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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

3,492 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,492
Reviews: 1,395
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.46%
Wants: 172
Gots: 455 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Verhaeghe visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Flanders Red Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-15-2001

Belgian top-fermented reddish-brown ale, a blend of 8 and 18 months old beers following the careful maturation in oak casks.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,492 | Reviews: 1,395 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Daredevil
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

elegant appearance ... malty smell .... taste is almost soury as a Berliner Weisse, thus a good thirst quencher, granny smith paired with smoky, sandalwood and malty hints, no bitterness in the aftertaste ....
an interesting, elegant brew, a bit too soury for my own taste

Photo of petacutlasaurus
3.3/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had with crackers and blue cheese on Friday night. The food was better than the beer, though. I had a pretty negative response to this one. It's a well executed beer, one with a pretty clear mission and objective taste. That taste is just not for me. It's candy beer.

Duchess is incredibly sweet, apparent immediately from the pour in the stickiness and the lacing of the head. Reeks of sugar, candied cherries, maybe, covering up a bit of sourness and booze. The taste and the body together are quite potent. Definitely strong sour notes, but it's as if the brewer wanted to cover that sourness up, or subdue it, and in order to do so, loaded the beer up with sugars. As that sourness and sweetness collides, you get a taste not too far from Splenda. Pretty unpleasant.

I think it's useful to compare it with another readily available sour, the Monk's Cafe flemish sour. It's lower gravity, sweetness, and increased tartness/bite really serves the style in a more palatable way. But that's only if you're part of the musty/bitter camp like me. If you're sweet-toothed, grab one of these, you probably will love it.

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ahhh, a nice aged bottle of Duchesse, doesn't get a whole lot better for a Flanders. I believe this is an 07 bottle, has a best before date of 22-04-09. Pours a hazed, brown/red color with a creamy cap of tan head. Lacing very good for a sour, retention is as well.

Nose is full of vinegar, sour cherries and brown ale-esque maltiness. Very delicious and mouth watering.

I find this beer to be a bit too sweet for me when fresh, but that really mellows with some age and the sourness becomes more pronounced, although still not exactly mouth-puckeringly sour. Nice balance here; cherry fruitiness and carmely malt blend together perfectly. Mothfeel seems to thin out as it ages, but I'll trade that anyday for less sweetness. A pleasant, easy drinking, lightly sour Flemmish ale...tasty!

Photo of Tucquan
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Had this on 2011-04-20 in Lititz, PA at the Bull's Head and 2013-06-14 at Minnesota Town Hall Tap.

A - Dark, ruby red that is transparent enough for light to wrap around the edges. It has a 1-finger light tan head and good lacing. Just beautiful.

S - Characteristic lactic-sour yeast, dried cherry and mild malt.

T - Sweet cherry and sour of course with a wine/oak-barrel flavor. Oak. Funk. Not like a Russian River Supplication but quite nice.

M - Medium body and light carbonation. Syrupy.

O - A beginner's sour IMHO. Not as sweet as a Lindemans by any means. Good variety of flavors with decent balancing sourness. Sue liked it at Minnesota Town Hall Tap.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml caged and corked bottle purchased from Jackson Wines & Spirits in Lafayette, CA. Shared with @LaitueGonflable and @tobeerornottobe.

Pours a gorgeously deep and gem-like ruby red colour, with a fine and relatively solid head of pale orange-white. Lacing is sheeting, but quite sticky. Fine bead, and good body. Lovely looking brew.

Vinegary and acetic on the nose, giving big sour characters and a red wine-like spice to accentuate it. Under it are rounder notes of oak and vanilla, but the acidity always powers through, showing you who's boss. Nice.

Taste is really quite surprisingly tempered. Certainly very little true acidity, but more of a sweet vinous bite and plenty of oakiness. Quite sweet for the most part, indeed far sweeter than I expected from the nose, giving it a cherry soda kind of alcopop appeal. It's nice, and surprisingly mellow, but it lacks a bit of complexity as far as I'm concerned.

A very drinkable, and very soft Flanders Red, but I prefer mine with a more robust acidity and deeper complexities from oak and tannins. Still, very enjoyable, very easy to drink and really very refreshing.

Photo of cpmichael
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel snifter.

A: Pours a brownish-red, very thin lacing.

S: fruity, tart cherries, some hints of oak and vanilla.

T: Tart cherries, slight metallic taste right at first, but as the beer warms up it smooths out into a sweeter taste. Almost too sweet for me. a bit of oak flavor comes through too.

M/D: Good carbonation, and not a bad beer in the least, I would advise letting the beer warm a bit because I found it to taste much better when it warmed up. The metallic flavor was gone. Still I found it to be too sweet, even for the style and could have benefited from being more on the sour side.

Photo of macpapi
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle.

Duchesse De Bourgogne has a brownish-red body, with hints of purple and burgandy shades when held up to light; 1/2 inch white head; and very nice lacing.

Smell is a nice mixture of tart fruit (mainly cherries, though plum is faintly present as well) and ripe, full-bodied malt. There also seems to be a touch of molasses or other sugary sweetness present on the nose. This is a nice, full, and complex aroma.

On the palate, one is greeted with the nice mixture of sweetness, a sharp tart pull, and well-balanced malt. Fruitiness is more notable than malt (tart cherries, a bit of plum, and hints of apple), but in the end is not quite overwhelming. Tart elements are kept somewhat in check by the other participants in this flavor party.

Mouthfeel is pretty full, with somewhat high carbonation, and a bit of tarty bite. The overall heavy body is somwhat akin to a red wine.

On the whole, this is a nice and drinkable sour-type beer. Not overly tart, but packs much of the sour flavor profile that typically brings praise for this type of beer. Flavorful and pretty well-balanced. For me, this is a nice introduction to the style.

Photo of MufflnMan
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The TRUE champagne of beers. Poured a 750ml bottle into a flute which really fits this brew well. Dark brown with a thin and light lacy head that disappears quickly. As dark as it is, it looks very lively with carbonation.

Not too much in the nose, a woody smell of some sort. The taste, on the other hand... the second this brew hits your tongue the party starts. Champagne like bubbles, some tartness (but not at all strong) of cherries and plums, and a very subtle malty finish to balance everything out.

Overall, a really unique beer. Great way to introduce someone who doesn't like beer to something different... ie, my girlfriend, who loved it. Can't wait to have this for brunch!

Photo of TagOnlyForNow
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I wish that I liked wine. But I will be more than happy settling on being a beer snob. This beer tastes like what I wish a good wine would taste like. Fruity with the sour flavor. Does not produce a head which makes it feel more like a wine or specialty mead or barley wine.

I love this beer. It is my new vice. It has removed me from all of the Belgian Heffes/Whites.

Photo of idurra
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- The color is hazy reddish brown, almost cherry wood. About 2 cm of beige head that quickly subsides, leaves a pleasant lacing.

S- Pleasant smell of early souring milk, or even sourdough

T- The sweetness is pleasant, the sourness not overpowering, and both work together to great effect. Surprising floral quality to the taste, rose water or rose hips. No significant bitterness.

M- The mouth feel is medium bodied. Not very tannic.

O- Overall excellent, the perfect sweet and sour in the world of beers. Goes well alone or with a milder tasting dish such as white fish of shellfish.

P.S. The artwork on the sticker is great.

Photo of jsanford
3.97/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle poured into a Tulip Glass

A - Pours a hazy dark reddish-brown with a generous off-white head that settles to a slight haze. Leaves a bit of sticky lacing on the glass.
S - Sweet cherries, brown sugar, vanilla, oak, and a bit of Red Wine vinegar. Not terribly tart smelling, definitely more on the sweet side for the style.
T - Very similar to the nose, the sweet cherries dominate the flavor nicely. Again, a bit of vanilla, oak, brown sugar, and lactic vinegar-y acid, but mostly sweet.
M - Medium mouthfeel with moderate carbonation and a drying, tannic finish.
O - I really liked this, it could be a great sipper when I'm not in the mood for something too tart. Definitely a nice intro to the world of Flanders Ales, have a Red Wine drinker try this if you want to convert them!

Photo of Brabander
3.62/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I drank this beer purely by coincidence this evening. I went for a walk in the town where i live and i saw my cousin Barry in a bar. Went in and got this beer from him.

From tap in the original glass the beer does not look spectacular. A deep darkred colour and the head disappears very fast. No carbonation visible.

Smell has some sourness but not unpleasant. The taste is like a sour ale, not my style but reasonable drinkable.

Photo of bs870621345
3/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep amber/red/ruby color with minimal head. Little bit of lacing down the glass.

Smells of plums, raisons, red wine (port), and light lactic sourness.

Taste follows smell, plums and raisons, and finishes with a funky sourness. I love sour beers, but this is just off putting in the worst kind of way.

Mouthfeel is moderate with low carbonation

Overall, it tastes pretty bad, but nothing else is overly off putting, Get a Rodenbach instead.

Photo of JEdmund
4.14/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An attractive, true shade of red, though it lacks any head formation. The aroma is outstanding. Being new to the style, it's a new aroma to me, and I really like it. Incredibly sour notes coming off of this. I'm also detecting vinegar, but surprisingly it's not offensive. Taste follows nose closely with loads of sour flavor, though it's not out of balance. There enough malt in there to keep it grounded. As usual, this Belgian ale offers a generous amount of carbonation, helping to keep it light and drinkable. And at 6%, it truly is. This is probably the most wine-like beer I've had, with a lot of grape flavor coming through. The finish is tart with a slight mineral/copper bite. Lots of fruity after flavors to be enjoyed. I think this beer could do well with some cherry pie!

A unique style of beer and something I think most people could enjoy. I think it could be good on a hot day, though not more than one. I think it also has a lot of food pairing potential.

Photo of Earthchild180
3.86/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Before this beer, for funky beers I have only had Allagash Interlude, which I LOVED. My friend and I picked up a bottle at the local co-op to go with brie, fruit, and crackers. Split two ways between an eight ounce ball jar and a four ounce tulip glass. I got the eight ouncer :-P

Just as a side note, my bottle clearly says 6%abv, so not sure why it says 6.2% on this site.

A- Poured with a perfect 1-2 finger head in each glass. Head is smooth and even. Color is a crystal clear brilliant red. No yeast sediment in bottle- perhaps they filtered it at bottling??

S- Interesting smell. On initial opening of bottle there was a very strong fruity/vinegary smell of kombucha. Upon pouring this changed to have a slight kombucha nose initially fading to malty/fruity oak.

T- Whoa! Not what I was expecting! First sip started with a nice balance of clean tart fruitiness and malt. This quickly changed to a very strong musky bitterness reminiscent of sour milk, which quickly changed again so a slightly syrupy malty tartness. A whole lot going on in this beer. The oak flavor was not as up front as the aroma suggested. If it weren't for the moderately offensive musky bitterness and the abrupt changes in flavor with each sip, I might have given this section better than a 3.5 rating. I would say that nothing was "smooth" about the drinking experience. The flavors didn't really change much as we got through the bottle.

M- An odd contrast between a slight thick syrupiness and a thin dryness- perhaps from the blending of old and new beer?

O- If it weren't for the musky bitterness, I think I would have loved this beer. It was beautiful, smelled divine, but with that musky bitterness and how the beer's flavor changed so rapidly during each sip that it was hard to relax and appreciate the subtle flavors as they slowly evolve on the pallet. Don't think I will be getting another one of these any time soon, but I would certainly like to continue trying the wild/sour beers that the US and Europe have to offer.

Photo of RTJakarta
3.92/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice sort of dark red/brown color with a light off-white head that goes away pretty quickly. Lovely lacing.

Nice, rich sour smell. Some tart cherries as well as vinegar. A bunch of the usual gang for a FRA. Loving it.

The taste to me is a battle between a strong sweetness and sourness. I sort of pick up a clash of both at the same time, which is kinda of nice, but I wish it would sort of pick one angle and run with it. Nice cherry notes throughout, though.

Mouthfeel is medium. Moderate, unobtrusive carbonation.

Overall, a pretty solid beer. If it had a more refined sour taste, it could probably be world class, in my opinion. Taste is too schizophrenic, though. Worth a drink, though.

Photo of aasher
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one poured a dark cherry brown in color with a quickly dissipating beige head. When you hold it up to the light it is ruby red, like freshly stained wood. This smells like sourdough, vinegar, spoiled milk, and cherries. It instantly makes me think of Monks Cafe. The flavor is just ok. You get ALOT of sweetness though. I'd say it's cloyingly sweet before it goes into the slight sourness. You can actually pick of a trace of alcohol, which is very surprising considering it's only 6.2%. It's tastes of a mix of sweet fruits and condensed milk. Sweet Moses this beer is sweet! How do people drink a 750 by themselves? I kind of like Flanders Red Ales but this beer is far too sweet for me. It doesn't help that the sweetness is the prominent part of the after taste. It's just ok in my opinion.

Photo of musicforairports
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle into a snifter.

Pours brown, lots of ruby hues in the light. Two-finger head leaves a bunch of lacing.

Smells of black cherries, other berry flavors, sour oak funk, some vinegar.

Taste is lots of cherries and decent sour tartness start to finish. Sweet, full and fruity at first, turning to sour oak and finishing long and somewhat dry, with a lingering tartness. There's a lot of flavor here in the finish, perhaps a bit too much actually. The flavor it leaves on the palate is odd. The sour bite becomes very smooth after a bit. Some sweetness throughout.

Mouthfeel is medium and welcome. This one goes down easily without having a watery quality at all.

I like this. The sourness doesn't grate on you through the glass, and it's not a beer that make you pucker. I could drink a few of these, and I don't say that about many good sour beers.

Photo of CuriousMonk
2.65/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from bottle (best by 9/2012 date stamp) into tulip glass. Pours dark redish brown with a quickly discipating creamy white head. Initial aroma is sweet fruit with slight vinous and/or acetic elements. Taste is sour apples/cherries and too much alochol for the low ABV. Body is medium full mainly from the younger of the blend. Depending on the age of the blend the sourness will vary. This sample was much more sour than others that I have had that have been almost cloyingly sweet. This is an interesting beer that attempts a balance between the younger more sweet beer in the blend and the assertively sour older beer. I was disappointed with this one. Not a fan of the style.

Photo of ramseye4
3.76/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. I know nothing of this beer and have no prejudices, my fiancée picked one up for herself but is out of town and I'm out of beer, so it's now mine! Anyway, on to the review.
A=Dark oaky brown with a great 2 finger head and lacing covering the glass.
S=Whoa, I don't think I've smelled anything like this in a beer before. Sour grapes and apples, with an underlying vinegar aroma. Smells faintly of red wine.
T=This one is a doozy. It's unlike anything I've had in my beer tasting experience but it's different, but good. Predominately sour apple, with some grape and cherry, very tart with a bit of a vinegar. Very musty.
M=Sweet, sticky, medium bodied, pleasantly carbonated. Leaves a fruity taste around the lips.
O=I was apprehensive at first, but it's actually very good. For some reason it reminds me of afternoons I spent as a kid in my relative's houses out in the country. I would definitely get this again.

Photo of celticfutblclub
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - a dark reddish brown that is slightly opaque. head sticks around for quite a long time.

S - sour apple, sour dough and a bit of maltiness in the background.

T - once again sour is very apparent but its not overbearing. sour apple is the taste that comes to mind with this.

M - feels good there is a lot of carbonation but it seems to fit for me with a sour beer.

O - ah the new overall rating (im a fan). overall this is a very good beer. i've only had a couple of sour beers in my life but i enjoy them and this is definitely the best i've had to date. I'm putting a 4 here as I feel the taste rating should be somewhere between 4 and 4.5 (which is also where i feel the overall score should sit).

definitely see myself getting this again (when i have the money to drop one a $20 four pack which probably wont be soon.

Photo of cdkrenz
4.51/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Brown body with a strong amount of carbonation. The head is quicklived and is a pale eggshell color.

S - It offers an aroma of red wine, oak and slightly sour cherry.

T - Quickly, a sour almost cherry flavor comes up. It soon fades away leaving the flavor of white wine and a tiny hint of alcohol.

M - Light and airy from the large amount of carbonation.

~ This is something I will seek out again. It is one of the best beers I've had the luxury to sample. If you have the opportunity to try it you should definitely take advantage.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.97/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes 3/12/11. Thanks to THECPJ for sharing the Duchesse.

A: Color of this beer changes with depth in the glass, there are layers almost, orange, red, and ruby. Small off white head that dissipates quickly and leaves no lacing.

S: Sour and tart, lots of apples and grapes. Also sort of spicy

T: Very tart, some sour cherries, the apples and grapes take sort of a back seat. Some caramel and a little chocolate on the finish.

M: Medium bodied, has a nice crispness, with a dry finish.

O: Good flavors, but it is over the top sour for me, a good sipper, but certainly not something I seeking out to have again.

Photo of harrymel
3.6/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Best by: 11/30/2011
Poured to NB globe.

A: Cherry finished mahogany with superb clarity. The peanut, two finger head dissipates quickly to sheet which creeps up the sides. Good lacing.

S: Acetic, sweet, apple skin, hints of soy sauce. Orange glaze sauce. Nicer than the first time.

T: Sweet and sour. Very clean white vinegar with a blend of apple cider vinegar in there. Good flavor to pair with a meal.

M: Medium mouthfeel, low carbonation. Slightly drying.

D: One of the more sessionable sours available. Not a beer I would recommend without a meal to go with it. This is not a good beer to be had alone IMO. I would recommend with chinese or japanese. Maybe even some indian dishes. Would also pair with saucy BBQ.

Photo of OnThenIn
3.68/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Two fingers of thick brown head on top of a extremely dark ruby color. Stunning.

S: The smell is sour with some serious cherry aromas. A hint of sweetness. A bit of oak smell and a bit of funk as well.

T: The taste is funky with sudden sweetness and a cherry flavor that is slowly taken over by a mix of citiric and acetic sourness, which linger for a while. The sweetness is a bit too much, but I dig the complexity and overall flavor.

M: Medium with pretty good carbonation.

D: The sweetness kinda kills the drinkability. I wish the sour was a lot more powerful to balance out the sweetness.

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,492 ratings.