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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: 3,883
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: 3,883
Photo of rye726
4.6/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle with a best by date of 1/1/09 poured at 45F into a snifter.

Dark amber/ruby color with a thin tan head that quickly subsides to a nice cover.

The nose is acidic and strong of tart cherries. There are also sents of vanilla, oaky malts and citrus fruit.

The taste is also very tart and sour; as it should be. There is a presence of sweet malts and pitted fruits. A faint oak character brings everything together.

Good mouthfeel, medium body with a fairly high carbonation level. It is rich, but also somewhat crisp and refreshing.

I found this Flanders a little to sweet and would like a drier finish. Other than that, a very drinkable brew. Very complex and well balanced.

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Photo of Amtchicago
4.6/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have had this beer on more than one occasion and I have never been disappointed. Overall a great representation of the style. If you enjoy the sour spectrum and can appreciate balsamic vinegar qualities, well then give this a try.

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Photo of boulevard2
4.6/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Experation date June 2008

Pours a brownish ale with a thick head and lots of bubbles. Heavy retention and it all clings to the glass. Sour cherries and sugar are present in the nose. A nice sour cherry twang at the start then mellows out at the end. There is also a great berry aftertaste which I think is rare for a flemish ale. Overall very smooth and well worth the price. I recommend this to anyone who hasnt tried this style before!

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Photo of onecrazybreeze
4.6/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Tap at the Falling Rock. Poured a dark opaque brown with slight red tints, had no head by the time it got to me. Smelled sugary and fruity, mainly of raisins. Tasted more sweet then sour to me, mainly of cherries and raisins. It's not overly sour making it a great beer for those that need a good balance between sweet and sour in a sour brew. In all, a very likable beer.

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Photo of Boneheadmx
4.61/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours out to what appears to be a dark, slightly hazy magenta-purple amber with a 1 inch cream-colored head that subsides slowly and leaves thick lacing around the glass. The purple color makes this extremely beautiful and it's the best looking beer I've ever seen.

Smell is faintly of fruit with not much in the way of the hops. Smells nice but it's ultimately a little bland.

Oh boy. The flavor. Nice tangy, citrusy sourness with hints of fresh berries, fairly sweet. Slow sour finish nicely complemented by just the right touch of carbonation (which is more than it looks to have when poured out). There's a slight bit of hops in the back of the tongue which gives it a lot of dimension instead of just "sweet and sour."

The mouthfeel is light, watery, and carbonated but matches the flavor perfectly.

This is surprisingly one of the most drinkable beers I've ever had (surprising since I don't particularly like light, watery, carbonated, sweet beers). Highly recommended for seasoned beer drinkers and newbies alike.

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Photo of Luk13
4.61/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It took me so much time to truly appreciate this beer, so I understand the haters here. Appearance is magnificient. Brown pour with red highlights and a lasting thick creamy offwhite head. One of the most beautiful lacing there is. Once it's over, my glass is completely coated with lacing.

Aroma: This is certainly not unanimous as there is a lot of balsamic vinegar which can be offputting but I like it now. There is a decent amount of musty wood, red wine, some burnt brown sugar. I also get some subtle notes of nuts and chocolate.

Taste: Probably the perfect balance between tart and sweet. To be more specific, some cherries and plums, lots of wood, maple syrup. Very close to a 5.

Mouthfeel: Light yet holds everything together. It is certainly not sticky considering the sweetness, nor as dry as a sour which gives this beer the opportunity to express its sweet and sour profile.
Low carbonation but not much is needed here.

Overall: A very unique, harmonious and elegant beer that has no evident flaws. I think it just surpassed Orval as my favourite go to beer.

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Photo of jminsc76
4.61/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Imagine Coca Cola meets vinegar in a garden of oak-ey goodness.

Duchesse ties with Rodenbach Grand Cru as my favorite of the Flanders red ales. Upon pouring, the carbonation initially brings out a slight head that clears fairly quickly, but upon a two to three second swirl will reform. The beer produces a tingling sensation on the roof of the mouth and/or parts of the tongue. When allowed to set and warm for five to 10 minutes out of the fridge, the feeling in the throat upon consumption is refreshing, like drinking a cold glass of water on a hot day. By 15 to 20 minutes most of the flavors have peaked, so polish it off by 30 minutes. You probably wouldn't drink warm Coca Cola; why would you drink warm Duchesse?

The smell is refreshing and very similar to the taste. Not too strong. The color is a dark, ruby red with a touch of brown. Very lush.

As the alcohol content is 6%, don't expect to get 'ishfaced out of your mind (unless you drink, like, 20 of them). This drink is more for the taste than the inebriation, although the taste is intoxicating in its own right.

On an additional note, my experience sharing Duchess with others is that beer lovers of the Flanders red style, and Belgian beers in general, love this drink. It's also an ideal beer for converting oenophiles and other beer-skeptics to the cause of drinking good, quality beer. Women who say they hate beer have expressed particular enjoyment with this one. Not always, but mostly.

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Photo of BeerSnobLeprechaun
4.61/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in Libbey 3709 Snifter.

L- Ruby brown with light receding lace around perimeter.

S- Malt vinegar with a hint of sweet fruit in background.

T- Malt, musty forest floor then POW with malt vinegar and fruity esters as it resides.
Not as typical Flanders in respect to sweetness. The Duchess you would swear is backsweetened.

F- Flat mouthfeel and minimal carbonation..

O- One of my favorite Belgian sours to taste any new contenders against. By far one of my top 5 beers of all-time.

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Photo of farrago
4.61/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark rust red to brown in color, has a fuzzy sort of opacity, not really blacked out, more unintentionally veiled. Not a lot of obvious fizz, the head is very light and disintegrates into little islands across the surface. Intense, multi-faceted nose of vinegar, tea leafs, plum to candied cherry fruit, rum, soy sauce, green apple, esters, almost could pose as a very traditional (cubed beef) barbecue sauce. Medium-bodied, playful carbonation crests like waves in the mouth. The sour vinegar component met head on by golden raisin, date and then cherry, raspberry fruit. Yeasty in a subtle way, works consciously in concert with the rest. Tea, tar, kindling wood. Nothing screams hops nor malts, category mistake to think of this beer in those terms. It's really an intellectual challenge to your taste buds, a can you keep up with the syllabus sort of situation. You may not love it, you may not hate it, but you must taste it.

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Photo of sponberg
4.62/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Whoaaa, Nelly! Starts out malty with a gently lactic tang, then the flavors start flooding in - sour cherries, an oaky dryness, sweet prune/plum, a sweetness I can't describe (almost like a cherry dipped in caramel, but better), and hints of chocolate & biscuit towards the finish. The flavor is like a round ball with a point sticking out - the round ball being the malty character, the pointy part the lactic, sour tang. Then it all gently wafts away. Hugely entertaining if you're an Oud Bruin fan. I may like this slightly more than I like Rodenbach Grand Cru, which says a LOT.

The publican, when I ordered a pint, said "You remember the first time you had sex? This is better." It's not, but it's still one outstanding brew.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.62/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: poured from a 750 ml bottle into a pint glass, ruby colored with a nice light tan head that lingers leaving good lacing, clear

S: musty, plum, cherry, grapes, very tart, sour fruits, slight balsamic vinegar, mouth watering

T: sweet and sour, much sweeter than expected by the nose, strawberry, cherry, plum, currants, blackberry

M: on the thinner side, medium to high carbonation

O: an outstanding Belgian sour, the fruit flavors are amazing, beautiful balance of sweet and sour flavors, like eating a fresh bowl of fruit

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Photo of cerevisiaephilus
4.62/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Really a great experience with this beer. The nose is very intense vinegar and winey notes with just a hint of malt. The taste is far less offensive than the nose. Big round malt flavors are deftly balanced by the sourness. I get very intense raisin flavors in the finish. Quite a drinkable beer if it wasn't 8$ a 330ml bottle.

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Photo of Radome
4.62/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 33 cl bottle into a goblet.

A - Beer is a mahogany brown color with red highlights when held up to the light. It is perfectly clear. The head is thick, off-white and fluffy and it leaves lots of lacing on the glass.

S - The aroma is incredibly complex. No hops, some malt, but dominated by yeast character and the results of the aging process. I perceive this as earthy, musty, sweet, wet-wood and leather that smells exactly like an oloroso sherry. The beer has an additional twang that I can only describe as vinegar. As it warms I get some alcohol vapors as well. Incredible!

T - The flavors follow the aromas, but I also initially get a sense of dried tobacco leaves that reminds me of DFH Palo Santo Maron. I don't taste any barrel or oak character, despite the smell of it. There is some spicy hop flavor in mid-palate and some alcohol flavor before a moderately dry finish. Early in the tasting I detected a metallic note that I didn't like, but it disappeared as the beer breathed and warmed.

M - Body is moderate. The carbonation is sharp and prickly, but it helps keep the beer from feeling cloying. There is a bit of alcohol burn that matches the flavor and aroma.

O - This is an excellent beer. I've had it many times but never really tried to break down the flavors and aromas before. It is unbelievable how much flavor they pack into a 6.2% ABV beer. World-class!

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Photo of doubleipa
4.62/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm not very familar with this style since I've ever had one of these on draft. However, I certainly will try as many of this style after having this one. This was really a spectacular beer. I can't say I would've appreciated this several years ago. Very sour aroma - duh! A little bit of vinegar, cherry, raspberry, and oak. Kind of hard to describe as the sour is so predominant. Taste is really huge. Incredible levels of tartness. Nice frothy head and a light ruby color. Great mouthfeel - very lively. I can't wait to pop open one of these at the next neighborhood party and offer this to someone.

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Photo of benito
4.62/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A wonderful find on tap at Falling Rock in Denver.

This comes a handsome brown with a thick head that laces the glass well. The bouquet and flavor both are a mix of butter and oak, with hints of pepper and maple syrup.

The interplay of sweet (buttery) and sour is amazing...indeed, the beer moves across the palate with a light and tickling grace that I've ever seen in only a handful of other beers. Each swig reveals a new complexity in the flavor profile--a different spice here, bubble gum there.

Were this less costly (at $6 for half-a-pint) I would have kept trying la Duchesse all day. A wonderful beer.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.63/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a small bottle into a Dogfish Head snifter. The pour is a beautiful clear ruby-red color with a gorgeous fluffy white head. The nose is tart, fruity, flowery, sour, and slightly musty.

As for the taste, woah baby! This lady has class. There's a slight candy-sweetness up front that is balanced by a refreshing sour apple acidity. The mouthfeel is medium-firm and silky smooth. The carbonation seems just right. I'm no expert of Flanders Red Ales, but this one is a freaking work of art. It's not a mouth-puckeringly acidic as Rodenbach Grand Cru. The pleasant sweetness that accompanies the flavor makes this much, much more drinkable. I think I might actually prefer it.

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Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan
4.63/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This lady pours ruby, almost burgundy. A royal ale brewed in honor of Mary of Burgundy. She almost looks like Cabarnet Sauvignon red wine. Reddish-brown body with a one finger beige head. Bubbly and sparkling with carbonation. Nice and Hazy.

Smell: Very powerful aromas of yeasty wild bacteria. Light bittersweet chocolate. Secondary notes of malty caramel. You can smell the sour notes and the fruitiness but nothing prepares me for the rush of flavor that is about to coat my tongue.

Taste: This is simply one of the most unique and flavorful tasting beers I have ever had. I taste Sweet grapes, slightly oaky almost corky plum wine, tart cherry. Vinegar. Spicy and sour citric fruitiness. I especially detect orange and guava. Some graininess and an oaky chocolate caramel finish. The finish is long and enjoyable. The sour bretts and fruit flavors and roasted malts all play on my tongue. There is a slight vinous alcohol presence. The hops are herbal and spicy.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium. There is some sugar. Duchesse doesn't dissolve but rather swishes around like a wine. Carbonation isn't too heavy on the mouth. It's all natural oak aging. Very light acidity. Nice overall balance of yeasts, roasted malts and specialty bittering hops.

Overall: The best I've had on the Flanders category. Also a very drinkable sour beer. Her sourness doesn't overpower the complex malts and other elements of the Belgian yeasts as well as the complex multi barrel aging process. This beer is easy to find and isn't too expensive for it's high quality.

Only problem I can find with this burgundy beauty is so noble, dignified and vinous it might destroy the wine industry if it caught on.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.63/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: effervescent, beige-pink head, mousse-y texture - ruby red liquid with a brownish tinge, dark glow, great clarity - actually some thick, chunky bands of lace - looks like a red wine with foam

S: fruit-juicy (raspberry, strawberry) - fruit n' creme - lightly floral (rose) - vinous, sangria-like, possibly a touch of port - granola-like malt in the background

T: intense malty/berry - wonderful balance with its lactic sourness - no predominant tartness or "infected" tingle - perhaps a little on the sweet side, but not quite cloyingly so - I couldn't offer anything in the way of desirable improvements - hits the spot, for my taste

M: fullish body, but not syrupy - nearly silky-smooth - enough carbonation to offset, balance - feels like you're drinking something with nutritional substance - so satisfying

O: one of my favorite beers - ridiculously delicious and satisfying - while I have lots of love for Rodenbach Grand Cru and the Cuvee de Jacobins Rouge (and this would compare closer to the Cuvee), it offers me what the other do not...a much more lip-smacking, berry-nectary intensity (but not overbearing sugary sweetness) - this wouldn't be something I would drink all the time...I revel in the excitement and anticipation, though, each time we cross paths...

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Photo of NODAK
4.64/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured a nice ruby red in my Belgian glass at an awesome beer bar...head was pretty nice, about a finger thick. Decent staying power and lacing.

Smell has the typical lactic, typical vinegar smell of a sour there, but it isn't overpowering and it is also met with a sweet berry fruit aroma as well in tandem. Very inviting. Soft on the nose.

The taste....ah, really a thing of beauty. In fact, if I were to introduce somebody to sours, this is likely what I'd give them. That is not necessarily because it's a beginner beer persay, but because it has such a wonderful balance to it that some other sours really just don't have. While some sours are like drinking straight vinegar, this has more complexity and balance to it, which makes it an incredibly easy drink. I get a nice sweet fruitiness, perhaps of cherries predominately and maybe a hint of cranberry in there, upfront....along with a lactic tartness that I'd describe as perhaps half as sour as many of the new sours I've had that I think are going out of their way to be as sour as possible. Again, easy going. Never makes me grimace, always whets my palate for the next drink. That mix between the sweet berries/cherries and the lactic tartness is so well done, I really can't say enough.

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Photo of kimcgolf
4.64/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was my first Flemish Sour, and it really grew on me. Poured to darlk brown with hints of red, and a thick tan head that lasted for the whole drink and left excellent lacing. The aroma was very funky, reminded me of those old Paz Easter Egg Coloring kits where you drop a colored tablet in pure vinegar. I was afraid of what I would be drinking next. To my great surprise, the taste was excellent. It was sour fruit, and at first caught me off guard, but I quickly adapted. Finish was dry, sour and warming. I bought this in a 4pack, and was concerned that I may have over-bought. Now, I know I will be heading back for more.

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Photo of DCon
4.64/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1st Tasting- Beer from Lukas Liquor, poured into a champagne coupe, shared with a friend.
2nd Tasting- Beer from iTap House (Chesterfield), poured into a snifter.

1st- Appearance - Red/Brown Color with small amount of head
2nd-Appearance - Black Color, Possibly tons of cloud, and Mushroom Head on top.

1st- Smell - Great smell! Sour for sure like any Lambic.
2nd- Smell - Smell cherry, some type of strudel, and Sour again.

1st- Taste - Tastes like a steak dinner? Very strange but this was the only thing that came up... Not a normal lambic. Manager at Lukas said it should taste like a pastry.
2nd- Taste - Have no idea about the first taste! Totally different Beer! Very bitter and sour. Tastes like cherry strudel if possible.

1st- Mouthfeel - Full carbonation, Full Bodied, and brought on tartness/sour feel.
2nd- Mouthfeel - Long Finish, Tingle feeling in cheeks/tongue after 5 seconds.

1st- Drinkability - Makes me want to drink another one.. Everyone was interested in this beer and I'm ready to experience another one! Awesome!
2nd- Drinkability - Glad I got to enjoy this beer again! Totally different aspects in tasting the 2nd time as first. Had a glass of water in between beers the 2nd time, and this was the obvious difference. Would drink a 3rd time too!

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4.64/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Given to me as a sample...now I have to buy more. Pours a reddish brown with light pale brown head one finger thick then fades to a nice lacing. Smell is sweet and highly expressive ... it begs to be inhaled. Melon, cherry, apple, oak, alcohol, and oh soo much more. Mouthfeel is smooth with little to no carbonation "pop" on the tongue and a nice dry finish. Taste is excelently rounded and full of flavor. Cherry, raspberry, red wine, slight raw oak note. No bitterness or spice but wonderful array of sweet tartness that tantalizes the tongue. I think I gave some of my first fives.

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Photo of WhatsNewinBooze
4.64/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one caught me by suprise. This beer (if you can even call it that) pours a clear reddish brown with a thin fizzy head that atually foams up after waiting a few minutes. The nose was loaded with red berries, citrus, sweet malts and yeast. The palate was loaded with red fruit and citrus flavors with some wonderful notes of bread, yeast and spice. Evryone should try this at least once.

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Photo of tigg924
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: dark red/brown, medium head, medium carbonation, clear

Smell: sour figs, pears, and cherries

Taste: The big taste I get here is cherry sour patch kids, plus maybe a bit of berry

Mouthfeel: sour, tart, clean, and there is a sweetness to it as well

Drinkability: I think this would be an excellent starter sour. The taste is amazing and I could drink several as the alcohol is hidden.

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Photo of justiceavocado
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into a snifter.

A – Small head, but great retention. Maybe a quarter inch of pancake batter-thick froth, and the bubbles just keep on gushing from the bottom of the snifter, like CocaCola. Lacing is strong, as well. The color of the actual liquid is also like soda, dark and cloudy and reddish. (Update: I just wrote the rest of this review, and the bubbles are still gushing up from the bottom. Jeebus!)

S – Funkier than I expected, almost like with wild yeast. Definitely some blackberries and sour raspberries in there. Intriguing and unique.

T – Yikes! The shortest millisecond of bitterness (following the aroma) is immediately overpowered by sweet fruitiness. Still raspberries, but not sour at all, for most of the swallow. Towards the end, though, the sourness comes back, and lingers long afterwards. Maybe some pear flavor, too, gently.

M – Lovely. This is the mouthfeel I want in a Belgian. Creamy but not chewy, not like a stout, but with a strong presence and tight carbonation.

O – Terrific. I am enthusiastic about this one's uniqueness. I like the surprise of the sweetness after the funky aroma. I like watching the bubbles (which are still going!). I like that this beer has strong opinions about itself, and is not afraid to share them.

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