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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,419 Reviews
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,419
Hads: 3,801
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 13.48%
Wants: 198
Gots: 653 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Duchesse De Bourgogne Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,419 | Hads: 3,801
Photo of kerry4porters
1.72/5  rDev -57.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

awful taste of malt vinegar with weird sweetness to it. If this isnt a spoiled bottle there is something seriously wrong with the brewers cuz this is the worst beer I have drank including an infect Vanilla Noir from Prairie. I feel like this would work well poured onto an Itallian sub as dressing. (299 characters)

Photo of tcfishler
1.74/5  rDev -57.4%
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. (923 characters)

Photo of Inglewood
2/5  rDev -51%

Tastes like worcestershire sauce and vinegar, would make a good marinade. I don't know how people come up with tart berries or plums, but to each there own. (156 characters)

Photo of deaconoflove
2/5  rDev -51%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Apparently, this is a very good sour beer and even more apparently, I don't like sour beers. Seems to be the new thing, so I asked about "good" sours.
The aroma and taste are nasty. It's very similar to a special balsamic vinegar we have that is aged for 18 years and is delicious. But the vinegar is fabulous. This beer is not.
Again, it's probably excellent for the class, but I can't get past the overwhelming vinegariness.
Blech! (But I *will* finish it.) (465 characters)

Photo of hopsleeroy
2.01/5  rDev -50.7%
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. (841 characters)

Photo of Jdiddy
2.06/5  rDev -49.5%
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. (430 characters)

Photo of WMBierguy
2.06/5  rDev -49.5%
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. (971 characters)

Photo of bobinverted
2.06/5  rDev -49.5%
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. (467 characters)

Photo of Azumel
2.07/5  rDev -49.3%
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. (341 characters)

Photo of 3sheets2wind
2.12/5  rDev -48%
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. (253 characters)

Photo of fochtmik3
2.13/5  rDev -47.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 1.25

This might be the worst thing I have ever put it my mouth. The texture is fantastic; The color is also perfect. Let me say this, if you have always wanted to down a bottle of Balsamic vinegar then this is the best bottle for you. If you prefer a tasty sour beer do not go with this. I am extremely disappointed and puzzled why this beer has such a high ranking. It is $11-12 and I feel like I am now forced to drink it. Let me just drink a bottle of gasoline and anthrax instead. Bleck!!! (489 characters)

Photo of olympuszymurgus
2.14/5  rDev -47.5%
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. (969 characters)

Photo of 21mmer
2.19/5  rDev -46.3%
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. (720 characters)

Photo of jenbys2001
2.19/5  rDev -46.3%
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. (872 characters)

Photo of TPSReports
2.27/5  rDev -44.4%
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. (872 characters)

Photo of TastyTaste
2.29/5  rDev -43.9%
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. (551 characters)

Photo of BeerManDan
2.36/5  rDev -42.2%
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! (273 characters)

Photo of nbree00
2.38/5  rDev -41.7%
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 (539 characters)

Photo of vig180
2.44/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from a 11.2 oz bottle poured into a Chimay chalice.

A: Looks fine, dark red, decent lacing.

S: Smells medicinal from the start, a bit of vinegar with some of the cherry-ish fruitiness of medicine.

T: This is where this beer falls apart for me. I normally love Flanders Reds, but the taste here is a mix of vinegar, cherry cough syrup, and metallic notes. Also very little sourness or tartness. No trace of alcohol.

F: Also unappetizing, like some kind of cherry slush (coarse like chunks of ice) that went bad. Drunk at the ideal temperature indicated on the bottle too, but might be better even warmer.

O: This has been a drain pour the last two times I've tried it. Again, I'm a big fan of the style, but this seems very different. (751 characters)

Photo of stangelj
2.46/5  rDev -39.7%
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. (847 characters)

Photo of NCBeernut
2.47/5  rDev -39.5%
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. (1,669 characters)

Photo of Erdinger2003
2.48/5  rDev -39.2%
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. (430 characters)

Photo of vobr0002
2.49/5  rDev -39%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A- deep amber color, very clear, with a good amount of white head.

S- vinegar, sour, cherries, raspberries

T- buttery, like the smell otherwise.

M- good mouthfeel and carbonation.

O- i do not care for this beer too much. im a big fan of other flanders but this one does not do it for me. Dont think that i will be having this again. (336 characters)

Photo of jopezu
2.5/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

hazy, reddish brown. 1st attempt at a pour; cracked the bottle open and half the beer spewed out like a geyser - make sure these are all the way cold and be gentle. i wasn't aware flanders reds were tarts/sours when i bought them. i just can't get into these beers enough to discern the complexity behind the initial malt vinegar and fruit tart assault. my score simply reflects my personal preference. (406 characters)

Photo of BigMike
2.51/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Duchesse has been on my listof beers to try for a while now but I didn't want to buy a 750. I finally found the smaller bottle andpicked it up.
Pours a dark maroon red color with a small tan head that's very small and thin.
The nose is dark fruits, deep red wine, vinegar. Mostly redwine vinegar.
This isn't what I expected. Alot sweeter then I anticipated. A slight sourness but lots of sugary sweet redwine vinegar. Kind of confusing. I'm torn trying to figure out if I like this or not. The aroma for me is not that pleasant. The taste isn't pleasant either but something makes me want to keep drinking this.
Mouthfeel is sticky. This thing coats the mouth like crazy. Light carbonation.
Overall I don't think I like this one all that much. I want to but the vinegar and sweetness are just too much for my palate. I'm glad this is the 11.2 oz bottle because I'm struggling to finish it.
I'm not sure what the shelf life is with this beer but the best by date on this bottle is 10/2/10 and today is 9/10/10. I don't know if this beer is past it's prime or what but maybe I'll seek out a little fresher bottle. (1,116 characters)

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
91 out of 100 based on 1,419 ratings.