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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

3,245 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,245
Reviews: 1,362
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 150
Gots: 348 | 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: 3,245 | Reviews: 1,362 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of donotknowme
4.9/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This poured a deep reddish-brown with a thin lacy head that quickly faded. The nose was dominated by a sour smell with hints of berries and maybe some oak. One of the best mouthfeels I have ever had in a beer. At the end it got a little thick and sticky from the sweetness but the tartness cleared it up nicely. Easily my favorite beer.

donotknowme, Sep 03, 2006
Photo of AronVietti
4.9/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From a bottle that has a best by date of 29/10/2012 poured into a wine glass. Gave a nice hiss when the bottle was opened at 48 degrees.

Appearance: White puffy billowing head with a mixture of small and large bottles. Head dies down to half the hight quickly with strong lacing on the glass but the rest remains intact. Deep brownish red hue and absolute clear, like an aged Pinot Noir.

Smell: Fruity with a strong smell of Sour Cherries or unripe plums, new leather and a subtle amount of malt. The aroma is strong but not over powering.

Taste: Starts with a fruity sweetness that is soon balanced by a slight acidity and nice Plum flavor with a hint of spice. The acidity lingers with a bit of bitterness that further helps the balance with the original sweetness and carries the spice notes.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is balanced for the style, and the body of the beer is very full though not heavy. The finish is long, and the taste overall is as reminiscent of wine as the color was, which is perfectly within the style.

Drinkability: This beer is extremely drinkable, at only 6% there are no hints of alcohol for me, and though the mouthfeel is full the beer doesn't seem heavy. I would have one of these with a rich meal, relying on the acidity to cut through cream or cheese heavy dishes and the fruitiness to add to the experience. And afterwards I would have one with a cheese plate for the sheer enjoyment of it.

I would like to try a bottle of this just before the 'Best Before' date to see if there is a difference

AronVietti, Mar 02, 2011
Photo of soulgrowl
4.9/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Very deep, dark, cola red-brown. Decent-sized head with mediocre retention.

Smell: Oaky barrels of red wine, bursting with blackberry-esque tartness and undercurrents of of tobacco, burnt sugar, and slight lactic acid. Unique and extremely sumptuous, an aroma that really enlivens the senses and gets the old salivary glands a-pumpin'.

Taste: Beautifully tart through-and-through but not at all puckering, a sourness of juicy green apples and green strawberries. Well-balanced and refreshing with a tart and bittersweet finish; very vinous, complex, and delicious.

Mouthfeel: Zippy and sharp to match the sourness, but smooth and silky at the same time.

Drinkability: This is just so damn good, I could drink it all night.

soulgrowl, Jul 17, 2006
Photo of SirWalkAbout
4.9/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a snifter. Very dark red color, almost black. Nice head, 1/4" - 1/2", which stays around nicely.

Smells fruity like a champagin. Smells a bit tart and dry.

Taste is very pleasant. Very fruity, grapes. Good, strong carbonation. Nice and light.

Leaves the pallet quickly without any aftertaste, which I like.

I try not throw out a high score without justification, but I don't know how this beer can be improved for what it is. I find the look, lightness, and taste spot on. Not a beer I would drink all night, but used in place of a dessert wine or a sweet treat, look no further.

SirWalkAbout, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of AleDrinkToThat
4.9/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Beautiful burgundy hue under a perfect creamy beige head.

Smell: Oh, such a delicious smell of cherries and malt. I can tell just by the smell that there's more going on here.

Taste: Good thing I'm only typing about this, 'cause my mouth just exploded. Seriously, wow. This is excellent. The tart cherry is much more subtle than, say, a Kriek Lambic, and is so well balanced with delicious roasted malt.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, devilishly so, and the tartness danced all over my mouth, puckering all inner surfaces in its path (I'll leave you to picture that). The malt definitely rounded things back out, and the result is a heavenly complexity.

Drinkability: Go get one. Now.

AleDrinkToThat, Feb 22, 2008
Photo of grdahl
4.93/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: rich red and Brown in color.

S: Champangne like

T: Tart sourness but very smooth.

M: Nice crispy, bubbly with meium body.

D: Very drinkable.I could drink this all night.

Serving type: large corked bottle

My first Flanders Red. Not my last. This is inspiring me to brew my own Flanders. Very different, very wine like in both smaell and taste.

grdahl, Jul 19, 2009
Photo of Shultzerdugen
4.93/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

11.2 oz. bottle with best before date of 22-4-06.

Pours a deep red- dark copper with a large tan head comprised of big bubbles that quickly dissipates.

The aroma is very complex, very tempting. Fresh tart cherries, musty earth tones, bourbon.

Easily one of the most complex brews I've drank. Cherry juice. At first light and refreshing, I had a hard time not slamming this down. Very tangy, very sour. Even at 6.2% abv the alchohol is warming down the gullet. Slight metallic taste, but it adds rather than distracts to the beer's awsomeness. Lime. Hershey's cocoa from the tin towards the end. The finish doesn't finish, with sour malt going and going.

I could easily drink this every day, but it would be like eating steak and lobster every day. Speaking of which this beer begs to tried with a wide range of food.

Shultzerdugen, Feb 13, 2005
Photo of stealth
4.93/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Beautiful beer. Deep ruby red (in the light) pour, thick pillowy, slightly off-white head that lasts forever. Intense lacing down the entire glass. Sticky. The nose is wonderful. Funky vinous notes with sweet fruit, and the tartness comes out in the aroma.

Nice soft and smooth mouthfeel - like silk in your mouth. Citrusy, with ripe cherry fruits, acidic, very tart and sour. Some funk at the onset. Finishes sweet with a metallic note. Ends dry and leaves the palate without any bitterness or lingering traces. Mouth salivate and puckers, waiting that next drink. So much going on in this one it's hard to describe...

Overall, a near perfect flanders. I can't give it a perfect 5 because that belongs to Consecration.

stealth, Jan 18, 2012
Photo of jda007
4.93/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Absolutely stunning!

Had on tap at Proof in Tallahassee, FL. They consistently keep it on tap and the popularity has grown quite a bit.

On tap is far superior to bottled.

Head is just right, aroma is sweet with a hint of sour cherry. Color is a nice crimson to amber. Mouthfeel is light and fragrant with a tart, crisp flavor. Finishes smooth and the lightly sour aftertaste remains right on the tongue beckoning for more.

jda007, Jul 20, 2012
Photo of DarrellK
4.95/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appreciating Flanders Red Ale style is one that is not of the uninitiated and takes some experience to understand it's value. The Duchesse is probably the premier example of the style and gets my highest rating.

The ale pours to a beautiful fine head that leaves a lovely lace. Being color-blind mt color descriptions can be a bit off, but looks like a clear dark ruby to me.

The aroma promotes a sour prelude to the first sip that is sure to challenge those that think Bud Light is Nirvana. The mouth is of medium viscosity and despite the bubbles from the head is quite still in nature. The finish is raisiny at first and moves to dates later and of course in sour, and just sour enough to be refreshing.

The beer should be tried in two ways, first on the cool end of the specrtrum 45 deg or so and then again at the higher end maybe 55. The Cooler end brings out the sourness more and the higher end the fruity side.

One other point is that it is only 6.2% abv and which is on the low end of the Belgian scale.

DarrellK, Jan 12, 2006
Photo of ColoradoBobs
4.95/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at the Falling Rock Tap House, Denver, CO, March 16, 2007, served in a lovely brandy-snifter sized tulip glass.

Appearance: Minimal head over a dark burgundy body. Pretty. Crimson highlights around the edge. Even though the head is smallish, it lasts and lasts and lasts. A bit of lacing.

Lovely sour-cherry and cardamom smell, with a candy-sugar background. Some sweet maltiness is there as well. Smells great. Hope it tastes this good!

Taste does not disappoint, although it's bit sweeter than the smell. Like a light red sparkling wine, with a malty backbone. Wow. What a delight. Sour, but not mouth-puckering. Delightful cherry notes, with some clove and cardamom. Very complex, and the sweetness advances as the beer warms a bit. Wonderful taste! Not quite a 5.0, but more like a 4.9!

Mouthfeel is surprisingly chewy for a 6.2% beer. Nice tingly carbonation -- makes you want to swirl and chew before swallowing.

Really very drinkable. I was surprised. This is only the second Flanders Red I've had (the first being LaFolie, which was so exceedingly sour it was like vinegar -- way too sour for me!), and I was very pleased. Now that I've had this on tap, I'll be looking for it in the bottle to compare.

Oddly enough, I found the sometimes rotten service at FRTH to be exceptionally cordial and efficient. I was sitting at the bar, and was just finishing a Hercules DIPA (ON CASK!), and asked the guy to recommend something at the opposite end of the spectrum from the Hercules, and he gave me a 3-ounce sample of this, which motivated purchasing a 12 ounce glass. What a great beer!

ColoradoBobs, Mar 17, 2007
Photo of nriech
4.95/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at Capital Ale House in Richmond, also in bottle at home with very similar results.

This beer is amazing and has become one of my all time favorite brews. The flavors are so complex and intense that I dont even want food to come near me for the chance to interrupt the experience.

Slight head with good carbonation. The color is similar to a subdued red wine. Be sure to serve this at the correct temp, I believe somewere around 50F. The inital sip is like a sour wine but becomes complex extremely quickly as it warms. The oak aging is very obvious. It adds so much to this brew.

This is extremely drinkable, very hard to not give into drinking this quickly. One sidepoint is that the one on tap seemed to be a bit more oaky and sour than the bottled version. Not sure on the dates of either.

nriech, May 25, 2006
Photo of RuinationPress
4.97/5  rDev +19.5%
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.

RuinationPress, Oct 18, 2009
Photo of Rezzin
4.97/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Poured into a tulip glass. 1/4" tan head that doesn't hang out long. Color is a deep mahogany red and it's crystal clear. I expected it to be bottle conditioned but I didn't notice any trace yeast in the bottle. Looks quite appealing.

S - Wow, the aroma is incredible. Complex with fruity notes. Cherries, plums, some tartness in the nose. Slight barnyard character - sweet caramal.

T - This is an excellent flanders red - the sweet and tart is perfectly balanced. There's that a ever so slight barnyard character that just perfectly compliments the flavors in my mouth. You have to search for the barnyard - it's very slight. Sour cherries, raspberries, maybe even some plum with a nice balanced sweetness. I'm loving these sour beers right now!

M - Medium to light body with a nice acidic crispness. Moderately carbonated.

D - I've died and gone to sour beer heaven. I love this beer. I'm looking forward to trying other examples of this style to see what i'm missing. If this is not one of the better ones then I'm in for a real treat!

Rezzin, Jan 28, 2008
Photo of rjdierberger87
5/5  rDev +20.2%

rjdierberger87, Jun 27, 2014
Photo of Swonkie
5/5  rDev +20.2%

Swonkie, Oct 03, 2012
Photo of JIMTRK16
5/5  rDev +20.2%

JIMTRK16, Feb 26, 2014
Photo of mjkingman
5/5  rDev +20.2%

mjkingman, Dec 03, 2013
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5/5  rDev +20.2%

jheezee, Dec 07, 2011
Photo of KMcG
5/5  rDev +20.2%

KMcG, Feb 19, 2012
Photo of Rborre321
5/5  rDev +20.2%

Rborre321, Jun 06, 2014
Photo of sjstraub
5/5  rDev +20.2%

sjstraub, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of misterkew
5/5  rDev +20.2%

misterkew, Dec 26, 2013
Photo of ianpstephens
5/5  rDev +20.2%

ianpstephens, Jul 17, 2013
Photo of kmwilson76
5/5  rDev +20.2%

kmwilson76, Dec 27, 2011
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,245 ratings.