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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

3,411 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,411
Reviews: 1,372
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 161
Gots: 408 | 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: 3,411 | Reviews: 1,372 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rtepiak
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pour is a reddish brown. rather clear. a small head off that color. smell is a sour tang, but not as prodominant as other flemish reds. more earthy tones. cherry tart first off but a bouquet of fruit, wood, balsamic vinegar. palate reveals a worcestershire sauce quality, earthy fruit that have a citrus quality. fig, plum, black berry, grape. cherry tart is not as astringent as most. musky earth mostly. the earth even has a smoked quality to it. the taste is good but i don't believe this beer was ever made to be had alone. i couldn't drink more than one in its particular qualities. its a bit rich and unique. not to be had outside of dietary circumstances. but a fantastic accompaniment and a most for bbq, game, and robust cheeses. will have again but with food.

Photo of Monsteruss
3.65/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The foam when poured was a fluffy dark wheat, lacey, thick and ever-lasting (alot o' foam). Color was reddish/brown, amber, mahogany and deep rose red. Smell was deep, robust, rich, alittle bitter, fruity/orange and carmel undertones. Taste was very deep and rich. Fruity with a hint of high-alchohol content, chery sour apple highlight (like others from their beer line). Mouthfeel - very heavy-bodied, smooth and sour. Drinkability - you can't just 'slam' this beer, it need to be taken in slowly like wine.

Photo of johnd513
4.8/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours ruby red in color with a small off-white head. Smells like wine and dry vinegar certainly unique even for a good sour. The taste is dry and sour but not as sour as the nose with tart cherries, wine flavors and others that i can't even begin to describe. Drinkability is prohibited only by the price tag. I could sip on this all night long. One of the most unique beers I have ever come across.

Photo of aggiearcher13
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I like sours, but I hadn't had this one in a while so I figured I'd go back and review it. Had it last night at Monroe St. Bistro.

A: Pours a ruby-red, a little brownish with a small about of white head on it. Looks pretty good.

S: Very wine-like, makes my glands tingle in anticipation.

T: Vinegary, cherry, some wood, rather tart, a little sweet on the finish. Pretty complex, I'm a fan.

M: Nothing great, but it's what I would expect from the style. Light, not overly carbonated.

D: This is one of the less-sour sours that I've had, but somehow it falls into one of the less drinkable for me as well. Still pretty darn good though.

Photo of goatgoat
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Best before 8/14/09.

This is my introduction to sours, let's see how it goes.

Pours a clear, dazzling dark garnet. A fizzy tan head falls fairly quickly to a few mounding islands. Some frilly lace along the glass. The color is mesmerizing...

Aroma is woody sour. Strong wine-like astringency with a hint of wine vinegar. I expected the vinegar but not so much the wine.

Flavor is sweetly tart, if that makes sense. Very fruity almost candy like sweetness paired with a wine-like astringency and vinegar tartness. Finish is sweet up front, sour in the back and puckering all over. A lot of stuff is going on that I can't pin down.

Body is light during the sip, but coating on the finish. More carbonation than expected, a little prickly.

Lots of conflicting sensations that end up magically working together. Very complex but approachable. Sort of like going to the aquarium... I get to dip my hand in to touch some friendly critters while looking at all the dangers and extremes of sour-land. Though it's very inviting, it's just doesn't compare to my favorite styles.

Photo of maximum12
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Have heard a few songs of praise from the raised voices of local BAs about the Duchesse, so when I found myself at the Lowertown Bulldog for lunch, it seemed a good time to introduce myself. Good afternoon, Duchesse.

Amberish pour with little to no evident carbonation, she just lay there flat & still. Smell was sharp, tangy.

My taste buds shouted in surprise when the Duchesses arrived; I was expecting a sour blast, but instead she came with tartness, & a clean feel of sparkling grape juice (which I've always loved!). The expected sourness was nowhere to be found, only a Bottle Cap-like sweetness mixed in with the tart grape/cherry/fruits. A second sip confirmed all of this & more, & I was happy. The wife took a sip & was sad she didn't have a glass, too.

Drinkability? Damn straight. Down like kiddee Kool-Aid. My mouth might pucker up in protest after two, but it'd be worth it.

This is nothing at all like the only other Flanders Red I tried, but an excellent beer that could easily be utilized as a gateway to craft or Belgians. Duchesse, I bow to you, & hope we meet again.

Photo of Yooperduder
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours lightly, slightly effervescent without being a bubble monster. Light and delicate head, drops down to a shimmering smokey white lace.

Smells of raisins, slight rum, maybe like an old fashioned rum cake. Fruit, like apples or apricots.

Mouthfeel is nice, nothing extraordinary but not harsh at all. Flavor is definitely fruit, again apples or some sort of cider. Effervescence is very nice, gives an exceptional feel as it goes down. Not even the slightest hint of hops, though maybe a touch of spice.

Overall an extraordinarily smooth beer, would pair exceptionally well with a cobbler, apple tart, or a summer fool.

Photo of damienblack
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rustic amber, thin lingering head, decent lacing. Average looking beer (not knowing much of how style is supposed to look). Nice bubbles whenever its swirled, though. Huge dry vinegaric sour smell - there's definitely some fruit there, but i'm not sure what exactly. Smell is oddly alluring.

Taste is a gentle, dry blast of sour. Tastes like a sweet and sour champagne - tons of carbonation, with a sugary aspect to it. I thought it would be much drier from the smell. Sourness is well balanced, leads to a very refreshing experience. More of a vinegaric sourness than a tart sourness, but it's smoothed against the beer. Only quibble is that it seems a little thin, doesn't have a lot of oomph or gravitas to it, just the flavor. Not sure if that's how the style is supposed to be. Drinkability is top notch, great sipper (although could go more if I wanted to). My first Flanders Red, and I'm looking forward to trying some more!

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.

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.

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...

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!!!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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!

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,411 ratings.