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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

3,405 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,405
Reviews: 1,371
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 160
Gots: 407 | 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: 3,405 | Reviews: 1,371 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Halcyondays
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz. bottle, best by 9/2/11,

A: Pours a copper burgundy with a pillowy off-white head, lots of lace.

S: Attic dust and must, balsamic vinegar, and a hint of raspberry.

T: Sweet upfront, the fruit changes from raspberry in the nose to Bing cherry on the tongue. Sweet cherries, not sour cherries. Rather mild acetic acid is here. Definite oak character - there are hints of vanilla. There's a note of sweet caramel malt that's aching to get in the mix too.

M: Sweet to start out with, tart and sour on the finish. Complex. Not over-carbonated, which I was concerned about with the big head, but the carbonation is rather light here - the background acidity carries the body of the ale.

D: Again, I can see why these types of beers are known as the Burgundies of Belgium. Not only the colour, but they are delicious, complex; they have some wildness to them but are still completely distinct from the lambic beer family. I'd love to pair this with a venison steak and cherry reduction sauce, I think that would be amazing. The nice thing about this beer is it is very easy to find and not overpriced in the current price range of Belgian beers. It's making me wonder why it took me so long to revisit it.

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours reddish brown with an uneven beige/tan head with some retention. Some good lacing, fair clarity. A different look than you usually get from a brew, so this appearance bumped a bit higher.

Light tart fruit aromas and some wet wood. Not as strong as I would have liked.

Flavor comes in waves. Tart fruit, cherry primarily (intermingled with some light sweetness), then some mustiness, but not in a bad way. Maybe wood and yeast. As the tartness clears, you get light toasted malt that leads to a mild pleasant bitterness. In the end, it finishes clean. I wish the malt element was more prevalent, but the remaining complexity of this one far outshines any minor flaws.

Good carbonation keeps this lighter on the palate. Still enough body to swish around though. It works.

The first 2/3 of the glass went down easier than the last 1/3. I liked this beer alot, but I'm glad I found a small bottle and didn't have to commit to a bomber.

Photo of olympuszymurgus
2.03/5  rDev -51.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

A small bottle, slender with smooth curves like the Duchesse herself. She stares at that little bird while I stare at the nice reddish brown, the color of caramel and desert sunsets. I smell it, the aromas wafting off the headless beer, cherries, caramel, brown sugar, lemons, and a hint of wood. It moves to my mouth, the anticipation causes my foot to tremble.

What in the name of all things holy is this. It tastes like artificial sweetener, preservatives, fake fruit flavoring, and minimal tartness. Is this beer or cheap red soda? I am saddened. I have to go back to the cellar and find something drinkable, something joyfull. I wish I had another supplication left, that might get this thing out of my memory.

Morals are all that keep this thing, this bottled sadness from hitting my drain. I wished for the stars, and hit dirt.

One last thought: this abomination ruined half of a bottle of delirium nocturnum, the beer we chose to wash out this foul flavor.

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

Poured from a bottle into a flute

A - Dark red with no head, lots of lacing on the side of the glass as this one disappears

S - reminds me of red wine vinegar with a hint of cherry

T - tart cherry flavor is very balanced with the sweetness, mild oak flavor. Certainly not unpleasant but I was expecting more tartness from this.

M - Medium body with an average amount of carbonation

D - Easy to drink but not all that memorable. While the flavor isn't bad it just isn't all that exciting. I was hoping for more sour notes than this. I would drink this one again sometime but don't plan on seeking it out.

Photo of Shadman
3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark ruby red brown, fizzy head. No real retention or lacing to speak of.

Whoa! Interesting smell. Mix between old wood and a weak balsamic vinegar.

Tartness, like a sharp cidar apple. Malt vinegar sourness. Smooths out a bit after that into a spicy marinated fruitiness...and yes the marinade includes some vinegar.

Lighter body coupled with some active carbonation help counter the tartness.

Reviewed this according to the style discription. Lot's of stuff happening here flavour-wise. A sipper, not a session beer and really not one of my favourite beer style. An aquired taste IMO.

Photo of juju7
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow, a pretty special beer. Cherry, sherry, sweet vermouth kind of nose which was a bit of a surprise but pleasant all the same. Follows through with the sweet vermouth kind of flavours on the palate; low carbonation gives it quite a wine like feel. A beautifully complex beer worth trying and worth coming back to. This kind of beer just can`t be easily copied. Nor should anyone try to.

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

One of my favorite beers, finally sitting down to give this one a review.
Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into my Belgian goblet. Pours a dark red, crystal clear with a good amount of head, leaving lacing down the glass as it disipates. The smell is sweet, tangy and oh-so inviting. I once heard someone describe the aroma as fermented ketchup and bowling alley shoes, but it's pretty damn wonderful if you ask me. The taste is equally amazing. A bit of sweet malt paired with a delicious tang that I've come to crave over time. Despite it's sour elements, the beer finishes pretty clean, although there's certainly a bit of the liveliness that lingers behind. Honestly, I could drink this stuff all day. I know it's not everyone's cup of tea (or beer rather) but the duchess will always have a space reserved in my beer fridge. Definitely worth trying at least once, it might even change the world of beer for you forever.

Photo of ne0m00re
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured the 33 cL glass into an oversized red wine glass to capture the aroma. Best by date: March 18, 2011.
A: Mahogany with ruby hues and a clear body. Poured with a thick tan film, which died to a good lace.
S: Tart raisin, cranberry granny smith apples with earthy, musty notes.
T: Very sweet and tart cranberry/cherry sparkling grape juice. It is extremely fruity with toffee, walnut and pecan flavors.
M: Very syrupy with a soda-like carbonation.
D: This is too sweet to have many in a row, but it is quite mild and refreshing like sparkling juice.

Photo of Axic10
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml into a Leffe chalice.

Appearance: Pours a dark ruby red with no head whatsoever. Almost looks like a port wine.

Smell: Vinegar, sour cherry juice, tart apple and caramel malt.

Taste: Tart cherries and apple, slight hints of vinegar, sugar and oak are also there.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with little to no carbonation.

Drinkability: A real bargain for the $8.49 I paid for the 750ml bottle. Will be drinking it reguarly.

Photo of CPeterson
4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A -- A brilliant amber / red concoction that bubbled to a nice head and settled well, leaving good streaks of lacing.

S -- Strongly tart yet somewhat sweet in the nose. Light acid, smells vaguely of watermelon pickles I had growing up. Faint oak aroma as well.

T -- Flavor overload. Complex tart and slightly sweet like dipping rhubarb in sugar and then eating it with pickled beets. But the acidity is not overpowering, really well balanced by the wood, ending with a sweet pucker.

M -- Well carbonated, smooth yet robust in presence. A light tart pucker to follow and a faint lingering stickiness.

D -- Again and again and some more. Please. This is the beer that introduced me to the style, and not many can even come close. Worth anyone's money for the experience alone.

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

On tap in the appropriate glassware at the (soon to be if it isn't already) legendary Sergio's World Beers in Louisville, KY. Go. Now.

Reddish-brownish-purple with a dense white foam on top. Near perfect lacing with decent retention.

Tart and sour flavors dominate the nose. Well fruited, mostly cassis (currant) and raspberry combined with tart rhubarb like acidity. Some malt comes through, but the slight buttery is far more interesting.

Grape bubblegum and tart raspberry are in the front with some of the oaky, woody characteristics filling out the beer. It's very delicate, but really clean. Well balanced and very enjoyable.

Light, not too viscous. Enough carbonation to accentuate the tart without overpowering the sour.

Easy to drink - if you like the style, which I do. It's really fun and deep.

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

Poured from 330mL bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: deep, clear red-brown woody color with two fingers of pillowy ivory foam. Layers of chunky lace are left as I drink the glass down. I like it a lot.

Smell: sweet caramel malt, oak and a nice dry sourness. Under that I get some faint but nice raisin and plum aromas. Nicely complex and highly alluring.

Taste: flavor profile is similar to the aroma with a bit dose of caramel malt, followed by a nice woody tartness. Complexity is very nice and the tartness is just enough to warrant taking another sip. This is one delicious beer.

Mouthfeel: medium body and enough carbonation to yield a sweet, smooth creaminess. Perhaps this should fall under flavor, but it seems like the acidity results in a little astringency which helps wash the palate clean and gets you ready for the next bout of creaminess. Fantastico.

Drinkability: this is a freakin' delicious beer. I am sad I have never had this up until now. I would drink this daily if I had the money.

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

A nose that directly think of red grapes and more particularly to wine (particularly in 75cl bottles where it is much more emphasized) but also harmonious tannins, probably due to a shift in casks. It also collects other flavors of red fruits, including cherries how. The palate is sweet tasting at first but it soon becomes sour. The finish leaves an impression of Red Flanders but more complex than his sisters and that's what makes it so valuable. Bubbly, light and far from being disgusting, it can boast of offering both unique flavors and easy to drink.

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

Paid $4.99 for a 11.2oz bottle. Poured into a snifter to review. I've had this many times and enjoy quite a bit. Best before date is 02-01-10. Just a bit late to taste.

Half inch off white head that is consistent of medium sized carbonation bubbles. Dark reddish orange and transparent when held to a light. A very thin layer of white retention. Some dots of lacing.

Aroma is quite a bit vinegar with some sour fruit.

Taste is similar to the nose with vinegar dominating and some sour notes as well.

Medium body and noticeable carbonation. Somewhat dry with a medium length finish of mild vinegar.

When I drill down the review, this doesn't seem too great, but this is a go to beer for me nonetheless. Regardless of this being a bit late to taste, I did not notice any differences to that which I am used to with a fresh bottle.

Photo of JSMarsolais
4.83/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This review is based on a " drank in a Miller's glass " serving type.

Even If I first tried this wonderfull beer in a Belgian restaurant close to my house, which served it in the proper glass, I have to admit that the experience was not altered in any way.

When pourred, it has a small white-beige head, a strong red color and a little bit of fuzziness. I got a nose of sweet Balsamic Vinegar. In mouth,the acidity was surpisingly not aggresive, and let the place to a perfectly balanced taste between acidity and sweetness. I also got some sweet sour cherries as an aftertaste.

Of course, the whole experience was a lot better in the first place (the restaurant), but I have to admit that this is my favorite beer. And for 3,55$ the bottle, it is more than respectable for the great time you will have drinking this delicious nectar.

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

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a deep reddish brown, with a nice brown head of foam. The beer is fairly haze free.

S- There is plenty of over ripe fruit and a hint of yeasty
breadiness.

T- Nice and tart at first with some fruity sourness, but finishes with some malty sweetness, the yeast adds tp the malt nicely. There is a hint of ripe figs or raisins.

M- Plenty of very small bubbles without being gassy, coats he tongue nicely.

D- Perhaps a little sweeter than I would hpe for the style, but a nice beer all the same.

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

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Orange to deep amber/near ruby clear body under a fluffy off-white head that initially rises three fingers, and then recedes to a solid finger of head that laces and lasts.

S: Tart granny smith apples, vinegar, salt, sour cherries, aspen wood, and oak.

T: A dashing mixture of tart and sweet cascades through the mouth literally the moment this beer hits the tongue. It is difficult to dissect what exactly is happening in the first few seconds. Significant soft sweetness is present for the first half of the taste, but the incredible blend of sour, tart, and dry keeps everything in balance. Judging from the nose I was expecting a stronger tannins presence, what is here is good however. Near the end everything starts to dry out as some familiar rich malts rise to pair with the "old" wood and toasty aftertaste that lasts and lasts. I can still taste this 5 minutes after a sip (mostly sour cherries).

M: Somehow this beer manages to yield medium sized bubbles and enough carbonation to bite, but still be soft and smooth from the second it hits the tongue to the last swallow.

D: Good drinkability for this style, but note that this is not a hugely drinkable style. I am tempted to slurp down most oatmeal stouts, this however is a sipper (not because of high ABV) and not something to chug.

Overall: Easily one of my favorite beers and at $5.00 a fairly good value for something bottle conditioned and imported. There is so much going on in this beer- take your time and let it warm up (don't drink this any cooler than 50 degrees!). I would recommend pairing it with some homemade blackberry jam on whole grain toast, maybe some sharp cheddar on the side.

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

Duchesse De Bourgogne 6.0% as stated on the 11.2oz bottle. Poured into Lindeman's flute glass.

A- Pours a carmel colored fluid that then boast a huge carbonated off-white head that stays around for the whole beer. Lacing is sticky and retains heavily in layers on the rim of the glass.

S- Scents are tarted sour cherries with light apple peel. Sweet burnt carmel malt lingers in the back of the nose.

T-M- Taste is impressive and unique. First is a dark tartness of plums, cherries and dates. Second there is a malty carmel brown suger flavor that blends itself together causing a strange sweet tart tangyness on the tongue. Thick malty film is left on the taste buds that offer a creamy mouthfeel allowing a nice drinkable Flanders style red ale.

D- Not my personal favorite but a beer i'll go back to for a different look on how tart can be mixed with malty sweetness.

Photo of NightINgale
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle poured into my Leffe goblet glass...

A - Deep ruby body, with a fair amount of bubbles and a nice foamy beige head. Good head retention and some nice lacing on the glass.

S - Cherries, with some tartness, as well as a solid caramel malt backbone. A hint of grape, some funky yeast, and a little bit of floral hops.

T - Tart cherries and raspberries, a nice solid sweet caramel backbone, and a little hint of spices. The aftertaste has got some more of that tart fruit taste, which lingers on. This beer has a lot in common with a fine dessert wine.

M - Medium body to it, the carbonation is quite low. The alcohol is very well-disguised, you won't really taste any booziness. The downside for me was the pretty prominent acidity in the beer, which made it a bit challenging to swallow it. After the actual swallow, the sensation in the mouth was very pleasant, though!

D - Not very high, but it is still an an enjoyable beer. One should enjoy this in moderation (not because of the alcohol content, rather, because of the acidity). I've got to mention this was my first sour beer ever, so my palate was totally unexperienced. I was still able to enjoy the beer quite a bit!

Photo of runningjoke
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured into tulip glass.

Reddish brown with thin head and head retention,

Smells of sour cherry, balsamic vinegar, yeast, touch of malty breadiness.

Tastes of balsamic vinegar, cherry and altbier.
Alcohol is totally covered by these strong flavors. No bitterness just tartness in its place. Really almost like a desert wine.

Feels thick and slick, but not unpleasent.

I would not be able to handle too many of these.

This would be really good with vanilla ice cream or a plain cheesecake. A killer reduction sauce could be made out of this stuff.

Photo of jeranbrews
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased 12-'09. Consumed 2-'10 in a pint glass.

A - One finger of cloudy, speckled, yeasty beige head. The beer is a clear amber with tones of crimson. Nice mud slides of lacing down the side.

S - Hints of strawberry, sherry, and oak. The dominate smell is cherry but bread and yeast can be found too if you dig far enough.

T - This is an interesting mixture. Instead of the cherry flavors with beer as an afterthought this is more of a beer with cherry tones. There are hoppy caramel flavors that ride breast to breast with the cherry. The aftertaste is an acidic sour experience.

M - Positive emotions. Frothy mouth coating with medium body but without the syrupy feel of some lambics.

D - A great sweet desert beer. Complex and interesting. Sweet but unmistakably beer.

Photo of Mistofminn
2.8/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Found this bottle in a 6 pack Belgian sampler in my parents fridge. Its strange enough that beer is found in my dads fridge, let alone this type of beer. He says it's from a patient.

25 cl bottle with 02-09-11 stamped on back.

Pours a nice burgundy red color into a pint glass. A solid one finger white cap sits atop the beer, with excellent retention but only leaves a little bit of lacing behind.

The nose is sour and acidic, very vinegar like. I get a little bit of sour cherries in the finish and only the slightest sweetness.

The taste is shocking. Forget sour, this thing is sweeet, cloyingly so. Still slightly acidic up front, but that soon gives way to the syrupy sweetness that is Duchesse. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a full spoonful of sugar in every ounce of this. Maybe I got a bad bottle or something, but this is incredibly and unflatteringly sweet.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly light. For something so sweet and described above as "syrupy" you would think it would be thicker but it isn't. Starts acidic and sharp but finishes smooth.

Drinkability definitely takes a hit because of the cloying sweetness. There isn't a way around it.

Overall, kind of disappointed with this one. I have a feeling that this might be a bad bottle, but if all others are like this, this definitely is not a good representation of the style.

Photo of TommyW
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- A beautiful brownish, red/orange body with a thin, white head.

S- Granny-smith apple, grapes (champagne-like) and a note of cider vinegar.

T- Quick malty taste followed by a nice balance of fruity sweetness and tartness. Macintosh apple peal on the finish.

M- Aggressive carbonation, especially toward the finish, over a medium body; crisp finish.

D- An interesting a refreshing beer unique from just about all other beers; almost champagne-like in nature and feel but with a nice tartness.

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

A- big expansive beige head, loud and active, very stable and sturdy, with large vacuoles forming beneath it's surface from escaping co2. Foam becomes wrinkly and shriveled as it settles and leaves behind some thick drippy lace. All this is going on over top a shiny mostly clear burgundy body with fiery orange and red highlights. Foam never falls shorter than a thick disk.

S- sweet, tart, and oaky. The spicy sweetness carries far from the glass while the lactic fruity tartness stays close to home, Sour cherries mostly. Huge vanilla notes with some clove and balsamic vinegar. A good swirl brings out some milk chocolate and funky yeast.

T- sweet n sour, very complex, and not too brash or puckering. Vanilla oak and some chocolate flavored malt complement the brews tartness perfectly. A variety of tropical fruits could be named here, but the main point here is bing cherries and wild blackberries. A little bit of toasty grain, some vinous hop flavor but no detectable bitterness, and some sweetened nuts play harmoniously in the background. Finishes somewhat dry with a little spice and acidity. Vanilla and lactic acid continue to play off one another through the solid long aftertaste.

MF- soft full and creamy, not really full bodied but definitely plush. Carbonation is about mid level but delicate and unobtrusive. There's also the feeling of some tannins but overall that's the only similarity to wine I'm finding.

D- the flavor of oak in this brew is remarkable. Being only the 2nd Flanders red I've tried, my respect for this style has increased exponentially. Such a perfect balance between sweet And sour is rarely seen in the culinary world Apart from some kick ass Chinese buffet. Not a session ale but definitely a winner that should come to me in bigger bottles.

Photo of fastsrt
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 ounce bottle in to chalice
A: reddish brown soapy head that laces the glass.
S: sour, oak, fruit, grapes,
T: fruity,tart, sour and sweet, oak, reminds me of a wild ale
M: light, and sweet, smooth, has a lingering tart finish that is dry.
D: randomly picked this one and it is delicious, drinkable, awesome beer. will buy this one again.

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,405 ratings.