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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

2,647 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2647
Reviews: 1319
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 13.98%


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)
View: Beers (12) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,647 | Reviews: 1,319 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of grindcore666
grindcore666

California

1.13/5  rDev -72.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

A union of red and black beneath roasted marshmallow foam.

Aroma is of eggnog, sweet and sour sauce, and vinegarrrr. This is one of those occasions where I'm absolutely certain that's what I'm smelling. But...I'm disgusted by it.

After taking a sip: feels like a cherry cola before I sense the taste. A sharp, sweet, super sour cherry sensation escapes nasally. Sugar up the ying yang. Thick vinegar overdrive. Gross.

Carbonation. Carbonation. More carbonation. It's a super carbonated cherry cola with a tang. I think this one was too much for me: overly sweet and funky. Couldn't finish it. Awful.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2005 02:10:12 | More by grindcore666
Photo of SmokinSmyth
SmokinSmyth

Belgium

1.27/5  rDev -69.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Poured into a Tulip glass, nice big head, minimal lacing, brown color.

Aroma is strong, vinegar and another sour are in the majority.

Taste - just not for me. I see the good ratings, but this is a rare beer for me, in that I didn't finish it, and actually poured it down the sink. My children were shocked. Tasted way too much like vinegar for me, and I checked the date, the bottle had another year to go.

Mouthfeel - didn't really register as I didn't want in my mouth after my tongue had gotten hold of it.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2011 19:32:04 | More by SmokinSmyth
Photo of Ahhdball
Ahhdball

Ohio

1.3/5  rDev -68.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I'm going to be blunt on this. Horrible. It came in a bottle with a "best before" date of 01/01/06. I liked the color, a nice deep auburn capped by a small beige top. The smell consisted of berries, and a sort of cough medicine overtone. A small amount of citrus hit the nose as I drank. When I forced down the first drink all I tasted was vineager. I tried another few "pulls" and after tasting round after round of vineager and berries I had to give up. I even orderd a sprite to get the taste out of my mouth.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2004 01:33:33 | More by Ahhdball
Photo of B967ierhunter177
B967ierhunter177

Pennsylvania

1.48/5  rDev -64.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

This beer pours a beautiful, bold ruby red with no head but long lasting lace. It's aroma is of dark fruit, musty hay, and yeast. The flavor is mainly sour cherries with a yeasty, bread-like note. The mouthfeel is full with a warming finish. Duchesse De Bourgogne is an okay beer, very filling but a good representation of the style. Slightly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2012 03:51:33 | More by B967ierhunter177
Photo of irisier
irisier

Georgia

1.5/5  rDev -63.9%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

I tried this one again to see if I've warmed to this brew. Unfortunately, this time I seem to have soured to it (no pun intended) even more.

Appearance: Nice dark reddish brown with a excellent fizzy head.

Smell: Vinegar fumes. Some fruit and wood is also noticeable. Did someone mix balsamic with malt vinegar and label it as beer?

Taste: God, it's even worse than I remembered it. Fruity vinegar with some tannic wood tastes. Cloying sweetness makes sure you know there is plenty of sugar in here. Hmmm.. this might be good to use as a base in a sweet/sour sauce. I actually managed to finish it the first time I tried it, not this time though.

Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated.

Impressions: To give you some perspective. A few years ago after reading an article about how prison inmates make "wine" out of ketchup, juice, and fruit snacks with moldy bread as the fermentation culture. I gave it a try out of curiosity. The funky, weird smelling drink I got was still not as bad as this brew. If this was the only beer on Earth, I'd be a teetotaler.

---Old Review---
Appearance: Clear reddish brown body with a fizzy tan head that actually seems to amplify with time. Highly carbonated and effervescent.

Smell: Sour malt vinegar smell. I didn't expect it to be that strong. Some faint fruit is also present

Taste: Sour and sweet. Slightly fruity as well. I can't help but feel like I'm drinking balsamic vinegar. I wouldn't exactly say that these flavors are pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a lively carbonation.

Impressions: I'll preface by saying that I've never had a Flemish Red before, but I really tried to keep an open mind. There may be a possibility that I got a bad bottle. This just was not good. I had a really hard time even finishing it. It was like drinking balsamic vinaigrette. I've heard this described as being "wine-like", frankly if I had a wine that tasted like this, I'd think it had spoiled. This just tasted too much like vinegar.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2010 21:52:25 | More by irisier
Photo of pmcadamis
pmcadamis

Illinois

1.55/5  rDev -62.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Tried this at Brewhaus when out with some friends (Feb, 25 2008).

A - Dark amber reddish hue. Hazy and deep. The head is about half of a finger, and leaves a little lace on the glass.

S - Red wine vinegar, ketchup, tomatoes, and earthy mulch. Very, very odd and quite vegetal.

T - Red wine vinaigrette salad dressing, rotten tomatoes, brown lettuce, and tart rancid vegetables.

M - Light in body and carbonation. This is like swishing ketchup in your mouth.

D - I've had other flanders reds that I really enjoyed, so it's not a style thing, but this tastes like absolute crap. It's sort of like retching up a pint of V8 and vinaigrette salad dressing. Interesting, but completely foul.

Original review A=3.0, S=1.5, T=1.0, M=1.0, D=1.0
Overall score = 1.5 One of my lowest ratings ever.
---

Here is the second tasting to clear up the issue of whether or not the first bottle (1 year ago) was ruined in some way:

My BA buddy orangemustache and I tried this out at Brewhaus one night and were appalled by how bad it was given the generally high scores by other BAs. I picked up a 750 ml bottle of this at Binny's in Chicago and we decided to give it another go while we were stone cold sober and our palates were fresh.

A - Deep garnet clear brew with a two finger dense khaki head. Lots of light tan lace is stuck to the glass.

S - Ketchup, vinegar, tomatoes, and mushrooms. V8 vegetable juice with some age on it. Something old and dusty is there too.

T - Old rotten tomatoes, V8, bloody mary mix, red vinaigrette salad dressing, applesauce, and some fruity sugar on the tip of the tongue.

M - Light, initially sugary and fruity, but progressing to a thicker viscous and nasty mouthfeel. This finishes like puke.

D - Ok, I picked this up thinking that the first time that we tried it the bottle must have been old and ruined. This tasting, however, reaffirms my hatred of this brew. It's honestly better, fruitier, lighter, and more rounded than the rotten bottle we tried at Brewhaus, but its still disgusting.

The current score is indicative of my opinion at the second tasting (December 2nd 2008)

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2008 01:31:51 | More by pmcadamis
Photo of smudgewhat
smudgewhat

New York

1.58/5  rDev -61.9%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

The balsamic vinegar flavor overwhelms any other aspect of this brew. Smells like wine, fairly carbonated, very sour and unpleasantly vinegar-y. A total pass for me though my female companion liked it. If you're more into wine than the typical Belgian beer then maybe you'll like it more. I'd rathe have a Chimay or Rochefort.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2011 18:49:39 | More by smudgewhat
Photo of DIM
DIM

Pennsylvania

1.68/5  rDev -59.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

My only other example of this style has been Rodenbach's Grand Cru, which I loved. There was a space on the label of this one marked best before, but there wasn't a date. Did I get a bad or old bottle?

a: This looked appealing at least. It was a crystal clear coppery mahogany color. It poured with a medium sized, fizzy, off-white head that faded fairly quickly.

s: As expected, I got notes of sour, vinegary cherries. Unfortunately, this was intertwined with some gritty, saccharine sweet maltiness. Alone, either smell is fine. Together though, it was just a complete turn-off.

t: Same story here. I like sour edge, but the cloying artificial sweetner made this undrinkable to me. Maybe I need to revisit this one, but I'd have a hard time working up the courage.

m: The carbonation was fine, but the aftertaste was abominable. That combination of tart vinegar, cherries and malty Sweet and Low was too much for me.

d: I like sour beer, but this one just isn't for me. Strangely, it was just too sweet.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2008 14:41:35 | More by DIM
Photo of tcfishler
tcfishler

Maryland

1.7/5  rDev -59%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Deep red-brown, like an old/oxidized red wine.

Winey nose of sour cherry, yeast, and aceto balsamico.

Hits first with acidity...definitely acetic acid (aka vinegar). Comes through afterward with quite sweet fruitiness, and a tiny bit of roasted malt as well. Highly carbonated. Finishes long but astringent.

Very much a love-it-or-hate-it beer, or perhaps an acquired taste. For someone like me whose background is in wine-drinking, this isfar too similar to a wine that has gone bad, what with the brownish red color and copious volatile acidity (acetic acid). I couldn't even manage to drink more than a few ounces, which is a tragedy given the care put into brewing this. Take my rating with a grain of salt, keeping in mind my biases.

EDIT: Come to think of it, reducing this in a pan on the stove could make an awesome sauce. In that context the vinegar-y flavors would be appetizing rather than offensive.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2006 18:54:35 | More by tcfishler
Photo of hopsleeroy
hopsleeroy

North Carolina

1.95/5  rDev -53%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

I was excited to give this style a shot. This is my first experience with the Flanders Red. Looked very nice on the pour with a deep copper body and a very minimal white head that dissipated quickly. The smell-lets say a tad sour. Reminded me of the fruity flavors and strong scent of balsamic vineagar. The taste was sour cherries! It just blasts you right up front and them dissipates. The Duchesse is well carbonated which accentuates the sour flavor up front then swallows fairly clean. The sour was too much for me. I felt like I was drinking vineagar. I only managed 4-5 sips and was done. There is a lot of flavor in there but the sour/vineagar flavor was so overwhelming it was hard to enjoy everything this beer has to offer. Everyone should give this a shot, but you may learn like me that this flavor does not suit your tastebuds.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2008 16:18:06 | More by hopsleeroy
Photo of WMBierguy
WMBierguy

Maryland

1.98/5  rDev -52.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2006 02:51:39 | More by WMBierguy
Photo of Jdiddy
Jdiddy

Rhode Island

2.03/5  rDev -51.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

While I looked the looks of this beer, unfortunately that is where the good parts end. Smell was an initial sour smell. While many who review this smell vinegar, I agree but also think it smelled spoiled and rancid. Very musty smell. The taste was like a very sour Chimay Red. Definite vinegar/wine notes. Not my cup of tea. The other 2 people who sampled it with me had the same opinion. I could never drink a full glass of this.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2002 09:51:59 | More by Jdiddy
Photo of olympuszymurgus
olympuszymurgus

California

2.03/5  rDev -51.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

A small bottle, slender with smooth curves like the Duchesse herself. She stares at that little bird while I stare at the nice reddish brown, the color of caramel and desert sunsets. I smell it, the aromas wafting off the headless beer, cherries, caramel, brown sugar, lemons, and a hint of wood. It moves to my mouth, the anticipation causes my foot to tremble.

What in the name of all things holy is this. It tastes like artificial sweetener, preservatives, fake fruit flavoring, and minimal tartness. Is this beer or cheap red soda? I am saddened. I have to go back to the cellar and find something drinkable, something joyfull. I wish I had another supplication left, that might get this thing out of my memory.

Morals are all that keep this thing, this bottled sadness from hitting my drain. I wished for the stars, and hit dirt.

One last thought: this abomination ruined half of a bottle of delirium nocturnum, the beer we chose to wash out this foul flavor.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2010 01:04:05 | More by olympuszymurgus
Photo of bobinverted
bobinverted

Michigan

2.05/5  rDev -50.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

My wife found this at AJ's in Ahwatukee, Arizona. She's been getting into Belgian beers, which is cool, but she didn't like this one and gave it to me to finish. I'd just finished a Stone IPA when she handed this to me, what a contrast. I guess I'm not sophisticated enough to enjoy a glassful of balsamic vinegar. That's what Duchesse de Bourgogne smells like, tastes like and looks like. Apparently this is suited to the style, but certainly not suited to my taste.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2004 02:19:19 | More by bobinverted
Photo of Azumel
Azumel

Florida

2.05/5  rDev -50.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-01-2009 17:52:34 | More by Azumel
Photo of 3sheets2wind
3sheets2wind

Texas

2.1/5  rDev -49.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.75

Nice looking beer. Pours auburn with pillowy off-white head. Cherry red lifesaver with vinegar after taste. Mouthfeel is nice. Aroma is melted sour apple slurpee and red vines. Not sure why this beer gets so much love. Get some cuvee de jacobins fellas.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2014 03:27:52 | More by 3sheets2wind
Photo of jenbys2001
jenbys2001

Japan

2.15/5  rDev -48.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

I bought this beer as part of a mixed six pack on a recommendation from a friend. I had high hopes for it since I have a fixation on Belgian beers. Unfortunately though I was really disappointed. It's one of the few premium beers that I sincerely disliked.

For me the flavor is far too cloying and sweet. It tasted similar to a heavy sweet wine rather than beer. Although I did enjoy the after taste. The lingering flavor is very nutty, almost coffee like- which I would attribute to the oak casks. Although the color is very appealing and the smell is fairly pleasant and spicy I did not like the lack of carbonation. It gave the beer a syrupy quality that I did not enjoy. Definitely a sipping beer, but my husband and I had a hard time finishing one 11.2 ounce bottle between the two of us.

However, if you enjoy very sweet beverages you might appreciate this beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2008 17:39:24 | More by jenbys2001
Photo of 21mmer
21mmer

Michigan

2.17/5  rDev -47.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

750ml caged/corked bottle poured into a tulip glass.

i was really expecting to thoroughly enjoy this beer, as i have heard so many good things about it and am a fan of the style. perhaps i had a bad bottle, but this did not live up to my expectations.

appearance/pour was nice....dark amber color, nothing out of the ordinary.

smell was overwhelmingly vinegar and acidic. some faint fruity and yeasty notes were present, but the vinegar dominated.

taste was...not what i expected. man, this is a sweet beer. too sweet for this BA. there was a faint sourness and a little funkiness, but the sweetness just dominated the flavor profile.

i had trouble drinking my 8 oz. pour, and couldn't see myself handling any more.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2009 17:04:58 | More by 21mmer
Photo of TastyTaste
TastyTaste

Minnesota

2.23/5  rDev -46.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Appearance: Very Dark red body, lets very little light through. Grand off-white head, slow fading.

Smell: Tart and sour, earthy and musky. There is also a little rotten egg smel, but it is not very small. Not bad.

Taste: Not very strong, but overly sweet and somewhat cloying. The taste is not very tart or sour, but rather a murky blend of carmel and fruit. There are others better in the style. Medicinal, a little like cherry cough syrup.

Drinkability: A 750 is too much of this, it will be a chore to finish. Mouthfeel is undercarbonated.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2006 22:36:57 | More by TastyTaste
Photo of TPSReports
TPSReports

Alabama

2.25/5  rDev -45.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Picked up this bottle with great ancitipation for Chan's now Aloha World of Wines in Pensacola, FL. The bottled looked good and the cork was solid with no dust on the bottle.

I lightly chilled the beer then popped the cork. It poured a reddish brown with a nice head. That's basically where the fun ended.

The smell was vinegarish with some cirtus notes blended in. I'm not a fan of vinegar unless we're talking BBQ sauce.

Anyway, the taste matched the smell to my taste. I let the beer warm and tried some more. No change. I put the bottle in an ice bath and tried it again. Still nothing but disappointment. Bummer.

I guess the mouthfeel was OK, but the taste killed the feel.

I will not drink the beer again. Based on the other reviews that I've read, I guess my bottle was good, but didn't agree with me. Glad everyone else seems to enjoy it.

Cheers.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2007 15:01:46 | More by TPSReports
Photo of nbree00
nbree00

California

2.28/5  rDev -45.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This beer pours a beautiful deep brown with a reddish tint to it. The smell was pleasant with a sort of spiced cherry aroma coming through, however I was not very impressed with the carbonation which seemed to be low. The taste for me was pretty overwhelmingly sweet, no apparent sourness to better balance the flavors out. You can taste some of the roasted malts but other then that pretty bland with a cherry-banana sweetness coming through that makes it pretty hard to drink, definitely a sipping beer. Overall I didn't care for it much

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2008 23:24:07 | More by nbree00
Photo of BeerManDan
BeerManDan

California

2.3/5  rDev -44.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Nice Red hue to this brew. But either I had a bad batch or what, I don't know. My first taste of this beer was a taste of a sweet and sour wine flavor. Through out the whole glass of beer, I got a sweet rasin flavor, followed with a sour after taste. No thanks to his brew!

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2002 17:41:34 | More by BeerManDan
Photo of stangelj
stangelj

Czech Republic

2.4/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a 330ml bottle, best before 24-08-07. Appearance is very nice, a dark brown/red color with a 2 finger head that persisted. Lots of lacing left on the glass as I drank the beer. Off to a good start. Smells sweet and fruity, interesting, sour apple and cherry mostly. Taste amplifies what I smelled, whew. Starts off sweet but quickly turned sour. I like sour fruit beers but this tasted exactly like apple cider vinegar to me. The vinegar taste overpowers and is what's left in the aftertaste. Does not have much of a beer taste. Mouthfeel is ok, perhaps too full bodied, carbonation is fairly high. I didn't find this overly drinkable, would not have more than one. I would not buy again. This is my first experience with this style, so perhaps this is what it's supposed to be like, but I can't get past the apple cider vinegar taste.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2006 00:50:15 | More by stangelj
Photo of Erdinger2003
Erdinger2003

Iowa

2.4/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

The head is not too dense and the lacing doesn't stick very well. The color is clear red/purple. The smell is sour with slight earthy tones and a slight plum or other sour fruit in the backround. Taste is metalic with some earthy tones. The taste is a bit bland like cardboard. Mouthfeel is well carbonated and a little harsh. I don't think I would have another one of these, maybe it's the style, however this glass wasn't great.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2006 01:16:24 | More by Erdinger2003
Photo of NCBeernut
NCBeernut

North Carolina

2.4/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Best before date 13/01/2012. Poured into a New Belgium globe.

Crystal clear deep garnet body topped by a dense creamy bone head - looks almost like a nitro pour. The retention is amazing. It just sticks at about half an inch with sticky lacing climbing up the glass. Perfection.

Aroma is mainly vinegar and lots of dark cherry. Kind of stings the nostrils...in a good way. Almost offensive at first, but then the cherry comes in more and it is a little more pleasant. I don't have much experience with the style, but the strong vinegar aroma still keeps me from giving it too much credit here. A touch of strawberry comes out as it warms. If I wasn't taking style into account, I would definitely rate lower here. The cherry is really the only redeeming quality.

Puckering sourness kicks you in the mouth. Definitely dark cherry. Lots of black cherry Warhead with a hint of berries as it warms, but with vinegar and a metallic taste in the finish that won't really go away. I don't care what style this is, it isn't good. Bleh. Maybe if I paired this with the right food it would be less offensive. Mouthfeel has a sharpness to it that I don't like. For some reason, I finished it pretty quickly for how vinegary it is...I kind of think it was just so I can move on to my next one. $4 wasted...at least I know to be very weary of sours.

I am going to give it the benefit of the doubt in some of these categories because I know it is, to a certain extent, part of the style. Still, if this is a good example of the style, this style completely blows. Making beer taste like vinegar is not a good thing...ever.

I feel like I'm really being generous with this review.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2010 19:42:40 | More by NCBeernut
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Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 2,647 ratings.