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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

3,557 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,557
Reviews: 1,412
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.46%
Wants: 174
Gots: 497 | FT: 8
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: 3,557 | Reviews: 1,412 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of charlzm
4.07/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Consumed ay Blue Palms, Hollywood, CA on 03/04/2009.

Beer arrived in a stemless flute. Deep amber/copper colored fluid with no discernable carbonation or head.

Bold vinegar aroma with nuances of sweetness. For me, this is the only thing off about this fine brew.

Flavor is exceedingly tart. Grape vinegar is a note, but the main flavor seems to be sour cherries. Cheese on the palate as well. Finish is decisive, non lingering. No-to-low bitterness.

Mouthfeel is unremarkable save for a touch of dryness.

Although I prefer Rodenbach Grand Cru in this style, my appreciation for this beer has grown over the years.

Photo of Arbitrator
4.07/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Chilled bottle into a glass.

A: Pours a dark, hazy red with slight orange highlights when held to a lamp. Head is marginal, receding to a collar around the glass, with huge sheets of lacing down the glass as I drink.

S: Vinegar, pinot, tamarind, wood, cherries, salt. Almost like a red wine past its prime.

T: Sour, vinegary red grapes and unripe tamarind with mild wood and cherry sub-flavors. A little bit salty in the mid-taste, which adds an incredibly pleasant third side to the already complex battle between sweet and sour. The finish is acidic. Quite a captivating taste.

M: Medium bodied, with light carbonation -- not to press the point, but again, it feels like a wine. Decently crisp finish, with no trace of the alcohol.

D: This is complex enough that I want to have this again and savor it. It will make a wonderful treat beer. But I would not want to have more than one in a row, since its flavor profile is quite strong.

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

Had this on tap at the Brickstore Pub last night, served in a Duchesse Chalice...

- Ruby color, nice head that dissipated in minutes.

- Smelled of cherries, vanilla, fresh sliced apples, and ripe soft plums.

- Taste? This beer is heavenly!!!! Perfect in every way....Cherry flavor, but soft to the pallet. I'd think this was aged in oak given the vanilla subtleties.

Mouthfeel - Soft velvety. Nothing harsh about this at all.

Drinkability - I swear we (3 of us) order 8 or 9 of these in between all the other beers we had at the BSP. Does that say enough?

Overall - This would be a perfect introduction to flander Red style and to craft beer in general.. I met up with a female friend of mine who gasp at beer because all she knew was BMC. After having this beer, and a few others... her mind has been changed...permanently!

Awesome beer! Cheers!

Photo of currysage1
4.73/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Creamy off white head, sticks to the end, Pinot Noir light red color.

Great smell of sweet apple cider vinegar, gala apples, Sweet medium malt,

Talk about enjoyable, creamy satisfying and complex. Being one of the first Flanders I've had, I have to say I'm impressed. Going to be looking for others.

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

This is the first time I've delved into the sour/Flanders red style, and I was really impressed by this beer that I've heard mentioned so often.

Poured from the bottle (best by 08/14/09) a dark brown with about a finger of fizzy head. With all of the initial carbonation, it was cola-like in appearance, but that soon faded. Smell is a pungent vinegar and ketchup mixture, but I enjoyed its strength.

Taste is full of vinegar, but also sour apple and cherry. For all its sour flavor, however, Duchesse finishes a bit sweet. Mouthfeel after the puckering effect is a bit salty, but otherwise the finish is pretty clean. Overall, I enjoyed the very different flavors and textures, and I'll buy this again as a treat, though maybe not every week or month.

Photo of SaCkErZ9
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first Flanders Red so I am not sure of the style. I liked the beer so I gave all 4's.

Bottle purchased at The Thirsty Monk in Asheville, NC for $7.50. Poured into a Duchesse De Bourgogne chalice. Emerges a ruddy red/ brown color with a one finger sized white head.

Aroma was very vinegary and sour wine. It took some time to adjust to it and become acclimated. I guess it really smelled like red wine vinegar with some strong dark fruitiness underneath.

Flavor was slightly sour yet sweet. Salty.

For my first Flanders Red, I was very intrigued. I will certainly give the style more consideration in the future.

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

poured this particular one out of a bottle with a beautiful work of art on the label even the cap with the lions holding the shield was a nice touch.

A,this has a dark brick red brown color with a one finger thick white froth that dissipates quickly leaves spots of lace .

S,wow! overwhelming ,this took me off guard. it`s like a sweet and sour wine with vineger and fruits ..

T,sweet yet a strong vineger wine quality to it.fruity ,apple ,plums and sour grapes though it`s got balance .

D, i find this beer very good ,like a fine wine the more i drink it the more i appreciate the multiple flavors

Photo of MMAJYK
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A. Bright mahogony color. Nice and clear with a nice little head that dissipates rather quickly.

S. Cherries, apples, muscadines, and a touch of wood.

T. Grape skins, lemons, strawberries, and bubblegum.

M. Light in the mouth and high carbonation. Zingy and refreshing.

D. This beer is quite drinkable as it is one of the most refreshing drinks I've had in a while. Paired with Chicken Alfredo was excellent!

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

Just back from Belgium and this is the 1st of 8 that I brought home with me to try. Pours a nice ruby red/dark brown clolor - little carbonation leaves a small head which dissipates completely leaving no lacing.

Smell is sour and sweet, hints of dates or raisins.

Taste hits the sides of the tongue with sour first, then hints of ripe cherry on the palate. Not heavy and very well balanced. Taste lingers for quite some time. One sip makes me crave another. An amazing mix of sweet & sour, highly drinkable and sadly my 25cl bottle is gone. Will definitely seek this one out again.

Photo of Yetiman420
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On draft in a wide-mouth Duchesse De Bourgogne wine glass.

Shiny copper color that turns the lights behind it red. Very impressive in a bar with lots of lights.

Thin, consistent head that leaves random gops of lacing.

Tart aroma. Flavor is consistently as stong as aroma - interesting dynamic that in profile similarity.

Great mouthfeel. Sweet, flavorful finish but not too much.

Photo of dougfir
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very unusual, although I am not well-versed in this style, so perhaps they are all like this! Rye or pumpernickel nose. Very fruity and malty tasting. Not much head, but highly carbonated. Slightly tastes like dry cider. Tastes more alcoholic than it supposedly is. Quite an interesting beer, and certainly worth at least trying.

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

A: Deep mahogany colored body, slightly opaque in clarity, with soft brown highlights. Effervescent head builds quickly producing a rich tan one finger head that readily disintegrates leaving a lathery film -- still manages to create a decent lacing pattern.

S: Red table wine aroma at first glance moving to soured fruits like plums, apples, and white grapes. A sugary sweetness moves in shortly after, reminiscent of the charred sugary crust of a creme brulee.

T: Half sour light fruits as witnessed in the aroma, pears, plums, apples, and white grapes. Again, after the initial whiff of fruit, sugary malts come into play with toasted caramel and artificial sugar, saccharin, sweetness trailing off into a tart finish.

M: Light to medium bodied, decent carbonation, vaguely syrupy, and leaving off tart and dry.

D: Sour ales just really appeal to me, I found that this beer is incredibly palletable, and just kept me wanting more.

Photo of tai4ji2x
3.31/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750ml green bottle. cork has exp date of 3/10. poured into tulip.

dark, ruby red with brown tones. gemstone clear under the light. moderately sized, fluffy tan head fades to thin layer, then wisps. amazing curtain of lacing. no sediment in the bottle or glass - is this a filtered brew?

aroma is fruity cherries and faint molasses with a very weak funk note. light wood tones, plus damp earth or fallen leaves. whiff of vinegar.

surprisingly sweet with only a trace of acidity. fruity apple and cherries, with syrupy caramel and brown sugar. faint bitterness from grassy hops and more weak acidity, with another trace of wood and damp hay.

smooth, with acidic twinge at the end for texture. mild to moderate carbonation for some refreshment.

too sweet, almost cloying, and certainly not enough acidity or complex funkiness. pales in comparison to rodenbach grand cru or even monk's cafe. but i understand the appeal for sour beer novices, so this prevents me from totally trashing it.

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

So it turns out that I was wrong.

I tried Duchesse in my early craft beer days and found it to be utterly revolting. Perhaps it was due to a bad bottle I picked up, but I'm more inclined to blame it on an undeveloped palate. Yesterday I tried it on-tap at Sacramento Brewing and realized what I'd been missing out on.

Get this: A non-beer-drinker in our party declared it her favorite beer of all time, ordering two additional glasses for herself.

A - Pours a light cherry brown with a light, dirty tan head. Lots of lacing remains after the head dissipates nearly completely.

S - You know that it's going to be tart before even taking a sip. As a beginner I got vinegar and little else. This time I pick up dark cherries, vanilla, with a nutty backbone. You will recall this beer by its nose more than anything else.

T - To cut to the chase, absolutely delicious. It's creamy, sweet, tart, with cherries, vanilla, and dark berries. The vinegar is present, but doesn't ruin the experience.

M - Medium bodied, crisp, with lots of carbonation.

D - A sipper, but one you want to sip all damn day.

Never in a million years did I think I'd say it, but I love Duchesse!

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

Picked up a corked bottle at Whole Food Cambridge for $9.99. This was a pre-Valentine's Day dinner beer. Paired with a variety of cheeses. Poured into stemmed glassware. Dark red color with a hint of burnt orange. Thin bubbly head. Moderate amount of carbonation. Smelled a bit sour, as expected. Taste, though, was unexpected. I thought that I knew what to expect, but I got so much more. Wow, this was nice. I was thinking it would be just another Flanders ale, with a nice sour profile. Instead, it had a wonderful fruit (cherry, strawberry) flavor up front. There was a bit of sourness at the back end, but it did not detract from the excellent taste. Very light and smooth. This beer jumped very high on my list of favorite Belgian offerings.

Photo of t0rin0
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at the Lucky Baldwins 10th Annual Belgian fest on 2/15/09.

Pours a dark hazy red. Medium lacing, low retention, white head.

Aroma is of sweet and sour cherries, a touch of vinegar, and crystal malts.

Flavor is of sour cherries, a little vinegar, red ale, and possibly some lactic acid. Tart and sweet. Not real complex but very nice. Medium bitternes.

Medium body, very drinkable and enjoyable.

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

Picked up a single at Aggie Liquors in Ft. Collins for around $11.50.

A: Poured a deep dark red with a cream colored head about half an inch thick. Lots of little spots of lacing. Quite a bit darker than I had expected.

S: Sour smells, a little bit like vinegar, strong red wine smells, sour cherries, very heavy on the wine smells. Slight hint of oak woodiness.

T: Sour cherry flavors, slight honey flavors, vanilla, a lot of oak flavors too, nice brown ale nuttiness. Not as overwhelmingly sour as others. Very tasty beer. Nice lingering nuttiness and honey with sour accents. This is very tasty all around. Lots of things going on.

M: Somewhat thick, nice carbonation, and not nearly as dry as I thought it would be. There is a nice dryness though. Well balanced.

D: Excellent beer, easily could drink multiple 750s of this. Great beer all around. Not nearly as intense as other Flanders Red's that I have tried. Excellent beer.

Photo of meatmallet
4.49/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark burgandy in color with a bubbly tan head.

Smell: Smell is awesome. Sour apple dominates the nose as well as cherry. It is a bit musky and tart and very complex like a good wine.

Taste: Very sweet at first and it finishes sour. Light malt flavor with hints of cherry, cranberry, and sour apple.

Mouthfeel/drinkability: Light carbonation and a great taste make this a must try.

Photo of kaseydad
4.37/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I picked up the Duchesse after many times passing her by due to the uncertainty. My wife picked her up for me at Whole Foods and unfortunately it was placed facing the cold box near an auxillary vent...of heat...which was keeping cheese cold. Go figure.

After 24 hours in the cold, the Duchesse and I had our rendezvous.

Being my first Flanders Red Ale, she went easy. She poured a nice reddish brown color with a single layer of foam. A light carbonation was also present.

She yielded a major vinegar aroma with a whisp of cherry in the background.

She tasted of a sweet vinegar on the initial sip with a nice sweetness on the back of the tongue and lips. A very intriguing taste for a newbie to this style.

It was a nice refreshing brew to some of the others I have tried in the past and is very drinkable if you can get past the ever-present vinegar smell.

Photo of FlikkerDans
4.77/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had a bottle last night on the front porch. It poured a small head with just the perfect amount of carbonation. The smell was a bit like raisins, prunes, and a touch of wine. Smelled a bit like alcohol but that was nowhere in the taste. It tasted amazing, with just the perfect amount of sweetness. Cool and extremely smooth, it almost felt like drinking a soda. Dr. Pepper, to be exact. It was my first for this style that I can remember, and it has left me wanting a whole lot more.

Photo of IRONRakkasan
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had never had a Flanders Red Ale until this one, and I loved it!

The head was almost non-existent, while the color was of a dark brown/amber color.

I caught the aroma of a sweet wine doing a happy dance with some apples.

I didn't know what to expect, and found myself thinking I was drinking a barely malted cider with no hops to speak of. The Duchesse finished with a nice sour apple taste.

The first impression I got, especially how it hit the tongue, was that it had a much higher alcohol content then it did.

I really enjoyed this style of beer, and look forward to some...further research in this subject matter.

I would definitely recommend this brew to anyone. Much fun!

Photo of beertunes
4.34/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served in a Chalice. Thin light tan head that dissipates quickly. A quite lovely deep brown with a reddish tint. Strong vinegar aroma. Flavor has the vinegar, but not as noticeably as the aroma. That musky, deep flavor is quite enjoyable. A sharp, wine like taste. I'm having trouble finding descriptors that fit the taste of this beer. The body is solid if a little thin. Very drinkable, if these flavors fit you. I enjoy this beer a lot, even though I have a difficult time describing it.

Photo of jminsc76
4.61/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Imagine Coca Cola meets vinegar in a garden of oak-ey goodness.

Duchesse ties with Rodenbach Grand Cru as my favorite of the Flanders red ales. Upon pouring, the carbonation initially brings out a slight head that clears fairly quickly, but upon a two to three second swirl will reform. The beer produces a tingling sensation on the roof of the mouth and/or parts of the tongue. When allowed to set and warm for five to 10 minutes out of the fridge, the feeling in the throat upon consumption is refreshing, like drinking a cold glass of water on a hot day. By 15 to 20 minutes most of the flavors have peaked, so polish it off by 30 minutes. You probably wouldn't drink warm Coca Cola; why would you drink warm Duchesse?

The smell is refreshing and very similar to the taste. Not too strong. The color is a dark, ruby red with a touch of brown. Very lush.

As the alcohol content is 6%, don't expect to get 'ishfaced out of your mind (unless you drink, like, 20 of them). This drink is more for the taste than the inebriation, although the taste is intoxicating in its own right.

On an additional note, my experience sharing Duchess with others is that beer lovers of the Flanders red style, and Belgian beers in general, love this drink. It's also an ideal beer for converting oenophiles and other beer-skeptics to the cause of drinking good, quality beer. Women who say they hate beer have expressed particular enjoyment with this one. Not always, but mostly.

Photo of craytonic
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a glowing ruby-amber with a large head.

Smell: The vinegar is very noticeable; also tart fruit (cherries) and vinegar-cider.

Taste: Vinegar, sour/tart cherries, raspberry, cider. Very sour, and not sweet like rodenbach. Nice oak wood element. I do wish it were a bit more sour with a little less vinegar. Way too sweet though. Refreshing and enjoyable, but the sweetness detracts from the drinkability. I prefer it on tap.

Photo of Azumel
2.07/5  rDev -50.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I realize that many people like this beer, but even after fighting through the soy sauce/mustard smell, I couldn't drink it. The strange sweet and sour taste along with the smell was a bit too much for me. Perhaps I'll try it again someday with better results. It's a pretty unique flavor for a beer, but one that I did not enjoy in any way.

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,557 ratings.