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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

3,343 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,343
Reviews: 1,367
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 154
Gots: 379 | 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: 3,343 | Reviews: 1,367 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ColoradoBobs
4.95/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at the Falling Rock Tap House, Denver, CO, March 16, 2007, served in a lovely brandy-snifter sized tulip glass.

Appearance: Minimal head over a dark burgundy body. Pretty. Crimson highlights around the edge. Even though the head is smallish, it lasts and lasts and lasts. A bit of lacing.

Lovely sour-cherry and cardamom smell, with a candy-sugar background. Some sweet maltiness is there as well. Smells great. Hope it tastes this good!

Taste does not disappoint, although it's bit sweeter than the smell. Like a light red sparkling wine, with a malty backbone. Wow. What a delight. Sour, but not mouth-puckering. Delightful cherry notes, with some clove and cardamom. Very complex, and the sweetness advances as the beer warms a bit. Wonderful taste! Not quite a 5.0, but more like a 4.9!

Mouthfeel is surprisingly chewy for a 6.2% beer. Nice tingly carbonation -- makes you want to swirl and chew before swallowing.

Really very drinkable. I was surprised. This is only the second Flanders Red I've had (the first being LaFolie, which was so exceedingly sour it was like vinegar -- way too sour for me!), and I was very pleased. Now that I've had this on tap, I'll be looking for it in the bottle to compare.

Oddly enough, I found the sometimes rotten service at FRTH to be exceptionally cordial and efficient. I was sitting at the bar, and was just finishing a Hercules DIPA (ON CASK!), and asked the guy to recommend something at the opposite end of the spectrum from the Hercules, and he gave me a 3-ounce sample of this, which motivated purchasing a 12 ounce glass. What a great beer!

ColoradoBobs, Mar 17, 2007
Photo of mikesgroove
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

My very first sour ale. I was not sure what to expect going in, but definatly knew what it was about when it was done!

Poured a deep dark brown, with lots of reddish hints to it, making it almost seem a dull burnt orange in bright light. A huge billowing white head faded quickly, but left a nice film of lace about the top for most of the glass. The smell was probably the strongest I have ever smelled in a beer. Almost knocked me over. Huge flavors of sour grapes and apples, lots of fruity hints in there, and very very strong, really like nothing I have ever smelled. The taste was unbelievably sour. Like sour candy sour, huge flavors, too much for me. Actually made my eyes water with every sip. Very light mouth feel, and great carbonation were nice, and helped it go down smoothly, but was not really my cup of tea. Flavors were big, grapes, apples, peaches, raisins, plums, very very complex and fruity. Overall I did not enjoy it, but I am not sure if this was due t o the style or this particular brew. I will have to try a couple more to get a better feel, but this one was rough on me. I could see how someone would like its deep complex character, just not me.

mikesgroove, Mar 16, 2007
Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

A - Clear ruby to burgundy color with a sizeable head that leaves thick rings of lacing down the sides of the glass.

S - Sweet raspberry, cherries and candied sugars.

T - Very sweet, like a slightly sour cherry soda, there is a bit of raspberry and light malt. After taste is empty, the flavor just vanishes.

M - High carbonation, harsh like a soda, pretty refreshing.

D - Definitely a good beer, mild pleasant flavor with a substantial depth to it. Worth a try certainly. A good beer to convert those who dislike hops.

mrasskicktastic, Mar 16, 2007
Photo of Stubbie1
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

When I popped the cork on this brew, a big “Best Before June 2008” was on the cork. Wonder when it was bottled…..

This beer poured a deep red color, almost a dark garnet. Heading was a decent, two finger thick off white in color. I cant remember seeing a beer this red and clear before. Lacing was thick after the head made its way and present until the end of the glass.

Aroma is sour, tart, spoiled juice or maybe a bit on the vinegar side, different but yet inviting. A hint of something “fruity” was floating around but never fully developed.

Taste is wonderful in its own way. Tart sour start with, like a fruit type of vinegar and a mild semi-sweet fruit feel in the middle washing out to a crisp clean finish. No lingering after taste. I was surprised on how “fresh” the pallet felt after this brew went its way down.

Mouth feel was thin, not a bad thin but a refreshing one and there is quite a bit of carination going on in there. Drinkability, well I could sit and slowly enjoy two or three of these over the course of an evening.

Overall this is a different but very enjoyable brew. The tartness may be a turn off to some and may play into the drinkability of this brew. Some might get the taste buds burnt out but I think it is worth the try and well worth another bottle.

Stubbie1, Mar 11, 2007
Photo of hummni
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Why ever drink any thing again after this beer. I love this beer I can’t stop drinking it. I drink it in my Maudite Tulip glass...The color of Duchesse is a wonderfully dark red and it looks awesome behind the maudites winged devil...the head is around 2-3 fingers and a light tan color not real sticky but some nice lace. Smell is a sour smell but so much more...hard to explain I fine this beer very complex. Taste is sour and very drinkable no ALC. taste, being only 6%abv. This was expected. All in all if you are looking for something different to try, try a sour Flemish tonight and this is an awesome example of them.

hummni, Mar 05, 2007
Photo of barknee
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew has been sitting in the fridge for the last 6 months, as I feared of a potential similarity to Rodenbach Grand Cru. Different world..out-of-this world. First and foremost is the absence of clinical levels of acids which are present in Rodenbach. This brew is extraordinarily well balanced; slightly sour, slightly acidic and moderately sweet. The nose is a soft essence of wet wood with the perfect accompaniment of bret on the nose; wonderfully integrated. An impressive foamy tan head leading to massive lacing throughout the tasting. Sweet malts and candy sugars make for the perfect foil to the sour elements of this brew. This bottle was easily consumed with a meal of sweet & sour shrimp stir-fry, simply a perfect match! With its rich deep cinnamon color, beautiful balance and exceptional flavor profile, this is a surprisingly complex and delectable treat.

barknee, Mar 04, 2007
Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Cola colored body very clear throughout the body. Off-white head that dissipated quickly but some mild lacing was present.

Smell: Allmost wine-ish smell. Hints of vinegar, oak, plums, caramel, sour apples and cherries. Some mild spices present.

Taste: Starts off with a smooth caramelish taste. The fruits and spices come in to excite the palate. The finish is again the caramel with the lingering spices and mild tartness

Mouthfeel: Mild carbonation and silky smooth feel. NIce coating in the mouth. Almost cidery.

Drinakbility: Well I definitely plan on having another of these and saving the last 2 for company at some point. I could see this going very well with a dessert.

stereosforgeeks, Feb 17, 2007
Photo of bark
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The colour is dark red-brown; the liquid is clear. The low off white foam slowly sinks down leaving a small amount of lacing.

The smell is… Ehhh… Different. Sticky sour notes chemical of acetone, red fruits, barrel-aged flavours, some bitterness and a hint of chocolate. Cool.

The taste is very complex, yet balanced and smooth. The first very sour chemical flavour passes quickly leaving room for a fruity sweet note: Red apples, cherries, raspberries, strawberries… There is a mild sour note with some earthy flavours and a growing matured flavour of wood and strong wines. The aftertaste is fruity and sweet with a gentle low bitterness.

The carbonation is medium strong with lots of short-lasting small fresh bubbles. The liquid is creamy and a little bit thick.

I have never tasted anything like this. Much more fruity and matured than the fruit Lambics, still it is very sour and chemical.

bark, Feb 17, 2007
Photo of mmmbeer
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330 mL brown bottle, best before 10/18/07. The Duchesse is a blend of 8 and 18 month old ales that have been aged in oak casks. It pours a lightly-sedimented mahogany that thins to amber near the bottom of the flute, and has medium to light carbonation that goes up to an inch of yellowish/brown head that leaves nice sheets of lacing. The aroma is sweet and sour, lactic?, with fruit (berries?), chocolate?, mild oak, iron, and maybe some green hops, all blended very nicely. It is a delicious beer, both sweet and tart, with a lactic or wild sourness, a mild bitterness, raspberry/blackberry, cherry?, chocolate?, and maybe some green/leafy hops, but is overall just a touch too sweet. The body is light to medium body, smooth, with a tannic dryness, and medium carbonation and finish. Overall very refreshing and quite drinkable - not too sour and fairly balanced. I could probably drink two or three in a row without too much trouble.

mmmbeer, Feb 13, 2007
Photo of russpowell
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours garnet with 4 fingers of off white/sand colored head. Insane lacing &healthy head retention

S: Sour, vinergary notes up front that dissipates to not much of anything & then comes back

T: Sweetness & sourness do battle up front, along with serious dryness. Currant/raspberry taste surface along with hints of vinegar and oaky dryness (squared) as this warms. Finishes tart, uber dry, with a tinge of vinegar & a touch of berry sweetness

MF: Sticky with low carbonation.

Drinks all-right would pair well with many meats & fish & even salads. Just not a session ale, but one to ponder & savor by a fire or in a dimly Belgian pub. I prefer rodnebach's grand cru to this, this is a beer universe expander & well worth a try

russpowell, Feb 11, 2007
Photo of emerge077
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

All food and balsamic vinegar references aside, this is a great introductory Flemish Red Ale. If you dig sweeter Belgians, go for this, if not, try Rodenbach. If neither float your boat, do us all a favor and don't review these beers until you have some point of reference, or at the very least read the style description.

From the 750mL bottle at cellar temperature, this ale pours a clear reddish-brown. Ever-present lacing is stable, and remains for the duration of the glass.

Smells a touch sweet, plums, fruit, nuts, unique farmhouse yeast. A metallic iron note offsets the fruitiness.

Taste follows the smell, fairly sweet fruit, very mild tartness that doesn't much compare to Rodenbach and the like. Slight residual mustiness and iron/copper notes.

Fairly thin mouthfeel, even carbonation keeps things lively. Drinkability is big if you can dig the style. A 750 is no problem in one sitting...

emerge077, Feb 11, 2007
Photo of dbalsock
3.6/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Poured brown with minimal head. Not much to say about the appearance... pretty bland, but nothing strange or off about it.

Smell: Ketchup? Catsup? A1... this smells like something I would put on my steak. Is that bad... no... just unexpected.

Taste: Again the ketchup and a1 come through quite powerfully, but when I try to ignore them, I can pick up some intense raisin and prune action going on. Maybe my palate isn't strong enough to pick up the complexity of this brew, but all I can get is vinegar, and ketchup. This is great with my steak though.

Mouthfeel: There's a sharpness to this beer that balances with the sweetness, but overall the mouthfeel is kinda weak and relies too much on the taste for support.

Drinkability: I find this to be an interesting beer, and not bad at all, just not something I ever want to drink again. It's far too strange for me.

dbalsock, Feb 09, 2007
Photo of wcudwight
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a ruby, burgandy color with a light brown head with average retention that leaves lot's of heavy lacing.
Smells of cherries and malt vinager.
Wow! This is much better than I thought. Sharp raspberry and cherry flavors. Bitter sour apple. All with a vinager like backbone and a hint of oak chips. This is delightfully complex and quite tasty. I wonder how they get so much variety in this beer and still keep it so well balanced.
Mouthfeel is bubbly, tingly, crisp and smooth as silk. Quite refreshing.
This beer is a pleasant suprise. Not a style of beer that I'm fond of but I am very fond of this particular beer and will be looking for some more.

wcudwight, Feb 08, 2007
Photo of Onibubba
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Not the beer that I was expecting. Poured an almost black brown with a beige frothy head that quickly dissappeared. Smell was intensely strange with raisins, cherries, and balsamic vinegar. I was expecting something sour, but this was indulgently sweet. The taste reminded me very much of the dressing used on a Killed Spinach Salad - Sugar and vinegar are quickly heated in bacon fat and poured over the spinach. That is the taste which solidified wiht me, and not in an offputting way at all.

You've heard the term smooth as silk, and that is an accurate description of the mouthfeel here. No carbonation detectable at all, but somehow a thin film of lace clung to the glass with each sip. Alcohol does not assert itself. This beer was a perfect nightcap after a bottle of La Roja.

Onibubba, Feb 05, 2007
Photo of Greenfloyd
4.68/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one wild beer....

Poured into a snifter with a very dark amber hue, with a yellowish, orange decently lingering head. This beer had a tart cherry nose , with subtle hints of malt vinegar. The taste was a pretty wild ride....Rainer cherries collapse into a mildly sour, oaky cider. Very unique, yet refreshing for such a dark menacing looking beer. The strains of yeast clearly dominate the characteristics of this Flanders Red. The medium body helps the drinkability, as this beer should be paired with mild, semi-soft cheeses and tart apples. Of course a grilled Montreal style rib-eye pairing coupled with some Portabello mushrooms would be great as well...Enjoy

Note: Don't give up on this beer until you've tried it a few times. I had three before I really started to enjoy the complexities of this ale. My taste is an easy upgrade to "4.5" after the repeated sampling...it's still a crazy beer though...

Note part 2: I can't help it. It's a "5" in the old taste category now. The more I drink it the more I love it. Simply amazing...

Greenfloyd, Feb 01, 2007
Photo of Reinheitsgebot71
4.88/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A friend of mine and myself went down to the beer bistro earlier in the week and tried a few new beers each of which I'll review in turn.

A: It poured very dark brown almost completely opaque with a mocha
brown half inch head and minimal lace.

B: Immediately upon first sniff mincemeat pie came to mind followed by a slight hint of pine. The more subtle hits then manifested themselves, namely raisins and rock sugar. I didn't detect any hit of alcohol whatsoever, unsurprisingly as it is a lower percentage compared to some of its other Belgian counterparts.

T: Right off the bat raisins again followed by, lemon, iron rust, honey, hints of curry powder, cardamom in conjunction with the more prevalent lemon sapidity. Hidden at the very bottom of the taste spectrum were nice finishing touches of allspice, cinnamon and soothing caramel.

M: Uber smooth, very sparse effervescence, but what little there is tingles the mouth nicely in conjunction with the magnificent flavors abound in the beer. Overall quit silky smooth almost marshmellowy feel in the mouth.

D: A very very nice beer; goes down very well. After I finished it I immediately craved another. I don't think I could ever get sick of this beer, just excellent. I recommend it to any true lover of beer.

Reinheitsgebot71, Jan 31, 2007
Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - this belgian beer pours a dark rich mahogany color, with crimson highlights, atop sits a dark tan head maybe half a finger thick, and throughout streams plenty of swift carbonation

S - sour cherries big and up front, but not overpowering and not like cough syrup, a basic hoppy ale background with slight hints of vanilla

T - wow, a nice cherry/ale blend, great rich cherry flavor without beign gross liek the aforementioned cough syrup, something else, like a woodiness, of course *now* i look at the bottle and see that it was aged in oak casks, well ites apparent and delicious

M&D - smooth and easy down, flavorful and mouth coating fruitiness make this a dangerous brew, a moderate ABV saves it from a "one glass only and recork it" doom, phew! what a marvelous beer though, masterfully crafted

sinstaineddemon, Jan 23, 2007
Photo of bigone4
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer on tap at the Belgium beer tasting at Pitchers Pub in Cumberland, RI. They served this brew in a nice goblet making for a great presentation. It poured a deep dark brown ruby color. Nice dense white head with decent lacing left in the glass. The smell is very much of fruit and caramel malt. Especially plum or figs mixed in the back ground. Some tones of malt and grape sourness in the nose as well. Very complex taste, that creates a rolling mosaic of flavor through out the mouth.

This was my first beer from West-Flanders region of Belgium. This Flemish style of brew is quite unique and different. It really had me thinking and focusing on the different flavors I could identify. Nice hints of malt and a dry hop taste very strong hints of fruit. There were many different sour notes throughout the mouth. From the first taste the sour fruit tone is mellow and quite unique. Smooth sour start with a fruity malted taste. The finish was dry and had a slight taste of alcohol. There was an almost spicy flavor hidden in the aftertaste. The sour notes get you right in the back of the mouth.

Learning about the aging process was quite interesting. Some of the oak tannins made there appearance as the beer warmed. I found it to be enjoyable and quite drinkable. Some of its qualities reminded me of a homemade wine. This is a very unique and different beer that is not for everyone. But if you are looking to expand your beer tasting pallet make sure you include this one for a taste.

bigone4, Jan 21, 2007
Photo of GooberMcNutly
3.23/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours as a thick, reddish brown with white head and good carbonation. Aromas of sour, acidic cider with cherry and rasberry notes. Taste bursts of fresh grape juice and red wine vinegar with nice oak notes. I found the overall body to be very light and unassuming with less of an acidic kick than I was expecting. Nicely subtle and the dry finish makes for a good starter beer.

GooberMcNutly, Jan 19, 2007
Photo of jbart
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Apples, apples, apples. This beer pours dark with a reddish tinge. For some reason, I thought it'd be lighter. As other people have said, it smells like apple cider vinegar, but not bad. I think it's pleasant. It tastes like fresh apples, like I picked them myself--more sour than sweet. It's not overly sour, though. In fact, I thought it would be more sour. I really like this--it's very refreshing.

jbart, Jan 14, 2007
Photo of MrHurmateeowish
2.63/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

11.2oz brown bottle from Florian's. My first Flemish Red. Dark brownish-red body with ruby-red highlights and a half an inch of light tan head. Smells acidic (like vinegar) with hints of fruit. Tastes acidic and fruity, like a raspberry maybe? After a few sips, a yeasty character starts to show too. Medium-bodied. Not sure what to think of this one... I'm sure it's to style and great for what it is, but I just can't get past that vinegar-like quality, which hurts the taste, smell, and drinkability... Call me unsophisticated and inexperienced, and compared to some I may be, but I am just not a fan of this one, sorry. At least I only ot an 11.2oz.

MrHurmateeowish, Jan 14, 2007
Photo of nouseforotacon
3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

After being floored by the tart, sour bomb that is a Cantillon Rosé on my birthday, this brew ended up rather tame and mild in comparison. Best before date of 29-04-07.

Pours out a dark brown and ruby bottom with some transparency and haze. Small tan foam on top that sticks to the glass and leaves a bit of murky foam.

Smell is a vinegar-hater's (which I'm not) worst nightmare. Over-the-top cider vinegar smell, with hints of green apple and tart cherries. Very vinous with a little oak, chardonnay-like grapes, and sweet malts/toffee.

Sourness in the flavor is well-regulated and by no means unbearable. Pleasant green apple/sour cherry on the tongue, with a vinegar-like acidity. Oak-aging imparts a wonderful, deep, wood flavor that mellows out the sourness well and gives the brew a dry finish. Medium body.

This one is not bad. I'd be interested in trying more flemish ales, but I can fully understand others' gripes with the style. I don't like to drink malted vinegar, but there's more to this one beyond the pungent aroma.

nouseforotacon, Jan 12, 2007
Photo of gonzo138
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- pours a clear deep red, has a tan colored head that doesn't retain too well but does retain nicely

S- a little bit of tart sweetness, and a pleasant apple cider vinegar-ish smell to it as well

T- a little tangy, fruity sweetness at first followed by a mellowed tart sourness thats not too overwhelming, very pleasant

M- medium/ light body with moderatwe carbonation

D- could definitely have a few of these without getting sick of them, a very interesting style of ale, wish I could find more representations of this style

gonzo138, Jan 11, 2007
Photo of goschool
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: The pour is burgundy with ruby highlights and a frothy tan head.

Smell: The sweet malts in the nose bring cherries, grapes, and other ambiguous dark fruit, to compliment tart sourness. There is a faint spicy phenolic aroma as well.

Taste: The sourness comes out right away and sticks around as, at least, the co-dominant flavor. Cherries, blackberries, grapes, sweet candy, molasses, and a hint of vanilla round out the flavor profile.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with quite a bit of astringency.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. I'm sad to see my glass empty.

goschool, Jan 09, 2007
Photo of cabsandking
4.85/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Mahogany red color and a fair sized tan head with good retention. The nose is pungent with notes of acidic tannin, alcoholic esters, sweet and tart plum, and oaky. Flavors are much more mellow than the nose leads to believe...mild dark cherries, oaky vanilla, maple syrup, apple, plum, white grapes, and bigger caramel notes as it warms. Mouthfeel is delicately smooth creaminess with some slight crisp fizz at the end. Now this is a flanders that I could drink more of, perfectly blended and all the flavors meld together so well.

cabsandking, Jan 09, 2007
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,343 ratings.