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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

3,412 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,412
Reviews: 1,372
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 161
Gots: 409 | 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: 3,412 | Reviews: 1,372 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of vkv822
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle into snifter.
best by date: Feb. 2011

Pours a very hazy brown with red accents and a nice off white head. The aroma is very vinegary but with some fruity oak aroma with sour cherry coming through the fruit flavors the most. The taste is not as vinegary as the aroma thankfully. The first flavor I identify is the yeast, which is quickly followed by a very nice tart apple taste. There is also more of the sour cherry flavor coming through. This beer is much more complex then I feel I am able to appropriately convey. And there are some faint notes of oak in the finish.
The mouthfeel is very crisp and dry, with good mild carbonation, and a medium to light body.
This is a very enjoyable and pleasant introduction to the Flanders Red family, and leaves me not only wanting more of this style, but definitely more of this beer as well.

Photo of berley31
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured with a fairly large, off-white head that was long-lasting and eventually settled to 1/2-finger. Body is dark ruby red and quite clear.

S: Fantastic aroma of medium sourness, with some cherry fruitiness thrown in as well. Slight horse-blanket smell in there, too.

T: Nice balance of fruitiness and sourness... doesn't become overpowering at all. Awesome.

M: Medium body, medium-light carbonation. Both sweet and tart in the finish.

D: My first Flanders Red. I loved it.

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

thick pillowy head and lots of lacing. hazy amber brown body. Hits the pallete sweet, and then the earthy tannins take over and gives a nice dry finish. Grape and Wine characteristics, At the start of the sip i taste sweet red apple but that turns into tart Green Apple by the end. good viscosity and carbination gives a great strong body that with the tart finish stays very drinkable and enjoyable.

Photo of beerwolf77
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle split with the SE sconnie BA crew for our small tasting.

Poured into my tulip the beer is dark blood red almost black. A small amount of light beige head forms on top. Soapy lace clings to the edges as you tilt the glass.

The aroam is pure sour vinegar. It instantly reminds me of dying easter eggs as a kid. That's not a bad thing in my book. Hints of wood and funks come through as it warms. The sourness subsided a tad as it warm as well. A light sweetness started to peek it's head out.

The flavor is not as sour as the nose. Just the right amount of mouth puckering sourness balanced by a moderate sugary sweetness. It's like getting a sour and sweet grape at the same time. Just a hint of dry funky wood in the finish.

Fairly light body with very mild carbonation. Dry finish.

Overall a solid representation of the style. Not something I could drink all the time but a nice change of pace to shock the taste buds.

Photo of sweemzander
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750mL corked & caged bottle split, poured into a tulip. Best before July 2011 on the cork. Huge thanks to beerwolf77 for sharing this!

(A)- Pours a clear mahogany color with reddish highlights. Produced a good off-white head that dissipated down to bubbles. Left a tiny ring of lacing.

(S)- A big sour funk up front. Has a vinegar smell reminiscent of easter egg dye (you were right beerwolf!)Has a big dry funk with some dark fruits floating in the background. Funktastic.

(T)- A sour vinegar-like dark fruits of cherry, grape, and maybe even plum. Definitely a sour kicker. A funky combo of sweet fruits and funky sour vinegar-like flavors.

(M)- A good carbonation level. A good balance of all the funk with the dry, sweet, tart, and sour profiles. Definitely something different than what I am used to. It grew on me the more I had of it.

(D)- An interesting beer. Being the first of the style I have consumed, I am not familiar with it, but it is intriguing me. I am glad this was split, cause I might have had trouble if I drank one on my own. It fits the style as far as I can tell well. I look forward to trying more.

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

My interest in this beer spiked after Mark Starr from thehopry.com listed this as his #10 best beer for 2009. Picked up a 11.2oz bottle from the local Whole Foods and poured it into a large wine glass.

The Duchess poured a super clear burgundy red, fading into a deep deep orange with a 1" tanish head that mostly dissipated after a minute or so.

Right off the bat, I got a lot of red wine, vinegar and grape kool-aid on the nose as well as some maltiness in there. After I noticed the kool-aid factor I knew that this was going to be interesting.

After my first sip, I picked up the nice estery quality, complimented by a nice dose of sour and super sweet finish. After about half through, I knew that even at 11.2 oz, it would be a struggle to finish off the bottle. I would have like a larger sour profile and for the grape-aid to dialed down just slightly.

The mouthfeel was nicely carbonated and slightly syrupy.

If I had split this bottle with someone else, I would of had a much more positive review. Definitely a solid dessert sipper among friends but not as enjoyable alone.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle split and poured into a Unibroue tulip. 6% ABV, Best before: See Cork, Exp: Jul 2011.

Thanks to Beerwolf77 for bringing this over last night!

A - A hard cork pull relieves our "don't be a gusher" worries. An effervescent pour let the Duchesse give up a loose tan head with quickly popping and sinking bubbles. Low retention with little lace left over. The color is a clear red-brown. It looks unassuming and kind of like you pored a Coke in a tulip.

S - An oaky wood nose with an astringent, acidic sour smell kind of aims it towards the sour category. Hints of vinegar don't ruin anything, rather, it adds an extra dimension to the tart sourness the nose has to offer. Toasty malts have toffee in the background and combat the sourness reassuring that the taste wont be a mouth-puckering beer. No hop presence in this at all.

T - Delicious malty sweetness with a touch of brown sugar and caramel sweetness with toffee shavings on top. A light vinegar touch and some tart red grape with a mild funkiness backs up the malty sweetness with good balance. Awesome flavor with great depth! Mmmm.

M - The light tart funk melds well with the light-medium body and moderate carbonation finish. Very nice texture and finish but nothing in the mouthfeel really adds to the enjoyment of the beer, rather, it just helps it's awesomeness along.

D - This beer is insanely drinkable. Before finishing my review my pour from the 750 ml bottle was nearly gone. I busted out my 11.2 oz bottle to enjoy some more. Fantastic flavor and good aroma with such a well-balanced flavor and finish. I could put down a 750 ml of this myself no problem. Thanks Bnieman for recommending this time and time again and thanks Todd for bringing it over!

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

This is a style that is relatively new to me, and this particular brew was recommended by a friend.

Pours a rather deep mahogany color with a half inch head that slowly dissipates. Lacing is present but not spectacular.

Aroma was fruity and similar to a good quality cider vinegar.

Taste was a bit sweeter than I remember Rodenbacher Red to be. Definite fruits, sweet malt and cidery but with a very nice tang to balance the sweetness. Really nice flavor.

Mouthfeel was nice as well. The tanginess "got me here" but the moderate carbonation left a clean palate. It also managed to have a nice creaminess about it.

Overall, I really enjoyed this brew and will seek it out in the future. Perfect way to start off the evening prior to enjoying dinner.

Photo of Bierguy5
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle, 6% abv. Cork indicates expiration date to be 05/2011. Pours a slightly cloudy darker amber color, with some shades of ruby. A nice steady stream of bubbles supports a frothy off white head. Nice retention and lace.

Some sour fruit up front. Earthy and oaky. A bit of a funky note that blends in with the earthy notes.

A bit of sweetness up front. A very sharp tartness. Fruity flavors are restrained until the middle, where some juicy notes come through. Finishes with a bit of earthy hops and a drying oak character.

Lighter in body with a good amount of carbonation. So refreshing. Very little trace of alcohol. This is world class.

Photo of ZimZamZoom
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A beautiful deep ruby red color with a bubbly tan head that leaves ample lacing upon the glass as it fades. Nice looking beer as it sits in my Maudite tulip glass.

Just an awesome red wine and malt vinegar aroma, with subtle herb and spice notes. Not lost is the mildly sweet and slightly roasty malt backing. Folks this is one of those beers I could smell all day long. It's already been 10 minutes and I have not taken a sip yet.

The taste is pleasantly tart, Still a sweet presence in the back, but sour cherries and red wine vinaigrette take charge. Interesting and really a nice balance of sweet and sour. I like this Flanders Red.

Initially feels thin but the smooth maltiness is evident and it comes across as meaningful in the mouth. Drinkable...? I drank this one didn't I? Yes this goes beyond just a sipper and if I had one I'd consider following with another.

All around a great beer.

Photo of bminor7
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

little bottle from SAQ near Tremblant, QC, CA.

Nice brown color, with good lacing, although it did not look promising initially. Not much of a nose, but a huge sour and fruit taste on the tongue...very intriguing. MF is thin, but good enough for the style. Drinkability is good, as I find with these sours - they always go too fast. Nice example of the style, recommended.

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

Pours a wine-like garnet color with a medium sized white head, foamy around the edge. Aroma is like a vinegar dressing, not entirely sour, sort of like overripe fruit mixed with a merlot. The wine comparisons carry over to the taste, which starts out sweet like grapes before going sour, giving the beer a balance regarding those two characteristics. It's an odd sour, wine-like taste not present in other Belgian brew like classic lambics or gueuze. Easily the most wine-like beers I have ever had and one of the most unique.

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

05-06-2010

Got pretty excited when I saw this at the SAQ

A-Red, brown, copper, gold. All sorts of hues and colorsHead looks just like a cleaner version of krausen on top of a fermenter. Tons of messy but delicate lacing.

S- Open bottle smells just like balsamic vinegar. I've heard about these beers. Let see how I like them. The smell is less extreme once in the glass - It now smells like beer. Alcohol comes on strong. Mix a quad and some balsamic vinegar. I'm really intrigued now.

T- ''What the f...'' Were my first words. Felt sweet on the tip of my tongue and then pow. No idea what hit me. Right away I thought: I'm not ready for this but after a few sips I'm starting to like it. I dont know what to say and I feel I don't know enough about the style to really say much more. I will try to review it again in a year or so. Kind of tastes like an infected BSDA.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Not dry but astringent. Quite enjoyable. Pretty sticky.

D- Two bottles should be enough.

The more I drink it the better it gets but I'm still not ready. Worked very well with my Bleu Lescure.

07-19-2010

Finally bought this again and guess what? I like it a lot now. What used to taste like a crazy balsamic vinegar drink now tastes more like some sort of raspberry quad. I've bought two more and I think I'll keep going. My ratings stay the same though.

Photo of beersheppard
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Apperance: dark rub, mahogany, with tan head.

Smell: raspberry vinegar, brown sugar, musty

Taste: predominant flavor here is sour cherries, unripened grapes, and very sour with a long aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: is intense, with good tingle.

Drinkability: a good beer and good example of this type. But, it would be hard for me to have more than one of these.

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

pours a dark red brown with a tan 2 finger head from an 11.2 oz bottle..the smell is sweet and tart with berries and melon smells along with a sour patch vinegar smell..the taste is a sweet and very tart a dry berry taste followed with a sour patch vinegar shot for the palate ..this is a full bodied mouth feel ..its a sipper..and as it warms malts and a slight roast taste mixes with the tart fruit and sour vinegar taste ..this is well balanced and nothing overwhelms in this flanders..glad i bought the 11.2 oz bottle it was just enough.. i did like the label also

Photo of MbpBugeye
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml cork and caged. I must say this bottle and label are pretty good looking, especially amongst Belgian imports.

A- A very loud fizzy, cola like head rises up only as I pour. It fades as soon as the pour is done. The beer doesnt appear totally flat after that though. There are still the occasional little bubbles that hang out around the edges and some small wisps floating here and there. The color is a very deep and rich red. The beer is very clear, so back lighting makes this beer shine.

S- A touch weak on the nose for a sour but its very complex. Its acidic, lactic, fruity/berry like, cheesy, tart. There are notes of melon, berries, red wine, cheese curds, butter, salt, maybe some vinegar.

T- Lots more berries and melon and lactic sourness. Its very sweet as it hits the tongue with lots of blackberry, raspberry and cantaloupe. The middle is where the lactic sourness, whey and sour milk come in. The finish is like a sour, dry red wine.

M- Low carbonation, especially compared to all the other sours Ive had. The body is approaching full and is very slick until it comes to a dry finish. Sweet berries linger on the lips.

D- This is definitely a strange beer. I like it, but I think its going to become a bit cloying as it is quite sweet. I should have had someone help me with this bottle.

Photo of RuudJH
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

25 cl. bottle, with classical picture on the label.

Looks chestnutt brown, clear with decent carbonation. Modest head, modest lacing.

Nice smell of oak and wine. A bit of roasted coffee as well.

Taste is interesting indeed: slightly tart, with wine and fruits notes. Also roasted malts that develope into nutty and coffee, with modest hops and yeast.

Smooth and refreshing. Very drinkable too.
An interesting experience.

Photo of WOTO97
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really great beer. Poured into a NB goblet with some vigor. Great head retention with nice off-white lacing around the glass. The nose definitely gives off some decent tartness along with melon and grape notes common with the style; some faint wood in the background complemented by subtle coriander. The taste is really spectacular: great tartness throughout with a slight lingering acidic note on the immediate finish, soft fruit (grape, melon), great herbal character with very nominal medicinal quality on the mid-palate, wood noticeable but less so than on the nose. Clean mouthfeel with a bit of chewiness/stickiness on the immediate tasting. Some points off the drinkability for the simple fact this is a sipper; not likely to throw down a grip of these back-to-back.

Photo of WhatsNewinBooze
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one caught me by suprise. This beer (if you can even call it that) pours a clear reddish brown with a thin fizzy head that atually foams up after waiting a few minutes. The nose was loaded with red berries, citrus, sweet malts and yeast. The palate was loaded with red fruit and citrus flavors with some wonderful notes of bread, yeast and spice. Evryone should try this at least once.

Photo of BastardKing24
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a very nice sour beer that can introduce anyone willing to the style. Its subtle yet nice, I've had harsher flanders.
Slight vinegar and sweet smell and taste. Decent head and everlasting lacing. Sour component is full of berries, and it sweetens up the warmer it gets. Really nice this one, when you're done you want another one, low ABV and addicting flavor.

Cheers~

Photo of dqrull
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear red, deep poppy-red, crisp lightly pink coloured head that receeds and leaves no lacing, but a fine pink ring on the liquid.

Smells fresh and nice! Tart berries and green grapes, slightly unripe strawberries, without the bitter stringiness to it. Lightly funky, there's a light maltiness behind it all as well.

Taste is lightly acidic, with a oh so small, but refreshing hint of vinegar and citric acid, but at the same time it is pretty sweet. Lots of red berries, a b it riper than in the nose, but not fully ripe, still contributing with a light bittterness. Finishes with a funky white breadiness and a faint bitterness.

Slightly cloying in the mouth, but still manages to stay pretty fresh thanks to the acidity.

Photo of eat
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Flanders Red Ale...I have no idea what this is supposed to taste like, but it looks like this is a good one to start with. I can only review this as a beer in general since I have nothing to compare it to. Best before 10-09-11 and consumed 18-04-10; lots of time left.

Pours with a beige head which fades down to a nice blanket, sticking around with not much lacing. Great colour: dark ruby-copper, or when held up to the light, a reddish-amber. The beer is transparent against light but the dark colour makes it appear to be opaque.

Pretty big complex smell. I've definitely never encountered a profile like this before. Oddly enough, the only thing I can compare it to is some six-year old La Terrible I just tried a couple days ago, but it's even quite different from that. Pumpernickel, red wine vinegar, yeast, a hint of something chocolaty, walnuts, prunes, alcohol. Slightly funky even. I'm into it but it's very different. My girlfriend claims it smells like "horse pee-pee" but I wouldn't know, not having smelled horse's urine before.

Wow. I have no idea what to make of this, it's barely reminiscent of beer at all compared to styles I've tried. That said though, it's pretty delicious. It tastes like some kind of complex, fruity cocktail but with a beer mouthfeel. Tons of different flavours combine to produce quite a pleasant brew: prune juice, grape must, red wine vinegar, apple cider, sour raspberry, light chocolate, wheat. Very complex and interesting. I wouldn't necessarily have expected this, but my girlfriend says it's the best beer she's ever tasted, even going so far as to want to buy some more for herself. This is saying a lot as she pretty much doesn't drink, period. I can kind of see why actually; it's really fruity and doesn't taste at all like your standard beer. It's kind of like the girly cocktail version of beer (in a good way). There are similarities to lambic, but I find the Duchesse to be much more complex than the Cantillon Gueuze I tried recently. Pretty sweet but balanced with a drying bitterness on the finish that seems to come out of nowhere. Aftertaste of wine grapes. I'm almost wanting to give this a 4.5 but really still don't know what to make of it.

The feel is pretty good. Light-medium mouthfeel and a light but effervescent carbonation. I can't figure out what's causing it, but it leaves your tongue with a dry, tingling feeling. The dryness even extends down the throat.

I'm really enjoying this beer but it's hitting me a little like a lambic: a bit too sour to session. I feel like two of these might leave my stomach feeling like I just ate a few too many Cherry Blasters. I am enjoying this more than the Cantillon, however. I would definitely drink this again though and would be very interested to try other beers in the style.

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

As a BA you hope and need to try every style out there, just to be well-rounded, so I attempted to enter the realm of sours, and failed when I started with a Supplication, just didn't get it. So thanks to Ed at Ledgers Liqours in Berkeley, he informed me that this would be where to begin. Now I know this isn't and American Wild Ale/ Sour, but i'll work up to that. This poured a deep amber, small head. Smell was sweet vinegar. Taste started pretty sour, but ended with a sweet vinegar taste. This is quite drinkable once you get going on it. Very good.

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

A - Deep orange mahogany color and when held up to the light it is a dark reddish orange copper. Large bubbly and foamy off-white head with good retention and a lot of thick lacing left.

S - Slightly acidic and sour and also a bit of a sweet smell. Fair amount of wine and vinegar as well as some woody, oaky, and nutty aroma.

T - Some rich malt with cherry and grape tart sour flavors. Also a good amount of balsamic and red wine vinegar taste. The tart/sour/acidic flavors are prominent but for the style, they are slightly subdued and a significant amount of sweetness is present. Some berry flavors (particularly raspberry) and some dark fruit are also present. There is a touch of citrus (lemon) acidity as well. Mid sip to finish there is a somewhat strong woody, oaky flavor that gives it a bit of an earthy taste.

M - Medium body with moderate carbonation. Slightly creamy with a drying finish.

D - Nice and easy to drink sour beer. There is the sour, acidic taste but it is not that strong and actually has a fair amount of sweetness to it. This makes drinking a couple a bit easier and fortunately the sweetness isn't too strong to be cloying. Not too strong but provided enough flavor to be interesting.

Notes: Not a bad sour beer. It is a touch sweet for an acidic beer, but it isn't anything like say a Lindeman's fruit beer. Not the boldest or strongest sour out there, but it was a nice beer to drink. Worth a try and would probably be a good gateway to sours. Pretty well balanced and enjoyable to drink.

Photo of metter98
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured very dark red into a snifter glass with a white head that died down quickly. Judging from the bubbles, the level of carbonation appears to be light to moderate.
S: There's a distinct aroma of sour fruit with subtle notes of sweetness.
T: Like the smell, there's sourness in the taste but there's also an equal amount of fruity sweetness; the mix between sweet and sour flavors is rather refreshing on the palate.
M: The beer feels medium-bodied and smooth on the palate.
D: The sweetness balancing some of the sourness makes this very drinkable and refreshing.

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,412 ratings.