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.

3,136 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,136
Reviews: 1,355
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 141
Gots: 322 | FT: 9
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Verhaeghe visit their website

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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Duchesse De Bourgogne Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,136 | Reviews: 1,355 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Goliath
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%

Beer oours a dark reddish brown color with two fingers of light tan head that receed fairly quick. Aroma is vinegary and slightly sour. Taste is fairly sweet for a Flanders. A slight tartness and slight vinegar taste. Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Drinkability is fair.

Goliath, Feb 23, 2008
Photo of spithrash
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%

Just back from Belgium and this is the 1st of 8 that I brought home with me to try. Pours a nice ruby red/dark brown clolor - little carbonation leaves a small head which dissipates completely leaving no lacing.

Smell is sour and sweet, hints of dates or raisins.

Taste hits the sides of the tongue with sour first, then hints of ripe cherry on the palate. Not heavy and very well balanced. Taste lingers for quite some time. One sip makes me crave another. An amazing mix of sweet & sour, highly drinkable and sadly my 25cl bottle is gone. Will definitely seek this one out again.

spithrash, Feb 21, 2009
Photo of Franz4
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%

12 oz bottle best by 4/8/2012 poured into a flute

A- Pours with a rusty magenta color with a foamy off white head

S- Tart cherries with a slight mustiness to it. Woodiness is noted in the background.

T- Cherries up front followed by a nicely balancing malt vinegar flavor that's not nearly as severe as I expected.

M- It's a sipper, light in body the carbonation brings the flavors out nicely. Going down much easier than I anticipated.

O- A very nice brew that I enjoyed drinking. This is a nice change of pace brew from my typical IPA/Stout/Pale Ales, and I couldn't have been more pleasantly surprised. I have a feeling I'll be coming back to revisit this one often, as well as searching out more in the style.

Franz4, May 17, 2011
Photo of ccrida
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%

Served on draught from the Uber Tavern in Seattle, in the brewery's chalice, the Duchess is a hazy dark amber with a moderate eggshell head that leaves decent lace.

The aroma is vinous and tart, minerals and dry yet sweet softess, most intriguing, very strong and sweet!

Well this is one superb Flandrers red, the benchmark bar none. Sweeter then it may sound by description, there's some apple cider vinegar like sweetness and, although there's still plenty of funk, the finish is on the sweeter side. Lots of sugar, I like them with less, but I'll still take it! Of course, some of my scoring reflects the romanticism of this being my first of the style, which immediately hooked me on the style and the whole world of sours.

The mouthfeel, while not super fluid, is fairly average for the style, which is light in spite of the sugariness.

This is a pretty good Flanders Red, especially if you like the vinegar aspect tempered with sugar...you're in major luck! The sweetness really sets this one apart in the love-or-hate category.

ccrida, Aug 23, 2007
Photo of dreadnatty08
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%

Beer pours a dark red, nearly opaque. Head forms about half an inch and recedes to a light covering. Aromas are incredible, jump right out of the glass. As this is my first Flemish Red I will just describe what I find, as I'm not sure what I "should" find... Smells like red berries, balsamic and red wine vinegar sourness. Never smelled a beer quite like this wow! Flavors are both sweet and sour (to me, akin to some duck sauce from Chinese take-out). This beer is incredible, have had nothing quite like it. Drinkability is only so-so as it's a fairly sweet brew and I'm not sure if I could have many of these.

dreadnatty08, Mar 11, 2006
Photo of msubulldog25
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%

poured from 330ml bottle to a snifter.

A: Deep, turbulent brown with some ruby hi-lights. A frothy I finger off white head that fades slowly to a swirled film.

S: Terrific smell - is it sweet? Is it sour? Hints of vinegar are comingled with malty/candy sweetness.

T: Just as mixed as the smell, different flavors are busy all at once. Sour/tart apples at the start, caramel & soda pop sweetness in the finish. Dry finish of malt. I really like that the tart bite mellows to a brown sugar-y sweetness

M: I found the beer to be heavily carbonated, even spritzy, like soda. Good mouthfeel, medium body.

D: As much as I lked the smell/flavor sensations this beer offers, it's easy to stop at one. In fact, I could have stopped at half of one, though not because I didn't like it. A lovely, magical beer but enjoyable in small quantities, for me at least. I could see this beer as suitable for a digestif or apertif.

msubulldog25, Jul 21, 2006
Photo of bonkers
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%

Ipoured from a bomber into a snifter. Murky purple in color with a nice sticky white head, lots of lacing. Tart, almost vinegar aroma. Sweet and tart flavors, oak and and a very drying finish. Light in body and full or carbonation, almost wine like. A nice change of pace for me, I enjoyed it as an occasional treat.

bonkers, Oct 23, 2010
Photo of beergeek279
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%

Served in the 11.2 oz. bottle, into a St. Bernardus goblet. The color is a very dark amber, with a very slight bit of white head. The smell is almost vinegar sour. The taste is a very citrusy/limeish sourness. Mouthfeel is very well-carbonated. As for drinkability, one or two is fantastic, but it would be very tough to go much beyond that.

With Rodenbach off the market, I was told that this is the best substitute. I personally couldn't compare the two of them (though I do have an Alexander waiting for another day), but on its own this is a nicely sour taste that's well-balanced and doesn't pucker my mouth. Quite good, and one I'd have on another day.

beergeek279, Jan 26, 2004
Photo of perrymarcus
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%

11.2oz bottle served in a snifter.
best before date: 04/29/2012

pours a mahogany tone while yielding a creamy 1" or so of beige colored head; middling retention, fades to a thin, lasting cap. decent lacing.

a decent amount going on the nose, which is one of the more unique aromas i've encountered recently. notes of caramel, brown sugar, belgian yeast, cherries, funk, and cider vinegar.

the taste is an unexpected treat. not being the biggest fan of sours i'm pleasantly surprised by the flavor profile: cherry, apple, and sweet malt lead the way. nice balance between sweet and tart. it has a nice sour component that doesn't go too far. very tasty.

toward the lighter side of medium-bodied in the mouth with some lively carbonation.

overall i'm enjoying this. was admittedly a bit apprehensive at the outset but keeping an open mind has paid off. great beer.

perrymarcus, Jun 21, 2011
Photo of woemad
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%

11.2oz bottle purchased at Jim's Homebrew in Spokane for $4.75.

Poured into a St. Bernardus goblet, this beer had a russet color with a thin, light tan head. Once I agitated the glass, I managed to get an inch and a half of foam that took a couple of minutes to drop. A sticky webbing slowly receded, leaving isolated spots of lace on the sides of the glass.

Initially vinegary smelling, this quickly took on a complex, sour fruit scent with some faint, caramel-ish notes in the background.

The taste buds get hit with both a sugary and sour flavor. The two elements vie with one another, with a sour cherry and apple flavor barely winning out, with a faintly dry, tangy note at the swallow.

Medium bodied, with a slightly coating mouthfeel. Carbonation is just right.

A very tasty beer, it's my second of the style, the first being it's stable-mate, Vichtenaar. It reminds me that I need to drink these more often. Not something that woule be a good choice for sessioning, but it hits the spot after work and would probably do so after dinner as well.

woemad, Aug 09, 2009
Photo of Knapp85
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%

This ale poured out as a fizzy looking deep red color with a light tan colored head on it. The head didn't last very long and neither did the lacing. The color was great on this beer though. The aroma of oak wood and fermented cherries on the nose giving this quite a sour profile. The taste is exactly what the smell told me. The flavors in this beer are big a powerful upfront with tart cherry and fresh oak. The aftertaste settles into a more semi-sweet and very nice yeasty cherry flavor. The mouthfeel is bubbly and kind of thin but didn't bother me. Overall this is probably one of my favorite sours, I'm not really into this style too much but I'll admit I did enjoy this brew.

Knapp85, Jun 07, 2011
Photo of cswhitehorse
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%

The Duchess de Bourgogne poured a dark red that light could not pierce. A 1/2 inch foam head took off quickly. The tiny bubble from the center of the glass created a underwater fireworks show. Not much in the way of lacing.

The aroma was super sour and of a tart cherry. The taste had some good tartness but not as much as I was expecting from the nose. It was dry in the mouth and left you with a tingling at the back of the throat. It was lightly carbonated and offset with some sweetness on the back end of the drink. Overall a enjoyable brew I would have again.

cswhitehorse, Nov 27, 2008
Photo of HochFliegen
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%

Pours a ruby red with a good white head that left traces all along my glass.
The smell was amazingly sour, fruity with a musty and vinegar like smell. Cherry, green apple and plum comes to mind after a deep inhale of this beer.
Taste was really sweet fruit like then turned to rotten fruit sourness and finishes with a tart mouth watering aftertaste. So many flavors all running around together makes this an amazing beer.
A very light mouthfeel which I think helps enhance the flavor by not taking away from the sourness. It really leaves a juicy feeling in your mouth.

HochFliegen, May 27, 2006
Photo of jjayjaye
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%

Pours a deep mahogany red with a shallow foamy light tan head that resists fading. A good amount of lacing observed. The smell is a tart dry berries sensation, cherries maybe. Substantially effervescent with a tangy tartness, the mouth feel is medium bodied. Full flavored cherry explosion finishes somewhat on the dry side. A wonderful cherry aftertaste lingers appropriately. A very easy drinker. The 6.2% ABV is integrated well. I've been eying this one for a while. Highly recommend giving it a try.

jjayjaye, May 14, 2008
Photo of ROMER79
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%

I had this beer both in a bottle and on tap and I truly feel that it is a better beer on tap. It pours a nice ruby red with a one finger tan head. It has a big sour cherry smell with spices and lactic aromas pulling through. The taste was almost the same. Big sour cherry flavor mixed with some lactic acids, but the alcohol flavor was hidden by the sour flavor. The mouthfeel was thick and full and it was very easy to drink.

ROMER79, Apr 07, 2008
Photo of snaotheus
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%

750ml bottle poured into a St. Bernardus glass

Pours a deep reddish brown, poured with a big fast carbonated head (looked like soda fizz) which faded quickly, leaving a still filmy layer on top. Smell is cherry sour, dark red wine scent.

Taste is very pleasant and surprisingly mild (maybe it'll strengthen as the beer warms up a little). Sweet/tart in the flavor (that I really enjoy in sours), more of the sour cherry.

Mouthfeel is light and dry, effervescent (still pretty darn carbonated). I'd never session such a brew, but it's still tasty and good.

snaotheus, Dec 19, 2010
Photo of Goldfish19
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%

~ Purchased this bottle from Big Z Beverage in Huntington, NY. This sour ale pours a dark reddish brown with a huge foamy head that subsides rather quickly into some spotty lacing. The smell reminds me a lot of balsamic vinegar. There is a really nice sour and earthy smell going on here. The taste is a wonderful complex combination of sweet and sour. Absolutely refreshing! A little pricey @ $4.95 for a single 11.2 oz bottle, but hey, you get what you pay for right?

All in all, if you are looking for a beer that is unique and different--you've come to the right place! ~

Goldfish19, Dec 03, 2009
Photo of akahn
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%

This beer was very exciting to me because it was one of those beers that just tasted different from everything I'd had before. A nice red color (more red than amber) with a curious nose. This beer tastes like candy! Potent sourness, but with more than enough sweetness to round it out. A very interesting beer and an interesting style. Seems like it would make a good dessert beer.

akahn, Jul 02, 2007
Photo of counselor
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%

pours a dark glimmering maroonish brown with a tight white head. Smells of tart cherries, woodsy, mild citrus. Smells sweet and tart soured fruit and sugary sweet mixture. Well balanced flavors run from sweet on the touge to tart and mildly sour in the cheeks. The mouthfeel was awesome with silky smooth liquid and superb carbonation. The aftertaste was slightly tart, fruity and begged for another mouthful. Super beer.

counselor, Mar 15, 2005
Photo of Offa
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%

This is an excellent, characterful, fruity-woody ale, rather sweet with light sourness.

Red-brown and bubbly, it has a big airy pale tan head steadily shrinking.

Aroma is vinegar and sour, turned/fermented fruit with hints of bread and wood.

Taste is fermented plums and raspberries with hint of fig, oaky-woody Dr.Pepper-like character, light fruity-yeasty hint, mostly sweet with light sourness and aftertaste of grains, Dr.Pepper, and fruit.

Offa, Sep 21, 2010
Photo of SLeffler27
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%

The tulip glass fills with an orange-brown clear elixir blanketed with a big almond head that slowly recedes to a beautiful lace.

Strong, vinegary yeast with woody mulch fills the nose.

The duchess is dry, like a carbonated wine, but tart with cherry and strong oak flavors.

An odd combination of carbonated syrup which presents its alcohol much higher than the stated 6%.

This one's a little sharp, but would pair well with cigars and conversation.

SLeffler27, Jun 08, 2008
Photo of adamette
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%

Live review. Poured from the 11.2 oz. bottle that I bought as a single for $3.99 at Save-On Tobacco & Beverage in Mentor a few weeks ago into my Trappist Westvleteren silver rimmed goblet. 23-04-11 stamped on the back label.

A Ruby red body that appears dark unless held in front of direct light when it glows. This under a rather brief but creamy very light brown head that dissipated down to a thin layer on top of the beer. Nice look and consistent with the style. 4.0

S Funky, tart smells typical of the style. This strikes me as a rather classic Red Flanders Ale. 3.5

T Much sweeter than the smell suggested, this has a nice, pleasant taste of cherries or berries with light roast malt and no tasteable hops to me. I will bump up to 4.5 since the sweetness really makes this very drinkable. 4.5

M Some smoothness, possibly taken from the creamy head and carbonation but mostly this is beer has a moderate feel. 4.0

D Very good indeed. After smelling the beer I was afraid that it may not be that drinkable but that sweetness makes it really approachable and I finished the goblet without much delay at all. 4.5

adamette, Jan 05, 2010
Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.21/5  rDev +1.2%

A - Pours a dark reddish-brown with a two finger beige head.

S - Tart cherries, plums, and balsamic vinegar.

T - Flavor follows the aroma with balsamic vinegar fading into tart cherries and green apples. Finsih has a nice malt backbone with some oak.

M - Light bodied with high carbonation. Very crisp and palate cleansing.

O - This is a great Flanders. Sweet, sour, and very well balanced. The perfect beginner sour.

TreyIsWilson, May 30, 2014
Photo of ckearns919
4.21/5  rDev +1.2%

Poured from a bomber into a sampling glass.

Appearance: poured dark amber with a thick beige head that disappeared quickly down to a quarter inch leaving some solid lacing around the glass

Smell: aged balsamic vinegar, dried cherries most apparent. Those are the twos hat dominate

Taste: vinegar upfront, but that quickly passes and gives way to a sweetness that quickly yields to tartness. Lots of flavor quickly. Taste similar to nose. Vinegar and cherries dominate. No hops to speak of, typical of the style.

Mouthfeel: very light. High carbonation cleanses the palate and leaves it refreshed. Hard to believe that this is 6%.

Overall: it doesn't get too much better than this. Balanced, complex, and refreshing. Clean finish. You get a lot of flavor and a lot of drink ability.

ckearns919, Apr 08, 2014
Photo of bobhits
4.21/5  rDev +1.2%

As expected a rather clear reddish orange body with a nice thick creamy dark cream head. Pretty nice presentation all and all.

Sour cherries, sugar, and hints of vinegar.

This is a great beer. The cherries give balance to a very nice puckering sour beer. A good amount of vinegar and tartness.

The carbonation seem a touch off to me. It's perhaps just a bit to explosive on the tongue. Still a minor complaint that doesn't hurt this beer much.

This isn't Rodenbock but this is a must try and the beer is priced extremely well.

bobhits, Jan 13, 2013
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,136 ratings.