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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,419 Reviews
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,419
Hads: 3,801
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 13.48%
Wants: 198
Gots: 654 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Duchesse De Bourgogne Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,419 | Hads: 3,801
Photo of EMV
4.42/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a pretty impressive Red Ale out of Belgium that I picked up at a SAQ (gotta love that place) on a whim, and is definitely a nice spicy alternative to whatever you normally drink. This one pours a rich dark reddish/brown with about an inch of creamy head that fell fairly quickly, leaving a great lace. The aroma is tart, yeasty, and very sharp, giving a great prelude as to what the beer is going to be like.

The taste itself is excellent and complex, with both sweet and sour flavours vying for dominance. There's a fruity touch there, and a smooth aftertaste that really rate this one high on the drinkability. It's one to be sipped and savored rather than gulped, and the ample carbonation is also very pleasant. Like I said before, I would definitely recommend this as an alternative to your regularly scheduled brew on one of those nights you need something a little more spicy. (894 characters)

Photo of Beertracker
4.75/5  rDev +16.4%
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 (1,347 characters)

Photo of RidiculedDisplay
4.7/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Was my first Flanders Red, and I can say this is undoubtedly one of the most unique styles of beer I've ever tasted. Just completely in its own dimension. That being said, different also meant complex and wonderful in this instance. Pours a very deep, deep red with hints of oaky brown. Aroma is of bourbon-soaked wood, tart apple, apricot, date, grapes, dark cherry. Taste begins with tart apple, transforming into a almost tropical note, and then ending on a distinctive kick of bourbon or finer whiskey. Wow. Mouthfeel is bubbly, slightly astringent but pleasantly so. Suprisingly drinkable as well. Overall one of my favorite finds of the year. (648 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.27/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

In the honor of the Duchess of Burgundy, a unique sweet and sour taste emerges in ale form- an unfailing choice for the curious palate to venture into the sour family, but with the malty-sweet support and a rich fruit flavor to balance its acidity. Its utmost complexity and refreshment is reserved for those who refine their palate but are tentative about sourness.

This Flanders red ale's tawny pour of browns, reds, and haze carry an inherent wine-like, cognac appearance that's shyly adorned with the daintiest of foam stance which It's similar to delicate coffee-like creme.

The nose is met with complex and succulent character that remind that strikes the olfactory senses with balsamic, chocolate, black cherry, weathered wood, soy sauce, red wine, and sherry wine. The sweet and sour interplay seems something much more of French reductions or Chinese cuisine than it does of beer.

Flavors are a dynamic sweet and sour interplay of to tart berries, mild toast but more so of vinous wine, savory umami character, lemon-like acidity,- its sour and savory combination can go on and on. Every point of flavor has a counterpart to balance, which carry the beer across the palate with a multitude of intrigue and wonderment.

Medium bodied, but the beer's tepid but acidic sourness makes the beer seem somberly tart while the succulent cherry and cocoa allow for a soft weight to be felt. Its moderate carbonation allows the beer to seep into the softer mouth tissues for fuller flavor but also ushers in a dry woodsy finish of crab apples with mild vinegary astringency.

Well balanced throughout, but the beer's sweeter and fruitier side buffers against any abrupt sourness which gives it a restrained property that not only challenges the palate, but soothes it with ample wine sweetness and toasty malts. (1,815 characters)

Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very clear rich Red color with about an inch of loose tanish foam at first pour. There are quite a few bubbles rising that maintain the head pretty well. There is some loose lacing around the glass after consuming.

Aroma: You can definitely smell a "woody" character to this beer. There are bunches of dark fruits in the aroma of this one. I can smell fig, black cherry, and plums initially. I may be imagining this, but it is almost like I smell sour green apples here also. The aroma is really complex!

Taste: The flavor is also really complex, but with this example, it doesn't match the aroma that much. It somehow starts of syrupy sweet with a bit of astringency, and then this fades to let the sour in to play for the finish. Your palate is left mostly dry with a slightly sweet and earthy finish. There is a little bit of warming from the alcohol that is noticeable deep in the throat, but the complexity of the flavor makes it easy to miss. The carbonation is just right to send this beer across your palate without hitting it too hard.

Opinion: This is a mighty fine beer! It is a bit sweet for my taste, and I am assuming that it was added to make the beer more appealing to the masses. There is definitely a sour component to the beer, and it manages to maintain a woody character. This is a beer that I would have often if it was available in my area, but at the same time, it isn't one that I would have too many of. I'd definitely recommend it! (1,479 characters)

Photo of Gritsak
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
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. (703 characters)

Photo of yelterdow
3.47/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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. (817 characters)

Photo of bruachan
3.44/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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 (881 characters)

Photo of cracgor
4.02/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Tawny in color and very dark. Rocky grey head.

Smell: Funky smell. Vinegary. Sweet/sour.

Taste: Tastes funkier than it smells. Has a sweet grapefruit like after taste. Upfront it is kind of fermented grape. Tastes a lot like Port wine if less sweet. An earthy sour beer flavor.

Mouthfeel: well carbonated feel, almost too much.

Drinkability: It is a good beer. However, flemish reds are a different type of beer and so be prepared if you are jumping into the style for the first time. (508 characters)

Photo of BDTyre
3.18/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Wierd.

An impressive deep copper colour, but not much head. Smells like wine, with traces of spice. It taste very similar to wine, or even alcoholic grape juice, with hints of plum, spices, raisin and even coffee in the background. Very interesting.

Carbonation is good, but this beer seems at times too sweet and wine-like. The richness and higher than typical strength will probably limit me to one of these a session. (426 characters)

Photo of Skidz
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours out bright copper-brown and sits deep, ruby brown in the glass with a good sized, battered tan head, fading to a faint skim, pushed to the sides with some good lacings.

Smells of sweetened caramel and dark brown sugar, tart and sour in the back. Tart cherries and golden raisins mingle with figs and browned apples. Wooden hues along the sides, faint leafy hops.

Medium sweetness and well-matched tang and light acidity up-front, boasting pre-ripe tart cherries, pears, apricots and raisins. Fantastically mouthwatering, juices drip all over. Brown sugar coats the crowd and melds to bits of charred oak. Finish is equivalent to the introduction, but fades out with a very mild, almost non-existent bitterness hinting on grape seeds.

Crisp in the mouth with tact carbonation. In time with some gentle swirling, this mellows out into the delightfully smooth, silky body that lies underneath. This is built for an overnight stay in the mouth.

I cannot find a flaw large enough to constitute a complaint as this beer is highly drinkable and warrants many more encounters. A very finely crafted ale. (1,113 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.58/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy cinnabar with orange highlights and a considerable amount of uprushing carbonation. The small, airysoft, golden beige head has a featureless surface and a less than impressive lifespan. A thin ring of delicate lace indicates the high water mark of the head, and a series of vertical streamers run down to the deflating cap. Although the color of the liquid is great, not much else impresses.

Duchesse is the most vinegar-like beer that I've ever smelled. It isn't overwhelmingly vinegary, but if I caught it in the midst of deterioration, I wouldn't have wanted to pop the cap much farther along. There's also a funky, sour cherry aroma that I find appealing. On repeated sniffs, the cider vinegariness isn't all that bad. If it's that dominant on the palate, though, I smell trouble.

Vinegar is still noticed... and still stops just short of being a deal breaker. I would love to taste DDB fresh so that I wouldn't keep flashing back to coloring Easter eggs as a kid. This bottle is still more than a month away from its 'best by' date, so maybe it's supposed to taste like this. It's puckeringly sour and acidic with sour cherries still running rampant. I'd be amazed if cherries didn't play some role in the brewing process.

As I get deeper into the glass, I can appreciate a fairly significant sweetness that's all the more noticeable because of the medium-full, lightly viscous mouthfeel. The seltzer-like carbonation feels out of place, but it does keep things from bogging down and becoming overly syrupy. It also eliminates much in the way of mouthcoating; the finish is surprisingly clean.

I'm conflicted about Duchesse De Bourgogne. I can taste the outlines of what must be an incredible Flanders red, but this particular bottle tastes like it's on the cusp of the point of no return. Even though it's still drinkable, I'm convinced that the Duchesse and I haven't met in the most optimal of circumstances. I'll keep an eye out and will give a younger, more vivacious version a second review. (2,019 characters)

Photo of cypressbob
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

250ml bottle

Pours with a deep red body, burgandy hints of brown. Small light tan head with some retention, a fair bit of lacing

Smell, strong esters, super gluey esters too, tart acidic cherries.

Taste, crisp biting tart cherry, thick malty backbone. Lasting tart, vinegar on the palette. Esters again, red wine, other port notes

Another amazingly complex red ale, I could see myelf taking rodenbach over this mainly due to its amazing drinkability and session qualities but this is perhaps a tad more complex (523 characters)

Photo of Andreji
4.87/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

WOW. I won't try to describe this beer to perfection because words just won't be enough. I invited a few friends (among which owner of Ozy Pub Camilo Ospina) to try this beauty out. I'd aged it for about a year.

The pour is just mystical. you seem like you're indulging in a frambozen sort of- as in, the pour is very dark, almost purplish-brown, and the head is clearly white with a medium consistency.

The smell....well, it wasn't all that strong, but as you acknowledge it you find all sorts of blends (screw it, I won't step into this) ranging through cocktails, fruits, wines....

The taste and mouthfeel....OMG (I don't like this sort of acronym but it seems suitable). It's just beautiful, you feel like you've blended a lambic with a kir royale, and the offspring is just bliss. wonderful in soooo many senses!

I downed the drinkability and mouthfeel just for the sake of it that is, just that I absolutely was enchanted by this beer but it's not perfect (in my de leckere standards) but this IS A MUST for any beer lover. bless you, madame la duchesse. (1,072 characters)

Photo of connecticutpoet
4.82/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This poured out a clear reddish-brown with a one finger head. It left a little bit of lacing on the glass.

The aroma was a blend of sweet & sour, worcestershire sauce, cherries, light malt, and oak tannins.

Taste mirrored the aroma... sweet & sour and cherries. It was rather tart. Excellent.

Mouthfeel was perfect for the taste, and I would get this one in a heartbeat were I able to find it around me. Thanks to GClarkage for the trade!!! (449 characters)

Photo of ahking
3.48/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Interesting beer. One of the prettiest looking beers I have seen. Deep mahogany wood color with lacy white head. Had no idea what to expect when I picked up this 750 ml bottle. Tangy cherries and raspberries hit your tongue first off. Champagne bubblyness tickles your mouth. Smells of sloe gin. Light and refreshing mouthfeel. Extra points for being unique. (358 characters)

Photo of bashiba
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice copper/red color with a thick creamy head and good retention.

Smell was dominated by the odor of sour cherries.

Taste starts out sour then quickly mellows into a smooth woody charachter. Has a nice fruityness to it with a very deep overall flavor.

Mouthfeel is thin and light with a nice amount of carbonation.

A very good and enjoyable beer, very drinkable. (384 characters)

Photo of pjwilson
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

second time drinking this beer. Time for a review. This is my first Flemish Red, but it seems to have

Appearance: Red. Tons of lace and decent head.
Smell: Funk. Cherries and sourness
Taste: it's really good. Be prepared if you've never had the style before because it's whole other beast from most other beers. You don't taste any hops. It's quite tart and sour like those sour candies. Beneath the sourness however is a malt backbone that is similar to a amber ale.
Mouthfeel: It's thin and watery but in a good way. I like the prickly carbonation on the tounge.
Drinkabiltly: this is a slow drinker despite the wateryness and relatively low alcohol.

This makes for a great summer beer. Take it slow so it goes from cold to cellar temp. This is the only flemish red I can find and i'll pounch on the chance to try another. (835 characters)

Photo of granger10
3.56/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle. Pours a deep reddish almost brown color. Huge foamy, airy tan head rests on tap. Tons of lacing. Aroma is sour and vinous but not too acidic at all or pungent. Taste has a weird contrast of sweet and tart. The sweetness is fruity and kind of sugary but is soon balanced out by a drying tartness. Finish lingers a bit. Not really the vinegar wretching beer like other Flemish Reds I have tried and the sweetness isn't as deep of a maltyness. Take those characteristics as either good things or bad things. I couldn't really get totally into this beer but I didn't mind it really either. (600 characters)

Photo of ILiveOffHops
3.65/5  rDev -10.5%
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. (1,062 characters)

Photo of Tim2000
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 mL brown bottle, best before 10 months from now.

Dark mahogany brown, very clear brew with a small cap of tightly knit bubbles that leaves a bit of lacing.

Notes of ripe sour cherries, raisins, cloves and cinnamon melt together in a complex, spicy and tart aroma.

This is an intensely flavourful beer. A dominant cherry fruitiness, with hints of berries and green apples, is complemented by clove. Alcohol is definitely present and lends a pleasant warming sensation. Quite a sweet beer, reminiscent of port, but a mild cidery tartness leaves the palate refreshed. Finishes dry and spicy. Body is thin but silky and carbonation is moderately high.

Delicious. (674 characters)

Photo of mynie
3.92/5  rDev -3.9%
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. (845 characters)

Photo of rajendra82
3.62/5  rDev -11.3%
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. (938 characters)

Photo of UncleFlip
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's definitely not an everyday beer- yet right now, I think this beer is my favourite. A friend commented that the flavour of this beer is going in 1000 different directions at once- and that's a fair assessment.

It arrived in a glass that bore its name...As I put my nose close to the short fat goblet, I picked up a vinegary smell- it made me think just a bit of a beer that was infected....however, not in an unpleasant way. The deep ruby colour was hard to pick up on, as the upstairs bar at the Brick Store was somewhat dimly lit (as was I, at the moment). First taste was not quite what I expected- though it matched the smell very well. The vinegar overtones and infection-taste were there, but again, not unpleasantly. There was a bit of citrus-acid tang to it as well, the type that in large doses can give you a pang of slight pain just where your jaw meets your neck. Yet there was also a dark, malty sweetness that was carried on a thinner body than I expected.

Take this one slowly, and let it caress you. You don't want to take things to fast with this formidable woman.

(edit: since this review I have found better beers in this style, and this one is not as appealing as it once was- though it will always have a special place for me, being my first of the style...)

-UF (1,299 characters)

Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
2.9/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Now I'll admit that I am not a huge fan of this beer, even though this is my first and probably last time I'll try this style. I don't have anything to compare it too, so I'll be as objective as possible.

Served in what seemed to be red wine glass. Not much activity in terms of carbonation, or head. Brandywine red color.

Smell like malt vinegar. Really.

Tasted like malt vinegar. Really.

This was one beer that I could not wait to finish. One of the least drinkable beers I have ever had. I simply did not enjoy this beer. (536 characters)

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
91 out of 100 based on 1,419 ratings.