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

I had heard odes sung lovingly (if not off-key) to this brew long before I had a chance to try it (that would be you, LongBeachBum) before I got to try in in its homeland of Belgium (I definitely recommend this approach, if you can do it!). But this review is based on a single bottle I found here in the states. I was worried- was it too old? Had it been handled properly? Well, guess what- this was not a problem!!!

Bottle best-by 3/31/05. Pours a dark brown with ruby port highlights, with a medium tan head and off-white chunks of yeast that quickly dissolved. Aroma is very inviting- pretty sour (in a good way) with dark fruits that offset each other very nicely. Flavor- ohmigod! Tart and brown sugar and candied fruits and sour cherries and plums and yes, all offset by the tartness. Talk about balance! I love this stuff!

One odd notation- there was a strange pond scum effect (I assume from the dissolved yeast) that sat below the head and above the beer. Gave an unusual smoothing effect I've never experienced elsewhere. Was not a bad thing, but strange.

Overall- can I have some more, please?

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

What an exceptional Fanders Red. Good head, malty-winey aroma and sweet / tart flavor makes this beer a real winner for the style. With the sporatic supply of Rodenbach these days, it is nice to know there is another Flanders Red one can turn to.

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

This is my first Flemish red, and my god I think I'm in love.
A= Deep Red color, closer to a burgundy.
S= an incredible amount of Fruitiness, but not over power like you get in lambics.
T= I can honestly say that parts of the flavor are completely indescribable to me. I taste the sour notes, but then the fruit comes in and malts follow it and then finally the funk I have heard so much about. It's final I'm a convert.
Mouth feel= Very bubbly but light on the tongue.

Drink ability= When I first really go into beer, it took me awhile to get used to the concept of wanting a bitter beer. It was contrary to my nature, but the sour and funk of this beer has pulled me in almost immediately. A highly drinkable beer, and I'm glad I picked it as my first Flemish.

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

Nose: Vinegar and lightly fungal. Crisp and sweet like white wine. Red grapes and sour blackberries. Delightful.

Appearance: Deep ruby-brown. Minimal head with decent lacing. Good clarity. The color is lovely.

Taste: Earthy and deep. Gentle tartness and sweetness. Ripe blackberries. Notes of vanilla and wood. Light bodied and a little effervescent. Crazy good.

Overall: Wildly complex. Impeccably balanced. Just the right amount of tartness and funk. Just phenomenal.

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

1 pint 9.4oz bomber poured into a Duvel tulip. Cork printed Exp 6/2012.

Appearance - Foggy but with no particulate matter. Dark brown with a hint of amber. Thick, fine cream head.

Smell - Gueuze sourness. Slight abbey ale body, dark overripe fruit and noticeable alcohol.

Taste - Complex. Balanced. Slight to moderately sour body. sweet acidity keeps it from going to far in that direction. With a bit of alcohol in the finish. Leaves a vinous aftertaste, but not unpleasant.

Mouthfeel - Light texture and crisp due to the light, frothy carbonation. Almost like a lambic or champagne. Medium-full body.

Overall Drinkability - This is my first from this style, so I was careful with the ratings to leave room for the possibility of a better beer in style. After trying a few more, I'll come back and rate this one, but as a beer I'd give it all 5's.

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

I don't know where to begin with this beer. This is by far one of the most complex beers I have ever had the opportunity to drink. The color is a gorgeous deep ruby. If the head would have held a little longer, I would have given it a "5". The smell has its belgian characteristics with a soft sweet aroma. Ripened cherries fill the nose beautifully. The initial taste really blew me away. The tart beginning smoothes out to a well-balanced sweet wine taste. It has many features of a cherry-cider yet it still holds its beer roots. I think this is truly a fine speciman of master brewing and will have my respect forever.

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Photo of horshack7
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Poured into a tulip is a very dark mahogany brown with red hues around the edges. As a crown there is a solidly thick beige head.

Aroma: In the front is a little bit of a red wine aroma with a touch of woodiness. Apple, sour cherries, way in the back is a nuttiness.

Taste: Soft carbonation, woodiness with notes of apple skin and sour cherries. There is quite the solid sour bite. The finish is nicely dry with twinge of pecan in the end.

Notes: What dam tasty beer I am glad I bought this one and will buy it again. Cheers.

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Photo of corby112
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Serving type: bottle.

Pours a dark amber brown with burgundy edges. Beautiful aroma of oak, cherry, vanilla and sour tartness. The combination of the two aged brown ales provides this beer with a perfect smooth balance that is not to sweet and not to tart. Hints of oak, vanilla, grape, cherry, sugar and sourness.

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

I tried this at the Hopleaf, a pub on the north side of Chicago. Got it on tap, and it poured deep brown with a small head, which dissipated quickly. The aroma was somewhat fruity with a hint of hops. The beer looked hearty, but the mouthfeel was actually a bit on the thin side. The flavor was incredible. It has characteristics similar to something like a Lindeman's Kriek, but the sweetness was not as pronounced and there was more of an oak characteristic to the flavor and it tasted more "ale-like" than a sweet lambic. The finish was wonderful -- a bit fruity with a hint of cherry. Overall, an outstanding beer.

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

Pours out to a sparkingly clear deep ruby, forming an expanding plumage of soapy khaki bubbles. No yeast in the bottle or in the glass. Carbonation is initially brisk and forms spiral streamers contributing to the effervescent head. The aroma is just amazing...malt vinegar and vanilla interspersed with wonderfully fruity esters....rotting bing cherries, light amber malts, apples, pineapple, and when swirled, apricot, prunes, chocolate syrup, and pink bubble gum scream out. As it warms, an exceptional amount of vanilla (literally boatloads) makes itself known, becoming the dominant note in the mix. Retention is amazing and lacing is delicate yet solid. The taste is exactly as it smells....sweet, but not sickeningly so...more than enough to overpower the acidity with lingering aftertastes of pineapple and bubble gum. Lightly dry in the finish with just a touch of metals. As it warms, tobacco and leather become the overwhelming aftertaste. Alcohol is apparent just as a peppery flourish. The mouthfeel is wonderful with a medium body. Very easy to drink, although I could see the sweetness wearing thin for some, as it has an almost saccharin character to it. This is a real treat, although more of a dessert drink. I'm glad I bought a 4-pack and not the bomber. This is one of the finest Flemish Red's/Brown I've had (very different next to old-school Goudenband). An exceptional, exceptional beer. I will be drinking much more of this. Highly recommended, particularly with creme brulee.

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

I'll be honest, I really love this beer. I've had it several times before, but never had an opportunity to sit down and really give it its proper review. Time to remedy that...

Appearance: An easy pour into my Poperings Hommel bier glass, the beer is deep, vivid red that's slightly cloudy and has a slight brownish hue to it. There's not much head sitting atop this brew, only a fine layer of white bubbles that are slowly dissipating. The lacing is impressive, however, with plenty of sticky rings where the beer comes to settle.

Smell: A blend of sweet fruitiness with some tart and vinegar, a smell I have really come to love lately. It just smells great.

Taste: Simply delicious! The taste is sour and kinda funky at first, but it smooths out to a sweet, fruity finish. No one individual flavor dominates another, it all sort of flows together. Really tasty.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly well carbonated, there's plenty of fizz on the palate. The beer has a refreshing, medium body that compliments the other features of this beer perfectly.

Drinkability: Absolutely a new staple beer in my fridge. Great flavor thats complex and diverse enough to keep you interested, and tasty enough to keep you coming back for more. The body of this beer is perfect, and the ABV is perfect for sessioning. Absolutely recommend this beer!

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

This is one wild beer....

Poured into a snifter with a very dark amber hue, with a yellowish, orange decently lingering head. This beer had a tart cherry nose , with subtle hints of malt vinegar. The taste was a pretty wild ride....Rainer cherries collapse into a mildly sour, oaky cider. Very unique, yet refreshing for such a dark menacing looking beer. The strains of yeast clearly dominate the characteristics of this Flanders Red. The medium body helps the drinkability, as this beer should be paired with mild, semi-soft cheeses and tart apples. Of course a grilled Montreal style rib-eye pairing coupled with some Portabello mushrooms would be great as well...Enjoy

Note: Don't give up on this beer until you've tried it a few times. I had three before I really started to enjoy the complexities of this ale. My taste is an easy upgrade to "4.5" after the repeated sampling...it's still a crazy beer though...

Note part 2: I can't help it. It's a "5" in the old taste category now. The more I drink it the more I love it. Simply amazing...

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

My first Flanders Red ever, I'm excited to try this.

A - Pours a deep, dark red with a magnificent, billowy beige head and great lacing.

S - Cherry, cranberry, apples, candied sugar, oak, and yeast. Slight acidity in the nose as well. A very nice mixture of smells. Almost like a wine in its complexity.

T - Sour, nice blend of fruits with apple being the most dominant. Cherry is present as well. A bit tart, but still sweet.

M - Medium bodied, nice carbonation. Tart finish, but very smooth and easy to drink.

O - I was very impressed with the Duchesse De Bourgogne. It's a world class brew and a unique sour that I'm glad to have tried. I would love to have this again!

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Photo of cwc
4.66/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I simply can't say enough good things about this style of beer since having first tried it recently when I tasted Monk's Café Flemish Sour Red Ale. Today I went on a hunt for more Flanders Red Ales and I came up with a few, one being this Duchesse De Bourgogne.

A - This beer is a very appealing red color.

S - When I opened the bottle, there was definitely a nice smell. But now that I am drinking it from the glass I can't really smell it - perhaps my taste buds are overwhelmed by the general deliciousness of the beer?

T - Fruity, refreshing. Not overwhelming, somehow quite right, but on the whole totally unique (and I think that's the style more than this particular brew).

D - Dangerously drinkable! Refreshing! Wow...

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Photo of twelvsies
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful ruby-red, cranberry juice color, with a small bubbly head, fading fast. Smell is quite intense to say the least. The first thing that comes to mind is a grapey wine character, with an almost gueuze-like tang, finally finished up with a permanent marker smell. Wow. Much more subtle in the taste than in the nose. All that harshness calms down and gives way to a well rounded and complex ale. Ok, wow, again... this is really unlike anything I've had before, so it's tough to describe these tastes. There's a definate fruity quality there; plums, blackberries, grape jelly, etc... really a complex character. I'm having a hard time detecting any hops or malt in this beer, yet while it shares that quality with a lambic, this still seems more like a beer to me. Sweet juicy notes with a bit of a sour kick, though to be honest, from the smell, and from other reviews and the style description I was expecting a little more pucker. I was surprised by the slight funkiness in the finish, like a stinky cheese, a nice unexpected bonus. Interesting mouthfeel too; it seems to change from bubbly and carbonated when it first hits the mouth to a slighty syrupy yet super-smooth finish. Illusion? I have no idea, but it's great. I could drink this beer anytime, and could never get bored of it. So many nooks and crannies to discover in this beer. Go get it. Cheers to the Duchesse!

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Photo of ShayneTrayne
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from bottle into Spiegelau tulip.

A - Very dark amber/brown. Head never built, and quickly dissipated into a ring around the glass.

S - Mostly vinegar with some apple cider sweetness/sourness following. Mild musty smell hiding under the latter.

T - Semi-ripened Ranier cherry dominating the taste. A touch of vinegar bitterness/sourness comes through after initial fruitiness. Musty malts playing in the mix. Somewhat vinous. In ways, I'm reminded of Scrumpy's apple cider.

M - Light and slightly carbonated with fizzy bubbles.

O - This is my first beer in this style, so I'm not entirely sure of what to think of it. All I know is what I've written and that this is truly a great beer.

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Photo of demon
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

A: Reviewer mothmanscott, on Feb 05, 2015 said it best: "Pours a clear reddish to plum brown or ruby/garnet throughout when held to the light, producing 1.5 fingers of tan, finely bubbled foam, sometimes moderately lasting, sometimes shortlived head that recedes into a thin cap leaving a good coating of lace or sometimes no lace at all."

S: Sweet balsamic aroma with notes of ripe apples and cherries. On certain whiffs barnyard-like scents can be picked up. Smells very good over all.

T: The perfect combination of sweet and sour. Delectable sticky light malt aftertaste. Notes of fresh cherries and plums.

M: Puckering and tart. This one kicks you in the mouth. As the acidity dies down a very pleasant sticky and sweet mouthfeel develops.

O: As far as I am concerned, this is the holy-grail of sour ales. So enjoyable and interesting. I really like this beer, and would happily enjoy it over and over again. Definitely needs to be on your "to try" list!

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Photo of SPThirtyThree
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from the standard 750 mL bottle you see in stores. The carbonation was perfect and the cork came out easily. Pours into the goblet a deep, crystal clear gobet with a brilliant red hue and ruby highlights. A one-finger cream-colored head quickly boils to the top of the beer, in a fizzy, effervescent way, to crown this Flanders' Red. Surprisingly, the head persists, as a fine cream layer on top of the beer that shows patterns from the rim every time I lift the glass.

S: The nose is exceptional on this beer. It's extremely sweet and sour all at once. Lingering just behind the veil of sweetness is a tart, sour vinegar note, like that of sour cherries. A clove-like spiciness and the faintest hint of copper suggest a Belgian yeast. Duchesse de Bourgogne actually smells a lot like a soured Delirium Noel.

T: Deliciously smooth and sweet with a hint of tartness. This beer opens with sweet flavors of honey surrounded by sour cherries. Next comes a faint vinegar flavor, and finally, the beer finishes with a hint of butterscotch and a tart, apple juice crispiness.

M: The mouthfeel is extremely creamy and frothy, resulting in a smoothness that perfectly accentuates the sour tang left on the tongue by the Duchesse.

D: High. This beer is delicious. The only fault is that it seems to be very sugary, which makes it quite filling.

Overall, this is a pretty solid ale. It isn't overwhelmingly sour like a Kriek, but instead, so it's very accessible to non-sour drinkers. The only drawback is it's might be too sweet and sugary for some. I was a little surprised that that this filtered beer, as I expected a yeast cake on bottom, but I suppose that makes sense with the amount of residual sugar in this Flanders' Red Ale.

***Re-reviewed 5.18.2010 to edit review from 1.13.2010. The score changed to reflect a better nose, but more noticeable fillingness of the beer. Also, I seem to have missed a handful of details the first time I experienced this brew, so tasting notes were augmented.***

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Photo of brentk56
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a deep garnet color with a nice head that retains fairly well and dots the chalice

Smell: Balsamic vinegar, sour cherry, pomegranite and lactobacillus

Taste: Starts with a sweet grape juice and sour cherry element that balances perfectly along with the added dimension of vanilla oak; after the swallow, balsamic vinegar and caramel elements creep in to add complexity; sour and bitter flavors compete at the finish, but the underlying sweetness is also apparent

Mouthfeel: Medium body, slightly creamy; moderate carbonation

Drinkability: The quintessential Flanders Red; I could sip on it for hours

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Photo of weazal
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

S: Alcohol and sourness blends perfectly. Although, a little medicinal. Some notes of sweet caramel snuck in there.

T: Shockingly sweet, puckeringly sour cherry with a rounding our creaminess. Vanilla cherry cheese cake! Perfectly balanced, unique, exciting, and tasty!

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Photo of paulie
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle. "Best Before" date of 7/9/05 printed on label.

Pours a deep, deep reddish brown with a stiff head and lots of lace. Aroma of stinky feet and whiffs of fruit. First taste is so sour that it jolts you. Then it settles down and you sense layers of fruit and malt. No hop presence at all. Puckering sourness balanced by some malty sweetness in the finish. Full mouthfeel and lots of carbonation. Extremely refreshing despite the intensity of the flavor and mouthfeel. Very drinkable.

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Photo of jeremy13586
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle poured in to a Corsendonk glass. Best before 12/05/2013 stamped on label.

Very deep rubycolor. Light tan, two finger head forms, but disappears pretty quickly. left a minimal bit of lacing, though.

Dark fruit and a nice sourness.

Like drinking a tart cherry soda. Very rich in flavor. I'm also getting a hint of chocolate. The sour is up front and does linger for quite a bit, but the finish is sweet overall.

Champagne-like carbonation and a smooth and clean finish. Tannic, yet there is a minor syrupy feeling. Medium bodied.

I haven't fully delved in to the world of sours, but I have had this one numerous times. An absolutely delicious beer that is totally

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Photo of weasbri
4.68/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Rustico, a fine new restaurant with a beer and wine list that features one page of wines, and about 15 pages of beers. Gotta love that.
Poured into a Chimay glass. The restaurant was dark, so maybe the beer seemed darker than it is, but it was a deep red, close to brown color. The head dissipated somewhat, but left a nice lacing on the sides of the glass.
Wow, the taste. I remember reading about Duchesse, but when I ordered it, I wasn't sure what to expect. What I got was a tarty cherry flavor smacking me on the tongue. I almost had my non-beer drinking wife try some, but then decided to keep it for myself. The tartness is well-balanced by a very sweet fruity flavor, and it only tastes like what most people would call "beer" in the remotest sense.
This is one of those beers you take to your wine snob friends if you want to turn them into beer snobs. Lots going on, and I could drink it for days.

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4.68/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Beautiful dark auburn with a fairly big sticky, bubbly head that receded slowly, leaving honeycomb-like pockets of foam behind.

S - Sweet, tart, fruity. Candied sugar and very very slight vinegar & funky smells.

T - Leads off with ripe red cherries, turning into a swirl of berry & melon flavors. More sweet than tart, but also dry enough not to be cloying. Amazingly light, refreshing & complex. There's a faint off-sour note that I can't quite pick out at the end. There are beers that just taste "fruity" and then there are beers like this one that take it to the next level. A must try, 5/5

M - Soft. Great.

D - Infinitely drinkable. A beer that novices & seasoned BAs alike should love.

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Photo of patre_tim
4.68/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Clear filtered dark reddish brown, little carbonation, half finger beige head. Cool lacing.

S: Balsamic vinegar, dark earthy malt, must, a bit of caramel. Very acidic.

T: A balance of sweet and sour, slight metallic end on the first sip, but not after. Malty caramel quality. Dark malts evident. Acidic is vinegar on the end, but is more of a fruit like sour without a fruitiness. Some bitter linger at the end, but minimal.

M: Medium body, medium high carbonation. Acidity clings to the tongue.

O: Love this beer. Certainly up there in my favourites. The best of the sour reds I’ve had. Its balanced for a sour and complex. Keeps me wanting more.

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