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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

3,613 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,613
Reviews: 1,427
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 176
Gots: 530 | FT: 11
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,613 | Reviews: 1,427
Photo of OldSchoolGamer
3.44/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have never had a Sour before, so this is a first. They seem to be quite trendy as they are growing in popularity. Here is my review:

A: Pours a Coca-Cola brown. I don't notice a lot of carbonation, but the head is nice and creamy. Lacing is minimal.

S: First thing I notice is an overpowering vinegar aroma. I honestly can't detect much more than that.

T: I am not sure how I feel about this beer. The vinegar is very prominant in the taste. It is almost overpowering. But, once you get used to it, there are other flavor layers underneath. Tastes a lot like champaign. There is also quite a bit of a pickle taste in there. A touch of cherry pits. Finish is very acidic. Quite sweet as well.

M: Actually pretty light bodied. Very sharp and acidic finish. Not as fizzy as champaign, but close.

D: I guess it drinks pretty easily. If you don't mind strong vinegar and champaign flavors that is.

I honestly don't know what to say. I have never had a beer like this before. To say that this is unique is an understatement. But vinegar flavors in beer? I don't know. This probably isn't one I will return to very often.

Photo of taylorhamrick
3.71/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this at the Hopleaf, while their draft coolers were down.

Pours out hazy and amber colored. The head is white colored, fizzy and loose looking, that kind of falls back and leaves only a bit of lacing. Looks about normal for the style. The smell is just very vinegary, almost to the point where it sort of turns you off. Reminds me of Easter egg dying day. There's a nice tart note in the background, a hint of sweetness, but the vinegar smells make it hard to pick anything else out. I'd call this score more of a median score than an average score, because it smells all but average - but it doesn't impress me, yet doesn't disappoint me at the same time. The vinegar carries over to the taste, but it's much more to my liking here. The tartness still came through in the taste, but the beer still had a moderate sweetness, quite enough to make this one enjoyable. This one does a good job with the style, and in terms of flavor, is a beer to shoot for, but something I still think can be passed. Pretty enjoyable if you can get past the vinegar smell. The body is actually a bit thin, but is still quite pleasant thanks to the tartness. Not very malty, but just enough sweetness to get by. The carbonation is nice, bites just a bit without getting in the way. The drinkability is good, this one must be consumed rather slowly, though - just as the whole style ought to be. But overall, a good drink, something like a night cap for this one, and I'd recommend it to others hoping to explore the style.

Photo of nightcrawler
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What can you say about this great beer? Opening a bottle is always a reason to call friends and share the joy. And it is very easy to finish a bottle and move onto another...and another...and another.

It pours a brownish-red. While the smell is good, the taste is like a complex explosion. Every sip brought something different to the tongue. It ends with a clean, wine-like dry finish - just bordering on sharp. If you don't like any sweet/fruit taste, avoid this beer.

Photo of SFBeerGuy
4.44/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle reading a best before date of 02-04-11.

A- Poured a crystal clear deep amber red with a thick and lively tan head. Champagne-like carbonation and fizzy foam that stayed for a long while before receding, leaving sticky lacing in the glass. Head remained for the entire drink.

S- Dark chocolate covered sour cherries. Tootsie Rolls. Licorice. Mouth-watering aromas.

T- Sour cherries up front with a tart snap. Sweet rock candy shows through. Currants and dark fruit is present. Slight toasted bread crust compliments hints of dark chocolate in the finish.

M- Not too puckering. Slight acidity. Lively and light bodied. Full carbonation tickles the pallet. Enjoyable bone dry finish which quickly takes the sourness and tartness with it. Very pleasant.

D- Incredible drink. Thirst quenching and a great complement to all sorts of food. Sweet and tart without being overbearingly puckering. Glows as it warms up! Best when served at recommended temperature. Got better to the last sip!

Photo of snpub540
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a reddish brown hue that was very slightly hazy. Has a tan head that stuck around for a good while but did leave some nice lacing on the glass.

Smell was just of toasted bread and maybe a little bit of caramel.

The flavors were unexpected when sipped after my first smell. Very crisp sour flavors that were very pleasant. Sour cherries and green apple are the most dominant. A slight malt sweetness in the finish bring some balance to sourness.

Alcohol is almost non existent in the taste and the carbonation is perfect almost playful on the palate. Definately a delightful beer that I will have to pick up more often.

Photo of grayburn
3.91/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice brownish red with a beautiful head that lasts and lasts. Lacing is nice as well.

The smell is a bit underwhelming, some sour and fruity notes, a bit of a sweet almost caramelized smell, but nothing jumps out.

The taste is an explosion of different flavors, note after note, degree by degree, this beer is really a living dynamic beast. The mouthfeel brings it together quite well, with some nice carbonation.

I am going to finish this 750 pretty easily. Nice beer.

Photo of kirok1999
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very dark pour, rocky head that gushes up the glass. Beautiful dark ruby.
Smells like an orchard on a sunny day. Tons of dark ripe fruit aging in the sun.
Taste is dark and plummy, sweet caramel, apples, raisins. The finish lingers for quite a while, and no surprise since it's such a heavy beer.
Definitely a sipper that can stand up to almost any food you'd want to pair it with.

Photo of SShelly
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lets start off by saying damn I love this beer...

Sweet malt in the nose with a touch of sour bacterial edge

Lots of sweetness in the mouth that fades to a light sourness that lingers just a little on the pallet, very smooth, creamy, not harsh, leaves the mouth wanting more...

A wee bit expensive but worth every penny. also a great transition beer for anyone who thinks they arent into flanders red's, very easy to get into.

Photo of 21mmer
2.19/5  rDev -47.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

750ml caged/corked bottle poured into a tulip glass.

i was really expecting to thoroughly enjoy this beer, as i have heard so many good things about it and am a fan of the style. perhaps i had a bad bottle, but this did not live up to my expectations.

appearance/pour was nice....dark amber color, nothing out of the ordinary.

smell was overwhelmingly vinegar and acidic. some faint fruity and yeasty notes were present, but the vinegar dominated.

taste was...not what i expected. man, this is a sweet beer. too sweet for this BA. there was a faint sourness and a little funkiness, but the sweetness just dominated the flavor profile.

i had trouble drinking my 8 oz. pour, and couldn't see myself handling any more.

Photo of shadow1961
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Duchesse de Bourgogne pours a nice finger of beige foam over an opaque dark brown brew, though it shows a certain rosiness when held up to the light. The nose is a bit of Belgian yeast funk, caramel, and a note of sharp cidery tartness. The flavor echos the nose- soft, not-quite sweet fruit with caramel notes up front, with a sparkling, vinous, citric tartness off the back. Mouthfeel is round, yet light, cleansing, and dry- there are notes of herbs in the aftertaste. The tartness is nowhere near as puckering as a good Lambic- there's just enough to make this beer very appetizing . Very drinkable and a good introduction to sour beers!

Photo of theghost3
4.11/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with a 2-finger beige head. Lots of lacing.

The smell is strong of sour fruits, herbs, cinnamon, and yeast. The taste is very sour, tart. Flavors of sour apple, alcohol, & unripe peaches are prevalent. Mouthfeel is very carbonated; acidic.

This is a drinkable beer but the tartness should be balanced with food.

Photo of Maction
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Mahogany with rosy amber edges and a thin straw-colored head that quickly fades to a mist.

S: A very complex nose, with sherry, leather, malt vinegar, aromas and some funky, swampy, earthy notes.

T: Complements the nose, with sweeter raspberry hard candy, balsamic vinegar, and mushroom-y finish

M: Wine like feel, with some sparkle at the end, and a sweet-and-sour finish.

D: This isn't a ballgame chugger, but a nightcap sipper, to be enjoyed by the fireside. Does that make it less drinkable than an ESB? I think not.

Photo of ritzkiss
3.72/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle pours a dark maroon with hints of cherry red in the light; gorgeous foam on top that leaves sticky lacing down the glass. Beautiful looking beer.

Smell is dominated by vinegar - perhaps a little too much so. Hints of sour cherries, a faint sweetness. I can relate to the comment on it reminding one of ketchup - an all too acidic, tart ketchup.

The taste is less intimidating than the smell. Hints of vinegar, lots of fruitiness (cherries, plum, apple) - well integrated with a sweet malt background.

This is an extremely sweet beer and a true sipper. The sourness blends well and is not overwhelming. For a non-beer drinker this would stun the socks off of them - this is beer? A really well balanced and yet complex beer. Worth checking out.

Photo of jwhawkins81
3.91/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The bottle's cork said the best by date was 06/10

Aroma - Sweet with a tart aroma similar to grapes.

Appearance - Dark amber red with a nice off-white head and a good amount of carbonation.

Taste - A lot is going on in the flavor of this beer. First a good level of malt sweetness and then tart fruits leading to a wine like middle and finish. Finish is clean with a slight tartness lingering. Almost every time I took a sip I expected the tartness to keep growing but it didn't, which I'm glad about.

Notes - This had a good mouthfeel and a medium body. This is a really good beer I will have again.

Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark amber with a wispy head, not much lacing.

Smell has a light sour/tart presence with a decent dark fruit backing.

Taste is fairly light along with some prickly carbonation, the sour/tart/funkiness isn't overwhelming and is pretty much just the right amount, a nice dark fruit taste lends some sweetness.

This also just happens to be one of the few beers I can get my girlfriend to drink and makes for a good way to introduce good beer to those who don't like that "beer" taste.

Photo of berkey
3.7/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Duvel Tulip. Ruby-garnet brown body with a medium head with below average retention. Lacing is a bit spotty.

Aromas are of sour fruit, red wine, over ripe cherries, and a surprising almost cheese-like pungency along with some bready yeast and a very subtle vinegar smell.

Taste is of more yeast and sour fruit along with the same pungency picked up on the nose. Also some mellow woodiness. Overall not as much sour as I look for in the style. Sour pungency is the best thing this beer has going for it and there's not enough for my tastes. Otherwise this beer is a little on the ordinary side. Lack of agressive flavors should keep this drinkable but I lost interest before I even hit the bottom of the glass.

Overall an okay intro to sours because of it's mellow character and availability but a far shot from what this style has to offer. I skipped this beer on my sour education and I really don't feel I missed out.

Photo of TexIndy
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330ml bottle into my NBB snifter. Best by date of 8/14. It was rich ruby color with some carb streams but no lacing. It had a small fizzy tan head that quickly settled into a collar.

The aroma was outstanding. Really love the Flanders Red Ale aromas. Balsamic vinegar, sour cherries, grape - nice mix of tart and sweet. Add a little funk aroma and it would be perfect. The taste was also great. I've had this numerous times and was surprised that I hadn't reviewed it as I thought I had. This particular bottle was a lot sweeter than the others I've had so this is a review of this bottle and recollections of the other times. Sweet as I said but not usually not overly sweet like this one. Needed a little more tart to balance it but still pretty good.

Overall, a really great beer that I highly recommend. In my regular rotation.

[RR]

Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.29/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: Beautiful caged/corked 750ml bottle with great label; expiration date of 06/10.

Appearance: Beautiful dark garnet brown beer with fluffy dark ivory cap with great retention.

Smell: Funky, tart lactic and woodsy aromas...quite sour, with almost a touch of vinegar.

Taste: Super tart/woodsy up front...hints of vinegar...light hints of tart/sweet cherry on the finish

Mouthfeel: Prickly and highly carbonated

Drinkability: Medium-medium low

Conclusion: Interesting and definitely unique....I had this once before with goat cheese and marinara...that was pretty tasty...by itself this is a bit intense, and while I can appreciate the complexity and uniqueness of the style, I'm not sure this one is for me...it was alright with Jarlsberg though.

Photo of slayer3604
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

a- thick, lasting white head, with a bronze/brown body with filthy lacing and churns of carbonation.

s- tart lactic cherry cola, a wiff of effervescence and the TINIEST hint of vinegar.

T- Mild, but full of flavor. a crisp hint of cherry, taffy, sour cream, fig and toffee. I really wish it was more tart and acidic! such a good beer for 10.99 a 750ml though.

m- light, but when you swish it around it becomes a lathery crusade upon thine palate. nice dry finish.

d- i could drink this shit up every day of the week. well....i order beer so why not? *marks down one case of duchesse for wednesday's delivery*.

Photo of biboergosum
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle. So like a gueuze, but not a Gueuze, eh? Screwy old-world denominations.

This beer pours a clear, rather dark reddish cola amber hue, with two pudgy fingers of foamy, soapy beige head, which take a fair while to melt away, leaving some chunky, splotchy stillborn honeycombed lace around the glass as it slowly melts away.

It smells of sour fruit esters - cherry, lemon, and apple, with more than a bit of sharp acetic acid, some timid boozy oak barrel notes, and a faint pale malt sweetness. The taste is big sweet and sour fruitiness - black currants, cherry, apple - further sweet caramel malt, and a burgeoning oaken vanilla woodiness. Some leafy, earthy bitterness loiters after the fact.

The carbonation is quite low-key, the body a solid, and fairly smooth medium weight, the echoes of abstracted fruit strangely doing no harm. It finishes off-dry, with the overarching fruitiness fully opening up to the yin and yang of tartness and sweetness.

A rather complex and sexy offering, the sourness alluring enough to draw one in, but not too pungent to outstay its welcome. In the end, one has to describe this as a more sweet than sour, tasty tipple, a testament to the mutability of things.

Photo of jacobseyb
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A=Poured a deep dark ruby with little if any haze, two fingers of slightly off white head that faded to a nice cap and laced slightly

S=complex smell almost like a red wine vinegar but not as pungent, some fruityness

T=nice taste of fruit followed by malts, relatively gentle taste compared to the smell

M=gentle carbonation with light aftertaste

D=overall good, not too sweet, not too tart really pretty balanced but with some sourness, not too difficult to finish the 750.

Photo of cvfish
3.65/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - This beer poured a brownish color with ruby highlights that produced a tan head that had decent retention and laced the side of the glass nicely

S - The aromas produced by this beer were the caramelized malts, cherries, and some sourness

T - The taste of this beer started with a caramelized malts flavor that was quickly overrun by a sour cherry/apple flavor that dominated my palate and did not leave

M - The mouthfeel of this beer had a light to medium body with a moderate amount of carbonation

D - What can I say about the Duchesse? Very unique, not something that I was quite into, but there again maybe something that will grow on me

Photo of davedahl
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a delicious brew.

_Appearance_
Very clear ruby-bronze color - and gradiated. When held to a light it shows off brilliant clarity and a few champagne-like bubbles rising to surface. Small head with low head-retention.

_Smell_
Sour cherries, crab apples, creamy-carmely malt.

_Taste_
Slight tannin, sourness, light carmel malt. Whole cherries. Young and sweet but deliciously sour and complex. Clearly a blend.

_Mouthfeel_
Full and well-rounded. Semi-dry finish. Slight mouth-pricle from medium-to-high carbonation.

_Drinkability_
Despite complexity, sour/sweet ness, this is highly drinkable thanks to how well balanced and only slight dryness.

Drink it!

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

A tan head with different sized bubbles tops a very clear dark plum brew with red highlights.

Smells of dark fruits and spices. Reminiscent of a BSDA. Vinegar was apparent at first, but later settled into the background. The promise of sourness tickles the nose.

The taste contains notes of lemon juice, tart fresh berries, nail polish remover (which is not actually as bad as it sounds within the context of the other flavors, but is pretty strong on the palate), ripe fresh cherries, granny smith apples and some caramel.

The mouthfeel is light; carbonation and sourness tickle the whole mouth.

Pretty drinkable and overall, a very nice brew. As my first sour, I wasn't sure what to expect but I was pleased with the results. Can't wait to explore more sours now!

Photo of rhinos00
3.31/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a burgundy, brown color with a nice three fingers width of off-white head. Some lacing as the beer is consumed.

S- Not very pleasant. Gives off a strong vinegar scent with some oak and sourness in between.

T- Not as overwhelming as the aroma. Toned down sourness that is more tart and a nice sweetness that balances the taste. Still this one is just off in some way.

M- Some carbonation. Had a thin to medium bodied mouthfeel.

D- This one was pretty hard to put down. The taste and aroma weren't doing it for me.

Overall, I love sours but this one was just not my cup of tea. Sour, yet sweet with a vinegar scent was all too much for me. I'll pass.

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Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,613 ratings.