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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

3,562 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,562
Reviews: 1,413
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.46%
Wants: 174
Gots: 500 | FT: 8
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: 3,562 | Reviews: 1,413 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of idurra
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- The color is hazy reddish brown, almost cherry wood. About 2 cm of beige head that quickly subsides, leaves a pleasant lacing.

S- Pleasant smell of early souring milk, or even sourdough

T- The sweetness is pleasant, the sourness not overpowering, and both work together to great effect. Surprising floral quality to the taste, rose water or rose hips. No significant bitterness.

M- The mouth feel is medium bodied. Not very tannic.

O- Overall excellent, the perfect sweet and sour in the world of beers. Goes well alone or with a milder tasting dish such as white fish of shellfish.

P.S. The artwork on the sticker is great.

Photo of Cavery
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ML bottle into the official Duchesse De Bourgogne glass, straight proper. Shared with SundaySour on this Friday night.

Bottle indicates best before the end of the world, check.

A: Deep dark black opal, this is how I'd imagine a dragon's eyeball to look. Dark reds, earthy browns, and prismatic oils shimmer underneath a half finger head. The brew is at about ~45F, so I can't blame the Duchesse for rocking a pixie cut. Solid speckled lacing gets her a nice set of side-burns, the andro-look.

S: Grenadine covered cherry skins dominate the front, while a smell of old rules the middle. When I sniff this beer I get a visual: cobwebs in a rusty pipe, covered with a mixture of sherry and lingenberry jam. An unusual transition of the tartness leans toward gojji berries. A complex but very clean nose.

T: Cherry skins, lime, and a bittering carob. A dash of balsamic vinegar makes this an ultimate beet salad pairing. So sweet and so light, a crisp pink lady apple bite keeps me praising the Duchesse. How is all that flavor in there? Vinegar acidity increases with the temperature. This is just like fine salad dressings, you want to try and get just the right amount in your mouth. Too big of a gulp and you'd hate it, too little and you'd be left wanting. The challenge is taking that perfect rip.

M: Just so buttery smooth, the carbonation is so strong yet restrained. A master class in mouthfeel, the liquid levitates in your mouth above so many layers of bursting bubbles that you swear it never makes contact with your mouth. The Duchesse is a witch, burn her. But you can't, because you love her.

O: This really is just a classic. Definitely one of those beers you introduce to a new drinking buddy as an introduction to sour styles. The execution of this flanders is so clean and crisp, that to dislike it is as unholy as disliking your grandmother's apple-pie. Avoid such blasphemies, and take your time with this one. Explore the different flavor experiences to be had with different sized mouthfuls. Notice how she can be as sweet as you want her to be, and as tart as you want her to be. Revisit this one a few times before you come to any conclusions about it, each bottle is a variation on a theme. It's ever so sensitive to temperature and glassware, give her the care she needs. After many dates, hopefully you'll come to see her as the beautiful siren that she is.

Photo of MadCat
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: Nice dark reddish amber color, short white head, leaves good lacing

Smell: Sour vinegar, sweet dark fruits

Taste: More dark fruit, sour but not vinegary sourness

Feel: Light body with crisp carbonation, not overly sour or puckering

Overall: Pretty amazingly good sour

Photo of robmc93
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of MufflnMan
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The TRUE champagne of beers. Poured a 750ml bottle into a flute which really fits this brew well. Dark brown with a thin and light lacy head that disappears quickly. As dark as it is, it looks very lively with carbonation.

Not too much in the nose, a woody smell of some sort. The taste, on the other hand... the second this brew hits your tongue the party starts. Champagne like bubbles, some tartness (but not at all strong) of cherries and plums, and a very subtle malty finish to balance everything out.

Overall, a really unique beer. Great way to introduce someone who doesn't like beer to something different... ie, my girlfriend, who loved it. Can't wait to have this for brunch!

Photo of elniko
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into tulip glass.

A: Glowing reddish amber coloring with finger of head and nice heavy lacing. Good looking brew.

S: Sour cherry notes along with just a touch of vinegar.

T & M: Such an interesting brew, intriguing mix of sweet and sour. Sweetness comes across throughout the entire taste. Bitter cherry notes from the nose come through in the taste.

D: For a sour brew incredibly drinkable, this is such a fine and unique brew.

Photo of Klym
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on-tap at The Rake in London. Review from notes.

A: Pours a malt-vinegar esque deep red/brown with a respectable head. Appearance is complex and intriguing.

S: Smells of grape and cherry sweetness with a vinegary sting to it. Smells like it might be rather biting.

T: Wow. I've had Duchesse a couple of times from the bottle before and this is just totally different. In my previous experiences the vinegar dominated and the sweetness was a little hard to dig out. This time, the highest quality of sweet grapeskins beautifully layered the taste throughout, with small hints of other fruits like rich cherry. A vinegarish bite came toward the end but added a sort of crispness and fighting spirit to the taste. Really lovely.

M: Great mouthfeel; an excited carbonation with a viscocity that makes it run throughout your mouth at the appropriate rate and with just the right feel for the proper taste experience.

O: Having this on tap really caught me off guard and made me realize the dangers posed by getting this post international shipping. This is an awesome beer and already well worth getting in a bottle-- getting it on tap is a must if its available to you. Hats off to the Duchesse de Bourgogne.

Photo of JamesS
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very nice dark copper/garnet color, a little shiny, that turned to more of a brown/garnet color later as the beer diminished in the glass, with great head and lacing. very nice sour and slightly fruity aroma. it has a great tart/sour flavor, a little fruity, that (with each drink) started sweet, turned slightly bitter, and became a nice mix at the end. Very smooth, just a bit of roughness at the end. Excellent beer.

Photo of jmc44
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark, deep brownish-red, with a rocky offwhite head that sticks around forever.

Fruity aroma, apples, acidic, a bit of sweet malt and hints of earthiness.

Taste is complex. A great balance of malty sweetness with a strong tart flavor, like sour cherries, apples, and a hint of raisins and dark fruit. Light and sweet at first, followed by the pronounced tart and sour taste. Surprisingly clean finish.

Medium-bottled, fairly highly carbonated, smooth. A very good beer, very complex and yet well balanced.

Photo of sholland119
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Along with the Monk's Sour Ale, this beer was my introduction to Flanders Reds. I was intrigued to go back and try one again.

Pours a moderately opaque brown with just a hint of dark purple. A thin tan head sticks around nicely.

Sour fruits, mostly cherries and maybe some green apple combined with a nice bready yeast.

Taste is delicious, with a bit of fruity sweetness in the front which rolls into a nice sour tang. Cherry sweetness come back in the finish. Excellent, if perhaps a tiny bit too sweet.

Mouthfeel has a modest pucker with nice medium carbonation.

An easy drinker for the style. The extra sweetness makes this more sessionable than most Flanders Reds.

HV

Photo of WYVYRN527
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Like most beers of this style, I like to describe them as sparkling pinot noir. However, This one is different. It pours a dark garnet color, with a thick head consisting of rather large bubbles. On the nose is a hint of spice, with a scent of blackcurrant. Beginning with a sour flavor of raspberry and cranberry, it is followed by a sweet finish of plum, currant, and brown sugar. The beer is medium-to-full bodied, and is not something that will fill you up before or after a meal. Because of it's acidity, I would serve this beer with fresh fruit or a salad. It would go great with pork tenderloin as well... For those looking to explore into a realm of something truly different, I highly reccomend this fine product.

Photo of SuperSpy
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A brown-red color, an almost coca-cola like head. Head retention is a little on the weak side but it does retain a nice foam cap and there is some good lacing.

S - The aroma is tart and acidic with hints of sour cherries and raspberries.

T/M - The flavor is tart and sweet but finishes nutty and earthy with a hint of oak. There is plum and dark cherries. The beer is light and tingly which pairs extremely well with the tart flavor.

D - I could sip this all night. A great Flanders Red.

Photo of malty
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my Rodenbach 8 oz. stemmed glass a beautiful ruby red with orange-copper edges. A creamed colored fluffy/dense head stands steady at 1". Visible racing carbonation.

A quick few swirls of the glass and a FRESH carmel covered tart apple scent erupts. A prolonged inhale detects cinnamon, concord grapes and pickled brussel sprouts. What a unique assortment of scents!

The liquid touches my lips and replicates basically everything I smelled. Tart & sweet for sure. Definitely more on the sweeter side of any Flemish red I ever tasted. Reminiscent of sweet iced tea with bitters. Faint molasses that brings hearty Dopplebocks to mind. Sweet candi sugar ending.

Mouthfeel is delectable. Fine and kinetic carbonation makes this a joy to drink. Not nearly the dry/tart finish I was expecting.

Drinkability is good. Tone-down the sweetness and it would be perfect.

Overall an utterly unique ale with many (in a good way) schizophrenic combinations of fresh and boisterous flavors. I'm still a little perplexed, but I do know I like it a lot. The sweetness is a little too much from what I was anticipating. But it's good to get your socks blown-off every once and a while! Fantastic beer.

Photo of Boto
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draught @ Eulogy: This one pours a very dark, ruby red color. There was almost no head or lacing on mine. Nice sour aroma. Hints of cherries to it. The taste is quite good. It has a mainly sour malty taste, with some residual sweetness. Sour cherries and apples are prevalent, but not overpowering. Very Good!

Photo of Bitterbill
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml caged and corked bottle(best by Nov 2007 and 6%abv on the label) a ruby red with a large head of foam that settled down to a billowy layer with lots of nice lacing.

The smell is quite fruity, mostly sour cherries and some yeastiness. A *very* good nose, imho.

The taste is fruity sweet up front..I note cherries and pears with a hint of raspberry along with some good yeasty flavour..it's almost hitting me like a good flavourful Lambic. A few more sips in and the sourness that I mentioned in the nose starts to sneak up on me but wait, even at its peak, it is on the mild side. Yum. This Flanders Red Ale is taking a different route from the one I'm used to drinking and that suits me just fine. It is a super smooth drinker.

Halfway through the bottle and indeed, to the last pour, I hold up my NB goblet and see that the colour is *still* a clear ruby red, the smell and taste are *still* a delightful mix of sweet and sour fruit, the foam is *still* a sight to behold. I'm certainly I grabbed a bottle of this one on my last trip to Colorado. I would not hesitate to buy another.

Bottom line: Super smooth yet flavourful Flanders Red Ale. Do try it if you see it in a store near you!

Photo of dwren89
4.34/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: reddish mahogany, sticky, foamy off white head, good clarity

Aroma: funky barnyard smell, musty, fruit sweetness, slight sour notes and acetic nature

Taste: barnyard Brett character, mustiness, slight fruit character, yeast does the hard driving of flavor here, malt provides a canvas for the yeast to paint the picture

Mouthfeel: moderate carbonation, smooth character, medium body,

Overall Impression: A truly different sort of Flanders Red primary driven by its Brett yeast character and subsequent musty, barnyard flavors. Berry fruitiness plays in the background as well as malt sweetness. Hops round out but are not noticed in flavor or aroma.

Photo of tubeyes
4.34/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A Very dark reddish, min head, great lacing.
S some pretty wild fruity, mushroom, oaky smokey goodness
T very sweet tropical citrus fruit upfront but mellows to a more carmelly grapefruit end
M very delicious and easily drinkable, great even carbonation and a fruity caramel aftertaste
O very enjoyable and complex. Flavors swirl and emerge and play around on tongue and cheeks. Had on tap in a squat tulip glass at OSDH in a presidents day special for FDR.

Photo of jmdrpi
4.34/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750mL corked and caged champagne-style bottle, with best by date on cork. poured into snifter

appears a deep dark brown with creamy head. but head up to light, a brilliant garnet color. head coats to the end, and great lacing.

funky aroma, a little musty and sweetness. but not off-putting.

taste is slightly sour start, but finishes more like a biscuity malty brown ale. complex and very enjoyable.

extremely smooth mouthfeel. couldn't be better.

I thought this beer had a great reputation, and it did not disapoint.

Photo of mpyle
4.34/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Best before 06-06-08, so a year ahead of "expiration date".

app - Lovely reddish-brown color with sparkling clarity. Large, creamy, off-white head lingers nicely, leaving lace in its wake.

smell - A bit vinegar-like, and a sour berry smell dominates. Pleasant, but a bit simple and one-dimensional.

flavor - a dark berry fruity sweetness and a competing sour dryness. Overall balance slightly sweet. Hop flavor nonexistent as appropriate for style, hop bitterness not clearly evident (but providing some balance).

MF - medium body and low-to-med carbonation. A gentle astringency from the red wine-like finish, but in style. No alcohol warming.

O'all/drinkability - A beautiful looking, beautiful tasting beverage. Lovely mnelding of fruity sweetness and aged beer sourness, with tremendous balance. Given the price (think my 11.2 oz bottle was about $4) and nature of the brew, not one that will be a pounding session beer, but highly drinkable for a sour (in my view).

Photo of a_lac50n
4.34/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

It has a taste that sharply distinguishes itself form other beers. Meant to be drunk in small quantities (as it tastes like red wine), not in huge gulps. Not really one that is meant to be brought into those "crazy" parties and events to get drunk. Rather, it is an essential for the beer connoisseur.

Photo of beertunes
4.34/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served in a Chalice. Thin light tan head that dissipates quickly. A quite lovely deep brown with a reddish tint. Strong vinegar aroma. Flavor has the vinegar, but not as noticeably as the aroma. That musky, deep flavor is quite enjoyable. A sharp, wine like taste. I'm having trouble finding descriptors that fit the taste of this beer. The body is solid if a little thin. Very drinkable, if these flavors fit you. I enjoy this beer a lot, even though I have a difficult time describing it.

Photo of Todd
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 250ml brown bottle. Freshness date on the back. Gorgeous artwork on the label.

Appearance: Deep brown/ruby red beer with an active carbonation level and a bitty, pillowy, off-white sticky head with incredible staying power.

Smell: Soft, acidic, wine-like and oak aromas.

Taste: Smooth and soft up-front. Medium-bodied, at times even chewy. A tart flavour begins to build, and in parallel does a malt one. Tart flavours are like sweet ripe cherries with an underlying wine acidic quality that eventually goes metallic on the palate. Citric lime-like flavours mingle in with the fruity cherry. Malt flavours range from sweet caramel to chocolate and seem to flux in and out, with mild bready notes. The finish is clean despite everything going on, with trace malt and fruit flavours.

Notes: I must pause for a moment and thank the beer gods ...

At the top of my list for incredibly complex and unique beers. There's so much going on, and the combination of sweet and tart is like a damn art performance in the mouth. Definitely one of those "wow!" beers that proves how intricate a beer can actually be.

This particular sample was brought over from Belgium in 03/2000. Like other Flanders reds, this beer was also aged in oaken casks.

Photo of Rutager
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 330cl bottle with a bb date of 28/07/2013

Appearance. Pours a rich and deep red-amber with almost a finger of off-white head that settles, but sticks around and leaves some nice chunky lace.

Smell. Sour cherries and spoiled apples and banannas with a bit of woody funk. It smells better than that sounded...

Taste. Cherries again along with strawberries, sweet apples, a little malt vinegar and just a bit of musty funk and fresh cut hardwood.

Mouthfeel. Medium body, full carbonation.

Overall. Great stuff. Maybe just a little sweet, but tastes gooood.

Photo of Beejay
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A brown pour but Dark Ruby Brown in the glass. Just beautiful color and clarity. Nice off white head on the top, which gently settles into a foam, then bubbles with a stronger ring.

S: Slightly tart with oak notes, and vinegar. Some raspberry or other dark berries in there as well.

T: Tart at first, but this leads to a sweet berry flavor. Tart at first, but not overpowering, then a gently, though strong sweet flavor. Absolutely interesting and one of a kind.

M: Very nice. Clean on the palate, no weird aftertastes. Carbonation is extremely high, though that works for this style. Perhaps a little harshness in the back of the throat as it warms.

D: Just a very nice beer. Both aggressive and mellow. A strange combination, and one I wish I had a few more bottles of. Very nice.

Photo of Px2GrafX
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

presentation: 11.2oz. bottle with a black label on the front displaying a rennaisance painting of what is assumed to be the duchesse de bourgogne. she has a bird on her finger. a lot of belgian text. "flemish art of brewing" on top of label. 6.2%abv is displayed and there is a best before date of: 17-03-06. the back label says this is "blended with between 8 and 18 month old beers following careful maturation in oak casks".

appearance: pours a deep dark red with a light tan head in a tulip glass. beautiful ruby read highlights and looks a lot like a less opaque red wine. head is a nice 1" fluffy head that drops to a patchy capper after a few minutes. laces very well.

smell: first smell is sour and wine-like. woody and there are some other fruit aromas. grapes and cherries. lightly spicy aroma typical of a lot of belgians.

taste: sour cherries overlying a lightly woody undertone. champagne-like flavors as well. not much hop bitterness. caramelly sweet mixes with champagne and wine and bready flavors. quite a lot going on here. finish is sweet and sour and inviting.

mouthfeel: very creamy medium-heavy body. surprising. very smooth with a silky smooth swallow. carbonation balances the smoothness well. excellent mouthfeel.

drinkability: drinkability is good but seems to be more of a sipper. alcohol is well hidden. taste and finish make this an inviting drink, but the champagne-like creamy mouthfeel and sourness slows the drinking down a bit. slow drinking, but very easy to drink.

overall: this is an amazing red ale. i have to get some more of this. i wonder how it will change over a year. nice sweet and sour flavors remind me of what a fruit beer should taste like. complex now and maybe even more so after laying down. a must try.

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,562 ratings.