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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 ckollias
4.61/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a Beligan Tulip glass.

A: Pours a dark amber almost brown hue with an off-white, 2-finger, frothy head that quickly dissipates leaving a good trail and solid lace.

S: Sour fruity aroma.

T: Extremely sour brew with a dark fruits and vinegar background that finishes on the dry side.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Yummy – sour brew – love it!

Photo of degerbah
4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very deep red with a ton of tan head. The head dissapears quickly, but leaves a hefty amount of thick lacing along the top of the glass. The aroma reminds me very much of malt venegar and is incredibly acrid. The taste is slightly sour, acidic, and subdued. It reminds me more of cherries than anything else. Extraordinarily smooth, this is an amazing beer. I will definitely buy this many more times.

Photo of jamespub
4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had it first on botte, then twice on tap. obviously, this was at different times, but from my recollection, they tasted similar once they got to temperature and both methods were divine.

A- Caramel brown, clear, nice head that dissipated quickly. looks comparable to a belgian dubbel

S- Slight malt with a mild sour funk. I thought it would be more sour in the taste, so I was slightly misled by the smell. Nothing fancy here for me, but still had a good aroma.

T- stunning. i could drink this beer all day, everyday. it goes down sooo smoooth. sour, sweet, malty awesomeness. great caramel flavor to accompany the mild sour flavor.

M- way too easy to drink. amazing.

O- I absolutely love this beer. the tap ran out at the local bar and my heart broke. thankfully i have bottles available when i can get some more petty cash. buy this beer, drink it, savor it, and share it with me.

Photo of BellsFan
4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a ruby red-brown with about one finger of head. Smells like tart cherries. Tastes like balsamic vinegar with cherries but, in a good way. It's crisp with a medium body mouth feel. The finish is tart and bitter that makes my mouth pucker. I will definitely buy this one again.

Photo of DavidST
4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm extremely new to sour beers, having only tried them for the first time a couple of months ago, but I really love the few that I've had.

This pours a deep brown, there are hints of red but I wouldn't have known its a red ale otherwise. The head is a finger width and light brown, it quickly fades away but leaves a nice lace. This smells a little sour, woody and slightly unusual, hard to describe. Nice mouth feel, it gets very carbonated if I gently move it around on my tongue, I can feel the tartness. The taste is a little tart / sour at first but on the way down it seems to sweeten up quite a bit, this is definitely a unique flavor for beer, but I really like it. It kind of reminds me of shock tart candies I used to love as a child, this my second bottle to try and the aftertaste sweetness is more than I remembered. Overall this is a great beer and very well could be one of my favorites.

Photo of claytri
4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured a beautiful rich brown that let just enough light through to provide read highlights. It generated a thin tan head. The aroma is sharp and winey with an alcohol burn. The tastes starts with a wonderful tanin taste, then moves to a sweet dark berry flavor, and finally progresses into a dark tart fruit finish. The feel is smooth and creamy with a nice rounding of flavors on the tounge. An absolutely enjoyable drink and something I will have to consider everytime I go to the shelf to make a purchase.

Photo of Budlum
4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle with best by 6/08 on the cork.

Pours with one and one half inches of deep tan, foamy head lasting throughout the drink. Presents a deep brown and burgundy body with deep ruby-red hues on the edges. Very attractive.

Sharp on the nose, strongly suggesting red wine vinegar. Notes of sour apples and tart berries. Notable earth and oak presence. Sweet caramel notes after the initial sharp notes back down. Complex to diagnose.

Initial bitterness suggesting sour apples and other tart fruit flavors. The tarntess is quickly squelched by a rush of sweet fruits suggesting figs and raisins. A cross-blend of merlot and white wine flavors at the midpoint provides some dry characteristics and the presence of sweet and sour grapes. A long, tangy finish reminiscient of the initial flavors with stong tannin and oak flavors.

Mouthfeel is smooth and clean with qualities similar to a white wine. Tart, sweet and balanced.

Drinkability is great for a Flanders with this type of strong flavors. Not quite as tart as I expected but a flow of sweetness will make this a little easier for the novice.

An excellent Flanders Red which is a complex and powerful brew for fans of the style. It is not likely that this would be a good choice for a Flanders virgin.

Photo of davedahl
4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a delicious brew.

_Appearance_
Very clear ruby-bronze color - and gradiated. When held to a light it shows off brilliant clarity and a few champagne-like bubbles rising to surface. Small head with low head-retention.

_Smell_
Sour cherries, crab apples, creamy-carmely malt.

_Taste_
Slight tannin, sourness, light carmel malt. Whole cherries. Young and sweet but deliciously sour and complex. Clearly a blend.

_Mouthfeel_
Full and well-rounded. Semi-dry finish. Slight mouth-pricle from medium-to-high carbonation.

_Drinkability_
Despite complexity, sour/sweet ness, this is highly drinkable thanks to how well balanced and only slight dryness.

Drink it!

Photo of Spilly09
4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a snifter and left to settle for a few minutes.
Pours a dark cola color--a reddish brown. Highly carbonated, with a head that settles into a thin layer soon after pouring but maintains a nice lacing.
Nose is a pungent vinegar and a bit of cola. You know what you're about to taste when you smell this one.
Mouthfeel is big and smooth. So much going on here. Terrific.
Initially there is a huge hit of carbonation and sourness on the front of the tongue. It then moves into a big hit of balsamic vinegar, finishing with an awesome "Dr. Pepper-esque" cherry sweetness and a long, residual aftertaste. Just lovely.
This one is not for everyone, but if you would buy a balsamic flavored cola, this one’s for you. Excellent beer.

Photo of farrago
4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

Photo of Mitchster
4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

Photo of boulevard2
4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
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!

Photo of kleffman
4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally getting to try the Duchesse after having numerous examples of the Flanders Red style that impressed me. I continually hear that this is the supreme example of the style so we'll see.

Pours a dark very clear ruby red and brown color into a Chimay goblet. Slight head and retention with only a little lacing. Quite beautiful looking in this wide mouth glass.

Aroma has a definite vinegar presence with a TON of tart cherries and vanilla from the oak. Smells acidic and I'm in for a treat.

Taste is just as it smells but way more complex and very little vinegar! Mostly incredible tart cherry vanilla flavors with oak, earthy yeast characters and slight raspberry hints. Really sweet with a tart background. Perfectly balanced and really complex however.

The mouthfeel is an incredible lively, smooth and refreshing experience. I want more. I wish it wasn't quite so expensive, I could keep this constantly on hand. I would love one of these every single Friday after work. Very high drinkability, and an extreme enjoyability. I can't imagine much better for the style. Only the Rodenbach beers match it in my opinion.

Photo of WMEugene
4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
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!

Photo of nicole-mac
4.64/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of Outlawstar80
4.64/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of Boneheadmx
4.64/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

Photo of Iuv
4.64/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of Sylk
4.64/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of 420Rick
4.64/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of sponberg
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
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.

Photo of justiceavocado
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
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.

Photo of kms910
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted at the World Beer Festival Raleigh, NC

I wondered why so many bragged about this beer. I bought a bottle some time ago and never opened it.

Finally, I see why everyone is as amazed by the Duchesse as they call her. This beer is unbelievable, a must if you trying a Flemish Red for the first time or any time. I had no idea how much I was going to enjoy this.

A: deep, dark red almost – a barely there foam followed me down my glass

S: cherries, prunes, or raisins and other dark fruits

T: it’s a little sweeter than the smell with a gentle sour bite at the end – perfect

M: Beautiful in the mouth, crisp & creamy....how has this escaped me for so long?

D: Definitely a good beer, robust flavor with a substantial depth to it. I will definitely be drinking this more often.

Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
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

Photo of Luk13
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
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.

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