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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

3,412 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,412
Reviews: 1,372
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 161
Gots: 410 | 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: 3,412 | Reviews: 1,372 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BastardKing24
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a very nice sour beer that can introduce anyone willing to the style. Its subtle yet nice, I've had harsher flanders.
Slight vinegar and sweet smell and taste. Decent head and everlasting lacing. Sour component is full of berries, and it sweetens up the warmer it gets. Really nice this one, when you're done you want another one, low ABV and addicting flavor.

Cheers~

Photo of Foxman
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

It pours a clear warm garnet, almost burgundy. Two fingers of light tan head drop gradually to floes of fine foam. Valences of lacing adorn the inside of the glass.

The aroma delivers a sassy grain sweetness including cherry, raisin, chocolate, caramel, and grapes. A mellow funky barnyard sourness grounds the cloying aura, and a light port note drifts lazily along.

Upon tasting, there arrives a cherry tart sweetness, like fruity pop, with a fizz and cola bite. A funky, horsey, earthy sourness lends a vinegar edge, fresh and tangy. A softer underlying sweetness relights the grain presence and joins a very ginger crispness that lingers gently on the palate. It's an intriguing blend that steps lively and tastily.

Medium bodied, the sugary grain sweetness and equine tartness lend a truly energetic character to the mouth.

It's a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world, Lola, and I mean that in a good way, in this case. It's like a snarky black cherry soda and all the better for it. Keep in mind that the earthiness and almost cloying aristocracy make it just moderately drinkable. Still, it's interesting, intense, and a nice departure for when you're craving some of Flanders' finest.

Photo of Arbitrator
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Chilled bottle into a glass.

A: Pours a dark, hazy red with slight orange highlights when held to a lamp. Head is marginal, receding to a collar around the glass, with huge sheets of lacing down the glass as I drink.

S: Vinegar, pinot, tamarind, wood, cherries, salt. Almost like a red wine past its prime.

T: Sour, vinegary red grapes and unripe tamarind with mild wood and cherry sub-flavors. A little bit salty in the mid-taste, which adds an incredibly pleasant third side to the already complex battle between sweet and sour. The finish is acidic. Quite a captivating taste.

M: Medium bodied, with light carbonation -- not to press the point, but again, it feels like a wine. Decently crisp finish, with no trace of the alcohol.

D: This is complex enough that I want to have this again and savor it. It will make a wonderful treat beer. But I would not want to have more than one in a row, since its flavor profile is quite strong.

Photo of kmanjohnson
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%

Photo of Agent1
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Fermented in previously used oak wine barrels, this impressive red ale is somewhat of an anomaly. Originally, I was not a big fan of this, but over time it became a beer of interest to me. This is only my third or fourth bottle, so we'll see how this goes...

Appearance - A dark ruby red with orange/ copper hues. Great head retention. The head is a thick, creamy beige with light frothy bubbles near the rim of the glass. This Flemish red ale is very bubbly and alive. Like champagne, a steady stream of carbonation racing upward. Very nice.

Smell - Yeast, oak (woody aromas), light floral accents, cranberry, sourdough and jammy fruits. Obviously, quite acidic, too.

Taste - Hints of red wine, apple cider, light fruits (cranberry, raspberry, grape, apple, etc.), vanilla, oak wood and rose wood. A great use of sugars. It seems this red ale is slightly hopped, creating subtle floral notes and spices. Not too acidic. The aftertaste is a bit underwhelming, to be honest. Doesn't finish strong. Reasonably intricate in composition. Fits the style well.

Mouthfeel - A full-bodied beer. This moves all over the tongue. Quite wonderful! This can definitely be sensed throughout the mouth as it strikes an impressive balance between sour and sweet.

Overall - Not typically a beer I purchase (more of a Belgian Tripel, Quad and Dubbel kind of guy), but this is an impressive beer. No wonder it is distributed by the same importers as St. Bernardus. I classy Flemish beer that harnesses a lot of impactful qualities. Sour much like a Lambic ale, this beer is acidic, but balanced. Combining barrels aged in oak from 8 months as well as 18 months, really helps to create balance here. A nice fruity, sour ale. Stretch yourself and give this a try...

The Duchesse must be courted!

Photo of ChugginOil
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a GI glass (not sure the type).

This one pours a golden-amber color with a fluffy, milk colored head. Very little retention.

The nose offers some vinegar, sour apples, pears, and champagne yeast. A bit muddled.

The taste is similar to the nose but involves much more apple offerings. A sweet opening gives way to apples and a bit of cherries. Following the fruitiness comes a bit of vinegar and finishes pretty tart. The sweetness carries on to a bready aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is prickly tart and has an amble amount of carbonation that carries the flavors throughout the palate.

Overall, this one contributes to my budget busting sour curiosity and tastes great.

Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very clear rich Red color with about an inch of loose tanish foam at first pour. There are quite a few bubbles rising that maintain the head pretty well. There is some loose lacing around the glass after consuming.

Aroma: You can definitely smell a "woody" character to this beer. There are bunches of dark fruits in the aroma of this one. I can smell fig, black cherry, and plums initially. I may be imagining this, but it is almost like I smell sour green apples here also. The aroma is really complex!

Taste: The flavor is also really complex, but with this example, it doesn't match the aroma that much. It somehow starts of syrupy sweet with a bit of astringency, and then this fades to let the sour in to play for the finish. Your palate is left mostly dry with a slightly sweet and earthy finish. There is a little bit of warming from the alcohol that is noticeable deep in the throat, but the complexity of the flavor makes it easy to miss. The carbonation is just right to send this beer across your palate without hitting it too hard.

Opinion: This is a mighty fine beer! It is a bit sweet for my taste, and I am assuming that it was added to make the beer more appealing to the masses. There is definitely a sour component to the beer, and it manages to maintain a woody character. This is a beer that I would have often if it was available in my area, but at the same time, it isn't one that I would have too many of. I'd definitely recommend it!

Photo of Wutz
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes taken 6-28:

My first sour. It was too much for me. I'm not comfortable with the style but for the style guidelines, it was pretty spot-on.

Appearance: Dark brownish-red with a luxurious off-white head

Aroma: "Sour as hell" is all I got off of it.

Taste: Sweet maltiness with stinging cherry and tart/sour apple. There's a lot more going on under that but I can't pick it out with all that sourness running rampant.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and thick somehow leaving you dry and puckered reaching for another sip

Drinkability: I couldn't hang with it. I drank the whole bottle but it was too sour for me. Fortunately for this beer's rating (yeah, I'm sure Verhaeghe cares what I think), that's right in line with the style guidelines.

Overall: Too much sourness for me. I couldn't give this beer a fair enough shake. It was wonderfully complex but all I could pick out enough to name were the sour characteristics which a lot of people seem to love lately. Give this beer a shot - it's a masterfully crafted beer that was just too much sourness for me.

Photo of rtepiak
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pour is a reddish brown. rather clear. a small head off that color. smell is a sour tang, but not as prodominant as other flemish reds. more earthy tones. cherry tart first off but a bouquet of fruit, wood, balsamic vinegar. palate reveals a worcestershire sauce quality, earthy fruit that have a citrus quality. fig, plum, black berry, grape. cherry tart is not as astringent as most. musky earth mostly. the earth even has a smoked quality to it. the taste is good but i don't believe this beer was ever made to be had alone. i couldn't drink more than one in its particular qualities. its a bit rich and unique. not to be had outside of dietary circumstances. but a fantastic accompaniment and a most for bbq, game, and robust cheeses. will have again but with food.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best Before: 05-12-09.

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark mahogany brown body with a full, frothy, light khaki-colored head. Fair amount of lacing deposited on the way down.

Smell: Sweet-smelling, sugar-coated fruit nose with a big, hearty dose of malt vinegar. Light whiff of an unidentified herbal component.

Taste: Sweet dark caramel maltiness precludes a fruity dose of raspberries and a sugary, lightly tart cherry juice character and with an addition of both aged balsamic and malt vinegars. Squirt of fresh lemon juice. Tiny pinch of cocoa powder. Mild woodiness throughout. Undercurrent of tart acidity, particularly at the end. Long, fruity, crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-plus carbonation.

Drinkability: Recommended. An enjoyable, tasty, relatively smooth Flemish Red jam-packed with rich fruity complexities.

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This comes out of the tap a beautiful opaque chocolate brown, very appetizing. Strong aroma is more like a hard apple cider than a beer. Flavor is mouth-filling and pleasing; apple taste dominates, and there is a hint of hop bitterness. Finish is very smooth and cider-like.

Photo of TCMike
4.09/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Produced a 2 finger beige head. Beer color is a reddish-mahogany.

Smell is of berries, a little farm house funk, red vinegar.

The taste was similar. Got a little soy sauce like taste, and a definite in your face tartness. No noticeable hop bitterness. Has an upper-medium carbonation, and medium mouth-feel.

Not what I was expecting when I bought it, but didn't look into it before buying. It is very good, but not a style I'm a big fan of.

Photo of merlin48
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle produces a very fine looking pour. Dark brown sitting in the goblet, is a brilliantly clear, ruby red when held to any light. Minimal, beige head quickly falls into lasting collar and film lace. Impressive, sheets of lace are left on the side.

Aroma is initially fruity tart. Banana, cloves, and coriander quickly emerge to take the dominant role. Oak woodiness is also noted.

Mouthfeel is tart and fruity. Medium body and lots of carbonation here.

Taste is incredibly complex. Tart fruits start things off, with a "slap your face" burst of cherries and raspberries. This reminds me of a fruit Lambic, with the tart flavors and yeasty, barnyard musty yeast presence. Smooth malt stays in the background, but provides for a well rounded, nicely balanced profile. The oak aged character provides a woody note that adds an additional complexity. Alcohol is very craftily concealed in the complexity of flavors.

This is my first experience with a Flanders Red ale. I like it a lot, but doubt that I could distinguish this from a good fruit Lambic, in a blind tasting. The wood aged character is the most obvious difference. Just a little on the tart side, as for drinkability.

Photo of TruePerception
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

(Previous review, transferred from beer journal)

Duchesse de Bourgogne: (Verhaeghe), 6%; Head flavor: nutty, apple/raisin; Appearance: cola/thin coffee, red warmth; Smell: dates/jam/fig; Mouthfeel: effervescent; Taste: cola, date/prun, green apple-y sourness, molasses; good/really good; slightly sweet from the bottle, more bitter (sides of tongue) from glass, mellows as it sits.

Poured into a pint glass.

Photo of jacobseyb
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A=Poured a deep dark ruby with little if any haze, two fingers of slightly off white head that faded to a nice cap and laced slightly

S=complex smell almost like a red wine vinegar but not as pungent, some fruityness

T=nice taste of fruit followed by malts, relatively gentle taste compared to the smell

M=gentle carbonation with light aftertaste

D=overall good, not too sweet, not too tart really pretty balanced but with some sourness, not too difficult to finish the 750.

Photo of theghost3
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with a 2-finger beige head. Lots of lacing.

The smell is strong of sour fruits, herbs, cinnamon, and yeast. The taste is very sour, tart. Flavors of sour apple, alcohol, & unripe peaches are prevalent. Mouthfeel is very carbonated; acidic.

This is a drinkable beer but the tartness should be balanced with food.

Photo of byrd
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a good sized light tan head that is fizzy for a moment, then slowly recedes to a thick lace. The color is a clear dark-reddish brown. Aroma has lots of sour vinous notes along side notes of dark fruits. Hints of oak are also apparent. The start is quite sweet and fruity. Prunes, raisins, and cherry notes are all present. Not much hop bitterness, but there is a nice sourness that comes in towards the end to balance things out. There’s a dry oaky finish. Carbonation is fairly light, and more noticeable towards the end. Very drinkable brew that I enjoyed quite a bit. Reminded me somewhat of a fruit lambic, and would make for a good desert beer.

Photo of 3Vandoo
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice looking beer that is dark amber in color, the head only showed his head out of the window to wave "hello" and quicly let a shadow of her image on the beer.

Some cherry aromas comes from that beer, a sourness, and an oaked flavours emerges from it.

As for the taste, the same as the above mentionned occurs, cherry flavours, the oaked taste with some spices come play in the mouth. A light alcohol taste comes to play indeed but just lighty, it is quite odd especially with the cherry taste.

I was impressed with that beer, me like!

Photo of marc77
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep crimson hued with a light haze topped by a moderate off white head that leaves respectable lace. Very tart, unripe fruit dominates the aroma, but a constant undertone of wet horse Brettanomyces and old, cheesy hops counter the initial tartness nicely. The flavor consists of a pleasant blend of tart lactic notes and unripe raspberry offset by high residual sweetness due to the paltry hop bitterness. Sour acidity is present as a constant from start to finish. Light in body, and spritzy in mouthfeel. Finishes w/ tartness abruptly ending and sugary sweetness on the tip of the tongue slowly fading. This brew exhibits a good balance of lactobacillus tartness, fruity esters and residual sweetness. The taste grew on me the more I sipped. More "wild yeast" character would have added additional complexity.

Photo of levifunk
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle poured into snifter.

a - dark brownish red liquid with a light tan head.

s - sour cherries and vinegar.

t - quite tart, but still has a good malt backbone. a little more sweetness than I was expecting, but its not bad. cherry fruit flavor is big.

m - big carbonation, medium to light body.

overall - very tasty flanders. extremely easy to drink.

Photo of gatorlove
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of BigAl723
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Ashley's in Ann Arbor.

A: Rusty pumpkin brown with a creamy tan head.

S: Vinegar, fruity, and sour.

T: Apples and chocolate. What combination!

M: Medium carbonation. Very light in the mouth. Creamy and smooth.

D: Very smooth. This aged sour goes down very easy. I could drink a lot of this.

Overall, a real unique beer. I heard the bartender say something about a sour ale matured in oak casks and double fermented. Instantly I knew I had to try it, I'm glad I did.

Photo of Morey
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 fluid oz. bottle with best before "12/05/2013" stamped on the back label.

Poured into a snifter. This reddish brown ale produced a white head that stood about one finger tall following a medium pour. Pretty good clarity. Ruby red hues noted as I hold this up to the light. Moderate head retention.

A tart aroma of sour cherries, vinegar, and grape juice. I'm also getting an earthy/woody character. Reminds me of a red wine, but more sour smelling.

Well, you guessed it...It taste sour too! Just enough to make you pucker up a bit. I'm getting some fruit juice flavors towards the middle, followed up by just a touch of oak. Sour flavor lingers all of the way through, yet this actually finishes rather smooth. Very little in the way of hops here.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation that blends well with the tartness of this beer.

This is my first Flanders Red, but I have to believe that this is a pretty good one. Not just because of the ratings, this one has grown on me with every sip.

Morey's Bottom Line: This is a fun beer to sip on. If you have friends that are into red semi sweet or dry wines, they might really enjoy this. Glad that I got to try it.

Photo of Goldopelgt
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured a reddish amber with an off-white head that actually stuck around with some decent lacing...

S- Ahhh, what I was hoping for in this brew...Slightly vinegar-y with some nice sour fruit notes...a little bit of funk (there's definitely some brews out there that are alot funkier) and a suprising amount of malt at the end...

T- To be honest, I was a little let down here (I guess I was just hoping for more)...taste is a little milder than it smelled, but still pretty damn good...tart fruits dominate with a decent balance of sweetness and maltiness...

M- Medium to light bodied...right amount of carbonation, but seems to be lacking the dryness I have come to expect out of sours...

D- This beer is still good, don't get me wrong...I guess I was anticipating an over-the-top sour that was in your face with the funk and would make your lips pucker...but that isn't this brew...this brew is very nicely balanced for the style, and is a very good introduction for those who haven't tried a beer of this variety...cheers!

Photo of Derek
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark mohoganny, tan head, very little retention, slight leg/lace.

S: Like a sherry with a hint of sourness.

T: Very winey, tart raisins, brown sugar, hint of chocolate. Flavour isn't overly powerful, but it's VERY refined.

M: Body slightly lighter than moderate, fairly dry.

D: Smooth introduction to the style!

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,412 ratings.