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Duchesse De Bourgogne | Brouwerij Verhaeghe

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
91
outstanding
1,485 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,485
Ratings:
4,066
Avg:
4.09
pDev:
23.72%
 
 
Wants:
232
Gots:
825
For Trade:
16
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Verhaeghe
Belgium | website

Style: Flanders Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-15-2001

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Reviews: 1,485 | Ratings: 4,066
Photo of pmcadamis
1.59/5  rDev -61.1%
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 -58.4%
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 -57.9%
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 -57.5%
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 -53.8%
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 JuicesFlowing
1.91/5  rDev -53.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Poured into a Barbe chalice.

Look: Deep mahogany body with a cream colored head. A collar remains with little or no lacing.

Aroma: Vinegar, sweaty socks, sour grapes.

Taste: Sweetness runs underneath a woody, vinegar bomb. Sweaty gym socks galore.

Mouthfeel: Light.

Overall: I hate vinegar, so needless to say I pretty much do not like this beer or the style. Disregard my review as it is biased obviously.

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Photo of Inglewood
2/5  rDev -51.1%

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 -51.1%
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 -50.9%
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 -49.6%
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 -49.6%
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 -49.6%
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.

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Photo of Azumel
2.07/5  rDev -49.4%
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 -48.2%
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 -47.9%
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 -47.7%
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 -46.5%
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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Photo of jenbys2001
2.19/5  rDev -46.5%
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.

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Photo of TPSReports
2.27/5  rDev -44.5%
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.

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Photo of TastyTaste
2.29/5  rDev -44%
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.

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Photo of SeanMNCraftBeerLover
2.32/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.25

Well I don't know what happened here... Was exited to have it... Looked great... Smelled decent.... Then all hell broke loose once it hit the lips. Maybe it was a bad line but damn this was not a good beer.

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Photo of BeerManDan
2.36/5  rDev -42.3%
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!

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Photo of nbree00
2.38/5  rDev -41.8%
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

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Photo of TheBierdimpfe
2.43/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.25

Almost opaque dark brown color with strong glass clinging activity. Slightly creamy brown 2 finger head, lasting around 15-20 minutes, creating a very good amount of legs. Flavors of worcestershire sauce, rotten dark fruits, ester fruits, grapes, cherries, cheese, stinky feet, herbal spices and yeast. Medium body with prickly carbonation. Strong thick bitter finish with a long lasting super dry fruity putrid leathery vinous feel, ending with a barbecue sauce feel, a little oaky, and a blue cheese and peppery aftertaste. Overall I don't like this craft due to an overly rotten feel with excessive flavors. Too bitter, not accessible at all, really hardcore stuff. Poor unbalanced flavors and no freshness. Could not even finish the bottle. Bad bottle maybe?

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Photo of vig180
2.44/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from a 11.2 oz bottle poured into a Chimay chalice.

A: Looks fine, dark red, decent lacing.

S: Smells medicinal from the start, a bit of vinegar with some of the cherry-ish fruitiness of medicine.

T: This is where this beer falls apart for me. I normally love Flanders Reds, but the taste here is a mix of vinegar, cherry cough syrup, and metallic notes. Also very little sourness or tartness. No trace of alcohol.

F: Also unappetizing, like some kind of cherry slush (coarse like chunks of ice) that went bad. Drunk at the ideal temperature indicated on the bottle too, but might be better even warmer.

O: This has been a drain pour the last two times I've tried it. Again, I'm a big fan of the style, but this seems very different.

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Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
91 out of 100 based on 1,485 ratings.