Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

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Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

3,426 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,426
Reviews: 1,374
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 159
Gots: 420 | FT: 7
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,426 | Reviews: 1,374 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of twelvsies
4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful ruby-red, cranberry juice color, with a small bubbly head, fading fast. Smell is quite intense to say the least. The first thing that comes to mind is a grapey wine character, with an almost gueuze-like tang, finally finished up with a permanent marker smell. Wow. Much more subtle in the taste than in the nose. All that harshness calms down and gives way to a well rounded and complex ale. Ok, wow, again... this is really unlike anything I've had before, so it's tough to describe these tastes. There's a definate fruity quality there; plums, blackberries, grape jelly, etc... really a complex character. I'm having a hard time detecting any hops or malt in this beer, yet while it shares that quality with a lambic, this still seems more like a beer to me. Sweet juicy notes with a bit of a sour kick, though to be honest, from the smell, and from other reviews and the style description I was expecting a little more pucker. I was surprised by the slight funkiness in the finish, like a stinky cheese, a nice unexpected bonus. Interesting mouthfeel too; it seems to change from bubbly and carbonated when it first hits the mouth to a slighty syrupy yet super-smooth finish. Illusion? I have no idea, but it's great. I could drink this beer anytime, and could never get bored of it. So many nooks and crannies to discover in this beer. Go get it. Cheers to the Duchesse!

Photo of LordAdmNelson
3.7/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a syrup colored reddish brown, clear, with about an inch of creamy sandy head that leaves a bit of lacing. I am really excited for this one. Smell, however, is a bit of a let-down, I actually get a bit of booze (at 6%??), some medium roasted malts, and a bit of pear, apples, and vinegar. It's not as strong as I had hoped, and the booze in it is a little disconcerting.

Taste is pretty good. I must say that I prefer Monk's Cafe, though I'm starting to understand why MC is not a good example of this style. The tart, sour, and vinegar of MC are way over-the-top compared with Duchesse. It's got a nice apple cider vinegar kick to start, drifting into a nice smooth brown ale. The subtlety of the different aspects of this beer are pretty nice. The brown malts to it though get to be a bit cloyingly sweet, very syrupy.

MF is decent, a bit prickly, medium bodied, dry finish. Not as dry as I would have preferred, however. Sweetness on the back end of this one gets in the way of the drinkability, though this is a nicely crafted Flanders.

Photo of CDCNAM
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of damienblack
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rustic amber, thin lingering head, decent lacing. Average looking beer (not knowing much of how style is supposed to look). Nice bubbles whenever its swirled, though. Huge dry vinegaric sour smell - there's definitely some fruit there, but i'm not sure what exactly. Smell is oddly alluring.

Taste is a gentle, dry blast of sour. Tastes like a sweet and sour champagne - tons of carbonation, with a sugary aspect to it. I thought it would be much drier from the smell. Sourness is well balanced, leads to a very refreshing experience. More of a vinegaric sourness than a tart sourness, but it's smoothed against the beer. Only quibble is that it seems a little thin, doesn't have a lot of oomph or gravitas to it, just the flavor. Not sure if that's how the style is supposed to be. Drinkability is top notch, great sipper (although could go more if I wanted to). My first Flanders Red, and I'm looking forward to trying some more!

Photo of iemailjack
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of wellsnb
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of KevChiTown
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of horshack7
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Poured into a tulip is a very dark mahogany brown with red hues around the edges. As a crown there is a solidly thick beige head.

Aroma: In the front is a little bit of a red wine aroma with a touch of woodiness. Apple, sour cherries, way in the back is a nuttiness.

Taste: Soft carbonation, woodiness with notes of apple skin and sour cherries. There is quite the solid sour bite. The finish is nicely dry with twinge of pecan in the end.

Notes: What dam tasty beer I am glad I bought this one and will buy it again. Cheers.

Photo of tubeyes
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A Very dark reddish, min head, great lacing.
S some pretty wild fruity, mushroom, oaky smokey goodness
T very sweet tropical citrus fruit upfront but mellows to a more carmelly grapefruit end
M very delicious and easily drinkable, great even carbonation and a fruity caramel aftertaste
O very enjoyable and complex. Flavors swirl and emerge and play around on tongue and cheeks. Had on tap in a squat tulip glass at OSDH in a presidents day special for FDR.

Photo of djeucalyptus
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured from a 330ml with an exp. date of 03/2009 into a tulip.

a. pours a brilliant ruddy brown, glowing a slightly murky crimson when held to a light. Formed a fairly formidable two-finger head of a light brown oaky color. Lacing is strong, almost chunky, and beautifully drags down with the ale.

s. I got very strong notes of well-aged balsamic vinegar, dark cherries, light molasses, and burnt raisins. Hints of currants and cane sugar bring up the sweetness on the nose, while hints of wine corks, cognac, and amaretto. Very pleasant on the whole, definitely heavy on teh sweetness.

t. Vinegars and balsamic sourness up front, with cherries, maple, and toffee coming through in the middle. There's a pleasant balsamic/sour pie cherry sweetness that finishes beautifully. There are some traces of yeastiness throughout, and a bit of walnut skin astringent-bitterness to balance nicely.

m. Amazing mouthfeel, thick and fairly strong but not syrupy or chewy. Carbonation and sweetness combined in an almost blissful orchestration to perfectly accentuate the sour notes that linger on the tongue. Bitterness and alcohol tastes are practically non-existent.

d. Excellent and dynamic. The spectrum of flavor profiles in this one is strong - not as wide as some, but more drinkable than some - and is definitely a good access point to the style. It's great for sipping, although I subconsciously was so enamored with it this time around that i ended up finishing it faster than I realized. I could drink a few glasses at a time, especially given how well it pairs with foods.

Photo of SonOfKyuss
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of bucklemyshoe
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Notes from 01/04/2011:

Best before: 11/30/2011. 330 mL bottle at 48 degrees into a Boon Kriek flute.

A: It pours a transluscent red color, similar to over-steeped tea - with a finger of frothy film that falls slowly until it forms a thin-bubbled circle on the edges of the glass.

S: Sour, wine-like aromas, cherries, plums, and a background woodiness showing the oak-aging.

T: Sweet and especially sour and lactic cherries with a sweet and oaky taste taking over leading to a very clean finish.

M: The body is medium and wine-like with a decent amount of carbonation and a crisp, palate-cleansing finish.

D: This is terrific drinking and is not overly sweet or sour like others in its style.

Photo of mweso2000
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of perrymarcus
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle served in a snifter.
best before date: 04/29/2012

pours a mahogany tone while yielding a creamy 1" or so of beige colored head; middling retention, fades to a thin, lasting cap. decent lacing.

a decent amount going on the nose, which is one of the more unique aromas i've encountered recently. notes of caramel, brown sugar, belgian yeast, cherries, funk, and cider vinegar.

the taste is an unexpected treat. not being the biggest fan of sours i'm pleasantly surprised by the flavor profile: cherry, apple, and sweet malt lead the way. nice balance between sweet and tart. it has a nice sour component that doesn't go too far. very tasty.

toward the lighter side of medium-bodied in the mouth with some lively carbonation.

overall i'm enjoying this. was admittedly a bit apprehensive at the outset but keeping an open mind has paid off. great beer.

Photo of JxExM
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of willjschmidt
3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330 ml bottle into my Duchesse De Bourgogne glass. Bottle marked "best before 19-09-07".

A: A dark reddish brown color with a thin and quickly receding light tan head. Lots of lacing.

S: Some wine-like aromas: sour & acidic berries with some malt as well.

T: Slightly sweet and rather tart cherries come across in the flavor. It is smooth at first with the sour tartness dominating the aftertaste. A bit mouth puckering in the end. There are also some malt flavors evident that seem to come and go. There's really a lot going on with the flavors in this beer.

M: Light and fine carbonation, medium mouthfeel and slightly syrupy.

D: It's and easy drinking beer, one that would pair well with food. Definitely one of the more unique beers that I've ever had. A testament to the range and complexity that beers can achieve.

Photo of ZenAgnostic
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

1 pint 9.4oz bomber poured into a Duvel tulip. Cork printed Exp 6/2012.

Appearance - Foggy but with no particulate matter. Dark brown with a hint of amber. Thick, fine cream head.

Smell - Gueuze sourness. Slight abbey ale body, dark overripe fruit and noticeable alcohol.

Taste - Complex. Balanced. Slight to moderately sour body. sweet acidity keeps it from going to far in that direction. With a bit of alcohol in the finish. Leaves a vinous aftertaste, but not unpleasant.

Mouthfeel - Light texture and crisp due to the light, frothy carbonation. Almost like a lambic or champagne. Medium-full body.

Overall Drinkability - This is my first from this style, so I was careful with the ratings to leave room for the possibility of a better beer in style. After trying a few more, I'll come back and rate this one, but as a beer I'd give it all 5's.

Photo of rcjennings
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of n00blar
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of rale
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of waughbrew
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

What a beautiful beer in a style that is currently far too rare!

Very nice deep red/light brown with some blackness. Small off-white head stays a bit as lace but mostly as a small ring around the beer. Great up-front sourness in the aroma with vinegar. Bright and alive, an earthiness with acidity. Flavor is very well-balanced. The malt flavors come out as it warms. Light and crisp, wonderful bubbles. Very drinkable - I could have a few.

Photo of IRONRakkasan
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
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!

Photo of seand
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a brown-red amber, with a finger or so of off white head, with very good retention and lacing. Almost cola-like, with a better head.

S: Strong molasses and dark fruit.

T: Quite fruity, slightly sour, different.

M: Lots of carbonation, medium to full bodied.

D: Not too bad given the sourness.

Photo of tuckerlikesbeer
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of DemoniChris
4.11/5  rDev -1.2%

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,426 ratings.