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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

3,563 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,563
Reviews: 1,413
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.46%
Wants: 174
Gots: 501 | 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.
View: Beers (13) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,563 | Reviews: 1,413 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of afrokaze
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

A - Deep ruby brown with 2 fingers of pillowy head that sticks around with nice lacing.

S - Lots of stone fruit, especially ripe cherries & tart peaches, lemon citrus. Soft bready malt, mix of vinegar acidity & slight sweetness.

T - Tart edge of lime citrus mixed with some vinegar tartness. Malt is subdued but balances acid with soft bready notes. Finish is long but sweeter than expected, with more stone fruit, similar to plums & nectarines. Some woodiness comes out as it warms & mixes nicely with wine-like character.

M - Great mix of tart edge that attacks the tastebuds & creamy softness in the aftertaste. Crisp & very refreshing.

O - My favorite Flanders Red thus far. Reminds me of Rodenbach Grand Cru but even smoother; sourness is nicely sharp but kept in check well by oak aging. Sublime.

Photo of ZenAgnostic
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

1 pint 9.4oz bomber poured into a Duvel tulip. Cork printed Exp 6/2012.

Appearance - Foggy but with no particulate matter. Dark brown with a hint of amber. Thick, fine cream head.

Smell - Gueuze sourness. Slight abbey ale body, dark overripe fruit and noticeable alcohol.

Taste - Complex. Balanced. Slight to moderately sour body. sweet acidity keeps it from going to far in that direction. With a bit of alcohol in the finish. Leaves a vinous aftertaste, but not unpleasant.

Mouthfeel - Light texture and crisp due to the light, frothy carbonation. Almost like a lambic or champagne. Medium-full body.

Overall Drinkability - This is my first from this style, so I was careful with the ratings to leave room for the possibility of a better beer in style. After trying a few more, I'll come back and rate this one, but as a beer I'd give it all 5's.

Photo of Fatheranderson
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was my first Flanders Ale, and it was a rather interesting beer. Expiration was 12/2012

Appearance: Burgundy. Thick, dark burgundy that reminds me somewhat of a good Irish Red.

Smell: Strong nose of cherry, hint of bubblegum, slight floral bouquet.

Taste: Overwhelming taste of sour cherry, which is complimented extremely well by a hint of malt. My only complaint is that the cherry comes on a little too strong. Toning it back a bit and maybe adding a tiny bit of hops would make it perfect.

Mouthfeel: Thick, juicy, smooth. Feels like velour in the mouth (yes, I watched Futurama while drinking this... and Zap Brannigan's catch phrase stuck with me...)

Overall: The only improvement I could suggest is toning back the cherry a little bit. Otherwise, it's an absolutely superior brew.

Photo of davey101
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Best by date of 30/03/2013. 11.2 oz bottle poured into a chimay goblet after being in the fridge for an hour.

A - Deep red/brown with an off white head.

S - Huge vinegar aroma. Sour cherries, oak, and some malts

A - Silky smooth mouth feel. Lots of sweet cherries and oak, with a great sour vinegar finish. I can taste some malts and yeast in there as well.

O - One of the best Flemish ales I've had. This is a very good example of the style and it drinks really well on a hot summer day.

Photo of ElizabethCraig
5/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Purchased this as recommended by an employee at Siciliano's in Grand Rapids, MI.

Medium Brown/red in color, very clear. Lovely tan head with nice bubbly microfoam.

Scent: Raspberry sour, this sour made my stomach gurgle and my mouth salivate all through the smelling and drinking =)

Taste: Starts out a medium molasses/sorgham and goes immediately to a medium sweet raspberry, then to a VERY sweet raspberry. The aftertaste is a nicely sour caramel malty taste. No fruit in the immediate aftertaste. After around 3 minutes the taste is a very wine-like tanniny grape.

Fairly high carbonation, carries the sour flavor into being and then just leaves the sour.

The ABV isn't high, but the combination of the higher carbonation and the sweet taste is very heady.

I love this beer. I will seek this out and drink this again =)

Photo of mikestan06
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first sour - picked up a 12 oz. bottle on recommendation in Dallas. Poured into clear tulip glass.

Pours a dark reddish-brown with a tight tan head. Lasts throughout the glass - 10 minutes on and still sitting strong! Sticky lacing coats the side of the glass.

Smell is sweet, dark cherry and fruits? Taste is tart, almost mouth-puckeringly. Cherry and fruit come in strong. Like melted lifesavers.

Sticky in the mouth, really clings to the tongue. Little to no carbonation makes for smooth drinking.

Photo of uno99
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This might be the most available Flanders Red in the states, but here in Canada this is hard to come by (or any other Flanders for that matter). This is by chance available in a local bar, but I happened to get this one in a trade.

Poured at 55 degrees into the center of a Lucifer goblet.

A: a tightly foamed head quickly forms as the beer is poured. Almost one finger in height. Lacing is really good, and sticks to the glass like glue. Head seems to stick around for a while as well; it settles into soapy, clumpy mess on top of the beer. Body is deep mahogany -- almost rosewood.

S: This is maybe the 4th Flanders Red I've ever sampled, so I dont know the style super well, but this could be the most "in your face" example I've had. Yes there's some sourness; curdled milk or off ranch dressing, but it's also quite malty and sweet. The oak comes through pretty well but not a dominate figure in the crowd. I would say this is all about the medium colored fruits and cherry sweetness. Strip the sour note away and you might even convince someone its Dr. Pepper.

T: Sweetness is upfront, but sourness pulls a good showing. Lots of fruit suggestions as well as earthy and nutty hints. Quite complex actually.

M: Quite a sweet and sticky mess in the middle, but a little dry on the edges. Would be a good dessert type beer, not a main course pairing choice.

Overall: I really enjoyed this one, and might actually be my favorite Flanders Red.

Photo of alpinebryant
3.63/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I know this is one of the more available Flanders Red Ales and respected by some, but its just not my style.

Pour is a crystal clear red ale in color with a white to light tan head.

Aroma is of sour cream, sweet malt, slight sweet fruit aromas and the funky flemish oak barrel.

Taste is everything in aroma however a higher sour cream concentration. The sweetness is slightly surprising I guess in that this beer is not overly sour. It is really just a sweet funk mixed with sour cream taste and sweet malt with a slight fruit presence. I really did not like Monks Flemish ale, and this is definitely a step in the right direction from that beer. There are some redeemingly fresh tastes to this one that I can definitely enjoy on a hot afternoon after a long run.

Mouthfeel is light and lighter than I like for the style however this makes it more drinkable in my book and less of a sipper.

Overall pretty good

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

Had on-tap at The Rake in London. Review from notes.

A: Pours a malt-vinegar esque deep red/brown with a respectable head. Appearance is complex and intriguing.

S: Smells of grape and cherry sweetness with a vinegary sting to it. Smells like it might be rather biting.

T: Wow. I've had Duchesse a couple of times from the bottle before and this is just totally different. In my previous experiences the vinegar dominated and the sweetness was a little hard to dig out. This time, the highest quality of sweet grapeskins beautifully layered the taste throughout, with small hints of other fruits like rich cherry. A vinegarish bite came toward the end but added a sort of crispness and fighting spirit to the taste. Really lovely.

M: Great mouthfeel; an excited carbonation with a viscocity that makes it run throughout your mouth at the appropriate rate and with just the right feel for the proper taste experience.

O: Having this on tap really caught me off guard and made me realize the dangers posed by getting this post international shipping. This is an awesome beer and already well worth getting in a bottle-- getting it on tap is a must if its available to you. Hats off to the Duchesse de Bourgogne.

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

750 ML bottle into the official Duchesse De Bourgogne glass, straight proper. Shared with SundaySour on this Friday night.

Bottle indicates best before the end of the world, check.

A: Deep dark black opal, this is how I'd imagine a dragon's eyeball to look. Dark reds, earthy browns, and prismatic oils shimmer underneath a half finger head. The brew is at about ~45F, so I can't blame the Duchesse for rocking a pixie cut. Solid speckled lacing gets her a nice set of side-burns, the andro-look.

S: Grenadine covered cherry skins dominate the front, while a smell of old rules the middle. When I sniff this beer I get a visual: cobwebs in a rusty pipe, covered with a mixture of sherry and lingenberry jam. An unusual transition of the tartness leans toward gojji berries. A complex but very clean nose.

T: Cherry skins, lime, and a bittering carob. A dash of balsamic vinegar makes this an ultimate beet salad pairing. So sweet and so light, a crisp pink lady apple bite keeps me praising the Duchesse. How is all that flavor in there? Vinegar acidity increases with the temperature. This is just like fine salad dressings, you want to try and get just the right amount in your mouth. Too big of a gulp and you'd hate it, too little and you'd be left wanting. The challenge is taking that perfect rip.

M: Just so buttery smooth, the carbonation is so strong yet restrained. A master class in mouthfeel, the liquid levitates in your mouth above so many layers of bursting bubbles that you swear it never makes contact with your mouth. The Duchesse is a witch, burn her. But you can't, because you love her.

O: This really is just a classic. Definitely one of those beers you introduce to a new drinking buddy as an introduction to sour styles. The execution of this flanders is so clean and crisp, that to dislike it is as unholy as disliking your grandmother's apple-pie. Avoid such blasphemies, and take your time with this one. Explore the different flavor experiences to be had with different sized mouthfuls. Notice how she can be as sweet as you want her to be, and as tart as you want her to be. Revisit this one a few times before you come to any conclusions about it, each bottle is a variation on a theme. It's ever so sensitive to temperature and glassware, give her the care she needs. After many dates, hopefully you'll come to see her as the beautiful siren that she is.

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

A: A misty deep red like the skies above Mordor with a thin white head and some fabulous lacing. You know this beer is about to get real.

S: The smell is distinctly a cherry covered in dust. It sounds gross, but it isn't. Think of all the highly romantic and yummy smelling dusty places; like a haunted house or the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland. You love that smell.

T: By far the most delicious, life-changing sour I've ever had. Tart cherries blowing up in my mouth like the Grand Finale on the 4th of July. Uncooked pie dough crust, raspberries, and pomegranate all come through. It has a lightly sweet finish, and things got a little weird when I tasted angel kisses and sunbeams. HOW CAN BEER TASTE LIKE THIS? O wild yeast, my Lord and Master!

M: Crisp and tart, like new money.

O: This is currently my favorite pick for a sour, beer, AND a beverage. It never lets me down with it's crispy tart holiness and mouth-watering goody goodness. Sometimes I wake up in the night and cry out for a glass of Duchesse, screaming until the dawn. "Duchesse! Duchesse!" It must be tasted to be believed.

Photo of bonemuse07
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Day #4 of a "A Beer a Day" for summer.

A: Two fingers of cream head on a brilliant reddish/brownish body. Beautiful thick lacing all around the glass that lingered throughout.

S: cherry, apple, and a plenty of vinegar. I was worried that it would have too much of a vinegar-y taste

T: But, it turns out there wasn't too much to worry about. It was dry. There was some tartness, but more sweet than tart. Apple, apple, and more apple to me. very smooth and inoffensive to drink.

M: Light, crisp, with lots of sweet carbonation. A slightly tart/vinegar coating on the tongue was the only aftertaste.

O: This went down really smoothly. I've just come off a bit of a wild ale kick, having just had a Supplication the other night. I was expecting something heavier, but was pleasantly surprised. This was a great beer after a long day. Will definitely enjoy the rest of the four-pack.

Photo of scbrew
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark crimson-brown color with light tan head that dissipates quickly. Slight sour, very fruity aroma. Wonderfully balanced flavor between sweet and sour. Mild sour flavors with slight candied sweetness. Excellent body. Seemed like a bigger beer. Loved it!

Photo of kerklein2
2.67/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

11.2oz bottle poured to snifter. Best by date of 03-10-09

Found it at the back of my fridge, obviously quite old.

A - Pours a muddy reddish brown. Not too much head

S - Pretty strong smell, clearly sour. Almost vinegary. A touch of sweetness on the smell as well.

T - It all goes wrong here. Can taste the cherries a bit, but mostly pretty pungent sourness. Vinegar here too. Too much sweetness.

M - Not bad, but a little sticky on the back of the mouth. Light carbonation.

O - Wish this one hadn't gone lost in the back of my fridge. I think the lesson is that the best before date has a lot of merit and don't age it too long. Sorry to give such a poor review.

Photo of ExplosivoSR
4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle poured to snifter. Best by date of 5/1/2013.

A - Pours ruby red with about two fingers of off white head and some lacing.

S - A bit softer of smell than expected, but it is welcome. It smells almost like a sour wine, with a hint of brown sugar. Not overpowering at all. Very unique.

T - An amazing balance here. Sour cherries and a hint of vinegar up front, which gives way to an unexpected sweetness which was a great treat. Lots going on.

M - Light body, and good carbonation.

O - I'd been thinking about trying this for some time, but could never pull the trigger. Thank goodness I did, because this is a treat. An exceptionally good sour, and one I will continue to by from now on.

Photo of perrymarcus
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle served in a snifter.
best before date: 04/29/2012

pours a mahogany tone while yielding a creamy 1" or so of beige colored head; middling retention, fades to a thin, lasting cap. decent lacing.

a decent amount going on the nose, which is one of the more unique aromas i've encountered recently. notes of caramel, brown sugar, belgian yeast, cherries, funk, and cider vinegar.

the taste is an unexpected treat. not being the biggest fan of sours i'm pleasantly surprised by the flavor profile: cherry, apple, and sweet malt lead the way. nice balance between sweet and tart. it has a nice sour component that doesn't go too far. very tasty.

toward the lighter side of medium-bodied in the mouth with some lively carbonation.

overall i'm enjoying this. was admittedly a bit apprehensive at the outset but keeping an open mind has paid off. great beer.

Photo of broken22
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oh Duchesse. She is a beer that I had kept playing hard to get with. I would see her at the beer store and think about but never acted. I even held here a couple of times to only put her back. So when I finally had the chance to get a glass on tap I decided it was time to meet her.

This beer is a nice red amber color. The head on this beer is very tight little micro bubbles and white. This beer is very fragrant. Taking a sniff an you will know right away that this is going to be a sour beer. I'm not an expert on sour beers so I cannot really elaborate on smell other than sour. The taste really surprised me. I was totally expecting something awful. This beer has a really nice flavor that is only exemplified by the sourness. It has a very nice fruity taste. The brewery describes it as passion fruit and I will just agree to that. The overall mouthfeel is nice and light with a dry finish.

I am not a sour chaser and I really thought I would never find a sour beer that I really liked. Duchesse won me over on the first sip. Its complex flavor is completely masked by the smell. It's like the durian fruit of beer. While I'm sure its still not for everyone I think if your curious you should try a glass.

Photo of camil1mj
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After a bottle of Askew I had to try another sour beer. Poured into my Bell's tulip glass slighty chilled.

A: Deep amber leaning towards brown. 1 finger white foamy head that is quick to recede.

S: Sour fruitiness almost with acidic overtones. Almost wine-like.

T: Lots going on here. Strong tart cherries at the beginning giving way to an acidic sour punch which is followed by a vinegary finish. A wonderful cornucopia of flavors.

M: Light bodied with medium carbonation.

O: A great beer. I will definitely be buying this to keep on hand when in the mood for a break from strong stouts.

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

Bottle poured into a large tulip glass. Color is a strong reddish brown with around half an inch of head. Smell is sour cider and cherry, very acidic. Taste is a kind of sweet and sour combination, with lots of grapes and maraschino cherry flavors. Thick, syrupy mouthfeel. Very good drinkability.

Photo of DavidST
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm extremely new to sour beers, having only tried them for the first time a couple of months ago, but I really love the few that I've had.

This pours a deep brown, there are hints of red but I wouldn't have known its a red ale otherwise. The head is a finger width and light brown, it quickly fades away but leaves a nice lace. This smells a little sour, woody and slightly unusual, hard to describe. Nice mouth feel, it gets very carbonated if I gently move it around on my tongue, I can feel the tartness. The taste is a little tart / sour at first but on the way down it seems to sweeten up quite a bit, this is definitely a unique flavor for beer, but I really like it. It kind of reminds me of shock tart candies I used to love as a child, this my second bottle to try and the aftertaste sweetness is more than I remembered. Overall this is a great beer and very well could be one of my favorites.

Photo of billzav
5/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Duchesse may very well be the best sour ale I have ever had and it pours a deep chestnut brown color with notes of tart fruit, notably cherries, and dark malt. Since this ale is aged in oak conditioned casks, Duchesse has a red wine like feeling to it. The array of sweet and sour flavors are perfectly balanced throughout this Flanders red ale, and it’s velvety smooth from start to finish.

Photo of welldigger888
4.31/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Best by date of 8/14/08 poured a deep garnett hue with a pillowy head and respectable lace.

Sweet Sour fruit footish aroma with a wine like wood.

Sweet effervesence and sour twang that lingers. A deffinate wine like flavor that is woody and crisp.

Bubbley and dry to the bone.

Not familiar, but it seems to repeel the wife and kids, so it is a winner.

Photo of Knapp85
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This ale poured out as a fizzy looking deep red color with a light tan colored head on it. The head didn't last very long and neither did the lacing. The color was great on this beer though. The aroma of oak wood and fermented cherries on the nose giving this quite a sour profile. The taste is exactly what the smell told me. The flavors in this beer are big a powerful upfront with tart cherry and fresh oak. The aftertaste settles into a more semi-sweet and very nice yeasty cherry flavor. The mouthfeel is bubbly and kind of thin but didn't bother me. Overall this is probably one of my favorite sours, I'm not really into this style too much but I'll admit I did enjoy this brew.

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

Bottle at Uli's Restaurant in White Rock, BC.

A: Maroon coloured with a 1/2" off white head that disappeared in an average amount of time.

S: Smells very much like a lambic. Malt vinegar mixed with cherries in this case.

T: Slightly sour, malt vinegar, and cherries. Very nice taste to the finish and slightly boozy.

M: Crisp and refreshing, medium to low carbonation.

O: Excellent and very interesting beer. Often lambics are too sour for me but this style I could get into.

Photo of MrHassellYaHurd
4.11/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Delirium Tremens tulip a garnet/brown with nice clarity, and a two finger off-white head. There is quite a bit of visibly vigorous carbonation release.

The first notes I get from this beer are of a rather tart combination of green apple and cherry. I detect a yeasty earthiness in the background, as well.

Tasting this beer is hard for me to describe. I've not drank many tart or sour beers like this before. The tart apples and cherry flavor is here in all its glory, as well. There is also a malty sweetness that seems to be mitigated by the sheer acidity of this brew. There is a definite vinous quality to the finish, as well.

The texture of Duchesse de Bourgogne is very similar to that of champagne, or prosecco--substantial, but airy thanks to the vigorous carbonation release.

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,563 ratings.