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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

2,647 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2647
Reviews: 1319
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)
View: Beers (12) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,647 | Reviews: 1,319 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of murrayswine
murrayswine

Arizona

3.15/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I think me and any Flanders officially dont get along.
It pours a mildly headish ruby brown smelling frankly like sour patch kids, vinegar, and alcohol.
The taste is light, lighter than the smell leads you to believe. It's not my favorite, but it did finish with a saki clean, like a good Flanders. The body is a little light, though from other's I've had.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2006 03:47:46 | More by murrayswine
Photo of avalon07
avalon07

South Carolina

3.15/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had a dark brownish-red hue and very small head. Some lacing, but not a lot.

Very vinegary smell. Not totally unpleasant, but it kind of reminded me of a salad in liquid form.

The taste was complex, but not in a way I enjoy. A previous reviewer said it was like a red wine vinaigrette and I tend to agree with that. It almost didn't have the qualities of a beer.

It had a fair mouthfeel. Not a huge amount of carbonation here. The finish was not especially smooth.

I didn't particularly care for this one. It had much to pungent a taste to go down well Like I said, it almost wasn't like a beer at all.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2008 14:16:53 | More by avalon07
Photo of Hophead101
Hophead101

Pennsylvania

3.15/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

had on draft at Zeno's in state college.
nice dark copper color. small frosty bubbles, not too much head, good looking. great sour smell - not too surprising knowing it is a flemish sour - a bit heavy on the vinegar smell - a little musty and moldy smell as well - but not all in a bad way. taste is not quite as good as it looks or smells. a bit disappointing. had a bit of an off flavor. it is within style, but just not the best flemish sour that i have had. one glass is enough of this one.

Serving type: on-tap

06-24-2008 01:16:33 | More by Hophead101
Photo of albern
albern

Massachusetts

3.15/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer was given my highest rating when I sampled it again and again in the bottle. I had this for the first time on-tap, and it was a big disappointment. I'm not ready to pan the beer in this review, just significantly deduct points. What makes Duchesse so fantastic in the bottle is a rainbow of flavors and its incredible complexity. There are sweet and sours, and cherry and sherry flavors all blending and dancing about. Each sip is an experience and the tastes just dazzle and insinuate themselves and change with each sip as the beer warms and settles.

Duchesse on tap is much more uniform, much more sour, and just does not have that complex range of flavors. I found the beer to be a bit vinegary, overly sour, less carbonated than in the bottle, and just a downer. I wouldnt go back to this on tap again, knowing what is in store in the bottle version.

Serving type: on-tap

01-04-2009 17:19:59 | More by albern
Photo of jujubeast6000
jujubeast6000

Texas

3.15/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed 10/10/2008 (bottle Exp Date 12/09):

Pours a brown-reddish colored body, with a tannish head, small, and lastingish. Has a sour dark fruit aroma, alcoholy. Fruity sweet taste. Very fizzy. Not as sour as it smells. Light fruity, appley. A little flat. Light taste. Might be better w/food.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2009 00:51:16 | More by jujubeast6000
Photo of Docer
Docer

Washington

3.15/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Was recommended to me by a gal at By The Bottle.. so hear it goes... poured in a tulip.

- Bubbly creamy colored fizz... leaves a nice steady finger of head... dark ruby copper color, clear.. red... each and every bubble is of such uniform size... interesting,.

- Esters, plum, fig, vinegar... slight straw funk.. sweet.. almost minty..

- Interesting and very sweet. Light tartness, vinegar... syrup.. esters.. plum, fig, prune.. light woody notes, oak perhaps..

- Sticky sweet... very carbonated.. almost too bubbly. Light bodied..

- Overall a tad too sweet for my taste.. would like it to be a lot more sour... and it is a tad over-carbonated. Would like it better I think if more sugars were devoured and made into a 9% flemish. I bet it would taste a lot better.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2010 00:55:43 | More by Docer
Photo of spinrsx
spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

3.15/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

330ml bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a clear brown colour with huge fizzy beige head. There appears to be a lower than normal amount of carbonation. There is some faint lacing, and the head lasted for a while.

Smell - Slightly metallic, vinegar, plums, a peppery spice mix

Taste & Mouth - The beer has a nice mouth feel, lots of little bubbles on the tongue. It feels very light - But it is definitely not light tasting. This beer packs a punch with a whole lot of various flavours going on. I have to say that I've never encountered a beer that tasted quite like this one. It reminds me of a glass of port mixed with champagne and beer. It tastes slightly metallic, lots of sweet grape flavour, and some woody notes. It finishes with a grape and metallic bitter aftertaste.

Drink - I have to say.. not one of my favorite beers. I can see how it might appeal to some, but this beer isn't for me.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2010 00:30:34 | More by spinrsx
Photo of TheFightfan1
TheFightfan1

Pennsylvania

3.15/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into my Lindeman's stange-flute.Ruby color with an off white to light brown heading. Very alive looking from the pour to the bitter end.

Smell is not what I expected. The tart aroma is there but very weak and is sidelined by a somewhat vinegear aroma? Some sweeter belgian candy notes but again very week.

Taste is extremely sweet with a heavy belgian candy like sugar and brown sugar. The tartness does pull through to peek it's head through but can not match the overpowering sweetness.

Mouth is heavily carbonated with a heavy thump of syrup on the palate that linger's for a bit.

All and all a bit disappointing. I expected a sour treat and I got a sugar bomb. Oh well.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2011 02:04:23 | More by TheFightfan1
Photo of Sixpack595
Sixpack595

Michigan

3.18/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Dark, reddish brown witha chunky light tan head. Aroma is sharply sour and a touch fruity. Vinegar scent is almost overpowering. Flavor is much less potent than the aroma suggests. Very complex with many flavors hiding under the press of sourness. Not really sure how I feel about it. Definitly woth a try, but it gets to be a real chore to drink.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2004 05:12:12 | More by Sixpack595
Photo of BDTyre
BDTyre

British Columbia (Canada)

3.2/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Wierd.

An impressive deep copper colour, but not much head. Smells like wine, with traces of spice. It taste very similar to wine, or even alcoholic grape juice, with hints of plum, spices, raisin and even coffee in the background. Very interesting.

Carbonation is good, but this beer seems at times too sweet and wine-like. The richness and higher than typical strength will probably limit me to one of these a session.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2005 06:23:49 | More by BDTyre
Photo of Floydster
Floydster

California

3.2/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Goblet at Naja's Place

Super sweet and sour, one of my friend's favorites, so I gave it a try

10 ounces for $6.50 was a little steep in my book

Highly carbonated and large head

Berries and vinegar hints dominated the smell

Taste lasts a long time and makes you even thirstier

Could not drink much of this at all, 12 ounces would probably be the limit

Serving type: on-tap

09-10-2007 04:31:29 | More by Floydster
Photo of ChillMike
ChillMike

Alabama

3.2/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep mulberry color with a smaller white head that has a little bit of pink color. It leaves some nice lacing all around the glass.

S: Very odd smell, like a mix of malts with I would say a Syrah/Shiraz smells like. Ahhh hence the aging in oak casks. Not overly impressed with the smell.

T: Very complex tasting beer, super sugary malt flavor, with a sour apple kind of taste with a mix of a champagne and wine mix. A little too sweet for my likings . I like the mix of flavors and it definitely is an interesting taste but this tastes too close to a lambic for my likings.

MF: Very light and bubbly, again almost like champagne. Interesting style for a beer.

D: Pretty drinkable if you're into the style I suppose.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2008 08:18:23 | More by ChillMike
Photo of BDLbrewster
BDLbrewster

Minnesota

3.2/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a striking ruby hue with a fluffy strawberry cream colored head that dissipates leaving some spotty lacing.

The first smell that I pick up on this brew is a thick but somewhat mild cherry infused funk. Sniff after sniff I get more cherry, apple and a touch of vinous alcohol. All I can think is merlot, this beer smells like wine... I love the smell this brew throws off.

My first sip provides a kick in the teeth of cherry. Sweetness followed by a mildly abrasive tartness combined with a very worked over tasting oak barrel flavor. I also get an earthy yeasty light gymsock funk as well. There is a strange resonating taste in the back of my mouth that honestly reminds me of the pink sweet and sour sauce at my corner Chinese restaurant. There is definitely a lot going on in this brew and It's taking a lot of sipping to grasp everything.

The mouthfeel starts out feeling quite light and airy, but as I swallow I get a strange coating effect that leaves a fairly extreme dryness. Carbonation is mild and almost unnoticeable after several sips.

Overall this is a good brew to enjoy a meal with, but a 750 will probably need to be shared. This brew is a bit sweet and cloying to enjoy a large amount of.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2009 22:43:45 | More by BDLbrewster
Photo of GooberMcNutly
GooberMcNutly

Florida

3.23/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours as a thick, reddish brown with white head and good carbonation. Aromas of sour, acidic cider with cherry and rasberry notes. Taste bursts of fresh grape juice and red wine vinegar with nice oak notes. I found the overall body to be very light and unassuming with less of an acidic kick than I was expecting. Nicely subtle and the dry finish makes for a good starter beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2007 16:11:15 | More by GooberMcNutly
Photo of Overlord
Overlord

California

3.23/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly ruddy medium brown. Kind of translucent. Inch or two of tan foam head.

Smell is ... weird. Vinegar? A bit of cherry tartness? Strange.

Taste is also weird. There's a real vinegar undercurrent. But, more like ... balsamic vinegar than a lambic/gueuze acidity. There's some cherry in here that I really love, and a bit of oaky woodsiness, but there's also a real sweetness to it I can't stand. With the vinegar, it's almost like sweet and sour. Real offputting after a while.

Delightful carbonation, though.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2008 07:58:04 | More by Overlord
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.25/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

My very first sour ale. I was not sure what to expect going in, but definatly knew what it was about when it was done!

Poured a deep dark brown, with lots of reddish hints to it, making it almost seem a dull burnt orange in bright light. A huge billowing white head faded quickly, but left a nice film of lace about the top for most of the glass. The smell was probably the strongest I have ever smelled in a beer. Almost knocked me over. Huge flavors of sour grapes and apples, lots of fruity hints in there, and very very strong, really like nothing I have ever smelled. The taste was unbelievably sour. Like sour candy sour, huge flavors, too much for me. Actually made my eyes water with every sip. Very light mouth feel, and great carbonation were nice, and helped it go down smoothly, but was not really my cup of tea. Flavors were big, grapes, apples, peaches, raisins, plums, very very complex and fruity. Overall I did not enjoy it, but I am not sure if this was due t o the style or this particular brew. I will have to try a couple more to get a better feel, but this one was rough on me. I could see how someone would like its deep complex character, just not me.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2007 23:21:45 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of dvb
dvb

Washington

3.25/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Reddish-brown, leaning more toward the reddish end. Large, off-white head that fades quickly but leaves a lot of lacing. Great clarity, no sediment. Filtered?

S - Smells of sparkling cider, apple cider vinegar, candi sugar and maturity.

T - This is a sweet, fruity, cider-like, tangy ale. Like a sparkling cider, but with more character.

M - Sticky, but not overly so. On the thin side, but not overly so. Overall, this does not drink like a beer at all. More like sparkling cider.

D - The sparkling cider qualities of this beer make it impossible for me to want any more than the one I tried today, but it is obvious that some great care went into making this product and that this is no doubt a fine example of the style

It is interesting to note that this beer is actually not just one beer, but two, as the product actually consists of the blending of two vintages of the same beer: 8 months old and 18 months old. It is also aged in oak barrels, some of which are decades old.

Did I mention that this beer is like sparkling cider?

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2010 20:36:04 | More by dvb
Photo of csiewert
csiewert

Oregon

3.25/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a dark ruby color with a trace of off white fizzy head that retain and laces pretty well. The aroma has notes of sour cherries, dark fruit and some vinegar. The taste starts with the sour cherries and then has a strong note of vinegar... Not very good. The mouthfeel is on par for what a sour ale should be like, but I don't know if I got a bad bottle or what, but this was way too vinegary for me.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2011 01:11:50 | More by csiewert
Photo of lurpy1
lurpy1

Minnesota

3.25/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Republic. Not a style I know terribly well, but I likes me some sours, and the one FRA I had knocked my socks off.

Beautiful, deep red pour. A word to the wise though. Typically this is poured into a goblet, and the ruby red liquid in the goblet makes one look like a wine snob. Be careful where you order this, it might get you on the bidness end of an ass whupping.

Smell is vinegary, citrus, sour cherry, plenty of funk. Nice.

Taste is good, vinegar, apple, cherry. Good stu....wait a minute, what is that? That's a strange taste. Where have I had it before? With steak. Yes. It tastes like A-1! Really! Don't get me wrong, I like A-1, I just don't want to drink a goblet full of it.

Mouthfeel makes for smooth sipping.

Despite the steak sauce sensation I was able to enjoy this beer. But the off putting taste keeps it well short of being great.

Serving type: on-tap

03-17-2012 14:01:15 | More by lurpy1
Photo of tai4ji2x
tai4ji2x

Massachusetts

3.28/5  rDev -21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750ml green bottle. cork has exp date of 3/10. poured into tulip.

dark, ruby red with brown tones. gemstone clear under the light. moderately sized, fluffy tan head fades to thin layer, then wisps. amazing curtain of lacing. no sediment in the bottle or glass - is this a filtered brew?

aroma is fruity cherries and faint molasses with a very weak funk note. light wood tones, plus damp earth or fallen leaves. whiff of vinegar.

surprisingly sweet with only a trace of acidity. fruity apple and cherries, with syrupy caramel and brown sugar. faint bitterness from grassy hops and more weak acidity, with another trace of wood and damp hay.

smooth, with acidic twinge at the end for texture. mild to moderate carbonation for some refreshment.

too sweet, almost cloying, and certainly not enough acidity or complex funkiness. pales in comparison to rodenbach grand cru or even monk's cafe. but i understand the appeal for sour beer novices, so this prevents me from totally trashing it.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2009 08:34:42 | More by tai4ji2x
Photo of petacutlasaurus
petacutlasaurus

Maryland

3.28/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had with crackers and blue cheese on Friday night. The food was better than the beer, though. I had a pretty negative response to this one. It's a well executed beer, one with a pretty clear mission and objective taste. That taste is just not for me. It's candy beer.

Duchess is incredibly sweet, apparent immediately from the pour in the stickiness and the lacing of the head. Reeks of sugar, candied cherries, maybe, covering up a bit of sourness and booze. The taste and the body together are quite potent. Definitely strong sour notes, but it's as if the brewer wanted to cover that sourness up, or subdue it, and in order to do so, loaded the beer up with sugars. As that sourness and sweetness collides, you get a taste not too far from Splenda. Pretty unpleasant.

I think it's useful to compare it with another readily available sour, the Monk's Cafe flemish sour. It's lower gravity, sweetness, and increased tartness/bite really serves the style in a more palatable way. But that's only if you're part of the musty/bitter camp like me. If you're sweet-toothed, grab one of these, you probably will love it.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2011 18:55:18 | More by petacutlasaurus
Photo of ngandhi
ngandhi

Illinois

3.3/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The mouthwatering nose and stable half-inch head make this as appealing as any funky Belgian. Raw fruit and raw wood are backed by controlled bacteriological spice and this is, all in all, elegant.

The palate, however, is entirely undeveloped. Though it originally opens to impressive fruit -- raspberries and grape, mostly -- loaded with vinous, beaujoulais-like qualities, it feels thin and Spritey. Overwhelmed with an obnoxiously light soda element, this is an easy beer to forget about.

The label notes "careful maturation in oak casks," but the oak contributes little more outside of a woody flavor and some vanilla -- no body, no structure, or not enough.

Residually sweet of malt, Duchess doesn't deliver the caramel that I expect (and hoped for). Instead, this is a summery mix almost wine cooler-/mimosa-/balsamic reduction-like in its conception.

The properties of a Flemish red are here, but all the king's horses and all the king's men . . .

Relax, relax.
ng

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2004 23:30:14 | More by ngandhi
Photo of Crotor
Crotor

California

3.3/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I have a strange relationship with this beer. When I first tried it, as a nascent BA, it freaked me out. Tasted like vinegar. I thought it'd make a good salad dressing, but not a good beer.

The second time around, things are a bit different. Nonetheless, the beer remains, shall we say, *unique.*

Pours deep and dark with rich, crimson windowpanes. the low, tan head dissipates quickly.

Can't really pick up much on the aroma...

The taste hits big. Tart & sweet with an astringent finish. Behind the vinegary sourness there's a massive, cloying sweetness. The mouthfeel *seems* good, but admidst all the sweetness and tartness, it's difficult to notice anything else. Oh does the tartness linger...

After a little while in the glass, and a bit of warming, it seems to develop a foamy, effervescent feel in the mouth. Is it a bit salty?

In the end, all I can really say is that this beer is an *experience.* It seemed to hi every damn region of my tongue. Interesting certainly... Kinda like a Kubrick film - you know it was interesting, and you know a lot of work went into it, and it gave your brain a workout, but as to whether or not it was actually good, you don't really know...

My one major complaint would be that the sweetness of the beer was overly simplistic. I don't know if that's the result of the tartness deadening my palate, or if it's from the reported artificial sweeteners. Either way, it just seemed that it lost out on some of the subtlety that it could have had.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2004 01:25:40 | More by Crotor
Photo of pentathlete
pentathlete

Virginia

3.3/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a flute. Beauty ruby brown with large head. Nose is all tart and cherries. Taste is cherry fruit with some sour notes. Pleasant, but rather tame. I expected more sour bite. Too much sweetness, almost candy like flavors. Perhaps my palate was spent, but I was not altogether thrilled. Not a bad beer, but nothing special.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2005 02:50:17 | More by pentathlete
Photo of BedetheVenerable
BedetheVenerable

Missouri

3.3/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: Beautiful caged/corked 750ml bottle with great label; expiration date of 06/10.

Appearance: Beautiful dark garnet brown beer with fluffy dark ivory cap with great retention.

Smell: Funky, tart lactic and woodsy aromas...quite sour, with almost a touch of vinegar.

Taste: Super tart/woodsy up front...hints of vinegar...light hints of tart/sweet cherry on the finish

Mouthfeel: Prickly and highly carbonated

Drinkability: Medium-medium low

Conclusion: Interesting and definitely unique....I had this once before with goat cheese and marinara...that was pretty tasty...by itself this is a bit intense, and while I can appreciate the complexity and uniqueness of the style, I'm not sure this one is for me...it was alright with Jarlsberg though.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2009 04:03:37 | More by BedetheVenerable
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 2,647 ratings.