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Duchesse De Bourgogne | Brouwerij Verhaeghe

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
91
outstanding
1,478 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,478
Ratings:
4,037
Avg:
4.09
pDev:
23.72%
 
 
Wants:
229
Gots:
804
For Trade:
16
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Verhaeghe
Belgium | website

Style: Flanders Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-15-2001

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,478 | Ratings: 4,037
Photo of kms910
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted at the World Beer Festival Raleigh, NC

I wondered why so many bragged about this beer. I bought a bottle some time ago and never opened it.

Finally, I see why everyone is as amazed by the Duchesse as they call her. This beer is unbelievable, a must if you trying a Flemish Red for the first time or any time. I had no idea how much I was going to enjoy this.

A: deep, dark red almost – a barely there foam followed me down my glass

S: cherries, prunes, or raisins and other dark fruits

T: it’s a little sweeter than the smell with a gentle sour bite at the end – perfect

M: Beautiful in the mouth, crisp & creamy....how has this escaped me for so long?

D: Definitely a good beer, robust flavor with a substantial depth to it. I will definitely be drinking this more often.

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Photo of GrumpyJack
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A dark ruby red ale which doesn't retain a significant head after pouring and which has a complex fruit / malt sweet / sour aroma.

Sour cherry and dark fruits, worcester sauce, balsamic vinegar & malt on the palate. A superb combination of sweet and sour flavours which will not be to everyone's taste, but kept me coming back for further sips to try to work out quite what I liked so much about it.

If you're unsure about sour Belgian beers, this is quite a good introduction as it is not too tart and has bags of interesting flavours.

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Photo of alexmel7
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

It's like eating a kobe beef hot dog with mustard and ketchup plus a berry compote on top.

Seriously...this is why I'm a fan of wild yeast. This beer is very unique. Honestly I'm a much bigger fan of this than Rodenbach. Definitely worth a try, or two.

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Photo of ckollias
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a Beligan Tulip glass.

A: Pours a dark amber almost brown hue with an off-white, 2-finger, frothy head that quickly dissipates leaving a good trail and solid lace.

S: Sour fruity aroma.

T: Extremely sour brew with a dark fruits and vinegar background that finishes on the dry side.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Yummy – sour brew – love it!

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Photo of leadpaint76
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Duchesse poured out a nice dark ruby red. The aroma is of tartness and cherries. The taste in Duchesse is very sour and tart, you taste cherries and other dark fruits. This is the first sour beer I have had and it is very nice. It has wine characteristics. I would recommend this beer to any friend. Nice change from the normal. Have a great day my friends.

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Photo of WesWes
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark amber color with an offwhite head that fades to lacing. The aroma is very malty. It has a fruity feel as well which enhances the pale and crystal malts. There are hints of chocolate here as well. The taste is perfect. It has a malty base, but is dominated with a tart fruitiness. This goes down very easy and finishes a bit dry and acidic. The mouthfeel is perfect as well. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn good drinking beer. I love the fruitiness along with it's complex malt makeup.

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Photo of hwwty4
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to jtrockchalk for leaving this at my house.

Poured a 11.2oz bottle into my Unibroue tulip. This beer pours a turbid burnt sienna with a 2 inch tan head that leaves slight lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma is sweet fruits, apples, sour pie cherries, and caramelized brown sugar. The taste is amazing. Granny Smith and Fuji apples fly up front, with sour pie cherries, and Belgian candy sugar. The mouthfeel is smooth and slightly dry. This is an exceptional beer that everyone should try.

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Photo of Mangus
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - ruby-copper red with a small tight lacy head.

Smell - complex, extremely interesting, light, fruity, clean

Taste - apples and fruit, intricate dance of flavors, tight crispness, and sweet tartness. What a wonderfully complex and interesting beer. I have to remind myself that this is actually beer that I'm drinking.

Mouthfeel - bubbly, crisp and syrupy. I'm salivating like Pavlov's dog's.

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Photo of Lldeegan
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours out of the bottle a light hazelnut with ruby edges when held up to light.

The pour produces a tight khaki colored head that recedes quickly.

Tart cherries and ripe plum, raisins, nut and wood and some malt with a touch of alcohol flood in on the first few whiffs. The yeast is evident, as well as some tawny port notes.

This is a very effervescent beer. The lively bubbles deliver sweet, then tart with a dry champagne-like middle that gives way to the tawny port, sweet and fruity lingering finish. Flavors are of red apple skin, red grapes, and oak.

This beer has a really great mouthfeel, it is complex and has a very delicious and lingering finish.

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Photo of Melvintrude
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Extraordinary and unexpected.

Initial hit is basalmic vinegar, both tart and sweet, then increasingly complex whilst remaining refreshing. Much better than Rodenbach's Flanders REd

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Photo of rye726
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle with a best by date of 1/1/09 poured at 45F into a snifter.

Dark amber/ruby color with a thin tan head that quickly subsides to a nice cover.

The nose is acidic and strong of tart cherries. There are also sents of vanilla, oaky malts and citrus fruit.

The taste is also very tart and sour; as it should be. There is a presence of sweet malts and pitted fruits. A faint oak character brings everything together.

Good mouthfeel, medium body with a fairly high carbonation level. It is rich, but also somewhat crisp and refreshing.

I found this Flanders a little to sweet and would like a drier finish. Other than that, a very drinkable brew. Very complex and well balanced.

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Photo of Amtchicago
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have had this beer on more than one occasion and I have never been disappointed. Overall a great representation of the style. If you enjoy the sour spectrum and can appreciate balsamic vinegar qualities, well then give this a try.

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Photo of boulevard2
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Experation date June 2008

Pours a brownish ale with a thick head and lots of bubbles. Heavy retention and it all clings to the glass. Sour cherries and sugar are present in the nose. A nice sour cherry twang at the start then mellows out at the end. There is also a great berry aftertaste which I think is rare for a flemish ale. Overall very smooth and well worth the price. I recommend this to anyone who hasnt tried this style before!

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Photo of onecrazybreeze
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Tap at the Falling Rock. Poured a dark opaque brown with slight red tints, had no head by the time it got to me. Smelled sugary and fruity, mainly of raisins. Tasted more sweet then sour to me, mainly of cherries and raisins. It's not overly sour making it a great beer for those that need a good balance between sweet and sour in a sour brew. In all, a very likable beer.

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Photo of Boneheadmx
4.61/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours out to what appears to be a dark, slightly hazy magenta-purple amber with a 1 inch cream-colored head that subsides slowly and leaves thick lacing around the glass. The purple color makes this extremely beautiful and it's the best looking beer I've ever seen.

Smell is faintly of fruit with not much in the way of the hops. Smells nice but it's ultimately a little bland.

Oh boy. The flavor. Nice tangy, citrusy sourness with hints of fresh berries, fairly sweet. Slow sour finish nicely complemented by just the right touch of carbonation (which is more than it looks to have when poured out). There's a slight bit of hops in the back of the tongue which gives it a lot of dimension instead of just "sweet and sour."

The mouthfeel is light, watery, and carbonated but matches the flavor perfectly.

This is surprisingly one of the most drinkable beers I've ever had (surprising since I don't particularly like light, watery, carbonated, sweet beers). Highly recommended for seasoned beer drinkers and newbies alike.

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Photo of Luk13
4.61/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It took me so much time to truly appreciate this beer, so I understand the haters here. Appearance is magnificient. Brown pour with red highlights and a lasting thick creamy offwhite head. One of the most beautiful lacing there is. Once it's over, my glass is completely coated with lacing.

Aroma: This is certainly not unanimous as there is a lot of balsamic vinegar which can be offputting but I like it now. There is a decent amount of musty wood, red wine, some burnt brown sugar. I also get some subtle notes of nuts and chocolate.

Taste: Probably the perfect balance between tart and sweet. To be more specific, some cherries and plums, lots of wood, maple syrup. Very close to a 5.

Mouthfeel: Light yet holds everything together. It is certainly not sticky considering the sweetness, nor as dry as a sour which gives this beer the opportunity to express its sweet and sour profile.
Low carbonation but not much is needed here.

Overall: A very unique, harmonious and elegant beer that has no evident flaws. I think it just surpassed Orval as my favourite go to beer.

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Photo of jminsc76
4.61/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Imagine Coca Cola meets vinegar in a garden of oak-ey goodness.

Duchesse ties with Rodenbach Grand Cru as my favorite of the Flanders red ales. Upon pouring, the carbonation initially brings out a slight head that clears fairly quickly, but upon a two to three second swirl will reform. The beer produces a tingling sensation on the roof of the mouth and/or parts of the tongue. When allowed to set and warm for five to 10 minutes out of the fridge, the feeling in the throat upon consumption is refreshing, like drinking a cold glass of water on a hot day. By 15 to 20 minutes most of the flavors have peaked, so polish it off by 30 minutes. You probably wouldn't drink warm Coca Cola; why would you drink warm Duchesse?

The smell is refreshing and very similar to the taste. Not too strong. The color is a dark, ruby red with a touch of brown. Very lush.

As the alcohol content is 6%, don't expect to get 'ishfaced out of your mind (unless you drink, like, 20 of them). This drink is more for the taste than the inebriation, although the taste is intoxicating in its own right.

On an additional note, my experience sharing Duchess with others is that beer lovers of the Flanders red style, and Belgian beers in general, love this drink. It's also an ideal beer for converting oenophiles and other beer-skeptics to the cause of drinking good, quality beer. Women who say they hate beer have expressed particular enjoyment with this one. Not always, but mostly.

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Photo of BeerSnobLeprechaun
4.61/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in Libbey 3709 Snifter.

L- Ruby brown with light receding lace around perimeter.

S- Malt vinegar with a hint of sweet fruit in background.

T- Malt, musty forest floor then POW with malt vinegar and fruity esters as it resides.
Not as typical Flanders in respect to sweetness. The Duchess you would swear is backsweetened.

F- Flat mouthfeel and minimal carbonation..

O- One of my favorite Belgian sours to taste any new contenders against. By far one of my top 5 beers of all-time.

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Photo of farrago
4.61/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark rust red to brown in color, has a fuzzy sort of opacity, not really blacked out, more unintentionally veiled. Not a lot of obvious fizz, the head is very light and disintegrates into little islands across the surface. Intense, multi-faceted nose of vinegar, tea leafs, plum to candied cherry fruit, rum, soy sauce, green apple, esters, almost could pose as a very traditional (cubed beef) barbecue sauce. Medium-bodied, playful carbonation crests like waves in the mouth. The sour vinegar component met head on by golden raisin, date and then cherry, raspberry fruit. Yeasty in a subtle way, works consciously in concert with the rest. Tea, tar, kindling wood. Nothing screams hops nor malts, category mistake to think of this beer in those terms. It's really an intellectual challenge to your taste buds, a can you keep up with the syllabus sort of situation. You may not love it, you may not hate it, but you must taste it.

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Photo of sponberg
4.62/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Whoaaa, Nelly! Starts out malty with a gently lactic tang, then the flavors start flooding in - sour cherries, an oaky dryness, sweet prune/plum, a sweetness I can't describe (almost like a cherry dipped in caramel, but better), and hints of chocolate & biscuit towards the finish. The flavor is like a round ball with a point sticking out - the round ball being the malty character, the pointy part the lactic, sour tang. Then it all gently wafts away. Hugely entertaining if you're an Oud Bruin fan. I may like this slightly more than I like Rodenbach Grand Cru, which says a LOT.

The publican, when I ordered a pint, said "You remember the first time you had sex? This is better." It's not, but it's still one outstanding brew.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.62/5  rDev +13%
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 +13%
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 +13%
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 +13%
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 +13%
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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Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
91 out of 100 based on 1,478 ratings.