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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

3,501 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,501
Reviews: 1,398
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.46%
Wants: 173
Gots: 461 | 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: 3,501 | Reviews: 1,398 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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

reviewed from notes:

appearance: copper orange red brown thin lacing head

smell: dark fruits, sour, spice

taste: cherries, tart, sweet finish

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body

drinkability: decent brew but not the best in the style. glad I got to try it but will go back to the better brews in the style.

Cheers,

The CPJ

Photo of Cozzatoad
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle, export version (with sugar added to balance sourness)

A- Very wine like. Deep red (almost brown), more bright and on the red side if seen through light. Little head forms and it disappears almost immediately, leaving near no lacing at all

S- Very delicate, maybe even too much. An acidic red wine aroma that also has some dark fruits hints

T- Very interesting. Sourness is right there but it is extremely delicate and at the same time you can definitely feel the sweetness from the sugar. Overall, the taste is some sort of meeting point between a very sweet and woody wine and a beer (malts are in fact clearly detectable, and they bring some very nice dark fruit tones). If i'm not wrong i also find some chocolate

M- The beer is very light on the body and little carbonated. That means an incredibly soft and smooth feel that fills your mouth despite being so delicate. I don't know wheter that's just me but i kinda feel like this is even too soft and delicate, a stronger character would be welcomed in a beer that feels so much like wine

T- I have nothnig to blame with the sourness in the taste, it is actually very delicate and nicely balanced. I have some issues with the sourness in the aftertaste though. Overall this is still a pleasing beer

Many say this a "love or hate" beer. I do neither, i enjoyed it but i don't think this is such a great one

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

750mL bottle (corked and caged) poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Deep red color with ruby/garnet highlights-brilliant clarity. Ivory/light tan moderate head with moderate retention.

Aroma-Awesome aroma of cherries, grapes, and passionfruit. Nice oaky, woody notes. Tart, with musty brett flavors of horse blanket and barnyard. Complex, layered, wonderful.

Flavor-Tart up front, fruity sweet in the middle, and dry and acidic in the finish. Cherries, passionfruit, and grapes. Oaky, tart, cider vinegar flavors as well. Slight chocolate flavor. Light barnyard musty flavors in the finish. Finish is dry with a touch of acidity and lingering cherry notes. Awesome.

Mouthfeel-Medium body with moderate carbonation. Smooth and easy drinking, with a slight tingle on the palate. Crisp and refreshing.

I must say, I think I like Rodenbach Grand Cru a bit better, but the Duchesse is simply sublime. Just a hair on the sweet side, but that's just being nitpicky. This is a phenomenal beer.

Photo of 77ships
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this one at home, from notes:

A: bright, shinny red, small white head, minor lacing
S: funk, hint of vinegar & cherries, hint of oak
T: very fruit, heavy on cherries, green apples, lemons, wood chips, mild tart, hint of funk, some wine qualities, incredible, especially how fruity this is (I could have sworn they put cherries in here) and how the sourness balances this
M: light, refreshing & dry
D: the drinkability is insane, it is almost impossible not to chug it down at once

This is an absolutely amazing beer, if you are even remotely interested in sours, you must get this one.

Photo of lnashsig
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Poured into my Duvel tulip glass, pours a dark amber color, huge cloudy white foam immediately fills the glass. It receeds quickly, leaving a little sticky lacing on the glass. Smell- big white wine flavors, reminiscent of a sauvignon blanc, with some tart sour and sweet aromas. Admittedly I have not had much exposure to sours, but I have recently had RR consecration, supplication, temptation, and monk's cafe Flemish red. This is different from all of them in smell- i'm actually surprised at the taste of this beer after getting the smell. Taste- mellow tart cherries, some strawberry flavors, with a musty tart finish. This is far less sour than any of the sours I have had before.

Mouthfeel- this is unusually creamy, somewhat lacking heavy carbonation. Its nice though, and well done.

Drinkability- super easy. The lack of the heavy tart flavor makes this unusually easy.

Photo of Anthony1
4.04/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a chalice/snifter. It was a dark brown with flecks of red. It had a tan, two-finger head that left nice rings of lace. It smelled of sour cherries and malt. It tasted very sour with a little sweet kick. There was a good dosage of malt, too. It was crisp and sharp. It was medium-bodied beer.

Photo of July2Nov
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Older version: 19-01-08.

Appearance: Poured a very dark burgundy color (much darker than I anticipated). Thin, nice lacing all around the glass (held well during the life of the beer).

Smell: Funky and strong. Getting some apple and dark fruit scents. Spiced Raisin comes through near the end.

Taste & Mouthfeel: I guess when I automatically see a darker beer, my immediate thought is that it's going to be heavy...so with that in mind, this was so light and refreshing to the palate. Has a thin syrup like texture that wraps on the tongue. Nice undercurrent of fruit flavors, with some sweetness. The initial flavor has something akin to balsamic vinegar. Some tartness during the middle...the aftertaste has a slight numbing effect. Very interesting and complex, yet lighter and refreshing.

Drinkability: This is almost wine-like and lambic-esque in it's tasting...which I'm a fan of. With this in mind, this is so drinkable that it's almost off the scale. I've had this bottle for close to three years and I'm impressed by the flavor that is still evident from this bottle. Must compare it to a newer version to find what the differences are (if any). Would try again, in any form! A must!!!

Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Medium brown toned body with a foamy beige one finger head.

S - Tangy and tart, also fruity and fresh. Some grainy scents are there too.

T - Alot of fruit tartness like cherries and possible red grape/apple. This beer is also acidic and has wine like qualities. The alcohol is smooth and crisp. The back of the tongue gets some wood aftertaste and the beer has some sour dryness to it as well.

M - Very effervescent and clean mouthfeel. The beer has a lighter-medium body and is very smooth and refreshing.

Notes - I enjoy sours and this is one of my favorites of the type. Its always good, easy to drink and just an overall quality choice.

Photo of pjcors
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drank from a 750ml bottle. Shared with a friend. Still, perhaps a bit much for a beer of this style.

A- Dark amber in color, with a thin, lacy head.

S- When I first poured this beer I found the smell to be rather off-putting. It had a strange, chlorinated smell to it. It almost reminded me of the local YMCA pool. But the deeper I got the more other flavors began to express themselves. I got hints of apple, cherries, and maybe some pear? I couldn't really tell, but the overall fruitiness was readily apparent when you got past the pungent first smell.

T- This is where the beer blew me away. All of the strange aromas of the smell disappear after the first taste. This is nothing but goodness. The apples and cherries are immediately apparent. A sour taste begins to develop the longer you hold it in your mouth, but this is by no means a bad thing. It is actually a pleasant counter to the sweetness of the fruits. I had read previous reviews where people have said they've tasted a vinegar-like quality, but none of this was apparent to me. I got hints of lambic, but more earthy.

M- A very thick, sticky mouthfeel. Like I said before, a pleasant sourness starts to develop the longer you taste it. A slight carbonation is also present.

D- Very good. As I stated at the beginning, it can be a bit overwhelming when had from a 750ml bottle, but I can see buying an 11.2oz of this and thoroughly enjoying it. A great dessert beer to enjoy.

All in all, I was mighty impressed by this beer. The smell turned me off a bit at first, but it was a small problem with an otherwise delicious beer.

Photo of dizknee24
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A Reddish not much head on this one

S Smelled of a nice red wine. I was not sure on if this is good or bad. I decided bad IMO.

T u can definetly tell there is some oak barrels involved. but it tasted way to much like wine for me.

M - again with the wine

D couldnt get past the winish notes! not for me. not saying its bad just not my cup of tea.

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

Interesting and happy I tried this. Cool bartender gave me a half glass on the house as the keg kicked.

Red, clear, very pretty in the glass. Decent head with good retention on the lacing.

The first thing that I picked up was some funk, then maybe cherries and sugar. But primarily musty funk and ... salt?

Tastes quite different than it smells. Sweet up front, cherries and a little tartness to finish. Some weed on the exhalation out of the nose. Grew on me throughout the glass. Not a crisp beer by any stretch.

Light body, not overly carbonated. Quite drinkable but a sipper nonetheless.

Photo of FosterJM
3.68/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

287th review on BA
bottle to flute
330ML capped (best by: 18/2/12)

App- A slightly hazy mix of light brown and some crimson. No real head developed on this one. A slight ring of bubbles around the edges.

Smell- Cheers, to the forums of BA for telling me exactly how this would smell. Soy sauce and vinegar. Was not the best smelling thing IMO.

Taste- I do have to say it tasted better than it smelled. It was a pleasant mix of sweet flavors (cherry) Tart and some other slight fruits.

Mouth- Was a bit thin to me but I was expecting that from the style. Very high carbed, like a nice spritzer Had a nice tart aftertaste

Drink- Not as bad as what I thought but for the top-20 rating in its style, I thought it was a nice suprice. Was nice to sip on while relaxing. Had a nice profile of sweet/tart flavors to it.

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

Served on-tap at the Cheeky Monk. As with all beers at CM, it's served in branded glassware which, in this case, is basically a simple red wine glass.

Aroma is musky and funky with some slight fruit character.

Flavor is surprisingly enjoyable and much better than the aroma would suggest. Lots of ripe red fruit, grapes and cherries, with some mild sour/tart flavors. The sweetness is perfectly balanced with the other tart fruit.

Mouthfeel is medium-light bodied and nicely carbonated.

Overall a really nice, warm weather, easy drinking sour ale. This is the perfect introduction to sours.

Photo of AronVietti
4.88/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From a bottle that has a best by date of 29/10/2012 poured into a wine glass. Gave a nice hiss when the bottle was opened at 48 degrees.

Appearance: White puffy billowing head with a mixture of small and large bottles. Head dies down to half the hight quickly with strong lacing on the glass but the rest remains intact. Deep brownish red hue and absolute clear, like an aged Pinot Noir.

Smell: Fruity with a strong smell of Sour Cherries or unripe plums, new leather and a subtle amount of malt. The aroma is strong but not over powering.

Taste: Starts with a fruity sweetness that is soon balanced by a slight acidity and nice Plum flavor with a hint of spice. The acidity lingers with a bit of bitterness that further helps the balance with the original sweetness and carries the spice notes.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is balanced for the style, and the body of the beer is very full though not heavy. The finish is long, and the taste overall is as reminiscent of wine as the color was, which is perfectly within the style.

Drinkability: This beer is extremely drinkable, at only 6% there are no hints of alcohol for me, and though the mouthfeel is full the beer doesn't seem heavy. I would have one of these with a rich meal, relying on the acidity to cut through cream or cheese heavy dishes and the fruitiness to add to the experience. And afterwards I would have one with a cheese plate for the sheer enjoyment of it.

I would like to try a bottle of this just before the 'Best Before' date to see if there is a difference

Photo of laituegonflable
3.52/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a dark burgundy-tinged amber colour with cream head of small bubbles that is here one moment and the next is settled out into swirling clouds of lace; it doesn't quite cling to the glass. Manifold trails of bead add life to the party. Pretty good.

Smell is musty and sour with a big balsamic vinegar aroma coming off that. Tinged with sweetness though, a touch of cherry and a good spicy belt of black pepper. Good vinous richness with oak and a whisper of honey as well, just part of a lovely sticky and sweet base that really must be smelled to do it any justice. Just wonderful.

Taste is an extremely sour Belgian affair, and sadly on first impression I can't count myself among its more ardent admirers. Starts with a tartness that is noticeably 'off' yet never puckering. Some might call it restrained, but I call it confused. The sweetness feels overdone, by contrast, and it lends the palate an overall spoiled quality that isn't so present in a Rodenbach or a Cantillon - because those beers just push with extreme force on the limits of sour. There is abundant fruit here, with cherry, gooseberries and apricots, but the sourness just renders them all a little off and gives a slight oxidised wine flavour overall. Mid-to-late is especially off-putting with a compost flavour. Look, on the right palate this might be an exception beer but, to me, everything tastes undercooked and the whole sweet/sour clash is a big turnoff. Points for complexity; not for balance.

A fair tingle on the mouthfeel from carbonation. Not overdone though to the point of harshness, just adds texture to go with the sour palate. Intriguing.

Not a favourite, but there is character enough to keep one exploring, albeit with more than a little trepidation.

Photo of SauceBoss
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: The appearance poured darker than I expected being more dark brown/black in color at first then dimming to a firm brownish-red as I tilted the glass. Either way it was pretty. The head was creamy and laced nicely in a tulip glass.

Smell: Very fruity smell with a soft oaky background. Minute sourness and it was soft and pleasant.

Taste: Sour but not overbearing. It was more tart (sour) upfront followed by a nice sweetness both in a balanced combination. The fruity smell definitely came out when drinking.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation was nice and subtle. Had almost the consistency of a lambic and was pretty tart making my mouth pucker.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. This was a unique style of beer having been my first Flanders Red but with that said, I would drink another right now if I had one :)

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,501 ratings.