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Duchesse De Bourgogne | Brouwerij Verhaeghe

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
91
outstanding
1,478 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,478
Ratings:
4,040
Avg:
4.09
pDev:
23.72%
 
 
Wants:
229
Gots:
804
For Trade:
16
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Verhaeghe
Belgium | website

Style: Flanders Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-15-2001

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,478 | Ratings: 4,040
Photo of zymurgy4all
4.52/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is quite an interesting beer. It pours a deep reddish brown with a dense white creamy head. The aroma is all sourness: lactobacillus, brettanomyces, and a hint of oak. The immediate flavor is sour, then it finishes sweet leaving a sweet & sour taste in your mouth. The aftertaste lingers for a while as well. This is a beer that you learn to like--after having a gueze, this one tastes wonderful. Great beer, but don't drink it until you've had other sour beers to compare it too, and you develop your palate.

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Photo of TVolt1
3.45/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A: Deep amber color, good clarity, small amount of white head.

S: mmm great smell. Smells of cherry warhead candies and that's my favorite type of sour beer! Good hint of wine smell too.

T: Has a great bubbly, cherry initial flavor that excited me. The aftertaste is almost nutty and does not fit with the beer at all. Finish is disappointing...

M: Good bubbly, carbonated mouth feel, light on the tongue.

O: I like every other factor of this beer but the final taste. Too bad because everything else is going well for it.

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Photo of amicar
4.4/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a just-shy-of 12oz bottle, poured into a standard cabernet wineglass. Part of a food/ wine pairning.

Poured with a slight brown- tinged head; the beer color has a mid- caramel with red undertones. The smell itself is amazing- a hundred different smells pull you in multiple directions; you get just a hint of the fruity tartness that lies under the surface;
The sip is a little tart and malty at the same time; there's a full toffee/ caramel feel and a syrupy sensation, but none of these aspects are overdone; they are restrained just the right amount to let the dried tart cherry taste underneath through; the tartness is 'almost' masterfully balancing the sweetness; I would have preferred a hair less.

I thought this was a great beer when I tasted it alone; then I had it with food.... oh my gawd.
The meal was a pork tenderloin with a portabella/ shallot/ cream sauce (if anyone wants, beermail me and I'll share the recipie). The underlying sweetness matched nicely with the shallot/ cream sauce, and the muskiness of the beer and that of the mushrooms were perfect together; The tartness/ cherry sensation was less pronounced but still detectable with food. mmm....

anyway, overall, this is a fantastic beer. Alone, a single bottle can occupy you for an extended period of time; however, it would be tough to have more than one (kind of like very how you can only take so much rich chocolate) at a sitting. I can see how it's probably not for everybody; Definitely try it with food, especially something with cream or that has similar body.

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Photo of cpmichael
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel snifter.

A: Pours a brownish-red, very thin lacing.

S: fruity, tart cherries, some hints of oak and vanilla.

T: Tart cherries, slight metallic taste right at first, but as the beer warms up it smooths out into a sweeter taste. Almost too sweet for me. a bit of oak flavor comes through too.

M/D: Good carbonation, and not a bad beer in the least, I would advise letting the beer warm a bit because I found it to taste much better when it warmed up. The metallic flavor was gone. Still I found it to be too sweet, even for the style and could have benefited from being more on the sour side.

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Photo of WhatsNewinBooze
4.64/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one caught me by suprise. This beer (if you can even call it that) pours a clear reddish brown with a thin fizzy head that atually foams up after waiting a few minutes. The nose was loaded with red berries, citrus, sweet malts and yeast. The palate was loaded with red fruit and citrus flavors with some wonderful notes of bread, yeast and spice. Evryone should try this at least once.

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Photo of NardiByNature
4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bold, clear, reddish mahogany with a decent head and cap leaving behind some lacing. Ruby tinging in the light. Vinegar-astringence and some fruit: pear, cherry, apple. A slight whiff of that woody smell of a basement. Big, fruity and sour, this beer is a delicious mash of sweet and sour cherry and pear flavor. Some heat on the backburner. Puckering, smooth, dry, and a little spicy carbonation.

O: Loved it. Assertive, smooth and sour mash-up. Looking forward to trying more brown ales.

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Photo of Wolfsdenbrew
4.11/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours with a light beige fizzy head that dissipates toa thin head layer rather quickly. A shower of tiny bubbles rises from the bottom of the glass constantly. It pours a deep ruby amber and leaves minimal lacing.

Very little aroma in this one but what is there sort of smells like a sweettart.

Taste is very sweet in the beginning and then turning to a sour apple vinegar to the finish. There are hints of cherry and other berries with no real hop presence.

The carbonation level is a bit soda like (extremely fizzy) with a nice medium body to the mouthfeel.

I am pretty much a newbie to this style but it is quickly becoming one of my favorites!

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Photo of goblet
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured this particular one out of a bottle with a beautiful work of art on the label even the cap with the lions holding the shield was a nice touch.

A,this has a dark brick red brown color with a one finger thick white froth that dissipates quickly leaves spots of lace .

S,wow! overwhelming ,this took me off guard. it`s like a sweet and sour wine with vineger and fruits ..

T,sweet yet a strong vineger wine quality to it.fruity ,apple ,plums and sour grapes though it`s got balance .

D, i find this beer very good ,like a fine wine the more i drink it the more i appreciate the multiple flavors

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Photo of thartman
3.97/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Last one from my cellar stash. It's about two years old and the best before date is stamped 10-02-07.

Poured into tulip-shaped glass dark ruby red with brown tints. Tight tan head with pockets of carbonation.

Sour cherry and vinegar smell, a smidge of vanilla and oak.

Pucker up with the taste,... sour and very vinegar-like, although not as tart as I remembered. It definitely mellowed with some aging and there was noticably less carbonation. Finished up dry with oak and vanilla left to dazzle the taste buds.

Very unique and complex beer. If you like this style, also try the Flemish Red from Rodenbach.

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Photo of beersheppard
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Apperance: dark rub, mahogany, with tan head.

Smell: raspberry vinegar, brown sugar, musty

Taste: predominant flavor here is sour cherries, unripened grapes, and very sour with a long aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: is intense, with good tingle.

Drinkability: a good beer and good example of this type. But, it would be hard for me to have more than one of these.

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Photo of Steasy66
4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

~12oz pour at Nomad world pub into a wide mouth glass.
A- Dark brown, not much head.
S- Smells quite fruity, very sour.
T- Nice red fruits, a lot of oak, somewhat sours. I don't really like sours, but this is a fine beer.
M- Crisp carbonation, not too thick, nice.
O- Pretty shocked to find a sour I liked. Would drink again.

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Photo of alk3kenny
4.78/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Just starting to get into/try sour beers and from I understand this is a legend. Pours a dark, dark ruby red. Nice tan head that sticks around for awhile. Smell dark fruit, banana, not really picking up anything sour on the nose but smells amazing. OOOHHH there's the sour lol it's all over the taste and mouthfeel. Tart, sour cherry some of the funky taste I recognize from beers with brett but not nearly as pronounced. This is very nicely balanced. Won't be an every day beer for me because of the price point but I'll be back for more.

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Photo of USCTrojanBrian
4.55/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle consumed at The Trappist in Oakland, CA. From notes.

Egg-like foamy head. Violet-brown color. Sour cherry and oaky aroma.

Overly smooth first taste. Low carbonation, good, like a cask beer. Solid base beer. Somewhat sugary but quite enjoyable.

Maybe needed a bit more sour to balance the flavors a bit but this thing is like candy within the style, hard not to enjoy.

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Photo of SPThirtyThree
4.67/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from the standard 750 mL bottle you see in stores. The carbonation was perfect and the cork came out easily. Pours into the goblet a deep, crystal clear gobet with a brilliant red hue and ruby highlights. A one-finger cream-colored head quickly boils to the top of the beer, in a fizzy, effervescent way, to crown this Flanders' Red. Surprisingly, the head persists, as a fine cream layer on top of the beer that shows patterns from the rim every time I lift the glass.

S: The nose is exceptional on this beer. It's extremely sweet and sour all at once. Lingering just behind the veil of sweetness is a tart, sour vinegar note, like that of sour cherries. A clove-like spiciness and the faintest hint of copper suggest a Belgian yeast. Duchesse de Bourgogne actually smells a lot like a soured Delirium Noel.

T: Deliciously smooth and sweet with a hint of tartness. This beer opens with sweet flavors of honey surrounded by sour cherries. Next comes a faint vinegar flavor, and finally, the beer finishes with a hint of butterscotch and a tart, apple juice crispiness.

M: The mouthfeel is extremely creamy and frothy, resulting in a smoothness that perfectly accentuates the sour tang left on the tongue by the Duchesse.

D: High. This beer is delicious. The only fault is that it seems to be very sugary, which makes it quite filling.

Overall, this is a pretty solid ale. It isn't overwhelmingly sour like a Kriek, but instead, so it's very accessible to non-sour drinkers. The only drawback is it's might be too sweet and sugary for some. I was a little surprised that that this filtered beer, as I expected a yeast cake on bottom, but I suppose that makes sense with the amount of residual sugar in this Flanders' Red Ale.

***Re-reviewed 5.18.2010 to edit review from 1.13.2010. The score changed to reflect a better nose, but more noticeable fillingness of the beer. Also, I seem to have missed a handful of details the first time I experienced this brew, so tasting notes were augmented.***

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Photo of amatuerbeerguy
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured out ruby red color, off white head with lasting and lacing head retention. soured fruit, raison, floral, mulled wine aroma. some cherry, tangy, tart, sour, red wine flavors. moderate bodied with high carbonation. overall a nicely sour, tangy drink for the palate to dissect

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Photo of smcreator
4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my first lambic to try so the overall mouth feel and flavor is new to me. Overall, I enjoyed the beer very much as it is flavorful and balanced.

A: Very dark burgundy red color. One finger initial head that settles to a 3 mm head and light lacing.
S: Smells very fruity and also of alcohol at the same time, but the alcohol does not bother me. The fruit notes are very pleasant and complex. Definitely a similar smell to walking through a fruit market where all the smells blend.
T: The alcohol smell and taste is balanced nicely with the fruity sweet notes so it does not tire to drink. The beer has three or more stages of flavor. At first there is an in-rush of a sweet fruit blend. Then there is a mellower taste that is slightly more dry. Finally, there is a nice semi-bitter alcohol finish that balances out the whole movement.
M: A very smooth medium-thick bodied beer with little carbonation. Feels like eating yogurt to some degree. The only drawback is that it leaves a slight film in your mouth.
D: It is very easy to drink as it is packed with flavor and feels nice in the mouth. You will not get tired drinking it, you just might have to spit from time to time.

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Photo of DKRowden
4.52/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap into a 10 oz tulip glass. A very deep red with almost no light transparency and a creamy off white inch head. It has a very red wine like nose with the bitter sweetness. This is my first sour so I can't judge too much but it has a good sour sweet wine taste like a dessert wine or something. It has a crisp mouth feel with a moist finish. Overall quite nice for my first sour. It was aged and cellared by my local Beer Shoppe and I was lucky to try it.

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Photo of weazal
4.67/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

S: Alcohol and sourness blends perfectly. Although, a little medicinal. Some notes of sweet caramel snuck in there.

T: Shockingly sweet, puckeringly sour cherry with a rounding our creaminess. Vanilla cherry cheese cake! Perfectly balanced, unique, exciting, and tasty!

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Photo of ggroller
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I just drank my first Duchesse on Christmas Day 2004 and was completely excited about what I saw and smelled in my glass without even taking the first sip.

The color was a dark, velvety, burgundy brown with a large fluffy head similiar to one seen on a Beligian White.The aroma was like nothing I have ever smelled before. Sour cherries was the first thing I noticed followed by sweet cherry and orange mingled with woody earthiness. Upon taking the first sip I first tasted sour then sweet; just like the aroma.

This beer is very drinkable and in my opinion a session beer. It was sweet but not too sweet. Sour but not too sour. And the finish left my palate clean and wanting more.

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Photo of malthead
3.65/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

My first time for a Flanders Red Ale, best before 10/07, served in a tulip.
Very dark red color, nice little red-tinged head. Smell - wow. Like a fine, aged balsamic vinegar. Sweet, darkly fruity at first, but with a vinegar bite after smelling it for a while. Taste - again, wow. Kinda grows on you after a while. It's both sweet and tart. Dried fruit, tannic, maybe a very dry grape juice. Mouthfeel is a little too slick for me, and while interesting, this just isn't very drinkable for me - not sure I'm even going to get through this one. Just too much for me right now, I guess.

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Photo of WOTO97
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really great beer. Poured into a NB goblet with some vigor. Great head retention with nice off-white lacing around the glass. The nose definitely gives off some decent tartness along with melon and grape notes common with the style; some faint wood in the background complemented by subtle coriander. The taste is really spectacular: great tartness throughout with a slight lingering acidic note on the immediate finish, soft fruit (grape, melon), great herbal character with very nominal medicinal quality on the mid-palate, wood noticeable but less so than on the nose. Clean mouthfeel with a bit of chewiness/stickiness on the immediate tasting. Some points off the drinkability for the simple fact this is a sipper; not likely to throw down a grip of these back-to-back.

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Photo of ROMER79
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer both in a bottle and on tap and I truly feel that it is a better beer on tap. It pours a nice ruby red with a one finger tan head. It has a big sour cherry smell with spices and lactic aromas pulling through. The taste was almost the same. Big sour cherry flavor mixed with some lactic acids, but the alcohol flavor was hidden by the sour flavor. The mouthfeel was thick and full and it was very easy to drink.

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Photo of Agent1
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Fermented in previously used oak wine barrels, this impressive red ale is somewhat of an anomaly. Originally, I was not a big fan of this, but over time it became a beer of interest to me. This is only my third or fourth bottle, so we'll see how this goes...

Appearance - A dark ruby red with orange/ copper hues. Great head retention. The head is a thick, creamy beige with light frothy bubbles near the rim of the glass. This Flemish red ale is very bubbly and alive. Like champagne, a steady stream of carbonation racing upward. Very nice.

Smell - Yeast, oak (woody aromas), light floral accents, cranberry, sourdough and jammy fruits. Obviously, quite acidic, too.

Taste - Hints of red wine, apple cider, light fruits (cranberry, raspberry, grape, apple, etc.), vanilla, oak wood and rose wood. A great use of sugars. It seems this red ale is slightly hopped, creating subtle floral notes and spices. Not too acidic. The aftertaste is a bit underwhelming, to be honest. Doesn't finish strong. Reasonably intricate in composition. Fits the style well.

Mouthfeel - A full-bodied beer. This moves all over the tongue. Quite wonderful! This can definitely be sensed throughout the mouth as it strikes an impressive balance between sour and sweet.

Overall - Not typically a beer I purchase (more of a Belgian Tripel, Quad and Dubbel kind of guy), but this is an impressive beer. No wonder it is distributed by the same importers as St. Bernardus. I classy Flemish beer that harnesses a lot of impactful qualities. Sour much like a Lambic ale, this beer is acidic, but balanced. Combining barrels aged in oak from 8 months as well as 18 months, really helps to create balance here. A nice fruity, sour ale. Stretch yourself and give this a try...

The Duchesse must be courted!

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Photo of pittvkyle7
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

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Photo of dill
4.37/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured from an 11.5 oz bottle into a flute glass.

A - deep amber in color with a thin white head.

S - smells of vinegar and some fruits.

T - taste is similar with a sour vinegary note as well as fruit juice.

M - creamy mouthfeel with a tight carbonation.

D - one of the more drinkable flanders reds i have had. this one is really good.

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Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
91 out of 100 based on 1,478 ratings.