Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

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Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

3,737 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,737
Reviews: 1,463
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 188
Gots: 614 | FT: 12
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Verhaeghe visit their website
Belgium

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,737 | Reviews: 1,463
Photo of the42ndtourist
4.8/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

33cL bottle. Another great find from a jaunt into Quebec.

Dirty garnet in hue, with a initially large head which fades quickly to a thin covering layer. I poured it into a Belle-Vue glass, which I think turned out to be a good choice.

Aroma lends a good clue as to what follows. Some people have mentioned balsamic vinegar, and that is rather appropriate (of course, this one is better suited to dessert than salad dressings). To me, this served to excite me even more about the coming beer.

Taste is initially sour, with a lot of fruity complexity. The first taste sent me straight to BA to see if it was actually a some sort of kriek variant. Nope. Just fabulously crafted and complex. There's so much to this - the sour start, the lovely sweet fruitiness - cherries, cassis, big juicy blackberries, home-canned plums like my mother used to make. It comes to a acidic and tart finish, which lingers with a tad of vinegar in the aftertaste (no it's nowhere near as bad as it sounds). I love it all the way through.

Beautiful slightly oily feel on the tongue. Carbonation, though seemingly energetic at the pour, is actually quite soft. I could (and would, if it were a little less expensive) drink this all night. It's fantastic, amazing, ethereal even. I've run out of adjectives, I'm flat out in love with this beer.

Photo of Phatz
4.8/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow! This beer was definitely the beer of the night! So much thanks to BA, 'YBSober' for this beer was phenomenal!

This was my first Flanders Red Ale and I am going to make it a point to seek out much more of this! I thought I was in heaven. I know I am in love with the Duchesse (don't tell me wife;-).

Appearance: This Duchesse poured out a beautiful dark caramel color with some golden tan highlights on her elegant body, and then fantastic head made of tight off-white foam. This leads into the sticky circles of off-white lacing, left lining the glass.

Smell: The aroma is quite vinous, with a wine grapes aroma, a nice tartness, (those not in the know might think her a port wine) and yet an underlying caramel sweetness. It is spiced and complex; very much like the Holiday Spiced Wine from Mount Hope Winery (with what might be cinnamon and a splash of lemon in the aroma as well).

Taste: The taste, like the smell was very complex and pleasing! The front of the palate is mildly tart dry grapes and then there is a nice layer of brown sugar and caramel that sweetens up the palate. Layer upon layer I realized more and more tremendous depth as the fruits began to reveal themselves; first apples and plums, cherries, a prune and then mixed berries. All the while, I couldn’t help but to think, this beer must be oak aged because the magnificent flavor of oak, and a subtle hint of leather, kept swatting at my taste buds. This beer has an incredible depth of character and flavor. Her finish is sour (not too much) just the prefect degree (tipping the scales to tart). That tartness carries into the aftertaste as well, balanced with the loving touch of gentle sweet fruits, leaving you with wonderful memories of how she treated your tongue. I could hardly keep my tongue in my mouth. I had to dive in for more. She’s irresistible!

Mouthfeel: Tight little bubbles of carbonation treat your mouth just right. 36-24-36 this sweet lady has a perfect medium body with just enough dryness to force you to pucker up, and enough lingering sweetness that you enjoy it.

Drinkability: I want her all to myself all the time. $65 a case and I would pay it too. Are all Flanders like this? I may be in trouble. Now that I have gone Flanders I may never go back!

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

Photo of meals00
4.8/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

All time favorite. The aroma is intriguing, with fruit and vinegar. Tart, slightly acidic taste but fruity and bold.

Photo of JSMarsolais
4.8/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This review is based on a " drank in a Miller's glass " serving type.

Even If I first tried this wonderfull beer in a Belgian restaurant close to my house, which served it in the proper glass, I have to admit that the experience was not altered in any way.

When pourred, it has a small white-beige head, a strong red color and a little bit of fuzziness. I got a nose of sweet Balsamic Vinegar. In mouth,the acidity was surpisingly not aggresive, and let the place to a perfectly balanced taste between acidity and sweetness. I also got some sweet sour cherries as an aftertaste.

Of course, the whole experience was a lot better in the first place (the restaurant), but I have to admit that this is my favorite beer. And for 3,55$ the bottle, it is more than respectable for the great time you will have drinking this delicious nectar.

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.8/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: I have been in the US just over two years & never had this here, so when I spied a 4-Pack of this at a beer store weekend I was excited. I elected to cut down my beer expenditure though & just picked up a single – it was $3.79 for the 11.2 fl.oz bottle.

I noticed that the beer looked slightly different somehow, and then I realized that I was used to seeing a simple dark purple crown cap – my example had a black crown cap with the Verhaeghe coat of arms in gold on it.

Appearance: A filtered chestnut brown, dirty tan head comprised of incredibly small bubbles, fantastic smooth layered head. Excellent conditioning.

Nose: Rather delicate sour pong at first, with some aged port aspects.

Taste: Benefits immensely from the 18 months that this spends in maturation in the Brewery, often in large Oak Vats or smaller Casks. Fantastic zippy sour-sharp feel at first. It assaults you & punishes your acceptance of bland beer with a “WTF??” if you are not used to Flanders Reds. How this beer encapsulates diametrically opposed flavor profiles and yet remains incredibly well balanced is the work of masters - Awesome.

Mouthfeel: The beer dissolves on the tongue; lots of conditioning, velvety feel to the cheeks, sour & fruity cheek puller. Excellent.

Drinkability: Immense, you will want to drown in this spritzy sour baby, or throw up after the first mouthful. Has all the Drinkability of a traditional lambic, if you know what I mean.

Overall: I first came across this fine beer in 1994 during my first ever trip to Belgium & was completely blown away by its immense character. Our party was so impressed; we ended up arranging to visit the Brewery in 1995, where we had a guided tour & when I bought my first 24 bottle crate of this fine West Flanders Red. I drank the last of this in August 2001 when I came to the US – all I can say is that this beer is to Flanders Reds what Cantillon & Girardin are to lambics.

It is as good now, as it was in 1995, which is something the likes of comparable beers from Rodenbach cannot claim.

A Classic & @ $3.79 – It’s a Steal. WELL WORTH IT.

F**K! What a tight-wad I am,
I knew I should have purchased the 4-pack when I saw it.

Photo of brdc
4.8/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to stoutsnipas, this one is VERY fresh, expiration date Dec 2008.
I know this does not help, but I initially felt like writing "WOW" and concluding ny review, enough said. But let's try to elaborate.

Brown with multiple reddish overtones, tan head with good retention, and very sticky.
Aroma is acidic, tart, with some oak and sugar notes.
Nice medium body, flavorful, sweetish and malty, then tart and acidic, then sweetish again. Fruity, raspberry, cherries, citric fruits.
Clean finish with a tart and sweetish aftertaste.
Extremely refreshing, a fantastic summer beer.
I need more!

Photo of yemenmocha
4.8/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a coca-cola brown with thin tan head.

Nose is a little cola like as well, but together with sour passion fruits. Very complex, like that miscellanious "passion fruits" flavor in many products/fragrances. Cherry is one that might stick out, but very complex on the whole. Slight hint of pipe tobacco.

On the palate is a delightful explosion of vinegary sourness together with burnt sugar sweetnes mingled with passion fruit. A darker, molasses to toffee cake sweetness is found at the back of the palate and into the finish.

Finish is very cola-syrup extract like in sweetness. Nice and appetizing for the next sip. Reminds me of those coca-cola ink pens from childhood, the ones with the fragrance in the ink.

Photo of johnd513
4.79/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours ruby red in color with a small off-white head. Smells like wine and dry vinegar certainly unique even for a good sour. The taste is dry and sour but not as sour as the nose with tart cherries, wine flavors and others that i can't even begin to describe. Drinkability is prohibited only by the price tag. I could sip on this all night long. One of the most unique beers I have ever come across.

Photo of Ozzylizard
4.79/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

$ 12.99/25.4 oz bottle at Vintage Estates in Boardman, OH
Bottle expires 03/2016 at 45 degrees into a snifter
Aroma of cherries and a little acetic acid
Head small (2 cm), light brown, fizzy, rapidly diminishing to 3 mm ring and broken layer
Lacing good – wide ring of small bubbles
Body very dark red-amber, clear
Flavor begins sour, with some cherry and vanillin from the barrel coming through – a hint of tannin is also present. No hops, no alcohol, no malt, no diacetyl
Palate medium, watery, lively carbonation

An excellent sour – very typical of the style. The sourness gives a refreshing tang.

Photo of alk3kenny
4.78/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Just starting to get into/try sour beers and from I understand this is a legend. Pours a dark, dark ruby red. Nice tan head that sticks around for awhile. Smell dark fruit, banana, not really picking up anything sour on the nose but smells amazing. OOOHHH there's the sour lol it's all over the taste and mouthfeel. Tart, sour cherry some of the funky taste I recognize from beers with brett but not nearly as pronounced. This is very nicely balanced. Won't be an every day beer for me because of the price point but I'll be back for more.

Photo of Nesued
4.77/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Clear, dark, amber/red, vibrant carbonation with a small head that both forms and retains for the duration of the time this beer spends in your glass.

Smell - Fruity, sweet aroma with a acetic (but not acerbic) presence. Musky presence as well.

Taste - What a complex taste. Both sweet and sour at the same time, with a balance to each. A robust carbonation allows for a fine retention of flavors long after the "taste" is gone. A malt base is added upon by the citrus/tart slightly acetic taste.

Mouthfeel - Retention is the key with this one. I was thrilled that the reminder of this beer was prolonged with the tartness lingering until I was able to replace the void left by the last sip.

Drinkability - Well, considering I'm on my second one, I think I've answered the question regarding drinability. This is one of my favorate Flanders Red Ales, passed only by a Vichtenaar. I cannot wait to purchase more which thankfully is now allowed in my state. I find this beer a overall complex and well staged representation of what a Flanders Red Ale should be. Now, pairing this with mussels and surrounding myself with the rustic feel of Monk's Cafe' in Phili would be my only change. Please pass another.

Photo of tsfertitta
4.77/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

If you like sour beers this is a great one.

Photo of NolateM
4.77/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle is just over 2 years old, which should not affect this review too much considering the style.

Super dark brownish-reddish-almost-blackish, with a thin head that quickly dissipates. The aroma is inviting: citrusy, brown sugary. The flavor is superb - literally one of the finest beers I've ever tasted. Tangy and lemony, but not mouth puckering. Some wood flavor, cherry, brown sugar, and vanilla... all very lingering. Easy to drink, with almost no alcohol flavor present, and a lively, soda-like carbonation.

Damn there's a lot going on in this fine piece of beverage art! I'm a fanatic of the Flemish ales, and this goes down as my favorite so far. A special occasion beer that is truly worth every penny.

About 13 bucks if you find a four-pack of small bottles, and 9-10 dollars for a the more common 750 mL.

Photo of Roman5150
4.77/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

bottle into snifter

appearance: dark brown/copper, bubbly 1 finger slightly off white head

smell: smells more like champagne/wine then beer, lots of grape, pear

taste: Very tart and sour, getting a lot of grape and pear, follows the nose and has a lot of champagne-like flavors. The finish is dry and sweet, very sweet, with some apple and other spices coming through towards the end. As it warms the fruitiness and tartness come through even more, the lingering sourness is very smooth and refreshing, not overwhelming by any means.

mouthfeel: high carbonation, medium bodied

overall: Haven't had too many sours, to me this tastes more like champagne than a beer, but I really enjoyed this. I mean really enjoyed this, even thought it's insanely expensive I will be purchasing this many times again, and curious to try other flemish sours. I've yet to have a less than mediocre beer from Belgium, any style, they know what they're doing.

Photo of martinimike82
4.77/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Love this beer. Super juicy and sour.

Photo of DioS
4.77/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Dark brown but not quite opaque. Soft head. I always thought the Duchesse looks viscous, even though it's really not. Smell is complex and delicious, more fruity (cherry, plum) than floral, with slight caramel and vanilla sweetness, and evocative of some wood like a fine dessert wine does, and the vinegary aroma tends to be mellow compared to some other Flanders I've had. I cannot get tired of smelling this one. The mellowness (as opposed to sharp sourness) and complexity truly make it stand out.

Taste is initially very sour and slightly funky, but the sourness settles down very quickly into ripened fruits (cherry, plum, jam, pear). The finish is long and lingering. The sourness almost completely subsides into the background and becomes just a tartness in the mouthfeel after 1/3 of glass. After that point it just tastes like a very interesting dessert wine, and very easy going down, yet tastes far from simple. Duchesse is a wonderfully smooth Flanders that can be drunken like session beer and hold my interest at the same time. I feel lucky to be close to pubs that serve it on the tap regularly.

Photo of FlikkerDans
4.77/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had a bottle last night on the front porch. It poured a small head with just the perfect amount of carbonation. The smell was a bit like raisins, prunes, and a touch of wine. Smelled a bit like alcohol but that was nowhere in the taste. It tasted amazing, with just the perfect amount of sweetness. Cool and extremely smooth, it almost felt like drinking a soda. Dr. Pepper, to be exact. It was my first for this style that I can remember, and it has left me wanting a whole lot more.

Photo of RedDiamond
4.77/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed a stemmed wine glass of this West Flanders classic at a place called Heads Up Brewing in Silverdale, Washington. I thought perhaps this was a house beer as Heads Up is a BOP and all of their house beers are clones of popular beers from around the world. I should have known from the first sip that this was not a clone. This was the real thing.

The presentation was elegant with a saffron body sporting a tan head and clinging lace. The aroma swirled like a symphony of tart fruits and orange peel. The taste was also very fruity – almost like a fruit cola – with elements of orange, black cherry and huckleberry. It is sharply acidic and plainly tinged with some non-sacch- yeast and/or bacteria. This carries the initial sweetness towards a zesty resolve of biting acidic fruitiness.

Oak barrel aged and blended from young and old batches. This is a prince among ales – an absolute noble pedigree. And it drinks like fine wine.

Photo of melbow
4.77/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Way better on tap than in a bottle. I've had both and the bottle can end up soapy smelling.

Photo of Fattmatt73
4.76/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

An absolutely incredible beer. The balance of fruit, floral and sour is incredible. Usually a beer this sweet would be way out of my zone, but the balance of the sour accentuates the fruit and floral notes. Love it, one of my favorite beers. Anyone who has not ventured into the land of sours should make this one of their first.

Photo of MrBen
4.76/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Looking for a bold departure from your favorite brews? Call the Duchesse De Bourgogne!

The beer comes in a dark red/brown with a cream-colored head. Smell is crisp, slightly fruity, and tart. Very interesting. Flavor is deceptively good. Wine, cider, presence of tart and sour fruits. Some nice sweetness as well. It's very complex and holds my attention. I ended up ordering two of these -- one before and one after lunch.

Mouthfeel is captivating. You get a the urge to pucker up, but then a mild, almost acidic, dryness comes forward, much like the feeling you'd get after eating a bunch of fresh cranberries.

Duchesse De Bourgogne is an amazing beer. If you're looking for something unique and superbly crafted, do yourself the favor and give this a try.

Photo of Jondoyle24
4.76/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Amazing sour beer.. slightly tangy smell of wine with sour pomegranate taste with a tangy end.

Photo of MisterGone
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

More of a score justification than review:

I developed a love for Flemish Reds after drinking this. I have tried a few different offerings, from Belgium and the American homage brews. The problem is that I drank Jacobins first... so that was my benchmark. As a result, everything else is compared to that one.

This fell short really only on the level of sour (for me..) Every other profile that the Flemish Red Ale is famous for, this one has. The deep red color, the tart aroma, the cherries in the flavor. Excellent.

Photo of Beertracker
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Duchesse de Bourgogne should be served at (47-53F) from a traditional tumbler or logo goblet. This lady has plenty to offer even the pickiest of beer lovers. DDB pours up very nicely with plenty of Belgian lace. The translucent burgundy-brown body is offset beautifully by a fluffy, cream colored head. The nose is full of fruity complexity and sweet malty undertones. The classic Flanders aroma also has a subtle oak character, some oxidation and lots of noteable sourness. Hints of aged Balsamic vinegar, cordial cherries, fresh green apples, hot caramel fudge and creamy vanilla pudding come to mind. The first sip creates an initial sourness upon the palate that seems to shock every taste bud on the tongue! Once the acidity fades, then sweet caramel, roasted almond, spiced rum, and raisiny malt flavors emerge intermingled with the sourness. The finish is decidely tart, dry (oaky & tannic) and slightly spicy. The medium-full body is alive with a zesty carbonation that creates a creamy texture despite itself. This Flanders Red Ale is surprisingly smooth & drinkable. I highly recommend that you seek out some of this "Harvey's Bristol Cream Sherry" of the beer world on tap. Enjoy DDB as an apertif or as a after dinner treat paired with bread pudding, cheesecake, creme brulee, flan or fresh orchard fruit & nuts.

CHEERS! Beertracker

Photo of beeronesse
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Couple of 5s here because I truly believe this beer cannot be improved.

On tap, in a Belgian goblet.

Deep Burgundian red in color, with minimal head and thin lacy retention.

Aroma promised sour cherries, apples, malt, raisins perhaps?

In the mouth: exceptional! Deep and powerfully complex. Sour cherries, apples, a little salt, satisfying sweet-sour balance. Very malty and rich, a little vanilla and butter and white pepper. Not very high in alcohol which is great because I wanted to drink this all night long!

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,737 ratings.