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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

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

3,142 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,142
Reviews: 1,355
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 142
Gots: 325 | 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
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Ratings: 3,142 | Reviews: 1,355 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very clear rich Red color with about an inch of loose tanish foam at first pour. There are quite a few bubbles rising that maintain the head pretty well. There is some loose lacing around the glass after consuming.

Aroma: You can definitely smell a "woody" character to this beer. There are bunches of dark fruits in the aroma of this one. I can smell fig, black cherry, and plums initially. I may be imagining this, but it is almost like I smell sour green apples here also. The aroma is really complex!

Taste: The flavor is also really complex, but with this example, it doesn't match the aroma that much. It somehow starts of syrupy sweet with a bit of astringency, and then this fades to let the sour in to play for the finish. Your palate is left mostly dry with a slightly sweet and earthy finish. There is a little bit of warming from the alcohol that is noticeable deep in the throat, but the complexity of the flavor makes it easy to miss. The carbonation is just right to send this beer across your palate without hitting it too hard.

Opinion: This is a mighty fine beer! It is a bit sweet for my taste, and I am assuming that it was added to make the beer more appealing to the masses. There is definitely a sour component to the beer, and it manages to maintain a woody character. This is a beer that I would have often if it was available in my area, but at the same time, it isn't one that I would have too many of. I'd definitely recommend it!

SkeeterHawk, Aug 18, 2005
Photo of Wutz
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes taken 6-28:

My first sour. It was too much for me. I'm not comfortable with the style but for the style guidelines, it was pretty spot-on.

Appearance: Dark brownish-red with a luxurious off-white head

Aroma: "Sour as hell" is all I got off of it.

Taste: Sweet maltiness with stinging cherry and tart/sour apple. There's a lot more going on under that but I can't pick it out with all that sourness running rampant.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and thick somehow leaving you dry and puckered reaching for another sip

Drinkability: I couldn't hang with it. I drank the whole bottle but it was too sour for me. Fortunately for this beer's rating (yeah, I'm sure Verhaeghe cares what I think), that's right in line with the style guidelines.

Overall: Too much sourness for me. I couldn't give this beer a fair enough shake. It was wonderfully complex but all I could pick out enough to name were the sour characteristics which a lot of people seem to love lately. Give this beer a shot - it's a masterfully crafted beer that was just too much sourness for me.

Wutz, Sep 18, 2009
Photo of rtepiak
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pour is a reddish brown. rather clear. a small head off that color. smell is a sour tang, but not as prodominant as other flemish reds. more earthy tones. cherry tart first off but a bouquet of fruit, wood, balsamic vinegar. palate reveals a worcestershire sauce quality, earthy fruit that have a citrus quality. fig, plum, black berry, grape. cherry tart is not as astringent as most. musky earth mostly. the earth even has a smoked quality to it. the taste is good but i don't believe this beer was ever made to be had alone. i couldn't drink more than one in its particular qualities. its a bit rich and unique. not to be had outside of dietary circumstances. but a fantastic accompaniment and a most for bbq, game, and robust cheeses. will have again but with food.

rtepiak, Apr 29, 2009
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best Before: 05-12-09.

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark mahogany brown body with a full, frothy, light khaki-colored head. Fair amount of lacing deposited on the way down.

Smell: Sweet-smelling, sugar-coated fruit nose with a big, hearty dose of malt vinegar. Light whiff of an unidentified herbal component.

Taste: Sweet dark caramel maltiness precludes a fruity dose of raspberries and a sugary, lightly tart cherry juice character and with an addition of both aged balsamic and malt vinegars. Squirt of fresh lemon juice. Tiny pinch of cocoa powder. Mild woodiness throughout. Undercurrent of tart acidity, particularly at the end. Long, fruity, crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-plus carbonation.

Drinkability: Recommended. An enjoyable, tasty, relatively smooth Flemish Red jam-packed with rich fruity complexities.

ChainGangGuy, Nov 12, 2008
Photo of Cyberkedi
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This comes out of the tap a beautiful opaque chocolate brown, very appetizing. Strong aroma is more like a hard apple cider than a beer. Flavor is mouth-filling and pleasing; apple taste dominates, and there is a hint of hop bitterness. Finish is very smooth and cider-like.

Cyberkedi, Jun 01, 2008
Photo of TCMike
4.09/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Produced a 2 finger beige head. Beer color is a reddish-mahogany.

Smell is of berries, a little farm house funk, red vinegar.

The taste was similar. Got a little soy sauce like taste, and a definite in your face tartness. No noticeable hop bitterness. Has an upper-medium carbonation, and medium mouth-feel.

Not what I was expecting when I bought it, but didn't look into it before buying. It is very good, but not a style I'm a big fan of.

TCMike, Jul 16, 2013
Photo of merlin48
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle produces a very fine looking pour. Dark brown sitting in the goblet, is a brilliantly clear, ruby red when held to any light. Minimal, beige head quickly falls into lasting collar and film lace. Impressive, sheets of lace are left on the side.

Aroma is initially fruity tart. Banana, cloves, and coriander quickly emerge to take the dominant role. Oak woodiness is also noted.

Mouthfeel is tart and fruity. Medium body and lots of carbonation here.

Taste is incredibly complex. Tart fruits start things off, with a "slap your face" burst of cherries and raspberries. This reminds me of a fruit Lambic, with the tart flavors and yeasty, barnyard musty yeast presence. Smooth malt stays in the background, but provides for a well rounded, nicely balanced profile. The oak aged character provides a woody note that adds an additional complexity. Alcohol is very craftily concealed in the complexity of flavors.

This is my first experience with a Flanders Red ale. I like it a lot, but doubt that I could distinguish this from a good fruit Lambic, in a blind tasting. The wood aged character is the most obvious difference. Just a little on the tart side, as for drinkability.

merlin48, May 21, 2004
Photo of TruePerception
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

(Previous review, transferred from beer journal)

Duchesse de Bourgogne: (Verhaeghe), 6%; Head flavor: nutty, apple/raisin; Appearance: cola/thin coffee, red warmth; Smell: dates/jam/fig; Mouthfeel: effervescent; Taste: cola, date/prun, green apple-y sourness, molasses; good/really good; slightly sweet from the bottle, more bitter (sides of tongue) from glass, mellows as it sits.

Poured into a pint glass.

TruePerception, Sep 01, 2013
Photo of jacobseyb
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A=Poured a deep dark ruby with little if any haze, two fingers of slightly off white head that faded to a nice cap and laced slightly

S=complex smell almost like a red wine vinegar but not as pungent, some fruityness

T=nice taste of fruit followed by malts, relatively gentle taste compared to the smell

M=gentle carbonation with light aftertaste

D=overall good, not too sweet, not too tart really pretty balanced but with some sourness, not too difficult to finish the 750.

jacobseyb, May 11, 2009
Photo of theghost3
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with a 2-finger beige head. Lots of lacing.

The smell is strong of sour fruits, herbs, cinnamon, and yeast. The taste is very sour, tart. Flavors of sour apple, alcohol, & unripe peaches are prevalent. Mouthfeel is very carbonated; acidic.

This is a drinkable beer but the tartness should be balanced with food.

theghost3, Jun 02, 2009
Photo of byrd
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a good sized light tan head that is fizzy for a moment, then slowly recedes to a thick lace. The color is a clear dark-reddish brown. Aroma has lots of sour vinous notes along side notes of dark fruits. Hints of oak are also apparent. The start is quite sweet and fruity. Prunes, raisins, and cherry notes are all present. Not much hop bitterness, but there is a nice sourness that comes in towards the end to balance things out. There’s a dry oaky finish. Carbonation is fairly light, and more noticeable towards the end. Very drinkable brew that I enjoyed quite a bit. Reminded me somewhat of a fruit lambic, and would make for a good desert beer.

byrd, Nov 24, 2003
Photo of 3Vandoo
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice looking beer that is dark amber in color, the head only showed his head out of the window to wave "hello" and quicly let a shadow of her image on the beer.

Some cherry aromas comes from that beer, a sourness, and an oaked flavours emerges from it.

As for the taste, the same as the above mentionned occurs, cherry flavours, the oaked taste with some spices come play in the mouth. A light alcohol taste comes to play indeed but just lighty, it is quite odd especially with the cherry taste.

I was impressed with that beer, me like!

3Vandoo, Apr 29, 2005
Photo of HumanParaquat
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Props to the marketing department...beautiful artwork on the bottle, capturing that whole Flemish Renaissance vibe. Pours a deep, dark burgundy red with an off white head. Leaves some good spotty lacing.

Apple cider vinegar, pears and grapes in the nose...very wine-like. There are also some subtle oaky notes detectable along with chocolate and cinnamon.

Tastes of cherries and red currants up front with a healthy dose of vinegar. Finishes long and dry with a tart pomegranate/cranberry acidity. A very nice balance between sweet and sour. Alcohol is well-hidden.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and tingly with good presence of carbonation. Mildly sticky and quite puckering. Takes on a smoother, more elegant feel as it warms.

One of the best Flemish Reds I've tried. I imagine this could be a gateway beer for wine lovers and girlfriends.

HumanParaquat, Aug 15, 2011
Photo of marc77
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep crimson hued with a light haze topped by a moderate off white head that leaves respectable lace. Very tart, unripe fruit dominates the aroma, but a constant undertone of wet horse Brettanomyces and old, cheesy hops counter the initial tartness nicely. The flavor consists of a pleasant blend of tart lactic notes and unripe raspberry offset by high residual sweetness due to the paltry hop bitterness. Sour acidity is present as a constant from start to finish. Light in body, and spritzy in mouthfeel. Finishes w/ tartness abruptly ending and sugary sweetness on the tip of the tongue slowly fading. This brew exhibits a good balance of lactobacillus tartness, fruity esters and residual sweetness. The taste grew on me the more I sipped. More "wild yeast" character would have added additional complexity.

marc77, Aug 13, 2002
Photo of levifunk
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle poured into snifter.

a - dark brownish red liquid with a light tan head.

s - sour cherries and vinegar.

t - quite tart, but still has a good malt backbone. a little more sweetness than I was expecting, but its not bad. cherry fruit flavor is big.

m - big carbonation, medium to light body.

overall - very tasty flanders. extremely easy to drink.

levifunk, Jul 25, 2010
Photo of BigAl723
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Ashley's in Ann Arbor.

A: Rusty pumpkin brown with a creamy tan head.

S: Vinegar, fruity, and sour.

T: Apples and chocolate. What combination!

M: Medium carbonation. Very light in the mouth. Creamy and smooth.

D: Very smooth. This aged sour goes down very easy. I could drink a lot of this.

Overall, a real unique beer. I heard the bartender say something about a sour ale matured in oak casks and double fermented. Instantly I knew I had to try it, I'm glad I did.

BigAl723, Aug 10, 2009
Photo of Morey
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 fluid oz. bottle with best before "12/05/2013" stamped on the back label.

Poured into a snifter. This reddish brown ale produced a white head that stood about one finger tall following a medium pour. Pretty good clarity. Ruby red hues noted as I hold this up to the light. Moderate head retention.

A tart aroma of sour cherries, vinegar, and grape juice. I'm also getting an earthy/woody character. Reminds me of a red wine, but more sour smelling.

Well, you guessed it...It taste sour too! Just enough to make you pucker up a bit. I'm getting some fruit juice flavors towards the middle, followed up by just a touch of oak. Sour flavor lingers all of the way through, yet this actually finishes rather smooth. Very little in the way of hops here.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation that blends well with the tartness of this beer.

This is my first Flanders Red, but I have to believe that this is a pretty good one. Not just because of the ratings, this one has grown on me with every sip.

Morey's Bottom Line: This is a fun beer to sip on. If you have friends that are into red semi sweet or dry wines, they might really enjoy this. Glad that I got to try it.

Morey, Oct 29, 2011
Photo of Goldopelgt
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured a reddish amber with an off-white head that actually stuck around with some decent lacing...

S- Ahhh, what I was hoping for in this brew...Slightly vinegar-y with some nice sour fruit notes...a little bit of funk (there's definitely some brews out there that are alot funkier) and a suprising amount of malt at the end...

T- To be honest, I was a little let down here (I guess I was just hoping for more)...taste is a little milder than it smelled, but still pretty damn good...tart fruits dominate with a decent balance of sweetness and maltiness...

M- Medium to light bodied...right amount of carbonation, but seems to be lacking the dryness I have come to expect out of sours...

D- This beer is still good, don't get me wrong...I guess I was anticipating an over-the-top sour that was in your face with the funk and would make your lips pucker...but that isn't this brew...this brew is very nicely balanced for the style, and is a very good introduction for those who haven't tried a beer of this variety...cheers!

Goldopelgt, Aug 04, 2009
Photo of Derek
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark mohoganny, tan head, very little retention, slight leg/lace.

S: Like a sherry with a hint of sourness.

T: Very winey, tart raisins, brown sugar, hint of chocolate. Flavour isn't overly powerful, but it's VERY refined.

M: Body slightly lighter than moderate, fairly dry.

D: Smooth introduction to the style!

Derek, Sep 03, 2006
Photo of DefenCorps
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

25.4oz bottle best before June 09. Drank this with dinner and after last night

A: Pours a deep crimson with a soft one-finger light brown head.

S: A blend of vinegar and oaky sweetness, this one is simple but still delicious. I don't care much for the sweeter Flanders Reds but this is one that impressed me

T: Starts off mildly sour and vinegary before a pleasing sweetness takes over. Finishes with a hint of oak and a little dry

M: Well carbonated, fullish in body, almost like a dessert-wine but solid

D: I enjoyed my bottle and will drink this again and soon

DefenCorps, Sep 20, 2008
Photo of bfields4
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a deep amber with a dark red hue. light lacy head.

smells of funky yeast. sour cherries.

nice crisp carbonation hits the toung to give way to a very nice sweet malt nuttieness that fades to a very balanced tart sour cherry. really great nicely balanced flavors.

none of the vinegar acidity i've had in other sour beers. just a really great light fruity tartness. light and full of flavor. i'm a big fan.

bfields4, Jul 27, 2010
Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, best before 5/2014. Pours crystal clear dark reddish brown color with a 2 finger fairly dense and fluffy cream colored with with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice dense foamy lacing clings on the glass, with plenty of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of green apple, cherry, raspberry, pear, apple skin, floral, hay, grass, oak, light vinegar, light red wine, funk, and grassy earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity notes; with moderate malt sweetness and good strength. Taste of lightly tart cherry, raspberry, apple, pear, hay, grass, pepper, light vinegar, oak, light red wine, light funk, and grassy earthiness. Slight fruity and earthy tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark and light fruits, hay, grass, floral, light vinegar, light red wine, oak, and grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of fruity and spicy notes; with a moderate malt balance and zero cloying sweetness present after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a smooth, crisp, and lightly prickly mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with zero warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Flanders red ale. Very nice complexity and balance of flavors; and very smooth and crisp to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

superspak, Apr 03, 2013
Photo of CharlieMopps
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a deep burgundy with some ruby highlights, topped by a fairly dense, eggshell colored head that showed good retention and lacing.

S: Smelled of sour cherries, a bit of a yeasty note, with tartness coming to the forefront.

T: Definitely a strong cherry flavor present, which was nice, but this beer was actually quite unexpected. The middle offered up a sourness that was assertive, but not too intense, as the quintessential sweetness of a Belgian fused with the other flavors. These rushed toward a washed out finish that leaves very little aftertaste. Interesting dynamics.

M: Plenty of carbonation, very bubbly around the palate. There is a density in the liquid that seems to bring the tart cherry flavor down to the tongue.

D: A welcome addition to the roster of Belgians I've tried. While similar in style to other beers that I've had the good fortune to sample, this one stands out and offers up a full plate of sour cherry goodness.

CharlieMopps, Sep 21, 2007
Photo of crookedhalo
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Translucent ruby color with thick beige head that leaves intricate lace in the glass. 33 cl bottle dated best before 10/13/03. Slightly vinegary and sweet aromas blended with the complexity of a Flanders red. Oaky and rich on the tongue. Epitomizes the standard of a Flanders red. Again slightly red wine vinegary taste complemented with a thorough malt sweetness and a sour cherry finish not unlike something like Liefmans Kriek. Absolutely drinkable; a fine example of a substitute for a red wine from a culinary perspective in dishes that complement red wines.

crookedhalo, Nov 20, 2003
Photo of Stimack
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap the other night while at Marhars. The brew was dark brown with a red like tinge to the color. Had a smallish head of tan bubbles that clung to the sides of the glass leaving some fain lacing down the sides of the brew. Before I really even try to take a whiff of the brew I can notice a sour like smell to it. On a deeper whiff of the brew, I notice fruit like smells that seem to blend or lead to the sour aroma. I believe that the fruit smell is of apple and/ or cherries but am not 100% positive. The taste is somewhat sweet with a clear sour flavor that goes nice with the malt backbone and spicy finish. Over all this is a great brew for people that like this type. For me I can usually handle about one before the sourness starts to get to me but I would and will get this brew again

Stimack, Nov 05, 2005
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,142 ratings.