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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

2,645 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2645
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: 2,645 | Reviews: 1,319 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of akahn
akahn

Massachusetts

4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was very exciting to me because it was one of those beers that just tasted different from everything I'd had before. A nice red color (more red than amber) with a curious nose. This beer tastes like candy! Potent sourness, but with more than enough sweetness to round it out. A very interesting beer and an interesting style. Seems like it would make a good dessert beer.

Serving type: on-tap

07-02-2007 03:01:40 | More by akahn
Photo of NJpadreFan
NJpadreFan

New Jersey

3.03/5  rDev -27%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-20-2007 19:03:21 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of ski271
ski271

Pennsylvania

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

On tap at Zeno’s in State College. Ruddy amber with a very small, off-white, foamy head. Vinous, medicinal, sweet smell with alcohol and tawny port-like aromas. Tastes is of sour fruit (most notably cherry) over a light malt backbone. It has a medium body and a slick texture. Flanders aren’t my thing, but going by style this one was pretty damn good! Definitely worth a try.

Serving type: on-tap

05-20-2007 17:17:25 | More by ski271
Photo of pittvkyle7
pittvkyle7

Connecticut

4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very dark with a good white head. The color becomes much more red when the light hits it, but looks black in the shade.

Smells sweet and berry like, alcohol present too.

wow big sweet cherry taste with some vinegar like grape to it. very tart with no bitterness. Has a great white wine taste to it. I wish I had some food to pair it with.

good drinkability, left you wanting more, the low carbonation really made it feel like you were drinking wine.

Serving type: on-tap

05-13-2007 20:51:58 | More by pittvkyle7
Photo of icemonkey908
icemonkey908

Minnesota

3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap as a guest beer from town hall. Served in a 10oz glass. A very dark beer that reveals dark red undertones when help to the light. Very clear.

The smell is very strong. A strong cherry scent is evident along with an overall sweet aroma. The flavor is also very strong of cherry with some mild tartness. This beer is very sweet and very tingly on the tongue An interesting combination for sure.

Overall, this beer is a little sweet for my tastes so that detracts from the drinkability, but the distinct flavor and intriguing aroma are qualities that are hard to ignore. Not an everyday beer, but definitely one to try from time to time.

Serving type: on-tap

05-05-2007 05:32:51 | More by icemonkey908
Photo of jbsteiny
jbsteiny

Hawaii

4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was intrigued by the “Flemish Red” on the menu at The Blind Tiger, and this beer blew me away. Looked almost like a hazy glass of port – a beautiful dark ruby color – but for the slight head – less than 1 cm of white sparse foam which laced nicely down the sides of the tulip glass. My entire table insisted that it smelled of vinegar, and it’s true that the primary note in the nose was basalmic red wine vinegar, but I also got Granny Smith and sherry. (My buddy Zack kept saying, “Yeah, but it’s a beer that smells like a salad.”)

Unbelievable complexity. I had no idea what the ABV was, but I was sure of two things: I could drink this all night, and if I did, I wouldn’t make it to work the next day. Tart & tannic, the Burgundy Duchess took me on a rollercoaster of taste starring sweet and sour red fruit. I don’t know what else exactly, but there was an earthiness and a floral element to boot. Again, I was blown away. A dry finish to what could have been a pucker-inducing glass, as well as an alcohol content masked by the sourness, only add to its high marks. Not something I would drink every night (or would I?), but an amazing treat for when I’ve been good.

Serving type: on-tap

04-27-2007 00:55:23 | More by jbsteiny
Photo of Illini5596
Illini5596

Illinois

3.73/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Excellent beer, strong fruit flavors, almost grape like, with a spicyness and definite effervescent feel. The taste is a nice mix of tart and smooth, with a sharpness in the aftertaste. While I really love this beer, it isn't one I'd have every day, or even every month. It has a bit of a thick and sticky mouthfeel, and isn't as drinkable as I would like, when compared to the excellent taste.

A good one to try and have on rare occasions.

Serving type: on-tap

04-06-2007 19:06:34 | More by Illini5596
Photo of mjc410
mjc410

Vermont

3.68/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass at Pizzeria Paradiso in Georgetown, Washington, DC. This brew left very sticky, lasting lacing, despite having only a thin ring of bubbles comprising its head. The bubbles were light tan, and the body was a translucent ruby-brown. The nose was led by grapes, then cherries, a touch of vinegar, and pepper. Very nice! The taste wsa quite similar, and pretty dry, and quality overall, but with a bit too much acidity. The body was medium-light, with also a light but tingly carbonation. A bit harsh, but still enjoyable.

Serving type: on-tap

04-02-2007 15:16:35 | More by mjc410
Photo of kernalklink
kernalklink

Arizona

3.75/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

My first experience in the flemish art of brewing- new and exciting. Brew poured a deep dark mahogany, with a slighlty effervescent head. Aromas were strong on malts- sweet molasses, somewhat yeasty finish with an almost vine-like quality. Taste was big- my mouth puckered as the big sweetness was replaced by dry sourness. A combination of dried raisens, cherries and aged balsamic. Tingling carbonation allowed the earthy woodiness to come through and beat down the sourness somewhat. Heavy bodied in my opinion, it had the qualities of a good port with a sour kick. I had to sip this one, as my palate was overwhelmed. A must-try, but i expect it would take a more refined palate to make this one a go to brew.

Serving type: on-tap

03-30-2007 18:13:39 | More by kernalklink
Photo of ColoradoBobs
ColoradoBobs

Colorado

4.95/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at the Falling Rock Tap House, Denver, CO, March 16, 2007, served in a lovely brandy-snifter sized tulip glass.

Appearance: Minimal head over a dark burgundy body. Pretty. Crimson highlights around the edge. Even though the head is smallish, it lasts and lasts and lasts. A bit of lacing.

Lovely sour-cherry and cardamom smell, with a candy-sugar background. Some sweet maltiness is there as well. Smells great. Hope it tastes this good!

Taste does not disappoint, although it's bit sweeter than the smell. Like a light red sparkling wine, with a malty backbone. Wow. What a delight. Sour, but not mouth-puckering. Delightful cherry notes, with some clove and cardamom. Very complex, and the sweetness advances as the beer warms a bit. Wonderful taste! Not quite a 5.0, but more like a 4.9!

Mouthfeel is surprisingly chewy for a 6.2% beer. Nice tingly carbonation -- makes you want to swirl and chew before swallowing.

Really very drinkable. I was surprised. This is only the second Flanders Red I've had (the first being LaFolie, which was so exceedingly sour it was like vinegar -- way too sour for me!), and I was very pleased. Now that I've had this on tap, I'll be looking for it in the bottle to compare.

Oddly enough, I found the sometimes rotten service at FRTH to be exceptionally cordial and efficient. I was sitting at the bar, and was just finishing a Hercules DIPA (ON CASK!), and asked the guy to recommend something at the opposite end of the spectrum from the Hercules, and he gave me a 3-ounce sample of this, which motivated purchasing a 12 ounce glass. What a great beer!

Serving type: on-tap

03-17-2007 19:52:52 | More by ColoradoBobs
Photo of mrasskicktastic
mrasskicktastic

New Jersey

3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

A - Clear ruby to burgundy color with a sizeable head that leaves thick rings of lacing down the sides of the glass.

S - Sweet raspberry, cherries and candied sugars.

T - Very sweet, like a slightly sour cherry soda, there is a bit of raspberry and light malt. After taste is empty, the flavor just vanishes.

M - High carbonation, harsh like a soda, pretty refreshing.

D - Definitely a good beer, mild pleasant flavor with a substantial depth to it. Worth a try certainly. A good beer to convert those who dislike hops.

Serving type: on-tap

03-16-2007 23:18:15 | More by mrasskicktastic
Photo of bigone4
bigone4

Rhode Island

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

I had this beer on tap at the Belgium beer tasting at Pitchers Pub in Cumberland, RI. They served this brew in a nice goblet making for a great presentation. It poured a deep dark brown ruby color. Nice dense white head with decent lacing left in the glass. The smell is very much of fruit and caramel malt. Especially plum or figs mixed in the back ground. Some tones of malt and grape sourness in the nose as well. Very complex taste, that creates a rolling mosaic of flavor through out the mouth.

This was my first beer from West-Flanders region of Belgium. This Flemish style of brew is quite unique and different. It really had me thinking and focusing on the different flavors I could identify. Nice hints of malt and a dry hop taste very strong hints of fruit. There were many different sour notes throughout the mouth. From the first taste the sour fruit tone is mellow and quite unique. Smooth sour start with a fruity malted taste. The finish was dry and had a slight taste of alcohol. There was an almost spicy flavor hidden in the aftertaste. The sour notes get you right in the back of the mouth.

Learning about the aging process was quite interesting. Some of the oak tannins made there appearance as the beer warmed. I found it to be enjoyable and quite drinkable. Some of its qualities reminded me of a homemade wine. This is a very unique and different beer that is not for everyone. But if you are looking to expand your beer tasting pallet make sure you include this one for a taste.

Serving type: on-tap

01-21-2007 23:37:38 | More by bigone4
Photo of weasbri
weasbri

Virginia

4.72/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Rustico, a fine new restaurant with a beer and wine list that features one page of wines, and about 15 pages of beers. Gotta love that.
Poured into a Chimay glass. The restaurant was dark, so maybe the beer seemed darker than it is, but it was a deep red, close to brown color. The head dissipated somewhat, but left a nice lacing on the sides of the glass.
Wow, the taste. I remember reading about Duchesse, but when I ordered it, I wasn't sure what to expect. What I got was a tarty cherry flavor smacking me on the tongue. I almost had my non-beer drinking wife try some, but then decided to keep it for myself. The tartness is well-balanced by a very sweet fruity flavor, and it only tastes like what most people would call "beer" in the remotest sense.
This is one of those beers you take to your wine snob friends if you want to turn them into beer snobs. Lots going on, and I could drink it for days.

Serving type: on-tap

11-03-2006 12:51:43 | More by weasbri
Photo of Domingo
Domingo

Colorado

4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the Falling Rock.
Arrived a mahogany brown, with reddish notes in the sun (I had it outside).
The smell reminded me a lot of vinegar and really sour citrus. In all honesty, I was almost scared off by the smell. I figured it was going to be like drinking a lambic crossed with some malt vinegar.
The taste on the other hand was REALLY good. It's sweet like brown sugar and berries. A little bit of sourness in the finish, sort of like a citrus flavor. It does have a little vinegar-type flavor, but it's defintiely more along the balsamic lines. Stange how the flavor and smells are almost totally unconnected! That seems to be the hallmark of a good Belgian brew - 2 totally unique flavors.
I could definitely drink more of this brew. Once you get used to the smell and taste being unique entities, this is a terrific brew that you can sip and enjoy. Lots of different flavors going on.
A definite winner.

Serving type: on-tap

09-10-2006 17:04:07 | More by Domingo
Photo of gbarron
gbarron

Georgia

4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Brickstore Pub.

A - served in a nice tulip glass emblazoned with Duchesse de Bourgogne written upon it. Orangish, almost brown, large billowy head of thick bubbles, outstanding head retention and lacing.

S - candy sugar aroma, hints of tangy sourness. Little or no hop aroma. Tons of rich, sweet malty esters and some hints of alcohol.

T - incredible mix of sweet sugary smells and tangy sourness. Lots of fruity esters, dark grapes, plums, over-ripe apples. Great balance with tart sourness, but not overwhelming. Sweet and sour. Little hop presence.

M - medium to light bodied, a little fluffy. Carbonation is average. Slightly sweet finish.

D - great, great beer. Perfect balance of sweet and sour and bittnerness. One of the best sour Flanders ales I've ever had.

Serving type: on-tap

08-28-2006 01:07:45 | More by gbarron
Photo of RedDiamond
RedDiamond

Oregon

4.78/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed a stemmed wine glass of this West Flanders classic at a place called Heads Up Brewing in Silverdale, Washington. I thought perhaps this was a house beer as Heads Up is a BOP and all of their house beers are clones of popular beers from around the world. I should have known from the first sip that this was not a clone. This was the real thing.

The presentation was elegant with a saffron body sporting a tan head and clinging lace. The aroma swirled like a symphony of tart fruits and orange peel. The taste was also very fruity – almost like a fruit cola – with elements of orange, black cherry and huckleberry. It is sharply acidic and plainly tinged with some non-sacch- yeast and/or bacteria. This carries the initial sweetness towards a zesty resolve of biting acidic fruitiness.

Oak barrel aged and blended from young and old batches. This is a prince among ales – an absolute noble pedigree. And it drinks like fine wine.

Serving type: on-tap

08-27-2006 03:43:10 | More by RedDiamond
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
DarkerTheBetter

Pennsylvania

4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I found this on-tap at McMenamin’s in Philly.

This beer pours a murky root beer and gold color, but when held to the light, it reveals a glowing cherry. The head is a thin film of slightly tan.

Smells of musky sour cherries and a dry, crisp red wine.

The flavor is similar with a similar musky sour cherry with a light creamy wheat in the background. There’s also a little orange and lime here too.

The mouth feel is light to medium bodied with a very active carbonation.

I’m just a sucker for this style, so I loved it. A little heavy feeling, but delicious!

Serving type: on-tap

07-25-2006 16:21:50 | More by DarkerTheBetter
Photo of MuddyFeet
MuddyFeet

North Carolina

3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Sunset Bar & Grill with my lunch on June 11, 2006.

Poured a dark brown in color that was slightly translucent. Essentially flat in appearance. Nose was sour grapes and cherries. Very nice and fruity sweet.

Flavor was more of the aroma but with a sweeter tinge. Bit cloying and sticky. Nice and mild sour-patch kids flavor. Definitely a very drinkable sour beer. Not puckering sour, but rather very flavorful sour. Full body but sticky. Really nice drinking beer.

Serving type: on-tap

06-11-2006 14:09:34 | More by MuddyFeet
Photo of nriech
nriech

Virginia

4.95/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at Capital Ale House in Richmond, also in bottle at home with very similar results.

This beer is amazing and has become one of my all time favorite brews. The flavors are so complex and intense that I dont even want food to come near me for the chance to interrupt the experience.

Slight head with good carbonation. The color is similar to a subdued red wine. Be sure to serve this at the correct temp, I believe somewere around 50F. The inital sip is like a sour wine but becomes complex extremely quickly as it warms. The oak aging is very obvious. It adds so much to this brew.

This is extremely drinkable, very hard to not give into drinking this quickly. One sidepoint is that the one on tap seemed to be a bit more oaky and sour than the bottled version. Not sure on the dates of either.

Serving type: on-tap

05-25-2006 17:00:22 | More by nriech
Photo of DaPeculierDane
DaPeculierDane

Wisconsin

3.35/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Filtered chestnut brown with a thick and luscious tan head. Plenty of carbonation streams visible.

N: Rotten fruit (dates, plums, and blackberries mostly) and sour apples. Vinegar.

T: Sweet and sour weirdness. Tastes like very, very rotten fruit – mostly plums and apples. Rotten to the core. Nasty stuff. The initial sip causes one’s lips to pucker violently but that is followed by this strong sugary rotten fruit sweetness. This is strange brew.

MF: Sour, then sweet, then sour again. Medium body with a lengthy slightly sweet nasty finish.

D: Low. This brew doesn’t sit right. Too much vinegar. I don’t think more than one goblet would be healthy.

Serving type: on-tap

05-22-2006 21:01:51 | More by DaPeculierDane
Photo of benito
benito

Oregon

4.65/5  rDev +12%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-22-2006 19:14:27 | More by benito
Photo of hopsaplenty
hopsaplenty

Virginia

3.38/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On draft at Rustico, and served in Chimay chalice.

Arrives a deep garnet with cordovan highlights. Topped with a modest head of fine sand colored bubbles that slowly settles to a thick coating leaving big clots of foam floating. A few active carbonation streams are visible. The smell is tart, dry, sharp and of balsamic vinegar. Sweet and with a pleasing, slightly woody tartness. Sweet up front, and almost sugary. The balsamic notes ride through the middle into the finish where the tart bite shows up, but is then completely dominated by a syrupy sweet flavor. Fine, but active carbonation, rich and medium bodied slightly, ever so, dry. This has a bit of a soda feel about it. I kept coming back to the chalice hoping that it had changed somewhat, maybe dried out a bit, or that the tartness a fought its way to the front, or that at least the sweetness had dissipated. Alas, the chalice was empty and the sweet, cloying taste lingered. I had hoped for more. My wife enjoyed it more than I.

Serving type: on-tap

05-18-2006 01:06:59 | More by hopsaplenty
Photo of audiojon
audiojon

California

3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This tasted a bit like fermented grape soda upon first sip. By the end of the glass i had grown a taste for it. Very tart, very dry, but verrry different and pretty damned tasty. I couldn't see drinking more than one or two tho.

Poured on tap at O'Brien's in San Diego. Appearance was nice, smell was very sweet and fruity, lots of grape and cherry. Effervescent mouthfeel, extremely fizzy. The taste is sweet at first, then rapidly shifts to extremely sour. From there it's a contrast of the dry tartness and a refreshing sweetness.

Recommended, but only for sour beer lovers.

Serving type: on-tap

01-23-2006 07:50:01 | More by audiojon
Photo of Stimack
Stimack

New York

4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap the other night while at Marhars. The brew was dark brown with a red like tinge to the color. Had a smallish head of tan bubbles that clung to the sides of the glass leaving some fain lacing down the sides of the brew. Before I really even try to take a whiff of the brew I can notice a sour like smell to it. On a deeper whiff of the brew, I notice fruit like smells that seem to blend or lead to the sour aroma. I believe that the fruit smell is of apple and/ or cherries but am not 100% positive. The taste is somewhat sweet with a clear sour flavor that goes nice with the malt backbone and spicy finish. Over all this is a great brew for people that like this type. For me I can usually handle about one before the sourness starts to get to me but I would and will get this brew again

Serving type: on-tap

11-05-2005 17:40:00 | More by Stimack
Photo of GreenWBush
GreenWBush

Oregon

3.45/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Blood red in the glass with dark brown highlights. A modest head.

Slightly vinegary on the nose with hints of cherries and sour apple. Oak characteristics appear later.

The taste of this beer is understandably devisive. Sour, funky, and amazingly champaign-like in alot of ways. Sourness builds up in the bottom of the palate in a strangely addictive way. Oak is strong by the end.

A tasty detour from my usual...

Serving type: on-tap

10-29-2005 19:49:15 | More by GreenWBush
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 2,645 ratings.