Dismiss Notice

Site Performance Updates: We're aware of the nightly site outage, and working on resolving the issue.

Follow our progress ...

Duchesse De Bourgogne | Brouwerij Verhaeghe

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
91
outstanding
1,484 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,484
Ratings:
4,061
Avg:
4.09
pDev:
23.72%
 
 
Wants:
233
Gots:
821
For Trade:
16
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Verhaeghe
Belgium | website

Style: Flanders Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-15-2001

View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,484 | Ratings: 4,061
Photo of mpyle
4.34/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Best before 06-06-08, so a year ahead of "expiration date".

app - Lovely reddish-brown color with sparkling clarity. Large, creamy, off-white head lingers nicely, leaving lace in its wake.

smell - A bit vinegar-like, and a sour berry smell dominates. Pleasant, but a bit simple and one-dimensional.

flavor - a dark berry fruity sweetness and a competing sour dryness. Overall balance slightly sweet. Hop flavor nonexistent as appropriate for style, hop bitterness not clearly evident (but providing some balance).

MF - medium body and low-to-med carbonation. A gentle astringency from the red wine-like finish, but in style. No alcohol warming.

O'all/drinkability - A beautiful looking, beautiful tasting beverage. Lovely mnelding of fruity sweetness and aged beer sourness, with tremendous balance. Given the price (think my 11.2 oz bottle was about $4) and nature of the brew, not one that will be a pounding session beer, but highly drinkable for a sour (in my view).

 988 characters

Photo of Bierman9
3.71/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed from an 11.2oz bottle, with a best before date of 19Jan08. Label says 6.0% abv....

Poured into a small tulip glass, the Duchesse has a lovely, clear, deep ruby hue. Luscious! Head is beige and steady at about 1/4", fine and tight. Carbonation heads topside at a regular pace, and lacing left behind is superb. Great looking bier! The nose is tart and cherryish, yet show sweetness at the same time as sourness. Very nice. Body for the Duchesse was a smidge under medium, with a light, bubbly, airy feel on the tongue. Not overly prickly, though.

Flavor has sweetness, with a syrupy cherry character at the start. Quite good at the outset, though in mid- to late-sip a funky, bitter aspect kicks in. Has some vinegar and woody traits, and reminds me somewhat of the horse-blanket flavor some Belgians have. Though not overly off-putting, it does put a damper on what was a great start to the flavor profile. Finish is crisp and dry. Still, tastes rather nice, all in all.

Zum Wohl!

overall: 3.9
appearance: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | mouthfeel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5

986

 1,085 characters

Photo of icemonkey908
3.82/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap as a guest beer from town hall. Served in a 10oz glass. A very dark beer that reveals dark red undertones when help to the light. Very clear.

The smell is very strong. A strong cherry scent is evident along with an overall sweet aroma. The flavor is also very strong of cherry with some mild tartness. This beer is very sweet and very tingly on the tongue An interesting combination for sure.

Overall, this beer is a little sweet for my tastes so that detracts from the drinkability, but the distinct flavor and intriguing aroma are qualities that are hard to ignore. Not an everyday beer, but definitely one to try from time to time.

 648 characters

Photo of kms910
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

 806 characters

Photo of bosco7
4.02/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

33cl bottle purchased from BevMo. Kind of dusty and a best before date of 9-9-06 (today is 4-29-07) not too worried.

Dull dark brown with some red. Nice head retention.

Red wine like aromas, cherries, oak, and lots of twang.

Sweet upfront with heavy cherry flavors, prune, and finishes with a mild tartness. Very nice balance between sweet and sour components. Tastes great. Although I forget that I am drinking a beer.

Chewy mouthfeel with almost divine carbonation tickling the tongue. It is a well attenuated beer with great balance making it very drinkable, however I could only drink one. Very interesting; I have had nothing like this beer before. Some might be turned off by the sourness but I love it.

 724 characters

Photo of jbsteiny
4.48/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was intrigued by the “Flemish Red” on the menu at The Blind Tiger, and this beer blew me away. Looked almost like a hazy glass of port – a beautiful dark ruby color – but for the slight head – less than 1 cm of white sparse foam which laced nicely down the sides of the tulip glass. My entire table insisted that it smelled of vinegar, and it’s true that the primary note in the nose was basalmic red wine vinegar, but I also got Granny Smith and sherry. (My buddy Zack kept saying, “Yeah, but it’s a beer that smells like a salad.”)

Unbelievable complexity. I had no idea what the ABV was, but I was sure of two things: I could drink this all night, and if I did, I wouldn’t make it to work the next day. Tart & tannic, the Burgundy Duchess took me on a rollercoaster of taste starring sweet and sour red fruit. I don’t know what else exactly, but there was an earthiness and a floral element to boot. Again, I was blown away. A dry finish to what could have been a pucker-inducing glass, as well as an alcohol content masked by the sourness, only add to its high marks. Not something I would drink every night (or would I?), but an amazing treat for when I’ve been good.

 1,189 characters

Photo of Sprows
4.27/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled at Flying Saucer - Columbia, SC.

11.2oz bottle (with lovely damsel on the label) poured into a tulip glass. Deep brownish-red, with a thin, lingering head. Full aroma, with apple overtones and some acidity.

Complex tart flavor, again like apples. Sweet off the bat, with a bold tart and sour taste following. Tastes & feels hearty, as Flemish ales will.

A pleasingly tasty and smooth beer, good for meals/cheese pairings (gruyere in this instance), sessions, etc. Hearty enough to enjoy in cold months, and refreshing enough to be pleasing in summer months. Excellent change-of-pace choice, and good for sharing. Highly recommended.

 649 characters

Photo of Illini5596
3.73/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Excellent beer, strong fruit flavors, almost grape like, with a spicyness and definite effervescent feel. The taste is a nice mix of tart and smooth, with a sharpness in the aftertaste. While I really love this beer, it isn't one I'd have every day, or even every month. It has a bit of a thick and sticky mouthfeel, and isn't as drinkable as I would like, when compared to the excellent taste.

A good one to try and have on rare occasions.

 443 characters

Photo of duncan9idaho
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Nice dark brown color with surprisingly light colored head. At first whiff it reminded me of very expensive balsamic vinegar and strong cider without the spice. My first taste was taken slow and a small amount because I figured this sour brown was gonna do a number on my palate. Much to my surprise The sourness did not trash my mouth as New Belgium's La Folie did the first time. A little more acid then most but flavors of apple cider, balsamic vinegar, sweet dried fruits, with tart finish on the backsides of the tongue. Better to be enjoyed out of the 4 pack if drinking alone or shared with a friend if enjoying a 750 ml.

 628 characters

Photo of mjc410
3.7/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass at Pizzeria Paradiso in Georgetown, Washington, DC. This brew left very sticky, lasting lacing, despite having only a thin ring of bubbles comprising its head. The bubbles were light tan, and the body was a translucent ruby-brown. The nose was led by grapes, then cherries, a touch of vinegar, and pepper. Very nice! The taste wsa quite similar, and pretty dry, and quality overall, but with a bit too much acidity. The body was medium-light, with also a light but tingly carbonation. A bit harsh, but still enjoyable.

 544 characters

Photo of jmc44
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark, deep brownish-red, with a rocky offwhite head that sticks around forever.

Fruity aroma, apples, acidic, a bit of sweet malt and hints of earthiness.

Taste is complex. A great balance of malty sweetness with a strong tart flavor, like sour cherries, apples, and a hint of raisins and dark fruit. Light and sweet at first, followed by the pronounced tart and sour taste. Surprisingly clean finish.

Medium-bottled, fairly highly carbonated, smooth. A very good beer, very complex and yet well balanced.

 522 characters

Photo of SiphonKing
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

delicious sour red from the Flanders region of Belgium. The sweet and sour creates a delicious feel on the tounge and goes down smoothly. Hop bitterness is minimal if at all with the sour shining through. A classic example of the Flanders style and worth looking out for.

 271 characters

Photo of kernalklink
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

My first experience in the flemish art of brewing- new and exciting. Brew poured a deep dark mahogany, with a slighlty effervescent head. Aromas were strong on malts- sweet molasses, somewhat yeasty finish with an almost vine-like quality. Taste was big- my mouth puckered as the big sweetness was replaced by dry sourness. A combination of dried raisens, cherries and aged balsamic. Tingling carbonation allowed the earthy woodiness to come through and beat down the sourness somewhat. Heavy bodied in my opinion, it had the qualities of a good port with a sour kick. I had to sip this one, as my palate was overwhelmed. A must-try, but i expect it would take a more refined palate to make this one a go to brew.

 713 characters

Photo of Bobikel
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - A very clear deep red with an extremely rocky head that dissapates and leaves a little lacing in its wake.

Smell - Deep maltyness and an apple like tartness give way to some black pepper, earthy notes.

Taste - Semi sweet with a mild sourness persisting. Grassy and fruity.

Mouthfeel - Slick and oily. Light carbonation.

Drinkability - Fairly easy drinking, although a little to sweet for much more than one glass. More carbonaiton would help here.

 472 characters

Photo of jletts
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appeared dark amber with a strong, smooth frothy one-finger head that shrank but never totally dissipated during the duration of the taste. Smelled strongly of apples, sour cherry, some sweet dark fruit, and a little yeast. The taste centered on apples, pears and a little sour cherry- very strong on the sour apple flavor. A champagne-like effervescence filled the mouth until the very end. This beer is highly carbonated. Very good drinkability, a nice red sour-style and I would definitely drink a few if I had more.

 519 characters

Photo of ColoradoBobs
4.94/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at the Falling Rock Tap House, Denver, CO, March 16, 2007, served in a lovely brandy-snifter sized tulip glass.

Appearance: Minimal head over a dark burgundy body. Pretty. Crimson highlights around the edge. Even though the head is smallish, it lasts and lasts and lasts. A bit of lacing.

Lovely sour-cherry and cardamom smell, with a candy-sugar background. Some sweet maltiness is there as well. Smells great. Hope it tastes this good!

Taste does not disappoint, although it's bit sweeter than the smell. Like a light red sparkling wine, with a malty backbone. Wow. What a delight. Sour, but not mouth-puckering. Delightful cherry notes, with some clove and cardamom. Very complex, and the sweetness advances as the beer warms a bit. Wonderful taste! Not quite a 5.0, but more like a 4.9!

Mouthfeel is surprisingly chewy for a 6.2% beer. Nice tingly carbonation -- makes you want to swirl and chew before swallowing.

Really very drinkable. I was surprised. This is only the second Flanders Red I've had (the first being LaFolie, which was so exceedingly sour it was like vinegar -- way too sour for me!), and I was very pleased. Now that I've had this on tap, I'll be looking for it in the bottle to compare.

Oddly enough, I found the sometimes rotten service at FRTH to be exceptionally cordial and efficient. I was sitting at the bar, and was just finishing a Hercules DIPA (ON CASK!), and asked the guy to recommend something at the opposite end of the spectrum from the Hercules, and he gave me a 3-ounce sample of this, which motivated purchasing a 12 ounce glass. What a great beer!

 1,606 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
3.28/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

My very first sour ale. I was not sure what to expect going in, but definatly knew what it was about when it was done!

Poured a deep dark brown, with lots of reddish hints to it, making it almost seem a dull burnt orange in bright light. A huge billowing white head faded quickly, but left a nice film of lace about the top for most of the glass. The smell was probably the strongest I have ever smelled in a beer. Almost knocked me over. Huge flavors of sour grapes and apples, lots of fruity hints in there, and very very strong, really like nothing I have ever smelled. The taste was unbelievably sour. Like sour candy sour, huge flavors, too much for me. Actually made my eyes water with every sip. Very light mouth feel, and great carbonation were nice, and helped it go down smoothly, but was not really my cup of tea. Flavors were big, grapes, apples, peaches, raisins, plums, very very complex and fruity. Overall I did not enjoy it, but I am not sure if this was due t o the style or this particular brew. I will have to try a couple more to get a better feel, but this one was rough on me. I could see how someone would like its deep complex character, just not me.

 1,178 characters

Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.82/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

A - Clear ruby to burgundy color with a sizeable head that leaves thick rings of lacing down the sides of the glass.

S - Sweet raspberry, cherries and candied sugars.

T - Very sweet, like a slightly sour cherry soda, there is a bit of raspberry and light malt. After taste is empty, the flavor just vanishes.

M - High carbonation, harsh like a soda, pretty refreshing.

D - Definitely a good beer, mild pleasant flavor with a substantial depth to it. Worth a try certainly. A good beer to convert those who dislike hops.

 531 characters

Photo of Stubbie1
4.01/5  rDev -2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

When I popped the cork on this brew, a big “Best Before June 2008” was on the cork. Wonder when it was bottled…..

This beer poured a deep red color, almost a dark garnet. Heading was a decent, two finger thick off white in color. I cant remember seeing a beer this red and clear before. Lacing was thick after the head made its way and present until the end of the glass.

Aroma is sour, tart, spoiled juice or maybe a bit on the vinegar side, different but yet inviting. A hint of something “fruity” was floating around but never fully developed.

Taste is wonderful in its own way. Tart sour start with, like a fruit type of vinegar and a mild semi-sweet fruit feel in the middle washing out to a crisp clean finish. No lingering after taste. I was surprised on how “fresh” the pallet felt after this brew went its way down.

Mouth feel was thin, not a bad thin but a refreshing one and there is quite a bit of carination going on in there. Drinkability, well I could sit and slowly enjoy two or three of these over the course of an evening.

Overall this is a different but very enjoyable brew. The tartness may be a turn off to some and may play into the drinkability of this brew. Some might get the taste buds burnt out but I think it is worth the try and well worth another bottle.

 1,306 characters

Photo of hummni
4.71/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Why ever drink any thing again after this beer. I love this beer I can’t stop drinking it. I drink it in my Maudite Tulip glass...The color of Duchesse is a wonderfully dark red and it looks awesome behind the maudites winged devil...the head is around 2-3 fingers and a light tan color not real sticky but some nice lace. Smell is a sour smell but so much more...hard to explain I fine this beer very complex. Taste is sour and very drinkable no ALC. taste, being only 6%abv. This was expected. All in all if you are looking for something different to try, try a sour Flemish tonight and this is an awesome example of them.

 625 characters

Photo of barknee
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew has been sitting in the fridge for the last 6 months, as I feared of a potential similarity to Rodenbach Grand Cru. Different world..out-of-this world. First and foremost is the absence of clinical levels of acids which are present in Rodenbach. This brew is extraordinarily well balanced; slightly sour, slightly acidic and moderately sweet. The nose is a soft essence of wet wood with the perfect accompaniment of bret on the nose; wonderfully integrated. An impressive foamy tan head leading to massive lacing throughout the tasting. Sweet malts and candy sugars make for the perfect foil to the sour elements of this brew. This bottle was easily consumed with a meal of sweet & sour shrimp stir-fry, simply a perfect match! With its rich deep cinnamon color, beautiful balance and exceptional flavor profile, this is a surprisingly complex and delectable treat.

 875 characters

Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Cola colored body very clear throughout the body. Off-white head that dissipated quickly but some mild lacing was present.

Smell: Allmost wine-ish smell. Hints of vinegar, oak, plums, caramel, sour apples and cherries. Some mild spices present.

Taste: Starts off with a smooth caramelish taste. The fruits and spices come in to excite the palate. The finish is again the caramel with the lingering spices and mild tartness

Mouthfeel: Mild carbonation and silky smooth feel. NIce coating in the mouth. Almost cidery.

Drinakbility: Well I definitely plan on having another of these and saving the last 2 for company at some point. I could see this going very well with a dessert.

 701 characters

Photo of bark
4.37/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The colour is dark red-brown; the liquid is clear. The low off white foam slowly sinks down leaving a small amount of lacing.

The smell is… Ehhh… Different. Sticky sour notes chemical of acetone, red fruits, barrel-aged flavours, some bitterness and a hint of chocolate. Cool.

The taste is very complex, yet balanced and smooth. The first very sour chemical flavour passes quickly leaving room for a fruity sweet note: Red apples, cherries, raspberries, strawberries… There is a mild sour note with some earthy flavours and a growing matured flavour of wood and strong wines. The aftertaste is fruity and sweet with a gentle low bitterness.

The carbonation is medium strong with lots of short-lasting small fresh bubbles. The liquid is creamy and a little bit thick.

I have never tasted anything like this. Much more fruity and matured than the fruit Lambics, still it is very sour and chemical.

 913 characters

Photo of mmmbeer
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330 mL brown bottle, best before 10/18/07. The Duchesse is a blend of 8 and 18 month old ales that have been aged in oak casks. It pours a lightly-sedimented mahogany that thins to amber near the bottom of the flute, and has medium to light carbonation that goes up to an inch of yellowish/brown head that leaves nice sheets of lacing. The aroma is sweet and sour, lactic?, with fruit (berries?), chocolate?, mild oak, iron, and maybe some green hops, all blended very nicely. It is a delicious beer, both sweet and tart, with a lactic or wild sourness, a mild bitterness, raspberry/blackberry, cherry?, chocolate?, and maybe some green/leafy hops, but is overall just a touch too sweet. The body is light to medium body, smooth, with a tannic dryness, and medium carbonation and finish. Overall very refreshing and quite drinkable - not too sour and fairly balanced. I could probably drink two or three in a row without too much trouble.

 938 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.96/5  rDev -3.2%
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

 728 characters

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
91 out of 100 based on 1,484 ratings.