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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,441 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,441
Hads: 3,883
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 23.17%
Wants: 211
Gots: 690 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Duchesse De Bourgogne Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,441 | Hads: 3,883
Photo of jenbys2001
2.19/5  rDev -46.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

I bought this beer as part of a mixed six pack on a recommendation from a friend. I had high hopes for it since I have a fixation on Belgian beers. Unfortunately though I was really disappointed. It's one of the few premium beers that I sincerely disliked.

For me the flavor is far too cloying and sweet. It tasted similar to a heavy sweet wine rather than beer. Although I did enjoy the after taste. The lingering flavor is very nutty, almost coffee like- which I would attribute to the oak casks. Although the color is very appealing and the smell is fairly pleasant and spicy I did not like the lack of carbonation. It gave the beer a syrupy quality that I did not enjoy. Definitely a sipping beer, but my husband and I had a hard time finishing one 11.2 ounce bottle between the two of us.

However, if you enjoy very sweet beverages you might appreciate this beer.

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Photo of TPSReports
2.27/5  rDev -44.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Picked up this bottle with great ancitipation for Chan's now Aloha World of Wines in Pensacola, FL. The bottled looked good and the cork was solid with no dust on the bottle.

I lightly chilled the beer then popped the cork. It poured a reddish brown with a nice head. That's basically where the fun ended.

The smell was vinegarish with some cirtus notes blended in. I'm not a fan of vinegar unless we're talking BBQ sauce.

Anyway, the taste matched the smell to my taste. I let the beer warm and tried some more. No change. I put the bottle in an ice bath and tried it again. Still nothing but disappointment. Bummer.

I guess the mouthfeel was OK, but the taste killed the feel.

I will not drink the beer again. Based on the other reviews that I've read, I guess my bottle was good, but didn't agree with me. Glad everyone else seems to enjoy it.


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Photo of TastyTaste
2.29/5  rDev -44.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Appearance: Very Dark red body, lets very little light through. Grand off-white head, slow fading.

Smell: Tart and sour, earthy and musky. There is also a little rotten egg smel, but it is not very small. Not bad.

Taste: Not very strong, but overly sweet and somewhat cloying. The taste is not very tart or sour, but rather a murky blend of carmel and fruit. There are others better in the style. Medicinal, a little like cherry cough syrup.

Drinkability: A 750 is too much of this, it will be a chore to finish. Mouthfeel is undercarbonated.

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Photo of SeanMNCraftBeerLover
2.32/5  rDev -43.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.25

Well I don't know what happened here... Was exited to have it... Looked great... Smelled decent.... Then all hell broke loose once it hit the lips. Maybe it was a bad line but damn this was not a good beer.

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Photo of BeerManDan
2.36/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Nice Red hue to this brew. But either I had a bad batch or what, I don't know. My first taste of this beer was a taste of a sweet and sour wine flavor. Through out the whole glass of beer, I got a sweet rasin flavor, followed with a sour after taste. No thanks to his brew!

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Photo of nbree00
2.38/5  rDev -42%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This beer pours a beautiful deep brown with a reddish tint to it. The smell was pleasant with a sort of spiced cherry aroma coming through, however I was not very impressed with the carbonation which seemed to be low. The taste for me was pretty overwhelmingly sweet, no apparent sourness to better balance the flavors out. You can taste some of the roasted malts but other then that pretty bland with a cherry-banana sweetness coming through that makes it pretty hard to drink, definitely a sipping beer. Overall I didn't care for it much

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Photo of vig180
2.44/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from a 11.2 oz bottle poured into a Chimay chalice.

A: Looks fine, dark red, decent lacing.

S: Smells medicinal from the start, a bit of vinegar with some of the cherry-ish fruitiness of medicine.

T: This is where this beer falls apart for me. I normally love Flanders Reds, but the taste here is a mix of vinegar, cherry cough syrup, and metallic notes. Also very little sourness or tartness. No trace of alcohol.

F: Also unappetizing, like some kind of cherry slush (coarse like chunks of ice) that went bad. Drunk at the ideal temperature indicated on the bottle too, but might be better even warmer.

O: This has been a drain pour the last two times I've tried it. Again, I'm a big fan of the style, but this seems very different.

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Photo of stangelj
2.46/5  rDev -40%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a 330ml bottle, best before 24-08-07. Appearance is very nice, a dark brown/red color with a 2 finger head that persisted. Lots of lacing left on the glass as I drank the beer. Off to a good start. Smells sweet and fruity, interesting, sour apple and cherry mostly. Taste amplifies what I smelled, whew. Starts off sweet but quickly turned sour. I like sour fruit beers but this tasted exactly like apple cider vinegar to me. The vinegar taste overpowers and is what's left in the aftertaste. Does not have much of a beer taste. Mouthfeel is ok, perhaps too full bodied, carbonation is fairly high. I didn't find this overly drinkable, would not have more than one. I would not buy again. This is my first experience with this style, so perhaps this is what it's supposed to be like, but I can't get past the apple cider vinegar taste.

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Photo of NCBeernut
2.47/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Best before date 13/01/2012. Poured into a New Belgium globe.

Crystal clear deep garnet body topped by a dense creamy bone head - looks almost like a nitro pour. The retention is amazing. It just sticks at about half an inch with sticky lacing climbing up the glass. Perfection.

Aroma is mainly vinegar and lots of dark cherry. Kind of stings the nostrils...in a good way. Almost offensive at first, but then the cherry comes in more and it is a little more pleasant. I don't have much experience with the style, but the strong vinegar aroma still keeps me from giving it too much credit here. A touch of strawberry comes out as it warms. If I wasn't taking style into account, I would definitely rate lower here. The cherry is really the only redeeming quality.

Puckering sourness kicks you in the mouth. Definitely dark cherry. Lots of black cherry Warhead with a hint of berries as it warms, but with vinegar and a metallic taste in the finish that won't really go away. I don't care what style this is, it isn't good. Bleh. Maybe if I paired this with the right food it would be less offensive. Mouthfeel has a sharpness to it that I don't like. For some reason, I finished it pretty quickly for how vinegary it is...I kind of think it was just so I can move on to my next one. $4 wasted...at least I know to be very weary of sours.

I am going to give it the benefit of the doubt in some of these categories because I know it is, to a certain extent, part of the style. Still, if this is a good example of the style, this style completely blows. Making beer taste like vinegar is not a good thing...ever.

I feel like I'm really being generous with this review.

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Photo of Erdinger2003
2.48/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

The head is not too dense and the lacing doesn't stick very well. The color is clear red/purple. The smell is sour with slight earthy tones and a slight plum or other sour fruit in the backround. Taste is metalic with some earthy tones. The taste is a bit bland like cardboard. Mouthfeel is well carbonated and a little harsh. I don't think I would have another one of these, maybe it's the style, however this glass wasn't great.

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Photo of vobr0002
2.49/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A- deep amber color, very clear, with a good amount of white head.

S- vinegar, sour, cherries, raspberries

T- buttery, like the smell otherwise.

M- good mouthfeel and carbonation.

O- i do not care for this beer too much. im a big fan of other flanders but this one does not do it for me. Dont think that i will be having this again.

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Photo of jopezu
2.5/5  rDev -39%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

hazy, reddish brown. 1st attempt at a pour; cracked the bottle open and half the beer spewed out like a geyser - make sure these are all the way cold and be gentle. i wasn't aware flanders reds were tarts/sours when i bought them. i just can't get into these beers enough to discern the complexity behind the initial malt vinegar and fruit tart assault. my score simply reflects my personal preference.

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Photo of BigMike
2.51/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Duchesse has been on my listof beers to try for a while now but I didn't want to buy a 750. I finally found the smaller bottle andpicked it up.
Pours a dark maroon red color with a small tan head that's very small and thin.
The nose is dark fruits, deep red wine, vinegar. Mostly redwine vinegar.
This isn't what I expected. Alot sweeter then I anticipated. A slight sourness but lots of sugary sweet redwine vinegar. Kind of confusing. I'm torn trying to figure out if I like this or not. The aroma for me is not that pleasant. The taste isn't pleasant either but something makes me want to keep drinking this.
Mouthfeel is sticky. This thing coats the mouth like crazy. Light carbonation.
Overall I don't think I like this one all that much. I want to but the vinegar and sweetness are just too much for my palate. I'm glad this is the 11.2 oz bottle because I'm struggling to finish it.
I'm not sure what the shelf life is with this beer but the best by date on this bottle is 10/2/10 and today is 9/10/10. I don't know if this beer is past it's prime or what but maybe I'll seek out a little fresher bottle.

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Photo of MiScusi
2.53/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Had this out of a bottle at The Trappist in Oakland. Just want to compare this to other Flanders style red ale's I've had. This thing has only a very mild tartness to it. It is sugary sweet though. VERY sweet. Way too sweet. Excruciatingly sweet. Nice fruit quality but man is it backed by sugary sweetness. Very hard for me to drink.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
2.53/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Third Flanders Red I've reviewed on this site and it is receiving the lowest scores so far. Very surprised to see it in the top ten for its style.

I didn't like the sour, vingerous aroma mixed in with the old cherry and almonds smells. I know that is what should smell like, but this seemed a over the top.

It looked fine, clear ruby red when held up to the light. The head started as a wisp and didn't change much throughout the drinking, apart from getting less and less.

The sweet and sour taste was too sickly and it was too fizzy as well, over carbonated for sure.

This is a designer beer, I've had it on tap and bottled before, it wasn't great then. My wife doesn't like it and I don't either.

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Photo of nhindian
2.53/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

11.2oz bottle poured into a Cantillon wine glass.

A - Pours a deep cherry red, almost perfectly clear and extremely pretty. The hue and darkness brimming around it makes the parts which are that mahogany look even more vibrant. About 2 fingers of tan head, with great retention as well. The lacing is weakest part of an otherwise spectacular-looking beer, with it being sticky, but to the beer instead of the glass. It does loosen up as it is drunk, however.

S - Unlike past Red Flanders I've encountered, this beer isn't too focused on the tart or the funk, but rather embraces a more full-bodied aroma. It does bring the slight sour, but it's more of a binding agent rather than jumping out and overwhelming the beer. Surprisingly, a good amount of caramel malt comes through, as well as some vinegar. Not incredibly complex, but certainly whets the palate.

T - Whereas the nose and appearance built this beer up, the taste just does not do it for me at all. Again, the tartness is almost a complete afterthought after a few seconds as it is thrown to the wayside in lieu of a big wave of vinegar. This persists throughout the beer, unfortunately, only stopping momentarily to bring in quick jolts of cherries and grapes. The finish, however, is a complete turn-off. It is somewhat vegetal and saccharine, almost as if there's just too much sugar or sweetener in it (although I am pretty sure nothing in this beer is artificial). Moreover, the blend of all the flavors and the vinegar leaves the finish eerily tasting similar to ketchup in a strange way.

M - Mouthfeel is moderately light-bodied with decent carbonation. Not the most lively beer, but I'm not expecting that given the strict aging requirements of this beer before bottling. Long lasting finish of tart cherries, vinegar, and Heinz 57.

D/O - Drinkability is moderately low. I'm disappointed that after the relatively strong first impressions, this beer just falls off quick for me. Way too much vinegar, not enough tartness, and the vegetal notes in the finish are brutal. I had this at a bar tasting about a year ago, and it was my first sour. I thought it was pretty decent then, but it was just a small sample, and I guess my palate has developed a taste for different types of sours since then...

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Photo of Minkybut
2.55/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Poured into chalice at 50 degrees. Beer wa dark with a nice foamu head that tried to climb out of the bottle. I was excited. Nice bready smell and I was getting more excited. The I tasted it and the sourness made me gag. I'm not sure if there was something wrong with this brew or I'm just not into Flanders style ales and I infact poured it out. I will NOT purchase this again.

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Photo of skeetermoses
2.56/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

I was looking forward to this beer, and was very disapointed in it. I had a large bottle of this beer and was not pleased. I thought I would enjoy this beer with turkey stew, but am glad I did not drink this with it. Instead I drank it over a disappointing loss by the Longhorns vs. the Aggies, I shared this with about 4 other people, and we all came to the same conclusion. This beer tastes like someone poured a beer into a bottle of red wine, mind you they are all wine drinkers, except me.

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Photo of Gtreid
2.58/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

11.3 oz. bottle poured into my Cigar City tulip.

A: Deep copper, almost brown color. The pour creates a pretty thick sand head, that retains wells and leaves some thick lace.

A: Sugary sweet. Almost malt vinegar, with brown sugar. A little caramel, lemon, and cherry. Very earthy, and smells very tart.

T: Very sweet and vinegary. Instead of the sour and sweet balancing each other, as in so many other sours, in this one, I can completely distinguish between the two. I get the sugary sweetness up front, followed by a yeasty sourness at the back. Finishes rather dry, but extremely sweet.

M: Aggressive carbonation and sharp. Medium body.

D and overall impression: Drinkability is low. Way to much sweetness to have any more than one. Overall, I was not impressed by the Duchesse. I did not think the flavors went well at all. The sweet and the sour are supposed to play off of one another, this did not happen here. I really thought it was somewhat of a mess. Won't be purchasing again. Skal.

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Photo of barefootbrewer
2.63/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This beer poured a deep brown with a light head. It had a tart smell that is weirdly reminiscent of worcesertshire. The smell is definitely unique. The taste is fruity and a bit sour. The mouthfeel is crisp with noticeable carbonation. This is an interesting beer that I would not necessarily consider highly drinkable for me.

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
2.64/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

11.2oz brown bottle from Florian's. My first Flemish Red. Dark brownish-red body with ruby-red highlights and a half an inch of light tan head. Smells acidic (like vinegar) with hints of fruit. Tastes acidic and fruity, like a raspberry maybe? After a few sips, a yeasty character starts to show too. Medium-bodied. Not sure what to think of this one... I'm sure it's to style and great for what it is, but I just can't get past that vinegar-like quality, which hurts the taste, smell, and drinkability... Call me unsophisticated and inexperienced, and compared to some I may be, but I am just not a fan of this one, sorry. At least I only ot an 11.2oz.

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Photo of nogoodreason
2.64/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Appearance: Nice. Deep red, fairly clear. Lovely thick cream head with a slight red hue. The Duchesse is pretty.

Smell: Um. Vinegar? Sweet Vinegarette? Some fruit, rasberries, cherries. But mostly vinegar.

Taste: Like the smell only with a cloying, sickly sweetness. Again, there is a big fruity aspect there. The more I drink, the less the sweetness effects me and the more I can taste a nice yeastiness but it's subtle, and I still have to wade through the sweetness and the vinegar aspects to get to it.

Mouthfeel: If I can separate the way it feels in my mouth from the smell and taste, I find this to be quite pleasant. Thick, viscous and with enough carbonation to please.

Drinkability: I guess you could call this drinkable, if it's your thing. To me the sweetness made me choke it back rather than savoring it.

I thought at first that I might've gotten a bad bottle, but I asked around and the people that I talked to have had this experience. Some liked it, some didn't. Count me in the latter group. It tastes like a bubbly raspberry vinegarette. Ugh.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
2.65/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from bottle (best by 9/2012 date stamp) into tulip glass. Pours dark redish brown with a quickly discipating creamy white head. Initial aroma is sweet fruit with slight vinous and/or acetic elements. Taste is sour apples/cherries and too much alochol for the low ABV. Body is medium full mainly from the younger of the blend. Depending on the age of the blend the sourness will vary. This sample was much more sour than others that I have had that have been almost cloyingly sweet. This is an interesting beer that attempts a balance between the younger more sweet beer in the blend and the assertively sour older beer. I was disappointed with this one. Not a fan of the style.

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Photo of philipquarles
2.66/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep cherry brown with an off-white head. The head dissipates to leave a nice layer of foam and a lot of lacing. Smells of sour fruit up front; lots of cherry. Malt and residual sugars are definitely present as well, lending some sweet notes to the tartness. The taste is apple cider vinegar mixed with simple syrup. Cherry and caramel apple flavors are there, along with some woodiness. The sweetness doesn't really balance the sour character, just makes it seem disjointed. Not a great take on a sour.

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Photo of kerklein2
2.67/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

11.2oz bottle poured to snifter. Best by date of 03-10-09

Found it at the back of my fridge, obviously quite old.

A - Pours a muddy reddish brown. Not too much head

S - Pretty strong smell, clearly sour. Almost vinegary. A touch of sweetness on the smell as well.

T - It all goes wrong here. Can taste the cherries a bit, but mostly pretty pungent sourness. Vinegar here too. Too much sweetness.

M - Not bad, but a little sticky on the back of the mouth. Light carbonation.

O - Wish this one hadn't gone lost in the back of my fridge. I think the lesson is that the best before date has a lot of merit and don't age it too long. Sorry to give such a poor review.

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Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
92 out of 100 based on 1,441 ratings.