Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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: 3,885
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 23.17%
Wants: 211
Gots: 690 | 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: 3,885
Photo of ElizabethCraig
5/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Purchased this as recommended by an employee at Siciliano's in Grand Rapids, MI.

Medium Brown/red in color, very clear. Lovely tan head with nice bubbly microfoam.

Scent: Raspberry sour, this sour made my stomach gurgle and my mouth salivate all through the smelling and drinking =)

Taste: Starts out a medium molasses/sorgham and goes immediately to a medium sweet raspberry, then to a VERY sweet raspberry. The aftertaste is a nicely sour caramel malty taste. No fruit in the immediate aftertaste. After around 3 minutes the taste is a very wine-like tanniny grape.

Fairly high carbonation, carries the sour flavor into being and then just leaves the sour.

The ABV isn't high, but the combination of the higher carbonation and the sweet taste is very heady.

I love this beer. I will seek this out and drink this again =)

 830 characters

Photo of Mnigro
4.97/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have had a number of Flanders Reds, from traditionals like DdB and Rode to the Bruery offerings. To future reviewers, if this beer doesn't blow your socks off, this style isn't for you.

If I could fill a bathtub with this stuff and soak in it, I would. Fruity, funky, tart, smooth. It's freaking wonderful beer. My favorite of this style and probably any style.

 365 characters

Photo of RuinationPress
4.97/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've had this one before, but never reviewed it. Recently a friend from San Diego had occasion to try this one and fell in love. As i had a couple of them in the fridge, I decided there was no better time to have and review one.

This one is labeled a a reddish-brown ale, although the overall style is known as a Flanders Red Ale. They are typically brews that range from red to brown in color. The style often uses a Lactobacillus yeast strain producing a high lactic acid and giving a sour taste, also sometimes a Tannic acid producing that lip puckering feeling. Often aged for long periods in oak barrels, aged batches are sometimes mixed with younger ones to balance them out. The often have distinct and sharp fruit flavors that that set them apart from other Belgians.

Produced by the Brouwerij Verhaeghe Brewery in Vichte, Belgium.

This one has quite an appearance. Similar in some ways to new Belgiums La Folie, poured into a tulip glass, it has a deep brown, almost molasses, color with a faint hint hint of red when held up to the sunlight. Very cloudy and with a modest amount of carbonation, it produced a small, but sustainable thin head. The lacing left behind was nice and lite, perfect for this style.

Take a whiff of this one and you are immediately overpowered with the scent of caramel, banana, bread and a faint hint our sour apple. The caramel malt mixed with the banana is what served to really balance out the apple and bread.

As I took my first sip, I immediately tasted the sour apple I smelled earlier with the banana not far behind. Another sip brought the bead and caramel malt and this time a hint of a as yet to be determined spice. Works well with the bread, banana and apple. I felt like I was being treated to dessert! The Lactobacillus yeast really works well on this one, as it was sour, but not too tart and not overpowering.

I really liked this one overall. Not only does it do what the style intends, it just down right pleases! Don't get me wrong, this one is all beer, but may also be one that can pull those who usually shun beer over to the dark side! I had some cheesecake cake around, and really enjoyed the Duchesse as it complimented the cheesecake perfectly. Since it weighs in at around 6% ABV, if you want another you can.

 2,279 characters

Photo of Rezzin
4.97/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Poured into a tulip glass. 1/4" tan head that doesn't hang out long. Color is a deep mahogany red and it's crystal clear. I expected it to be bottle conditioned but I didn't notice any trace yeast in the bottle. Looks quite appealing.

S - Wow, the aroma is incredible. Complex with fruity notes. Cherries, plums, some tartness in the nose. Slight barnyard character - sweet caramal.

T - This is an excellent flanders red - the sweet and tart is perfectly balanced. There's that a ever so slight barnyard character that just perfectly compliments the flavors in my mouth. You have to search for the barnyard - it's very slight. Sour cherries, raspberries, maybe even some plum with a nice balanced sweetness. I'm loving these sour beers right now!

M - Medium to light body with a nice acidic crispness. Moderately carbonated.

D - I've died and gone to sour beer heaven. I love this beer. I'm looking forward to trying other examples of this style to see what i'm missing. If this is not one of the better ones then I'm in for a real treat!

 1,046 characters

Photo of DarrellK
4.95/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appreciating Flanders Red Ale style is one that is not of the uninitiated and takes some experience to understand it's value. The Duchesse is probably the premier example of the style and gets my highest rating.

The ale pours to a beautiful fine head that leaves a lovely lace. Being color-blind mt color descriptions can be a bit off, but looks like a clear dark ruby to me.

The aroma promotes a sour prelude to the first sip that is sure to challenge those that think Bud Light is Nirvana. The mouth is of medium viscosity and despite the bubbles from the head is quite still in nature. The finish is raisiny at first and moves to dates later and of course in sour, and just sour enough to be refreshing.

The beer should be tried in two ways, first on the cool end of the specrtrum 45 deg or so and then again at the higher end maybe 55. The Cooler end brings out the sourness more and the higher end the fruity side.

One other point is that it is only 6.2% abv and which is on the low end of the Belgian scale.

 1,025 characters

Photo of nriech
4.95/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at Capital Ale House in Richmond, also in bottle at home with very similar results.

This beer is amazing and has become one of my all time favorite brews. The flavors are so complex and intense that I dont even want food to come near me for the chance to interrupt the experience.

Slight head with good carbonation. The color is similar to a subdued red wine. Be sure to serve this at the correct temp, I believe somewere around 50F. The inital sip is like a sour wine but becomes complex extremely quickly as it warms. The oak aging is very obvious. It adds so much to this brew.

This is extremely drinkable, very hard to not give into drinking this quickly. One sidepoint is that the one on tap seemed to be a bit more oaky and sour than the bottled version. Not sure on the dates of either.

 814 characters

Photo of ColoradoBobs
4.94/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at the Falling Rock Tap House, Denver, CO, March 16, 2007, served in a lovely brandy-snifter sized tulip glass.

Appearance: Minimal head over a dark burgundy body. Pretty. Crimson highlights around the edge. Even though the head is smallish, it lasts and lasts and lasts. A bit of lacing.

Lovely sour-cherry and cardamom smell, with a candy-sugar background. Some sweet maltiness is there as well. Smells great. Hope it tastes this good!

Taste does not disappoint, although it's bit sweeter than the smell. Like a light red sparkling wine, with a malty backbone. Wow. What a delight. Sour, but not mouth-puckering. Delightful cherry notes, with some clove and cardamom. Very complex, and the sweetness advances as the beer warms a bit. Wonderful taste! Not quite a 5.0, but more like a 4.9!

Mouthfeel is surprisingly chewy for a 6.2% beer. Nice tingly carbonation -- makes you want to swirl and chew before swallowing.

Really very drinkable. I was surprised. This is only the second Flanders Red I've had (the first being LaFolie, which was so exceedingly sour it was like vinegar -- way too sour for me!), and I was very pleased. Now that I've had this on tap, I'll be looking for it in the bottle to compare.

Oddly enough, I found the sometimes rotten service at FRTH to be exceptionally cordial and efficient. I was sitting at the bar, and was just finishing a Hercules DIPA (ON CASK!), and asked the guy to recommend something at the opposite end of the spectrum from the Hercules, and he gave me a 3-ounce sample of this, which motivated purchasing a 12 ounce glass. What a great beer!

 1,606 characters

Photo of Mavigo
4.94/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Served in a tulip from a 750ml bottle.

This is supposedly a red ale but it's deep brown with a reddish-crimson tinge, never seen a beer look this cool. Has a short beige head that leaves small amounts of lacing. The aroma is incredible, smells of red wine, Belgian yeast, malts, cherries, plums, roasted sugars. The taste is outstanding, it is sweet and tangy but that is a over simplification. Reminiscent of a framoise, the beer is tangy and sweet but not a fruity sweetness, more of a light yeast and wheat and grains sweetness. The beer is incredibly balanced, there is no resistance, I could down this whole body without fail if I wanted to. But I want to savor it. It is full bodied but the carbonation is on the low side but is complimented by the other aspects of the beer. Overall, this might be one of the best beers I've ever had, sure it was expensive, but I won't come by a beer like this in a long time.

 919 characters

Photo of gloucester13
4.93/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reddish brown in color, smells like apple cider/balsamic vinegar. Mouth feel is quite pleasant, crisp and highly carbonated. Taste is like an aged balsamic vinegar with hints of apple cider vinegar and a touch of grape. Well balanced sweet and sour notes. My favorite of the Flemish Red Ales.

 293 characters

Photo of grdahl
4.92/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: rich red and Brown in color.

S: Champangne like

T: Tart sourness but very smooth.

M: Nice crispy, bubbly with meium body.

D: Very drinkable.I could drink this all night.

Serving type: large corked bottle

My first Flanders Red. Not my last. This is inspiring me to brew my own Flanders. Very different, very wine like in both smaell and taste.

 352 characters

Photo of Shultzerdugen
4.92/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

11.2 oz. bottle with best before date of 22-4-06.

Pours a deep red- dark copper with a large tan head comprised of big bubbles that quickly dissipates.

The aroma is very complex, very tempting. Fresh tart cherries, musty earth tones, bourbon.

Easily one of the most complex brews I've drank. Cherry juice. At first light and refreshing, I had a hard time not slamming this down. Very tangy, very sour. Even at 6.2% abv the alchohol is warming down the gullet. Slight metallic taste, but it adds rather than distracts to the beer's awsomeness. Lime. Hershey's cocoa from the tin towards the end. The finish doesn't finish, with sour malt going and going.

I could easily drink this every day, but it would be like eating steak and lobster every day. Speaking of which this beer begs to tried with a wide range of food.

 820 characters

Photo of stealth
4.92/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Beautiful beer. Deep ruby red (in the light) pour, thick pillowy, slightly off-white head that lasts forever. Intense lacing down the entire glass. Sticky. The nose is wonderful. Funky vinous notes with sweet fruit, and the tartness comes out in the aroma.

Nice soft and smooth mouthfeel - like silk in your mouth. Citrusy, with ripe cherry fruits, acidic, very tart and sour. Some funk at the onset. Finishes sweet with a metallic note. Ends dry and leaves the palate without any bitterness or lingering traces. Mouth salivate and puckers, waiting that next drink. So much going on in this one it's hard to describe...

Overall, a near perfect flanders. I can't give it a perfect 5 because that belongs to Consecration.

 721 characters

Photo of jda007
4.92/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Absolutely stunning!

Had on tap at Proof in Tallahassee, FL. They consistently keep it on tap and the popularity has grown quite a bit.

On tap is far superior to bottled.

Head is just right, aroma is sweet with a hint of sour cherry. Color is a nice crimson to amber. Mouthfeel is light and fragrant with a tart, crisp flavor. Finishes smooth and the lightly sour aftertaste remains right on the tongue beckoning for more.

 425 characters

Photo of ironarrow42
4.89/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pure joy finding this on tap! It was served in the appropriate stemware and appeared deep red with slight cloudiness and a dense off-white head. The aroma was tart, fruity, and quite appetizing, with a hint of balsamic vinegar.

Very fine carboination tingle on the tongue. The head adds some creamy texture to the mouthfeel. Lots of tart fruit with a sour lactic character. Notes of cherry and gooseberry. Great apperitif; refreshing and drinkable. Went great with a salad of spring greens and grape tomatoes with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

Left some nice Belgian lace on the glass.

 590 characters

Photo of soulgrowl
4.89/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Very deep, dark, cola red-brown. Decent-sized head with mediocre retention.

Smell: Oaky barrels of red wine, bursting with blackberry-esque tartness and undercurrents of of tobacco, burnt sugar, and slight lactic acid. Unique and extremely sumptuous, an aroma that really enlivens the senses and gets the old salivary glands a-pumpin'.

Taste: Beautifully tart through-and-through but not at all puckering, a sourness of juicy green apples and green strawberries. Well-balanced and refreshing with a tart and bittersweet finish; very vinous, complex, and delicious.

Mouthfeel: Zippy and sharp to match the sourness, but smooth and silky at the same time.

Drinkability: This is just so damn good, I could drink it all night.

 747 characters

Photo of diamond_mind
4.89/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Tart and complex, loads of fruit and phenol, some elegant vinegar and tasty soil. If you like your sour more than unidimensional which seems to be the trend, this is the beer. Deep brown with tartness that can still come off a little sweet. Flavors are melded but all play the same part in a rich symphony.

 306 characters

Photo of bnieman
4.88/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 ml
Expiration Date 08/2012

A - Delicate small bubble Belgian lace. Red orange glow.

S - Sour apple and grapes. Akin to a fine dry white wine. Faint oak aroma.

T - Sour with a perfect balance of sweet sensation. White grapes. Delicious delicious funk.

M - Perfectly carbonated. Decadent.

D - Brilliant. I could drink this for hours until I succumb to a happiness comatose state.

 386 characters

Photo of lastauss
4.88/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Tart, tangy, gorgeous to look at, this has got to be one of my all-time favorites. Notes of sour, sour cherry interlude to delicate oakiness. My only [minor] complaint is that its faint smell totally belies the explosive flavor of this beauty. Truly, a sexy beer, by all counts.

 278 characters

Photo of donotknowme
4.88/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This poured a deep reddish-brown with a thin lacy head that quickly faded. The nose was dominated by a sour smell with hints of berries and maybe some oak. One of the best mouthfeels I have ever had in a beer. At the end it got a little thick and sticky from the sweetness but the tartness cleared it up nicely. Easily my favorite beer.

 336 characters

Photo of AronVietti
4.88/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From a bottle that has a best by date of 29/10/2012 poured into a wine glass. Gave a nice hiss when the bottle was opened at 48 degrees.

Appearance: White puffy billowing head with a mixture of small and large bottles. Head dies down to half the hight quickly with strong lacing on the glass but the rest remains intact. Deep brownish red hue and absolute clear, like an aged Pinot Noir.

Smell: Fruity with a strong smell of Sour Cherries or unripe plums, new leather and a subtle amount of malt. The aroma is strong but not over powering.

Taste: Starts with a fruity sweetness that is soon balanced by a slight acidity and nice Plum flavor with a hint of spice. The acidity lingers with a bit of bitterness that further helps the balance with the original sweetness and carries the spice notes.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is balanced for the style, and the body of the beer is very full though not heavy. The finish is long, and the taste overall is as reminiscent of wine as the color was, which is perfectly within the style.

Drinkability: This beer is extremely drinkable, at only 6% there are no hints of alcohol for me, and though the mouthfeel is full the beer doesn't seem heavy. I would have one of these with a rich meal, relying on the acidity to cut through cream or cheese heavy dishes and the fruitiness to add to the experience. And afterwards I would have one with a cheese plate for the sheer enjoyment of it.

I would like to try a bottle of this just before the 'Best Before' date to see if there is a difference

 1,536 characters

Photo of SirWalkAbout
4.88/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a snifter. Very dark red color, almost black. Nice head, 1/4" - 1/2", which stays around nicely.

Smells fruity like a champagin. Smells a bit tart and dry.

Taste is very pleasant. Very fruity, grapes. Good, strong carbonation. Nice and light.

Leaves the pallet quickly without any aftertaste, which I like.

I try not throw out a high score without justification, but I don't know how this beer can be improved for what it is. I find the look, lightness, and taste spot on. Not a beer I would drink all night, but used in place of a dessert wine or a sweet treat, look no further.

 597 characters

Photo of AleDrinkToThat
4.88/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Beautiful burgundy hue under a perfect creamy beige head.

Smell: Oh, such a delicious smell of cherries and malt. I can tell just by the smell that there's more going on here.

Taste: Good thing I'm only typing about this, 'cause my mouth just exploded. Seriously, wow. This is excellent. The tart cherry is much more subtle than, say, a Kriek Lambic, and is so well balanced with delicious roasted malt.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, devilishly so, and the tartness danced all over my mouth, puckering all inner surfaces in its path (I'll leave you to picture that). The malt definitely rounded things back out, and the result is a heavenly complexity.

Drinkability: Go get one. Now.

 689 characters

Photo of Reinheitsgebot71
4.87/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A friend of mine and myself went down to the beer bistro earlier in the week and tried a few new beers each of which I'll review in turn.

A: It poured very dark brown almost completely opaque with a mocha
brown half inch head and minimal lace.

B: Immediately upon first sniff mincemeat pie came to mind followed by a slight hint of pine. The more subtle hits then manifested themselves, namely raisins and rock sugar. I didn't detect any hit of alcohol whatsoever, unsurprisingly as it is a lower percentage compared to some of its other Belgian counterparts.

T: Right off the bat raisins again followed by, lemon, iron rust, honey, hints of curry powder, cardamom in conjunction with the more prevalent lemon sapidity. Hidden at the very bottom of the taste spectrum were nice finishing touches of allspice, cinnamon and soothing caramel.

M: Uber smooth, very sparse effervescence, but what little there is tingles the mouth nicely in conjunction with the magnificent flavors abound in the beer. Overall quit silky smooth almost marshmellowy feel in the mouth.

D: A very very nice beer; goes down very well. After I finished it I immediately craved another. I don't think I could ever get sick of this beer, just excellent. I recommend it to any true lover of beer.

 1,283 characters

Photo of Andreji
4.87/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

WOW. I won't try to describe this beer to perfection because words just won't be enough. I invited a few friends (among which owner of Ozy Pub Camilo Ospina) to try this beauty out. I'd aged it for about a year.

The pour is just mystical. you seem like you're indulging in a frambozen sort of- as in, the pour is very dark, almost purplish-brown, and the head is clearly white with a medium consistency.

The smell....well, it wasn't all that strong, but as you acknowledge it you find all sorts of blends (screw it, I won't step into this) ranging through cocktails, fruits, wines....

The taste and mouthfeel....OMG (I don't like this sort of acronym but it seems suitable). It's just beautiful, you feel like you've blended a lambic with a kir royale, and the offspring is just bliss. wonderful in soooo many senses!

I downed the drinkability and mouthfeel just for the sake of it that is, just that I absolutely was enchanted by this beer but it's not perfect (in my de leckere standards) but this IS A MUST for any beer lover. bless you, madame la duchesse.

 1,072 characters

Photo of clickpush
4.86/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pour: 33cl bottle to Duchesse glass. Half finger tan head over red/brown body. Ruby hues abound. Head tapers quickly to very nice lacing and halo.

Nose: Bret and bread. Very tart aroma, some grain and yeast as well. Sour cherries, an autumn day, overripe grapes, puckering. Oak and vanilla.

Mouth: Juicy, sour tasting immediately upon entering but sweetens as it moves back, grapes, raisins, plums. Some grain, a resinous aftertaste. Vinous, lingering juiciness. Nice malt body. Caramel, toffee. Mouth feel is sharp tingling carbonation that gets creamier as it moves back, smooth swallow. Is both rich and dry in the finish. Easy drinking. Loooove it!

 658 characters

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