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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

3,564 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,564
Reviews: 1,413
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.46%
Wants: 174
Gots: 502 | FT: 9
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Verhaeghe visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Flanders Red Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-15-2001

Belgian top-fermented reddish-brown ale, a blend of 8 and 18 months old beers following the careful maturation in oak casks.
View: Beers (13) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,564 | Reviews: 1,413 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bmwats
4.01/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip.

A: Dark brown color with reddish hue. Foam plumed out of the bottle when I opened it, but I can't say whether this is characteristic or not as I only had one. Overall it is lightly carbonated and pours into a 3 finger frothy, cratered, off white head. Leaves bubbly residual as it settles into a layer of carbonation on the surface. Heavy carbonation buildup where the surface meets the edge of the glass. Leaves spotty, but significant lacing as you drink.

S: Malt, molasses, and peat. Really sweet nose.

T: Light malt flavor, hints of cherry, cranberry, and peat.

M: Carbonation infiltrates mouth. Fruity flavor, then light maltiness, and the pungent peat lingers for the aftertaste. Light but syrupy feel.

D: Quality drinkability. Good sipping beer. Good flavor, no strong alcohol taste.

This is a really distinctive brew. Sweet, but unlike your lambics, the sweetness is offset by the malt and pungent peat. Really distinctive flavor, really good atmosphere, really good drinkability. One of the only downsides is the smell is almost overwhelmingly sweet. Overall very good quaff. I highly recommend trying this one if you have the opportunity.

Photo of onecrazybreeze
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Tap at the Falling Rock. Poured a dark opaque brown with slight red tints, had no head by the time it got to me. Smelled sugary and fruity, mainly of raisins. Tasted more sweet then sour to me, mainly of cherries and raisins. It's not overly sour making it a great beer for those that need a good balance between sweet and sour in a sour brew. In all, a very likable beer.

Photo of NolateM
4.77/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle is just over 2 years old, which should not affect this review too much considering the style.

Super dark brownish-reddish-almost-blackish, with a thin head that quickly dissipates. The aroma is inviting: citrusy, brown sugary. The flavor is superb - literally one of the finest beers I've ever tasted. Tangy and lemony, but not mouth puckering. Some wood flavor, cherry, brown sugar, and vanilla... all very lingering. Easy to drink, with almost no alcohol flavor present, and a lively, soda-like carbonation.

Damn there's a lot going on in this fine piece of beverage art! I'm a fanatic of the Flemish ales, and this goes down as my favorite so far. A special occasion beer that is truly worth every penny.

About 13 bucks if you find a four-pack of small bottles, and 9-10 dollars for a the more common 750 mL.

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

Well, this is my first real sour, and it is fantastic. I'm leaving some room in my score because I need more experience to give too high of a score. I will be coming back to this review when I've had a few more sours. This beer pours a beautiful red brown that looks incredible in my St. Bernardus glass. The aroma is tart, hinting at the sour cherry flavor. The flavor is big sour cherry with an underlying oakiness. It is fairly close to a sour cider that has been aged in wood barrels. There are flavors of great fruit vinegar. The feel is silky and mildly bracing. It's the best fruit flavor in a beer that I've ever tasted. I'm extremely tempted just to give higher scores now.

Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.01/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip. Freshness of 5/2009 on the bottle.

Appearance: Very dark ruby red / dark brown. Decent 3 cm head forms after a careful pour, leaving a thick collar, some nice lacing around the glass, and a small head that is reinvigorated by the internal carbonation. Very interesting look.

Smell: Quite a strong tart aroma: cherries, apples, plums, and grapes make up most of the aroma, with a light note of the malt and yeast.

Taste: The opening note is not at all presumptuous, a light, slightly fruity, but mostly sweet taste. The incredible tartness takes a second to come through, but when it does, it is a powerful taste. The same flavors present in the smell hit my taste buds quickly: cherries, plums, light apples, and a fair amount of grape. With these strong flavors I almost feel as if I am drinking an exotic wine or sangria. A flash of malt barely escapes out of the oppression of the fruit flavors, which carry it into the finish. The end is wrapped up very nicely, with some cherry and plum notes. Overall a very unique flavor.

Mouthfeel: Although there was not a huge head on the beer, this is a surprisingly carbonated ale. The bubbles add a crispness to the tart flavor that makes it quite quaffable. Smooth, with a medium body, and a slightly creamy finish.

Drinkability: I have not yet tried, but consuming more than a few of these tart treats would prove to be a challenge. The somewhat sour flavor will ensure this is a sipper.

This was my first Flanders Red Ale, but I definitely believe I started with a good one. Some very unique and exceptional characteristics in this beer.

Photo of nephilae
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Reddish brown, very clear. Has a minimal head, few bubbles. Thin consistency which show little cling to the glass.

S - Smell is strong. Very oaky and fruity, showing a great similarity to a tawny port.

T - Very sweet for a flemish red. Has the characteristic sour flavor, but well-balanced with the sweetness. The taste reminds me a lot of lemon and coke.

MF - Crisp, clean, leaves mouth feeling slightly dry from the sourness. Its thin consistency doesn't leave any residue.

D - This is not my favorite style of ale, so I can't say it would be a staple. For the style, it's one of the better balanced flavors, which is not overly sour. I would favor this over others.

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

On-tap at the Farmhouse in Emmaus, PA. Served, post-dinner, in a large wine glass, murky brown with no head. This beer reminds me of Goudenband. The beer menu described this as having chocolate-covered raisin flavors, and I think that's a bit of a stretch. Certainly, there is a pairing of sweet candy and sour flavors, and I can find raisins in here, but no chocolate. This beer is not that much of a dessert beer. For it's creamy mix of flavor (which also includes salad vinaigrette) it's not an incredibly drinkable beer, but it is a semi-approachable sour ale that drinks a bit like a thick hard cider. Not my favorite, but a beer to try if you're into the wild styles.

Photo of thierrynantes
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer bottle (33 cl.), tasted in 2000.

Appearance : brown/red color, with huge tan foamy head.
Smell : fruity tart, deep and malty aromas.
Taste and mouthfeel : good sweetness and sour, rich taste.
Drinkability : a good beer in the style Flanders red ale.

Photo of ChillMike
3.21/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep mulberry color with a smaller white head that has a little bit of pink color. It leaves some nice lacing all around the glass.

S: Very odd smell, like a mix of malts with I would say a Syrah/Shiraz smells like. Ahhh hence the aging in oak casks. Not overly impressed with the smell.

T: Very complex tasting beer, super sugary malt flavor, with a sour apple kind of taste with a mix of a champagne and wine mix. A little too sweet for my likings . I like the mix of flavors and it definitely is an interesting taste but this tastes too close to a lambic for my likings.

MF: Very light and bubbly, again almost like champagne. Interesting style for a beer.

D: Pretty drinkable if you're into the style I suppose.

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

A: Nice deep burgundy color.

S: Huge fruity aroma, sour cherries, and berries and a light vinegar presence.

T: Cherries and sour berries for flavor and drinks like a fermented fruit juice with some fresh dark fruit and plums as well. Some oaky and vinous notes. Sweet alcohol laced cherries closes things out. Spicy bite from the yeast and hops with an acidic bite.

M: lots carbonation and was very fizzy. Very smooth and silky on the tongue and well balanced.

D: Highly recommended. smooth and is very drinkable.

Photo of magictrokini
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very enjoyable beer. Was my first foray into the Flemish sours. Pours a clear brown with no head. Aroma is sour malt and apples. The taste is very light and smooth. Sour up front that turns sweet, almost like a brewer's take on champagne. It got better as it warmed. Will definitely seek this one out again.

Photo of DIM
1.7/5  rDev -59.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

My only other example of this style has been Rodenbach's Grand Cru, which I loved. There was a space on the label of this one marked best before, but there wasn't a date. Did I get a bad or old bottle?

a: This looked appealing at least. It was a crystal clear coppery mahogany color. It poured with a medium sized, fizzy, off-white head that faded fairly quickly.

s: As expected, I got notes of sour, vinegary cherries. Unfortunately, this was intertwined with some gritty, saccharine sweet maltiness. Alone, either smell is fine. Together though, it was just a complete turn-off.

t: Same story here. I like sour edge, but the cloying artificial sweetner made this undrinkable to me. Maybe I need to revisit this one, but I'd have a hard time working up the courage.

m: The carbonation was fine, but the aftertaste was abominable. That combination of tart vinegar, cherries and malty Sweet and Low was too much for me.

d: I like sour beer, but this one just isn't for me. Strangely, it was just too sweet.

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

Deep brown, with amber and ruby colored prisms reflecting from each angle, the nose is distinctly aromatic of balsamic vinegar, as suggested by the storekeep. Bubbling on the lips and then sweetly settling on the tongue, blossoming out with initial flavors of vinegar down the center, with more robust fruits, cinnamon adn dark break congealing at the back of the throat, yet leaving a dryness in the mouth. Smooth throughout and surprisingly complex, but odd in the fact that sour vinegar is predominant. That makes it difficult completely without a food accompaniment, but well worth the try and oddly enjoyable.

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
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%
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
3.09/5  rDev -25.7%
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
4.2/5  rDev +1%
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
4.2/5  rDev +1%
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
3.54/5  rDev -14.9%
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.

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,564 ratings.