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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,441 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,441
Hads: 3,883
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 23.17%
Wants: 209
Gots: 689 | 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: 1,441 | Hads: 3,883
Photo of WellRested518
4.57/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

A- steady lacing with a dark cherry body. The head quickly falls to a half centimeter eggshell.

S- acidic with notes of cider, sour cherries, plums, and red wine. It's bittersweet.

T- much like the smell, but with a slight punch of granny smith apples. Really reminds me of that line between sweet and sour in black cherry Warheads.

M- not a huge amount of carbonation, but a definite nudge. Think un-carbonated hard cider.

O- I love this beer. I grab it biweekly at a bottle shop 30 minutes away.

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Photo of poluti
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black brownish in initial color. Found dark red tints when I held it to the light. It had a nice dark tan head.
Smelled of vinegar and fruit. It definitely had a sour tinge to it not unlike a red wine.
It tastes very sour and vinegary and I sensed some metalic notes. There is virtually no hop taste present. This beer tastes like a sweet red wine. There are sweet and sour notes, tart to the aftertaste. Very interesting and good if you are into sour beers.
I found this beer to go down very smoothly. The carbonation eases the beer along nicely and the aftertaste is pleasurable.
This is a very drinkable beer for sour enthusiasts.

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Photo of deliriumfest
4.1/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of BacklitAvenger
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I will preface this review by saying I didn't like this beer one bit. I enjoy the pure lactic sourness of a Berliner Weisse but the acetic character was a deal-breaker here. That said I will review to style, not to prejudice.

Appearance - An orange color with slight amber and brown tinges to it rests beneath a prodigious three and a half finger head of pure snow white. Obviously high carbonation keeps the head cap there, but the lacing isn't really that spectacular.

Smell - Whoo. Acetic city man. I smell a cidery acetic character almost to the exclusion of all else. I can detect a lactic lemony sour flavor I recognize from berliners.

Taste - The cider vinegar again takes a dominant position, squeezing out the lactic acid from the first sip. Once I take a few more I can tell there's more here than the acetic acid, but I'm not sure I like it because of the harsh vinegar character. There's the aforementioned lactic sourness and an accompanying lemon flavor over a lightly bread and biscuity malt. Sour fruit, especially cherries comes in midway. There's a sweetness and a metallic taste that enter during the finish with a lime-like sour note, some red wine vinegar, a vinous twang, and a hint of alcohol and spice.

Mouthfeel - The mouthfeel would probably be rather thick and unpleasant if not for the enormously carbonated nature of the beer. I take a sip and rather than getting liquid, i is mostly bubbles and foam by the time I swallow it.

Drinkability - For me not high at all. For the style this beer is right on, so medium I suppose.

I will continue to try different sours since flanders reds are supposedly very acetic compared to the rest. This one is not very appealing to me however. Time will tell whether or not I like brett character any more than acetic acid.

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Photo of shortbus7
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A dark red color with a slight head.

S: Dark cherries, apples, and vinegar.

T: There is so much going on in this beer it's amazing. Dark cherries, apples, red wine vinegar, and malt. This beer is more sweet and tangy than sour.

M: Smooth and slightly puckering.

O: This is a great beer and a great place to start with sours. The taste amazed me. So much going on but nothing became muddled.

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Photo of Cuvie62
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smells vingary at first. Great follow. Kombychka like. Awesome beer. If I could brew beers at hone I would give thus shit a shot. You need a deserni g palate for this shiz. Give it a whirl. Trying yo make a 250 word review and all I can say is "You gotta Try this shiz" not annormal beer.

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Photo of nbree00
2.38/5  rDev -42%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This beer pours a beautiful deep brown with a reddish tint to it. The smell was pleasant with a sort of spiced cherry aroma coming through, however I was not very impressed with the carbonation which seemed to be low. The taste for me was pretty overwhelmingly sweet, no apparent sourness to better balance the flavors out. You can taste some of the roasted malts but other then that pretty bland with a cherry-banana sweetness coming through that makes it pretty hard to drink, definitely a sipping beer. Overall I didn't care for it much

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Photo of xrdsci
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle.

A: Deep reddish brown color. Off-white head.

S: Fruity with a subtle wine-like smell.

T: Incredible balance of fruit and tart flavors. Neither overpowers the other. Sour cherries and other dark fruits are most prominent. Finishes dry, with a hint of spice.

M: Medium mouthfeel, light carbonation. Very smooth and creamy.

D: If my body would let me, I could drink a couple dozen of these.

Highly recommended for this style.

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Photo of Maltmaiden
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful burgundy. Medium carbonation. Clear. Small head that goes away quickly and leaves a tiny bit of film and lacing.

Smell sour cherries. Toasted malts. Molases. Lemon.

Taste sour black cherries. Toasted malts and finishes with some breadiness (which I really like). Ruby red grapefruit. Winey. Green apple.

Mouthfeel it sticky. Nice carbonation.

Overall: I guess I am just new to this style but I was just not a huge fan of the tart/sweet taste. I am waiting for a headache to kick in from the sugar.

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Photo of nathi
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very nice beer.

Somewhat cloudy, small head, nice amber color.

Excellent sourness in aroma. Light prune-like maltyness and subtle oak character.

Very rich flavor with storng sourness balancing it out. Complex malt flavor with raisnes, caramel and toffee. Excellent oak character, adds nice complexity and gives a port like character when combined with oxidized malt richness.. Sourness is a bit simplistic but balances out the flavor very well. A well balanced, and very drinkable sour ale. Very rodenbach like, a little less complex, but very nice.

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Photo of TDotScott
4.51/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a wine glass from a 22 oz bomber, cellared for nine months.

L- Deep auburn with very little head. Highlights of Garnet.

S- Acetobacter like whoa. Lots of vinegar and sour fruit, without being fusel-y. Still a malt presence, but all about the yeast and bacteria.

T- As expected, the cellaring has turned the beer into a more robustly sour version of its fresh self. As I like my sours sour, I'm not one to complain. Vinegar, sweet chocolatey malt, with a dry finish.

F- Not as lively as I like it.

O- Worth it to cellar it for nine months to a year, if you're down with the tartness. Any more, and the vinegar might turn into something ugly (but I don't know for sure).

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Photo of cdrummer
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
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!

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Photo of Andrewtherooster
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is the first beer I've had of this style, and boy, it's a good one.

A- Pours a great ruby red with a goldish rim around the edge. The lacing is beautiful, sticking to the sides of the glass and leaving a smeared haze.

S- Smells right away of tart dark cherries with a warm toastiness in the background. It smells to a degree like Welch's gone bad in the best way.

T- Wow, this smacks of the sour, tart flavor I was looking for. Each step in the sip is like a wave of sourness washing over, finishing off with a slight alcohol burn. It tastes like a variety of berries--blackberries, cherries, raspberries, and such--all soured, slightly lactic. It's all definitely enough to make your face contort.

M- The carbonation that kicks in halfway adds a nice punch to the sourness, and thickness of it is slightly surprising.

Overall, this is beer is a great and unique experience, though I haven't even finished this one and I'm looking at my snifter like I don't know if I can take any more. It's tasty, but I don't think it's something you'd want to drink more than one 11.2 oz. bottle of in a night.

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Photo of th0m
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark ruby color with a finger of off-white head. Head lingers for a bit, then turns into a thin layer around the edges of the glass and in the middle.

Smells wonderfully refreshing on this warm NC day. Smells of raisins, plumb, tarty, a bit of must, farty farm smells, when I close my eyes and smell this, it takes me to an open meadow on a warm spring day with the sun setting.

Taste is sour up front with a very fruity finish. Very dry. Notes of strawberries, cherries, plumb, pineapple, currant, cranberries. As I sip this on my front porch, it hits the right spots. Very refreshing.

Mouth feel is light. Very carbonated. Refreshing, but one of those drinks you want to sip and enjoy, so maybe not very easily drinkable.

Overall I really enjoyed this.

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Photo of diamond_mind
4.89/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Tart and complex, loads of fruit and phenol, some elegant vinegar and tasty soil. If you like your sour more than unidimensional which seems to be the trend, this is the beer. Deep brown with tartness that can still come off a little sweet. Flavors are melded but all play the same part in a rich symphony.

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Photo of ocmpoma
4.24/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out a wonderful red brown, dark and rich coloring, into a Duvel tulip. Sported a good head maybe 2cm thick, although that dissipated relatively quickly.

The nose is very nice: Sour cherries and licorice, woody and with a musty hint of sweat -- very complex and quite different from just about every other beer I've had. Impressive.

The taste is also very nice: quite smooth, no real bitterness. There's an initial warmth and spicyness that lasts momentarily and gives way to a wonderful sour fruit taste that spreads to the edges of my tongue, sliding on top of a faint, underlying layer of mustiness. The finish is very crisp and clean, though; not hanging around.

The crisp finish and understated mouthfeel make this beer an easy drinker: three tasting swigs and I had made a serious dent in the tulip's contents. Overall a very nice, very different beer for me.

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Photo of RTJakarta
3.92/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice sort of dark red/brown color with a light off-white head that goes away pretty quickly. Lovely lacing.

Nice, rich sour smell. Some tart cherries as well as vinegar. A bunch of the usual gang for a FRA. Loving it.

The taste to me is a battle between a strong sweetness and sourness. I sort of pick up a clash of both at the same time, which is kinda of nice, but I wish it would sort of pick one angle and run with it. Nice cherry notes throughout, though.

Mouthfeel is medium. Moderate, unobtrusive carbonation.

Overall, a pretty solid beer. If it had a more refined sour taste, it could probably be world class, in my opinion. Taste is too schizophrenic, though. Worth a drink, though.

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Photo of Chessmaster
3.22/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Received a bottle of this as part of a Christmas sampler gift pack.
Poured from the bottle into the accompanying Barbe chalice.

A: Poured a beautiful dark ruby red that was clear enough to see through. A small white head turned into a lingering cap with some lacing

S: The initial smell from the bottle was off-putting vinegary sourness. This later mellowed into a pleasant tart cherry smell

T: Initial taste is of tart cherry, the finishing notes are just lingering tartness and bitterness. I assume this is correct for the style, but it is not _my_ style :-) No hop aromas nor flavors, no real malt flavors. Sort of like drinking a weird sour cough syrup. Didn't hate it, but didn't love it.

M: Crisp and refreshing, pleasant carbonation

O: Again, the style is not my favorite, but I can guess this is true to the style guidelines. Appearance was very nice, smell ended up being nice, the flavor just okay for me.

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Photo of zhivago373
4/5  rDev -2.4%

first sour for me. not sure what the expect.

pours a deep red, maybe brownish purple with a thin pale-brown head. i honestly expected more carbonation, being it’s a Belgian style.

smells of dark fruits a la plums and black cherries with an almost musty oak smell. not getting any distinct malt aromas. very red-wine like, more acidic and sour notes though. the sourness is well balanced with the fruits.

tastes of black cherries, plums, maybe a slight chocolate flavor, too. the oak barrel comes out in the tannic, acidic red-wine flavor especially on the back of the tongue. the malts balance things out without offering any distinct notes. finish is long and dry, the wine barrel notes lingering in the back. medium mouthfeel with nice carbonation.

overall, this is quite good. the red wine similarities are evident, but i prefer this to a wine (duh, it’s beer, it’s not a soulless drink!). the sour notes are in great balance with the dark fruits, and the medium carbonation makes this all the more palatable. at 6%, it’s quite easy drinking. will seek out again.

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Photo of mkorpal
3.65/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

750ml bottle poured into two well used New Belgium globe glass. Pours a beautiful red wine like mahogany red creating a one finger, slightly off white head. Looks great.

Smell is of sweet cherry pie and a bit of rounded vanilla. Smell is very sweet, overpowering any funky sour that I would have liked.

Taste is of very sweet cherry pie and oaky vanilla. Sour and funk take a backseat, as the sweet fruit dominates the beer like none other. Taste is still good, but it is missing the sour that I want in the style.

Mouthfeel is heavy and syrupy. Sour doesn't do much to balance the sweet. This sweetness really hurts the drinkability and mouthfeel. More balance would be greatly appreciated.

it's an ok beer, to be sure. but there are others in this style that I will go to.

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Photo of irisier
1.55/5  rDev -62.2%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

I tried this one again to see if I've warmed to this brew. Unfortunately, this time I seem to have soured to it (no pun intended) even more.

Appearance: Nice dark reddish brown with a excellent fizzy head.

Smell: Vinegar fumes. Some fruit and wood is also noticeable. Did someone mix balsamic with malt vinegar and label it as beer?

Taste: God, it's even worse than I remembered it. Fruity vinegar with some tannic wood tastes. Cloying sweetness makes sure you know there is plenty of sugar in here. Hmmm.. this might be good to use as a base in a sweet/sour sauce. I actually managed to finish it the first time I tried it, not this time though.

Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated.

Impressions: To give you some perspective. A few years ago after reading an article about how prison inmates make "wine" out of ketchup, juice, and fruit snacks with moldy bread as the fermentation culture. I gave it a try out of curiosity. The funky, weird smelling drink I got was still not as bad as this brew. If this was the only beer on Earth, I'd be a teetotaler.

---Old Review---
Appearance: Clear reddish brown body with a fizzy tan head that actually seems to amplify with time. Highly carbonated and effervescent.

Smell: Sour malt vinegar smell. I didn't expect it to be that strong. Some faint fruit is also present

Taste: Sour and sweet. Slightly fruity as well. I can't help but feel like I'm drinking balsamic vinegar. I wouldn't exactly say that these flavors are pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a lively carbonation.

Impressions: I'll preface by saying that I've never had a Flemish Red before, but I really tried to keep an open mind. There may be a possibility that I got a bad bottle. This just was not good. I had a really hard time even finishing it. It was like drinking balsamic vinaigrette. I've heard this described as being "wine-like", frankly if I had a wine that tasted like this, I'd think it had spoiled. This just tasted too much like vinegar.

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Photo of WyethBednar
4.7/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

While this is one of the most idiosyncratic beers I've ever had, it's also definitely one of my absolute favorites. I got it in one of the big wine-type bottles (not sure what the exact measurement was) over the summer, and I've gone through at least 3 more since.

Appearance: Really nice deep reddish brown. Carbonation is apparent just by looking at it. Very foamy reddish head that sticks around pretty well with good lacing throughout.

Smell: Very strong fruity aroma with a kick of hopped, spicy beer. Really interesting and prepares you for the taste very well.

Taste: Absolutely delicious. It honestly doesn't taste a whole lot like a beer (at least not what is traditionally thought of as a beer taste), but it's really great so it's never bothered me. It tastes more like a combination of champagne and wine with very fruity notes. Very full-bodied and complex and finishes strong too.

Mouthfeel: Very heavily carbonated, which is why I drew the champagne comparison.

Overall: Even though this beer is honestly like nothing else I've ever had, it still remains one of my favorites. It's complex yet very easy to drink; full-bodied and fun. I highly recommend it to anyone looking to try something truly new.

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Photo of guinnessman
3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

a vinigar aroma, raisons, and a fruity like smell. a 3/4 in. bubly head, like champaign, that disipates guickely. a ruby red hue. very complex, I note chocolate, raspberries, banana. a nice mouthfeel, not coating, very smooth many flavors come at once, the finish is fruity and a bit tart. Not something I would drink on a regular basis, but for those people, like myself, who find labic to be to tart, this is a great alternative. A very enjoyable brew.

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Photo of Brandegee
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from big bottle into goblet

A: Dark caramel brown, lacy head
S: One of the all-time great beer aromas, with intense wood, banana and sour esters
T: Dark fruits, lots of plum and raisin. Obvious sour but a surprising serving of sweet berry fruits accompanies the sour. Pretty amazing.
M: I'm not a fan of huge carbonation and this has a lot of it. That's part of what gives it a "cider" vibe, I guess. It's not objectionable at all, however, and the smell/taste really defines this beer.
O: I've had a number of Flemish sours prior to this bottle and I have to say the DDB really has the formula. Definitely the best of the style that I've had, and a stunning helping of flavor in this beer makes it memorable. I'd love to have this with some intense French cheeses.

Note: Buy this in the big bottle, for the corkage experience. I don't know if this contributes to the experience, but the bottle art is far better than the small bottles.

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Photo of onecrazybreeze
4.6/5  rDev +12.2%
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.

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Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
92 out of 100 based on 1,441 ratings.