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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

3,251 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,251
Reviews: 1,362
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 151
Gots: 352 | 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: 3,251 | Reviews: 1,362 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of SauceBoss
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: The appearance poured darker than I expected being more dark brown/black in color at first then dimming to a firm brownish-red as I tilted the glass. Either way it was pretty. The head was creamy and laced nicely in a tulip glass.

Smell: Very fruity smell with a soft oaky background. Minute sourness and it was soft and pleasant.

Taste: Sour but not overbearing. It was more tart (sour) upfront followed by a nice sweetness both in a balanced combination. The fruity smell definitely came out when drinking.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation was nice and subtle. Had almost the consistency of a lambic and was pretty tart making my mouth pucker.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. This was a unique style of beer having been my first Flanders Red but with that said, I would drink another right now if I had one :)

SauceBoss, Mar 01, 2011
Photo of Monkeyknife
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the tap a dark purplish-black with a huge creamy tan head. Lots of sticky lacing left behind.

Aroma of dark cherries, earth and an aroma I can only describe as plastic raincoat.

Tart taste of dark cherries, red wine vinegar, fig and candy sugar.

Medium bodied and dry with a moderate carbonation.

I really enjoyed this beer but found that with the tartness, one was enough.

Monkeyknife, Nov 06, 2011
Photo of vkv822
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle into snifter.
best by date: Feb. 2011

Pours a very hazy brown with red accents and a nice off white head. The aroma is very vinegary but with some fruity oak aroma with sour cherry coming through the fruit flavors the most. The taste is not as vinegary as the aroma thankfully. The first flavor I identify is the yeast, which is quickly followed by a very nice tart apple taste. There is also more of the sour cherry flavor coming through. This beer is much more complex then I feel I am able to appropriately convey. And there are some faint notes of oak in the finish.
The mouthfeel is very crisp and dry, with good mild carbonation, and a medium to light body.
This is a very enjoyable and pleasant introduction to the Flanders Red family, and leaves me not only wanting more of this style, but definitely more of this beer as well.

vkv822, May 30, 2010
Photo of WanderingFool
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Duchesse De Bourgogne pours a very dark red color, almost black, into the glass. On top is a big tower of stiff light tan foam that slowly dissolves leaving behind thick clumps of lace on the glass and a blanket of lace on the beer.

The aroma is a tart fruity combination of green apple, raisin and grapes. Some woody notes of oak are also detected.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is soft and smooth with a mild carbonated tingle on the tip of the tongue. The flavor is fruity and sweet with a moderate amount of tartness. It starts with a tart flavor of green apple. Quickly a sweet taste of grape takes over and balances out the tart bitterness. Towards the end some cherry and oak are detected. It finishes sweet with some lingering grape flavors once gone.

This beer is almost like a lambic with its fruity tart flavor. However, the tartness is not nearly as harsh. It's well balanced with all the sweet flavors. The best way to describe it is to eat a sweet tart and wash it down with a glass of Welch's grape juice. Sounds weird, but really it's quite tasty.

WanderingFool, Aug 05, 2007
Photo of anell213
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pour into a tulip. Reddish/brown body, good amount of carbonation. Little head.

S: Did not smell great. Some funk/tart fruit, but I didn't find the smell overly appealing.

T: I found the taste overly appealing, however. Cherry, pear, wine, very little vinegar. Sour, but not too sour. Great blend of sour, tart, and sweet.

M: Light, very slightly chewy, good amount of carbonation on the tongue.

O: Ordered this beer randomly from a beer list without know anything about it. Ordered two more after that.

anell213, May 12, 2011
Photo of weissbierdrinker
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a bottle of this in Brussles.

It pours a dark redish brown with a tall tan head that leaves thick lacing around the glass.

Smell is like sour cherries and also has a kind of sweet fruitiness to it.

It starts out slightly sweet as it enters your mouth but quickly truns to a sour syrupy cherry like taste that is not at all unpleasent, if you like that sort of thing.

Very interesting beer that is worht a try. I would drink it again

weissbierdrinker, Apr 30, 2008
Photo of IrishRedRock
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle. Deep mahogany color, but when held to the light it gives off a ruby glow. There's that Flemish red! The aroma of previous 12 oz bottles I have sampled with ElGuapo smell a lot more like vinegar than this larger bottle does. The others we had, really REALLY reeked of Balsamic. It was an unbelievable aroma for a beer. This one only has traces of it, much milder, to go along with a tart, musty aroma.

Flavor is nicely sour and acidic, but certainly not overdone. Begins to sweeten as it warms, and some very fruity flavors come out, particularly cherries. Mouthfeel is perfection, smooth, crisp, with just the right amount of carbonation...and the tartness in the finish leaves you wanting to pour more of that big bottle. As "the handsome man" has said in his review below, this beer isn't for everyone; but you'll never know unless you try it.

IrishRedRock, Apr 13, 2004
Photo of DPFRD
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Reddish brown, very clean when light is shone through. Head dissipated quickly, leaving a soapy presence. Good Carbonation.

S- Sweet, Oak and tart acidic notes, very subtle.

T- Sweet and sour duel on a tight rope. The transparency and complexity of this beer seems unreel. You have to look into it. Has a tart fruit aspect with the fruit being very subtle or short rather, as it is there. As it warms fruity notes begin to propagate.

M- Medium, decent carbonation activity on tongue, has a puckering aspect.

D- Wonderfully drinkable, and quite interesting. Has wine like qualities.

O- I'm into this. I want to travel to Flanders now and get into all the sour shit they have. The beer was more sweet to me than sour, but not overly.

DPFRD, Feb 10, 2011
Photo of david131
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A very deep red liquid with absolutely no sediment to speak of. a fluffy white head forms and settles to a thin covering. Leaves some great lacing as it works its way down the glass.

S- As I crack the top off, my initial thought was that it smelled like soy sauce. But upon further examination, I realize that I was way off. The beer definitely has a sour quality, some candied fruit, oak, apple, brown sugar, a little vinegar to boot. Pretty sweet smelling and complex.

T- Same as the smell but more sweet. Vinegar, fruit, and wood are the highlights. Complex and yummy. Packs in quite a bit of flavor.

M- Good amount of carbonation. It is very tart and leaves some dryness in the mouth, but the sweetness does a good job of counteracting that a bit.

D- Pretty rich, but very worthwhile. An interesting beer that I am glad that I tried.

david131, Jul 06, 2007
Photo of Slynger
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The Duchesse pours a deep but clear, brownish, red-amber color, with a fuzzy light sand colored lid.

The smell is sweet and sour with both sugared and tart cherries. Red grapes show as well, with a red wine/vinegar character that is quite pleasant.

Medium bodied with a crisp and zesty, yet creamy, carbonation. Lightly sharp of sugar and lightly acidic vinegar. A pleasant sugary caramel malt and red grape juice sweetness blends excellently with tart cherries, light red wine, and lightly tart cider vinegar. Lightly sweet oak rounds it out a fine brew.

Very much enjoyed the Duchesse. Very well balanced; the flavors flow together seemlessly. Definitely the best Flanders Red I've tried, though they've been few.

Slynger, Apr 25, 2008
Photo of flipper2gv
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Redone review with fresher bottle.

A: Nice red body as expected with a nice foamy beige head. Perfectly translucent. Amazing retention and lacing.

S: This is something quite new for me. There is definitely a lot basil in this as well as maybe some balsamic vinegar (less when fresher). Some wine-like fruitiness, cinnamon, pepper and coriander. Some bread like sweetness. Most certainly vinous.

T: There is definitely some sweet cherries in this. A lot of wine like grape is in this too. Distinct metallic sharpness with good acidity too. Herbs are still present, but not as dominating than in the smell and blending well with the wine characteristics. Tartness is evident as well as the oak notes. Really complex, powerful, interesting beer I've dranked. Still the light vinegar is taking the .5 it doesn't have from a perfect score.

M: Super smooth medium weight body with medium to low carbonation. Oak tannins while mixed with some sticky residual sugars mixed together to make a mouthfeel similar to a port. Fantastic feel I really have trouble putting into words.

D: Quite easily drinkable when you get a fresher bottle, really worth trying this one out. Even though this beer is mighty tasty and has low alcohol, this beer will challenge your palate.

P.S.: If you can find a fresh-er bottle, just do it, the acetic qualities of this beer come real fast as this beer ages.

flipper2gv, Jan 03, 2011
Photo of Wasatch
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown/black color, nice carbonation, lots of lacing throuhout the drink. Scents of grapes, sour/tarty, and caramel. I like the taste, tarty/sour, carbonated, reminds me of a wine, but more to my liken (not a wine drinker at all). Medium body. Very drinkable, this is my first Flanders Red Ale. Totally blew my mind when opened and took my first sip. Would highly recommend to people, will definitely buy again.

Wasatch, Dec 10, 2005
Photo of WhiteHillsStore
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%

Very interesting. Pours dark hazel/brown with a tan head that traces the glass. The smell is full of sour fruit like cherries as well as a little vinegar. The taste was heavy sour in the beginning with cherries and raspberry flavors which then mellowed and came back for a heavy finish. Very tasty. Mouthfeel was a tad syrupy but it worked for the style. Very impressive, would highly recommend.

WhiteHillsStore, Sep 04, 2014
Photo of MBABJJ
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark nutty red with a great thick head which protests death and spawns again once swirled

S - Strong cherry essence almost like a mulled wine scent

T - This tastes nothing like beer. Wow. There's about 10 layers of flavor. It's a clean start then caramel and fruits and nuts then crisp finish. This beer would be great around Xmas time with a fire stoked and the smell of the xmas tree in the air. Too heavy for everyday brew-after-work drink.

M - Smooth and luxurious. Feels like royalty.

D - While not an everyday kinda drink, this brew provided tastes unseen b4. Nap time is near with this beer. Yummmzzz.

MBABJJ, Oct 17, 2008
Photo of Goliath
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 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%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,251 ratings.