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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

3,413 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,413
Reviews: 1,372
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 161
Gots: 410 | 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: 3,413 | Reviews: 1,372 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wheelinshirt
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle, corked and caged, purchased at Abe's in Bethlehem for $8.50. The first thing my friend and I noticed when we popped the cork was the smell of alcohol which was surprising since it is only 6%. It quickly faded, though, and we poured it into two tulip glasses.

Much darker than I would have expected, kind of mysterious looking with about a finger of creamy tan head that retains well and leaves some lacing. The smell is dark ripe fruits and some bread/biscuits as well. The taste is extremely complex with the aforementioned fruitness upfront followed by a tart sourness behind. Mouthfeel was a bit heavy for the style i think and a lighter body and a bit more carbonation would have made this a bit more drinkable. I finished the lions share of this bottle and my mouth was pretty worn out by the end. An amazing beer to sip and be awed by, highly recommended and unusual.

Photo of allengarvin
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, served into a tall chalice. Exp date on cork is 06/09. The color is dark ruby, clear when held to the light, with a small head of foam. Aroma is complex and interesting: a solid underlying tartness is dominant, but there are also notes of cherry, soda crackers, red wine. Up front the flavor is initially quite sweet, but the taste develops after a moment, with a lot of yeasty, very ripe fruitiness, a touch of coppery-metallic hardness, and a finish of woody sourness, like a low-acidity vinegar. Body is full, creamy, with a little tannic mouthfeel.

Excellent beer; I'm glad it finally made it into the Texas market.

Photo of jaxon53
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served slightly chilled in a goblet, from a growler supplied by magget. Poured a deep brown with bright ruby highlights. About a finger of thin off white head topped the beer. Head actually lasted longer than I had thought it would, and left a thin coating of lace on the glass. Aromas of sour cherries, plum, yeast, with a nice malty note to it. Taste was pretty much the same. Tons of tart cherry, a nice bready yeast flavor, some dark fruits with a nice woody character to it. Tart enough to make you pucker but not overbearing. A nice well balanced Flanders Red Ale. Had a wonderful full bodied mouthfeel. Quite tart but very drinkable.

Photo of Redwood21
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I believe this is the first flanders red ale that i remember trying. I must say i was suprised by the aroma and taste

A: I wish it had a longer lasting head but the color is a beautiful dark brown red color that makes the most robust red wines blush.
S: This has a very fruit ester smell to it, almost like a sparkling hard cider with some earthy woody aromas as well, likely from the oak aging.
T: very complex it starts out almost wine like, with similar characteristics to a spicy red, but becomes more tart and finishes with a crispness, almost tart green apple like. there is a note of ester but nothing too overwhelming.

i enjoyed this beer, was suprised, and would have it again. extremely good suprise

Photo of MrBen
4.8/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Looking for a bold departure from your favorite brews? Call the Duchesse De Bourgogne!

The beer comes in a dark red/brown with a cream-colored head. Smell is crisp, slightly fruity, and tart. Very interesting. Flavor is deceptively good. Wine, cider, presence of tart and sour fruits. Some nice sweetness as well. It's very complex and holds my attention. I ended up ordering two of these -- one before and one after lunch.

Mouthfeel is captivating. You get a the urge to pucker up, but then a mild, almost acidic, dryness comes forward, much like the feeling you'd get after eating a bunch of fresh cranberries.

Duchesse De Bourgogne is an amazing beer. If you're looking for something unique and superbly crafted, do yourself the favor and give this a try.

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

Bottle is a beautiful big 1 pint , 9.4 oz.er , corked and caged , with a painting style label of the duchesse.

Appearance: This flanders red poured a very deep shade , with some purple and brown mixed with it's styles characteristic crimson color. The head was of small proportion , almost tan, with some slick lace.

Smell: An acidic but not overpowering scent with some wine-like qualities, wood/oak, some red fruit hints like dark cherries, and just a touch of apple.

Taste: Where do i start... wonderful flavor in this beer , lots of complexity. Some tart and lightly vinegary flavor of red fruits gushes over the tongue, cherry moves to an apple quality that is soon covered in and mixed with perfectly balanced malty sweet layers, chocolate , vanilla/creamy, caramel, then some oak and a flash of fruit in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Kinda creamy and full , yet very refreshing

Drinkability: A superb beer , one of those beers that makes you feel like you've just expanded your beer horizions further again. Awesome complexity and balance , very unique. The mix of tart fruit and sweet flavors was very unexpected and memorable , ah Duchesse you tell of what beer can do.

It also paired very well with some dark chocolates with ginger inside.

Photo of timtim
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

i really love this one. nice reddish brown color with an off white head that shrinks down but never goes away. nice lace as well. smells of some fruit like plum, raspberry, cherry and vinegar as well. also some sweet sugary smell. tastes like a mix of all three fruits with a raw sugary sweetness and has an incredible sour kick. not too sour, just remarkable in my opinion. mouthfeel is soft and silky with a great carbonation that gives the drink some legs as it goes down. a real pleasure of a drink.

Photo of DoubleJ
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The portrait on the front label looks like a Rennaissance work with the phrase "Flemish Art of Brewing" in small print towards the top. Some of the words are printed in Dutch and French. Wow, I'm getting worked up about this one, and this is quite an uncommon style to find. On to the beer:

Into a snifter it goes, and it's a lighter brown with red mixed in. This is a very intersting smell, one I haven't encountered yet because of the limited Belgian beers I've sampled. Smells of wine vinigrette and sourness. I'm afraid to go on any farther...no I'm not! This is really interesting, very fruity, and not esters, it's really sweet. A little sourness is mixed in, which seems to be the way the beer balances out the sweet flavor. The aftertaste is quite dry with bready malts. I enjoyed it more the farther I got along with it. Not too cloying and not overpowering. And really different from your everyday beer.

Photo of kenito799
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle poured into a Duvel glass. "Exp date Jun 2008" printed on the cork.

Moderate off-white head is raised on the pour over a clear dark brown brew with ruby undertones. The head fades slowly leaving wisps of white lacing, not sticky, just lazy. Looks a lot like root beer, actually.

Aroma is a promising funky lambic-style sourness, apple cider vinegar, unmistakeable cherry aroma, hints of woody oaky vanilla.

On the palate this is much sweeter than I expected. Fruity sweetness of cherries, apple hits first, really counterbalancing a nice tangy sourness...the finish is bitter like cherry pits rather than hops. Tobacco and oak notes in there...quite complex. Light body on the tongue, fizzy soda-like carbonation fills the mouth with foam, an unusual mouthfeel...no creaminess to the brew itself whatsoever. Again, sort of soda-like.

The fizziness, the nicely balanced sour tanginess and bitterness, all are just barely enough to keep the heavy fruity sweetness in check, but for me there is a cloying aspect that knocks the drinkability down a notch. Still it is an interesting, unusual and delicious beer. Would work really well with frites and mayo, welsh rarebit, or a nice braised pork or lamb shank.

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

A: Poured a deep burgundy with some ruby highlights, topped by a fairly dense, eggshell colored head that showed good retention and lacing.

S: Smelled of sour cherries, a bit of a yeasty note, with tartness coming to the forefront.

T: Definitely a strong cherry flavor present, which was nice, but this beer was actually quite unexpected. The middle offered up a sourness that was assertive, but not too intense, as the quintessential sweetness of a Belgian fused with the other flavors. These rushed toward a washed out finish that leaves very little aftertaste. Interesting dynamics.

M: Plenty of carbonation, very bubbly around the palate. There is a density in the liquid that seems to bring the tart cherry flavor down to the tongue.

D: A welcome addition to the roster of Belgians I've tried. While similar in style to other beers that I've had the good fortune to sample, this one stands out and offers up a full plate of sour cherry goodness.

Photo of ericj551
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Duchesse De Bourgogne pours a deep ruby red with a thin but lasting off white head. The aroma is sweet dark fruits, vinous and almost champagne like with some smooth spicy oak. The taste is sharp and tart at first, rounded off by a fruity sweetness with hints of berries and chocolate. It finishes with a light smooth oaky flavor, nicely balanced. Creamy and smooth, this beer is really delicious. It's a little on the sweet side, but that only detracts slightly from its drinkability.

Photo of SilentSabre
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Quite possibly the best Flanders Red I have ever had. Pours up a nice brick red colour with a gorgeous off-white head that lasts for ages. Smell is sour fruit and wet wood, but nothing is too assertive. So often in this style the whole sourness thing is way over done, both in the aroma and the taste, as well. Taste is right where I feel it needs to be for the style. Again, sour fruit, some sweetness, and a bit of woodiness, but nothing is over done or too assertive. Mouthfeel is smooth and easy to drink. This is simply a very solid representation of the style, and certainly one to seek out if one is interested in trying this style. Fantastic!

Photo of hellcatsjg
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle poured into my new goblet.

Appearance: Dark, dark red. Good 1 finger head.

Smell: Spices with some brown sugar.

Taste: Sweet and sour cherry taste up front. A good peppery spice along with brown sugar towards the end. Very good flavor here. Good warmth follows a few seconds later.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Very clean and crisp. Good amount of carbonation but also very smooth, which seems to be tough to pull off sometimes. Taste does not linger long in your mouth but instead is quite drying, making you want another sip.

Drinkability: Very high. This is my favorite of the Belgians I have sampled so far. Very good sweet and spicy flavor, very smooth, and low alcohol content make this a great brew. Highly recommended.

Photo of Floydster
3.2/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Goblet at Naja's Place

Super sweet and sour, one of my friend's favorites, so I gave it a try

10 ounces for $6.50 was a little steep in my book

Highly carbonated and large head

Berries and vinegar hints dominated the smell

Taste lasts a long time and makes you even thirstier

Could not drink much of this at all, 12 ounces would probably be the limit

Photo of TechMyst
3.4/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Root beer appearance; opaque with garnet as transmitted color. White wine aroma. 4 months after 'best by' date, but let's be honest, that shouldn't matter much here. Apple cider vinegar taste. Sweet/sour dry grapes. No head retension; thick rings which slid back into brew. Bubbles spaced very far apart. Tried this warmer than normal. Thin Mouthfeel. No bloating, which is unique to this style for me. Resinous palate. Oaky with tart cherry undertones. Almost cloyingly sweet. Drinkable though.

Photo of ccrida
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served on draught from the Uber Tavern in Seattle, in the brewery's chalice, the Duchess is a hazy dark amber with a moderate eggshell head that leaves decent lace.

The aroma is vinous and tart, minerals and dry yet sweet softess, most intriguing, very strong and sweet!

Well this is one superb Flandrers red, the benchmark bar none. Sweeter then it may sound by description, there's some apple cider vinegar like sweetness and, although there's still plenty of funk, the finish is on the sweeter side. Lots of sugar, I like them with less, but I'll still take it! Of course, some of my scoring reflects the romanticism of this being my first of the style, which immediately hooked me on the style and the whole world of sours.

The mouthfeel, while not super fluid, is fairly average for the style, which is light in spite of the sugariness.

This is a pretty good Flanders Red, especially if you like the vinegar aspect tempered with sugar...you're in major luck! The sweetness really sets this one apart in the love-or-hate category.

Photo of brentk56
4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a deep garnet color with a nice head that retains fairly well and dots the chalice

Smell: Balsamic vinegar, sour cherry, pomegranite and lactobacillus

Taste: Starts with a sweet grape juice and sour cherry element that balances perfectly along with the added dimension of vanilla oak; after the swallow, balsamic vinegar and caramel elements creep in to add complexity; sour and bitter flavors compete at the finish, but the underlying sweetness is also apparent

Mouthfeel: Medium body, slightly creamy; moderate carbonation

Drinkability: The quintessential Flanders Red; I could sip on it for hours

Photo of Risser09
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml Bottle Shared With Friends At A Sour Beer Tasting • Poured Into A Tulip Taster • Review From Notes

Appearance: Dark Brown caramel color with lighter tan highlights that shimmer in the light. Eggshell head is tight and quickly dissipates.

Smell: The aroma is quite grape-like, but has many more aromas to contemplate.
Freshly cracked eggs, smoke, soy sauce, worchestershire sauce, brown sugar, rosebuds, other flowers. There is also a faint caramel aroma.

Taste: Taste is excellent. We begin with the obvious oak, smoke and pleasantly sour flavors that are immediately apparent. The front of the palate is mildly tart dry grapes and then there is a nice layer of brown sugar and caramel that sweetens up the palate. Prunes, berries, plum, and a touch of leather bring up the rear of flavors.
What a nice beer!

Mouthfeel: Tight little bubbles of carbonation treat your mouth just right. Pucker up, because you're in for a whirlwind of pleasure.

Drinkability: Superb. I think I could have easily finished the whole 750 by myself and enjoyed it thoroughly. This certainly isn't as cloying as other Flanders Reds I've had and could possibly be considered the staple.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.43/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from an 11.2oz. bottle into flute glass.

A: The beer is a dark reddish brown color with a medium off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is mostly sour with apples, dark fruit, some chocolate and elements of creaminess and smokiness.

T: The taste is very fruity with a heavy burst of sourness. The initial taste had a nasty metallic bite, but it disappears. The malt character is thin and there’s a mild hops presence. The after-taste is slightly sweet and very tart.

M: Smooth and crisp, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, dry and sticky finish.

D: Tasty, goes down ok, not very filling, it’s not the type a beer that I could drink consistently, but it’s a good to drink casually if you like the sourness.

Photo of WanderingFool
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Duchesse De Bourgogne pours a very dark red color, almost black, into the glass. On top is a big tower of stiff light tan foam that slowly dissolves leaving behind thick clumps of lace on the glass and a blanket of lace on the beer.

The aroma is a tart fruity combination of green apple, raisin and grapes. Some woody notes of oak are also detected.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is soft and smooth with a mild carbonated tingle on the tip of the tongue. The flavor is fruity and sweet with a moderate amount of tartness. It starts with a tart flavor of green apple. Quickly a sweet taste of grape takes over and balances out the tart bitterness. Towards the end some cherry and oak are detected. It finishes sweet with some lingering grape flavors once gone.

This beer is almost like a lambic with its fruity tart flavor. However, the tartness is not nearly as harsh. It's well balanced with all the sweet flavors. The best way to describe it is to eat a sweet tart and wash it down with a glass of Welch's grape juice. Sounds weird, but really it's quite tasty.

Photo of karst
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

From tap @ Capital Ale House downtown Richmond, VA Aug '07

Soft vinous cherry aroma with mild oak in back. Flavor of smooooth soft semisweet balance of malts and stoned fruits with a cresendo of cherry tartness - winelike drying midpallate into a clean finish revisiting malt body and fruityness.

Softer and with brighter citrus and cherry flavors as compared to bottled versions I have had.

Photo of clickpush
4.88/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pour: 33cl bottle to Duchesse glass. Half finger tan head over red/brown body. Ruby hues abound. Head tapers quickly to very nice lacing and halo.

Nose: Bret and bread. Very tart aroma, some grain and yeast as well. Sour cherries, an autumn day, overripe grapes, puckering. Oak and vanilla.

Mouth: Juicy, sour tasting immediately upon entering but sweetens as it moves back, grapes, raisins, plums. Some grain, a resinous aftertaste. Vinous, lingering juiciness. Nice malt body. Caramel, toffee. Mouth feel is sharp tingling carbonation that gets creamier as it moves back, smooth swallow. Is both rich and dry in the finish. Easy drinking. Loooove it!

Photo of Boto
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draught @ Eulogy: This one pours a very dark, ruby red color. There was almost no head or lacing on mine. Nice sour aroma. Hints of cherries to it. The taste is quite good. It has a mainly sour malty taste, with some residual sweetness. Sour cherries and apples are prevalent, but not overpowering. Very Good!

Photo of botham
3.05/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

12 oz poured into a tulip glass. pours a chocolate brown with deep ruby red highlights, and a sizable sandy colored head that remains through consumption, leaving patterned lacings on the glass..

smells of grapes, like a red wine. there is malt mixed in the aroma, with some bready yeast for a base. overall resembles a wine in its aroma.

taste is very sweet upfront, with the same grape flavor from the aroma. not much malt or hops here, creating a very sweet tasting fruit juice of a liquid. the maturation in oak casks is nowhere to be smelled or tasted, must be lost in the fruit.

mouthfeel is medium-bodied, with a bite from carbonation and alcohol, and a creamy texture. goes down very smooth.

drinkability is not very good due to the overly sweet nature of the brew. the bite from the carbonation and alcohol makes drinking it resemble a can of grape soda.

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

This beer poured a deep red with a resilient, one-finger head. It reduced to a soapy ring that left curtains of lace on the glass. The aroma was a complex combination of cherries, yeast, vanilla and an earthy smell like damp soil.

Sour cherries carried over into the taste, along with yeast and a woody flavour. The finish was slightly dry, with some tannic flavours. Medium-bodied, with average carbonation.

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,413 ratings.