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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

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Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

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3,613 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,613
Reviews: 1,427
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 176
Gots: 530 | FT: 11
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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,613 | Reviews: 1,427
Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml caged and corked bottle purchased from Jackson Wines & Spirits in Lafayette, CA. Shared with @LaitueGonflable and @tobeerornottobe.

Pours a gorgeously deep and gem-like ruby red colour, with a fine and relatively solid head of pale orange-white. Lacing is sheeting, but quite sticky. Fine bead, and good body. Lovely looking brew.

Vinegary and acetic on the nose, giving big sour characters and a red wine-like spice to accentuate it. Under it are rounder notes of oak and vanilla, but the acidity always powers through, showing you who's boss. Nice.

Taste is really quite surprisingly tempered. Certainly very little true acidity, but more of a sweet vinous bite and plenty of oakiness. Quite sweet for the most part, indeed far sweeter than I expected from the nose, giving it a cherry soda kind of alcopop appeal. It's nice, and surprisingly mellow, but it lacks a bit of complexity as far as I'm concerned.

A very drinkable, and very soft Flanders Red, but I prefer mine with a more robust acidity and deeper complexities from oak and tannins. Still, very enjoyable, very easy to drink and really very refreshing.

Photo of ATLbeerDog
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark rusty reddish color with a thick foamy head. Smells of tart cherries, apples, and fermented grapes. First sip is mellow with sours notes that are subdued and quiet, not "In your face." Cherries, green apples, raisins, maybe a tad of brown sugar, all combining in flavor. Creamy mouthfeel, but slightly under carbonated. Considerably more sweeter than sour, the brew finishes well with a little stronger bitterness. Very Good.

Photo of Gritsak
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- deep brown with a thick head. when held up to the light a brillant red body shows through

S- sweet, fruity aroma that is very similar to wine.

T- again very sweet and fruit taste. high carbonation makes it almost like a sparkling wine. this beer was like nothing ive ever tasted.

M- medium body with high carbonation. not to thick but enough to let you feel it.

D- while the taste is extremely unique and pleasent, i couldnt imagine drinking this all night due to the sweetness.

overall- WOW. very suprised by my first flanders red ale. nothing like i ever would have expected. nothing like any other beer ive had. im looking forward to trying other beers of the same style to compare.

Photo of Tucquan
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Had this on 2011-04-20 in Lititz, PA at the Bull's Head and 2013-06-14 at Minnesota Town Hall Tap.

A - Dark, ruby red that is transparent enough for light to wrap around the edges. It has a 1-finger light tan head and good lacing. Just beautiful.

S - Characteristic lactic-sour yeast, dried cherry and mild malt.

T - Sweet cherry and sour of course with a wine/oak-barrel flavor. Oak. Funk. Not like a Russian River Supplication but quite nice.

M - Medium body and light carbonation. Syrupy.

O - A beginner's sour IMHO. Not as sweet as a Lindemans by any means. Good variety of flavors with decent balancing sourness. Sue liked it at Minnesota Town Hall Tap.

Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've definitely had this beer before, completely worth $25/4-pack

The beer pours a dark, dried blood red with a dense tan head. Sticky lacing notches rings in my glass as the head slowly sinks and there appears to be no visible sediment. The smell is a slightly acidic, metallic, funky sweetness. This is just as I expected, except for the notes of aluminum. However, the metallic smell is replaced by a volatile acetone as the beer warms. Cold is a completely inappropriate serving temperature.
The taste is the perfect balance between sweet & sour with incredible drinkability. The aftertaste is slightly bitter and acidic. This beer is right on par with a good flanders red and is less sweet than a monk's cafe and less fruity than a rodenbach. Long into the aftertaste a malt graininess settles in, which is also an unexpected feature of this beer. Overall, this beer will make a wine lover extol its complexity and a non-beer drinker relish in its drinkability.

Photo of jellikit
3.92/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Coca-cola. Brown with red hews. Clear. Small head.
S: Vinegar. Acetic acid.
T: cherry. Oak. Sour at the end. Tart. Yum.
M: dry. Highly carbonated. Pucker. Light body.
O: great sour beer. Not overpowering. Clean taste. Sour at the end hangs on a bit. Will buy again.

Photo of thekanna
3.92/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle.

Appearance: Amber, crystalline beer with active carbonation and effervescence. Appears somewhat like sparkling cider.

Smell: Freshly squeezed apple juice, citrus fruits, cherry tree grove, and a slight sweetness that intermingles with the sourness. If I didn't know any better, I'd say it smelled like fruity children's candy (e.g. Fruit Roll-Ups).

Taste: Slightly vinegary as it hits the palate; granny smith apples, blood oranges, passion fruit/starfruit? Maybe not the last one. There seems to be a sudden transition in flavor midway: from carbonated to a smooth, ice wine or port-like quality. Hard cider or mulled mead sweetness rounds out the finish, with the mouthfeel almost like Sunny Delight (interestingly enough).

Drinkability: Sipper, but oh my this is a wonderful sipper. Definitely pairs well with anything resembling a 13th century meal or something more elegant. This is the one beer that all the wine drinkers I know who hate beer will drink.

Photo of grimey68
3.92/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of floraday
3.92/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz into a pinot glass

Walnut stain to rootbeer soda in appearance. Little head with light lacing.

Aroma of apple cider mixed with rootbeer barrel candy.

Apple cider and a little reduction on the palate. Slightly medicinal.

Very viscous on the palate. Juicy at first leading to a dry after taste.

A little sweeter than what I prefer but works well with sharp cheese.

Photo of RTJakarta
3.92/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice sort of dark red/brown color with a light off-white head that goes away pretty quickly. Lovely lacing.

Nice, rich sour smell. Some tart cherries as well as vinegar. A bunch of the usual gang for a FRA. Loving it.

The taste to me is a battle between a strong sweetness and sourness. I sort of pick up a clash of both at the same time, which is kinda of nice, but I wish it would sort of pick one angle and run with it. Nice cherry notes throughout, though.

Mouthfeel is medium. Moderate, unobtrusive carbonation.

Overall, a pretty solid beer. If it had a more refined sour taste, it could probably be world class, in my opinion. Taste is too schizophrenic, though. Worth a drink, though.

Photo of Mikecap
3.92/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle into a Dogfish tulip.

A: Pours a murky dark reddish brown with a very short lightish brown head and bubbly carbonation on the pour, nice splotchy lacing clings to the glass.

S: Definitely a vinegar scent to it but balanced by some fruitiness as well, some apple, cherry and sweet tones, a bit of peppery spice as well.

T: Green apple, berry a bit of vinegar and a distinct sour tartness to finish. There is a nice balance with sweetness that makes this very drinkable and begs for another sip. I get a bit of the oak in the finish. The amount of berry flavor I get surprises me, very well rounded.

M: Light to medium bodied with medium carbonation and a tart finish that sticks around a bit. A well balanced sour.

O: First time with this classic sour and I'm glad I finally picked one up. Sours are growing on me and I can't say I mind that!

Photo of tobelerone
3.92/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Finally getting around to reviewing this one. An easy introductory brew to the world of Flanders reds. Muddy brown color with a smallish head, spotty lace.

Aroma on the sweet side, with lots of cherries and raspberry, decent tartness and funk, nothing too overpowering, trace vinegar note.

The flavor follows the aroma very closely; kind of straightforward and uncomplicated for the style, maybe a bit too sweet for my taste. Lots of sour cherry, very lightly funky, some woody notes, and again, a muted undertone of vinegar.

Medium thin bodied, spritely carbonation, interestingly drying finish without overly lingering sweet or sour flavors.

A decent beer for the style, ubiquitous, but I prefer the Rodenbachs.

Photo of stephens101
3.92/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The off white head flutters away with an afterthought of thin and scattered lace. Dark brown in color with dark red hues at the edges. Powerful sweet and sour fruit aroma; including prunes, ripe grapes, figs and raisins, along with burnt sugar and freshly baked brown bread and phenols. Vinous, grainy and tart to the tongue with a prolific amount of sour grapes and figs. A little honey and vinegar are also noticed. Medium mouth-feel with a touch of alcohol heat that is quickly forgotten. Not completely my thing, but that doesn't mean it's not a good beer.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.92/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Lucky Baldwin's Delirium Cafe in Sierra Madre, CA.

Pours a murky crimson brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is slightly sour and tart with some malt, sour fruit, red wine vinegar, and woody aromas. Taste is much the same with a woody and slightly acidic flavor on the finish. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer but it's definitely not as sour as I remember it being from the bottle.

Photo of thebarkley
3.92/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of MikesnoHSL
3.92/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of mgretz1
3.92/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of GeraldFunk
3.92/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass from 330ml bottle.

A- Beer has a dark ruby brown colour with nice head on the pour. Head dissipates very quickly though leaving good lacing.

S- Very complex aroma, a little shocking at first but quite pleasant. Balsamic vinegar, Rose Champagne, sour cherries, red grapes. All good.

T- The tartness of this beer hits first with more of the nose. Balsamic vinegar is what i'm getting mostly with good sour fruit notes as well.

M- Nothing crazy here, good carbonation and medium long finish.

O- Wow, I'm fairly new to the style but I can tell i'm a big fan of flanders reds. Nothing like a nice complex beer to finish the day.

Photo of ryanonline
3.92/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

deeep burgundy color, ruby highlights when held up to the light. white thin head. great lacing.

smells vinegary.

tastes much better. apple like and just a touch of funk.

very creamy and lightly carbonated, tart and sweet aftertaste.

very drinkable.

um... really wasn't sure what to expect from this beer but outside of the smell being a bit off-putting this is a real great beer.

Photo of dasenebler
3.92/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33cl, Netherlands.

Pours a dark garnet. Decent-sized tan head laces very well.

The aroma is at first reminiscent of sweet balsamic vinegar, making way to more stone fruit notes, mainly cherry, and oaky scents. Nice.

Tart and lactic, with a sizable amount of candy sweetness. The cherry flavor is there again along with spicy, woody notes. I would like to see this beer dried out a bit, as it seems a tad too sweet. I feel that the sugary flavors get in the way of the sour, woody notes. Still pretty complex though, with a very unique spice character. The mouthfeel was fine, with medium-low carbonation.

My overall impression is that Duchesse is a good beer, but I think her true essence lies beneath the cloying facade.

Photo of mynie
3.92/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Sampled ontap at Old Capitol in Iowa City.

This is the first Flanders Red I've ever sampled and to tell the truth I had no idea what to expect.

It poured like a nice Strong ale. A dark, dark brown with ruby hues.

The smell took me aback. Strong acidic fruit with a harsh twang of alcohol. It took a moment to get used to, but I began to really enjoy it.

Tasted acidic like vinegar mixed with OJ, hints of melon and lemon and a harsh, sweet cherry. It's like all of your favorite fruits tossed with a light and pleasant vinaigrette. The flavor remains constant throughout, from start to finish, and it leaves a sour taste in your mouth after it's swallowed.

My only knock on this beer is that it's not easy to drink. I mean, for as strong as it tastes and smells it does go down pretty easily--but it's a very, very strong taste.

Photo of Yoonisaykul
3.91/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Got pretty excited when I saw this at the SAQ

A-Red, brown, copper, gold. All sorts of hues and colorsHead looks just like a cleaner version of krausen on top of a fermenter. Tons of messy but delicate lacing.

S- Open bottle smells just like balsamic vinegar. I've heard about these beers. Let see how I like them. The smell is less extreme once in the glass - It now smells like beer. Alcohol comes on strong. Mix a quad and some balsamic vinegar. I'm really intrigued now.

T- ''What the f...'' Were my first words. Felt sweet on the tip of my tongue and then pow. No idea what hit me. Right away I thought: I'm not ready for this but after a few sips I'm starting to like it. I dont know what to say and I feel I don't know enough about the style to really say much more. I will try to review it again in a year or so. Kind of tastes like an infected BSDA.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Not dry but astringent. Quite enjoyable. Pretty sticky.

D- Two bottles should be enough.

The more I drink it the better it gets but I'm still not ready. Worked very well with my Bleu Lescure.


Finally bought this again and guess what? I like it a lot now. What used to taste like a crazy balsamic vinegar drink now tastes more like some sort of raspberry quad. I've bought two more and I think I'll keep going. My ratings stay the same though.

Photo of jwhawkins81
3.91/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The bottle's cork said the best by date was 06/10

Aroma - Sweet with a tart aroma similar to grapes.

Appearance - Dark amber red with a nice off-white head and a good amount of carbonation.

Taste - A lot is going on in the flavor of this beer. First a good level of malt sweetness and then tart fruits leading to a wine like middle and finish. Finish is clean with a slight tartness lingering. Almost every time I took a sip I expected the tartness to keep growing but it didn't, which I'm glad about.

Notes - This had a good mouthfeel and a medium body. This is a really good beer I will have again.

Photo of Avryle
3.91/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Dark tea in color. Small & quickly disappearing fizzy tan head. Spotty lacing .

S- Like old wet shoes, caramel, oak and rotting cherries. The nose is a little off-putting & frankly, not my thing.

T- Okay, the taste is much better than the nose. Extraordinarily complex taste going on- malt, caramel, raisins, figs, cherries & apples are the initial tastes that come to mind. The cherries dominate in the finish along with caramel malts. Almost candy-like in sweetness.

M- Thin to medium bodied. low carbonation.

D- Flavors are very complex, but not confusing. That along with tehe body makes this pretty darn drinkable... If you plug your nose.

Photo of HappyHourHero
3.91/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

An easy pour produced a giant, fine bubbled, brownish tan head sits atop the deep, dark burgandy colored beer. Good, solid lacing when the head finally subsides. Sour, vinegar aroma along with some spicy mustard in the background. Tart, sour apple and cherry flavor, along with a very metalic taste. I hate vinegar and the aroma is killing me, but the flavor is pretty damn good, as long as I hold my nose. It kind of reminds me of a kriek version of Quelque Chose. Medium to light body, soft mouthfeel, and an impressingly clean aftertaste. I don't like the smell, but after a while you get used to it. I probably wouldn't drink this beer all that often, but I will drink again.

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Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,613 ratings.