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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,441 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,441
Hads: 3,883
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 23.17%
Wants: 210
Gots: 690 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Duchesse De Bourgogne Alström Bros
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Reviews: 1,441 | Hads: 3,883
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 dro7
1.22/5  rDev -70.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

I was very excited to try this. I thought it would be interesting since it's a mix of 8 and 18 month ales mixed, but boy was I wrong. Smell and tasted extremely vinegary and funky. I like sours, but this was not good at all. It has no fruity sourness to it, just funky vinegar.

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Photo of blockdude
1.24/5  rDev -69.8%
look: 5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

There are very few beers that I will not finish and this is surely one of those. I'll admit the appearance of the bear is quite nice, with a dark brown/ruby like color. In terms of the nose, the cherries are the most noticeable with vinegar and pomegranate coming in a close second. However, the taste of the beer did not agree with me at all, although it is possible that this was just a bad batch. Overall, I felt there was way too much vinegar and when combined with the richness of the beer, made me feel sick enough to only handle a few sips. On top of that, the beer had a very metallic aftertaste which was very unpleasant and unlike any other sour I have experienced. My brother who was with me had the same experience tasting this beer.

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Photo of SmokinSmyth
1.31/5  rDev -68%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Poured into a Tulip glass, nice big head, minimal lacing, brown color.

Aroma is strong, vinegar and another sour are in the majority.

Taste - just not for me. I see the good ratings, but this is a rare beer for me, in that I didn't finish it, and actually poured it down the sink. My children were shocked. Tasted way too much like vinegar for me, and I checked the date, the bottle had another year to go.

Mouthfeel - didn't really register as I didn't want in my mouth after my tongue had gotten hold of it.

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Photo of Ahhdball
1.34/5  rDev -67.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I'm going to be blunt on this. Horrible. It came in a bottle with a "best before" date of 01/01/06. I liked the color, a nice deep auburn capped by a small beige top. The smell consisted of berries, and a sort of cough medicine overtone. A small amount of citrus hit the nose as I drank. When I forced down the first drink all I tasted was vineager. I tried another few "pulls" and after tasting round after round of vineager and berries I had to give up. I even orderd a sprite to get the taste out of my mouth.

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Photo of B967ierhunter177
1.51/5  rDev -63.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

This beer pours a beautiful, bold ruby red with no head but long lasting lace. It's aroma is of dark fruit, musty hay, and yeast. The flavor is mainly sour cherries with a yeasty, bread-like note. The mouthfeel is full with a warming finish. Duchesse De Bourgogne is an okay beer, very filling but a good representation of the style. Slightly recommended.

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Photo of Brew_42
1.54/5  rDev -62.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I ordered another beer at the bar and this one came, and the bartender couldn't speak English (not that he should, I'm in Korea) but I decided to drink it anyway. I am not a big fan of sour beers to begin with, but this beer was particularly bad. I couldn't finish it which is rare for me.

A- Reddish with little to no head

S- vinegar. Terrible smell. I knew it was going to be a struggle as soon as I smelled it. The vinegar smell i strong, I may as well have been smelling salad dressing.

Taste-sour vinegar with a little bit of fruitiness but nowhere near enough to compensate for the vinegar taste. I really did not like the taste of this beer.

Mouthfeel was medium body with lots of carbonation.

Overall I did not enjoy this beer one iota but then again I hate sour ales anyway so take it with a grain of salt. Going off the ratings, it seems I am in the minority, so give it a try and you will probably like it.

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Photo of irisier
1.55/5  rDev -62.2%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

I tried this one again to see if I've warmed to this brew. Unfortunately, this time I seem to have soured to it (no pun intended) even more.

Appearance: Nice dark reddish brown with a excellent fizzy head.

Smell: Vinegar fumes. Some fruit and wood is also noticeable. Did someone mix balsamic with malt vinegar and label it as beer?

Taste: God, it's even worse than I remembered it. Fruity vinegar with some tannic wood tastes. Cloying sweetness makes sure you know there is plenty of sugar in here. Hmmm.. this might be good to use as a base in a sweet/sour sauce. I actually managed to finish it the first time I tried it, not this time though.

Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated.

Impressions: To give you some perspective. A few years ago after reading an article about how prison inmates make "wine" out of ketchup, juice, and fruit snacks with moldy bread as the fermentation culture. I gave it a try out of curiosity. The funky, weird smelling drink I got was still not as bad as this brew. If this was the only beer on Earth, I'd be a teetotaler.

---Old Review---
Appearance: Clear reddish brown body with a fizzy tan head that actually seems to amplify with time. Highly carbonated and effervescent.

Smell: Sour malt vinegar smell. I didn't expect it to be that strong. Some faint fruit is also present

Taste: Sour and sweet. Slightly fruity as well. I can't help but feel like I'm drinking balsamic vinegar. I wouldn't exactly say that these flavors are pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a lively carbonation.

Impressions: I'll preface by saying that I've never had a Flemish Red before, but I really tried to keep an open mind. There may be a possibility that I got a bad bottle. This just was not good. I had a really hard time even finishing it. It was like drinking balsamic vinaigrette. I've heard this described as being "wine-like", frankly if I had a wine that tasted like this, I'd think it had spoiled. This just tasted too much like vinegar.

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Photo of smudgewhat
1.58/5  rDev -61.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

The balsamic vinegar flavor overwhelms any other aspect of this brew. Smells like wine, fairly carbonated, very sour and unpleasantly vinegar-y. A total pass for me though my female companion liked it. If you're more into wine than the typical Belgian beer then maybe you'll like it more. I'd rathe have a Chimay or Rochefort.

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Photo of pmcadamis
1.59/5  rDev -61.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Tried this at Brewhaus when out with some friends (Feb, 25 2008).

A - Dark amber reddish hue. Hazy and deep. The head is about half of a finger, and leaves a little lace on the glass.

S - Red wine vinegar, ketchup, tomatoes, and earthy mulch. Very, very odd and quite vegetal.

T - Red wine vinaigrette salad dressing, rotten tomatoes, brown lettuce, and tart rancid vegetables.

M - Light in body and carbonation. This is like swishing ketchup in your mouth.

D - I've had other flanders reds that I really enjoyed, so it's not a style thing, but this tastes like absolute crap. It's sort of like retching up a pint of V8 and vinaigrette salad dressing. Interesting, but completely foul.

Original review A=3.0, S=1.5, T=1.0, M=1.0, D=1.0
Overall score = 1.5 One of my lowest ratings ever.

Here is the second tasting to clear up the issue of whether or not the first bottle (1 year ago) was ruined in some way:

My BA buddy orangemustache and I tried this out at Brewhaus one night and were appalled by how bad it was given the generally high scores by other BAs. I picked up a 750 ml bottle of this at Binny's in Chicago and we decided to give it another go while we were stone cold sober and our palates were fresh.

A - Deep garnet clear brew with a two finger dense khaki head. Lots of light tan lace is stuck to the glass.

S - Ketchup, vinegar, tomatoes, and mushrooms. V8 vegetable juice with some age on it. Something old and dusty is there too.

T - Old rotten tomatoes, V8, bloody mary mix, red vinaigrette salad dressing, applesauce, and some fruity sugar on the tip of the tongue.

M - Light, initially sugary and fruity, but progressing to a thicker viscous and nasty mouthfeel. This finishes like puke.

D - Ok, I picked this up thinking that the first time that we tried it the bottle must have been old and ruined. This tasting, however, reaffirms my hatred of this brew. It's honestly better, fruitier, lighter, and more rounded than the rotten bottle we tried at Brewhaus, but its still disgusting.

The current score is indicative of my opinion at the second tasting (December 2nd 2008)

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Photo of DIM
1.7/5  rDev -58.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

My only other example of this style has been Rodenbach's Grand Cru, which I loved. There was a space on the label of this one marked best before, but there wasn't a date. Did I get a bad or old bottle?

a: This looked appealing at least. It was a crystal clear coppery mahogany color. It poured with a medium sized, fizzy, off-white head that faded fairly quickly.

s: As expected, I got notes of sour, vinegary cherries. Unfortunately, this was intertwined with some gritty, saccharine sweet maltiness. Alone, either smell is fine. Together though, it was just a complete turn-off.

t: Same story here. I like sour edge, but the cloying artificial sweetner made this undrinkable to me. Maybe I need to revisit this one, but I'd have a hard time working up the courage.

m: The carbonation was fine, but the aftertaste was abominable. That combination of tart vinegar, cherries and malty Sweet and Low was too much for me.

d: I like sour beer, but this one just isn't for me. Strangely, it was just too sweet.

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Photo of kerry4porters
1.72/5  rDev -58%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

awful taste of malt vinegar with weird sweetness to it. If this isnt a spoiled bottle there is something seriously wrong with the brewers cuz this is the worst beer I have drank including an infect Vanilla Noir from Prairie. I feel like this would work well poured onto an Itallian sub as dressing.

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Photo of tcfishler
1.74/5  rDev -57.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Deep red-brown, like an old/oxidized red wine.

Winey nose of sour cherry, yeast, and aceto balsamico.

Hits first with acidity...definitely acetic acid (aka vinegar). Comes through afterward with quite sweet fruitiness, and a tiny bit of roasted malt as well. Highly carbonated. Finishes long but astringent.

Very much a love-it-or-hate-it beer, or perhaps an acquired taste. For someone like me whose background is in wine-drinking, this isfar too similar to a wine that has gone bad, what with the brownish red color and copious volatile acidity (acetic acid). I couldn't even manage to drink more than a few ounces, which is a tragedy given the care put into brewing this. Take my rating with a grain of salt, keeping in mind my biases.

EDIT: Come to think of it, reducing this in a pan on the stove could make an awesome sauce. In that context the vinegar-y flavors would be appetizing rather than offensive.

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Photo of iRikal
1.89/5  rDev -53.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Looks good... but look can be deceiving.

I guess i'm not the Flanders (ookeley dookeley) Red type of guy because the taste of this beer did NOT please me at all. I took 2 sips... ended in the sink.

My dog, who drinks anything didn't like it either... I guess he has the same tastebuds.

But it looks good....

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Photo of Inglewood
2/5  rDev -51.2%

Tastes like worcestershire sauce and vinegar, would make a good marinade. I don't know how people come up with tart berries or plums, but to each there own.

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Photo of deaconoflove
2/5  rDev -51.2%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Apparently, this is a very good sour beer and even more apparently, I don't like sour beers. Seems to be the new thing, so I asked about "good" sours.
The aroma and taste are nasty. It's very similar to a special balsamic vinegar we have that is aged for 18 years and is delicious. But the vinegar is fabulous. This beer is not.
Again, it's probably excellent for the class, but I can't get past the overwhelming vinegariness.
Blech! (But I *will* finish it.)

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Photo of hopsleeroy
2.01/5  rDev -51%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

I was excited to give this style a shot. This is my first experience with the Flanders Red. Looked very nice on the pour with a deep copper body and a very minimal white head that dissipated quickly. The smell-lets say a tad sour. Reminded me of the fruity flavors and strong scent of balsamic vineagar. The taste was sour cherries! It just blasts you right up front and them dissipates. The Duchesse is well carbonated which accentuates the sour flavor up front then swallows fairly clean. The sour was too much for me. I felt like I was drinking vineagar. I only managed 4-5 sips and was done. There is a lot of flavor in there but the sour/vineagar flavor was so overwhelming it was hard to enjoy everything this beer has to offer. Everyone should give this a shot, but you may learn like me that this flavor does not suit your tastebuds.

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Photo of Jdiddy
2.06/5  rDev -49.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

While I looked the looks of this beer, unfortunately that is where the good parts end. Smell was an initial sour smell. While many who review this smell vinegar, I agree but also think it smelled spoiled and rancid. Very musty smell. The taste was like a very sour Chimay Red. Definite vinegar/wine notes. Not my cup of tea. The other 2 people who sampled it with me had the same opinion. I could never drink a full glass of this.

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Photo of WMBierguy
2.06/5  rDev -49.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

This was the first Belgian red ale that I have ever tried. I didn't know what to expect, but I didn't expect this. I consider myself to have a pretty open mind when it comes to beer. Bavarian beers are my favorite, but I had yet to find a quality beer that I simply couldn't stand. Today I found that beer.

I really don't consider this to be beer. It may technically be beer, but it tastes nothing like it. It resembles a strange wine. The first taste was quite striking... I was expecting something that tasted somewhat like a Brown Ale. The flavor was incredibly sweet, with a strange tartness cutting accross about half way through the sip. It tastes a bit like nail polish smells.

Yes, this beer is complex. Very complex. I haven't tasted anything like it. However, the complexity isn't pleasant. I want a beer, not a science experiment. I guess that I'm too attached to the Reinheitsgebot... I'd take the robust complexity of an Aventinus to this beer anyday.

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Photo of bobinverted
2.06/5  rDev -49.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

My wife found this at AJ's in Ahwatukee, Arizona. She's been getting into Belgian beers, which is cool, but she didn't like this one and gave it to me to finish. I'd just finished a Stone IPA when she handed this to me, what a contrast. I guess I'm not sophisticated enough to enjoy a glassful of balsamic vinegar. That's what Duchesse de Bourgogne smells like, tastes like and looks like. Apparently this is suited to the style, but certainly not suited to my taste.

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Photo of Azumel
2.07/5  rDev -49.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I realize that many people like this beer, but even after fighting through the soy sauce/mustard smell, I couldn't drink it. The strange sweet and sour taste along with the smell was a bit too much for me. Perhaps I'll try it again someday with better results. It's a pretty unique flavor for a beer, but one that I did not enjoy in any way.

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Photo of 3sheets2wind
2.12/5  rDev -48.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.75

Nice looking beer. Pours auburn with pillowy off-white head. Cherry red lifesaver with vinegar after taste. Mouthfeel is nice. Aroma is melted sour apple slurpee and red vines. Not sure why this beer gets so much love. Get some cuvee de jacobins fellas.

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Photo of fochtmik3
2.13/5  rDev -48%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 1.25

This might be the worst thing I have ever put it my mouth. The texture is fantastic; The color is also perfect. Let me say this, if you have always wanted to down a bottle of Balsamic vinegar then this is the best bottle for you. If you prefer a tasty sour beer do not go with this. I am extremely disappointed and puzzled why this beer has such a high ranking. It is $11-12 and I feel like I am now forced to drink it. Let me just drink a bottle of gasoline and anthrax instead. Bleck!!!

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Photo of olympuszymurgus
2.14/5  rDev -47.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

A small bottle, slender with smooth curves like the Duchesse herself. She stares at that little bird while I stare at the nice reddish brown, the color of caramel and desert sunsets. I smell it, the aromas wafting off the headless beer, cherries, caramel, brown sugar, lemons, and a hint of wood. It moves to my mouth, the anticipation causes my foot to tremble.

What in the name of all things holy is this. It tastes like artificial sweetener, preservatives, fake fruit flavoring, and minimal tartness. Is this beer or cheap red soda? I am saddened. I have to go back to the cellar and find something drinkable, something joyfull. I wish I had another supplication left, that might get this thing out of my memory.

Morals are all that keep this thing, this bottled sadness from hitting my drain. I wished for the stars, and hit dirt.

One last thought: this abomination ruined half of a bottle of delirium nocturnum, the beer we chose to wash out this foul flavor.

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Photo of 21mmer
2.19/5  rDev -46.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

750ml caged/corked bottle poured into a tulip glass.

i was really expecting to thoroughly enjoy this beer, as i have heard so many good things about it and am a fan of the style. perhaps i had a bad bottle, but this did not live up to my expectations.

appearance/pour was nice....dark amber color, nothing out of the ordinary.

smell was overwhelmingly vinegar and acidic. some faint fruity and yeasty notes were present, but the vinegar dominated.

taste was...not what i expected. man, this is a sweet beer. too sweet for this BA. there was a faint sourness and a little funkiness, but the sweetness just dominated the flavor profile.

i had trouble drinking my 8 oz. pour, and couldn't see myself handling any more.

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Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
92 out of 100 based on 1,441 ratings.