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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,429 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,429
Hads: 3,838
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 22.93%
Wants: 199
Gots: 670 | 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
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Reviews: 1,429 | Hads: 3,838
Photo of Airedoggie
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A deep ruby red with a slight head.

S: Dark sour cherries and apples

T: Taste of tart sour cherries and finishes clean and dry. Sour and yeasty at the end.

M: Mouthfeel is moderately light-bodied with decent carbonation. Creamy with a strong presence.

O: Flemish sour beers are always unique and interesting. This one is no exception.

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

11.2 fl oz bottle with best before date 11/30/2013
A: This one gushed when poured. Luckily didn't lose any. The pillowy foam subsided in a couple minutes and about a fingers worth of foam remained. Color was more dark red with brown
S: Smells real nice, cherries with slight woodiness
T: Tartness & sourness explodes during first sip. Took me back a little at first made my mouth and cheeks pucker. The sour/tart feelings do linger for a long time after finishing. Feel good that I had this beer at the end of the night.
M: Couldn't hold this one in my mouth for too long. Is well carbonated and feels medium
O: This beer takes me back to my youth when I would eat a roll of Shocktarts or a bag of Sour Patch Kids. The only down-side which might be a plus budget-wise is I can't have more than 1 of these in a sitting. Will buy a 4-pack of this next time instead of a single bottle. Also, really like to see a long best-by date printed on the bottle.

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Photo of Fattmatt73
4.76/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

An absolutely incredible beer. The balance of fruit, floral and sour is incredible. Usually a beer this sweet would be way out of my zone, but the balance of the sour accentuates the fruit and floral notes. Love it, one of my favorite beers. Anyone who has not ventured into the land of sours should make this one of their first.

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Photo of Brisket
4.71/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle from Total Wine in Federal Way, WA

A- Amber colored with a three+ finger head of large beige bubble. They dissipated quickly leaving heavy lacing.

S- All Lactic and acetic sour in the nose. Some sweetness at the end.

T- This is a beer that needs to warm up. It starts out fairly sour and metallic but at the right temperature the metal fades to sour/sweet cherry with a solid malt backbone. The sour is always there, but without the metallic component it is much softer.

M- Acid and carbonation, quite light for the amount of flavor in the beer.

O- Outstanding beer.

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Photo of McThulhu
4.29/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Got it because it was on sale and said Flanders on the back. Sold! Always love the complex tastes and sour/sweet balance of Belgian sours.

Everything went as expected with this beer, until the taste. I won't lie, it was maybe too sweet for my personal expectations, but damned if I didn't drink every drop. Unapologetically sweet but still complex, it was almost like a red champagne, or one of those sparkling juices for wagon-riders. Would drink again, but I want an aged one next time, to see how that sweetness sours up.

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Photo of ironarrow42
4.89/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pure joy finding this on tap! It was served in the appropriate stemware and appeared deep red with slight cloudiness and a dense off-white head. The aroma was tart, fruity, and quite appetizing, with a hint of balsamic vinegar.

Very fine carboination tingle on the tongue. The head adds some creamy texture to the mouthfeel. Lots of tart fruit with a sour lactic character. Notes of cherry and gooseberry. Great apperitif; refreshing and drinkable. Went great with a salad of spring greens and grape tomatoes with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

Left some nice Belgian lace on the glass.

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Photo of SFBeerGuy
4.44/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle reading a best before date of 02-04-11.

A- Poured a crystal clear deep amber red with a thick and lively tan head. Champagne-like carbonation and fizzy foam that stayed for a long while before receding, leaving sticky lacing in the glass. Head remained for the entire drink.

S- Dark chocolate covered sour cherries. Tootsie Rolls. Licorice. Mouth-watering aromas.

T- Sour cherries up front with a tart snap. Sweet rock candy shows through. Currants and dark fruit is present. Slight toasted bread crust compliments hints of dark chocolate in the finish.

M- Not too puckering. Slight acidity. Lively and light bodied. Full carbonation tickles the pallet. Enjoyable bone dry finish which quickly takes the sourness and tartness with it. Very pleasant.

D- Incredible drink. Thirst quenching and a great complement to all sorts of food. Sweet and tart without being overbearingly puckering. Glows as it warms up! Best when served at recommended temperature. Got better to the last sip!

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Photo of calebroberts811
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's name includes the word "duchesse" and the design is positively renaissance, so off the bat, I'm biased to like this beer.

A - Poured into a roughly two-finger head which dissipated rather quickly. Deep, bloody orange/red color. Tan creamy head.

S - A little cocoa, dark fruit, raisins, a bit funky "wet hay" smell, tobacco.

T - Sour and funky with hints of red wine vinegar. Strong notes of pomegranate and sour apple. Absolutely no hop character, but rather finishes with malty richness, almost caramel-like. It tastes a bit like a lambic but way more pleasant than a Faro or something.

Final verdict. This is one complex and peculiar little beer and one which I would love to drink with pork and sauteed mushrooms.

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Photo of beveragesampler
3.78/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

bottle dated best before 10/06/2012
very intriguing brew.

poured into pint glass. deep reddish brown in color with two fingers off white head, that receded into champagne like bubbley film. nice amount of foamy lacing that coated sides of glass.

smell is complex to say the least. 6% ABV well hidden. oak and red fruit, red delicious apple, red grape, maybe sweet rasins, pomegranate, ruby red grapefruit, raspberry etc..

taste: wow, thats sweet! smell comes straight through to taste. engulfs entire palate with an explosion of flavors. very effervescent like champagne. finish is sweet and sour, perfectly ballance between the two.

mouthfeel is bubbly but smooth and dry. very nice.

drinkability is good, two is enough for me though.

reminds me some what of frambosie lambec or a malvasia sparkling wine. could be great for a dessert beer. potentially great to cook or marinate with.


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

A: appearance is a dark royal cherry red with a with a nice amount of carbonation bubbling to meet an off white film of head consisting of about 1 fingers depth.

S: large sour notes. again cherry, some raspberry maybe and also a slight detection of a grassy characteristic. extremely sweet. aged woody oak character as imagined.

T: really complex! sour, dark, nutty, fruitful. almost like putting a sugar cube into your mouth, residing into cherries, grapes and a woody note that splinters onto your lips and across your tongue. maybe the minor detection of alcohol.

M: very sticky, covering teeth and all sides of mouth. an extremely dry finish resulting in a line of excess sugar across lips.

O: a different outcome than expected of this beer. something i could sit and have with a home cooked meal for sure but not something to have more than one bottle of i feel. loving the woody characters arising and as always the dark fruits. recommend to try

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Photo of Bcaulin
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Recently had on tap at the Ginger Man. Served in a 12 oz. snifter. Deep reddish brown in color. Very little head on the pour, and little lacing.

Not as strong a nose as I had expected -- Was expecting more fruit, but smelled mostly just sour and not particularly strong. The taste more than made up for that. Big slap of sour on the tongue right from the first sip.

Incredibly easy to drink considering how sour it is. Loads of fruit flavor and that great sour bite. Highly recommend.

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Photo of nicholasdes
3.43/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I struggle reviewing this properly as it is my first sour beer and the style is very difficult.

Serving type: bottle

A: An unsual shade of brown, flat, without the amber color seen so often.

S: crazy vinegar. You have go back for a second whiff prepared, but then you find so much, sweet cider, ripe apples. Still though so hard to really enjoy.

T: Much smoother and less potent than the nose. An elusive sweetness, not syrupy, but one that dances with the sour tang. Ripe fruit flavors and light coco bitterness. Can't deny the complexity.

M: light but not watery with good carbonationn

D: I don't see how even a fan of the style could find any sour to posses high drinkablity. The sweetness and sour quickly spoils your palate. That being said, the lightness almost makes quaffing easier than sipping. I do think it would be better with fruit and cheese.

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Photo of Clints1991
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled, poured in a tulip glass. It pours a brownish red, with a light tan head. The head lingers around for quite some time. It has a strong aroma of fruits, tarts and some wine characteristics. It has a strong taste of fruits such as cherry and some melon. It is very palatable. It is an amazing beer overall!!

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Photo of ryandurka
5/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

i bought a case of Duchesse De Bourgogne bottles in emmaus pa, at shangys. i love Flemish red ale and this is the perfect example of Flemish red. its refreshing and tastes great. its not the strongest of beers but the taste makes up for that. there is nothing to complain about with this beer. its distributed well in America and is not too hard to find. if anyone sees this beer and is curious as to what a good red ale tastes like, try it!

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4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

My interest in this beer spiked after Mark Starr from thehopry.com listed this as his #10 best beer for 2009. Picked up a 11.2oz bottle from the local Whole Foods and poured it into a large wine glass.

The Duchess poured a super clear burgundy red, fading into a deep deep orange with a 1" tanish head that mostly dissipated after a minute or so.

Right off the bat, I got a lot of red wine, vinegar and grape kool-aid on the nose as well as some maltiness in there. After I noticed the kool-aid factor I knew that this was going to be interesting.

After my first sip, I picked up the nice estery quality, complimented by a nice dose of sour and super sweet finish. After about half through, I knew that even at 11.2 oz, it would be a struggle to finish off the bottle. I would have like a larger sour profile and for the grape-aid to dialed down just slightly.

The mouthfeel was nicely carbonated and slightly syrupy.

If I had split this bottle with someone else, I would of had a much more positive review. Definitely a solid dessert sipper among friends but not as enjoyable alone.

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Photo of MBABJJ
4.27/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark nutty red with a great thick head which protests death and spawns again once swirled

S - Strong cherry essence almost like a mulled wine scent

T - This tastes nothing like beer. Wow. There's about 10 layers of flavor. It's a clean start then caramel and fruits and nuts then crisp finish. This beer would be great around Xmas time with a fire stoked and the smell of the xmas tree in the air. Too heavy for everyday brew-after-work drink.

M - Smooth and luxurious. Feels like royalty.

D - While not an everyday kinda drink, this brew provided tastes unseen b4. Nap time is near with this beer. Yummmzzz.

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Photo of beeronesse
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Couple of 5s here because I truly believe this beer cannot be improved.

On tap, in a Belgian goblet.

Deep Burgundian red in color, with minimal head and thin lacy retention.

Aroma promised sour cherries, apples, malt, raisins perhaps?

In the mouth: exceptional! Deep and powerfully complex. Sour cherries, apples, a little salt, satisfying sweet-sour balance. Very malty and rich, a little vanilla and butter and white pepper. Not very high in alcohol which is great because I wanted to drink this all night long!

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Photo of dougfir
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very unusual, although I am not well-versed in this style, so perhaps they are all like this! Rye or pumpernickel nose. Very fruity and malty tasting. Not much head, but highly carbonated. Slightly tastes like dry cider. Tastes more alcoholic than it supposedly is. Quite an interesting beer, and certainly worth at least trying.

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Photo of BreworFerment
3.16/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Ok so I haven't had many flanders reds and I know they are supposed to be sour so maybe I need to try more of them but this was tough to drink. It tasted like oaked cherry coke with a bit of port and chocolate in the background. It was a beautiful looking pour but it took me a WHILE to finish this one. It was better room temp. So let it sit for a while. I had it just slightly chilled to begin with which wasn't as good. Maybe it needed to mellow.

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Photo of SundaySour
4.85/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: A misty deep red like the skies above Mordor with a thin white head and some fabulous lacing. You know this beer is about to get real.

S: The smell is distinctly a cherry covered in dust. It sounds gross, but it isn't. Think of all the highly romantic and yummy smelling dusty places; like a haunted house or the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland. You love that smell.

T: By far the most delicious, life-changing sour I've ever had. Tart cherries blowing up in my mouth like the Grand Finale on the 4th of July. Uncooked pie dough crust, raspberries, and pomegranate all come through. It has a lightly sweet finish, and things got a little weird when I tasted angel kisses and sunbeams. HOW CAN BEER TASTE LIKE THIS? O wild yeast, my Lord and Master!

M: Crisp and tart, like new money.

O: This is currently my favorite pick for a sour, beer, AND a beverage. It never lets me down with it's crispy tart holiness and mouth-watering goody goodness. Sometimes I wake up in the night and cry out for a glass of Duchesse, screaming until the dawn. "Duchesse! Duchesse!" It must be tasted to be believed.

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Photo of kms910
4.6/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted at the World Beer Festival Raleigh, NC

I wondered why so many bragged about this beer. I bought a bottle some time ago and never opened it.

Finally, I see why everyone is as amazed by the Duchesse as they call her. This beer is unbelievable, a must if you trying a Flemish Red for the first time or any time. I had no idea how much I was going to enjoy this.

A: deep, dark red almost – a barely there foam followed me down my glass

S: cherries, prunes, or raisins and other dark fruits

T: it’s a little sweeter than the smell with a gentle sour bite at the end – perfect

M: Beautiful in the mouth, crisp & creamy....how has this escaped me for so long?

D: Definitely a good beer, robust flavor with a substantial depth to it. I will definitely be drinking this more often.

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Photo of Dantheman4162
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is one of my original reviews, so i regret that its not as detailed as I would hope.
Poured from a 750 ml bottle
Reddish brown ale, Very sweet, almost wine like. a little tart after-taste. It was a very good beer and I highly recommend it. I'm going to need to try this one again.

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Photo of Wutz
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes taken 6-28:

My first sour. It was too much for me. I'm not comfortable with the style but for the style guidelines, it was pretty spot-on.

Appearance: Dark brownish-red with a luxurious off-white head

Aroma: "Sour as hell" is all I got off of it.

Taste: Sweet maltiness with stinging cherry and tart/sour apple. There's a lot more going on under that but I can't pick it out with all that sourness running rampant.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and thick somehow leaving you dry and puckered reaching for another sip

Drinkability: I couldn't hang with it. I drank the whole bottle but it was too sour for me. Fortunately for this beer's rating (yeah, I'm sure Verhaeghe cares what I think), that's right in line with the style guidelines.

Overall: Too much sourness for me. I couldn't give this beer a fair enough shake. It was wonderfully complex but all I could pick out enough to name were the sour characteristics which a lot of people seem to love lately. Give this beer a shot - it's a masterfully crafted beer that was just too much sourness for me.

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Photo of Azumel
2.07/5  rDev -49.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I realize that many people like this beer, but even after fighting through the soy sauce/mustard smell, I couldn't drink it. The strange sweet and sour taste along with the smell was a bit too much for me. Perhaps I'll try it again someday with better results. It's a pretty unique flavor for a beer, but one that I did not enjoy in any way.

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

Now, this is a real different one!

Poured from a longneck bottle into a chalice. Dark, deep mahogany colored, with medium head formation. The aroma can be smelled right away (no need to sniff the glass). A complex blend of acidic notes that brings out shoyu, balsamic vinegar and grapes. The taste is incredibly different, and at first I did not like it. It is the kind of beer that grows with each sip. After you get used to it, the flavor gets really interesting and very complex. It is kind of in between a beer and a red wine, with that vinegar thing always in the background. Amazing, classy drink!

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Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
92 out of 100 based on 1,429 ratings.