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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

3,250 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,250
Reviews: 1,362
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 151
Gots: 352 | 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: 3,250 | Reviews: 1,362 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of thegodfather2701
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is my first beer of this style so that should probably be kept in mind when reading my review.

A-Pours a beautiful cherry/brown with an excellent off white billowy head.

S-Tart and sour, cherries and apples jump out at me, and just a hint of citrus. Its pretty complex and strong.

T-I would be lying if I didn't admit the first sip took my breath away. At first I couldn't decide if that was a good thing or a bad thing, but it was definitely a positive. It tastes like a strong carbonated water with sour cherries and apples. Vinegar comes in for the finish but is accompanied by some sweetness.

M-Carbonated but in a good way because it helps make it exceptionally refreshing.

D-I don't know if I could drink more than one of these in a sitting because it is unlike any beer I have ever had. But I definitely enjoyed the experience and will try other beers of the style.

Overall, I enjoy this beer and would drink it or other examples of the style. It is very interesting and refreshing.

thegodfather2701, Dec 09, 2009
Photo of kpoole25
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11-ish bottle to glass. Gentle pour leads to huge head, color is dark brown/red. Smell is somewhat sweet and a little vinegar. Taste is somewhat like soda pop in carbonation and sweetness, with decent sourness. Not as sweet as Monk's Cafe, a good thing. More interesting than drinkable for me.

kpoole25, Dec 08, 2009
Photo of Katahdin
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

I was suspiciou at first of this beer. I am not generally a fan of Sours, but this one won me over. Very smooth and crisp. Has a nice sour taste and a full body but without the tartness of many sours. This is a beer that will not pucker your mouth with its tartness. it has a surprisingly sweet finish to it and is imminently drinkable. Even more the aroma is not overwhelming like many other sours.

Katahdin, Dec 07, 2009
Photo of Goldfish19
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

~ Purchased this bottle from Big Z Beverage in Huntington, NY. This sour ale pours a dark reddish brown with a huge foamy head that subsides rather quickly into some spotty lacing. The smell reminds me a lot of balsamic vinegar. There is a really nice sour and earthy smell going on here. The taste is a wonderful complex combination of sweet and sour. Absolutely refreshing! A little pricey @ $4.95 for a single 11.2 oz bottle, but hey, you get what you pay for right?

All in all, if you are looking for a beer that is unique and different--you've come to the right place! ~

Goldfish19, Dec 03, 2009
Photo of weatherdog
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 75cL bottle into two tulip glasses. One for me and one for my wife. The cork is labeled exp. 05/11.

It pours a brilliant deep red color with a two finger foamy dense head

Smells of acidity, sour fruit and vinegar notes. The nose is very inviting and promising for a tasty sour beer inside.

The taste is an explosion of colliding flavors. Starts a little tart with a lot of red fruit flavors. the middle is medium bard-yard brett and it finishes with the acidic vinegar and a surprising sweetness.

Mouthfeel is exceptional, a little tart but smooth and perfect carbonation level. Four a sour the drinkability is amazing. I'm drinking this faster than I wold have thought and it really goes down smoothly.

I haven't had many example of this style but I really am enjoying the trip. It wasn't as tart and sour as I had expected and the sweet finish was unexpected. I am unsure of the bottling date but i think I might pick up another bottle and let it age until closer to the expiration date to see how the tartness develops.

weatherdog, Nov 29, 2009
Photo of seand
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a brown-red amber, with a finger or so of off white head, with very good retention and lacing. Almost cola-like, with a better head.

S: Strong molasses and dark fruit.

T: Quite fruity, slightly sour, different.

M: Lots of carbonation, medium to full bodied.

D: Not too bad given the sourness.

seand, Nov 23, 2009
Photo of rootbeerman
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into chimay goblet.

A: pours dark red, with a thin white head with small amount of lacing
S: sour, kind of musty, with fruit hidden in the background.
T: sour on first sip. a honey like sweetness, with mild bitterness. a malty and nutty aftertaste.
M: kind of like watered down fizzy syrup, medium carbonation
D: very drinkable, find myself wanting another even though i have yet to finish the one in front of me

rootbeerman, Nov 22, 2009
Photo of Dawkfan
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Pours a deep burgundy, 1 finger cream colored head that reduces to a thin layer, a good amount of lacing left on my tulip.

S - Apples is the first thing I get, possibly some other sour fruit notes from pears and cherries. Definitely a vinegar sting as well.

T - Not as sour as I would of expected from my impressions of the nose. There's a fair amount of sweetness & woodiness mixed with the sour/vinegar taste that help balance this one out.

M - Medium body, highly carbonated, and fairly dry.

D - I've had this before and I didn't really like it, but I'm fairly new to this game and my palate has adjusted. I didn't mind it this time around, but 1 is enough for me.

Dawkfan, Nov 20, 2009
Photo of Ek0nomik
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured In: Snifter
Purchased At: Riley's (Madison, WI)

Appearance: Pours a beautiful dark red and brown color with a finger and a half of thin bubbly head. The head is here to stay, with it never quite disappearing. There is still sitting a thin layer of creamy brown sitting on top. The amount of lacing is also quite impressive, with small and medium sized spots scattered across my glass along with a few lines trickling their way down.

Smell: The nose is sour and acidic. The acidity is vinegar like; the sourness is fruit-like, like cherries, raspberries. The smell is really pleasant, I just wish it had a little more punch to it. It's more mellow than I had wanted.

Taste: The palate follows suite with the nose. A sour and acidic wave crosses the palate, with notes of vinegar, plum and cherries. It's enough tartness to almost make me pucker on each sip, but it's not quite there.

Mouthfeel: A medium bodied beer, a bit on the thin side. A nice pleasant level of carbonation right after the pour makes it really easy to sip on.

Drinkability: This is a fantastic beer. A very flavorful and balanced flanders ale. The sourness is there, the acidity is there and the fruit is there. This will end up in my crate again without a doubt.

Ek0nomik, Nov 19, 2009
Photo of gfreed
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at Poechenellekelder in Brussels. Dense head that released a cloud of tart fruit with slight tones of honey, but you can tell from the first whiff that this is going to be sour. Dense, dark color and very light carbonation. Taste is lightly vinegary, somewhat sweet and pleasantly tart. Not overly sour, but just enough to make you stop and drink slowly. Gains complexity when it warms up, so sip!

gfreed, Nov 17, 2009
Photo of capra12
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed this in Hong Kong on 10/19/09 from notes taken.

Appearance: Poured a 2 finger frothy head, maple brown in color with lots of carbonation

Smell: Highly acidic and unripened apples

Taste: Opens with sweet apple and subtle raisin as tagy and slightly acidic flavors come into play with an earthy alcohol finish leaving a tart, subtle sour apple and malt aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with moderate carbonation and slightly coarse.

Drinkability: Surprisingly I would have this again, the nose really hides the sweet undertone in the taste, I would have this again and recommend this to those who want to try a sour but aren't prepared for a full blown sour ale. Opens with fruit and finishes rather tart and sour but not overwhelming.

capra12, Nov 03, 2009
Photo of Slatetank
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this at Crush in Lancaster. Served chilled in a wine glass.

A - Dark burgundy w/ small beaded pale tan head. The color has some ruby accents

S - Smells like a mix of sweet and sour w/ worcestershire some wood and spice w/ a sweet cherry and light currant. There is a subtle raspberry note w/ mild dark sugar aroma

M - The feel is slightly candy-like at first w/ a subtle sour and mild fruit texture, slight berry w/ vinous elements and moderate carbonation. The beer finishes on the dry side.

T - The taste of dark and sweet cherry w/ hints of sour berry notes and light brown sugar like a dessert beer quality. The taste has mild lemon rind acidic flavor w/ mild vinous dark grapeskin notes and wild berry w/ mild spice and earthy hints. The taste is complex to say the least with even a tinge of leather and oak.

D - This is a fantastic flanders w/ subtle smooth sour blended with the fruit and sweet notes. The Duchesse stands alone as I have not had a beer quite like her, very drinkable sweet/sour blend and I find this an easy ale to drink but prefer to save it for occasions.

Slatetank, Nov 02, 2009
Photo of tpd975
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another brew I have had umpteen times without a rate. Today is the day.

A: Pours a nice dark brown hue with amber tones. Nice tall cream colored head. Execellent retention with nice streaks of lace.

S: Lots of cherry both sweet and sour. Notes of oak as well. Simple but good.

T: When I am in the mood for a sweet treat I like to reach for this one. Tons of sweet cherry up front, with notes of candy sugar. The middle is where the oak comes through along with a touch of red wine vinegar. The sweetness does not let it shine but it does appear. In the finish there is a touch of tinny red wine and a hint of tartness. Mostly sweet through from start to finish.

M: Medium in body, smooth, wonderful carbonation.

D: Takes me awhile to put a bottle down but I can easily do it. Not an everyday beer for me, but a treat that I like to enjoy every once and awhile.

tpd975, Oct 31, 2009
Photo of BDLbrewster
3.2/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a striking ruby hue with a fluffy strawberry cream colored head that dissipates leaving some spotty lacing.

The first smell that I pick up on this brew is a thick but somewhat mild cherry infused funk. Sniff after sniff I get more cherry, apple and a touch of vinous alcohol. All I can think is merlot, this beer smells like wine... I love the smell this brew throws off.

My first sip provides a kick in the teeth of cherry. Sweetness followed by a mildly abrasive tartness combined with a very worked over tasting oak barrel flavor. I also get an earthy yeasty light gymsock funk as well. There is a strange resonating taste in the back of my mouth that honestly reminds me of the pink sweet and sour sauce at my corner Chinese restaurant. There is definitely a lot going on in this brew and It's taking a lot of sipping to grasp everything.

The mouthfeel starts out feeling quite light and airy, but as I swallow I get a strange coating effect that leaves a fairly extreme dryness. Carbonation is mild and almost unnoticeable after several sips.

Overall this is a good brew to enjoy a meal with, but a 750 will probably need to be shared. This brew is a bit sweet and cloying to enjoy a large amount of.

BDLbrewster, Oct 27, 2009
Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured in a Chimay chalice.

A: Amber color with a huge fluffy head. Good retention and some nice lacings left

S: Very fruity, grapes mainly. Malts and oak. Metallic. Smell of Lambic yeasts all around. Very Flamish Red Ale

T: Sweet and sour. Fruity. Malt, oak and Belgium yeasts. Reminds a Lambic

M: Light body. Very carbonated. Nice sour aftertaste

D: Delicious beer. Duchesse is something between a Faro Lambic and a Barley Wine. Quite easy drinking. Interesting experience. After the first glass I though: "too sweet and perhaps too 'winy'"... After the second glass I felt in love :p... Very drinkable, 750ml gone like water...

eduardolinhalis, Oct 23, 2009
Photo of bonsreeb85
4.85/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - nice sustaining head atop this burgundy colored beauty.

S - lots of cherries, also some red wine and vinegar. is tart a smell??

T - much sweeter than the nose leads on. I get a mouthful of cherries that initialy begin sweet, but then turn towards the tart side, but not overly so. This is a very complex brew. I also taste oak and wine with that a nutty flavor comes through and displays an earth-like quality. Excellent balance is acheived. never cloyingly sweet or overly sour.

MF - full and chewy with buttloads of spritzer like carbonation. makes my mouth tingle with joy.

D - exceptional. I easily finished the 750.

bonsreeb85, Oct 21, 2009
Photo of RuinationPress
4.97/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've had this one before, but never reviewed it. Recently a friend from San Diego had occasion to try this one and fell in love. As i had a couple of them in the fridge, I decided there was no better time to have and review one.

This one is labeled a a reddish-brown ale, although the overall style is known as a Flanders Red Ale. They are typically brews that range from red to brown in color. The style often uses a Lactobacillus yeast strain producing a high lactic acid and giving a sour taste, also sometimes a Tannic acid producing that lip puckering feeling. Often aged for long periods in oak barrels, aged batches are sometimes mixed with younger ones to balance them out. The often have distinct and sharp fruit flavors that that set them apart from other Belgians.

Produced by the Brouwerij Verhaeghe Brewery in Vichte, Belgium.

This one has quite an appearance. Similar in some ways to new Belgiums La Folie, poured into a tulip glass, it has a deep brown, almost molasses, color with a faint hint hint of red when held up to the sunlight. Very cloudy and with a modest amount of carbonation, it produced a small, but sustainable thin head. The lacing left behind was nice and lite, perfect for this style.

Take a whiff of this one and you are immediately overpowered with the scent of caramel, banana, bread and a faint hint our sour apple. The caramel malt mixed with the banana is what served to really balance out the apple and bread.

As I took my first sip, I immediately tasted the sour apple I smelled earlier with the banana not far behind. Another sip brought the bead and caramel malt and this time a hint of a as yet to be determined spice. Works well with the bread, banana and apple. I felt like I was being treated to dessert! The Lactobacillus yeast really works well on this one, as it was sour, but not too tart and not overpowering.

I really liked this one overall. Not only does it do what the style intends, it just down right pleases! Don't get me wrong, this one is all beer, but may also be one that can pull those who usually shun beer over to the dark side! I had some cheesecake cake around, and really enjoyed the Duchesse as it complimented the cheesecake perfectly. Since it weighs in at around 6% ABV, if you want another you can.

RuinationPress, Oct 18, 2009
Photo of stoutfiend27
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle poured into my la chouffe tulip..

a-dirty ruby color..almost but not quite copper...nice one and a half finger off white head that lingered for quite some time...excellent lacing

s-oak..musty...fruits..slight tartness and vinegar...clean yeast aroma

t-woody and fruity up front...followed by slight vinegar and tartness...finishes dry and fluffy...

m-slick..nicely carbonated...medium bodied and soft...

d-a couple a night would be all...the acidity would kill my stomach the next day if i tempted it with more...but i would want to drink this all night

one of the most unique brews ive tried...the wood and tartness really make this one shine...recommended to all

stoutfiend27, Oct 17, 2009
Photo of BARFLYB
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a oversized DFH snifter+ a small wine glass. Thanks Birradr14

Duchesse De Bourgogne graces a dark brown look from afar. Up towards brightness, a red mixture with orange patches and a mahogany screen. A lucious creamy bright vanilla head rose about a inch or so creating snowflake lace.

Her scent comprises of a dose of dark fruit with apple slices and minimal pear. Being a flanders red ale, Duchesse brings vinegar and it is the most forward out of any flanders red i've had. Hops are not a factor here. A sweet shot of vanilla and some oak from the barrel.

Holy sweet vinegar birdman, it is the main contender. Vinegar forward with dark fruits following (apples upfront) with a vanilla or light cream finish. Some pear and cherry. The oak is really prominent in the bottle. On tap, Duchesse is very sweet and the vinegar comes out a bit more, I like this version better. Not really tart or sour.

This has a light to medium body. The carbonation is present and expected from the pop of the cork. It works well. The liquid goes down kind of smooth. I dont find this to be tart or sour in the least bit, although there is some slight acidity on the tounge. This is quite smooth and easy going. The sweetness sticks around for a while (vanilla) but not as much than the on tap version IMO.

This is great beer. Not high in alcohol and the ladies sem to love it. I prefer the bottle version and would prefer the smaller version, I couldent take to much more than that. Big bottles are great for sharing. This would go well with some dark meats. With all this said Out of all the flanders red's I've had it's low in ranking because of the over the top vinegar taste, I've had better.

BARFLYB, Oct 14, 2009
Photo of 51mmz0rz
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 0.5L Duvel tulip.

A: Light tan head, dark brown body with reddish tints. Head is loose with good retention and leaves great lacing as it fades.

S: Fruity sourness with light malt in the background. Smells like some krieks I've had. A slight roastyness, maybe just oak from the barrel. A little more acidic as it warms.

T: Sweet, smooth, fruity. Not intensely sour. Vanilla jumps on board later sometimes. Complex and delicious.

M: Medium carbonation, with a thick viscosity to match the sweetness.

D: Highly drinkable and rather refreshing if not a little sweet.

Flavors of this beer were mind bending. I will say it was a little sweet, but balanced fairly well with the sour.

51mmz0rz, Oct 12, 2009
Photo of spointon
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this from a 750ml brown bottle into a DFH stemmed glass.

A= This ale poured a deep red/brown color with modest clarity and a 1/2" creme colored head. The head quickly dropped to a thin cap that was retained all the way down my glass. No lace to speak of...

S= The aroma was a muted combination of malt sweetness, acidic tartness, and wood.

T= Started off as a battle between malty sweetness and tart sourness and kept that going all through each sip. The sweetness reminded me of caramel and treacle while the sourness was reminiscent of dark cherries, plums, and wine. No hop presence to speak of, but an oakey flavor was noticable that helped to dry things further. The finish was fairly dry, but with a lingering hint of the sweetness remaining.

MF= Medium bodied with a very active carbonation level and a crisp mouthfeel.

D= This beer achieved the nearly impossible feat of being tartly acidic AND silky sweet. A very complex ale and one I will rush to buy more of...simply incredible!

spointon, Oct 11, 2009
Photo of weazal
4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

S: Alcohol and sourness blends perfectly. Although, a little medicinal. Some notes of sweet caramel snuck in there.

T: Shockingly sweet, puckeringly sour cherry with a rounding our creaminess. Vanilla cherry cheese cake! Perfectly balanced, unique, exciting, and tasty!

weazal, Oct 07, 2009
Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip

A: Poured a vigorous 2 finger light brown fine head with great retention. Brew itself is deep amber and semi-cloudy. Lacing is thick and chunky.

S: Nose is sour cherries and oak plus sweet alcohol with earthy overtones.

T: Beginning is sweet red fruit with a building sourness that peaks towards the middle/end but is slightly masked by the malty backbone. The finish is malty and increasingly sweet with a barely noticeable sour note. No hint of hops anywhere.

M: Mouthfeel is highly carbonated and course and finishes very crisp and clean.

D: Highly drinkable and would make a great session beer if it was a little lower in ABV. However, a little too sweet in my opinion. Fantastic if one is into fruit lambics.

SpeedwayJim, Oct 07, 2009
Photo of PartyBear
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep orangey red, in colour, minimal carbonation, with a small off-white head.

Aroma: Razor sharp aromas, lots of lemon and sour apples, with a bit of a port-like smell.

Taste: Again, very sharp like the aroma, flavours of very sour apples up front, with a slight vinegar (in a good way), citric fruits like lemon, and sherbet. Towards the middle there is a taste of fresh orange, which leads to a sweeter progression of sugary candy, and a hint of kola nut, supported by a subtle bready maltiness.

Mouthfeel: The body is medium, and quite smooth, with a sharp feel.

Drinkability: Not usually a big fan of Flemish Red beers but this is a huge exception. The flavours are so complex that by the time you finish it you will have changed your mind about the flavours more time than you can count. Even if you hate the style, you need to try this, you will be surprised.

PartyBear, Sep 30, 2009
Photo of robertjbell
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: The beer is a burnt amber color with a touch of haze from the chill and the yeast, exhibits a pillowy foam head with decent lacing and retention

Nose: Wow, this is something different! There is an immediate presence of vinegary tartness, most like an aged balsamic and apple cider vinegars, this is followed by big notes of oak and hazelnut as well as very subtle hints of dark candied fruits, underlying sweetness

Taste: This is one of the most acidic beers I have had the opportunity to taste, the most pungent feature of the Duchesse is her big vinegary sweet taste, however this is not the only feature of the beer. There is an underlying vegetal sweetness to the beer, complimented by a tasted of tart cherries. The finish is slightly drying and chalky with a woody, oaky complextion bringing up the end

Mouthfeel: Sour, sour and sour! Yet the beer is still creaming, with just enough carbonation to keep the beer feeling alive on the palate

robertjbell, Sep 28, 2009
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,250 ratings.