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

3,097 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,097
Reviews: 1,352
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 139
Gots: 309 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Duchesse De Bourgogne Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,097 | Reviews: 1,352 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of joepais
joepais

Maine

4.4/5  rDev +5.8%

Well decided to write a review for this one I have had many of these on tap But this one is from a 750.
Bottle poured into a snifter produced a good of white head that goes to a ring of bubbles around the glass. The body is a clear dark burgandy it really is a nice shade at that.

Aromas of sour cherries and funk filled my head. The aromas are not as good as from a draft but the fruit profiles are still good.

A nice sweet tart thing develops with the flavors .It is much sweeter cherry than a Rodenbach but less than Kasteel Rouge. This brew is always a nice brew to enjoy with a meal. There is a nice feel in the mouth with enough carbonation to keep it crisp and dry in the finish.

A very good example of a Flanders and a style that I truly enjoy I always grab this when I see it on tap. I found a bottle cheap up north I guess they didn't know what they had. So it was a fine treat for a winter's day

01-12-2009 01:55:11 | More by joepais
Photo of whiterascal
whiterascal

Arizona

4.55/5  rDev +9.4%

A: thin tan head, disappeared quickly, deep bronze in color
S: smells deliciously like Easter and makes my mouth water
T: truly a treat. Vinegary at first but so smooth at the finish. I taste green apple and cherries.
M: carbonated.
D: Poured into a goblet, I could enjoy the Duchesse all evening long

01-11-2009 02:02:22 | More by whiterascal
Photo of lhaqq
lhaqq

California

4.1/5  rDev -1.4%

A: Deep clear mahogany body and a coat of off-white bubbles circling the edges.
S: Predominant smell is just like a sour apple Blow Pop. Sour cherries and some hay.
T: Granny delicious apples begin. Cherries and some earthy flavors. Finishes with a cherry-pit bitterness.
M: Clean but really sticky.
D: Served in a 10oz goblet; good but wouldn't have too many.

01-08-2009 07:30:48 | More by lhaqq
Photo of deliriumfest
deliriumfest

Minnesota

4.08/5  rDev -1.9%

Consumed on 1/5/09

Served on Tap at the Town Hall Brewery in Minneapolis. Poured a very clear red/brown color with a small white head that faded quickly. Aroma was sour and funky with dried fruit. Taste was similar to the aroma but tart and had an oak flavor as well. Finish was very dry and the tart flavor slowly dissipated over time. Mouthfeel was sticky and carbonation was low. Overall, a great beer for a first review and good representation of the style.

01-06-2009 17:41:32 | More by deliriumfest
Photo of johnnnniee
johnnnniee

New Hampshire

4.45/5  rDev +7%

Pours a beautifully clear red/brown with a bubbly off white head that starts off strong but leaves us much too soon but sticks much lace on my glass. Smells of horsehair, must, oak, some berries, tart acidic. Taste is filled with all the wonderful things I smelled. I pick up the funk sweet and sour dried fruits, some vanilla, even a faint bourbon in there as well. Mouthfeel is syrupy, sticky, smooth. Body is medium, carbonation is low but ample. I wish I had tried this sooner as it is a fantastic sour and seems to be readily available in my area.

01-05-2009 23:18:29 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of albern
albern

Massachusetts

3.15/5  rDev -24.3%

This beer was given my highest rating when I sampled it again and again in the bottle. I had this for the first time on-tap, and it was a big disappointment. I'm not ready to pan the beer in this review, just significantly deduct points. What makes Duchesse so fantastic in the bottle is a rainbow of flavors and its incredible complexity. There are sweet and sours, and cherry and sherry flavors all blending and dancing about. Each sip is an experience and the tastes just dazzle and insinuate themselves and change with each sip as the beer warms and settles.

Duchesse on tap is much more uniform, much more sour, and just does not have that complex range of flavors. I found the beer to be a bit vinegary, overly sour, less carbonated than in the bottle, and just a downer. I wouldnt go back to this on tap again, knowing what is in store in the bottle version.

01-04-2009 17:19:59 | More by albern
Photo of champ103
champ103

Texas

4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

A: Pours a mahogany, almost dark brown color. A one finger beige head forms. Rings of sticky lace are left behind.
S: Wow! One of the most unique aromas I have come by. Buttery, musky, sour, tart malt. Some dark fruits and oak. Very unique and interesting. It doesn't quit mesh right for me, but I love how unique this is.
T: Buttery and sweet malt. Slightly sour fruits of apples and cherries. A tannin/wine like grape flavor with some oak. Some warming alcohol.
M/D: A medium body that is creamy and well carbonated. This is not that high in alcohol, though it is noticeable. Combine that with the sweet and sour character, one bottle is plenty for a night.

I have heard that this is very much like wine. I would have to agree with that opinion, and add that I would take this any day over wine. So complex, and very unique. This should be shown off to every wine geek to show the depth and range of this amazing beverage.

12-30-2008 03:41:11 | More by champ103
Photo of jpiper
jpiper

Ohio

4.1/5  rDev -1.4%

Draught at Buckeye Beer Engine.

Amber-brown with a nice finger and a half pillowy head which turns into a thin lace.

Prunes and dates and raisins, oh my. Lots of delicious sweet dried fruit.

Taste is more of the same. Tons of sweet fruits plus a mild
tartness. A coppery taste in the middle, but the finish is pleasant with more of the sweet fruits, minor amounts of breast yeast, and some acidity. Some richer roasted flavors also come out in the finish. Further in to the glass, as I become accustomed to the forward flavors, I get some chocolate at the beginning as well.

Very dry finish. Nice and clean.

This is pretty drinkable save for the coppery middle palate, which dissipates further into the beer.

12-28-2008 17:50:20 | More by jpiper
Photo of bmwats
bmwats

Louisiana

4.03/5  rDev -3.1%

Poured into a tulip.

A: Dark brown color with reddish hue. Foam plumed out of the bottle when I opened it, but I can't say whether this is characteristic or not as I only had one. Overall it is lightly carbonated and pours into a 3 finger frothy, cratered, off white head. Leaves bubbly residual as it settles into a layer of carbonation on the surface. Heavy carbonation buildup where the surface meets the edge of the glass. Leaves spotty, but significant lacing as you drink.

S: Malt, molasses, and peat. Really sweet nose.

T: Light malt flavor, hints of cherry, cranberry, and peat.

M: Carbonation infiltrates mouth. Fruity flavor, then light maltiness, and the pungent peat lingers for the aftertaste. Light but syrupy feel.

D: Quality drinkability. Good sipping beer. Good flavor, no strong alcohol taste.

This is a really distinctive brew. Sweet, but unlike your lambics, the sweetness is offset by the malt and pungent peat. Really distinctive flavor, really good atmosphere, really good drinkability. One of the only downsides is the smell is almost overwhelmingly sweet. Overall very good quaff. I highly recommend trying this one if you have the opportunity.

12-27-2008 00:24:50 | More by bmwats
Photo of onecrazybreeze
onecrazybreeze

Colorado

4.65/5  rDev +11.8%

Tap at the Falling Rock. Poured a dark opaque brown with slight red tints, had no head by the time it got to me. Smelled sugary and fruity, mainly of raisins. Tasted more sweet then sour to me, mainly of cherries and raisins. It's not overly sour making it a great beer for those that need a good balance between sweet and sour in a sour brew. In all, a very likable beer.

12-26-2008 10:37:26 | More by onecrazybreeze
Photo of NolateM
NolateM

Connecticut

4.8/5  rDev +15.4%

Bottle is just over 2 years old, which should not affect this review too much considering the style.

Super dark brownish-reddish-almost-blackish, with a thin head that quickly dissipates. The aroma is inviting: citrusy, brown sugary. The flavor is superb - literally one of the finest beers I've ever tasted. Tangy and lemony, but not mouth puckering. Some wood flavor, cherry, brown sugar, and vanilla... all very lingering. Easy to drink, with almost no alcohol flavor present, and a lively, soda-like carbonation.

Damn there's a lot going on in this fine piece of beverage art! I'm a fanatic of the Flemish ales, and this goes down as my favorite so far. A special occasion beer that is truly worth every penny.

About 13 bucks if you find a four-pack of small bottles, and 9-10 dollars for a the more common 750 mL.

12-26-2008 00:28:51 | More by NolateM
Photo of popery
popery

California

4.47/5  rDev +7.5%

Well, this is my first real sour, and it is fantastic. I'm leaving some room in my score because I need more experience to give too high of a score. I will be coming back to this review when I've had a few more sours. This beer pours a beautiful red brown that looks incredible in my St. Bernardus glass. The aroma is tart, hinting at the sour cherry flavor. The flavor is big sour cherry with an underlying oakiness. It is fairly close to a sour cider that has been aged in wood barrels. There are flavors of great fruit vinegar. The feel is silky and mildly bracing. It's the best fruit flavor in a beer that I've ever tasted. I'm extremely tempted just to give higher scores now.

12-23-2008 07:06:25 | More by popery
Photo of KickInTheChalice
KickInTheChalice

Illinois

4/5  rDev -3.8%

Poured from a bottle into a tulip. Freshness of 5/2009 on the bottle.

Appearance: Very dark ruby red / dark brown. Decent 3 cm head forms after a careful pour, leaving a thick collar, some nice lacing around the glass, and a small head that is reinvigorated by the internal carbonation. Very interesting look.

Smell: Quite a strong tart aroma: cherries, apples, plums, and grapes make up most of the aroma, with a light note of the malt and yeast.

Taste: The opening note is not at all presumptuous, a light, slightly fruity, but mostly sweet taste. The incredible tartness takes a second to come through, but when it does, it is a powerful taste. The same flavors present in the smell hit my taste buds quickly: cherries, plums, light apples, and a fair amount of grape. With these strong flavors I almost feel as if I am drinking an exotic wine or sangria. A flash of malt barely escapes out of the oppression of the fruit flavors, which carry it into the finish. The end is wrapped up very nicely, with some cherry and plum notes. Overall a very unique flavor.

Mouthfeel: Although there was not a huge head on the beer, this is a surprisingly carbonated ale. The bubbles add a crispness to the tart flavor that makes it quite quaffable. Smooth, with a medium body, and a slightly creamy finish.

Drinkability: I have not yet tried, but consuming more than a few of these tart treats would prove to be a challenge. The somewhat sour flavor will ensure this is a sipper.

This was my first Flanders Red Ale, but I definitely believe I started with a good one. Some very unique and exceptional characteristics in this beer.

12-22-2008 06:35:58 | More by KickInTheChalice
Photo of nephilae
nephilae

California

4.03/5  rDev -3.1%

A - Reddish brown, very clear. Has a minimal head, few bubbles. Thin consistency which show little cling to the glass.

S - Smell is strong. Very oaky and fruity, showing a great similarity to a tawny port.

T - Very sweet for a flemish red. Has the characteristic sour flavor, but well-balanced with the sweetness. The taste reminds me a lot of lemon and coke.

MF - Crisp, clean, leaves mouth feeling slightly dry from the sourness. Its thin consistency doesn't leave any residue.

D - This is not my favorite style of ale, so I can't say it would be a staple. For the style, it's one of the better balanced flavors, which is not overly sour. I would favor this over others.

12-22-2008 06:23:46 | More by nephilae
Photo of tempest
tempest

Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev -7.5%

On-tap at the Farmhouse in Emmaus, PA. Served, post-dinner, in a large wine glass, murky brown with no head. This beer reminds me of Goudenband. The beer menu described this as having chocolate-covered raisin flavors, and I think that's a bit of a stretch. Certainly, there is a pairing of sweet candy and sour flavors, and I can find raisins in here, but no chocolate. This beer is not that much of a dessert beer. For it's creamy mix of flavor (which also includes salad vinaigrette) it's not an incredibly drinkable beer, but it is a semi-approachable sour ale that drinks a bit like a thick hard cider. Not my favorite, but a beer to try if you're into the wild styles.

12-21-2008 13:07:40 | More by tempest
Photo of thierrynantes
thierrynantes

France

3.83/5  rDev -7.9%

Beer bottle (33 cl.), tasted in 2000.

Appearance : brown/red color, with huge tan foamy head.
Smell : fruity tart, deep and malty aromas.
Taste and mouthfeel : good sweetness and sour, rich taste.
Drinkability : a good beer in the style Flanders red ale.

12-20-2008 10:41:00 | More by thierrynantes
Photo of ChillMike
ChillMike

Alabama

3.2/5  rDev -23.1%

A: Deep mulberry color with a smaller white head that has a little bit of pink color. It leaves some nice lacing all around the glass.

S: Very odd smell, like a mix of malts with I would say a Syrah/Shiraz smells like. Ahhh hence the aging in oak casks. Not overly impressed with the smell.

T: Very complex tasting beer, super sugary malt flavor, with a sour apple kind of taste with a mix of a champagne and wine mix. A little too sweet for my likings . I like the mix of flavors and it definitely is an interesting taste but this tastes too close to a lambic for my likings.

MF: Very light and bubbly, again almost like champagne. Interesting style for a beer.

D: Pretty drinkable if you're into the style I suppose.

12-20-2008 08:18:23 | More by ChillMike
Photo of beerthulhu
beerthulhu

New Jersey

4.2/5  rDev +1%

A: Nice deep burgundy color.

S: Huge fruity aroma, sour cherries, and berries and a light vinegar presence.

T: Cherries and sour berries for flavor and drinks like a fermented fruit juice with some fresh dark fruit and plums as well. Some oaky and vinous notes. Sweet alcohol laced cherries closes things out. Spicy bite from the yeast and hops with an acidic bite.

M: lots carbonation and was very fizzy. Very smooth and silky on the tongue and well balanced.

D: Highly recommended. smooth and is very drinkable.

12-20-2008 00:37:49 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of magictrokini
magictrokini

California

4.22/5  rDev +1.4%

Very enjoyable beer. Was my first foray into the Flemish sours. Pours a clear brown with no head. Aroma is sour malt and apples. The taste is very light and smooth. Sour up front that turns sweet, almost like a brewer's take on champagne. It got better as it warmed. Will definitely seek this one out again.

12-16-2008 19:19:34 | More by magictrokini
Photo of DIM
DIM

Pennsylvania

1.68/5  rDev -59.6%

My only other example of this style has been Rodenbach's Grand Cru, which I loved. There was a space on the label of this one marked best before, but there wasn't a date. Did I get a bad or old bottle?

a: This looked appealing at least. It was a crystal clear coppery mahogany color. It poured with a medium sized, fizzy, off-white head that faded fairly quickly.

s: As expected, I got notes of sour, vinegary cherries. Unfortunately, this was intertwined with some gritty, saccharine sweet maltiness. Alone, either smell is fine. Together though, it was just a complete turn-off.

t: Same story here. I like sour edge, but the cloying artificial sweetner made this undrinkable to me. Maybe I need to revisit this one, but I'd have a hard time working up the courage.

m: The carbonation was fine, but the aftertaste was abominable. That combination of tart vinegar, cherries and malty Sweet and Low was too much for me.

d: I like sour beer, but this one just isn't for me. Strangely, it was just too sweet.

12-13-2008 14:41:35 | More by DIM
Photo of mdcrouser
mdcrouser

Missouri

3.88/5  rDev -6.7%

Deep brown, with amber and ruby colored prisms reflecting from each angle, the nose is distinctly aromatic of balsamic vinegar, as suggested by the storekeep. Bubbling on the lips and then sweetly settling on the tongue, blossoming out with initial flavors of vinegar down the center, with more robust fruits, cinnamon adn dark break congealing at the back of the throat, yet leaving a dryness in the mouth. Smooth throughout and surprisingly complex, but odd in the fact that sour vinegar is predominant. That makes it difficult completely without a food accompaniment, but well worth the try and oddly enjoyable.

12-10-2008 04:39:05 | More by mdcrouser
Photo of roadhouse
roadhouse

Florida

4.55/5  rDev +9.4%

Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle into a snifter.

Appearance is a clear dark ruby shade of red with a one inch thick cream colored head with lots of tiny carbonation bubbles. Surprisingly leaves some great looking lacing.

Aroma is mildly vinegary in a good way, some notes of oak, cherry-like tartness, and a mild sweetness along with some leathery funk.

The taste is initially quite sweet followed by a mild sour that is more funky than anything. Vinegar notes from the aroma are no longer present. Tart cherries are certainly there. The sweetness here is interesting as it shows itself initially then is overtaken by the funk only to return again in the finish even stronger than it started. I wouldn't mind a bit more sour in this one, it might be a perfect score then, but it gets it done nicely.

Mouthfeel is medium-light in body, with an extremely creamy and soft carbonation. Perfect.

Easily the best Flanders Red I've tried. It's somewhat expensive, but totally worth it. I would like to get another bottle of Rodenbach Grand Cru to compare with since that was the first Flanders Red I'd ever had.

12-09-2008 05:25:12 | More by roadhouse
Photo of coldmeat23
coldmeat23

Oklahoma

5/5  rDev +20.2%

GLASS: Chimay Goblet
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees

Deep, dark, ruby red liquid. Much like the blood of the Duchesse. One finger head of creamy tan foam. Truly excellent retention and great lacing.

Smells amazing! Deep tart fruit smells. Lots of green apple and black cherries. Not quite ripened peaches. Scent of almonds/marzipan. Hints of underlying gingerbread spiciness. Slight touch of vanilla.

This is such a phenomenal tasting sour (flemish red). Big cherry taste, sour and sweet, at the same time. Huge notes of green apple. Nice big presence of black currants. Nice woody/earthiness, here, also. Hints of oak and vanilla.

Extremely smooth and creamy in body, like a mouthfeel of rolling fine silk. Carbonation is perfect, with tiny, tiny bubbles.

This beer is so perfect. If it were Napoleon's Army invading my mouth, my taste buds would have no choice but to surrender.
I could drink this for weeks at a time and be perfectly satisfied, with no other options.
Excellent!

12-08-2008 16:46:33 | More by coldmeat23
Photo of Overlord
Overlord

California

3.23/5  rDev -22.4%

Pours a slightly ruddy medium brown. Kind of translucent. Inch or two of tan foam head.

Smell is ... weird. Vinegar? A bit of cherry tartness? Strange.

Taste is also weird. There's a real vinegar undercurrent. But, more like ... balsamic vinegar than a lambic/gueuze acidity. There's some cherry in here that I really love, and a bit of oaky woodsiness, but there's also a real sweetness to it I can't stand. With the vinegar, it's almost like sweet and sour. Real offputting after a while.

Delightful carbonation, though.

12-06-2008 07:58:04 | More by Overlord
Photo of orangemoustache
orangemoustache

Illinois

3.13/5  rDev -24.8%

The Duchesse pours a transparent burnt copper with a firm head of light brown foam,it leaves some spotty lacing. The nose is sour and reminds me of spoiled tomatoes,not completely rotten,but close. This Flanders starts off sweet and reminds me of apple cider or apple butter,with some sour tartness and subtle spice. Midway I pickup some aged barrel flavorings and vinegar,still reminds me of salad dressing in a way. The end is tomato ketchup like and for me keeps the score down a half point. I enjoy this offering three fourths of the way through but the finish keeps me from wanting much more. Medium bodied with quite a lot of carbonation,and a slick feel. I had the Duchesse a while back and I'm almost sure it was rotten,I couldn't even finish it and scored it an F. The Duchesse De Bourgogne has proven to be a very complex woman that I'm still trying to figure out completely.

12-03-2008 18:23:14 | More by orangemoustache
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,097 ratings.