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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

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

3,137 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,137
Reviews: 1,355
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 141
Gots: 322 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,137 | Reviews: 1,355 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ncketchum
3.78/5  rDev -9.1%

Chilled bottle served in a Chimay chalice

A = pours a dark brown/red with one finger of tan head with good retention.

S = smells of malt, sour cherries, bread

T = wow, not what I was expecting. refreshing with sour cherries, lemon, no hint of alcohol

M = thin, more carbonation than expected, dryness follows

D = high drinkability, very refreshing, overall a very nice beer. Will have this one again.

ncketchum, Sep 03, 2011
Photo of russwbeck
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%

I'm drinking the remaining 10 ounces or so after substituting this beer for Rodenbach Grand Cru in the Cherry Pie recipe in the most recent BeerAdvocate Magazine. The pie seems to be turning out great!

A: Clear red to brown pour with a small light brown head. The very bubbly head really does not last long.

S: Hints of vinegar, and a lot of tart cherries. Having just combined the beer in the dough recipe and soaking some tart cherries in it, the cherry smell really comes out well for me.

T: It has been a long time since I had this beer last (on tap at Zeno's Pub), and wow my palate has certainly evolved. The vinegar/sour flavor adds a nice accent to the very tart cherries. The lip smuckering taste really keeps you coming back for more.

MF: Light and carbonated well. The dryness of the beer coats your mouth with flavor as you drink.

O: Great beer. Can't wait to see how the pie turns out. Flavorful, tart, delicious.

russwbeck, Sep 01, 2011
Photo of adam42381
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%

Poured from a 11.2 ounce bottle into a Duvel tulip. Best before 04/08/2012 printed on label.

Appearance: Pours a dark caramel brown with ruby highlights and a 2 finger foamy light tan head. A touch of sediment pooled in the middle of the head as it settled in. Once the head settles, it leaves bubbles around the edge of the glass that look like chocolate milk bubbles.

Smell: Tart and sour fruits with sweet malt in the background. Smells a bit like a winery. Very strong and powerful aroma.

Taste: Tart wine grape hulls up front followed by sour cherries and a touch of sweet malt in the middle before ending with Belgian yeast and more sour notes at the finish. Aftertaste is light with a mix of sweet and sour.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: High drinkability. I would have no problem polishing off a couple bottles throughout the course of an evening.

Overall: Excellent beer overall. This is a near perfect introduction to the world of sour beers. I would highly recommend this one. Just make sure you drink it fairly fresh. Once it reaches or passes the best before date, it's a vinegar bomb.

adam42381, Aug 31, 2011
Photo of ehammond1
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

A dark ruby and chestnut brown. Nearly no head. Decent lacing down the glass.

Tart sourness, some vinegar, and lots of sweet cherries. The cherries and sweet fruit stand out far more than in other Flanders Reds I've had. A very sweet, though tart and pleasant, aroma.

Taste follows the nose nearly identically. While this is sour, I wish it was even more so, as the cherry sweetness is a bit dominating and makes this beer just a bit too sweet and one note.

Medium bodied and somewhat sharp, though a pleasure to drink.

A great introductory beer for the style, especially for someone who may prefer sweeter beers, but it's a bit too sweet for my personal likings.

ehammond1, Aug 30, 2011
Photo of DUBinMIA
3.4/5  rDev -18.3%

Pours a crystal clear deep brown with reddish tint. Thick foam head 3in. at least with insane lace.

Smell is of malt and sweet fruit. Dates, cherries, and light pine hop notes.

Taste is starts sweet malty and ends very tart and crisp. Citrus is abound which is different for a red ale. Interesting rasberry flavor towards the end.

Mouth feel is light and high in carbonation

Overall this beer is unique… prob won’t pick it up again but glad I tried it.

DUBinMIA, Aug 30, 2011
Photo of stephens101
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%

The off white head flutters away with an afterthought of thin and scattered lace. Dark brown in color with dark red hues at the edges. Powerful sweet and sour fruit aroma; including prunes, ripe grapes, figs and raisins, along with burnt sugar and freshly baked brown bread and phenols. Vinous, grainy and tart to the tongue with a prolific amount of sour grapes and figs. A little honey and vinegar are also noticed. Medium mouth-feel with a touch of alcohol heat that is quickly forgotten. Not completely my thing, but that doesn't mean it's not a good beer.

stephens101, Aug 28, 2011
Photo of drtth
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As poured the beer is a reddish dark brown color with a 1” thick creamy light tan head that recedes slowly. The speckles and patches of lacing stick nicely to the sides of the glass and sipping produces lacing for much of the beer.

Smell: The aromas include tart cherries, a bit of dark orchard fruits like plum and a nice background overlay of vinegar.

Taste: The flavors, as expected from the nose, include tart cherry, a bit of plum, and the vinegar, but along with that there is some sweetness that balances off against the sourness of the vinegar. Inside the sweetness there are traces of chocolate and some nice vanilla and oak notes from the barrel aging.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium bodied with a smooth light creamy carbonation. The finish is long and dry with a lasting sourness.

Drinkability and Overall Impression: Throughout this beer I found initially that it was mostly curiosity that motivated taking another sip, but as I adjusted myself to the flavors I was experiencing and as the beer warmed some I began to enjoy it more. Indeed, by the end of the beer I was ready to open another given the complex interplay of flavors. As I was ready to decide there was too much sweetness the sour would come in to play and as I was ready to decide there was too much vinegar sourness the sweetness would assert itself. Overall I’d say this is a beer that is well worth trying. I’m guessing that it is not for everyone, but I’d recommend that everyone give it a try but pay close attention to serving temperature and have 2-3 before reviewing or deciding they liked or disliked it.

drtth, Aug 27, 2011
Photo of smudgewhat
1.58/5  rDev -62%

The balsamic vinegar flavor overwhelms any other aspect of this brew. Smells like wine, fairly carbonated, very sour and unpleasantly vinegar-y. A total pass for me though my female companion liked it. If you're more into wine than the typical Belgian beer then maybe you'll like it more. I'd rathe have a Chimay or Rochefort.

smudgewhat, Aug 20, 2011
Photo of fostachild
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%

pours an awesome clear dark brown/red color with a good amount of light tan/offwhite head - nice lacing afterwards.

smell is nice - super sour, alcohol. sweetness - tons of fruit/berries.

tastes delicious. sour, sweet, fruit, wine, slight alcohol. interesting balance and well done. enjoyed this a ton! definitely recommend trying one out.

fostachild, Aug 19, 2011
Photo of Luk13
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%

It took me so much time to truly appreciate this beer, so I understand the haters here. Appearance is magnificient. Brown pour with red highlights and a lasting thick creamy offwhite head. One of the most beautiful lacing there is. Once it's over, my glass is completely coated with lacing.

Aroma: This is certainly not unanimous as there is a lot of balsamic vinegar which can be offputting but I like it now. There is a decent amount of musty wood, red wine, some burnt brown sugar. I also get some subtle notes of nuts and chocolate.

Taste: Probably the perfect balance between tart and sweet. To be more specific, some cherries and plums, lots of wood, maple syrup. Very close to a 5.

Mouthfeel: Light yet holds everything together. It is certainly not sticky considering the sweetness, nor as dry as a sour which gives this beer the opportunity to express its sweet and sour profile.
Low carbonation but not much is needed here.

Overall: A very unique, harmonious and elegant beer that has no evident flaws. I think it just surpassed Orval as my favourite go to beer.

Luk13, Aug 18, 2011
Photo of csiewert
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%

This beer poured a dark ruby color with a trace of off white fizzy head that retain and laces pretty well. The aroma has notes of sour cherries, dark fruit and some vinegar. The taste starts with the sour cherries and then has a strong note of vinegar... Not very good. The mouthfeel is on par for what a sour ale should be like, but I don't know if I got a bad bottle or what, but this was way too vinegary for me.

csiewert, Aug 17, 2011
Photo of Squelch
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%

Appearance: Dark Plum colored. Off white head. Slight lacing. Beautiful beer.

Smell: sweet cherries, prunes, candy.

Taste: Sour cherries, prunes, bubble gum. Wonderful

Mouthfeel: Light and tart. puckering. Sour.

Overall: One of my favorites. This beer is exceptional. Balanced and complex at the same time.

Squelch, Aug 16, 2011
Photo of HumanParaquat
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%

Props to the marketing department...beautiful artwork on the bottle, capturing that whole Flemish Renaissance vibe. Pours a deep, dark burgundy red with an off white head. Leaves some good spotty lacing.

Apple cider vinegar, pears and grapes in the nose...very wine-like. There are also some subtle oaky notes detectable along with chocolate and cinnamon.

Tastes of cherries and red currants up front with a healthy dose of vinegar. Finishes long and dry with a tart pomegranate/cranberry acidity. A very nice balance between sweet and sour. Alcohol is well-hidden.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and tingly with good presence of carbonation. Mildly sticky and quite puckering. Takes on a smoother, more elegant feel as it warms.

One of the best Flemish Reds I've tried. I imagine this could be a gateway beer for wine lovers and girlfriends.

HumanParaquat, Aug 15, 2011
Photo of SDDanC
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%

Poured into tulip from tap at sd toronado. Pours a dark brown with a small bit of amber. Creamy, but thin, egg white head that does not linger very long. Nose is spice, vanilla, and sour yeast. On the tongue it has a very smooth and sweet vanilla taste that coats the mouth. Sourness is subtle but comes out most in the middle then gives way to the vanilla and dark fruits. Mouthfeel is great, comfortable carbonation that compliments the toned down sourness.

Overall, awesome beer, nice switch from the fruity, tart sours

SDDanC, Aug 12, 2011
Photo of Pencible
3.95/5  rDev -5%

Bottle dated 3/3/13

A: This poured a clear mahogany with moderate white head.
S: It smelled like strong apple cider vinegar, with lots of funk and a bit of oak and metallic.
T: It tasted like tart apple cider vinegar, with lots of funk and a little sour oak and sweet brown sugar and metallic. It had a clean tart aftertaste.
M: It was watery with some carbonation. Nice and slick.
D: This was more like apple cider vinegar than beer, but it was very clean and enjoyable. The aftertaste was mellow, so it was relatively easy to drink. It could probably improve with age, but it's very enjoyable fresh.

Pencible, Aug 12, 2011
Photo of BoozySmurf
2.8/5  rDev -32.7%

My first sour, enjoyed before dinner with my wife and our friends. Poured into a tulip glass with a murky reddish-brown color. Lighting at Falls Taproom isn't great though. Head was white and substantial. Smells a bit musty, malty sweetness also, and a hint of vinegar. Overall light aroma, nothing overpowering. Flavor was initially sweet and sour, mostly sour and sort of a balsamic quality. This flavor, while pleasant, departed quickly and the aftertaste was musty. Sort of like a wet dog smell that lingers on the palate. I've experienced this in the past (most notably with Arrogant Bastard) and my guess is that certain hops disagree with me. Unfortunately the aftertaste is what lingered. Mouthfeel was a little sticky, but light. Overall impression was disappointing. I was looking forward to a mouth-puckering vinegar experience (I loves me some deli pickles) but the aftertaste overwhelmed the initial sour flavors. This was my first "sour" so I'll probably try it again. Geez though they're always so damn expensive!

BoozySmurf, Aug 07, 2011
Photo of StaveHooks
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%

A - Dark brown/burgundy color. with an off-white head that leaves solid lacing patterns.

S - Musty fruit, balsamic, raspberries, wet grass, cherries, lacto, old wood.

T - Candy sweet up front than turns tart with a mineral sweetness, tangy cherries, tart apple skins, over ripe fruit, there's a rich malt backbone underneath. Finishes acidic.

M - Moderate carbonation, soft and smooth feel.

More tart than sour. Nicely balanced with a solid malt backbone.
This is a good beer to have around for a celebration.

StaveHooks, Aug 05, 2011
Photo of avaldivia
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%

I have a soft spot in my heart for this beer, as it is the beer that got me into sours. On Tap, poured into a Duchesse De Bourgogne glass.

A: Nice light reddish color. Almost pink when held up to the light. Decent head but that disappears fairly quickly.

S: Tart black cherries. Nice tingle of the nose. A lot of people say vinegar, but I just don't get vinegar in this.

T: This is where this brew shines. Tart upfront and lingers for a bit before giving way to to a crisp smooth finish. Tastes linger on the palate, which I really enjoy.

M: Very well carbonated. Light body. about what you would expect. Not overly tart to make your mouth pucker.

O: it is thanks to this beer that I like sours, and it is still probably the one I buy most often.

avaldivia, Jul 27, 2011
Photo of SmokinSmyth
1.27/5  rDev -69.5%

Poured into a Tulip glass, nice big head, minimal lacing, brown color.

Aroma is strong, vinegar and another sour are in the majority.

Taste - just not for me. I see the good ratings, but this is a rare beer for me, in that I didn't finish it, and actually poured it down the sink. My children were shocked. Tasted way too much like vinegar for me, and I checked the date, the bottle had another year to go.

Mouthfeel - didn't really register as I didn't want in my mouth after my tongue had gotten hold of it.

SmokinSmyth, Jul 23, 2011
Photo of scottfrie
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Duchess de Bourgogne
750ml bottle poured into Jackie O’s snifter. Exp. 11/2012.
A: Pours a dark cranberry with a half-inch of light tan head that fizzed away to a thin collar that left tiny specs of lacing down the glass.
S: Musty dry notes of damp basement, wood/oak, cranberries, dark cherries and a whiff of vinegar. There are also sweeter notes of sweet cherry juice.
T: A touch medicinal in its fruitiness. Not very sweet; the sweetness is fruit juice-like and subtle. I get a bit of acetone, and there is also no sour, but a very light tartness comes out in the finish similar to cherry skins. Notes of sweet raisins and a bit of oak also poke through.
M: Amply, tingly carbonation froths up on my palate. The body is medium-light with a light but syrupy mouthfeel. Tannins are low, but the finish is lightly dry.
O: Enjoyable but subtle. This beer has great flavors but I wish they were a little more potent. Very easy drinking.

scottfrie, Jul 21, 2011
Photo of Mebuzzard
3.43/5  rDev -17.5%

I had this on tap years ago and have not tried it since. This time it was in a bottle....

Pours a shiny hazelnut brown, reddish glows. Tan head, bubbly...looks like cola a bit.

Aroma isn't as strong as I remembered the tap version. Cherries, new leather, caramel, candied sugar, and some apple.

Sourness just isn't there, perhaps a bit of pucker though. It's foremost flavors remind me of apple cider, sweet cider. Some cherry/apple tartness. Tannins here and there. Caramel in the nose is almost gone in the taste. No flavors are bad or off-putting, but none are outstanding either.
I'd drink it again, probably

Mebuzzard, Jul 21, 2011
Photo of PhageLab
2.98/5  rDev -28.4%

Poured into a tulip.

A - Gorgeous cedar coloration with a deep ruby hue. Produced a nice bit of froth and laced magnificently. Retention was on point. No room for improvement in the looks department.

S - Sugary malts, vinegar, and something a bit sour. Quite interesting.

T - Intense sour flavor with a hint of oak. There is some sweet malt backing, but not enough to help the raw taste of vinegar.

M - Light bodied and dry with a low carbonation level. Causes an odd feeling in the back of my throat, which reminds me of bad wine.

D - Too much for me. I have several friends who love this stuff and recommended it several times, but I can't get on the same page. Interesting brew, but not one for me.

PhageLab, Jul 18, 2011
Photo of tlazaroff
4.88/5  rDev +17.3%

A: This pours a very deep deep and ultra clear burgundy red. It's head is a slight off-white color. This beer is breathtaking to look at.

S: As I opened and poured the beer a huge almost cherry-like aroma almost over-took me. Upon closer inspection I was able to confirm this. There are many different dark fruits on the nose, but cherry takes the cake here. There is a noticeable sourness to the smell.

T: Huge sour cherry notes here in a background of light plum. The sourness is there, but not extreme and not subtle either. This beer tastes perfect and it is quite a religious experience.

M: This is so smooth, with low carbonation and a nice medium body. The sourness doesn't detract from the mouthfeel either.

D: To me, this has such low drinkability because I want to enjoy it. That said, it's extremely drinkable.

tlazaroff, Jul 18, 2011
Photo of goblue3509
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%

Pours a dark brown reddish color which when held up to light gives off a deep dark ruby red color. The beer is clear with strong visible carbonation and a slim head. Nice lacing is left of the glass. The aroma is big and hits you hard a nice vinegar smell rounded out by dark fruits sour cherries and plums. The taste is almost exactly like a champagne and white wine mix. The is a sour cherry tatse but also a green sour apple and white grape taste with a hint of oak at the back end. The mouthfeel is crisp and clean again this beer has the feel of champagne in your mouth. Overall this is a great beer nice big aroma and great taste.

goblue3509, Jul 17, 2011
Photo of afrokaze
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%

Poured into a snifter.

A - Deep ruby brown with 2 fingers of pillowy head that sticks around with nice lacing.

S - Lots of stone fruit, especially ripe cherries & tart peaches, lemon citrus. Soft bready malt, mix of vinegar acidity & slight sweetness.

T - Tart edge of lime citrus mixed with some vinegar tartness. Malt is subdued but balances acid with soft bready notes. Finish is long but sweeter than expected, with more stone fruit, similar to plums & nectarines. Some woodiness comes out as it warms & mixes nicely with wine-like character.

M - Great mix of tart edge that attacks the tastebuds & creamy softness in the aftertaste. Crisp & very refreshing.

O - My favorite Flanders Red thus far. Reminds me of Rodenbach Grand Cru but even smoother; sourness is nicely sharp but kept in check well by oak aging. Sublime.

afrokaze, Jul 17, 2011
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,137 ratings.