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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

3,049 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,049
Reviews: 1,346
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 131
Gots: 286 | FT: 9
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: 3,049 | Reviews: 1,346 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of spithrash
spithrash

Texas

4.22/5  rDev +1.4%

Just back from Belgium and this is the 1st of 8 that I brought home with me to try. Pours a nice ruby red/dark brown clolor - little carbonation leaves a small head which dissipates completely leaving no lacing.

Smell is sour and sweet, hints of dates or raisins.

Taste hits the sides of the tongue with sour first, then hints of ripe cherry on the palate. Not heavy and very well balanced. Taste lingers for quite some time. One sip makes me crave another. An amazing mix of sweet & sour, highly drinkable and sadly my 25cl bottle is gone. Will definitely seek this one out again.

02-21-2009 23:24:32 | More by spithrash
Photo of Yetiman420
Yetiman420

Ohio

4.18/5  rDev +0.5%

On draft in a wide-mouth Duchesse De Bourgogne wine glass.

Shiny copper color that turns the lights behind it red. Very impressive in a bar with lots of lights.

Thin, consistent head that leaves random gops of lacing.

Tart aroma. Flavor is consistently as stong as aroma - interesting dynamic that in profile similarity.

Great mouthfeel. Sweet, flavorful finish but not too much.

02-20-2009 23:29:48 | More by Yetiman420
Photo of dougfir
dougfir

Oregon

3.85/5  rDev -7.5%

Very unusual, although I am not well-versed in this style, so perhaps they are all like this! Rye or pumpernickel nose. Very fruity and malty tasting. Not much head, but highly carbonated. Slightly tastes like dry cider. Tastes more alcoholic than it supposedly is. Quite an interesting beer, and certainly worth at least trying.

02-20-2009 01:58:34 | More by dougfir
Photo of phantomwyse
phantomwyse

Massachusetts

4.4/5  rDev +5.8%

A: Deep mahogany colored body, slightly opaque in clarity, with soft brown highlights. Effervescent head builds quickly producing a rich tan one finger head that readily disintegrates leaving a lathery film -- still manages to create a decent lacing pattern.

S: Red table wine aroma at first glance moving to soured fruits like plums, apples, and white grapes. A sugary sweetness moves in shortly after, reminiscent of the charred sugary crust of a creme brulee.

T: Half sour light fruits as witnessed in the aroma, pears, plums, apples, and white grapes. Again, after the initial whiff of fruit, sugary malts come into play with toasted caramel and artificial sugar, saccharin, sweetness trailing off into a tart finish.

M: Light to medium bodied, decent carbonation, vaguely syrupy, and leaving off tart and dry.

D: Sour ales just really appeal to me, I found that this beer is incredibly palletable, and just kept me wanting more.

02-20-2009 01:37:04 | More by phantomwyse
Photo of tai4ji2x
tai4ji2x

Massachusetts

3.28/5  rDev -21.2%

750ml green bottle. cork has exp date of 3/10. poured into tulip.

dark, ruby red with brown tones. gemstone clear under the light. moderately sized, fluffy tan head fades to thin layer, then wisps. amazing curtain of lacing. no sediment in the bottle or glass - is this a filtered brew?

aroma is fruity cherries and faint molasses with a very weak funk note. light wood tones, plus damp earth or fallen leaves. whiff of vinegar.

surprisingly sweet with only a trace of acidity. fruity apple and cherries, with syrupy caramel and brown sugar. faint bitterness from grassy hops and more weak acidity, with another trace of wood and damp hay.

smooth, with acidic twinge at the end for texture. mild to moderate carbonation for some refreshment.

too sweet, almost cloying, and certainly not enough acidity or complex funkiness. pales in comparison to rodenbach grand cru or even monk's cafe. but i understand the appeal for sour beer novices, so this prevents me from totally trashing it.

02-19-2009 08:34:42 | More by tai4ji2x
Photo of ThirdLap
ThirdLap

California

4.6/5  rDev +10.6%

So it turns out that I was wrong.

I tried Duchesse in my early craft beer days and found it to be utterly revolting. Perhaps it was due to a bad bottle I picked up, but I'm more inclined to blame it on an undeveloped palate. Yesterday I tried it on-tap at Sacramento Brewing and realized what I'd been missing out on.

Get this: A non-beer-drinker in our party declared it her favorite beer of all time, ordering two additional glasses for herself.

A - Pours a light cherry brown with a light, dirty tan head. Lots of lacing remains after the head dissipates nearly completely.

S - You know that it's going to be tart before even taking a sip. As a beginner I got vinegar and little else. This time I pick up dark cherries, vanilla, with a nutty backbone. You will recall this beer by its nose more than anything else.

T - To cut to the chase, absolutely delicious. It's creamy, sweet, tart, with cherries, vanilla, and dark berries. The vinegar is present, but doesn't ruin the experience.

M - Medium bodied, crisp, with lots of carbonation.

D - A sipper, but one you want to sip all damn day.

Never in a million years did I think I'd say it, but I love Duchesse!

02-18-2009 07:06:03 | More by ThirdLap
Photo of morebeergood
morebeergood

Massachusetts

4.13/5  rDev -0.7%

Picked up a corked bottle at Whole Food Cambridge for $9.99. This was a pre-Valentine's Day dinner beer. Paired with a variety of cheeses. Poured into stemmed glassware. Dark red color with a hint of burnt orange. Thin bubbly head. Moderate amount of carbonation. Smelled a bit sour, as expected. Taste, though, was unexpected. I thought that I knew what to expect, but I got so much more. Wow, this was nice. I was thinking it would be just another Flanders ale, with a nice sour profile. Instead, it had a wonderful fruit (cherry, strawberry) flavor up front. There was a bit of sourness at the back end, but it did not detract from the excellent taste. Very light and smooth. This beer jumped very high on my list of favorite Belgian offerings.

02-17-2009 01:11:35 | More by morebeergood
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

4.2/5  rDev +1%

Had this on tap at the Lucky Baldwins 10th Annual Belgian fest on 2/15/09.

Pours a dark hazy red. Medium lacing, low retention, white head.

Aroma is of sweet and sour cherries, a touch of vinegar, and crystal malts.

Flavor is of sour cherries, a little vinegar, red ale, and possibly some lactic acid. Tart and sweet. Not real complex but very nice. Medium bitternes.

Medium body, very drinkable and enjoyable.

02-16-2009 22:04:57 | More by t0rin0
Photo of pokesbeerdude
pokesbeerdude

Colorado

4.33/5  rDev +4.1%

Picked up a single at Aggie Liquors in Ft. Collins for around $11.50.

A: Poured a deep dark red with a cream colored head about half an inch thick. Lots of little spots of lacing. Quite a bit darker than I had expected.

S: Sour smells, a little bit like vinegar, strong red wine smells, sour cherries, very heavy on the wine smells. Slight hint of oak woodiness.

T: Sour cherry flavors, slight honey flavors, vanilla, a lot of oak flavors too, nice brown ale nuttiness. Not as overwhelmingly sour as others. Very tasty beer. Nice lingering nuttiness and honey with sour accents. This is very tasty all around. Lots of things going on.

M: Somewhat thick, nice carbonation, and not nearly as dry as I thought it would be. There is a nice dryness though. Well balanced.

D: Excellent beer, easily could drink multiple 750s of this. Great beer all around. Not nearly as intense as other Flanders Red's that I have tried. Excellent beer.

02-14-2009 21:02:54 | More by pokesbeerdude
Photo of meatmallet
meatmallet

Illinois

4.47/5  rDev +7.5%

Appearance: Dark burgandy in color with a bubbly tan head.

Smell: Smell is awesome. Sour apple dominates the nose as well as cherry. It is a bit musky and tart and very complex like a good wine.

Taste: Very sweet at first and it finishes sour. Light malt flavor with hints of cherry, cranberry, and sour apple.

Mouthfeel/drinkability: Light carbonation and a great taste make this a must try.

02-13-2009 06:31:06 | More by meatmallet
Photo of kaseydad
kaseydad

California

4.38/5  rDev +5.3%

I picked up the Duchesse after many times passing her by due to the uncertainty. My wife picked her up for me at Whole Foods and unfortunately it was placed facing the cold box near an auxillary vent...of heat...which was keeping cheese cold. Go figure.

After 24 hours in the cold, the Duchesse and I had our rendezvous.

Being my first Flanders Red Ale, she went easy. She poured a nice reddish brown color with a single layer of foam. A light carbonation was also present.

She yielded a major vinegar aroma with a whisp of cherry in the background.

She tasted of a sweet vinegar on the initial sip with a nice sweetness on the back of the tongue and lips. A very intriguing taste for a newbie to this style.

It was a nice refreshing brew to some of the others I have tried in the past and is very drinkable if you can get past the ever-present vinegar smell.

02-12-2009 03:39:03 | More by kaseydad
Photo of FlikkerDans
FlikkerDans

California

4.8/5  rDev +15.4%

Had a bottle last night on the front porch. It poured a small head with just the perfect amount of carbonation. The smell was a bit like raisins, prunes, and a touch of wine. Smelled a bit like alcohol but that was nowhere in the taste. It tasted amazing, with just the perfect amount of sweetness. Cool and extremely smooth, it almost felt like drinking a soda. Dr. Pepper, to be exact. It was my first for this style that I can remember, and it has left me wanting a whole lot more.

02-11-2009 14:54:17 | More by FlikkerDans
Photo of IRONRakkasan
IRONRakkasan

California

4.65/5  rDev +11.8%

I had never had a Flanders Red Ale until this one, and I loved it!

The head was almost non-existent, while the color was of a dark brown/amber color.

I caught the aroma of a sweet wine doing a happy dance with some apples.

I didn't know what to expect, and found myself thinking I was drinking a barely malted cider with no hops to speak of. The Duchesse finished with a nice sour apple taste.

The first impression I got, especially how it hit the tongue, was that it had a much higher alcohol content then it did.

I really enjoyed this style of beer, and look forward to some...further research in this subject matter.

I would definitely recommend this brew to anyone. Much fun!

02-07-2009 12:50:01 | More by IRONRakkasan
Photo of beertunes
beertunes

Washington

4.38/5  rDev +5.3%

Served in a Chalice. Thin light tan head that dissipates quickly. A quite lovely deep brown with a reddish tint. Strong vinegar aroma. Flavor has the vinegar, but not as noticeably as the aroma. That musky, deep flavor is quite enjoyable. A sharp, wine like taste. I'm having trouble finding descriptors that fit the taste of this beer. The body is solid if a little thin. Very drinkable, if these flavors fit you. I enjoy this beer a lot, even though I have a difficult time describing it.

02-06-2009 14:36:16 | More by beertunes
Photo of jminsc76
jminsc76

Texas

4.68/5  rDev +12.5%

Imagine Coca Cola meets vinegar in a garden of oak-ey goodness.

Duchesse ties with Rodenbach Grand Cru as my favorite of the Flanders red ales. Upon pouring, the carbonation initially brings out a slight head that clears fairly quickly, but upon a two to three second swirl will reform. The beer produces a tingling sensation on the roof of the mouth and/or parts of the tongue. When allowed to set and warm for five to 10 minutes out of the fridge, the feeling in the throat upon consumption is refreshing, like drinking a cold glass of water on a hot day. By 15 to 20 minutes most of the flavors have peaked, so polish it off by 30 minutes. You probably wouldn't drink warm Coca Cola; why would you drink warm Duchesse?

The smell is refreshing and very similar to the taste. Not too strong. The color is a dark, ruby red with a touch of brown. Very lush.

As the alcohol content is 6%, don't expect to get 'ishfaced out of your mind (unless you drink, like, 20 of them). This drink is more for the taste than the inebriation, although the taste is intoxicating in its own right.

On an additional note, my experience sharing Duchess with others is that beer lovers of the Flanders red style, and Belgian beers in general, love this drink. It's also an ideal beer for converting oenophiles and other beer-skeptics to the cause of drinking good, quality beer. Women who say they hate beer have expressed particular enjoyment with this one. Not always, but mostly.

02-06-2009 01:47:31 | More by jminsc76
Photo of craytonic
craytonic

District of Columbia

3.9/5  rDev -6.3%

Appearance: Pours a glowing ruby-amber with a large head.

Smell: The vinegar is very noticeable; also tart fruit (cherries) and vinegar-cider.

Taste: Vinegar, sour/tart cherries, raspberry, cider. Very sour, and not sweet like rodenbach. Nice oak wood element. I do wish it were a bit more sour with a little less vinegar. Way too sweet though. Refreshing and enjoyable, but the sweetness detracts from the drinkability. I prefer it on tap.

02-03-2009 22:11:50 | More by craytonic
Photo of Azumel
Azumel

Florida

2.05/5  rDev -50.7%

I realize that many people like this beer, but even after fighting through the soy sauce/mustard smell, I couldn't drink it. The strange sweet and sour taste along with the smell was a bit too much for me. Perhaps I'll try it again someday with better results. It's a pretty unique flavor for a beer, but one that I did not enjoy in any way.

02-01-2009 17:52:34 | More by Azumel
Photo of mbrasi
mbrasi

Ohio

3.85/5  rDev -7.5%

Best Before 03-10-09 Pours a reddish brown with a head that dissipates fast. Aroma is sour, lactic, vinigar dominates, with some wood. Flavor is sweet up front, some then vinigar, with a wood finish and some lingering lactic notes. This one kind of grows on me. At first I thought it wood be drain pour (and I love sours) because of the too much vinigar and sweetness, but the flavors start to blend into something that is more enjoyable as you drink this brew. Mouthfeel lacks significant carbonation but has a decently rich body that compensates.

02-01-2009 00:39:05 | More by mbrasi
Photo of Rayek
Rayek

Colorado

4.43/5  rDev +6.5%

On-tap at the Cheeky Monk in Denver, CO. Served in a Duchesse De Bourgogne glass.

A: Deep ruby color with a small cream colored head. Clarity is very good. Head retention is only fair. Leaves a heavy lace behind.

S: All I can think of is red wine when I smell this. Heavy on the dark fruits, plus a light pepper bite and a slight sourness that keeps the fruit aromas from being too sweet. Extremely complex.

T: The complexity of the nose transitions perfectly into the flavor. Tart grapes, cherries and cranberries dominate. Balance is created more by sourness than the peppery hop bitterness. Balance is great. Finishes somewhat dry, with lingering dark fruit flavors.

M: Medium body feels substantial in the mouth and has the right amount of carbonation.

D: This was easily my favorite beer at the Monk. A good sipping beer that I wish was served in a larger glass. Almost frighteningly good to my pallet. Well worth a revisit.

01-27-2009 17:16:14 | More by Rayek
Photo of bowersdm
bowersdm

Ohio

4.6/5  rDev +10.6%

11.2 oz bottle poured into a pilsner (the closest thing I had to a flute glass) Note: This is the first Flanders Red Ale I've had and the four sour beer.

Upon opening the bottle, a geyser of carbon dioxide erupted. The smell of pungent vinegar singed my nostrils as I cleaned my floor.

A - dark red, ruby-like color with a 3mm tan head that originally was ~1cm, but dissipated quickly.

S - vinegar, sweet and pungent, maybe some spice and fruit, but the vinegar is the predominant aroma

T - very tart and sour with suggestions of cranberries, apples, grapes, some spice and a little bit of a vinegar taste (but not as much as the nose suggested.) There was also a hint of citrus fruit, but that may be residual flavor from the orange-poppy seed muffin I had a few hours ago.

M - lots of carbonation. I'm not sure if it's supposed to be this way, but I enjoyed the way it interacted with my tongue.

D - Edit: i felt compelled to change the rating on this category. I have since tried other Flanders Red ales and because of their lack of flavor, they were hard to drink! Old rating: 2.0. new rating: 3.5

01-24-2009 01:44:54 | More by bowersdm
Photo of cdrummer
cdrummer

Virginia

3.9/5  rDev -6.3%

On tap at Beer Run, Charlottesville, VA in a 10 oz snifter

A: Deep depths of reddish brown and copper with a bone colored lacing head of foam.

S: I'm hit in the face by sourness (in a good way) in the form of vinegar, apple, lemon drop candy, raspberries, cranberries and a slight meatiness.

T & M: There is an endless supply of bubbles that disperse the sourness across the tongue. It's quite dense and syrupy, but still very refreshing, fruity and crisp. The overall taste is quite sour, focused on such flavors as were in the nose - those of tart cranberries and raspberries. While at first the sourness was overwhelming, as it warmed it turned into a pleasant port like quality, especially in the finish as the carbonation became more subdued.

D: Honestly, this took a while to drink, and I like dense beers... I think this is for one who enjoys a rich fruity brew more-so than I.

No kidding, I thought this was a lambic, but upon inquiry came to find that the sourness actually comes from the aging in oak casks - no lambic at all. Well done!

01-22-2009 01:49:40 | More by cdrummer
Photo of KeefD
KeefD

Minnesota

3.93/5  rDev -5.5%

750ml split with my girlfriend. Hope she likes it! Haha... Expiration date of Dec 2008. It's January. Oh well. Poured into a Tripel Karmeliet tulip a dark brown color with ruby highlights and a large light pink colored head with lots of carbonation bubbles keeping good head retention. Very nice lacing. First aroma is sour cherries and then comes the vinegar. There's an underlying sweetness in the nose, maybe some brown sugar, and slight metallic notes. Flavors of ripe cherry, slightly sour, acidic and tart, maple brown sugar, and a chalky sort of sweetness reminiscent of smarties candy. There's also a certain fruitiness, some apples and pears come to mind. This is complex and tasty. Definitely some wine-like characteristics. Mouthfeel is medium, good carbonation. It's tasty, but I couldn't see myself drinking an entire 750. I like it but have had better Flemish Reds, namely Rodenbach Grand Cru. Still a good treat.

01-19-2009 00:44:12 | More by KeefD
Photo of BeerSox
BeerSox

Virginia

4/5  rDev -3.8%

Note: This is my first Flanders Red.

750ml bottle into 25oz wine glass. Expires 12/09.

Very dark red hue, bordering on black. Peering toward the glass there is a dark glowing red shining through. An off-white one finger head slowly settles to a thin cap, leaving behind a thick wall of lacing.

Sweet cherry like fruit comes through the very sour aromas. A slight spiciness is in there as well.

The flavor starts out with a splash of sweet n' sour, a mix of dark cherry syrup which quickly shifts to a lingering sourness. Vinegar sounds too harsh for the flavor, but it's almost like vinegar with some sugar added. Full bodied. The tartness lingers for a while.

One of the most contrasting beers I've ever had. The sourness is heavily mixed with a very sweet, almost syrupy, flavor.

01-18-2009 02:31:07 | More by BeerSox
Photo of farrago
farrago

New Jersey

4.63/5  rDev +11.3%

Dark rust red to brown in color, has a fuzzy sort of opacity, not really blacked out, more unintentionally veiled. Not a lot of obvious fizz, the head is very light and disintegrates into little islands across the surface. Intense, multi-faceted nose of vinegar, tea leafs, plum to candied cherry fruit, rum, soy sauce, green apple, esters, almost could pose as a very traditional (cubed beef) barbecue sauce. Medium-bodied, playful carbonation crests like waves in the mouth. The sour vinegar component met head on by golden raisin, date and then cherry, raspberry fruit. Yeasty in a subtle way, works consciously in concert with the rest. Tea, tar, kindling wood. Nothing screams hops nor malts, category mistake to think of this beer in those terms. It's really an intellectual challenge to your taste buds, a can you keep up with the syllabus sort of situation. You may not love it, you may not hate it, but you must taste it.

01-17-2009 17:59:00 | More by farrago
Photo of Greggy
Greggy

Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

750ml -> Flute Glass

A- Pours a nice thick 1 finger head with great retention and lacing. The body is a dark red/brown with bits of yeasty haze.

S- Very wine like in the aroma but with a nice tart/funk. Notes of apples, oak, funk, and maybe a rum-soaked raisin.

T- Very complex notes of cherry, green apple, rum soaked raisin, buttery oak, and a nice tartness. The finish is buttery with notes of apple and bits of rum.

M- Quite full mouthfeel, low carbonation but higher acidity.

D- This is a great Flanders Red and pretty drinkable. Definitely will have again.

01-14-2009 00:47:55 | More by Greggy
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,049 ratings.