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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

3,253 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,253
Reviews: 1,362
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 151
Gots: 352 | 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: 3,253 | Reviews: 1,362 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bcaulin
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Recently had on tap at the Ginger Man. Served in a 12 oz. snifter. Deep reddish brown in color. Very little head on the pour, and little lacing.

Not as strong a nose as I had expected -- Was expecting more fruit, but smelled mostly just sour and not particularly strong. The taste more than made up for that. Big slap of sour on the tongue right from the first sip.

Incredibly easy to drink considering how sour it is. Loads of fruit flavor and that great sour bite. Highly recommend.

Bcaulin, Apr 17, 2009
Photo of sonicdescent
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased this as Vintage Estate in Boardman, OH. Couldn't wait to try this as I had been bred to expect the sour to eat my face off. While it wasn't really that sour, it was still damn solid.

Appears a very dark red with that great belgian head and lace.

Smells like nail polish at first! After you keep trying, you can get some sour apples though.

Taste isn't nearly as sour as the nose would have you believe, though you still get hints of something I can only describe as nail polish remover. The strange thing is, it works. Light sour ints of grape and apple.

Mouth is medium with relatively high carbonation.

This is a good beer and I look forward to trying it again, though I can't see where all the sour hype comes from! This is nothing to a Cantillion Kriek.

sonicdescent, Apr 14, 2009
Photo of Honza
4.88/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Great beer, sour sweet balance. Enjoyable for a long drink. Best in Vichte where it comes from. Verhaeghe brewery is very lovely little building, family business...just great! I was lucky enough to visit it several times. I liked their other beers too, but this is one is exceptional. i saw more beers from wooden casks lately in the US, but this is a bit different...

Honza, Apr 14, 2009
Photo of photomike
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a beautiful beer. Pours a deep, deep clear red with a 2 finger khaki head. Retention that sticks around like my annoying neighbor Joe. Guy never leaves! Thick, long lasting lacing like I've never seen.

Smell is of vinegary, sour apples, slightly vinuous, like a dry Riesling.

The taste is incredible. The vinegary apples are definitely there and prominent, but this is a complex beer. On the forefront is very noticeable funk--I have actually heard people use the words "sweaty socks" to describe this taste, and I'm surprisingly comfortable with that given my distaste for using really unappetizing terms to describe a beer's flavor. The funk fits, and doesn't stick around too long. Immediately following the wave of funk, your palate is hit with some sourness that quickly turns into a really pleasant smooth sweetness, and then a nice sour finish. Man I am loving this.

Smooth and creamy, and perfectly carbonated, I am actually getting a bit of chewiness. Not as clean as I expected it to be, but that is not a bad thing.

I could drink a lot of this, but it is definitely one to be savored. I will be disappointed to see the bottom of this glass. If only it would stick around as long as Joe. Get out you damn fool!!!

photomike, Apr 14, 2009
Photo of morimech
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish brown with a large tan head that had good retention. Moderate amount of sticky lacing is left on the glass. The aroma consists of a mild funkiness complimented by red wine and vinegar. The taste is just mildly tart. Some fruity sweetness also comes through. Some mild barnyard notes in the dry finish. Perfect mouthfeel. Soft texture that coats the mouth. Light body with mild carbonation. If someone is looking for an extra tart and funky beer, this is not the beer for you.

morimech, Apr 12, 2009
Photo of wl0307
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Revisiting this vaguely-defined Flanders ale as part of my 7-bottle tasting panel of Flemish Red/Brown ales. BB 13/12/09, served lightly-chilled in Gulden Draak's tulip-shaped bowl sniffer.

A: dark russet brown colour with good clarity, coming with fine yet constant streams of carbonation in support of a thick, dark-beige frothy head that retreats reluctantly and leaves tight lacing behind.
S: marvellously fruity, lactic-sour, and sweet-malty... creamy yet salty-sour berry fruits are not "floating", but rather thick and oily, suggesting licorice-marinated prunes, strawberry/raspberry jam, fat smoked longan-fruits, and a dancing touch of diacetyl in the background, while the dark malts give out a strong aroma of crystallised sugar... A closer sniff reveals the underlying oak-ageing aroma, that is mildly vanilla-ish sweet yet inextricably linked to the vinegary character typical of this style. Still, having tried Rodenbach Grand Cru, this ale smells rather like a milder Oud Bruin to me.
T: the foretaste is just lightly lactic-sour cherry-fruity, backed by a thick body of mild brown-sugary malts, semi-sweet longan-fruits and utterly delicious prunes... as the vinegary sour-fruity edge softens, very quietly the main theme gives way to lightly flavoured, sweet-tea-ish herbal touch of hops and lightly aromatic notes of oak-ageing (not unlike an Oloroso Sherry actually), leaving a mildly woody/tangy palate to go with more aromatic undertones of Chinese prunes in the long finish. Simply delicious...
M&D: like my last bottle, the body is medium-plus and the texture is impeccably creamy-smooth, but the overall sweet elements apparently are much softer and the flavour structure is quite "evolving", hence a more enjoyable balance. Still, it's very hard to determine where a Flemish Red stops and Oud Bruin starts, as the characters shown in this nice ale border both, smartly.

* Tasting Date: 23/07/06
This is the first time to revisit this beer since my first encounter three years ago in Brussels. I still remember that it gave me a much sweeter impression than Rodenbach's range and other counterparts, thus I was not that keen to try it again. But my memory could be hazy, I told myself in the shop, and it deserves a "recorded" opinion as such~~ BB 11/07/07, served lightly-chilled in a large Burgundy bulb wine glass.
4 A: reddish-brown in colour the beige-hued frothy head settles fast to a rimmed foam and leaves uneven lacing along the way; medium-lively carbonation. Looking settled and promising.
4.5 S: slightly rusty upfront, followed by a much milder edge of red wine vinegar, creamy raspberry+strawberry-flavoured yogurt, lightly-caramelised sugar, and a fantastic note of smoked prunes and quite akin to a silky and prune-ish Rioja!! As I remember it right, the fruity smell does have a sweeter edge to the overall sour aroma, but in a sense a softer and creamy balance is obtained b/w wood-ageing factor and profound maltiness, neither so... exciting nor harsh as Rodenbach Grand Cru... Instead it's deeply aromatic, fruity, yet approachable.
3.5 T: an assertive flow of brown sugar like sweetness and sour-sweet berry- and stone-fruits smoothly caress the tongue, but in two different layers rather than being mixed seamlessly... the mid-flavour shows more sweet and creamy malts, which is not heavy but slightly too sugary, whereas the soft fruitiness and wood-ageing's sourness prevail in time to result in a slightly dryish, tangy and tartly-sweet aftertaste, thus an overall pleasant and evolving structure is secured all right. Short and clean finish.
4 M&3.5 D: can't complain at all about the texture--creamy and softly carbonated on the mouthfeel, and the body is quite solid yet pretty refreshingly-light vis-a-vis the flavour. Somehow the sweet edge of this beer is still what fails to convince me, just like my first encounter three years ago: the sweet, sugary edge running in parallel to, rather than hand in hand with, the sour-fruitiness poses the largest difficulty b/w me and this otherwise fantastic beer. Guess I'd only be converted to this ale either when my palate changes, or the brewer budges.

wl0307, Apr 10, 2009
Photo of bunnyhustle
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've been in a beer funk but this may have pulled me out of it. Pours very dark but upon examination turns out to be a dark ruby color with thick, creamy, off-white head. Amazing retention and good lacing. Very nice looking beer. Smell is tart with some sour green apple, vineager, and some yeast as well. Taste has a complex bunch of flavors but the ones that stuck out most to me was a sweet grape. Some apple and pear as well. A sharp tartness to it that is very well balance by a nice sweetness. Very complex beer. Mouthfeel was medium and its very smooth going down as it leaves you a nice aftertaste. Overall a great beer and the lower ABV makes it very drinkable.

bunnyhustle, Apr 09, 2009
Photo of ricke
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving date: 2009-03-22. Served in wine glass.

A: Dark ruby color with dark brown hues. Slightly beige and uneven but thick head that dissipates slowly and leaves a decent amount of lacings.

S: Rather reminiscent of red wine. Plenty of vinous fruit aromas (ripe cherries, apples). Rum-soaked raisins, notes of oak barrel, yeast and gentle malt aromas.

T: A rather unique and very pleasant taste with plenty of wine-like flavors. Ripe cherries, grapes, over-ripe apples, earth. Yeast, gentle spiciness and hints of candy, butterscotch and chocolate. A tart note in the middle. Passion fruit. Faint vinegar. Oak barrel. Plenty of action going on here and the flavors blends beautifully. Very complex and well balanced. The malts are restrained from start to finish. Basically no bitterness in the finish. However, there are plenty of black currants, rum-soaked raisins and some spicy alcohol.

M: Full body, very creamy. Upon swallowing, it changes and gets drier towards the finish. Lively carbonation.

D: A fantastic beer with great vinous aromas and flavors. Very complex and well balanced.

ricke, Apr 05, 2009
Photo of Murchmac
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Didn't know what to expect with this one. But i'll compare it to Scarlett Johansson since she was in the Girl with a Pearl Earring.

Poured a foamy white one finger head, Reddish brown. Probaly like Birdy's hair would have been in The man who wasn't there if it was in color.

Smells funky, red wine, vinegary, Like how Steve Buscemi's Apartment must have smelled in Ghost World.

I actually like the taste of this it alternates between supersweet and tart sour taste, very complex, keeps you guessing, Kind of like the Island, not a great movie, but she's hot in it.

Alternating tart and sweet finish, good enough body, leaves me feeling uneasy, but I want more, like Match Point or Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Did I mention Scarlett Johansson's hot?

Murchmac, Apr 04, 2009
Photo of 01121987
5/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

i am no expert on this style of beer, but i would have to say that it kicks some serious ass!
i tried this beer a couple of years ago and was disgusted by it, now i dont know how i ever could have thought that. this is my favorite sour beer. im surprised the bros didnt rate it as world class.
awsome beer!
not for the faint hearted!

01121987, Apr 04, 2009
Photo of phirleh
4.88/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the first of this style that I've really tried, I bought it in January in Quebec. Poured an amber red colour, and the head was minimal but very long lasting. The first taste was very sour and almost wine like, further drinking revealed a much more complex flavour profile, sweet and sour, almost like grape juice with hints of green apple and cherry. The carbonation is slightly prickly, very Belgian. Very drinkable and well deserved of its high rating. I have another bottle in my basement. Always buy 2 to avoid disappointment!

phirleh, Mar 30, 2009
Photo of tigg924
4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: dark red/brown, medium head, medium carbonation, clear

Smell: sour figs, pears, and cherries

Taste: The big taste I get here is cherry sour patch kids, plus maybe a bit of berry

Mouthfeel: sour, tart, clean, and there is a sweetness to it as well

Drinkability: I think this would be an excellent starter sour. The taste is amazing and I could drink several as the alcohol is hidden.

tigg924, Mar 29, 2009
Photo of bluejacket74
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml caged and corked bottle, cork states expiration date of 12/09. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a reddish/brown color with about a half inch off-white head. Head retention is average, lacing is good. It smells like tart cherries, apples and vinegar. The taste is similar to the aroma, it tastes like slightly tart cherries, apples, plums and a bit of funk and vinegar. The taste isn't quite as sour as I expected it to be, but I think it's pretty good. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's creamy and slick and well carbonated. Drinkability is pretty good, it's smooth, refreshing and very enjoyable and easy to drink. I'd buy this again in the future, I think this is a pretty good brew. Recommended.

bluejacket74, Mar 28, 2009
Photo of drink1121
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A- Great head with lacyness. (my own word) Nice dark amber color. Looks great in a chalice.

S- Sour to the nose.

T- Sour vinegar, Bourbon - like.

M- Very smooth with creamy note.

D - Could only have one of these. A very good brew, just not my preference. I can appreciate the quality.

drink1121, Mar 25, 2009
Photo of jujubeast6000
3.15/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed 10/10/2008 (bottle Exp Date 12/09):

Pours a brown-reddish colored body, with a tannish head, small, and lastingish. Has a sour dark fruit aroma, alcoholy. Fruity sweet taste. Very fizzy. Not as sour as it smells. Light fruity, appley. A little flat. Light taste. Might be better w/food.

jujubeast6000, Mar 25, 2009
Photo of Andrewtherooster
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is the first beer I've had of this style, and boy, it's a good one.

A- Pours a great ruby red with a goldish rim around the edge. The lacing is beautiful, sticking to the sides of the glass and leaving a smeared haze.

S- Smells right away of tart dark cherries with a warm toastiness in the background. It smells to a degree like Welch's gone bad in the best way.

T- Wow, this smacks of the sour, tart flavor I was looking for. Each step in the sip is like a wave of sourness washing over, finishing off with a slight alcohol burn. It tastes like a variety of berries--blackberries, cherries, raspberries, and such--all soured, slightly lactic. It's all definitely enough to make your face contort.

M- The carbonation that kicks in halfway adds a nice punch to the sourness, and thickness of it is slightly surprising.

Overall, this is beer is a great and unique experience, though I haven't even finished this one and I'm looking at my snifter like I don't know if I can take any more. It's tasty, but I don't think it's something you'd want to drink more than one 11.2 oz. bottle of in a night.

Andrewtherooster, Mar 23, 2009
Photo of cvaypai
3.33/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle to goblet.

Appearance - Amber with beautiful red tone. Little to no head, less than 1/4 inch, dissipated quickly, no lacing.

Smell - Sour like old apples and cherries. Apple is the most powerful for me, like apple juice almost.

Taste - This seems more to me like wine, strong tastes of cherries, and yeast taste. As I drink more it becomes more apparent it is a belgian. Definitely can tell those strains. Not bad, but not really up my alley.

Mouthfeel - Tangy and carbonated, it feels like a wine in the mouth.

Drinkability - Just one of these babies. Maybe I need to let this style grow on me.

Hopefully this was just this bottle.

I think I need to try a few others of this style, definitely something I think needs to grow on me.

cvaypai, Mar 13, 2009
Photo of Reiksguard
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 11.2 oz bottle into glassware.

A deep red/brown in color with a pillowy white head. Great vinegar'y smell typical of flanders. Has a great fruity sweetness coupled with a sour and bitter taste characteristic of its style. There is a little extra bitterness/funkiness on the backend of the taste, which dropped my rating a little.

If it wasn't for the cost of these little bottles, I would certainly be drinking more.

Reiksguard, Mar 12, 2009
Photo of ironarrow42
4.9/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pure joy finding this on tap! It was served in the appropriate stemware and appeared deep red with slight cloudiness and a dense off-white head. The aroma was tart, fruity, and quite appetizing, with a hint of balsamic vinegar.

Very fine carboination tingle on the tongue. The head adds some creamy texture to the mouthfeel. Lots of tart fruit with a sour lactic character. Notes of cherry and gooseberry. Great apperitif; refreshing and drinkable. Went great with a salad of spring greens and grape tomatoes with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

Left some nice Belgian lace on the glass.

ironarrow42, Mar 11, 2009
Photo of Nick3
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 330ml bottle with a best before date of March 3, 2010. Dark brownish red in color with a head that quickly vanishes. Beer smells similar to vinegar but not nearly as sharp. This was my first beer of this style and the smell alone had me quite intrigued. Beer is very complex with pervasive cherry flavors at the forefront. The sour taste just lingers in the background and serves to accentuate a synthesis of complex malt flavors and tartness.

If you've never had a flemish red I highly recommend starting here.

Nick3, Mar 08, 2009
Photo of beeronesse
4.78/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Couple of 5s here because I truly believe this beer cannot be improved.

On tap, in a Belgian goblet.

Deep Burgundian red in color, with minimal head and thin lacy retention.

Aroma promised sour cherries, apples, malt, raisins perhaps?

In the mouth: exceptional! Deep and powerfully complex. Sour cherries, apples, a little salt, satisfying sweet-sour balance. Very malty and rich, a little vanilla and butter and white pepper. Not very high in alcohol which is great because I wanted to drink this all night long!

beeronesse, Mar 06, 2009
Photo of charlzm
4.11/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Consumed ay Blue Palms, Hollywood, CA on 03/04/2009.

Beer arrived in a stemless flute. Deep amber/copper colored fluid with no discernable carbonation or head.

Bold vinegar aroma with nuances of sweetness. For me, this is the only thing off about this fine brew.

Flavor is exceedingly tart. Grape vinegar is a note, but the main flavor seems to be sour cherries. Cheese on the palate as well. Finish is decisive, non lingering. No-to-low bitterness.

Mouthfeel is unremarkable save for a touch of dryness.

Although I prefer Rodenbach Grand Cru in this style, my appreciation for this beer has grown over the years.

charlzm, Mar 05, 2009
Photo of Arbitrator
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Chilled bottle into a glass.

A: Pours a dark, hazy red with slight orange highlights when held to a lamp. Head is marginal, receding to a collar around the glass, with huge sheets of lacing down the glass as I drink.

S: Vinegar, pinot, tamarind, wood, cherries, salt. Almost like a red wine past its prime.

T: Sour, vinegary red grapes and unripe tamarind with mild wood and cherry sub-flavors. A little bit salty in the mid-taste, which adds an incredibly pleasant third side to the already complex battle between sweet and sour. The finish is acidic. Quite a captivating taste.

M: Medium bodied, with light carbonation -- not to press the point, but again, it feels like a wine. Decently crisp finish, with no trace of the alcohol.

D: This is complex enough that I want to have this again and savor it. It will make a wonderful treat beer. But I would not want to have more than one in a row, since its flavor profile is quite strong.

Arbitrator, Mar 02, 2009
Photo of Pullen
5/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at the Brickstore Pub last night, served in a Duchesse Chalice...

- Ruby color, nice head that dissipated in minutes.

- Smelled of cherries, vanilla, fresh sliced apples, and ripe soft plums.

- Taste? This beer is heavenly!!!! Perfect in every way....Cherry flavor, but soft to the pallet. I'd think this was aged in oak given the vanilla subtleties.

Mouthfeel - Soft velvety. Nothing harsh about this at all.

Drinkability - I swear we (3 of us) order 8 or 9 of these in between all the other beers we had at the BSP. Does that say enough?

Overall - This would be a perfect introduction to flander Red style and to craft beer in general.. I met up with a female friend of mine who gasp at beer because all she knew was BMC. After having this beer, and a few others... her mind has been changed...permanently!

Awesome beer! Cheers!

Pullen, Mar 01, 2009
Photo of currysage1
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Creamy off white head, sticks to the end, Pinot Noir light red color.

Great smell of sweet apple cider vinegar, gala apples, Sweet medium malt,

Talk about enjoyable, creamy satisfying and complex. Being one of the first Flanders I've had, I have to say I'm impressed. Going to be looking for others.

currysage1, Mar 01, 2009
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,253 ratings.