1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

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

3,136 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,136
Reviews: 1,355
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 141
Gots: 321 | FT: 8
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Duchesse De Bourgogne Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,136 | Reviews: 1,355 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of yelterdow
3.43/5  rDev -17.5%

Finally tasted this one after putting it off week after week. Served in the Duvel tulip at just above fridge temperature.

Appearance- Pours the color of raspberry iced tea with a smooth, creamy one-finger head. Settles to a thin mat after a few minutes.

Smell- Barnyard funk and sour cherries with an underlying sweetness.

Taste- Starts off like full flavored sour bubble gum, and finishes with an almost artificial sweetness. Candy ice cream. Awesome big taste, but the lingering aftertaste reminds me of Red Bull. That is not good.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Chewy and mouth-coating, smooth carbonation. A bit rough towards the end, with explosive activity towards the back of the throat. Aside from the saccharin-like notes in the taste, this is a decent Flanders sour ale that is readily available here.

yelterdow, Aug 17, 2005
Photo of Marty
3.4/5  rDev -18.3%

Pours a transparent deep rosy amber, which surprised me because I (for whatever reason) expected this to be an unfiltered. Dense, craggy, light brown head.

Smells very sweet, cider-like. Taste is very similar, and surprisingly simple. No hops to speak of, and not even particularly malty. Just FRUITY! Very fruity. Impressive that such a tart flavor could come just from yeast, because I was pretty sure there was a whole granny smith apple in that bottle.

Not something I would buy again, but worth a try.

Marty, Dec 29, 2006
Photo of TechMyst
3.4/5  rDev -18.3%

Root beer appearance; opaque with garnet as transmitted color. White wine aroma. 4 months after 'best by' date, but let's be honest, that shouldn't matter much here. Apple cider vinegar taste. Sweet/sour dry grapes. No head retension; thick rings which slid back into brew. Bubbles spaced very far apart. Tried this warmer than normal. Thin Mouthfeel. No bloating, which is unique to this style for me. Resinous palate. Oaky with tart cherry undertones. Almost cloyingly sweet. Drinkable though.

TechMyst, Sep 05, 2007
Photo of TVolt1
3.4/5  rDev -18.3%

A: Deep amber color, good clarity, small amount of white head.

S: mmm great smell. Smells of cherry warhead candies and that's my favorite type of sour beer! Good hint of wine smell too.

T: Has a great bubbly, cherry initial flavor that excited me. The aftertaste is almost nutty and does not fit with the beer at all. Finish is disappointing...

M: Good bubbly, carbonated mouth feel, light on the tongue.

O: I like every other factor of this beer but the final taste. Too bad because everything else is going well for it.

TVolt1, Mar 02, 2012
Photo of DUBinMIA
3.4/5  rDev -18.3%

Pours a crystal clear deep brown with reddish tint. Thick foam head 3in. at least with insane lace.

Smell is of malt and sweet fruit. Dates, cherries, and light pine hop notes.

Taste is starts sweet malty and ends very tart and crisp. Citrus is abound which is different for a red ale. Interesting rasberry flavor towards the end.

Mouth feel is light and high in carbonation

Overall this beer is unique… prob won’t pick it up again but glad I tried it.

DUBinMIA, Aug 30, 2011
Photo of danieelol
3.4/5  rDev -18.3%

Bottle from Leura.

Pours brown-red with nice head and ok lacing.

Smell is nice. Huge amounts of cherry syrup, very vinous also. Big, big charred oak/tar flavour. Like a very aromatic red. Balanced and subtle vinegar note. Some rainforest character, just smells alive.

Taste has more of that charred Jack Daniel's like character. Unfortunately this beer carries a lot of sweetness with it and it's a little bit too much for my tastes in sours. I can see why it comes in a 250mL. The charred aftertaste isn't quite enough to counteract all that sweet taste-bud stimulation when it's in the mouth. Some rose character but really just more Jack Daniel's.

Sweet, sweet mouthfeel with highly carbed body.

Overall an enjoyable and unique beer which could do with less sweetness and Jack Daniel's in its profile.

danieelol, Aug 05, 2012
Photo of Tschnab
3.39/5  rDev -18.5%

Tschnab, Aug 19, 2014
Photo of Popsinc
3.38/5  rDev -18.8%

Appearance: A dark ruby-brownish pour. Thin tan head.

Smell: A very fruity and sour nose. Ripe grape is prominent and there is also a hint of balsamic vinegar.

Taste: The taste here is much sweeter and more mild then the nose might suggest. A nice cherry sweetness creeps through and balances nicely with the tart nose.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and fresh...little sweet n dry on the finish.

Drinkability: The beer was decent but i would only question the how often would i actually sit down to drink this beer? I aprreciate it but i don't love it.

Popsinc, Oct 31, 2003
Photo of Blanco
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.

Blanco, May 14, 2011
Photo of hopsaplenty
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.

hopsaplenty, May 18, 2006
Photo of bruachan
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

bruachan, Aug 16, 2005
Photo of John
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.

John, Nov 29, 2002
Photo of CheckmateBrew
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

CheckmateBrew, Jan 10, 2011
Photo of IdentityAles
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.

IdentityAles, Dec 03, 2006
Photo of DaPeculierDane
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.

DaPeculierDane, May 22, 2006
Photo of boatshoes
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.

boatshoes, Dec 30, 2009
Photo of jreitman
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.

jreitman, Apr 13, 2003
Photo of slackattack
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.

slackattack, Jun 17, 2014
Photo of woosterbill
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!

woosterbill, Jul 26, 2010
Photo of cvaypai
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.

cvaypai, Mar 13, 2009
Photo of cbl2
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.

cbl2, May 29, 2004
Photo of Quaffer
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!

Quaffer, Jan 31, 2005
Photo of CowsCanBark
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.

CowsCanBark, Dec 25, 2011
Photo of rhinos00
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.

rhinos00, May 05, 2009
Photo of bennetj17
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...

bennetj17, Oct 06, 2006
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,136 ratings.