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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

2,641 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2641
Reviews: 1319
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 13.98%


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)
View: Beers (12) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,641 | Reviews: 1,319 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of WMBierguy
WMBierguy

Maryland

1.98/5  rDev -52.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2006 02:51:39 | More by WMBierguy
Photo of Jdiddy
Jdiddy

Rhode Island

2.03/5  rDev -51.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2002 09:51:59 | More by Jdiddy
Photo of olympuszymurgus
olympuszymurgus

California

2.03/5  rDev -51.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2010 01:04:05 | More by olympuszymurgus
Photo of bobinverted
bobinverted

Michigan

2.05/5  rDev -50.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2004 02:19:19 | More by bobinverted
Photo of Azumel
Azumel

Florida

2.05/5  rDev -50.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-01-2009 17:52:34 | More by Azumel
Photo of 3sheets2wind
3sheets2wind

Texas

2.1/5  rDev -49.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2014 03:27:52 | More by 3sheets2wind
Photo of jenbys2001
jenbys2001

Japan

2.15/5  rDev -48.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

I bought this beer as part of a mixed six pack on a recommendation from a friend. I had high hopes for it since I have a fixation on Belgian beers. Unfortunately though I was really disappointed. It's one of the few premium beers that I sincerely disliked.

For me the flavor is far too cloying and sweet. It tasted similar to a heavy sweet wine rather than beer. Although I did enjoy the after taste. The lingering flavor is very nutty, almost coffee like- which I would attribute to the oak casks. Although the color is very appealing and the smell is fairly pleasant and spicy I did not like the lack of carbonation. It gave the beer a syrupy quality that I did not enjoy. Definitely a sipping beer, but my husband and I had a hard time finishing one 11.2 ounce bottle between the two of us.

However, if you enjoy very sweet beverages you might appreciate this beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2008 17:39:24 | More by jenbys2001
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21mmer

Michigan

2.17/5  rDev -47.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2009 17:04:58 | More by 21mmer
Photo of TastyTaste
TastyTaste

Minnesota

2.23/5  rDev -46.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Appearance: Very Dark red body, lets very little light through. Grand off-white head, slow fading.

Smell: Tart and sour, earthy and musky. There is also a little rotten egg smel, but it is not very small. Not bad.

Taste: Not very strong, but overly sweet and somewhat cloying. The taste is not very tart or sour, but rather a murky blend of carmel and fruit. There are others better in the style. Medicinal, a little like cherry cough syrup.

Drinkability: A 750 is too much of this, it will be a chore to finish. Mouthfeel is undercarbonated.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2006 22:36:57 | More by TastyTaste
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TPSReports

Alabama

2.25/5  rDev -45.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Picked up this bottle with great ancitipation for Chan's now Aloha World of Wines in Pensacola, FL. The bottled looked good and the cork was solid with no dust on the bottle.

I lightly chilled the beer then popped the cork. It poured a reddish brown with a nice head. That's basically where the fun ended.

The smell was vinegarish with some cirtus notes blended in. I'm not a fan of vinegar unless we're talking BBQ sauce.

Anyway, the taste matched the smell to my taste. I let the beer warm and tried some more. No change. I put the bottle in an ice bath and tried it again. Still nothing but disappointment. Bummer.

I guess the mouthfeel was OK, but the taste killed the feel.

I will not drink the beer again. Based on the other reviews that I've read, I guess my bottle was good, but didn't agree with me. Glad everyone else seems to enjoy it.

Cheers.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2007 15:01:46 | More by TPSReports
Photo of nbree00
nbree00

California

2.28/5  rDev -45.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This beer pours a beautiful deep brown with a reddish tint to it. The smell was pleasant with a sort of spiced cherry aroma coming through, however I was not very impressed with the carbonation which seemed to be low. The taste for me was pretty overwhelmingly sweet, no apparent sourness to better balance the flavors out. You can taste some of the roasted malts but other then that pretty bland with a cherry-banana sweetness coming through that makes it pretty hard to drink, definitely a sipping beer. Overall I didn't care for it much

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2008 23:24:07 | More by nbree00
Photo of BeerManDan
BeerManDan

California

2.3/5  rDev -44.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Nice Red hue to this brew. But either I had a bad batch or what, I don't know. My first taste of this beer was a taste of a sweet and sour wine flavor. Through out the whole glass of beer, I got a sweet rasin flavor, followed with a sour after taste. No thanks to his brew!

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2002 17:41:34 | More by BeerManDan
Photo of stangelj
stangelj

Czech Republic

2.4/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a 330ml bottle, best before 24-08-07. Appearance is very nice, a dark brown/red color with a 2 finger head that persisted. Lots of lacing left on the glass as I drank the beer. Off to a good start. Smells sweet and fruity, interesting, sour apple and cherry mostly. Taste amplifies what I smelled, whew. Starts off sweet but quickly turned sour. I like sour fruit beers but this tasted exactly like apple cider vinegar to me. The vinegar taste overpowers and is what's left in the aftertaste. Does not have much of a beer taste. Mouthfeel is ok, perhaps too full bodied, carbonation is fairly high. I didn't find this overly drinkable, would not have more than one. I would not buy again. This is my first experience with this style, so perhaps this is what it's supposed to be like, but I can't get past the apple cider vinegar taste.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2006 00:50:15 | More by stangelj
Photo of Erdinger2003
Erdinger2003

Iowa

2.4/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

The head is not too dense and the lacing doesn't stick very well. The color is clear red/purple. The smell is sour with slight earthy tones and a slight plum or other sour fruit in the backround. Taste is metalic with some earthy tones. The taste is a bit bland like cardboard. Mouthfeel is well carbonated and a little harsh. I don't think I would have another one of these, maybe it's the style, however this glass wasn't great.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2006 01:16:24 | More by Erdinger2003
Photo of NCBeernut
NCBeernut

North Carolina

2.4/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Best before date 13/01/2012. Poured into a New Belgium globe.

Crystal clear deep garnet body topped by a dense creamy bone head - looks almost like a nitro pour. The retention is amazing. It just sticks at about half an inch with sticky lacing climbing up the glass. Perfection.

Aroma is mainly vinegar and lots of dark cherry. Kind of stings the nostrils...in a good way. Almost offensive at first, but then the cherry comes in more and it is a little more pleasant. I don't have much experience with the style, but the strong vinegar aroma still keeps me from giving it too much credit here. A touch of strawberry comes out as it warms. If I wasn't taking style into account, I would definitely rate lower here. The cherry is really the only redeeming quality.

Puckering sourness kicks you in the mouth. Definitely dark cherry. Lots of black cherry Warhead with a hint of berries as it warms, but with vinegar and a metallic taste in the finish that won't really go away. I don't care what style this is, it isn't good. Bleh. Maybe if I paired this with the right food it would be less offensive. Mouthfeel has a sharpness to it that I don't like. For some reason, I finished it pretty quickly for how vinegary it is...I kind of think it was just so I can move on to my next one. $4 wasted...at least I know to be very weary of sours.

I am going to give it the benefit of the doubt in some of these categories because I know it is, to a certain extent, part of the style. Still, if this is a good example of the style, this style completely blows. Making beer taste like vinegar is not a good thing...ever.

I feel like I'm really being generous with this review.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2010 19:42:40 | More by NCBeernut
Photo of nhindian
nhindian

Pennsylvania

2.4/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

11.2oz bottle poured into a Cantillon wine glass.

A - Pours a deep cherry red, almost perfectly clear and extremely pretty. The hue and darkness brimming around it makes the parts which are that mahogany look even more vibrant. About 2 fingers of tan head, with great retention as well. The lacing is weakest part of an otherwise spectacular-looking beer, with it being sticky, but to the beer instead of the glass. It does loosen up as it is drunk, however.

S - Unlike past Red Flanders I've encountered, this beer isn't too focused on the tart or the funk, but rather embraces a more full-bodied aroma. It does bring the slight sour, but it's more of a binding agent rather than jumping out and overwhelming the beer. Surprisingly, a good amount of caramel malt comes through, as well as some vinegar. Not incredibly complex, but certainly whets the palate.

T - Whereas the nose and appearance built this beer up, the taste just does not do it for me at all. Again, the tartness is almost a complete afterthought after a few seconds as it is thrown to the wayside in lieu of a big wave of vinegar. This persists throughout the beer, unfortunately, only stopping momentarily to bring in quick jolts of cherries and grapes. The finish, however, is a complete turn-off. It is somewhat vegetal and saccharine, almost as if there's just too much sugar or sweetener in it (although I am pretty sure nothing in this beer is artificial). Moreover, the blend of all the flavors and the vinegar leaves the finish eerily tasting similar to ketchup in a strange way.

M - Mouthfeel is moderately light-bodied with decent carbonation. Not the most lively beer, but I'm not expecting that given the strict aging requirements of this beer before bottling. Long lasting finish of tart cherries, vinegar, and Heinz 57.

D/O - Drinkability is moderately low. I'm disappointed that after the relatively strong first impressions, this beer just falls off quick for me. Way too much vinegar, not enough tartness, and the vegetal notes in the finish are brutal. I had this at a bar tasting about a year ago, and it was my first sour. I thought it was pretty decent then, but it was just a small sample, and I guess my palate has developed a taste for different types of sours since then...

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2011 05:33:00 | More by nhindian
Photo of vobr0002
vobr0002

Minnesota

2.4/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A- deep amber color, very clear, with a good amount of white head.

S- vinegar, sour, cherries, raspberries

T- buttery, like the smell otherwise.

M- good mouthfeel and carbonation.

O- i do not care for this beer too much. im a big fan of other flanders but this one does not do it for me. Dont think that i will be having this again.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2012 04:45:22 | More by vobr0002
Photo of skeetermoses
skeetermoses

Oklahoma

2.45/5  rDev -41%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

I was looking forward to this beer, and was very disapointed in it. I had a large bottle of this beer and was not pleased. I thought I would enjoy this beer with turkey stew, but am glad I did not drink this with it. Instead I drank it over a disappointing loss by the Longhorns vs. the Aggies, I shared this with about 4 other people, and we all came to the same conclusion. This beer tastes like someone poured a beer into a bottle of red wine, mind you they are all wine drinkers, except me.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2007 08:05:45 | More by skeetermoses
Photo of MiScusi
MiScusi

California

2.45/5  rDev -41%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Had this out of a bottle at The Trappist in Oakland. Just want to compare this to other Flanders style red ale's I've had. This thing has only a very mild tartness to it. It is sugary sweet though. VERY sweet. Way too sweet. Excruciatingly sweet. Nice fruit quality but man is it backed by sugary sweetness. Very hard for me to drink.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2008 17:00:27 | More by MiScusi
Photo of Minkybut
Minkybut

Virginia

2.5/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Poured into chalice at 50 degrees. Beer wa dark with a nice foamu head that tried to climb out of the bottle. I was excited. Nice bready smell and I was getting more excited. The I tasted it and the sourness made me gag. I'm not sure if there was something wrong with this brew or I'm just not into Flanders style ales and I infact poured it out. I will NOT purchase this again.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2006 16:33:19 | More by Minkybut
Photo of Gtreid
Gtreid

Florida

2.5/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

11.3 oz. bottle poured into my Cigar City tulip.

A: Deep copper, almost brown color. The pour creates a pretty thick sand head, that retains wells and leaves some thick lace.

A: Sugary sweet. Almost malt vinegar, with brown sugar. A little caramel, lemon, and cherry. Very earthy, and smells very tart.

T: Very sweet and vinegary. Instead of the sour and sweet balancing each other, as in so many other sours, in this one, I can completely distinguish between the two. I get the sugary sweetness up front, followed by a yeasty sourness at the back. Finishes rather dry, but extremely sweet.

M: Aggressive carbonation and sharp. Medium body.

D and overall impression: Drinkability is low. Way to much sweetness to have any more than one. Overall, I was not impressed by the Duchesse. I did not think the flavors went well at all. The sweet and the sour are supposed to play off of one another, this did not happen here. I really thought it was somewhat of a mess. Won't be purchasing again. Skal.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2010 15:12:14 | More by Gtreid
Photo of BigMike
BigMike

Pennsylvania

2.5/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Duchesse has been on my listof beers to try for a while now but I didn't want to buy a 750. I finally found the smaller bottle andpicked it up.
Pours a dark maroon red color with a small tan head that's very small and thin.
The nose is dark fruits, deep red wine, vinegar. Mostly redwine vinegar.
This isn't what I expected. Alot sweeter then I anticipated. A slight sourness but lots of sugary sweet redwine vinegar. Kind of confusing. I'm torn trying to figure out if I like this or not. The aroma for me is not that pleasant. The taste isn't pleasant either but something makes me want to keep drinking this.
Mouthfeel is sticky. This thing coats the mouth like crazy. Light carbonation.
Overall I don't think I like this one all that much. I want to but the vinegar and sweetness are just too much for my palate. I'm glad this is the 11.2 oz bottle because I'm struggling to finish it.
I'm not sure what the shelf life is with this beer but the best by date on this bottle is 10/2/10 and today is 9/10/10. I don't know if this beer is past it's prime or what but maybe I'll seek out a little fresher bottle.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2010 01:17:06 | More by BigMike
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BlackHaddock

United Kingdom (England)

2.53/5  rDev -39%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Third Flanders Red I've reviewed on this site and it is receiving the lowest scores so far. Very surprised to see it in the top ten for its style.

I didn't like the sour, vingerous aroma mixed in with the old cherry and almonds smells. I know that is what should smell like, but this seemed a over the top.

It looked fine, clear ruby red when held up to the light. The head started as a wisp and didn't change much throughout the drinking, apart from getting less and less.

The sweet and sour taste was too sickly and it was too fizzy as well, over carbonated for sure.

This is a designer beer, I've had it on tap and bottled before, it wasn't great then. My wife doesn't like it and I don't either.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2008 12:13:35 | More by BlackHaddock
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barefootbrewer

Mississippi

2.6/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This beer poured a deep brown with a light head. It had a tart smell that is weirdly reminiscent of worcesertshire. The smell is definitely unique. The taste is fruity and a bit sour. The mouthfeel is crisp with noticeable carbonation. This is an interesting beer that I would not necessarily consider highly drinkable for me.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2006 01:45:09 | More by barefootbrewer
Photo of nogoodreason
nogoodreason

Missouri

2.63/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Appearance: Nice. Deep red, fairly clear. Lovely thick cream head with a slight red hue. The Duchesse is pretty.

Smell: Um. Vinegar? Sweet Vinegarette? Some fruit, rasberries, cherries. But mostly vinegar.

Taste: Like the smell only with a cloying, sickly sweetness. Again, there is a big fruity aspect there. The more I drink, the less the sweetness effects me and the more I can taste a nice yeastiness but it's subtle, and I still have to wade through the sweetness and the vinegar aspects to get to it.

Mouthfeel: If I can separate the way it feels in my mouth from the smell and taste, I find this to be quite pleasant. Thick, viscous and with enough carbonation to please.

Drinkability: I guess you could call this drinkable, if it's your thing. To me the sweetness made me choke it back rather than savoring it.


I thought at first that I might've gotten a bad bottle, but I asked around and the people that I talked to have had this experience. Some liked it, some didn't. Count me in the latter group. It tastes like a bubbly raspberry vinegarette. Ugh.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2004 16:14:55 | More by nogoodreason
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 2,641 ratings.