Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,417 Reviews
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,417
Hads: 3,762
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 13.48%
Wants: 188
Gots: 636 | FT: 12
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Verhaeghe visit their website
Belgium

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: 1,417 | Hads: 3,762
Photo of JLSIV
2.75/5  rDev -32.6%

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. (308 characters)

Photo of PapaEugene
2.78/5  rDev -31.9%
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.

Appearance

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

Smell

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.

Taste

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.

Mouthfeel

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

Drinkability

Well, I will not try this beer again. Too bad, as I really liked the taste. The smell spoils it all. (805 characters)

Photo of davidchollar
2.78/5  rDev -31.9%
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. (1,311 characters)

Photo of WetCoaster
2.85/5  rDev -30.1%
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. (1,067 characters)

Photo of BoozySmurf
2.88/5  rDev -29.4%
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! (1,028 characters)

Photo of 0110x011
2.88/5  rDev -29.4%
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. (709 characters)

Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
2.9/5  rDev -28.9%
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. (536 characters)

Photo of jasonjlewis
2.9/5  rDev -28.9%
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. (1,001 characters)

Photo of Mistofminn
2.9/5  rDev -28.9%
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. (1,350 characters)

Photo of kgotcher
2.91/5  rDev -28.7%
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. (546 characters)

Photo of JDV
2.92/5  rDev -28.4%
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. (728 characters)

Photo of jackndan
2.96/5  rDev -27.5%
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. (639 characters)

Photo of kbutler1
2.96/5  rDev -27.5%
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. (304 characters)

Photo of Lunch
2.96/5  rDev -27.5%
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. (1,338 characters)

Photo of beerfairy
2.96/5  rDev -27.5%
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. (257 characters)

Photo of cokes
2.98/5  rDev -27%
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. (1,053 characters)

Photo of Dspohn
2.98/5  rDev -27%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

11.2 oz poured into an oversized wine glass.

A. Pours a very dark ruby/brown but has some excellent red highlights. A little dark for me considering the style but it does have some nice lacing.

S. Sweet and sour vinegar aspects, has a nice balance. Not quite the sour punch I was hoping for but there is definitely sour cherry/red fruit smell present that I would expect. A little muted but it smells pretty good.

T. Damn. The taste brings the flaw that I was hoping to avoid from the smell. Sweet and sour but the sweetness wins out in the taste. Unfortunately I find the sweetness to be of a balsamic vinegar nature as opposed to dark red fruits, which would be more pleasing. Not enough tart cherry or acidity or drying characteristics to balance it out sufficiently.

M&D. Nice light mouthfeel, not too syrupy or anything but becomes a chore to drink after awhile for me. Would be a great introduction to those looking to explore beers with more sour qualities without being overwhelmed. Dont think I'll be buying much more of this however, a decent offering but when I'm looking for a flanders red ale I'd rather spend my money on some others over this one. (Rodenbachs and La Folie come to mind...) (1,207 characters)

Photo of benfons
2.98/5  rDev -27%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

A: cola colour, small dark beige head

S: sweet vinegar, hints of cherry

T: sweet cherries, slightly murky, too sweet for my taste

M: medium body, sticky, good carbonation

O: by far my least favourite Flemish red, way too sweet, nothing refreshing, very little balancer, just sweet cherries (293 characters)

Photo of Rudgers73
3/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Poured from a 330 mL bottle into a short chalice. I bought this bottle because it was Belgian and I tend to like Belgians. I poured it and it looked like a nice BSDA with a deep brown-red color, tan head that stuck around, and a touch of carbonation. It smells buttery at first with a sweet smell I have never smelled before. Almost like banana and really young pears. I took a taste and it was not what I expected at all. A wild, tart, rich flood of apples, grapes, and walnuts (maybe from the oak). Until I looked at BA.com I didn't know I had stumbled into my first Flanders Red Ale. The mouthfeel was tart and dry, with sharp sticky-sweet notes. Very crisp and clean. I think I would have liked this more if I knew that it was a Flanders. I went into it expecting a deep, round, caramel taste. For now I think FRA's are a bit too tart for my taste as I am currently swinging from belgian darks to american IPA's. Too much for the time being, but maybe I'll return and buy a few in a few months. (998 characters)

Photo of Gaisgeil
3/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Hm, reading the other reviews really makes me wonder if something was wrong with my particular bottle...

Poured a beautiful deep red with a thin lace of a head. Nose was very intriguing, notes of apple peel, grains, very fragrant. The taste followed a similar vein only to be taken by an intense sourness, not unbearable, but not particularly pleasent either.

I'll have to revisit this brew another time, I seem to be the only one with this experience. (458 characters)

Photo of bs870621345
3/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep amber/red/ruby color with minimal head. Little bit of lacing down the glass.

Smells of plums, raisons, red wine (port), and light lactic sourness.

Taste follows smell, plums and raisons, and finishes with a funky sourness. I love sour beers, but this is just off putting in the worst kind of way.

Mouthfeel is moderate with low carbonation

Overall, it tastes pretty bad, but nothing else is overly off putting, Get a Rodenbach instead. (453 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.03/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Was fairly excited the first time I tried this, heard it was one of the all time classics. Poured equal parts light brown and dull red with a little bit of head formation. Aroma was a heavy wood and proportional sweet and sour.

Taste, the sour was very minimal was my first reaction, the sweet a little more than ideal for me, to say the least, and any degree of soggy wood, much less to that extent wasn't built to leave me all that impressed. Some flanders just don't have that acidic or fruity bite, and this be one of those. Decently covers up the alcohol, but doesn't impart really any appreciable tartness. Not enough carbonation. If anything I'd say I pull out some cocoa powder and toffee over flavors more often associated with something sour.

If there was fruit, it was that raisin and plum thing, as if it were made with tea. Sorry, I just don't see what the fuss about this one is. (895 characters)

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.03/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Duchesse- Flanders Red Ale

Appearance- Blood red with no head.
Smell- Strong white vinegar with sour cherries.
Taste- Sour cherry and grape with a backbine of malt vinegar.
Mouthfeel- Sour up front with a dry/ sweet malt vinegar finish.

Overall- A beer that went exceptional well with my salty fries. (309 characters)

Photo of charlesw
3.03/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Very pretty... Deep burgundy/amber. Plenty clear while being (sigh) plenty opaque. You with me? Medium-height, dark head of really tight bubbles. Still have a full cover of head after 5 minutes (wow).
Smells like a walk in the woods on a nice fall day. Sweet and musky... Huge sweet raisin nose with plenty of caramel malts in there, too...
Very fruity in the mouth. Sweetened sour cherries, hints of that caramel. Medicinal in the back of the mouth and followed by a sour aftertaste that lingers several minutes. It's very interesting how it changes in your mouth - each of the first 10 seconds gives a new wave of something completely different.
Very crisp and clean in the mouth - perhaps medium in body but with a high level of carbonation - even a bit fizzy.
So... Drinkable? Well, yeah. Say the day is hot and you want something refreshing to cleanse your palate... Yeah, this would do the trick perfectly. It's not well adapted for drinking right now - it's 15F out with 30mph winds!

And, uh, well. I won't be able to finish the (750ml) bottle. It's just too... (1,075 characters)

Photo of Dogbrick
3.03/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I am still a little new to Flemish Sour Ales, Rodenbach Alexander being the only other one I have tried so far. From what I understand both are good examples of the style. That being the case I am fairly certain this is not a style I am a big fan of. Pours a dark amber/brown with a thick multi-colored head (beige with light brown splotches), with thin lacing. Aroma is alternatingly fruity and sour. The flavor actually reminded me of some Ohio Buckeye Brown that I tried not too long ago that had gone way past the "best by" date. Tart and vinegary flavor is tangy throughout. The finish is like an oaky Merlot. I was able to drink most of this in small doses, but I just can't appreciate the style. (702 characters)

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
91 out of 100 based on 1,417 ratings.