Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

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Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

3,425 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,425
Reviews: 1,373
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 159
Gots: 421 | 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: 3,425 | Reviews: 1,373 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Proteus93
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Red with an amber hue through the flute. A rich, deep, head that leaves liberal sticky lacing behind.

S: Something of a plum-like scent? Almost like the fruit in a wooden crate, maybe a little closer to a mass of cherries in a shipping crate. Can't really make out the specific fruity aroma, but it is certainly Almost a touch of a solvent like aroma in there - it's not cedar, but that's what is coming to mind at the moment.

T/M/D: Crisp, tart fruits. Peeled cherries, lightly spiced, but sour through the end. Maybe a little more on the sweet than sour side, and something of a champagne like taste and mouthfeel in there. The puckering sensation leans more towards being lip-smacking than a cheek-sucked in sourness. An intriguing ale, and a style that I'd like to look into further.

Photo of objectivemonkey
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Flanders red indeed, a beautiful crimson brown color with nice whitish head and some spiderweb lacing that otherwise fizzles out until warmed. The aroma smells of sour and tart fruits, red skinned ones, cherry, red apple, plum, and vinegar for some reason.

The taste similarly puts on a display of sweet, tart, sour fruits, follows the grape to an almost vinous quality, earthy and complex and... vinegar again? (Now, I'm not the biggest vinegar fan, far from it, but it seems ok here for some odd reason, but still, pushing my buttons.) Sweetens a bit with a juicy body through the middle only to tart up and dry out a bit at end.

The body is mostly medium, a spritzy effervescent carbonation. The great thing about this beer is it ages well, and because I have to really be in the mood for this style (though when I do, I really crave it), that makes it all the better. In all, a delightful brew, one I've had on a few occasions now, both in bottle and on tap. Always a treat.

(Also, I should note, after reviewing this beer, I broke out some Saint Andre cheese with raspberry preserves and Brenton crackers, they all played together nicely.)

Photo of Rezzin
4.97/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Poured into a tulip glass. 1/4" tan head that doesn't hang out long. Color is a deep mahogany red and it's crystal clear. I expected it to be bottle conditioned but I didn't notice any trace yeast in the bottle. Looks quite appealing.

S - Wow, the aroma is incredible. Complex with fruity notes. Cherries, plums, some tartness in the nose. Slight barnyard character - sweet caramal.

T - This is an excellent flanders red - the sweet and tart is perfectly balanced. There's that a ever so slight barnyard character that just perfectly compliments the flavors in my mouth. You have to search for the barnyard - it's very slight. Sour cherries, raspberries, maybe even some plum with a nice balanced sweetness. I'm loving these sour beers right now!

M - Medium to light body with a nice acidic crispness. Moderately carbonated.

D - I've died and gone to sour beer heaven. I love this beer. I'm looking forward to trying other examples of this style to see what i'm missing. If this is not one of the better ones then I'm in for a real treat!

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

Finally got around to reviewing this classic of the style. Had a bottle at the Brick Store poured into the appropriate glassware. Poured red without much head or lacing, but still pretty to look at. Sweet and sour aromas of apples and cherries and a lightly acetic quality. The taste has that same sweet/sour combo as its main thread of flavor. Added to that are flavors of spiced cherries, a bit of oaky woodiness, and a developing creamy sweetness with a hint of bitter tannins right at the finish. Mouthfeel is creamy and soft and a bit sweet. This is on the low side in the sour spectrum that this style encompasses. Very nice, if not quite as complex as some others. Still, relatively easy to find and a solid brew.

Photo of Graham5161986
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a clear, deep red colour with a nice, tan head that quickly dissipates to a thin layer of film and leaves a nice sticky lace.

S: rich aromas of ripe fruit and spice (cherry and plum dominate), lots of caramely sweetness as well - nice and pronounced

T: sweet and sour cherries throughout with hints of apple and spice on the finish (possibly a tad of red wine on the finish as well) - quite complex, very strong, and nicely balanced.

M: medium bodied and very crisp, good carbonation and a throat tingling spicy finish.

D: A great beer. Very strong aromas and flavours, well crafted and quite easy to drink despite it's relatively high ABV. I could put a couple of these in a night, but I would rather sip it slowly to discover the many flavours hidden in this very fruit-forward ale. I highly recommend that everyone try this beer and I will definitely be buying this one again.

Photo of dsa7783
3.05/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Purchased an 11.2 oz bottle from Total Wine and More in Union, the first Flanders Red Ale I ever tried, and to be honest, I was pretty overwhelmed with the cloying, thick, rich, and ultra-sweet taste I encountered... nice ruby-red appearance with decent frothy head... smell is sharp and sweet, full of pine, sugars, and candy... taste is extremely rich and ultra dominating, very, very sweet with a strong apple-cider taste overpowering the beer... the smell is strongly alcoholic even though there is a modest 6.2% ABV... With such a strong and rich combination of flavors, this is definitely not a brew that I would want to down more than one of in a single setting... Copped this single sample for about $4.99... Very over-powering and strong... took it easy with this one... you will either love it or hate it...

Photo of Patrick999
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Very nice looking Flemish red. Dark mahogany, excellent head and retention. Probably the best I've seen.

S - Fruity and woody, a little incense.

T - Not really enough sour for my liking, this is overbalanced toward the sweet. I like the slight funky, woody, sasparilla/birch beer-like tang halfway through; that's about the only thing that cuts the sweetness. Of course, this is quite tasty even though it's too sweet. It tastes so good, I'm still going to give it high marks.

F - Highly carbonated, it's kinda burpy. Avoids stickiness, no small feat given the sweetness.

D - It's very easy to drink, though I feel the sweetness could get in the way. This is well-done, but I prefer the sour, more-difficult Rodenbach Grand Cru.

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

A: Poured into a goblet. Color was a mixture between mahogany and cherry wood. When poured head was about one finger thick, which dissapated rather fast. Lacing was exceptional and was there for the entire beer.

S: I picked up a good amount of different scents in this one... Dark fruit came though, as well as a very strong port wine scent, toasty, currants, molasses, peat, soy sauce, and a faint hint of chocolate.

T: Sweet up front then went into a tart dark berry & cherry profile. One of the flavors that was lingering in the background that took me a minute to put a finger on was toasted almond. Chocolate was there but very faint as well. This beer for sure had some flavor charactaristics that were similar to a port wine.
Very nice after taste.

M: Medium body, nice bubble feel on the tongue.

D: I think it's a great beer but I could only go for a few of them due to the sweetness.

The bottle I poured had been aged for at least two years in my cellar. I can't really remember what it tasted like when I drank it when I first got my hands on a few bottles. I do not remember there being as many scents at the time though. Over all a very nice beer. Would lend itself very well to many different foods.

Photo of bonbini26
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

a: Deep mahogany to brown. Cream colored head fades to a thin layer. Nice lacing.

s: Smells of tart fruit, cherry in particular and cola.

t: The combination sweetness and cherry reminds me of a cherry coke. Light tartness balances the sweetness. Low acidity for the style.

m: Carbonation is lively which complements the style.
Light to medium body.

d: Typical drinkability for style. I would drink a few if the sweetness didn't catch up to me. The sourness is more subdued than the other Flanders Ales I've tried. More sourness would help balance the sweetness.

Photo of hopsleeroy
1.95/5  rDev -53.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

I was excited to give this style a shot. This is my first experience with the Flanders Red. Looked very nice on the pour with a deep copper body and a very minimal white head that dissipated quickly. The smell-lets say a tad sour. Reminded me of the fruity flavors and strong scent of balsamic vineagar. The taste was sour cherries! It just blasts you right up front and them dissipates. The Duchesse is well carbonated which accentuates the sour flavor up front then swallows fairly clean. The sour was too much for me. I felt like I was drinking vineagar. I only managed 4-5 sips and was done. There is a lot of flavor in there but the sour/vineagar flavor was so overwhelming it was hard to enjoy everything this beer has to offer. Everyone should give this a shot, but you may learn like me that this flavor does not suit your tastebuds.

Photo of Skidud313
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

My first try of this style. Been looking forward to it and it didn't disappoint.

Poured a deep burgundy/mahogany. A little over a finger of head, retention and lacing are incredible. Smells a bit tart and sweet. Tastes very unique, sort of sweet, almost cidery. I got more apples than the berries and cherries others were getting.

Very carbonated, dances on the tongue.

Looking forward to more like this.

Photo of Stoneman78
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a medium-ruby red hue, off-white head is soapy and bubbly that mostly dissipates, clumps of lace on the glass
S- Tart fruits, berries, cherries, cola, touch of red wine and vinegar
T- Initial taste is red wine and vinegar, followed by wood, cherries, and berry fruits, finishes sweet and tart
M- Medium-bodied, watery texture, amped up carbonation
D- A solid embodiment of this style and perhaps one of the most popular that I've heard of, a very interesting ale that marries sour beer with a wine-like profile, this definitely makes me want to seek out more Flanders Reds in the future

Photo of nbree00
2.28/5  rDev -45.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This beer pours a beautiful deep brown with a reddish tint to it. The smell was pleasant with a sort of spiced cherry aroma coming through, however I was not very impressed with the carbonation which seemed to be low. The taste for me was pretty overwhelmingly sweet, no apparent sourness to better balance the flavors out. You can taste some of the roasted malts but other then that pretty bland with a cherry-banana sweetness coming through that makes it pretty hard to drink, definitely a sipping beer. Overall I didn't care for it much

Photo of jenbys2001
2.15/5  rDev -48.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

I bought this beer as part of a mixed six pack on a recommendation from a friend. I had high hopes for it since I have a fixation on Belgian beers. Unfortunately though I was really disappointed. It's one of the few premium beers that I sincerely disliked.

For me the flavor is far too cloying and sweet. It tasted similar to a heavy sweet wine rather than beer. Although I did enjoy the after taste. The lingering flavor is very nutty, almost coffee like- which I would attribute to the oak casks. Although the color is very appealing and the smell is fairly pleasant and spicy I did not like the lack of carbonation. It gave the beer a syrupy quality that I did not enjoy. Definitely a sipping beer, but my husband and I had a hard time finishing one 11.2 ounce bottle between the two of us.

However, if you enjoy very sweet beverages you might appreciate this beer.

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

Poured from a 750ml green bottle.
Best by Dec 2008 according to the cork.

a: Deep mahogany to brown. Cream colored head fades to a thin layer. Nice lacing.

s: Smells of tart fruit, cherry in particular and cola.

t: The combination of coca-cola sweetness and cherry reminds me of a cherry coke. Light tartness balances the sweetness. Low acidity for the style.

m: Carbonation is lively which complements the style.
Light to medium body.

d: Typical drinkability for style. I would drink a few if the sweetness didn't catch up to me. The sourness is more subdued than the other Flanders Ales I've tried. More sourness would help balance the sweetness.

One of the better Flanders ales I've had.
Its no La Folie, but nothing is.

Photo of bloberglawp
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Duchesse de Bourgogne falls into a style that is very rare here, sour ales. Fortunately (I think), at least the FEW beers the goverment commisioned liquor board does import are quite good and that includes this one.

Pour deep mohagany red, white head that dissipates quicky to a thin film and leaves behind medium lacing. Big aroma of fruit, tartness, barnyard hay and light vinegar caracter. Suberb taste of wild berries, yogurt lacticity and husky unmalted grain.

Very interesting ale, wish I could get more flander reds, oud bruns and lambics up here.

Photo of BucBasil
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Poured into a tulip glass from the 11oz bottle. At first glance black, but when held to light some ruby notes shine through. Head is offwhite, one finger thick, and dissipates rather quickly.

Smell: The first whiff of this crazy brew is vinous, especially richer red wines, which really caught me off guard. Futher exploration reveals a tangy sweet raspberry aroma, as well as an off alcohol note.

Taste: Wonderfully unique and unlike any other beer in existence. Has a great raspberry-like introduction, and follows up in the midpalate with a sort of cherry pie flavor (crust and all). Finishes extremely tangy and sweet, but also smooth and refreshing.

Mouthfeel: Prickly and medium bodied but surprisingly smooth going down.

Drinkability: I don't think I could do more than on of these at a time because of the intense sweetness of the beer. However, it's a great change of pace if you want something really out of the ordinary.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330ml poured into my Kasteel tulip. Picked up in trade.

Short lasting 1/2" head.. atop a beautiful brown brew with crystal clear deep red highlites.

Aroma is sweet and definately vinegar like... Unexpected sweet and sour cherry aroma... wine/tawyny port notes in the nose.

Flavor has Balsamic characteristics for sure... Sweet red wine and cidery with cherry notes... as it warms dark dried fruits play a bigger role, prunes raisins and sugary dates.. big woody oakey overtones throughout.. interesting... not nearly as sour as expected.. creamy lite/medium body and an active carbonation pushes the flavors through my mouth making me want another taste... Oakey Strawberries mascerated with Balsamic BURPS!

I've had 2 other bottles of this one, but this one aged for a while... I have no idea if the cellaring helped, but I am appreciating this one more than previous notes signify.. I would buy this again and again if it were available in Boise... but after reviewing it, I would let most sit for a long while before capping another.

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

A: Poured into a snifter at The Red in Santa Cruz. Color is a mix between quadrupel brown and cherry red. Decent head for a style characterized by acidity.

S: Oak, brett, vinegar, cherry.

T: Nice red fruit sweetness is decapitated by an exquisite tartness and vinaigrette bite that puckers every corner of the mouth. Some oak and grape skin.

M/D: Thin bodied, dry, effervescent, and smooth. The only fault is that the sharpness is best in small doses, reducing the drinkability to me.

Photo of drperm
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Don’t try this at a beer festival in the midst of sweet stouts, hoppy IPAs, or complex Abbeys. You won’t like it and you’ll give it a bad grade, simply because it’s so different from everything else. Sort of like drinking a strong Cabernet-Zinfandel blend with palak paneer and chicken jal frazie -- you’ll end up thinking that the wine is bad. Rather, this beer, a remarkable example of Flemish Red Ale, should be experienced on its own, or better yet, with dinner.

It is matured in oak casks, giving it a rich depth. It has a sourness reminiscent of Gueuze or unfruited Lambic, but has much more to offer than the Gueuze that I’ve tasted. There is a mild fruity (applish) acidity to the finish giving it a wine-like quality: not for nothing is it called the “Burgundy of Beers.” It is this acidity coupled with the pleasant sourness and wine-like dryness that makes it go so well with a variety of foods, from artisan cheese to seafood (I expect – I’m dying to try it with mussels and frites) to venison (I had it with a savory meat pie loaded with cardamom and other spices), and I’m sure there are other wonderful pairings lurking out there to be found.

Definitely a keeper. It’s also not nearly as high in alcohol (about 6.2% ABV) as other Belgians, so it won’t knock you out for the rest of the evening.

Photo of TerryW
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours cola dark with a short head that is very long lived. Rings of lace as you work your way down the glass.

Nose has some slight sharpness. Vinegar, sweetness, fruit. Appetizing aroma.

Sweet and fruity with a syrupy malt vinegar finish. Nice dose of oak. Interesting flavours throughout. Rather heavy slick mouthfeel.

A nice drink, good slow after dinner beer. Worth a try.

Photo of joe1510
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

33cl Bottle
$3.59
Binny's Orland

Best before 3/21/08

Duchesse de Bourgogne appears rusty when poured into a flute. A soapy bubbled beige head rose to just over a finger on the pour. Fairly clear with tiny carbonation bubbles rising to the head. Leaves a spot or two of lace here and there. Good looking Flanders Red.

Aroma has much less vinegar than I expected to find. There is hints of balsamic vinegar though that mingle nicely with damp musty oak. There's tart cherries that make my mouth water each time I stick my nose in the glass. All the aromas are perfectly balanced. As this breathes the vinegar does become more pronounced.

This is certainly a lively beer in the mouth. There's a wave of sourness upfront followed by an explosion of sweet and sour mid-palate. There's not much oak in the flavor but the mustiness and cherries are there. Slight vinegar after the sweet and sour explosion. Finishes with semi-sweet cherries.

Extremely lively mouthfeel that becomes frothy as it moves along. Light bodied with big pops of flavor concentrating on seperate areas of the mouth. The carbonation is on the higher side of the spectrum and keeps this one moving quickly.

This is actually a fairly refreshing beer that does down pretty easily. This bottle is disappearing pretty fast.

Duchesse de Bourgogne is a quality Flanders Red that's a pleasure to sip. As this beer warms the flavors really seem to grow and morph. Interesting complexities.

Photo of insaneshow
4.88/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love this beer, I want to drink more of it and it has opened up a whole new style of beer to me; Sour Beer / Flander's Red Ale.

The beer was sweet with rich malt flavors, I remember noticing some cherry. It was not over carbonated and tasted like it was almost half wine and half beer. The mouth feel was thick and sweet, but not grainy. The appearance in the glass was a deep dark rich red with a nice creamy head.

I would strongly suggest this beer.

Photo of weeare138
3.6/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appears a semi-transparent red auburn with an off white head that fades into a mild collar.
Smell is of tart cherries, caramel, vanilla, oak, rhubarb, and bacteria.
Taste is of the same with oaky berries, brown sugar, and grassy, minty leaves.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, syrupy, sugary oak, and cherry flavors lingering.

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

Got a glass of this at La Cav Du Vin last week. Served to me in a wine glass that said "Duchesse" on it in white letters.The beer was a nice dark red with a fairly thin tan head that didn't stick around long before settling to a thin surface layer. Left some decent lace. Has a very sweet tart smell of cherry as well as some citrus and maybe even a bit of grape. taste wise there is both some tart sweetness and sourness going on and perhaps some slight bitterness. Malt and the aforementioned fruit flavors are present. Interesting combination of flavors for a beer. I believe this is the first beer of this style that I have had and I certainly enjoyed it! Has a smooth and crisp, medium to full bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Fairly easy to drink indeed. Many things about this beer reminded me of a good red wine. A very good beer here overall!

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,425 ratings.