Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,417 Reviews
THE BROS
93
outstanding

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Reviews: 1,417
Hads: 3,760
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 13.48%
Wants: 189
Gots: 635 | 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
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Reviews: 1,417 | Hads: 3,760
Photo of TVolt1
3.45/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A: Deep amber color, good clarity, small amount of white head.

S: mmm great smell. Smells of cherry warhead candies and that's my favorite type of sour beer! Good hint of wine smell too.

T: Has a great bubbly, cherry initial flavor that excited me. The aftertaste is almost nutty and does not fit with the beer at all. Finish is disappointing...

M: Good bubbly, carbonated mouth feel, light on the tongue.

O: I like every other factor of this beer but the final taste. Too bad because everything else is going well for it. (527 characters)

Photo of OldSchoolGamer
3.44/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have never had a Sour before, so this is a first. They seem to be quite trendy as they are growing in popularity. Here is my review:

A: Pours a Coca-Cola brown. I don't notice a lot of carbonation, but the head is nice and creamy. Lacing is minimal.

S: First thing I notice is an overpowering vinegar aroma. I honestly can't detect much more than that.

T: I am not sure how I feel about this beer. The vinegar is very prominant in the taste. It is almost overpowering. But, once you get used to it, there are other flavor layers underneath. Tastes a lot like champaign. There is also quite a bit of a pickle taste in there. A touch of cherry pits. Finish is very acidic. Quite sweet as well.

M: Actually pretty light bodied. Very sharp and acidic finish. Not as fizzy as champaign, but close.

D: I guess it drinks pretty easily. If you don't mind strong vinegar and champaign flavors that is.

I honestly don't know what to say. I have never had a beer like this before. To say that this is unique is an understatement. But vinegar flavors in beer? I don't know. This probably isn't one I will return to very often. (1,127 characters)

Photo of Zonk
3.44/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Maloney's Matawan. Deep red color frothy head. Really strong nose of makted vinegar up front but blew off over time. Medium to lighter body, with vinegar and a bit of sweetness behind. Interesting beer. Hard for me to rate, as I have not had a lot of sours to put it in context. (293 characters)

Photo of bruachan
3.44/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

from arrowine

big arty green bottle that emitted a musty aroma of port and masala wine. the beer poured a beautiful clear burgundy, though it didn't hold much of a head (not nothing, but minimal lacing and only a collar). the nose from the glass was equally complex and winey as from the freshly uncorked bottle: reminded me of my mother's chicken masala. a friend and i agreed that there was definitely a meat dish of some sort in there

actually drinking it was a bit of a bonerkill. so incredibly sweet, with little of the sour belgian character i was hoping for (my only experience with with style previously was a rodenbach, so my standards are perhaps artificially high). actually tasted like cranberry-apple cider, with only a hint of that sourness i longed for. to top that off carbonation was sparse so the perception of sweetness was enhanced further. dissappointing (881 characters)

Photo of DUBinMIA
3.44/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear deep brown with reddish tint. Thick foam head 3in. at least with insane lace.

Smell is of malt and sweet fruit. Dates, cherries, and light pine hop notes.

Taste is starts sweet malty and ends very tart and crisp. Citrus is abound which is different for a red ale. Interesting rasberry flavor towards the end.

Mouth feel is light and high in carbonation

Overall this beer is unique… prob won’t pick it up again but glad I tried it. (464 characters)

Photo of Marty
3.43/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a transparent deep rosy amber, which surprised me because I (for whatever reason) expected this to be an unfiltered. Dense, craggy, light brown head.

Smells very sweet, cider-like. Taste is very similar, and surprisingly simple. No hops to speak of, and not even particularly malty. Just FRUITY! Very fruity. Impressive that such a tart flavor could come just from yeast, because I was pretty sure there was a whole granny smith apple in that bottle.

Not something I would buy again, but worth a try. (512 characters)

Photo of largadeer
3.43/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Dark reddish amber, not far from a dubbel in appearance. The cloudy tan head never lets up.

Smell: An intensely sweet aroma escaped from the bottle as soon as I uncapped it, which was initially a bit off-putting. A bit of swirling reveals sour cherries, molasses and vanilla.

Taste: Cherries again, red apple, grape, vanilla, oak and brown sugar. The taste has a sweet/sour dynamic, leaning a bit toward the sweet.

Mouthfeel: On the lighter side of medium-bodied, this goes down pretty easily, but it becomes a bit syrupy. Gentle but abundant carbonation tingles the tongue.

Not bad for a sweeter Flanders red, but I greatly prefer this style more dry and sour. (677 characters)

Photo of Blanco
3.43/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Brown color with hints of red and a decent tan head. smells somewhat funky with belgian dark malts malts reminiscent of dubbels and quads. Hints of fruits, cherries perhaps. Ridiculously sweet in the flavor and a total shocker. somewhat sour, but the sweetness is overpowering initially. As I drink more of it, the sour notes come through along with some medicinal notes, almost like cough syrup. Thicker mouthfeel than expected though still medium-bodied. Overall, not my favorite of the style. The flavor profile is much too sweet for my taste and I would have preferred the sourness to be more prominent. (607 characters)

Photo of CheckmateBrew
3.43/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I am a big Belgian drinker so I had high hopes for his one.

Look is exceptional, nice 1 finger head, deep cherry wood color, I am getting excited.

smell is very complex, malt and I could detect rasin, oak lots of things going on here.

Taste is very complex, a bit almost too sweet, trappist yeast, interesting, but not the belgin I was expecting (350 characters)

Photo of nicholasdes
3.43/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I struggle reviewing this properly as it is my first sour beer and the style is very difficult.

Serving type: bottle

A: An unsual shade of brown, flat, without the amber color seen so often.

S: crazy vinegar. You have go back for a second whiff prepared, but then you find so much, sweet cider, ripe apples. Still though so hard to really enjoy.

T: Much smoother and less potent than the nose. An elusive sweetness, not syrupy, but one that dances with the sour tang. Ripe fruit flavors and light coco bitterness. Can't deny the complexity.

M: light but not watery with good carbonationn

D: I don't see how even a fan of the style could find any sour to posses high drinkablity. The sweetness and sour quickly spoils your palate. That being said, the lightness almost makes quaffing easier than sipping. I do think it would be better with fruit and cheese. (866 characters)

Photo of bigbeerdrinka
3.43/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours a dark reddish brown with amber hues and a thin white head that barely leaves any bit of a lace. Aromas are a mix of sweet cherries, and what can best be described as a winey vinegar sort of scent. Initially flavors are sweet and tart, with a cherry grape like flavor that almost pushes the bounds of being cough syrup like. Following there is a slight acidic flavor to this brew, and just a hint of spice which makes this brew totally intriguing. The brew finishes are tart and acidic as it started with fruit dominating in the end. Overall this brew was funky but good. (587 characters)

Photo of DrunkenMaster
3.42/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Cranberries, cherries and balsamic in the smell. Light brown and slowly diminishing head with a dark amber body. Taste is moderatley acidic but the balsamic is still pretty strong. The cherries and balsamic is just too much for me. Decent, but my thing. (253 characters)

Photo of RenoZymurgist
3.42/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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. (589 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.41/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from an 11.2oz. bottle into flute glass.

A: The beer is a dark reddish brown color with a medium off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is mostly sour with apples, dark fruit, some chocolate and elements of creaminess and smokiness.

T: The taste is very fruity with a heavy burst of sourness. The initial taste had a nasty metallic bite, but it disappears. The malt character is thin and there’s a mild hops presence. The after-taste is slightly sweet and very tart.

M: Smooth and crisp, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, dry and sticky finish.

D: Tasty, goes down ok, not very filling, it’s not the type a beer that I could drink consistently, but it’s a good to drink casually if you like the sourness. (782 characters)

Photo of boatshoes
3.4/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Received this as an extra in a BIF from Brewfan. Thanks!

Appearance- Pours a shade of darker brown with a very minimal head that dies almost immediately to a ring around the edges. Very mild carbonation as per the style, with just a touch of lacing as I drink.

Smell- Nose is primarily of overripe, decaying apples with just a touch of tart vinegar. An interesting combination of sweet and sour.

Taste- Again, an interesting taste of overripe apples layered over balsamic vinegar. Some minerals with a touch of iron as well. However, I oddly find this one to be overwhelmingly sweet, with tartness to be almost nonexistent when compared to some of my other favorite Flemish reds. Taste would be much more interesting and complex to me were it not for the distracting sweetness.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel is spot on with minimal carbonation but not overly thin on the body. Drinkability however is really killed by the sweetness here. I usually rely on an appetizing tartness in these to keep me drinking but it is lost for me in the Duchesse.

Overall, I was a bit disappointed with this one. I had heart a lot of great things about the Duchesse but for me it really pales in comparison to Rodenbach and Rodenbach Grand Cru. Not a bad beer, just too sweet for me and lacking in that tartness that I love so much in this style. (1,338 characters)

Photo of slackattack
3.4/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark red, almost brown with short, but persistent tan head. Smell is complex and satisfying. Sour cherries, fig, molasses, and a Red wine vinegar tartness. Taste (after you get over the initial sweetness) is sour cherries, some wood, and maybe apple. Mouthfeel is a nice carbonation and a good pretty dry finish. Overall I like it, it's obviously a quality brew and easy to drink, but it's not my favorite Flanders, wish it was a tad more on the sour side. (462 characters)

Photo of IdentityAles
3.4/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

11.2 oz bottle. Up front sourness followed by a orange, cherry aroma and some vinous qualities. Clear burgundy in color with a small off white head. Aggressive up front sourness, rounded with hint of sour cherries, sherry like, somewhat acidic and a little bitter orange peel. A little astringent for my tastes and the sweetness lingers on the back of the throat. Pretty good job of playing the sweet and sour contrast but seems a little rough around the edges. The aggressive sourness makes it a little one dimensional IMHO. (525 characters)

Photo of Popsinc
3.38/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: A dark ruby-brownish pour. Thin tan head.

Smell: A very fruity and sour nose. Ripe grape is prominent and there is also a hint of balsamic vinegar.

Taste: The taste here is much sweeter and more mild then the nose might suggest. A nice cherry sweetness creeps through and balances nicely with the tart nose.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and fresh...little sweet n dry on the finish.

Drinkability: The beer was decent but i would only question the how often would i actually sit down to drink this beer? I aprreciate it but i don't love it. (552 characters)

Photo of bennetj17
3.38/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reddish -brown appearance, that is actually a deep amber up close. Lots of spritzy carbonation and 1/2 inch thick, tan foam that only settles a bit after while. The aroma is strong and vinous, lots of cherry and raisin fruit with a hint of vinegar and oak-like sourness. The taste unfortunately doesn't match up to the smell, as the flavor is almost too sweet, reminding me of grape juice. More dark fruit flavor, yet it is only weakly tart, leaving a light astringence in the finish. Mouthfeel is a bit light, decent carbonation, nothing spectacular.

The drinkablilty is average, it was hard for me to get into this beer. I was hoping for the taste to match the complexities first noted by the aroma. I would have liked it to be more sour also... (751 characters)

Photo of Quaffer
3.37/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz. bottle. Still one good year left according to the BB date.

Appearance: A deep, ruddy brown beer with a course, tan head. The foam rose up easily to over two fingers and disappeared quickly. A rough ring of bubbles was left around the edge of the glass, but there wasn't much lacing at all.

Smell: There was a lot going on in the smell. Sharp, tart fruit cameto mind first. It reminded me of straight cherry juice. It had a acidic edge to it, but was sweet as well. After that initial hit, I started to notice a stong oak character, wine vinegar, and hints of Brett. Very enjoyable overall.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied and slightly buttery at times in the front of the mouth. The carbonation really built as the beer sat in the mouth, until it became strong in the throat.

Taste: The first half of this beer was a combination of sweet and tart fruit, as well as a nice woody component. The tartness was not anywhere close to being as strong as I was expecting. Surprisingly light, in fact. The second half of the glass retained the aforementioned characteristics, but they became a shadow underneath a flat, astringent bitterness that clawed at the roof of my mouth. The finish was dry, with the aftertaste being a mix of sweet fruit and turnips.

The tartness just didn't seem to be there in this beer, and the astringency that developed was rough and harsh. I would like to give it a try again in the future, though.

Thanks, babydoc! (1,456 characters)

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.36/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Filtered chestnut brown with a thick and luscious tan head. Plenty of carbonation streams visible.

N: Rotten fruit (dates, plums, and blackberries mostly) and sour apples. Vinegar.

T: Sweet and sour weirdness. Tastes like very, very rotten fruit – mostly plums and apples. Rotten to the core. Nasty stuff. The initial sip causes one’s lips to pucker violently but that is followed by this strong sugary rotten fruit sweetness. This is strange brew.

MF: Sour, then sweet, then sour again. Medium body with a lengthy slightly sweet nasty finish.

D: Low. This brew doesn’t sit right. Too much vinegar. I don’t think more than one goblet would be healthy. (671 characters)

Photo of hopsaplenty
3.36/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On draft at Rustico, and served in Chimay chalice.

Arrives a deep garnet with cordovan highlights. Topped with a modest head of fine sand colored bubbles that slowly settles to a thick coating leaving big clots of foam floating. A few active carbonation streams are visible. The smell is tart, dry, sharp and of balsamic vinegar. Sweet and with a pleasing, slightly woody tartness. Sweet up front, and almost sugary. The balsamic notes ride through the middle into the finish where the tart bite shows up, but is then completely dominated by a syrupy sweet flavor. Fine, but active carbonation, rich and medium bodied slightly, ever so, dry. This has a bit of a soda feel about it. I kept coming back to the chalice hoping that it had changed somewhat, maybe dried out a bit, or that the tartness a fought its way to the front, or that at least the sweetness had dissipated. Alas, the chalice was empty and the sweet, cloying taste lingered. I had hoped for more. My wife enjoyed it more than I. (998 characters)

Photo of jreitman
3.36/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (401 characters)

Photo of John
3.36/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Relatively clear ruby/brown. Thin layer of tan foam. Aroma consists of sour, unripe fruit and balsamic vinegar notes. Vinous and champagne-like. Some sour cherries poke through...very dry. A unique style indeed. This brew redeemed itself somewhat as it neared room temperature. Do not attempt to drink this right from the fridge. (329 characters)

Photo of cbl2
3.36/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance:

A brilliant clear reddish brown with plenty of effervescence that leads to an inch of frothy tan head that has great retention.

Smell:

Sharp and fruity. Nose tingles upon sniffing this one. No hop presence, with all of the malt displayed as tropical fruit.

Taste/Mouthfeel:

An overwhelming fruit presence, so much so that it resembles a lambic. Alcohol is nicely masked, but this is not balanced. Too sweet for my taste, and too off flavor for a belgian. (481 characters)

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
91 out of 100 based on 1,417 ratings.