Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

3,738 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,738
Reviews: 1,463
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 188
Gots: 614 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,738 | Reviews: 1,463
Photo of SouthAtholSuds
5/5  rDev +20.2%
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.

Photo of Meeg
5/5  rDev +20.2%
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.

Photo of JokineAugustus
5/5  rDev +20.2%
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.

Photo of billzav
5/5  rDev +20.2%
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.

Photo of 01121987
5/5  rDev +20.2%
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!

Photo of anthrocks
5/5  rDev +20.2%
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!

Photo of oelergud
5/5  rDev +20.2%
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

Photo of yarnbomb
5/5  rDev +20.2%

Love this beer forever. Love her sour temperamental funky fresh bierasse. AHmazing.

Photo of kovfer
5/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My favorite beer. The nose is wonderful. Best smell ever.

Photo of iamocean
5/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is perfection. It is in my top 10.

Photo of Bill_McKissick
5/5  rDev +20.2%

Absolutely magical. It feels like Fairies are dancing on your tongue.

Photo of Pullen
5/5  rDev +20.2%
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!

Photo of orcasteve
5/5  rDev +20.2%
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

Photo of ShannonRedCow
5/5  rDev +20.2%

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!

Photo of ribpy
5/5  rDev +20.2%

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.

Photo of coldmeat23
5/5  rDev +20.2%
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!

Photo of ElizabethCraig
5/5  rDev +20.2%
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 =)

Photo of MrMeerbill
5/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Most complex and fantastic beer taste like the best balsamic vinegar in a good way

Photo of RuinationPress
4.97/5  rDev +19.5%
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.

Photo of Rezzin
4.97/5  rDev +19.5%
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!

Photo of DarrellK
4.95/5  rDev +19%
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.

Photo of Hopped_head
4.95/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

At first sip, I wasn't quite sure I liked it...but by the second glass, I was pretty sure I loved it. A great Flemish ale!

Photo of nriech
4.95/5  rDev +19%
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.

Photo of ColoradoBobs
4.94/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at the Falling Rock Tap House, Denver, CO, March 16, 2007, served in a lovely brandy-snifter sized tulip glass.

Appearance: Minimal head over a dark burgundy body. Pretty. Crimson highlights around the edge. Even though the head is smallish, it lasts and lasts and lasts. A bit of lacing.

Lovely sour-cherry and cardamom smell, with a candy-sugar background. Some sweet maltiness is there as well. Smells great. Hope it tastes this good!

Taste does not disappoint, although it's bit sweeter than the smell. Like a light red sparkling wine, with a malty backbone. Wow. What a delight. Sour, but not mouth-puckering. Delightful cherry notes, with some clove and cardamom. Very complex, and the sweetness advances as the beer warms a bit. Wonderful taste! Not quite a 5.0, but more like a 4.9!

Mouthfeel is surprisingly chewy for a 6.2% beer. Nice tingly carbonation -- makes you want to swirl and chew before swallowing.

Really very drinkable. I was surprised. This is only the second Flanders Red I've had (the first being LaFolie, which was so exceedingly sour it was like vinegar -- way too sour for me!), and I was very pleased. Now that I've had this on tap, I'll be looking for it in the bottle to compare.

Oddly enough, I found the sometimes rotten service at FRTH to be exceptionally cordial and efficient. I was sitting at the bar, and was just finishing a Hercules DIPA (ON CASK!), and asked the guy to recommend something at the opposite end of the spectrum from the Hercules, and he gave me a 3-ounce sample of this, which motivated purchasing a 12 ounce glass. What a great beer!

Photo of Mavigo
4.94/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Served in a tulip from a 750ml bottle.

This is supposedly a red ale but it's deep brown with a reddish-crimson tinge, never seen a beer look this cool. Has a short beige head that leaves small amounts of lacing. The aroma is incredible, smells of red wine, Belgian yeast, malts, cherries, plums, roasted sugars. The taste is outstanding, it is sweet and tangy but that is a over simplification. Reminiscent of a framoise, the beer is tangy and sweet but not a fruity sweetness, more of a light yeast and wheat and grains sweetness. The beer is incredibly balanced, there is no resistance, I could down this whole body without fail if I wanted to. But I want to savor it. It is full bodied but the carbonation is on the low side but is complimented by the other aspects of the beer. Overall, this might be one of the best beers I've ever had, sure it was expensive, but I won't come by a beer like this in a long time.

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,738 ratings.