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Duchesse De Bourgogne | Brouwerij Verhaeghe

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
91
outstanding
1,486 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,486
Ratings:
4,067
Avg:
4.09
pDev:
23.72%
 
 
Wants:
232
Gots:
825
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: 1,486 | Ratings: 4,067
Photo of TJBAIHWL
4.68/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Beautiful dark auburn with a fairly big sticky, bubbly head that receded slowly, leaving honeycomb-like pockets of foam behind.

S - Sweet, tart, fruity. Candied sugar and very very slight vinegar & funky smells.

T - Leads off with ripe red cherries, turning into a swirl of berry & melon flavors. More sweet than tart, but also dry enough not to be cloying. Amazingly light, refreshing & complex. There's a faint off-sour note that I can't quite pick out at the end. There are beers that just taste "fruity" and then there are beers like this one that take it to the next level. A must try, 5/5

M - Soft. Great.

D - Infinitely drinkable. A beer that novices & seasoned BAs alike should love.

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Photo of dizknee24
3.85/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A Reddish not much head on this one

S Smelled of a nice red wine. I was not sure on if this is good or bad. I decided bad IMO.

T u can definetly tell there is some oak barrels involved. but it tasted way to much like wine for me.

M - again with the wine

D couldnt get past the winish notes! not for me. not saying its bad just not my cup of tea.

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Photo of staubot
3.97/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Small dark head but it lasts forever. Nice lacing. Dark light chocolate colour.

Aroma spews forth for all to enjoy. Fruity roasted malts.

Tartness entering the mouth plays with the cherry / sweet red wine flavour. Not totally what is expected from the smell.

Small bite gives way to oily smoothness with balanced after taste.

Overall and enjoyable experience

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Photo of dvb
3.3/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Reddish-brown, leaning more toward the reddish end. Large, off-white head that fades quickly but leaves a lot of lacing. Great clarity, no sediment. Filtered?

S - Smells of sparkling cider, apple cider vinegar, candi sugar and maturity.

T - This is a sweet, fruity, cider-like, tangy ale. Like a sparkling cider, but with more character.

M - Sticky, but not overly so. On the thin side, but not overly so. Overall, this does not drink like a beer at all. More like sparkling cider.

D - The sparkling cider qualities of this beer make it impossible for me to want any more than the one I tried today, but it is obvious that some great care went into making this product and that this is no doubt a fine example of the style

It is interesting to note that this beer is actually not just one beer, but two, as the product actually consists of the blending of two vintages of the same beer: 8 months old and 18 months old. It is also aged in oak barrels, some of which are decades old.

Did I mention that this beer is like sparkling cider?

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Photo of Doshkin
4.59/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - good looking beer. deep amber with reddish hues. crystal clear. poured with a couple inch head that came down but stays as a nice frothy layer. wet, sticky lacing is a nice visual reminder of what you're missing in between each sip

S - so perfect. this is everything I want to smell in a sour-ish beer. vinegar is the dominating aroma, blending beautifully with deep sugary sweetness and tartness, akin to a cinnamon/sugar/apple combination, but much more malty and rich.

T - the vinegary tart tang encapsulates every aspect of the taste. everything in between is a smooth mix of brown sugary maltiness. oh man... it's almost gone and i'm only 60% done with the review

M - this is a tough one for me to classify. the fine effervescence and extreme vinegary sour try and trick me to think the beer is lighter in body than it really is. the rich complexity of the flavors, bold sweetness, and full, smooth swallow assert themselves in this beer to remind you of how robust it really is. tl;dr - medium mouthfeel.

O - truly incredible. if you want to try an amazing (sour) red ale, and you are willing to dish out some cash, look no further. i, for one, can say i will be taking the wallet hit again in the near future to experience what this beer has to offer

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Photo of keoki182
3.97/5  rDev -2.9%
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!

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Photo of BigAl723
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Ashley's in Ann Arbor.

A: Rusty pumpkin brown with a creamy tan head.

S: Vinegar, fruity, and sour.

T: Apples and chocolate. What combination!

M: Medium carbonation. Very light in the mouth. Creamy and smooth.

D: Very smooth. This aged sour goes down very easy. I could drink a lot of this.

Overall, a real unique beer. I heard the bartender say something about a sour ale matured in oak casks and double fermented. Instantly I knew I had to try it, I'm glad I did.

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Photo of jamespub
4.58/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had it first on botte, then twice on tap. obviously, this was at different times, but from my recollection, they tasted similar once they got to temperature and both methods were divine.

A- Caramel brown, clear, nice head that dissipated quickly. looks comparable to a belgian dubbel

S- Slight malt with a mild sour funk. I thought it would be more sour in the taste, so I was slightly misled by the smell. Nothing fancy here for me, but still had a good aroma.

T- stunning. i could drink this beer all day, everyday. it goes down sooo smoooth. sour, sweet, malty awesomeness. great caramel flavor to accompany the mild sour flavor.

M- way too easy to drink. amazing.

O- I absolutely love this beer. the tap ran out at the local bar and my heart broke. thankfully i have bottles available when i can get some more petty cash. buy this beer, drink it, savor it, and share it with me.

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Photo of ghengisflan
4.45/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Look: Pours a clear ruby-red with a half-inch tan head.

Smell: A strong dry vinegar nose belies the great taste of this beer.

Taste: On the front end, a light sour flavor reminiscent of lychees. The aftertaste is pleasantly sweet, enough to balance out the sour.

Feel: Medium mouthfeel with lots of little bubbles.

Overall: An awesomely complex and balanced beer. A memorable sour.

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Photo of AleDrinkToThat
4.88/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Beautiful burgundy hue under a perfect creamy beige head.

Smell: Oh, such a delicious smell of cherries and malt. I can tell just by the smell that there's more going on here.

Taste: Good thing I'm only typing about this, 'cause my mouth just exploded. Seriously, wow. This is excellent. The tart cherry is much more subtle than, say, a Kriek Lambic, and is so well balanced with delicious roasted malt.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, devilishly so, and the tartness danced all over my mouth, puckering all inner surfaces in its path (I'll leave you to picture that). The malt definitely rounded things back out, and the result is a heavenly complexity.

Drinkability: Go get one. Now.

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Photo of runningjoke
3.85/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured into tulip glass.

Reddish brown with thin head and head retention,

Smells of sour cherry, balsamic vinegar, yeast, touch of malty breadiness.

Tastes of balsamic vinegar, cherry and altbier.
Alcohol is totally covered by these strong flavors. No bitterness just tartness in its place. Really almost like a desert wine.

Feels thick and slick, but not unpleasent.

I would not be able to handle too many of these.

This would be really good with vanilla ice cream or a plain cheesecake. A killer reduction sauce could be made out of this stuff.

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Photo of BeerMeInMS
3.7/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Drinking Date Nov. 2nd 2011
Expiration: 03/13

Glassware: Tulip

Appearance: Dense brown with a red tinge; frothy beige head.

Smell: Very sweet and musky; fruity aroma maybe a little bread-like. Inviting smell

Taste: Sweet grape-ish flavor (wine-like); Tangy and fruity throughout. Not a lot of complexity or depth. Definitely redefines my box for beer tastes, though... Only the aftertaste had a little of the yeasty/malty flavor that reminded me of 'beer'. To me, it tasted like carbonated muscadine wine. (If you haven't had muscadine wine...It is similar to grape but with muskiness, more sweetness, and less acidity)

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied; highly carbonated.

Overall: I know this is supposed to be a standard for the style but I did not find a depth of flavor and I did not much care for the very sweet flavor it did have. Not a fan, but it was interesting to try. This was my first Flanders Red Ale, so nothing else to compare to.

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Photo of leadpaint76
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Duchesse poured out a nice dark ruby red. The aroma is of tartness and cherries. The taste in Duchesse is very sour and tart, you taste cherries and other dark fruits. This is the first sour beer I have had and it is very nice. It has wine characteristics. I would recommend this beer to any friend. Nice change from the normal. Have a great day my friends.

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Photo of poluti
4/5  rDev -2.2%
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 +0.2%
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 -2.2%
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 +5.9%
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 TDotScott
4.51/5  rDev +10.3%
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 Whey2Hoppy
4.65/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A- Copper brown coloration with a one finger head.

S- Lots of pungent sour aromas. Kind of gross, since this is my first sour ever. But we will see how it tastes...

T- My lord, I have seen the light of the sour beer! I was expecting a drainpour, and to just delete everything I've written so far, but this is amazing! Very very sweet and sour, almost like a sweet tart candy. It's a strong fruity sourness, like sour raspberries.

F- Light body, with a high amount of carbonation that tickles the tongue as you're sipping.

O- I finally see why people love sour beers so much. I went in with an open mind, and was not disappointed!

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Photo of Cuvie62
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
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 -41.8%
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 +3.4%
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 -1.5%
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 +8.1%
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 cdrummer
3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
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!

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Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
91 out of 100 based on 1,486 ratings.