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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

3,567 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,567
Reviews: 1,414
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.46%
Wants: 175
Gots: 502 | FT: 10
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Verhaeghe visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Flanders Red Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-15-2001

Belgian top-fermented reddish-brown ale, a blend of 8 and 18 months old beers following the careful maturation in oak casks.
View: Beers (13) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,567 | Reviews: 1,414 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tigg924
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: dark red/brown, medium head, medium carbonation, clear

Smell: sour figs, pears, and cherries

Taste: The big taste I get here is cherry sour patch kids, plus maybe a bit of berry

Mouthfeel: sour, tart, clean, and there is a sweetness to it as well

Drinkability: I think this would be an excellent starter sour. The taste is amazing and I could drink several as the alcohol is hidden.

Photo of bluejacket74
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml caged and corked bottle, cork states expiration date of 12/09. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a reddish/brown color with about a half inch off-white head. Head retention is average, lacing is good. It smells like tart cherries, apples and vinegar. The taste is similar to the aroma, it tastes like slightly tart cherries, apples, plums and a bit of funk and vinegar. The taste isn't quite as sour as I expected it to be, but I think it's pretty good. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's creamy and slick and well carbonated. Drinkability is pretty good, it's smooth, refreshing and very enjoyable and easy to drink. I'd buy this again in the future, I think this is a pretty good brew. Recommended.

Photo of drink1121
4.16/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A- Great head with lacyness. (my own word) Nice dark amber color. Looks great in a chalice.

S- Sour to the nose.

T- Sour vinegar, Bourbon - like.

M- Very smooth with creamy note.

D - Could only have one of these. A very good brew, just not my preference. I can appreciate the quality.

Photo of jujubeast6000
3.18/5  rDev -23.6%
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.

Photo of Andrewtherooster
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is the first beer I've had of this style, and boy, it's a good one.

A- Pours a great ruby red with a goldish rim around the edge. The lacing is beautiful, sticking to the sides of the glass and leaving a smeared haze.

S- Smells right away of tart dark cherries with a warm toastiness in the background. It smells to a degree like Welch's gone bad in the best way.

T- Wow, this smacks of the sour, tart flavor I was looking for. Each step in the sip is like a wave of sourness washing over, finishing off with a slight alcohol burn. It tastes like a variety of berries--blackberries, cherries, raspberries, and such--all soured, slightly lactic. It's all definitely enough to make your face contort.

M- The carbonation that kicks in halfway adds a nice punch to the sourness, and thickness of it is slightly surprising.

Overall, this is beer is a great and unique experience, though I haven't even finished this one and I'm looking at my snifter like I don't know if I can take any more. It's tasty, but I don't think it's something you'd want to drink more than one 11.2 oz. bottle of in a night.

Photo of cvaypai
3.31/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle to goblet.

Appearance - Amber with beautiful red tone. Little to no head, less than 1/4 inch, dissipated quickly, no lacing.

Smell - Sour like old apples and cherries. Apple is the most powerful for me, like apple juice almost.

Taste - This seems more to me like wine, strong tastes of cherries, and yeast taste. As I drink more it becomes more apparent it is a belgian. Definitely can tell those strains. Not bad, but not really up my alley.

Mouthfeel - Tangy and carbonated, it feels like a wine in the mouth.

Drinkability - Just one of these babies. Maybe I need to let this style grow on me.

Hopefully this was just this bottle.

I think I need to try a few others of this style, definitely something I think needs to grow on me.

Photo of Reiksguard
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 11.2 oz bottle into glassware.

A deep red/brown in color with a pillowy white head. Great vinegar'y smell typical of flanders. Has a great fruity sweetness coupled with a sour and bitter taste characteristic of its style. There is a little extra bitterness/funkiness on the backend of the taste, which dropped my rating a little.

If it wasn't for the cost of these little bottles, I would certainly be drinking more.

Photo of ironarrow42
4.89/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pure joy finding this on tap! It was served in the appropriate stemware and appeared deep red with slight cloudiness and a dense off-white head. The aroma was tart, fruity, and quite appetizing, with a hint of balsamic vinegar.

Very fine carboination tingle on the tongue. The head adds some creamy texture to the mouthfeel. Lots of tart fruit with a sour lactic character. Notes of cherry and gooseberry. Great apperitif; refreshing and drinkable. Went great with a salad of spring greens and grape tomatoes with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

Left some nice Belgian lace on the glass.

Photo of Nick3
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 330ml bottle with a best before date of March 3, 2010. Dark brownish red in color with a head that quickly vanishes. Beer smells similar to vinegar but not nearly as sharp. This was my first beer of this style and the smell alone had me quite intrigued. Beer is very complex with pervasive cherry flavors at the forefront. The sour taste just lingers in the background and serves to accentuate a synthesis of complex malt flavors and tartness.

If you've never had a flemish red I highly recommend starting here.

Photo of beeronesse
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Couple of 5s here because I truly believe this beer cannot be improved.

On tap, in a Belgian goblet.

Deep Burgundian red in color, with minimal head and thin lacy retention.

Aroma promised sour cherries, apples, malt, raisins perhaps?

In the mouth: exceptional! Deep and powerfully complex. Sour cherries, apples, a little salt, satisfying sweet-sour balance. Very malty and rich, a little vanilla and butter and white pepper. Not very high in alcohol which is great because I wanted to drink this all night long!

Photo of charlzm
4.07/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Consumed ay Blue Palms, Hollywood, CA on 03/04/2009.

Beer arrived in a stemless flute. Deep amber/copper colored fluid with no discernable carbonation or head.

Bold vinegar aroma with nuances of sweetness. For me, this is the only thing off about this fine brew.

Flavor is exceedingly tart. Grape vinegar is a note, but the main flavor seems to be sour cherries. Cheese on the palate as well. Finish is decisive, non lingering. No-to-low bitterness.

Mouthfeel is unremarkable save for a touch of dryness.

Although I prefer Rodenbach Grand Cru in this style, my appreciation for this beer has grown over the years.

Photo of Arbitrator
4.07/5  rDev -2.2%
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 Pullen
5/5  rDev +20.2%
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!

Photo of currysage1
4.73/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Creamy off white head, sticks to the end, Pinot Noir light red color.

Great smell of sweet apple cider vinegar, gala apples, Sweet medium malt,

Talk about enjoyable, creamy satisfying and complex. Being one of the first Flanders I've had, I have to say I'm impressed. Going to be looking for others.

Photo of Riccymon
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the first time I've delved into the sour/Flanders red style, and I was really impressed by this beer that I've heard mentioned so often.

Poured from the bottle (best by 08/14/09) a dark brown with about a finger of fizzy head. With all of the initial carbonation, it was cola-like in appearance, but that soon faded. Smell is a pungent vinegar and ketchup mixture, but I enjoyed its strength.

Taste is full of vinegar, but also sour apple and cherry. For all its sour flavor, however, Duchesse finishes a bit sweet. Mouthfeel after the puckering effect is a bit salty, but otherwise the finish is pretty clean. Overall, I enjoyed the very different flavors and textures, and I'll buy this again as a treat, though maybe not every week or month.

Photo of SaCkErZ9
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first Flanders Red so I am not sure of the style. I liked the beer so I gave all 4's.

Bottle purchased at The Thirsty Monk in Asheville, NC for $7.50. Poured into a Duchesse De Bourgogne chalice. Emerges a ruddy red/ brown color with a one finger sized white head.

Aroma was very vinegary and sour wine. It took some time to adjust to it and become acclimated. I guess it really smelled like red wine vinegar with some strong dark fruitiness underneath.

Flavor was slightly sour yet sweet. Salty.

For my first Flanders Red, I was very intrigued. I will certainly give the style more consideration in the future.

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

poured this particular one out of a bottle with a beautiful work of art on the label even the cap with the lions holding the shield was a nice touch.

A,this has a dark brick red brown color with a one finger thick white froth that dissipates quickly leaves spots of lace .

S,wow! overwhelming ,this took me off guard. it`s like a sweet and sour wine with vineger and fruits ..

T,sweet yet a strong vineger wine quality to it.fruity ,apple ,plums and sour grapes though it`s got balance .

D, i find this beer very good ,like a fine wine the more i drink it the more i appreciate the multiple flavors

Photo of MMAJYK
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A. Bright mahogony color. Nice and clear with a nice little head that dissipates rather quickly.

S. Cherries, apples, muscadines, and a touch of wood.

T. Grape skins, lemons, strawberries, and bubblegum.

M. Light in the mouth and high carbonation. Zingy and refreshing.

D. This beer is quite drinkable as it is one of the most refreshing drinks I've had in a while. Paired with Chicken Alfredo was excellent!

Photo of spithrash
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just back from Belgium and this is the 1st of 8 that I brought home with me to try. Pours a nice ruby red/dark brown clolor - little carbonation leaves a small head which dissipates completely leaving no lacing.

Smell is sour and sweet, hints of dates or raisins.

Taste hits the sides of the tongue with sour first, then hints of ripe cherry on the palate. Not heavy and very well balanced. Taste lingers for quite some time. One sip makes me crave another. An amazing mix of sweet & sour, highly drinkable and sadly my 25cl bottle is gone. Will definitely seek this one out again.

Photo of Yetiman420
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On draft in a wide-mouth Duchesse De Bourgogne wine glass.

Shiny copper color that turns the lights behind it red. Very impressive in a bar with lots of lights.

Thin, consistent head that leaves random gops of lacing.

Tart aroma. Flavor is consistently as stong as aroma - interesting dynamic that in profile similarity.

Great mouthfeel. Sweet, flavorful finish but not too much.

Photo of dougfir
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very unusual, although I am not well-versed in this style, so perhaps they are all like this! Rye or pumpernickel nose. Very fruity and malty tasting. Not much head, but highly carbonated. Slightly tastes like dry cider. Tastes more alcoholic than it supposedly is. Quite an interesting beer, and certainly worth at least trying.

Photo of phantomwyse
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep mahogany colored body, slightly opaque in clarity, with soft brown highlights. Effervescent head builds quickly producing a rich tan one finger head that readily disintegrates leaving a lathery film -- still manages to create a decent lacing pattern.

S: Red table wine aroma at first glance moving to soured fruits like plums, apples, and white grapes. A sugary sweetness moves in shortly after, reminiscent of the charred sugary crust of a creme brulee.

T: Half sour light fruits as witnessed in the aroma, pears, plums, apples, and white grapes. Again, after the initial whiff of fruit, sugary malts come into play with toasted caramel and artificial sugar, saccharin, sweetness trailing off into a tart finish.

M: Light to medium bodied, decent carbonation, vaguely syrupy, and leaving off tart and dry.

D: Sour ales just really appeal to me, I found that this beer is incredibly palletable, and just kept me wanting more.

Photo of tai4ji2x
3.31/5  rDev -20.4%
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.

Photo of ThirdLap
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

So it turns out that I was wrong.

I tried Duchesse in my early craft beer days and found it to be utterly revolting. Perhaps it was due to a bad bottle I picked up, but I'm more inclined to blame it on an undeveloped palate. Yesterday I tried it on-tap at Sacramento Brewing and realized what I'd been missing out on.

Get this: A non-beer-drinker in our party declared it her favorite beer of all time, ordering two additional glasses for herself.

A - Pours a light cherry brown with a light, dirty tan head. Lots of lacing remains after the head dissipates nearly completely.

S - You know that it's going to be tart before even taking a sip. As a beginner I got vinegar and little else. This time I pick up dark cherries, vanilla, with a nutty backbone. You will recall this beer by its nose more than anything else.

T - To cut to the chase, absolutely delicious. It's creamy, sweet, tart, with cherries, vanilla, and dark berries. The vinegar is present, but doesn't ruin the experience.

M - Medium bodied, crisp, with lots of carbonation.

D - A sipper, but one you want to sip all damn day.

Never in a million years did I think I'd say it, but I love Duchesse!

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

Picked up a corked bottle at Whole Food Cambridge for $9.99. This was a pre-Valentine's Day dinner beer. Paired with a variety of cheeses. Poured into stemmed glassware. Dark red color with a hint of burnt orange. Thin bubbly head. Moderate amount of carbonation. Smelled a bit sour, as expected. Taste, though, was unexpected. I thought that I knew what to expect, but I got so much more. Wow, this was nice. I was thinking it would be just another Flanders ale, with a nice sour profile. Instead, it had a wonderful fruit (cherry, strawberry) flavor up front. There was a bit of sourness at the back end, but it did not detract from the excellent taste. Very light and smooth. This beer jumped very high on my list of favorite Belgian offerings.

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,567 ratings.