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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,419 Reviews
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,419
Hads: 3,801
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 13.48%
Wants: 198
Gots: 652 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Duchesse De Bourgogne Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,419 | Hads: 3,801
Photo of Chinookie
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have had this beer on many occasions, even having it on tap at home a couple of times (since it is the wife's favorite). But I thought I would write a review for the bottle we drank last night, aged just over three years. Although I did not taste it side-by-side with a new bottle, my wife and I are familiar enough with the flavor to notice the differences.

For Valentine's Day I pulled out of the cellar the bottle I had been aging since June 2005 to pair with the chocolate dipped strawberries. The expiration date on the cork said Nov. 2007, so I suspect bottling date was Nov. 2004. I had stored this in my cellar on its side.

Served in the brewery-designed glasses, it poured clear dark reddish brown. The head was thinner and with bigger bubbles than new bottles, and head retention was also a lot weaker.

The aroma was roughly the same (cherry, brown/candi sugar, some balsamic vinegar) with a bit more wood.

The flavor and mouthfeel were noticeably different and better than the fresh version. First, the texture was lighter than normal and more velvety. The flavor profile was very similar--sweet, cherry tart, a bit woody, sugary--but the usual balsamic acidity in the finish was gone, making it more drinkable and enjoyable.

It paired very well with the chocolate-dipped strawberries.

I highly recommend to fans of this beer to age some in a cool dark place for three years. I can't imagine that it could get better, so probably wise not to keep much longer. (1,478 characters)

Photo of cncbofh
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a deep goblet as a deep copper red with lots of fizzy and quickly dissappearing bubbly. Amazingly, the beer itself did not "feel" carbonated in the mouth at all, but rather smooth almost like sherry or port.

The smell of roses and fruit were strong, but not overwhelming. Reminds me of Rosé de Gambrinus.

The taste lifted the bar. New and strange, but very very good. It had a soft velvety flavor of fruit - cherry and figs, with a light almondy nutty character. What amazes me so much about this beer is the character is so different and complex, yet the beer is so light and (can I use the word fluffy?)....

Good stuff. Made it to my top ten list. (672 characters)

Photo of USCTrojanBrian
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle consumed at The Trappist in Oakland, CA. From notes.

Egg-like foamy head. Violet-brown color. Sour cherry and oaky aroma.

Overly smooth first taste. Low carbonation, good, like a cask beer. Solid base beer. Somewhat sugary but quite enjoyable.

Maybe needed a bit more sour to balance the flavors a bit but this thing is like candy within the style, hard not to enjoy. (383 characters)

Photo of karst
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

From tap @ Capital Ale House downtown Richmond, VA Aug '07

Soft vinous cherry aroma with mild oak in back. Flavor of smooooth soft semisweet balance of malts and stoned fruits with a cresendo of cherry tartness - winelike drying midpallate into a clean finish revisiting malt body and fruityness.

Softer and with brighter citrus and cherry flavors as compared to bottled versions I have had. (397 characters)

Photo of Jerico
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - dark, murky amber/red color with only a slight head.

S - slightly fruity - like a bit of cherry/raspberry/strawberry - and slightly sour with a hint of lovely funk.

T/M/D - wow, is this something special! The cherry/raspberry/strawberry flavor is there, but it not in a overly sweet or syrupy way at all - more sour, but not aggressively so. The beer also has a texture - it feels and tastes thick and creamy but not heavy. Amazing! I've had this on tap once before buying a bottle, and the bottled version tastes exactly the same! Outstanding stuff. (556 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark ruby colored brew which sports a rocky, pillowy, off white head that seems to breathe as if the beer was alive (which it is). Craters opening up, the head finally dies down a little and leaves alot of lace. Just a beauty of a beer.

Smell: Apple cider, vinegar. A bit musty and sour smelling. Perfumy.

Taste: Tart and sweet with a lingering sour/metallic edge. This ale was matured in wooden vats, providing an oaky/woodsy dryness. As it warms, more complexity develops, fruits that do not exist like a mixture of cherry, granny smith apple and citrus with some acidity. This is one hell of a beverage.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a semi dry finish and a lingering sourness of the palate.

Drinkability: A very desirable sour that is a pleasure to partake. Highly recommended. (797 characters)

Photo of Yooperduder
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours lightly, slightly effervescent without being a bubble monster. Light and delicate head, drops down to a shimmering smokey white lace.

Smells of raisins, slight rum, maybe like an old fashioned rum cake. Fruit, like apples or apricots.

Mouthfeel is nice, nothing extraordinary but not harsh at all. Flavor is definitely fruit, again apples or some sort of cider. Effervescence is very nice, gives an exceptional feel as it goes down. Not even the slightest hint of hops, though maybe a touch of spice.

Overall an extraordinarily smooth beer, would pair exceptionally well with a cobbler, apple tart, or a summer fool. (628 characters)

Photo of waughbrew
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

What a beautiful beer in a style that is currently far too rare!

Very nice deep red/light brown with some blackness. Small off-white head stays a bit as lace but mostly as a small ring around the beer. Great up-front sourness in the aroma with vinegar. Bright and alive, an earthiness with acidity. Flavor is very well-balanced. The malt flavors come out as it warms. Light and crisp, wonderful bubbles. Very drinkable - I could have a few. (443 characters)

Photo of roadhouse
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle into a snifter.

Appearance is a clear dark ruby shade of red with a one inch thick cream colored head with lots of tiny carbonation bubbles. Surprisingly leaves some great looking lacing.

Aroma is mildly vinegary in a good way, some notes of oak, cherry-like tartness, and a mild sweetness along with some leathery funk.

The taste is initially quite sweet followed by a mild sour that is more funky than anything. Vinegar notes from the aroma are no longer present. Tart cherries are certainly there. The sweetness here is interesting as it shows itself initially then is overtaken by the funk only to return again in the finish even stronger than it started. I wouldn't mind a bit more sour in this one, it might be a perfect score then, but it gets it done nicely.

Mouthfeel is medium-light in body, with an extremely creamy and soft carbonation. Perfect.

Easily the best Flanders Red I've tried. It's somewhat expensive, but totally worth it. I would like to get another bottle of Rodenbach Grand Cru to compare with since that was the first Flanders Red I'd ever had. (1,108 characters)

Photo of Bighuge
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer is muy bonita. Lovely deep and clear burgandy tone. A creamy and dense beige head decorates the surface. Great retention is noted. I love the aroma: brown sugar, molasses, leather, sour cherry and ginger. The taste is up to the task as well. Great flavors at work. A bit of a battle of sweet and sour with the sweet actually winning out. No make that a draw. Pretty balanced in that area. A little sour cherry. A little sweet cookie dough. A little sour lemon. A little sweet brown sugar. Some subtle spicing I note as well includes ginger, cinamon and corriander. (Although I'm not sure that this beer is purposely spiced.) There are also some oaky and smokey qualities. A really nice blend of flavors. Body is light and the mouthfeel is on the lighter side of the carbonation spectrum. Wow. I do like this bruin.

Thanks marc77. Once again you've picked a winner for me. (884 characters)

Photo of alysmith4
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Not usually a fan of this style, but I tried this beer and loved it! This was actually my favorite of all the excellent brews I tried at Brasserie Beck - a new Belgian restaurant in the city with supposedly the largest Belgian beer selection outside of Belgium.

Poured a dark brown color, with a reddish tone. Smell was of plums, cherries, pine, maple syrup, and something like candied ginger. Taste was most excellent, with all of the flavors mentioned before and a definite sour to sweet finish. The beer was nice and thick too, with a good amount of carbonation. Would definitely recommend this beer, a must-try! (616 characters)

Photo of kzoobrew
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich auburn color. Light tan head crackles as it is poured but dissipated quickly. Ring remains surrounding the top but little lacing is left.

Dark fruit dominates the aroma. Tart cherries and currants. Soft sour smell complimented by a slight whiff of oakiness.

Flavor is incredible sweet fruit flavors mesh incredibly well with a strong tart taste. Excellent balance between the malty flavors with the somewhat sour fruitiness.

Mouth feel is incredibly smooth and crisp. Very dry.

Ridiculously drinkable. Excellent beer. Tremendously enjoyable to drink and goes down all too easy. (596 characters)

Photo of dgilks
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Rich sweet and sour aroma like good aged Balsamic. Slightly earthy. Very good.

Rich ruby red. Mostly clear. Small, creamy, tan head.

I can see why people don't like this. Rich, sticky balsamic vinegar. Some vinous fruit. Actually quite sweet. I really like this.

Full body with moderately high carbonation. Very sticky.

A tasty, tasty beer. Lots of good here and while not easy to drink, it's the sort of sour I'd be back for in an instant. (448 characters)

Photo of BWED
4.56/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle poured into a tulip

A- Dark brown with some mahogany/ruby hues. Tan head holds great retention, and great delicate lacing lines the glass.

S- Tart cherry, balsamic vinegar, just a faint funk.

T- Cherry again, nice and tart. Some oak notes infused. Faint toasty malt character.

M- Tangy, but really smooth and wonderful. Carbonation is light but ample, champagne-like. The body is medium.

O- I love this one. So much depth and some much to take in. If I would have known how much I liked this I would have gone straight for the 750 ml. Guess I'll have to go back. Really a great beer experience. (615 characters)

Photo of Act25
4.56/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

My first Flemish sour, and a favorite.

A: The look is a 5. Deep, dense, thick, lasting tan head that lasts forever, starting as a pillowed crown and becoming a weathered sand castle.

Ruby Brown body, loads of lacing. A perfect pour.

S: puts you into the wine cellar with all the smells, wine, wine spills, oak, char, sawdust, concrete floor, mold, humidity, age.

T: This is three beers in one and so even at $7 a bottle is reasonable value. Smooth, soft, and tannic like wine. Chewy like wine, with body, in concert sweet and sour, fruit and malt, twin forces arise to treat your mouth to an utterly new sensation totally gratifying. 10s of flavors (as evidenced by the review) but dominant are burgundy pinot noir, cherry, balsamic, and jam. It rides on sweet bread and despite all this meditation complexity, it finishes clean. This is a must try, much try! One of my favorite firsts ever.

F: Leaves your mouth in a lovely kissing place like a great chewy wine or beer. You must let it warm. Also I drank my first one at the same pace as I'd drink 2 glasses of wine. Very slowly. And getting closer and closer to 55 degrees.

A-bro wrote " I must pause for a moment and thank the beer gods …Top of my list, an art performance… " I agree! (1,252 characters)

Photo of bonbini26
4.57/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

a: Deep mahogany to brown. Cream colored head fades to a thin layer. Nice lacing.

s: Smells of tart fruit, cherry in particular and cola.

t: The combination sweetness and cherry reminds me of a cherry coke. Light tartness balances the sweetness. Low acidity for the style.

m: Carbonation is lively which complements the style.
Light to medium body.

d: Typical drinkability for style. I would drink a few if the sweetness didn't catch up to me. The sourness is more subdued than the other Flanders Ales I've tried. More sourness would help balance the sweetness. (565 characters)

Photo of WellRested518
4.57/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

A- steady lacing with a dark cherry body. The head quickly falls to a half centimeter eggshell.

S- acidic with notes of cider, sour cherries, plums, and red wine. It's bittersweet.

T- much like the smell, but with a slight punch of granny smith apples. Really reminds me of that line between sweet and sour in black cherry Warheads.

M- not a huge amount of carbonation, but a definite nudge. Think un-carbonated hard cider.

O- I love this beer. I grab it biweekly at a bottle shop 30 minutes away. (502 characters)

Photo of doppelmeup
4.57/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a style that is relatively new to me, and this particular brew was recommended by a friend.

Pours a rather deep mahogany color with a half inch head that slowly dissipates. Lacing is present but not spectacular.

Aroma was fruity and similar to a good quality cider vinegar.

Taste was a bit sweeter than I remember Rodenbacher Red to be. Definite fruits, sweet malt and cidery but with a very nice tang to balance the sweetness. Really nice flavor.

Mouthfeel was nice as well. The tanginess "got me here" but the moderate carbonation left a clean palate. It also managed to have a nice creaminess about it.

Overall, I really enjoyed this brew and will seek it out in the future. Perfect way to start off the evening prior to enjoying dinner. (754 characters)

Photo of fragilehearted
4.57/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of my favorites! I've had it many times, so now that I have decided to review beers on this site, here goes!

750ml - if at home, I'll go for a snifter.

A - dark ruby red w/ a brownish tint. Head fades fast to lots of beautiful lacing.

S - sour cherries, balsamic vinegar, berries...very fruity. Sweet malts in the back. Smell is almost as good as the taste.

T - delightful. Sour cherries again, fruity, but still tastes like a beer...almost like a lambic, but better. It's sour, but not overly, not to the point of puckering. I enjoy the restraint w/ the sourness...could have been a bit sweeter, but I'm not complaining.

M - great carbonation (which I generally love). Light-to-medium body...very easy.

D - couldn't be better. I can put away a 750ml bottle of this like nobody's business & probably do at least once a month. It's not too sour, so I'd absolutely recommend it to someone who's getting started on this style. (933 characters)

Photo of Spilly09
4.57/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a snifter and left to settle for a few minutes.
Pours a dark cola color--a reddish brown. Highly carbonated, with a head that settles into a thin layer soon after pouring but maintains a nice lacing.
Nose is a pungent vinegar and a bit of cola. You know what you're about to taste when you smell this one.
Mouthfeel is big and smooth. So much going on here. Terrific.
Initially there is a huge hit of carbonation and sourness on the front of the tongue. It then moves into a big hit of balsamic vinegar, finishing with an awesome "Dr. Pepper-esque" cherry sweetness and a long, residual aftertaste. Just lovely.
This one is not for everyone, but if you would buy a balsamic flavored cola, this one’s for you. Excellent beer. (741 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
4.57/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this at Crush in Lancaster. Served chilled in a wine glass.

A - Dark burgundy w/ small beaded pale tan head. The color has some ruby accents

S - Smells like a mix of sweet and sour w/ worcestershire some wood and spice w/ a sweet cherry and light currant. There is a subtle raspberry note w/ mild dark sugar aroma

M - The feel is slightly candy-like at first w/ a subtle sour and mild fruit texture, slight berry w/ vinous elements and moderate carbonation. The beer finishes on the dry side.

T - The taste of dark and sweet cherry w/ hints of sour berry notes and light brown sugar like a dessert beer quality. The taste has mild lemon rind acidic flavor w/ mild vinous dark grapeskin notes and wild berry w/ mild spice and earthy hints. The taste is complex to say the least with even a tinge of leather and oak.

D - This is a fantastic flanders w/ subtle smooth sour blended with the fruit and sweet notes. The Duchesse stands alone as I have not had a beer quite like her, very drinkable sweet/sour blend and I find this an easy ale to drink but prefer to save it for occasions. (1,093 characters)

Photo of purplehops
4.57/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another beautiful example of a Flemish Red Ale. When you first open the bottle you are hit with that sour cherry/lactic acid aroma. It has always amazed me that there are no cherries in these red ales. The color is a beautiful dried cherry red with lots of sparkle and a rich creamy vanilla-white head. The floral/sour aroma is just pure heaven (I have never found the right words for this aroma). The taste starts out tart and ends sour with hints of sweetness. I only wish this ale was a wee bit more tart with the sourness lasting a bit longer. It's not quite a Rodenbach but it's a very nice example of a Red Ale and very drinkable. (636 characters)

Photo of deapokid
4.57/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Liquid is blood red with a one finger head that sticks to the glass like glue. Visage is beautiful and imposing; both dangerous and thoroughly inviting. I am absolutely dying to take a taste.

Scent is all sour grapes... in a good way. This smells usually remind me of homemade wine at family holiday parties and the tart aromas wouldn't be out of the ordinary for a fresh sangria.

Wow! Sour fruit and the aforementioned sangria are all over this brew. Cherry and passion fruit are also ever present with a nice, tart wine conclusion to leaven some of the sweetness. What stops this fruit flavor explosion from being one-dimension is the boozy Belgian ale taste that coalesces with the fruity aspects. This beer is like the perfect mix of a dark ale and a red wine.

This enters the mouth like one smooth coating with a perfect blend of flavors. It is soft on the palate, but still striking and instantly memorable.

Despite all the tartness and the bold flavor profile, this is surprisingly drinkable. Yet, I can only imagine that two or three of these could do a number on the stomach.

This beer is an absolute classic in my book and it's the first that showed me the unlimited options and characteristics a beer could have when I first started getting into craft brew. (1,273 characters)

Photo of thecheapies
4.57/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Duchesse de Bourgogne. Poured into its appropriate glassware. Bottle best before 02/09/2013.

Pours with a half-fingered light tan head. A little browner than I remember, not sure if it's from the aging (this bottle is from 2010). Ruby highlights amidst the brown body with a good bit of yeast murk. 3.5

Powerful red wine vinegar nose with bright tart cherry notes. Some sugars evident. Doses of mustiness and oak barrel, but not woody. More of a vanilla note. Pretty incredible. 4.5

Great tartness off the bat with some stale funkiness and rich sweet fruity character. Slight metallic finish, not unlike sucking on a nickel. Red wine vinegar, burgundy, tart cherry, strawberry, underlying vanilla, and oak. What's so impressive is the fruit character and the lovely vinous red wine flavor. Not powerfully vinegary like Rodenbach, not attenuated like Bacchus, just a perfectly exemplary and delicious rendition of the style. Classic taste and perplexing complexity. 5.0

Smooth and spritzy. Great carbonation bite. A real burper. Not overdone. The sour character is ideal. We've already established that Duchesse tastes great, and it feels great, too. 4.0

Incredible beer, and highly recommended for Belgian lovers. One of my all-time favorites. A beer I pay full-price for and know I'm getting a treat every time. Great fresh, great with a few years on it. An amazing Flanders Red. 5.0 (1,389 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
4.57/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Two finger rapidly dissipating head with a little lace on a clear near perfectly amber body. Near perfect sour cherry aroma with candy notes. Flavor is initially sour then sweet in the finish with a predominantly dark fruit backbone. This beer is excellent and very very drinkable. Medium body and moderate carbonation. I will be having this one again. (352 characters)

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
91 out of 100 based on 1,419 ratings.