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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,428 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,428
Hads: 3,833
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 22.93%
Wants: 200
Gots: 665 | FT: 12
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Verhaeghe visit their website

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
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Reviews: 1,428 | Hads: 3,833
Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.62/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: poured from a 750 ml bottle into a pint glass, ruby colored with a nice light tan head that lingers leaving good lacing, clear

S: musty, plum, cherry, grapes, very tart, sour fruits, slight balsamic vinegar, mouth watering

T: sweet and sour, much sweeter than expected by the nose, strawberry, cherry, plum, currants, blackberry

M: on the thinner side, medium to high carbonation

O: an outstanding Belgian sour, the fruit flavors are amazing, beautiful balance of sweet and sour flavors, like eating a fresh bowl of fruit

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Photo of cerevisiaephilus
4.62/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Really a great experience with this beer. The nose is very intense vinegar and winey notes with just a hint of malt. The taste is far less offensive than the nose. Big round malt flavors are deftly balanced by the sourness. I get very intense raisin flavors in the finish. Quite a drinkable beer if it wasn't 8$ a 330ml bottle.

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Photo of Radome
4.62/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 33 cl bottle into a goblet.

A - Beer is a mahogany brown color with red highlights when held up to the light. It is perfectly clear. The head is thick, off-white and fluffy and it leaves lots of lacing on the glass.

S - The aroma is incredibly complex. No hops, some malt, but dominated by yeast character and the results of the aging process. I perceive this as earthy, musty, sweet, wet-wood and leather that smells exactly like an oloroso sherry. The beer has an additional twang that I can only describe as vinegar. As it warms I get some alcohol vapors as well. Incredible!

T - The flavors follow the aromas, but I also initially get a sense of dried tobacco leaves that reminds me of DFH Palo Santo Maron. I don't taste any barrel or oak character, despite the smell of it. There is some spicy hop flavor in mid-palate and some alcohol flavor before a moderately dry finish. Early in the tasting I detected a metallic note that I didn't like, but it disappeared as the beer breathed and warmed.

M - Body is moderate. The carbonation is sharp and prickly, but it helps keep the beer from feeling cloying. There is a bit of alcohol burn that matches the flavor and aroma.

O - This is an excellent beer. I've had it many times but never really tried to break down the flavors and aromas before. It is unbelievable how much flavor they pack into a 6.2% ABV beer. World-class!

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Photo of doubleipa
4.62/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm not very familar with this style since I've ever had one of these on draft. However, I certainly will try as many of this style after having this one. This was really a spectacular beer. I can't say I would've appreciated this several years ago. Very sour aroma - duh! A little bit of vinegar, cherry, raspberry, and oak. Kind of hard to describe as the sour is so predominant. Taste is really huge. Incredible levels of tartness. Nice frothy head and a light ruby color. Great mouthfeel - very lively. I can't wait to pop open one of these at the next neighborhood party and offer this to someone.

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Photo of benito
4.62/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A wonderful find on tap at Falling Rock in Denver.

This comes a handsome brown with a thick head that laces the glass well. The bouquet and flavor both are a mix of butter and oak, with hints of pepper and maple syrup.

The interplay of sweet (buttery) and sour is amazing...indeed, the beer moves across the palate with a light and tickling grace that I've ever seen in only a handful of other beers. Each swig reveals a new complexity in the flavor profile--a different spice here, bubble gum there.

Were this less costly (at $6 for half-a-pint) I would have kept trying la Duchesse all day. A wonderful beer.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.63/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a small bottle into a Dogfish Head snifter. The pour is a beautiful clear ruby-red color with a gorgeous fluffy white head. The nose is tart, fruity, flowery, sour, and slightly musty.

As for the taste, woah baby! This lady has class. There's a slight candy-sweetness up front that is balanced by a refreshing sour apple acidity. The mouthfeel is medium-firm and silky smooth. The carbonation seems just right. I'm no expert of Flanders Red Ales, but this one is a freaking work of art. It's not a mouth-puckeringly acidic as Rodenbach Grand Cru. The pleasant sweetness that accompanies the flavor makes this much, much more drinkable. I think I might actually prefer it.

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Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan
4.63/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This lady pours ruby, almost burgundy. A royal ale brewed in honor of Mary of Burgundy. She almost looks like Cabarnet Sauvignon red wine. Reddish-brown body with a one finger beige head. Bubbly and sparkling with carbonation. Nice and Hazy.

Smell: Very powerful aromas of yeasty wild bacteria. Light bittersweet chocolate. Secondary notes of malty caramel. You can smell the sour notes and the fruitiness but nothing prepares me for the rush of flavor that is about to coat my tongue.

Taste: This is simply one of the most unique and flavorful tasting beers I have ever had. I taste Sweet grapes, slightly oaky almost corky plum wine, tart cherry. Vinegar. Spicy and sour citric fruitiness. I especially detect orange and guava. Some graininess and an oaky chocolate caramel finish. The finish is long and enjoyable. The sour bretts and fruit flavors and roasted malts all play on my tongue. There is a slight vinous alcohol presence. The hops are herbal and spicy.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium. There is some sugar. Duchesse doesn't dissolve but rather swishes around like a wine. Carbonation isn't too heavy on the mouth. It's all natural oak aging. Very light acidity. Nice overall balance of yeasts, roasted malts and specialty bittering hops.

Overall: The best I've had on the Flanders category. Also a very drinkable sour beer. Her sourness doesn't overpower the complex malts and other elements of the Belgian yeasts as well as the complex multi barrel aging process. This beer is easy to find and isn't too expensive for it's high quality.

Only problem I can find with this burgundy beauty is so noble, dignified and vinous it might destroy the wine industry if it caught on.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.63/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: effervescent, beige-pink head, mousse-y texture - ruby red liquid with a brownish tinge, dark glow, great clarity - actually some thick, chunky bands of lace - looks like a red wine with foam

S: fruit-juicy (raspberry, strawberry) - fruit n' creme - lightly floral (rose) - vinous, sangria-like, possibly a touch of port - granola-like malt in the background

T: intense malty/berry - wonderful balance with its lactic sourness - no predominant tartness or "infected" tingle - perhaps a little on the sweet side, but not quite cloyingly so - I couldn't offer anything in the way of desirable improvements - hits the spot, for my taste

M: fullish body, but not syrupy - nearly silky-smooth - enough carbonation to offset, balance - feels like you're drinking something with nutritional substance - so satisfying

O: one of my favorite beers - ridiculously delicious and satisfying - while I have lots of love for Rodenbach Grand Cru and the Cuvee de Jacobins Rouge (and this would compare closer to the Cuvee), it offers me what the other do not...a much more lip-smacking, berry-nectary intensity (but not overbearing sugary sweetness) - this wouldn't be something I would drink all the time...I revel in the excitement and anticipation, though, each time we cross paths...

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Photo of NODAK
4.64/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured a nice ruby red in my Belgian glass at an awesome beer bar...head was pretty nice, about a finger thick. Decent staying power and lacing.

Smell has the typical lactic, typical vinegar smell of a sour there, but it isn't overpowering and it is also met with a sweet berry fruit aroma as well in tandem. Very inviting. Soft on the nose.

The taste....ah, really a thing of beauty. In fact, if I were to introduce somebody to sours, this is likely what I'd give them. That is not necessarily because it's a beginner beer persay, but because it has such a wonderful balance to it that some other sours really just don't have. While some sours are like drinking straight vinegar, this has more complexity and balance to it, which makes it an incredibly easy drink. I get a nice sweet fruitiness, perhaps of cherries predominately and maybe a hint of cranberry in there, upfront....along with a lactic tartness that I'd describe as perhaps half as sour as many of the new sours I've had that I think are going out of their way to be as sour as possible. Again, easy going. Never makes me grimace, always whets my palate for the next drink. That mix between the sweet berries/cherries and the lactic tartness is so well done, I really can't say enough.

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Photo of kimcgolf
4.64/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was my first Flemish Sour, and it really grew on me. Poured to darlk brown with hints of red, and a thick tan head that lasted for the whole drink and left excellent lacing. The aroma was very funky, reminded me of those old Paz Easter Egg Coloring kits where you drop a colored tablet in pure vinegar. I was afraid of what I would be drinking next. To my great surprise, the taste was excellent. It was sour fruit, and at first caught me off guard, but I quickly adapted. Finish was dry, sour and warming. I bought this in a 4pack, and was concerned that I may have over-bought. Now, I know I will be heading back for more.

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Photo of DCon
4.64/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1st Tasting- Beer from Lukas Liquor, poured into a champagne coupe, shared with a friend.
2nd Tasting- Beer from iTap House (Chesterfield), poured into a snifter.

1st- Appearance - Red/Brown Color with small amount of head
2nd-Appearance - Black Color, Possibly tons of cloud, and Mushroom Head on top.

1st- Smell - Great smell! Sour for sure like any Lambic.
2nd- Smell - Smell cherry, some type of strudel, and Sour again.

1st- Taste - Tastes like a steak dinner? Very strange but this was the only thing that came up... Not a normal lambic. Manager at Lukas said it should taste like a pastry.
2nd- Taste - Have no idea about the first taste! Totally different Beer! Very bitter and sour. Tastes like cherry strudel if possible.

1st- Mouthfeel - Full carbonation, Full Bodied, and brought on tartness/sour feel.
2nd- Mouthfeel - Long Finish, Tingle feeling in cheeks/tongue after 5 seconds.

1st- Drinkability - Makes me want to drink another one.. Everyone was interested in this beer and I'm ready to experience another one! Awesome!
2nd- Drinkability - Glad I got to enjoy this beer again! Totally different aspects in tasting the 2nd time as first. Had a glass of water in between beers the 2nd time, and this was the obvious difference. Would drink a 3rd time too!

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4.64/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Given to me as a sample...now I have to buy more. Pours a reddish brown with light pale brown head one finger thick then fades to a nice lacing. Smell is sweet and highly expressive ... it begs to be inhaled. Melon, cherry, apple, oak, alcohol, and oh soo much more. Mouthfeel is smooth with little to no carbonation "pop" on the tongue and a nice dry finish. Taste is excelently rounded and full of flavor. Cherry, raspberry, red wine, slight raw oak note. No bitterness or spice but wonderful array of sweet tartness that tantalizes the tongue. I think I gave some of my first fives.

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Photo of WhatsNewinBooze
4.64/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one caught me by suprise. This beer (if you can even call it that) pours a clear reddish brown with a thin fizzy head that atually foams up after waiting a few minutes. The nose was loaded with red berries, citrus, sweet malts and yeast. The palate was loaded with red fruit and citrus flavors with some wonderful notes of bread, yeast and spice. Evryone should try this at least once.

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Photo of tigg924
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: dark red/brown, medium head, medium carbonation, clear

Smell: sour figs, pears, and cherries

Taste: The big taste I get here is cherry sour patch kids, plus maybe a bit of berry

Mouthfeel: sour, tart, clean, and there is a sweetness to it as well

Drinkability: I think this would be an excellent starter sour. The taste is amazing and I could drink several as the alcohol is hidden.

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Photo of justiceavocado
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into a snifter.

A – Small head, but great retention. Maybe a quarter inch of pancake batter-thick froth, and the bubbles just keep on gushing from the bottom of the snifter, like CocaCola. Lacing is strong, as well. The color of the actual liquid is also like soda, dark and cloudy and reddish. (Update: I just wrote the rest of this review, and the bubbles are still gushing up from the bottom. Jeebus!)

S – Funkier than I expected, almost like with wild yeast. Definitely some blackberries and sour raspberries in there. Intriguing and unique.

T – Yikes! The shortest millisecond of bitterness (following the aroma) is immediately overpowered by sweet fruitiness. Still raspberries, but not sour at all, for most of the swallow. Towards the end, though, the sourness comes back, and lingers long afterwards. Maybe some pear flavor, too, gently.

M – Lovely. This is the mouthfeel I want in a Belgian. Creamy but not chewy, not like a stout, but with a strong presence and tight carbonation.

O – Terrific. I am enthusiastic about this one's uniqueness. I like the surprise of the sweetness after the funky aroma. I like watching the bubbles (which are still going!). I like that this beer has strong opinions about itself, and is not afraid to share them.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had heard odes sung lovingly (if not off-key) to this brew long before I had a chance to try it (that would be you, LongBeachBum) before I got to try in in its homeland of Belgium (I definitely recommend this approach, if you can do it!). But this review is based on a single bottle I found here in the states. I was worried- was it too old? Had it been handled properly? Well, guess what- this was not a problem!!!

Bottle best-by 3/31/05. Pours a dark brown with ruby port highlights, with a medium tan head and off-white chunks of yeast that quickly dissolved. Aroma is very inviting- pretty sour (in a good way) with dark fruits that offset each other very nicely. Flavor- ohmigod! Tart and brown sugar and candied fruits and sour cherries and plums and yes, all offset by the tartness. Talk about balance! I love this stuff!

One odd notation- there was a strange pond scum effect (I assume from the dissolved yeast) that sat below the head and above the beer. Gave an unusual smoothing effect I've never experienced elsewhere. Was not a bad thing, but strange.

Overall- can I have some more, please?

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Photo of mattmaples
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What an exceptional Fanders Red. Good head, malty-winey aroma and sweet / tart flavor makes this beer a real winner for the style. With the sporatic supply of Rodenbach these days, it is nice to know there is another Flanders Red one can turn to.

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Photo of kuykendall
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is my first Flemish red, and my god I think I'm in love.
A= Deep Red color, closer to a burgundy.
S= an incredible amount of Fruitiness, but not over power like you get in lambics.
T= I can honestly say that parts of the flavor are completely indescribable to me. I taste the sour notes, but then the fruit comes in and malts follow it and then finally the funk I have heard so much about. It's final I'm a convert.
Mouth feel= Very bubbly but light on the tongue.

Drink ability= When I first really go into beer, it took me awhile to get used to the concept of wanting a bitter beer. It was contrary to my nature, but the sour and funk of this beer has pulled me in almost immediately. A highly drinkable beer, and I'm glad I picked it as my first Flemish.

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Photo of sjverla
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nose: Vinegar and lightly fungal. Crisp and sweet like white wine. Red grapes and sour blackberries. Delightful.

Appearance: Deep ruby-brown. Minimal head with decent lacing. Good clarity. The color is lovely.

Taste: Earthy and deep. Gentle tartness and sweetness. Ripe blackberries. Notes of vanilla and wood. Light bodied and a little effervescent. Crazy good.

Overall: Wildly complex. Impeccably balanced. Just the right amount of tartness and funk. Just phenomenal.

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Photo of ZenAgnostic
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

1 pint 9.4oz bomber poured into a Duvel tulip. Cork printed Exp 6/2012.

Appearance - Foggy but with no particulate matter. Dark brown with a hint of amber. Thick, fine cream head.

Smell - Gueuze sourness. Slight abbey ale body, dark overripe fruit and noticeable alcohol.

Taste - Complex. Balanced. Slight to moderately sour body. sweet acidity keeps it from going to far in that direction. With a bit of alcohol in the finish. Leaves a vinous aftertaste, but not unpleasant.

Mouthfeel - Light texture and crisp due to the light, frothy carbonation. Almost like a lambic or champagne. Medium-full body.

Overall Drinkability - This is my first from this style, so I was careful with the ratings to leave room for the possibility of a better beer in style. After trying a few more, I'll come back and rate this one, but as a beer I'd give it all 5's.

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Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I don't know where to begin with this beer. This is by far one of the most complex beers I have ever had the opportunity to drink. The color is a gorgeous deep ruby. If the head would have held a little longer, I would have given it a "5". The smell has its belgian characteristics with a soft sweet aroma. Ripened cherries fill the nose beautifully. The initial taste really blew me away. The tart beginning smoothes out to a well-balanced sweet wine taste. It has many features of a cherry-cider yet it still holds its beer roots. I think this is truly a fine speciman of master brewing and will have my respect forever.

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Photo of horshack7
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Poured into a tulip is a very dark mahogany brown with red hues around the edges. As a crown there is a solidly thick beige head.

Aroma: In the front is a little bit of a red wine aroma with a touch of woodiness. Apple, sour cherries, way in the back is a nuttiness.

Taste: Soft carbonation, woodiness with notes of apple skin and sour cherries. There is quite the solid sour bite. The finish is nicely dry with twinge of pecan in the end.

Notes: What dam tasty beer I am glad I bought this one and will buy it again. Cheers.

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Photo of corby112
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Serving type: bottle.

Pours a dark amber brown with burgundy edges. Beautiful aroma of oak, cherry, vanilla and sour tartness. The combination of the two aged brown ales provides this beer with a perfect smooth balance that is not to sweet and not to tart. Hints of oak, vanilla, grape, cherry, sugar and sourness.

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Photo of ReindeerFlotilla
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I tried this at the Hopleaf, a pub on the north side of Chicago. Got it on tap, and it poured deep brown with a small head, which dissipated quickly. The aroma was somewhat fruity with a hint of hops. The beer looked hearty, but the mouthfeel was actually a bit on the thin side. The flavor was incredible. It has characteristics similar to something like a Lindeman's Kriek, but the sweetness was not as pronounced and there was more of an oak characteristic to the flavor and it tasted more "ale-like" than a sweet lambic. The finish was wonderful -- a bit fruity with a hint of cherry. Overall, an outstanding beer.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out to a sparkingly clear deep ruby, forming an expanding plumage of soapy khaki bubbles. No yeast in the bottle or in the glass. Carbonation is initially brisk and forms spiral streamers contributing to the effervescent head. The aroma is just amazing...malt vinegar and vanilla interspersed with wonderfully fruity esters....rotting bing cherries, light amber malts, apples, pineapple, and when swirled, apricot, prunes, chocolate syrup, and pink bubble gum scream out. As it warms, an exceptional amount of vanilla (literally boatloads) makes itself known, becoming the dominant note in the mix. Retention is amazing and lacing is delicate yet solid. The taste is exactly as it smells....sweet, but not sickeningly so...more than enough to overpower the acidity with lingering aftertastes of pineapple and bubble gum. Lightly dry in the finish with just a touch of metals. As it warms, tobacco and leather become the overwhelming aftertaste. Alcohol is apparent just as a peppery flourish. The mouthfeel is wonderful with a medium body. Very easy to drink, although I could see the sweetness wearing thin for some, as it has an almost saccharin character to it. This is a real treat, although more of a dessert drink. I'm glad I bought a 4-pack and not the bomber. This is one of the finest Flemish Red's/Brown I've had (very different next to old-school Goudenband). An exceptional, exceptional beer. I will be drinking much more of this. Highly recommended, particularly with creme brulee.

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Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
92 out of 100 based on 1,428 ratings.