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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

3,411 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,411
Reviews: 1,372
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 161
Gots: 408 | 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: 3,411 | Reviews: 1,372 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheFightfan1
3.15/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into my Lindeman's stange-flute.Ruby color with an off white to light brown heading. Very alive looking from the pour to the bitter end.

Smell is not what I expected. The tart aroma is there but very weak and is sidelined by a somewhat vinegear aroma? Some sweeter belgian candy notes but again very week.

Taste is extremely sweet with a heavy belgian candy like sugar and brown sugar. The tartness does pull through to peek it's head through but can not match the overpowering sweetness.

Mouth is heavily carbonated with a heavy thump of syrup on the palate that linger's for a bit.

All and all a bit disappointing. I expected a sour treat and I got a sugar bomb. Oh well.

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

11.2 oz bottle via a tulip glass

A: Reddish brown, with a nice copper head

S: Cherries, plums, oak

T: A fantastic mix of fruity, sour, and tart flavors. As other have stated, the taste has the same characteristics as the smell. Nice cherry/plum like flavors upfront, with a tart sour finish.

M: Somewhat thin, with the right amount of fizz.

D: An 11.2 oz is the perfect serving size for this style beer. More than one might be overkill. But I'll definitely buying a few more to stash and drink at a later time.

Photo of coalcracker
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a brownish-red with good head retention. Lacing forms as the tasting progresses.
Smell: Cherry and fruity in nature. Also can detect a bit of red wine.
Taste: Fruity start with cherry, wine, currant, and a little raisin. The sour notes arise toward the middle of the tasting with a bready finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium and lively. Smooth until the sour notes hit.
Drinkability: Very drinkable,but probably not a brew best served for sessions. More appropriate for slower and enjoyable tastings.

Overall- Extremely complex. I love the Flanders red style (as long as they are well-constructed). This hits the mark.

Photo of larryi86
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- Brown with a red tint and a one finger white head.

S- Sweet cherries and grapes, hints of tart apples and oak. Wine like.

T- Very close to the smell. Fruit flavors are great. Sweetness up front is balanced by a tart finish.

M- Smooth, crisp.

D- Easy to drink and enjoy. It is something that I would not like to drink a lot of, but it feels perfect for splitting a 750 mL with someone when have a nice meal.

Photo of bnieman
4.9/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 ml
Expiration Date 08/2012

A - Delicate small bubble Belgian lace. Red orange glow.

S - Sour apple and grapes. Akin to a fine dry white wine. Faint oak aroma.

T - Sour with a perfect balance of sweet sensation. White grapes. Delicious delicious funk.

M - Perfectly carbonated. Decadent.

D - Brilliant. I could drink this for hours until I succumb to a happiness comatose state.

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

Notes from 01/04/2011:

Best before: 11/30/2011. 330 mL bottle at 48 degrees into a Boon Kriek flute.

A: It pours a transluscent red color, similar to over-steeped tea - with a finger of frothy film that falls slowly until it forms a thin-bubbled circle on the edges of the glass.

S: Sour, wine-like aromas, cherries, plums, and a background woodiness showing the oak-aging.

T: Sweet and especially sour and lactic cherries with a sweet and oaky taste taking over leading to a very clean finish.

M: The body is medium and wine-like with a decent amount of carbonation and a crisp, palate-cleansing finish.

D: This is terrific drinking and is not overly sweet or sour like others in its style.

Photo of cuttsjp
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 750 mL cork and cage bottle poured into tulip glass

Appearance: Beer pours a deep reddish-brown with a fluffy cream-colored head that starts off big and dissipates into a small film on the surface, with some of the most amazing lacing I've ever seen

Aroma: Sort of a sweet, musty cherry smell with a slight tart kick and a little funk, not as much as expected though

Flavor: Delicious. Tart cherries up front with some nice raisin/plum sweetness balancing the whole thing out. Some definite malty tones stand out in this one...edging on the side of an Oud Bruin (even though BA classifies it as a red). A tiny amount of hop bitterness graces the finish. Great to see how the flavor opens up as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and silky, with very balanced carbonation.

Drinkability: Amazingly drinkable, especially for a style that people seem to think is less accessible. I really enjoyed this a lot and could easily foresee drinking a whole bottle by myself. Great price, too! $10/bottle for something that is definitely as good as much more expensive ones.

Photo of CheckmateBrew
3.38/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I am a big Belgian drinker so I had high hopes for his one.

Look is exceptional, nice 1 finger head, deep cherry wood color, I am getting excited.

smell is very complex, malt and I could detect rasin, oak lots of things going on here.

Taste is very complex, a bit almost too sweet, trappist yeast, interesting, but not the belgin I was expecting

Photo of mallthus
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So, I need to admit a prejudice against Flemmish reds as I go into this review. As a self admitted hop adict, it's just not my "go to" style. Nonetheless I went ahead and ordered a 350ml bottle tonight and I was favorably impressed.

As others have noted, this guy brings a Great pour to the table. I was impressed, but, alas, my beer was too cold, so I had to cuddle it for a while. Once warmed, a lot of the sour notes mellowed out and it became quite drinkable.

Still, I had the feeling I was missing something. Perhaps it's just my palate, but the sour notes overpowered everything else the beer might have had to offer.

Based on past experiences with Belgians, I toyed with the idea that food might help, so I paired some frites with mayo with it. Much to my surprise, the salt on the frites really did a number on this one, opening up a whole new range if flavors I hadn't noticed before.

So, word of caution. Come to this knowing it'll taste profoundly different from almost anything else you'll easily find.

As always, my 2¢ only...

Photo of DovaliHops
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, dark amber (almost brown) with a small off-white head that seems kinda creamy and fluffy. Great tart scents flowing off of this beer. Nice vinegar along with cherries and raspberries. Very nice fruity scent tied in with the vinegar. Taste is not quite as tart as it smells, but does not lower the quality of this beer at all. The sweetness is so complimentary to the light tartness, and this just blends to amount to a very tasty Flemish red. The cherry sweetness really comes through this beer along with some delicious oak and wood flavors. Mouthfeel is very creamy and nicely carbonated. Wasn't expecting this beer to be so creamy and full-bodied. Drinkability is quite high. I would recommend this as a nice starter beer for those trying to get into the Flemish style and move on to more sour ales. Very tasty.

Photo of Dentist666
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

0.75l corked bottle.
Pours excellent reddish brown with golden head 2-finger head, leaving some laces. Aroma partially disappointed me - notes of stale cabbage are a bit unpleasant, also fresher dark fruits. Fortunately, taste is quite well - similar to kriek, but, of course, more complex and slightly astringent - tart cherries, dark fruits, wine-like alcohol profile. Excellent carbonation tingles a tongue. Beer for Flanders ales fans.

Photo of BillHilly
4.85/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this in Praha (Prague) at the Pivovarsky Klub (Beer Club).

A: Absolutey the best of the best of the Flanders when on tap. Beautiful dark red, like a balsamic.

S: Sweet & Sour, citrus fruit, vinegar

T: Like a cranberry vinegar with little to no hoppiness, very unique.

M: Thick, pleasant carbonation

D: Have had it both on tap and in bottle, the tap is far superior to the bottles you will get at the local bottle shop...might have to travel abroad to get it on tap, but worth the trip, espcially if you are in Europe enjoying the vacation as well.

Photo of flipper2gv
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Redone review with fresher bottle.

A: Nice red body as expected with a nice foamy beige head. Perfectly translucent. Amazing retention and lacing.

S: This is something quite new for me. There is definitely a lot basil in this as well as maybe some balsamic vinegar (less when fresher). Some wine-like fruitiness, cinnamon, pepper and coriander. Some bread like sweetness. Most certainly vinous.

T: There is definitely some sweet cherries in this. A lot of wine like grape is in this too. Distinct metallic sharpness with good acidity too. Herbs are still present, but not as dominating than in the smell and blending well with the wine characteristics. Tartness is evident as well as the oak notes. Really complex, powerful, interesting beer I've dranked. Still the light vinegar is taking the .5 it doesn't have from a perfect score.

M: Super smooth medium weight body with medium to low carbonation. Oak tannins while mixed with some sticky residual sugars mixed together to make a mouthfeel similar to a port. Fantastic feel I really have trouble putting into words.

D: Quite easily drinkable when you get a fresher bottle, really worth trying this one out. Even though this beer is mighty tasty and has low alcohol, this beer will challenge your palate.

P.S.: If you can find a fresh-er bottle, just do it, the acetic qualities of this beer come real fast as this beer ages.

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

11.2oz bottle, Bruery tulip, best by 10/6/12.

Gorgeous very clear red, cherry red. The head is a fairly thin, frothy tan that does seem to stick well to the glass.

Delicately acidic, like very fruity red wine vinegar. Cherry, raspberry, and cranberry all make an appearance, as does some good, honest sweet biscuit malt.

The flavors are a fuller realization of the aromas. Strawberry joins the mix and it seems like the better characteristics of rose champagne and sparkling cranberry juice are combined with beer. It has a lovely level of tannins that work to balance the sweetness in the absence of any obvious hopping. The sourness is pleasantly drying and tart.

Prickly carbonation is reminiscent of champagne, as is the tannic roughing of the tongue and drying of the mouth. One is left with little aftertaste, save a little acidity in the throat.

I love my first sour beer and Flanders Red Ale. Will power has kept me from having finished the glass already. While this sours might not be a go to, they are a new favorite. Duchesse is nothing extreme but very tasty.

Photo of derandscott
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A. A really thick head that faded quickly and settled to a nice thin head. Spotted lace on the glass. Brown ale with a red tint.

S. Smells like aged fruit and vinegar.

T. Perfect balance of sweet and sour. Nice burst of sweet apple and sour cherry. Pleased at how well balanced and consistent it was throughout, not overbearingly tart.

M. Nice, light carbonation, not too fizzy.

D. Easily drinkable from start to finish. I thought I would devour it when I took my first sip. It contained me well though. The flavor is so full bodied and complex, it both invites you to drink more and wards you off with a lasting and lingering pucker. Looking forward to another one day soon.

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

750ml bottle poured into a St. Bernardus glass

Pours a deep reddish brown, poured with a big fast carbonated head (looked like soda fizz) which faded quickly, leaving a still filmy layer on top. Smell is cherry sour, dark red wine scent.

Taste is very pleasant and surprisingly mild (maybe it'll strengthen as the beer warms up a little). Sweet/tart in the flavor (that I really enjoy in sours), more of the sour cherry.

Mouthfeel is light and dry, effervescent (still pretty darn carbonated). I'd never session such a brew, but it's still tasty and good.

Photo of wolfinthemirror
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Awesome pour on this beer, big billowing head that slowly dissipates. good retention, quite a bit of lacing gets left behind.

In the smell I get a lot of belgian yeast, sweet dark fruit, malt, and sugar.

This beer is so sweet, tangy, and fruity. Sweet sour cherries are the primary flavor i'm getting, almost like a wine. It's a really enjoyable taste, if you are looking for a beer to appeal to a wine lover, or maybe even a non beer drinker, this would be a great choice.

light-medium body, effervescent feel. tangy, with a bit of tartness like a piece of fruit that puckers your mouth a little upon first taste.

Highly drinkable despite the price of this beer, but it's totally worth it. Very tasty and easy to kick back.

Photo of DCon
4.68/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1st Tasting- Beer from Lukas Liquor, poured into a champagne coupe, shared with a friend.
2nd Tasting- Beer from iTap House (Chesterfield), poured into a snifter.

1st- Appearance - Red/Brown Color with small amount of head
2nd-Appearance - Black Color, Possibly tons of cloud, and Mushroom Head on top.

1st- Smell - Great smell! Sour for sure like any Lambic.
2nd- Smell - Smell cherry, some type of strudel, and Sour again.

1st- Taste - Tastes like a steak dinner? Very strange but this was the only thing that came up... Not a normal lambic. Manager at Lukas said it should taste like a pastry.
2nd- Taste - Have no idea about the first taste! Totally different Beer! Very bitter and sour. Tastes like cherry strudel if possible.

1st- Mouthfeel - Full carbonation, Full Bodied, and brought on tartness/sour feel.
2nd- Mouthfeel - Long Finish, Tingle feeling in cheeks/tongue after 5 seconds.

1st- Drinkability - Makes me want to drink another one.. Everyone was interested in this beer and I'm ready to experience another one! Awesome!
2nd- Drinkability - Glad I got to enjoy this beer again! Totally different aspects in tasting the 2nd time as first. Had a glass of water in between beers the 2nd time, and this was the obvious difference. Would drink a 3rd time too!

Photo of jpro
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at the Charleston Beer Exchange a while back. Poured into a big ol' wine glass...

A: Deep mahogany / red, with a two-finger almond head that leaves some great strands and specks of lace and manages the slightest bit of retention throughout consumption (which took well over an hour, as I just kind of sipped on this one throughout the night).

S: Mmmm... Rich, sour aroma, dark berry-ish / cherry-ish, with a fair amount of wood/oak character, too; wine-like; as it warms, the sour shifts more toward vinegar / cider.

T: As this one warms, the taste profile seems to lose some of its "oakiness," as it transitions its focus to a nice puckering sour, that leaves a touch of sweetness on the finish; there's a faint bit of nuttiness in the background, too; alcohol is pretty much unnoticeable.

M: On the lighter side of medium with a zingy carbonation that lends well to this beer's drinkability.

D: The sour pucker followed by the refreshing finish practically begs for another sip; that being said, I prefer to just take my time with beers like this one.

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a deep reddish brown color, clear, nice head that left a sheen on top, very nice lacing.

Smelled absolutely amazing, but hardly like a beer at all, more like wine. A very strong smell for such a low ABV beer, you wind up thinking you're smelling strong alcohol, but you're not. Powerful dark fruit aromas and an earthy, woody background combine with the yeast to hammer the nose. Just a touch balsamic vinegar like (that's not bad tho, I love the smell of balsamic vinegar).

A true taste explosion, amazing flavors. Cherries and raisins dominate, yeasty and sweet, woody and tart. Highly complex and fabulously delicious. Tart and tangy in the mouth, a sweet, sour, complex lingering aftertaste follows.

An oddity: based on the smell I would think it would be hard to drink, but it's exactly the opposite. Very easy to drink, very quickly leaving me wanting more.

Drink is off the charts with easy going deliciousness. Really combines the properties of wine and beer, harnessing the best qualities of both.

My first true "sour" experience. I'm hooked already!

Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- The beer is dark red, the color of a garnet stone and very clear, but dark. The head is somewhat yellowish and fizzy with many small bubbles that don't quite "foam together"

S- My first Flanders red ale and I am happily surprised. Reminds me of a lambic with the fruity yeast smells and fusel alcohol scents. Sweet with a dry, bitter twang

T- Very smooth and wine-like. If beer and wine were to mate I believe the product would be something like this. Flavor is somewhat leathery and fruity. Fruit leather, anyone?

M- Very light and refreshing with a fine, fizzy carbonation that reminds me of champagne.

D- Very drinkable. Looking at the bottle, I wasn't sure if I would want to finish it all at once, but I can't help myself

Photo of goldbot
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep ruby color, off-white head with ample carbonation. Good head retention. Strong vinegar aroma, twangy with bready notes too. Raisiny malt. Sour flavor; heavy, earthy malts. Sweet and fruity too. Less vinegar in flavor but still quite acidic. Medium body and a bit on the sweet side. A nice and refreshing beer, good balance of sweet and sour, and with tons of flavor.

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - clear deep amber, solid tan head left solid sticky lacing
S - caramel and bread, ripe plumb and sugar, butterscotch, and slightly phenolic
T - very sharp and tart fruitiness of ripe plumb and lime, a phenolic note, with light bready and woody backbone, talk about complex
M - fairly carbonated, relatively creamy smooth with a puckering tartness
D - the flavours are so interesting, wasn't sure i like it at first taste but a couple sips later and i couldn't stop myself, very easy to drink

Photo of trevorjn06
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a mahogany color with ruby highlights and an off-white head that recedes quickly. Leaves some lacing on the glass.

Aroma is very fruity, figs and plums up front with some cherry and hints of dark caramel and tartness.

Taste is not nearly as tart or vinegary as most Flanders ales I have tried, it is very fruity, not overly sweet though. The fruity flavors (plum, raspberry, strawberry and hints of fig) dominate but are accompanied by a tartness that enhances the brightness of this ale. Midway through there is some caramel, light vanilla, malt and light oak flavors that lead into a finish of tartness and raspberries.

Mouthfeel is medium/light bodied with high carbonation and a mouth-coating flavor.

Overall this beer surprised me a bit, I haven't been a huge fan of any Flanders red or brown ales that I have tried to-date, but this beer is fantastic. It is sweet, tart, has a complex fruitiness (despite having no fruit in it) and a wonderful finish. I will be drinking this again.

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

Best before 4/08/2012. Poured a murky brown with a faint reddish tinge into a tulip with two fingers of long-lasting khaki head. Mildly puckering aroma of sour cherry and funk with a hint of caramel sweetness.

Moderate carbonation and a light, fizzy mouthfeel. Intense mix of sweet cherry, grape, and sour apple up front, giving way to biscuity malt and a trace of vanilla oak on the clean finish.

For all the sourness on the nose, this beer ended up having a nice balance of sweet (with a slightly artificial note), sour, and malty that kept me sipping faster than I'd intended. I suppose I could have used a little more sour in the overall flavor balance, but this beer was still very enjoyable.

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,411 ratings.