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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 cabsandking
4.85/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Mahogany red color and a fair sized tan head with good retention. The nose is pungent with notes of acidic tannin, alcoholic esters, sweet and tart plum, and oaky. Flavors are much more mellow than the nose leads to believe...mild dark cherries, oaky vanilla, maple syrup, apple, plum, white grapes, and bigger caramel notes as it warms. Mouthfeel is delicately smooth creaminess with some slight crisp fizz at the end. Now this is a flanders that I could drink more of, perfectly blended and all the flavors meld together so well.

cabsandking, Jan 09, 2007
Photo of demcorhip
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Chimay chalice. Thanks to CBA for trading this gem.

Appearance
A very dark, garnet hued ale. A one finger ruddy tan head formed on the pour, and it continues to sponataneously regenerate itself. This ale is finely yet somewhat actively carbonated, and thin yet full, intricate lacings formed for my appreciation.

Aroma
Wow theres alot to smell in here! Tart red apple funk, toffee, hint of vanilla, and grassy, earthy hop spice.

Taste
Yummy! Something like a bready, caramel and toffee coated red apple (Mc Intosh?, Spartan?). Tart sour funk, candi sugar, vanilla ice cream, earthy hop spice, reminescent of a touch of cinnamon. Damn this is like a tasty sweet and sour apple pie with a good dollop of vanilla ice cream!

Mouthfeel
Theres a hell of a lot going on in this beer! Sour yet sweet, fruity yet bready, solid, creamy toffee character, all enhanced by the cinnamon like hop spice. An excellent brew full of flavour and depth, very well rounded and complimentary to itself.

Drinkability
A very drinkable, incredibly rich and complex ale. Would love to be able to try and session with this. Stay away if sour, oaked brews arent your thing. If you love a tart apple pie with some vanilla ice cream on the side do whatebver it takes to find this gem!

demcorhip, Jan 02, 2007
Photo of beerphilosopher
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A Belgian Flanders Red poured into a tall chalice. Presents itself a deep ruby brown with a thin pale tan head that dissipates quickly, leaving a fine lace in the glassware. Active carbonation bubbles are evident. The nose is, to me, much like a good gueuze albeit a bit more subdued. Tart, over ripe fruits, port, slight cider venegar notes, and a hint of spice. The palate is quite sour up front, causing the mouth to water instantaneously. The sourness quickly yields to a strong sweetness, delivering a taste of confectioner's sugar, cider venegar, cherries, and baker's yeast all at once. The sweetness diminishes again in the mouth after swollowing, reminding you of the sour beginnings. Really a complex play in the mouth. If you've not experienced a Gueuze or a Flanders Red before, this interplay may be a bit much for you. The brewers achieve this by blending both young and old (cask aged) ales to create these complex beers. Once you've aquired the taste for "sour" ales, however, you'll be hooked. The mouthfeel is medium, at best, and the finish is sweet mixed with sour, and lingers long. The feel would be a bit cloying were it not for the aggressive carbonation found here. Intentional ... I'd bet on it. A very good Flanders ale, and one I wish I could find again more readily. This one took a trip to Indianapolis recently to find. These ales are a challenge to some, and very well may not be for everyone ... but if you like a good Lambic, Gueuze or Flanders Red, this is one that will not only please you, but may well be the best exemplar of the style. Terrific.

beerphilosopher, Dec 31, 2006
Photo of Marty
3.4/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a transparent deep rosy amber, which surprised me because I (for whatever reason) expected this to be an unfiltered. Dense, craggy, light brown head.

Smells very sweet, cider-like. Taste is very similar, and surprisingly simple. No hops to speak of, and not even particularly malty. Just FRUITY! Very fruity. Impressive that such a tart flavor could come just from yeast, because I was pretty sure there was a whole granny smith apple in that bottle.

Not something I would buy again, but worth a try.

Marty, Dec 29, 2006
Photo of warmstorage
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 ounces, bottles states 6% ABV. Poured into a wide-mouthed wine glass at cellar temp.

Pours medium to deep brown, dense beige head, dissipates and leaves little lacing.

Aroma is lactic and sour and pleasant. Mouth is tingly and hopping with the bright acidic nature of the beer.

Taste is sweet tangy lactic acid sour tangy goodness. A distinctly sweet fruit taste, ripe pears maybe. A solid Flanders ale, it delivers the fruit and sour body very capably without overwhelming.

An excellent, tasty beer which I'll keep buying and enjoying. Not for non-beer-geek friends, for sure, but an outstanding beer nevertheless.

warmstorage, Dec 21, 2006
Photo of Rudgers73
2.93/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Poured from a 330 mL bottle into a short chalice. I bought this bottle because it was Belgian and I tend to like Belgians. I poured it and it looked like a nice BSDA with a deep brown-red color, tan head that stuck around, and a touch of carbonation. It smells buttery at first with a sweet smell I have never smelled before. Almost like banana and really young pears. I took a taste and it was not what I expected at all. A wild, tart, rich flood of apples, grapes, and walnuts (maybe from the oak). Until I looked at BA.com I didn't know I had stumbled into my first Flanders Red Ale. The mouthfeel was tart and dry, with sharp sticky-sweet notes. Very crisp and clean. I think I would have liked this more if I knew that it was a Flanders. I went into it expecting a deep, round, caramel taste. For now I think FRA's are a bit too tart for my taste as I am currently swinging from belgian darks to american IPA's. Too much for the time being, but maybe I'll return and buy a few in a few months.

Rudgers73, Dec 15, 2006
Photo of Minkybut
2.5/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Poured into chalice at 50 degrees. Beer wa dark with a nice foamu head that tried to climb out of the bottle. I was excited. Nice bready smell and I was getting more excited. The I tasted it and the sourness made me gag. I'm not sure if there was something wrong with this brew or I'm just not into Flanders style ales and I infact poured it out. I will NOT purchase this again.

Minkybut, Dec 09, 2006
Photo of IdentityAles
3.38/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

11.2 oz bottle. Up front sourness followed by a orange, cherry aroma and some vinous qualities. Clear burgundy in color with a small off white head. Aggressive up front sourness, rounded with hint of sour cherries, sherry like, somewhat acidic and a little bitter orange peel. A little astringent for my tastes and the sweetness lingers on the back of the throat. Pretty good job of playing the sweet and sour contrast but seems a little rough around the edges. The aggressive sourness makes it a little one dimensional IMHO.

IdentityAles, Dec 03, 2006
Photo of tcfishler
1.7/5  rDev -59.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Deep red-brown, like an old/oxidized red wine.

Winey nose of sour cherry, yeast, and aceto balsamico.

Hits first with acidity...definitely acetic acid (aka vinegar). Comes through afterward with quite sweet fruitiness, and a tiny bit of roasted malt as well. Highly carbonated. Finishes long but astringent.

Very much a love-it-or-hate-it beer, or perhaps an acquired taste. For someone like me whose background is in wine-drinking, this isfar too similar to a wine that has gone bad, what with the brownish red color and copious volatile acidity (acetic acid). I couldn't even manage to drink more than a few ounces, which is a tragedy given the care put into brewing this. Take my rating with a grain of salt, keeping in mind my biases.

EDIT: Come to think of it, reducing this in a pan on the stove could make an awesome sauce. In that context the vinegar-y flavors would be appetizing rather than offensive.

tcfishler, Nov 25, 2006
Photo of malthead
3.65/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

My first time for a Flanders Red Ale, best before 10/07, served in a tulip.
Very dark red color, nice little red-tinged head. Smell - wow. Like a fine, aged balsamic vinegar. Sweet, darkly fruity at first, but with a vinegar bite after smelling it for a while. Taste - again, wow. Kinda grows on you after a while. It's both sweet and tart. Dried fruit, tannic, maybe a very dry grape juice. Mouthfeel is a little too slick for me, and while interesting, this just isn't very drinkable for me - not sure I'm even going to get through this one. Just too much for me right now, I guess.

malthead, Nov 20, 2006
Photo of dherling
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out a dark reddish brown with a minimal head that drops quickly. The nose is sour, even vinegary. There are also some nice notes of fruit and mustiness. I pick up some faint spice and sweetness lingering as well. The taste uncovers the sweet and extremely fruity notes from the nose. The body is amazingly sour grape juice, with a subdued bitterness that really works. Totally different than the nose, a nice surprise. Medium bodied, with good carbonation. The finish is pretty dry, like white wine.

dherling, Nov 17, 2006
Photo of mcallister
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This bad boy is pouring with a huge ivory white head that protudes over the top of the glass. Great retention and when it finally fades a thick, sticky lace is left behind. The color is a dark mahagonny/ruby red if held to light.

A tart cherry, dried berry aroma. Hints of nuts, and other dried fruits as well.

This is a great flemish. Dried fruit and berry galore with a tart cherry kick. The finish is moderate and leaves you wanting more.

Mouthfeel is a tad off. It seems a little flat and thin.

mcallister, Nov 14, 2006
Photo of Oxymoron
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The power of the Duchesse is great! The pour is a bit viscous (like wine) with a ruby red color and brown tinges when held to the light. A bubbly head that dissipates rather quickly and not much lacing to speak of, but that's ok for style.

The nose is has more of a tart aroma then acidic. Very noticeable fruit esters with cherries, pears and some tropical fruit notes in the back ground. Some sweeter malt and candy like esters. Noticeable Belgium yeast characteristics as well.

The taste is fruity for a Flemish red. The tart flavor brings out a unique cherry blossom tang both enhancing the sweeter malty flavors with the sour like candy apple tastes. The acidic and dry ester flavors leaves a no doubt Flemish style that only is exemplified by the light but delicate Belgium yeast undertones. There is a spice kick at then end. Really this beer brings out all the flavor characteristics of sweet, salty, sour and bitter wrapped altogether.

The body is closer to mid then full, but a true Belgium delight. Yeasty undertones with a fruity center that really appeals to all flavors. There really is a powerful taste overall.

Oxymoron, Nov 11, 2006
Photo of weasbri
4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Rustico, a fine new restaurant with a beer and wine list that features one page of wines, and about 15 pages of beers. Gotta love that.
Poured into a Chimay glass. The restaurant was dark, so maybe the beer seemed darker than it is, but it was a deep red, close to brown color. The head dissipated somewhat, but left a nice lacing on the sides of the glass.
Wow, the taste. I remember reading about Duchesse, but when I ordered it, I wasn't sure what to expect. What I got was a tarty cherry flavor smacking me on the tongue. I almost had my non-beer drinking wife try some, but then decided to keep it for myself. The tartness is well-balanced by a very sweet fruity flavor, and it only tastes like what most people would call "beer" in the remotest sense.
This is one of those beers you take to your wine snob friends if you want to turn them into beer snobs. Lots going on, and I could drink it for days.

weasbri, Nov 03, 2006
Photo of Bitterbill
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml caged and corked bottle(best by Nov 2007 and 6%abv on the label) a ruby red with a large head of foam that settled down to a billowy layer with lots of nice lacing.

The smell is quite fruity, mostly sour cherries and some yeastiness. A *very* good nose, imho.

The taste is fruity sweet up front..I note cherries and pears with a hint of raspberry along with some good yeasty flavour..it's almost hitting me like a good flavourful Lambic. A few more sips in and the sourness that I mentioned in the nose starts to sneak up on me but wait, even at its peak, it is on the mild side. Yum. This Flanders Red Ale is taking a different route from the one I'm used to drinking and that suits me just fine. It is a super smooth drinker.

Halfway through the bottle and indeed, to the last pour, I hold up my NB goblet and see that the colour is *still* a clear ruby red, the smell and taste are *still* a delightful mix of sweet and sour fruit, the foam is *still* a sight to behold. I'm certainly I grabbed a bottle of this one on my last trip to Colorado. I would not hesitate to buy another.

Bottom line: Super smooth yet flavourful Flanders Red Ale. Do try it if you see it in a store near you!

Bitterbill, Oct 29, 2006
Photo of AndoBrew
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

*I like it will buy it again*

the cork says exp date nov.2007

app: NICE, I poured it right into a duvel tulip, a 2 finger head. deep rich garnet ruby color kahki colored head.. its just pretty.

smell: sour, little dark viniger, some spiciness in the nose. I love this smell. I really do. something inviting and wamring about it.

taste: Yum Yum Yum. a little sweet and meek up front then mild sour tartness then more refined sweets, then booze on the breath like a nice post white wine sip. actually the soft fruity sweet finish reminds me a lot of a very mild white wine... little pepper in it to.
has a little spice and spritz in the back of the throat that reminds me of the way sparkiling cider that I had to drink on new years when I was young felt.

very balanced, very smooth then exciting then smooth again. I was a little worried that it would be a lot more sour than it is.. cause I have this big bottle all to myself. BUT its easy sailing.

mf: spritzy, alive.. I wish it was more carbonated. and or thicker.. I dunno. Its good.. Actually silky, thats it, I wish it was more silky.

drinakble?: very very drinkable.. the cider type spritz spice, slows you down a little.. also the feeling like drinking to much cider, that if you chugged vats of this you would have to sit down on the pot for a long time slows me down a bit.

OverAll: today was my 1 year day of joining BA, great beer to have as a reward. This is really great beer, and if you are scared of the whole wild beer sour tart pucker thing, no worries here. It is there but mild. I think some of the lady's might even love this one.

AndoBrew, Oct 26, 2006
Photo of drinknewbelgium
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured thick and dark redish brown body with a thick head. Tastes of sour grapes/cherries but sweet like that of good champagne with a sour tart finish the mouthfeel was that of thicker champagne decently carbonated flanders reds are an aquired taste not to my liking but i am trying to be as objective as possible an above average interpretation of this style

drinknewbelgium, Oct 24, 2006
Photo of TastyTaste
2.23/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Appearance: Very Dark red body, lets very little light through. Grand off-white head, slow fading.

Smell: Tart and sour, earthy and musky. There is also a little rotten egg smel, but it is not very small. Not bad.

Taste: Not very strong, but overly sweet and somewhat cloying. The taste is not very tart or sour, but rather a murky blend of carmel and fruit. There are others better in the style. Medicinal, a little like cherry cough syrup.

Drinkability: A 750 is too much of this, it will be a chore to finish. Mouthfeel is undercarbonated.

TastyTaste, Oct 20, 2006
Photo of Sixpoint
3.68/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Ahhhh. The Duchesse.

I'm a big fan of the Flanders Red Ale style.

Poured a deep burgundy color, murky color that I recognize from wild yeast, lactobacilus.

I liked the aroma - sour cherry, tart, musty. However, it seemed to be comprimised by a blanket of molasses. I hope it doesn't pervade the taste.

It did. DAMNIT. Syrupy blanket pervading and busting up precious hop and sour wild yeast.

Too thick a body to keep me interested; I love a good, dry, tart Flanders Red.

Pretty drinkable, but I think I could only have one or two.

Sixpoint, Oct 11, 2006
Photo of Foxman
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

It pours a clear warm garnet, almost burgundy. Two fingers of light tan head drop gradually to floes of fine foam. Valences of lacing adorn the inside of the glass.

The aroma delivers a sassy grain sweetness including cherry, raisin, chocolate, caramel, and grapes. A mellow funky barnyard sourness grounds the cloying aura, and a light port note drifts lazily along.

Upon tasting, there arrives a cherry tart sweetness, like fruity pop, with a fizz and cola bite. A funky, horsey, earthy sourness lends a vinegar edge, fresh and tangy. A softer underlying sweetness relights the grain presence and joins a very ginger crispness that lingers gently on the palate. It's an intriguing blend that steps lively and tastily.

Medium bodied, the sugary grain sweetness and equine tartness lend a truly energetic character to the mouth.

It's a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world, Lola, and I mean that in a good way, in this case. It's like a snarky black cherry soda and all the better for it. Keep in mind that the earthiness and almost cloying aristocracy make it just moderately drinkable. Still, it's interesting, intense, and a nice departure for when you're craving some of Flanders' finest.

Foxman, Oct 06, 2006
Photo of bennetj17
3.33/5  rDev -20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reddish -brown appearance, that is actually a deep amber up close. Lots of spritzy carbonation and 1/2 inch thick, tan foam that only settles a bit after while. The aroma is strong and vinous, lots of cherry and raisin fruit with a hint of vinegar and oak-like sourness. The taste unfortunately doesn't match up to the smell, as the flavor is almost too sweet, reminding me of grape juice. More dark fruit flavor, yet it is only weakly tart, leaving a light astringence in the finish. Mouthfeel is a bit light, decent carbonation, nothing spectacular.

The drinkablilty is average, it was hard for me to get into this beer. I was hoping for the taste to match the complexities first noted by the aroma. I would have liked it to be more sour also...

bennetj17, Oct 06, 2006
Photo of pootz
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a decadent dark garnet colored ale with orange highlights into my goblet. Tight 2 finger off white cap reduced to a thick surface lace that draped the gass sides with lace. Looks like a glass of burgandy with a head.

Nose: complex.. grape or cherry skins, fruits in blasamic vinigar, some woodyness light detectable sweetness. A delightful tart fruityness.

Medium body, puckering but silky mouth feel, vinous sweet and sour character.

Starts musty-maltty and quickly turns on the complexity...the tougue is pummeled with concord grape, apples, cherries, boysenberry, figs, vanilla pods, some tobbaco and lots of other tones too numerous to grasp in one mouthful....all this complexity is wrapped in a sweet and sour controlled acidy where the lactic acids and fruits are balanced off by sweetnes from rich malt and candi adjuncts. The finish is remarkably dry-tart where the vinous quility is experineced in a slow departure of tart fruit and musty-woody flavors...slightly sweet aftertaste.

MY God what a ride!! This is a great beer for what it offers...a speeding roller coaster of complexity in its delivery...it may not be everyone’s cup of tea but until you have tried it consider yourself deprived.

pootz, Oct 01, 2006
Photo of delicious
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Auburn body and a very thin beige head that leaves an interesting lace.
There's a hint of fermented apple cider in the nose and a little vinegar.
Holding the first sip in my mouth, all the tiny bubbles work with the sourness and cider vinegar to create something alive and explosive; alcohol warmth lets the feeling linger on. The initial sweetness seems to come from sour cherries, unripe plums, and apples, and the dichotomy is an interesting experience; the two extremes of sweet and sour not only coexist, but thrive. As the temperature rises, the sourness calms a bit and lets you explore it more in-depth. I could sip this all by its self, but it also went great beside a burger topped with a mound of gorgonzola.

delicious, Sep 29, 2006
Photo of smcolw
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very red and very clear

Deep malt aromas, lots of cherries. Very close in aroma to a Framboise.

The taste has lots of cherries, quite sweet. So much so that I re-read the bottle to see if it was infused with fruit. Again, this is very much like a Framboise...without the lip-smacking sourness. Tastes more potent than the alcohol indicates (6% abv). The body is full, carbonation is moderate. The aftertaste is a light tartness that diminishes slowly.

This is an unusual Belgian in that it doesn't have the typical flavors/aromas. Still, it is very good. Think heavy lambic with less tart.

smcolw, Sep 29, 2006
Photo of BeerAmbassador
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is the second time I have tasted this beer the first being only a few ounces at a tasting I decided to wait for a full bottle to review it.

Appearence is a deep ruby color with fairly small head that dissapates quickly.

Smell is super complex: sweet, sour, woody all at once. definately some fruitiness going on as well.

Taste is amazing with lots of fruit/ sweet/ sour going off all at once. This beer reminds me of balsamic vinegar in a really good way. This beer is so complex I am having a hard time quantifying it.
Mouthfeel is just about right with maybe just a slight bit of a grainy feel.

This is definately food beer. I would have a hard time drinking it without food to go with it. As of now I have an aged white cheddar that is aged with Guinness stout and it tastes pretty good together but since it reminds me so much of Balsamic I bet it would go better with some really good Parmesan. When I first tasted it someone said that it makes a killer salad dressing which I found pretty interesting. And I bet if you reduced it down to a glaze it would be killer with some grilled meat.

BeerAmbassador, Sep 21, 2006
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,245 ratings.