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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

2,635 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2635
Reviews: 1318
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 13.98%


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)
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Ratings: 2,635 | Reviews: 1,318 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of RuinationPress
RuinationPress

Texas

4.97/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've had this one before, but never reviewed it. Recently a friend from San Diego had occasion to try this one and fell in love. As i had a couple of them in the fridge, I decided there was no better time to have and review one.

This one is labeled a a reddish-brown ale, although the overall style is known as a Flanders Red Ale. They are typically brews that range from red to brown in color. The style often uses a Lactobacillus yeast strain producing a high lactic acid and giving a sour taste, also sometimes a Tannic acid producing that lip puckering feeling. Often aged for long periods in oak barrels, aged batches are sometimes mixed with younger ones to balance them out. The often have distinct and sharp fruit flavors that that set them apart from other Belgians.

Produced by the Brouwerij Verhaeghe Brewery in Vichte, Belgium.

This one has quite an appearance. Similar in some ways to new Belgiums La Folie, poured into a tulip glass, it has a deep brown, almost molasses, color with a faint hint hint of red when held up to the sunlight. Very cloudy and with a modest amount of carbonation, it produced a small, but sustainable thin head. The lacing left behind was nice and lite, perfect for this style.

Take a whiff of this one and you are immediately overpowered with the scent of caramel, banana, bread and a faint hint our sour apple. The caramel malt mixed with the banana is what served to really balance out the apple and bread.

As I took my first sip, I immediately tasted the sour apple I smelled earlier with the banana not far behind. Another sip brought the bead and caramel malt and this time a hint of a as yet to be determined spice. Works well with the bread, banana and apple. I felt like I was being treated to dessert! The Lactobacillus yeast really works well on this one, as it was sour, but not too tart and not overpowering.

I really liked this one overall. Not only does it do what the style intends, it just down right pleases! Don't get me wrong, this one is all beer, but may also be one that can pull those who usually shun beer over to the dark side! I had some cheesecake cake around, and really enjoyed the Duchesse as it complimented the cheesecake perfectly. Since it weighs in at around 6% ABV, if you want another you can.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2009 07:38:57 | More by RuinationPress
Photo of hooligan
hooligan

Florida

5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Beautiful ruby-red color with a wispy lace head. The oaken cask conditioning of this beer give the drinker hints of balsamic and red wine vinegar, with some sweetness and floral notes of wine. While you are trying to put a finger on all the flavors, you start tasting the sweet and "chewier" texture of the malt. This beer is slightly sour and very highly carbonated, pleasantly so, similar to a lambic... this is bottled happiness.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2001 09:35:43 | More by hooligan
Photo of oelergud
oelergud

Virginia

5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Deep clear ruby and mahogany body. Very low carbonation. Big tan butte head. Good retention and great lace.
Strong scents of both sweet and sour notes, very well balanced. Interesting and complex with cherries and dark malts.
Taste is amazing, perfect balance of sweet and sour, very strong. Cherries, prunes and sour characters all very powerful and delicious. Great aftertaste.
Hydrating mouthfeel that is slightly puckering and mouthwatering.
Great drinkability.

-Oelergud

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2007 16:21:30 | More by oelergud
Photo of ryandurka
ryandurka

New York

5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

i bought a case of Duchesse De Bourgogne bottles in emmaus pa, at shangys. i love Flemish red ale and this is the perfect example of Flemish red. its refreshing and tastes great. its not the strongest of beers but the taste makes up for that. there is nothing to complain about with this beer. its distributed well in America and is not too hard to find. if anyone sees this beer and is curious as to what a good red ale tastes like, try it!

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2008 13:27:21 | More by ryandurka
Photo of Meeg
Meeg

Ohio

5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I can't believe that only a few days after reading about this brew here on BA, I found it on tap at La Cav du Vin here in Cleveland. Having moved here a month ago, I was worried about finding good sour flemish ale. Apparently there is no need to worry, as the Cleveland beer scene, whether it's good bars or good brewpubs, is alive and VERY well. I used to live in Providence (Union Station, Trinity), so I've got something decent to compare to if you include Boston (Sunset, Beer Works) and New England (Moat Mountain, Vermont Pub & Brewery, The Alchemist) in general.
OK, so I at least think I know what I'm talking about...

I definitely smelled balsamic vinegar, but not overpowering at all. Just a hint of that dark, sweet acid.
Very little foam, unsurprisingly for a sour.
Smooth mouth feel, with a nice subtle tingle of carbonation.
Taste of balsamic, caramel, cherries.
Lightly sweet, perfectly balancing the sourness.

Wow.

I would say this is a great intro to sours, but the imbiber may be spoiled. Truly sour reds might shock them after this.

Fortunately, I also discovered this in a four-pack at Warehouse Beverage on Mayfield Road. Sixteen bucks will make me wait until my next (first!!) paycheck.

Peace.

Serving type: on-tap

09-13-2008 21:12:02 | More by Meeg
Photo of SouthAtholSuds
SouthAtholSuds

Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The first time I tried this beer I think I fell in love with it. Pours a dark copper/ruby color with minimal head. Strong smell of tart fruit on the nose. Complex tastes of sour figs, raisins and plums with low carbonation. Everything about this beer is balanced perfectly. Minimal carbonation makes this a beer you could drink all night. Instead have one every once and a while. You don't want to kill the appeal of The Duchesse.

Serving type: on-tap

11-06-2008 00:57:28 | More by SouthAtholSuds
Photo of orcasteve
orcasteve

North Carolina

5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

was sent this in a bif, i cant thank coldmeat23 enough for my chance to try this one, poured into my duvel tulip, poured a rich wine like shade of brownish red with dense tanish white head on it that sticks around for awhile, the sourness of this beer was aperant when i uncorked her as a tart cherry sent filled my nose, as far as taste i taste, apple cider, red wine viniger, tart cheries, strong oak notes, some lemon, figs a hint of malt all of witch have taken my tastebuds hostage and thay never want to be let go. this is my favorite beer so far of all time! this is a stile i will have to find more of

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2008 13:06:11 | More by orcasteve
Photo of coldmeat23
coldmeat23

Oklahoma

5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

GLASS: Chimay Goblet
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees

Deep, dark, ruby red liquid. Much like the blood of the Duchesse. One finger head of creamy tan foam. Truly excellent retention and great lacing.

Smells amazing! Deep tart fruit smells. Lots of green apple and black cherries. Not quite ripened peaches. Scent of almonds/marzipan. Hints of underlying gingerbread spiciness. Slight touch of vanilla.

This is such a phenomenal tasting sour (flemish red). Big cherry taste, sour and sweet, at the same time. Huge notes of green apple. Nice big presence of black currants. Nice woody/earthiness, here, also. Hints of oak and vanilla.

Extremely smooth and creamy in body, like a mouthfeel of rolling fine silk. Carbonation is perfect, with tiny, tiny bubbles.

This beer is so perfect. If it were Napoleon's Army invading my mouth, my taste buds would have no choice but to surrender.
I could drink this for weeks at a time and be perfectly satisfied, with no other options.
Excellent!

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2008 16:46:33 | More by coldmeat23
Photo of Pullen
Pullen

Georgia

5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at the Brickstore Pub last night, served in a Duchesse Chalice...

- Ruby color, nice head that dissipated in minutes.

- Smelled of cherries, vanilla, fresh sliced apples, and ripe soft plums.

- Taste? This beer is heavenly!!!! Perfect in every way....Cherry flavor, but soft to the pallet. I'd think this was aged in oak given the vanilla subtleties.

Mouthfeel - Soft velvety. Nothing harsh about this at all.

Drinkability - I swear we (3 of us) order 8 or 9 of these in between all the other beers we had at the BSP. Does that say enough?

Overall - This would be a perfect introduction to flander Red style and to craft beer in general.. I met up with a female friend of mine who gasp at beer because all she knew was BMC. After having this beer, and a few others... her mind has been changed...permanently!

Awesome beer! Cheers!

Serving type: on-tap

03-01-2009 13:58:23 | More by Pullen
Photo of 01121987
01121987

Quebec (Canada)

5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

i am no expert on this style of beer, but i would have to say that it kicks some serious ass!
i tried this beer a couple of years ago and was disgusted by it, now i dont know how i ever could have thought that. this is my favorite sour beer. im surprised the bros didnt rate it as world class.
awsome beer!
not for the faint hearted!

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2009 01:04:34 | More by 01121987
Photo of billzav
billzav

Florida

5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Duchesse may very well be the best sour ale I have ever had and it pours a deep chestnut brown color with notes of tart fruit, notably cherries, and dark malt. Since this ale is aged in oak conditioned casks, Duchesse has a red wine like feeling to it. The array of sweet and sour flavors are perfectly balanced throughout this Flanders red ale, and it’s velvety smooth from start to finish.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2011 12:40:49 | More by billzav
Photo of ElizabethCraig
ElizabethCraig

Indiana

5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Purchased this as recommended by an employee at Siciliano's in Grand Rapids, MI.

Medium Brown/red in color, very clear. Lovely tan head with nice bubbly microfoam.

Scent: Raspberry sour, this sour made my stomach gurgle and my mouth salivate all through the smelling and drinking =)

Taste: Starts out a medium molasses/sorgham and goes immediately to a medium sweet raspberry, then to a VERY sweet raspberry. The aftertaste is a nicely sour caramel malty taste. No fruit in the immediate aftertaste. After around 3 minutes the taste is a very wine-like tanniny grape.

Fairly high carbonation, carries the sour flavor into being and then just leaves the sour.

The ABV isn't high, but the combination of the higher carbonation and the sweet taste is very heady.

I love this beer. I will seek this out and drink this again =)

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2011 22:18:04 | More by ElizabethCraig
Photo of BeerCentralWA
BeerCentralWA

Washington

5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

In bottle, served in wine glass. Appearance is slightly reddish with yeast clouding and effervescent head.

Nose is raspberry and yeast with clove and anise spice.
Mouthfeel is dry and champagne like. It literally disappears on the tongue, with rich malt and complex fruit and spice on the palate.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2012 02:01:49 | More by BeerCentralWA
Photo of joecast
joecast

Australia

5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

specs out of the way first. best before 22/3/2013 250ml 6.2%abv

this is one hell of a pretty beer. quite clear, dark amber in color. low carbonation. one cm fine firm tanned head. genuinely nice to look at. like something i have seen in books about beer. only its in my lounge room. hooray for me.

dreamy aroma. and i dont use dreamy lightly. puckering vinegar (acetic for you sciencey types) acidity balanced by a prominent fruity sweetness. light touch of alcohol without the heat. woody (dried, not green). has a concentrated characteristic to it like molasses, incredible.

and i can finally take a sip. just been too preoccupied smelling this one. soooo smooth. just brilliant. the expected tartness is there but very mildly. finish is so light for such a complex beer. i can only imagine the complexity is brought on by the blending and oak influences and the impact they have blow me away.

cannot believe i only have the one bottle. makes me sad. ive always been intrigued by this style and feel i have now found its standard. and it is good!!

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2012 11:30:13 | More by joecast
Photo of BhamBeerLover
BhamBeerLover


5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Oh the dutchess... Shall I compare the to a summer's day? Seriously though, this beer is phenomenal. For one expecting a good sour ale this beer cannot be beat, though potentially tied. I got exactly what I expected and would not wish for this beer to change at all. I hope to be able to share this beer with my children, when they are old enough of course. (At least not until they hit double digits.) Thanks to all those Flemish folks for this amazing contribution to the world beer community.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2012 03:36:14 | More by BhamBeerLover
Photo of JokineAugustus
JokineAugustus

Manitoba (Canada)

5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love this beer. It has a pleasant sour fruit smell of Cherries, Cranberry, and Raspberry. Taste is quite similar. Has a slight bready and sour fruit aftertaste that blends well. Look is beautiful bright ruby red in a glass which I absolutely adore. One of my favourites atm.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2013 00:27:16 | More by JokineAugustus
Photo of anthrocks
anthrocks

California

5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've had several other sour ales, and I've always been disappointed with most of the others. This one stands tall among the rest.

L: Pours a very dark reddish-brown, with white head that turns into light lacing
S: Smells like Balsamic vinegar and sour cherries
T: Sweet and sour with a wonderful tang
F: Medium-bodied with fizzy carbonation
O: This could very well be the best beer I've ever tasted, or ever will taste.

It's expensive, but worth it. Give it a shot!

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2013 01:46:57 | More by anthrocks
Photo of sirtomtom
sirtomtom

California

5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a hazy dark red/brown with a bit of white head.

S: Sour with a light touch of funk.

T: Medium sour with a faintest hint of funk. Not too tart to be mouth puckering but not so mildly sour as to wonder where the sour is. Not real heavy on any type of sourness, a nice balance between the different types of sour: lactic, citric, etc.

M: A nice medium body with a good bit of carbonation to balance it out.

O: A perfect well made sour great for an introduction to sour ales as well a great easy access sour for that hot day.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2013 05:37:34 | More by sirtomtom
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Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 2,635 ratings.