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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,442 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,442
Hads: 3,886
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: 1,442 | Hads: 3,886
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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Photo of busternuggz
2.72/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into a Belgian glass. "Best before" date of 3-3-12.
Pours an attractive ruby color with an off-white-tan head, which persisted with a 1/8" presence throughout drinking. Left some thick and immobile lacing.
Smells were a little odd, I picked up tamarind and fruit candy, and a weird rubbery note.
Tasted like cherry Jolly Rancher, strawberry jam, and thick fruit syrup, like the kind you make snow cones with. Maybe the merest hint of tartness, but it is way unbalanced by all the sweetness.
The texture was pretty highly carbonated yet syrupy at the same time.
Thick and cloying. I'm having a hard time finishing one.
No real tartness, oak character, or yeast notes to speak of for me, just overly sweet thick fruit flavors.

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Photo of Intrinsic
2.74/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is my first Flanders Red, and I'm having a hard time making it through this beer so its difficult to give it an objective review.

It sure looks tasty, with a dark red colour and fluffy off-white head. Nice lacing as well.

The smell hit me like a tonne of bricks, but not in the good sense. Its incredibly sour and reminds me of cherries that have been in the fridge too long.

The taste is more of the same. In fact, I can't really taste anything else through the sourness.

Mouthfeel is ok - at least I think it is. I'm overwhelmed by the sour flavour so it's hard to tell. Overall, I can't stand this beer but I know it's my own dislike for the style. I'm sure it's great for anyone who enjoys the style.

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Photo of Evan_Duncan
2.74/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Ruby red with quickly receding sandy head. Medium lacing, and this looks wonderful.

S - Vinegar, tart sourness, stone fruits (is that plumb I smell?), the aroma is not as complex as I thought it would be; everything seems to be muddled and flat. :(

T - some funkiness, metallic, sharp sourness but pleasant. a slight stone fruit note (cherries, plumbs).

M - medium light mouth feel, somewhat thin, good carbonation.

O - The metallic flavor ruined it for me to the point where I couldn't finish it. I was really disappointed with this one. I had high hopes and it fell flat. I will try it again, but this one just did not hold up to its reputation.

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Photo of JLSIV
2.75/5  rDev -32.9%

I hate to do this to a beer that is considered Outstanding, but this just don't do it for me.

Sampled only. Not my style. Very acidic and sour and sharp, with way too much Brett. This might be an acquired taste.

If you like dry wines, this will probably hit the spot. I will retry after a year or so.

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Photo of Cthulhusquid
2.75/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Look: Dark brownish red, blood red when held up to light. Head seemed to retain well.

Smell: Nose of red wine and balsamic vinegar. Notes of cherry and caramel.

Taste: Same as above.

Feel: Creamy and smooth up front with an acidic bite in back. I feel that it was waaaaay too vinegary for my tastes.

Overall Impression: Very interesting. Definitely (and I really mean that) an acquired taste, but intriguing enough for me to try more of the style. It was quite hard to finish the last third of the glass, though.

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Photo of PapaEugene
2.78/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

One of the beers that was on the menu of the beer tasting that I had with fellow member rvdoorn.


Nice deep red colour like a good Bourgondy wine. Very minor lacing.


The smell almost made me throw away this beer, thinking it was rotten. The smell of wine gone bad, vinegar and my daughter's vomit.


RvDoorn had to convince me to taste this beer after this horrible smell. So, huge contrast to the smell. Tastes like a Kriek beer to me but also a good bodied wine. Red fruits, cherry, strawberry. At a certain point closed my nose to keep drinking.


Carbonation was high for my standards. The aftertaste balances between sweet and sour. A little bitter


Well, I will not try this beer again. Too bad, as I really liked the taste. The smell spoils it all.

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Photo of davidchollar
2.78/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

i gotta admit, i don't think i am advanced enough as far as palates are concerned. this beer confuses me. when i smell it and sip, i wonder what am i drinking? it's unlike anything i've had before, but it reminds me of too many other things.

looks good, nice mahogany with beige head and lots of lacing. the smell is abrasive. my first thought is nail polish remover, that ruins it for me, i can hardly think of anything else other than vinegar and a hint of barbecue sauce, i guess if i dig deep i can smell malts. it's not that bad though, a lot going on so almost good to sniff.

tastes like disgusting, cheap,low-alcohol wine. funny thing, if you drink it without smelling at all, like holding your breath, it just tastes like grape juice. if you breathe in and take a whiff you get a complex taste with a range of flavors all the way to the slightly bitter finish, but for me it is overall dominated by a sickening sweetness. i taste skittles, runts, willy wonka candies galore.

i have been living in japan for a few years now, so my sugar intake is minimal. this might be the cause of my revolting reaction to anything more than a little sweet. i don't know anything about this style of beer, but compared to everything else i've had, i thought this was gross and not worth $5 for a small bottle.

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Photo of WetCoaster
2.85/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: An even mix of garnet and brown, crystal clear, with a fizzy, yet rocky and firm tan head. Good retention and surprisngly sticky lace. Beautiful color, real stunner.

Smell: Wow, all over the place. Malt sweetness, yeasty, funky, woody, ripe cherry fruitiness, vinous, musty barnyard -- a real marvel, this. Wow.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Uh... yikes. Very, very, very sweet -- almost like Malta soda, if you've ever spent any time in Latin America or Miami -- while at the same time sour like a cherry Pez. But oddly, they don't seem to blend at all, it's two distinct flavors. In fact, this tastes exactly like a carbonated 10-year-old balsamic vinegar. Yeah, that's it -- dead-on. The mouthfeel, on the other hand, is the picture of normalcy, medium bodied, moderately carbonated, if a bit sticky.

Drinkability: I'll be the first to admit this is not a style with which I've had much experience. So while this may or may not be a stellar example of the style, it's something I simply do not like. Novel, but not something I'll be back for any time soon.

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Photo of BoozySmurf
2.88/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

My first sour, enjoyed before dinner with my wife and our friends. Poured into a tulip glass with a murky reddish-brown color. Lighting at Falls Taproom isn't great though. Head was white and substantial. Smells a bit musty, malty sweetness also, and a hint of vinegar. Overall light aroma, nothing overpowering. Flavor was initially sweet and sour, mostly sour and sort of a balsamic quality. This flavor, while pleasant, departed quickly and the aftertaste was musty. Sort of like a wet dog smell that lingers on the palate. I've experienced this in the past (most notably with Arrogant Bastard) and my guess is that certain hops disagree with me. Unfortunately the aftertaste is what lingered. Mouthfeel was a little sticky, but light. Overall impression was disappointing. I was looking forward to a mouth-puckering vinegar experience (I loves me some deli pickles) but the aftertaste overwhelmed the initial sour flavors. This was my first "sour" so I'll probably try it again. Geez though they're always so damn expensive!

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Photo of 0110x011
2.88/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Recieved this in the TIF from Kempleton. Thanks!

Pours a murky dark amber color, with a frothy two-finger head and not much lacing. Nose is dark fruit and vinegar, with that lactic sour sting. The sourness hits first, but then quickly fades, giving way to sugar. Like pure sugar. This is waaay too sweet for the flemish sour style. The sweetness & sugar overpower any hint that his might be a Flanders Red. Tastes to me like what Dogfish Head would do with this style. Medium mouthfeel, but the sweetness takes away that crisp, palate-cleansing refreshment I so look forward to with Flanders Reds. If you're new to the style, it might be an interesting drink. if you've had any other Flanders Reds, avoid it.

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Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
2.9/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Now I'll admit that I am not a huge fan of this beer, even though this is my first and probably last time I'll try this style. I don't have anything to compare it too, so I'll be as objective as possible.

Served in what seemed to be red wine glass. Not much activity in terms of carbonation, or head. Brandywine red color.

Smell like malt vinegar. Really.

Tasted like malt vinegar. Really.

This was one beer that I could not wait to finish. One of the least drinkable beers I have ever had. I simply did not enjoy this beer.

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Photo of jasonjlewis
2.9/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I haven’t been marking the blind tasted beers I have had. My girlfriend poured this for me out of 7 beers I gave her to choose from.

Appearance: little head with decent lacing: Red color. I can see my fingers through the glass. 2.0

Smell: 4.5 toffee and black currents and grapes with caramel. A heavenly delight of a smell

Taste: 2.5 This beer is incredibly sweet. Loads of candy sugar in this, I am sure. Belgian sugar candy with black currant. Back round is of toffee and caramel. This beer has crazy sweetness It’s very cloying. I am smacking my lips because of the sweetness. It is tart and sweet. Some balancing sourness comes out as the beer warms. This could become well rounded if they put less candy sugar in this beer.

Mouthfeel: 2.0This beer is undercarbonated and makes my lips smack. The overly sugariness of the beer does not make for a good mouthfeel.

Drinkability: 2.5 I could drink this beer fast because it is so sweet, but it wouldn't make for that enjoyable og an expriece.

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Photo of Mistofminn
2.9/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Found this bottle in a 6 pack Belgian sampler in my parents fridge. Its strange enough that beer is found in my dads fridge, let alone this type of beer. He says it's from a patient.

25 cl bottle with 02-09-11 stamped on back.

Pours a nice burgundy red color into a pint glass. A solid one finger white cap sits atop the beer, with excellent retention but only leaves a little bit of lacing behind.

The nose is sour and acidic, very vinegar like. I get a little bit of sour cherries in the finish and only the slightest sweetness.

The taste is shocking. Forget sour, this thing is sweeet, cloyingly so. Still slightly acidic up front, but that soon gives way to the syrupy sweetness that is Duchesse. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a full spoonful of sugar in every ounce of this. Maybe I got a bad bottle or something, but this is incredibly and unflatteringly sweet.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly light. For something so sweet and described above as "syrupy" you would think it would be thicker but it isn't. Starts acidic and sharp but finishes smooth.

Drinkability definitely takes a hit because of the cloying sweetness. There isn't a way around it.

Overall, kind of disappointed with this one. I have a feeling that this might be a bad bottle, but if all others are like this, this definitely is not a good representation of the style.

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Photo of kgotcher
2.91/5  rDev -29%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a murky dark amber color with a thin tan head.

Aroma is seriously funky, very dark and heavy with a port character to it.

Taste is very sweet and tart. Sour cherry fruityness is abundant, with little actual taste of beer. Strong carbonation. There is a wierd earthyness flavor also probably a blend of the oak and some wild fermentation.

Frankly I don't get this beer, maybe just the style since I am not familiar with it, reminds me of a lambic with the high sweetness factor.

I don't think I will be trying this again soon.

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Photo of JDV
2.92/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dark, deep reddish brown pour that lets some light through. Smell is kind of a funky, sour cherry and wine like aroma without a strong offputting vinegar scent. Gooey band-aid-y aroma that I don't care for, though. If that were in a regular beer it would be called infected. If it's in a Sour Ale, its pleasant?? Flavor is sweeter and less sour than expected. Fairly sweet up front, but finishing dry with a bubbly champagne like body and flavors that are reminiscent of cherry, grape and cranberries. A bit hard to describe as its only my 1st or 2nd sour ale. All in all, not a bad experience and a unique beer that is like a funky fruit soda. I would have to get used to that odd smell though, to really enjoy this beer again.

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Photo of jackndan
2.96/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Duchesse de Bourgogne: a reddish beer sitting under an initially thick off-white head. Great, thick lacing all the way down the side of the glass. Aroma is very sweet with hints of cherries. The taste is very remarkable: mixed sweet and sour that is almost candy like, unfortunately there is an unmistakable vinegar taste/aroma that is present throughout. The taste is very intense, and complex. Before I forget, the aftertaste is dry, and leaves almost a cabernet impression. Some sharp alcohol sensations as well. Overall, the sweetness kills this brew for me, but I’d give it too a wine drinker to show them what they are missing.

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Photo of kbutler1
2.96/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On draft. Short review as I am at the bar and in a rush. Sour fruit aromas. Acidic taste. Notes of nail polish remover and acetone. The acetone mixed with the sweetness of this beer really is a turn off to me. Reddish color with a tan head. Not terribly good but ok for the style. Light/medium mouthfeel.

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Photo of Lunch
2.96/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Served from a 750ml bottle purchased by a friend at The Village Pump in College Park, MD into two Three Philosophers' goblets at a seemingly appropriate temperature (01/15/10). After a several year hiatus from the Old Flanders Red, we decided to give it another go.

A: Pours a slightly syrupy hazy mahogany with ruby hues capped with a slight off-white which dissolved to a collar leaving unremarkable lace.

S: Rather potent aroma of red wine vinegar and some dark red fruits as well as well. Not really my cup of tea, but not nearly a vinegary as I remembered.

T: I must say that I really tried to give this beer a chance, but it is not really doing much for me. The vinegar taste certainly in not as strong as the aroma and there are some nice dark red fruit tones, but the tartness is a bit much for me. I appreciate the complexity and craftsmanship of this ale, but not my sort of flavor profile.

M: Medium-bodied with low and sightly creamy carbonation. There is a slight sticky feel and syrupy feel.

D: Sours at this point are just not my thing. Perhaps this will change in the future.

Overall this was quite an experience and I am glad that I revisited this style, but still not really a fan. Thanks hyempdaddy for picking this one up. Recommended to fans of the style and worth a look to those that are intrigued by sours.

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Photo of beerfairy
2.96/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Very nice foam presence, a copper-ish brown color

S - Vinegar and diacytel with hits of prune

T - Sweet vinegar and prune tastes

I'm not sure if I got a good bottle of this one, will have to try again, but it's expensive. It was from a 750ml bottle.

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Photo of cokes
2.98/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Cherried dark amber with a modest and slow-to-fade brown head.
Nose of raspberry vinaigrette, oak, and sugared red grapes.
Sweet and sour truly defines this. Like the sauce. You could dip chicken nuggets in this (actually, it's much more akin to German Sauerbraten in flavor, as opposed to McD's).
Alternatively, you could toss it on your salad, with it's screaming vinaigrette flavors.
This vinegar flavor is countered with brown sugar and cola syrup. Fruit notations too, caramelized plums, raspberries and cherries are foremost, but this seems to shift its shape enough for any number of fruit hues to be located. More brown sugar and cola midway. Tartness fades, and some light funk is introduced. Spoiling cream cheese, oak barrels, and perspiration. Ends with a crack of cinnamon and some lingering, sticky sweetness.
Light bodied and fizzy, yet a bit gooey as well.
There's a good deal that I like here, but it fails to coalesce into an enjoyable beverage. It's actually the sweetness here, rather than the sourness, that makes me wince.

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Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
92 out of 100 based on 1,442 ratings.