Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,415 Reviews
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,415
Hads: 3,757
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 13.48%
Wants: 190
Gots: 634 | 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: 1,415 | Hads: 3,757
Photo of avalon07
3.18/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had a dark brownish-red hue and very small head. Some lacing, but not a lot.

Very vinegary smell. Not totally unpleasant, but it kind of reminded me of a salad in liquid form.

The taste was complex, but not in a way I enjoy. A previous reviewer said it was like a red wine vinaigrette and I tend to agree with that. It almost didn't have the qualities of a beer.

It had a fair mouthfeel. Not a huge amount of carbonation here. The finish was not especially smooth.

I didn't particularly care for this one. It had much to pungent a taste to go down well Like I said, it almost wasn't like a beer at all. (646 characters)

Photo of albern
3.18/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer was given my highest rating when I sampled it again and again in the bottle. I had this for the first time on-tap, and it was a big disappointment. I'm not ready to pan the beer in this review, just significantly deduct points. What makes Duchesse so fantastic in the bottle is a rainbow of flavors and its incredible complexity. There are sweet and sours, and cherry and sherry flavors all blending and dancing about. Each sip is an experience and the tastes just dazzle and insinuate themselves and change with each sip as the beer warms and settles.

Duchesse on tap is much more uniform, much more sour, and just does not have that complex range of flavors. I found the beer to be a bit vinegary, overly sour, less carbonated than in the bottle, and just a downer. I wouldnt go back to this on tap again, knowing what is in store in the bottle version. (866 characters)

Photo of BDTyre
3.18/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Wierd.

An impressive deep copper colour, but not much head. Smells like wine, with traces of spice. It taste very similar to wine, or even alcoholic grape juice, with hints of plum, spices, raisin and even coffee in the background. Very interesting.

Carbonation is good, but this beer seems at times too sweet and wine-like. The richness and higher than typical strength will probably limit me to one of these a session. (426 characters)

Photo of jujubeast6000
3.18/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed 10/10/2008 (bottle Exp Date 12/09):

Pours a brown-reddish colored body, with a tannish head, small, and lastingish. Has a sour dark fruit aroma, alcoholy. Fruity sweet taste. Very fizzy. Not as sour as it smells. Light fruity, appley. A little flat. Light taste. Might be better w/food. (296 characters)

Photo of GooberMcNutly
3.18/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours as a thick, reddish brown with white head and good carbonation. Aromas of sour, acidic cider with cherry and rasberry notes. Taste bursts of fresh grape juice and red wine vinegar with nice oak notes. I found the overall body to be very light and unassuming with less of an acidic kick than I was expecting. Nicely subtle and the dry finish makes for a good starter beer. (377 characters)

Photo of spinrsx
3.16/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

330ml bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a clear brown colour with huge fizzy beige head. There appears to be a lower than normal amount of carbonation. There is some faint lacing, and the head lasted for a while.

Smell - Slightly metallic, vinegar, plums, a peppery spice mix

Taste & Mouth - The beer has a nice mouth feel, lots of little bubbles on the tongue. It feels very light - But it is definitely not light tasting. This beer packs a punch with a whole lot of various flavours going on. I have to say that I've never encountered a beer that tasted quite like this one. It reminds me of a glass of port mixed with champagne and beer. It tastes slightly metallic, lots of sweet grape flavour, and some woody notes. It finishes with a grape and metallic bitter aftertaste.

Drink - I have to say.. not one of my favorite beers. I can see how it might appeal to some, but this beer isn't for me. (903 characters)

Photo of murrayswine
3.16/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I think me and any Flanders officially dont get along.
It pours a mildly headish ruby brown smelling frankly like sour patch kids, vinegar, and alcohol.
The taste is light, lighter than the smell leads you to believe. It's not my favorite, but it did finish with a saki clean, like a good Flanders. The body is a little light, though from other's I've had. (359 characters)

Photo of BreworFerment
3.16/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Ok so I haven't had many flanders reds and I know they are supposed to be sour so maybe I need to try more of them but this was tough to drink. It tasted like oaked cherry coke with a bit of port and chocolate in the background. It was a beautiful looking pour but it took me a WHILE to finish this one. It was better room temp. So let it sit for a while. I had it just slightly chilled to begin with which wasn't as good. Maybe it needed to mellow. (449 characters)

Photo of Sixpack595
3.14/5  rDev -23%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Dark, reddish brown witha chunky light tan head. Aroma is sharply sour and a touch fruity. Vinegar scent is almost overpowering. Flavor is much less potent than the aroma suggests. Very complex with many flavors hiding under the press of sourness. Not really sure how I feel about it. Definitly woth a try, but it gets to be a real chore to drink. (347 characters)

Photo of paterlodie
3.12/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From label and name a beer with great appearance. Also from beerstyle one to watch out for of course... or not?
Appearance in the glass is not exceptional, no big head and a brown, in sunlight red colour. Smell is fruity and litle sour with some oak. Taste is mild( compared to the Rodenbach grand cru) and a lot sweeter& less sour. Some oak is there but taste is mostly sweet and gets sweeter and sweeter. After drinking half a glas and reviewing it I got more and more a feeling that it was lemonade what I was tasting. Maybe a nice beer for people that start with sour beers but nothing special to me. (605 characters)

Photo of orangemoustache
3.09/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

The Duchesse pours a transparent burnt copper with a firm head of light brown foam,it leaves some spotty lacing. The nose is sour and reminds me of spoiled tomatoes,not completely rotten,but close. This Flanders starts off sweet and reminds me of apple cider or apple butter,with some sour tartness and subtle spice. Midway I pickup some aged barrel flavorings and vinegar,still reminds me of salad dressing in a way. The end is tomato ketchup like and for me keeps the score down a half point. I enjoy this offering three fourths of the way through but the finish keeps me from wanting much more. Medium bodied with quite a lot of carbonation,and a slick feel. I had the Duchesse a while back and I'm almost sure it was rotten,I couldn't even finish it and scored it an F. The Duchesse De Bourgogne has proven to be a very complex woman that I'm still trying to figure out completely. (885 characters)

Photo of dsa7783
3.08/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Purchased an 11.2 oz bottle from Total Wine and More in Union, the first Flanders Red Ale I ever tried, and to be honest, I was pretty overwhelmed with the cloying, thick, rich, and ultra-sweet taste I encountered... nice ruby-red appearance with decent frothy head... smell is sharp and sweet, full of pine, sugars, and candy... taste is extremely rich and ultra dominating, very, very sweet with a strong apple-cider taste overpowering the beer... the smell is strongly alcoholic even though there is a modest 6.2% ABV... With such a strong and rich combination of flavors, this is definitely not a brew that I would want to down more than one of in a single setting... Copped this single sample for about $4.99... Very over-powering and strong... took it easy with this one... you will either love it or hate it... (817 characters)

Photo of jwc215
3.08/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

11.2 oz. bottle:

Pours deep mahogany (nice color) with very little head.

The smell is vinuous - dark grape.

The taste is of grape and pomigranite. Slight oak. Wine-like (Manishevitz comes to mind). Sour with a fruity sweetness (subtle hints towards a chocolate, but more in that you would find in some wines). Aftertaste of grape soda lingers. Sweettart. Sweet and sour dominates, but more towards the sweetness. Dry finish.

It has certain unique characters, however, it doesn't stand out as anything above average for the style, IMO. Too much like grape soda for me. (579 characters)

Photo of botham
3.08/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

12 oz poured into a tulip glass. pours a chocolate brown with deep ruby red highlights, and a sizable sandy colored head that remains through consumption, leaving patterned lacings on the glass..

smells of grapes, like a red wine. there is malt mixed in the aroma, with some bready yeast for a base. overall resembles a wine in its aroma.

taste is very sweet upfront, with the same grape flavor from the aroma. not much malt or hops here, creating a very sweet tasting fruit juice of a liquid. the maturation in oak casks is nowhere to be smelled or tasted, must be lost in the fruit.

mouthfeel is medium-bodied, with a bite from carbonation and alcohol, and a creamy texture. goes down very smooth.

drinkability is not very good due to the overly sweet nature of the brew. the bite from the carbonation and alcohol makes drinking it resemble a can of grape soda. (875 characters)

Photo of PhageLab
3.06/5  rDev -25%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured into a tulip.

A - Gorgeous cedar coloration with a deep ruby hue. Produced a nice bit of froth and laced magnificently. Retention was on point. No room for improvement in the looks department.

S - Sugary malts, vinegar, and something a bit sour. Quite interesting.

T - Intense sour flavor with a hint of oak. There is some sweet malt backing, but not enough to help the raw taste of vinegar.

M - Light bodied and dry with a low carbonation level. Causes an odd feeling in the back of my throat, which reminds me of bad wine.

D - Too much for me. I have several friends who love this stuff and recommended it several times, but I can't get on the same page. Interesting brew, but not one for me. (707 characters)

Photo of AgentZero
3.04/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Very brown beer here, was expecting more of the red, especially with the initial smell that came from opening the bottle. Not a whole lot of amber showing through on this one.

S - Wow, talk about vinegar. It's overpowering, great if that's your thing.

T - Tastes a lot more full than the smell would indicate, but the smell is getting in the way of this. Very sour beer, but sweet as well.

M - Once again, more than you would expect from the smell, medium bodies, but kind of oily. Nice carbonation on this one.

D - Very easy drink, particularly if you like sour taste. Will get you drunk quite easily. (610 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.03/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Was fairly excited the first time I tried this, heard it was one of the all time classics. Poured equal parts light brown and dull red with a little bit of head formation. Aroma was a heavy wood and proportional sweet and sour.

Taste, the sour was very minimal was my first reaction, the sweet a little more than ideal for me, to say the least, and any degree of soggy wood, much less to that extent wasn't built to leave me all that impressed. Some flanders just don't have that acidic or fruity bite, and this be one of those. Decently covers up the alcohol, but doesn't impart really any appreciable tartness. Not enough carbonation. If anything I'd say I pull out some cocoa powder and toffee over flavors more often associated with something sour.

If there was fruit, it was that raisin and plum thing, as if it were made with tea. Sorry, I just don't see what the fuss about this one is. (895 characters)

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.03/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Duchesse- Flanders Red Ale

Appearance- Blood red with no head.
Smell- Strong white vinegar with sour cherries.
Taste- Sour cherry and grape with a backbine of malt vinegar.
Mouthfeel- Sour up front with a dry/ sweet malt vinegar finish.

Overall- A beer that went exceptional well with my salty fries. (309 characters)

Photo of charlesw
3.03/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Very pretty... Deep burgundy/amber. Plenty clear while being (sigh) plenty opaque. You with me? Medium-height, dark head of really tight bubbles. Still have a full cover of head after 5 minutes (wow).
Smells like a walk in the woods on a nice fall day. Sweet and musky... Huge sweet raisin nose with plenty of caramel malts in there, too...
Very fruity in the mouth. Sweetened sour cherries, hints of that caramel. Medicinal in the back of the mouth and followed by a sour aftertaste that lingers several minutes. It's very interesting how it changes in your mouth - each of the first 10 seconds gives a new wave of something completely different.
Very crisp and clean in the mouth - perhaps medium in body but with a high level of carbonation - even a bit fizzy.
So... Drinkable? Well, yeah. Say the day is hot and you want something refreshing to cleanse your palate... Yeah, this would do the trick perfectly. It's not well adapted for drinking right now - it's 15F out with 30mph winds!

And, uh, well. I won't be able to finish the (750ml) bottle. It's just too... (1,075 characters)

Photo of Dogbrick
3.03/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I am still a little new to Flemish Sour Ales, Rodenbach Alexander being the only other one I have tried so far. From what I understand both are good examples of the style. That being the case I am fairly certain this is not a style I am a big fan of. Pours a dark amber/brown with a thick multi-colored head (beige with light brown splotches), with thin lacing. Aroma is alternatingly fruity and sour. The flavor actually reminded me of some Ohio Buckeye Brown that I tried not too long ago that had gone way past the "best by" date. Tart and vinegary flavor is tangy throughout. The finish is like an oaky Merlot. I was able to drink most of this in small doses, but I just can't appreciate the style. (702 characters)

Photo of Rudgers73
3/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Poured from a 330 mL bottle into a short chalice. I bought this bottle because it was Belgian and I tend to like Belgians. I poured it and it looked like a nice BSDA with a deep brown-red color, tan head that stuck around, and a touch of carbonation. It smells buttery at first with a sweet smell I have never smelled before. Almost like banana and really young pears. I took a taste and it was not what I expected at all. A wild, tart, rich flood of apples, grapes, and walnuts (maybe from the oak). Until I looked at BA.com I didn't know I had stumbled into my first Flanders Red Ale. The mouthfeel was tart and dry, with sharp sticky-sweet notes. Very crisp and clean. I think I would have liked this more if I knew that it was a Flanders. I went into it expecting a deep, round, caramel taste. For now I think FRA's are a bit too tart for my taste as I am currently swinging from belgian darks to american IPA's. Too much for the time being, but maybe I'll return and buy a few in a few months. (998 characters)

Photo of Gaisgeil
3/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Hm, reading the other reviews really makes me wonder if something was wrong with my particular bottle...

Poured a beautiful deep red with a thin lace of a head. Nose was very intriguing, notes of apple peel, grains, very fragrant. The taste followed a similar vein only to be taken by an intense sourness, not unbearable, but not particularly pleasent either.

I'll have to revisit this brew another time, I seem to be the only one with this experience. (458 characters)

Photo of bs870621345
3/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep amber/red/ruby color with minimal head. Little bit of lacing down the glass.

Smells of plums, raisons, red wine (port), and light lactic sourness.

Taste follows smell, plums and raisons, and finishes with a funky sourness. I love sour beers, but this is just off putting in the worst kind of way.

Mouthfeel is moderate with low carbonation

Overall, it tastes pretty bad, but nothing else is overly off putting, Get a Rodenbach instead. (453 characters)

Photo of cokes
2.98/5  rDev -27%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Cherried dark amber with a modest and slow-to-fade brown head.
Nose of raspberry vinaigrette, oak, and sugared red grapes.
Sweet and sour truly defines this. Like the sauce. You could dip chicken nuggets in this (actually, it's much more akin to German Sauerbraten in flavor, as opposed to McD's).
Alternatively, you could toss it on your salad, with it's screaming vinaigrette flavors.
This vinegar flavor is countered with brown sugar and cola syrup. Fruit notations too, caramelized plums, raspberries and cherries are foremost, but this seems to shift its shape enough for any number of fruit hues to be located. More brown sugar and cola midway. Tartness fades, and some light funk is introduced. Spoiling cream cheese, oak barrels, and perspiration. Ends with a crack of cinnamon and some lingering, sticky sweetness.
Light bodied and fizzy, yet a bit gooey as well.
There's a good deal that I like here, but it fails to coalesce into an enjoyable beverage. It's actually the sweetness here, rather than the sourness, that makes me wince. (1,053 characters)

Photo of Dspohn
2.98/5  rDev -27%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

11.2 oz poured into an oversized wine glass.

A. Pours a very dark ruby/brown but has some excellent red highlights. A little dark for me considering the style but it does have some nice lacing.

S. Sweet and sour vinegar aspects, has a nice balance. Not quite the sour punch I was hoping for but there is definitely sour cherry/red fruit smell present that I would expect. A little muted but it smells pretty good.

T. Damn. The taste brings the flaw that I was hoping to avoid from the smell. Sweet and sour but the sweetness wins out in the taste. Unfortunately I find the sweetness to be of a balsamic vinegar nature as opposed to dark red fruits, which would be more pleasing. Not enough tart cherry or acidity or drying characteristics to balance it out sufficiently.

M&D. Nice light mouthfeel, not too syrupy or anything but becomes a chore to drink after awhile for me. Would be a great introduction to those looking to explore beers with more sour qualities without being overwhelmed. Dont think I'll be buying much more of this however, a decent offering but when I'm looking for a flanders red ale I'd rather spend my money on some others over this one. (Rodenbachs and La Folie come to mind...) (1,207 characters)

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
91 out of 100 based on 1,415 ratings.