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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

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Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

3,566 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,566
Reviews: 1,413
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.46%
Wants: 174
Gots: 502 | FT: 10
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: 3,566 | Reviews: 1,413 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of atis
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is dark brown (maybe it is too dark in the room to see any redness), average head with good lacing.

Quite acidic smell, vinegar like. Flavour at first is very fruity with limited sourness - but not as much as I expected from the aroma. Leaves satisfying and slightly sweet aftertaste. Creamy and pleasant mouthfeel with more than average carbonation. Very complex and interesting beer.

I picked this beer at random and now I am extremely satisfied about my choice. Certainly will drink this beer again.

Photo of joshwlt
4.16/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tan brown color with a purple grape juice-like tone when held to the light. Off white sticky head. Smells vinegary, sour, and acidic. It really shines in flavor though. Has an apple cider-like sweetness but not overly sugary as it has a bready malt to match and a sourness that puckers the sides of the tongue. This stuff just tastes delicious.

Photo of Onslow
4.82/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

wow, a very different brew indeed ... lots of complex and strangely exotic (erotic?) flavours ... crazy good full mouthfeel ... it is uplifting and tangy, with some jump up and dance qualities .. a fitting beer for the 2008 champions league! ... full, delicious, and a damn enjoyable beer... Come On United!!!

Photo of Hornet2003
3.63/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: red.

Smell: Vinegar and cherry. Lots of sourness.

Taste: Very sweet. Bourgogne has an off-cherry flavour. Sour essence, but sweet on the tongue.

Mouthfeel: The sweetness makes this a gem on the tongue. Very pleasant. Not over carbonated and a nice bitterness in there as well.

Drinkability: A little too sour for me to enjoy more than one of at a time.

Overall: My first Flander's Red is quite the experience. Very sweet in the mouth and sour on the nose.

Photo of biegaman
4.37/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer is 'red' only in regards to its highlights, which blaze a casual orange-red, like that of persimmon fruit. The body is slightly dark and its shine is modest. A patchy yet all encompassing tarp of head slates the beer at all times. Irregular patterns of lacing are splotched about the glass.

The smell can evolve throughout the tasting. Generally speaking it is a compost of candy apple, balsamic vinegar and spiked cranberry lemonade. As it became room temperature, the smell grew more sweet than it was at first sour, and became remarkably alike a mead. One (or all) of the cranberry lemonade/balsamic vinegar/candy apple is what most will likely pick up on.

The Duchesse, somewhat distinct from others its style, has an underlying bittersweet cocoa mixed with granola kind of flavour. More like others, the sense of balsamic vinegar is strong. Strawberries, cherries, bruised apple, and dates characterize most of the overripe fruit taste.

The mouthfeel is certainly a lot closer to a wine than most beer drinkers would be used to. Bitterness is replaced by sourness (although no Cantillon) and tartness (although no Rodenbach). The oak aging contributes greatly to the overall dimension of the beer, lending a dryness, but also combining with the sweetness in flavour to make for rum, port, or sherry like taste.

Like lambics, Flanders Ales are a blend of young and old beers and carry a touch of funk. Although the two styles also share in common barrel aging, the merging of tart, sweet, and sour, as well as the often underlying acidity, the reds and bruins of Flanders certainly don't drink like their Brusselian cousins.

Flanders Ales offer you a choice. Their subtleties and complexity allow for something that can be sipped and savoured. The medley of sweet and sour, on the other hand, make for something refreshing and rewarding, a glass that won't last long full. The choice can be yours.

I've had the Duchesse De Bourgogne on so many occasions now, including the beer at different ages, and I can honestly say that it is always a treat. The Duchesse especially epitomizes the art of Flemish brewing.

Photo of mizzoueng
3.55/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Reddish hints in a dark brown, minimal head, but it was a tannish/taupish color

S - For being a Flanders Red, this was good. Smelled of grapes, almost like Chardonnay wine with hints of vinegar, fruit (couldn't place it), and clove

T - Not sour at all, almost sickly sweet. Like the beer was not fully fermented or a bag of sugar got poured in the fermenter right before it was kegged. Tasted more like a swet wine/beer hybrid. Was still good and drinkable, but not exactly what I had in mind when ordering a Flanders Red.

M - Full bodied, yet not very heavy. Like I keep pointing out, like a sweet red wine with a malty backbone.

D - I would order this again, but in a bottle to see how its different. I think this would be a good beer to age and see how the flavors meld.

Photo of DrunkenMaster
3.42/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Cranberries, cherries and balsamic in the smell. Light brown and slowly diminishing head with a dark amber body. Taste is moderatley acidic but the balsamic is still pretty strong. The cherries and balsamic is just too much for me. Decent, but my thing.

Photo of 0110x011
2.88/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Recieved this in the TIF from Kempleton. Thanks!

Pours a murky dark amber color, with a frothy two-finger head and not much lacing. Nose is dark fruit and vinegar, with that lactic sour sting. The sourness hits first, but then quickly fades, giving way to sugar. Like pure sugar. This is waaay too sweet for the flemish sour style. The sweetness & sugar overpower any hint that his might be a Flanders Red. Tastes to me like what Dogfish Head would do with this style. Medium mouthfeel, but the sweetness takes away that crisp, palate-cleansing refreshment I so look forward to with Flanders Reds. If you're new to the style, it might be an interesting drink. if you've had any other Flanders Reds, avoid it.

Photo of Hophead101
3.2/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

had on draft at Zeno's in state college.
nice dark copper color. small frosty bubbles, not too much head, good looking. great sour smell - not too surprising knowing it is a flemish sour - a bit heavy on the vinegar smell - a little musty and moldy smell as well - but not all in a bad way. taste is not quite as good as it looks or smells. a bit disappointing. had a bit of an off flavor. it is within style, but just not the best flemish sour that i have had. one glass is enough of this one.

Photo of BretSikkink
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brown color, served with not much head, just a few soapy bubbles. Lacing is present however.

Vinegar-sour aroma, woody character as well. The palate takes the sour as well up front, quite sweet, cherry flavor, and again the oaky, nut-action comes back.

Medium-full body, a little aftertaste, but very pleasant as well.

Photo of Gehrig
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Red-plum body supports a thick, off-white head with solid durability, nicely effervescent. Sour apple/grape aromas blend with lemon and cider vinegar, mixing sweet/tart with downright sour. I also get the faint hint of Worcester Sauce. The taste is sweeter than the nose, though primarily sour. Sour apple and grape find a nice foil in cherry, very delicious. Slightly viscous, tartly syrupy. Very nicely done. If it were somewhat less tart, I'd be inclined to judge the drinkability higher. As it is, though, this is a very distinct and intriguing beer, one I'd certainly buy again. Very good.

Photo of USCTrojanBrian
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle consumed at The Trappist in Oakland, CA. From notes.

Egg-like foamy head. Violet-brown color. Sour cherry and oaky aroma.

Overly smooth first taste. Low carbonation, good, like a cask beer. Solid base beer. Somewhat sugary but quite enjoyable.

Maybe needed a bit more sour to balance the flavors a bit but this thing is like candy within the style, hard not to enjoy.

Photo of callmescraps
3.72/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Grabbed this guy based on some interesting reviews. Definitely excited to try something different. Expiration of 12/09, so should be no problems there.

Appearance - A deep, dark amber, almost brown, with a solid couple inches of head.

Smell - Super funk. Sour apples, some almost sweat-sock mustiness with serious earthiness. You gotta rate this smell for what it is. Not exactly a bouquet of roses here, but funky in the way it's supposed to be.

Taste - Um, hard to say. It comes with some serious sourness. I mean serious. Then it comes with some sticky sweetness. Almost some honey. Then some booziness. Reminds me of a super-hard cider.

Mouthfeel - Hard to judge because there is so much going on with the flavor. Nothing special.

Drinkability - Gotta be below average. This is super intense, super sour, and good in its' way, but you only need one. Some people just won't like it, and that makes sense.

Um. Wow. This is a funky, smelly, sticky sweet, deep as hell combo. It's good, almost undrinkable. Definitely worth a shot though, I'm going to polish this guy off.

Photo of MiScusi
2.53/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Had this out of a bottle at The Trappist in Oakland. Just want to compare this to other Flanders style red ale's I've had. This thing has only a very mild tartness to it. It is sugary sweet though. VERY sweet. Way too sweet. Excruciatingly sweet. Nice fruit quality but man is it backed by sugary sweetness. Very hard for me to drink.

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

A: pours a vibrant chestnut color, semi opaque with visible carbonation and a 1 finger or less frothy tan head from a vigorous pour. intricate and thick lacing lines the glass from the first sip on down.

S: mildly alcoholic and vinegary to the nose, mostly aromas of sour apples, cherries with a good balance of malting.

T: This is my first flanders red ale. tastes very similar to a Lindeman's lambic. tastes of sour apples, cherries. Somewhat dry and earthy taste. tastes a little too sweet, so IMO it's a little unbalanced. no apparent alcoholic taste.

M: high carbonation at first but quickly lessens in your throat when swallowed where it feels almost mildly syrupy.

D: This tastes a bit too fruity and sweet to be a session beer but otherwise it's a great red ale, and a great all around beer.

Photo of PiecefulToker
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was my first flander's red, and wow was I impressed. This beer is awesome.

At first glance, it poured a beautiful bergundy brown color, with a nice 1 finger head that lasted quite a while. Nice lacing down the glass.

S: It smells like sweet, delicate, fruity wine.

T: Wow, this beer is amazing, sweet, but with a nice sourness that comes in. It has wine like character that I really enjoy.

M: Excellent. Smooth, yet it has a great tingling carbonation to it.

D: I would only want one of these ever so often because they are so delicious, I could easily get addicted.

Photo of SLeffler27
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The tulip glass fills with an orange-brown clear elixir blanketed with a big almond head that slowly recedes to a beautiful lace.

Strong, vinegary yeast with woody mulch fills the nose.

The duchess is dry, like a carbonated wine, but tart with cherry and strong oak flavors.

An odd combination of carbonated syrup which presents its alcohol much higher than the stated 6%.

This one's a little sharp, but would pair well with cigars and conversation.

Photo of animal69
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

date coded ??-07-09, pours a deep a copper-brown w/ a fluffy off-white head which dissipates a bit quickly leaving a decent lacing behind in my snifter ; an interesting smell, a sourdough bread aroma at first, backed by apple and caramels with a cider vinegar note ; a sweet, tart, vinous flavor, tastes fruity and somewhat metallic , some cereal grain and a bit of toffee and darker fruit midway, but subtle, almost reminds me of wine or champagne, a very faint bit of herbal hop and wood present as well ; a light-med body, a funny feel, tho, i think it's pretty dry in the mouth, yet has a sweet taste, a good amount of co2 makes it almost thick ; an interesting brew, my first flanders, so have no comparison, but def. drinkable...

Photo of dstc
3.7/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark ruby/brown color with a decent head that is tan in color with hints of a pinkish hue. Decent head retention and mild lacing.

Complex aroma. Sweet, a little malty and I'm getting a whiff that oddly enough reminds me of vinegar.

A lot of interesting flavor. Fruity, sour and tart with a dry finish and bit of sweetness lingering

Medium bodied and smooth in the mouth with a nice balance of carbonation.

Overall a decent beer but a bit too sweet/tart/fruity for me.

Photo of nickfl
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Two fingers of light brown head tops the clear, amber-brown body.

S - Sour and malty with a bit of caramel and pepper.

T - Sweet and sour. Fruity notes of black currants and lemon. Lots of malt and a bit of caramel.

M - Medium to light body and medium carbonation.

D - Very drinkable with a nice interplay between the sweet and sour flavors. Not too complex, but very satisfying.

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This comes out of the tap a beautiful opaque chocolate brown, very appetizing. Strong aroma is more like a hard apple cider than a beer. Flavor is mouth-filling and pleasing; apple taste dominates, and there is a hint of hop bitterness. Finish is very smooth and cider-like.

Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.61/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Incredibly sweet smelling brew. There's a good vinegar smell to it. Smells like a sweet red wine vinegar - how puzzling.

Dark root beer color, seems clear, good-sized foamy head.

As expected it is oddly sweet. Soy sauce comes to mind, as well as vinegar. Good bit of tartness grows to battle with the sweet. Brown sugar sweetness, or maybe it's more like a Port with its syrup sweetness and accompanying viscosity. Finish lingers with sweetness and an overall funky feeling in the mouth. Very interesting and fun to have tried.

Reminds me of the one Oud Bruin I've had: too sweet and very peculiar. I had a Flanders Red at a homebrew competition and it was twice as tart and not half as sweet. I liked it a lot. This one is just borderline undrinkable to me. I suppose my palate is too young for the likes of Flanders.

Photo of AltBock
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I was able to try this Flanders Red Ale on-tap at Teresa's Next Door on 5/23/2008. They served it to me in a goblet/wine glass.

Duchess poured a beautiful dark crimson red color. It almost looked like somebody poured cranberry jucie into a goblet for me. It was probably the glass that did this, but on top of this beer was a small quarter of an inch head of white foam. What was there had really good retention that left behind foamy white rings along the edge and a fair amount of white lace around the glass.

The aroma was rich, sweet, and sour with sour cherries, sour green grapes, a hint of sour raspberries, a splash of yeast, and some toasted oak in the back. It was so good that I kept going back for more. It's just what a Flanders Red Ale should smell like!

The taste had mostly the same flavors in it that the aroma had, but it tasted like I was drinking a sour and sweet candy beer. I'm not joking, it was that sweet. The taste was sweet and sour with sour cherries, dried and toasted oak, and a hint of yeast at the finish. Even though they took away a few sour fruits, I still enoyed the taste of this this Flanders Sour.

The mouthfeel was on the light side that contained a nice sized aftertaste of sweet and sour cherries, a hint of toasted oak, and a speck of yeast. This aftertase will linger on for a minute or two after the beer has left your mouth.

If you like sour beers that aren't too sour, but that are more sweet, then you'll like this one. For me, it was a joy to try this one on-tap and I can't see why not why this wouldn't be a joy to try if it came from a bottle. I would love to give this beer another go!

Photo of aerozeppl
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Super deep brownish red color. Eggshell white head with a nice amount of lacing.

S: Funky musthouse. Beyond this powerful smell you do get hints of cherries. Malt. Tons of sour and tart hints.

T: Damn. Really really complex. Starts off tart. Not mouth collapsing into itself tart but enough to remind you what this is. Then it goes into a cool sweetness. Hints of honey and cherries. Malt is in there as well. Hints of nuts and the barrel abound.

M: Medium body with a slightly thick tone to it. Good light carbonation.

D: The most drinkable example of this style I have had so far. At 6% why not?

Photo of Avryle
3.91/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Dark tea in color. Small & quickly disappearing fizzy tan head. Spotty lacing .

S- Like old wet shoes, caramel, oak and rotting cherries. The nose is a little off-putting & frankly, not my thing.

T- Okay, the taste is much better than the nose. Extraordinarily complex taste going on- malt, caramel, raisins, figs, cherries & apples are the initial tastes that come to mind. The cherries dominate in the finish along with caramel malts. Almost candy-like in sweetness.

M- Thin to medium bodied. low carbonation.

D- Flavors are very complex, but not confusing. That along with tehe body makes this pretty darn drinkable... If you plug your nose.

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,566 ratings.