white head. Little lacing on the glass.

Smell: Smells like a great sour: balsamic and vinegar up front. Also tart red fruit and musty grape.

Taste: A really great, well balanced sour: oak, vinegar, tart red fruit, balsamic, and wine-like grape. A nice sour, mouth-puckering taste overall. Very well balanced, with a lot going on.

Mouthfeel: very crisp, dry, sour, and refreshing. Medium body and medium carbonation. Long finish.

Overall: A really great Belgian style sour ale. Nice balance of sour, tart, and fruity. Would definitely buy again.

weltywm, Aug 03, 2013
Photo of Hojaminbag
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

Reddish brown body with a tan head and many strands of carbonation bubbles. About a finger of tan head that doesn't boast a lot of retention, but does leave a little bit of lacing.

Smells like grapes. Sour bordering on vinegar aromas.

Taste is great. Very balanced, very mild. Some like, tart fruitiness up front that reminds me of sweet cherries and grapes. Some sourness follows up but doesn't overpower. Hints of oak are noticeable throughout, especially in the finish.

Mouthfeel is very light and thin. Not too mouth-puckering, but just a little sour.

I could drink this beer all night. I'd even consider shelling out a lot of cash for a case of this stuff.

Hojaminbag, Aug 26, 2008
Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

Appearance- Pours a wonderful reddish color, lots of carbonation and no head at all.

Smell- Lots of wine notes here, very astringent. Perhaps a bit piney?

Taste- Very wine-like, some bitterness here, champagne like. Unlike any beer Ive have ever had before.

Drinkability- This beer is delicious very unique, a definite must try.

Bowdoinbeerboy, Oct 25, 2008
Photo of CargoCulte
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

11.2 oz bottle via a tulip glass

A: Reddish brown, with a nice copper head

S: Cherries, plums, oak

T: A fantastic mix of fruity, sour, and tart flavors. As other have stated, the taste has the same characteristics as the smell. Nice cherry/plum like flavors upfront, with a tart sour finish.

M: Somewhat thin, with the right amount of fizz.

D: An 11.2 oz is the perfect serving size for this style beer. More than one might be overkill. But I'll definitely buying a few more to stash and drink at a later time.

CargoCulte, Jan 16, 2011
Photo of czfreeman
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

The duchesse pours out a deep brown with a reddish tone showing in the light. Small 1 finger head, short retention. Head leaves lacing around top of glass. Smells like a bubbly Lambrusco wine, some sour cherry,slight alcoholic-red grape tones, again like a tart red wine. Mouthfeel is very lively and carbonated, trat finish yet slight more chewy and creamy than other Ive had. Cherries,sour yeasts,woody flavors. Leaves a tart lasting finish on the tongue. This beer is everything that is good in a Flanders red. Thank you Duchesse, will buy again definatley.

czfreeman, Feb 24, 2008
Photo of GarrettB
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

Elegance, as inherited through primogeniture and blue blood, has long passed. In its place is something we prefer to call class, which is related to archaic elegance but only remotely. Anybody can have class; the magnate in his vogue mansion or the cad in on the street. It isn’t easy to learn it, and its impossible to purchase it, but class can be trained. Elegance, as the wealthy were expected to have in years past, is altogether unattainable, even for some of the rich. The first and most obvious requirement is to be ejected from the womb of a bourgeoisie, and preferably to have been fathered by one. After that, it was merely a game of chance against in-breeding and developed tyranny that sculpted the, quite literally, nouveuax rich into adulthood. History is replete with cases of royal albinos, trisomy 21, incompetence or just plain idiocy. Also, there are the benevolently raised children of the upper classes that accrue an unnatural concept of class warfare, who then exercise their power with excessive enthusiasm. Let us take the few remaining cases of the beautiful, the wise and the kind regal individuals. The ones coursing with blue blood and compassion, and the ones imprinted in fairy tales and a few justly optimistic histories are those we speak of with an elegance no longer found today, save for a few obscure descendants living on vestigial fortunes. But I’ve found one, remarkably gentle but rich, formal but enjoyable, sweet but mature. The Duchess de Bourgogne, though fictional, is a blurry depiction of some royal lady whose personality doubtlessly charmed her family and subjects alike. She is the altruist from above, showering the ground with coins and flowers from her ivory tower. All I’ve done is told a story, one that I think is nicely summarized in the Duchess de Bourgogne beer. The crepuscular and mellowed tone of the beer nuzzles against the glass below the margaritaceous crown of foam, baring nothing to the unobservant eye. It’s a chaste and modest drink, hinting at its alluring flavor by breathing a slow but diligent waft of green apples, confectioner’s sugar, orange zest, shining red cherries and oak. Below this divine vapor sits the chaliced drink, reverently waiting for imbibing. There the eager drinker finds a similarly rich batch of flavors. Faint vinegar coarseness guides the column of tastes, featuring a light and sweet honey, red and white grapes, orange zest (amongst other citrus) and a very heavy and bombastic conclusion of oak. Poignant and garrulous as the Duchesse may be, it still fits “elegant” nicely. The blend of friendly and charismatic flavors allows anyone, be they friend or foe to beer, to pick up a glass and enjoy. If the rich and bold, sweet and sour flavors do not suffice the claim to elegance, then at least the extrovert, humble and generous nature of the Duchesse does. These are, after all, higher qualities that we aspire to. That is, if we want to be classy.

GarrettB, May 25, 2006
Photo of kmpitz2
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

From notes. I enjoyed this brew a few times at the Blind Pig in Champaign, IL. It poured a deep ruby color with a finger of head that fell to a healthy coat over the beer. The nose was beautiful, with a slight sour cherry balanced with a slight sweet cherry over top of a woody, almost tanniny, character. The flavor gave me an initial sourness that moved to a sour cherry that was slightly creamy. I really liked it. The feel was moderate wtih a moderate carb. I felt the sum of the beer was better than its parts. Very smooth and super-easy to drink. I could have enjoyed it all night.

kmpitz2, May 25, 2005
Photo of Sprows
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

Sampled at Flying Saucer - Columbia, SC.

11.2oz bottle (with lovely damsel on the label) poured into a tulip glass. Deep brownish-red, with a thin, lingering head. Full aroma, with apple overtones and some acidity.

Complex tart flavor, again like apples. Sweet off the bat, with a bold tart and sour taste following. Tastes & feels hearty, as Flemish ales will.

A pleasingly tasty and smooth beer, good for meals/cheese pairings (gruyere in this instance), sessions, etc. Hearty enough to enjoy in cold months, and refreshing enough to be pleasing in summer months. Excellent change-of-pace choice, and good for sharing. Highly recommended.

Sprows, Apr 26, 2007
Photo of grittybrews
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

Best before 4/08/2012. Poured a murky brown with a faint reddish tinge into a tulip with two fingers of long-lasting khaki head. Mildly puckering aroma of sour cherry and funk with a hint of caramel sweetness.

Moderate carbonation and a light, fizzy mouthfeel. Intense mix of sweet cherry, grape, and sour apple up front, giving way to biscuity malt and a trace of vanilla oak on the clean finish.

For all the sourness on the nose, this beer ended up having a nice balance of sweet (with a slightly artificial note), sour, and malty that kept me sipping faster than I'd intended. I suppose I could have used a little more sour in the overall flavor balance, but this beer was still very enjoyable.

grittybrews, Dec 02, 2010
Photo of SirBenton
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

this is a favorite of mine, first introduced to me by my brother.

pours great with a good head. I find it best served slightly chilled or at room temperature. it has a beautiful color somewhere near a dark brownish red. the smell is simple and sweet and slightly sour smelling. the taste is stunning. passion fruit with a hint of chocolate are the flavors dominating. very sweet with an bit of an apple like aftertaste. goes down smooth, almost too smooth! the alcohol is not present at all, this beer is a great way to finish the night! Thanks, Bro!

SirBenton, May 10, 2011
Photo of xrdsci
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

Poured from a bottle.

A: Deep reddish brown color. Off-white head.

S: Fruity with a subtle wine-like smell.

T: Incredible balance of fruit and tart flavors. Neither overpowers the other. Sour cherries and other dark fruits are most prominent. Finishes dry, with a hint of spice.

M: Medium mouthfeel, light carbonation. Very smooth and creamy.

D: If my body would let me, I could drink a couple dozen of these.

Highly recommended for this style.

xrdsci, Oct 03, 2010
Photo of Hibernator
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

Duchesse De Bourgogne
25.4 oz dark green bottle with caged cork
Exp. date listed on cork: December 2007
Served in a pilsner glass

Pours a dark crimson red color. Fluffy head forms on top with little holes throughout. The head sustains and leaves major trails and patterns of sticky lacings all over the glassware. Layers and layers of lace provide decoration.

Whiffs of funky yeast, sour notes and cherries.

My sip starts off with a sweet, caramel malt backbone that lays the foundation and then instantly transforms to a highly acidic and sour bash on my palate. Hints of raisins, prunes, cherries and blueberry syrup meld together under the mouth puckering tartness that awaits the finish. The hop profile is minimal at best. This beer screams sweet & sour.

More "balanced" than a true lambic, but just as interesting in terms of complexity and depth. Wow, I'm so glad I'm discovering this style of beer.

Hibernator, Sep 16, 2006
Photo of fastsrt
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

11.2 ounce bottle in to chalice
A: reddish brown soapy head that laces the glass.
S: sour, oak, fruit, grapes,
T: fruity,tart, sour and sweet, oak, reminds me of a wild ale
M: light, and sweet, smooth, has a lingering tart finish that is dry.
D: randomly picked this one and it is delicious, drinkable, awesome beer. will buy this one again.

fastsrt, Jan 31, 2010
Photo of AlexJ
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

This lovely lady pours into my Delirium tulip a deep garnet hued brown with a medium sized head of off white that quickly fizzles out leaving light lacey streaking as it goes.

The aromas are intense, brimming with tart cherries, oakey dryness, musty cider, green apples, and celler must.

The flavor is really quite incredible, a blend of sweet and sour cherry, oak, earth, vinegarry apple cider, sugary sweet and dryly tart at the same time. Each sip makes me go mmmm.

The body is quite large, silky smooth and lightly carbonated. The mouthfeel is lush and sweet and really coats your palate with beautiful, funky, sweet and sour flavors. Too bad it's so expensive cuz I could drink this every day. We shared this bottle and paired it with soft Borgogneian cheese of the same region. It was a match made in heaven, thanks Gabe!

AlexJ, May 15, 2005
Photo of VncentLIFE
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

Pours brown with an inch head. Decent carbonation.

The duchesse has always smelled sweet, like a good wine.

The taste is much more tart than the smell might lead you to believe. The latent sweetness is still there, but a slightly acidic vinegar taste accents the sweetness very well. Body is light as expected. Exhaling produces a metallic grape feeling.

One damn good bier.

VncentLIFE, Oct 29, 2011
Photo of biboergosum
4.26/5  rDev +2.4%

750ml bottle. So like a gueuze, but not a Gueuze, eh? Screwy old-world denominations.

This beer pours a clear, rather dark reddish cola amber hue, with two pudgy fingers of foamy, soapy beige head, which take a fair while to melt away, leaving some chunky, splotchy stillborn honeycombed lace around the glass as it slowly melts away.

It smells of sour fruit esters - cherry, lemon, and apple, with more than a bit of sharp acetic acid, some timid boozy oak barrel notes, and a faint pale malt sweetness. The taste is big sweet and sour fruitiness - black currants, cherry, apple - further sweet caramel malt, and a burgeoning oaken vanilla woodiness. Some leafy, earthy bitterness loiters after the fact.

The carbonation is quite low-key, the body a solid, and fairly smooth medium weight, the echoes of abstracted fruit strangely doing no harm. It finishes off-dry, with the overarching fruitiness fully opening up to the yin and yang of tartness and sweetness.

A rather complex and sexy offering, the sourness alluring enough to draw one in, but not too pungent to outstay its welcome. In the end, one has to describe this as a more sweet than sour, tasty tipple, a testament to the mutability of things.

biboergosum, May 14, 2009
Photo of BEERchitect
4.26/5  rDev +2.4%

In the honor of the Duchess of Burgundy, a unique sweet and sour taste emerges in ale form- an unfailing choice for the curious palate to venture into the sour family, but with the malty-sweet support and a rich fruit flavor to balance its acidity. Its utmost complexity and refreshment is reserved for those who refine their palate but are tentative about sourness.

This Flanders red ale's tawny pour of browns, reds, and haze carry an inherent wine-like, cognac appearance that's shyly adorned with the daintiest of foam stance which It's similar to delicate coffee-like creme.

The nose is met with complex and succulent character that remind that strikes the olfactory senses with balsamic, chocolate, black cherry, weathered wood, soy sauce, red wine, and sherry wine. The sweet and sour interplay seems something much more of French reductions or Chinese cuisine than it does of beer.

Flavors are a dynamic sweet and sour interplay of to tart berries, mild toast but more so of vinous wine, savory umami character, lemon-like acidity,- its sour and savory combination can go on and on. Every point of flavor has a counterpart to balance, which carry the beer across the palate with a multitude of intrigue and wonderment.

Medium bodied, but the beer's tepid but acidic sourness makes the beer seem somberly tart while the succulent cherry and cocoa allow for a soft weight to be felt. Its moderate carbonation allows the beer to seep into the softer mouth tissues for fuller flavor but also ushers in a dry woodsy finish of crab apples with mild vinegary astringency.

Well balanced throughout, but the beer's sweeter and fruitier side buffers against any abrupt sourness which gives it a restrained property that not only challenges the palate, but soothes it with ample wine sweetness and toasty malts.

BEERchitect, Aug 25, 2005
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,137 ratings.