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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

3,246 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,246
Reviews: 1,362
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 150
Gots: 349 | 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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Duchesse De Bourgogne Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,246 | Reviews: 1,362 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CFHMagnet
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Best before 09/11/2013" printed on bottle.

A slightly aggressive pour got me a little over a finger of tan head. The body is a deep brown with red-orange hues to it. The head dissipates rather quickly, but leaves a thick healthy ring up top with a little dusting. Some lacing noted during enjoyment.

Sour vinegar and light funk are the first aromas noted. Also noted sour fruits including apples, white grapes and baking cherries.

Sour vinegar and funk start this off in the mouth, much like the nose. The continues on with the sour apple and grapes earlier noted, then makes a nice transition over to a sweet cherry flavor with notes of vanilla and black berries. Sourness stays with you the whole course of the ber, but when the sweetness kicks in it really changes it up.

The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied. It is highly carbonated, and it is assumed that this keeps it from getting sticky and/or syrupy as beers that get this sweet can become.

As sour beers aren't really my cup, this one surprised me in being more than quite enjoyable. It is light, fruity and pleasant. It is rather inoffensive and likely a good start for introducing people to beers with a more sour side to them.

CFHMagnet, Mar 14, 2012
Photo of BostonHops
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

(originally reviewed: 06-21-2011)

BostonHops, Jun 15, 2012
Photo of TechTriumph
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes on 03/02/12:
Best before 09/11/2013; Poured in a snifter.

A - Just under one inch of very light tan, finely carbonated head that doesn't stick around for too long; Deep dark maroon in color and seems to be clear when held to the light; Some patches of lacing here and there

S - I doubt I would have liked this a year or two ago, before what I know and appreciate now; I get a strong dose of sour aromas, vinegar, grapes, dark fruits, and acidity - reminiscent of any sour candy like Sour Patch Kids; I searched hard for some wood-like aromas and seem to get just a faint whiff of it; Just a touch of alcohol as well

T - I'm certainly not use to this - the taste is pretty sour and vinegary to be sure, especially up front with a good amount of puckering; Very brief but noticeable alcohol up front before the true tart/sour taste begins, and it does linger for quite a bit, though accompanied by some sweetness over time that does provide some balance; In addition to the sourness, are wine-like grapes, apples, cherries, mixed berries, dark fruits, and a good amount of acidity that add a bit of complexity

M - Quite a bit of zesty carbonation with a bit of vinegar burn; Medium bodied; A very drying and puckering beer that, as stated before, reminds me of the sensation associated with eating sour candy

O - This beer was my first ever sour, and while it was certainly an eye-opening experience, I still enjoyed getting to try a new beer within an unfamilar style. Even with the knowledge of what I was about to drink, I was still startled by the amount of sour/vinegar taste in this beer. That said, with each sip, my mouth started to adjust to the tartness, and the beer surprisingly became pretty addicitve. I don't think I could drink a beer like this too often, but am now looking forward to giving a few more sours a try in the future.

TechTriumph, Mar 15, 2012
Photo of stcules
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Mahogany color, bright, with ruby edges. Beige foam, good and creamy.
Malty smell, acicic, red fruit, strawbeery, raspberry, and sugar. And all on good acidic notes.
In the mouth a good acetic acidity, agai red fruit, oak notes, candy sugar. Good.
Light body. Great drinkability.
In the aftertaste the same pleasant note, a strong oak woody-ness, red fruit, and the acetic over all.
Definitely good, to drink in great quantity.

stcules, Apr 17, 2012
Photo of uustal
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark caramel brown with a slight off-white head. Stays around, but no lacing. Cherries, Raspberries and balsamic vinegar on the nose. Flavor begins with a sour kick of cherries, grape juice, red wine and mellowed vinegar. Not too tart or puckering. Hints of sweet raspberries, lemon juice and sour apples near the finish. Just a touch of wood as well. Nice balance, simple mix of flavors that work very well together.

uustal, Feb 19, 2012
Photo of Flounder57
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz was poured into a snifter.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger head that has reduced a little to a puffy white head. It is a reddish/amber/crimson color with some clarity and signs of carbonation coming up through the glass. Lots of carbonation too.

Smell: Tart, sour, oak, bready notes, and sweetness from the fruits use in this beer. Smells good.

Taste: tart flavors galore and sweetness. Cherries and raspberries, a little sourness, bready malts, and truly a tasty beer.

Mouthfeel: A bit dry, medium to high carbonation, a little chewy, tasty, and medium bodied.

Overall: bottle or draft, you can't go wrong. Such a cornerstone of a beer for this style.

Flounder57, Oct 02, 2012
Photo of spoony
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 750 ml bottle into a wine glass.

A-The beer is dark brown with ruby highlights. A normal pour produced about one finger of dirty, light brown head that faded into a cap pretty quickly. The cap hung around until the end.

S-I love the smell of this stuff; a real highlight. I get bright, tart cherries, acidic vinegar, sour apples, toasty oak, and a bit of earth. The whole thing melds together just right for me.

T-The taste is sweeter and simpler than the smell. Still, the flavors are tart cherries, apples, pears, and a little kick of funky earth. The sweet taste overpowers some of the oak and acid that make the smell so great.

M-The beer has a fine carbonation with a medium body. A touch watery feeling.

O-Disclosure: Years ago, this was one of the first sour beers I ever had, so I'm sure there is some nostalgia coming in here. Anyway, I really enjoy the Duchesse. In particular, I could smell this beer all day long. The taste is a little sweet and the feel was merely good (not great), so perhaps this beer lacks the balance and complexity of the best sour red ales (Rodenbach Grand Cru, for example), but the Duchesse is still a great example of the style.

spoony, Dec 25, 2012
Photo of magictrokini
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very enjoyable beer. Was my first foray into the Flemish sours. Pours a clear brown with no head. Aroma is sour malt and apples. The taste is very light and smooth. Sour up front that turns sweet, almost like a brewer's take on champagne. It got better as it warmed. Will definitely seek this one out again.

magictrokini, Dec 16, 2008
Photo of Stigs
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle served in a St. Bernardus chalice

A - poured a healthy finger of tight and frothy off white foam, slowly falling to a thin layer. the beer is a rich dark amber color, and quite clear.

S - mostly vinegar mixed with overly ripe dark fruits, some belgian yeast, funky socks, and sour lemon rind. spicy finish.

T - immediate funky vinegar turns to a surprise candy like sweetness. just a tad sour, but mostly fruity sweet, white grapes, pears, plums, and cherries. last third, the cherries really take over as some yeast, funk, and vinegar joins in. quite unique.

M - medium bodied and creamy. carbonation is subtle but there. nothing fancy.

D - unique, even for the style. just sour enough for some character, but the sweet fruits mostly dominate. wine lovers might like this, and also a good intro to the style.

Stigs, Jan 16, 2010
Photo of daftafne
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears as a cola with a tinge of orange. Lacing around rim and surface with little head around the rim supported by good carbonation. Smells of vinegar, apple, dark fruit, and spice. This is my fourth time having this and the taste is more musty than I remember it. Tastes mostly of apple, oak, and light vinegar. It is deliciously well-balanced between sweet and tart. Goes down easy and very smooth. Finishes with a nice bite. Medium body and good drinkability. Really fantastic!

daftafne, Dec 01, 2008
Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 fl oz. bottle marked "Best before 7-09-05." Purchased at the World of Beer, Clearwater, FL.

Chestnut red-brown in color with a pitted, off-white head that leaves heavy lacing on the side of the glass. Aroma is faint, slightly sour.

Taste is soft, subtle, with an almost candied sugar sweetness and a touch of typically Flemish red sourness, and a hint of vinegar. Very rounded flavor, but lacking in intensity--which might be as much due to trying to follow Tripel K as anything else.

Good, very drinkable and enjoyable, but lacking something that would make it exceptional.

RockyTopHeel, Aug 01, 2004
Photo of Mavajo
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a mostly brown body with perhaps a hint of garnett. Good white head that fades rapidly - eventually sticks as a thin ring. Light spotty lacing.

Nose is vinegar with cherries. Taste brings the same, along with a nice mix of sweet and sour. The sourness gives you a nice punch with a pleasant overlay of sweetness. Very pleasant taste overall.

Mouthfeel is good. Generous dose of carbonation that tingles across the tongue. Light to medium bodied.

All in all, a very good Flanders Red.

Mavajo, Aug 07, 2010
Photo of UncleFlip
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's definitely not an everyday beer- yet right now, I think this beer is my favourite. A friend commented that the flavour of this beer is going in 1000 different directions at once- and that's a fair assessment.

It arrived in a glass that bore its name...As I put my nose close to the short fat goblet, I picked up a vinegary smell- it made me think just a bit of a beer that was infected....however, not in an unpleasant way. The deep ruby colour was hard to pick up on, as the upstairs bar at the Brick Store was somewhat dimly lit (as was I, at the moment). First taste was not quite what I expected- though it matched the smell very well. The vinegar overtones and infection-taste were there, but again, not unpleasantly. There was a bit of citrus-acid tang to it as well, the type that in large doses can give you a pang of slight pain just where your jaw meets your neck. Yet there was also a dark, malty sweetness that was carried on a thinner body than I expected.

Take this one slowly, and let it caress you. You don't want to take things to fast with this formidable woman.

(edit: since this review I have found better beers in this style, and this one is not as appealing as it once was- though it will always have a special place for me, being my first of the style...)

-UF

UncleFlip, Jun 16, 2005
Photo of bashiba
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice copper/red color with a thick creamy head and good retention.

Smell was dominated by the odor of sour cherries.

Taste starts out sour then quickly mellows into a smooth woody charachter. Has a nice fruityness to it with a very deep overall flavor.

Mouthfeel is thin and light with a nice amount of carbonation.

A very good and enjoyable beer, very drinkable.

bashiba, Jul 23, 2005
Photo of WOTO97
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really great beer. Poured into a NB goblet with some vigor. Great head retention with nice off-white lacing around the glass. The nose definitely gives off some decent tartness along with melon and grape notes common with the style; some faint wood in the background complemented by subtle coriander. The taste is really spectacular: great tartness throughout with a slight lingering acidic note on the immediate finish, soft fruit (grape, melon), great herbal character with very nominal medicinal quality on the mid-palate, wood noticeable but less so than on the nose. Clean mouthfeel with a bit of chewiness/stickiness on the immediate tasting. Some points off the drinkability for the simple fact this is a sipper; not likely to throw down a grip of these back-to-back.

WOTO97, Apr 28, 2010
Photo of rdrummer
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap twice at two different locations, and it is consistently good. It pours a clear dark reddish-brown with a small tan head. The smell is one that is predominantly sour malt. I love that smell but have brother BAs that hate it. The flavor has an initial hit of sweetness but is quickly drowned by the sour malt taste. My wife calls it vinegar but I love it. It has a medium-bodied feel on the palate and is very acidic. I really like the beer but one is my limit. The ascerbic taste is too much for prolonged drinking.

rdrummer, Sep 18, 2004
Photo of afrokaze
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

A - Deep ruby brown with 2 fingers of pillowy head that sticks around with nice lacing.

S - Lots of stone fruit, especially ripe cherries & tart peaches, lemon citrus. Soft bready malt, mix of vinegar acidity & slight sweetness.

T - Tart edge of lime citrus mixed with some vinegar tartness. Malt is subdued but balances acid with soft bready notes. Finish is long but sweeter than expected, with more stone fruit, similar to plums & nectarines. Some woodiness comes out as it warms & mixes nicely with wine-like character.

M - Great mix of tart edge that attacks the tastebuds & creamy softness in the aftertaste. Crisp & very refreshing.

O - My favorite Flanders Red thus far. Reminds me of Rodenbach Grand Cru but even smoother; sourness is nicely sharp but kept in check well by oak aging. Sublime.

afrokaze, Jul 17, 2011
Photo of metter98
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured very dark red into a snifter glass with a white head that died down quickly. Judging from the bubbles, the level of carbonation appears to be light to moderate.
S: There's a distinct aroma of sour fruit with subtle notes of sweetness.
T: Like the smell, there's sourness in the taste but there's also an equal amount of fruity sweetness; the mix between sweet and sour flavors is rather refreshing on the palate.
M: The beer feels medium-bodied and smooth on the palate.
D: The sweetness balancing some of the sourness makes this very drinkable and refreshing.

metter98, Apr 14, 2010
Photo of drtth
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As poured the beer is a reddish dark brown color with a 1” thick creamy light tan head that recedes slowly. The speckles and patches of lacing stick nicely to the sides of the glass and sipping produces lacing for much of the beer.

Smell: The aromas include tart cherries, a bit of dark orchard fruits like plum and a nice background overlay of vinegar.

Taste: The flavors, as expected from the nose, include tart cherry, a bit of plum, and the vinegar, but along with that there is some sweetness that balances off against the sourness of the vinegar. Inside the sweetness there are traces of chocolate and some nice vanilla and oak notes from the barrel aging.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium bodied with a smooth light creamy carbonation. The finish is long and dry with a lasting sourness.

Drinkability and Overall Impression: Throughout this beer I found initially that it was mostly curiosity that motivated taking another sip, but as I adjusted myself to the flavors I was experiencing and as the beer warmed some I began to enjoy it more. Indeed, by the end of the beer I was ready to open another given the complex interplay of flavors. As I was ready to decide there was too much sweetness the sour would come in to play and as I was ready to decide there was too much vinegar sourness the sweetness would assert itself. Overall I’d say this is a beer that is well worth trying. I’m guessing that it is not for everyone, but I’d recommend that everyone give it a try but pay close attention to serving temperature and have 2-3 before reviewing or deciding they liked or disliked it.

drtth, Aug 27, 2011
Photo of arguemaniac
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark burgundy with a creamy, red-tinged head that leaves behind a thick, well-sustained lace. The nose features a distinctive vinegary aroma, and even a faint touch of sulfur, with some definite fruitiness in the background (strange as it might seem, this is actually a good thing, considering the style). The sour palate also has some pleasant fruity sweetness to it (with a distinct cherry character to it). I can’t really make out any hop bitterness as the sourness eclipses most everything else. The finish is not as sour but is certainly fairly tart with a little more of that sweetness coming through. The mouthfeel is surprisingly light with a sharp carbonation tang.

One thing I like about this style of beer (or at least good examples of it, such as this one) is that even though they are very sour, they are also rich and quite drinkable, something to which the unexpectedly light mouthfeel contributes. The other thing I like about these is how unique they are: while I certainly can’t see myself drinking them all the time, they are a refreshing change of pace. And this particular example is one of the better. So, while this might not be the most approachable style for someone who is new to the craft beer scene, it is definitely something a more adventurous and more experienced beer drinker should try. Highly recommended.

arguemaniac, Apr 05, 2006
Photo of ludachris
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The body is a deep and rich amber with scarlett red highlights. Strong levels of carbonation can be seen despite its slightly hazed body. Two fingers of creamy egg shell white head sit on top and is in no hurry to recede.

The first thing that hits me is vinegar in the nose. It's dry but not at all overpowering. Notes of white grapes and apple cider add to its tartness. It's quite vinous. Musty yeast and touches of cranberries add a lot more complexity to its tartness. Very interesting and complex in the nose.

Not as tart as I thought it would be. The sweetness of the apple cider is heightened. Subdued vinegar notes reside at the back of the palate and make themselves prevalent throughout. Tart and sweet cranberries pair with subtle yeast notes in the finish. There's still a slight tartness there as well but by the end it has regressed into the background.

Light to medium bodied with a good creamy feel. Dry in the finish with a tingly carbonated kick. Very well rounded and extremely well balanced.

A great intro to this very interesting style. The tartness is present but tamed. Flavourful throughout and highly quaffable.

ludachris, May 06, 2011
Photo of clarkm04
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- A deep amber, red hue.

Smell- lots of cherries along with funky yeast smell

Taste- Outstanding. Very sweet with less sourness of the traditional Flemish Red or sour. Lots of cherries with a nice finish.

Mouthful- A very light, crisp mouthful.

Drinkability- Very high for a Flemish Red. I enjoy this style but can usually only drink one at the most.

Overall- A very strong strong Flemish Red. In the same realm as Kastel Rouge or Belgian Red but more sour and closer to the style of the Flemish Red. I will definitely drink this beer again. Definitely would pare well with a variety of desserts.

clarkm04, Jul 29, 2010
Photo of rfgetz
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lovely deep dark ruby brown color with pillowy off white head. Smell is of balsamic vinegar, tart cherry with hints of pear. Taste is a quick burst of tart cherry and apple cider vinegar / balsamic vinegar quickly backing off into a nice blend of semi-sweet fruit with a very earthy grain profile. Body medium... prickly at first, mellowing out quickly. Very good taste without overpowering. Would be a very good introduction into the world of sour beer for the novice.

rfgetz, Dec 17, 2009
Photo of mdagnew
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle bought from De Bier Tempel, Brussels, March 2005...

Poured a deep burgundy colour with brown tinges... Creamy tan head pours quite small and fades quickly to thin layer... medium carbonation. Patchy, sticky, lacing...

Aroma - Strong sweet and sour notes, vinegary, soy sauce, leathery, can just make out some toffee malts, rum notes, no hops that i can make out, oaky, light pepperiness...

Taste – Quite sweet initially then the (balsamic) vinegariness comes through, rum, definite soy sauce hints, nutty, nice oakiness, some spicy fruitiness, (red grapes, blackcurrents), can just make out some sweet malts, again no real hop notes...

Feel - Quite smooth but with a little sharp bite underneath. Medium / full body... Probably couldn't drink more than one per sitting...

Overall - An excellent beer... Highly recommended... Probably not for everyone and i can see why it gets such a love / hate reaction - personally i think it's top notch...

mdagnew, Jun 19, 2006
Photo of scbrew
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark crimson-brown color with light tan head that dissipates quickly. Slight sour, very fruity aroma. Wonderfully balanced flavor between sweet and sour. Mild sour flavors with slight candied sweetness. Excellent body. Seemed like a bigger beer. Loved it!

scbrew, Jun 22, 2011
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,246 ratings.