Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

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Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

3,736 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,736
Reviews: 1,463
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 188
Gots: 612 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,736 | Reviews: 1,463
Photo of bonbini26
4.57/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Photo of WellRested518
4.57/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Photo of doppelmeup
4.57/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Photo of fragilehearted
4.57/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Photo of Spilly09
4.57/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Photo of Slatetank
4.57/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Photo of purplehops
4.57/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Photo of deapokid
4.57/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Photo of thecheapies
4.57/5  rDev +9.9%
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

Photo of kylehay2004
4.57/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Photo of degerbah
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very deep red with a ton of tan head. The head dissapears quickly, but leaves a hefty amount of thick lacing along the top of the glass. The aroma reminds me very much of malt venegar and is incredibly acrid. The taste is slightly sour, acidic, and subdued. It reminds me more of cherries than anything else. Extraordinarily smooth, this is an amazing beer. I will definitely buy this many more times.

Photo of jamespub
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had it first on botte, then twice on tap. obviously, this was at different times, but from my recollection, they tasted similar once they got to temperature and both methods were divine.

A- Caramel brown, clear, nice head that dissipated quickly. looks comparable to a belgian dubbel

S- Slight malt with a mild sour funk. I thought it would be more sour in the taste, so I was slightly misled by the smell. Nothing fancy here for me, but still had a good aroma.

T- stunning. i could drink this beer all day, everyday. it goes down sooo smoooth. sour, sweet, malty awesomeness. great caramel flavor to accompany the mild sour flavor.

M- way too easy to drink. amazing.

O- I absolutely love this beer. the tap ran out at the local bar and my heart broke. thankfully i have bottles available when i can get some more petty cash. buy this beer, drink it, savor it, and share it with me.

Photo of hustlesworth
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- big expansive beige head, loud and active, very stable and sturdy, with large vacuoles forming beneath it's surface from escaping co2. Foam becomes wrinkly and shriveled as it settles and leaves behind some thick drippy lace. All this is going on over top a shiny mostly clear burgundy body with fiery orange and red highlights. Foam never falls shorter than a thick disk.

S- sweet, tart, and oaky. The spicy sweetness carries far from the glass while the lactic fruity tartness stays close to home, Sour cherries mostly. Huge vanilla notes with some clove and balsamic vinegar. A good swirl brings out some milk chocolate and funky yeast.

T- sweet n sour, very complex, and not too brash or puckering. Vanilla oak and some chocolate flavored malt complement the brews tartness perfectly. A variety of tropical fruits could be named here, but the main point here is bing cherries and wild blackberries. A little bit of toasty grain, some vinous hop flavor but no detectable bitterness, and some sweetened nuts play harmoniously in the background. Finishes somewhat dry with a little spice and acidity. Vanilla and lactic acid continue to play off one another through the solid long aftertaste.

MF- soft full and creamy, not really full bodied but definitely plush. Carbonation is about mid level but delicate and unobtrusive. There's also the feeling of some tannins but overall that's the only similarity to wine I'm finding.

D- the flavor of oak in this brew is remarkable. Being only the 2nd Flanders red I've tried, my respect for this style has increased exponentially. Such a perfect balance between sweet And sour is rarely seen in the culinary world Apart from some kick ass Chinese buffet. Not a session ale but definitely a winner that should come to me in bigger bottles.

Photo of Mikus
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This poured (12oz bottle) a deep, reddish-brown into my snifter. There were very small bubbles, and a 'soda pop' like carbonation which quickly disappated. The aromas of red wine vinegar were very dominant, and with some concentration a bit of oak was also there. This was quite tart on the palate (and I am pretty new to sours), lots of dark cherry notes, and a bit of the vinegary note on the back end. Very nice actually. A rich, smooth mouthfeel that coated the palate and hung around for a spell. Overall, this beer was far greater than the sum of its parts. While I enjoyed the components (taste, appearance, etc), as a whole this was one of the phemomenal beer experiences that I have enjoyed. Will seek out again, as well as dig further into the style.

Photo of DavidST
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm extremely new to sour beers, having only tried them for the first time a couple of months ago, but I really love the few that I've had.

This pours a deep brown, there are hints of red but I wouldn't have known its a red ale otherwise. The head is a finger width and light brown, it quickly fades away but leaves a nice lace. This smells a little sour, woody and slightly unusual, hard to describe. Nice mouth feel, it gets very carbonated if I gently move it around on my tongue, I can feel the tartness. The taste is a little tart / sour at first but on the way down it seems to sweeten up quite a bit, this is definitely a unique flavor for beer, but I really like it. It kind of reminds me of shock tart candies I used to love as a child, this my second bottle to try and the aftertaste sweetness is more than I remembered. Overall this is a great beer and very well could be one of my favorites.

Photo of claytri
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured a beautiful rich brown that let just enough light through to provide read highlights. It generated a thin tan head. The aroma is sharp and winey with an alcohol burn. The tastes starts with a wonderful tanin taste, then moves to a sweet dark berry flavor, and finally progresses into a dark tart fruit finish. The feel is smooth and creamy with a nice rounding of flavors on the tounge. An absolutely enjoyable drink and something I will have to consider everytime I go to the shelf to make a purchase.

Photo of Budlum
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle with best by 6/08 on the cork.

Pours with one and one half inches of deep tan, foamy head lasting throughout the drink. Presents a deep brown and burgundy body with deep ruby-red hues on the edges. Very attractive.

Sharp on the nose, strongly suggesting red wine vinegar. Notes of sour apples and tart berries. Notable earth and oak presence. Sweet caramel notes after the initial sharp notes back down. Complex to diagnose.

Initial bitterness suggesting sour apples and other tart fruit flavors. The tarntess is quickly squelched by a rush of sweet fruits suggesting figs and raisins. A cross-blend of merlot and white wine flavors at the midpoint provides some dry characteristics and the presence of sweet and sour grapes. A long, tangy finish reminiscient of the initial flavors with stong tannin and oak flavors.

Mouthfeel is smooth and clean with qualities similar to a white wine. Tart, sweet and balanced.

Drinkability is great for a Flanders with this type of strong flavors. Not quite as tart as I expected but a flow of sweetness will make this a little easier for the novice.

An excellent Flanders Red which is a complex and powerful brew for fans of the style. It is not likely that this would be a good choice for a Flanders virgin.

Photo of sacfly
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Best before 08-06-06 printed on the back label.

Pours a dark ruby brown color. Thin head of tan bubbles. Smell is a balance of sour and sweet apple.

Taste is…wow… almost creamy sour apple candy flavor. Slight tart cherry. Aftertaste is mildly sweet with that sweet tart twang.

What took me so long to try this? Not at all what I expected, but something that I will keep around for a nice change of pace.

Photo of davedahl
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a delicious brew.

_Appearance_
Very clear ruby-bronze color - and gradiated. When held to a light it shows off brilliant clarity and a few champagne-like bubbles rising to surface. Small head with low head-retention.

_Smell_
Sour cherries, crab apples, creamy-carmely malt.

_Taste_
Slight tannin, sourness, light carmel malt. Whole cherries. Young and sweet but deliciously sour and complex. Clearly a blend.

_Mouthfeel_
Full and well-rounded. Semi-dry finish. Slight mouth-pricle from medium-to-high carbonation.

_Drinkability_
Despite complexity, sour/sweet ness, this is highly drinkable thanks to how well balanced and only slight dryness.

Drink it!

Photo of IRONRakkasan
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had never had a Flanders Red Ale until this one, and I loved it!

The head was almost non-existent, while the color was of a dark brown/amber color.

I caught the aroma of a sweet wine doing a happy dance with some apples.

I didn't know what to expect, and found myself thinking I was drinking a barely malted cider with no hops to speak of. The Duchesse finished with a nice sour apple taste.

The first impression I got, especially how it hit the tongue, was that it had a much higher alcohol content then it did.

I really enjoyed this style of beer, and look forward to some...further research in this subject matter.

I would definitely recommend this brew to anyone. Much fun!

Photo of kleffman
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally getting to try the Duchesse after having numerous examples of the Flanders Red style that impressed me. I continually hear that this is the supreme example of the style so we'll see.

Pours a dark very clear ruby red and brown color into a Chimay goblet. Slight head and retention with only a little lacing. Quite beautiful looking in this wide mouth glass.

Aroma has a definite vinegar presence with a TON of tart cherries and vanilla from the oak. Smells acidic and I'm in for a treat.

Taste is just as it smells but way more complex and very little vinegar! Mostly incredible tart cherry vanilla flavors with oak, earthy yeast characters and slight raspberry hints. Really sweet with a tart background. Perfectly balanced and really complex however.

The mouthfeel is an incredible lively, smooth and refreshing experience. I want more. I wish it wasn't quite so expensive, I could keep this constantly on hand. I would love one of these every single Friday after work. Very high drinkability, and an extreme enjoyability. I can't imagine much better for the style. Only the Rodenbach beers match it in my opinion.

Photo of TampaDan2468
4.59/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An amazing drinking experience, my first Flanders Red and what a treat it was. The obvious tangy sour qualities were marvelously complemented by an almost balsamic vinegar-like note that was both sweet and savory. A tremendous choice to accompany pasta with a rich, hearty Bolognese sauce due to that outstanding acidity.

Photo of Doshkin
4.59/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - good looking beer. deep amber with reddish hues. crystal clear. poured with a couple inch head that came down but stays as a nice frothy layer. wet, sticky lacing is a nice visual reminder of what you're missing in between each sip

S - so perfect. this is everything I want to smell in a sour-ish beer. vinegar is the dominating aroma, blending beautifully with deep sugary sweetness and tartness, akin to a cinnamon/sugar/apple combination, but much more malty and rich.

T - the vinegary tart tang encapsulates every aspect of the taste. everything in between is a smooth mix of brown sugary maltiness. oh man... it's almost gone and i'm only 60% done with the review

M - this is a tough one for me to classify. the fine effervescence and extreme vinegary sour try and trick me to think the beer is lighter in body than it really is. the rich complexity of the flavors, bold sweetness, and full, smooth swallow assert themselves in this beer to remind you of how robust it really is. tl;dr - medium mouthfeel.

O - truly incredible. if you want to try an amazing (sour) red ale, and you are willing to dish out some cash, look no further. i, for one, can say i will be taking the wallet hit again in the near future to experience what this beer has to offer

Photo of bowersdm
4.59/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into a pilsner (the closest thing I had to a flute glass) Note: This is the first Flanders Red Ale I've had and the four sour beer.

Upon opening the bottle, a geyser of carbon dioxide erupted. The smell of pungent vinegar singed my nostrils as I cleaned my floor.

A - dark red, ruby-like color with a 3mm tan head that originally was ~1cm, but dissipated quickly.

S - vinegar, sweet and pungent, maybe some spice and fruit, but the vinegar is the predominant aroma

T - very tart and sour with suggestions of cranberries, apples, grapes, some spice and a little bit of a vinegar taste (but not as much as the nose suggested.) There was also a hint of citrus fruit, but that may be residual flavor from the orange-poppy seed muffin I had a few hours ago.

M - lots of carbonation. I'm not sure if it's supposed to be this way, but I enjoyed the way it interacted with my tongue.

D - Edit: i felt compelled to change the rating on this category. I have since tried other Flanders Red ales and because of their lack of flavor, they were hard to drink! Old rating: 2.0. new rating: 3.5

Photo of BellsFan
4.59/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a ruby red-brown with about one finger of head. Smells like tart cherries. Tastes like balsamic vinegar with cherries but, in a good way. It's crisp with a medium body mouth feel. The finish is tart and bitter that makes my mouth pucker. I will definitely buy this one again.

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,736 ratings.