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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,428 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,428
Hads: 3,834
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 22.93%
Wants: 200
Gots: 666 | 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: 1,428 | Hads: 3,834
Photo of arguemaniac
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark burgundy with a creamy, red-tinged head that leaves behind a thick, well-sustained lace. The nose features a distinctive vinegary aroma, and even a faint touch of sulfur, with some definite fruitiness in the background (strange as it might seem, this is actually a good thing, considering the style). The sour palate also has some pleasant fruity sweetness to it (with a distinct cherry character to it). I can’t really make out any hop bitterness as the sourness eclipses most everything else. The finish is not as sour but is certainly fairly tart with a little more of that sweetness coming through. The mouthfeel is surprisingly light with a sharp carbonation tang.

One thing I like about this style of beer (or at least good examples of it, such as this one) is that even though they are very sour, they are also rich and quite drinkable, something to which the unexpectedly light mouthfeel contributes. The other thing I like about these is how unique they are: while I certainly can’t see myself drinking them all the time, they are a refreshing change of pace. And this particular example is one of the better. So, while this might not be the most approachable style for someone who is new to the craft beer scene, it is definitely something a more adventurous and more experienced beer drinker should try. Highly recommended.

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

Very dark red, almost black body under a small tan head which dissapated quickly. The head left excellent lacing around the snifter. The aroma was dominated by fruits, namely cherries, dark sugars, alcohol and molasses. The taste was some of the same, with dark (very) sour cherries up front, and hints of wheat, hops, sweet malts and sugars. I thought it was complex and interesting.
The feel was sour obviously, but if you can stick that out, it has an excellent blend of carbonation and sweetness to compliment the sour feel. It reminded me of a lambic or more specifically yhr three philosophers, but more subdued. Overall an excellent beer.

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

Part of the Monk's Cafe Michael Jackson dinner. This was beer # 3. This beer poured a dark burgundy color with a nice tan head and nice lacing. The aroma is at times an overwhelming sourness of cherries but pretty pleasant. The taste is tart cherries, a bit earthy. This one is a bit acidic but overall a crisp beer and with a medium body, pretty drinkable.

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Photo of scottoale
3.81/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Came in a 11.2oz brown bottle, label stated: Best before 12/06/03. Aged, I think so. Pours a very dark mahogany-burgandy(no murkiness) with a nice creamy tan, inch of head. Looks rather exotic. The head finally subsides to a quarter inch, with tons of thick lacing to follow.

It has a very different smell to it, sweet grape and berries up front with an assertive balsamic vinegar tang in full persuit. Very interesting, smells like a great salad dressing, never smelled a beer like this before.

First taste is sweet for starters, then turns tangy and fills the mouth with a rich, sour fiz and ends on a bitter note. Tastes like it smells, a very different kind of beer for sure.

One of these in a sitting is fine for me, a most unusual, yet tasty beer that seems to be what Belgians do best, gotta hand it to them, complexity is second nature in their brewing tecniques...Prost!

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Photo of dreadnatty08
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer pours a dark red, nearly opaque. Head forms about half an inch and recedes to a light covering. Aromas are incredible, jump right out of the glass. As this is my first Flemish Red I will just describe what I find, as I'm not sure what I "should" find... Smells like red berries, balsamic and red wine vinegar sourness. Never smelled a beer quite like this wow! Flavors are both sweet and sour (to me, akin to some duck sauce from Chinese take-out). This beer is incredible, have had nothing quite like it. Drinkability is only so-so as it's a fairly sweet brew and I'm not sure if I could have many of these.

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

Pours dark ruby red, almost brown. Head dissipates to almost nothing but leaving plenty of lacing.

Smell is sour dark fruit and spices.

Taste mildly sweet. Fruity cherry and plum flavors with subtle corriander and cinnimon spices. Tartness is not overstated. Smooth balanced flavors with a crisp finish.

Mouthfeel is light and smooth.

Overall this is a decent brew. Flavors are surprisingly smooth and balanced.

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

330 ml bottle: best before 09-08-06

Pours out dark brown with outlines of ruby when put in direct light. The head comes and goes quickly, but will leave a slight ring if agitated. Smells of balsamic vinegar, tart berries and oak. I also detect an eau de elmer's glue, but oddly enough, it's a good thing here. Tastes of tart fruit, specifically cherries, alonside oak tones, a slight alcohol presence, and a grape-juice/wine-like acidity. I got a lot of the same wine-like characteristics as I did with the Vichtenaar, but with this brew, they seemed more married to the other flavors and don't stand out AS much. Mouthfeel is vibrant and biting. Leaves me dry. Excellent. This one seems a lot more mellow than the Vichtenaar I reviewed earlier, both in the flavor profile and mouthfeel. Fantastic beer.

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Photo of WMBierguy
2.06/5  rDev -49.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

This was the first Belgian red ale that I have ever tried. I didn't know what to expect, but I didn't expect this. I consider myself to have a pretty open mind when it comes to beer. Bavarian beers are my favorite, but I had yet to find a quality beer that I simply couldn't stand. Today I found that beer.

I really don't consider this to be beer. It may technically be beer, but it tastes nothing like it. It resembles a strange wine. The first taste was quite striking... I was expecting something that tasted somewhat like a Brown Ale. The flavor was incredibly sweet, with a strange tartness cutting accross about half way through the sip. It tastes a bit like nail polish smells.

Yes, this beer is complex. Very complex. I haven't tasted anything like it. However, the complexity isn't pleasant. I want a beer, not a science experiment. I guess that I'm too attached to the Reinheitsgebot... I'd take the robust complexity of an Aventinus to this beer anyday.

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

Best by date of 08-06-06

Pours a very dark burgundy color with a thick two finger head that settles to a solid ring that leaves behind nice webs of lacing.

Smell; very vinous and slightly sour. There's planty of fruit present (cherries, apples and raisins) as well as a bit yeasty. I really like that way this smells. The sourness isn't quite as pronounced as I had expected, and blends well with the fruit aromas.

Taste; a slightly surgary sweetness hits at first, followed by cherries, apples raisins/plums intertwined with a tart sourness. There's a bit of a dry oak flavor, as well as a touch of cinnamon in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with nice carbonation that makes this somewhat creamy.

This is my first beer of this style, and I'm pleasantly surprised. I didn't expect to like this nearly as much as I have.

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Photo of Golden2wenty1
3.48/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked up a single at Riley's here in Madison.

Part of my three-part series of intimidatingly sour/funky beers along with New Glarus' Sour Brown Ale, and Oude Gueuze.

Pours a striking dark ruby/garnet with a short, fading tan head. Nose is similar to the Sour Brown with the strong balsamic vinegar astringency along with tart lambic fruits. Taste starts with a quick vinegar/lambic sour bite and then gets sickly sweet with overripe granny smith apple peel and rancid citrus then finishes with a hint of dry tart. Mouthfeel is clean and bubbly. Would be a lot more drinkable if the sickly-sweetness was kept in check, but still certainly one of the most unique beer experiences I've had to date.

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

Pours a ruby red/brown, medium off white head forms, lots of lace, head goes in not too long. Smell is sour cherries, caramel, yeast, sweet malt, acidity. Taste is a strange mix, sugary at first, cherries, then a super sour/acidic hit. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with low carbonation, nice and creamy. Crazy sour/acidity, but great, would definately try again.

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Photo of charlesw
3.03/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Very pretty... Deep burgundy/amber. Plenty clear while being (sigh) plenty opaque. You with me? Medium-height, dark head of really tight bubbles. Still have a full cover of head after 5 minutes (wow).
Smells like a walk in the woods on a nice fall day. Sweet and musky... Huge sweet raisin nose with plenty of caramel malts in there, too...
Very fruity in the mouth. Sweetened sour cherries, hints of that caramel. Medicinal in the back of the mouth and followed by a sour aftertaste that lingers several minutes. It's very interesting how it changes in your mouth - each of the first 10 seconds gives a new wave of something completely different.
Very crisp and clean in the mouth - perhaps medium in body but with a high level of carbonation - even a bit fizzy.
So... Drinkable? Well, yeah. Say the day is hot and you want something refreshing to cleanse your palate... Yeah, this would do the trick perfectly. It's not well adapted for drinking right now - it's 15F out with 30mph winds!

And, uh, well. I won't be able to finish the (750ml) bottle. It's just too...

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

I think me and any Flanders officially dont get along.
It pours a mildly headish ruby brown smelling frankly like sour patch kids, vinegar, and alcohol.
The taste is light, lighter than the smell leads you to believe. It's not my favorite, but it did finish with a saki clean, like a good Flanders. The body is a little light, though from other's I've had.

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Photo of DrJay
3.76/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep ruby colour with a bit of brown topped by a pale tan head. Good lacing made up of very fine bubbles. Tart aroma with some fruity esters and a bit of tobacco. There's a hint of solventy alcohol here that was slightly distracting, but diminished somewhat with time. Syrupy sweetness balances the fruity tartness quite nicely - almost like candy. Dry finish. Very fine carbonation, full mouthfeel and palate coating. Quite nice overall. The sweet and tart combination in the flavour really works. Thanks Viggo!

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Photo of texashammer
3.53/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours out of the bottle a dark brown, red when held to the light, with only a slight head. smell is a very funky sourness. just a hint of Vichtenaar's richness in the mouth. somewhat daunting sourness. delicate, with a slightly metallic bite at the end.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.39/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a large Gulden Draak tulip glass. Foamy bone-white head that all but disappears in a minute or so. Beautiful lace and gorgeous deep red-brown color, can just barely see through it.

Complex aromas, with tartness full-on and up-front. Black and sour cherries mingle with hints of rhubarb. Or a just-opened bag of soft Sweet Tarts candy. Also getting some funk in the background (like the yeasty funk in the amazing Flemish Primitive Wild Ale).

Cherry tartness dominates the flavor with some oak barrel woodiness. Delicious and highly drinkable. Pleasing dryness in back. Full body, with sourness coating the mouth. Robust enough to feel like an ale, but only just. Undeniably delicious.

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Photo of mortarit
3.94/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

A Flanders Red, are commonly referred to as the "red" beers of West Flanders. Belgian Red Beers are typically light-bodied brews with reddish-brown colors. They are infamous for their distinct sharp, fruity, sour and tart flavours which are created by special yeast strains. Very complex beers, they are produced under the age old tradition of long-term cask aging in oak, and the blending of young and old beers.

Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 4.0-8.0%

I copied the definition so I could reviews this one since it is my first Flanders Red. I remember one cohort here at this style picked as his prefered choice. Man, was I way off. I thought this would be a beer of simply taste. I was blown away from the sharp taste. I should of know when I open the bottle , it had a little kick in the release of the cap.
Alcohol can be detected
The tartness is a little over whelming.
It's different, I am glad I had the chance to experience it.
Uh, try again.
I would like to try others in this group to have a broaded range of this style.

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Photo of Matthew
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddish color with a bit of a brown tinge to it. Nice big fluffy white head. Lots of lacing and great head retention.
The first thing that strikes me about this beer's smell is the immediate dessert wine smell. There is a recongnizable alcohol smell wrapped up in a nutty aroma and a wood type aroma mostly oak.
Again the first thing I noticed is a sour taste, probably because it was least expected. There is certainly wine like characteristics in this beers taste and smell. Very sweet, with notes of cherry and grape. I think that this would go very nice with cheese cake or a sweet dish of some sort. I'm definatley interested to try more of this style.

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Photo of Fugazme
3.77/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First beer of this style that I've tried... looks like a cola on the pour. Large bubbbles... dark brown and ruby colors.

Aroma is great. Cherry, oak, cabernet, phenolic, yeast, sour,
sweet tarts...

Mouthfeel is a touch awkward with carbonation at first, but mellows during the drink as it warms. Definite sour flavor. Cherries and yeasty overtones. Dry on the finish. Wine-like for sure.

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Photo of audiojon
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This tasted a bit like fermented grape soda upon first sip. By the end of the glass i had grown a taste for it. Very tart, very dry, but verrry different and pretty damned tasty. I couldn't see drinking more than one or two tho.

Poured on tap at O'Brien's in San Diego. Appearance was nice, smell was very sweet and fruity, lots of grape and cherry. Effervescent mouthfeel, extremely fizzy. The taste is sweet at first, then rapidly shifts to extremely sour. From there it's a contrast of the dry tartness and a refreshing sweetness.

Recommended, but only for sour beer lovers.

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Photo of neonbrown82
4.24/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours to a fairly clear but dark berry color. Carbonation seems minimal, and the head quickly falls to nothing though it wasn't much to begin with.

The smell is the perfect mix between a sweet and tart rasberry aroma with a dash of red wine vinegar. Smells absolutely amazing.

The taste is very similar. Astonishing. However, the finish sticks around for what seems like an eternity. Constantly getting drier and drier while the tart and horseblanket stick around until you just can't help but to take a fresh drink. If it weren't for the absolutely horrid finish that had me contemplating chopping off my tongue, I would have awarded the taste with a 5.0 as well, but that honor will be reserved only for the smell.

The mouthfeel is great up until the finish. It sweeps through the palate registering what seems like thousands of separate and unique flavors in the split second that the beer first hits the tongue. My entire palate is stimulated, and I'm tasting in places of my mouth that I didn't know had tastebuds. But then the finish crashes the party no later than the beer is swallowed.

The beer is actually very drinkable if you don't let it sit long enough that the finish makes you want to die. A great beer for people looking to get their feet wet with sour beers.

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Photo of Citadel82
4.7/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been over a year since I last tried this brew. Wow! I love this style.

750ml bottle purchased at Spirits Unlimited in Red Bank - cork stamped "good until Nov. 2007." I am drinking it young and loving it!

Unlike the last bottle I tried which was a 11.3. ounce crown capped bottle, this one is cork and cage finished.

Poured a deep ruby garnet with a generous off-white head that lasts and lasts and leaves clumps of thick lacing.

Aroma is funky earth, some wine vinegar and a malt like sweetness that I cannot say I have smelled before.

Taste is refreshing and complex. a tartness up front morphs into candy sugar and finishes in a bready slightly dry finish. Sour cherry candies?

Mouthfeel is creamy and light, which makes this quenching beer a real refresher.

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Photo of DarrellK
4.95/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appreciating Flanders Red Ale style is one that is not of the uninitiated and takes some experience to understand it's value. The Duchesse is probably the premier example of the style and gets my highest rating.

The ale pours to a beautiful fine head that leaves a lovely lace. Being color-blind mt color descriptions can be a bit off, but looks like a clear dark ruby to me.

The aroma promotes a sour prelude to the first sip that is sure to challenge those that think Bud Light is Nirvana. The mouth is of medium viscosity and despite the bubbles from the head is quite still in nature. The finish is raisiny at first and moves to dates later and of course in sour, and just sour enough to be refreshing.

The beer should be tried in two ways, first on the cool end of the specrtrum 45 deg or so and then again at the higher end maybe 55. The Cooler end brings out the sourness more and the higher end the fruity side.

One other point is that it is only 6.2% abv and which is on the low end of the Belgian scale.

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Photo of hero27
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle. Best before 1/17/07.

Blood red color with a somewhat thin, oily tan head. The aroma is quite strong chocolate, sour cherries, and dark fruits. The taste is impressive and very unique. Sour cherry dominates the taste, with oaky qualities, vinegar, and tartness to wrap it all together. The mouthfeel is somewhat coating and oily. Not sure how many of these I'd really like to drink in succession due to the sourness and very rich flavor, but it was a nice, somewhat unexpected treat.

As a sidenote...my brother was about 95% sure that he got sick from this beer..since he was throwing up most of the next day, and it tasted like cherries on the way out as well.. I apologize for the harsh details, but just thought I'd add that, in case anyone else has had a similar experience.

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Photo of beveragecaptain
3.51/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

330 ml bottle. Duchesse De Bourgogne pours out a Ruby color with a creamy head. The aroma is cherry, oak, and vinegar. The flavor starts out a sweet, but turns very sour. Fruity cherry flavor. I would be surprised if there were no cherries in this beer. A bit chocolatey. The finish is dry and woody. Medium mouthfeel with a high carbonation. This beer is definitely not for everyone. Overall I enjoyed it, but with each sip I alternated between thinking it tasted great and thinking it tasted nasty. I guess each beer lover will have to decide for himself.

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Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
92 out of 100 based on 1,428 ratings.