Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe
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Ratings: 3,078 | Reviews: 1,348 | Display Reviews Only:
4.45/5 rDev +7%
Presentation: 11.2 oz bottle poured into a Chimay chalice. (the date on the bottle said best before 17-3-06.) The beer book I have showed it in what looked like an oversized wine glass, and that was the closest thing I could find to match.
Appearance: poured a very dark reddish brown, the carbonation was spritzy. A small head formed initially then faded qickly into a lace around the edge of the glass. A small, almost clould-like puff remained in the center though.
Aroma: Very faint, what I could detect was slightly sour.
Taste: I'm new to this style, and this is easily the most complex beer I've ever tasted, so here goes. At first it is sweet and pleasant, reminiscent of cherries. Then it takes on a more sour flavor, almost like a red wine, but not quite. the finish was rather vinagery, but still pleasant. Throughout the entire time it remained very smooth and semi-sweet.
Overall: This is a beer I wasn't sure I'd like, and I came away pleasantly surprised. I'm not sure I'd want to drink it on a daily basis, but it is truly a remarkable brew. I'd rather break it out once a month or so simply to remind myself how truly complicated and different beer can be. Once you're at this point you're light years away from anything the average person imagines when they think of beer, but that's the whole point, isn't it?
02-21-2005 23:19:05 | More by FenwaySquid
4.38/5 rDev +5.3%
Dont try this at a beer festival in the midst of sweet stouts, hoppy IPAs, or complex Abbeys. You wont like it and youll give it a bad grade, simply because its so different from everything else. Sort of like drinking a strong Cabernet-Zinfandel blend with palak paneer and chicken jal frazie -- youll end up thinking that the wine is bad. Rather, this beer, a remarkable example of Flemish Red Ale, should be experienced on its own, or better yet, with dinner.
It is matured in oak casks, giving it a rich depth. It has a sourness reminiscent of Gueuze or unfruited Lambic, but has much more to offer than the Gueuze that Ive tasted. There is a mild fruity (applish) acidity to the finish giving it a wine-like quality: not for nothing is it called the Burgundy of Beers. It is this acidity coupled with the pleasant sourness and wine-like dryness that makes it go so well with a variety of foods, from artisan cheese to seafood (I expect Im dying to try it with mussels and frites) to venison (I had it with a savory meat pie loaded with cardamom and other spices), and Im sure there are other wonderful pairings lurking out there to be found.
Definitely a keeper. Its also not nearly as high in alcohol (about 6.2% ABV) as other Belgians, so it wont knock you out for the rest of the evening.
12-17-2007 17:23:21 | More by drperm
2.95/5 rDev -29.1%
A: cola colour, small dark beige head
S: sweet vinegar, hints of cherry
T: sweet cherries, slightly murky, too sweet for my taste
M: medium body, sticky, good carbonation
O: by far my least favourite Flemish red, way too sweet, nothing refreshing, very little balancer, just sweet cherries
01-22-2014 16:10:32 | More by benfons
4.6/5 rDev +10.6%
I'm not very familar with this style since I've ever had one of these on draft. However, I certainly will try as many of this style after having this one. This was really a spectacular beer. I can't say I would've appreciated this several years ago. Very sour aroma - duh! A little bit of vinegar, cherry, raspberry, and oak. Kind of hard to describe as the sour is so predominant. Taste is really huge. Incredible levels of tartness. Nice frothy head and a light ruby color. Great mouthfeel - very lively. I can't wait to pop open one of these at the next neighborhood party and offer this to someone.
06-29-2007 18:18:58 | More by doubleipa
4.35/5 rDev +4.6%
Best by date of 8/14/08 poured a deep garnett hue with a pillowy head and respectable lace.
Sweet Sour fruit footish aroma with a wine like wood.
Sweet effervesence and sour twang that lingers. A deffinate wine like flavor that is woody and crisp.
Bubbley and dry to the bone.
Not familiar, but it seems to repeel the wife and kids, so it is a winner.
06-11-2011 03:26:55 | More by welldigger888
4.05/5 rDev -2.6%
Its such a beautiful ruby red. Most beers are like a brown red but this one is truly red. Amazing.
It smells nice and tart. You get some cherries in there. Maybe a little acidic, but still pleasant. Reminds me of fruity sparkling wine.
Right on the front it is tart and sweet and then goes down very sweet and smooth. Very champagne like on the mouth feel. It is kind of hard to describe what i'm tasting. It just reminds me of a darker, fruit champagne. I can see why people like this style and I can see why other shy away.
Overall I definitely enjoy this beer. It is my first Flanders style sour or a Red Sour so I can't really say it's not the best in it's style, but I wish I'd be getting a little more depth. It seems to go down sweet/ vinegary the whole way without really changing too much. But as it warms up it seems to be getting a little better.
Still something i'd love to have anytime. But for 6$ a bottle? I dunno. I'm hoping to enjoy the Lost Abbey's Red Poppy a little more at 15$ a bottle.
04-30-2012 03:05:06 | More by raynmoon
4.73/5 rDev +13.7%
Today is special. Well, sort of. This is beer #200 for us! We have drank a lot of beers over the last two years, but this is a milestone I am excited about. I am also excited about a beer trade we got in the mail today thanks to Andy Crow, a craft beer lover from Iowa. He sent a ton of bottles we haven't had before, including a bottle of KBS from Founders. Thanks for the trade, Andy!
This beer sits on the shelf at Total Wine, but no one ever buys it. I was excited to see this bottle appear in a recent beer class at Total Wine, and was BLOWN away with the flavor. I remember nothing but sour flavors; lip sucking sour flavors in this bottle. You know me and sours. Also, I love the label. The duchess looks so proper sitting there. OK, let's drink. I can't wait!!!
In the Glass: The beer pours reddish-brown; almost looks like a brown ale to be honest. It leaves a nice thin tan head on top that just sits there. Not thick, but according to the label, you are to drink this beer cold. The beer also leaves a nice thin lace.
Nose: This beer even smells sour. Actually, to be honest, the beer stinks. It is so sour that it smells gross! But that is what a Flanders red is supposed to smell like. This is also a smaller bottle, so there isn't much in my glass. I wish they sold thees in bombers. Especially with such a low ABV. A second whiff leaves me those same sour fruity notes I was getting as I poured the beer. Let's drink!
Flavor: Oh. My. GOD! That isn't beer… that is heaven in a glass. Holy crap, that is good. I mean, GREAT. It starts almost mellow and boring, then the sour flavors hit and you are stuck sucking your lips for five minutes. Then, as the beer sits on the palate, it settles to a sweet drying finish. I just looked at the brewery on Google Maps. This place is TINY. The next time we are in Belgium I want to visit the brewery and see them making this stuff in person. I do have another week of vacation this year… maybe I will go to Belgium and get lost bouncing from brewery to brewery! This is a GREAT beer if you like sours.
Mouthfeel: The front of my palate is bored to tears, but the back of my tongue is dancing with flavor. The beer is not thick, but has a nice fluffy mouthfeel. One thing I find enjoyable with sour beers are their tendency to lose that powerful sour flavor as you drink. Not sure if my palate is getting used to the flavor or what, but it allows me to enjoy a sour beer with several different flavors throughout the course of a bottle. Like I said, I just wish the bottle was bigger!
Aftertaste: The aftertaste is great on this bottle. The sour flavor is there for a few swallows, but then a sweetness begins to set in and it becomes dry. With such a low ABV you could drink a ton of this stuff and never know you were drinking beer. I bet this, room temperature, would be amazing. Or, I just thought of this, with a splash of soda water. Make it a Sunday afternoon spritzer by the pool. Yummy!
I knew I was going to like this… and I like it more now than I did when I tried it in the beer class. Bravo to Brouwerij Verhaeghe. This is the only bottle from them on our list… I wonder what other beers they produce. Has anyone tried anything else from them? Oh well, this one is good enough for me to buy over and over again!!! Cheers.
05-09-2013 20:56:41 | More by rickyleepotts
4/5 rDev -3.8%
This beer poured a deep red with a resilient, one-finger head. It reduced to a soapy ring that left curtains of lace on the glass. The aroma was a complex combination of cherries, yeast, vanilla and an earthy smell like damp soil.
Sour cherries carried over into the taste, along with yeast and a woody flavour. The finish was slightly dry, with some tannic flavours. Medium-bodied, with average carbonation.
07-11-2007 01:38:33 | More by vanrassel
3.9/5 rDev -6.3%
Dated best buy 3/2012.
Pours a clear, reddish brown with a finger of tan head; large bubbles, fast fading head, but copious lacing.
A sour vinegar aroma wrapped around papaya, oranges, sweet cherries, and musty funk.
Very sweet, sugary cherry juice and some mild tartness. Plum, oak (which rounds out the flavor profile), vanilla, and bitterness that tingles throughout but remains way in the background. Funky brett enters in the middle and finish ends acidic, and fruity sweet. Sweetness is very prominent, even a tad too much, but the flavor interplay still yields good drinkabilty.
Effervescent, light body that pops on the tongue, with a low to medium level of carbonation that is both refreshing and a touch tongue drying. If I really look I can pick up some milk chocolate notes, but it's a stretch.
I would imagine some age would dry this beer out and make it a truly delicious experiences that isn't quite so sweet.
07-12-2010 03:08:06 | More by TheJollyHop
4.03/5 rDev -3.1%
A Belgian Flanders Red poured into a tall chalice. Presents itself a deep ruby brown with a thin pale tan head that dissipates quickly, leaving a fine lace in the glassware. Active carbonation bubbles are evident. The nose is, to me, much like a good gueuze albeit a bit more subdued. Tart, over ripe fruits, port, slight cider venegar notes, and a hint of spice. The palate is quite sour up front, causing the mouth to water instantaneously. The sourness quickly yields to a strong sweetness, delivering a taste of confectioner's sugar, cider venegar, cherries, and baker's yeast all at once. The sweetness diminishes again in the mouth after swollowing, reminding you of the sour beginnings. Really a complex play in the mouth. If you've not experienced a Gueuze or a Flanders Red before, this interplay may be a bit much for you. The brewers achieve this by blending both young and old (cask aged) ales to create these complex beers. Once you've aquired the taste for "sour" ales, however, you'll be hooked. The mouthfeel is medium, at best, and the finish is sweet mixed with sour, and lingers long. The feel would be a bit cloying were it not for the aggressive carbonation found here. Intentional ... I'd bet on it. A very good Flanders ale, and one I wish I could find again more readily. This one took a trip to Indianapolis recently to find. These ales are a challenge to some, and very well may not be for everyone ... but if you like a good Lambic, Gueuze or Flanders Red, this is one that will not only please you, but may well be the best exemplar of the style. Terrific.
12-31-2006 16:42:49 | More by beerphilosopher
4.35/5 rDev +4.6%
From my beer journal. Reviewed on October 16, 2011.
A: Much deeper brown/red than I expected. Nice 2 finger head that is light tan/white. It dissipated to around one finger and stuck around. Good looking beer!
S: Mostly red wine. I'm also getting a nutty backbround that I wasn't expecting.
T: There's a great interplay between the tartness you'd expect from the flanders red and a deep malt backbone that's at times sweet and smooth. Delicious.
M: Medium body, nice carbonation.
O: I think this beer surprised me at every step. Great balance in this little bottle.
10-20-2011 07:00:12 | More by tony223366
4.35/5 rDev +4.6%
Enjoyed a little goblet of this on tap at The Imperial on Orange, Orlando FL.
A: Deep crimson with a smooth, excellent tan head.
S: Red wine vinegar, cherry juice and fresh dough.
T: Follows the smell exactly with a welcome sweetness and a tart finish. Hints of cane juice and sour apples.
D: I don't see how anyone could call this undrinkable.
05-18-2011 01:48:28 | More by WeezyBoPeep
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,078 ratings.