Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...
Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest BeerAdvocate updates delivered to your inbox.

Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,420 Reviews
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,420
Hads: 3,805
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 13.48%
Wants: 199
Gots: 655 | FT: 12
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: 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: 1,420 | Hads: 3,805
Photo of Mikus
4.58/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This poured (12oz bottle) a deep, reddish-brown into my snifter. There were very small bubbles, and a 'soda pop' like carbonation which quickly disappated. The aromas of red wine vinegar were very dominant, and with some concentration a bit of oak was also there. This was quite tart on the palate (and I am pretty new to sours), lots of dark cherry notes, and a bit of the vinegary note on the back end. Very nice actually. A rich, smooth mouthfeel that coated the palate and hung around for a spell. Overall, this beer was far greater than the sum of its parts. While I enjoyed the components (taste, appearance, etc), as a whole this was one of the phemomenal beer experiences that I have enjoyed. Will seek out again, as well as dig further into the style. (760 characters)

Photo of ajm5108
3.63/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Definitely an acidity to the main sour note, and the oak is very present as well along with some peach and other dark fruit. head was a little foamy for my liking. (164 characters)

Photo of Beer-Revelry
4.53/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

A - Pours an incredibly dark mahogany ruby red, no head formed. Very light whispy lacing.
S - Grapes, black cherries, plums, raisins, figs, malts, acidic wine and a light caramel whiskey note.
T - Lightly, refreshingly sweet black cherry, smooth champagne quality bubbles in the carbonation, dark cooked fruits, wines and a nip of warming alcohol. Finishes with a malty bitterness to round out the initial upfront sweetness at the beginning of the development of the flavor.
O - While I've never had a Flanders red ale styled beer before, I can say this is a damned fine and excellent 5 star beer. Not as intense as a kriek lambic style beer, but would appeal to fans of winey beers or strong dark Belgian beers and the like.
V - Good value, available in a single bomber and a four pack of bottles. (802 characters)

Photo of Mavigo
4.94/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Served in a tulip from a 750ml bottle.

This is supposedly a red ale but it's deep brown with a reddish-crimson tinge, never seen a beer look this cool. Has a short beige head that leaves small amounts of lacing. The aroma is incredible, smells of red wine, Belgian yeast, malts, cherries, plums, roasted sugars. The taste is outstanding, it is sweet and tangy but that is a over simplification. Reminiscent of a framoise, the beer is tangy and sweet but not a fruity sweetness, more of a light yeast and wheat and grains sweetness. The beer is incredibly balanced, there is no resistance, I could down this whole body without fail if I wanted to. But I want to savor it. It is full bodied but the carbonation is on the low side but is complimented by the other aspects of the beer. Overall, this might be one of the best beers I've ever had, sure it was expensive, but I won't come by a beer like this in a long time. (919 characters)

Photo of ojv
3.54/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A bottle from 2009 and may well be past its prime. Flat, thin, and sour upon first pour; it opened up nicely after standing with uch of the sour flavor that dominated the first sip dissipated. Some nice complexity remained and a nice Belgian red still wait in the bottle. (271 characters)

Photo of Lucular
4.26/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Smells extremely sour and vinegary. However, the taste is much sweeter than the smell indicates. Initially I liked it a lot but by the end of the bottle it was a bit too sweet for my taste. Mouthfeel is one of the best I've ever experienced. (241 characters)

Photo of Nurhyme21
4.48/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

This is my first sour so I have nothing to compare it to. But I really enjoyed this beer. I would definitely purchase it again. Very refreshing & complex. I will have to experiment more with this style. (206 characters)

Photo of McThulhu
4.29/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Got it because it was on sale and said Flanders on the back. Sold! Always love the complex tastes and sour/sweet balance of Belgian sours.

Everything went as expected with this beer, until the taste. I won't lie, it was maybe too sweet for my personal expectations, but damned if I didn't drink every drop. Unapologetically sweet but still complex, it was almost like a red champagne, or one of those sparkling juices for wagon-riders. Would drink again, but I want an aged one next time, to see how that sweetness sours up. (525 characters)

Photo of crob3888
4.75/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A delicious, dependable sour. Pours dark brown, with a ruby hue. Acidity, sour tart, cherries, lots of dark fruit and malt complexity. Brown sugar underneath. Slight vinegar. Just delicious. (190 characters)

Photo of Harvest06
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: brownish ruby red, no sedemint,

S: vinegar, tart cherries, caramel malt , sour green apple, slight funk, brown sugar

T: front sweet fruit - cherries & subtle apples, middle vinegar, finish is nice and sour

M: Medium body. Medium carbonation

O: Slightly sweeter than Jacobins. Making it slightly less drinkable. (318 characters)

Photo of backdoorbrewbros
4/5  rDev -2%

Back story: If you need something to put your easter eggs into this will work!
appearance: dark yet clear, head white/lightbrown thin small bubbles whoooa!
Smell: balsamic vinegar
Taste: vinegar, berries, tart, apple cider
Mouth feel: filmy medium body average carbonation
Overall: good however not sure you could drink more than one in one sitting, very vinegary very tart does have some sweetness but finished with a zing.
Wham Bam (434 characters)

Photo of Chris_Reimann
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

I had this both On-Draft at a great bar in Philly, and also out of the bottle. Very great! It is a little sour, but also fruity and sweet. Loved it! Try it for sure. (165 characters)

Photo of JackRWatkins
3.94/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

snifter on draft

quick and humorous note on this one, I had it the other day not realizing that I had indeed tried it before at a beer festival, so the lesson I guess is that with some luck you may get a second chance to make a first impression.

A: Walnut brown is danced over by a very pretty ruby color. very muddy (not color wise but consistency wise) and thick. little to no head but decent and pleasant lacing. the ruby coming through makes the contents of a glass look like a glowing gem, which I suppose is fitting.

S: sour, sour, sour. Wild yeast stands toe to toe with the cherry and the tart acidic smell. Very pleasant. smell resembles the tartness of this style's more varied cousin the lambic.

T: Very pleasant, easy to drink. I personally very much enjoy sour beers, however this is not a typical sour beer, this beer is very reminiscent of St. Bernardus abt. 12 (on draft not bottle). It's as if the recipe for the 12'er was scaled down for a 6% beer and then a lot of cherries were added. back to it being atypical in terms of a sour beer, I feel like there's a lot more going on here than in your typical kriek flanders red, the malt is more present and so are the dark fruits, but the yeast is the deviation, it's as if this was a similar experiment as three philosophers only at a lower alcohol and done with much more success. It's essentially like a low abv dubbel fermented with wild yeast with added cherries

M: oily and watery, yet decently thick, the water may leave the mouth and go down the throat but the syrupy sugars stay on the palate

O: I really enjoyed this beer, as I said at the beginning I had tasted this beer before but did not remember it. Looking back, the first time I tried it, I remember tasting pure vinegar, it was bad and disappointing, however it incidentally, (as I said before) it got a second chance to make a first impression and I'm glad it did. I was, while writing this review, initially questioning whether this beer had a purpose when placed next to abt. 12 on draft seeing as they are very similar, I have concluded that there is a place for both of these in your glass, when you can't afford to be knocked on your ass, this is a great alternative to abt. 12 since it's lower in alcohol, additionally, there is a subtle difference in flavor that is enough to justify this beers existence. very satisfied overall. (2,376 characters)

Photo of Inglewood
2/5  rDev -51%

Tastes like worcestershire sauce and vinegar, would make a good marinade. I don't know how people come up with tart berries or plums, but to each there own. (156 characters)

Photo of Justin8mypants
3.71/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Aromas of balsamic vinegar and dark fruit. I get a lot of vinegar in the taste but just enough to balance the sweetness of the plum and grape flavors. Mouthfeel is soft but well carbonated. Overall a very interesting beer. Much more complex than I had anticipated. (264 characters)

Photo of equaint
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

I found this lambic at a mid-size concert venue in Washington DC (9:30 club U Street) of all places. $10/glass on tap.

It is a fine example of what I perceive as a real lambic, granted I'm unaware of the production technique used here.

Yeast tastes natural. Acidity is moderate. Vinegar present, but more of an apple cider type.

Bubbles are nice and small & not too many, but fall apart shorter than I'd prefer.

Fairly long finish turns into a jolly rancher. I'm not a fan of the candy but here it works well.

I can't smell anything aside from sweaty concert goers, so we'll have to discount that aspect! (613 characters)

Photo of BWED
4.56/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle poured into a tulip

A- Dark brown with some mahogany/ruby hues. Tan head holds great retention, and great delicate lacing lines the glass.

S- Tart cherry, balsamic vinegar, just a faint funk.

T- Cherry again, nice and tart. Some oak notes infused. Faint toasty malt character.

M- Tangy, but really smooth and wonderful. Carbonation is light but ample, champagne-like. The body is medium.

O- I love this one. So much depth and some much to take in. If I would have known how much I liked this I would have gone straight for the 750 ml. Guess I'll have to go back. Really a great beer experience. (615 characters)

Photo of bareju
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Poured from bottle. Huge fine white head, highly carbonated. Very light on the mouth, coats the mouth with bubbles. A tiny bit of dryness on the finish. Funky and fruity smell, very nice.

Taste is sweet and fruity with a very nice acidity and sourness that is well balanced.

Overall a very tasty, refreshing, fun beer. I'd like just a tiny bit less carb but other than that it's fantastic. (392 characters)

Photo of Stevedore
3.66/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle, best by 2/10/2015. Served in an Unibroue tulip at Pigs in a Fur Coat, Madison WI, 9/27/2014.

A- Dark burgundy colour with a LOT of offwhite head. It took quite a while to completely pour this, as it was clearly overcarbonated. Pretty off-putting. Lots of fluffy thick lacing, though. [3.5]

S- Cherries, brown malt sweetness, a bit of lemon acidity. Solid, nothing too complex. [3.75]

F- Some more complexity here- sour lemon acidity, raisins, grape juice, brown malt sweetness with an oaky, earthy middle finished off by a slightly acidic but metallic finish. I'm not a fan of the finish, unfortunately. And it's quite a bit sweeter than I expected it to be. [3.75]

M- Medium bodied, a bit thick and syrupy for a sour although it seems to be about right for the Flanders Red style. Fairly drinkable although the sweetness is a bit of a turnoff for me. [3.5]

O- Not that big a fan of this beer, but I wouldn't turn it down if there were no better options available. A bit too sweet for me. [3.5] (1,015 characters)

Photo of Shikitohno
4/5  rDev -2%

Tart, with sour apple and cherry flavors emerging after initial taste. The sort of sourness you feel in your jaw. Initial flavor and smell is almost vinegar in its sharpness and astringency. (192 characters)

Photo of WhiteHillsStore
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%

Very interesting. Pours dark hazel/brown with a tan head that traces the glass. The smell is full of sour fruit like cherries as well as a little vinegar. The taste was heavy sour in the beginning with cherries and raspberry flavors which then mellowed and came back for a heavy finish. Very tasty. Mouthfeel was a tad syrupy but it worked for the style. Very impressive, would highly recommend. (396 characters)

Photo of titty_mcbitty
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%

A: Very dark, like a stout almost. Not much a head (on tap).

S: Very sweet cherries and vinegar.

T: Super sweet and some tartness as well. I'd say more on the sweet side. Fruit sugar, cherries and raspberries, blueberries, oak, sweet bread, a tad bit of caramel and coffee.

M: Medium and not much carbonation going on. Nice feel with a smooth flow.

O: I appreciate the complexity in flavor of the beer, but for my tastes, it is overly sweet. I enjoy a more tart flanders red rather than full-bodied sweet flanders. Overall it was a nice drink. (552 characters)

Photo of Hoperator
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

The appearance has a crystal clarity and a ruby brown color with a thin yet always present light tan head. To the nose, there is wine like light vinegary aroma with no hop presence. The mouth feel is effervescent and there is a tartness on the front of the tongue that doesn't have the dramatic pucker of some sours. There seems to be an almost oakey middle with a sweet finish. Overall nicely balanced RBA. (412 characters)

Photo of FFreak
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%

Bottle dated 'Best by' 4-29-2015. Poured into willy glasses and shared with a friend.

This has a beautiful dark reddish brown color, like cherry cola or root beer, with an ample off-white head that persists throughout leaving tons of lacing.

Smell is of cherries and sour grapes with some funky yeastiness. Very interesting.

Taste is just wonderful. It's so different than anything I've had before. It has very vinous qualities and leans a little towards vinegar, but in a very subtle way that leaves the underlying cherry and plum flavors intact. It makes you think sour, but its actually sweet and fruity at the same time.

Mouthfeel is also very interesting. Almost has a champagne-like carbonation, somewhat fizzy, but still soft. It tends to make you want to sip it even though it's not big at all.

Overall, this is one of the most interesting beers I've ever experienced. Takes the experience to a new, different level. Well worth trying. (959 characters)

Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%

Poured from the tulip into a large snifter.
Pours a nice dark reddish/plum hue with a thick, substantial head.
Smells of brett like yeast, dark fruit, spice.
Tastes amazing. Raisin, plum, with some mild spice and brett tartness.
Mouthfeel was perfect, inviting.
This is a flat out wonderful beer. Unique and delicious. (320 characters)

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
91 out of 100 based on 1,420 ratings.