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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

3,489 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,489
Reviews: 1,395
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.46%
Wants: 171
Gots: 453 | FT: 8
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.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,489 | Reviews: 1,395 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.01/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip. Freshness of 5/2009 on the bottle.

Appearance: Very dark ruby red / dark brown. Decent 3 cm head forms after a careful pour, leaving a thick collar, some nice lacing around the glass, and a small head that is reinvigorated by the internal carbonation. Very interesting look.

Smell: Quite a strong tart aroma: cherries, apples, plums, and grapes make up most of the aroma, with a light note of the malt and yeast.

Taste: The opening note is not at all presumptuous, a light, slightly fruity, but mostly sweet taste. The incredible tartness takes a second to come through, but when it does, it is a powerful taste. The same flavors present in the smell hit my taste buds quickly: cherries, plums, light apples, and a fair amount of grape. With these strong flavors I almost feel as if I am drinking an exotic wine or sangria. A flash of malt barely escapes out of the oppression of the fruit flavors, which carry it into the finish. The end is wrapped up very nicely, with some cherry and plum notes. Overall a very unique flavor.

Mouthfeel: Although there was not a huge head on the beer, this is a surprisingly carbonated ale. The bubbles add a crispness to the tart flavor that makes it quite quaffable. Smooth, with a medium body, and a slightly creamy finish.

Drinkability: I have not yet tried, but consuming more than a few of these tart treats would prove to be a challenge. The somewhat sour flavor will ensure this is a sipper.

This was my first Flanders Red Ale, but I definitely believe I started with a good one. Some very unique and exceptional characteristics in this beer.

Photo of jazzyjeff13
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 330ml bottle with a BB of Jan 2013, so it's a little out of date. Picked up ages ago from Trembling Madness in York. I hope it hasn't aged too badly. Why does the image of the duchess show her with a bird on her hand?

Poured into a Delirium chalice. A deep ruby hue with good clarity and intense carbonation. It doesn't appear to be bottle conditioned. Yields a large head of creamy off-white foam that lasts for a while before reducing to a thick surface layer. Aroma of fruity sweet 'n sour. Notes of balsamic vinegar, raisins, dried fruit, brown sugar, caramel, must/wine, earthiness, a hint of malt and faint yeast. Possesses a rather tart intensity.

Tastes of fruity malt with an acidic quality and a dry finish. Notes of balsamic, wine, raisins, dried fruit, brown sugar, caramel, malt vinegar, faint oak/wood, earthiness and dry yeast. Decidedly sour yet surprisingly sweet - a truly strange combination. There is a background twinge of oxidation; hard to tell if this is intentional or due to the age of the bottle. Astringent and mildly puckering upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth, sour and tingly - the acidity stimulates the tastebuds. Good carbonation and decent body. An aftertaste of tart, fruity vinegar and mild oxidation.

Good stuff; a unique and fascinating flavour blend that no other style can match (though I suppose lambics come close). Simultaneously sweet and sour, the aroma and flavour exhibit fruity notes most reminiscent of balsamic vinegar. It looks nice, and the body is pretty good. While I don't mind Flemish reds, I do find them rather cloying - this is not a brew I would have twice in a row. Having said that, it is a exemplary take on the style. One to add to your must-try list.

Photo of eat
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Flanders Red Ale...I have no idea what this is supposed to taste like, but it looks like this is a good one to start with. I can only review this as a beer in general since I have nothing to compare it to. Best before 10-09-11 and consumed 18-04-10; lots of time left.

Pours with a beige head which fades down to a nice blanket, sticking around with not much lacing. Great colour: dark ruby-copper, or when held up to the light, a reddish-amber. The beer is transparent against light but the dark colour makes it appear to be opaque.

Pretty big complex smell. I've definitely never encountered a profile like this before. Oddly enough, the only thing I can compare it to is some six-year old La Terrible I just tried a couple days ago, but it's even quite different from that. Pumpernickel, red wine vinegar, yeast, a hint of something chocolaty, walnuts, prunes, alcohol. Slightly funky even. I'm into it but it's very different. My girlfriend claims it smells like "horse pee-pee" but I wouldn't know, not having smelled horse's urine before.

Wow. I have no idea what to make of this, it's barely reminiscent of beer at all compared to styles I've tried. That said though, it's pretty delicious. It tastes like some kind of complex, fruity cocktail but with a beer mouthfeel. Tons of different flavours combine to produce quite a pleasant brew: prune juice, grape must, red wine vinegar, apple cider, sour raspberry, light chocolate, wheat. Very complex and interesting. I wouldn't necessarily have expected this, but my girlfriend says it's the best beer she's ever tasted, even going so far as to want to buy some more for herself. This is saying a lot as she pretty much doesn't drink, period. I can kind of see why actually; it's really fruity and doesn't taste at all like your standard beer. It's kind of like the girly cocktail version of beer (in a good way). There are similarities to lambic, but I find the Duchesse to be much more complex than the Cantillon Gueuze I tried recently. Pretty sweet but balanced with a drying bitterness on the finish that seems to come out of nowhere. Aftertaste of wine grapes. I'm almost wanting to give this a 4.5 but really still don't know what to make of it.

The feel is pretty good. Light-medium mouthfeel and a light but effervescent carbonation. I can't figure out what's causing it, but it leaves your tongue with a dry, tingling feeling. The dryness even extends down the throat.

I'm really enjoying this beer but it's hitting me a little like a lambic: a bit too sour to session. I feel like two of these might leave my stomach feeling like I just ate a few too many Cherry Blasters. I am enjoying this more than the Cantillon, however. I would definitely drink this again though and would be very interested to try other beers in the style.

Photo of Dodo2step
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

P- Brass Rail Deli in Hershey, PA

A- a root beer type of color to it. Carbonated head that is bubbly but yet it has some sticking power to the pint. Less than a half finger head though.

S- a strong balsamic vinegar funk hits you square up the nose. i cant get too much of anything else. Maybe some apple cider.

T- apple cider and sugary sweet vinegar. Quite tasty but it will tear your stomach up.

M- bubbly and vinegar. sweet and creamy.

D- Overall, not bad but the cider and vinegar can weigh heavy on your stomach if you have too many. Very pleasureable to drink though.

Photo of Garin
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It's a crystal clear deep garnet brown beer with an inch-thick bubbly head that quickly shrinks into the glass, with no lace.

The most immediate impression on the nose is vinegar. Underneath is a sweet fruitiness, cherries? Hints of oak mix in there too.

The flavour is sweet and tart, with a moderate but sufficient acidity to keep the sweetness and richness under control. Currants or raisins come to mind as I continue to drink. A malty, oaky character builds as well.

Mouth-coating richness balances the acidity. It's very easy drinking. I was worried this would be too acidic or vinegary to drink. No way. This is my first Flanders Red, and I'm impressed.

Photo of SteveS1
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Look: Pours dark ruby/caramel with a decent head that fizzles out at an even pace.

Smell: Tart fruit and lots of it, dried cranberries, raisins, plums, currents, rasberry and a distinct woody scent.

Taste: Tart fruit (raspberry and cranberry) on the tongue melts into much mellower berries (strawberry, sweet blueberry), and finishes with a clean and dry red grape. Current/woody aftertaste. Sweet overall and nary a trace of alcohol.

Feel: Fantastic carbonation subsides into a refreshing light body.

Drink: Exquisite beer or fancy soda? Indeed, this is a beer, and quite an impressive one, but there isn't nearly enough tart to balance the sweetness for me. Very drinkable, almost dangerously so.

Photo of bosco7
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

33cl bottle purchased from BevMo. Kind of dusty and a best before date of 9-9-06 (today is 4-29-07) not too worried.

Dull dark brown with some red. Nice head retention.

Red wine like aromas, cherries, oak, and lots of twang.

Sweet upfront with heavy cherry flavors, prune, and finishes with a mild tartness. Very nice balance between sweet and sour components. Tastes great. Although I forget that I am drinking a beer.

Chewy mouthfeel with almost divine carbonation tickling the tongue. It is a well attenuated beer with great balance making it very drinkable, however I could only drink one. Very interesting; I have had nothing like this beer before. Some might be turned off by the sourness but I love it.

Photo of NEhophead
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Moan and Dove.

Very faint off white head that holds as a thin sheet for a moment. Some spotted and thin lace throughout the glass. A glowing raspberry in color.

Very complex alcohol-induced aromas. A touch of vinegar with a strong tartness: sour grape, apple, and even raspberry. Very vinous and strong alcohol presence.

This flanders is tart from beginning to end, but not overpowering. A touch of vinegar, mustard seed, and horseradish add to the green apple, raspberry, lime, and sour grape flavors. The alcohol presence is evident from the aroma until the end of the sip. I wouldn't characterize the alcohol as warming nor abrasive, but just very present. The aftertaste is a sour with a hint of the mustard seed spice.

Medium bodied; slick and somewhat vinous on the palate. The mouthfeel is very indicative of this version's complex flavors.

This flanders is a real treat especially on tap. For an ale that is only 6.2% abv, the alcohol is noticeable at every turn, making this one a tough choice for a session beer. I don't think I could drink more than one of these per sitting due to the onslaught of flavors this has on my tastebuds.

Photo of BretSikkink
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brown color, served with not much head, just a few soapy bubbles. Lacing is present however.

Vinegar-sour aroma, woody character as well. The palate takes the sour as well up front, quite sweet, cherry flavor, and again the oaky, nut-action comes back.

Medium-full body, a little aftertaste, but very pleasant as well.

Photo of Apellonious
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

11.2 oz single from CM - Best before 7-22-2015.

A - Pours a dark amber/brown with a one finger head that moves quickly to a thin lace.

S - Dark fruit, bread, pear, cider, mild vinegar

T - A consistent medium sour candy flavor, dark fruit, green apple.

M - Medium to high carbonation. Really sizzles in the mouth. Moderately dry finish. Becomes less sharp as it warms.

O - Will continue to explore the land of the unknown sours. This one is pretty solid. The smell and the taste are the highlights.

Photo of cracgor
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Tawny in color and very dark. Rocky grey head.

Smell: Funky smell. Vinegary. Sweet/sour.

Taste: Tastes funkier than it smells. Has a sweet grapefruit like after taste. Upfront it is kind of fermented grape. Tastes a lot like Port wine if less sweet. An earthy sour beer flavor.

Mouthfeel: well carbonated feel, almost too much.

Drinkability: It is a good beer. However, flemish reds are a different type of beer and so be prepared if you are jumping into the style for the first time.

Photo of Sumdeus
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Split a 750ml bottle among a group.

A: very dark red and clear pour, a finger of head that rapidly dissipates into the beer leaving some good lacing on the glass.

S: slightly acetic tart, fruits and some oaky/woody notes.

T: tart fruits, not super tart, but a nice acetic tart. Very clean taste.

M: crisp and clean. Nice and bubbly too.

O: great mildly tart beer.

Photo of jampics2
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ the Beer Engine. This is my sweetheart's go-to beer for kegs and eggs! Gotta love that!!

Looks decent - reddish color with a nice small head. Just nothing outstanding.

Smell is good - for the style, I find this to be one of the more appetizing noses as some Flanders reds are rather putrid. This smells of vinegar, cherries, and oak.

Taste is also quite nice. Really sweet, with the balsamic vinegar and cherry notes dominating. I get a touch of belgian malt and some oak, also a hint of lemon - otherwise, it's a straight-ahead sour vinegary cherry fest of a beer.

Mouthfeel is this beer's strongest suit IMO. Light, crisp, and perfectly carbonated. The finish is rather remarkable as well.

Overall, I dig this beer, it's everything a Flanders Red should be. A touch too sweet for revisiting a few times in a sitting. But a nice sour and something that has served as a bridge into the genre for many.

Photo of Cuvie62
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smells vingary at first. Great follow. Kombychka like. Awesome beer. If I could brew beers at hone I would give thus shit a shot. You need a deserni g palate for this shiz. Give it a whirl. Trying yo make a 250 word review and all I can say is "You gotta Try this shiz" not annormal beer.

Photo of sarahspat
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A tan head with different sized bubbles tops a very clear dark plum brew with red highlights.

Smells of dark fruits and spices. Reminiscent of a BSDA. Vinegar was apparent at first, but later settled into the background. The promise of sourness tickles the nose.

The taste contains notes of lemon juice, tart fresh berries, nail polish remover (which is not actually as bad as it sounds within the context of the other flavors, but is pretty strong on the palate), ripe fresh cherries, granny smith apples and some caramel.

The mouthfeel is light; carbonation and sourness tickle the whole mouth.

Pretty drinkable and overall, a very nice brew. As my first sour, I wasn't sure what to expect but I was pleased with the results. Can't wait to explore more sours now!

Photo of glid02
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at the Brick Store in Atlanta.

Pours a clear dark ruby color with a one-finger off-white head with a rose tint. The head sticks around for quite a while before receding into a thin layer on top and a thick ring around the glass. Lacing is pretty heavy.

Smells sweet and sour, mostly cherries with some sour apple mingling in there as well.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Equal parts of sweet and sour flavors up front, again mostly cherries, that has a slightly tart ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's very light and the carbonation makes it almost airy. Very nice.

Drinkability is good. It's not the most flavorful Flanders Red that I've had but it's solid.

Overall I enjoyed this one. The mouthfeel makes it very light and refreshing. Give this one a shot if you see it around.

Photo of cjacobsen
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(A) Pours clean. Maroon, deep ruby/red wine colors. Amply carbonated. White head that doesn't last.

(S) Smell has some funk to it. There is a lot of fruit like cherry and green and red apples. Smells sweet and has a touch of vinegar in it.

(T) Vinegar and a lot of cherry. Good amount of berries and cranberry. You almost get the dry musk coming off of the cherries.

(M) I thought it would have been a bit harsher given the nature of the brew, but it's very smooth and oily. Medium body.

(O) Very fruity and berry. Almost reminded me of a wine cooler, but good and more body.

Photo of nickynick
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a very nice reddish brown with an excellent white head. The smell was of yeast and tart cherries. The taste was sweet and tart. Full of red berries in the flavor. Sour cherries was the dominant flavor of this beer. Mouthfeel was good. Drinkability was also very nice. Overall this was a very nice beer. I enjoyed this beer a great deal because of the flavors.

Photo of Maltmaiden
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful burgundy. Medium carbonation. Clear. Small head that goes away quickly and leaves a tiny bit of film and lacing.

Smell sour cherries. Toasted malts. Molases. Lemon.

Taste sour black cherries. Toasted malts and finishes with some breadiness (which I really like). Ruby red grapefruit. Winey. Green apple.

Mouthfeel it sticky. Nice carbonation.

Overall: I guess I am just new to this style but I was just not a huge fan of the tart/sweet taste. I am waiting for a headache to kick in from the sugar.

Photo of beerphilosopher
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A Belgian Flanders Red poured into a tall chalice. Presents itself a deep ruby brown with a thin pale tan head that dissipates quickly, leaving a fine lace in the glassware. Active carbonation bubbles are evident. The nose is, to me, much like a good gueuze albeit a bit more subdued. Tart, over ripe fruits, port, slight cider venegar notes, and a hint of spice. The palate is quite sour up front, causing the mouth to water instantaneously. The sourness quickly yields to a strong sweetness, delivering a taste of confectioner's sugar, cider venegar, cherries, and baker's yeast all at once. The sweetness diminishes again in the mouth after swollowing, reminding you of the sour beginnings. Really a complex play in the mouth. If you've not experienced a Gueuze or a Flanders Red before, this interplay may be a bit much for you. The brewers achieve this by blending both young and old (cask aged) ales to create these complex beers. Once you've aquired the taste for "sour" ales, however, you'll be hooked. The mouthfeel is medium, at best, and the finish is sweet mixed with sour, and lingers long. The feel would be a bit cloying were it not for the aggressive carbonation found here. Intentional ... I'd bet on it. A very good Flanders ale, and one I wish I could find again more readily. This one took a trip to Indianapolis recently to find. These ales are a challenge to some, and very well may not be for everyone ... but if you like a good Lambic, Gueuze or Flanders Red, this is one that will not only please you, but may well be the best exemplar of the style. Terrific.

Photo of sapper1252
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 mL bottle. Good carbonation. Mild barnyard smell, definitely some cherries.

Taste was mildly sour, with cherry sweetness. I was expecting more sour.

A good Flanders Red, but I've definitely had better. I did find it pleasant, however.

Photo of smcolw
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very red and very clear

Deep malt aromas, lots of cherries. Very close in aroma to a Framboise.

The taste has lots of cherries, quite sweet. So much so that I re-read the bottle to see if it was infused with fruit. Again, this is very much like a Framboise...without the lip-smacking sourness. Tastes more potent than the alcohol indicates (6% abv). The body is full, carbonation is moderate. The aftertaste is a light tartness that diminishes slowly.

This is an unusual Belgian in that it doesn't have the typical flavors/aromas. Still, it is very good. Think heavy lambic with less tart.

Photo of rayjay
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought at City Beer in S.F. and poured into a wit beer glass. Best before 18-10-07.

Nice pour. No sediment, acive carbonation and sudsy head. Deep red like cherry cough syrup.

Smells like cherries and vinegar, very nice and pleasant but bold at the same time. Grainy smell like gueuze ale.

Cherry candy taste dominates. Tart and snappy but also very sweet. Woody and metallic. Others have said Coca-Cola, which I can see but may not have picked it out myself.

Mouthfeel is a bit thick from the sugars, and the carbonation is a bit low which makes it feel even thicker. Chalky finish.

I enjoy this beer and would always be happy to drink one. Refreshing but too sweet. I wish this style was more widely available, I have only had 3 examples of this style and one was from Colorado.

Photo of broken22
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oh Duchesse. She is a beer that I had kept playing hard to get with. I would see her at the beer store and think about but never acted. I even held here a couple of times to only put her back. So when I finally had the chance to get a glass on tap I decided it was time to meet her.

This beer is a nice red amber color. The head on this beer is very tight little micro bubbles and white. This beer is very fragrant. Taking a sniff an you will know right away that this is going to be a sour beer. I'm not an expert on sour beers so I cannot really elaborate on smell other than sour. The taste really surprised me. I was totally expecting something awful. This beer has a really nice flavor that is only exemplified by the sourness. It has a very nice fruity taste. The brewery describes it as passion fruit and I will just agree to that. The overall mouthfeel is nice and light with a dry finish.

I am not a sour chaser and I really thought I would never find a sour beer that I really liked. Duchesse won me over on the first sip. Its complex flavor is completely masked by the smell. It's like the durian fruit of beer. While I'm sure its still not for everyone I think if your curious you should try a glass.

Photo of Gushue3
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 2 finger head quickly forms that has some nice retention. The body is a deep red and has some smaller carbonation bubbles rushing up to the head.

S Acidic and slightly tart upfront with some wood and sweet and tart apples

T Sweet and light tartness come forward right away and a light, sweet berries creep up toward the end. Well balanced and smooth drinking.

M Lighter feel in the mouth with high carbonation.

O Nice beer. I'm newer to sour/wild/etc and this one had nice tastes that complimented each other nicely.

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,489 ratings.