Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,417 Reviews
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,417
Hads: 3,765
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 13.48%
Wants: 189
Gots: 636 | FT: 12
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,417 | Hads: 3,765
Photo of FFreak
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%

Bottle dated 'Best by' 4-29-2015. Poured into willy glasses and shared with a friend.

This has a beautiful dark reddish brown color, like cherry cola or root beer, with an ample off-white head that persists throughout leaving tons of lacing.

Smell is of cherries and sour grapes with some funky yeastiness. Very interesting.

Taste is just wonderful. It's so different than anything I've had before. It has very vinous qualities and leans a little towards vinegar, but in a very subtle way that leaves the underlying cherry and plum flavors intact. It makes you think sour, but its actually sweet and fruity at the same time.

Mouthfeel is also very interesting. Almost has a champagne-like carbonation, somewhat fizzy, but still soft. It tends to make you want to sip it even though it's not big at all.

Overall, this is one of the most interesting beers I've ever experienced. Takes the experience to a new, different level. Well worth trying. (959 characters)

Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%

Poured from the tulip into a large snifter.
Pours a nice dark reddish/plum hue with a thick, substantial head.
Smells of brett like yeast, dark fruit, spice.
Tastes amazing. Raisin, plum, with some mild spice and brett tartness.
Mouthfeel was perfect, inviting.
This is a flat out wonderful beer. Unique and delicious. (320 characters)

Photo of babaracas
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%

Pours a clear red-brown, one finger of dense cream colored foam, delicate islands of lace on the glass. Smell: overripe apricot, quite oaky with herbal notes. Taste: tart nectarine, fruity sweet / acidic combo as in pineapple juice, white flesh plum, craisins and cherry juice towards the finish. Sweet fruit, quite tart, with plenty of oak character. Medium bodied and a bit syrupy with a sugary finish. Tasty, if not a little on the sweet side. (446 characters)

Photo of KFBR392
4.19/5  rDev +2.7%

Appearance: pours a rusty brown color with red accents. Two fingers of head continued to regenerate while drinking. Active carbonation is right on for the style.

Smell: Oak and sour grape must on the front. Cabernet type wood characteristics and dry grapes. Dark fruits and some soapy notes on the back end. Mossy hops also play a role on the back half.

Taste: Rounded, easy oak sweetness warms the lips immediately. Slight dry grapes open up on the body and leave a medium dryness on the palate. Cherries, grape must, blackberries, and mulberries all shine on the back half of the body. Oak chips, cedar, and lingering dry fruits blast onto the finish. Lingering cherry and fruit sweetness sit on the palate long after drinking.

Mouthfeel: Dry woody notes on the front yield to a puckering tartness on the body and finish. Carbonation fits very well.

Overall: A really excellent brew. Impressive layers shine throughout and venture into deep depths of complexity. The finish is surprisingly crisp yet refreshing which keeps the drinker coming back for more. (1,080 characters)

Photo of zhivago373
4/5  rDev -2%

first sour for me. not sure what the expect.

pours a deep red, maybe brownish purple with a thin pale-brown head. i honestly expected more carbonation, being it’s a Belgian style.

smells of dark fruits a la plums and black cherries with an almost musty oak smell. not getting any distinct malt aromas. very red-wine like, more acidic and sour notes though. the sourness is well balanced with the fruits.

tastes of black cherries, plums, maybe a slight chocolate flavor, too. the oak barrel comes out in the tannic, acidic red-wine flavor especially on the back of the tongue. the malts balance things out without offering any distinct notes. finish is long and dry, the wine barrel notes lingering in the back. medium mouthfeel with nice carbonation.

overall, this is quite good. the red wine similarities are evident, but i prefer this to a wine (duh, it’s beer, it’s not a soulless drink!). the sour notes are in great balance with the dark fruits, and the medium carbonation makes this all the more palatable. at 6%, it’s quite easy drinking. will seek out again. (1,079 characters)

Photo of ribpy
5/5  rDev +22.5%

Smooth and soft up front, but a mildly sour overall taste with an oak aroma.
My experience among friends with this ale is either they love it or hate it.
I personally love the taste and this is currently my favorite beer. (222 characters)

Photo of MisterGone
4.75/5  rDev +16.4%

More of a score justification than review:

I developed a love for Flemish Reds after drinking this. I have tried a few different offerings, from Belgium and the American homage brews. The problem is that I drank Jacobins first... so that was my benchmark. As a result, everything else is compared to that one.

This fell short really only on the level of sour (for me..) Every other profile that the Flemish Red Ale is famous for, this one has. The deep red color, the tart aroma, the cherries in the flavor. Excellent. (520 characters)

Photo of Karibourgeois
4/5  rDev -2%

Cloudy ruby red pour with a beige one-finger head. Aroma is of dark fruit, vinegar and oak wine barrels. Very tart dark fruit flavor upfront. Can taste maraschino cherries, blackberry and light plum. Finishes slightly sweet with a slight tartness that fades fairly quickly. (273 characters)

Photo of EdwardK77
4.49/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Beautifully red in color under a persistent ring of foam. Early effervescence quickly comes to a halt.

S- Scents of delicious fruit on the sweet but not cloying side.

T- Perfect level of fruit and sour components. Sweetness is perfectly restrained.

M- Pleasant puckering effect causes a desire to quickly revisit the next sip. Smooth drinking.

O- Glad that I broadened my horizons with this one, it's a really well rounded drinking experience. (450 characters)

Photo of ToriBug13
3.99/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark brown on the table, but when held to the light this beer has gorgeous amber hues accented by tiny effervescent bubbles fizzing their way to the top. The head, when poured, was milky white and full of giant foany bubbles which dissolved smoothly into the glass leaving little no no lacing.

Smell: from the moment I poured this into the glass, tart cheery scent wafted in my direction across the table. My mouth started to salivate just smelling this beer! Intense bing cherry with a slightly woody aroma. Strawberry and sandlewood also come to mind as secondary descriptors.

Taste&Mouthfeel: even before this beer hints the tongue your tastebuds salivate from the smell alone. The preparation your mouth does is well worth it, for once the brew enters, millions of tastebuds scream in happiness. It's like Sweet Tarts candy made a cherry themed adult beverage! The tart, sour, red cherries play off of the dry foresty, woodsy charm that balances the sweet to dry beautifully. I think the best part of this beer is the body. I have had many sours not worth a reveiw, but this is so lovely in body... Medium weight, great medium carbonation, but the lingering depth and layers in this beer are what leave its body something other sour beers should strive for.

Overall: I think I am in love. Highly recomended! Delicious! (1,337 characters)

Photo of barczar
4.29/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a brilliant amber with a frothy beige head. Tart cherry and acetic acid open the aroma, with toasted oak and vinous qualities adding complexity. Flavor is very acetic, with toasted barrel drying out the finish. Tart cherries and balsamic vinegar are evident. Puckeringly sour, with cherry lingering in the finish. Slightly spicy, phenolic aftertaste. (356 characters)

Photo of Brettanomaestro
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Though it's a great bargain at $13 a bottle, Duchesse ran into the same issue as many craft beers. Despite being one of my favorites not five years ago, the last few years have been much sweeter and has lost that perfect balance of sweet and sour. Get back to your roots Duchesse, we miss you already! (301 characters)

Photo of Ozzylizard
4.79/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

$ 12.99/25.4 oz bottle at Vintage Estates in Boardman, OH
Bottle expires 03/2016 at 45 degrees into a snifter
Aroma of cherries and a little acetic acid
Head small (2 cm), light brown, fizzy, rapidly diminishing to 3 mm ring and broken layer
Lacing good – wide ring of small bubbles
Body very dark red-amber, clear
Flavor begins sour, with some cherry and vanillin from the barrel coming through – a hint of tannin is also present. No hops, no alcohol, no malt, no diacetyl
Palate medium, watery, lively carbonation

An excellent sour – very typical of the style. The sourness gives a refreshing tang. (607 characters)

Photo of bens0n
4.31/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Single 12 oz bottle poured into tulip.

Beer pours a murky reddish brown color, looks more brown than red. Out of control foamy light tan head, my bottle was agitated a little bit but this beer was extremely hard to pour without going overboard on the head. Retention is decent, some spotty lacing going on in my tulip.

Immediately upon cracking the bottle open I got a really loud psssst and air pressure gushed out a little bit of moisture onto my fingertips. Took a whiff of my hand and it smelled really nice and bready, reminded me of sourdough bread. On the nose its got the belgian yeast dominates most of it just like you would expect, but there are some minor sweet and tangy notes. Not picking up on very much oak.

Flavor wise the first thing I pick up is a tangy, tart, sour flavor then it finishes rather dry and crisp. Reminds me alot of a lambic, but it doesn't have the fruity notes. I would have expected way more yeasty flavors but the tart sourness dominates this beer. The finish is really interesting because your flavor pallet is wiped clean and theres no sour left. I was really expecting some oaked/woody flavors but they are so minor they aren't even worth mentioning.

Mouthfeel sensation is very interesting it starts out very intensely tart / sour, then finishes on the mild side. Its not like a lambic that you can taste inbetween sips, this beer shocks you with the sour punch then finishes dry and clean, beckoning you to drink another sip each time.

This was one of those beers that I always eyed when I saw it, but not being a huge fan of overly yeasty belgians I always stayed away. Figured I'd give this a shot after looking into it and finding out that it was a sour. Its definitely one of those beers to 'experience' pretty unique combination of stuff going on. If you like lambics / sours its definitely for you, if not, you will probably not enjoy this. (1,894 characters)

Photo of diamond_mind
4.89/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Tart and complex, loads of fruit and phenol, some elegant vinegar and tasty soil. If you like your sour more than unidimensional which seems to be the trend, this is the beer. Deep brown with tartness that can still come off a little sweet. Flavors are melded but all play the same part in a rich symphony. (306 characters)

Photo of JLSIV
2.75/5  rDev -32.6%

I hate to do this to a beer that is considered Outstanding, but this just don't do it for me.

Sampled only. Not my style. Very acidic and sour and sharp, with way too much Brett. This might be an acquired taste.

If you like dry wines, this will probably hit the spot. I will retry after a year or so. (308 characters)

Photo of rjlesher11
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm a foodie, I'm a beer lover and I'm a Wine Lover! I feel this proper sour hits all three hobbies in one glass... Vinegary, salty and sweet. Sooo Good! Most definitely recommended and I will do my best to keep in my fridge for those cultured pallets.

Wow (259 characters)

Photo of Celtics17
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Big cherry flavor. Very strong vinegar aroma, and the taste is strong following that smell. The taste of salad dressing or balsamic vinegar is big. A very big sweet and sour beer. I don't get much barrel aging in this.

This is a clean and powerful tasting sour, and one of the best you can get everyday. (304 characters)

Photo of hippogasmo
4.54/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Oh man, I cannot believe some of the more recent reviews. Maybe the quality has started to diminish in the recent months and I am finding the last of their good stock. Somewhat doubtful, however.

A: A dark reddish brown color, somewhat like mahogany. Small to medium head on average, usually resting at a small head that doesn't always dissipate.
S: Strong vinegar smell that leaves a lasting impression on a night that involves various styles.
T: Solid throughout. Starts out with a carbonated and slightly sweet flavor, finishing out with a strong vinegar/sour note. In terms of sourness, I'd place it between a Monk's Cafe Flemish Sour Ale and a Cuvée des Jacobins Rouge.
M: Light carbonation upfront, enough to be refreshing on a hot day.
O: One of my favorite brews. In North Texas, price ranges between $3-5/bottle, and I'd say it's well worth the cost. On the few occasions I have been able to find the larger bottles (shaped like the apollinaris, volume like a bomber) I snatch up as many bottles as I can carry. Worth the money every time. (1,050 characters)

Photo of slackattack
3.4/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark red, almost brown with short, but persistent tan head. Smell is complex and satisfying. Sour cherries, fig, molasses, and a Red wine vinegar tartness. Taste (after you get over the initial sweetness) is sour cherries, some wood, and maybe apple. Mouthfeel is a nice carbonation and a good pretty dry finish. Overall I like it, it's obviously a quality brew and easy to drink, but it's not my favorite Flanders, wish it was a tad more on the sour side. (462 characters)

Photo of Apellonious
4.02/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

11.2 oz single from CM - Best before 7-22-2015.

A - Pours a dark amber/brown with a one finger head that moves quickly to a thin lace.

S - Dark fruit, bread, pear, cider, mild vinegar

T - A consistent medium sour candy flavor, dark fruit, green apple.

M - Medium to high carbonation. Really sizzles in the mouth. Moderately dry finish. Becomes less sharp as it warms.

O - Will continue to explore the land of the unknown sours. This one is pretty solid. The smell and the taste are the highlights. (503 characters)

Photo of Mikecap
3.92/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle into a Dogfish tulip.

A: Pours a murky dark reddish brown with a very short lightish brown head and bubbly carbonation on the pour, nice splotchy lacing clings to the glass.

S: Definitely a vinegar scent to it but balanced by some fruitiness as well, some apple, cherry and sweet tones, a bit of peppery spice as well.

T: Green apple, berry a bit of vinegar and a distinct sour tartness to finish. There is a nice balance with sweetness that makes this very drinkable and begs for another sip. I get a bit of the oak in the finish. The amount of berry flavor I get surprises me, very well rounded.

M: Light to medium bodied with medium carbonation and a tart finish that sticks around a bit. A well balanced sour.

O: First time with this classic sour and I'm glad I finally picked one up. Sours are growing on me and I can't say I mind that! (861 characters)

Photo of hagbergl
4.36/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

750 mL green bottle into my Rodenbach Grand Cru glass. This is the first time I have had a full glass of this beer, so I'm interested to see how it compares to other great Flanders Reds, like the Bruery's Oude Tart and, of course, Rodenbach Grand Cru.

Appearance (4/5): The Duchesse pours a dark red-brown with a rocky, slightly choppy tan/light brown head. Lots of soapy lacing on the sides of the glass when I tilt it. Beautiful color; wish there was more head to top it off, but that's nitpicking a little too much.

Smell (4.5/5): VERY DISTINCT: The Duchesse has a pronounced balsamic vinegar smell to it that is unlike other sours I've smelled. Black pepper, blackberry, black cherries, pomegranate are prominent notes, too. Very interesting and unusual.

Taste (4.5/5): Very fruity: blackberry and pomegranate in the front, the beer resolves into a slightly vinegary, mildly sour finish. Sweet to start, but the beer dries out nicely and regains some of its tartness in the finish. Not noticing much of the balsamic character that I picked up in the nose in the taste. That’s fine with me, though!

Mouthfeel (3.75/5): Duchesse de Bourgogne is slicker and smoother than most sours (this due to a medium carbonation level). While it doesn't necessarily make the beer LESS drinkable, a higher carbonation level would really give this beer a boost. Could this be due to a bottle that's been sitting around a while? Maybe. But I'm reviewing the beer I have in my hand. Next time I pick this beer up maybe it'll be different.

Overall (4.25/5): Duchesse is a very good Belgian sour that gets a lot right: it has a great balance of tart and sweet, an excellent nose, and looks very nice in the glass. I do wish it featured better carbonation for sure, but that doesn't detract too much from the beer's overall quality. Very good, and I concur with others on BA that this is a good introductory sour. (1,907 characters)

Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.21/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a dark reddish-brown with a two finger beige head.

S - Tart cherries, plums, and balsamic vinegar.

T - Flavor follows the aroma with balsamic vinegar fading into tart cherries and green apples. Finsih has a nice malt backbone with some oak.

M - Light bodied with high carbonation. Very crisp and palate cleansing.

O - This is a great Flanders. Sweet, sour, and very well balanced. The perfect beginner sour. (422 characters)

Photo of Muhly
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-deep reddy brown. Pours with a large off-white to tan head.

S-citrusy and bread-sweetness

T-tart, acidic, dark fruit sweetness

M-ebullient

O-yay. Very good. More complex than Rodenbach Classic with a good wallop of tartness to keep sour fans happy. (254 characters)

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
91 out of 100 based on 1,417 ratings.