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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: 3,885
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 23.17%
Wants: 211
Gots: 690 | 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: 3,885
Photo of womencantsail
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The pour is a dark, rich, red color without too much carbonation or head formation.

S: Loads of dark fruit, specifically sour cherries and currants. There is a nice lactic sourness along with a mild vinegar aroma.

T: Almost identical to the nose. A wonderful tart/sourness, but not overpowering. The cherries really come through here as well as a touch of sweet malt.

M: Medium bodied with a high level of carbonation and a crisp, dry finish.

D: I'm still getting used to these sour ales and this is a great one to start on. Nothing overly intense about it, but a nice beer nonetheless.

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

Best Before: 05-12-09.

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark mahogany brown body with a full, frothy, light khaki-colored head. Fair amount of lacing deposited on the way down.

Smell: Sweet-smelling, sugar-coated fruit nose with a big, hearty dose of malt vinegar. Light whiff of an unidentified herbal component.

Taste: Sweet dark caramel maltiness precludes a fruity dose of raspberries and a sugary, lightly tart cherry juice character and with an addition of both aged balsamic and malt vinegars. Squirt of fresh lemon juice. Tiny pinch of cocoa powder. Mild woodiness throughout. Undercurrent of tart acidity, particularly at the end. Long, fruity, crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-plus carbonation.

Drinkability: Recommended. An enjoyable, tasty, relatively smooth Flemish Red jam-packed with rich fruity complexities.

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

Carefully poured from a long-standing bottle it's a surprisingly clear, reddish-brown with orange-ish highlights. The light tan head rises up full at first, but thins shortly. The thin cap, however, holds to the end of the serving - no doubt buoyed by effervescent carbonation - and leaves some noteable lace. The aroma is soft with sugary sweet dark fruit (cherry, raspberry, plum) and an array of gentle lactic notes including vinegar, leather, and barnyard. It's also a touch of vegetal character, and the combination of sugar sweet and vinegar leaves it with a note that's oddly similar to ketchup. It's not bad, but it's sweeter, more chalky, and much less sour than many of the examples from the historic town of Oudenaarde. The body is light but with some dextrins, and offers a crisp and zesty mouthfeel from a very fine, effervescent carbonation. The flavor starts with a combination of tart, sharp fruit (raisin, raspberry, prune, currant, sour cherry) and sweetish caramelized sugar at the front of the mouth, leading into a more winey character with a big woody note and sweet maltiness at mid swallow. It finishes a bit chalky and dry, with a light stickiness throughout the mouth and a sweet & tart note on the tip of the tongue - sometimes followed by an earthy, musty and acidic burp. A very good beer in the Oud Bruin style, posessing a solid oak character and good fruitiness, but possibly a touch sweet. Overall, quite enjoyable.

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Photo of kojevergas
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Best before date: 30/03/2013. 11.2 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into me Guinness goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Bottle acquired at Red Carpet Liquor in Glendale, California. They also carried the larger bottle. I don't recall the cost. Expectations are through the roof given the reputation of this beer and the style - which I generally am quite fond of.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. This should be in line with the recommended 47-53 degree fahrenheit range. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Not paired with food. I wanted to enjoy the beer on its own, especially since the serving size is relatively small.

A: Pours a four finger head of great smooth cream, marvelous foamy thickness, and fantastic retention - though the ABV is merely 6.00%. Colour is a dark semitransparent ruby. Translucent. No floating yeast particles are visible. There's no bubble show, but I've yet to see a beer in the style with one.

Sm: Sourness, wild yeast, bacteria, cream, clean malts, and an oak tone - when I look for it. A subtle, mild strength aroma. Very encouraging, alive, and inviting. I'd prefer it stronger, but its downplayed timidness lends it a certain class.

T: Yeasty subtle sourness, with cherry fruit ester notes. Slight cream on the open and as an undertone. Oak is a backgrounded tone that isn't horribly noticeable. Hints of red grape notes (but not wine). Extremely subtle. Fantastic. The sourness isn't overdone, and would likely appeal even to people who don't usually enjoy sours. Incredibly well balanced. Exceptionally well constructed, with complexity and layering abound. Nicely tart. Pleasant to drink, even approaching refreshing. Very enjoyable. I quite like it.

Mf: Perfect creaminess for the style. Smooth and wet. Great thickness. It's a touch too wet methinks - especially on the finish. Subtle slight dryness would be ideal to coax out the next sip. Perfect carbonation. Complements the flavours quite nicely.

Dr: Incredibly drinkable. I could down this all night. A bit pricey, but well worth it. An exceptional sour. Quite remarkable and special. Perhaps the best beer in the style I've had yet.

A great candidate for aging.

Drank wonderfully out of me goblet. A snifter would also be appropriate.

Would pair well with a salad, but I'd prefer it alone. This beer warrants your full attention.


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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.41/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from an 11.2oz. bottle into flute glass.

A: The beer is a dark reddish brown color with a medium off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is mostly sour with apples, dark fruit, some chocolate and elements of creaminess and smokiness.

T: The taste is very fruity with a heavy burst of sourness. The initial taste had a nasty metallic bite, but it disappears. The malt character is thin and there’s a mild hops presence. The after-taste is slightly sweet and very tart.

M: Smooth and crisp, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, dry and sticky finish.

D: Tasty, goes down ok, not very filling, it’s not the type a beer that I could drink consistently, but it’s a good to drink casually if you like the sourness.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.57/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this at Crush in Lancaster. Served chilled in a wine glass.

A - Dark burgundy w/ small beaded pale tan head. The color has some ruby accents

S - Smells like a mix of sweet and sour w/ worcestershire some wood and spice w/ a sweet cherry and light currant. There is a subtle raspberry note w/ mild dark sugar aroma

M - The feel is slightly candy-like at first w/ a subtle sour and mild fruit texture, slight berry w/ vinous elements and moderate carbonation. The beer finishes on the dry side.

T - The taste of dark and sweet cherry w/ hints of sour berry notes and light brown sugar like a dessert beer quality. The taste has mild lemon rind acidic flavor w/ mild vinous dark grapeskin notes and wild berry w/ mild spice and earthy hints. The taste is complex to say the least with even a tinge of leather and oak.

D - This is a fantastic flanders w/ subtle smooth sour blended with the fruit and sweet notes. The Duchesse stands alone as I have not had a beer quite like her, very drinkable sweet/sour blend and I find this an easy ale to drink but prefer to save it for occasions.

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Photo of Jason
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep brownish red colour with some haze from both the chill and yeast, tight off white lace with a half decent lace. Soft and slightly sour aroma, dry woody almost nutty back ground. Biting crispness within the light yet effervescent and smooth carbonation. Puckering twang of sourness hits the palate, fruity flavours ride along with this and give suggestions of ripe currant and apple peel. A woody dryness sneaks up and dries the mouth is a split second and clear all residual sweetness. Quite the enjoyable Flemish Red …

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Photo of russpowell
3.96/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours garnet with 4 fingers of off white/sand colored head. Insane lacing &healthy head retention

S: Sour, vinergary notes up front that dissipates to not much of anything & then comes back

T: Sweetness & sourness do battle up front, along with serious dryness. Currant/raspberry taste surface along with hints of vinegar and oaky dryness (squared) as this warms. Finishes tart, uber dry, with a tinge of vinegar & a touch of berry sweetness

MF: Sticky with low carbonation.

Drinks all-right would pair well with many meats & fish & even salads. Just not a session ale, but one to ponder & savor by a fire or in a dimly Belgian pub. I prefer rodnebach's grand cru to this, this is a beer universe expander & well worth a try

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

Pours a clear brown with a reddish hue. Flavor is sour. Hoooie! I love it. Kind of an antiseptic edge to it. But it's nice and smooth. Feel has a fairly biting carbonation that hits quickly and leaves. Liquid is kind of sticky yet smooth. This is a pretty good example of this style. If you aren't ready for the sour, don't bother coming at all for this one.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, best before 5/2014. Pours crystal clear dark reddish brown color with a 2 finger fairly dense and fluffy cream colored with with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice dense foamy lacing clings on the glass, with plenty of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of green apple, cherry, raspberry, pear, apple skin, floral, hay, grass, oak, light vinegar, light red wine, funk, and grassy earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity notes; with moderate malt sweetness and good strength. Taste of lightly tart cherry, raspberry, apple, pear, hay, grass, pepper, light vinegar, oak, light red wine, light funk, and grassy earthiness. Slight fruity and earthy tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark and light fruits, hay, grass, floral, light vinegar, light red wine, oak, and grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of fruity and spicy notes; with a moderate malt balance and zero cloying sweetness present after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a smooth, crisp, and lightly prickly mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with zero warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Flanders red ale. Very nice complexity and balance of flavors; and very smooth and crisp to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.37/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Ruby red brown with a nice caramel tan head leaves appitent amount of head leaves lacing that's beyond my belief. Aroma: Clear caramel malt with massive amounts of amber tones that left me in a frenzy solid looking flemish ale. Taste: Sharp cherry taste with an incredible amount of sourness that is somehow still enjoyable sets your spirit free excellent taste that can'e be let go. Tart fruit flavor that brings any oud bruin competition. Mouthfeel: Heavy carbonation medium bodied ale nice. Drinkability: Excellent solid array of flavors that proves this is a classic staple of the oud bruin or flemish style ale tradition good stuff.

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

Very red and very clear

Deep malt aromas, lots of cherries. Very close in aroma to a Framboise.

The taste has lots of cherries, quite sweet. So much so that I re-read the bottle to see if it was infused with fruit. Again, this is very much like a Framboise...without the lip-smacking sourness. Tastes more potent than the alcohol indicates (6% abv). The body is full, carbonation is moderate. The aftertaste is a light tartness that diminishes slowly.

This is an unusual Belgian in that it doesn't have the typical flavors/aromas. Still, it is very good. Think heavy lambic with less tart.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle.
Sits in the snifter a a clear, deep ruby hue, nearing on brown, with a toasty, fizzy head holding down the fort.
Spicy aroma, and plenty sour, replete with associations of dark fruit, grapes, dates, blackberries, and a twisted hint of licorice. Wicked mix in this nose. I like it.
Oooo, puckeration! Mega-hit of sour on first sip! Backwash of sweetness, cherries and plums, but the tart stays on top. Next sip: Ooooweee, it's at it again! Molasses-like, and treacly in the taste, thinning out by the time the flavor leaves the palate and I'm ready for another swallow...ooo, quit doing that!
Around this time, the intense tartness mellows a bit, and the brew plays a little lighter in the mouth. Sweetness glides arm in arm with sour, and they play a tight ping pong match.
body is medium, lightly fruity, long-lived finish. Tasty thing, despite the challenges that must be met in approaching the brew. I'm going to relax with the remainder.

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Photo of jwc215
3.08/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

11.2 oz. bottle:

Pours deep mahogany (nice color) with very little head.

The smell is vinuous - dark grape.

The taste is of grape and pomigranite. Slight oak. Wine-like (Manishevitz comes to mind). Sour with a fruity sweetness (subtle hints towards a chocolate, but more in that you would find in some wines). Aftertaste of grape soda lingers. Sweettart. Sweet and sour dominates, but more towards the sweetness. Dry finish.

It has certain unique characters, however, it doesn't stand out as anything above average for the style, IMO. Too much like grape soda for me.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours an amber to brown with a finger high light tan head that included several large air bubbles in it. There is pretty good head retention and some moderate lacing present on the glass.

S: Aromas of tart dark fruits, sour cherries, and a slight hint of vinegar. Minor amounts of funk are also present as would be expected from the style. Very pleasant overall in aroma.

T: Very complex flavors are present in this beer including sour cherries, apples, pear, and some candy sweetness. The sour flavor persists even after you have finished in a very pleasant manner.

M: Light to medium bodied with quite a bit of carbonation. The sourness makes you tongue pucker.

O: Nice and complex with wonderful tart and sour fruit flavors, extremely enjoyable and a beer that I would highly recommend. I might just have to go out and purchase a couple more of these to keep in the fridge.

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

Beer served on draft at a beer bar in FL. Beer served in a Duchess De Bourgogne wine glass. Beer is hazy brown and has a broken brown head with very little carbonation. The tiny head manages to leave some lacing on the glass.

Aroma is citric and lactic sour in nature. Not too much complexity but for this style its dead on. Time to drink.

Beer is sweet and sour, the sweetness comes first but its quickly overtaken by the sour nature of the beer. Beer is smooth and has a thin body. The drinkability is high and the midpalate is where the majority of the flavor is noticed. Its a good example of a sour beer.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.97/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes 3/12/11. Thanks to THECPJ for sharing the Duchesse.

A: Color of this beer changes with depth in the glass, there are layers almost, orange, red, and ruby. Small off white head that dissipates quickly and leaves no lacing.

S: Sour and tart, lots of apples and grapes. Also sort of spicy

T: Very tart, some sour cherries, the apples and grapes take sort of a back seat. Some caramel and a little chocolate on the finish.

M: Medium bodied, has a nice crispness, with a dry finish.

O: Good flavors, but it is over the top sour for me, a good sipper, but certainly not something I seeking out to have again.

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Photo of stakem
3.61/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

750ml corked and caged offering that I have cellared for several years. In fact, ive held on to this too long as I see I have surpassed the best by date by 3 years. September 2012 is stamped on the cork. The brew is mahogany in color with a white cap. Ruby clarity is seen along the edges and spotty lace sticks to the glass

The aroma comes off like cider vinegar with some malty sweetness and hints of fruit juice. The taste is tart and fruity like apple cider and cherry juice. Very mild vinegar and residual sweetness with hints of oak. The sweetness here seems more sugary feeling than the typical malt character.

This is light bodied and moderately carbonated. An easy drinking brew but lacking a bit in body/complexity but otherwise quite refreshing.

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

The beer pours a dark amber color with an offwhite head that fades to lacing. The aroma is very malty. It has a fruity feel as well which enhances the pale and crystal malts. There are hints of chocolate here as well. The taste is perfect. It has a malty base, but is dominated with a tart fruitiness. This goes down very easy and finishes a bit dry and acidic. The mouthfeel is perfect as well. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn good drinking beer. I love the fruitiness along with it's complex malt makeup.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer on tap at the Toronado in San Francisco in September, 2004. Served in a authentic Duchesse glass. Watched as it poured with a small head that didn't remain for long. A very opaque, mahoganey color. Almost like blackcurrant juice. A beautiful hue to it. Tons of lace that just stuck to the side and didn't disipate. Smelled both sweet and sour at the same time. A typical Flemish stlye taste but better. Not too sour as I expected. Maybe a cranberry taste or even something nutty in the background. Aftertaste is good as well. A definite great beer that I will have again.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark red with an off-white head. The aroma is tart fruit with a little bit of vinegar. The flavor is a great combination of sweet and sour. The flavors include oak and lots of dark fruit such as plums, cherries and possibly apples and grapes. You get some tart cherries as well as a lot of sweeter fruit to balance out the tartness. Thin mouthfeel and low carbonation. A great beer.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.07/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass. Best before September 9th 2012, and ready to roll.

A nice somewhat foamy head that is sort of cream and off red/white in appearance. Sits on a dark brown/red body resembling almost pancake syrup like in color.

Bouquet is very unique. A faint brown sugar, smoked wood chips, sour fruit and yeast all combine to make a real interesting nose. Hints of brett"y" saison quality. Real nice.

Taste is a very tolerable sourness, and what feels like maltyness and brown sugar on the finish. Both sour and sweet at the same time. A little bit of tight prickly carbonation though, and a bit of a wet mouthfeel.

Even still drinkability is pretty solid. I would have this more often if it wasn't so pricey.

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Photo of Billolick
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Ginger man NYC, Pours dark ruby reddish, cloudy and murky. Nose of must and old feet. Classic Belgian puffy head and leaves nice sheets of lacing. Not for the faint of heart or those lacking a sense of palate adventure. Intense flavors of sour cherries and sweet malts give this one excellent complexity. some nuts, some stinky cheese and some of this stuff and you're all set up for a flavor extravaganza!

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Photo of Gavage
3.97/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear amber / brown color with a medium head. Some lacing developed. The aroma was wine-like, fruity, and sour but very unique. The flavor was of malt and sour fruits and cherries. No bitterness at all.

The mouthfeel was crisp with a long sour fruity finish. This brew is medium / heavy in body with decent carbonation. This brew is for slow drinking session late at night, but drinking more than one would be tough.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.86/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a oversized DFH snifter+ a small wine glass. Thanks Birradr14

Duchesse De Bourgogne graces a dark brown look from afar. Up towards brightness, a red mixture with orange patches and a mahogany screen. A lucious creamy bright vanilla head rose about a inch or so creating snowflake lace.

Her scent comprises of a dose of dark fruit with apple slices and minimal pear. Being a flanders red ale, Duchesse brings vinegar and it is the most forward out of any flanders red i've had. Hops are not a factor here. A sweet shot of vanilla and some oak from the barrel.

Holy sweet vinegar birdman, it is the main contender. Vinegar forward with dark fruits following (apples upfront) with a vanilla or light cream finish. Some pear and cherry. The oak is really prominent in the bottle. On tap, Duchesse is very sweet and the vinegar comes out a bit more, I like this version better. Not really tart or sour.

This has a light to medium body. The carbonation is present and expected from the pop of the cork. It works well. The liquid goes down kind of smooth. I dont find this to be tart or sour in the least bit, although there is some slight acidity on the tounge. This is quite smooth and easy going. The sweetness sticks around for a while (vanilla) but not as much than the on tap version IMO.

This is great beer. Not high in alcohol and the ladies sem to love it. I prefer the bottle version and would prefer the smaller version, I couldent take to much more than that. Big bottles are great for sharing. This would go well with some dark meats. With all this said Out of all the flanders red's I've had it's low in ranking because of the over the top vinegar taste, I've had better.

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