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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

3,138 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,138
Reviews: 1,355
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 141
Gots: 322 | 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: 3,138 | Reviews: 1,355 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Mangus
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%

Appearance - ruby-copper red with a small tight lacy head.

Smell - complex, extremely interesting, light, fruity, clean

Taste - apples and fruit, intricate dance of flavors, tight crispness, and sweet tartness. What a wonderfully complex and interesting beer. I have to remind myself that this is actually beer that I'm drinking.

Mouthfeel - bubbly, crisp and syrupy. I'm salivating like Pavlov's dog's.

Mangus, Mar 16, 2004
Photo of BierReise
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

11.2 oz Bottle Best Before 27/05/05 A reddish brown with no head and only a bit of a foam layer. Looks similar to thr Vichtenaar I just had. Slightly acidic aroma with notes of rotten cherries and peppercorns. Quite spicy. Body is lively with carbonation and with a crisp somewhat dry finish. Flavor is sweet and sour with slight vinegar and acidic notes. Some sour fruit also in the mix. Overall much better than the Vichtenaar in my opinion and has some good flavor.

BierReise, Mar 04, 2004
Photo of SeanChouffe
3.68/5  rDev -11.5%

Pours a deep red/brown color with an off white head. The head diminished almost immediately and left a thin sticky lace. The aroma is tart and more like wine than beer -- cider vinegar smell. The taste is tart like a cider. The mouthfeel was somewhat complex: tart at the beginning with a dry middle and an astringent finish.

I have had this beer a couple of times. It does not appear to bee a good representation of the style, but a style of itself. An interesting experience.

SeanChouffe, Mar 03, 2004
Photo of bditty187
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Clear, beautiful dark ruby hue, there is also a hint of coppery-brown. The beige head reached a solid finger in height of foamy bubbles. I am impressed with the head retention; it slowly faded to islands of bubbles that lasted for the whole consumption. The lacing was bountiful, it looked like ripped wallpaper. This is a great looking beer. The nose is doughy with sweet/sour undercurrents, port wine, a kiss of fruitiness, oak notes too. The aroma is potent and thus inviting. It is too unique not to want to take a sip. So I do. After the first drink my initial reaction was simple: yum. The palate is very tasty and amazingly well rounded; the tartness is tremendously refreshing; the cookie dough is found behind the sourness. This is opposite of the nose. I like it. The wine-like features are soft, sweet, and earthy. The fruitiness was a basket of pears, cherry filling, and muted plums/raisins. Almonds. Wood. All in all, the palate is complex. The finish is pillow soft, very lazy and long lasting. Flemish Sour Ale is a style of beer I really dig and Duchesse de Bourgogne is a damn good (if not great) representation of the style. The carbonation is lively but the bubbles feel small, almost like nitrogen, how weird! All I can say is the mouthfeel is fantastic; there is also good bulk on the tongue. The drinkability is magical; I had to fight myself from sailing through my 11.2 ounce bottle (which was purchased in Iowa City). The alcohol content is ideal as well. I think this is a beer that every serious beer drinker should try at least once. I need more!

The only drawback, I get a bad case of the burps and they aren’t good burps like hops burps. Burp!

bditty187, Mar 01, 2004
Photo of Zorro
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%

Pours a clear dark red brew with some floaters in it.

Strong sour smell with a cherries and fruit scent. Is this a sour Lambic? Harder sniffing uncovers spice and a sweet smell too. The sweet smell is malt.

Flavor is very sour, with woody flavors. Cherries are present; this strongly resembles a Kriek Lambic in flavor. After you get over the sour shock other flavors come out. Add Honey, Mustard, and olive oil to this and you will have an interesting salad dressing.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Not real drinkable, it's to sour for most.

Zorro, Feb 19, 2004
Photo of frank4sail
3.68/5  rDev -11.5%

11.2 fl. oz. best before 2-11-04

Sharp vinegar (balsamic) and a slight sweetness of ripe dark fruit (plum) in the nose. Deep purple opeque look in the goblet. 1/2 inch pale beige head that is persistant. Inital tangy/sweet/puckering fruit taste of bing cherries and ripe plum is then followed by a sweeter woody finish. Medium mouth. Good but due to many factors not very drinkable.. a case of these would last you a very long time.

frank4sail, Feb 16, 2004
Photo of Rastacouere
3.95/5  rDev -5%

Dark ale with a very small head that disappears swiftly. A smell of fruits I can't quite all identify(dark berries, cherries, plums) with apparent vinegar. As it enters the mouth, sour and sweet blackberries, notes of wood refreshing despite above 10 celsius. Oak comes back in the aftertaste that remains sweet.

Rastacouere, Feb 03, 2004
Photo of Hefe
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%

Tasted on 12/20/03 from bottle

This is my first contact with a brew in this style, I'll admit I wasn't sure what to make of it, and it took a little time before I could decide wether or not I actually liked it.

Appearance: Dark amber/ruby colour with a tannish lasting head.

Smell: Oi! Sour cherry, with tones of balsamic vinegar, caramel and brown sugar.

Taste: Echoes of the nose, with notes of spice and malt as well earth and vanilla. The finish wraps up with a very sour note.

Mouthfeel: Very round in the mouth, with a nice creamy quality.

Drinkablilty: All in all, This is a very complex beer with a lot going on. I just can't help thinking it tastes a little too much like wine gone south. Not altogether unenjoyable, but, one is plenty.

Hefe, Feb 01, 2004
Photo of HappyHourHero
3.95/5  rDev -5%

An easy pour produced a giant, fine bubbled, brownish tan head sits atop the deep, dark burgandy colored beer. Good, solid lacing when the head finally subsides. Sour, vinegar aroma along with some spicy mustard in the background. Tart, sour apple and cherry flavor, along with a very metalic taste. I hate vinegar and the aroma is killing me, but the flavor is pretty damn good, as long as I hold my nose. It kind of reminds me of a kriek version of Quelque Chose. Medium to light body, soft mouthfeel, and an impressingly clean aftertaste. I don't like the smell, but after a while you get used to it. I probably wouldn't drink this beer all that often, but I will drink again.

HappyHourHero, Jan 28, 2004
Photo of waughbrew
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%

What a beautiful beer in a style that is currently far too rare!

Very nice deep red/light brown with some blackness. Small off-white head stays a bit as lace but mostly as a small ring around the beer. Great up-front sourness in the aroma with vinegar. Bright and alive, an earthiness with acidity. Flavor is very well-balanced. The malt flavors come out as it warms. Light and crisp, wonderful bubbles. Very drinkable - I could have a few.

waughbrew, Jan 27, 2004
Photo of beergeek279
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%

Served in the 11.2 oz. bottle, into a St. Bernardus goblet. The color is a very dark amber, with a very slight bit of white head. The smell is almost vinegar sour. The taste is a very citrusy/limeish sourness. Mouthfeel is very well-carbonated. As for drinkability, one or two is fantastic, but it would be very tough to go much beyond that.

With Rodenbach off the market, I was told that this is the best substitute. I personally couldn't compare the two of them (though I do have an Alexander waiting for another day), but on its own this is a nicely sour taste that's well-balanced and doesn't pucker my mouth. Quite good, and one I'd have on another day.

beergeek279, Jan 26, 2004
Photo of bobinverted
2.05/5  rDev -50.7%

My wife found this at AJ's in Ahwatukee, Arizona. She's been getting into Belgian beers, which is cool, but she didn't like this one and gave it to me to finish. I'd just finished a Stone IPA when she handed this to me, what a contrast. I guess I'm not sophisticated enough to enjoy a glassful of balsamic vinegar. That's what Duchesse de Bourgogne smells like, tastes like and looks like. Apparently this is suited to the style, but certainly not suited to my taste.

bobinverted, Jan 21, 2004
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%

Appearance: Ruby red brown with a nice caramel tan head leaves appitent amount of head leaves lacing that's beyond my belief. Aroma: Clear caramel malt with massive amounts of amber tones that left me in a frenzy solid looking flemish ale. Taste: Sharp cherry taste with an incredible amount of sourness that is somehow still enjoyable sets your spirit free excellent taste that can'e be let go. Tart fruit flavor that brings any oud bruin competition. Mouthfeel: Heavy carbonation medium bodied ale nice. Drinkability: Excellent solid array of flavors that proves this is a classic staple of the oud bruin or flemish style ale tradition good stuff.

WVbeergeek, Jan 19, 2004
Photo of silenius
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%

Served at slightly warmer than fridge temperature in a tulip glass.

Reddish brown appearance with a uniformly light beige head containing medium sized bubbles in the foam. The head dissipated quickly. This beer has a sour cherry and red wine vinegar smell with a background of brown sugar and a hint of vanilla (possibly from the oak barrels).

A bit of a bite on the attack, but that quickly segues into a round, mellow, dried cherry sweetness with a tart backbone. A complex, wine-like beer. At the end it reverts to a slightly tart, but eminently enjoyable, tinge that lasts in the mouth for a good 20 seconds.

Very enjoyable. When drinking this, I sip it slowly and savor it like a dessert wine. This is not a beer I would use to quench a thirst. I would drink it at the the end of meal instead of dessert. The other three bottles I purchased in the four-pack will be gone within the week I am sure!

I would definitely drink it again.

Purchased on 1/17/04. Best before date is 07/04/05.

silenius, Jan 18, 2004
Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Appearance - The body was nothing special, brown and clear with orangish-red tints, but the head was magnificent. It rose up mightily and lasted a lifetime. It came down lacing on the sides first while the middle held fast, so that in a few minutes I had a glass that was half beer half head, and the head was big but had pulled away from the edges while leaving a thick film. Awesome!

Smell - The light malt is dominated by a strong (but not sharp) sour aroma. The smell is very sophisticated and complex, though, and is mixed with clove and some cinnamon.

Taste - This is more balanced at the taste. The mild malt flavor stands a little firmer here, and the tartness is still strong but not as dominant. There's also a light sweet taste here and a tea-like quality that was very nice.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied and mild in its sweetness, this one was great to hold in the cheeks for a while.

Drinkability - I'm not a huge fan of the style, but this was great to sip on during the day.

Update - My original review was written off a 2003 vintage so I thought I'd delve into this delicacy again in 2009. The head didn't come up the way it did before but otherwise it was pretty much spot on. I am always taken aback when drinking this ale as to the sophisticated manner in which they bring in the cloves. They are not small, but the flavor and aroma both manage to sneak in unnoticed at first then halfway through the bottle you pick it up.

RoyalT, Dec 31, 2003
Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.45/5  rDev +7%

Poured a clear dark amber brown with an off-white head which lingers and clings to the glass. Aroma of sour lactobacillus and other lambic type bacteria. Slight oak aroma and deep fruity aromas are present. Flavor is unbelievably good. Complex flavors of fruit, malt, subtle sour nature, deep fruit and a lasting slightly sour fruity finish. The body is med-light and very refreshing.

11.2 ounce bottle, best before date of 04/05/04.

GCBrewingCo, Dec 22, 2003
Photo of ADR
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%

Very dark mahogany color with red highlights. Brown head starts at 1/4 of an inch, fades in 20 seconds. Wide looping laces. Smells like a Manhatten, candied fruit and slightly boozy. Starts bright and weakly astringent, like an unripe anjou pear with some lime juice. Lightish mouthfeel, spritzy texture. Turns somewhat leafy late, but keeps the brightness and finishes with an excellently timed fade in the throat. Aftertaste is a lot like sweet bing cherries, the slight sourness is gone as the beer shifts gears and shows complexity. This bottle was nice enough, though not the gutsiest Flanders Red...

Source: Liquid Solutions

ADR, Dec 09, 2003
Photo of byrd
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%

Pours with a good sized light tan head that is fizzy for a moment, then slowly recedes to a thick lace. The color is a clear dark-reddish brown. Aroma has lots of sour vinous notes along side notes of dark fruits. Hints of oak are also apparent. The start is quite sweet and fruity. Prunes, raisins, and cherry notes are all present. Not much hop bitterness, but there is a nice sourness that comes in towards the end to balance things out. There’s a dry oaky finish. Carbonation is fairly light, and more noticeable towards the end. Very drinkable brew that I enjoyed quite a bit. Reminded me somewhat of a fruit lambic, and would make for a good desert beer.

byrd, Nov 24, 2003
Photo of inebrius
4.83/5  rDev +16.1%

Chinotto! Fermented, of course, with a raw fruit kind of sour pear gig going on. Nose of sweat and licorice and pungent weeds amongst sill laden four berry pies and cotton under garments hung in the soft Autumn air. Tart and sweet like the most quality of Chinese dipping sauce. Flow is frothy and bold. Me like, Todd like. More.

inebrius, Nov 22, 2003
Photo of crookedhalo
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%

Translucent ruby color with thick beige head that leaves intricate lace in the glass. 33 cl bottle dated best before 10/13/03. Slightly vinegary and sweet aromas blended with the complexity of a Flanders red. Oaky and rich on the tongue. Epitomizes the standard of a Flanders red. Again slightly red wine vinegary taste complemented with a thorough malt sweetness and a sour cherry finish not unlike something like Liefmans Kriek. Absolutely drinkable; a fine example of a substitute for a red wine from a culinary perspective in dishes that complement red wines.

crookedhalo, Nov 20, 2003
Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Dark red brew with a medium head. Sour taste with a distinct cherry flavor which is coming from the oak. Very impressive control of the flemish style. Alcohol taste is not evident at all. I could drink this at any point in time. One of the best flemish sour ales that I've had the chance to taste.

Phyl21ca, Nov 13, 2003
Photo of DagFishHead
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%

Appearance: Burnt-amber, ruby pour. Thin, tightly-bubbled, tan head hangs in with minimal lace.
Smell: Red wine tanins, oak, butter, wine vinegar. Earthy, roasted malt, with faint hops in the background. An olfactory onslaught. I could sniff this all afternoon!
Taste: Like a port wine fortified scottish ale. Sweet cherry, followed by wine/vinegar acidity... all supported by a sweet, slightly-roasted malt, ripe plum/raisin fruit tones and an acidic-citrus/dry-hop finish.
Mouthfeel: Tingly champagne carbonation, puckery acidity, smooth middling malt fullness. There's a lot going on in your mouth with this one.
Drinkability: Never would have thought I would enjoy something of this style this much... please be open to trying this one.

DagFishHead, Nov 10, 2003
Photo of Popsinc
3.38/5  rDev -18.8%

Appearance: A dark ruby-brownish pour. Thin tan head.

Smell: A very fruity and sour nose. Ripe grape is prominent and there is also a hint of balsamic vinegar.

Taste: The taste here is much sweeter and more mild then the nose might suggest. A nice cherry sweetness creeps through and balances nicely with the tart nose.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and fresh...little sweet n dry on the finish.

Drinkability: The beer was decent but i would only question the how often would i actually sit down to drink this beer? I aprreciate it but i don't love it.

Popsinc, Oct 31, 2003
Photo of hotstuff
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

This is beer?? It tasted and smelled more like a wine than it did a beer and therefore it was very much not to my liking. It poured a large sized tan frothy head that consisted of fine-small bubbles. The body was opaque and carbonated with a red hue. The nose reminded me of pure wine as did the flavor. The mouthfeel was tingly, tangy, bitey and medium bodied. There was a fair amount of lacing with this beer.

hotstuff, Oct 27, 2003
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.83/5  rDev +16.1%

Presentation: I have been in the US just over two years & never had this here, so when I spied a 4-Pack of this at a beer store weekend I was excited. I elected to cut down my beer expenditure though & just picked up a single – it was $3.79 for the 11.2 fl.oz bottle.

I noticed that the beer looked slightly different somehow, and then I realized that I was used to seeing a simple dark purple crown cap – my example had a black crown cap with the Verhaeghe coat of arms in gold on it.

Appearance: A filtered chestnut brown, dirty tan head comprised of incredibly small bubbles, fantastic smooth layered head. Excellent conditioning.

Nose: Rather delicate sour pong at first, with some aged port aspects.

Taste: Benefits immensely from the 18 months that this spends in maturation in the Brewery, often in large Oak Vats or smaller Casks. Fantastic zippy sour-sharp feel at first. It assaults you & punishes your acceptance of bland beer with a “WTF??” if you are not used to Flanders Reds. How this beer encapsulates diametrically opposed flavor profiles and yet remains incredibly well balanced is the work of masters - Awesome.

Mouthfeel: The beer dissolves on the tongue; lots of conditioning, velvety feel to the cheeks, sour & fruity cheek puller. Excellent.

Drinkability: Immense, you will want to drown in this spritzy sour baby, or throw up after the first mouthful. Has all the Drinkability of a traditional lambic, if you know what I mean.

Overall: I first came across this fine beer in 1994 during my first ever trip to Belgium & was completely blown away by its immense character. Our party was so impressed; we ended up arranging to visit the Brewery in 1995, where we had a guided tour & when I bought my first 24 bottle crate of this fine West Flanders Red. I drank the last of this in August 2001 when I came to the US – all I can say is that this beer is to Flanders Reds what Cantillon & Girardin are to lambics.

It is as good now, as it was in 1995, which is something the likes of comparable beers from Rodenbach cannot claim.

A Classic & @ $3.79 – It’s a Steal. WELL WORTH IT.

F**K! What a tight-wad I am,
I knew I should have purchased the 4-pack when I saw it.

TheLongBeachBum, Oct 20, 2003
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,138 ratings.