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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,427 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,427
Hads: 3,832
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 22.93%
Wants: 200
Gots: 663 | 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
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Reviews: 1,427 | Hads: 3,832
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 Cannibalgasm
4.49/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle.

A: Pours a deep rusty red with a thick off-white head. Head lingers a bit before collapsing into a thin bubbly layer that resides on top of the brew. Lacing is minimal but present.

S: Balsamic vinegar, sour fruit, green apple, soy sauce, and sweet malts.

T: Green apple, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, rhubarb, and sour fruits.

M: Medium bodied, highly carbonated, crisp with a nice sour finish.

O: This is truly a great brew. I'm finally starting to come around on the whole sour thing and this easily one of the best I've had. Subtly sour and sweet with a solid malt backbone. I like this a lot more then I thought I would when I first tried it awhile back, and honestly after re-visiting it I like it even more. It's just very pleasant to drink. This is one I plan to keep a stock of.

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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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Photo of jaxon53
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

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

Poured into a Chimay chalice. Thanks to CBA for trading this gem.

A very dark, garnet hued ale. A one finger ruddy tan head formed on the pour, and it continues to sponataneously regenerate itself. This ale is finely yet somewhat actively carbonated, and thin yet full, intricate lacings formed for my appreciation.

Wow theres alot to smell in here! Tart red apple funk, toffee, hint of vanilla, and grassy, earthy hop spice.

Yummy! Something like a bready, caramel and toffee coated red apple (Mc Intosh?, Spartan?). Tart sour funk, candi sugar, vanilla ice cream, earthy hop spice, reminescent of a touch of cinnamon. Damn this is like a tasty sweet and sour apple pie with a good dollop of vanilla ice cream!

Theres a hell of a lot going on in this beer! Sour yet sweet, fruity yet bready, solid, creamy toffee character, all enhanced by the cinnamon like hop spice. An excellent brew full of flavour and depth, very well rounded and complimentary to itself.

A very drinkable, incredibly rich and complex ale. Would love to be able to try and session with this. Stay away if sour, oaked brews arent your thing. If you love a tart apple pie with some vanilla ice cream on the side do whatebver it takes to find this gem!

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Photo of haz77
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 tulip a deep ruby red with a 1/2 inch of tan head. This quickly drops to a thin layer. Looks to have almost no carbonation.

S - Mild solvent, musk, sourness mixed with sweetness, cherry

T - Sweet and juicy at first, then tartness kicks in. Red fruits fills the middle, then a syrupy sweet and sour finish which lingers and becomes dryer. Very nice.

M - Syrupy and refreshing all in one. Carbonation is subtle and works well.

D - Very moreish beer. Well worth a try and I'll be having more soon.

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Photo of Clints1991
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled, poured in a tulip glass. It pours a brownish red, with a light tan head. The head lingers around for quite some time. It has a strong aroma of fruits, tarts and some wine characteristics. It has a strong taste of fruits such as cherry and some melon. It is very palatable. It is an amazing beer overall!!

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

Poured from 330mL bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: deep, clear red-brown woody color with two fingers of pillowy ivory foam. Layers of chunky lace are left as I drink the glass down. I like it a lot.

Smell: sweet caramel malt, oak and a nice dry sourness. Under that I get some faint but nice raisin and plum aromas. Nicely complex and highly alluring.

Taste: flavor profile is similar to the aroma with a bit dose of caramel malt, followed by a nice woody tartness. Complexity is very nice and the tartness is just enough to warrant taking another sip. This is one delicious beer.

Mouthfeel: medium body and enough carbonation to yield a sweet, smooth creaminess. Perhaps this should fall under flavor, but it seems like the acidity results in a little astringency which helps wash the palate clean and gets you ready for the next bout of creaminess. Fantastico.

Drinkability: this is a freakin' delicious beer. I am sad I have never had this up until now. I would drink this daily if I had the money.

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

This is my first lambic to try so the overall mouth feel and flavor is new to me. Overall, I enjoyed the beer very much as it is flavorful and balanced.

A: Very dark burgundy red color. One finger initial head that settles to a 3 mm head and light lacing.
S: Smells very fruity and also of alcohol at the same time, but the alcohol does not bother me. The fruit notes are very pleasant and complex. Definitely a similar smell to walking through a fruit market where all the smells blend.
T: The alcohol smell and taste is balanced nicely with the fruity sweet notes so it does not tire to drink. The beer has three or more stages of flavor. At first there is an in-rush of a sweet fruit blend. Then there is a mellower taste that is slightly more dry. Finally, there is a nice semi-bitter alcohol finish that balances out the whole movement.
M: A very smooth medium-thick bodied beer with little carbonation. Feels like eating yogurt to some degree. The only drawback is that it leaves a slight film in your mouth.
D: It is very easy to drink as it is packed with flavor and feels nice in the mouth. You will not get tired drinking it, you just might have to spit from time to time.

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Photo of Chris_Reimann
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

I had this both On-Draft at a great bar in Philly, and also out of the bottle. Very great! It is a little sour, but also fruity and sweet. Loved it! Try it for sure.

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Photo of bareju
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Poured from bottle. Huge fine white head, highly carbonated. Very light on the mouth, coats the mouth with bubbles. A tiny bit of dryness on the finish. Funky and fruity smell, very nice.

Taste is sweet and fruity with a very nice acidity and sourness that is well balanced.

Overall a very tasty, refreshing, fun beer. I'd like just a tiny bit less carb but other than that it's fantastic.

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Photo of July2Nov
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Older version: 19-01-08.

Appearance: Poured a very dark burgundy color (much darker than I anticipated). Thin, nice lacing all around the glass (held well during the life of the beer).

Smell: Funky and strong. Getting some apple and dark fruit scents. Spiced Raisin comes through near the end.

Taste & Mouthfeel: I guess when I automatically see a darker beer, my immediate thought is that it's going to be heavy...so with that in mind, this was so light and refreshing to the palate. Has a thin syrup like texture that wraps on the tongue. Nice undercurrent of fruit flavors, with some sweetness. The initial flavor has something akin to balsamic vinegar. Some tartness during the middle...the aftertaste has a slight numbing effect. Very interesting and complex, yet lighter and refreshing.

Drinkability: This is almost wine-like and lambic-esque in it's tasting...which I'm a fan of. With this in mind, this is so drinkable that it's almost off the scale. I've had this bottle for close to three years and I'm impressed by the flavor that is still evident from this bottle. Must compare it to a newer version to find what the differences are (if any). Would try again, in any form! A must!!!

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Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
92 out of 100 based on 1,427 ratings.