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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

3,245 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,245
Reviews: 1,362
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 150
Gots: 348 | 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: 3,245 | Reviews: 1,362 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.63/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Incredibly sweet smelling brew. There's a good vinegar smell to it. Smells like a sweet red wine vinegar - how puzzling.

Dark root beer color, seems clear, good-sized foamy head.

As expected it is oddly sweet. Soy sauce comes to mind, as well as vinegar. Good bit of tartness grows to battle with the sweet. Brown sugar sweetness, or maybe it's more like a Port with its syrup sweetness and accompanying viscosity. Finish lingers with sweetness and an overall funky feeling in the mouth. Very interesting and fun to have tried.

Reminds me of the one Oud Bruin I've had: too sweet and very peculiar. I had a Flanders Red at a homebrew competition and it was twice as tart and not half as sweet. I liked it a lot. This one is just borderline undrinkable to me. I suppose my palate is too young for the likes of Flanders.

MrHungryMonkey, May 29, 2008
Photo of AltBock
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I was able to try this Flanders Red Ale on-tap at Teresa's Next Door on 5/23/2008. They served it to me in a goblet/wine glass.

Duchess poured a beautiful dark crimson red color. It almost looked like somebody poured cranberry jucie into a goblet for me. It was probably the glass that did this, but on top of this beer was a small quarter of an inch head of white foam. What was there had really good retention that left behind foamy white rings along the edge and a fair amount of white lace around the glass.

The aroma was rich, sweet, and sour with sour cherries, sour green grapes, a hint of sour raspberries, a splash of yeast, and some toasted oak in the back. It was so good that I kept going back for more. It's just what a Flanders Red Ale should smell like!

The taste had mostly the same flavors in it that the aroma had, but it tasted like I was drinking a sour and sweet candy beer. I'm not joking, it was that sweet. The taste was sweet and sour with sour cherries, dried and toasted oak, and a hint of yeast at the finish. Even though they took away a few sour fruits, I still enoyed the taste of this this Flanders Sour.

The mouthfeel was on the light side that contained a nice sized aftertaste of sweet and sour cherries, a hint of toasted oak, and a speck of yeast. This aftertase will linger on for a minute or two after the beer has left your mouth.

If you like sour beers that aren't too sour, but that are more sweet, then you'll like this one. For me, it was a joy to try this one on-tap and I can't see why not why this wouldn't be a joy to try if it came from a bottle. I would love to give this beer another go!

AltBock, May 25, 2008
Photo of aerozeppl
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Super deep brownish red color. Eggshell white head with a nice amount of lacing.

S: Funky musthouse. Beyond this powerful smell you do get hints of cherries. Malt. Tons of sour and tart hints.

T: Damn. Really really complex. Starts off tart. Not mouth collapsing into itself tart but enough to remind you what this is. Then it goes into a cool sweetness. Hints of honey and cherries. Malt is in there as well. Hints of nuts and the barrel abound.

M: Medium body with a slightly thick tone to it. Good light carbonation.

D: The most drinkable example of this style I have had so far. At 6% why not?

aerozeppl, May 24, 2008
Photo of Avryle
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Dark tea in color. Small & quickly disappearing fizzy tan head. Spotty lacing .

S- Like old wet shoes, caramel, oak and rotting cherries. The nose is a little off-putting & frankly, not my thing.

T- Okay, the taste is much better than the nose. Extraordinarily complex taste going on- malt, caramel, raisins, figs, cherries & apples are the initial tastes that come to mind. The cherries dominate in the finish along with caramel malts. Almost candy-like in sweetness.

M- Thin to medium bodied. low carbonation.

D- Flavors are very complex, but not confusing. That along with tehe body makes this pretty darn drinkable... If you plug your nose.

Avryle, May 24, 2008
Photo of clayrock81
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter glass and received a two-finger head that died quickly on top of a dark brown with purple tints (think brown grapefruit juice) body. Some caramel and citric notes like grapefruit and pear, along with a light malt presence and oak (sort of reminded me a cab sauv) in the smell. An excellent tart citrus taste, like cherries (and oranges; acidicness), mixed w/ caramel and chocolate malt and oak. A medium to full body that goes down smooth with a wine-like aftertaste (a tad sour) and carbonation. Good fruitiness in there (sort of reminded me of a Belgian triple, and this is a Belgian afterall), but maybe a little too sour/fruity for a complete sessioning, but this is one damn good beer that you must try if you haven't already.

clayrock81, May 22, 2008
Photo of jjayjaye
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep mahogany red with a shallow foamy light tan head that resists fading. A good amount of lacing observed. The smell is a tart dry berries sensation, cherries maybe. Substantially effervescent with a tangy tartness, the mouth feel is medium bodied. Full flavored cherry explosion finishes somewhat on the dry side. A wonderful cherry aftertaste lingers appropriately. A very easy drinker. The 6.2% ABV is integrated well. I've been eying this one for a while. Highly recommend giving it a try.

jjayjaye, May 14, 2008
Photo of smttycty
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Though I love my late-night after-work mini mart with it's good selection of single bottles, my luck at finding imports that haven't been staring at the UV lighting too long is about 50/50. I asked the clerk to fetch me a bottle of this one from the back side of the reach-in. At almost $0.50 per ounce, I wanted to improve my odds.

The dark tea-colored body was clear, the off-tan rocky crown short -lived, and the lacing minimal. But once I shoved my nose into the snifter, it didn't want to come out. I found a nuanced melange of tart fruit, rich chocolate, fig pudding, and sherry.

A few local brewers have been trying their hands at this style, but my first sip washed away all expectations for another "learn-to-like-it" vinegary concoction. This beer is all silk and satan. Tart cherries and granny smith apples wrapped in a softly spiced European pastry. With no bitter flavors to be found, the wonderful yeast qualities are testament to the attention payed to the blending of the newer and older vintages. As the flavors slowly dissipate the sweet flavors at the front of the mouth are fully distinguishable from the tart flavors in back.

Light bodied and very lively without being sharp, kind of a thick blanket of effervescence. Like a vacation I don't want to leave, I'll come back again and again.

smttycty, May 12, 2008
Photo of GJ40
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a 750ml bottle in a chalice. I love the Rodenbach Grand Cru and Casey at Jose Pistola's in Philly recommended this one so I had to give it a try.

A deep brown color with a hint of red. Not much head on this one and it dissipates quickly. Aroma is mostly fruity (cherries) but with a malt sweetness in the background. The flavor starts sweet and jumps into a tartness but it isn't as intense and doesn't linger quite as long as a Rodenbach.

I like this beer a lot but I wouldn't rate it as highly as the Rodenbach Grand Cru.

GJ40, May 09, 2008
Photo of JBogan
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown with ruby tint, a slightly off white small head which left somewhat quickly and left moderate lacing.

Smelled mostly of sour cherries, with a bit of raisin and alcohol present as well.

Tasted of sour cherries with a hint of alcohol warming.

Mouthfeel was very good. Smooth and medium bodied yet with a perfect amount of carbonation sting.

This was a very drinkable beer, yet it doesn't come cheap. It also seem to have a much higher ABV than advertised. Overall I will most certainly revisit this one again, yet save it for special occasions as it's priced a bit too dear for daily consumption.

JBogan, May 09, 2008
Photo of treehugger02010
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I don't remember what store I got this from, but it was somewhere is New Jersey. I poured it into a snifter.
Appearance: A brown body that was pretty much translucent with a tan head on top. The retention was great and the lacing was pretty darn good as well.
Smell: A bit of an oxidized aroma, but past that there was dark fruits, mostly tart, hints of a solid malt backbone.
Taste: Very tart, dark fruit, not much hop presence. Not much to say but wonderful.
Mouthfeel: Rigid yet gentile.
Drinkability: Awesome.
Don't drink and review.

treehugger02010, May 02, 2008
Photo of weissbierdrinker
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a bottle of this in Brussles.

It pours a dark redish brown with a tall tan head that leaves thick lacing around the glass.

Smell is like sour cherries and also has a kind of sweet fruitiness to it.

It starts out slightly sweet as it enters your mouth but quickly truns to a sour syrupy cherry like taste that is not at all unpleasent, if you like that sort of thing.

Very interesting beer that is worht a try. I would drink it again

weissbierdrinker, Apr 30, 2008
Photo of Slynger
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The Duchesse pours a deep but clear, brownish, red-amber color, with a fuzzy light sand colored lid.

The smell is sweet and sour with both sugared and tart cherries. Red grapes show as well, with a red wine/vinegar character that is quite pleasant.

Medium bodied with a crisp and zesty, yet creamy, carbonation. Lightly sharp of sugar and lightly acidic vinegar. A pleasant sugary caramel malt and red grape juice sweetness blends excellently with tart cherries, light red wine, and lightly tart cider vinegar. Lightly sweet oak rounds it out a fine brew.

Very much enjoyed the Duchesse. Very well balanced; the flavors flow together seemlessly. Definitely the best Flanders Red I've tried, though they've been few.

Slynger, Apr 25, 2008
Photo of CanuckRover
3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown with a reddish tinge. Huge off-white meringue'y head. Thick lacings coat the glass.

Vinegar, cherries and caramel sweetness.

Sour cherries up front. Malt is sweet and sticky, toffee. Sour granny smith apples. Slight smokiness. Wood comes through in the finish.

Mouthfeel didn't float my boat, I think it may have gone a bit flat. Will have to try another.

CanuckRover, Apr 22, 2008
Photo of dill
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured from an 11.5 oz bottle into a flute glass.

A - deep amber in color with a thin white head.

S - smells of vinegar and some fruits.

T - taste is similar with a sour vinegary note as well as fruit juice.

M - creamy mouthfeel with a tight carbonation.

D - one of the more drinkable flanders reds i have had. this one is really good.

dill, Apr 22, 2008
Photo of RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear brown with a reddish hue. Flavor is sour. Hoooie! I love it. Kind of an antiseptic edge to it. But it's nice and smooth. Feel has a fairly biting carbonation that hits quickly and leaves. Liquid is kind of sticky yet smooth. This is a pretty good example of this style. If you aren't ready for the sour, don't bother coming at all for this one.

RblWthACoz, Apr 14, 2008
Photo of philbe311
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Dark, yet translucent... Red undertones within...

S - Malt and Grapes dominate... Very inviting...

T - Mildly sweet cider with grapes and apples at the forefront... Turns slightly bitter as the taste develops... Demonstrates smoky characteristics as the beer warms towards room temperature...

M - Carbonation... Intense... Has a good bite to it...

D - To be sipped and savored glass after glass... WOW!

philbe311, Apr 14, 2008
Photo of RomanW70
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark reddish brown with a frothy tan head. Aroma a combination of sweet and sour cherries. Very sweet up front, flowing into a mild sour and finishing smooth with a slight vineous tartness. Med-low carbonation. Medium mouthfeel. Good beer, bit would like to see more sweet/sour balance. A little heavy on the sweet side.

RomanW70, Apr 12, 2008
Photo of YankChef
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Rodenbach glass.

Appearance: Relatively clear and some what dark when held up to light a strong red hue is very apparent. Thin wispy head that quickly dissipates.

Smell: The first most striking smell is that of raspberries and tart fruit. There is more going on in here and there is a certain bit of almost mushroom like mustiness. Oak is also present on the aroma as well as a bit of pepper.

Taste: Tart upfront and then it fades into an almost rich molasses like sweetness. I think my palate is off. The sourness stings the tounge but there is definitely a sweetness here too. Various different kinds of fruit including dried currant and grape and a little plum as well.

Overall: This is really the 3rd beer of this style that I have tried and the first 2 were both rodenbach. Such an amazing style and i truly like this beer quite a bit. But for the price tag... I'll stick with rodenbach

YankChef, Apr 08, 2008
Photo of ROMER79
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer both in a bottle and on tap and I truly feel that it is a better beer on tap. It pours a nice ruby red with a one finger tan head. It has a big sour cherry smell with spices and lactic aromas pulling through. The taste was almost the same. Big sour cherry flavor mixed with some lactic acids, but the alcohol flavor was hidden by the sour flavor. The mouthfeel was thick and full and it was very easy to drink.

ROMER79, Apr 08, 2008
Photo of graywalker
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a delicious beer. Nice sour cherry aroma with a little bit of yeast and horse blanket. A lovely reddish brown color. The taste is wonderfully balanced - a little sweet up front, but it dries nicely. I get lots of fruit and yeast in the flavor, but not the tomato undertones that some people report. Overall, a more approachable sour red than Rodenbach, which I also like. I'm glad that I bought a four pack.

graywalker, Apr 06, 2008
Photo of gory4d
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours clear burgundy with a fluffy pale head that leaves lacing down the sides of my tulip glass. Smell is like a mild raspberry vinegar that kicks my salivary glands into action. The taste is something else; if you don't like sour beers, this won't convert you, but it starts with a sharp fruit kick like dried apricots, giving way to a sweet malt flavor that immediately opens up into a mouthwatering sourness that lasts. It's nice and smooth, and I could drink this all night.

gory4d, Apr 05, 2008
Photo of 1fastz28
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

wait what... i had to stop to write about the taste first, holy wierd. its like grape juice and a belgian ale got together and made a beer, i'm completely confused by the taste. its incredibly sweet, like a strong grape juice, is this even beer? maybe a barley wine, i' dont even know whats going on. it looks beautiful, has a deep dark purplish hue to it, smell is fruity, but not nearly as potent as the taste. its a good beer, if it is beer. i dont think i've ever had anything remotely like this, so dont take this review as worth anything.

1fastz28, Apr 01, 2008
Photo of IBUnit63
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 750 into Cab glass...

Nice, amber-cherrywood body with ample carbonation rising to 2-finger, latte-colored head with great lacing.

Beautiful yeasty malt, tangy with coriander and ornage zest - even some rye scent. May need to warm a little.

Sweet wine funk is first impression. Tinny at first - unfortunately keeps this even after warming. Tanginess reminds me of homemade hard apple cider, or maybe a sparkling Shiraz.

Coats nicely and bubbles up well but metallic finish gives an "overfermented" sense from the yeastiness.

This is raw and rustic and very good; can't seem to get ideal serving temperature right. Good to sip for special occassion.

IBUnit63, Mar 29, 2008
Photo of Beerzebub
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best before date: 21-03-08. That's 12 minutes from now, so I better drink fast.

11.2 oz bottle, served in a big wine glass at 57 F/ 14 C.

Deep reddish brown color, small beige head, sticky lace.

Smells unusual and enticing, with sweet, sour, and savory all well represented. Sweet and oxidized like mushy brown apples, with tomato and tomato leaf, yeasty dough, and some mild malt vinegar and cider vinegar.

Tastes sweet and savory, and a little sour. Initial sweet cherries and apples, then pronounced oxidized flavors and some acidity come in. Underlying toasted grain and nuts. Tomato leaf, and a bit of tomato paste. Mild vegetal bitterness, connected to the tomato leaf flavor. Long oxidized finish, with some sweetness hanging on until the very end.

Fine soft carbonation with some oiliness, very nice. Quite drinkable.

I really like oxidization when it's done well, so I like this beer.

The second glass paired well with some Dubliner cheese.

Beerzebub, Mar 21, 2008
Photo of JDV
2.95/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dark, deep reddish brown pour that lets some light through. Smell is kind of a funky, sour cherry and wine like aroma without a strong offputting vinegar scent. Gooey band-aid-y aroma that I don't care for, though. If that were in a regular beer it would be called infected. If it's in a Sour Ale, its pleasant?? Flavor is sweeter and less sour than expected. Fairly sweet up front, but finishing dry with a bubbly champagne like body and flavors that are reminiscent of cherry, grape and cranberries. A bit hard to describe as its only my 1st or 2nd sour ale. All in all, not a bad experience and a unique beer that is like a funky fruit soda. I would have to get used to that odd smell though, to really enjoy this beer again.

JDV, Mar 15, 2008
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,245 ratings.