Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,417 Reviews
THE BROS
93
outstanding

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Reviews: 1,417
Hads: 3,764
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 13.48%
Wants: 188
Gots: 636 | FT: 12
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Verhaeghe visit their website
Belgium

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: 1,417 | Hads: 3,764
Photo of timtim
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

i really love this one. nice reddish brown color with an off white head that shrinks down but never goes away. nice lace as well. smells of some fruit like plum, raspberry, cherry and vinegar as well. also some sweet sugary smell. tastes like a mix of all three fruits with a raw sugary sweetness and has an incredible sour kick. not too sour, just remarkable in my opinion. mouthfeel is soft and silky with a great carbonation that gives the drink some legs as it goes down. a real pleasure of a drink. (503 characters)

Photo of Padron4KM
4.51/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From old notes. Clear dark brown, thin beige head, nice lacing left on the glass.
Aroma starts with malt vinegar, but there is an underlying sweetness, oak, vanilla, wine.
Flavor is sour and sweet at the same time. Vinous, sweet, fruity, tart, oaky. (249 characters)

Photo of silenius
4.51/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served at slightly warmer than fridge temperature in a tulip glass.

Reddish brown appearance with a uniformly light beige head containing medium sized bubbles in the foam. The head dissipated quickly. This beer has a sour cherry and red wine vinegar smell with a background of brown sugar and a hint of vanilla (possibly from the oak barrels).

A bit of a bite on the attack, but that quickly segues into a round, mellow, dried cherry sweetness with a tart backbone. A complex, wine-like beer. At the end it reverts to a slightly tart, but eminently enjoyable, tinge that lasts in the mouth for a good 20 seconds.

Very enjoyable. When drinking this, I sip it slowly and savor it like a dessert wine. This is not a beer I would use to quench a thirst. I would drink it at the the end of meal instead of dessert. The other three bottles I purchased in the four-pack will be gone within the week I am sure!

I would definitely drink it again.

Purchased on 1/17/04. Best before date is 07/04/05. (1,005 characters)

Photo of Frozensoul327
4.51/5  rDev +10.5%
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. (941 characters)

Photo of cdkrenz
4.51/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Brown body with a strong amount of carbonation. The head is quicklived and is a pale eggshell color.

S - It offers an aroma of red wine, oak and slightly sour cherry.

T - Quickly, a sour almost cherry flavor comes up. It soon fades away leaving the flavor of white wine and a tiny hint of alcohol.

M - Light and airy from the large amount of carbonation.

~ This is something I will seek out again. It is one of the best beers I've had the luxury to sample. If you have the opportunity to try it you should definitely take advantage. (542 characters)

Photo of carpezytha
4.51/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very well balanced beer. Do not try this beer if you are narrow minded. It probably falls outside of whatever classification you will try to fit it into.

Fabulous appearance. Deep bronzed ruby in color.

An eager foam gathers after a good pour. I used a small chardonnay-shaped glass and that worked.

A bit musty on the nose, with some sourness anticipated, indicated.

First on the tongue, a well balanced sweet and sour, good carbonation. I think the carbonation helped it.

Beneath the sourness of the yeast and the sweet light malt there are citrus notes underneath, some jammy cherry and peach, tangy notes with a light scatter of spicebox, cedar and leather. There really are several flavors here that combine well.

I will definitely try this one again soon if I can. I was surprised and impressed. (809 characters)

Photo of TDotScott
4.51/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a wine glass from a 22 oz bomber, cellared for nine months.

L- Deep auburn with very little head. Highlights of Garnet.

S- Acetobacter like whoa. Lots of vinegar and sour fruit, without being fusel-y. Still a malt presence, but all about the yeast and bacteria.

T- As expected, the cellaring has turned the beer into a more robustly sour version of its fresh self. As I like my sours sour, I'm not one to complain. Vinegar, sweet chocolatey malt, with a dry finish.

F- Not as lively as I like it.

O- Worth it to cellar it for nine months to a year, if you're down with the tartness. Any more, and the vinegar might turn into something ugly (but I don't know for sure). (686 characters)

Photo of philbe311
4.52/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Dark, yet translucent... Red undertones within...

S - Malt and Grapes dominate... Very inviting...

T - Mildly sweet cider with grapes and apples at the forefront... Turns slightly bitter as the taste develops... Demonstrates smoky characteristics as the beer warms towards room temperature...

M - Carbonation... Intense... Has a good bite to it...

D - To be sipped and savored glass after glass... WOW! (410 characters)

Photo of bubrewer
4.52/5  rDev +10.8%
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. (1,151 characters)

Photo of DKRowden
4.52/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap into a 10 oz tulip glass. A very deep red with almost no light transparency and a creamy off white inch head. It has a very red wine like nose with the bitter sweetness. This is my first sour so I can't judge too much but it has a good sour sweet wine taste like a dessert wine or something. It has a crisp mouth feel with a moist finish. Overall quite nice for my first sour. It was aged and cellared by my local Beer Shoppe and I was lucky to try it. (466 characters)

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.52/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a deep reddish brown color, clear, nice head that left a sheen on top, very nice lacing.

Smelled absolutely amazing, but hardly like a beer at all, more like wine. A very strong smell for such a low ABV beer, you wind up thinking you're smelling strong alcohol, but you're not. Powerful dark fruit aromas and an earthy, woody background combine with the yeast to hammer the nose. Just a touch balsamic vinegar like (that's not bad tho, I love the smell of balsamic vinegar).

A true taste explosion, amazing flavors. Cherries and raisins dominate, yeasty and sweet, woody and tart. Highly complex and fabulously delicious. Tart and tangy in the mouth, a sweet, sour, complex lingering aftertaste follows.

An oddity: based on the smell I would think it would be hard to drink, but it's exactly the opposite. Very easy to drink, very quickly leaving me wanting more.

Drink is off the charts with easy going deliciousness. Really combines the properties of wine and beer, harnessing the best qualities of both.

My first true "sour" experience. I'm hooked already! (1,075 characters)

Photo of whiterascal
4.52/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: thin tan head, disappeared quickly, deep bronze in color
S: smells deliciously like Easter and makes my mouth water
T: truly a treat. Vinegary at first but so smooth at the finish. I taste green apple and cherries.
M: carbonated.
D: Poured into a goblet, I could enjoy the Duchesse all evening long (302 characters)

Photo of Brian700
4.52/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was introduced to this beer the other night and I was really confused at first smell as to why this beer was held in such high regard...then I tasted it and my world was flipped upside down. I got to drink this out of a Duchesse de Bourgogne glass that my friend gave me.

This beer poured a silky reddish brown color with a nice looking head that clung to the glass nicely.

The aroma threw me at first. I thought it was a bad bottle because I immediately picked up on a buttery vinegar-like aroma. This aroma and whatever I had left sitting on my palate from my last beer didn't jive well at all. As soon as I got acclimated to the flavor of this beer the aroma became enticing and very complex.

The flavor was something else. It has a buttery presence in the mouth with some mild tartness. The flavor that I would have called vinegar before was acclimated to this beer became something else. I believe maybe a oak influenced sourness that is mild and adds to the complexity of this beer. It finishes somewhat dry and leaves you mouth with still developing flavors. I need to clean out some cupboard space for beers like this one now.

The mouthfeel is full bodied with medium to low carbonation. It coats the mouth nicely but is not cloying.

The drinkability of this one is good for say me, but I would say it is a lot lower for inexperienced palates.

This is definately a beer to pick up and try. Drink it with a few friends or they will never believe you. (1,478 characters)

Photo of zymurgy4all
4.52/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is quite an interesting beer. It pours a deep reddish brown with a dense white creamy head. The aroma is all sourness: lactobacillus, brettanomyces, and a hint of oak. The immediate flavor is sour, then it finishes sweet leaving a sweet & sour taste in your mouth. The aftertaste lingers for a while as well. This is a beer that you learn to like--after having a gueze, this one tastes wonderful. Great beer, but don't drink it until you've had other sour beers to compare it too, and you develop your palate. (514 characters)

Photo of Oxymoron
4.52/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The power of the Duchesse is great! The pour is a bit viscous (like wine) with a ruby red color and brown tinges when held to the light. A bubbly head that dissipates rather quickly and not much lacing to speak of, but that's ok for style.

The nose is has more of a tart aroma then acidic. Very noticeable fruit esters with cherries, pears and some tropical fruit notes in the back ground. Some sweeter malt and candy like esters. Noticeable Belgium yeast characteristics as well.

The taste is fruity for a Flemish red. The tart flavor brings out a unique cherry blossom tang both enhancing the sweeter malty flavors with the sour like candy apple tastes. The acidic and dry ester flavors leaves a no doubt Flemish style that only is exemplified by the light but delicate Belgium yeast undertones. There is a spice kick at then end. Really this beer brings out all the flavor characteristics of sweet, salty, sour and bitter wrapped altogether.

The body is closer to mid then full, but a true Belgium delight. Yeasty undertones with a fruity center that really appeals to all flavors. There really is a powerful taste overall. (1,131 characters)

Photo of stingo
4.52/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I first fell in love with this beer while having it on tap my first time at the local beer bar. I am very happy to say it was not mere infatuation - the Duchesse poured a dark dark red that looked very appetizing indeed. The nose was acidic, yet lightly so, so it beckoned to the eager taste buds to get some of what they were missing. And what a nice flavor - deep rich earthy flavors combined with a nice sour edge to give both ends of the palate a treat. The mouthfeel was a bit thinner than I expected, but still very enjoyable. Having drunk this for an entire night, I can truthfully say the drinkability is exceptional. A highly recommended treat for your taste buds. (673 characters)

Photo of plfahey
4.53/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle (corked and caged) poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Deep red color with ruby/garnet highlights-brilliant clarity. Ivory/light tan moderate head with moderate retention.

Aroma-Awesome aroma of cherries, grapes, and passionfruit. Nice oaky, woody notes. Tart, with musty brett flavors of horse blanket and barnyard. Complex, layered, wonderful.

Flavor-Tart up front, fruity sweet in the middle, and dry and acidic in the finish. Cherries, passionfruit, and grapes. Oaky, tart, cider vinegar flavors as well. Slight chocolate flavor. Light barnyard musty flavors in the finish. Finish is dry with a touch of acidity and lingering cherry notes. Awesome.

Mouthfeel-Medium body with moderate carbonation. Smooth and easy drinking, with a slight tingle on the palate. Crisp and refreshing.

I must say, I think I like Rodenbach Grand Cru a bit better, but the Duchesse is simply sublime. Just a hair on the sweet side, but that's just being nitpicky. This is a phenomenal beer. (992 characters)

Photo of Squelch
4.53/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark Plum colored. Off white head. Slight lacing. Beautiful beer.

Smell: sweet cherries, prunes, candy.

Taste: Sour cherries, prunes, bubble gum. Wonderful

Mouthfeel: Light and tart. puckering. Sour.

Overall: One of my favorites. This beer is exceptional. Balanced and complex at the same time. (311 characters)

Photo of nightcrawler
4.53/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What can you say about this great beer? Opening a bottle is always a reason to call friends and share the joy. And it is very easy to finish a bottle and move onto another...and another...and another.

It pours a brownish-red. While the smell is good, the taste is like a complex explosion. Every sip brought something different to the tongue. It ends with a clean, wine-like dry finish - just bordering on sharp. If you don't like any sweet/fruit taste, avoid this beer. (471 characters)

Photo of ThirdLap
4.53/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

So it turns out that I was wrong.

I tried Duchesse in my early craft beer days and found it to be utterly revolting. Perhaps it was due to a bad bottle I picked up, but I'm more inclined to blame it on an undeveloped palate. Yesterday I tried it on-tap at Sacramento Brewing and realized what I'd been missing out on.

Get this: A non-beer-drinker in our party declared it her favorite beer of all time, ordering two additional glasses for herself.

A - Pours a light cherry brown with a light, dirty tan head. Lots of lacing remains after the head dissipates nearly completely.

S - You know that it's going to be tart before even taking a sip. As a beginner I got vinegar and little else. This time I pick up dark cherries, vanilla, with a nutty backbone. You will recall this beer by its nose more than anything else.

T - To cut to the chase, absolutely delicious. It's creamy, sweet, tart, with cherries, vanilla, and dark berries. The vinegar is present, but doesn't ruin the experience.

M - Medium bodied, crisp, with lots of carbonation.

D - A sipper, but one you want to sip all damn day.

Never in a million years did I think I'd say it, but I love Duchesse! (1,174 characters)

Photo of Souleman
4.53/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had 1pt 9.4 FL OZ and was really loving it all the way. I think you have to be in the mood for a little more tart/sweet beer that has a more fruity flavor.

A- One of the most beautiful looking beers for that kind. Head was really nice, but the cherry/amber color was quite a treat to look at.
S- very fruity smelling, not too overbearing though.
T- Really well balanced, tasty brew. Hints of tart cherry with a slight bitter taste that was balanced by a bit of fruity sweetness.
M- Really nice mouth feel. The head stuck around long enough for it to mix in with the first couple of sips. A slight effervescence hooked the brew up. Without it, I would have thrown the beer away.

Overall, I am rating this beer high because, in it's class, I haven't had too many that would touch it. That said, you definitely should know what you are getting into and be in the mood for a tart, fruity treat that you can only find with DDB. (928 characters)

Photo of Beer-Revelry
4.53/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

A - Pours an incredibly dark mahogany ruby red, no head formed. Very light whispy lacing.
S - Grapes, black cherries, plums, raisins, figs, malts, acidic wine and a light caramel whiskey note.
T - Lightly, refreshingly sweet black cherry, smooth champagne quality bubbles in the carbonation, dark cooked fruits, wines and a nip of warming alcohol. Finishes with a malty bitterness to round out the initial upfront sweetness at the beginning of the development of the flavor.
O - While I've never had a Flanders red ale styled beer before, I can say this is a damned fine and excellent 5 star beer. Not as intense as a kriek lambic style beer, but would appeal to fans of winey beers or strong dark Belgian beers and the like.
V - Good value, available in a single bomber and a four pack of bottles. (802 characters)

Photo of ultralarry2006
4.53/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml. bottle. Leaves a one finger beige head with excellent retention, and excellent lacing. The head is simply amazing and beautiful. Body is a slightly hazy garnet. An excellent looking beer.

Smell - sour cherries, plums, and a musty horse blanket. Very good and mouthwatering.

Taste - similiar to the smell. Sour cherries and plums washed through with a barnyard must and champange. Strong sour cherries on the aftertaste. Very good.

Mouthfeel - surprisingly full bodied, and some slickness (also a surprise) , and fizzy (not a surprise).

Drinkability - this is very good ale, and I really like it alot, but I dont' think it's sessionable, not because of the abv, which is not really high, but rather, because of the taste. That is, this would be one to almost always enjoy with food, and not in a drinking session. (846 characters)

Photo of Sephiroth
4.53/5  rDev +11%
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. (405 characters)

Photo of GPHarris
4.53/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a - poured a three-fingers dense and thick tan head into a tulip glass that settled into a thick lace and sheeting throughout. the head began to look creamier and creamier with each sip. it also billowed nicely upon every swirl of the glass. the body was a deep red with hints of purple.
s - slightly muted sour cherries.
t - cherries with a hint of sweetness and other fruits were present as well.
m - medium, bubbly mouthfeel.
d - excellent beer. just amazing. (462 characters)

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
91 out of 100 based on 1,417 ratings.