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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

3,075 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,075
Reviews: 1,348
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 136
Gots: 300 | FT: 9
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Verhaeghe visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Flanders Red Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Belgian top-fermented reddish-brown ale, a blend of 8 and 18 months old beers following the careful maturation in oak casks.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-15-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,075 | Reviews: 1,348 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Blanco
Blanco

Pennsylvania

3.38/5  rDev -18.8%

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.

05-14-2011 01:00:01 | More by Blanco
Photo of hopsaplenty
hopsaplenty

Virginia

3.38/5  rDev -18.8%

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.

05-18-2006 01:06:59 | More by hopsaplenty
Photo of bruachan
bruachan

District of Columbia

3.38/5  rDev -18.8%

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

08-16-2005 15:00:05 | More by bruachan
Photo of John
John

New York

3.38/5  rDev -18.8%

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.

11-29-2002 15:16:49 | More by John
Photo of CheckmateBrew
CheckmateBrew

Georgia

3.38/5  rDev -18.8%

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

01-10-2011 04:12:50 | More by CheckmateBrew
Photo of IdentityAles
IdentityAles

Oregon

3.38/5  rDev -18.8%

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.

12-03-2006 11:41:04 | More by IdentityAles
Photo of DaPeculierDane
DaPeculierDane

Wisconsin

3.35/5  rDev -19.5%

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.

05-22-2006 21:01:51 | More by DaPeculierDane
Photo of boatshoes
boatshoes

Massachusetts

3.35/5  rDev -19.5%

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.

12-30-2009 01:43:59 | More by boatshoes
Photo of jreitman
jreitman

California

3.35/5  rDev -19.5%

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.

04-13-2003 11:21:55 | More by jreitman
Photo of slackattack
slackattack

Spain

3.35/5  rDev -19.5%

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.

06-17-2014 22:12:20 | More by slackattack
Photo of woosterbill
woosterbill

Kentucky

3.35/5  rDev -19.5%

11.2oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Lovely, clear ruby-amber body with an inch of frothy white head. Quick dissipation and almost no lacing. Nice color, but the head could use some work.

S: Straight-up acetic aroma: balsamic vinegar, cherry, and more vinegar. Pretty much as expected, but kind of boring.

T: Light vinegar, sweet fruit, and an acidic finish. Meh.

M: Light bodied yet sticky with pretty lively carbonation. Not especially pleasant.

D: Well, it's not like it's overly sour or intense, but it's just not that enjoyable to drink. I'd much rather quaff the stronger and more acidic Rodenbach Grand Cru.

Notes: While not a terrible beer by any stretch, this just isn't as good as, well, any other Flanders Red I've had - either Rodenbach, Ommegang Rouge, Willimantic Rodenzok, New Glarus Enigma, etc, etc. Too sweet and one-dimensional for my taste, but I can see how a lot of people could find it to be a good introduction to sours.

Cheers!

07-26-2010 23:17:47 | More by woosterbill
Photo of cvaypai
cvaypai

Wisconsin

3.33/5  rDev -20%

Poured from bottle to goblet.

Appearance - Amber with beautiful red tone. Little to no head, less than 1/4 inch, dissipated quickly, no lacing.

Smell - Sour like old apples and cherries. Apple is the most powerful for me, like apple juice almost.

Taste - This seems more to me like wine, strong tastes of cherries, and yeast taste. As I drink more it becomes more apparent it is a belgian. Definitely can tell those strains. Not bad, but not really up my alley.

Mouthfeel - Tangy and carbonated, it feels like a wine in the mouth.

Drinkability - Just one of these babies. Maybe I need to let this style grow on me.

Hopefully this was just this bottle.

I think I need to try a few others of this style, definitely something I think needs to grow on me.

03-13-2009 04:49:15 | More by cvaypai
Photo of cbl2
cbl2

New York

3.33/5  rDev -20%

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.

05-29-2004 15:10:33 | More by cbl2
Photo of Quaffer
Quaffer

Nevada

3.33/5  rDev -20%

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!

01-31-2005 23:50:50 | More by Quaffer
Photo of CowsCanBark
CowsCanBark

Pennsylvania

3.33/5  rDev -20%

Poured from 25.4 oz bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a nice mahogany hue with a one-finger off-white head, not really any lacing.

Smell: It smells like wine, to put it simply; tart and fruity, and I despise wine.

Taste: It's much better than the smell. It's tart, sour, VERY sweet and fruity, mildly boozy, and mildly metallic. Too much sweetness, in my opinion.

Mouthfeel: Fits the flavor profile extremely well; high carbonation and medium bodied, slight dryness to the finish.

Overall: My first real dive into a beer that is tart and sour, and while it certainly isn't unpleasant, it's not something I'd actively seek out again. However, it has not turned me off from trying different sours, as it isn't disgusting by any means.

12-25-2011 22:08:53 | More by CowsCanBark
Photo of rhinos00
rhinos00

Colorado

3.33/5  rDev -20%

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a burgundy, brown color with a nice three fingers width of off-white head. Some lacing as the beer is consumed.

S- Not very pleasant. Gives off a strong vinegar scent with some oak and sourness in between.

T- Not as overwhelming as the aroma. Toned down sourness that is more tart and a nice sweetness that balances the taste. Still this one is just off in some way.

M- Some carbonation. Had a thin to medium bodied mouthfeel.

D- This one was pretty hard to put down. The taste and aroma weren't doing it for me.

Overall, I love sours but this one was just not my cup of tea. Sour, yet sweet with a vinegar scent was all too much for me. I'll pass.

05-05-2009 01:22:26 | More by rhinos00
Photo of bennetj17
bennetj17

Arizona

3.33/5  rDev -20%

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...

10-06-2006 03:16:15 | More by bennetj17
Photo of Crotor
Crotor

California

3.3/5  rDev -20.7%

I have a strange relationship with this beer. When I first tried it, as a nascent BA, it freaked me out. Tasted like vinegar. I thought it'd make a good salad dressing, but not a good beer.

The second time around, things are a bit different. Nonetheless, the beer remains, shall we say, *unique.*

Pours deep and dark with rich, crimson windowpanes. the low, tan head dissipates quickly.

Can't really pick up much on the aroma...

The taste hits big. Tart & sweet with an astringent finish. Behind the vinegary sourness there's a massive, cloying sweetness. The mouthfeel *seems* good, but admidst all the sweetness and tartness, it's difficult to notice anything else. Oh does the tartness linger...

After a little while in the glass, and a bit of warming, it seems to develop a foamy, effervescent feel in the mouth. Is it a bit salty?

In the end, all I can really say is that this beer is an *experience.* It seemed to hi every damn region of my tongue. Interesting certainly... Kinda like a Kubrick film - you know it was interesting, and you know a lot of work went into it, and it gave your brain a workout, but as to whether or not it was actually good, you don't really know...

My one major complaint would be that the sweetness of the beer was overly simplistic. I don't know if that's the result of the tartness deadening my palate, or if it's from the reported artificial sweeteners. Either way, it just seemed that it lost out on some of the subtlety that it could have had.

12-14-2004 01:25:40 | More by Crotor
Photo of ngandhi
ngandhi

Illinois

3.3/5  rDev -20.7%

The mouthwatering nose and stable half-inch head make this as appealing as any funky Belgian. Raw fruit and raw wood are backed by controlled bacteriological spice and this is, all in all, elegant.

The palate, however, is entirely undeveloped. Though it originally opens to impressive fruit -- raspberries and grape, mostly -- loaded with vinous, beaujoulais-like qualities, it feels thin and Spritey. Overwhelmed with an obnoxiously light soda element, this is an easy beer to forget about.

The label notes "careful maturation in oak casks," but the oak contributes little more outside of a woody flavor and some vanilla -- no body, no structure, or not enough.

Residually sweet of malt, Duchess doesn't deliver the caramel that I expect (and hoped for). Instead, this is a summery mix almost wine cooler-/mimosa-/balsamic reduction-like in its conception.

The properties of a Flemish red are here, but all the king's horses and all the king's men . . .

Relax, relax.
ng

05-17-2004 23:30:14 | More by ngandhi
Photo of BedetheVenerable
BedetheVenerable

Missouri

3.3/5  rDev -20.7%

Presentation: Beautiful caged/corked 750ml bottle with great label; expiration date of 06/10.

Appearance: Beautiful dark garnet brown beer with fluffy dark ivory cap with great retention.

Smell: Funky, tart lactic and woodsy aromas...quite sour, with almost a touch of vinegar.

Taste: Super tart/woodsy up front...hints of vinegar...light hints of tart/sweet cherry on the finish

Mouthfeel: Prickly and highly carbonated

Drinkability: Medium-medium low

Conclusion: Interesting and definitely unique....I had this once before with goat cheese and marinara...that was pretty tasty...by itself this is a bit intense, and while I can appreciate the complexity and uniqueness of the style, I'm not sure this one is for me...it was alright with Jarlsberg though.

05-19-2009 04:03:37 | More by BedetheVenerable
Photo of pentathlete
pentathlete

Virginia

3.3/5  rDev -20.7%

Poured into a flute. Beauty ruby brown with large head. Nose is all tart and cherries. Taste is cherry fruit with some sour notes. Pleasant, but rather tame. I expected more sour bite. Too much sweetness, almost candy like flavors. Perhaps my palate was spent, but I was not altogether thrilled. Not a bad beer, but nothing special.

05-07-2005 02:50:17 | More by pentathlete
Photo of tai4ji2x
tai4ji2x

Massachusetts

3.28/5  rDev -21.2%

750ml green bottle. cork has exp date of 3/10. poured into tulip.

dark, ruby red with brown tones. gemstone clear under the light. moderately sized, fluffy tan head fades to thin layer, then wisps. amazing curtain of lacing. no sediment in the bottle or glass - is this a filtered brew?

aroma is fruity cherries and faint molasses with a very weak funk note. light wood tones, plus damp earth or fallen leaves. whiff of vinegar.

surprisingly sweet with only a trace of acidity. fruity apple and cherries, with syrupy caramel and brown sugar. faint bitterness from grassy hops and more weak acidity, with another trace of wood and damp hay.

smooth, with acidic twinge at the end for texture. mild to moderate carbonation for some refreshment.

too sweet, almost cloying, and certainly not enough acidity or complex funkiness. pales in comparison to rodenbach grand cru or even monk's cafe. but i understand the appeal for sour beer novices, so this prevents me from totally trashing it.

02-19-2009 08:34:42 | More by tai4ji2x
Photo of petacutlasaurus
petacutlasaurus

Maryland

3.28/5  rDev -21.2%

Had with crackers and blue cheese on Friday night. The food was better than the beer, though. I had a pretty negative response to this one. It's a well executed beer, one with a pretty clear mission and objective taste. That taste is just not for me. It's candy beer.

Duchess is incredibly sweet, apparent immediately from the pour in the stickiness and the lacing of the head. Reeks of sugar, candied cherries, maybe, covering up a bit of sourness and booze. The taste and the body together are quite potent. Definitely strong sour notes, but it's as if the brewer wanted to cover that sourness up, or subdue it, and in order to do so, loaded the beer up with sugars. As that sourness and sweetness collides, you get a taste not too far from Splenda. Pretty unpleasant.

I think it's useful to compare it with another readily available sour, the Monk's Cafe flemish sour. It's lower gravity, sweetness, and increased tartness/bite really serves the style in a more palatable way. But that's only if you're part of the musty/bitter camp like me. If you're sweet-toothed, grab one of these, you probably will love it.

04-23-2011 18:55:18 | More by petacutlasaurus
Photo of JonBrand
JonBrand

New York

3.25/5  rDev -21.9%

06-22-2014 04:20:54 | More by JonBrand
Photo of reaganrvltn
reaganrvltn

Georgia

3.25/5  rDev -21.9%

06-29-2014 22:43:55 | More by reaganrvltn
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,075 ratings.