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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
91
outstanding

3,281 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,281
Reviews: 1,363
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 150
Gots: 355 | 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: 3,281 | Reviews: 1,363 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of djeucalyptus
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured from a 330ml with an exp. date of 03/2009 into a tulip.

a. pours a brilliant ruddy brown, glowing a slightly murky crimson when held to a light. Formed a fairly formidable two-finger head of a light brown oaky color. Lacing is strong, almost chunky, and beautifully drags down with the ale.

s. I got very strong notes of well-aged balsamic vinegar, dark cherries, light molasses, and burnt raisins. Hints of currants and cane sugar bring up the sweetness on the nose, while hints of wine corks, cognac, and amaretto. Very pleasant on the whole, definitely heavy on teh sweetness.

t. Vinegars and balsamic sourness up front, with cherries, maple, and toffee coming through in the middle. There's a pleasant balsamic/sour pie cherry sweetness that finishes beautifully. There are some traces of yeastiness throughout, and a bit of walnut skin astringent-bitterness to balance nicely.

m. Amazing mouthfeel, thick and fairly strong but not syrupy or chewy. Carbonation and sweetness combined in an almost blissful orchestration to perfectly accentuate the sour notes that linger on the tongue. Bitterness and alcohol tastes are practically non-existent.

d. Excellent and dynamic. The spectrum of flavor profiles in this one is strong - not as wide as some, but more drinkable than some - and is definitely a good access point to the style. It's great for sipping, although I subconsciously was so enamored with it this time around that i ended up finishing it faster than I realized. I could drink a few glasses at a time, especially given how well it pairs with foods.

djeucalyptus, Oct 01, 2008
Photo of BigBry
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330 ml brown bottle (as pictured).
Pours a clear deep red and burnished brown color. Thick frothy head that lasts forever and leaves beautiful lacing. Strong (but not overpowering) sour aroma. The smell has lots of complexity with spice, clove and some apple cider vinegar. Well balanced flavor that has elements of sweet caramel-like malt, tart apple and sour cherry. Medium-bodied smoothness covers your tongue in all the different flavors.
A unique and different style, but a classic when you get used to it.

BigBry, Aug 30, 2006
Photo of t420o
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Duchesse de Bourgogne 

A- pour produces a 1-1/2 finger tan head resting on a deep amber/copper colored body. Great retention and good lacing. Strange for a beer that's a mix of 8 and 18 month barrel aged base beers. 4.5

S- tart cherry, sherry, vinegar, light alcohol 4

T- very interesting. Upfront it's tart and slightly sour cherry, slight vinegar follows, these are quickly met by a sweetness that washes all tart and sour aspects away. Wish the sweetness didn't hit so quick. 4 

M- excellent mouthfeel. Great carbonation and body. 4.5

O- a very fine beer. I'd like it a little more sour though 4

A-

t420o, Jul 12, 2012
Photo of constantine_272
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark brown with a hint of red. Light tan sticky foam.

S: Sweet raspberry and blackberry candy notes. Carmelized sugar notes. Tart apple.

T: Again sweet raspberry followed by a sweet tart apple flavor. Rich hazelnut flavor is very mild, probably from the barrel aging.

M: Light and crisp. Very smooth. Tons of rich flavor that is balanced out nicely with the tartness.

O: Yum. Such a rich delicious sweet beer. Excellent. Think I liked roedenbach better though; doesn't feel like there were as deep of a flavor.

constantine_272, Apr 26, 2013
Photo of MYSTIKPIZZA
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

My interest in this beer spiked after Mark Starr from thehopry.com listed this as his #10 best beer for 2009. Picked up a 11.2oz bottle from the local Whole Foods and poured it into a large wine glass.

The Duchess poured a super clear burgundy red, fading into a deep deep orange with a 1" tanish head that mostly dissipated after a minute or so.

Right off the bat, I got a lot of red wine, vinegar and grape kool-aid on the nose as well as some maltiness in there. After I noticed the kool-aid factor I knew that this was going to be interesting.

After my first sip, I picked up the nice estery quality, complimented by a nice dose of sour and super sweet finish. After about half through, I knew that even at 11.2 oz, it would be a struggle to finish off the bottle. I would have like a larger sour profile and for the grape-aid to dialed down just slightly.

The mouthfeel was nicely carbonated and slightly syrupy.

If I had split this bottle with someone else, I would of had a much more positive review. Definitely a solid dessert sipper among friends but not as enjoyable alone.

MYSTIKPIZZA, May 17, 2010
Photo of Fatheranderson
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was my first Flanders Ale, and it was a rather interesting beer. Expiration was 12/2012

Appearance: Burgundy. Thick, dark burgundy that reminds me somewhat of a good Irish Red.

Smell: Strong nose of cherry, hint of bubblegum, slight floral bouquet.

Taste: Overwhelming taste of sour cherry, which is complimented extremely well by a hint of malt. My only complaint is that the cherry comes on a little too strong. Toning it back a bit and maybe adding a tiny bit of hops would make it perfect.

Mouthfeel: Thick, juicy, smooth. Feels like velour in the mouth (yes, I watched Futurama while drinking this... and Zap Brannigan's catch phrase stuck with me...)

Overall: The only improvement I could suggest is toning back the cherry a little bit. Otherwise, it's an absolutely superior brew.

Fatheranderson, Jul 09, 2011
Photo of tjd25
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful head, very dense and lasting. Dark brown, purple color body with some orange reflects. The smell is very sour, like vinegar, with maybe a surprizing chocolate aspect and some cheesecake aromas. The taste is not as sour as one would expect; bread like, very citric, oranges. A sangria like aspect that also appears in the smell becomes more and more noticeable: red wine and fruits. The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, thanks to the long lasting head, almost melting in the mouth. I had this beer before but it was a bit too cold. Today I served it at a higher temperature and it revealed a more interesting variety of aromas and flavors than just the basic sourness one would expect.

tjd25, Jul 02, 2004
Photo of DogFood11
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm certainly not an expert in this style or in any style for that matter but this one has evaded me for a long time. Beautiful pillowy Ivory white head that leaves wave upon wave of sticky lacing. Sharp fine carbonation in a dark amber to brown bodied brew. Not sure how much the appearance can improve.

Tart aroma with a decent malted sweetness in the background that makes this inviting.

Wow, first couple pulls are tart and nothing else but it developes on the palate quite comfortably as it warms. An earthiness breaks through this sour tart up front in your face taste. sweet grapes, crisp finish. This is a nice frickin' brew. certainly not for everyone but highly reccomended if your kinda like lambics but want something with a bit more balance this is for you.

DogFood11, Jan 06, 2006
Photo of BastardKing24
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a very nice sour beer that can introduce anyone willing to the style. Its subtle yet nice, I've had harsher flanders.
Slight vinegar and sweet smell and taste. Decent head and everlasting lacing. Sour component is full of berries, and it sweetens up the warmer it gets. Really nice this one, when you're done you want another one, low ABV and addicting flavor.

Cheers~

BastardKing24, Apr 23, 2010
Photo of Foxman
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

It pours a clear warm garnet, almost burgundy. Two fingers of light tan head drop gradually to floes of fine foam. Valences of lacing adorn the inside of the glass.

The aroma delivers a sassy grain sweetness including cherry, raisin, chocolate, caramel, and grapes. A mellow funky barnyard sourness grounds the cloying aura, and a light port note drifts lazily along.

Upon tasting, there arrives a cherry tart sweetness, like fruity pop, with a fizz and cola bite. A funky, horsey, earthy sourness lends a vinegar edge, fresh and tangy. A softer underlying sweetness relights the grain presence and joins a very ginger crispness that lingers gently on the palate. It's an intriguing blend that steps lively and tastily.

Medium bodied, the sugary grain sweetness and equine tartness lend a truly energetic character to the mouth.

It's a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world, Lola, and I mean that in a good way, in this case. It's like a snarky black cherry soda and all the better for it. Keep in mind that the earthiness and almost cloying aristocracy make it just moderately drinkable. Still, it's interesting, intense, and a nice departure for when you're craving some of Flanders' finest.

Foxman, Oct 06, 2006
Photo of Arbitrator
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Chilled bottle into a glass.

A: Pours a dark, hazy red with slight orange highlights when held to a lamp. Head is marginal, receding to a collar around the glass, with huge sheets of lacing down the glass as I drink.

S: Vinegar, pinot, tamarind, wood, cherries, salt. Almost like a red wine past its prime.

T: Sour, vinegary red grapes and unripe tamarind with mild wood and cherry sub-flavors. A little bit salty in the mid-taste, which adds an incredibly pleasant third side to the already complex battle between sweet and sour. The finish is acidic. Quite a captivating taste.

M: Medium bodied, with light carbonation -- not to press the point, but again, it feels like a wine. Decently crisp finish, with no trace of the alcohol.

D: This is complex enough that I want to have this again and savor it. It will make a wonderful treat beer. But I would not want to have more than one in a row, since its flavor profile is quite strong.

Arbitrator, Mar 02, 2009
Photo of kmanjohnson
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%

kmanjohnson, Sep 18, 2014
Photo of Agent1
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Fermented in previously used oak wine barrels, this impressive red ale is somewhat of an anomaly. Originally, I was not a big fan of this, but over time it became a beer of interest to me. This is only my third or fourth bottle, so we'll see how this goes...

Appearance - A dark ruby red with orange/ copper hues. Great head retention. The head is a thick, creamy beige with light frothy bubbles near the rim of the glass. This Flemish red ale is very bubbly and alive. Like champagne, a steady stream of carbonation racing upward. Very nice.

Smell - Yeast, oak (woody aromas), light floral accents, cranberry, sourdough and jammy fruits. Obviously, quite acidic, too.

Taste - Hints of red wine, apple cider, light fruits (cranberry, raspberry, grape, apple, etc.), vanilla, oak wood and rose wood. A great use of sugars. It seems this red ale is slightly hopped, creating subtle floral notes and spices. Not too acidic. The aftertaste is a bit underwhelming, to be honest. Doesn't finish strong. Reasonably intricate in composition. Fits the style well.

Mouthfeel - A full-bodied beer. This moves all over the tongue. Quite wonderful! This can definitely be sensed throughout the mouth as it strikes an impressive balance between sour and sweet.

Overall - Not typically a beer I purchase (more of a Belgian Tripel, Quad and Dubbel kind of guy), but this is an impressive beer. No wonder it is distributed by the same importers as St. Bernardus. I classy Flemish beer that harnesses a lot of impactful qualities. Sour much like a Lambic ale, this beer is acidic, but balanced. Combining barrels aged in oak from 8 months as well as 18 months, really helps to create balance here. A nice fruity, sour ale. Stretch yourself and give this a try...

The Duchesse must be courted!

Agent1, Dec 19, 2011
Photo of ChugginOil
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a GI glass (not sure the type).

This one pours a golden-amber color with a fluffy, milk colored head. Very little retention.

The nose offers some vinegar, sour apples, pears, and champagne yeast. A bit muddled.

The taste is similar to the nose but involves much more apple offerings. A sweet opening gives way to apples and a bit of cherries. Following the fruitiness comes a bit of vinegar and finishes pretty tart. The sweetness carries on to a bready aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is prickly tart and has an amble amount of carbonation that carries the flavors throughout the palate.

Overall, this one contributes to my budget busting sour curiosity and tastes great.

ChugginOil, May 10, 2011
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 19, 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
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
91 out of 100 based on 3,281 ratings.