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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

2,959 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,959
Reviews: 1,339
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 126
Gots: 259 | 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)
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Ratings: 2,959 | Reviews: 1,339 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kiya
kiya

California

4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

upon a hard pour i'm left with a great thick light tan head that holds it's shape and size quite well over the couple of minutes i let the beer sit to warm it up a bit.

this is easily one of the best smelling beers i've ever encountered.. a sweet smokey scent that is so pleasant i wish i had an air-freshner that smelled like this.

nothing could have prepared me for what happened when this stuff hit my tongue. the initial flavor is one of sickly sweet fermented berries, which mellows out quickly leaving a slight molasses flavor that gets sweeter the longer you roll the beer around your tongue. from the carbonation level to the strong sweet overtones work really well here, where as normally (tasting within the style of beer) i'm not so sure i'd be happy if a beer was this sweet without it being a lambic ale of sorts.

i absolutely love the smell, and would definitely go for this again...

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2004 02:17:52 | More by kiya
Photo of rousee
rousee

Massachusetts

4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours active with what looks like floaties popping up top and they disappear quickly into a little harmless carbonation. No head and no lace to speak of.

Smell--Wow !! Almost like vinegar. Very stinky sour acidic fruit scent. Not even a farm smell, more like musty damp socks. My high score is not because it is a pleasant smell but because it is so unusual. I like cheese to be smelly and thats the analogy I will make.

The taste is completely different from the smell. It is now sweet and slightly syrupy with a dry lemonny or citrus type finish. The mustiness comes across like some real effort has gone into brewing this stuff. Chalkiness too with maybe a tad of malt on it. Syrupy mouthfeel and not too drinkable due to its extreme taste and smell. I love it though and will definitely buy again.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2004 00:43:06 | More by rousee
Photo of stingo
stingo

Pennsylvania

4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I first fell in love with this beer while having it on tap my first time at the local beer bar. I am very happy to say it was not mere infatuation - the Duchesse poured a dark dark red that looked very appetizing indeed. The nose was acidic, yet lightly so, so it beckoned to the eager taste buds to get some of what they were missing. And what a nice flavor - deep rich earthy flavors combined with a nice sour edge to give both ends of the palate a treat. The mouthfeel was a bit thinner than I expected, but still very enjoyable. Having drunk this for an entire night, I can truthfully say the drinkability is exceptional. A highly recommended treat for your taste buds.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2004 03:18:47 | More by stingo
Photo of bultrey
bultrey

New York

4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a pleasant little surprise to find on draft at the Ginger Man in New York .Unofrtunately, it was served to me in an imperial pint glass instead of a proper tulip glass or wine glass, but I still enjoyed this interesting beer.
This beer has a beautiful deep red color, with a very wispy head and moderate lacing. The nose is very aromatic -- woodsy, minty, cherry, a little funky. Upon first sip, a sweet-tartness explodes on the palate like Smarties candies, only refined. Fresh cherries come to mind instantly, but there's something else too: a very vinous characteristic, bordering on vinegary, that appears but doesn't overwhelm at any point. There is also the feel as if this were aged in some sort of wood -- almost like cedar. The mouthfeel is a little thin, but very much like sparkling wine. The finish is dry and refreshing, with a wisp of tartness and bitterness. This beer is very refreshing. It's ironic that this is considered a "challenging" or rare style of beer in the US, when in fact, I would recommend something like this first and foremost to a wine lover that wants to get into beers. My first Flanders red, and certainly not my last.

Serving type: on-tap

10-05-2004 20:20:18 | More by bultrey
Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
ALESwhatCURESya

Wisconsin

4.68/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I don't know where to begin with this beer. This is by far one of the most complex beers I have ever had the opportunity to drink. The color is a gorgeous deep ruby. If the head would have held a little longer, I would have given it a "5". The smell has its belgian characteristics with a soft sweet aroma. Ripened cherries fill the nose beautifully. The initial taste really blew me away. The tart beginning smoothes out to a well-balanced sweet wine taste. It has many features of a cherry-cider yet it still holds its beer roots. I think this is truly a fine speciman of master brewing and will have my respect forever.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2004 23:21:57 | More by ALESwhatCURESya
Photo of lastauss
lastauss

Washington

4.9/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Tart, tangy, gorgeous to look at, this has got to be one of my all-time favorites. Notes of sour, sour cherry interlude to delicate oakiness. My only [minor] complaint is that its faint smell totally belies the explosive flavor of this beauty. Truly, a sexy beer, by all counts.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2004 04:05:30 | More by lastauss
Photo of meathookjones
meathookjones

Virginia

3.75/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This appeared a deep brown caramel color with a fairly tall light tan head. Scatterings of lace were left as this was consumed and the head retention was minimal. Holy Crap when I first poured this I took a big whiff and was hit with a HUGE funky tart aroma that was a bit overpowering. After letting it air for a bit it became much more pleasant with a bit of fruity tartness, a slight vinegar smell and some woody notes. Flavor wise this was super tart on the first sip that made me think it was going to take a while to get through this glass. After it warmed a bit I found it much more tasty and palatable with a nice mix of tartness and sweetness balancing each other out with the tartness taking a slight lead. There were fruit flavors and woody notes in the taste as well and a fairly nice lingering sour after taste. Mouthfeel was about medium with a soda bubbly feel to it that kind of detracted from it a bit but not much. This was a real sipper for me and I would definitely have to be in the mood for one of these to drink it. I would have it again in the future but I doubt more than one bottle at a time. Very interesting stuff that deserves a shot if you come across it, and I suggest letting it air out and warm a bit for the best experience.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2004 13:18:41 | More by meathookjones
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark amber color with an offwhite head that fades to lacing. The aroma is very malty. It has a fruity feel as well which enhances the pale and crystal malts. There are hints of chocolate here as well. The taste is perfect. It has a malty base, but is dominated with a tart fruitiness. This goes down very easy and finishes a bit dry and acidic. The mouthfeel is perfect as well. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn good drinking beer. I love the fruitiness along with it's complex malt makeup.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2004 13:12:38 | More by WesWes
Photo of GClarkage
GClarkage

California

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

Had this beer on tap at the Toronado in San Francisco in September, 2004. Served in a authentic Duchesse glass. Watched as it poured with a small head that didn't remain for long. A very opaque, mahoganey color. Almost like blackcurrant juice. A beautiful hue to it. Tons of lace that just stuck to the side and didn't disipate. Smelled both sweet and sour at the same time. A typical Flemish stlye taste but better. Not too sour as I expected. Maybe a cranberry taste or even something nutty in the background. Aftertaste is good as well. A definite great beer that I will have again.

Serving type: on-tap

09-21-2004 23:33:12 | More by GClarkage
Photo of Garin
Garin

Alberta (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It's a crystal clear deep garnet brown beer with an inch-thick bubbly head that quickly shrinks into the glass, with no lace.

The most immediate impression on the nose is vinegar. Underneath is a sweet fruitiness, cherries? Hints of oak mix in there too.

The flavour is sweet and tart, with a moderate but sufficient acidity to keep the sweetness and richness under control. Currants or raisins come to mind as I continue to drink. A malty, oaky character builds as well.

Mouth-coating richness balances the acidity. It's very easy drinking. I was worried this would be too acidic or vinegary to drink. No way. This is my first Flanders Red, and I'm impressed.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2004 23:57:30 | More by Garin
Photo of rdrummer
rdrummer

New Jersey

4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap twice at two different locations, and it is consistently good. It pours a clear dark reddish-brown with a small tan head. The smell is one that is predominantly sour malt. I love that smell but have brother BAs that hate it. The flavor has an initial hit of sweetness but is quickly drowned by the sour malt taste. My wife calls it vinegar but I love it. It has a medium-bodied feel on the palate and is very acidic. I really like the beer but one is my limit. The ascerbic taste is too much for prolonged drinking.

Serving type: on-tap

09-18-2004 22:28:57 | More by rdrummer
Photo of bigbeerdrinka
bigbeerdrinka

Germany

3.45/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours a dark reddish brown with amber hues and a thin white head that barely leaves any bit of a lace. Aromas are a mix of sweet cherries, and what can best be described as a winey vinegar sort of scent. Initially flavors are sweet and tart, with a cherry grape like flavor that almost pushes the bounds of being cough syrup like. Following there is a slight acidic flavor to this brew, and just a hint of spice which makes this brew totally intriguing. The brew finishes are tart and acidic as it started with fruit dominating in the end. Overall this brew was funky but good.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2004 22:32:21 | More by bigbeerdrinka
Photo of homersimpson
homersimpson

North Carolina

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

Clear tawny red/brown with a sedate tan head.
Sourish malty nose, somewhat like a confectioner's shop.
Medium smooth body.
Hits your tonue with a quick sweet / sour flavor. Very candylike. Citrusy up front like a demented lemonade. Smoothly transitions and leaves your mouth with a fruity syrupy flavor that hangs around for the next sip.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2004 22:48:13 | More by homersimpson
Photo of shapudding
shapudding

Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Dark ambered and ruby with tons of carbination rising up to a thick and creamy khaki head. Wonderful aroma. Warm and oaky, molasses. Almost get a BBQ sauce scent, very spicey like a worcester sauce. Make sure to let this one warm up so you get all the flavors and scents to come out and play with ya! Tart and intense flavors! Wow do they reallly hit you in the back of your mouth... Sweet and sour. The blithering one that I drank this with said he tasted pickled beets.... yep... damn if he isn't right... how weird.... but yep. Very interesting tastes in this one, unusual. Not one that I could drink more than one of these 11.2oz'ers because there is such a huge intensity of flavors and there is such strength, but like I said, quite interesting tastes for sure.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2004 16:15:04 | More by shapudding
Photo of canucklehead
canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

New to BC this is a nice find. Pours russet brown with minimal head, the kicker is the intense sour smell on the nose. I can't say I like the smell but it defines this beer as out of the norm. The flavours are a mixture of sourness, old cherries and vinous notes. I love how this beer tastes like it has been down in the cellar forever. Not a session beer by any standard but very drinkable in small quantiites.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2004 17:31:25 | More by canucklehead
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby color with a nice creamy,sticky head that leaves waves of lace down my brandy snifter,aromas are all Belgian some sour cherry and malt vinegar with a touch of funk hits right on.Now I got alot more sweetness than expected in this brew,a kinda sweet/spicey mix that coats ur mouth with only a touch of sourness in the finish wich was unexpected.I picked up some cherry stone and iron notes a little more as I drank but this seems to stay more on the sweeter side for the style,true to the style not sure, but worth a try its a quality brew.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2004 02:34:54 | More by oberon
Photo of nogoodreason
nogoodreason

Missouri

2.63/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Appearance: Nice. Deep red, fairly clear. Lovely thick cream head with a slight red hue. The Duchesse is pretty.

Smell: Um. Vinegar? Sweet Vinegarette? Some fruit, rasberries, cherries. But mostly vinegar.

Taste: Like the smell only with a cloying, sickly sweetness. Again, there is a big fruity aspect there. The more I drink, the less the sweetness effects me and the more I can taste a nice yeastiness but it's subtle, and I still have to wade through the sweetness and the vinegar aspects to get to it.

Mouthfeel: If I can separate the way it feels in my mouth from the smell and taste, I find this to be quite pleasant. Thick, viscous and with enough carbonation to please.

Drinkability: I guess you could call this drinkable, if it's your thing. To me the sweetness made me choke it back rather than savoring it.


I thought at first that I might've gotten a bad bottle, but I asked around and the people that I talked to have had this experience. Some liked it, some didn't. Count me in the latter group. It tastes like a bubbly raspberry vinegarette. Ugh.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2004 16:14:55 | More by nogoodreason
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Edgy Belgium. No particular aroma - balsam vinegar? Good lace. Foamy pour, fluffy. Sweet aftertaste. Oak lends a brown to the amber. Some cherry tartness here, maybe sour lemon and unripe fruit, and oud bruin style. Carbonation in the bottle. And as Monty Python would add, woody.

1.5 years later, sourness to it. Interesting yeast flavours. Expires 6/07.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2004 04:08:37 | More by Sammy
Photo of cncbofh
cncbofh

Colorado

4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a deep goblet as a deep copper red with lots of fizzy and quickly dissappearing bubbly. Amazingly, the beer itself did not "feel" carbonated in the mouth at all, but rather smooth almost like sherry or port.

The smell of roses and fruit were strong, but not overwhelming. Reminds me of Rosé de Gambrinus.

The taste lifted the bar. New and strange, but very very good. It had a soft velvety flavor of fruit - cherry and figs, with a light almondy nutty character. What amazes me so much about this beer is the character is so different and complex, yet the beer is so light and (can I use the word fluffy?)....

Good stuff. Made it to my top ten list.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2004 04:57:50 | More by cncbofh
Photo of yeagerbm
yeagerbm

Pennsylvania

4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours into a goblet with a bright mahogany color not unlike a merlot, topped by a light brown head with very tight bubbles. The head is very frothy with a few aggressive swirls in the glass. Smell is soured fruit and a light vinegar aroma which took me off gaurd, being new to the style. Taste is very tart and fruity cherries yet sweet and relatively drinkable. I am very impressed with the unusually creamy mouthfeel with very dense carbonation. I may have to explore more of these diverse and fruity Belgian ales that I haven't been interested in exploring before.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2004 02:18:25 | More by yeagerbm
Photo of RockyTopHeel
RockyTopHeel

North Carolina

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

11.2 fl oz. bottle marked "Best before 7-09-05." Purchased at the World of Beer, Clearwater, FL.

Chestnut red-brown in color with a pitted, off-white head that leaves heavy lacing on the side of the glass. Aroma is faint, slightly sour.

Taste is soft, subtle, with an almost candied sugar sweetness and a touch of typically Flemish red sourness, and a hint of vinegar. Very rounded flavor, but lacking in intensity--which might be as much due to trying to follow Tripel K as anything else.

Good, very drinkable and enjoyable, but lacking something that would make it exceptional.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2004 01:26:12 | More by RockyTopHeel
Photo of cerevisiaephilus
cerevisiaephilus

Michigan

4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Really a great experience with this beer. The nose is very intense vinegar and winey notes with just a hint of malt. The taste is far less offensive than the nose. Big round malt flavors are deftly balanced by the sourness. I get very intense raisin flavors in the finish. Quite a drinkable beer if it wasn't 8$ a 330ml bottle.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2004 20:38:12 | More by cerevisiaephilus
Photo of Gusler
Gusler

Arizona

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

Well, this is one of those beers that I feel is better from the bottle than the tap, have tried it both ways several times and the bottle wins out, we did a side by side tap and bottle and to a person, everyone thought the bottle better.

The beer as it evacuates the dark brown bottle pours a deep incarnadine color with a majestic crown of tan upon that body, the consistency creamy and the residual lace a thick and clinging sheet that obfuscates the glass. Nose is sweet, fresh and crisp, hints of over ripe fruit, cherries comes to mind, bit of oak also noted, a real treat for the olfactory and ocular senses start, is sweet and malt laden, top is middling in its feel to the palate. Finish is benign in its acidity, the hops spicy and pleasant, with the aftertaste lingering long upon the palate, a true work of the brewer’s art.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2004 16:07:01 | More by Gusler
Photo of Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear amber / brown color with a medium head. Some lacing developed. The aroma was wine-like, fruity, and sour but very unique. The flavor was of malt and sour fruits and cherries. No bitterness at all.

The mouthfeel was crisp with a long sour fruity finish. This brew is medium / heavy in body with decent carbonation. This brew is for slow drinking session late at night, but drinking more than one would be tough.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2004 01:11:01 | More by Gavage
Photo of paulie
paulie

Connecticut

4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle. "Best Before" date of 7/9/05 printed on label.

Pours a deep, deep reddish brown with a stiff head and lots of lace. Aroma of stinky feet and whiffs of fruit. First taste is so sour that it jolts you. Then it settles down and you sense layers of fruit and malt. No hop presence at all. Puckering sourness balanced by some malty sweetness in the finish. Full mouthfeel and lots of carbonation. Extremely refreshing despite the intensity of the flavor and mouthfeel. Very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2004 06:09:19 | More by paulie
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 2,959 ratings.