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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

3,279 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,279
Reviews: 1,363
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 151
Gots: 354 | 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
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Ratings: 3,279 | Reviews: 1,363 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.63/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(Served in a snifter)
A-Pours a deep chocolate brown body that is almost opaque with a nice carbonation of tiny bubbles. It has a tan head that fades to a few clouds of head around the edge of the glass.

S- Black cherry, dried cranberry aromas with a sharp vinegar smell.

T- tart cherry flavor with a strong acidity. Hints of currants or cranberries are present. A slight hint of vanilla is present but the acidity dominates. Hints of port flavors in the finish.

M- Medium-light body and not any fizziness from the carbonation. It has acidic pucker at the finish but no sweetness or alcohol in the finish.

D- The sourness fades about 3/4 of the way through the beer. It starts to mellow after your taste bud get used to the shock. It has an almost red wine taste and it would be wonderful to develop that more at a port taste with other flavors popping out aswellas the acidity. Definitely an interesting experience.

rhoadsrage, Apr 13, 2005
Photo of np0x
3.63/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is a great introduction to sour beers, with a soft approach to the vineous flavors in the flanders style. As I drink more and more sour beers, this beer's back sweetened style is less palatable. But the complexity in this beer will blow the mind of someone who hasn't had a sour beers and it won't create a phobic sour beer hater...

np0x, Jan 17, 2010
Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.63/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Incredibly sweet smelling brew. There's a good vinegar smell to it. Smells like a sweet red wine vinegar - how puzzling.

Dark root beer color, seems clear, good-sized foamy head.

As expected it is oddly sweet. Soy sauce comes to mind, as well as vinegar. Good bit of tartness grows to battle with the sweet. Brown sugar sweetness, or maybe it's more like a Port with its syrup sweetness and accompanying viscosity. Finish lingers with sweetness and an overall funky feeling in the mouth. Very interesting and fun to have tried.

Reminds me of the one Oud Bruin I've had: too sweet and very peculiar. I had a Flanders Red at a homebrew competition and it was twice as tart and not half as sweet. I liked it a lot. This one is just borderline undrinkable to me. I suppose my palate is too young for the likes of Flanders.

MrHungryMonkey, May 29, 2008
Photo of mvanaskie13
3.63/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up with a group of red sour ales from the the foodery on n. 2nd st.

Poured from the bottle in to a small tulip tasting glass. Appearance is deep red and amber tones, with very light lacing on the glass. A little darker than I would like for a sour red ale.

Smell is a very sweet, with mild malt undertones and a light, very light vinegary finish.

Taste is sweet, with not enough vinegary bite for my taste in sour beers, but the less vinegary taste makes it a little more drinkable and easier going down.

Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, flavors do not linger as strong as i would have expected, which makes this a very drinkable beer.

Overall, a little disappointed but a nice take on this style.

mvanaskie13, Jan 28, 2010
Photo of tut2528
3.63/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours with very low viscosity, ½ fingers worth of head formation but actually leaves a very fine film around the edge of the glass. Decent carbonation is noticed upon swirling the beer. Color is more on the opaque side resembling a syrupy/maple color with slight touches of red. Moderate lacing.

S: Oak is very dominant, and smell resembles a red wine. There are strong fruits present and I don’t get as much sour character as I have with sours (limited at this point personally). This one is very complex as I feel that the aromas are changing by the minute.

T: This one does not have a strong sour taste. The oaky aspect is present and it is in a nice balance with other flavors. Lot of different flavors come out, especially as this one warms up. Molasses comes to mind along with an apple aspect. I also get a bready note as well and a slight tartness to it. After taste consists of brown sugar and cherries.

M: High carbonation on the mouth feel. Goes down rather quickly and decently smooth. The mouth literally salivates while drinking this one enticing you to drink more.

O:I thought the balance was decent and it drinks very much like a wine or champagne.

tut2528, Jun 27, 2012
Photo of alpinebryant
3.63/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I know this is one of the more available Flanders Red Ales and respected by some, but its just not my style.

Pour is a crystal clear red ale in color with a white to light tan head.

Aroma is of sour cream, sweet malt, slight sweet fruit aromas and the funky flemish oak barrel.

Taste is everything in aroma however a higher sour cream concentration. The sweetness is slightly surprising I guess in that this beer is not overly sour. It is really just a sweet funk mixed with sour cream taste and sweet malt with a slight fruit presence. I really did not like Monks Flemish ale, and this is definitely a step in the right direction from that beer. There are some redeemingly fresh tastes to this one that I can definitely enjoy on a hot afternoon after a long run.

Mouthfeel is light and lighter than I like for the style however this makes it more drinkable in my book and less of a sipper.

Overall pretty good

alpinebryant, Jun 29, 2011
Photo of Hornet2003
3.63/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: red.

Smell: Vinegar and cherry. Lots of sourness.

Taste: Very sweet. Bourgogne has an off-cherry flavour. Sour essence, but sweet on the tongue.

Mouthfeel: The sweetness makes this a gem on the tongue. Very pleasant. Not over carbonated and a nice bitterness in there as well.

Drinkability: A little too sour for me to enjoy more than one of at a time.

Overall: My first Flander's Red is quite the experience. Very sweet in the mouth and sour on the nose.

Hornet2003, Jul 12, 2008
Photo of JohnnyDuvel
3.63/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've seen this beer many times. Finally decided to give it a shot. Served with a steak and scallops dinner. Smells like red wine,
tastes a lot like a lambic (but not quite as carbonated or overtly fruity). Tart and sweet, certainly a complex "beer". Ultimately, this was too sweet and distracting to have with dinner, would be better with dessert. Not quite my style. Lambic fans should grab this up!

JohnnyDuvel, Dec 11, 2005
Photo of cvfish
3.63/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - This beer poured a brownish color with ruby highlights that produced a tan head that had decent retention and laced the side of the glass nicely

S - The aromas produced by this beer were the caramelized malts, cherries, and some sourness

T - The taste of this beer started with a caramelized malts flavor that was quickly overrun by a sour cherry/apple flavor that dominated my palate and did not leave

M - The mouthfeel of this beer had a light to medium body with a moderate amount of carbonation

D - What can I say about the Duchesse? Very unique, not something that I was quite into, but there again maybe something that will grow on me

cvfish, May 11, 2009
Photo of ILiveOffHops
3.63/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I first tried the Duchess at the Dove. I couldn't believe how much it tasted more like a tart wine than a beer. That was my first try of a Flanders, and this is my tasting of it at home. Still the one and only Flanders I've tried.

I got this bottle from a friend who bought it at Harrington's in Chelmsford...a great beer store if you live in northern MA. The Duchess is an unbelievable red color...almost opaque. I've never seen a red glow like the one this beer gives off in front of light.

Smells incredible...like cherries and other fruits. Some tartness too

Tastes more tart and much more sour than the aroma suggests. Still sweet at the same time and the sweetness grows over time.

I'm not sure how drinkable this style of beer is in general...at least for me. I'm not going to blame the Duchess for this..in fact I feel like if I had an appropriate meal I could have 2 of these with dinner. Overall, the Duchess is a brew I would only have once in a while. Too much flavor and sourness for an "everyday" beer. Even so, I give this my approval.

ILiveOffHops, Jul 01, 2005
Photo of KevT
3.61/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I am just starting to experiment with sours, so my frame of reference for this style is not as big as with other styles. The beer has a dark, brick-red color with a wispy head. Nose was vinegary although not unpleasant. Taste not as sour as the nose would make you think it would be and it finished with cherries and a little caramel sweetness.

KevT, May 27, 2013
Photo of weeare138
3.6/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appears a semi-transparent red auburn with an off white head that fades into a mild collar.
Smell is of tart cherries, caramel, vanilla, oak, rhubarb, and bacteria.
Taste is of the same with oaky berries, brown sugar, and grassy, minty leaves.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, syrupy, sugary oak, and cherry flavors lingering.

weeare138, Dec 07, 2007
Photo of geexploitation
3.6/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Beautiful looking beer; deep mahogany, caramel highlights, thick taupe head. Aroma hints at much sourness underneath, along with green apples and some unrefined sugar. On the palate, surprisingly sweet, especially at first, with soft carbonation that holds the sourness at bay for a bit. In the mid-palate, the sourness comes out, but it's still attenuated by a significant malt presence. Bubblegum, jolly ranchers, and a hint of nickel in the finish. Considering the substantial sweetness here, the finish is unexpectedly dry. Overall, a good Flemish red, but not the best I've had -- I'm looking for something with a bit more dry sourness.

geexploitation, Jul 21, 2006
Photo of Absumaster
3.6/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A red brown beer with a very small head to begin with and little carbonation.

Smell of oak, with distinct acidic notes and caramel which remind me of sweet-sour cherries.

Taste is fruity and complex with sour cherries, oak and a little citrus. The beer is fresh and has very little bitterness. Mouthfeel is sticky and syrupy, that make it taste like cherrie flavored lemonade or hard candy. The sourness is overruled by the sweetnes and I feel that this beer is somewhat artificial. Body is full which inhibits drinkability.

Absumaster, Jul 11, 2006
Photo of dbalsock
3.6/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Poured brown with minimal head. Not much to say about the appearance... pretty bland, but nothing strange or off about it.

Smell: Ketchup? Catsup? A1... this smells like something I would put on my steak. Is that bad... no... just unexpected.

Taste: Again the ketchup and a1 come through quite powerfully, but when I try to ignore them, I can pick up some intense raisin and prune action going on. Maybe my palate isn't strong enough to pick up the complexity of this brew, but all I can get is vinegar, and ketchup. This is great with my steak though.

Mouthfeel: There's a sharpness to this beer that balances with the sweetness, but overall the mouthfeel is kinda weak and relies too much on the taste for support.

Drinkability: I find this to be an interesting beer, and not bad at all, just not something I ever want to drink again. It's far too strange for me.

dbalsock, Feb 09, 2007
Photo of Danilod
3.6/5  rDev -13.5%

Danilod, Aug 16, 2014
Photo of tronester
3.6/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark red with a medium tan head that fades away pretty quickly. Smells of vinegar primarily with some maraschino cherries. Taste is quite unique. The beer is quite sweet tasting, with a balancing tart and sourness from the vinegar like flavors. The beer seems to share a lot in common taste wise with a sweet wine. The bitterness is very low. Mouthfeel is medium with medium carbonation.

This is quite an interesting beer. I've heard you either love it or hate it. Well, I am somewhat in the middle of the road. While the taste was pretty good, I think I would start to grow tired of it after a glass. Nevertheless, still a good choice if you want a more obscure style.

tronester, Feb 23, 2008
Photo of saintwarrick
3.6/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a wine-like garnet color with a medium sized white head, foamy around the edge. Aroma is like a vinegar dressing, not entirely sour, sort of like overripe fruit mixed with a merlot. The wine comparisons carry over to the taste, which starts out sweet like grapes before going sour, giving the beer a balance regarding those two characteristics. It's an odd sour, wine-like taste not present in other Belgian brew like classic lambics or gueuze. Easily the most wine-like beers I have ever had and one of the most unique.

saintwarrick, May 07, 2010
Photo of vette2006c5r
3.6/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Duchesse De Bourgogne pours a very dark reddish color with very little head. There is a wine like aroma, with sour fruit notes. The taste is much the same sour grape flavors, sweeter, similar to a wine. Full flavors and nice body, still a nice beer to sip. Overall a very nice sour ale.

vette2006c5r, Jul 28, 2013
Photo of rajendra82
3.6/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Green (Ack!) Champagne style 750 ml. bottle with a wire cage, and an best by date of Oct 2007 printed on the cork. The body was dark red - bordering on brown, clear, fizzy, and topped with a two finger foamy beige head. The aroma was a complex mix of wood glue, soured cherries, saffron, floral hops, and a touch of hay. The taste was light, fruity, and airy. The flavor was sweet-sour like granny smith apples, pickles, vinegar, and whipped cream. The yeast presented itself as an earthy and slightly spicy background tone. Mouthfeel was very light and delicate. Towards the end the sweetness got quite a bit cloying, but I think this was an intentional effect using NutraSweet (or so I’ve heard).

I can see the craft in this beer, and the tangent that it has traveled along. It hasn’t gone so far as to become a malt vinegar flavored alco-pop, but is has flirted close enough to avoid frequent visits. Extra points for being gutsy.

rajendra82, Jun 19, 2005
Photo of dogfishandi
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle at cellar temp poured into a bulb style glass. best before date: 02/02/2013

pours out a pretty crystal clear deep red color with some soapy off white head. thick foam. some nice thick retention. some webby lace. i was expecting some sort of yeast in the bottle, but there was none.

the intial aroma is full of vinegar. also some musty funk, sweet fruits, alcohol esters. just a hint of a nuttiness.

again, lots of vinegar. musty funk, just lightly acidic with some sourness, but nothing really mouth puckering. sweet malts, sweet and tart cherries and a bit of other fruit, mostly dark. some nutty, woodiness towards the finish.

a good feel on the palate, some good, bright carbonation. medium bodied. almost feels like a lambic, just a light sugary feel.

not super drinkable, one and done. i prolly wouldnt buy this again. i didnt really enjoy the vinegar and the nuttiness, but some good complexity.

dogfishandi, Apr 30, 2011
Photo of vandemonian
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Duchesse De Bourgogne has a reddish brown colour and a decent 5 mm head that fades to lacing quite quickly. The smell is sour and vinegary with a hint of sweetness. Some sour apple and.. some flavour... I can't put my finger on it... maybe umami. The aftertaste is smooth and good with smallest hint of bitterness. The texture is foamy pretty thick. Overall, a very nice sour ale.

vandemonian, Feb 11, 2011
Photo of bonbright7
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was glad the other reviewers cleared up what I was thinking about this ale: Was it ale or hard cider? I bought this on a whim at Whole Foods in Jericho NY while trying to follow up on the great beers of Beligum in the tradition of Westmalle, etc.

The creamy head with bubbles overflowed with an apple/champagne taste that was so strange in a delightful way I continued to explore the whole 750ml. I put it down for while and came back to see if it would change.

As no change came with time, I thought this would be great with pork or with a spiced ham.

bonbright7, Jul 21, 2006
Photo of Dawkfan
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Pours a deep burgundy, 1 finger cream colored head that reduces to a thin layer, a good amount of lacing left on my tulip.

S - Apples is the first thing I get, possibly some other sour fruit notes from pears and cherries. Definitely a vinegar sting as well.

T - Not as sour as I would of expected from my impressions of the nose. There's a fair amount of sweetness & woodiness mixed with the sour/vinegar taste that help balance this one out.

M - Medium body, highly carbonated, and fairly dry.

D - I've had this before and I didn't really like it, but I'm fairly new to this game and my palate has adjusted. I didn't mind it this time around, but 1 is enough for me.

Dawkfan, Nov 20, 2009
Photo of harrymel
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Best by: 11/30/2011
Poured to NB globe.

A: Cherry finished mahogany with superb clarity. The peanut, two finger head dissipates quickly to sheet which creeps up the sides. Good lacing.

S: Acetic, sweet, apple skin, hints of soy sauce. Orange glaze sauce. Nicer than the first time.

T: Sweet and sour. Very clean white vinegar with a blend of apple cider vinegar in there. Good flavor to pair with a meal.

M: Medium mouthfeel, low carbonation. Slightly drying.

D: One of the more sessionable sours available. Not a beer I would recommend without a meal to go with it. This is not a good beer to be had alone IMO. I would recommend with chinese or japanese. Maybe even some indian dishes. Would also pair with saucy BBQ.

harrymel, Mar 19, 2011
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,279 ratings.