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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,441 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,441
Hads: 3,883
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 23.17%
Wants: 209
Gots: 689 | FT: 12
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Verhaeghe visit their website

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
Reviews: 1,441 | Hads: 3,883
Photo of SeanChouffe
3.61/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of weeare138
3.6/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appears a semi-transparent red auburn with an off white head that fades into a mild collar.
Smell is of tart cherries, caramel, vanilla, oak, rhubarb, and bacteria.
Taste is of the same with oaky berries, brown sugar, and grassy, minty leaves.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, syrupy, sugary oak, and cherry flavors lingering.

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Photo of Dawkfan
3.6/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Pours a deep burgundy, 1 finger cream colored head that reduces to a thin layer, a good amount of lacing left on my tulip.

S - Apples is the first thing I get, possibly some other sour fruit notes from pears and cherries. Definitely a vinegar sting as well.

T - Not as sour as I would of expected from my impressions of the nose. There's a fair amount of sweetness & woodiness mixed with the sour/vinegar taste that help balance this one out.

M - Medium body, highly carbonated, and fairly dry.

D - I've had this before and I didn't really like it, but I'm fairly new to this game and my palate has adjusted. I didn't mind it this time around, but 1 is enough for me.

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Photo of harrymel
3.6/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Best by: 11/30/2011
Poured to NB globe.

A: Cherry finished mahogany with superb clarity. The peanut, two finger head dissipates quickly to sheet which creeps up the sides. Good lacing.

S: Acetic, sweet, apple skin, hints of soy sauce. Orange glaze sauce. Nicer than the first time.

T: Sweet and sour. Very clean white vinegar with a blend of apple cider vinegar in there. Good flavor to pair with a meal.

M: Medium mouthfeel, low carbonation. Slightly drying.

D: One of the more sessionable sours available. Not a beer I would recommend without a meal to go with it. This is not a good beer to be had alone IMO. I would recommend with chinese or japanese. Maybe even some indian dishes. Would also pair with saucy BBQ.

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Photo of saintwarrick
3.6/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a wine-like garnet color with a medium sized white head, foamy around the edge. Aroma is like a vinegar dressing, not entirely sour, sort of like overripe fruit mixed with a merlot. The wine comparisons carry over to the taste, which starts out sweet like grapes before going sour, giving the beer a balance regarding those two characteristics. It's an odd sour, wine-like taste not present in other Belgian brew like classic lambics or gueuze. Easily the most wine-like beers I have ever had and one of the most unique.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.6/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I drank this from a 750 ml bottle into a chalice.

This poured a light brown, almost a coca-cola that had its ice melted. It had a brown head that went away quickly with little lacing.

This beer is totally overwhelmed by its flavor which is dominated by vinegar. It is very tart with light notes of cherry.

It tastes ok, but the smell overshadows the taste. It is a light complex flavor, but nothing special for this red.

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Photo of KevT
3.59/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I am just starting to experiment with sours, so my frame of reference for this style is not as big as with other styles. The beer has a dark, brick-red color with a wispy head. Nose was vinegary although not unpleasant. Taste not as sour as the nose would make you think it would be and it finished with cherries and a little caramel sweetness.

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Photo of dogfishandi
3.58/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle at cellar temp poured into a bulb style glass. best before date: 02/02/2013

pours out a pretty crystal clear deep red color with some soapy off white head. thick foam. some nice thick retention. some webby lace. i was expecting some sort of yeast in the bottle, but there was none.

the intial aroma is full of vinegar. also some musty funk, sweet fruits, alcohol esters. just a hint of a nuttiness.

again, lots of vinegar. musty funk, just lightly acidic with some sourness, but nothing really mouth puckering. sweet malts, sweet and tart cherries and a bit of other fruit, mostly dark. some nutty, woodiness towards the finish.

a good feel on the palate, some good, bright carbonation. medium bodied. almost feels like a lambic, just a light sugary feel.

not super drinkable, one and done. i prolly wouldnt buy this again. i didnt really enjoy the vinegar and the nuttiness, but some good complexity.

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Photo of bonbright7
3.58/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was glad the other reviewers cleared up what I was thinking about this ale: Was it ale or hard cider? I bought this on a whim at Whole Foods in Jericho NY while trying to follow up on the great beers of Beligum in the tradition of Westmalle, etc.

The creamy head with bubbles overflowed with an apple/champagne taste that was so strange in a delightful way I continued to explore the whole 750ml. I put it down for while and came back to see if it would change.

As no change came with time, I thought this would be great with pork or with a spiced ham.

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Photo of Fish113d
3.58/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle poured chilled into a tulip glass

Pours a dark mahogony color with ruby tint. Head is thin, but a bit "lofty" (it is like a cloud in the sky) Off-white to tan color head. Decent light getting through. Decent.

Aroma is mainly of fruits (strawberries and cherries) with a strong oak wood dry aroma. Some vanilla also hits my nose as does a bit of alcohol. Maybe a bit of vinegar.

Definitely suits the style. A cherry-to-rasberry flavor up front along with a bit of oak barrel flavor. Alcohol is also on the menu as is a bit of a slight metallic taste that doesn't go well with me. Reminds me of champagne. I expected something a bit different I guess.

Thin body with a champagne quality feel. Bubbly on my tongue with a bit of alcohol biting me quick! Decent aftertaste though of souring cherries.

Overall drinkability? Not bad. I've had better in the style, but solid. The metallic flavor has me thrown a bit...maybe a "bad" batch. I'd have another just to see.

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Photo of DagenhamDavis
3.58/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

My first 'sour' beer, so take that as you will. So weird! It tastes like a lambic, a Lindemans' Framboise, for example, but without the raspberry. It smells and tastes a bit like vinegar and wine, too. Complex and tasty with something of a metallic finish.
Honestly, It's a lot to get used to. I can't really see someone drinking this on the daily considering the substantial taste and cost ($6.10/bottle) . I will try again if I can find it fresh. This bottle was a little past its prime, and was probably not properly 'cellared' in the supermarket for a good 9 months...
Cheers to Flanders and the Duchesse- try it! You'll certainly be trying something unique.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
3.58/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at The Sunset in Boston.

This beer poured a clear, dark brown color with creamy, tan foam that settled flat. The smell was a modest but pleasant lightly tart aroma. The taste had a mild tartness with some fruitiness (cherries) and a bit of dried fruit. There was a hint of tangy sweetness and some sour caramel flavor in the finish. The mouthfeel was tart and crisp with medium body and modest carbonation. The flavor lingered only briefly. This was a decent Flanders Red ale, but I expected more from it. The flavor and aroma seemed somewhat muted compared to others of this style. I will have to give this one a try out of a bottle sometime soon.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.58/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy cinnabar with orange highlights and a considerable amount of uprushing carbonation. The small, airysoft, golden beige head has a featureless surface and a less than impressive lifespan. A thin ring of delicate lace indicates the high water mark of the head, and a series of vertical streamers run down to the deflating cap. Although the color of the liquid is great, not much else impresses.

Duchesse is the most vinegar-like beer that I've ever smelled. It isn't overwhelmingly vinegary, but if I caught it in the midst of deterioration, I wouldn't have wanted to pop the cap much farther along. There's also a funky, sour cherry aroma that I find appealing. On repeated sniffs, the cider vinegariness isn't all that bad. If it's that dominant on the palate, though, I smell trouble.

Vinegar is still noticed... and still stops just short of being a deal breaker. I would love to taste DDB fresh so that I wouldn't keep flashing back to coloring Easter eggs as a kid. This bottle is still more than a month away from its 'best by' date, so maybe it's supposed to taste like this. It's puckeringly sour and acidic with sour cherries still running rampant. I'd be amazed if cherries didn't play some role in the brewing process.

As I get deeper into the glass, I can appreciate a fairly significant sweetness that's all the more noticeable because of the medium-full, lightly viscous mouthfeel. The seltzer-like carbonation feels out of place, but it does keep things from bogging down and becoming overly syrupy. It also eliminates much in the way of mouthcoating; the finish is surprisingly clean.

I'm conflicted about Duchesse De Bourgogne. I can taste the outlines of what must be an incredible Flanders red, but this particular bottle tastes like it's on the cusp of the point of no return. Even though it's still drinkable, I'm convinced that the Duchesse and I haven't met in the most optimal of circumstances. I'll keep an eye out and will give a younger, more vivacious version a second review.

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Photo of dbalsock
3.57/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Poured brown with minimal head. Not much to say about the appearance... pretty bland, but nothing strange or off about it.

Smell: Ketchup? Catsup? A1... this smells like something I would put on my steak. Is that bad... no... just unexpected.

Taste: Again the ketchup and a1 come through quite powerfully, but when I try to ignore them, I can pick up some intense raisin and prune action going on. Maybe my palate isn't strong enough to pick up the complexity of this brew, but all I can get is vinegar, and ketchup. This is great with my steak though.

Mouthfeel: There's a sharpness to this beer that balances with the sweetness, but overall the mouthfeel is kinda weak and relies too much on the taste for support.

Drinkability: I find this to be an interesting beer, and not bad at all, just not something I ever want to drink again. It's far too strange for me.

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Photo of snogglethorpe
3.57/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A lovely deep burgundy color, with a huge creamy head. Smell is interesting, woody/fruity/musty. Taste doesn't really live up to the smell though -- it's sour, fruity, and refreshing, but not complex, and the woody notes in the smell are barely evident in the taste.

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Photo of vandemonian
3.56/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Duchesse De Bourgogne has a reddish brown colour and a decent 5 mm head that fades to lacing quite quickly. The smell is sour and vinegary with a hint of sweetness. Some sour apple and.. some flavour... I can't put my finger on it... maybe umami. The aftertaste is smooth and good with smallest hint of bitterness. The texture is foamy pretty thick. Overall, a very nice sour ale.

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Photo of granger10
3.56/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle. Pours a deep reddish almost brown color. Huge foamy, airy tan head rests on tap. Tons of lacing. Aroma is sour and vinous but not too acidic at all or pungent. Taste has a weird contrast of sweet and tart. The sweetness is fruity and kind of sugary but is soon balanced out by a drying tartness. Finish lingers a bit. Not really the vinegar wretching beer like other Flemish Reds I have tried and the sweetness isn't as deep of a maltyness. Take those characteristics as either good things or bad things. I couldn't really get totally into this beer but I didn't mind it really either.

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Photo of kindestcut
3.56/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

OK, so the conundrum is...how do you review a beer fairly if it turns out you don't really care for the style? Well, that's what I had to deal with here.

I wanted to like this beer. I really did. But I couldn't get into it (I say this as I drink a stout to cleanse my palate). So, I've looked at the style attributes and I've tried to be as fair as possible.

The Duchesse De Bourgogne poured a reddish brown. The off-white head was very active, rising to the top of my goblet and staying for quite a long time. When it began to recede it left a pretty lace.

The aroma was a combination of sweet and sour, reminding me of a good raspberry sauce with hints of lemon. If that sounds out of character, then it's because I was straining to find something familiar here.

The taste was also complex. Any hoppiness was dominated by a dramatic sweetness that gave way to a tart finish...a sour character that lived beyond the swallow. However, this beer is far more sweet than sour. The alcohol, although a hearty 6.2%, was not to be tasted.

Again, it's not my cup of beer but graded by the style, I suppose it's a solid example.

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Photo of madtowndmb1
3.55/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a deep redish brown color.

S: I get a lot of molasses and some vinegar like others.

T: Tart fruit, and carbonation, not a ton of vinegar acid

M: Carbonation, thin, actually the best part of this beer to me.

D: It's good to try, but not sure if I'd do a ton ton of them. Once a year beer. Too tart for me.

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Photo of abrand
3.55/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

11.2 oz poured into snifter

A- pours a very deep red that is translucent. About a 1/2 inch head that dissolves quickly with a lot of fizzing. Some lacing along the glass.

S- Loads of vinegar (this reminds me of when I was younger and my mother would make me bathe in vinegar when I had a rash). Also hints of fruits and spices. Is there the aromas of wine in there as well?

T- Lots of sweet fruits, predominately cherries which I did not sense with the nose. Along with the smell, I taste hints of red wine and malted vinegar.

M- light bodied with little carbonation

D- Fairly low IMO. While the taste is very unique and alcohol not that noticeable, this brew is way too complex. I enjoyed the experience but not something I would be able to drink routinely.

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Photo of mizzoueng
3.55/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Reddish hints in a dark brown, minimal head, but it was a tannish/taupish color

S - For being a Flanders Red, this was good. Smelled of grapes, almost like Chardonnay wine with hints of vinegar, fruit (couldn't place it), and clove

T - Not sour at all, almost sickly sweet. Like the beer was not fully fermented or a bag of sugar got poured in the fermenter right before it was kegged. Tasted more like a swet wine/beer hybrid. Was still good and drinkable, but not exactly what I had in mind when ordering a Flanders Red.

M - Full bodied, yet not very heavy. Like I keep pointing out, like a sweet red wine with a malty backbone.

D - I would order this again, but in a bottle to see how its different. I think this would be a good beer to age and see how the flavors meld.

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Photo of ojv
3.54/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A bottle from 2009 and may well be past its prime. Flat, thin, and sour upon first pour; it opened up nicely after standing with uch of the sour flavor that dominated the first sip dissipated. Some nice complexity remained and a nice Belgian red still wait in the bottle.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.54/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Body is a deep, tawny, foggy dark red. Pours with a one finger creamy, slightly off white (rose colored) head. Perfect retention and plenty of lacing is left behind in the glass.

S- Well I haven't had too many sours but when I cracked open the bottle vinegar smacked me in the face...once I got past the vinegar hints of vanilla, red fruity wine, and oak also emerged.

T- Puckering sour vinegar flavors upfront with a deep complex background of raspberry and dark cherry, oak, and woody flavors. The tartness tones down for the finish so that these flavors can be showcased.

M- Low carbonation and immaculately smooth body which oak and vanilla tones contribute to.

D- This is a good beer. The vinegar sourness is definitely the highlight with everything else in the background. Nice, complex Belgian all around. Probably will have this again.

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Photo of BamaBeerBuff
3.54/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a very deep brownish-crimson color with a sizeable off-white head that retains well and lays down a bit of lacing on my snifter. Very impressive appearance.

S: Initially the aroma of pure, unrestrained vinegar was awful, but it's mellowed a bit with time and some warming. Acidic and fruity, with notes of fermented cherries and a hint of woodiness. I can appreciate it, but it's worlds away from the other oud bruin I've had. The vinegar aroma kind of kills the opportunity for other positives to emerge.

T&M: Sour and tart. There's a good deal of cherry flavor and tartness with a residual aftertaste of vinegar. Some musty earthiness and woody character on the tail end and finish. I definitely appreciate the complexity and subtlety in here. The mouthfeel has a brisk, sharp carbonation and a lighter body, which is in-line with the style.

D: Hard to get a lot of this down because of the vinegar flavor and acidity. I wouldn't want to drink more than 1 of these in a session.

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Photo of aasher
3.53/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one poured a dark cherry brown in color with a quickly dissipating beige head. When you hold it up to the light it is ruby red, like freshly stained wood. This smells like sourdough, vinegar, spoiled milk, and cherries. It instantly makes me think of Monks Cafe. The flavor is just ok. You get ALOT of sweetness though. I'd say it's cloyingly sweet before it goes into the slight sourness. You can actually pick of a trace of alcohol, which is very surprising considering it's only 6.2%. It's tastes of a mix of sweet fruits and condensed milk. Sweet Moses this beer is sweet! How do people drink a 750 by themselves? I kind of like Flanders Red Ales but this beer is far too sweet for me. It doesn't help that the sweetness is the prominent part of the after taste. It's just ok in my opinion.

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Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
92 out of 100 based on 1,441 ratings.