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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

2,645 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2645
Reviews: 1319
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 13.98%


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)
View: Beers (12) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,645 | Reviews: 1,319 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2010 22:25:18 | More by Mora2000
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a chalice/snifter. It was a dark brown with flecks of red. It had a tan, two-finger head that left nice rings of lace.

S - It smelled of sour cherries and malt.

T - It tasted very sour with a little sweet kick. There was a good dosage of malt, too.

M - It was crisp and sharp. It was medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very good beer. It's the first Flanders Red Ale that I've tried and I really liked it.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2007 17:11:57 | More by zeff80
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A nice burgundy color, quite clear and pours with almost no head. Tastes lightly sour, with a hint of sweetness. Smells lightly woody and a bit sour as well. This beer tastes tart with a hint of cherry. A much more everyday, easy drinking version of Rodenbach Grand Cru. Maybe some hints of vanilla in the taste, followed by a bit of tannic background. No bitterness just a wonderful marriage of tart and sweet flavors. A hint of alcohol in the finish.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2003 16:37:45 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This ale poured out as a fizzy looking deep red color with a light tan colored head on it. The head didn't last very long and neither did the lacing. The color was great on this beer though. The aroma of oak wood and fermented cherries on the nose giving this quite a sour profile. The taste is exactly what the smell told me. The flavors in this beer are big a powerful upfront with tart cherry and fresh oak. The aftertaste settles into a more semi-sweet and very nice yeasty cherry flavor. The mouthfeel is bubbly and kind of thin but didn't bother me. Overall this is probably one of my favorite sours, I'm not really into this style too much but I'll admit I did enjoy this brew.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2011 20:50:36 | More by Knapp85
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

3.08/5  rDev -25.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2007 15:06:14 | More by jwc215
Photo of BlackHaddock
BlackHaddock

United Kingdom (England)

2.53/5  rDev -39%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Third Flanders Red I've reviewed on this site and it is receiving the lowest scores so far. Very surprised to see it in the top ten for its style.

I didn't like the sour, vingerous aroma mixed in with the old cherry and almonds smells. I know that is what should smell like, but this seemed a over the top.

It looked fine, clear ruby red when held up to the light. The head started as a wisp and didn't change much throughout the drinking, apart from getting less and less.

The sweet and sour taste was too sickly and it was too fizzy as well, over carbonated for sure.

This is a designer beer, I've had it on tap and bottled before, it wasn't great then. My wife doesn't like it and I don't either.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2008 12:13:35 | More by BlackHaddock
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -3.6%
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 nice and smooth and it is what it is. Feel has a fairly biting carbonation that hits quickly and leaves. Liquid is kind of sticky and 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.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2008 09:39:38 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

Ohio

4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2004 08:49:28 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2004 01:11:01 | More by Gavage
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2006 01:14:49 | More by smcolw
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz. bottle, best by 9/2/11,

A: Pours a copper burgundy with a pillowy off-white head, lots of lace.

S: Attic dust and must, balsamic vinegar, and a hint of raspberry.

T: Sweet upfront, the fruit changes from raspberry in the nose to Bing cherry on the tongue. Sweet cherries, not sour cherries. Rather mild acetic acid is here. Definite oak character - there are hints of vanilla. There's a note of sweet caramel malt that's aching to get in the mix too.

M: Sweet to start out with, tart and sour on the finish. Complex. Not over-carbonated, which I was concerned about with the big head, but the carbonation is rather light here - the background acidity carries the body of the ale.

D: Again, I can see why these types of beers are known as the Burgundies of Belgium. Not only the colour, but they are delicious, complex; they have some wildness to them but are still completely distinct from the lambic beer family. I'd love to pair this with a venison steak and cherry reduction sauce, I think that would be amazing. The nice thing about this beer is it is very easy to find and not overpriced in the current price range of Belgian beers. It's making me wonder why it took me so long to revisit it.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2010 22:29:28 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin

Colorado

4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

not your typical sour, overly infused with sour cherry and rotten harvest fermentation. surprisingly mellow with its dark pour. piquant and satisfying. pairs well with smoked cheeses amd pickled beets. quick in the mouth and somehow ancient. 4-pack night is worthy. cheers!

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2011 06:52:38 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of tempest
tempest

Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Farmhouse in Emmaus, PA. Served, post-dinner, in a large wine glass, murky brown with no head. This beer reminds me of Goudenband. The beer menu described this as having chocolate-covered raisin flavors, and I think that's a bit of a stretch. Certainly, there is a pairing of sweet candy and sour flavors, and I can find raisins in here, but no chocolate. This beer is not that much of a dessert beer. For it's creamy mix of flavor (which also includes salad vinaigrette) it's not an incredibly drinkable beer, but it is a semi-approachable sour ale that drinks a bit like a thick hard cider. Not my favorite, but a beer to try if you're into the wild styles.

Serving type: on-tap

12-21-2008 13:07:40 | More by tempest
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

4.15/5  rDev 0%
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.

A-

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2012 03:56:50 | More by kojevergas
Photo of Billolick
Billolick

New York

4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
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!

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2004 22:00:57 | More by Billolick
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

3.63/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(Served in a snifter)
A-Pours a deep chocolate brown body that is almost opaque with a nice carbonation of tiny bubbles. It has a tan head that fades to a few clouds of head around the edge of the glass.

S- Black cherry, dried cranberry aromas with a sharp vinegar smell.

T- tart cherry flavor with a strong acidity. Hints of currants or cranberries are present. A slight hint of vanilla is present but the acidity dominates. Hints of port flavors in the finish.

M- Medium-light body and not any fizziness from the carbonation. It has acidic pucker at the finish but no sweetness or alcohol in the finish.

D- The sourness fades about 3/4 of the way through the beer. It starts to mellow after your taste bud get used to the shock. It has an almost red wine taste and it would be wonderful to develop that more at a port taste with other flavors popping out aswellas the acidity. Definitely an interesting experience.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2005 01:38:19 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of lacqueredmouse
lacqueredmouse

Australia

3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml caged and corked bottle purchased from Jackson Wines & Spirits in Lafayette, CA. Shared with @LaitueGonflable and @tobeerornottobe.

Pours a gorgeously deep and gem-like ruby red colour, with a fine and relatively solid head of pale orange-white. Lacing is sheeting, but quite sticky. Fine bead, and good body. Lovely looking brew.

Vinegary and acetic on the nose, giving big sour characters and a red wine-like spice to accentuate it. Under it are rounder notes of oak and vanilla, but the acidity always powers through, showing you who's boss. Nice.

Taste is really quite surprisingly tempered. Certainly very little true acidity, but more of a sweet vinous bite and plenty of oakiness. Quite sweet for the most part, indeed far sweeter than I expected from the nose, giving it a cherry soda kind of alcopop appeal. It's nice, and surprisingly mellow, but it lacks a bit of complexity as far as I'm concerned.

A very drinkable, and very soft Flanders Red, but I prefer mine with a more robust acidity and deeper complexities from oak and tannins. Still, very enjoyable, very easy to drink and really very refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2011 03:24:34 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of jdhilt
jdhilt

New Hampshire

4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a two-finger white head leaving that fades quickly but leaves a good lace. Clear, deep reddish amber. Nose is raisin. Tastes of raisins and apricots, smooth with sweetness but has a slightly tart finish. Complex - sweet and sour. A 330ml bottle was $3.50 from Colonial Liquors, Acton, Ma.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2004 22:41:14 | More by jdhilt
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
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 …

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2002 22:58:25 | More by Jason
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

3.73/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear dark red brew with some floaters in it.

Strong sour smell with a cherries and fruit scent. Is this a sour Lambic? Harder sniffing uncovers spice and a sweet smell too. The sweet smell is malt.

Flavor is very sour, with woody flavors. Cherries are present; this strongly resembles a Kriek Lambic in flavor. After you get over the sour shock other flavors come out. Add Honey, Mustard, and olive oil to this and you will have an interesting salad dressing.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Not real drinkable, it's to sour for most.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2004 02:41:19 | More by Zorro
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch

Utah

4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown/black color, nice carbonation, lots of lacing throuhout the drink. Scents of grapes, sour/tarty, and caramel. I like the taste, tarty/sour, carbonated, reminds me of a wine, but more to my liken (not a wine drinker at all). Medium body. Very drinkable, this is my first Flanders Red Ale. Totally blew my mind when opened and took my first sip. Would highly recommend to people, will definitely buy again.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2005 01:20:30 | More by Wasatch
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Serving type: bottle.

Pours a dark amber brown with burgundy edges. Beautiful aroma of oak, cherry, vanilla and sour tartness. The combination of the two aged brown ales provides this beer with a perfect smooth balance that is not to sweet and not to tart. Hints of oak, vanilla, grape, cherry, sugar and sourness.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2008 07:50:29 | More by corby112
Photo of DoubleJ
DoubleJ

California

3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The portrait on the front label looks like a Rennaissance work with the phrase "Flemish Art of Brewing" in small print towards the top. Some of the words are printed in Dutch and French. Wow, I'm getting worked up about this one, and this is quite an uncommon style to find. On to the beer:

Into a snifter it goes, and it's a lighter brown with red mixed in. This is a very intersting smell, one I haven't encountered yet because of the limited Belgian beers I've sampled. Smells of wine vinigrette and sourness. I'm afraid to go on any farther...no I'm not! This is really interesting, very fruity, and not esters, it's really sweet. A little sourness is mixed in, which seems to be the way the beer balances out the sweet flavor. The aftertaste is quite dry with bready malts. I enjoyed it more the farther I got along with it. Not too cloying and not overpowering. And really different from your everyday beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2007 03:35:59 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of wl0307
wl0307

United Kingdom (England)

4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Revisiting this vaguely-defined Flanders ale as part of my 7-bottle tasting panel of Flemish Red/Brown ales. BB 13/12/09, served lightly-chilled in Gulden Draak's tulip-shaped bowl sniffer.

A: dark russet brown colour with good clarity, coming with fine yet constant streams of carbonation in support of a thick, dark-beige frothy head that retreats reluctantly and leaves tight lacing behind.
S: marvellously fruity, lactic-sour, and sweet-malty... creamy yet salty-sour berry fruits are not "floating", but rather thick and oily, suggesting licorice-marinated prunes, strawberry/raspberry jam, fat smoked longan-fruits, and a dancing touch of diacetyl in the background, while the dark malts give out a strong aroma of crystallised sugar... A closer sniff reveals the underlying oak-ageing aroma, that is mildly vanilla-ish sweet yet inextricably linked to the vinegary character typical of this style. Still, having tried Rodenbach Grand Cru, this ale smells rather like a milder Oud Bruin to me.
T: the foretaste is just lightly lactic-sour cherry-fruity, backed by a thick body of mild brown-sugary malts, semi-sweet longan-fruits and utterly delicious prunes... as the vinegary sour-fruity edge softens, very quietly the main theme gives way to lightly flavoured, sweet-tea-ish herbal touch of hops and lightly aromatic notes of oak-ageing (not unlike an Oloroso Sherry actually), leaving a mildly woody/tangy palate to go with more aromatic undertones of Chinese prunes in the long finish. Simply delicious...
M&D: like my last bottle, the body is medium-plus and the texture is impeccably creamy-smooth, but the overall sweet elements apparently are much softer and the flavour structure is quite "evolving", hence a more enjoyable balance. Still, it's very hard to determine where a Flemish Red stops and Oud Bruin starts, as the characters shown in this nice ale border both, smartly.

* Tasting Date: 23/07/06
This is the first time to revisit this beer since my first encounter three years ago in Brussels. I still remember that it gave me a much sweeter impression than Rodenbach's range and other counterparts, thus I was not that keen to try it again. But my memory could be hazy, I told myself in the shop, and it deserves a "recorded" opinion as such~~ BB 11/07/07, served lightly-chilled in a large Burgundy bulb wine glass.
4 A: reddish-brown in colour the beige-hued frothy head settles fast to a rimmed foam and leaves uneven lacing along the way; medium-lively carbonation. Looking settled and promising.
4.5 S: slightly rusty upfront, followed by a much milder edge of red wine vinegar, creamy raspberry+strawberry-flavoured yogurt, lightly-caramelised sugar, and a fantastic note of smoked prunes and quite akin to a silky and prune-ish Rioja!! As I remember it right, the fruity smell does have a sweeter edge to the overall sour aroma, but in a sense a softer and creamy balance is obtained b/w wood-ageing factor and profound maltiness, neither so... exciting nor harsh as Rodenbach Grand Cru... Instead it's deeply aromatic, fruity, yet approachable.
3.5 T: an assertive flow of brown sugar like sweetness and sour-sweet berry- and stone-fruits smoothly caress the tongue, but in two different layers rather than being mixed seamlessly... the mid-flavour shows more sweet and creamy malts, which is not heavy but slightly too sugary, whereas the soft fruitiness and wood-ageing's sourness prevail in time to result in a slightly dryish, tangy and tartly-sweet aftertaste, thus an overall pleasant and evolving structure is secured all right. Short and clean finish.
4 M&3.5 D: can't complain at all about the texture--creamy and softly carbonated on the mouthfeel, and the body is quite solid yet pretty refreshingly-light vis-a-vis the flavour. Somehow the sweet edge of this beer is still what fails to convince me, just like my first encounter three years ago: the sweet, sugary edge running in parallel to, rather than hand in hand with, the sour-fruitiness poses the largest difficulty b/w me and this otherwise fantastic beer. Guess I'd only be converted to this ale either when my palate changes, or the brewer budges.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2009 19:13:35 | More by wl0307
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer is 'red' only in regards to its highlights, which blaze a casual orange-red, like that of persimmon fruit. The body is slightly dark and its shine is modest. A patchy yet all encompassing tarp of head slates the beer at all times. Irregular patterns of lacing are splotched about the glass.

The smell can evolve throughout the tasting. Generally speaking it is a compost of candy apple, balsamic vinegar and spiked cranberry lemonade. As it became room temperature, the smell grew more sweet than it was at first sour, and became remarkably alike a mead. One (or all) of the cranberry lemonade/balsamic vinegar/candy apple is what most will likely pick up on.

The Duchesse, somewhat distinct from others its style, has an underlying bittersweet cocoa mixed with granola kind of flavour. More like others, the sense of balsamic vinegar is strong. Strawberries, cherries, bruised apple, and dates characterize most of the overripe fruit taste.

The mouthfeel is certainly a lot closer to a wine than most beer drinkers would be used to. Bitterness is replaced by sourness (although no Cantillon) and tartness (although no Rodenbach). The oak aging contributes greatly to the overall dimension of the beer, lending a dryness, but also combining with the sweetness in flavour to make for rum, port, or sherry like taste.

Like lambics, Flanders Ales are a blend of young and old beers and carry a touch of funk. Although the two styles also share in common barrel aging, the merging of tart, sweet, and sour, as well as the often underlying acidity, the reds and bruins of Flanders certainly don't drink like their Brusselian cousins.

Flanders Ales offer you a choice. Their subtleties and complexity allow for something that can be sipped and savoured. The medley of sweet and sour, on the other hand, make for something refreshing and rewarding, a glass that won't last long full. The choice can be yours.

I've had the Duchesse De Bourgogne on so many occasions now, including the beer at different ages, and I can honestly say that it is always a treat. The Duchesse especially epitomizes the art of Flemish brewing.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2008 02:11:38 | More by biegaman
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 2,645 ratings.