1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. 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.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

3,178 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,178
Reviews: 1,356
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 148
Gots: 333 | 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: 3,178 | Reviews: 1,356 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nicsman
1/5  rDev -76%

nicsman, Sep 29, 2012
Photo of grindcore666
1.13/5  rDev -72.8%
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.

grindcore666, Oct 21, 2005
Photo of SmokinSmyth
1.27/5  rDev -69.5%
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.

SmokinSmyth, Jul 23, 2011
Photo of Ahhdball
1.3/5  rDev -68.8%
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.

Ahhdball, Oct 31, 2004
Photo of B967ierhunter177
1.48/5  rDev -64.4%
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.

B967ierhunter177, Mar 05, 2012
Photo of leinie13
1.5/5  rDev -63.9%

leinie13, Aug 05, 2012
Photo of xLifelessx
1.5/5  rDev -63.9%

xLifelessx, Dec 28, 2011
Photo of irisier
1.5/5  rDev -63.9%
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.

irisier, May 30, 2010
Photo of deldad
1.5/5  rDev -63.9%

deldad, Jun 05, 2012
Photo of pmcadamis
1.55/5  rDev -62.7%
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)

pmcadamis, Feb 25, 2008
Photo of smudgewhat
1.58/5  rDev -62%
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.

smudgewhat, Aug 20, 2011
Photo of DIM
1.68/5  rDev -59.6%
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.

DIM, Dec 13, 2008
Photo of tcfishler
1.7/5  rDev -59.1%
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.

tcfishler, Nov 25, 2006
Photo of Brew33
1.75/5  rDev -57.9%

Brew33, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of dunlap926
1.75/5  rDev -57.9%

dunlap926, Mar 22, 2014
Photo of hopsleeroy
1.95/5  rDev -53.1%
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.

hopsleeroy, Jan 17, 2008
Photo of WMBierguy
1.98/5  rDev -52.4%
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.

WMBierguy, Feb 25, 2006
Photo of LittleBrownBird
2/5  rDev -51.9%

LittleBrownBird, Jun 16, 2012
Photo of Sazz9
2/5  rDev -51.9%

Sazz9, Nov 24, 2013
Photo of mmoriarity
2/5  rDev -51.9%

mmoriarity, Jul 25, 2012
Photo of BGsWo22
2/5  rDev -51.9%

BGsWo22, Mar 19, 2014
Photo of Elemenopy
2/5  rDev -51.9%

Elemenopy, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of MightiestBeard
2/5  rDev -51.9%

MightiestBeard, Dec 09, 2012
Photo of VaporDome
2/5  rDev -51.9%

VaporDome, Aug 24, 2013
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,178 ratings.