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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

3,412 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,412
Reviews: 1,372
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 161
Gots: 410 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Verhaeghe visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Flanders Red Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Belgian top-fermented reddish-brown ale, a blend of 8 and 18 months old beers following the careful maturation in oak casks.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-15-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,412 | Reviews: 1,372 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of davexisxrabid
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a bottle into my Chimay glass to let this Belgian ale breathe a bit and develop a nice head, which it did. This ale was dark brown in color, tinged with red. There was a large two-inch wide head on the ale that left good lacing throughout.

The aroma was a bit like stale spiced apples and cinammon.

Flavor was a big rush of sweet caramel malts; no hop flavor detected. It was not, however, sweet enough to be off-putting. The flavor really matched the sweetness of the aroma. Aftertaste is a bit tart, more like green apples than traditional hops.

Medium bodied, not too thick on the tounge and the aftertaste was an adequate tart as well which made it all in all pretty good.

This beer is very drinkable, I could not taste the alcohol in the flavor. It was not overly sweet, and you can have more than one, although I wouldn't go as far as saying its a great session beer. I look forward to having more of these!

Photo of glid02
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at the Brick Store in Atlanta.

Pours a clear dark ruby color with a one-finger off-white head with a rose tint. The head sticks around for quite a while before receding into a thin layer on top and a thick ring around the glass. Lacing is pretty heavy.

Smells sweet and sour, mostly cherries with some sour apple mingling in there as well.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Equal parts of sweet and sour flavors up front, again mostly cherries, that has a slightly tart ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's very light and the carbonation makes it almost airy. Very nice.

Drinkability is good. It's not the most flavorful Flanders Red that I've had but it's solid.

Overall I enjoyed this one. The mouthfeel makes it very light and refreshing. Give this one a shot if you see it around.

Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.55/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Body is a deep, tawny, foggy dark red. Pours with a one finger creamy, slightly off white (rose colored) head. Perfect retention and plenty of lacing is left behind in the glass.

S- Well I haven't had too many sours but when I cracked open the bottle vinegar smacked me in the face...once I got past the vinegar hints of vanilla, red fruity wine, and oak also emerged.

T- Puckering sour vinegar flavors upfront with a deep complex background of raspberry and dark cherry, oak, and woody flavors. The tartness tones down for the finish so that these flavors can be showcased.

M- Low carbonation and immaculately smooth body which oak and vanilla tones contribute to.

D- This is a good beer. The vinegar sourness is definitely the highlight with everything else in the background. Nice, complex Belgian all around. Probably will have this again.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best Before: 05-12-09.

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark mahogany brown body with a full, frothy, light khaki-colored head. Fair amount of lacing deposited on the way down.

Smell: Sweet-smelling, sugar-coated fruit nose with a big, hearty dose of malt vinegar. Light whiff of an unidentified herbal component.

Taste: Sweet dark caramel maltiness precludes a fruity dose of raspberries and a sugary, lightly tart cherry juice character and with an addition of both aged balsamic and malt vinegars. Squirt of fresh lemon juice. Tiny pinch of cocoa powder. Mild woodiness throughout. Undercurrent of tart acidity, particularly at the end. Long, fruity, crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-plus carbonation.

Drinkability: Recommended. An enjoyable, tasty, relatively smooth Flemish Red jam-packed with rich fruity complexities.

Photo of PhillyStyle
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at the Brick Store Pub in a .25ml wine glass:

A: The beer was a really nice deep red with the thickest, longest lasting off-white head that I have ever witnessed. I tried to wait it out, but it was going to be a futile effort.

S: The aroma was certainly cheery and possibly some other fruit that made it both sweet and sour at the same time. maybe tart cherries. Very complex.

T: Cherries are prominent and you get that very nice sweet and sour combination. Definitely unlike any beer that I have had before.

M: The beer was very smooth and creamy, low carbonation and very easy to drink, but would I want to drink another right afterward, probably not, but would I drink again, without a doubt.

Photo of Carnage0070
4.68/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap at the Cheeky Monk, Colorado.

A - Nice 1 1/2 finger head with a deep red/brown color when held up to the light.

S - Aroma of sweet and sour fruit/cherry.

T - Medium body that finishes with kind of a scotchish/nutty flavor. The sweet and sour stay on your palate long after you finish.

D - Could have had a couple more glasses of the Duchesse! Goes down great and the flavors are outstanding!

Photo of keoki182
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Madison WI's Malt House. Ruddy brown color. Vinegar aroma. Wonderfully complex sweet/sour balance in flavor with some mild cherry fruitiness. With a very basic understanding of the fine range of Belgian beers, I asked for something sour out of curiosity. I've seen beer lovers go ga-ga over sour ales, and I had to know what this was about. The aroma threw me off quite a bit, the strong astringency was very off-putting and made me afraid that I might be in over my head. The flavor though was quite a redemption. Duchesse had an interesting tartness that worked nicely with the understated malt notes and cherry. Really easy to drink, and unique enough that I would have a few glasses without getting bored. I'm looking forward to more ales like this one in my future!

Photo of SouthAtholSuds
5/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The first time I tried this beer I think I fell in love with it. Pours a dark copper/ruby color with minimal head. Strong smell of tart fruit on the nose. Complex tastes of sour figs, raisins and plums with low carbonation. Everything about this beer is balanced perfectly. Minimal carbonation makes this a beer you could drink all night. Instead have one every once and a while. You don't want to kill the appeal of The Duchesse.

Photo of daythree16
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish brown color into a tulip glass. 1.5 finger head that fades, leaving lots of lace.

Sour cherry is the most prominent aroma. There is a tannic quality as well. Smells almost like a red wine. Taste is a nice mixture of of sweet and tart cherries. Has a good bit of acidity on the tongue. It has a pleasant, mildly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is medium with a good bit of carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good. I haven't had a lot of sours, but this one makes me want to try more.

Photo of ryantupy
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark ruby red color with a ncie small but consistent head.

S - Smells of oak and cherries.

T - At first you notice the oak and cherries but then slowly it develops a dark fruity spice flavor.

M - Silky smooth mouthfeel.

D - You can drink this one for hours.

Photo of hwwty4
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to jtrockchalk for leaving this at my house.

Poured a 11.2oz bottle into my Unibroue tulip. This beer pours a turbid burnt sienna with a 2 inch tan head that leaves slight lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma is sweet fruits, apples, sour pie cherries, and caramelized brown sugar. The taste is amazing. Granny Smith and Fuji apples fly up front, with sour pie cherries, and Belgian candy sugar. The mouthfeel is smooth and slightly dry. This is an exceptional beer that everyone should try.

Photo of Wench
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Interesting aged ruby appearance with an off white head.
Vinous, with earthy sour cherries and soy sauce on the nose.
Delicious tang with more wine inspired notes of cherries, balsamic vinegar and soy. Malty, delicious and creamy in the mouth.
Interesting to bring to a tasting of Belgians, and a good example of this style.

Photo of philipquarles
2.65/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep cherry brown with an off-white head. The head dissipates to leave a nice layer of foam and a lot of lacing. Smells of sour fruit up front; lots of cherry. Malt and residual sugars are definitely present as well, lending some sweet notes to the tartness. The taste is apple cider vinegar mixed with simple syrup. Cherry and caramel apple flavors are there, along with some woodiness. The sweetness doesn't really balance the sour character, just makes it seem disjointed. Not a great take on a sour.

Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours a wonderful reddish color, lots of carbonation and no head at all.

Smell- Lots of wine notes here, very astringent. Perhaps a bit piney?

Taste- Very wine-like, some bitterness here, champagne like. Unlike any beer Ive have ever had before.

Drinkability- This beer is delicious very unique, a definite must try.

Photo of xpimptastikx
3.48/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddish deep brown, copper when held to the light. Off white head without much retention. Smells strongly of balsamic vinegar, yeast, cherries, and grapes. Has a sharp up front taste, which proceeds to the feeling you have just ate a slice of bread. Not as sour as the aroma leads on, but could be too much for some people.

Photo of MBABJJ
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark nutty red with a great thick head which protests death and spawns again once swirled

S - Strong cherry essence almost like a mulled wine scent

T - This tastes nothing like beer. Wow. There's about 10 layers of flavor. It's a clean start then caramel and fruits and nuts then crisp finish. This beer would be great around Xmas time with a fire stoked and the smell of the xmas tree in the air. Too heavy for everyday brew-after-work drink.

M - Smooth and luxurious. Feels like royalty.

D - While not an everyday kinda drink, this brew provided tastes unseen b4. Nap time is near with this beer. Yummmzzz.

Photo of cvstrickland
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 750-ml cork-in-cage bottle poured into a goblet yields a gorgeous clear brownish-amber body with a sparkle of crimson at its heart. A thin, creamy ecru cap of foam retreats quickly into a thick collar that leaves a few thick wisps and a wide, ragged ring of lacing on the glass.

The smell is both tart and sweetly fruity, with notes of green and red apples, ripe cherries and a bit of peppery, herbal spice.

The taste is sweetly fruity, with a note of syrupy canned peaches marinated in a bit of Kriek beer, then topped with soft slices of overripe red apple and fresh melon balls, rolled in brown sugar. The slightest tart crispness holds on at the periphery of the drink, keeping close company with a sweetly grassy hop note that helps the drink finish relatively dry. As the drink progresses, the tartness gains a better foothold on the drink, but never comes close to taking over, even as a thin note of sweet caramel also becomes more prominent.

Duchesse de Bourgogne is a super-fine drink with great medium feel and fine carbonation. Despite copious fruity sweetness, the drink never approaches any level of 'cloying'. A quaffable, sweet Flanders Red.

Photo of PatrickJR
4.85/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into red wine glass. My bottle lists the ABV at 6%.

A - A very deep reddish brown, nearly opaque. A quarter inch of head rises and settles quickly to a thin collar, minimal lace.

S - Vinegar, fruit, and brown sugar. Very appealing.

T - This shit is amazing. A moderate sour burst of apple cider vinegar with a touch of citrus comes in early palate. Huge brown sugar/berry-like sweetness kicks in, making this taste like some sort of raspberry vinegarette salad dressing. Finish is of apples, slight sourness, and a chunk of sweetness. Very reminiscent of a port, sweet sherry, or madeira.

M - Moderate to high carbonation with a medium body. Excellent for the flavors being conveyed.

D - Amazing stuff. Great balance between sweet and sour, I could drink this all day. Very good.

Photo of ryrust5301
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at The Map Room in Chicago.

Appearance - Served in a tulip glass, this one is a deep red brown in color with a faint orange tint to the back. Very murky as it is difficult for light to filter through. Very pretty head that came up rather quickly and almost topped over the edge. Head still remained half an inch thick after settling for awhile. Gigantic clumps of lace decorate the top all the way down.

Smell - Sour and pungent cherry. Somewhat of a vinegar smell to give it a nice subtle funk.

Taste - This tastes somewhat like a lambic, but more bitter. Wonderful blend of sour and tangy cherry, that only turns more bitter on the swallow. Has a very smooth feel at first, but becomes very alive and bites at your tounge. Leaves with a dry bitter coating of the tounge.

Drinkability - Have had this out of the bottle before. The first time was in my beer infancy, and didn't know what to expect. Trying this again was a real rebirth for this one. So much better than I ever remember it being. Great sipper to enjoy and fall into.

Photo of beerfairy
2.95/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Very nice foam presence, a copper-ish brown color

S - Vinegar and diacytel with hits of prune

T - Sweet vinegar and prune tastes

I'm not sure if I got a good bottle of this one, will have to try again, but it's expensive. It was from a 750ml bottle.

Photo of ATLbeerDog
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark rusty reddish color with a thick foamy head. Smells of tart cherries, apples, and fermented grapes. First sip is mellow with sours notes that are subdued and quiet, not "In your face." Cherries, green apples, raisins, maybe a tad of brown sugar, all combining in flavor. Creamy mouthfeel, but slightly under carbonated. Considerably more sweeter than sour, the brew finishes well with a little stronger bitterness. Very Good.

Photo of jwinship83
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- semi clear amber to copper color body with a finger of foamy off white, lacy head.

S- earthy with a slightly sourness to it. cherries, grapes, and apples

T- very sweet with a puckering sourness at the end. lots of champagne like similarities. i get alot of apples in it.

M- very smooth and creamy.

D- easy to drink and interesting enough to want a few more sips than the 11.2oz bottle had to offer. i dont think id want another whole one, or a 750ml but i can see myself coming back to this one at a later date.

Photo of vrazionale
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Before holding to the light, you'd think this beer was a deep brown, with only a slight reddish tint. When held to the light, you see the rich complexity of color, not quite red but not quite brown. Head was a bit disappointing (probably due to the non-tulip glass), but the off-white color is a wonderful complement to the reddish-brown brew. A bit of a stretch, but the two colors together call to mind an image of an old mahogany wooden building in Europe.

S - The first smell is a very distinct tart cherry smell. I also smell raisins, brown sugar, caramel, amaretto liqueur, and a slight maple syrup aroma. The sweetness of the brew is quite evident - I'm interested to see how the tart cherry aroma will mingle with the expected sweet taste.

T - I definitely caught balsamic vinegar here, though it wasn't quite there on the nose for me. Cherries and amaretto are the major players, and these linger for a few extra seconds after swallowing. Certainly very sweet (a bit cloyingly so for me, but that's merely personal preference). I don't taste any chocolate notes, but I wish I had some Belgian chocolate to accompany this brew!

M - The very first thing that struck me about this beer was the carbonation. You know that feeling when you hold a sip of sparkling wine in your mouth, where you can feel the liquid pressing slightly on the roof of your mouth? I found that to be the case here. This is a slightly rudimentary theory, but I think that this phenomenon extends the beer's finish, because the tongue's flavor receptors are given a short break while the beer moves slightly upward in the mouth.

D - A wonderful, unique, exciting beer, but not one that I could drink all night. Grab a few to taste with friends, but make sure to grab some chocolate or even some creamy blue cheese to complement this remarkable brew! You'll love it!

Photo of djeucalyptus
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured from a 330ml with an exp. date of 03/2009 into a tulip.

a. pours a brilliant ruddy brown, glowing a slightly murky crimson when held to a light. Formed a fairly formidable two-finger head of a light brown oaky color. Lacing is strong, almost chunky, and beautifully drags down with the ale.

s. I got very strong notes of well-aged balsamic vinegar, dark cherries, light molasses, and burnt raisins. Hints of currants and cane sugar bring up the sweetness on the nose, while hints of wine corks, cognac, and amaretto. Very pleasant on the whole, definitely heavy on teh sweetness.

t. Vinegars and balsamic sourness up front, with cherries, maple, and toffee coming through in the middle. There's a pleasant balsamic/sour pie cherry sweetness that finishes beautifully. There are some traces of yeastiness throughout, and a bit of walnut skin astringent-bitterness to balance nicely.

m. Amazing mouthfeel, thick and fairly strong but not syrupy or chewy. Carbonation and sweetness combined in an almost blissful orchestration to perfectly accentuate the sour notes that linger on the tongue. Bitterness and alcohol tastes are practically non-existent.

d. Excellent and dynamic. The spectrum of flavor profiles in this one is strong - not as wide as some, but more drinkable than some - and is definitely a good access point to the style. It's great for sipping, although I subconsciously was so enamored with it this time around that i ended up finishing it faster than I realized. I could drink a few glasses at a time, especially given how well it pairs with foods.

Photo of mullenite
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 750ml bottle the ber showed a very dark red, opaque in the middle but translucent blood red on the edges. White head that had excellent retention and left a beautiful lacing on the glass.

Smell was a little bit less sour than on tap, the balsamic smell stood out more from the bottle.

Taste from the bottle was exactly as it was on draft, sour cherries, candy, with a smooth balsamic finish. I enjoyed this was a beef roast and it was excellent.

Very light carbonation but worked as an absolutely wonderful drink to go with dinner. Very clean drinking beer.

I still could not drink more than one glass of this in a sitting unless I was eating a large meal with it and needed more than one glass to accompany my meal.

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,412 ratings.