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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

3,142 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,142
Reviews: 1,355
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 142
Gots: 325 | 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: 3,142 | Reviews: 1,355 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of amicar
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a just-shy-of 12oz bottle, poured into a standard cabernet wineglass. Part of a food/ wine pairning.

Poured with a slight brown- tinged head; the beer color has a mid- caramel with red undertones. The smell itself is amazing- a hundred different smells pull you in multiple directions; you get just a hint of the fruity tartness that lies under the surface;
The sip is a little tart and malty at the same time; there's a full toffee/ caramel feel and a syrupy sensation, but none of these aspects are overdone; they are restrained just the right amount to let the dried tart cherry taste underneath through; the tartness is 'almost' masterfully balancing the sweetness; I would have preferred a hair less.

I thought this was a great beer when I tasted it alone; then I had it with food.... oh my gawd.
The meal was a pork tenderloin with a portabella/ shallot/ cream sauce (if anyone wants, beermail me and I'll share the recipie). The underlying sweetness matched nicely with the shallot/ cream sauce, and the muskiness of the beer and that of the mushrooms were perfect together; The tartness/ cherry sensation was less pronounced but still detectable with food. mmm....

anyway, overall, this is a fantastic beer. Alone, a single bottle can occupy you for an extended period of time; however, it would be tough to have more than one (kind of like very how you can only take so much rich chocolate) at a sitting. I can see how it's probably not for everybody; Definitely try it with food, especially something with cream or that has similar body.

amicar, Nov 21, 2004
Photo of Suds
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Now this is something interesting! I completely didn’t expect the flavor of this brew.
It pours a dark, deep, rich brown and red. The carbonation is extreme, contributing to a huge, soft, tan head. Amazing lace. The aroma is wild and strange…both acid and sugar, yeast, cherries, smoke, berries, candy, vinegar, and countless other sensations. Wooo….the smell alone is dizzying with complexity. The taste is out of this world….sweet and sour…cloying and mouth-puckering. It’s a mashed-up dichotomy of unexpected flavors. Again, extraordinary strange….I can see that this one’s not going to be for everyone. Thin to medium mouthfeel, with a lot of prickly effervescence. I personally didn’t find it extremely drinkable….it’s an experience, and good (without a doubt), but it’s also tongue-taxing and the acidity got to me.

Suds, Nov 14, 2004
Photo of PatandDavid
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Anam Cara, and I enjoyed this one. I am liking this style! Anyway, pour when served was the dark burgundy, no head. It had a rather muted aroma, although I thought there were some kriek like notes. I found it easy to drink, more sweet than sour, with some cinnamon powder like taste and texture in the finish. I am intrigued by the sweet vs sour experiences of the other reviewers when trying this beer. Maybe it has an evil twin? I liked this, and would get again.

PatandDavid, Nov 13, 2004
Photo of ncbrewerbun
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This came in a brown 11.2 oz bottle with a "Best Before" date of 10-11-05.

This classic Flanders Red poured an inviting brown/burgandy color with ruby tints and an off-white head

The aroma was a sweet-sour cherry and malt combination. I did pick up a little vinegar and oak.

What a great interaction of sweet malt and fruity/berry flavors with the sourness this style calls for. An enjoyable complex beer and a unique style.

ncbrewerbun, Nov 07, 2004
Photo of dgallina
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep clear mahogany with red highlights. Creamy tan head which subsides to a frothy layer and substantial creamy lacing. Rounded wine-like smell with woody tones (likely to be too sour for some). Initially soft, tart flavors which develop into a rounded fruitiness. The flavor is much more subtle than the smell would initially suggest. Very satisfying creamy smooth medium body.

dgallina, Nov 03, 2004
Photo of xgrigorix
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brown 33cl bottle. Best by date printed on back label.

Full russet brown in colour, with reddish highlights. Large sized bubbles begin to form almost immediately, and intially look like particulate matter floating throughout the beer. A small tan head forms, but doesn't hang around for long.

Fruity aroma, with plenty of vinegar like sourness.

Fruity, sour, tangy. Cola sort of flavour running underneath the hole thing. Medium bodied, rustic carbonation.

xgrigorix, Nov 01, 2004
Photo of Ahhdball
1.3/5  rDev -68.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I'm going to be blunt on this. Horrible. It came in a bottle with a "best before" date of 01/01/06. I liked the color, a nice deep auburn capped by a small beige top. The smell consisted of berries, and a sort of cough medicine overtone. A small amount of citrus hit the nose as I drank. When I forced down the first drink all I tasted was vineager. I tried another few "pulls" and after tasting round after round of vineager and berries I had to give up. I even orderd a sprite to get the taste out of my mouth.

Ahhdball, Oct 31, 2004
Photo of kiya
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...

kiya, Oct 21, 2004
Photo of rousee
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.

rousee, Oct 11, 2004
Photo of stingo
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.

stingo, Oct 08, 2004
Photo of bultrey
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.

bultrey, Oct 05, 2004
Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
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.

ALESwhatCURESya, Oct 02, 2004
Photo of lastauss
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.

lastauss, Sep 24, 2004
Photo of meathookjones
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.

meathookjones, Sep 23, 2004
Photo of WesWes
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.

WesWes, Sep 22, 2004
Photo of GClarkage
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.

GClarkage, Sep 22, 2004
Photo of Garin
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.

Garin, Sep 20, 2004
Photo of rdrummer
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.

rdrummer, Sep 18, 2004
Photo of bigbeerdrinka
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.

bigbeerdrinka, Sep 09, 2004
Photo of homersimpson
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.

homersimpson, Sep 07, 2004
Photo of shapudding
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.

shapudding, Sep 04, 2004
Photo of canucklehead
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.

canucklehead, Aug 30, 2004
Photo of oberon
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.

oberon, Aug 24, 2004
Photo of nogoodreason
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.

nogoodreason, Aug 23, 2004
Photo of Sammy
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.

Sammy, Aug 22, 2004
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,142 ratings.