Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

3,426 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,426
Reviews: 1,374
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 159
Gots: 420 | FT: 7
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: 3,426 | Reviews: 1,374 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of roadhouse
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle into a snifter.

Appearance is a clear dark ruby shade of red with a one inch thick cream colored head with lots of tiny carbonation bubbles. Surprisingly leaves some great looking lacing.

Aroma is mildly vinegary in a good way, some notes of oak, cherry-like tartness, and a mild sweetness along with some leathery funk.

The taste is initially quite sweet followed by a mild sour that is more funky than anything. Vinegar notes from the aroma are no longer present. Tart cherries are certainly there. The sweetness here is interesting as it shows itself initially then is overtaken by the funk only to return again in the finish even stronger than it started. I wouldn't mind a bit more sour in this one, it might be a perfect score then, but it gets it done nicely.

Mouthfeel is medium-light in body, with an extremely creamy and soft carbonation. Perfect.

Easily the best Flanders Red I've tried. It's somewhat expensive, but totally worth it. I would like to get another bottle of Rodenbach Grand Cru to compare with since that was the first Flanders Red I'd ever had.

Photo of coldmeat23
5/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

GLASS: Chimay Goblet
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees

Deep, dark, ruby red liquid. Much like the blood of the Duchesse. One finger head of creamy tan foam. Truly excellent retention and great lacing.

Smells amazing! Deep tart fruit smells. Lots of green apple and black cherries. Not quite ripened peaches. Scent of almonds/marzipan. Hints of underlying gingerbread spiciness. Slight touch of vanilla.

This is such a phenomenal tasting sour (flemish red). Big cherry taste, sour and sweet, at the same time. Huge notes of green apple. Nice big presence of black currants. Nice woody/earthiness, here, also. Hints of oak and vanilla.

Extremely smooth and creamy in body, like a mouthfeel of rolling fine silk. Carbonation is perfect, with tiny, tiny bubbles.

This beer is so perfect. If it were Napoleon's Army invading my mouth, my taste buds would have no choice but to surrender.
I could drink this for weeks at a time and be perfectly satisfied, with no other options.
Excellent!

Photo of Overlord
3.23/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly ruddy medium brown. Kind of translucent. Inch or two of tan foam head.

Smell is ... weird. Vinegar? A bit of cherry tartness? Strange.

Taste is also weird. There's a real vinegar undercurrent. But, more like ... balsamic vinegar than a lambic/gueuze acidity. There's some cherry in here that I really love, and a bit of oaky woodsiness, but there's also a real sweetness to it I can't stand. With the vinegar, it's almost like sweet and sour. Real offputting after a while.

Delightful carbonation, though.

Photo of orangemoustache
3.13/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

The Duchesse pours a transparent burnt copper with a firm head of light brown foam,it leaves some spotty lacing. The nose is sour and reminds me of spoiled tomatoes,not completely rotten,but close. This Flanders starts off sweet and reminds me of apple cider or apple butter,with some sour tartness and subtle spice. Midway I pickup some aged barrel flavorings and vinegar,still reminds me of salad dressing in a way. The end is tomato ketchup like and for me keeps the score down a half point. I enjoy this offering three fourths of the way through but the finish keeps me from wanting much more. Medium bodied with quite a lot of carbonation,and a slick feel. I had the Duchesse a while back and I'm almost sure it was rotten,I couldn't even finish it and scored it an F. The Duchesse De Bourgogne has proven to be a very complex woman that I'm still trying to figure out completely.

Photo of daftafne
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears as a cola with a tinge of orange. Lacing around rim and surface with little head around the rim supported by good carbonation. Smells of vinegar, apple, dark fruit, and spice. This is my fourth time having this and the taste is more musty than I remember it. Tastes mostly of apple, oak, and light vinegar. It is deliciously well-balanced between sweet and tart. Goes down easy and very smooth. Finishes with a nice bite. Medium body and good drinkability. Really fantastic!

Photo of corby112
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Serving type: bottle.

Pours a dark amber brown with burgundy edges. Beautiful aroma of oak, cherry, vanilla and sour tartness. The combination of the two aged brown ales provides this beer with a perfect smooth balance that is not to sweet and not to tart. Hints of oak, vanilla, grape, cherry, sugar and sourness.

Photo of orcasteve
5/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

was sent this in a bif, i cant thank coldmeat23 enough for my chance to try this one, poured into my duvel tulip, poured a rich wine like shade of brownish red with dense tanish white head on it that sticks around for awhile, the sourness of this beer was aperant when i uncorked her as a tart cherry sent filled my nose, as far as taste i taste, apple cider, red wine viniger, tart cheries, strong oak notes, some lemon, figs a hint of malt all of witch have taken my tastebuds hostage and thay never want to be let go. this is my favorite beer so far of all time! this is a stile i will have to find more of

Photo of cswhitehorse
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Duchess de Bourgogne poured a dark red that light could not pierce. A 1/2 inch foam head took off quickly. The tiny bubble from the center of the glass created a underwater fireworks show. Not much in the way of lacing.

The aroma was super sour and of a tart cherry. The taste had some good tartness but not as much as I was expecting from the nose. It was dry in the mouth and left you with a tingling at the back of the throat. It was lightly carbonated and offset with some sweetness on the back end of the drink. Overall a enjoyable brew I would have again.

Photo of dancinwillie
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cork reads exp. date 10/09.

Dark red pour, topped by a loud fizzy white head. Thick dense bubbles slowly fade away.

Aroma hits me before I even pour. Malt vinegar and tart cherries start my mouth watering.

A little more vinegary than I remember, but still, YUM. cherries come into play, and I do mean play. This is just a fun beer. A bit of dry roasted malts sweeten it up, and I don't detect hops anywhere in here. No idea what kind of yeast was used, but this tastes like a great wine had a baby with a delicious beer, and they named her little Duchesse. She grew up to hold a bird on one finger, and delight dancinwillie. The end.

Mouthfeel is great, very lively carbonation, and eternally refreshing. I could easily chug this beauty.

Overall, a tremendous example of what beer can be. Multi dimensional and bold, all while having a modest 6% ABV.

Stunning.

Photo of madtowndmb1
3.55/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a deep redish brown color.

S: I get a lot of molasses and some vinegar like others.

T: Tart fruit, and carbonation, not a ton of vinegar acid

M: Carbonation, thin, actually the best part of this beer to me.

D: It's good to try, but not sure if I'd do a ton ton of them. Once a year beer. Too tart for me.

Photo of BamaBeerBuff
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a very deep brownish-crimson color with a sizeable off-white head that retains well and lays down a bit of lacing on my snifter. Very impressive appearance.

S: Initially the aroma of pure, unrestrained vinegar was awful, but it's mellowed a bit with time and some warming. Acidic and fruity, with notes of fermented cherries and a hint of woodiness. I can appreciate it, but it's worlds away from the other oud bruin I've had. The vinegar aroma kind of kills the opportunity for other positives to emerge.

T&M: Sour and tart. There's a good deal of cherry flavor and tartness with a residual aftertaste of vinegar. Some musty earthiness and woody character on the tail end and finish. I definitely appreciate the complexity and subtlety in here. The mouthfeel has a brisk, sharp carbonation and a lighter body, which is in-line with the style.

D: Hard to get a lot of this down because of the vinegar flavor and acidity. I wouldn't want to drink more than 1 of these in a session.

Photo of BlackHaddock
2.53/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Third Flanders Red I've reviewed on this site and it is receiving the lowest scores so far. Very surprised to see it in the top ten for its style.

I didn't like the sour, vingerous aroma mixed in with the old cherry and almonds smells. I know that is what should smell like, but this seemed a over the top.

It looked fine, clear ruby red when held up to the light. The head started as a wisp and didn't change much throughout the drinking, apart from getting less and less.

The sweet and sour taste was too sickly and it was too fizzy as well, over carbonated for sure.

This is a designer beer, I've had it on tap and bottled before, it wasn't great then. My wife doesn't like it and I don't either.

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

Reviewed 2/23/08. Bottle. Pours a dark brown/red with a small thick, white head that persists. Leaves a thick lacing in the glass. Aroma of tart raspberries, sourness. After smelling this beer, I expected to drink a very tart, sour beer but I was surprised by this one! Taste is still sour, especially sour apple, but very sweet with apple, pear, other dark fruits, and oak This beer is more of a cross between a sour ale and a belgian ale, I think. For someone who doesn't particularly like sour ales, I loved this! So drinkable! I wish I had another bottle of this...
Aroma: 8/10
Appearance: 4/5
Flavor: 8/10
Palate: 4/5
Overall: 16/20
4.0/5

Photo of abrand
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

11.2 oz poured into snifter

A- pours a very deep red that is translucent. About a 1/2 inch head that dissolves quickly with a lot of fizzing. Some lacing along the glass.

S- Loads of vinegar (this reminds me of when I was younger and my mother would make me bathe in vinegar when I had a rash). Also hints of fruits and spices. Is there the aromas of wine in there as well?

T- Lots of sweet fruits, predominately cherries which I did not sense with the nose. Along with the smell, I taste hints of red wine and malted vinegar.

M- light bodied with little carbonation

D- Fairly low IMO. While the taste is very unique and alcohol not that noticeable, this brew is way too complex. I enjoyed the experience but not something I would be able to drink routinely.

Photo of davexisxrabid
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a bottle into my Chimay glass to let this Belgian ale breathe a bit and develop a nice head, which it did. This ale was dark brown in color, tinged with red. There was a large two-inch wide head on the ale that left good lacing throughout.

The aroma was a bit like stale spiced apples and cinammon.

Flavor was a big rush of sweet caramel malts; no hop flavor detected. It was not, however, sweet enough to be off-putting. The flavor really matched the sweetness of the aroma. Aftertaste is a bit tart, more like green apples than traditional hops.

Medium bodied, not too thick on the tounge and the aftertaste was an adequate tart as well which made it all in all pretty good.

This beer is very drinkable, I could not taste the alcohol in the flavor. It was not overly sweet, and you can have more than one, although I wouldn't go as far as saying its a great session beer. I look forward to having more of these!

Photo of glid02
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at the Brick Store in Atlanta.

Pours a clear dark ruby color with a one-finger off-white head with a rose tint. The head sticks around for quite a while before receding into a thin layer on top and a thick ring around the glass. Lacing is pretty heavy.

Smells sweet and sour, mostly cherries with some sour apple mingling in there as well.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Equal parts of sweet and sour flavors up front, again mostly cherries, that has a slightly tart ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's very light and the carbonation makes it almost airy. Very nice.

Drinkability is good. It's not the most flavorful Flanders Red that I've had but it's solid.

Overall I enjoyed this one. The mouthfeel makes it very light and refreshing. Give this one a shot if you see it around.

Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.55/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Body is a deep, tawny, foggy dark red. Pours with a one finger creamy, slightly off white (rose colored) head. Perfect retention and plenty of lacing is left behind in the glass.

S- Well I haven't had too many sours but when I cracked open the bottle vinegar smacked me in the face...once I got past the vinegar hints of vanilla, red fruity wine, and oak also emerged.

T- Puckering sour vinegar flavors upfront with a deep complex background of raspberry and dark cherry, oak, and woody flavors. The tartness tones down for the finish so that these flavors can be showcased.

M- Low carbonation and immaculately smooth body which oak and vanilla tones contribute to.

D- This is a good beer. The vinegar sourness is definitely the highlight with everything else in the background. Nice, complex Belgian all around. Probably will have this again.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best Before: 05-12-09.

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark mahogany brown body with a full, frothy, light khaki-colored head. Fair amount of lacing deposited on the way down.

Smell: Sweet-smelling, sugar-coated fruit nose with a big, hearty dose of malt vinegar. Light whiff of an unidentified herbal component.

Taste: Sweet dark caramel maltiness precludes a fruity dose of raspberries and a sugary, lightly tart cherry juice character and with an addition of both aged balsamic and malt vinegars. Squirt of fresh lemon juice. Tiny pinch of cocoa powder. Mild woodiness throughout. Undercurrent of tart acidity, particularly at the end. Long, fruity, crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-plus carbonation.

Drinkability: Recommended. An enjoyable, tasty, relatively smooth Flemish Red jam-packed with rich fruity complexities.

Photo of PhillyStyle
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at the Brick Store Pub in a .25ml wine glass:

A: The beer was a really nice deep red with the thickest, longest lasting off-white head that I have ever witnessed. I tried to wait it out, but it was going to be a futile effort.

S: The aroma was certainly cheery and possibly some other fruit that made it both sweet and sour at the same time. maybe tart cherries. Very complex.

T: Cherries are prominent and you get that very nice sweet and sour combination. Definitely unlike any beer that I have had before.

M: The beer was very smooth and creamy, low carbonation and very easy to drink, but would I want to drink another right afterward, probably not, but would I drink again, without a doubt.

Photo of Carnage0070
4.68/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap at the Cheeky Monk, Colorado.

A - Nice 1 1/2 finger head with a deep red/brown color when held up to the light.

S - Aroma of sweet and sour fruit/cherry.

T - Medium body that finishes with kind of a scotchish/nutty flavor. The sweet and sour stay on your palate long after you finish.

D - Could have had a couple more glasses of the Duchesse! Goes down great and the flavors are outstanding!

Photo of keoki182
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Madison WI's Malt House. Ruddy brown color. Vinegar aroma. Wonderfully complex sweet/sour balance in flavor with some mild cherry fruitiness. With a very basic understanding of the fine range of Belgian beers, I asked for something sour out of curiosity. I've seen beer lovers go ga-ga over sour ales, and I had to know what this was about. The aroma threw me off quite a bit, the strong astringency was very off-putting and made me afraid that I might be in over my head. The flavor though was quite a redemption. Duchesse had an interesting tartness that worked nicely with the understated malt notes and cherry. Really easy to drink, and unique enough that I would have a few glasses without getting bored. I'm looking forward to more ales like this one in my future!

Photo of SouthAtholSuds
5/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The first time I tried this beer I think I fell in love with it. Pours a dark copper/ruby color with minimal head. Strong smell of tart fruit on the nose. Complex tastes of sour figs, raisins and plums with low carbonation. Everything about this beer is balanced perfectly. Minimal carbonation makes this a beer you could drink all night. Instead have one every once and a while. You don't want to kill the appeal of The Duchesse.

Photo of daythree16
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish brown color into a tulip glass. 1.5 finger head that fades, leaving lots of lace.

Sour cherry is the most prominent aroma. There is a tannic quality as well. Smells almost like a red wine. Taste is a nice mixture of of sweet and tart cherries. Has a good bit of acidity on the tongue. It has a pleasant, mildly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is medium with a good bit of carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good. I haven't had a lot of sours, but this one makes me want to try more.

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

A - Pours a dark ruby red color with a ncie small but consistent head.

S - Smells of oak and cherries.

T - At first you notice the oak and cherries but then slowly it develops a dark fruity spice flavor.

M - Silky smooth mouthfeel.

D - You can drink this one for hours.

Photo of hwwty4
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to jtrockchalk for leaving this at my house.

Poured a 11.2oz bottle into my Unibroue tulip. This beer pours a turbid burnt sienna with a 2 inch tan head that leaves slight lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma is sweet fruits, apples, sour pie cherries, and caramelized brown sugar. The taste is amazing. Granny Smith and Fuji apples fly up front, with sour pie cherries, and Belgian candy sugar. The mouthfeel is smooth and slightly dry. This is an exceptional beer that everyone should try.

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,426 ratings.