Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

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Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

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1,429 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,429
Hads: 3,835
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 22.93%
Wants: 199
Gots: 669 | FT: 12
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Verhaeghe visit their website

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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,429 | Hads: 3,835
Photo of lastauss
4.88/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Tart, tangy, gorgeous to look at, this has got to be one of my all-time favorites. Notes of sour, sour cherry interlude to delicate oakiness. My only [minor] complaint is that its faint smell totally belies the explosive flavor of this beauty. Truly, a sexy beer, by all counts.

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Photo of meathookjones
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This appeared a deep brown caramel color with a fairly tall light tan head. Scatterings of lace were left as this was consumed and the head retention was minimal. Holy Crap when I first poured this I took a big whiff and was hit with a HUGE funky tart aroma that was a bit overpowering. After letting it air for a bit it became much more pleasant with a bit of fruity tartness, a slight vinegar smell and some woody notes. Flavor wise this was super tart on the first sip that made me think it was going to take a while to get through this glass. After it warmed a bit I found it much more tasty and palatable with a nice mix of tartness and sweetness balancing each other out with the tartness taking a slight lead. There were fruit flavors and woody notes in the taste as well and a fairly nice lingering sour after taste. Mouthfeel was about medium with a soda bubbly feel to it that kind of detracted from it a bit but not much. This was a real sipper for me and I would definitely have to be in the mood for one of these to drink it. I would have it again in the future but I doubt more than one bottle at a time. Very interesting stuff that deserves a shot if you come across it, and I suggest letting it air out and warm a bit for the best experience.

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Photo of WesWes
4.6/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark amber color with an offwhite head that fades to lacing. The aroma is very malty. It has a fruity feel as well which enhances the pale and crystal malts. There are hints of chocolate here as well. The taste is perfect. It has a malty base, but is dominated with a tart fruitiness. This goes down very easy and finishes a bit dry and acidic. The mouthfeel is perfect as well. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn good drinking beer. I love the fruitiness along with it's complex malt makeup.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer on tap at the Toronado in San Francisco in September, 2004. Served in a authentic Duchesse glass. Watched as it poured with a small head that didn't remain for long. A very opaque, mahoganey color. Almost like blackcurrant juice. A beautiful hue to it. Tons of lace that just stuck to the side and didn't disipate. Smelled both sweet and sour at the same time. A typical Flemish stlye taste but better. Not too sour as I expected. Maybe a cranberry taste or even something nutty in the background. Aftertaste is good as well. A definite great beer that I will have again.

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Photo of Garin
4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It's a crystal clear deep garnet brown beer with an inch-thick bubbly head that quickly shrinks into the glass, with no lace.

The most immediate impression on the nose is vinegar. Underneath is a sweet fruitiness, cherries? Hints of oak mix in there too.

The flavour is sweet and tart, with a moderate but sufficient acidity to keep the sweetness and richness under control. Currants or raisins come to mind as I continue to drink. A malty, oaky character builds as well.

Mouth-coating richness balances the acidity. It's very easy drinking. I was worried this would be too acidic or vinegary to drink. No way. This is my first Flanders Red, and I'm impressed.

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Photo of rdrummer
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap twice at two different locations, and it is consistently good. It pours a clear dark reddish-brown with a small tan head. The smell is one that is predominantly sour malt. I love that smell but have brother BAs that hate it. The flavor has an initial hit of sweetness but is quickly drowned by the sour malt taste. My wife calls it vinegar but I love it. It has a medium-bodied feel on the palate and is very acidic. I really like the beer but one is my limit. The ascerbic taste is too much for prolonged drinking.

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Photo of bigbeerdrinka
3.43/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours a dark reddish brown with amber hues and a thin white head that barely leaves any bit of a lace. Aromas are a mix of sweet cherries, and what can best be described as a winey vinegar sort of scent. Initially flavors are sweet and tart, with a cherry grape like flavor that almost pushes the bounds of being cough syrup like. Following there is a slight acidic flavor to this brew, and just a hint of spice which makes this brew totally intriguing. The brew finishes are tart and acidic as it started with fruit dominating in the end. Overall this brew was funky but good.

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Photo of homersimpson
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear tawny red/brown with a sedate tan head.
Sourish malty nose, somewhat like a confectioner's shop.
Medium smooth body.
Hits your tonue with a quick sweet / sour flavor. Very candylike. Citrusy up front like a demented lemonade. Smoothly transitions and leaves your mouth with a fruity syrupy flavor that hangs around for the next sip.

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Photo of shapudding
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Dark ambered and ruby with tons of carbination rising up to a thick and creamy khaki head. Wonderful aroma. Warm and oaky, molasses. Almost get a BBQ sauce scent, very spicey like a worcester sauce. Make sure to let this one warm up so you get all the flavors and scents to come out and play with ya! Tart and intense flavors! Wow do they reallly hit you in the back of your mouth... Sweet and sour. The blithering one that I drank this with said he tasted pickled beets.... yep... damn if he isn't right... how weird.... but yep. Very interesting tastes in this one, unusual. Not one that I could drink more than one of these 11.2oz'ers because there is such a huge intensity of flavors and there is such strength, but like I said, quite interesting tastes for sure.

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Photo of canucklehead
3.74/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

New to BC this is a nice find. Pours russet brown with minimal head, the kicker is the intense sour smell on the nose. I can't say I like the smell but it defines this beer as out of the norm. The flavours are a mixture of sourness, old cherries and vinous notes. I love how this beer tastes like it has been down in the cellar forever. Not a session beer by any standard but very drinkable in small quantiites.

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Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby color with a nice creamy,sticky head that leaves waves of lace down my brandy snifter,aromas are all Belgian some sour cherry and malt vinegar with a touch of funk hits right on.Now I got alot more sweetness than expected in this brew,a kinda sweet/spicey mix that coats ur mouth with only a touch of sourness in the finish wich was unexpected.I picked up some cherry stone and iron notes a little more as I drank but this seems to stay more on the sweeter side for the style,true to the style not sure, but worth a try its a quality brew.

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Photo of nogoodreason
2.64/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Appearance: Nice. Deep red, fairly clear. Lovely thick cream head with a slight red hue. The Duchesse is pretty.

Smell: Um. Vinegar? Sweet Vinegarette? Some fruit, rasberries, cherries. But mostly vinegar.

Taste: Like the smell only with a cloying, sickly sweetness. Again, there is a big fruity aspect there. The more I drink, the less the sweetness effects me and the more I can taste a nice yeastiness but it's subtle, and I still have to wade through the sweetness and the vinegar aspects to get to it.

Mouthfeel: If I can separate the way it feels in my mouth from the smell and taste, I find this to be quite pleasant. Thick, viscous and with enough carbonation to please.

Drinkability: I guess you could call this drinkable, if it's your thing. To me the sweetness made me choke it back rather than savoring it.

I thought at first that I might've gotten a bad bottle, but I asked around and the people that I talked to have had this experience. Some liked it, some didn't. Count me in the latter group. It tastes like a bubbly raspberry vinegarette. Ugh.

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Photo of Sammy
3.83/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Edgy Belgium. No particular aroma - balsam vinegar? Good lace. Foamy pour, fluffy. Sweet aftertaste. Oak lends a brown to the amber. Some cherry tartness here, maybe sour lemon and unripe fruit, and oud bruin style. Carbonation in the bottle. And as Monty Python would add, woody.

1.5 years later, sourness to it. Interesting yeast flavours. Expires 6/07.

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Photo of cncbofh
4.55/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a deep goblet as a deep copper red with lots of fizzy and quickly dissappearing bubbly. Amazingly, the beer itself did not "feel" carbonated in the mouth at all, but rather smooth almost like sherry or port.

The smell of roses and fruit were strong, but not overwhelming. Reminds me of Rosé de Gambrinus.

The taste lifted the bar. New and strange, but very very good. It had a soft velvety flavor of fruit - cherry and figs, with a light almondy nutty character. What amazes me so much about this beer is the character is so different and complex, yet the beer is so light and (can I use the word fluffy?)....

Good stuff. Made it to my top ten list.

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Photo of yeagerbm
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours into a goblet with a bright mahogany color not unlike a merlot, topped by a light brown head with very tight bubbles. The head is very frothy with a few aggressive swirls in the glass. Smell is soured fruit and a light vinegar aroma which took me off gaurd, being new to the style. Taste is very tart and fruity cherries yet sweet and relatively drinkable. I am very impressed with the unusually creamy mouthfeel with very dense carbonation. I may have to explore more of these diverse and fruity Belgian ales that I haven't been interested in exploring before.

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Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 fl oz. bottle marked "Best before 7-09-05." Purchased at the World of Beer, Clearwater, FL.

Chestnut red-brown in color with a pitted, off-white head that leaves heavy lacing on the side of the glass. Aroma is faint, slightly sour.

Taste is soft, subtle, with an almost candied sugar sweetness and a touch of typically Flemish red sourness, and a hint of vinegar. Very rounded flavor, but lacking in intensity--which might be as much due to trying to follow Tripel K as anything else.

Good, very drinkable and enjoyable, but lacking something that would make it exceptional.

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Photo of cerevisiaephilus
4.62/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Really a great experience with this beer. The nose is very intense vinegar and winey notes with just a hint of malt. The taste is far less offensive than the nose. Big round malt flavors are deftly balanced by the sourness. I get very intense raisin flavors in the finish. Quite a drinkable beer if it wasn't 8$ a 330ml bottle.

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Photo of Gusler
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well, this is one of those beers that I feel is better from the bottle than the tap, have tried it both ways several times and the bottle wins out, we did a side by side tap and bottle and to a person, everyone thought the bottle better.

The beer as it evacuates the dark brown bottle pours a deep incarnadine color with a majestic crown of tan upon that body, the consistency creamy and the residual lace a thick and clinging sheet that obfuscates the glass. Nose is sweet, fresh and crisp, hints of over ripe fruit, cherries comes to mind, bit of oak also noted, a real treat for the olfactory and ocular senses start, is sweet and malt laden, top is middling in its feel to the palate. Finish is benign in its acidity, the hops spicy and pleasant, with the aftertaste lingering long upon the palate, a true work of the brewer’s art.

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Photo of Gavage
3.97/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear amber / brown color with a medium head. Some lacing developed. The aroma was wine-like, fruity, and sour but very unique. The flavor was of malt and sour fruits and cherries. No bitterness at all.

The mouthfeel was crisp with a long sour fruity finish. This brew is medium / heavy in body with decent carbonation. This brew is for slow drinking session late at night, but drinking more than one would be tough.

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Photo of paulie
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle. "Best Before" date of 7/9/05 printed on label.

Pours a deep, deep reddish brown with a stiff head and lots of lace. Aroma of stinky feet and whiffs of fruit. First taste is so sour that it jolts you. Then it settles down and you sense layers of fruit and malt. No hop presence at all. Puckering sourness balanced by some malty sweetness in the finish. Full mouthfeel and lots of carbonation. Extremely refreshing despite the intensity of the flavor and mouthfeel. Very drinkable.

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Photo of Billolick
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Ginger man NYC, Pours dark ruby reddish, cloudy and murky. Nose of must and old feet. Classic Belgian puffy head and leaves nice sheets of lacing. Not for the faint of heart or those lacking a sense of palate adventure. Intense flavors of sour cherries and sweet malts give this one excellent complexity. some nuts, some stinky cheese and some of this stuff and you're all set up for a flavor extravaganza!

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Photo of skotster13
3.62/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Wow! Immediately you notice it's wicked viscosity. I wondered if it was liquid bread. The head was wonderful, though a bit disconcerting as areas of different color and texture appeared as I let the head settle. The smell of it was almost like barley-wine, though not too overpowering. The taste was magnificent, very well balanced. You can taste the woodtones immediately, but the aftertaste is very pleasant, smooth. The only thing that put me off a bit was the mouthfeel...like you almost had to coax the beer ouot of the glass...halfway to yogurt it felt at times, though it mellowed out on the tongue. All around worth fighting through it at least once...MAN UP!

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Photo of tjd25
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful head, very dense and lasting. Dark brown, purple color body with some orange reflects. The smell is very sour, like vinegar, with maybe a surprizing chocolate aspect and some cheesecake aromas. The taste is not as sour as one would expect; bread like, very citric, oranges. A sangria like aspect that also appears in the smell becomes more and more noticeable: red wine and fruits. The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, thanks to the long lasting head, almost melting in the mouth. I had this beer before but it was a bit too cold. Today I served it at a higher temperature and it revealed a more interesting variety of aromas and flavors than just the basic sourness one would expect.

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Photo of aracauna
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark burgandy with a lively pale khaki head. The aroma is like a fruit basket with peaches and green apples and grapes. There’s also a slight vinegariness in there. The flavor is more tart than I expected, giving the fruits life. A bit of wine. There’s some spice or herb in there that is slipping my mind. Slick on the tongue, this one takes a bit to get used to, but it improves as you sip it.

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Photo of HopDevil
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from 250ml bottle wrapped with a very attractive label graced with lovely artwork more like wine label.

Initial appearance was one of rich dark umber which upon further reflection showed deep ruby/mahogany highlights. The fine carbonation and off white head was a pleasant contrast to the dark brew that suported it's pillowy head. Decent well lasting lace.

The aroma was a rich amalgam of malt, raisiny fruit and remeniscent of candy corn. Another deep inhalation and I detected the acidic sour character that Flemish Reds are well known for. It made my mouth water for the tart sour pucker that it implied I would experience. Alas the reality fell short of my expectation.

The taste was a soft balance of syrupy malt and sour tart complimented by aged in oak woody flavor. Further sipping proved to emphasize it's sweet malt profile and tended to conceal the acidic tartness. This beer is an alltogether complex and remarkably well balanced beer but it was this very balance of sweet and sour which left me a tad dissapointed. A very fine and enjoyable beer but to my mind it did not have the refreshing and sour/tartness as say a Goudenband which has much more of the green apple "Jolly Rancher" taste that I crave. The mouthfeel was silky and pleasant with good carbonation but not overly effervescent. I had the Duchesse with a ginger honey chicken at a Vietnamese restaurant called The Mekong which, remarkably, had 2 pages of Belgian beers in their beer list. The restaurant is in Richmond VA. Should I review the restaurant...I wonder.

The aftertaste was was sweeter than I prefer in a Flanders Red but I would drink this beer again happily for it's own sake and the enjoyment that I would experience from it.

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Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
92 out of 100 based on 1,429 ratings.