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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

3,489 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,489
Reviews: 1,395
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.46%
Wants: 171
Gots: 453 | FT: 8
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.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,489 | Reviews: 1,395 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Stoneman78
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
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
2.38/5  rDev -42.8%
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
2.19/5  rDev -47.4%
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
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
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
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
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
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
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
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
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
4.36/5  rDev +4.8%
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
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
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
4.85/5  rDev +16.6%
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
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
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!

Photo of rye726
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle with a best by date of 1/1/09 poured at 45F into a snifter.

Dark amber/ruby color with a thin tan head that quickly subsides to a nice cover.

The nose is acidic and strong of tart cherries. There are also sents of vanilla, oaky malts and citrus fruit.

The taste is also very tart and sour; as it should be. There is a presence of sweet malts and pitted fruits. A faint oak character brings everything together.

Good mouthfeel, medium body with a fairly high carbonation level. It is rich, but also somewhat crisp and refreshing.

I found this Flanders a little to sweet and would like a drier finish. Other than that, a very drinkable brew. Very complex and well balanced.

Photo of DaveFL1976
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The head isn't much to look at, but wow, what a body. Beautiful, crystal clear ruby/mahogany in color. The smell is sweet and cherry-like, with a nice tartness at the end. The taste is a really nice balance of sweetness and tartness; not bitter, though. A really interesting beer. Nice, smooth carbonation and good drinkability. Not a quaffer, but it goes down nice and smooth.

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

11.2-oz. bottle poured into a 22-oz snifter.

A = Pours a deep red almost like stained cherry. Frothy off white head.

S = Sour dough bread, malt, sweet and sour notes. Very complex.

T = Great example of the style. Starts with a lot of tartness, then brings on undertones of sweet flavors.

M = Great medium-heavy body. Light carbonation.

D = This is a very distinctive beer and I'll gladly drink this again.

Photo of WYVYRN527
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Like most beers of this style, I like to describe them as sparkling pinot noir. However, This one is different. It pours a dark garnet color, with a thick head consisting of rather large bubbles. On the nose is a hint of spice, with a scent of blackcurrant. Beginning with a sour flavor of raspberry and cranberry, it is followed by a sweet finish of plum, currant, and brown sugar. The beer is medium-to-full bodied, and is not something that will fill you up before or after a meal. Because of it's acidity, I would serve this beer with fresh fruit or a salad. It would go great with pork tenderloin as well... For those looking to explore into a realm of something truly different, I highly reccomend this fine product.

Photo of zymurgy4all
4.52/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is quite an interesting beer. It pours a deep reddish brown with a dense white creamy head. The aroma is all sourness: lactobacillus, brettanomyces, and a hint of oak. The immediate flavor is sour, then it finishes sweet leaving a sweet & sour taste in your mouth. The aftertaste lingers for a while as well. This is a beer that you learn to like--after having a gueze, this one tastes wonderful. Great beer, but don't drink it until you've had other sour beers to compare it too, and you develop your palate.

Photo of skeetermoses
2.56/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

I was looking forward to this beer, and was very disapointed in it. I had a large bottle of this beer and was not pleased. I thought I would enjoy this beer with turkey stew, but am glad I did not drink this with it. Instead I drank it over a disappointing loss by the Longhorns vs. the Aggies, I shared this with about 4 other people, and we all came to the same conclusion. This beer tastes like someone poured a beer into a bottle of red wine, mind you they are all wine drinkers, except me.

Photo of rodenbach99
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

bouteille de 330ml

comme ce style est plaisant, les bières rouges des flandres sont dans mes préférées. Comme la rodenbach cette bière a une belle couleur rouge brique foncé, avec un nez un peu surette de cerises. En bouche elle est aigre-sucrée-surette..parfaitement dans le style.

Au Québec il n'y a plus de rodenbach a défaut on se jette sur la Duchesse de Bourgogne.

Photo of walshclimb
4.26/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark reddish brown with thick off-white to tan head that thins quickly and leaves a nice lace. The aroma is lightly sour with definite sweet cherry influence and a hint of fermented grapes, like port. The taste is complex with sweet cherry, port-like initial flavor with a tart aftertaste that is at once pleasant and strong flavored. Medium to full bodied with active carbonation. This is a very interesting dessert beer that goes very well with chocolate and cherries.

Photo of bluegrassbrew
4.06/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a deep reddish brown with a massive tan head. Excellent retention and great lace all over the glass. This is an impressive looking brew.

Smell is sweet and tart at the same time. Sweet candy and funky fruit.

Taste is boldy tart. Some hints of vinegar are underneath sour apples and sour melon.

Overall, this is a fine Flanders beer. Looks fantastic. Maybe not as seemless as a Rodenbach, but still very good.

Photo of HardTarget
4.54/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Duchesse De Bourgogne
Bottle Inspection: Fine art on an 11.2 oz. brown bottle noting 6% abv. and a best by date of 01-02-09, enjoyed 28-10-07. Serving temp suggestion of 47-53F.

Aroma: Definite wood character, a sweetness there too, like Coca Cola syrup, and a funky twang, almost like vinegar. A really sniffer; I long lingered here trying to find words.

Appearance: Deep reddish brown with excellent clarity from the top of my chalice. Only a wisp of brownish head that doesn’t look long for the world.

Flavor: Wow. Almost a steak sauce flavor, like A1, with a vinegary edge much like a red wine. Funky, but not intense. Mild Oak flavor but no woody tannins. Mild sweetness is there too, again, close as I can come is Coca Cola. Just a hint of paper in the finish but it adds just a touch more of complexity.

Mouthfeel: Given the lack of head, I’m surprised how lively the feel is. Tiny little bubbles fizz and pop on the tongue without getting foamy. Medium body with a long lasting finish that triggers a bit of chew.

Overall Impression: I’m seriously impressed. This is a work of art. I take little sips and then gaze lovingly at the glass. The TABC has completely failed in their quest to keep interesting, high quality beers out of Texas. They won’t nap long. Join me in hording all of this you can find. I’m betting this just keeps getting better with age.

Outstanding.

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

I have had this brew only bottled (VERY envious of those who can get it on tap!) but am writing this review after the 750 ml bottle.
First, the appearance. Absolutely gorgeous! Dark brown with beautiful mahogany red edges, nice creamy white head that lasted a remarkably long time. The aroma struck me as wine-like with a hint of oak and vanilla (not surprisingly as oak has the second highest concentration of the chemical vanillin from which vanilla beans get their flavor and aroma) and perhaps a touch of raisin as well.

The taste is very hard to describe other than to say that it is very complex with a bit of fruitiness, malty sweetness and an acidic note like cherries or even blackberry. It seemed to begin with a softly tart maltiness that then subsides and very much flows into the fruity notes ending with just a hint of raisin. Amazingly good stuff!

I found it to be eminently drinkable which I set out to prove by finishing 2 of the 750 ml bottles over a 4 hours period. Was saddened once it was gone. I will be stocking up on this for the upcoming holidays!

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,489 ratings.