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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

3,279 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,279
Reviews: 1,363
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 151
Gots: 354 | 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: 3,279 | Reviews: 1,363 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BigAl723
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Ashley's in Ann Arbor.

A: Rusty pumpkin brown with a creamy tan head.

S: Vinegar, fruity, and sour.

T: Apples and chocolate. What combination!

M: Medium carbonation. Very light in the mouth. Creamy and smooth.

D: Very smooth. This aged sour goes down very easy. I could drink a lot of this.

Overall, a real unique beer. I heard the bartender say something about a sour ale matured in oak casks and double fermented. Instantly I knew I had to try it, I'm glad I did.

BigAl723, Aug 10, 2009
Photo of woemad
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle purchased at Jim's Homebrew in Spokane for $4.75.

Poured into a St. Bernardus goblet, this beer had a russet color with a thin, light tan head. Once I agitated the glass, I managed to get an inch and a half of foam that took a couple of minutes to drop. A sticky webbing slowly receded, leaving isolated spots of lace on the sides of the glass.

Initially vinegary smelling, this quickly took on a complex, sour fruit scent with some faint, caramel-ish notes in the background.

The taste buds get hit with both a sugary and sour flavor. The two elements vie with one another, with a sour cherry and apple flavor barely winning out, with a faintly dry, tangy note at the swallow.

Medium bodied, with a slightly coating mouthfeel. Carbonation is just right.

A very tasty beer, it's my second of the style, the first being it's stable-mate, Vichtenaar. It reminds me that I need to drink these more often. Not something that woule be a good choice for sessioning, but it hits the spot after work and would probably do so after dinner as well.

woemad, Aug 10, 2009
Photo of armock
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a dark brown with ruby hints with an off white head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is off sour dark fruits

T - Follows the nose dark fruit plums and apples finishes slightly sour

M - This beer has a medium to full body with medium carbonation to it

D - Its been awhile since the last time I had it and forgot how good this beer was its a great gateway to sour beer a must try

armock, Aug 07, 2009
Photo of Goldopelgt
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured a reddish amber with an off-white head that actually stuck around with some decent lacing...

S- Ahhh, what I was hoping for in this brew...Slightly vinegar-y with some nice sour fruit notes...a little bit of funk (there's definitely some brews out there that are alot funkier) and a suprising amount of malt at the end...

T- To be honest, I was a little let down here (I guess I was just hoping for more)...taste is a little milder than it smelled, but still pretty damn good...tart fruits dominate with a decent balance of sweetness and maltiness...

M- Medium to light bodied...right amount of carbonation, but seems to be lacking the dryness I have come to expect out of sours...

D- This beer is still good, don't get me wrong...I guess I was anticipating an over-the-top sour that was in your face with the funk and would make your lips pucker...but that isn't this brew...this brew is very nicely balanced for the style, and is a very good introduction for those who haven't tried a beer of this variety...cheers!

Goldopelgt, Aug 04, 2009
Photo of wagenvolks
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked & caged bottle into the appropriate DdB goblet.

Pours an attractive, ruddy amber hue with a clear body that supports a quarter-inch of creamy cappuccino head. Nice retention and spotty lacing left behind. The aroma is absolutely intoxicating, with an acetic tartness of apple flesh that just started to brown before being dipped in caramel. Supporting notes include leather, a hint of pepper, and some barnyard funk.

Oh, yum. Why have I not tried this beer until now? Delicious, delicate notes of toffee and caramel malt join with a drying tartness on the finish that leans toward apple cider and various other dark fruits (e.g., raisin, fig, and plum). I wish the sour flavor matched that of the aroma, as it's a bit subdued in comparison. Still, the well-carbonated body adds some zest to the finish, and the medium consistency is juicy and surprisingly thirst-quenching. Hard to believe, but this made an excellent night cap for a day spent moving furniture in the hot Houston sun. Easily a must-try, and one I'll be sure to have again.

wagenvolks, Aug 03, 2009
Photo of MaxBrews
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 750 Poured into snifter and chalice

Appearance: Dark reddish brown, plenty of carbonation. Moderate sized head with soapy lacing around the edge (in Chimay glass with nucleation point). No lacing in snifter without etching.

Smell: Vinegar malt, dark malt with hints of caramel. Slightly alcoholic in aroma.

Taste: Sweet vinegar, followed by grapes and cherries. A full out candy-sweetness with mild bitterness. Not very complex but the flavors that are out front are absolutely superb.

Mouthfeel: Sweet and smooth with mild but perfect carbonation.

Drinkability: Surprisingly easy to drink. It drinks fast, but its something you want to savor. A super beer overall. The price is a bit steep. Will drink again but not for a while. Ommegang Rogue was a lot more vinegar At 9.99$

MaxBrews, Aug 01, 2009
Photo of rvdoorn
3.43/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from PapaEugene. Poured in a Urthel glass. The beers pours a nice deep-brown ruby color with a dense sticky head the lasted during almost the whole drinking.

The scent is ok, though my drinking buddy got flashbacks of his daughter being seriously ill and vomiting whole day. For me it wasn't that bad (probably because I don't have little children yet...). Quite sour, like red-wine vinegar, but with some hints of sweetness.

The taste is way better than the smell suggests. Smooth, soft, sweet cherries and red fruits, malty, with a well balanced, slightly sweet-sour aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is good too, smooth and soft, with a bit high carbonation.

I will probably not drink it again

rvdoorn, Jul 31, 2009
Photo of PapaEugene
2.9/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

One of the beers that was on the menu of the beer tasting that I had with fellow member rvdoorn.

Appearance

Nice deep red colour like a good Bourgondy wine. Very minor lacing.

Smell

The smell almost made me throw away this beer, thinking it was rotten. The smell of wine gone bad, vinegar and my daughter's vomit.

Taste

RvDoorn had to convince me to taste this beer after this horrible smell. So, huge contrast to the smell. Tastes like a Kriek beer to me but also a good bodied wine. Red fruits, cherry, strawberry. At a certain point closed my nose to keep drinking.

Mouthfeel

Carbonation was high for my standards. The aftertaste balances between sweet and sour. A little bitter

Drinkability

Well, I will not try this beer again. Too bad, as I really liked the taste. The smell spoils it all.

PapaEugene, Jul 31, 2009
Photo of michaelphines
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Very pretty deep red almost amber color. Head was fleeting and didn't leave much lacing. I have to say my girlfriend washed these glasses with dishsoap recently, so I'm sure I didn't get the best view.

S - The smell is a little bit overpowering for my nose. It's a strong fermented fruit smell, but goes a little far. Almost a rotting smell. Bottle marked best before 18-3-11, I was told this was the intended smell.

T - Initial taste is all berries. Strong cherry flavor on the tip of my tongue. Which fades as it goes down. Just as you think the taste is over sour notes on the back of the tongue and a dry, slightly bitter aftertaste. Definitely complex. Makes you take another sip to ride again

M - The carbonation, a little more than average tickles the tongue on the sweet notes and intensifies the dry finish on the sour notes.

D- Drinkable, but I wouldn't say sessionable. A beer you want to enjoy by the bottle, not by the case.

The smell initially turned me off to this beer. Offensive to my nose, but very deliberate. Maybe you'll like it better. The taste was a ride. I'd definitely have it again if offered, but likely will not buy it in bottles again.

michaelphines, Jul 31, 2009
Photo of kzoobrew
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich auburn color. Light tan head crackles as it is poured but dissipated quickly. Ring remains surrounding the top but little lacing is left.

Dark fruit dominates the aroma. Tart cherries and currants. Soft sour smell complimented by a slight whiff of oakiness.

Flavor is incredible sweet fruit flavors mesh incredibly well with a strong tart taste. Excellent balance between the malty flavors with the somewhat sour fruitiness.

Mouth feel is incredibly smooth and crisp. Very dry.

Ridiculously drinkable. Excellent beer. Tremendously enjoyable to drink and goes down all too easy.

kzoobrew, Jul 26, 2009
Photo of FACEMEAT
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle into a pint glass

A: Garnet brown in appearance with a light tan head that held strong and left a good bit of lacing.

S: Sour berries and stone fruit with burnt sugar and butterscotch.

T: This brew joins tart and sweet flawlessly. A sweet rush comes initially, followed by a tart twang that left me yearning for another sip.

M: A bit too much carbonation with a medium mouth feel.

D: Very drinkable, indeed.

FACEMEAT, Jul 23, 2009
Photo of brendan13
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured into a tulip glass a dark red copper colour with a couple of centimetres of slightly off white head that slowly falls away leaving a bit of lacing.
S - Tart cherries quickly followed by some oak character with a touch of malt vinegar.
T - Initially dominated by cherry flavour with some sour tartness but then balanced by some dark fruit & caramel sweetness.
M - Medium bodied with a medium to high carbonation. Slightly sticky feel with a long lingering cherry after taste.
D - A very intereting beer I'd indeed drink again. A great beer for wine nerds who say beer isn't complex...

brendan13, Jul 21, 2009
Photo of jjanega08
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A= a beautiful three finger head rises out of this baby with some pretty good retention and lacing on it. A nice deep amber color comes from this beer.
S= loads of vinegar and hints of citrus lemon. Maybe a slight funk to it as well.
T= really well rounded sour taste. Not sour at all actually. More tart. The nose led me in the wrong direction. Almost has an over ripe cherry taste to it however. There is a slight vinegar taste in the front but not much more. Almost reminds me of sour tarts only not nearly as sour.
M= dry as a bone. Possibly the driest beer I have ever had.
D= pretty good. I was a little let down by this beer. I had high hopes for it but it didn't live up to them. Still a quality brew.

jjanega08, Jul 21, 2009
Photo of grdahl
4.93/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: rich red and Brown in color.

S: Champangne like

T: Tart sourness but very smooth.

M: Nice crispy, bubbly with meium body.

D: Very drinkable.I could drink this all night.

Serving type: large corked bottle

My first Flanders Red. Not my last. This is inspiring me to brew my own Flanders. Very different, very wine like in both smaell and taste.

grdahl, Jul 19, 2009
Photo of womencantsail
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The pour is a dark, rich, red color without too much carbonation or head formation.

S: Loads of dark fruit, specifically sour cherries and currants. There is a nice lactic sourness along with a mild vinegar aroma.

T: Almost identical to the nose. A wonderful tart/sourness, but not overpowering. The cherries really come through here as well as a touch of sweet malt.

M: Medium bodied with a high level of carbonation and a crisp, dry finish.

D: I'm still getting used to these sour ales and this is a great one to start on. Nothing overly intense about it, but a nice beer nonetheless.

womencantsail, Jul 12, 2009
Photo of CampusCrew
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ok.. Im starting to get into the sour thing and I have had a few now and thi sis my favorite.

appearance: beutiful red copperish color, looked liek a glass of red wine

smell: sour fruity, grapes and cherries

taste: not extemelely sour enough and slightly swetter than other I have tried. I usally like dryer drinks bu this worked perfectly

mouthfeel: high carbonation and light

drinkability: very easy... I could session this at a nice dinner

CampusCrew, Jul 10, 2009
Photo of bobsy
3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm not sure I've has an intentionally sour beer before. Lots of unintentional ones, but that's Ontario for you. Thanks Viggo for busting the Duchesse on me.

Pours a slightly murky brownish mahogany with a finger of tan head that has decent retention and lace. Lots of sour cherry on the nose, which is quite sweet and malt heavy. Interesting flavours. Vinegary sourness is balanced by a large dose of sugar - its more sweet and sour than sour, and not quite as aggressive as I expected. Its quite vinous and has some kriek qualities to it as well. Medium body and carbonation work well.

An interesting experience, but not an overwhelming one. I'd like to try a bigger sour to see what the fuss is about. I can see that this is a well-constructed beer, but if its representative of sours, perhaps it won't be the style for me.

bobsy, Jul 07, 2009
Photo of OldSchoolGamer
3.48/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have never had a Sour before, so this is a first. They seem to be quite trendy as they are growing in popularity. Here is my review:

A: Pours a Coca-Cola brown. I don't notice a lot of carbonation, but the head is nice and creamy. Lacing is minimal.

S: First thing I notice is an overpowering vinegar aroma. I honestly can't detect much more than that.

T: I am not sure how I feel about this beer. The vinegar is very prominant in the taste. It is almost overpowering. But, once you get used to it, there are other flavor layers underneath. Tastes a lot like champaign. There is also quite a bit of a pickle taste in there. A touch of cherry pits. Finish is very acidic. Quite sweet as well.

M: Actually pretty light bodied. Very sharp and acidic finish. Not as fizzy as champaign, but close.

D: I guess it drinks pretty easily. If you don't mind strong vinegar and champaign flavors that is.

I honestly don't know what to say. I have never had a beer like this before. To say that this is unique is an understatement. But vinegar flavors in beer? I don't know. This probably isn't one I will return to very often.

OldSchoolGamer, Jul 06, 2009
Photo of taylorhamrick
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this at the Hopleaf, while their draft coolers were down.

Pours out hazy and amber colored. The head is white colored, fizzy and loose looking, that kind of falls back and leaves only a bit of lacing. Looks about normal for the style. The smell is just very vinegary, almost to the point where it sort of turns you off. Reminds me of Easter egg dying day. There's a nice tart note in the background, a hint of sweetness, but the vinegar smells make it hard to pick anything else out. I'd call this score more of a median score than an average score, because it smells all but average - but it doesn't impress me, yet doesn't disappoint me at the same time. The vinegar carries over to the taste, but it's much more to my liking here. The tartness still came through in the taste, but the beer still had a moderate sweetness, quite enough to make this one enjoyable. This one does a good job with the style, and in terms of flavor, is a beer to shoot for, but something I still think can be passed. Pretty enjoyable if you can get past the vinegar smell. The body is actually a bit thin, but is still quite pleasant thanks to the tartness. Not very malty, but just enough sweetness to get by. The carbonation is nice, bites just a bit without getting in the way. The drinkability is good, this one must be consumed rather slowly, though - just as the whole style ought to be. But overall, a good drink, something like a night cap for this one, and I'd recommend it to others hoping to explore the style.

taylorhamrick, Jul 06, 2009
Photo of nightcrawler
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What can you say about this great beer? Opening a bottle is always a reason to call friends and share the joy. And it is very easy to finish a bottle and move onto another...and another...and another.

It pours a brownish-red. While the smell is good, the taste is like a complex explosion. Every sip brought something different to the tongue. It ends with a clean, wine-like dry finish - just bordering on sharp. If you don't like any sweet/fruit taste, avoid this beer.

nightcrawler, Jul 01, 2009
Photo of SFBeerGuy
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle reading a best before date of 02-04-11.

A- Poured a crystal clear deep amber red with a thick and lively tan head. Champagne-like carbonation and fizzy foam that stayed for a long while before receding, leaving sticky lacing in the glass. Head remained for the entire drink.

S- Dark chocolate covered sour cherries. Tootsie Rolls. Licorice. Mouth-watering aromas.

T- Sour cherries up front with a tart snap. Sweet rock candy shows through. Currants and dark fruit is present. Slight toasted bread crust compliments hints of dark chocolate in the finish.

M- Not too puckering. Slight acidity. Lively and light bodied. Full carbonation tickles the pallet. Enjoyable bone dry finish which quickly takes the sourness and tartness with it. Very pleasant.

D- Incredible drink. Thirst quenching and a great complement to all sorts of food. Sweet and tart without being overbearingly puckering. Glows as it warms up! Best when served at recommended temperature. Got better to the last sip!

SFBeerGuy, Jun 30, 2009
Photo of snpub540
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a reddish brown hue that was very slightly hazy. Has a tan head that stuck around for a good while but did leave some nice lacing on the glass.

Smell was just of toasted bread and maybe a little bit of caramel.

The flavors were unexpected when sipped after my first smell. Very crisp sour flavors that were very pleasant. Sour cherries and green apple are the most dominant. A slight malt sweetness in the finish bring some balance to sourness.

Alcohol is almost non existent in the taste and the carbonation is perfect almost playful on the palate. Definately a delightful beer that I will have to pick up more often.

snpub540, Jun 24, 2009
Photo of grayburn
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice brownish red with a beautiful head that lasts and lasts. Lacing is nice as well.

The smell is a bit underwhelming, some sour and fruity notes, a bit of a sweet almost caramelized smell, but nothing jumps out.

The taste is an explosion of different flavors, note after note, degree by degree, this beer is really a living dynamic beast. The mouthfeel brings it together quite well, with some nice carbonation.

I am going to finish this 750 pretty easily. Nice beer.

grayburn, Jun 22, 2009
Photo of kirok1999
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very dark pour, rocky head that gushes up the glass. Beautiful dark ruby.
Smells like an orchard on a sunny day. Tons of dark ripe fruit aging in the sun.
Taste is dark and plummy, sweet caramel, apples, raisins. The finish lingers for quite a while, and no surprise since it's such a heavy beer.
Definitely a sipper that can stand up to almost any food you'd want to pair it with.

kirok1999, Jun 22, 2009
Photo of SShelly
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lets start off by saying damn I love this beer...

Sweet malt in the nose with a touch of sour bacterial edge

Lots of sweetness in the mouth that fades to a light sourness that lingers just a little on the pallet, very smooth, creamy, not harsh, leaves the mouth wanting more...

A wee bit expensive but worth every penny. also a great transition beer for anyone who thinks they arent into flanders red's, very easy to get into.

SShelly, Jun 18, 2009
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,279 ratings.