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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,441 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,441
Hads: 3,883
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 23.17%
Wants: 211
Gots: 690 | FT: 12
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Verhaeghe visit their website

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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Duchesse De Bourgogne Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,441 | Hads: 3,883
Photo of BeerSnobLeprechaun
4.61/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in Libbey 3709 Snifter.

L- Ruby brown with light receding lace around perimeter.

S- Malt vinegar with a hint of sweet fruit in background.

T- Malt, musty forest floor then POW with malt vinegar and fruity esters as it resides.
Not as typical Flanders in respect to sweetness. The Duchess you would swear is backsweetened.

F- Flat mouthfeel and minimal carbonation..

O- One of my favorite Belgian sours to taste any new contenders against. By far one of my top 5 beers of all-time.

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Photo of TDotScott
4.51/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a wine glass from a 22 oz bomber, cellared for nine months.

L- Deep auburn with very little head. Highlights of Garnet.

S- Acetobacter like whoa. Lots of vinegar and sour fruit, without being fusel-y. Still a malt presence, but all about the yeast and bacteria.

T- As expected, the cellaring has turned the beer into a more robustly sour version of its fresh self. As I like my sours sour, I'm not one to complain. Vinegar, sweet chocolatey malt, with a dry finish.

F- Not as lively as I like it.

O- Worth it to cellar it for nine months to a year, if you're down with the tartness. Any more, and the vinegar might turn into something ugly (but I don't know for sure).

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Photo of MNirtsylle
4.69/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

What more can be said about this classic? Beer Advocate has a lot of very knowledgeable reviewers, many of which have reviewed this exact beer. I'm not going to try and outdo those reviews, I'm only going to add how I feel about it. I love it, it's as simple as that. The smell, taste, mouth feel and overall feeling that I get from this beer is pure, unadulterated love.

The only downside of loving this beer is the price and availability. Over the years I've been able to find sources in cities outside of my area. I can get 4 packs for $21, and bombers for $11. I can only find bombers, so far, a few hours away. When I make a trip, I always come home with no less than 4 bottles that I cherish.

If I could get bombers at my local, I would have absolutely no negative comments to make about this wonderful brew. If you haven't already had it, I can't recommend it enough.

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Photo of Brew_42
1.54/5  rDev -62.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I ordered another beer at the bar and this one came, and the bartender couldn't speak English (not that he should, I'm in Korea) but I decided to drink it anyway. I am not a big fan of sour beers to begin with, but this beer was particularly bad. I couldn't finish it which is rare for me.

A- Reddish with little to no head

S- vinegar. Terrible smell. I knew it was going to be a struggle as soon as I smelled it. The vinegar smell i strong, I may as well have been smelling salad dressing.

Taste-sour vinegar with a little bit of fruitiness but nowhere near enough to compensate for the vinegar taste. I really did not like the taste of this beer.

Mouthfeel was medium body with lots of carbonation.

Overall I did not enjoy this beer one iota but then again I hate sour ales anyway so take it with a grain of salt. Going off the ratings, it seems I am in the minority, so give it a try and you will probably like it.

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Photo of teddibrewski
3.61/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I dont write too many ratings but people seem to be all over with this one, so im kind of excited for this one, Picked it up in belgium for 1.60 euros.. Hear goes, pours dark red smells like red wine vinegar... its a little to sour for me but I started to get used to it as i drank more of it. Not bad overall

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Photo of Zonk
3.44/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Maloney's Matawan. Deep red color frothy head. Really strong nose of makted vinegar up front but blew off over time. Medium to lighter body, with vinegar and a bit of sweetness behind. Interesting beer. Hard for me to rate, as I have not had a lot of sours to put it in context.

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Photo of Padron4KM
4.51/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From old notes. Clear dark brown, thin beige head, nice lacing left on the glass.
Aroma starts with malt vinegar, but there is an underlying sweetness, oak, vanilla, wine.
Flavor is sour and sweet at the same time. Vinous, sweet, fruity, tart, oaky.

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Photo of Gajo74
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one was a real treat. The taste is predominantly sweet, tart and sour. The aroma is earthy and even has a hint of vinegar. Would love to have again, perhaps with a hearty meal.

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Photo of jopezu
2.5/5  rDev -39%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

hazy, reddish brown. 1st attempt at a pour; cracked the bottle open and half the beer spewed out like a geyser - make sure these are all the way cold and be gentle. i wasn't aware flanders reds were tarts/sours when i bought them. i just can't get into these beers enough to discern the complexity behind the initial malt vinegar and fruit tart assault. my score simply reflects my personal preference.

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Photo of kerry4porters
1.72/5  rDev -58%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

awful taste of malt vinegar with weird sweetness to it. If this isnt a spoiled bottle there is something seriously wrong with the brewers cuz this is the worst beer I have drank including an infect Vanilla Noir from Prairie. I feel like this would work well poured onto an Itallian sub as dressing.

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Photo of secondtooth
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This Flanders red ale pours a deep amber, and the aroma is sweet and fruity, like a fine wine almost.

First taste? Still fruity and wine-like, with a pronounced sweetness that's followed by a little hint of dryness. Good stuff, and quite a pleasant surprise, even for a Belgian beer.

Very enjoyable and complex taste, thus this one's well-recommended.

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Photo of JaimeLondon
3.87/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

First Flanders I take and I must say it's really difficult to rate this... It is distinct from all other beers I had in my life.
So.. the beer has a nice appearance, dark amber color and a bubbling foam that leaves small lace.
Smell is extremely acetic with notes of red fruits (blackberries and raspeberries!)
Taste is similar, possible to feel the level of sourness/tartness, that are extremely high; the beer has also a light body and a nice carbonation

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Photo of pat61
4.29/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Tart nose with slight wet horse blanket, red fruit not much hop, malt with slight chocolate. Pours brilliant reddish brown, not a lot of head. On the palate ripe and over ripe fruit with cherries at the front with the sour coming on by the middle and then a slight touch of hops, finishes a little sweet – almost like they added some sweetness to increase the marketability. Medium body, medium low carbonation, no alcohol, slightly creamy, very sweet finish. Overall Impression: the head was somewhat light, drinkable but too sweet. Lacking complexity. Should be drier.

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Photo of DagenhamDavis
3.58/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

My first 'sour' beer, so take that as you will. So weird! It tastes like a lambic, a Lindemans' Framboise, for example, but without the raspberry. It smells and tastes a bit like vinegar and wine, too. Complex and tasty with something of a metallic finish.
Honestly, It's a lot to get used to. I can't really see someone drinking this on the daily considering the substantial taste and cost ($6.10/bottle) . I will try again if I can find it fresh. This bottle was a little past its prime, and was probably not properly 'cellared' in the supermarket for a good 9 months...
Cheers to Flanders and the Duchesse- try it! You'll certainly be trying something unique.

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Photo of ktorsneyweir
3.18/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

I should've listened to the other reviews....

Looks great, smells great, tastes like you're drinking straight vinegar - and feels like it on the way down! I appreciate a good sour beer but this is not one

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Photo of vig180
2.44/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from a 11.2 oz bottle poured into a Chimay chalice.

A: Looks fine, dark red, decent lacing.

S: Smells medicinal from the start, a bit of vinegar with some of the cherry-ish fruitiness of medicine.

T: This is where this beer falls apart for me. I normally love Flanders Reds, but the taste here is a mix of vinegar, cherry cough syrup, and metallic notes. Also very little sourness or tartness. No trace of alcohol.

F: Also unappetizing, like some kind of cherry slush (coarse like chunks of ice) that went bad. Drunk at the ideal temperature indicated on the bottle too, but might be better even warmer.

O: This has been a drain pour the last two times I've tried it. Again, I'm a big fan of the style, but this seems very different.

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Photo of gopens44
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Ok, so I really am not a fan of this style, BUT I can certainly respect every aspect of this drink. The bold fragrance that carried so much complexity to the taste the mirrored the complexity. vinegar, dark fruit, sour patch kid sort of sourness up front wit a slightly salty finish. Well balanced, well crafted and certainly (most likely) an icon for the style.

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Photo of fochtmik3
2.13/5  rDev -48%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 1.25

This might be the worst thing I have ever put it my mouth. The texture is fantastic; The color is also perfect. Let me say this, if you have always wanted to down a bottle of Balsamic vinegar then this is the best bottle for you. If you prefer a tasty sour beer do not go with this. I am extremely disappointed and puzzled why this beer has such a high ranking. It is $11-12 and I feel like I am now forced to drink it. Let me just drink a bottle of gasoline and anthrax instead. Bleck!!!

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Photo of MadCat
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: Nice dark reddish amber color, short white head, leaves good lacing

Smell: Sour vinegar, sweet dark fruits

Taste: More dark fruit, sour but not vinegary sourness

Feel: Light body with crisp carbonation, not overly sour or puckering

Overall: Pretty amazingly good sour

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Photo of demon
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

A: Reviewer mothmanscott, on Feb 05, 2015 said it best: "Pours a clear reddish to plum brown or ruby/garnet throughout when held to the light, producing 1.5 fingers of tan, finely bubbled foam, sometimes moderately lasting, sometimes shortlived head that recedes into a thin cap leaving a good coating of lace or sometimes no lace at all."

S: Sweet balsamic aroma with notes of ripe apples and cherries. On certain whiffs barnyard-like scents can be picked up. Smells very good over all.

T: The perfect combination of sweet and sour. Delectable sticky light malt aftertaste. Notes of fresh cherries and plums.

M: Puckering and tart. This one kicks you in the mouth. As the acidity dies down a very pleasant sticky and sweet mouthfeel develops.

O: As far as I am concerned, this is the holy-grail of sour ales. So enjoyable and interesting. I really like this beer, and would happily enjoy it over and over again. Definitely needs to be on your "to try" list!

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Photo of TampaDan2468
4.59/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An amazing drinking experience, my first Flanders Red and what a treat it was. The obvious tangy sour qualities were marvelously complemented by an almost balsamic vinegar-like note that was both sweet and savory. A tremendous choice to accompany pasta with a rich, hearty Bolognese sauce due to that outstanding acidity.

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Photo of blockdude
1.24/5  rDev -69.8%
look: 5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

There are very few beers that I will not finish and this is surely one of those. I'll admit the appearance of the bear is quite nice, with a dark brown/ruby like color. In terms of the nose, the cherries are the most noticeable with vinegar and pomegranate coming in a close second. However, the taste of the beer did not agree with me at all, although it is possible that this was just a bad batch. Overall, I felt there was way too much vinegar and when combined with the richness of the beer, made me feel sick enough to only handle a few sips. On top of that, the beer had a very metallic aftertaste which was very unpleasant and unlike any other sour I have experienced. My brother who was with me had the same experience tasting this beer.

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Photo of travolta
4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: A deep, deep ruby which is almost black. Very nice lacing and head retention. A beautiful color.

Nose: Vinegar, dark grapes and hints of wood.

Taste: Black cherry, plum, raspberry tartness at the end. Some pepper in the middle and at the end.

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Photo of samshaw
3.61/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Medium umber hue, mostly opaque, but a clearer garnet on the edges of the glass. Not particularly viscous. Very thin head that dissipates quickly.

S: Strong vinegar aroma with hints of fruit and berry.

T: Fruit taste much more pronounced, with strong cherry flavor. Much less vinegary on the tongue.

M: Medium body with moderate carbonation.

O: Tasty and refreshing with its slightly dominant vinegar note in scent its only major drawback.

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Photo of mothmanscott
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The rating below comes from multiple bottles over a period of several years: Pours a clear reddish to plum brown or ruby/garnet throughout when held to the light, producing 1.5 fingers of tan, finely bubbled foam, sometimes moderately lasting, sometimes shortlived head that recedes into a thin cap leaving a good coating of lace or sometimes no lace at all. Aroma is acetic & vinous, caramel malt, tart cherry, dark grape & cranberry with some woody, earthy hints. Taste is fronted by a battle of sweet & sour cherry, strawberry & some grape overlaying a thin maltiness backed by musty yeast, a metallic quantity and a peppery spice. The mid-sip is honey & grape with a "Sweet Tart" candy note. The finish is a faintly malty, sour yeastiness, dry with tart cherries, green apples & spice with distinct wood & metallic notes. The aftertaste is astringent & very dry with hints of oak, metal, cherries and apples. Mouthfeel is lively & medium bodied with decent carbonation, forward juicy, finishing dry & drawing. Very Complex!

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Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
92 out of 100 based on 1,441 ratings.