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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

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Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

3,605 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,605
Reviews: 1,425
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 176
Gots: 526 | FT: 11
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Verhaeghe visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Flanders Red Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-15-2001

Belgian top-fermented reddish-brown ale, a blend of 8 and 18 months old beers following the careful maturation in oak casks.
View: Beers (13) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,605 | Reviews: 1,425
Photo of kbub6f
4.36/5  rDev +4.8%
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 fostachild
4.36/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours an awesome clear dark brown/red color with a good amount of light tan/offwhite head - nice lacing afterwards.

smell is nice - super sour, alcohol. sweetness - tons of fruit/berries.

tastes delicious. sour, sweet, fruit, wine, slight alcohol. interesting balance and well done. enjoyed this a ton! definitely recommend trying one out.

Photo of brewsclues
4.36/5  rDev +4.8%
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 abeeronthebeach
4.36/5  rDev +4.8%

Photo of EnemyWithin
4.36/5  rDev +4.8%
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 Ashleydenee
4.36/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

A. Bright mahogony color. Nice and clear with a nice little head that dissipates rather quickly.

S. Cherries, apples, muscadines, and a touch of wood.

T. Grape skins, lemons, strawberries, and bubblegum.

M. Light in the mouth and high carbonation. Zingy and refreshing.

D. This beer is quite drinkable as it is one of the most refreshing drinks I've had in a while. Paired with Chicken Alfredo was excellent!

Photo of bluejacket74
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml caged and corked bottle, cork states expiration date of 12/09. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a reddish/brown color with about a half inch off-white head. Head retention is average, lacing is good. It smells like tart cherries, apples and vinegar. The taste is similar to the aroma, it tastes like slightly tart cherries, apples, plums and a bit of funk and vinegar. The taste isn't quite as sour as I expected it to be, but I think it's pretty good. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's creamy and slick and well carbonated. Drinkability is pretty good, it's smooth, refreshing and very enjoyable and easy to drink. I'd buy this again in the future, I think this is a pretty good brew. Recommended.

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

It's been too long.

Beautiful chestnut colored body with a small, creamy pillow of a head that quickly reduces to a plush, bubbly ring. Oaky balsamic sharpness first hits the nose along with sour cherry, berries, caramel, and dusty red wine. Big, sour, well-rounded flavors like sweet, acidic fruit, tart cherry, wood, light tannins. Dry and puckering. This takes me back. Less vinegary than I remember. Excellent...

Photo of 80x2HopHead
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%

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

Pours amber with a small light brown head. Big carbonation rising.

Aroma of hay, vinegar and cherries. Interesting.

Taste is lightly sour, sour plums, sweet dark cherries, apple and grape. Quite a lot going on here.

Mouthfeel is light, cleansing and smooth.

Overall, very good, very drinkable. Good with a variety of foods.

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

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

Poured into tulip from tap at sd toronado. Pours a dark brown with a small bit of amber. Creamy, but thin, egg white head that does not linger very long. Nose is spice, vanilla, and sour yeast. On the tongue it has a very smooth and sweet vanilla taste that coats the mouth. Sourness is subtle but comes out most in the middle then gives way to the vanilla and dark fruits. Mouthfeel is great, comfortable carbonation that compliments the toned down sourness.

Overall, awesome beer, nice switch from the fruity, tart sours

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

750ml bottle purchased for $8.39 on 7-1-7 at Tanasbourne Haggen.

Pours ruby, with a forced 2 inch head which actually sticks around for a bit despite the implied acidity. The aroma initially reminds me of vinegar. There's cherries and other fruits in there too, but I'm mostly getting vinegar. I'm expecting a very sour and funky brew. But the first thing I notice is how sweet it is. I'm disappointed with this discovery until I realize just how clean that sweetness is, and how well balanced it is with the rest of the characteristics of this fine brew. Seems like new flavors expose themselves with every movement of the tongue. This is one of the most complex beers I've tried. I can't pick it apart. I have no idea what it is that's contributing to this dynamic flavor profile. Incredibly balanced, incredibly flavorful, but at the same time, the exceptionally clean finish makes for a highly quaffable brew. This is the sweetest beer that I actually liked. An eye opener.

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

A- The color is hazy reddish brown, almost cherry wood. About 2 cm of beige head that quickly subsides, leaves a pleasant lacing.

S- Pleasant smell of early souring milk, or even sourdough

T- The sweetness is pleasant, the sourness not overpowering, and both work together to great effect. Surprising floral quality to the taste, rose water or rose hips. No significant bitterness.

M- The mouth feel is medium bodied. Not very tannic.

O- Overall excellent, the perfect sweet and sour in the world of beers. Goes well alone or with a milder tasting dish such as white fish of shellfish.

P.S. The artwork on the sticker is great.

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

750 ML bottle into the official Duchesse De Bourgogne glass, straight proper. Shared with SundaySour on this Friday night.

Bottle indicates best before the end of the world, check.

A: Deep dark black opal, this is how I'd imagine a dragon's eyeball to look. Dark reds, earthy browns, and prismatic oils shimmer underneath a half finger head. The brew is at about ~45F, so I can't blame the Duchesse for rocking a pixie cut. Solid speckled lacing gets her a nice set of side-burns, the andro-look.

S: Grenadine covered cherry skins dominate the front, while a smell of old rules the middle. When I sniff this beer I get a visual: cobwebs in a rusty pipe, covered with a mixture of sherry and lingenberry jam. An unusual transition of the tartness leans toward gojji berries. A complex but very clean nose.

T: Cherry skins, lime, and a bittering carob. A dash of balsamic vinegar makes this an ultimate beet salad pairing. So sweet and so light, a crisp pink lady apple bite keeps me praising the Duchesse. How is all that flavor in there? Vinegar acidity increases with the temperature. This is just like fine salad dressings, you want to try and get just the right amount in your mouth. Too big of a gulp and you'd hate it, too little and you'd be left wanting. The challenge is taking that perfect rip.

M: Just so buttery smooth, the carbonation is so strong yet restrained. A master class in mouthfeel, the liquid levitates in your mouth above so many layers of bursting bubbles that you swear it never makes contact with your mouth. The Duchesse is a witch, burn her. But you can't, because you love her.

O: This really is just a classic. Definitely one of those beers you introduce to a new drinking buddy as an introduction to sour styles. The execution of this flanders is so clean and crisp, that to dislike it is as unholy as disliking your grandmother's apple-pie. Avoid such blasphemies, and take your time with this one. Explore the different flavor experiences to be had with different sized mouthfuls. Notice how she can be as sweet as you want her to be, and as tart as you want her to be. Revisit this one a few times before you come to any conclusions about it, each bottle is a variation on a theme. It's ever so sensitive to temperature and glassware, give her the care she needs. After many dates, hopefully you'll come to see her as the beautiful siren that she is.

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

Look: Nice dark reddish amber color, short white head, leaves good lacing

Smell: Sour vinegar, sweet dark fruits

Taste: More dark fruit, sour but not vinegary sourness

Feel: Light body with crisp carbonation, not overly sour or puckering

Overall: Pretty amazingly good sour

Photo of robmc93
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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

The TRUE champagne of beers. Poured a 750ml bottle into a flute which really fits this brew well. Dark brown with a thin and light lacy head that disappears quickly. As dark as it is, it looks very lively with carbonation.

Not too much in the nose, a woody smell of some sort. The taste, on the other hand... the second this brew hits your tongue the party starts. Champagne like bubbles, some tartness (but not at all strong) of cherries and plums, and a very subtle malty finish to balance everything out.

Overall, a really unique beer. Great way to introduce someone who doesn't like beer to something different... ie, my girlfriend, who loved it. Can't wait to have this for brunch!

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

Had on-tap at The Rake in London. Review from notes.

A: Pours a malt-vinegar esque deep red/brown with a respectable head. Appearance is complex and intriguing.

S: Smells of grape and cherry sweetness with a vinegary sting to it. Smells like it might be rather biting.

T: Wow. I've had Duchesse a couple of times from the bottle before and this is just totally different. In my previous experiences the vinegar dominated and the sweetness was a little hard to dig out. This time, the highest quality of sweet grapeskins beautifully layered the taste throughout, with small hints of other fruits like rich cherry. A vinegarish bite came toward the end but added a sort of crispness and fighting spirit to the taste. Really lovely.

M: Great mouthfeel; an excited carbonation with a viscocity that makes it run throughout your mouth at the appropriate rate and with just the right feel for the proper taste experience.

O: Having this on tap really caught me off guard and made me realize the dangers posed by getting this post international shipping. This is an awesome beer and already well worth getting in a bottle-- getting it on tap is a must if its available to you. Hats off to the Duchesse de Bourgogne.

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 jmc44
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark, deep brownish-red, with a rocky offwhite head that sticks around forever.

Fruity aroma, apples, acidic, a bit of sweet malt and hints of earthiness.

Taste is complex. A great balance of malty sweetness with a strong tart flavor, like sour cherries, apples, and a hint of raisins and dark fruit. Light and sweet at first, followed by the pronounced tart and sour taste. Surprisingly clean finish.

Medium-bottled, fairly highly carbonated, smooth. A very good beer, very complex and yet well balanced.

Photo of sholland119
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Along with the Monk's Sour Ale, this beer was my introduction to Flanders Reds. I was intrigued to go back and try one again.

Pours a moderately opaque brown with just a hint of dark purple. A thin tan head sticks around nicely.

Sour fruits, mostly cherries and maybe some green apple combined with a nice bready yeast.

Taste is delicious, with a bit of fruity sweetness in the front which rolls into a nice sour tang. Cherry sweetness come back in the finish. Excellent, if perhaps a tiny bit too sweet.

Mouthfeel has a modest pucker with nice medium carbonation.

An easy drinker for the style. The extra sweetness makes this more sessionable than most Flanders Reds.

HV

Photo of WYVYRN527
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Like most beers of this style, I like to describe them as sparkling pinot noir. However, This one is different. It pours a dark garnet color, with a thick head consisting of rather large bubbles. On the nose is a hint of spice, with a scent of blackcurrant. Beginning with a sour flavor of raspberry and cranberry, it is followed by a sweet finish of plum, currant, and brown sugar. The beer is medium-to-full bodied, and is not something that will fill you up before or after a meal. Because of it's acidity, I would serve this beer with fresh fruit or a salad. It would go great with pork tenderloin as well... For those looking to explore into a realm of something truly different, I highly reccomend this fine product.

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Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,605 ratings.