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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

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

2,649 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2649
Reviews: 1319
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 13.98%


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)
View: Beers (12) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,649 | Reviews: 1,319 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of texashammer
texashammer

Texas

3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours out of the bottle a dark brown, red when held to the light, with only a slight head. smell is a very funky sourness. just a hint of Vichtenaar's richness in the mouth. somewhat daunting sourness. delicate, with a slightly metallic bite at the end.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2006 14:45:44 | More by texashammer
Photo of Metalmonk
Metalmonk

North Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a large Gulden Draak tulip glass. Foamy bone-white head that all but disappears in a minute or so. Beautiful lace and gorgeous deep red-brown color, can just barely see through it.

Complex aromas, with tartness full-on and up-front. Black and sour cherries mingle with hints of rhubarb. Or a just-opened bag of soft Sweet Tarts candy. Also getting some funk in the background (like the yeasty funk in the amazing Flemish Primitive Wild Ale).

Cherry tartness dominates the flavor with some oak barrel woodiness. Delicious and highly drinkable. Pleasing dryness in back. Full body, with sourness coating the mouth. Robust enough to feel like an ale, but only just. Undeniably delicious.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2006 22:57:38 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of mortarit
mortarit

North Carolina

3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

A Flanders Red, are commonly referred to as the "red" beers of West Flanders. Belgian Red Beers are typically light-bodied brews with reddish-brown colors. They are infamous for their distinct sharp, fruity, sour and tart flavours which are created by special yeast strains. Very complex beers, they are produced under the age old tradition of long-term cask aging in oak, and the blending of young and old beers.

Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 4.0-8.0%

I copied the definition so I could reviews this one since it is my first Flanders Red. I remember one cohort here at this style picked as his prefered choice. Man, was I way off. I thought this would be a beer of simply taste. I was blown away from the sharp taste. I should of know when I open the bottle , it had a little kick in the release of the cap.
Fruity
Alcohol can be detected
The tartness is a little over whelming.
It's different, I am glad I had the chance to experience it.
Uh, try again.
I would like to try others in this group to have a broaded range of this style.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2006 00:38:29 | More by mortarit
Photo of Matthew
Matthew

Connecticut

3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddish color with a bit of a brown tinge to it. Nice big fluffy white head. Lots of lacing and great head retention.
The first thing that strikes me about this beer's smell is the immediate dessert wine smell. There is a recongnizable alcohol smell wrapped up in a nutty aroma and a wood type aroma mostly oak.
Again the first thing I noticed is a sour taste, probably because it was least expected. There is certainly wine like characteristics in this beers taste and smell. Very sweet, with notes of cherry and grape. I think that this would go very nice with cheese cake or a sweet dish of some sort. I'm definatley interested to try more of this style.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2006 20:55:50 | More by Matthew
Photo of Fugazme
Fugazme

Nebraska

3.73/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First beer of this style that I've tried... looks like a cola on the pour. Large bubbbles... dark brown and ruby colors.

Aroma is great. Cherry, oak, cabernet, phenolic, yeast, sour,
sweet tarts...

Mouthfeel is a touch awkward with carbonation at first, but mellows during the drink as it warms. Definite sour flavor. Cherries and yeasty overtones. Dry on the finish. Wine-like for sure.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2006 00:52:06 | More by Fugazme
Photo of audiojon
audiojon

California

3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This tasted a bit like fermented grape soda upon first sip. By the end of the glass i had grown a taste for it. Very tart, very dry, but verrry different and pretty damned tasty. I couldn't see drinking more than one or two tho.

Poured on tap at O'Brien's in San Diego. Appearance was nice, smell was very sweet and fruity, lots of grape and cherry. Effervescent mouthfeel, extremely fizzy. The taste is sweet at first, then rapidly shifts to extremely sour. From there it's a contrast of the dry tartness and a refreshing sweetness.

Recommended, but only for sour beer lovers.

Serving type: on-tap

01-23-2006 07:50:01 | More by audiojon
Photo of neonbrown82
neonbrown82

Nebraska

4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours to a fairly clear but dark berry color. Carbonation seems minimal, and the head quickly falls to nothing though it wasn't much to begin with.

The smell is the perfect mix between a sweet and tart rasberry aroma with a dash of red wine vinegar. Smells absolutely amazing.

The taste is very similar. Astonishing. However, the finish sticks around for what seems like an eternity. Constantly getting drier and drier while the tart and horseblanket stick around until you just can't help but to take a fresh drink. If it weren't for the absolutely horrid finish that had me contemplating chopping off my tongue, I would have awarded the taste with a 5.0 as well, but that honor will be reserved only for the smell.

The mouthfeel is great up until the finish. It sweeps through the palate registering what seems like thousands of separate and unique flavors in the split second that the beer first hits the tongue. My entire palate is stimulated, and I'm tasting in places of my mouth that I didn't know had tastebuds. But then the finish crashes the party no later than the beer is swallowed.

The beer is actually very drinkable if you don't let it sit long enough that the finish makes you want to die. A great beer for people looking to get their feet wet with sour beers.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2006 07:22:55 | More by neonbrown82
Photo of Citadel82
Citadel82

New Jersey

4.72/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been over a year since I last tried this brew. Wow! I love this style.

750ml bottle purchased at Spirits Unlimited in Red Bank - cork stamped "good until Nov. 2007." I am drinking it young and loving it!

Unlike the last bottle I tried which was a 11.3. ounce crown capped bottle, this one is cork and cage finished.

Poured a deep ruby garnet with a generous off-white head that lasts and lasts and leaves clumps of thick lacing.

Aroma is funky earth, some wine vinegar and a malt like sweetness that I cannot say I have smelled before.

Taste is refreshing and complex. a tartness up front morphs into candy sugar and finishes in a bready slightly dry finish. Sour cherry candies?

Mouthfeel is creamy and light, which makes this quenching beer a real refresher.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2006 23:32:45 | More by Citadel82
Photo of DarrellK
DarrellK

Florida

4.95/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appreciating Flanders Red Ale style is one that is not of the uninitiated and takes some experience to understand it's value. The Duchesse is probably the premier example of the style and gets my highest rating.

The ale pours to a beautiful fine head that leaves a lovely lace. Being color-blind mt color descriptions can be a bit off, but looks like a clear dark ruby to me.

The aroma promotes a sour prelude to the first sip that is sure to challenge those that think Bud Light is Nirvana. The mouth is of medium viscosity and despite the bubbles from the head is quite still in nature. The finish is raisiny at first and moves to dates later and of course in sour, and just sour enough to be refreshing.

The beer should be tried in two ways, first on the cool end of the specrtrum 45 deg or so and then again at the higher end maybe 55. The Cooler end brings out the sourness more and the higher end the fruity side.

One other point is that it is only 6.2% abv and which is on the low end of the Belgian scale.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2006 22:38:23 | More by DarrellK
Photo of hero27
hero27

Minnesota

4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle. Best before 1/17/07.

Blood red color with a somewhat thin, oily tan head. The aroma is quite strong chocolate, sour cherries, and dark fruits. The taste is impressive and very unique. Sour cherry dominates the taste, with oaky qualities, vinegar, and tartness to wrap it all together. The mouthfeel is somewhat coating and oily. Not sure how many of these I'd really like to drink in succession due to the sourness and very rich flavor, but it was a nice, somewhat unexpected treat.

As a sidenote...my brother was about 95% sure that he got sick from this beer..since he was throwing up most of the next day, and it tasted like cherries on the way out as well.. I apologize for the harsh details, but just thought I'd add that, in case anyone else has had a similar experience.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2006 01:22:16 | More by hero27
Photo of beveragecaptain
beveragecaptain

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

330 ml bottle. Duchesse De Bourgogne pours out a Ruby color with a creamy head. The aroma is cherry, oak, and vinegar. The flavor starts out a sweet, but turns very sour. Fruity cherry flavor. I would be surprised if there were no cherries in this beer. A bit chocolatey. The finish is dry and woody. Medium mouthfeel with a high carbonation. This beer is definitely not for everyone. Overall I enjoyed it, but with each sip I alternated between thinking it tasted great and thinking it tasted nasty. I guess each beer lover will have to decide for himself.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2006 01:13:18 | More by beveragecaptain
Photo of Calico
Calico

New York

4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my very favorite beers, truly a royal brew in my opinion. The only other Flanders sour red I've had is Rodenbach, but this beer is much more mellow and drinkable than even the Rodenbach Grand Cru.

Pours with an enormous head. Brilliant mahogany color.

Nose has winey notes, a little rose aroma, sugar sweetness, maybe a hint of irises.

Sherry and port tastes hit the back of the tongue. I also noticed a licorice note. I'm surprised to find this much of a sherry or winey taste in a less-than-7% abv beer. Some esters apparent; finishes with a sparkle of grapefruit.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2006 21:35:06 | More by Calico
Photo of DogFood11
DogFood11

California

4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm certainly not an expert in this style or in any style for that matter but this one has evaded me for a long time. Beautiful pillowy Ivory white head that leaves wave upon wave of sticky lacing. Sharp fine carbonation in a dark amber to brown bodied brew. Not sure how much the appearance can improve.

Tart aroma with a decent malted sweetness in the background that makes this inviting.

Wow, first couple pulls are tart and nothing else but it developes on the palate quite comfortably as it warms. An earthiness breaks through this sour tart up front in your face taste. sweet grapes, crisp finish. This is a nice frickin' brew. certainly not for everyone but highly reccomended if your kinda like lambics but want something with a bit more balance this is for you.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2006 06:19:23 | More by DogFood11
Photo of Brewfan
Brewfan

Connecticut

4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Mac56 for this beer, via Newbie "Onebox" BIF '05

Poured into my Rodenbach tulip.
250 ml. bottle

Very large quickly dissapating head. Went from 3.5 fingers to covering the top of the beer in about 25 seconds.
Dark reddish copper color with a steady stream of carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass. Decent lace clings to the edges.
Smell: Sour and musty. Not as viniagry or "over the top" as say Rodenback Grand Cru. This is definately more my style. Nice tart fresh cherry and off-the-tree apple sweetness, with definate hops towards the back. Oak comes through later on.
Taste: This is gorgeous. Tart, but not overly. Malty sweetness on the tongue. Almost on the verge of an apple-wine. Very fruity. Slight bitterness, like the bitterness from a fresh apple peel that you just picked off of the tree. I keep going back to the apple references. If apples actually tasted this good, Jesus, I'd eat an apple with every single meal of my life. May have wanted it a bit more tart, ended up being a bit too sweet towards the end.
Mouthfeel/Drinkability: I could have drank this beer in about 3 sips. Medium mouthfeel. Nice and creamy. I would have liked it a bit more tart and brisk. Finishes dry, drier than I would have thought possible while drinking this beer.
Full of surprises, flavors and aromas. Nice beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2006 19:42:06 | More by Brewfan
Photo of TheEclecticGent
TheEclecticGent

Georgia

4.88/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A very dark red-amber flemish (Flanders) red ale w/moderate to loose carbonation. The smell is sharp and sour but has overtones of mellow fermented fruit. The taste is extremely complex dominated by a fermented fruit flavor ranging from berry to banana spice, a wonderful range of sharp to mellow flavors. It has a moderately heavy mouthfeel with a very fizzy and full feeling. This is my favorite beer in the world (period).

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2005 04:02:22 | More by TheEclecticGent
Photo of Sephiroth
Sephiroth

Indiana

4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Expiration date of Oct. 2007: Pours with a half inch of foam, sticky lace wraps the glass. Color is a dark amber. Smell is quite overpowering. Sour oak with a wine undertone.

Tastes sour, sweet, oaky, winey, with the flavors repeating in a random order. This is my first Flanders Red Ale, and I am a fan. Mouthfeel is creamy, but light. The finish is long. I won't struggle to finish the 750ml bottle.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2005 04:10:22 | More by Sephiroth
Photo of JohnnyDuvel
JohnnyDuvel

Florida

3.63/5  rDev -12.5%
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!

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2005 17:03:39 | More by JohnnyDuvel
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch

Utah

4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown/black color, nice carbonation, lots of lacing throuhout the drink. Scents of grapes, sour/tarty, and caramel. I like the taste, tarty/sour, carbonated, reminds me of a wine, but more to my liken (not a wine drinker at all). Medium body. Very drinkable, this is my first Flanders Red Ale. Totally blew my mind when opened and took my first sip. Would highly recommend to people, will definitely buy again.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2005 01:20:30 | More by Wasatch
Photo of scruffwhor
scruffwhor

Illinois

3.15/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a light, red wine color with a hint of brown. Smelled a bit like red wine, but with a slight hop nuance and cherry lambic tartness. Tasted very sour, this was my first Flanders Red Ale, so I didn't know what to expect. Reminded of a cherry lambic, something I would have after dinner with a tart torte. Could also taste some winey grape notes as well. Mouthfeel was light but with an unexpected tartness, I wouldn't have more than one of these 750ml bottles in a day.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2005 01:42:07 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of davidchollar
davidchollar

Washington

2.73/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

i gotta admit, i don't think i am advanced enough as far as palates are concerned. this beer confuses me. when i smell it and sip, i wonder what am i drinking? it's unlike anything i've had before, but it reminds me of too many other things.

looks good, nice mahogany with beige head and lots of lacing. the smell is abrasive. my first thought is nail polish remover, that ruins it for me, i can hardly think of anything else other than vinegar and a hint of barbecue sauce, i guess if i dig deep i can smell malts. it's not that bad though, a lot going on so almost good to sniff.

tastes like disgusting, cheap,low-alcohol wine. funny thing, if you drink it without smelling at all, like holding your breath, it just tastes like grape juice. if you breathe in and take a whiff you get a complex taste with a range of flavors all the way to the slightly bitter finish, but for me it is overall dominated by a sickening sweetness. i taste skittles, runts, willy wonka candies galore.

i have been living in japan for a few years now, so my sugar intake is minimal. this might be the cause of my revolting reaction to anything more than a little sweet. i don't know anything about this style of beer, but compared to everything else i've had, i thought this was gross and not worth $5 for a small bottle.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2005 15:11:59 | More by davidchollar
Photo of Frozensoul327
Frozensoul327

Michigan

4.55/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A very unique and complex brew. Poured out to a dark brown / almost black color that turned burgandy when held to the light. Medium level of carbonation produced an exceptionally dense foamy head. Some notes of lace. Aromas of fermented apples, mature grain, and some sweet bourbon on the nose. Different, yet not unplesant. Taste is unlike any Flanders Red Ale I have previously had, or any beer for that matter. Very similar to a well rounded sweet red wine; flavors of mature dark fruit, sweet caramel, tart sugar, very sweet malt and a touch of worscheshire toward the finish. Very complex and enjoyable. Mouthfeel is again very wine like, with some carbonation that adds a demention that brings to mind a pink champagne. A good level of drinkability. This is not my favorite style of beer, but I could sure see this in my fridge again soon. I look forward to introducing my wine loving friends to this. Highly Recommended for the style.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2005 20:37:33 | More by Frozensoul327
Photo of buckiflyer
buckiflyer

North Carolina

3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle. Another sampling with my father when he was in town. Appearance: dark amber color, lots of carbination bubbles, little to no head, champainge like. Smell: sweet and fruity. Taste: again sweet and fruity smooth finish, there are so many flavors going on I can't explain it. Mouthfeel good. A winner, this is beeer?! Try it if you want to see where beer can go.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2005 21:59:08 | More by buckiflyer
Photo of Mitchster
Mitchster

Michigan

4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out to a sparkingly clear deep ruby, forming an expanding plumage of soapy khaki bubbles. No yeast in the bottle or in the glass. Carbonation is initially brisk and forms spiral streamers contributing to the effervescent head. The aroma is just amazing...malt vinegar and vanilla interspersed with wonderfully fruity esters....rotting bing cherries, light amber malts, apples, pineapple, and when swirled, apricot, prunes, chocolate syrup, and pink bubble gum scream out. As it warms, an exceptional amount of vanilla (literally boatloads) makes itself known, becoming the dominant note in the mix. Retention is amazing and lacing is delicate yet solid. The taste is exactly as it smells....sweet, but not sickeningly so...more than enough to overpower the acidity with lingering aftertastes of pineapple and bubble gum. Lightly dry in the finish with just a touch of metals. As it warms, tobacco and leather become the overwhelming aftertaste. Alcohol is apparent just as a peppery flourish. The mouthfeel is wonderful with a medium body. Very easy to drink, although I could see the sweetness wearing thin for some, as it has an almost saccharin character to it. This is a real treat, although more of a dessert drink. I'm glad I bought a 4-pack and not the bomber. This is one of the finest Flemish Red's/Brown I've had (very different next to old-school Goudenband). An exceptional, exceptional beer. I will be drinking much more of this. Highly recommended, particularly with creme brulee.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2005 22:24:36 | More by Mitchster
Photo of bubrewer
bubrewer

Florida

4.55/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I first tried the Duchess about 2 years ago and was not impressed. It was like drinking a glass full of cider vinegar. I tried her again today and found a completely different experience.

I brought out a pair of new goblets and made sure they were as beer-clean as I can get them. I sat my BMC drinking brother in law down to expanded his horizons. He had read about those crazy Belgians that just let whatever is in the air ferment their beer, so I brought out the Duchess to give him one idea about which they were talking.

This time the Duchess was in a much better mood. Deep ruby red, and brilliantly clear. I see no sediment so I assume this is not bottle conditioned. Although she had some expected tartness, it did not scream (or even hint) "cider vinegar!" like the last time. This time she was full of stone fruits, apples, a little barnyard, some sherry, and just a wonderful experience all around.

I will certainly not shy away from her any more, and am sorry I have
stayed away so long. I should listen to what I tell my kids - even if
you don't like something once, try it again once in a while because
things can change.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2005 17:37:00 | More by bubrewer
Photo of Stimack
Stimack

New York

4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap the other night while at Marhars. The brew was dark brown with a red like tinge to the color. Had a smallish head of tan bubbles that clung to the sides of the glass leaving some fain lacing down the sides of the brew. Before I really even try to take a whiff of the brew I can notice a sour like smell to it. On a deeper whiff of the brew, I notice fruit like smells that seem to blend or lead to the sour aroma. I believe that the fruit smell is of apple and/ or cherries but am not 100% positive. The taste is somewhat sweet with a clear sour flavor that goes nice with the malt backbone and spicy finish. Over all this is a great brew for people that like this type. For me I can usually handle about one before the sourness starts to get to me but I would and will get this brew again

Serving type: on-tap

11-05-2005 17:40:00 | More by Stimack
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 2,649 ratings.