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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 99bottles
99bottles

Pennsylvania

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

Appearance: Pours an unexpected dark mahogany with the slightest red color in the stream from the bottle to the glass. A inch of minute bubbles form a tight little head.

Smell: Very nice nose with a lot going on. One can sense the sweet richness of the malts and esters and then feel the tart sting, so common to the style.

Taste: Wow. Incredible complexity. A soft malt backbone swirls about the mouth first lending carmel sweetness, brown sugar, ripe fruit and then suddenly subsides allowing tart cherries, apples and pears to brush about the tastebuds. Intersting musky earthen flavor. This is so well put together that you greedily gulp it trying to figure out what else is in there that you can't quite define. Absolutely excellent.

Mouthfeel: Perfect balance, good body, but still light enough to refresh and be easily consumed.

Drinkability: I'd drink a six pack every day if I could afford it. Awesome representation of the style; not as mouth puckeringly sour as others. Quite a treat.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2004 18:16:15 | More by 99bottles
Photo of cokes
cokes

Wisconsin

2.93/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Cherried dark amber with a modest and slow-to-fade brown head.
Nose of raspberry vinaigrette, oak, and sugared red grapes.
Sweet and sour truly defines this. Like the sauce. You could dip chicken nuggets in this (actually, it's much more akin to German Sauerbraten in flavor, as opposed to McD's).
Alternatively, you could toss it on your salad, with it's screaming vinaigrette flavors.
This vinegar flavor is countered with brown sugar and cola syrup. Fruit notations too, caramelized plums, raspberries and cherries are foremost, but this seems to shift its shape enough for any number of fruit hues to be located. More brown sugar and cola midway. Tartness fades, and some light funk is introduced. Spoiling cream cheese, oak barrels, and perspiration. Ends with a crack of cinnamon and some lingering, sticky sweetness.
Light bodied and fizzy, yet a bit gooey as well.
There's a good deal that I like here, but it fails to coalesce into an enjoyable beverage. It's actually the sweetness here, rather than the sourness, that makes me wince.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2004 06:08:21 | More by cokes
Photo of abents
abents

Wisconsin

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

Although this is my first time trying this particular style I will try and judge this one fairly. 11.2oz bottle pours a reddish brown with slight off white head that stays around. Smell is of nuts and sourness interesting mix here. The taste is to put it lightly interesting, but I like it. There is an upfront fruity sourness that lets the fruit linger and then the sweetness comes in and finishes nicely with some nutty tastes. I taste cherries for sure, but there's some other kinds of fruit in there as well I think. Lots of carbonation, but it's done rather nicely. It's definitly a different tasting beer, but it's very enjoyable none the less.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2004 18:16:40 | More by abents
Photo of IrishRedRock
IrishRedRock

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle. Deep mahogany color, but when held to the light it gives off a ruby glow. There's that Flemish red! The aroma of previous 12 oz bottles I have sampled with ElGuapo smell a lot more like vinegar than this larger bottle does. The others we had, really REALLY reeked of Balsamic. It was an unbelievable aroma for a beer. This one only has traces of it, much milder, to go along with a tart, musty aroma.

Flavor is nicely sour and acidic, but certainly not overdone. Begins to sweeten as it warms, and some very fruity flavors come out, particularly cherries. Mouthfeel is perfection, smooth, crisp, with just the right amount of carbonation...and the tartness in the finish leaves you wanting to pour more of that big bottle. As "the handsome man" has said in his review below, this beer isn't for everyone; but you'll never know unless you try it.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2004 04:35:55 | More by IrishRedRock
Photo of ElGuapo
ElGuapo

New Jersey

4.83/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A deep amber pour topped in a thick tannish covering of foam that sits on top for a long time. The aroma scares many away, but I love it. It is very sour with a character much like balsamic vinegar. There are a lot of fruit aromas and touches of spice to balance. This is one of the most interesting whiffers I have ever come accross.

The Duchesse has a crisp start with some tingly carbonation. She then smoothes out to a very nice mouthfeel. The body is medium-full. The sour flavor is awesome. It is big, bold, and absolutely beautiful. The fruit flavor and touch of spices balance just enough to keep the beer from being pure vinegar. I think that this balance is perfect. It may be the fact that I have had no other samples of this style, but it really does the trick for me. It is interesting and complex, and that sour bite keeps me wanting more. This will certainly become a regular whenever I feel like having a good brew. I get one every time I go to Eulogy, and now I have 750s to enjoy at home. This beer is definitely not for everyone, so if you don' t like it, send it to me.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2004 02:01:52 | More by ElGuapo
Photo of mzwolinski
mzwolinski

California

3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ruby in color with a thin, light tan head. The aroma is, first of all, sour. Not as sour as I expected, but with a sharp vinegar zing to it. Hints of vanilla lie underneath.

The taste, OTOH, is every bit as sour as I expected, and then some. It can take quite a while to work through this to discover any other flavors, especially for a neophyte to the style like me. A hint of oak seems to poke through, and the middle develops a nice sweetness as the beer warms. The finish, however, is reassertively acidic with something of an apple flavor to it.

It's hard for me to call this beer very drinkable -- it's certainly not meant to be quaffed in a few gulps, and quite frankly, I have a hard time seeing myself return to it very often. I imagine it would pair rather nicely with food, given its wine-like qualities. Either way, though, it's an experience worth having.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2004 18:43:46 | More by mzwolinski
Photo of Mangus
Mangus

Pennsylvania

4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - ruby-copper red with a small tight lacy head.

Smell - complex, extremely interesting, light, fruity, clean

Taste - apples and fruit, intricate dance of flavors, tight crispness, and sweet tartness. What a wonderfully complex and interesting beer. I have to remind myself that this is actually beer that I'm drinking.

Mouthfeel - bubbly, crisp and syrupy. I'm salivating like Pavlov's dog's.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2004 22:26:30 | More by Mangus
Photo of BierReise
BierReise

Florida

3.5/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz Bottle Best Before 27/05/05 A reddish brown with no head and only a bit of a foam layer. Looks similar to thr Vichtenaar I just had. Slightly acidic aroma with notes of rotten cherries and peppercorns. Quite spicy. Body is lively with carbonation and with a crisp somewhat dry finish. Flavor is sweet and sour with slight vinegar and acidic notes. Some sour fruit also in the mix. Overall much better than the Vichtenaar in my opinion and has some good flavor.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2004 20:03:00 | More by BierReise
Photo of SeanChouffe
SeanChouffe

New Mexico

3.68/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep red/brown color with an off white head. The head diminished almost immediately and left a thin sticky lace. The aroma is tart and more like wine than beer -- cider vinegar smell. The taste is tart like a cider. The mouthfeel was somewhat complex: tart at the beginning with a dry middle and an astringent finish.

I have had this beer a couple of times. It does not appear to bee a good representation of the style, but a style of itself. An interesting experience.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2004 04:44:58 | More by SeanChouffe
Photo of bditty187
bditty187

Nebraska

4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Clear, beautiful dark ruby hue, there is also a hint of coppery-brown. The beige head reached a solid finger in height of foamy bubbles. I am impressed with the head retention; it slowly faded to islands of bubbles that lasted for the whole consumption. The lacing was bountiful, it looked like ripped wallpaper. This is a great looking beer. The nose is doughy with sweet/sour undercurrents, port wine, a kiss of fruitiness, oak notes too. The aroma is potent and thus inviting. It is too unique not to want to take a sip. So I do. After the first drink my initial reaction was simple: yum. The palate is very tasty and amazingly well rounded; the tartness is tremendously refreshing; the cookie dough is found behind the sourness. This is opposite of the nose. I like it. The wine-like features are soft, sweet, and earthy. The fruitiness was a basket of pears, cherry filling, and muted plums/raisins. Almonds. Wood. All in all, the palate is complex. The finish is pillow soft, very lazy and long lasting. Flemish Sour Ale is a style of beer I really dig and Duchesse de Bourgogne is a damn good (if not great) representation of the style. The carbonation is lively but the bubbles feel small, almost like nitrogen, how weird! All I can say is the mouthfeel is fantastic; there is also good bulk on the tongue. The drinkability is magical; I had to fight myself from sailing through my 11.2 ounce bottle (which was purchased in Iowa City). The alcohol content is ideal as well. I think this is a beer that every serious beer drinker should try at least once. I need more!

The only drawback, I get a bad case of the burps and they aren’t good burps like hops burps. Burp!

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2004 22:14:15 | More by bditty187
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 frank4sail
frank4sail

New Jersey

3.68/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 fl. oz. best before 2-11-04

Sharp vinegar (balsamic) and a slight sweetness of ripe dark fruit (plum) in the nose. Deep purple opeque look in the goblet. 1/2 inch pale beige head that is persistant. Inital tangy/sweet/puckering fruit taste of bing cherries and ripe plum is then followed by a sweeter woody finish. Medium mouth. Good but due to many factors not very drinkable.. a case of these would last you a very long time.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2004 04:49:29 | More by frank4sail
Photo of Rastacouere
Rastacouere

Quebec (Canada)

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

Dark ale with a very small head that disappears swiftly. A smell of fruits I can't quite all identify(dark berries, cherries, plums) with apparent vinegar. As it enters the mouth, sour and sweet blackberries, notes of wood refreshing despite above 10 celsius. Oak comes back in the aftertaste that remains sweet.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2004 05:30:20 | More by Rastacouere
Photo of Hefe
Hefe

Maryland

4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tasted on 12/20/03 from bottle

This is my first contact with a brew in this style, I'll admit I wasn't sure what to make of it, and it took a little time before I could decide wether or not I actually liked it.

Appearance: Dark amber/ruby colour with a tannish lasting head.

Smell: Oi! Sour cherry, with tones of balsamic vinegar, caramel and brown sugar.

Taste: Echoes of the nose, with notes of spice and malt as well earth and vanilla. The finish wraps up with a very sour note.

Mouthfeel: Very round in the mouth, with a nice creamy quality.

Drinkablilty: All in all, This is a very complex beer with a lot going on. I just can't help thinking it tastes a little too much like wine gone south. Not altogether unenjoyable, but, one is plenty.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2004 18:04:08 | More by Hefe
Photo of HappyHourHero
HappyHourHero

Indiana

3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

An easy pour produced a giant, fine bubbled, brownish tan head sits atop the deep, dark burgandy colored beer. Good, solid lacing when the head finally subsides. Sour, vinegar aroma along with some spicy mustard in the background. Tart, sour apple and cherry flavor, along with a very metalic taste. I hate vinegar and the aroma is killing me, but the flavor is pretty damn good, as long as I hold my nose. It kind of reminds me of a kriek version of Quelque Chose. Medium to light body, soft mouthfeel, and an impressingly clean aftertaste. I don't like the smell, but after a while you get used to it. I probably wouldn't drink this beer all that often, but I will drink again.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2004 02:51:25 | More by HappyHourHero
Photo of waughbrew
waughbrew

Massachusetts

4.55/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

What a beautiful beer in a style that is currently far too rare!

Very nice deep red/light brown with some blackness. Small off-white head stays a bit as lace but mostly as a small ring around the beer. Great up-front sourness in the aroma with vinegar. Bright and alive, an earthiness with acidity. Flavor is very well-balanced. The malt flavors come out as it warms. Light and crisp, wonderful bubbles. Very drinkable - I could have a few.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2004 02:04:26 | More by waughbrew
Photo of beergeek279
beergeek279

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in the 11.2 oz. bottle, into a St. Bernardus goblet. The color is a very dark amber, with a very slight bit of white head. The smell is almost vinegar sour. The taste is a very citrusy/limeish sourness. Mouthfeel is very well-carbonated. As for drinkability, one or two is fantastic, but it would be very tough to go much beyond that.

With Rodenbach off the market, I was told that this is the best substitute. I personally couldn't compare the two of them (though I do have an Alexander waiting for another day), but on its own this is a nicely sour taste that's well-balanced and doesn't pucker my mouth. Quite good, and one I'd have on another day.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2004 04:50:35 | More by beergeek279
Photo of bobinverted
bobinverted

Michigan

2.05/5  rDev -50.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

My wife found this at AJ's in Ahwatukee, Arizona. She's been getting into Belgian beers, which is cool, but she didn't like this one and gave it to me to finish. I'd just finished a Stone IPA when she handed this to me, what a contrast. I guess I'm not sophisticated enough to enjoy a glassful of balsamic vinegar. That's what Duchesse de Bourgogne smells like, tastes like and looks like. Apparently this is suited to the style, but certainly not suited to my taste.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2004 02:19:19 | More by bobinverted
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 silenius
silenius

Illinois

4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served at slightly warmer than fridge temperature in a tulip glass.

Reddish brown appearance with a uniformly light beige head containing medium sized bubbles in the foam. The head dissipated quickly. This beer has a sour cherry and red wine vinegar smell with a background of brown sugar and a hint of vanilla (possibly from the oak barrels).

A bit of a bite on the attack, but that quickly segues into a round, mellow, dried cherry sweetness with a tart backbone. A complex, wine-like beer. At the end it reverts to a slightly tart, but eminently enjoyable, tinge that lasts in the mouth for a good 20 seconds.

Very enjoyable. When drinking this, I sip it slowly and savor it like a dessert wine. This is not a beer I would use to quench a thirst. I would drink it at the the end of meal instead of dessert. The other three bottles I purchased in the four-pack will be gone within the week I am sure!

I would definitely drink it again.

Purchased on 1/17/04. Best before date is 07/04/05.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2004 19:43:21 | More by silenius
Photo of RoyalT
RoyalT

Ohio

4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - The body was nothing special, brown and clear with orangish-red tints, but the head was magnificent. It rose up mightily and lasted a lifetime. It came down lacing on the sides first while the middle held fast, so that in a few minutes I had a glass that was half beer half head, and the head was big but had pulled away from the edges while leaving a thick film. Awesome!

Smell - The light malt is dominated by a strong (but not sharp) sour aroma. The smell is very sophisticated and complex, though, and is mixed with clove and some cinnamon.

Taste - This is more balanced at the taste. The mild malt flavor stands a little firmer here, and the tartness is still strong but not as dominant. There's also a light sweet taste here and a tea-like quality that was very nice.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied and mild in its sweetness, this one was great to hold in the cheeks for a while.

Drinkability - I'm not a huge fan of the style, but this was great to sip on during the day.

Update - My original review was written off a 2003 vintage so I thought I'd delve into this delicacy again in 2009. The head didn't come up the way it did before but otherwise it was pretty much spot on. I am always taken aback when drinking this ale as to the sophisticated manner in which they bring in the cloves. They are not small, but the flavor and aroma both manage to sneak in unnoticed at first then halfway through the bottle you pick it up.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2003 19:16:08 | More by RoyalT
Photo of GCBrewingCo
GCBrewingCo

North Carolina

4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clear dark amber brown with an off-white head which lingers and clings to the glass. Aroma of sour lactobacillus and other lambic type bacteria. Slight oak aroma and deep fruity aromas are present. Flavor is unbelievably good. Complex flavors of fruit, malt, subtle sour nature, deep fruit and a lasting slightly sour fruity finish. The body is med-light and very refreshing.

11.2 ounce bottle, best before date of 04/05/04.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2003 01:14:48 | More by GCBrewingCo
Photo of ADR
ADR

Pennsylvania

3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark mahogany color with red highlights. Brown head starts at 1/4 of an inch, fades in 20 seconds. Wide looping laces. Smells like a Manhatten, candied fruit and slightly boozy. Starts bright and weakly astringent, like an unripe anjou pear with some lime juice. Lightish mouthfeel, spritzy texture. Turns somewhat leafy late, but keeps the brightness and finishes with an excellently timed fade in the throat. Aftertaste is a lot like sweet bing cherries, the slight sourness is gone as the beer shifts gears and shows complexity. This bottle was nice enough, though not the gutsiest Flanders Red...

Source: Liquid Solutions

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2003 16:14:34 | More by ADR
Photo of byrd
byrd

Virginia

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

Pours with a good sized light tan head that is fizzy for a moment, then slowly recedes to a thick lace. The color is a clear dark-reddish brown. Aroma has lots of sour vinous notes along side notes of dark fruits. Hints of oak are also apparent. The start is quite sweet and fruity. Prunes, raisins, and cherry notes are all present. Not much hop bitterness, but there is a nice sourness that comes in towards the end to balance things out. There’s a dry oaky finish. Carbonation is fairly light, and more noticeable towards the end. Very drinkable brew that I enjoyed quite a bit. Reminded me somewhat of a fruit lambic, and would make for a good desert beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2003 19:57:21 | More by byrd
Photo of inebrius
inebrius

Michigan

4.83/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Chinotto! Fermented, of course, with a raw fruit kind of sour pear gig going on. Nose of sweat and licorice and pungent weeds amongst sill laden four berry pies and cotton under garments hung in the soft Autumn air. Tart and sweet like the most quality of Chinese dipping sauce. Flow is frothy and bold. Me like, Todd like. More.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2003 07:40:28 | More by inebrius
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 2,645 ratings.