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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

3,151 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,151
Reviews: 1,355
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 144
Gots: 325 | 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: 3,151 | Reviews: 1,355 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of WMBierguy
1.98/5  rDev -52.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

This was the first Belgian red ale that I have ever tried. I didn't know what to expect, but I didn't expect this. I consider myself to have a pretty open mind when it comes to beer. Bavarian beers are my favorite, but I had yet to find a quality beer that I simply couldn't stand. Today I found that beer.

I really don't consider this to be beer. It may technically be beer, but it tastes nothing like it. It resembles a strange wine. The first taste was quite striking... I was expecting something that tasted somewhat like a Brown Ale. The flavor was incredibly sweet, with a strange tartness cutting accross about half way through the sip. It tastes a bit like nail polish smells.

Yes, this beer is complex. Very complex. I haven't tasted anything like it. However, the complexity isn't pleasant. I want a beer, not a science experiment. I guess that I'm too attached to the Reinheitsgebot... I'd take the robust complexity of an Aventinus to this beer anyday.

WMBierguy, Feb 25, 2006
Photo of RedHaze
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by date of 08-06-06

Pours a very dark burgundy color with a thick two finger head that settles to a solid ring that leaves behind nice webs of lacing.

Smell; very vinous and slightly sour. There's planty of fruit present (cherries, apples and raisins) as well as a bit yeasty. I really like that way this smells. The sourness isn't quite as pronounced as I had expected, and blends well with the fruit aromas.

Taste; a slightly surgary sweetness hits at first, followed by cherries, apples raisins/plums intertwined with a tart sourness. There's a bit of a dry oak flavor, as well as a touch of cinnamon in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with nice carbonation that makes this somewhat creamy.

This is my first beer of this style, and I'm pleasantly surprised. I didn't expect to like this nearly as much as I have.

RedHaze, Feb 23, 2006
Photo of Golden2wenty1
3.48/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked up a single at Riley's here in Madison.

Part of my three-part series of intimidatingly sour/funky beers along with New Glarus' Sour Brown Ale, and Oude Gueuze.

Pours a striking dark ruby/garnet with a short, fading tan head. Nose is similar to the Sour Brown with the strong balsamic vinegar astringency along with tart lambic fruits. Taste starts with a quick vinegar/lambic sour bite and then gets sickly sweet with overripe granny smith apple peel and rancid citrus then finishes with a hint of dry tart. Mouthfeel is clean and bubbly. Would be a lot more drinkable if the sickly-sweetness was kept in check, but still certainly one of the most unique beer experiences I've had to date.

Golden2wenty1, Feb 21, 2006
Photo of Viggo
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a ruby red/brown, medium off white head forms, lots of lace, head goes in not too long. Smell is sour cherries, caramel, yeast, sweet malt, acidity. Taste is a strange mix, sugary at first, cherries, then a super sour/acidic hit. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with low carbonation, nice and creamy. Crazy sour/acidity, but great, would definately try again.

Viggo, Feb 21, 2006
Photo of charlesw
2.95/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Very pretty... Deep burgundy/amber. Plenty clear while being (sigh) plenty opaque. You with me? Medium-height, dark head of really tight bubbles. Still have a full cover of head after 5 minutes (wow).
Smells like a walk in the woods on a nice fall day. Sweet and musky... Huge sweet raisin nose with plenty of caramel malts in there, too...
Very fruity in the mouth. Sweetened sour cherries, hints of that caramel. Medicinal in the back of the mouth and followed by a sour aftertaste that lingers several minutes. It's very interesting how it changes in your mouth - each of the first 10 seconds gives a new wave of something completely different.
Very crisp and clean in the mouth - perhaps medium in body but with a high level of carbonation - even a bit fizzy.
So... Drinkable? Well, yeah. Say the day is hot and you want something refreshing to cleanse your palate... Yeah, this would do the trick perfectly. It's not well adapted for drinking right now - it's 15F out with 30mph winds!

And, uh, well. I won't be able to finish the (750ml) bottle. It's just too...

charlesw, Feb 17, 2006
Photo of murrayswine
3.15/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I think me and any Flanders officially dont get along.
It pours a mildly headish ruby brown smelling frankly like sour patch kids, vinegar, and alcohol.
The taste is light, lighter than the smell leads you to believe. It's not my favorite, but it did finish with a saki clean, like a good Flanders. The body is a little light, though from other's I've had.

murrayswine, Feb 13, 2006
Photo of DrJay
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep ruby colour with a bit of brown topped by a pale tan head. Good lacing made up of very fine bubbles. Tart aroma with some fruity esters and a bit of tobacco. There's a hint of solventy alcohol here that was slightly distracting, but diminished somewhat with time. Syrupy sweetness balances the fruity tartness quite nicely - almost like candy. Dry finish. Very fine carbonation, full mouthfeel and palate coating. Quite nice overall. The sweet and tart combination in the flavour really works. Thanks Viggo!

DrJay, Feb 11, 2006
Photo of texashammer
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours out of the bottle a dark brown, red when held to the light, with only a slight head. smell is a very funky sourness. just a hint of Vichtenaar's richness in the mouth. somewhat daunting sourness. delicate, with a slightly metallic bite at the end.

texashammer, Feb 08, 2006
Photo of Metalmonk
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a large Gulden Draak tulip glass. Foamy bone-white head that all but disappears in a minute or so. Beautiful lace and gorgeous deep red-brown color, can just barely see through it.

Complex aromas, with tartness full-on and up-front. Black and sour cherries mingle with hints of rhubarb. Or a just-opened bag of soft Sweet Tarts candy. Also getting some funk in the background (like the yeasty funk in the amazing Flemish Primitive Wild Ale).

Cherry tartness dominates the flavor with some oak barrel woodiness. Delicious and highly drinkable. Pleasing dryness in back. Full body, with sourness coating the mouth. Robust enough to feel like an ale, but only just. Undeniably delicious.

Metalmonk, Feb 05, 2006
Photo of mortarit
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

A Flanders Red, are commonly referred to as the "red" beers of West Flanders. Belgian Red Beers are typically light-bodied brews with reddish-brown colors. They are infamous for their distinct sharp, fruity, sour and tart flavours which are created by special yeast strains. Very complex beers, they are produced under the age old tradition of long-term cask aging in oak, and the blending of young and old beers.

Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 4.0-8.0%

I copied the definition so I could reviews this one since it is my first Flanders Red. I remember one cohort here at this style picked as his prefered choice. Man, was I way off. I thought this would be a beer of simply taste. I was blown away from the sharp taste. I should of know when I open the bottle , it had a little kick in the release of the cap.
Fruity
Alcohol can be detected
The tartness is a little over whelming.
It's different, I am glad I had the chance to experience it.
Uh, try again.
I would like to try others in this group to have a broaded range of this style.

mortarit, Feb 02, 2006
Photo of Matthew
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddish color with a bit of a brown tinge to it. Nice big fluffy white head. Lots of lacing and great head retention.
The first thing that strikes me about this beer's smell is the immediate dessert wine smell. There is a recongnizable alcohol smell wrapped up in a nutty aroma and a wood type aroma mostly oak.
Again the first thing I noticed is a sour taste, probably because it was least expected. There is certainly wine like characteristics in this beers taste and smell. Very sweet, with notes of cherry and grape. I think that this would go very nice with cheese cake or a sweet dish of some sort. I'm definatley interested to try more of this style.

Matthew, Jan 27, 2006
Photo of Fugazme
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First beer of this style that I've tried... looks like a cola on the pour. Large bubbbles... dark brown and ruby colors.

Aroma is great. Cherry, oak, cabernet, phenolic, yeast, sour,
sweet tarts...

Mouthfeel is a touch awkward with carbonation at first, but mellows during the drink as it warms. Definite sour flavor. Cherries and yeasty overtones. Dry on the finish. Wine-like for sure.

Fugazme, Jan 26, 2006
Photo of audiojon
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This tasted a bit like fermented grape soda upon first sip. By the end of the glass i had grown a taste for it. Very tart, very dry, but verrry different and pretty damned tasty. I couldn't see drinking more than one or two tho.

Poured on tap at O'Brien's in San Diego. Appearance was nice, smell was very sweet and fruity, lots of grape and cherry. Effervescent mouthfeel, extremely fizzy. The taste is sweet at first, then rapidly shifts to extremely sour. From there it's a contrast of the dry tartness and a refreshing sweetness.

Recommended, but only for sour beer lovers.

audiojon, Jan 23, 2006
Photo of neonbrown82
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours to a fairly clear but dark berry color. Carbonation seems minimal, and the head quickly falls to nothing though it wasn't much to begin with.

The smell is the perfect mix between a sweet and tart rasberry aroma with a dash of red wine vinegar. Smells absolutely amazing.

The taste is very similar. Astonishing. However, the finish sticks around for what seems like an eternity. Constantly getting drier and drier while the tart and horseblanket stick around until you just can't help but to take a fresh drink. If it weren't for the absolutely horrid finish that had me contemplating chopping off my tongue, I would have awarded the taste with a 5.0 as well, but that honor will be reserved only for the smell.

The mouthfeel is great up until the finish. It sweeps through the palate registering what seems like thousands of separate and unique flavors in the split second that the beer first hits the tongue. My entire palate is stimulated, and I'm tasting in places of my mouth that I didn't know had tastebuds. But then the finish crashes the party no later than the beer is swallowed.

The beer is actually very drinkable if you don't let it sit long enough that the finish makes you want to die. A great beer for people looking to get their feet wet with sour beers.

neonbrown82, Jan 23, 2006
Photo of Citadel82
4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been over a year since I last tried this brew. Wow! I love this style.

750ml bottle purchased at Spirits Unlimited in Red Bank - cork stamped "good until Nov. 2007." I am drinking it young and loving it!

Unlike the last bottle I tried which was a 11.3. ounce crown capped bottle, this one is cork and cage finished.

Poured a deep ruby garnet with a generous off-white head that lasts and lasts and leaves clumps of thick lacing.

Aroma is funky earth, some wine vinegar and a malt like sweetness that I cannot say I have smelled before.

Taste is refreshing and complex. a tartness up front morphs into candy sugar and finishes in a bready slightly dry finish. Sour cherry candies?

Mouthfeel is creamy and light, which makes this quenching beer a real refresher.

Citadel82, Jan 21, 2006
Photo of DarrellK
4.95/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appreciating Flanders Red Ale style is one that is not of the uninitiated and takes some experience to understand it's value. The Duchesse is probably the premier example of the style and gets my highest rating.

The ale pours to a beautiful fine head that leaves a lovely lace. Being color-blind mt color descriptions can be a bit off, but looks like a clear dark ruby to me.

The aroma promotes a sour prelude to the first sip that is sure to challenge those that think Bud Light is Nirvana. The mouth is of medium viscosity and despite the bubbles from the head is quite still in nature. The finish is raisiny at first and moves to dates later and of course in sour, and just sour enough to be refreshing.

The beer should be tried in two ways, first on the cool end of the specrtrum 45 deg or so and then again at the higher end maybe 55. The Cooler end brings out the sourness more and the higher end the fruity side.

One other point is that it is only 6.2% abv and which is on the low end of the Belgian scale.

DarrellK, Jan 12, 2006
Photo of hero27
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle. Best before 1/17/07.

Blood red color with a somewhat thin, oily tan head. The aroma is quite strong chocolate, sour cherries, and dark fruits. The taste is impressive and very unique. Sour cherry dominates the taste, with oaky qualities, vinegar, and tartness to wrap it all together. The mouthfeel is somewhat coating and oily. Not sure how many of these I'd really like to drink in succession due to the sourness and very rich flavor, but it was a nice, somewhat unexpected treat.

As a sidenote...my brother was about 95% sure that he got sick from this beer..since he was throwing up most of the next day, and it tasted like cherries on the way out as well.. I apologize for the harsh details, but just thought I'd add that, in case anyone else has had a similar experience.

hero27, Jan 12, 2006
Photo of beveragecaptain
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

330 ml bottle. Duchesse De Bourgogne pours out a Ruby color with a creamy head. The aroma is cherry, oak, and vinegar. The flavor starts out a sweet, but turns very sour. Fruity cherry flavor. I would be surprised if there were no cherries in this beer. A bit chocolatey. The finish is dry and woody. Medium mouthfeel with a high carbonation. This beer is definitely not for everyone. Overall I enjoyed it, but with each sip I alternated between thinking it tasted great and thinking it tasted nasty. I guess each beer lover will have to decide for himself.

beveragecaptain, Jan 10, 2006
Photo of Calico
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my very favorite beers, truly a royal brew in my opinion. The only other Flanders sour red I've had is Rodenbach, but this beer is much more mellow and drinkable than even the Rodenbach Grand Cru.

Pours with an enormous head. Brilliant mahogany color.

Nose has winey notes, a little rose aroma, sugar sweetness, maybe a hint of irises.

Sherry and port tastes hit the back of the tongue. I also noticed a licorice note. I'm surprised to find this much of a sherry or winey taste in a less-than-7% abv beer. Some esters apparent; finishes with a sparkle of grapefruit.

Calico, Jan 09, 2006
Photo of DogFood11
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm certainly not an expert in this style or in any style for that matter but this one has evaded me for a long time. Beautiful pillowy Ivory white head that leaves wave upon wave of sticky lacing. Sharp fine carbonation in a dark amber to brown bodied brew. Not sure how much the appearance can improve.

Tart aroma with a decent malted sweetness in the background that makes this inviting.

Wow, first couple pulls are tart and nothing else but it developes on the palate quite comfortably as it warms. An earthiness breaks through this sour tart up front in your face taste. sweet grapes, crisp finish. This is a nice frickin' brew. certainly not for everyone but highly reccomended if your kinda like lambics but want something with a bit more balance this is for you.

DogFood11, Jan 06, 2006
Photo of Brewfan
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Mac56 for this beer, via Newbie "Onebox" BIF '05

Poured into my Rodenbach tulip.
250 ml. bottle

Very large quickly dissapating head. Went from 3.5 fingers to covering the top of the beer in about 25 seconds.
Dark reddish copper color with a steady stream of carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass. Decent lace clings to the edges.
Smell: Sour and musty. Not as viniagry or "over the top" as say Rodenback Grand Cru. This is definately more my style. Nice tart fresh cherry and off-the-tree apple sweetness, with definate hops towards the back. Oak comes through later on.
Taste: This is gorgeous. Tart, but not overly. Malty sweetness on the tongue. Almost on the verge of an apple-wine. Very fruity. Slight bitterness, like the bitterness from a fresh apple peel that you just picked off of the tree. I keep going back to the apple references. If apples actually tasted this good, Jesus, I'd eat an apple with every single meal of my life. May have wanted it a bit more tart, ended up being a bit too sweet towards the end.
Mouthfeel/Drinkability: I could have drank this beer in about 3 sips. Medium mouthfeel. Nice and creamy. I would have liked it a bit more tart and brisk. Finishes dry, drier than I would have thought possible while drinking this beer.
Full of surprises, flavors and aromas. Nice beer.

Brewfan, Jan 03, 2006
Photo of TheEclecticGent
4.88/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A very dark red-amber flemish (Flanders) red ale w/moderate to loose carbonation. The smell is sharp and sour but has overtones of mellow fermented fruit. The taste is extremely complex dominated by a fermented fruit flavor ranging from berry to banana spice, a wonderful range of sharp to mellow flavors. It has a moderately heavy mouthfeel with a very fizzy and full feeling. This is my favorite beer in the world (period).

TheEclecticGent, Dec 31, 2005
Photo of Sephiroth
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Expiration date of Oct. 2007: Pours with a half inch of foam, sticky lace wraps the glass. Color is a dark amber. Smell is quite overpowering. Sour oak with a wine undertone.

Tastes sour, sweet, oaky, winey, with the flavors repeating in a random order. This is my first Flanders Red Ale, and I am a fan. Mouthfeel is creamy, but light. The finish is long. I won't struggle to finish the 750ml bottle.

Sephiroth, Dec 13, 2005
Photo of JohnnyDuvel
3.63/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've seen this beer many times. Finally decided to give it a shot. Served with a steak and scallops dinner. Smells like red wine,
tastes a lot like a lambic (but not quite as carbonated or overtly fruity). Tart and sweet, certainly a complex "beer". Ultimately, this was too sweet and distracting to have with dinner, would be better with dessert. Not quite my style. Lambic fans should grab this up!

JohnnyDuvel, Dec 11, 2005
Photo of Wasatch
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown/black color, nice carbonation, lots of lacing throuhout the drink. Scents of grapes, sour/tarty, and caramel. I like the taste, tarty/sour, carbonated, reminds me of a wine, but more to my liken (not a wine drinker at all). Medium body. Very drinkable, this is my first Flanders Red Ale. Totally blew my mind when opened and took my first sip. Would highly recommend to people, will definitely buy again.

Wasatch, Dec 10, 2005
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,151 ratings.