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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

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1,430 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,430
Hads: 3,839
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 22.93%
Wants: 199
Gots: 670 | FT: 12
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Verhaeghe visit their website

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,430 | Hads: 3,839
Photo of hero27
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle. Best before 1/17/07.

Blood red color with a somewhat thin, oily tan head. The aroma is quite strong chocolate, sour cherries, and dark fruits. The taste is impressive and very unique. Sour cherry dominates the taste, with oaky qualities, vinegar, and tartness to wrap it all together. The mouthfeel is somewhat coating and oily. Not sure how many of these I'd really like to drink in succession due to the sourness and very rich flavor, but it was a nice, somewhat unexpected treat.

As a sidenote...my brother was about 95% sure that he got sick from this beer..since he was throwing up most of the next day, and it tasted like cherries on the way out as well.. I apologize for the harsh details, but just thought I'd add that, in case anyone else has had a similar experience.

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Photo of beveragecaptain
3.51/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

330 ml bottle. Duchesse De Bourgogne pours out a Ruby color with a creamy head. The aroma is cherry, oak, and vinegar. The flavor starts out a sweet, but turns very sour. Fruity cherry flavor. I would be surprised if there were no cherries in this beer. A bit chocolatey. The finish is dry and woody. Medium mouthfeel with a high carbonation. This beer is definitely not for everyone. Overall I enjoyed it, but with each sip I alternated between thinking it tasted great and thinking it tasted nasty. I guess each beer lover will have to decide for himself.

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Photo of Calico
4.55/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my very favorite beers, truly a royal brew in my opinion. The only other Flanders sour red I've had is Rodenbach, but this beer is much more mellow and drinkable than even the Rodenbach Grand Cru.

Pours with an enormous head. Brilliant mahogany color.

Nose has winey notes, a little rose aroma, sugar sweetness, maybe a hint of irises.

Sherry and port tastes hit the back of the tongue. I also noticed a licorice note. I'm surprised to find this much of a sherry or winey taste in a less-than-7% abv beer. Some esters apparent; finishes with a sparkle of grapefruit.

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Photo of DogFood11
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm certainly not an expert in this style or in any style for that matter but this one has evaded me for a long time. Beautiful pillowy Ivory white head that leaves wave upon wave of sticky lacing. Sharp fine carbonation in a dark amber to brown bodied brew. Not sure how much the appearance can improve.

Tart aroma with a decent malted sweetness in the background that makes this inviting.

Wow, first couple pulls are tart and nothing else but it developes on the palate quite comfortably as it warms. An earthiness breaks through this sour tart up front in your face taste. sweet grapes, crisp finish. This is a nice frickin' brew. certainly not for everyone but highly reccomended if your kinda like lambics but want something with a bit more balance this is for you.

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Photo of Brewfan
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Mac56 for this beer, via Newbie "Onebox" BIF '05

Poured into my Rodenbach tulip.
250 ml. bottle

Very large quickly dissapating head. Went from 3.5 fingers to covering the top of the beer in about 25 seconds.
Dark reddish copper color with a steady stream of carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass. Decent lace clings to the edges.
Smell: Sour and musty. Not as viniagry or "over the top" as say Rodenback Grand Cru. This is definately more my style. Nice tart fresh cherry and off-the-tree apple sweetness, with definate hops towards the back. Oak comes through later on.
Taste: This is gorgeous. Tart, but not overly. Malty sweetness on the tongue. Almost on the verge of an apple-wine. Very fruity. Slight bitterness, like the bitterness from a fresh apple peel that you just picked off of the tree. I keep going back to the apple references. If apples actually tasted this good, Jesus, I'd eat an apple with every single meal of my life. May have wanted it a bit more tart, ended up being a bit too sweet towards the end.
Mouthfeel/Drinkability: I could have drank this beer in about 3 sips. Medium mouthfeel. Nice and creamy. I would have liked it a bit more tart and brisk. Finishes dry, drier than I would have thought possible while drinking this beer.
Full of surprises, flavors and aromas. Nice beer.

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Photo of TheEclecticGent
4.85/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A very dark red-amber flemish (Flanders) red ale w/moderate to loose carbonation. The smell is sharp and sour but has overtones of mellow fermented fruit. The taste is extremely complex dominated by a fermented fruit flavor ranging from berry to banana spice, a wonderful range of sharp to mellow flavors. It has a moderately heavy mouthfeel with a very fizzy and full feeling. This is my favorite beer in the world (period).

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Photo of Sephiroth
4.53/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Expiration date of Oct. 2007: Pours with a half inch of foam, sticky lace wraps the glass. Color is a dark amber. Smell is quite overpowering. Sour oak with a wine undertone.

Tastes sour, sweet, oaky, winey, with the flavors repeating in a random order. This is my first Flanders Red Ale, and I am a fan. Mouthfeel is creamy, but light. The finish is long. I won't struggle to finish the 750ml bottle.

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Photo of JohnnyDuvel
3.65/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've seen this beer many times. Finally decided to give it a shot. Served with a steak and scallops dinner. Smells like red wine,
tastes a lot like a lambic (but not quite as carbonated or overtly fruity). Tart and sweet, certainly a complex "beer". Ultimately, this was too sweet and distracting to have with dinner, would be better with dessert. Not quite my style. Lambic fans should grab this up!

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Photo of Wasatch
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.2/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a light, red wine color with a hint of brown. Smelled a bit like red wine, but with a slight hop nuance and cherry lambic tartness. Tasted very sour, this was my first Flanders Red Ale, so I didn't know what to expect. Reminded of a cherry lambic, something I would have after dinner with a tart torte. Could also taste some winey grape notes as well. Mouthfeel was light but with an unexpected tartness, I wouldn't have more than one of these 750ml bottles in a day.

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Photo of davidchollar
2.78/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

i gotta admit, i don't think i am advanced enough as far as palates are concerned. this beer confuses me. when i smell it and sip, i wonder what am i drinking? it's unlike anything i've had before, but it reminds me of too many other things.

looks good, nice mahogany with beige head and lots of lacing. the smell is abrasive. my first thought is nail polish remover, that ruins it for me, i can hardly think of anything else other than vinegar and a hint of barbecue sauce, i guess if i dig deep i can smell malts. it's not that bad though, a lot going on so almost good to sniff.

tastes like disgusting, cheap,low-alcohol wine. funny thing, if you drink it without smelling at all, like holding your breath, it just tastes like grape juice. if you breathe in and take a whiff you get a complex taste with a range of flavors all the way to the slightly bitter finish, but for me it is overall dominated by a sickening sweetness. i taste skittles, runts, willy wonka candies galore.

i have been living in japan for a few years now, so my sugar intake is minimal. this might be the cause of my revolting reaction to anything more than a little sweet. i don't know anything about this style of beer, but compared to everything else i've had, i thought this was gross and not worth $5 for a small bottle.

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Photo of Frozensoul327
4.51/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A very unique and complex brew. Poured out to a dark brown / almost black color that turned burgandy when held to the light. Medium level of carbonation produced an exceptionally dense foamy head. Some notes of lace. Aromas of fermented apples, mature grain, and some sweet bourbon on the nose. Different, yet not unplesant. Taste is unlike any Flanders Red Ale I have previously had, or any beer for that matter. Very similar to a well rounded sweet red wine; flavors of mature dark fruit, sweet caramel, tart sugar, very sweet malt and a touch of worscheshire toward the finish. Very complex and enjoyable. Mouthfeel is again very wine like, with some carbonation that adds a demention that brings to mind a pink champagne. A good level of drinkability. This is not my favorite style of beer, but I could sure see this in my fridge again soon. I look forward to introducing my wine loving friends to this. Highly Recommended for the style.

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Photo of buckiflyer
3.97/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle. Another sampling with my father when he was in town. Appearance: dark amber color, lots of carbination bubbles, little to no head, champainge like. Smell: sweet and fruity. Taste: again sweet and fruity smooth finish, there are so many flavors going on I can't explain it. Mouthfeel good. A winner, this is beeer?! Try it if you want to see where beer can go.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out to a sparkingly clear deep ruby, forming an expanding plumage of soapy khaki bubbles. No yeast in the bottle or in the glass. Carbonation is initially brisk and forms spiral streamers contributing to the effervescent head. The aroma is just amazing...malt vinegar and vanilla interspersed with wonderfully fruity esters....rotting bing cherries, light amber malts, apples, pineapple, and when swirled, apricot, prunes, chocolate syrup, and pink bubble gum scream out. As it warms, an exceptional amount of vanilla (literally boatloads) makes itself known, becoming the dominant note in the mix. Retention is amazing and lacing is delicate yet solid. The taste is exactly as it smells....sweet, but not sickeningly so...more than enough to overpower the acidity with lingering aftertastes of pineapple and bubble gum. Lightly dry in the finish with just a touch of metals. As it warms, tobacco and leather become the overwhelming aftertaste. Alcohol is apparent just as a peppery flourish. The mouthfeel is wonderful with a medium body. Very easy to drink, although I could see the sweetness wearing thin for some, as it has an almost saccharin character to it. This is a real treat, although more of a dessert drink. I'm glad I bought a 4-pack and not the bomber. This is one of the finest Flemish Red's/Brown I've had (very different next to old-school Goudenband). An exceptional, exceptional beer. I will be drinking much more of this. Highly recommended, particularly with creme brulee.

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Photo of bubrewer
4.52/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I first tried the Duchess about 2 years ago and was not impressed. It was like drinking a glass full of cider vinegar. I tried her again today and found a completely different experience.

I brought out a pair of new goblets and made sure they were as beer-clean as I can get them. I sat my BMC drinking brother in law down to expanded his horizons. He had read about those crazy Belgians that just let whatever is in the air ferment their beer, so I brought out the Duchess to give him one idea about which they were talking.

This time the Duchess was in a much better mood. Deep ruby red, and brilliantly clear. I see no sediment so I assume this is not bottle conditioned. Although she had some expected tartness, it did not scream (or even hint) "cider vinegar!" like the last time. This time she was full of stone fruits, apples, a little barnyard, some sherry, and just a wonderful experience all around.

I will certainly not shy away from her any more, and am sorry I have
stayed away so long. I should listen to what I tell my kids - even if
you don't like something once, try it again once in a while because
things can change.

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Photo of Stimack
4.07/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap the other night while at Marhars. The brew was dark brown with a red like tinge to the color. Had a smallish head of tan bubbles that clung to the sides of the glass leaving some fain lacing down the sides of the brew. Before I really even try to take a whiff of the brew I can notice a sour like smell to it. On a deeper whiff of the brew, I notice fruit like smells that seem to blend or lead to the sour aroma. I believe that the fruit smell is of apple and/ or cherries but am not 100% positive. The taste is somewhat sweet with a clear sour flavor that goes nice with the malt backbone and spicy finish. Over all this is a great brew for people that like this type. For me I can usually handle about one before the sourness starts to get to me but I would and will get this brew again

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Photo of sacfly
4.58/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Best before 08-06-06 printed on the back label.

Pours a dark ruby brown color. Thin head of tan bubbles. Smell is a balance of sour and sweet apple.

Taste is…wow… almost creamy sour apple candy flavor. Slight tart cherry. Aftertaste is mildly sweet with that sweet tart twang.

What took me so long to try this? Not at all what I expected, but something that I will keep around for a nice change of pace.

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Photo of GreenWBush
3.46/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Blood red in the glass with dark brown highlights. A modest head.

Slightly vinegary on the nose with hints of cherries and sour apple. Oak characteristics appear later.

The taste of this beer is understandably devisive. Sour, funky, and amazingly champaign-like in alot of ways. Sourness builds up in the bottom of the palate in a strangely addictive way. Oak is strong by the end.

A tasty detour from my usual...

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Photo of grindcore666
1.15/5  rDev -72%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

A union of red and black beneath roasted marshmallow foam.

Aroma is of eggnog, sweet and sour sauce, and vinegarrrr. This is one of those occasions where I'm absolutely certain that's what I'm smelling. But...I'm disgusted by it.

After taking a sip: feels like a cherry cola before I sense the taste. A sharp, sweet, super sour cherry sensation escapes nasally. Sugar up the ying yang. Thick vinegar overdrive. Gross.

Carbonation. Carbonation. More carbonation. It's a super carbonated cherry cola with a tang. I think this one was too much for me: overly sweet and funky. Couldn't finish it. Awful.

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Photo of OStrungT
3.97/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a ruby red with out much head at all. I saw a little off white head for just a second, but then nothing. This beer looks sort of like wine. This beer smells of sour fruit. Cranberries, cherries, and even a slight hint of apples. This beer smells very much like wine. This beer tastes sour, with strong fruit flavors. Like the aroma suggeste, I taste cranberries, and cherries. I dont detect too much in the way of hops. This beer is not very carbonated at all. It goes down smooth leaving a sour fruity aftertaste. This beer tastes slightly like wine. I think this beer would be a good session beer, if you can handle all the sour fruit. I am glad to have had the opportunity to try this unique ale.

EDIT 9 NOV 2007

Wow, after over 2 years, I am surprised at my review. I love this beer now, and I love the style. How could I have given it such a low review. I am going to rereview it once I drink another one.

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Photo of JohnfromDublin
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted on tap in Café Gollem, Amsterdam on 16th October 2005.
Saw this on tap, and had to try it.

I have reviewed a Flanders red ale before (Bourgogne des Flandres) and quite liked it, but this offering surpassed it. Appearance was typical red/brown ale with a little haze and a thin off-white head.

Smell was fairly complex; lots of things going on. Taste was less sweet and sour than BdesF and much more complex. This was a very enjoyable experience, so I repeated it!

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Photo of fisherman34
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A brownish beer with hints of red. Aromas of cranberry, cherry, and sour raspberry. An interesting interplay of sweet and sour flavors, but it lacked some of the complexity, especially the vinegar notes, that are found in the Rodenbach Grand Cru. It lost it’s way a little on the finish too. Still good, just not fantastic.

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Photo of mac56
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sample brought to me from Belgium by my sister, bless her heart.

Lovely ruby red appearance with an effervescent head that settled down to stay,

Slightly cidery aroma.

Taste: wow. Just wow. This bad boy's got a tang. Cidery and tart, with a slightly creamy mouthfeel. The tang clears the flavor away off the back of the tongue, clearing the path for the next swallow.

A special occasion beer, to be sure. I don't think I could drink more than one of these a night, but I can see doing just that sitting by a roaring fire in January sometime.

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Photo of amatuerbeerguy
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

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Photo of WetCoaster
2.85/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: An even mix of garnet and brown, crystal clear, with a fizzy, yet rocky and firm tan head. Good retention and surprisngly sticky lace. Beautiful color, real stunner.

Smell: Wow, all over the place. Malt sweetness, yeasty, funky, woody, ripe cherry fruitiness, vinous, musty barnyard -- a real marvel, this. Wow.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Uh... yikes. Very, very, very sweet -- almost like Malta soda, if you've ever spent any time in Latin America or Miami -- while at the same time sour like a cherry Pez. But oddly, they don't seem to blend at all, it's two distinct flavors. In fact, this tastes exactly like a carbonated 10-year-old balsamic vinegar. Yeah, that's it -- dead-on. The mouthfeel, on the other hand, is the picture of normalcy, medium bodied, moderately carbonated, if a bit sticky.

Drinkability: I'll be the first to admit this is not a style with which I've had much experience. So while this may or may not be a stellar example of the style, it's something I simply do not like. Novel, but not something I'll be back for any time soon.

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Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
92 out of 100 based on 1,430 ratings.