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Duchesse De Bourgogne | Brouwerij Verhaeghe

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
91
outstanding
1,472 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,472
Ratings:
4,019
Avg:
4.09
pDev:
23.72%
 
 
Wants:
225
Gots:
791
For Trade:
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Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Verhaeghe
Belgium | website

Style: Flanders Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-15-2001

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,472 | Ratings: 4,019
Photo of Westsidethreat
3.82/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 2 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very cool beer. Very sour and very sweet. Different than most Belgian sours. The carbonation is TERRIBLE though, the overall impresion would have been higher if it was spot on. There is no head and very fizzy. Perhaps I got a bad bottle. Very fun beer regardless.

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Photo of icemonkey908
3.82/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap as a guest beer from town hall. Served in a 10oz glass. A very dark beer that reveals dark red undertones when help to the light. Very clear.

The smell is very strong. A strong cherry scent is evident along with an overall sweet aroma. The flavor is also very strong of cherry with some mild tartness. This beer is very sweet and very tingly on the tongue An interesting combination for sure.

Overall, this beer is a little sweet for my tastes so that detracts from the drinkability, but the distinct flavor and intriguing aroma are qualities that are hard to ignore. Not an everyday beer, but definitely one to try from time to time.

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Photo of Jono0284
3.82/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a very amber/redish hue with a thick head. The initial aroma was sour and vinegar but when it opened I got spice specifically cinnamon (my wife actually got that).

The acidity stays with the beer as I drink but it mellows and there is a little sweetness before the sour takes over. My first impression of the taste was not great however as I drink I find this beer growing on me. It is very good for its style but not an everyday beer for me.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.82/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

A - Clear ruby to burgundy color with a sizeable head that leaves thick rings of lacing down the sides of the glass.

S - Sweet raspberry, cherries and candied sugars.

T - Very sweet, like a slightly sour cherry soda, there is a bit of raspberry and light malt. After taste is empty, the flavor just vanishes.

M - High carbonation, harsh like a soda, pretty refreshing.

D - Definitely a good beer, mild pleasant flavor with a substantial depth to it. Worth a try certainly. A good beer to convert those who dislike hops.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.81/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip

A: Poured a vigorous 2 finger light brown fine head with great retention. Brew itself is deep amber and semi-cloudy. Lacing is thick and chunky.

S: Nose is sour cherries and oak plus sweet alcohol with earthy overtones.

T: Beginning is sweet red fruit with a building sourness that peaks towards the middle/end but is slightly masked by the malty backbone. The finish is malty and increasingly sweet with a barely noticeable sour note. No hint of hops anywhere.

M: Mouthfeel is highly carbonated and course and finishes very crisp and clean.

D: Highly drinkable and would make a great session beer if it was a little lower in ABV. However, a little too sweet in my opinion. Fantastic if one is into fruit lambics.

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Photo of scottoale
3.81/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Came in a 11.2oz brown bottle, label stated: Best before 12/06/03. Aged, I think so. Pours a very dark mahogany-burgandy(no murkiness) with a nice creamy tan, inch of head. Looks rather exotic. The head finally subsides to a quarter inch, with tons of thick lacing to follow.

It has a very different smell to it, sweet grape and berries up front with an assertive balsamic vinegar tang in full persuit. Very interesting, smells like a great salad dressing, never smelled a beer like this before.

First taste is sweet for starters, then turns tangy and fills the mouth with a rich, sour fiz and ends on a bitter note. Tastes like it smells, a very different kind of beer for sure.

One of these in a sitting is fine for me, a most unusual, yet tasty beer that seems to be what Belgians do best, gotta hand it to them, complexity is second nature in their brewing tecniques...Prost!

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Photo of Hoptron_3000
3.81/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a murky medium brown with hints of red. Good sized fluffy head that fades to a small island.
S: Balsamic vinegar. Musty. Brown sugar.
T: Sweet and sour but leaning more to the sweet side. Maybe it needs more time to sour? Brown sugar and vanilla. Sweet finish.
M: Good carb. Quite a round full body for a sour.
O: Nice beer but not to sour (maybe I was just expecting much more).

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Photo of cnally
3.81/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first foray into the world of sours--I must say I am going in to this with an open mind...

A deep mahogany brown color in the body, mostly opaque. A tannish brown frothy head goes down quick and sticks just a bit.

The aroma is a very vinegary sour one, aspects of currants and an aroma full of tannins.

The flavor is highly acidic, full of raspberry and fig in the flavor, but maintains the sourness and uniqueness that it displays in its aroma.

The mouthfeel is creamy and even, not overly carbonated but just enough.

This style may not be for me. I find the aroma to be a bit too much, but the flavor is well accomplished, different and complex.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.81/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours reddish brown with an uneven beige/tan head with some retention. Some good lacing, fair clarity. A different look than you usually get from a brew, so this appearance bumped a bit higher.

Light tart fruit aromas and some wet wood. Not as strong as I would have liked.

Flavor comes in waves. Tart fruit, cherry primarily (intermingled with some light sweetness), then some mustiness, but not in a bad way. Maybe wood and yeast. As the tartness clears, you get light toasted malt that leads to a mild pleasant bitterness. In the end, it finishes clean. I wish the malt element was more prevalent, but the remaining complexity of this one far outshines any minor flaws.

Good carbonation keeps this lighter on the palate. Still enough body to swish around though. It works.

The first 2/3 of the glass went down easier than the last 1/3. I liked this beer alot, but I'm glad I found a small bottle and didn't have to commit to a bomber.

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Photo of ckeegan04
3.81/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark ruby red in color, almost a mahogany brown. One finger foamy off white head. Average retention and good lacing.

S - A strong vinegar aroma with hints of sweet dark fruits. Also a faint aroma of the wood barrels it was aged in.

T - The vinegar taste is not near as strong, but it is still present. Very sweet taste of dark fruits with a bitter finish. Very unique taste.

M/D - Medium bodied and somewhat over carbonated. A very unique style but rather drinkable.

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Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby color with a nice creamy,sticky head that leaves waves of lace down my brandy snifter,aromas are all Belgian some sour cherry and malt vinegar with a touch of funk hits right on.Now I got alot more sweetness than expected in this brew,a kinda sweet/spicey mix that coats ur mouth with only a touch of sourness in the finish wich was unexpected.I picked up some cherry stone and iron notes a little more as I drank but this seems to stay more on the sweeter side for the style,true to the style not sure, but worth a try its a quality brew.

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Photo of guinnessman
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

a vinigar aroma, raisons, and a fruity like smell. a 3/4 in. bubly head, like champaign, that disipates guickely. a ruby red hue. very complex, I note chocolate, raspberries, banana. a nice mouthfeel, not coating, very smooth many flavors come at once, the finish is fruity and a bit tart. Not something I would drink on a regular basis, but for those people, like myself, who find labic to be to tart, this is a great alternative. A very enjoyable brew.

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice deep chestnut brown color. No real head to speak of. Oakey,vinuous aroma. Makes me think of a cabernet. Raiseny like flavor. Malty upfront. Very wine like. Not overly sweet-nice balance between sweetness and a slight sourness. Good smooth body. A nice beer. Good sipping beer-not real high in alcohol but a sipper none the less.

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Photo of steadydose
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best berfore 1-10-11

Poured this one into my trappist glass. The beer was burgundy, brown w/ red highlights. There was a wisp of cream foam around the perimeter of the beer. Looked good in the wide mouthed glass, especially with the sun overhead.

Duchesse had a good aroma with cherries, rasberries, pie crust and sweet fruit all coming through in the nose. I didn't notice much vinegar or oak in this bottle.

I got a lot of cherries, rasberry fruit juice in the taste with just a hint of tart and vinegar. There was a fair amount of sweetness towards the end, but finished pretty clean.

Mouthfeel was very good, with proper carbonation and a light body.

Overall, I enjoyed this particular serving more than the other bottle I had about a year ago, which tasted more like vinegar and old stale wine to me, this serving may have been fresher as it was cleaner and presented with more fruit sweetness.

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Photo of willjschmidt
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330 ml bottle into my Duchesse De Bourgogne glass. Bottle marked "best before 19-09-07".

A: A dark reddish brown color with a thin and quickly receding light tan head. Lots of lacing.

S: Some wine-like aromas: sour & acidic berries with some malt as well.

T: Slightly sweet and rather tart cherries come across in the flavor. It is smooth at first with the sour tartness dominating the aftertaste. A bit mouth puckering in the end. There are also some malt flavors evident that seem to come and go. There's really a lot going on with the flavors in this beer.

M: Light and fine carbonation, medium mouthfeel and slightly syrupy.

D: It's and easy drinking beer, one that would pair well with food. Definitely one of the more unique beers that I've ever had. A testament to the range and complexity that beers can achieve.

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Photo of thierrynantes
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer bottle (33 cl.), tasted in 2000.

Appearance : brown/red color, with huge tan foamy head.
Smell : fruity tart, deep and malty aromas.
Taste and mouthfeel : good sweetness and sour, rich taste.
Drinkability : a good beer in the style Flanders red ale.

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Photo of cruzncomet
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am very new to this style of beer so I do not have the taste profile down yet but I will say it was an intresting and enjoyable experience.

A = Autumn brown with and poured with great head..it did go down pretty fast and with little lacing on the glass

S= Really smelt the oak and fruitness from the get go...loved it

T= Very apple and fruity...and sweet, i as sure wine drinkers would like this style of beer

m= tangy..and sweet...but good

D= good but not sure I could have more than two at a sitting since it is very sweet

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Photo of cpmichael
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel snifter.

A: Pours a brownish-red, very thin lacing.

S: fruity, tart cherries, some hints of oak and vanilla.

T: Tart cherries, slight metallic taste right at first, but as the beer warms up it smooths out into a sweeter taste. Almost too sweet for me. a bit of oak flavor comes through too.

M/D: Good carbonation, and not a bad beer in the least, I would advise letting the beer warm a bit because I found it to taste much better when it warmed up. The metallic flavor was gone. Still I found it to be too sweet, even for the style and could have benefited from being more on the sour side.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle into a New Belgium goblet.

A: Pours a dark burgundy color. The off-white shaded head, in typical sour ale fashion, is quick to fade, but starts at three fingers high due to an aggressive pour. Nice specks of lacing left on the glass, though.

S: It starts off with a load of wine grapes and lesser notes of cherries. As it opens up in the glass, it develops more and more acetic vinegar notes. Still, it's very well balanced within the (restrained) sugary sweetness.

T: The opening is moderately tart, nothing to rape the palate, but something that's definitely palpable. It develops into a leathery finish that I find quite offensive at first - after a few sips, though, the palate adjusts to its presence. The more I sip, the more its fruity cherry notes come forward on the back end. After a while, I start to enjoy its sweet/tart balance. As much as I enjoy it, the musty strangeness (especially on exhales/burps) brings it down a touch.

M: The palate is never fully beat down by tartness...the sweet finish does a great job of keeping it in check. I would complain that it's too sweet, but I won't. This is too drinkable and refreshing for me to care.

O: If anything, this is something of a middle ground between Lindeman's sugar bombs and a proper sour ale. The sugary sweetness is quite prevalent, yet it doesn't overpower the tart qualities. I can see this being very approachable to sour ale beginners.

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Photo of bobsy
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm not sure I've has an intentionally sour beer before. Lots of unintentional ones, but that's Ontario for you. Thanks Viggo for busting the Duchesse on me.

Pours a slightly murky brownish mahogany with a finger of tan head that has decent retention and lace. Lots of sour cherry on the nose, which is quite sweet and malt heavy. Interesting flavours. Vinegary sourness is balanced by a large dose of sugar - its more sweet and sour than sour, and not quite as aggressive as I expected. Its quite vinous and has some kriek qualities to it as well. Medium body and carbonation work well.

An interesting experience, but not an overwhelming one. I'd like to try a bigger sour to see what the fuss is about. I can see that this is a well-constructed beer, but if its representative of sours, perhaps it won't be the style for me.

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Photo of TerryW
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours cola dark with a short head that is very long lived. Rings of lace as you work your way down the glass.

Nose has some slight sharpness. Vinegar, sweetness, fruit. Appetizing aroma.

Sweet and fruity with a syrupy malt vinegar finish. Nice dose of oak. Interesting flavours throughout. Rather heavy slick mouthfeel.

A nice drink, good slow after dinner beer. Worth a try.

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Photo of tectactoe
3.79/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Figured it was about time I got around to this one, oftentimes an introductory "sour" for those trying to ease their way into the style. Deep burgundy body with rose tones near the top where light is allowed to shine through. The beige head crackles away swiftly into a wimpy little skin that doesn't even maintain full coverage of the brew for more than a few seconds.

Either you're gonna love the aroma, or you're gonna hate it, and it pretty much depends on how much you enjoy vinegar. Copious amounts of vinegar in the aroma, which a back panel of lightly sour cherries and some mild cranberry notes. Spicy, woody vanilla pops out when you inhale deep enough, though your nostrils are busy sifting through the heavy, heavy apple cider vinegar.

Now, I'm a fan of vinegar, though I have to admit that had the vinegar been so heavy on the palate as it was on the nose, it might be a difficult beer to finish. Luckily, the first few sips show me that the vinegar notes, while still prominent and forceful, are toned down to acceptable levels. Some simply tart cherries back the vinegar and smooth things out just a bit.

Mild cola, oak, and faint vanilla make up the rest of the profile, but vinegar-soaked cherries are the leaders of the pack at the end of the day. The tail end aftertaste contains some funk, but nothing too crazy or notable. With time, it seems that Duchesse goes from being more sour to more sweet; by the time you finish the glass, it will be mostly sweet.

Medium bodied, a touch heavier than you may expect for a sour ale, with heavier carbonation as well, and a slick, almost oily mouth feel. Duchesse de Bourgogne is a decent way to soothe your apprehensive friends into accepting the world of sour beers. For people who are already deep into that territory, this beer won't be too exciting for you, so hopefully you can see it for what it is: a mild mannered bridge into a whole different type of beer.

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Photo of WildRage
3.79/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had 2 of these at the Tap Room in Warren, NJ last night. The brew looks gorgeous when poured into the chalice I drank it in - almost a ruby color.

There wasn't much of a strong smell - a little vinegery, and a bit fruity. I really liked the taste, although definitely more sweet than sour. A little more sourness and a little more alcohol would make this beer nearly perfect. I'm reminded of Rodenbach when drinking this, but as said before, a bit more sweet.

I would definitely order this beer again if I ever see it. Would also be a good introductory beer if you're not used to this style.

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Photo of cocoapuph
3.79/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one poured with a quick disappearing head and a brownish-red hue. Smelled of candied cherries and booze. Some scents of sweet red wine comes through as well. Taste is a bit pungent but super sweet. Cherries and sugar, with grapes and red wine. A bit too sweet IMO. Mouth feel is smooth and a bit dry. Liked this but could have been a little more tart/sour to make it awesome.

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Photo of weatherdog
3.78/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 75cL bottle into two tulip glasses. One for me and one for my wife. The cork is labeled exp. 05/11.

It pours a brilliant deep red color with a two finger foamy dense head

Smells of acidity, sour fruit and vinegar notes. The nose is very inviting and promising for a tasty sour beer inside.

The taste is an explosion of colliding flavors. Starts a little tart with a lot of red fruit flavors. the middle is medium bard-yard brett and it finishes with the acidic vinegar and a surprising sweetness.

Mouthfeel is exceptional, a little tart but smooth and perfect carbonation level. Four a sour the drinkability is amazing. I'm drinking this faster than I wold have thought and it really goes down smoothly.

I haven't had many example of this style but I really am enjoying the trip. It wasn't as tart and sour as I had expected and the sweet finish was unexpected. I am unsure of the bottling date but i think I might pick up another bottle and let it age until closer to the expiration date to see how the tartness develops.

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Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
91 out of 100 based on 1,472 ratings.