Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...
Dismiss Notice
Join The Buzz! Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest BeerAdvocate updates delivered to your inbox.

Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,419 Reviews
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,419
Hads: 3,803
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 13.48%
Wants: 199
Gots: 654 | FT: 12
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Duchesse De Bourgogne Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 1,419 | Hads: 3,803
Photo of rjlesher11
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm a foodie, I'm a beer lover and I'm a Wine Lover! I feel this proper sour hits all three hobbies in one glass... Vinegary, salty and sweet. Sooo Good! Most definitely recommended and I will do my best to keep in my fridge for those cultured pallets.

Wow (259 characters)

Photo of joecast
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

specs out of the way first. best before 22/3/2013 250ml 6.2%abv

this is one hell of a pretty beer. quite clear, dark amber in color. low carbonation. one cm fine firm tanned head. genuinely nice to look at. like something i have seen in books about beer. only its in my lounge room. hooray for me.

dreamy aroma. and i dont use dreamy lightly. puckering vinegar (acetic for you sciencey types) acidity balanced by a prominent fruity sweetness. light touch of alcohol without the heat. woody (dried, not green). has a concentrated characteristic to it like molasses, incredible.

and i can finally take a sip. just been too preoccupied smelling this one. soooo smooth. just brilliant. the expected tartness is there but very mildly. finish is so light for such a complex beer. i can only imagine the complexity is brought on by the blending and oak influences and the impact they have blow me away.

cannot believe i only have the one bottle. makes me sad. ive always been intrigued by this style and feel i have now found its standard. and it is good!! (1,053 characters)

Photo of ryandurka
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

i bought a case of Duchesse De Bourgogne bottles in emmaus pa, at shangys. i love Flemish red ale and this is the perfect example of Flemish red. its refreshing and tastes great. its not the strongest of beers but the taste makes up for that. there is nothing to complain about with this beer. its distributed well in America and is not too hard to find. if anyone sees this beer and is curious as to what a good red ale tastes like, try it! (441 characters)

Photo of hooligan
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Beautiful ruby-red color with a wispy lace head. The oaken cask conditioning of this beer give the drinker hints of balsamic and red wine vinegar, with some sweetness and floral notes of wine. While you are trying to put a finger on all the flavors, you start tasting the sweet and "chewier" texture of the malt. This beer is slightly sour and very highly carbonated, pleasantly so, similar to a lambic... this is bottled happiness. (432 characters)

Photo of BhamBeerLover
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Oh the dutchess... Shall I compare the to a summer's day? Seriously though, this beer is phenomenal. For one expecting a good sour ale this beer cannot be beat, though potentially tied. I got exactly what I expected and would not wish for this beer to change at all. I hope to be able to share this beer with my children, when they are old enough of course. (At least not until they hit double digits.) Thanks to all those Flemish folks for this amazing contribution to the world beer community. (495 characters)

Photo of sirtomtom
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a hazy dark red/brown with a bit of white head.

S: Sour with a light touch of funk.

T: Medium sour with a faintest hint of funk. Not too tart to be mouth puckering but not so mildly sour as to wonder where the sour is. Not real heavy on any type of sourness, a nice balance between the different types of sour: lactic, citric, etc.

M: A nice medium body with a good bit of carbonation to balance it out.

O: A perfect well made sour great for an introduction to sour ales as well a great easy access sour for that hot day. (534 characters)

Photo of BeerCentralWA
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

In bottle, served in wine glass. Appearance is slightly reddish with yeast clouding and effervescent head.

Nose is raspberry and yeast with clove and anise spice.
Mouthfeel is dry and champagne like. It literally disappears on the tongue, with rich malt and complex fruit and spice on the palate. (298 characters)

Photo of SouthAtholSuds
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The first time I tried this beer I think I fell in love with it. Pours a dark copper/ruby color with minimal head. Strong smell of tart fruit on the nose. Complex tastes of sour figs, raisins and plums with low carbonation. Everything about this beer is balanced perfectly. Minimal carbonation makes this a beer you could drink all night. Instead have one every once and a while. You don't want to kill the appeal of The Duchesse. (430 characters)

Photo of Meeg
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I can't believe that only a few days after reading about this brew here on BA, I found it on tap at La Cav du Vin here in Cleveland. Having moved here a month ago, I was worried about finding good sour flemish ale. Apparently there is no need to worry, as the Cleveland beer scene, whether it's good bars or good brewpubs, is alive and VERY well. I used to live in Providence (Union Station, Trinity), so I've got something decent to compare to if you include Boston (Sunset, Beer Works) and New England (Moat Mountain, Vermont Pub & Brewery, The Alchemist) in general.
OK, so I at least think I know what I'm talking about...

I definitely smelled balsamic vinegar, but not overpowering at all. Just a hint of that dark, sweet acid.
Very little foam, unsurprisingly for a sour.
Smooth mouth feel, with a nice subtle tingle of carbonation.
Taste of balsamic, caramel, cherries.
Lightly sweet, perfectly balancing the sourness.

Wow.

I would say this is a great intro to sours, but the imbiber may be spoiled. Truly sour reds might shock them after this.

Fortunately, I also discovered this in a four-pack at Warehouse Beverage on Mayfield Road. Sixteen bucks will make me wait until my next (first!!) paycheck.

Peace. (1,220 characters)

Photo of JokineAugustus
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love this beer. It has a pleasant sour fruit smell of Cherries, Cranberry, and Raspberry. Taste is quite similar. Has a slight bready and sour fruit aftertaste that blends well. Look is beautiful bright ruby red in a glass which I absolutely adore. One of my favourites atm. (276 characters)

Photo of billzav
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Duchesse may very well be the best sour ale I have ever had and it pours a deep chestnut brown color with notes of tart fruit, notably cherries, and dark malt. Since this ale is aged in oak conditioned casks, Duchesse has a red wine like feeling to it. The array of sweet and sour flavors are perfectly balanced throughout this Flanders red ale, and it’s velvety smooth from start to finish. (393 characters)

Photo of 01121987
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

i am no expert on this style of beer, but i would have to say that it kicks some serious ass!
i tried this beer a couple of years ago and was disgusted by it, now i dont know how i ever could have thought that. this is my favorite sour beer. im surprised the bros didnt rate it as world class.
awsome beer!
not for the faint hearted! (335 characters)

Photo of janubio
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Brown colour, with a small head that leaves a good ring and some lace. Aroma is tart, acid, cider, vinegar, combined with sweetness from red or dark fruits, cherries, oak cask, wood. Medium body and an active carbonation. Taste is acidic too, oak, red fruits, some citruses notes, chocolate, vinegar, cider., vanilla. Very complex and a hell of an extraordinary beer. Put another one in my list of perfect ten. As a note, I've been drinking this beer for years whenever I find, but I just notice the other day that I had never rated it. (536 characters)

Photo of anthrocks
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've had several other sour ales, and I've always been disappointed with most of the others. This one stands tall among the rest.

L: Pours a very dark reddish-brown, with white head that turns into light lacing
S: Smells like Balsamic vinegar and sour cherries
T: Sweet and sour with a wonderful tang
F: Medium-bodied with fizzy carbonation
O: This could very well be the best beer I've ever tasted, or ever will taste.

It's expensive, but worth it. Give it a shot! (467 characters)

Photo of oelergud
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Deep clear ruby and mahogany body. Very low carbonation. Big tan butte head. Good retention and great lace.
Strong scents of both sweet and sour notes, very well balanced. Interesting and complex with cherries and dark malts.
Taste is amazing, perfect balance of sweet and sour, very strong. Cherries, prunes and sour characters all very powerful and delicious. Great aftertaste.
Hydrating mouthfeel that is slightly puckering and mouthwatering.
Great drinkability.

-Oelergud (482 characters)

Photo of Pullen
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at the Brickstore Pub last night, served in a Duchesse Chalice...

- Ruby color, nice head that dissipated in minutes.

- Smelled of cherries, vanilla, fresh sliced apples, and ripe soft plums.

- Taste? This beer is heavenly!!!! Perfect in every way....Cherry flavor, but soft to the pallet. I'd think this was aged in oak given the vanilla subtleties.

Mouthfeel - Soft velvety. Nothing harsh about this at all.

Drinkability - I swear we (3 of us) order 8 or 9 of these in between all the other beers we had at the BSP. Does that say enough?

Overall - This would be a perfect introduction to flander Red style and to craft beer in general.. I met up with a female friend of mine who gasp at beer because all she knew was BMC. After having this beer, and a few others... her mind has been changed...permanently!

Awesome beer! Cheers! (857 characters)

Photo of orcasteve
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

was sent this in a bif, i cant thank coldmeat23 enough for my chance to try this one, poured into my duvel tulip, poured a rich wine like shade of brownish red with dense tanish white head on it that sticks around for awhile, the sourness of this beer was aperant when i uncorked her as a tart cherry sent filled my nose, as far as taste i taste, apple cider, red wine viniger, tart cheries, strong oak notes, some lemon, figs a hint of malt all of witch have taken my tastebuds hostage and thay never want to be let go. this is my favorite beer so far of all time! this is a stile i will have to find more of (609 characters)

Photo of ShannonRedCow
5/5  rDev +22.5%

My absolute favorite sour. I explain it to guests in layman's terms. It's like red wine, cider, and beer got together and created a new beer. It changes as you drink it too. Delicious! (188 characters)

Photo of ribpy
5/5  rDev +22.5%

Smooth and soft up front, but a mildly sour overall taste with an oak aroma.
My experience among friends with this ale is either they love it or hate it.
I personally love the taste and this is currently my favorite beer. (222 characters)

Photo of coldmeat23
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

GLASS: Chimay Goblet
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees

Deep, dark, ruby red liquid. Much like the blood of the Duchesse. One finger head of creamy tan foam. Truly excellent retention and great lacing.

Smells amazing! Deep tart fruit smells. Lots of green apple and black cherries. Not quite ripened peaches. Scent of almonds/marzipan. Hints of underlying gingerbread spiciness. Slight touch of vanilla.

This is such a phenomenal tasting sour (flemish red). Big cherry taste, sour and sweet, at the same time. Huge notes of green apple. Nice big presence of black currants. Nice woody/earthiness, here, also. Hints of oak and vanilla.

Extremely smooth and creamy in body, like a mouthfeel of rolling fine silk. Carbonation is perfect, with tiny, tiny bubbles.

This beer is so perfect. If it were Napoleon's Army invading my mouth, my taste buds would have no choice but to surrender.
I could drink this for weeks at a time and be perfectly satisfied, with no other options.
Excellent! (990 characters)

Photo of ElizabethCraig
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Purchased this as recommended by an employee at Siciliano's in Grand Rapids, MI.

Medium Brown/red in color, very clear. Lovely tan head with nice bubbly microfoam.

Scent: Raspberry sour, this sour made my stomach gurgle and my mouth salivate all through the smelling and drinking =)

Taste: Starts out a medium molasses/sorgham and goes immediately to a medium sweet raspberry, then to a VERY sweet raspberry. The aftertaste is a nicely sour caramel malty taste. No fruit in the immediate aftertaste. After around 3 minutes the taste is a very wine-like tanniny grape.

Fairly high carbonation, carries the sour flavor into being and then just leaves the sour.

The ABV isn't high, but the combination of the higher carbonation and the sweet taste is very heady.

I love this beer. I will seek this out and drink this again =) (830 characters)

Photo of RuinationPress
4.97/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've had this one before, but never reviewed it. Recently a friend from San Diego had occasion to try this one and fell in love. As i had a couple of them in the fridge, I decided there was no better time to have and review one.

This one is labeled a a reddish-brown ale, although the overall style is known as a Flanders Red Ale. They are typically brews that range from red to brown in color. The style often uses a Lactobacillus yeast strain producing a high lactic acid and giving a sour taste, also sometimes a Tannic acid producing that lip puckering feeling. Often aged for long periods in oak barrels, aged batches are sometimes mixed with younger ones to balance them out. The often have distinct and sharp fruit flavors that that set them apart from other Belgians.

Produced by the Brouwerij Verhaeghe Brewery in Vichte, Belgium.

This one has quite an appearance. Similar in some ways to new Belgiums La Folie, poured into a tulip glass, it has a deep brown, almost molasses, color with a faint hint hint of red when held up to the sunlight. Very cloudy and with a modest amount of carbonation, it produced a small, but sustainable thin head. The lacing left behind was nice and lite, perfect for this style.

Take a whiff of this one and you are immediately overpowered with the scent of caramel, banana, bread and a faint hint our sour apple. The caramel malt mixed with the banana is what served to really balance out the apple and bread.

As I took my first sip, I immediately tasted the sour apple I smelled earlier with the banana not far behind. Another sip brought the bead and caramel malt and this time a hint of a as yet to be determined spice. Works well with the bread, banana and apple. I felt like I was being treated to dessert! The Lactobacillus yeast really works well on this one, as it was sour, but not too tart and not overpowering.

I really liked this one overall. Not only does it do what the style intends, it just down right pleases! Don't get me wrong, this one is all beer, but may also be one that can pull those who usually shun beer over to the dark side! I had some cheesecake cake around, and really enjoyed the Duchesse as it complimented the cheesecake perfectly. Since it weighs in at around 6% ABV, if you want another you can. (2,279 characters)

Photo of Rezzin
4.97/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Poured into a tulip glass. 1/4" tan head that doesn't hang out long. Color is a deep mahogany red and it's crystal clear. I expected it to be bottle conditioned but I didn't notice any trace yeast in the bottle. Looks quite appealing.

S - Wow, the aroma is incredible. Complex with fruity notes. Cherries, plums, some tartness in the nose. Slight barnyard character - sweet caramal.

T - This is an excellent flanders red - the sweet and tart is perfectly balanced. There's that a ever so slight barnyard character that just perfectly compliments the flavors in my mouth. You have to search for the barnyard - it's very slight. Sour cherries, raspberries, maybe even some plum with a nice balanced sweetness. I'm loving these sour beers right now!

M - Medium to light body with a nice acidic crispness. Moderately carbonated.

D - I've died and gone to sour beer heaven. I love this beer. I'm looking forward to trying other examples of this style to see what i'm missing. If this is not one of the better ones then I'm in for a real treat! (1,046 characters)

Photo of DarrellK
4.95/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appreciating Flanders Red Ale style is one that is not of the uninitiated and takes some experience to understand it's value. The Duchesse is probably the premier example of the style and gets my highest rating.

The ale pours to a beautiful fine head that leaves a lovely lace. Being color-blind mt color descriptions can be a bit off, but looks like a clear dark ruby to me.

The aroma promotes a sour prelude to the first sip that is sure to challenge those that think Bud Light is Nirvana. The mouth is of medium viscosity and despite the bubbles from the head is quite still in nature. The finish is raisiny at first and moves to dates later and of course in sour, and just sour enough to be refreshing.

The beer should be tried in two ways, first on the cool end of the specrtrum 45 deg or so and then again at the higher end maybe 55. The Cooler end brings out the sourness more and the higher end the fruity side.

One other point is that it is only 6.2% abv and which is on the low end of the Belgian scale. (1,025 characters)

Photo of nriech
4.95/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at Capital Ale House in Richmond, also in bottle at home with very similar results.

This beer is amazing and has become one of my all time favorite brews. The flavors are so complex and intense that I dont even want food to come near me for the chance to interrupt the experience.

Slight head with good carbonation. The color is similar to a subdued red wine. Be sure to serve this at the correct temp, I believe somewere around 50F. The inital sip is like a sour wine but becomes complex extremely quickly as it warms. The oak aging is very obvious. It adds so much to this brew.

This is extremely drinkable, very hard to not give into drinking this quickly. One sidepoint is that the one on tap seemed to be a bit more oaky and sour than the bottled version. Not sure on the dates of either. (814 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
91 out of 100 based on 1,419 ratings.