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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

3,136 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,136
Reviews: 1,355
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 141
Gots: 321 | 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: 3,136 | Reviews: 1,355 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bighuge
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%

This beer is muy bonita. Lovely deep and clear burgandy tone. A creamy and dense beige head decorates the surface. Great retention is noted. I love the aroma: brown sugar, molasses, leather, sour cherry and ginger. The taste is up to the task as well. Great flavors at work. A bit of a battle of sweet and sour with the sweet actually winning out. No make that a draw. Pretty balanced in that area. A little sour cherry. A little sweet cookie dough. A little sour lemon. A little sweet brown sugar. Some subtle spicing I note as well includes ginger, cinamon and corriander. (Although I'm not sure that this beer is purposely spiced.) There are also some oaky and smokey qualities. A really nice blend of flavors. Body is light and the mouthfeel is on the lighter side of the carbonation spectrum. Wow. I do like this bruin.

Thanks marc77. Once again you've picked a winner for me.

Bighuge, Sep 23, 2003
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.78/5  rDev -9.1%

A nice burgundy color, quite clear and pours with almost no head. Tastes lightly sour, with a hint of sweetness. Smells lightly woody and a bit sour as well. This beer tastes tart with a hint of cherry. A much more everyday, easy drinking version of Rodenbach Grand Cru. Maybe some hints of vanilla in the taste, followed by a bit of tannic background. No bitterness just a wonderful marriage of tart and sweet flavors. A hint of alcohol in the finish.

Gueuzedude, Sep 22, 2003
Photo of clvand0
4/5  rDev -3.8%

This is one strange beer that doesn't really fit into what I normally call beer. Came in a bottle like a beer, looked like a beer, but nothing else. Anyway, to the review! Pours a dark red/brown color with very little head that dies off quickly and leaves a tiny bit of lacing on the glass. The aroma was very sweet and was full of apples (or possibly grapes?). Smelled just like a very fruity red wine. I saw where someone else who rated this one said it smelled of apples - I'm not sure - I thought it was grapes at the time, but I can't go back and re-smell it to find out for sure. :-) The taste was very much like the aroma - sweet and full of apple (or grape) flavors. Tasted like a wine with a carbonation bite and a little beer-malt. Gotta say that I enjoyed drinking this beer as the drinkabily was very good and the mouthfeel was the same. Very wierd, but enjoyable at the same time.

clvand0, Sep 18, 2003
Photo of Darkale
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

REVISITED BEER ON JULY 11, 2011

Few things make me more hopeful about beer than the fact that I gave the Duchesse a C or so rating 8 years ago, when I first reviewed it, and now it is one of my favorites. Eight years ago, it seemed over the top; now, it seems almost sedate, and "pleasant" is how I would describe it today. It is juicy and thirst-quenching, with a bright, woodsy, summer's-day combination of flavors and mouthfeel. Great stuff.

If you let your palate grow, oh the places it will take you.

FOR HUMOR AND HUMILITY PURPOSES, ORIGINAL REVIEW BELOW...

Um... I, uh, don't really know what to say about this beer. It certainly pushes the envelope open further than any other beer I've ever had.

Clear, red-brown body with a thick tan head. Powerful apple-vinegar aroma. Somewhere in the back of it, holding its nose, is some sweet malt.

How to describe the taste? "Interesting and different" does not seem to be enough. It's thick and chewy, but overpowered by massive, slick apple vinegar. There is also some oak and pure green apple mixed in.

I am impressed by the depth and quality of this beer; surely it is no easy task to put all of those tastes together. I wish I liked this beer. If I bought twelve bottles in January, and opened one per month for a year, by December I might be able to finish one. Still, I am not sure that I would be able to say that I enjoyed it.

Darkale, Sep 12, 2003
Photo of SetarconeX
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%

Appearance: A wonderful dark red color, with an agressive brown head on it. Careful pouring this one, this head doesn't go away as quickly as you might think.

Smell: There's malt, and wine, and citrus, and the alcohol's definately there too. Don't think I've ever had anything that smelled quite like this before.

Taste: Sweet up front, and sour in the back. Very heavy apple flavor all around, with wine-like undertones. Don't think I've ever tasted a beer quite like this before.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and thick. Very good considering the unique tang the beer has.

What a unique little brew! Much too sweet for everyday use, but with completely unmatched complexities to the taste. I'd sell my soul for an exact ingredients list. I've never tasted anything like it.

SetarconeX, Sep 10, 2003
Photo of mickeymac
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%

Charging out of the bottle with champagne-like carbonation, it's a very eye-pleasing brown with garnet highlights. A fine tan head full of little bubbles lays on top of the beer to the end. The smell is somewhat musty, with hints of ripe fruit and an overriding sourness. One sip immediately causes the mouth to pucker, but that's not the end of the story. Raisiny sweetness balances the sour aspect of the beer, making for a very nice drinking experience. For a fairly sour beer, this one is surprisingly drinkable, and I found myself having to resist the urge to throw down big gulps of it. Nice.

mickeymac, Sep 08, 2003
Photo of marburg
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Interestingly sweet and certainly different than I was expecting. I had to pause a bit before assigning numerical values to the review because in some ways, it fell below my expectations for any oud bruin. Generally, I want my face to be distorted into a tight pucker. But this complex, aromatic gem will have to suffice!

Brownish color reveals the deep center of a ruby when held to the light. The generous head is cola-like and quickly fades back to a mess of foamy islands. The aroma is sickly pungent: Strong, sweet redolence; vinegar and cherries. The flavors are engaging and complex, though awfully sweet. A light sourness, more acetic than tart, is buried beneath an avalanche of cherries, light vanilla, and honey roasted cashews. Almost like a beer sundae with layers of sweet and varying flavors. It could use another kick of sourness to balance just a tiny bit. Nonetheless, it's quite an enjoyable offering and not to be missed.

marburg, Aug 12, 2003
Photo of putnam
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%

We like sour beer. Sour beer is good. This is only slightly sour. The balance just favors a fresh apple, cherry and red plum fruit that would make this suitable for mixed company.
At first the aromas are just steely and clean but as it warms up there is a pronounced apple brandy scent with notes of ginger snap on the side. The texture is fizzy and cleanly sweet with more fresh fruit essences on the way down. medium-bodied and complex, with shifting layers of damp earth, barrel fermented pickles, caramel apples and burned slate in the background. Very drinkable hooch.

putnam, Aug 06, 2003
Photo of euskera
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%

My first Oud Bruin..

Nice reddish brown color with a small head. Smell was tart and vinegary. Sour overtones on the taste, with vinegar hints and red wine hints and just a nice tartness throughout with a woody overtone on the end. Maybe not something I'd drink on a regular basis, but very interesting for a change of pace..

euskera, Jul 27, 2003
Photo of RenoZymurgist
3.48/5  rDev -16.3%

Thin head that subsided quickly, for a flemish ale i must have not poured it right as i was carefull to omit the yeast. Color as deep and crimson as red wine. Aroma is sweet and fruity with no malt or hops to be found. Flavor is crazy with the high, soft carbonation causing the sour beer to attack my taste buds. Just enough sweetness to balance the sour flavors. This is a blend of an eight month and eighteen month old ale. The body is light but the carbonation gives an added boost to the strength of the flavors. Very drinkable, and a good beer to expand the horizons of beer flavors.

RenoZymurgist, Jul 09, 2003
Photo of RBorsato
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%

Dark reddish-brown with a full light brown head, good carbonation, and sheets of lace. Light sour aroma and light oakiness. Dark passion fruit flavors with chocolatey tones and woody tones. More sour than Rodenbach Grand Cru and not as smooth. Light-medium bodied.

I'd try other Flanders Red Ales before trying this one again although I'm hoping the age did not have a negative impact...

Best Before: 08/16/02
Tasted: 06/27/03

($2.99 / 11.2 oz.)

RBorsato, Jul 02, 2003
Photo of jcalabre
3.95/5  rDev -5%

Originally sampled on draught 20 March 2002. This is one of the most unique beers I've ever tasted. It is dark reddish brown in color, but light in body. The balance between sweet & tart is excellent. I would have it again. It has a wonderful, fruity aroma. I wouldn't recommend it for any novice beer drinkers, but it's a must try for any serious beer drinker.

jcalabre, May 28, 2003
Photo of Dogbrick
3/5  rDev -27.9%

I am still a little new to Flemish Sour Ales, Rodenbach Alexander being the only other one I have tried so far. From what I understand both are good examples of the style. That being the case I am fairly certain this is not a style I am a big fan of. Pours a dark amber/brown with a thick multi-colored head (beige with light brown splotches), with thin lacing. Aroma is alternatingly fruity and sour. The flavor actually reminded me of some Ohio Buckeye Brown that I tried not too long ago that had gone way past the "best by" date. Tart and vinegary flavor is tangy throughout. The finish is like an oaky Merlot. I was able to drink most of this in small doses, but I just can't appreciate the style.

Dogbrick, May 07, 2003
Photo of nomad
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%

Poured a transparent deep red color. Had a soft bubbly head from a good amount of carbonation, and negligible lace. The nose was of oak, apples, and an almost rum smelling alcohol body. I could almost smell the sour that it tasted of. In all, I wish the scents were stronger, as their complexity from this beer's special brewing and aging proess is unique and excellent in the beer world.

The taste was of dry red apples and a great palatable sour - from start to finish, it really bit up at my mouthroof as I swallowed. Had a slight oak character from its cask aging. The malt was not readily apparent but quite nice, a good base strangely tempered by the blending (8 month old batch with a 18 month old batch) and fermentation process of Belgian red ales. In all, the taste was mouth watering, and so calm (again from the aging and blending) but not boring. Some tannins came in on the finish, and eventually the beer took on a unique sour & woody fruit taste.

With a slight tingle on the tongue, a thin and watery body, and a moderate length finish, the mouthfeel was lightly dry turning to a bud salivating end. Quite interesting as it lingered in my mouth for awhile – like the taste its calmly complex. Very interesting, must be great with food. If you enjoy quality red wines (like myself), check this out. Hop heads and fans of big tasting beers might find it boring or too "sweet."

nomad, Apr 17, 2003
Photo of jackndan
2.95/5  rDev -29.1%

Duchesse de Bourgogne: a reddish beer sitting under an initially thick off-white head. Great, thick lacing all the way down the side of the glass. Aroma is very sweet with hints of cherries. The taste is very remarkable: mixed sweet and sour that is almost candy like, unfortunately there is an unmistakable vinegar taste/aroma that is present throughout. The taste is very intense, and complex. Before I forget, the aftertaste is dry, and leaves almost a cabernet impression. Some sharp alcohol sensations as well. Overall, the sweetness kills this brew for me, but I’d give it too a wine drinker to show them what they are missing.

jackndan, Apr 16, 2003
Photo of jreitman
3.35/5  rDev -19.5%

Purplish brown in color with a initally huge head that fades quickly. Aroma of vinegar was not appropriate. Much sweeter than should be the case for the style. Very remniscent of a Liefman's lambic in that respect. Quite enjoyable, but nothing outstanding. May be a good introduction to the style for a lot of people as it doesn't have the harsh acidity that most new sour ale drinkers get shocked by.

jreitman, Apr 13, 2003
Photo of francisweizen
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%

A very interesting and tasty Belgian beer. This beer pours a nice dark amber, hazy blood-reddish colour with a nice sized head. It has the aromas of oak, vinegar, sour fruit, tartness, horse blanket, and cherries. It tastes of tart flavors, oak, and cherries. It reminds me of Unibroues Quelque Chose mixed with Liefmans Goudenband. The mouthfeel is creamy and thick and the drinkability is good once you get past the sourness. This beer is a mix of a young beer and an aged beer. It is aged in oaken casks in Belgium. When this beer warms the flavors become more complex and the tartness is enhanced.
A classic example of this style, I am told. I would like to try more Flemish Reds!
Cheers!
-F

francisweizen, Apr 10, 2003
Photo of dmarch
4.85/5  rDev +16.6%

This is my first experience with a Flemish sour ale and I was blown away. It pours with a deep ruby color and a thin white head. The aroma is of red wine vinegar. Some may be turned off by the tart acidic tast, but I love it. Tastes of ripe cherries and red wine with that vinegar-like sourness. This is a style of beer I wish I could see more of.

dmarch, Apr 09, 2003
Photo of Viking
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Deep and murky, garnet-hued, brown body. Thick (1.5") foamy head. Retention leaves a bit to be desired, but plenty of lace left floating on top along with a bit on the side of the glass. Smell is very vinous (a little too much, in fact) and fruity (raspberry), with a hint of sourness. A bit of caramel malt present, but hidden deeply under the fruitiness. Rich moderately sour raspberry flavor. Solid backing of caramel malt becomes more noticeable as the brew warms towards room temperature. Sourness also seems to pleasantly increase after warming a bit. Smooth, creamy mouthful. Leaves an oily coating in the mouth. Excellent brew. A style that I find goes extremely well with game birds (pheasant, especially).

Viking, Mar 26, 2003
Photo of the42ndtourist
4.83/5  rDev +16.1%

33cL bottle. Another great find from a jaunt into Quebec.

Dirty garnet in hue, with a initially large head which fades quickly to a thin covering layer. I poured it into a Belle-Vue glass, which I think turned out to be a good choice.

Aroma lends a good clue as to what follows. Some people have mentioned balsamic vinegar, and that is rather appropriate (of course, this one is better suited to dessert than salad dressings). To me, this served to excite me even more about the coming beer.

Taste is initially sour, with a lot of fruity complexity. The first taste sent me straight to BA to see if it was actually a some sort of kriek variant. Nope. Just fabulously crafted and complex. There's so much to this - the sour start, the lovely sweet fruitiness - cherries, cassis, big juicy blackberries, home-canned plums like my mother used to make. It comes to a acidic and tart finish, which lingers with a tad of vinegar in the aftertaste (no it's nowhere near as bad as it sounds). I love it all the way through.

Beautiful slightly oily feel on the tongue. Carbonation, though seemingly energetic at the pour, is actually quite soft. I could (and would, if it were a little less expensive) drink this all night. It's fantastic, amazing, ethereal even. I've run out of adjectives, I'm flat out in love with this beer.

the42ndtourist, Mar 06, 2003
Photo of MJR
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Appearance: Pours a reddish-brown shade with a touch of cloudiness. A light tan head starts off strong and stays that way.

Smell: Aroma of cherries, faint malt, and lactic sourness. Typical of a Flanders Red.

Taste: It's a tennis match between the dry, cherry sweetness and the tart sourness. The emphasis goes back and forth... The sourness makes for a very dry, cheek-caving finish. There's a touch of sweetness, with the faintest bit of spiciness at the very end. Very nice.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat thin-bodied with a dry, tart mouthfeel that sucks all the moisture from my mouth and makes my lips stick together.

Drinkability: Pretty good, if you can stand the sourness. I like it, and would have no problem pairing this with a good meal that would complement it's dry nature.

MJR, Feb 03, 2003
Photo of yen157
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%

Dark brown and hazy beer with stick white lace on top. Aroma consists of malt vinegar, cherries, and some toasted malt. During the first sip, it’s hard not to jolted by the pervasive sourness. After that first sip tough, the whole beer comes into focus. The sour is nicely balanced by medium-bodied roasty malt. Very active carbonation, but the bubbles were small enough so that the effervescence didn’t get in the way. Overall, a very enjoyable beer, especially as it warmed a bit.

yen157, Jan 28, 2003
Photo of nathi
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%

Very nice beer.

Somewhat cloudy, small head, nice amber color.

Excellent sourness in aroma. Light prune-like maltyness and subtle oak character.

Very rich flavor with storng sourness balancing it out. Complex malt flavor with raisnes, caramel and toffee. Excellent oak character, adds nice complexity and gives a port like character when combined with oxidized malt richness.. Sourness is a bit simplistic but balances out the flavor very well. A well balanced, and very drinkable sour ale. Very rodenbach like, a little less complex, but very nice.

nathi, Jan 18, 2003
Photo of Wildman
4/5  rDev -3.8%

This beer poured a very dark red color and formed an amazing, huge pillow like head that left some very amazing laticed like lace. Heavy and beautiful style carbonation present. An aroma of malt and wine(but not sure of style). A flavor of malt, wine, and cherries. The finish was rather tart, brought on by the heavy carb and the wine aspect no doubt. It was the finish that hurt this beer in the end from getting a higher rating from me. I felt it hurt the overall flavor of the beer. But it is not a bad beer and worth trying.

Wildman, Jan 09, 2003
Photo of Jdiddy
2.03/5  rDev -51.2%

While I looked the looks of this beer, unfortunately that is where the good parts end. Smell was an initial sour smell. While many who review this smell vinegar, I agree but also think it smelled spoiled and rancid. Very musty smell. The taste was like a very sour Chimay Red. Definite vinegar/wine notes. Not my cup of tea. The other 2 people who sampled it with me had the same opinion. I could never drink a full glass of this.

Jdiddy, Dec 08, 2002
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,136 ratings.