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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

3,498 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,498
Reviews: 1,397
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.46%
Wants: 172
Gots: 459 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Verhaeghe visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Flanders Red Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-15-2001

Belgian top-fermented reddish-brown ale, a blend of 8 and 18 months old beers following the careful maturation in oak casks.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,498 | Reviews: 1,397 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dgilks
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Rich sweet and sour aroma like good aged Balsamic. Slightly earthy. Very good.

Rich ruby red. Mostly clear. Small, creamy, tan head.

I can see why people don't like this. Rich, sticky balsamic vinegar. Some vinous fruit. Actually quite sweet. I really like this.

Full body with moderately high carbonation. Very sticky.

A tasty, tasty beer. Lots of good here and while not easy to drink, it's the sort of sour I'd be back for in an instant.

Photo of DioS
4.77/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Dark brown but not quite opaque. Soft head. I always thought the Duchesse looks viscous, even though it's really not. Smell is complex and delicious, more fruity (cherry, plum) than floral, with slight caramel and vanilla sweetness, and evocative of some wood like a fine dessert wine does, and the vinegary aroma tends to be mellow compared to some other Flanders I've had. I cannot get tired of smelling this one. The mellowness (as opposed to sharp sourness) and complexity truly make it stand out.

Taste is initially very sour and slightly funky, but the sourness settles down very quickly into ripened fruits (cherry, plum, jam, pear). The finish is long and lingering. The sourness almost completely subsides into the background and becomes just a tartness in the mouthfeel after 1/3 of glass. After that point it just tastes like a very interesting dessert wine, and very easy going down, yet tastes far from simple. Duchesse is a wonderfully smooth Flanders that can be drunken like session beer and hold my interest at the same time. I feel lucky to be close to pubs that serve it on the tap regularly.

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

Poured from bottle into tulip glass.

A: Glowing reddish amber coloring with finger of head and nice heavy lacing. Good looking brew.

S: Sour cherry notes along with just a touch of vinegar.

T & M: Such an interesting brew, intriguing mix of sweet and sour. Sweetness comes across throughout the entire taste. Bitter cherry notes from the nose come through in the taste.

D: For a sour brew incredibly drinkable, this is such a fine and unique brew.

Photo of GPHarris
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a - poured a three-fingers dense and thick tan head into a tulip glass that settled into a thick lace and sheeting throughout. the head began to look creamier and creamier with each sip. it also billowed nicely upon every swirl of the glass. the body was a deep red with hints of purple.
s - slightly muted sour cherries.
t - cherries with a hint of sweetness and other fruits were present as well.
m - medium, bubbly mouthfeel.
d - excellent beer. just amazing.

Photo of carpezytha
4.51/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very well balanced beer. Do not try this beer if you are narrow minded. It probably falls outside of whatever classification you will try to fit it into.

Fabulous appearance. Deep bronzed ruby in color.

An eager foam gathers after a good pour. I used a small chardonnay-shaped glass and that worked.

A bit musty on the nose, with some sourness anticipated, indicated.

First on the tongue, a well balanced sweet and sour, good carbonation. I think the carbonation helped it.

Beneath the sourness of the yeast and the sweet light malt there are citrus notes underneath, some jammy cherry and peach, tangy notes with a light scatter of spicebox, cedar and leather. There really are several flavors here that combine well.

I will definitely try this one again soon if I can. I was surprised and impressed.

Photo of steadydose
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best berfore 1-10-11

Poured this one into my trappist glass. The beer was burgundy, brown w/ red highlights. There was a wisp of cream foam around the perimeter of the beer. Looked good in the wide mouthed glass, especially with the sun overhead.

Duchesse had a good aroma with cherries, rasberries, pie crust and sweet fruit all coming through in the nose. I didn't notice much vinegar or oak in this bottle.

I got a lot of cherries, rasberry fruit juice in the taste with just a hint of tart and vinegar. There was a fair amount of sweetness towards the end, but finished pretty clean.

Mouthfeel was very good, with proper carbonation and a light body.

Overall, I enjoyed this particular serving more than the other bottle I had about a year ago, which tasted more like vinegar and old stale wine to me, this serving may have been fresher as it was cleaner and presented with more fruit sweetness.

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

Poured out of a 750ml bottle into a snifter.

appearance - dark and clear reddish brown, carbonation crawling up the side of the glass, big retention on the edge of the glass with yeast spotting on top, lacing crawls down the glass

smell - wine-like nose, vinegar, dark fruit, blended, sour, rich oak

taste - sour and tart cherries, sweet grape, yeast, rich oak barrel complexity

mouthfeel - heavily carbonated, full bodied, smooth, tingle from the carbonation

drinkability - remarkably complex, very rich and flavorful, the excessive carbonation and the initial vinegar in the nose are this beer's biggest flaws but the rest of the ale is very well crafted, amazing flavor and great value

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

"Exp. date: Jul 2011"

A. Pours a brownish-amber with a creamy tan head.
S. Sweet malt with sour cherries on oak with some musty farmhouse smells.
T. Tastes like a lambic with malt as the fruity focus (rather than cherries or raspberries). A nice level of tartness with an ample sweet malt profile that balances nicely. Some subtle cherry and oak flavors also come through.
M. Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation - just enough to pick the tartness up off of the tongue.
D. Wonderful. This is a wonderful sour that I could definitely see myself picking up again - especially since it's now available at the grocery store I regularly shop at.

Photo of irisier
1.55/5  rDev -62.7%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

I tried this one again to see if I've warmed to this brew. Unfortunately, this time I seem to have soured to it (no pun intended) even more.

Appearance: Nice dark reddish brown with a excellent fizzy head.

Smell: Vinegar fumes. Some fruit and wood is also noticeable. Did someone mix balsamic with malt vinegar and label it as beer?

Taste: God, it's even worse than I remembered it. Fruity vinegar with some tannic wood tastes. Cloying sweetness makes sure you know there is plenty of sugar in here. Hmmm.. this might be good to use as a base in a sweet/sour sauce. I actually managed to finish it the first time I tried it, not this time though.

Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated.

Impressions: To give you some perspective. A few years ago after reading an article about how prison inmates make "wine" out of ketchup, juice, and fruit snacks with moldy bread as the fermentation culture. I gave it a try out of curiosity. The funky, weird smelling drink I got was still not as bad as this brew. If this was the only beer on Earth, I'd be a teetotaler.

---Old Review---
Appearance: Clear reddish brown body with a fizzy tan head that actually seems to amplify with time. Highly carbonated and effervescent.

Smell: Sour malt vinegar smell. I didn't expect it to be that strong. Some faint fruit is also present

Taste: Sour and sweet. Slightly fruity as well. I can't help but feel like I'm drinking balsamic vinegar. I wouldn't exactly say that these flavors are pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a lively carbonation.

Impressions: I'll preface by saying that I've never had a Flemish Red before, but I really tried to keep an open mind. There may be a possibility that I got a bad bottle. This just was not good. I had a really hard time even finishing it. It was like drinking balsamic vinaigrette. I've heard this described as being "wine-like", frankly if I had a wine that tasted like this, I'd think it had spoiled. This just tasted too much like vinegar.

Photo of snogglethorpe
3.57/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A lovely deep burgundy color, with a huge creamy head. Smell is interesting, woody/fruity/musty. Taste doesn't really live up to the smell though -- it's sour, fruity, and refreshing, but not complex, and the woody notes in the smell are barely evident in the taste.

Photo of jera1350
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours into a Duvel Tulip a deep burgundy color that is semi transparent. The head is light tan creating a wonderful contrast from the body. Some lacing and wonderful retention.

Sour smelling reminiscent of silage. Sour dark fruit, woody and earthy.

Juicy cherry, blueberry and blackberry flavors. Sweetness from the fruit flavors. Some balsamic, earthy and woody notes as well. Very deep in complexity. The sourness is there, but not strong in any way.

Velvety smooth with soft carbonation. About medium bodied with a super dry finish.

Great drinkability. I am loving this and am a little upset that I haven't tried it sooner. An awesome all around beer that I will definitely have again.

Photo of vkv822
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
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
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
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
4.37/5  rDev +5%
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
4.57/5  rDev +9.9%
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
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
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
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
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
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
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
3.91/5  rDev -6%
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
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,498 ratings.