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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

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

3,349 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,349
Reviews: 1,369
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 155
Gots: 381 | 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: 3,349 | Reviews: 1,369 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of gory4d
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours clear burgundy with a fluffy pale head that leaves lacing down the sides of my tulip glass. Smell is like a mild raspberry vinegar that kicks my salivary glands into action. The taste is something else; if you don't like sour beers, this won't convert you, but it starts with a sharp fruit kick like dried apricots, giving way to a sweet malt flavor that immediately opens up into a mouthwatering sourness that lasts. It's nice and smooth, and I could drink this all night.

gory4d, Apr 05, 2008
Photo of 1fastz28
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

wait what... i had to stop to write about the taste first, holy wierd. its like grape juice and a belgian ale got together and made a beer, i'm completely confused by the taste. its incredibly sweet, like a strong grape juice, is this even beer? maybe a barley wine, i' dont even know whats going on. it looks beautiful, has a deep dark purplish hue to it, smell is fruity, but not nearly as potent as the taste. its a good beer, if it is beer. i dont think i've ever had anything remotely like this, so dont take this review as worth anything.

1fastz28, Apr 01, 2008
Photo of IBUnit63
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 750 into Cab glass...

Nice, amber-cherrywood body with ample carbonation rising to 2-finger, latte-colored head with great lacing.

Beautiful yeasty malt, tangy with coriander and ornage zest - even some rye scent. May need to warm a little.

Sweet wine funk is first impression. Tinny at first - unfortunately keeps this even after warming. Tanginess reminds me of homemade hard apple cider, or maybe a sparkling Shiraz.

Coats nicely and bubbles up well but metallic finish gives an "overfermented" sense from the yeastiness.

This is raw and rustic and very good; can't seem to get ideal serving temperature right. Good to sip for special occassion.

IBUnit63, Mar 29, 2008
Photo of Beerzebub
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best before date: 21-03-08. That's 12 minutes from now, so I better drink fast.

11.2 oz bottle, served in a big wine glass at 57 F/ 14 C.

Deep reddish brown color, small beige head, sticky lace.

Smells unusual and enticing, with sweet, sour, and savory all well represented. Sweet and oxidized like mushy brown apples, with tomato and tomato leaf, yeasty dough, and some mild malt vinegar and cider vinegar.

Tastes sweet and savory, and a little sour. Initial sweet cherries and apples, then pronounced oxidized flavors and some acidity come in. Underlying toasted grain and nuts. Tomato leaf, and a bit of tomato paste. Mild vegetal bitterness, connected to the tomato leaf flavor. Long oxidized finish, with some sweetness hanging on until the very end.

Fine soft carbonation with some oiliness, very nice. Quite drinkable.

I really like oxidization when it's done well, so I like this beer.

The second glass paired well with some Dubliner cheese.

Beerzebub, Mar 21, 2008
Photo of JDV
2.95/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dark, deep reddish brown pour that lets some light through. Smell is kind of a funky, sour cherry and wine like aroma without a strong offputting vinegar scent. Gooey band-aid-y aroma that I don't care for, though. If that were in a regular beer it would be called infected. If it's in a Sour Ale, its pleasant?? Flavor is sweeter and less sour than expected. Fairly sweet up front, but finishing dry with a bubbly champagne like body and flavors that are reminiscent of cherry, grape and cranberries. A bit hard to describe as its only my 1st or 2nd sour ale. All in all, not a bad experience and a unique beer that is like a funky fruit soda. I would have to get used to that odd smell though, to really enjoy this beer again.

JDV, Mar 15, 2008
Photo of Zeckster
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this as a 5 oz sampler at a Pizzeria Paradiso in Georgetown.

It was a maroonish like color with a some white topped head and a decent lacing.

Really I did not expect what a got. It smelled of slightly sour wine when I first got a wiff of the beer.

However, upon taste it became a nice tang.

I would not recommend mixing this beer with lots of random other styles, but I would certainly drink it again.

Zeckster, Mar 14, 2008
Photo of BoitSansSoif
3.65/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a darker scarlet amber/mahogany, with light head. Aroma was of cherry, raspberry, spice, and vinegar. Palate was a mix of cherry, apple, and spice, like an applesauce with a cherry twist and some cinnamon. A little on the sweet side, but decent, and a pleasant drink.

BoitSansSoif, Mar 13, 2008
Photo of ByTor2112
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this at the Cheeky Monk in Denver. Arrived in an Duchesse chalice. BA has this a Flanders Red, Cheeky Monk listed it as sour Flemish Brown. very dark brown with a very nice yeasty tart aroma. Tart fuits are very present.
Mouthfeel- Tasty roasted malty brown flavors. the sour flavor is superb and it is a little more than subtle without being overbearing. First time ever getting a very unique Belgian such as this fresh on tap. This one is just about quaffable, not too heavy. Very nice!

ByTor2112, Mar 03, 2008
Photo of thartman
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Last one from my cellar stash. It's about two years old and the best before date is stamped 10-02-07.

Poured into tulip-shaped glass dark ruby red with brown tints. Tight tan head with pockets of carbonation.

Sour cherry and vinegar smell, a smidge of vanilla and oak.

Pucker up with the taste,... sour and very vinegar-like, although not as tart as I remembered. It definitely mellowed with some aging and there was noticably less carbonation. Finished up dry with oak and vanilla left to dazzle the taste buds.

Very unique and complex beer. If you like this style, also try the Flemish Red from Rodenbach.

thartman, Mar 02, 2008
Photo of BeerTaster
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not bad by any means you just have to remember what this beer is trying to be not what you expect it to be. Appearance dark brown but the head left a bit two quick for my taste. Smell was vinager and some oak. Taste very winey and sour with hints of vannila and oak. Mouthfeel was mediem body and low carbonation. Drinkability not bad a decent thirst quencher.

BeerTaster, Feb 27, 2008
Photo of avalon07
3.15/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had a dark brownish-red hue and very small head. Some lacing, but not a lot.

Very vinegary smell. Not totally unpleasant, but it kind of reminded me of a salad in liquid form.

The taste was complex, but not in a way I enjoy. A previous reviewer said it was like a red wine vinaigrette and I tend to agree with that. It almost didn't have the qualities of a beer.

It had a fair mouthfeel. Not a huge amount of carbonation here. The finish was not especially smooth.

I didn't particularly care for this one. It had much to pungent a taste to go down well Like I said, it almost wasn't like a beer at all.

avalon07, Feb 25, 2008
Photo of pmcadamis
1.55/5  rDev -62.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Tried this at Brewhaus when out with some friends (Feb, 25 2008).

A - Dark amber reddish hue. Hazy and deep. The head is about half of a finger, and leaves a little lace on the glass.

S - Red wine vinegar, ketchup, tomatoes, and earthy mulch. Very, very odd and quite vegetal.

T - Red wine vinaigrette salad dressing, rotten tomatoes, brown lettuce, and tart rancid vegetables.

M - Light in body and carbonation. This is like swishing ketchup in your mouth.

D - I've had other flanders reds that I really enjoyed, so it's not a style thing, but this tastes like absolute crap. It's sort of like retching up a pint of V8 and vinaigrette salad dressing. Interesting, but completely foul.

Original review A=3.0, S=1.5, T=1.0, M=1.0, D=1.0
Overall score = 1.5 One of my lowest ratings ever.
---

Here is the second tasting to clear up the issue of whether or not the first bottle (1 year ago) was ruined in some way:

My BA buddy orangemustache and I tried this out at Brewhaus one night and were appalled by how bad it was given the generally high scores by other BAs. I picked up a 750 ml bottle of this at Binny's in Chicago and we decided to give it another go while we were stone cold sober and our palates were fresh.

A - Deep garnet clear brew with a two finger dense khaki head. Lots of light tan lace is stuck to the glass.

S - Ketchup, vinegar, tomatoes, and mushrooms. V8 vegetable juice with some age on it. Something old and dusty is there too.

T - Old rotten tomatoes, V8, bloody mary mix, red vinaigrette salad dressing, applesauce, and some fruity sugar on the tip of the tongue.

M - Light, initially sugary and fruity, but progressing to a thicker viscous and nasty mouthfeel. This finishes like puke.

D - Ok, I picked this up thinking that the first time that we tried it the bottle must have been old and ruined. This tasting, however, reaffirms my hatred of this brew. It's honestly better, fruitier, lighter, and more rounded than the rotten bottle we tried at Brewhaus, but its still disgusting.

The current score is indicative of my opinion at the second tasting (December 2nd 2008)

pmcadamis, Feb 25, 2008
Photo of boulevard2
4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Experation date June 2008

Pours a brownish ale with a thick head and lots of bubbles. Heavy retention and it all clings to the glass. Sour cherries and sugar are present in the nose. A nice sour cherry twang at the start then mellows out at the end. There is also a great berry aftertaste which I think is rare for a flemish ale. Overall very smooth and well worth the price. I recommend this to anyone who hasnt tried this style before!

boulevard2, Feb 24, 2008
Photo of czfreeman
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The duchesse pours out a deep brown with a reddish tone showing in the light. Small 1 finger head, short retention. Head leaves lacing around top of glass. Smells like a bubbly Lambrusco wine, some sour cherry,slight alcoholic-red grape tones, again like a tart red wine. Mouthfeel is very lively and carbonated, trat finish yet slight more chewy and creamy than other Ive had. Cherries,sour yeasts,woody flavors. Leaves a tart lasting finish on the tongue. This beer is everything that is good in a Flanders red. Thank you Duchesse, will buy again definatley.

czfreeman, Feb 24, 2008
Photo of tronester
3.6/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark red with a medium tan head that fades away pretty quickly. Smells of vinegar primarily with some maraschino cherries. Taste is quite unique. The beer is quite sweet tasting, with a balancing tart and sourness from the vinegar like flavors. The beer seems to share a lot in common taste wise with a sweet wine. The bitterness is very low. Mouthfeel is medium with medium carbonation.

This is quite an interesting beer. I've heard you either love it or hate it. Well, I am somewhat in the middle of the road. While the taste was pretty good, I think I would start to grow tired of it after a glass. Nevertheless, still a good choice if you want a more obscure style.

tronester, Feb 23, 2008
Photo of Goliath
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer oours a dark reddish brown color with two fingers of light tan head that receed fairly quick. Aroma is vinegary and slightly sour. Taste is fairly sweet for a Flanders. A slight tartness and slight vinegar taste. Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Drinkability is fair.

Goliath, Feb 23, 2008
Photo of AleDrinkToThat
4.9/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Beautiful burgundy hue under a perfect creamy beige head.

Smell: Oh, such a delicious smell of cherries and malt. I can tell just by the smell that there's more going on here.

Taste: Good thing I'm only typing about this, 'cause my mouth just exploded. Seriously, wow. This is excellent. The tart cherry is much more subtle than, say, a Kriek Lambic, and is so well balanced with delicious roasted malt.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, devilishly so, and the tartness danced all over my mouth, puckering all inner surfaces in its path (I'll leave you to picture that). The malt definitely rounded things back out, and the result is a heavenly complexity.

Drinkability: Go get one. Now.

AleDrinkToThat, Feb 22, 2008
Photo of alysmith4
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Not usually a fan of this style, but I tried this beer and loved it! This was actually my favorite of all the excellent brews I tried at Brasserie Beck - a new Belgian restaurant in the city with supposedly the largest Belgian beer selection outside of Belgium.

Poured a dark brown color, with a reddish tone. Smell was of plums, cherries, pine, maple syrup, and something like candied ginger. Taste was most excellent, with all of the flavors mentioned before and a definite sour to sweet finish. The beer was nice and thick too, with a good amount of carbonation. Would definitely recommend this beer, a must-try!

alysmith4, Feb 21, 2008
Photo of SurlyDuff
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Caged and corked bomber.

Into my glass and it reveals its dark cherry color. A thin ring of lace hangs around for a while.

Sour cherry, ketchup, vinegar in the nose. Despite being unusual, it's certainly appealing in some way.

It's an edgy flavor, but I think it does a good job. There's other fruit flavors in there too. Notably grapes, plums, apple, etc.

THe aftertaste is noticably smooth and enjoyable. The lingering flavors are not acidic or anything. If anything, there's a bit of viscous/syrupy quality to it. I look forward to finishing the bottle off. At 6%, it is very drinkable and really grows on me.

This is definitly not your typical brew, especially for here in the states. It's true to the Flander's style in many ways, but also adds a lot of interesting characteristics.

SurlyDuff, Feb 21, 2008
Photo of MerkinMan
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap into a wide mouthed red wine style glass.

This beer is a beautiful ruby color and smells like sherry. I would bet that people who did not know any better would mistake this for sherry.

The taste is malty, but the sherry / sour cherry taste takes the lead. A very interesting beer, and one you may need to be in the mood for.

Mouthfeel is good, a little to be desired.

I could drink more of these, and probably will though they will likely be one at a time.

An excellent beer. Recommended.

MerkinMan, Feb 21, 2008
Photo of mithrascruor
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz. bottle poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a very deep crimson color with off-white dense film-like head.

Smell: Unusual but generally pleasant aroma. Reminds of apple cider vinegar, but a bit more mellowed out.

Taste: Very tart, but also sweet. Semi-bitter cherries, vinegar, sugar... Finish of crisp apples and a tart aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light- to medium bodied with a quite smooth mouthfeel. Very little carbonation; noticable most at the finish.

Drinkability: Though not a session beer (drink it slow), the taste really grows on the drinker. Perfect ABV with an intriguing taste.

Really one of the most unusual beers I've had. Takes a few minutes to adjust to, but overall I am enjoying it! Quite an enjoyable surprise; well worth checking out! I'll have to get this again.

mithrascruor, Feb 18, 2008
Photo of kleffman
4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally getting to try the Duchesse after having numerous examples of the Flanders Red style that impressed me. I continually hear that this is the supreme example of the style so we'll see.

Pours a dark very clear ruby red and brown color into a Chimay goblet. Slight head and retention with only a little lacing. Quite beautiful looking in this wide mouth glass.

Aroma has a definite vinegar presence with a TON of tart cherries and vanilla from the oak. Smells acidic and I'm in for a treat.

Taste is just as it smells but way more complex and very little vinegar! Mostly incredible tart cherry vanilla flavors with oak, earthy yeast characters and slight raspberry hints. Really sweet with a tart background. Perfectly balanced and really complex however.

The mouthfeel is an incredible lively, smooth and refreshing experience. I want more. I wish it wasn't quite so expensive, I could keep this constantly on hand. I would love one of these every single Friday after work. Very high drinkability, and an extreme enjoyability. I can't imagine much better for the style. Only the Rodenbach beers match it in my opinion.

kleffman, Feb 16, 2008
Photo of Chinookie
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have had this beer on many occasions, even having it on tap at home a couple of times (since it is the wife's favorite). But I thought I would write a review for the bottle we drank last night, aged just over three years. Although I did not taste it side-by-side with a new bottle, my wife and I are familiar enough with the flavor to notice the differences.

For Valentine's Day I pulled out of the cellar the bottle I had been aging since June 2005 to pair with the chocolate dipped strawberries. The expiration date on the cork said Nov. 2007, so I suspect bottling date was Nov. 2004. I had stored this in my cellar on its side.

Served in the brewery-designed glasses, it poured clear dark reddish brown. The head was thinner and with bigger bubbles than new bottles, and head retention was also a lot weaker.

The aroma was roughly the same (cherry, brown/candi sugar, some balsamic vinegar) with a bit more wood.

The flavor and mouthfeel were noticeably different and better than the fresh version. First, the texture was lighter than normal and more velvety. The flavor profile was very similar--sweet, cherry tart, a bit woody, sugary--but the usual balsamic acidity in the finish was gone, making it more drinkable and enjoyable.

It paired very well with the chocolate-dipped strawberries.

I highly recommend to fans of this beer to age some in a cool dark place for three years. I can't imagine that it could get better, so probably wise not to keep much longer.

Chinookie, Feb 16, 2008
Photo of seaoflament
3.68/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark ruby color with a fluffy two inch mass of foam. Great retention and some lacing as I drink.

Aromas of tart cherries, oak, caramel malt, vinegar and hints of vanilla. The aroma reminds me a bit of strawberries and cream. Tart and sour strawberries with the acidity and sweetness of sour cream.

Taste is good. Sweet berry flavor right away with a tangy vinegar finish. A huge taste of ripe fruits, peaches, strawberries, grapes, and an oak flavor binding everything together. I thought this one would be more sour or at least tart but it's pretty sweet.

Well carbonated and delicate on the palate.

It's a good beer. I was in the mood for something tart or sour but this one was too sweet. Even though I was in the mood for a different type of beer I still feel that the sweetness hurts the drinkability of this beer.

seaoflament, Feb 12, 2008
Photo of JEFFRIBEGGIN
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Beer with intense tawny color and not persistent foam. The scent has wine notes and after a persistent acidulous tone. In mouth you have a persistent acidulous tone and then you can feel a yielded tone. A little bit bitter for fight acidulous note. Not to drink alone.

JEFFRIBEGGIN, Feb 05, 2008
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,349 ratings.