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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
93
outstanding

3,138 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,138
Reviews: 1,355
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 141
Gots: 322 | 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: 3,138 | Reviews: 1,355 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of atis
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

Appearance is dark brown (maybe it is too dark in the room to see any redness), average head with good lacing.

Quite acidic smell, vinegar like. Flavour at first is very fruity with limited sourness - but not as much as I expected from the aroma. Leaves satisfying and slightly sweet aftertaste. Creamy and pleasant mouthfeel with more than average carbonation. Very complex and interesting beer.

I picked this beer at random and now I am extremely satisfied about my choice. Certainly will drink this beer again.

atis, Jul 23, 2008
Photo of kojevergas
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

Best before date: 30/03/2013. 11.2 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into me Guinness goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Bottle acquired at Red Carpet Liquor in Glendale, California. They also carried the larger bottle. I don't recall the cost. Expectations are through the roof given the reputation of this beer and the style - which I generally am quite fond of.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. This should be in line with the recommended 47-53 degree fahrenheit range. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Not paired with food. I wanted to enjoy the beer on its own, especially since the serving size is relatively small.

A: Pours a four finger head of great smooth cream, marvelous foamy thickness, and fantastic retention - though the ABV is merely 6.00%. Colour is a dark semitransparent ruby. Translucent. No floating yeast particles are visible. There's no bubble show, but I've yet to see a beer in the style with one.

Sm: Sourness, wild yeast, bacteria, cream, clean malts, and an oak tone - when I look for it. A subtle, mild strength aroma. Very encouraging, alive, and inviting. I'd prefer it stronger, but its downplayed timidness lends it a certain class.

T: Yeasty subtle sourness, with cherry fruit ester notes. Slight cream on the open and as an undertone. Oak is a backgrounded tone that isn't horribly noticeable. Hints of red grape notes (but not wine). Extremely subtle. Fantastic. The sourness isn't overdone, and would likely appeal even to people who don't usually enjoy sours. Incredibly well balanced. Exceptionally well constructed, with complexity and layering abound. Nicely tart. Pleasant to drink, even approaching refreshing. Very enjoyable. I quite like it.

Mf: Perfect creaminess for the style. Smooth and wet. Great thickness. It's a touch too wet methinks - especially on the finish. Subtle slight dryness would be ideal to coax out the next sip. Perfect carbonation. Complements the flavours quite nicely.

Dr: Incredibly drinkable. I could down this all night. A bit pricey, but well worth it. An exceptional sour. Quite remarkable and special. Perhaps the best beer in the style I've had yet.

A great candidate for aging.

Drank wonderfully out of me goblet. A snifter would also be appropriate.

Would pair well with a salad, but I'd prefer it alone. This beer warrants your full attention.

A-

kojevergas, Apr 15, 2012
Photo of BucBasil
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

Appearance: Poured into a tulip glass from the 11oz bottle. At first glance black, but when held to light some ruby notes shine through. Head is offwhite, one finger thick, and dissipates rather quickly.

Smell: The first whiff of this crazy brew is vinous, especially richer red wines, which really caught me off guard. Futher exploration reveals a tangy sweet raspberry aroma, as well as an off alcohol note.

Taste: Wonderfully unique and unlike any other beer in existence. Has a great raspberry-like introduction, and follows up in the midpalate with a sort of cherry pie flavor (crust and all). Finishes extremely tangy and sweet, but also smooth and refreshing.

Mouthfeel: Prickly and medium bodied but surprisingly smooth going down.

Drinkability: I don't think I could do more than on of these at a time because of the intense sweetness of the beer. However, it's a great change of pace if you want something really out of the ordinary.

BucBasil, Jan 03, 2008
Photo of YankChef
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

Poured into a Rodenbach glass.

Appearance: Relatively clear and some what dark when held up to light a strong red hue is very apparent. Thin wispy head that quickly dissipates.

Smell: The first most striking smell is that of raspberries and tart fruit. There is more going on in here and there is a certain bit of almost mushroom like mustiness. Oak is also present on the aroma as well as a bit of pepper.

Taste: Tart upfront and then it fades into an almost rich molasses like sweetness. I think my palate is off. The sourness stings the tounge but there is definitely a sweetness here too. Various different kinds of fruit including dried currant and grape and a little plum as well.

Overall: This is really the 3rd beer of this style that I have tried and the first 2 were both rodenbach. Such an amazing style and i truly like this beer quite a bit. But for the price tag... I'll stick with rodenbach

YankChef, Apr 08, 2008
Photo of Wolfsdenbrew
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

pours with a light beige fizzy head that dissipates toa thin head layer rather quickly. A shower of tiny bubbles rises from the bottom of the glass constantly. It pours a deep ruby amber and leaves minimal lacing.

Very little aroma in this one but what is there sort of smells like a sweettart.

Taste is very sweet in the beginning and then turning to a sour apple vinegar to the finish. There are hints of cherry and other berries with no real hop presence.

The carbonation level is a bit soda like (extremely fizzy) with a nice medium body to the mouthfeel.

I am pretty much a newbie to this style but it is quickly becoming one of my favorites!

Wolfsdenbrew, Feb 21, 2005
Photo of mexikrainian
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

750ml poured into a Unibroue tulip.

Appearance: brown amber with short-lived beige head and patchy lacing.

Aroma: pungent cherry aroma, slightly nutty and plum.

Taste: a balance of sour and sweet with dry, smooth finish.

Mouthfeel: syrup and acidic texture with medium body and light-medium carbonation.

Overall Impression: unique and complex, this delicious red ale is reminiscent of a carbonated plum wine. mmmm...give me more.

mexikrainian, Oct 06, 2010
Photo of birderbeerer
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

Ruby red with solid head formed by tiny bubbles like a quad/abt. Lacing that lasts.

Sour, red wine aroma. Bit of citrus.

Sweet taste surrounded by a sour cloud. Great balance of sour and sweet malts. Moderately rich taste. Tart fruit softened by oak.

Fairly full body and creamy given how light it tastes.

birderbeerer, Apr 23, 2012
Photo of PartyBear
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

Appearance: Deep orangey red, in colour, minimal carbonation, with a small off-white head.

Aroma: Razor sharp aromas, lots of lemon and sour apples, with a bit of a port-like smell.

Taste: Again, very sharp like the aroma, flavours of very sour apples up front, with a slight vinegar (in a good way), citric fruits like lemon, and sherbet. Towards the middle there is a taste of fresh orange, which leads to a sweeter progression of sugary candy, and a hint of kola nut, supported by a subtle bready maltiness.

Mouthfeel: The body is medium, and quite smooth, with a sharp feel.

Drinkability: Not usually a big fan of Flemish Red beers but this is a huge exception. The flavours are so complex that by the time you finish it you will have changed your mind about the flavours more time than you can count. Even if you hate the style, you need to try this, you will be surprised.

PartyBear, Sep 30, 2009
Photo of chaz01
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

750 ml with a bottle with an expiration date of 6/2012 on the cork, poured into a Belgian tulip glass.

A: Clear, dark brown mahogany color with brilliant ruby highlights held up to the light. Thick tan head leaves some lacing.

S: Slight vinegar, sour smell, but very mellow.

T: Just a mild vinegar tartness, slightly offset by a sweet brown sugar taste with some grape, cherries and even some wine qualities.

M: Medium bodied, soft mouthfeel with just the right amount of carbonation.

D: Very smooth and delicious, one of the most enjoyable sour type beers I've had to date. I'm thinking this would pair nicely with a large ceasar salad. But smooth enough that it makes a nice session beer -- enjoyed drinking the entire bomber while watching football.

chaz01, Nov 09, 2010
Photo of AltBock
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

I was able to try this Flanders Red Ale on-tap at Teresa's Next Door on 5/23/2008. They served it to me in a goblet/wine glass.

Duchess poured a beautiful dark crimson red color. It almost looked like somebody poured cranberry jucie into a goblet for me. It was probably the glass that did this, but on top of this beer was a small quarter of an inch head of white foam. What was there had really good retention that left behind foamy white rings along the edge and a fair amount of white lace around the glass.

The aroma was rich, sweet, and sour with sour cherries, sour green grapes, a hint of sour raspberries, a splash of yeast, and some toasted oak in the back. It was so good that I kept going back for more. It's just what a Flanders Red Ale should smell like!

The taste had mostly the same flavors in it that the aroma had, but it tasted like I was drinking a sour and sweet candy beer. I'm not joking, it was that sweet. The taste was sweet and sour with sour cherries, dried and toasted oak, and a hint of yeast at the finish. Even though they took away a few sour fruits, I still enoyed the taste of this this Flanders Sour.

The mouthfeel was on the light side that contained a nice sized aftertaste of sweet and sour cherries, a hint of toasted oak, and a speck of yeast. This aftertase will linger on for a minute or two after the beer has left your mouth.

If you like sour beers that aren't too sour, but that are more sweet, then you'll like this one. For me, it was a joy to try this one on-tap and I can't see why not why this wouldn't be a joy to try if it came from a bottle. I would love to give this beer another go!

AltBock, May 25, 2008
Photo of kirok1999
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

Very dark pour, rocky head that gushes up the glass. Beautiful dark ruby.
Smells like an orchard on a sunny day. Tons of dark ripe fruit aging in the sun.
Taste is dark and plummy, sweet caramel, apples, raisins. The finish lingers for quite a while, and no surprise since it's such a heavy beer.
Definitely a sipper that can stand up to almost any food you'd want to pair it with.

kirok1999, Jun 22, 2009
Photo of axeman9182
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

Served on tap in a wine glass at Burp Castle.

Duchesse de Bourgogne pours a deep chestnut brown, with a few scant ruby highlights apparent when the beer is backlit. There's a smattering of khaki colored foam atop the beer. Not enough for any real lacing or head retention though. The nose is very nice, with aromas of sweet cherry acidic tartness, and a bit of woody oak all intermingling and taking turns standing out. The flavor profile manages to be even more complex. Cherries and a definite vinous sour note are what immediately make an impression. The farther I get down the glass, the more some of background notes begin to come through. In addition to the oak, some biscuit and light caramel maltiness add another layer to the beer. The mouthfeel isn't quite to the same level as the aroma and flavor. Tje.body is alright, but the carbonation dies off at the front of the palate, leaving the rest of the sip to coat my palate a little too much. Still, Duchesse is a great beer, and I'm almost embarrassed it took me this long to try it.

axeman9182, Aug 21, 2012
Photo of macpapi
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

11.2 oz bottle.

Duchesse De Bourgogne has a brownish-red body, with hints of purple and burgandy shades when held up to light; 1/2 inch white head; and very nice lacing.

Smell is a nice mixture of tart fruit (mainly cherries, though plum is faintly present as well) and ripe, full-bodied malt. There also seems to be a touch of molasses or other sugary sweetness present on the nose. This is a nice, full, and complex aroma.

On the palate, one is greeted with the nice mixture of sweetness, a sharp tart pull, and well-balanced malt. Fruitiness is more notable than malt (tart cherries, a bit of plum, and hints of apple), but in the end is not quite overwhelming. Tart elements are kept somewhat in check by the other participants in this flavor party.

Mouthfeel is pretty full, with somewhat high carbonation, and a bit of tarty bite. The overall heavy body is somwhat akin to a red wine.

On the whole, this is a nice and drinkable sour-type beer. Not overly tart, but packs much of the sour flavor profile that typically brings praise for this type of beer. Flavorful and pretty well-balanced. For me, this is a nice introduction to the style.

macpapi, Apr 10, 2011
Photo of sevineyes
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

Poured from a brown bottle featuring, presumably, the Dutchess of Burgandy on the label.

A: Poured with a thin head. Distinctly red hue in color. Leaves vague lacing.

S: Very tart. Red wine vinegar, maybe bordering on an English malt vinegar. Unripened apples. Plenty of vinous character. Very pronounced nose.

T: Complex is an understatement. Sweet and sour initially. Sour apple candy. Sweet cherries. Soured cider. Imitation grape. Red apple flesh. Finishes with something very similar to an imitation strawberry flavor, maybe even imitation watermellon. Aftertaste does have a touch bitterness and a mild tartness. The longer the aftertaste goes the more it only leaves the bitter, like the dividing pieces of a pecan.

M: Highly carbonated, but not distracting in the same way that champagne bubbles aren't distracting from the flavor. The flavors really dance around the mouth. Finishes a little dry, but that doesn't linger. In the aftertaste there's something metal, maybe iron.

Overall: For those not familiar with the style, this beer may hit you a bit like a sweet tart does. The first time I had a red it took me a little while to convince myself I wasn't drinking some kind of sweet-and-sour sauce. This really isn't too unbalanced of a beer. Sure, the sour wins out over the sweet and bitter, but it's not so pronounced that it landslides everything. Certainly haven't come close to defining everything in this beer either. Very complex and worth trying if you can find it.

sevineyes, May 06, 2006
Photo of WankelEngine
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a wine glass

A: This beer pours a dark red-tinted brown. After a vigorous pour, there is a tan head of one finger which rapidly disappears, leaving a rim of foam around the edge of the glass and no lacing.

S: The smell is tart and fruity. It reminds me of a gueuze but not nearly as acidic; much sweeter. There is also a little bit of funk and caramel malt.

T: Very sweet and fruity with a touch of caramel. There is green apple providing much of the fruit flavor and a little tartness and some other light berry flavors in the background. As it warms, I can taste a plum flavor.

M: Medium-light bodied and sticky from all the sweetness.

O: A very sweet, fruity beer with a touch of funk.

WankelEngine, Jan 07, 2012
Photo of drink1121
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

A- Great head with lacyness. (my own word) Nice dark amber color. Looks great in a chalice.

S- Sour to the nose.

T- Sour vinegar, Bourbon - like.

M- Very smooth with creamy note.

D - Could only have one of these. A very good brew, just not my preference. I can appreciate the quality.

drink1121, Mar 25, 2009
Photo of Jamesthebrit
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

A: Ruby red with lots of bubbles. Good lacing.

S: A good sweet and sour but also some woody cinnamon note or so. Maybe like fig and grape as well. It's a little hard to decipher.

T: As the smell a good sweet and sour. Great fruit notes and a good musty finish. A little bitterness helps on the finish. Very complex and defined.

M: Musty bitterness comes through and the large amount of carbonation really makes it difficult to rest on the palate. It seems like the mustyness is really brought out while it rests on the palate.... Mmmmm quite...

O: A very nice beer. Great fruit notes but still has some malty and hoppy notes. I would recommend it.

Jamesthebrit, Sep 21, 2012
Photo of babaracas
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

Pours a clear red-brown, one finger of dense cream colored foam, delicate islands of lace on the glass. Smell: overripe apricot, quite oaky with herbal notes. Taste: tart nectarine, fruity sweet / acidic combo as in pineapple juice, white flesh plum, craisins and cherry juice towards the finish. Sweet fruit, quite tart, with plenty of oak character. Medium bodied and a bit syrupy with a sugary finish. Tasty, if not a little on the sweet side.

babaracas, Aug 21, 2014
Photo of FLima
4.16/5  rDev 0%

Poured a dark brown ruby color with a thick head with long retention and leaving laces.
Sour aroma with a good hint of red wine, vinegar and wood.
Delicious taste of bubbling red wine with some notes of Belgian yeast, condiments, a hint of earthy hops and raspberries. Mildly dry aftertaste with its residual grape. Very refreshing.
Light body with medium carbonation and tiny bubbles. Alcohol is in complete harmony with the other ingredients, more so than real wine.
Extreme well balanced beer, combining drinkability with flavor. Not too sour, perfect level (unless you dig a lot sour beers). Excellent. I am now curious to try it even more aged. I have the impression will continue to evolve.

FLima, Mar 27, 2013
Photo of swinyeju
4.16/5  rDev 0%

swinyeju, Aug 29, 2014
Photo of rastaman
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%

Excellent and very fun little brew. Deep brwon with atinge of red, nice pillowy head with good lace. Aroma is of cherry, balsamic vinegar and perhaps a bit winey, palate is slightly sweet most mostly tart sweet and then sourness aswell, fruity, quite comlex and very enjoyable.

rastaman, Jul 06, 2002
Photo of cjgator3
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%

Cork exploded off the 750ml bottle without much effort. Poured a dark brownish red color with a nice creamy head. Smell is sour with vinegar and I can pick up a bit of the oak as well . Taste starts out quite smooth, then the tartness hits you and continues to build making way for a surpisingly clean and dry finish. Wow! Great Flanders Red Ale, however I do believe Rodenbach Grand Cru is far superior. A stellar brew nonetheless.

cjgator3, Jul 14, 2006
Photo of TexIndy
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%

Poured from a 330ml bottle into my NBB snifter. Best by date of 8/14. It was rich ruby color with some carb streams but no lacing. It had a small fizzy tan head that quickly settled into a collar.

The aroma was outstanding. Really love the Flanders Red Ale aromas. Balsamic vinegar, sour cherries, grape - nice mix of tart and sweet. Add a little funk aroma and it would be perfect. The taste was also great. I've had this numerous times and was surprised that I hadn't reviewed it as I thought I had. This particular bottle was a lot sweeter than the others I've had so this is a review of this bottle and recollections of the other times. Sweet as I said but not usually not overly sweet like this one. Needed a little more tart to balance it but still pretty good.

Overall, a really great beer that I highly recommend. In my regular rotation.

[RR]

TexIndy, May 21, 2009
Photo of Frosty80
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%

Color: pours brown. sits reddish-brown with great clarity

Smell: good balance of tart sourness and fruitiness. fruit reminiscent of black cherries and currants. a quick punch of spicy phenols up front with just a hint of solvent-like presence.

Taste: again, good balance of fruitiness and tartness. fruitiness of black cherries and currants with maybe a little strawberry. somewhat dry throughout from the acidity. like aroma, just a tinge of spicy alcohol and acetone. finish is balanced in all respects

Mouthfeel: light-medium body with moderate carbonation

Notes: so far not my favorite sour ale but definitely a category im falling in love with

Frosty80, Nov 02, 2010
Photo of bultrey
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%

This was a pleasant little surprise to find on draft at the Ginger Man in New York .Unofrtunately, it was served to me in an imperial pint glass instead of a proper tulip glass or wine glass, but I still enjoyed this interesting beer.
This beer has a beautiful deep red color, with a very wispy head and moderate lacing. The nose is very aromatic -- woodsy, minty, cherry, a little funky. Upon first sip, a sweet-tartness explodes on the palate like Smarties candies, only refined. Fresh cherries come to mind instantly, but there's something else too: a very vinous characteristic, bordering on vinegary, that appears but doesn't overwhelm at any point. There is also the feel as if this were aged in some sort of wood -- almost like cedar. The mouthfeel is a little thin, but very much like sparkling wine. The finish is dry and refreshing, with a wisp of tartness and bitterness. This beer is very refreshing. It's ironic that this is considered a "challenging" or rare style of beer in the US, when in fact, I would recommend something like this first and foremost to a wine lover that wants to get into beers. My first Flanders red, and certainly not my last.

bultrey, Oct 05, 2004
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,138 ratings.