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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

2,649 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2649
Reviews: 1319
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 13.98%


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)
View: Beers (12) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 2,649 | Reviews: 1,319 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of maximum12
maximum12

Minnesota

4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Have heard a few songs of praise from the raised voices of local BAs about the Duchesse, so when I found myself at the Lowertown Bulldog for lunch, it seemed a good time to introduce myself. Good afternoon, Duchesse.

Amberish pour with little to no evident carbonation, she just lay there flat & still. Smell was sharp, tangy.

My taste buds shouted in surprise when the Duchesses arrived; I was expecting a sour blast, but instead she came with tartness, & a clean feel of sparkling grape juice (which I've always loved!). The expected sourness was nowhere to be found, only a Bottle Cap-like sweetness mixed in with the tart grape/cherry/fruits. A second sip confirmed all of this & more, & I was happy. The wife took a sip & was sad she didn't have a glass, too.

Drinkability? Damn straight. Down like kiddee Kool-Aid. My mouth might pucker up in protest after two, but it'd be worth it.

This is nothing at all like the only other Flanders Red I tried, but an excellent beer that could easily be utilized as a gateway to craft or Belgians. Duchesse, I bow to you, & hope we meet again.

Serving type: on-tap

04-18-2009 23:21:53 | More by maximum12
Photo of Bcaulin
Bcaulin

New Jersey

4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Recently had on tap at the Ginger Man. Served in a 12 oz. snifter. Deep reddish brown in color. Very little head on the pour, and little lacing.

Not as strong a nose as I had expected -- Was expecting more fruit, but smelled mostly just sour and not particularly strong. The taste more than made up for that. Big slap of sour on the tongue right from the first sip.

Incredibly easy to drink considering how sour it is. Loads of fruit flavor and that great sour bite. Highly recommend.

Serving type: on-tap

04-17-2009 02:23:01 | More by Bcaulin
Photo of ironarrow42
ironarrow42

Ohio

4.9/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pure joy finding this on tap! It was served in the appropriate stemware and appeared deep red with slight cloudiness and a dense off-white head. The aroma was tart, fruity, and quite appetizing, with a hint of balsamic vinegar.

Very fine carboination tingle on the tongue. The head adds some creamy texture to the mouthfeel. Lots of tart fruit with a sour lactic character. Notes of cherry and gooseberry. Great apperitif; refreshing and drinkable. Went great with a salad of spring greens and grape tomatoes with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

Left some nice Belgian lace on the glass.

Serving type: on-tap

03-11-2009 03:29:16 | More by ironarrow42
Photo of beeronesse
beeronesse

Wisconsin

4.78/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Couple of 5s here because I truly believe this beer cannot be improved.

On tap, in a Belgian goblet.

Deep Burgundian red in color, with minimal head and thin lacy retention.

Aroma promised sour cherries, apples, malt, raisins perhaps?

In the mouth: exceptional! Deep and powerfully complex. Sour cherries, apples, a little salt, satisfying sweet-sour balance. Very malty and rich, a little vanilla and butter and white pepper. Not very high in alcohol which is great because I wanted to drink this all night long!

Serving type: on-tap

03-06-2009 21:38:16 | More by beeronesse
Photo of charlzm
charlzm

California

4.11/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Consumed ay Blue Palms, Hollywood, CA on 03/04/2009.

Beer arrived in a stemless flute. Deep amber/copper colored fluid with no discernable carbonation or head.

Bold vinegar aroma with nuances of sweetness. For me, this is the only thing off about this fine brew.

Flavor is exceedingly tart. Grape vinegar is a note, but the main flavor seems to be sour cherries. Cheese on the palate as well. Finish is decisive, non lingering. No-to-low bitterness.

Mouthfeel is unremarkable save for a touch of dryness.

Although I prefer Rodenbach Grand Cru in this style, my appreciation for this beer has grown over the years.

Serving type: on-tap

03-05-2009 17:42:17 | More by charlzm
Photo of Pullen
Pullen

Georgia

5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at the Brickstore Pub last night, served in a Duchesse Chalice...

- Ruby color, nice head that dissipated in minutes.

- Smelled of cherries, vanilla, fresh sliced apples, and ripe soft plums.

- Taste? This beer is heavenly!!!! Perfect in every way....Cherry flavor, but soft to the pallet. I'd think this was aged in oak given the vanilla subtleties.

Mouthfeel - Soft velvety. Nothing harsh about this at all.

Drinkability - I swear we (3 of us) order 8 or 9 of these in between all the other beers we had at the BSP. Does that say enough?

Overall - This would be a perfect introduction to flander Red style and to craft beer in general.. I met up with a female friend of mine who gasp at beer because all she knew was BMC. After having this beer, and a few others... her mind has been changed...permanently!

Awesome beer! Cheers!

Serving type: on-tap

03-01-2009 13:58:23 | More by Pullen
Photo of currysage1
currysage1

Maine

4.75/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Creamy off white head, sticks to the end, Pinot Noir light red color.

Great smell of sweet apple cider vinegar, gala apples, Sweet medium malt,

Talk about enjoyable, creamy satisfying and complex. Being one of the first Flanders I've had, I have to say I'm impressed. Going to be looking for others.

Serving type: on-tap

03-01-2009 07:22:40 | More by currysage1
Photo of Yetiman420
Yetiman420

Ohio

4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On draft in a wide-mouth Duchesse De Bourgogne wine glass.

Shiny copper color that turns the lights behind it red. Very impressive in a bar with lots of lights.

Thin, consistent head that leaves random gops of lacing.

Tart aroma. Flavor is consistently as stong as aroma - interesting dynamic that in profile similarity.

Great mouthfeel. Sweet, flavorful finish but not too much.

Serving type: on-tap

02-20-2009 23:29:48 | More by Yetiman420
Photo of ThirdLap
ThirdLap

California

4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

So it turns out that I was wrong.

I tried Duchesse in my early craft beer days and found it to be utterly revolting. Perhaps it was due to a bad bottle I picked up, but I'm more inclined to blame it on an undeveloped palate. Yesterday I tried it on-tap at Sacramento Brewing and realized what I'd been missing out on.

Get this: A non-beer-drinker in our party declared it her favorite beer of all time, ordering two additional glasses for herself.

A - Pours a light cherry brown with a light, dirty tan head. Lots of lacing remains after the head dissipates nearly completely.

S - You know that it's going to be tart before even taking a sip. As a beginner I got vinegar and little else. This time I pick up dark cherries, vanilla, with a nutty backbone. You will recall this beer by its nose more than anything else.

T - To cut to the chase, absolutely delicious. It's creamy, sweet, tart, with cherries, vanilla, and dark berries. The vinegar is present, but doesn't ruin the experience.

M - Medium bodied, crisp, with lots of carbonation.

D - A sipper, but one you want to sip all damn day.

Never in a million years did I think I'd say it, but I love Duchesse!

Serving type: on-tap

02-18-2009 07:06:03 | More by ThirdLap
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at the Lucky Baldwins 10th Annual Belgian fest on 2/15/09.

Pours a dark hazy red. Medium lacing, low retention, white head.

Aroma is of sweet and sour cherries, a touch of vinegar, and crystal malts.

Flavor is of sour cherries, a little vinegar, red ale, and possibly some lactic acid. Tart and sweet. Not real complex but very nice. Medium bitternes.

Medium body, very drinkable and enjoyable.

Serving type: on-tap

02-16-2009 22:04:57 | More by t0rin0
Photo of IRONRakkasan
IRONRakkasan

California

4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had never had a Flanders Red Ale until this one, and I loved it!

The head was almost non-existent, while the color was of a dark brown/amber color.

I caught the aroma of a sweet wine doing a happy dance with some apples.

I didn't know what to expect, and found myself thinking I was drinking a barely malted cider with no hops to speak of. The Duchesse finished with a nice sour apple taste.

The first impression I got, especially how it hit the tongue, was that it had a much higher alcohol content then it did.

I really enjoyed this style of beer, and look forward to some...further research in this subject matter.

I would definitely recommend this brew to anyone. Much fun!

Serving type: on-tap

02-07-2009 12:50:01 | More by IRONRakkasan
Photo of beertunes
beertunes

Washington

4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served in a Chalice. Thin light tan head that dissipates quickly. A quite lovely deep brown with a reddish tint. Strong vinegar aroma. Flavor has the vinegar, but not as noticeably as the aroma. That musky, deep flavor is quite enjoyable. A sharp, wine like taste. I'm having trouble finding descriptors that fit the taste of this beer. The body is solid if a little thin. Very drinkable, if these flavors fit you. I enjoy this beer a lot, even though I have a difficult time describing it.

Serving type: on-tap

02-06-2009 14:36:16 | More by beertunes
Photo of Azumel
Azumel

Florida

2.05/5  rDev -50.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I realize that many people like this beer, but even after fighting through the soy sauce/mustard smell, I couldn't drink it. The strange sweet and sour taste along with the smell was a bit too much for me. Perhaps I'll try it again someday with better results. It's a pretty unique flavor for a beer, but one that I did not enjoy in any way.

Serving type: on-tap

02-01-2009 17:52:34 | More by Azumel
Photo of Rayek
Rayek

Colorado

4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Cheeky Monk in Denver, CO. Served in a Duchesse De Bourgogne glass.

A: Deep ruby color with a small cream colored head. Clarity is very good. Head retention is only fair. Leaves a heavy lace behind.

S: All I can think of is red wine when I smell this. Heavy on the dark fruits, plus a light pepper bite and a slight sourness that keeps the fruit aromas from being too sweet. Extremely complex.

T: The complexity of the nose transitions perfectly into the flavor. Tart grapes, cherries and cranberries dominate. Balance is created more by sourness than the peppery hop bitterness. Balance is great. Finishes somewhat dry, with lingering dark fruit flavors.

M: Medium body feels substantial in the mouth and has the right amount of carbonation.

D: This was easily my favorite beer at the Monk. A good sipping beer that I wish was served in a larger glass. Almost frighteningly good to my pallet. Well worth a revisit.

Serving type: on-tap

01-27-2009 17:16:14 | More by Rayek
Photo of cdrummer
cdrummer

Virginia

3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Beer Run, Charlottesville, VA in a 10 oz snifter

A: Deep depths of reddish brown and copper with a bone colored lacing head of foam.

S: I'm hit in the face by sourness (in a good way) in the form of vinegar, apple, lemon drop candy, raspberries, cranberries and a slight meatiness.

T & M: There is an endless supply of bubbles that disperse the sourness across the tongue. It's quite dense and syrupy, but still very refreshing, fruity and crisp. The overall taste is quite sour, focused on such flavors as were in the nose - those of tart cranberries and raspberries. While at first the sourness was overwhelming, as it warmed it turned into a pleasant port like quality, especially in the finish as the carbonation became more subdued.

D: Honestly, this took a while to drink, and I like dense beers... I think this is for one who enjoys a rich fruity brew more-so than I.

No kidding, I thought this was a lambic, but upon inquiry came to find that the sourness actually comes from the aging in oak casks - no lambic at all. Well done!

Serving type: on-tap

01-22-2009 01:49:40 | More by cdrummer
Photo of lhaqq
lhaqq

California

4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep clear mahogany body and a coat of off-white bubbles circling the edges.
S: Predominant smell is just like a sour apple Blow Pop. Sour cherries and some hay.
T: Granny delicious apples begin. Cherries and some earthy flavors. Finishes with a cherry-pit bitterness.
M: Clean but really sticky.
D: Served in a 10oz goblet; good but wouldn't have too many.

Serving type: on-tap

01-08-2009 07:30:48 | More by lhaqq
Photo of deliriumfest
deliriumfest

Minnesota

4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Consumed on 1/5/09

Served on Tap at the Town Hall Brewery in Minneapolis. Poured a very clear red/brown color with a small white head that faded quickly. Aroma was sour and funky with dried fruit. Taste was similar to the aroma but tart and had an oak flavor as well. Finish was very dry and the tart flavor slowly dissipated over time. Mouthfeel was sticky and carbonation was low. Overall, a great beer for a first review and good representation of the style.

Serving type: on-tap

01-06-2009 17:41:32 | More by deliriumfest
Photo of albern
albern

Massachusetts

3.15/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer was given my highest rating when I sampled it again and again in the bottle. I had this for the first time on-tap, and it was a big disappointment. I'm not ready to pan the beer in this review, just significantly deduct points. What makes Duchesse so fantastic in the bottle is a rainbow of flavors and its incredible complexity. There are sweet and sours, and cherry and sherry flavors all blending and dancing about. Each sip is an experience and the tastes just dazzle and insinuate themselves and change with each sip as the beer warms and settles.

Duchesse on tap is much more uniform, much more sour, and just does not have that complex range of flavors. I found the beer to be a bit vinegary, overly sour, less carbonated than in the bottle, and just a downer. I wouldnt go back to this on tap again, knowing what is in store in the bottle version.

Serving type: on-tap

01-04-2009 17:19:59 | More by albern
Photo of jpiper
jpiper

Ohio

4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught at Buckeye Beer Engine.

Amber-brown with a nice finger and a half pillowy head which turns into a thin lace.

Prunes and dates and raisins, oh my. Lots of delicious sweet dried fruit.

Taste is more of the same. Tons of sweet fruits plus a mild
tartness. A coppery taste in the middle, but the finish is pleasant with more of the sweet fruits, minor amounts of breast yeast, and some acidity. Some richer roasted flavors also come out in the finish. Further in to the glass, as I become accustomed to the forward flavors, I get some chocolate at the beginning as well.

Very dry finish. Nice and clean.

This is pretty drinkable save for the coppery middle palate, which dissipates further into the beer.

Serving type: on-tap

12-28-2008 17:50:20 | More by jpiper
Photo of onecrazybreeze
onecrazybreeze

Colorado

4.65/5  rDev +12%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-26-2008 10:37:26 | More by onecrazybreeze
Photo of tempest
tempest

Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Farmhouse in Emmaus, PA. Served, post-dinner, in a large wine glass, murky brown with no head. This beer reminds me of Goudenband. The beer menu described this as having chocolate-covered raisin flavors, and I think that's a bit of a stretch. Certainly, there is a pairing of sweet candy and sour flavors, and I can find raisins in here, but no chocolate. This beer is not that much of a dessert beer. For it's creamy mix of flavor (which also includes salad vinaigrette) it's not an incredibly drinkable beer, but it is a semi-approachable sour ale that drinks a bit like a thick hard cider. Not my favorite, but a beer to try if you're into the wild styles.

Serving type: on-tap

12-21-2008 13:07:40 | More by tempest
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at the Brick Store in Atlanta.

Pours a clear dark ruby color with a one-finger off-white head with a rose tint. The head sticks around for quite a while before receding into a thin layer on top and a thick ring around the glass. Lacing is pretty heavy.

Smells sweet and sour, mostly cherries with some sour apple mingling in there as well.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Equal parts of sweet and sour flavors up front, again mostly cherries, that has a slightly tart ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's very light and the carbonation makes it almost airy. Very nice.

Drinkability is good. It's not the most flavorful Flanders Red that I've had but it's solid.

Overall I enjoyed this one. The mouthfeel makes it very light and refreshing. Give this one a shot if you see it around.

Serving type: on-tap

11-15-2008 16:14:53 | More by glid02
Photo of PhillyStyle
PhillyStyle

Georgia

4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at the Brick Store Pub in a .25ml wine glass:

A: The beer was a really nice deep red with the thickest, longest lasting off-white head that I have ever witnessed. I tried to wait it out, but it was going to be a futile effort.

S: The aroma was certainly cheery and possibly some other fruit that made it both sweet and sour at the same time. maybe tart cherries. Very complex.

T: Cherries are prominent and you get that very nice sweet and sour combination. Definitely unlike any beer that I have had before.

M: The beer was very smooth and creamy, low carbonation and very easy to drink, but would I want to drink another right afterward, probably not, but would I drink again, without a doubt.

Serving type: on-tap

11-11-2008 22:28:49 | More by PhillyStyle
Photo of Carnage0070
Carnage0070

Colorado

4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap at the Cheeky Monk, Colorado.

A - Nice 1 1/2 finger head with a deep red/brown color when held up to the light.

S - Aroma of sweet and sour fruit/cherry.

T - Medium body that finishes with kind of a scotchish/nutty flavor. The sweet and sour stay on your palate long after you finish.

D - Could have had a couple more glasses of the Duchesse! Goes down great and the flavors are outstanding!

Serving type: on-tap

11-09-2008 16:48:16 | More by Carnage0070
Photo of keoki182
keoki182

Wisconsin

4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Madison WI's Malt House. Ruddy brown color. Vinegar aroma. Wonderfully complex sweet/sour balance in flavor with some mild cherry fruitiness. With a very basic understanding of the fine range of Belgian beers, I asked for something sour out of curiosity. I've seen beer lovers go ga-ga over sour ales, and I had to know what this was about. The aroma threw me off quite a bit, the strong astringency was very off-putting and made me afraid that I might be in over my head. The flavor though was quite a redemption. Duchesse had an interesting tartness that worked nicely with the understated malt notes and cherry. Really easy to drink, and unique enough that I would have a few glasses without getting bored. I'm looking forward to more ales like this one in my future!

Serving type: on-tap

11-09-2008 04:00:25 | More by keoki182
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 2,649 ratings.