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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

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

3,178 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,178
Reviews: 1,356
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 148
Gots: 333 | FT: 8
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,178 | Reviews: 1,356 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of julian
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a vibrant chestnut color, semi opaque with visible carbonation and a 1 finger or less frothy tan head from a vigorous pour. intricate and thick lacing lines the glass from the first sip on down.

S: mildly alcoholic and vinegary to the nose, mostly aromas of sour apples, cherries with a good balance of malting.

T: This is my first flanders red ale. tastes very similar to a Lindeman's lambic. tastes of sour apples, cherries. Somewhat dry and earthy taste. tastes a little too sweet, so IMO it's a little unbalanced. no apparent alcoholic taste.

M: high carbonation at first but quickly lessens in your throat when swallowed where it feels almost mildly syrupy.

D: This tastes a bit too fruity and sweet to be a session beer but otherwise it's a great red ale, and a great all around beer.

julian, Jun 12, 2008
Photo of rousee
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours active with what looks like floaties popping up top and they disappear quickly into a little harmless carbonation. No head and no lace to speak of.

Smell--Wow !! Almost like vinegar. Very stinky sour acidic fruit scent. Not even a farm smell, more like musty damp socks. My high score is not because it is a pleasant smell but because it is so unusual. I like cheese to be smelly and thats the analogy I will make.

The taste is completely different from the smell. It is now sweet and slightly syrupy with a dry lemonny or citrus type finish. The mustiness comes across like some real effort has gone into brewing this stuff. Chalkiness too with maybe a tad of malt on it. Syrupy mouthfeel and not too drinkable due to its extreme taste and smell. I love it though and will definitely buy again.

rousee, Oct 11, 2004
Photo of morebeergood
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a corked bottle at Whole Food Cambridge for $9.99. This was a pre-Valentine's Day dinner beer. Paired with a variety of cheeses. Poured into stemmed glassware. Dark red color with a hint of burnt orange. Thin bubbly head. Moderate amount of carbonation. Smelled a bit sour, as expected. Taste, though, was unexpected. I thought that I knew what to expect, but I got so much more. Wow, this was nice. I was thinking it would be just another Flanders ale, with a nice sour profile. Instead, it had a wonderful fruit (cherry, strawberry) flavor up front. There was a bit of sourness at the back end, but it did not detract from the excellent taste. Very light and smooth. This beer jumped very high on my list of favorite Belgian offerings.

morebeergood, Feb 17, 2009
Photo of kiya
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

upon a hard pour i'm left with a great thick light tan head that holds it's shape and size quite well over the couple of minutes i let the beer sit to warm it up a bit.

this is easily one of the best smelling beers i've ever encountered.. a sweet smokey scent that is so pleasant i wish i had an air-freshner that smelled like this.

nothing could have prepared me for what happened when this stuff hit my tongue. the initial flavor is one of sickly sweet fermented berries, which mellows out quickly leaving a slight molasses flavor that gets sweeter the longer you roll the beer around your tongue. from the carbonation level to the strong sweet overtones work really well here, where as normally (tasting within the style of beer) i'm not so sure i'd be happy if a beer was this sweet without it being a lambic ale of sorts.

i absolutely love the smell, and would definitely go for this again...

kiya, Oct 21, 2004
Photo of hero27
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle. Best before 1/17/07.

Blood red color with a somewhat thin, oily tan head. The aroma is quite strong chocolate, sour cherries, and dark fruits. The taste is impressive and very unique. Sour cherry dominates the taste, with oaky qualities, vinegar, and tartness to wrap it all together. The mouthfeel is somewhat coating and oily. Not sure how many of these I'd really like to drink in succession due to the sourness and very rich flavor, but it was a nice, somewhat unexpected treat.

As a sidenote...my brother was about 95% sure that he got sick from this beer..since he was throwing up most of the next day, and it tasted like cherries on the way out as well.. I apologize for the harsh details, but just thought I'd add that, in case anyone else has had a similar experience.

hero27, Jan 12, 2006
Photo of dar482
4.14/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The beer comes in a reddish brown mahoghany with a bit of light coming through, but quite dark with tons of lacing and a white head.

The aroma has some tart berries with cherries and a bit of cranberry. There’s some apple cider vinegar and and also some brown sugar and caramel candy sweetness.

The flavor follows with a bit less tartness than expected. It’s a combination of cherries and cranberries with apple cider vinegar. The middle gives you a bit of tannin of red wine vinegar. Then there’s just a sweetness that calms the entire beer. It’s candy sweet, but not too much. The finish gives you a bit of oak and red wine drying.

There’s tons of carbonation that balances the sweetness and tartness and makes the beer quite creamy.

It’s a really fantastic beer. It does not have huge huge characteristics, but it’s a wonderful beginner sour or for those who like red wine. However, for beer lovers, it still is a really well rounded and delicious drinking beer.

dar482, Sep 16, 2013
Photo of robertjbell
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: The beer is a burnt amber color with a touch of haze from the chill and the yeast, exhibits a pillowy foam head with decent lacing and retention

Nose: Wow, this is something different! There is an immediate presence of vinegary tartness, most like an aged balsamic and apple cider vinegars, this is followed by big notes of oak and hazelnut as well as very subtle hints of dark candied fruits, underlying sweetness

Taste: This is one of the most acidic beers I have had the opportunity to taste, the most pungent feature of the Duchesse is her big vinegary sweet taste, however this is not the only feature of the beer. There is an underlying vegetal sweetness to the beer, complimented by a tasted of tart cherries. The finish is slightly drying and chalky with a woody, oaky complextion bringing up the end

Mouthfeel: Sour, sour and sour! Yet the beer is still creaming, with just enough carbonation to keep the beer feeling alive on the palate

robertjbell, Sep 28, 2009
Photo of weonfire
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

S - Cherries, Vanilla, Ripe fruit and sourness.

T - Real sweet at first and then the Sour takes over. cherries and Peach. Great balance. Carbonation hits as it goes down the throat.

M - light and fruity. lots of carbonation.

O - too sweet and sour to have more than maybe 2 of these. But the one is very good. I would certainly drink it. But for $8 - I will not order this again. Unless...Its for a desert beer. This would be perfect. But, this one was certainly a pleasure to have.

weonfire, Feb 15, 2013
Photo of PhillyStyle
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at the Brick Store Pub in a .25ml wine glass:

A: The beer was a really nice deep red with the thickest, longest lasting off-white head that I have ever witnessed. I tried to wait it out, but it was going to be a futile effort.

S: The aroma was certainly cheery and possibly some other fruit that made it both sweet and sour at the same time. maybe tart cherries. Very complex.

T: Cherries are prominent and you get that very nice sweet and sour combination. Definitely unlike any beer that I have had before.

M: The beer was very smooth and creamy, low carbonation and very easy to drink, but would I want to drink another right afterward, probably not, but would I drink again, without a doubt.

PhillyStyle, Nov 11, 2008
Photo of bucklemyshoe
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Notes from 01/04/2011:

Best before: 11/30/2011. 330 mL bottle at 48 degrees into a Boon Kriek flute.

A: It pours a transluscent red color, similar to over-steeped tea - with a finger of frothy film that falls slowly until it forms a thin-bubbled circle on the edges of the glass.

S: Sour, wine-like aromas, cherries, plums, and a background woodiness showing the oak-aging.

T: Sweet and especially sour and lactic cherries with a sweet and oaky taste taking over leading to a very clean finish.

M: The body is medium and wine-like with a decent amount of carbonation and a crisp, palate-cleansing finish.

D: This is terrific drinking and is not overly sweet or sour like others in its style.

bucklemyshoe, Jan 12, 2011
Photo of JohnGalt1
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330ml poured into my Kasteel tulip. Picked up in trade.

Short lasting 1/2" head.. atop a beautiful brown brew with crystal clear deep red highlites.

Aroma is sweet and definately vinegar like... Unexpected sweet and sour cherry aroma... wine/tawyny port notes in the nose.

Flavor has Balsamic characteristics for sure... Sweet red wine and cidery with cherry notes... as it warms dark dried fruits play a bigger role, prunes raisins and sugary dates.. big woody oakey overtones throughout.. interesting... not nearly as sour as expected.. creamy lite/medium body and an active carbonation pushes the flavors through my mouth making me want another taste... Oakey Strawberries mascerated with Balsamic BURPS!

I've had 2 other bottles of this one, but this one aged for a while... I have no idea if the cellaring helped, but I am appreciating this one more than previous notes signify.. I would buy this again and again if it were available in Boise... but after reviewing it, I would let most sit for a long while before capping another.

JohnGalt1, Jan 03, 2008
Photo of MrHassellYaHurd
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Delirium Tremens tulip a garnet/brown with nice clarity, and a two finger off-white head. There is quite a bit of visibly vigorous carbonation release.

The first notes I get from this beer are of a rather tart combination of green apple and cherry. I detect a yeasty earthiness in the background, as well.

Tasting this beer is hard for me to describe. I've not drank many tart or sour beers like this before. The tart apples and cherry flavor is here in all its glory, as well. There is also a malty sweetness that seems to be mitigated by the sheer acidity of this brew. There is a definite vinous quality to the finish, as well.

The texture of Duchesse de Bourgogne is very similar to that of champagne, or prosecco--substantial, but airy thanks to the vigorous carbonation release.

MrHassellYaHurd, May 25, 2011
Photo of Reiksguard
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 11.2 oz bottle into glassware.

A deep red/brown in color with a pillowy white head. Great vinegar'y smell typical of flanders. Has a great fruity sweetness coupled with a sour and bitter taste characteristic of its style. There is a little extra bitterness/funkiness on the backend of the taste, which dropped my rating a little.

If it wasn't for the cost of these little bottles, I would certainly be drinking more.

Reiksguard, Mar 12, 2009
Photo of dspoonrt
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Duchesse is a dark reddish brown at first glance, but appears bright red and bubbly when held to the light. The beer pours with purpose, surging with plenty of off-white head that slowly dissipates.

Smell: The beer smells prominently of fruit and acidity, almost like vinegar. The tartness comes through heavily in the nose. While still covered in snowy foam, the nose is less present, somewhat airy, and smells kind of like cheap champagne. Once the head disappears, however, the aromatics emerge more notably and the nose noticeably improves.

Taste: Sourness and fruit shine through with each sip. The beer is continually tart, yet there is a sweetness that comes through in the finish. Sometimes the taste of alcohol is more present than others. This beer contains a variety of flavors and their combination is incredibly pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Duchesse is highly carbonated. The mouthfeel is tingly, but not so much that it is undrinkable. That said, though, there is a noticeable lightness as it moves across the palate. While mostly smooth, sometimes it feels a little syrupy.

Drinkability: Overall, this one's pretty drinkable thanks to the silky mouthfeel and fascinating flavor combinations. It's not a session beer, but it has a lot of character, complexity, and new things to discover with each sip.

dspoonrt, Sep 22, 2010
Photo of truebluebums
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in tulip glass

Good till: 12/23/2015

App: Pours a small white head that recedes rather quickly leaving a little lacing on the sides. Dark, deep red. You can see straight through it.

Smell: Vinegar. Fruity- Cherry and cranberry and maybe some darker berries in the back. Definitely a pleasant sweetness lurking behind the sour smell. Red wine aspect and some woody notes.

Taste: Sour black cherries. The sourness is at the forefront but very well restrained letting the other flavors shine through in the dry aftertaste. A mixture of a lot of different fruits. Cherry, cranberry, blackberry even some blueberry. Picking up on the tannins that other's are talking about. There's really a lot going on this little beer.

If you've never had Flemish Red or Sour, then this is a good introduction. There's definitely ones that are heavy on the sour side, but not this one. A great blend of sweet and sour and a lot of depth to the taste.

truebluebums, Mar 06, 2014
Photo of Andrewtherooster
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is the first beer I've had of this style, and boy, it's a good one.

A- Pours a great ruby red with a goldish rim around the edge. The lacing is beautiful, sticking to the sides of the glass and leaving a smeared haze.

S- Smells right away of tart dark cherries with a warm toastiness in the background. It smells to a degree like Welch's gone bad in the best way.

T- Wow, this smacks of the sour, tart flavor I was looking for. Each step in the sip is like a wave of sourness washing over, finishing off with a slight alcohol burn. It tastes like a variety of berries--blackberries, cherries, raspberries, and such--all soured, slightly lactic. It's all definitely enough to make your face contort.

M- The carbonation that kicks in halfway adds a nice punch to the sourness, and thickness of it is slightly surprising.

Overall, this is beer is a great and unique experience, though I haven't even finished this one and I'm looking at my snifter like I don't know if I can take any more. It's tasty, but I don't think it's something you'd want to drink more than one 11.2 oz. bottle of in a night.

Andrewtherooster, Mar 23, 2009
Photo of atis
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is dark brown (maybe it is too dark in the room to see any redness), average head with good lacing.

Quite acidic smell, vinegar like. Flavour at first is very fruity with limited sourness - but not as much as I expected from the aroma. Leaves satisfying and slightly sweet aftertaste. Creamy and pleasant mouthfeel with more than average carbonation. Very complex and interesting beer.

I picked this beer at random and now I am extremely satisfied about my choice. Certainly will drink this beer again.

atis, Jul 23, 2008
Photo of kojevergas
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Best before date: 30/03/2013. 11.2 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into me Guinness goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Bottle acquired at Red Carpet Liquor in Glendale, California. They also carried the larger bottle. I don't recall the cost. Expectations are through the roof given the reputation of this beer and the style - which I generally am quite fond of.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. This should be in line with the recommended 47-53 degree fahrenheit range. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Not paired with food. I wanted to enjoy the beer on its own, especially since the serving size is relatively small.

A: Pours a four finger head of great smooth cream, marvelous foamy thickness, and fantastic retention - though the ABV is merely 6.00%. Colour is a dark semitransparent ruby. Translucent. No floating yeast particles are visible. There's no bubble show, but I've yet to see a beer in the style with one.

Sm: Sourness, wild yeast, bacteria, cream, clean malts, and an oak tone - when I look for it. A subtle, mild strength aroma. Very encouraging, alive, and inviting. I'd prefer it stronger, but its downplayed timidness lends it a certain class.

T: Yeasty subtle sourness, with cherry fruit ester notes. Slight cream on the open and as an undertone. Oak is a backgrounded tone that isn't horribly noticeable. Hints of red grape notes (but not wine). Extremely subtle. Fantastic. The sourness isn't overdone, and would likely appeal even to people who don't usually enjoy sours. Incredibly well balanced. Exceptionally well constructed, with complexity and layering abound. Nicely tart. Pleasant to drink, even approaching refreshing. Very enjoyable. I quite like it.

Mf: Perfect creaminess for the style. Smooth and wet. Great thickness. It's a touch too wet methinks - especially on the finish. Subtle slight dryness would be ideal to coax out the next sip. Perfect carbonation. Complements the flavours quite nicely.

Dr: Incredibly drinkable. I could down this all night. A bit pricey, but well worth it. An exceptional sour. Quite remarkable and special. Perhaps the best beer in the style I've had yet.

A great candidate for aging.

Drank wonderfully out of me goblet. A snifter would also be appropriate.

Would pair well with a salad, but I'd prefer it alone. This beer warrants your full attention.

A-

kojevergas, Apr 15, 2012
Photo of BucBasil
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Poured into a tulip glass from the 11oz bottle. At first glance black, but when held to light some ruby notes shine through. Head is offwhite, one finger thick, and dissipates rather quickly.

Smell: The first whiff of this crazy brew is vinous, especially richer red wines, which really caught me off guard. Futher exploration reveals a tangy sweet raspberry aroma, as well as an off alcohol note.

Taste: Wonderfully unique and unlike any other beer in existence. Has a great raspberry-like introduction, and follows up in the midpalate with a sort of cherry pie flavor (crust and all). Finishes extremely tangy and sweet, but also smooth and refreshing.

Mouthfeel: Prickly and medium bodied but surprisingly smooth going down.

Drinkability: I don't think I could do more than on of these at a time because of the intense sweetness of the beer. However, it's a great change of pace if you want something really out of the ordinary.

BucBasil, Jan 03, 2008
Photo of YankChef
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Rodenbach glass.

Appearance: Relatively clear and some what dark when held up to light a strong red hue is very apparent. Thin wispy head that quickly dissipates.

Smell: The first most striking smell is that of raspberries and tart fruit. There is more going on in here and there is a certain bit of almost mushroom like mustiness. Oak is also present on the aroma as well as a bit of pepper.

Taste: Tart upfront and then it fades into an almost rich molasses like sweetness. I think my palate is off. The sourness stings the tounge but there is definitely a sweetness here too. Various different kinds of fruit including dried currant and grape and a little plum as well.

Overall: This is really the 3rd beer of this style that I have tried and the first 2 were both rodenbach. Such an amazing style and i truly like this beer quite a bit. But for the price tag... I'll stick with rodenbach

YankChef, Apr 08, 2008
Photo of Wolfsdenbrew
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours with a light beige fizzy head that dissipates toa thin head layer rather quickly. A shower of tiny bubbles rises from the bottom of the glass constantly. It pours a deep ruby amber and leaves minimal lacing.

Very little aroma in this one but what is there sort of smells like a sweettart.

Taste is very sweet in the beginning and then turning to a sour apple vinegar to the finish. There are hints of cherry and other berries with no real hop presence.

The carbonation level is a bit soda like (extremely fizzy) with a nice medium body to the mouthfeel.

I am pretty much a newbie to this style but it is quickly becoming one of my favorites!

Wolfsdenbrew, Feb 21, 2005
Photo of mexikrainian
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml poured into a Unibroue tulip.

Appearance: brown amber with short-lived beige head and patchy lacing.

Aroma: pungent cherry aroma, slightly nutty and plum.

Taste: a balance of sour and sweet with dry, smooth finish.

Mouthfeel: syrup and acidic texture with medium body and light-medium carbonation.

Overall Impression: unique and complex, this delicious red ale is reminiscent of a carbonated plum wine. mmmm...give me more.

mexikrainian, Oct 06, 2010
Photo of birderbeerer
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ruby red with solid head formed by tiny bubbles like a quad/abt. Lacing that lasts.

Sour, red wine aroma. Bit of citrus.

Sweet taste surrounded by a sour cloud. Great balance of sour and sweet malts. Moderately rich taste. Tart fruit softened by oak.

Fairly full body and creamy given how light it tastes.

birderbeerer, Apr 23, 2012
Photo of PartyBear
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep orangey red, in colour, minimal carbonation, with a small off-white head.

Aroma: Razor sharp aromas, lots of lemon and sour apples, with a bit of a port-like smell.

Taste: Again, very sharp like the aroma, flavours of very sour apples up front, with a slight vinegar (in a good way), citric fruits like lemon, and sherbet. Towards the middle there is a taste of fresh orange, which leads to a sweeter progression of sugary candy, and a hint of kola nut, supported by a subtle bready maltiness.

Mouthfeel: The body is medium, and quite smooth, with a sharp feel.

Drinkability: Not usually a big fan of Flemish Red beers but this is a huge exception. The flavours are so complex that by the time you finish it you will have changed your mind about the flavours more time than you can count. Even if you hate the style, you need to try this, you will be surprised.

PartyBear, Sep 30, 2009
Photo of chaz01
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml with a bottle with an expiration date of 6/2012 on the cork, poured into a Belgian tulip glass.

A: Clear, dark brown mahogany color with brilliant ruby highlights held up to the light. Thick tan head leaves some lacing.

S: Slight vinegar, sour smell, but very mellow.

T: Just a mild vinegar tartness, slightly offset by a sweet brown sugar taste with some grape, cherries and even some wine qualities.

M: Medium bodied, soft mouthfeel with just the right amount of carbonation.

D: Very smooth and delicious, one of the most enjoyable sour type beers I've had to date. I'm thinking this would pair nicely with a large ceasar salad. But smooth enough that it makes a nice session beer -- enjoyed drinking the entire bomber while watching football.

chaz01, Nov 09, 2010
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,178 ratings.