1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

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

2,945 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,945
Reviews: 1,338
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.94%
Wants: 127
Gots: 256 | FT: 8
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Duchesse De Bourgogne Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,945 | Reviews: 1,338 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mklinger
mklinger

North Carolina

3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a goblet. Nice deep red, very clear with small whiteish head forming.

Aroma is very sweet & sour, like balsamic vinegar. Very prominent vinegar and sweet cherries without a lot else in the aroma.

Remarkably, there wasn't really any vinegar in the taste in spite of its strength in the aroma. This is definitely a sweet beer with a strong tart, sour cherry element. Some crystal malt, caramel sweetness also in there. Nice complexity.

A rich, sweet beer that came across as not too cloying because of the tart, dryness that went along with it. So much going on in here, though, that I don't know if I could have a whole one.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2010 16:36:56 | More by mklinger
Photo of dasenebler
dasenebler

Maine

3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33cl, Netherlands.

Pours a dark garnet. Decent-sized tan head laces very well.

The aroma is at first reminiscent of sweet balsamic vinegar, making way to more stone fruit notes, mainly cherry, and oaky scents. Nice.

Tart and lactic, with a sizable amount of candy sweetness. The cherry flavor is there again along with spicy, woody notes. I would like to see this beer dried out a bit, as it seems a tad too sweet. I feel that the sugary flavors get in the way of the sour, woody notes. Still pretty complex though, with a very unique spice character. The mouthfeel was fine, with medium-low carbonation.

My overall impression is that Duchesse is a good beer, but I think her true essence lies beneath the cloying facade.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2010 17:44:10 | More by dasenebler
Photo of MeisterBurger
MeisterBurger

Ontario (Canada)

4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep, dark muddy ruby topped by a large bubbled head. The head retention is fantastic on this. Great lacing.

The aroma is sour cherries and beechwood. Almost vinous. The maltiness builds.

The taste is like cream soda in its sweetness. No. It reminds me a lot of the strawberry pop I used to love as a kid. Very dry and woodsy in the finish. Sweet and fruity without being cloying thanks to a sour cherry taste and just a hint of balsamic vinegar. Dry and velvety at the same time. The balance is a little off in the sweet to sour ratio in favour of the sweet. Some lingering toastiness in the aftertaste. Somewhat reminiscent of cranberry juice.

It's medium bodied with a perfect level of carbonation. There's something very creamy about this.

Overall an interesting beer with some sherry like characteristics present in the aroma and taste. It's complex and full flavoured while at the same time very approachable.

I'd definitely get this again.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2010 01:52:46 | More by MeisterBurger
Photo of mexikrainian
mexikrainian

Ohio

4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml poured into a Unibroue tulip.

Appearance: brown amber with short-lived beige head and patchy lacing.

Aroma: pungent cherry aroma, slightly nutty and plum.

Taste: a balance of sour and sweet with dry, smooth finish.

Mouthfeel: syrup and acidic texture with medium body and light-medium carbonation.

Overall Impression: unique and complex, this delicious red ale is reminiscent of a carbonated plum wine. mmmm...give me more.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2010 00:32:25 | More by mexikrainian
Photo of mkorpal
mkorpal

Colorado

3.65/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

750ml bottle poured into two well used New Belgium globe glass. Pours a beautiful red wine like mahogany red creating a one finger, slightly off white head. Looks great.

Smell is of sweet cherry pie and a bit of rounded vanilla. Smell is very sweet, overpowering any funky sour that I would have liked.

Taste is of very sweet cherry pie and oaky vanilla. Sour and funk take a backseat, as the sweet fruit dominates the beer like none other. Taste is still good, but it is missing the sour that I want in the style.

Mouthfeel is heavy and syrupy. Sour doesn't do much to balance the sweet. This sweetness really hurts the drinkability and mouthfeel. More balance would be greatly appreciated.

it's an ok beer, to be sure. but there are others in this style that I will go to.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2010 01:53:17 | More by mkorpal
Photo of xrdsci
xrdsci

Massachusetts

4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle.

A: Deep reddish brown color. Off-white head.

S: Fruity with a subtle wine-like smell.

T: Incredible balance of fruit and tart flavors. Neither overpowers the other. Sour cherries and other dark fruits are most prominent. Finishes dry, with a hint of spice.

M: Medium mouthfeel, light carbonation. Very smooth and creamy.

D: If my body would let me, I could drink a couple dozen of these.

Highly recommended for this style.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2010 20:52:10 | More by xrdsci
Photo of SolomonGrundy
SolomonGrundy

California

4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Actually, it's Verhaeghe VICHTE - sorry folks...Pours a beautiful dark cherry red with a half-finger's worth of creamy off white head...decent carbonation...Aroma is wonderful...Some funk, some spice, lots of black cherry and raspberry notes. Very nice so far, one of the best I've seen to this point. Wow!! Very sweet, to some it might be cloying. Brilliant flavors - mostly fruit like cherry and raspberry - very fruit forward to the point it's almost wine-like. This is lucious...The carbonation really rounds out the sweetness. It's really like a black cherry soda with less sugar and with added alcohol. Some may hate this, as it's less a beer and more a Lambic fruit ale, emphasis on the fruit. I love it and think it's awesome anytime of year...must find folks...

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2010 01:54:07 | More by SolomonGrundy
Photo of scott451
scott451

Ontario (Canada)

4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 350ml bottle into a Duvel tulip. Clear dark reddish brown with a big tan head which soon diminishes to a persistent thin layer. Strong lacing. Very light carbonation.

A very evident sourness in the smell. A nice sweet and sour balance in the taste. Lots going on here. Some woody flavours - very mellow though. Hints of fruit. A long finish

Mouthfeel is very creamy but fairly light. The light carbonation goes well with the sweet sour finish. Very drinkable

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2010 02:29:02 | More by scott451
Photo of OneDropSoup
OneDropSoup

Pennsylvania

4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Very excited to see this on tap at House of 1000 Beers in New Kensington, PA.

Poured into a stemmed tulip: Dark reddish-brown, kind of burgundy, with deep plum highlights & a finger of khaki, loose head. Great color, big crown of lacing.

Smells of balsamic vinegar, tart, dark cherries, vanilla, green apple, a little leather, a little sawdust. Very complex & nicely integrated.

Taste follows aroma very closely, with some amplified acidity & more pronounced cherry & apple, wrapped up well. Wish I could say more, but it's pretty much already been said.

Full-bodied, smooth, a little viscous but with that moderate acidic bite. Very engaging.

This is one great beer. Flavorful, complex, but doesn't overwhelm or knock you out. That said, two is probably my limit. Maybe I had expectation bias, but I went in prepared to love this & I loved it, so there you go.

Serving type: on-tap

09-27-2010 16:17:00 | More by OneDropSoup
Photo of spinrsx
spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

3.15/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

330ml bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a clear brown colour with huge fizzy beige head. There appears to be a lower than normal amount of carbonation. There is some faint lacing, and the head lasted for a while.

Smell - Slightly metallic, vinegar, plums, a peppery spice mix

Taste & Mouth - The beer has a nice mouth feel, lots of little bubbles on the tongue. It feels very light - But it is definitely not light tasting. This beer packs a punch with a whole lot of various flavours going on. I have to say that I've never encountered a beer that tasted quite like this one. It reminds me of a glass of port mixed with champagne and beer. It tastes slightly metallic, lots of sweet grape flavour, and some woody notes. It finishes with a grape and metallic bitter aftertaste.

Drink - I have to say.. not one of my favorite beers. I can see how it might appeal to some, but this beer isn't for me.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2010 00:30:34 | More by spinrsx
Photo of ryanonline
ryanonline

Florida

3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

deeep burgundy color, ruby highlights when held up to the light. white thin head. great lacing.

smells vinegary.

tastes much better. apple like and just a touch of funk.

very creamy and lightly carbonated, tart and sweet aftertaste.

very drinkable.

um... really wasn't sure what to expect from this beer but outside of the smell being a bit off-putting this is a real great beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2010 23:05:19 | More by ryanonline
Photo of dspoonrt
dspoonrt

Ohio

4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Duchesse is a dark reddish brown at first glance, but appears bright red and bubbly when held to the light. The beer pours with purpose, surging with plenty of off-white head that slowly dissipates.

Smell: The beer smells prominently of fruit and acidity, almost like vinegar. The tartness comes through heavily in the nose. While still covered in snowy foam, the nose is less present, somewhat airy, and smells kind of like cheap champagne. Once the head disappears, however, the aromatics emerge more notably and the nose noticeably improves.

Taste: Sourness and fruit shine through with each sip. The beer is continually tart, yet there is a sweetness that comes through in the finish. Sometimes the taste of alcohol is more present than others. This beer contains a variety of flavors and their combination is incredibly pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Duchesse is highly carbonated. The mouthfeel is tingly, but not so much that it is undrinkable. That said, though, there is a noticeable lightness as it moves across the palate. While mostly smooth, sometimes it feels a little syrupy.

Drinkability: Overall, this one's pretty drinkable thanks to the silky mouthfeel and fascinating flavor combinations. It's not a session beer, but it has a lot of character, complexity, and new things to discover with each sip.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2010 02:11:15 | More by dspoonrt
Photo of cnally
cnally

Indiana

3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first foray into the world of sours--I must say I am going in to this with an open mind...

A deep mahogany brown color in the body, mostly opaque. A tannish brown frothy head goes down quick and sticks just a bit.

The aroma is a very vinegary sour one, aspects of currants and an aroma full of tannins.

The flavor is highly acidic, full of raspberry and fig in the flavor, but maintains the sourness and uniqueness that it displays in its aroma.

The mouthfeel is creamy and even, not overly carbonated but just enough.

This style may not be for me. I find the aroma to be a bit too much, but the flavor is well accomplished, different and complex.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2010 00:59:40 | More by cnally
Photo of Offa
Offa

California

4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an excellent, characterful, fruity-woody ale, rather sweet with light sourness.

Red-brown and bubbly, it has a big airy pale tan head steadily shrinking.

Aroma is vinegar and sour, turned/fermented fruit with hints of bread and wood.

Taste is fermented plums and raspberries with hint of fig, oaky-woody Dr.Pepper-like character, light fruity-yeasty hint, mostly sweet with light sourness and aftertaste of grains, Dr.Pepper, and fruit.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2010 21:06:26 | More by Offa
Photo of Dspohn
Dspohn

California

2.93/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

11.2 oz poured into an oversized wine glass.

A. Pours a very dark ruby/brown but has some excellent red highlights. A little dark for me considering the style but it does have some nice lacing.

S. Sweet and sour vinegar aspects, has a nice balance. Not quite the sour punch I was hoping for but there is definitely sour cherry/red fruit smell present that I would expect. A little muted but it smells pretty good.

T. Damn. The taste brings the flaw that I was hoping to avoid from the smell. Sweet and sour but the sweetness wins out in the taste. Unfortunately I find the sweetness to be of a balsamic vinegar nature as opposed to dark red fruits, which would be more pleasing. Not enough tart cherry or acidity or drying characteristics to balance it out sufficiently.

M&D. Nice light mouthfeel, not too syrupy or anything but becomes a chore to drink after awhile for me. Would be a great introduction to those looking to explore beers with more sour qualities without being overwhelmed. Dont think I'll be buying much more of this however, a decent offering but when I'm looking for a flanders red ale I'd rather spend my money on some others over this one. (Rodenbachs and La Folie come to mind...)

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2010 01:44:46 | More by Dspohn
Photo of SuperSpy
SuperSpy

Georgia

4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A brown-red color, an almost coca-cola like head. Head retention is a little on the weak side but it does retain a nice foam cap and there is some good lacing.

S - The aroma is tart and acidic with hints of sour cherries and raspberries.

T/M - The flavor is tart and sweet but finishes nutty and earthy with a hint of oak. There is plum and dark cherries. The beer is light and tingly which pairs extremely well with the tart flavor.

D - I could sip this all night. A great Flanders Red.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2010 22:55:34 | More by SuperSpy
Photo of lenin2040
lenin2040

District of Columbia

4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Just getting into various sour styles recently. Love the diversity of beer!

To benchmark flanders reds / browns, I've had Monks Cafe, Rodenbach and Rodenbach Grand Cru. This blew all of those away.

Poured a deep ruby with not much head. Light aroma of grape must, balsamic vinegar, some tropical fruits.

Flavor was cherries and balsamic vinegar with some definite complexity i couldnt put my finger on. much deeper (oak very apparent) flavor than the Monks, and IMO richer and more balanced than either variety of Rodenbach (both of which I enjoyed). Mouthfeel balanced the sweetness.

Insanely drinkable. Shared the 750 with two friends and bummed I didn't have another (or two!) to drink myself.

Will be seeking this out again.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2010 13:16:53 | More by lenin2040
Photo of Docer
Docer

Washington

3.15/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Was recommended to me by a gal at By The Bottle.. so hear it goes... poured in a tulip.

- Bubbly creamy colored fizz... leaves a nice steady finger of head... dark ruby copper color, clear.. red... each and every bubble is of such uniform size... interesting,.

- Esters, plum, fig, vinegar... slight straw funk.. sweet.. almost minty..

- Interesting and very sweet. Light tartness, vinegar... syrup.. esters.. plum, fig, prune.. light woody notes, oak perhaps..

- Sticky sweet... very carbonated.. almost too bubbly. Light bodied..

- Overall a tad too sweet for my taste.. would like it to be a lot more sour... and it is a tad over-carbonated. Would like it better I think if more sugars were devoured and made into a 9% flemish. I bet it would taste a lot better.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2010 00:55:43 | More by Docer
Photo of ILikeGoodCider
ILikeGoodCider

California

4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on 09.11.2010 in a Chimay glass, poured from a brown bomber.

A: Fantastic, burgundy hue under a perfect creamy beige head.

S: Wonderful smell of cherries and malt. I can tell just by the smell that there's more going on here.

T&M: Excellent. The tart cherry is much more subtle than, say, a Kriek Lambic, and is so well balanced with delicious roasted malt. A smooth feel and the tartness danced all over. The malt definitely rounded things back out, and the result is a great complexity.

Drinkability: I wished I bought another. At 6% ABV, it's sessionable - especially for a Flanders Red.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2010 03:23:22 | More by ILikeGoodCider
Photo of BigMike
BigMike

Pennsylvania

2.5/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Duchesse has been on my listof beers to try for a while now but I didn't want to buy a 750. I finally found the smaller bottle andpicked it up.
Pours a dark maroon red color with a small tan head that's very small and thin.
The nose is dark fruits, deep red wine, vinegar. Mostly redwine vinegar.
This isn't what I expected. Alot sweeter then I anticipated. A slight sourness but lots of sugary sweet redwine vinegar. Kind of confusing. I'm torn trying to figure out if I like this or not. The aroma for me is not that pleasant. The taste isn't pleasant either but something makes me want to keep drinking this.
Mouthfeel is sticky. This thing coats the mouth like crazy. Light carbonation.
Overall I don't think I like this one all that much. I want to but the vinegar and sweetness are just too much for my palate. I'm glad this is the 11.2 oz bottle because I'm struggling to finish it.
I'm not sure what the shelf life is with this beer but the best by date on this bottle is 10/2/10 and today is 9/10/10. I don't know if this beer is past it's prime or what but maybe I'll seek out a little fresher bottle.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2010 01:17:06 | More by BigMike
Photo of alleykatking
alleykatking

Indiana

3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 11.2oz bottle.

A- Pours a clear reddish brown color. One finger tan head shows medium retention. Light lacing left on the glass.

S- Big red wine like vinegar mess upfront. Ok..maybe I shouldn't say mess but very much the standout aroma. Light cherries in the middle to backing of this beer. Band-aid like aroma lingers here and there rounding out most of the aroma. No real alcohol in the nose.

T- Sour puckering vinegar notes right off the bat. There is a light nutty malt in the middle mixed with a cherry flavor. Some oaky notes and back to the cherry acidic tones. Very backend shows more green apple tones then anything else.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonatoin is good for the style I would say. Cherries and vinegar left on the palate with some green apple aftertaste. Flavors blended well with this beer but the vinegar lasts over and through most of them. Light drying on the palate after each sip.

D- This was a good beer that I was glad to try. A perfect amount came in the bottle and left me really not wanting anymore. I would do yourself a favor and seek this beer out.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2010 22:46:30 | More by alleykatking
Photo of Stinkypuss
Stinkypuss

Pennsylvania

4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark ruby colored brew which sports a rocky, pillowy, off white head that seems to breathe as if the beer was alive (which it is). Craters opening up, the head finally dies down a little and leaves alot of lace. Just a beauty of a beer.

Smell: Apple cider, vinegar. A bit musty and sour smelling. Perfumy.

Taste: Tart and sweet with a lingering sour/metallic edge. This ale was matured in wooden vats, providing an oaky/woodsy dryness. As it warms, more complexity develops, fruits that do not exist like a mixture of cherry, granny smith apple and citrus with some acidity. This is one hell of a beverage.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a semi dry finish and a lingering sourness of the palate.

Drinkability: A very desirable sour that is a pleasure to partake. Highly recommended.

Serving type: on-tap

09-08-2010 15:38:10 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of Jwale73
Jwale73

Rhode Island

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

11.2oz. bottle served in my ST tulip. Best before 10-07-09 indicated on the label (whoops). Pours a hazy chestnut brown with a loose, one inch, tan-colored head embedded with tiny ringlets. Burgundy highlights are revealed when backlit, and head eventually settles into a solid quarter inch cap revealing porous bands of lacing. Nose is very rich and complex - tart fruit, a little vinegary, a hint of vanilla and a vinous quality; somewhat reminiscent of a cabernet. There also seem to be traces of spice (cinnamon and...) and cork intermingled with the other aromas. Taste consistent with nose - distinctive aromas coalesce nicely into a complex brew; maybe with some traces of wood expressed in the flavor profile, as well as muted atomic fireballs at the finish. Mouthfeel is light-medium (but closer to light), with an even carbonation level that falls shy of lively and a finish that falls just short of semi-dry. Having never had this before, I can't tell if it's really past it's prime, but I have to say that I found it interesting and complex - a nice introduction to sours for those new to the style in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2010 21:30:03 | More by Jwale73
Photo of froghop
froghop

Washington

3.65/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours a clear brown with a small tan head, and little to no lacing.

smell is of wild yeast, some malt, and dark fruit.

taste is a bit watery, slightly sour, a little sweetness in the back, dark fruits and cherries, malt, and salmon berry, ends a little tart.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2010 15:31:09 | More by froghop
Photo of kbutler1
kbutler1

Minnesota

2.95/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On draft. Short review as I am at the bar and in a rush. Sour fruit aromas. Acidic taste. Notes of nail polish remover and acetone. The acetone mixed with the sweetness of this beer really is a turn off to me. Reddish color with a tan head. Not terribly good but ok for the style. Light/medium mouthfeel.

Serving type: on-tap

08-20-2010 19:54:15 | More by kbutler1
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 2,945 ratings.