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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

3,175 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,175
Reviews: 1,356
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 148
Gots: 334 | 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: 3,175 | Reviews: 1,356 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bennetj17
3.33/5  rDev -20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reddish -brown appearance, that is actually a deep amber up close. Lots of spritzy carbonation and 1/2 inch thick, tan foam that only settles a bit after while. The aroma is strong and vinous, lots of cherry and raisin fruit with a hint of vinegar and oak-like sourness. The taste unfortunately doesn't match up to the smell, as the flavor is almost too sweet, reminding me of grape juice. More dark fruit flavor, yet it is only weakly tart, leaving a light astringence in the finish. Mouthfeel is a bit light, decent carbonation, nothing spectacular.

The drinkablilty is average, it was hard for me to get into this beer. I was hoping for the taste to match the complexities first noted by the aroma. I would have liked it to be more sour also...

bennetj17, Oct 06, 2006
Photo of pootz
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a decadent dark garnet colored ale with orange highlights into my goblet. Tight 2 finger off white cap reduced to a thick surface lace that draped the gass sides with lace. Looks like a glass of burgandy with a head.

Nose: complex.. grape or cherry skins, fruits in blasamic vinigar, some woodyness light detectable sweetness. A delightful tart fruityness.

Medium body, puckering but silky mouth feel, vinous sweet and sour character.

Starts musty-maltty and quickly turns on the complexity...the tougue is pummeled with concord grape, apples, cherries, boysenberry, figs, vanilla pods, some tobbaco and lots of other tones too numerous to grasp in one mouthful....all this complexity is wrapped in a sweet and sour controlled acidy where the lactic acids and fruits are balanced off by sweetnes from rich malt and candi adjuncts. The finish is remarkably dry-tart where the vinous quility is experineced in a slow departure of tart fruit and musty-woody flavors...slightly sweet aftertaste.

MY God what a ride!! This is a great beer for what it offers...a speeding roller coaster of complexity in its delivery...it may not be everyone’s cup of tea but until you have tried it consider yourself deprived.

pootz, Oct 01, 2006
Photo of delicious
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Auburn body and a very thin beige head that leaves an interesting lace.
There's a hint of fermented apple cider in the nose and a little vinegar.
Holding the first sip in my mouth, all the tiny bubbles work with the sourness and cider vinegar to create something alive and explosive; alcohol warmth lets the feeling linger on. The initial sweetness seems to come from sour cherries, unripe plums, and apples, and the dichotomy is an interesting experience; the two extremes of sweet and sour not only coexist, but thrive. As the temperature rises, the sourness calms a bit and lets you explore it more in-depth. I could sip this all by its self, but it also went great beside a burger topped with a mound of gorgonzola.

delicious, Sep 29, 2006
Photo of smcolw
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very red and very clear

Deep malt aromas, lots of cherries. Very close in aroma to a Framboise.

The taste has lots of cherries, quite sweet. So much so that I re-read the bottle to see if it was infused with fruit. Again, this is very much like a Framboise...without the lip-smacking sourness. Tastes more potent than the alcohol indicates (6% abv). The body is full, carbonation is moderate. The aftertaste is a light tartness that diminishes slowly.

This is an unusual Belgian in that it doesn't have the typical flavors/aromas. Still, it is very good. Think heavy lambic with less tart.

smcolw, Sep 29, 2006
Photo of BeerAmbassador
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is the second time I have tasted this beer the first being only a few ounces at a tasting I decided to wait for a full bottle to review it.

Appearence is a deep ruby color with fairly small head that dissapates quickly.

Smell is super complex: sweet, sour, woody all at once. definately some fruitiness going on as well.

Taste is amazing with lots of fruit/ sweet/ sour going off all at once. This beer reminds me of balsamic vinegar in a really good way. This beer is so complex I am having a hard time quantifying it.
Mouthfeel is just about right with maybe just a slight bit of a grainy feel.

This is definately food beer. I would have a hard time drinking it without food to go with it. As of now I have an aged white cheddar that is aged with Guinness stout and it tastes pretty good together but since it reminds me so much of Balsamic I bet it would go better with some really good Parmesan. When I first tasted it someone said that it makes a killer salad dressing which I found pretty interesting. And I bet if you reduced it down to a glaze it would be killer with some grilled meat.

BeerAmbassador, Sep 21, 2006
Photo of mmcave
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Before even pouring it I could smell that slightly vinegary kombucha smell ( which I'm slowly growing to like). Pours dark coffee with deep red highlights. The head is small but pleasantly leaving lacing. With further inspection smells of Belgian yeast minor hops and mild sweet vinegar. Taste is complex, sweet, slightly fruity esters mixed with a tinge of bitterness. Sour cherries and the bottom of apple cider, nice bit of acidity, might be good for food. This is a really different ale than I'm used to the only other I've had at all similar was a gueze lambic, but I know this is a very different beer. I enjoyed this I might even buy others like this, but its something I will slowly learn to enjoy.

mmcave, Sep 19, 2006
Photo of ultralarry2006
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml. bottle. Leaves a one finger beige head with excellent retention, and excellent lacing. The head is simply amazing and beautiful. Body is a slightly hazy garnet. An excellent looking beer.

Smell - sour cherries, plums, and a musty horse blanket. Very good and mouthwatering.

Taste - similiar to the smell. Sour cherries and plums washed through with a barnyard must and champange. Strong sour cherries on the aftertaste. Very good.

Mouthfeel - surprisingly full bodied, and some slickness (also a surprise) , and fizzy (not a surprise).

Drinkability - this is very good ale, and I really like it alot, but I dont' think it's sessionable, not because of the abv, which is not really high, but rather, because of the taste. That is, this would be one to almost always enjoy with food, and not in a drinking session.

ultralarry2006, Sep 17, 2006
Photo of Hibernator
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Duchesse De Bourgogne
25.4 oz dark green bottle with caged cork
Exp. date listed on cork: December 2007
Served in a pilsner glass

Pours a dark crimson red color. Fluffy head forms on top with little holes throughout. The head sustains and leaves major trails and patterns of sticky lacings all over the glassware. Layers and layers of lace provide decoration.

Whiffs of funky yeast, sour notes and cherries.

My sip starts off with a sweet, caramel malt backbone that lays the foundation and then instantly transforms to a highly acidic and sour bash on my palate. Hints of raisins, prunes, cherries and blueberry syrup meld together under the mouth puckering tartness that awaits the finish. The hop profile is minimal at best. This beer screams sweet & sour.

More "balanced" than a true lambic, but just as interesting in terms of complexity and depth. Wow, I'm so glad I'm discovering this style of beer.

Hibernator, Sep 16, 2006
Photo of allergictomacros
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark red/brown. Could be clear, could be cloudy - I can't tell because it's so dark. Head is uninspiring and drops quickly.

S - Sour, vinegary smell. Notes of fruit and some mustiness.

T - Sweet, extremely fruity. Notes of concord grapes are very prominent. Oh yeah, it's sour too, but soooo grapey! Bitterness is very subdued, although present in the aftertaste. Very "fresh" tasting as well, which was unexpected from the aroma.

M - Medium bodied, with a spritzy carbonation. A bit of astringency in the aftertaste that feels somewhat drying.

D - I like this a lot. The major criticism is that the aroma and the taste seem a bit at odds at each other. Flavour is much mellower and fresher than indicated by the strong vinegary smell and mustiness.

allergictomacros, Sep 13, 2006
Photo of therica
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Nose-- beef with Worcestireshire or A-1 Sauce?!?!? No way.

Taste-- yes, it's true! With some bitters. Very very strange. As it sets for a few minutes, there's a nose of liquor something like brandy, and taste becomes a little more flat and salty. Prune is probably partly responsible for the steak-sauce taste, because that's what many of them use as a base.

Appearance-- poured a surprising dark-tea color, minor light-brown suds that didn't last more than half a minute, but with lacing throughout the drinking.

Yes, another "add this to your bizarre list" beer-- a specialty beer, which I can appreciate for its unique creativity, from an objective point of view. From a subjective point of view, this beer is too far afield from being "beer" that I can't see myself buying another bottle to sample-- especially at closer to $4US a bottle. Unless, however, I really want to startle someone.

therica, Sep 12, 2006
Photo of Domingo
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the Falling Rock.
Arrived a mahogany brown, with reddish notes in the sun (I had it outside).
The smell reminded me a lot of vinegar and really sour citrus. In all honesty, I was almost scared off by the smell. I figured it was going to be like drinking a lambic crossed with some malt vinegar.
The taste on the other hand was REALLY good. It's sweet like brown sugar and berries. A little bit of sourness in the finish, sort of like a citrus flavor. It does have a little vinegar-type flavor, but it's defintiely more along the balsamic lines. Stange how the flavor and smells are almost totally unconnected! That seems to be the hallmark of a good Belgian brew - 2 totally unique flavors.
I could definitely drink more of this brew. Once you get used to the smell and taste being unique entities, this is a terrific brew that you can sip and enjoy. Lots of different flavors going on.
A definite winner.

Domingo, Sep 10, 2006
Photo of IntriqKen
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark reddish amber...very rich...with a half finger head that melted quickly to a sticky lacing all across the top.
Aroma is immediately vinegar...red wine...sweet fruits. Very complex.
Taste is slightly sour...cherries....raisins....no alcohol...a little apple peel.
Aftertaste is smooth...tiny sweetness...a little bigger tiny sourness.
Ok..this is the first of this style I've had but it is so complex, so very different from anything I've had before I don't know the right adjectives to describe it.
I'm sort of stuck with....interesting....totally different and unexpected....I like it....this should be the end of the day, not mid-day...how do I ever follow it?
I find it difficult to drink this beer slowly as I keep discovering new things in the taste with every sip.
I think this may be as complex as any beer has a right to be...yet somehow everything seems balanced...with each sip I keep thinking...'yeah...nice'...'this works'.

IntriqKen, Sep 09, 2006
Photo of rarevos
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Chimay chalice. Bottle has "Best before 29-04-07" printed on the back.

A: Deep ruby with a full finger of fluffy, off-white head. Head doesn't take long to reduce, very thick lacing left behind. Sticky trails clinging to the glass.

S: Wow. There's a sharp oaky wineyness at first. Underneath is some fruit, like red wine grapes (pinot noir, sangiovese) grape, pear, plum, and cherry.

T: Wine flavor first with notes of the above-mentioned fruit. There's a lot going on here. Some maltiness underneath, but the strongest flavors are the grape, plum and cherry. A bit of "unfiltered, natural apple juice" creeps in, too. Tartness towards the end that builds to a crisp/dry sourness in a very clean finish. Is better as it warms (the sweet malt stands out more), so heed the suggested temperature.

M: Can a beer be "soft"? This starts off very smooth and builds to a nice tingle.

D: Oh dear Lord. This is wonderful stuff. At 6.2% abv, this isn't like an ordinary sipping beer, but you still do have to sip it. Odd. Very strong flavors, and a very sophisticated-feeling beer. It has vaulted to the top of my list of personal favorites.

rarevos, Sep 08, 2006
Photo of Cresant
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this 11.2 oz. bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. Dated best by: 30/3/07. Body was ebony/ruby color. Beige head was 1/2 inch at it's peak. Splotches of lace remained.

Smell was "WOW". The most distinct beer aroma I have smelled. Vinegar, Vinous, and pixie sticks. No alcohol discernable.

Tasted of tart, fizzy Kool-aid. Plums. Granny Smith peel. Faint woody finish. Complex, interesting, and sophisticated. Became even more drinkable as it warmed. Non-cloying.

Mouthfeel was light, finely carbonated, champagne-like.

Wonderful sipping beer. I will revisit.

Cresant, Sep 06, 2006
Photo of kimcgolf
4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was my first Flemish Sour, and it really grew on me. Poured to darlk brown with hints of red, and a thick tan head that lasted for the whole drink and left excellent lacing. The aroma was very funky, reminded me of those old Paz Easter Egg Coloring kits where you drop a colored tablet in pure vinegar. I was afraid of what I would be drinking next. To my great surprise, the taste was excellent. It was sour fruit, and at first caught me off guard, but I quickly adapted. Finish was dry, sour and warming. I bought this in a 4pack, and was concerned that I may have over-bought. Now, I know I will be heading back for more.

kimcgolf, Sep 06, 2006
Photo of donotknowme
4.9/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This poured a deep reddish-brown with a thin lacy head that quickly faded. The nose was dominated by a sour smell with hints of berries and maybe some oak. One of the best mouthfeels I have ever had in a beer. At the end it got a little thick and sticky from the sweetness but the tartness cleared it up nicely. Easily my favorite beer.

donotknowme, Sep 03, 2006
Photo of Derek
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark mohoganny, tan head, very little retention, slight leg/lace.

S: Like a sherry with a hint of sourness.

T: Very winey, tart raisins, brown sugar, hint of chocolate. Flavour isn't overly powerful, but it's VERY refined.

M: Body slightly lighter than moderate, fairly dry.

D: Smooth introduction to the style!

Derek, Sep 03, 2006
Photo of barefootbrewer
2.6/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This beer poured a deep brown with a light head. It had a tart smell that is weirdly reminiscent of worcesertshire. The smell is definitely unique. The taste is fruity and a bit sour. The mouthfeel is crisp with noticeable carbonation. This is an interesting beer that I would not necessarily consider highly drinkable for me.

barefootbrewer, Sep 02, 2006
Photo of Erdinger2003
2.4/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

The head is not too dense and the lacing doesn't stick very well. The color is clear red/purple. The smell is sour with slight earthy tones and a slight plum or other sour fruit in the backround. Taste is metalic with some earthy tones. The taste is a bit bland like cardboard. Mouthfeel is well carbonated and a little harsh. I don't think I would have another one of these, maybe it's the style, however this glass wasn't great.

Erdinger2003, Aug 31, 2006
Photo of BigBry
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330 ml brown bottle (as pictured).
Pours a clear deep red and burnished brown color. Thick frothy head that lasts forever and leaves beautiful lacing. Strong (but not overpowering) sour aroma. The smell has lots of complexity with spice, clove and some apple cider vinegar. Well balanced flavor that has elements of sweet caramel-like malt, tart apple and sour cherry. Medium-bodied smoothness covers your tongue in all the different flavors.
A unique and different style, but a classic when you get used to it.

BigBry, Aug 30, 2006
Photo of gbarron
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Brickstore Pub.

A - served in a nice tulip glass emblazoned with Duchesse de Bourgogne written upon it. Orangish, almost brown, large billowy head of thick bubbles, outstanding head retention and lacing.

S - candy sugar aroma, hints of tangy sourness. Little or no hop aroma. Tons of rich, sweet malty esters and some hints of alcohol.

T - incredible mix of sweet sugary smells and tangy sourness. Lots of fruity esters, dark grapes, plums, over-ripe apples. Great balance with tart sourness, but not overwhelming. Sweet and sour. Little hop presence.

M - medium to light bodied, a little fluffy. Carbonation is average. Slightly sweet finish.

D - great, great beer. Perfect balance of sweet and sour and bittnerness. One of the best sour Flanders ales I've ever had.

gbarron, Aug 28, 2006
Photo of RedDiamond
4.78/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed a stemmed wine glass of this West Flanders classic at a place called Heads Up Brewing in Silverdale, Washington. I thought perhaps this was a house beer as Heads Up is a BOP and all of their house beers are clones of popular beers from around the world. I should have known from the first sip that this was not a clone. This was the real thing.

The presentation was elegant with a saffron body sporting a tan head and clinging lace. The aroma swirled like a symphony of tart fruits and orange peel. The taste was also very fruity – almost like a fruit cola – with elements of orange, black cherry and huckleberry. It is sharply acidic and plainly tinged with some non-sacch- yeast and/or bacteria. This carries the initial sweetness towards a zesty resolve of biting acidic fruitiness.

Oak barrel aged and blended from young and old batches. This is a prince among ales – an absolute noble pedigree. And it drinks like fine wine.

RedDiamond, Aug 27, 2006
Photo of SethB2
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A - Beer pours a very deep amber color, nearly non transparent, with a decent sized whispy head that fizzles down to a nice ring around the edge.

S - Huge vinegar up front covering tart apples and a bit of woodyness. One of the more interesting beers I have smelled.

T - Sweet berries start this thing off before it quickly moves into a sour apple, tart flavor then yeilds the the vinegar that was on the nose originally. Very unique, and very good.

M - A tad on the thin side, but still not bad.

D - Very good. This is an excellent beer. The yeast in this thing do some really funky stuff.

SethB2, Aug 26, 2006
Photo of rayjay
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought at City Beer in S.F. and poured into a wit beer glass. Best before 18-10-07.

Nice pour. No sediment, acive carbonation and sudsy head. Deep red like cherry cough syrup.

Smells like cherries and vinegar, very nice and pleasant but bold at the same time. Grainy smell like gueuze ale.

Cherry candy taste dominates. Tart and snappy but also very sweet. Woody and metallic. Others have said Coca-Cola, which I can see but may not have picked it out myself.

Mouthfeel is a bit thick from the sugars, and the carbonation is a bit low which makes it feel even thicker. Chalky finish.

I enjoy this beer and would always be happy to drink one. Refreshing but too sweet. I wish this style was more widely available, I have only had 3 examples of this style and one was from Colorado.

rayjay, Aug 24, 2006
Photo of hunteraw
3.7/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

"Interesting" is the word that seems to fit this beer best. It's the first really sour beer I've had, so comparison is tough, but I'll do my best. Pours an interesting garnet brown color, little head, fairly clear. Aroma is interesting: dark fruit and vinegar. Not particularly sweet in the nose, which is promising. Taste upholds that conclusion - not overly sweet. Every sip is puckering, but not to the point where it's not enjoyable. Lots of character: tart, fruit and wood, but nothing is too dominant. Mouthfeel is good, not syrupy at all. Carbonation seemed right. Drinkability is the tough part. I enjoyed it, but I'm glad I was splitting a bottle because I probably wouldn't have wanted to drink the rest of it on my own. Maybe it'll grow on me.

hunteraw, Aug 22, 2006
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,175 ratings.