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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,441 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,441
Hads: 3,885
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 23.17%
Wants: 211
Gots: 690 | FT: 12
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Verhaeghe visit their website

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: 1,441 | Hads: 3,885
Photo of xShoWTeKx
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle to tulip.

A: Pours a black cherry color with a very small head that dissipates quickly.

S: Strong vinegar smell up front, followed by a sour cherry finish.

T: Starts with huge sour cherry, much more than the smell leads on. Not really any vinegar in the taste and finishes fairly sweet.

M: light bodied with huge carbonation that fizzes in the mouth, and finishes slightly dry.

O: My first sour and I like it a lot, little bit different but very good.

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Photo of popery
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well, this is my first real sour, and it is fantastic. I'm leaving some room in my score because I need more experience to give too high of a score. I will be coming back to this review when I've had a few more sours. This beer pours a beautiful red brown that looks incredible in my St. Bernardus glass. The aroma is tart, hinting at the sour cherry flavor. The flavor is big sour cherry with an underlying oakiness. It is fairly close to a sour cider that has been aged in wood barrels. There are flavors of great fruit vinegar. The feel is silky and mildly bracing. It's the best fruit flavor in a beer that I've ever tasted. I'm extremely tempted just to give higher scores now.

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Photo of bditty187
4.48/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Clear, beautiful dark ruby hue, there is also a hint of coppery-brown. The beige head reached a solid finger in height of foamy bubbles. I am impressed with the head retention; it slowly faded to islands of bubbles that lasted for the whole consumption. The lacing was bountiful, it looked like ripped wallpaper. This is a great looking beer. The nose is doughy with sweet/sour undercurrents, port wine, a kiss of fruitiness, oak notes too. The aroma is potent and thus inviting. It is too unique not to want to take a sip. So I do. After the first drink my initial reaction was simple: yum. The palate is very tasty and amazingly well rounded; the tartness is tremendously refreshing; the cookie dough is found behind the sourness. This is opposite of the nose. I like it. The wine-like features are soft, sweet, and earthy. The fruitiness was a basket of pears, cherry filling, and muted plums/raisins. Almonds. Wood. All in all, the palate is complex. The finish is pillow soft, very lazy and long lasting. Flemish Sour Ale is a style of beer I really dig and Duchesse de Bourgogne is a damn good (if not great) representation of the style. The carbonation is lively but the bubbles feel small, almost like nitrogen, how weird! All I can say is the mouthfeel is fantastic; there is also good bulk on the tongue. The drinkability is magical; I had to fight myself from sailing through my 11.2 ounce bottle (which was purchased in Iowa City). The alcohol content is ideal as well. I think this is a beer that every serious beer drinker should try at least once. I need more!

The only drawback, I get a bad case of the burps and they aren’t good burps like hops burps. Burp!

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Photo of JulioH
4.48/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5


This beer is very much like a fruit lambic. The color is a dark red, and pouring shows lots of tiny bubbles, like most lambics.
The difference would be a more dry lambic, it is not continually sweet, it starts sweet and finishes dry. Also, it is somewhat sour. It is sour on the nose, but when drinking it is not a very sour beer, although you can taste some berries and cherries in it.
Great beer for a hot summer day, but also strong.

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Photo of graywalker
4.48/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a delicious beer. Nice sour cherry aroma with a little bit of yeast and horse blanket. A lovely reddish brown color. The taste is wonderfully balanced - a little sweet up front, but it dries nicely. I get lots of fruit and yeast in the flavor, but not the tomato undertones that some people report. Overall, a more approachable sour red than Rodenbach, which I also like. I'm glad that I bought a four pack.

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Photo of Nurhyme21
4.48/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

This is my first sour so I have nothing to compare it to. But I really enjoyed this beer. I would definitely purchase it again. Very refreshing & complex. I will have to experiment more with this style.

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Photo of jbsteiny
4.48/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was intrigued by the “Flemish Red” on the menu at The Blind Tiger, and this beer blew me away. Looked almost like a hazy glass of port – a beautiful dark ruby color – but for the slight head – less than 1 cm of white sparse foam which laced nicely down the sides of the tulip glass. My entire table insisted that it smelled of vinegar, and it’s true that the primary note in the nose was basalmic red wine vinegar, but I also got Granny Smith and sherry. (My buddy Zack kept saying, “Yeah, but it’s a beer that smells like a salad.”)

Unbelievable complexity. I had no idea what the ABV was, but I was sure of two things: I could drink this all night, and if I did, I wouldn’t make it to work the next day. Tart & tannic, the Burgundy Duchess took me on a rollercoaster of taste starring sweet and sour red fruit. I don’t know what else exactly, but there was an earthiness and a floral element to boot. Again, I was blown away. A dry finish to what could have been a pucker-inducing glass, as well as an alcohol content masked by the sourness, only add to its high marks. Not something I would drink every night (or would I?), but an amazing treat for when I’ve been good.

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Photo of psm90
4.48/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This one was a gusher! Exploded upon opening, so I think I lost about a third of the bottle. On to the review...

L: Deep ruby brown with an off-white head which really sticks around.

S: Cherry, sour grapes, wine, slight alcohol.

T: Absolutely wonderful. Massive vinous quality at first, which is underpinned with green apple, brown sugar, cherry and dried fruits. Wonderfully sweet and sour - it almost has a sour candy taste. Sweet, bready malts build as the drink goes on, but it's all about the beautiful sourness. Such a complex yet clean taste. There's also a slight citric quality, which is mainly lime. There's a nice kick of alcohol too.

M: A thick, smooth feel with slight carbonation. This quickly moves into dryness for a while afterwards.

Overall: What a fantastic beer. So multi-faceted yet brilliantly balanced.

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Photo of AndoBrew
4.48/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

*I like it will buy it again*

the cork says exp date nov.2007

app: NICE, I poured it right into a duvel tulip, a 2 finger head. deep rich garnet ruby color kahki colored head.. its just pretty.

smell: sour, little dark viniger, some spiciness in the nose. I love this smell. I really do. something inviting and wamring about it.

taste: Yum Yum Yum. a little sweet and meek up front then mild sour tartness then more refined sweets, then booze on the breath like a nice post white wine sip. actually the soft fruity sweet finish reminds me a lot of a very mild white wine... little pepper in it to.
has a little spice and spritz in the back of the throat that reminds me of the way sparkiling cider that I had to drink on new years when I was young felt.

very balanced, very smooth then exciting then smooth again. I was a little worried that it would be a lot more sour than it is.. cause I have this big bottle all to myself. BUT its easy sailing.

mf: spritzy, alive.. I wish it was more carbonated. and or thicker.. I dunno. Its good.. Actually silky, thats it, I wish it was more silky.

drinakble?: very very drinkable.. the cider type spritz spice, slows you down a little.. also the feeling like drinking to much cider, that if you chugged vats of this you would have to sit down on the pot for a long time slows me down a bit.

OverAll: today was my 1 year day of joining BA, great beer to have as a reward. This is really great beer, and if you are scared of the whole wild beer sour tart pucker thing, no worries here. It is there but mild. I think some of the lady's might even love this one.

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Photo of beatenbyjacks
4.49/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - dark red cherry color with a off red head and lacing

Smell - rich and tarty for sure. Fermenting fruit smell to it, rich with cherries!

Taste - holy complexity and all over the place. Tart, sweet, sour, sweet. Cherries, delicious cherries

Mouthfeel - lots of carbonation and easy finish

Overall - wow was this a surprise and glad the bar tender referred it after their local beers were out. This beer is great!

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Photo of Beelzebeer
4.49/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle, BB Nov 23/2013, served in a tulip

A - Dark brown, with 1" head that sticks around. Nice lacing.

S - Some malt, more sour than anything else. A fruity vinegar.

T - Jackfruit and kiwi off the top, then the sour comes in. Pretty complex for such a seemingly light brew.

M - Beautiful. Kind of chewy, dense. Good medium-high carbonation.

O - Great sour.

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Photo of EdwardK77
4.49/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

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Photo of ChrisKayler
4.49/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Glass: Port City Belgian Style Snifter.

Appearance: Dark Reddish-Brown Mahogany. Aggressive pour produced 1 finger of head which dissipated in two minutes. No lacing. Loving the color!

Smell: Tart, slightly metallic, cherries are most prominent. A bit of alcohol smell.

Taste: Tart cherries mostly, slightly metallic aftertaste. Tiny bit of lemon sourness.

Mouthfeel: Light body, medium carbonation. No stickiness. Refreshing.

Overall: Probably a good beginners sour ... drinks like a tart cherry juice with just a bit of that funky sourness. Nice underlying sweetness.

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Photo of BethanyB
4.49/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Large, tan, beady bead, and a reddish brown body. Clear with the exception of some intermittent chill haze. Impressively, the head sticks around until the bitter end.

Smell: A tantalizing sweet and and sour smell, reminiscent of soy sauce, mixed with a tangy array of ripe red berries, dates, and plumbs. A bit of mocha can be detected as well.

Taste: Lick-your-lips tartness and savory umami dominate and satisfy. Sweet raspberry vinaigrette, juicy apples, and the dates and prunes promised by the bouquet are included in the complex, yet well-balanced flavor combo. Left me absolutely CRAVING more, and cursing myself for buying just one bottle.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Moderately high carbonation is unusual for the style, but brings a refreshing tanginess that can't not be appreciated. Smooth, yet slightly dry finish.

Overall: Filling, relaxing, fascinating, jubilant...you know when I start using adjectives that personify a beer, that I absolutely love it. Could be my new favorite. Don't tell my husband, but I might be in love.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.49/5  rDev +9.5%
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

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Photo of meatmallet
4.49/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark burgandy in color with a bubbly tan head.

Smell: Smell is awesome. Sour apple dominates the nose as well as cherry. It is a bit musky and tart and very complex like a good wine.

Taste: Very sweet at first and it finishes sour. Light malt flavor with hints of cherry, cranberry, and sour apple.

Mouthfeel/drinkability: Light carbonation and a great taste make this a must try.

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Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

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Photo of Pip_Count_167
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Ebenezer's in Brunswick. The taste is really reminiscent of a balsamic vinegar, especially when it first hits the mouth. The tartness didn't linger though, it left a fruity flavor behind. I've really been digging sour beers lately, and this one blew me away. Hopefully it's as tasty in a bottle.

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Photo of asabreed
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer last week on tap, and I realized I could get a 4-pack, and then decided that clearly, after flipping about the beer on tap, that I should certainly do so.

Appearance: Gorgeous dirty white head, meaning the reddish color is putting it off on that degree a bit, and in a good way. A nice amount of bubbles flowing up from the bottom.

Smell: Red wine, vinegar, some tart apples and fruit -- maybe granny smith apples. Almost some sour apple candy type smells. Fantastic.

Taste: Sweetness up front, and a slight amount of tartness. Fruitiness and apples, cherries, raspberries. Some sugars. Just wonderful overall. The wine / vinegar quality is there, yes, but the balance is amazing and fools and teases your taste buds into only good things.

Mouthfeel: A great balance with carbonation and the tartness that sneaks through into the taste. Not creamy, really, but not really light. It almost starts out like a spritzer and then somehow fills into a gorgeous dance of balance, complexity, and taste. And this is just the mouthfeel...

Drinkability: Easily one of my new favorite beers. I need more beers in this style I imagine. The wine-like character may turn some people on, though some, on the other hand, may be completely turned off. However, the ABV is moderately low, but I personally think this should be a treat, and especially without food. There's so much beauty going on that no compliments are needed.

Please try this in some form, just to try a pretty different style at the very least. I can't wait to get more.

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Photo of jbonapar
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My second time trying this beer, I think the first time I was so shocked by it i wasn't sure if I liked it or not. Anyway, found some bottles in HUll Quebec.

Poured a dark ruby/mahogany red with a nice thick foam that steams up from the beer.

Smell: Sweet balsamic vinegar, green apple. So interesting.
Taste: Smooth malty sweetness hits your tongue and then melds into a vinegar-like tartness which seems to develope into a sour apple/green apple like finish. The tartness is wonderfull. Refressing, but not overpowering.

I agree with others, this is one complex beer that in my opinion, really has to be tried on its own. You need to start the night with this, and really forget your preconceived notions of what a beer is. This is a unique and wonderfull drink.

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Photo of Darkale
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Few things make me more hopeful about beer than the fact that I gave the Duchesse a C or so rating 8 years ago, when I first reviewed it, and now it is one of my favorites. Eight years ago, it seemed over the top; now, it seems almost sedate, and "pleasant" is how I would describe it today. It is juicy and thirst-quenching, with a bright, woodsy, summer's-day combination of flavors and mouthfeel. Great stuff.

If you let your palate grow, oh the places it will take you.


Um... I, uh, don't really know what to say about this beer. It certainly pushes the envelope open further than any other beer I've ever had.

Clear, red-brown body with a thick tan head. Powerful apple-vinegar aroma. Somewhere in the back of it, holding its nose, is some sweet malt.

How to describe the taste? "Interesting and different" does not seem to be enough. It's thick and chewy, but overpowered by massive, slick apple vinegar. There is also some oak and pure green apple mixed in.

I am impressed by the depth and quality of this beer; surely it is no easy task to put all of those tastes together. I wish I liked this beer. If I bought twelve bottles in January, and opened one per month for a year, by December I might be able to finish one. Still, I am not sure that I would be able to say that I enjoyed it.

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Photo of logicalparadox
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Whoa! Flemish sour ale that has some truly distinctive notes. Apple cider vinegar. Acetone and nail polish remover. Grape juice. As it breathes and warms: cherries!

Tart, sour, light bodied to medium bodied, but has some tooth. Crisp. Very effervescent.

The Duchesse will always have a place in my fridge!

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Photo of SHODriver
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: poured into a champagne flute. pours a nice reddish brown with a three finger light tan head with decent retention
S: smells of sour cherries, acetic acid and some nice woody oak and vanilla
T: tart cherry, a bit of oak and vanilla, residual sugary sweetness, vinegar sourness. swallow brings more oak and vanilla with a bit of tartness toward the end
M: medium with soft carbonation, very nice in the mouth but slightly chalky and a little drying on the swallow
O: a very nice and tasty beer. good complexity, true to style and very well made. well worth the money and quite enjoyable

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Photo of VoodooBrew
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

33 cl bottle. Best before 09-08-06. By the way, I know that often Europeans write their dates as Date-Month-Year, whereas we're more used to Month-Date-Year. Based on some of the dates I've seen, it seems the Belgians are of the Date-Month persuasion. Is this a nation- or continent-wide standard?

Ruby-brown in color with good clarity. the initially generous off-white head subsides a little but leaves plenty of lacing and doesn't go away altogether.

The nose is sweet and tart, *almost* a hint of vinegar. Wait... yeah, that's a hint of vinegar. But you know, that's not a bad thing. Fruity and sour.

Ditto the flavor (minus the vinegar), plus candy notes and that good tartness that takes up residence on the rear sides of the tongue and back of the cheeks. It's not nearly as mouth-puckering as some examples, but yeah baby, it's sour nonetheless. The flavor transitions from tart to sweet to a rather dry finish. Some cherry, and a mildly chalky element (think flavored chewable medicine tablets).

This one is smooth and pretty easy-drinking, even for a sour beer. For those just getting into the style, this may be a better jumping-off point than, say, Rodenbach Grand Cru.

Man I'm starting to like sour beers more and more...

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Photo of PieOhMy
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

On tap. Poured into tulip.

A Dark ruby, near black. Thick tan head that remains

S Pungent! Rhubarb. Fine tones like a rainy day. Aged Cheese even.

T Tart... and tart! Much like the smell. Sour candy. Lime. Grape. Sweetness that lingers.

M Medium and effervescent.

O Awesome. Great rep of the style. The mix of tartyness/sweetness is perfect. I could drink this all day.

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Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
92 out of 100 based on 1,441 ratings.