Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe
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Ratings: 3,098 | Reviews: 1,352 | Display Reviews Only:
4.47/5 rDev +7.5%
Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into little hotel glasses. The beer was more brown than red and had an off-white almost brown foam. The smell was sour and had a hint of vinegar aroma (better than it sounds).
This is one of the better tasting Flanders Reds I've had. The flavor was sweet with a sour after-taste. Absolutely perfect pairing of flavors.
Get this beer if you like sour ales. I'd recommend it even if you think you don't like the style.
06-07-2006 01:04:11 | More by TurdFurgison
4.3/5 rDev +3.4%
Poured into my Rodenbach 8 oz. stemmed glass a beautiful ruby red with orange-copper edges. A creamed colored fluffy/dense head stands steady at 1". Visible racing carbonation.
A quick few swirls of the glass and a FRESH carmel covered tart apple scent erupts. A prolonged inhale detects cinnamon, concord grapes and pickled brussel sprouts. What a unique assortment of scents!
The liquid touches my lips and replicates basically everything I smelled. Tart & sweet for sure. Definitely more on the sweeter side of any Flemish red I ever tasted. Reminiscent of sweet iced tea with bitters. Faint molasses that brings hearty Dopplebocks to mind. Sweet candi sugar ending.
Mouthfeel is delectable. Fine and kinetic carbonation makes this a joy to drink. Not nearly the dry/tart finish I was expecting.
Drinkability is good. Tone-down the sweetness and it would be perfect.
Overall an utterly unique ale with many (in a good way) schizophrenic combinations of fresh and boisterous flavors. I'm still a little perplexed, but I do know I like it a lot. The sweetness is a little too much from what I was anticipating. But it's good to get your socks blown-off every once and a while! Fantastic beer.
06-04-2006 23:24:10 | More by malty
4.25/5 rDev +2.2%
I really enjoyed this beer! It is very similar to Nostradamus, which is one of my favorites. As soon as you pop the cap off the bottle the sweer, malty, fruity aroma emanates from within. The beer pours a dark reddish brown, only slightly translucent when held to the light. There was a light tan head that held for a while and left lacing on the glass.
The flavor was very sweet and malty with a clear prune/plum flavor. Delicious. This is a heavy feeling beer, very filling, and better sipped. The beer is smooth and balanced as you drink.
05-31-2006 02:28:57 | More by BlueHammer
4.72/5 rDev +13.5%
This is one of my all-time favorites, and I just had some again the other night. I apparently don't drink this nearly as often as I should.
The sour notes in the aroma are strong enough to set up the sweetness of the beer as the dominant flavor for the first few sips then the interplay of the flavors starts up. Complex sweet and sour fruit, old wet oak, earth, leather... It has everything a beer with no definable hop character should have. The sweetness stood out more this time, probably because I drank it fully chilled. I typically drink it at about 60 degrees fahrenheit (or warmer) which balances it more to my taste. Try it at different temperatures, learn all about it. I've been drinking it for years and I'm still learning.
05-27-2006 17:33:23 | More by xymyl
4.22/5 rDev +1.4%
Pours a ruby red with a good white head that left traces all along my glass.
The smell was amazingly sour, fruity with a musty and vinegar like smell. Cherry, green apple and plum comes to mind after a deep inhale of this beer.
Taste was really sweet fruit like then turned to rotten fruit sourness and finishes with a tart mouth watering aftertaste. So many flavors all running around together makes this an amazing beer.
A very light mouthfeel which I think helps enhance the flavor by not taking away from the sourness. It really leaves a juicy feeling in your mouth.
05-27-2006 02:05:06 | More by HochFliegen
4.95/5 rDev +19%
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.
05-25-2006 17:00:22 | More by nriech
4.28/5 rDev +2.9%
Elegance, as inherited through primogeniture and blue blood, has long passed. In its place is something we prefer to call class, which is related to archaic elegance but only remotely. Anybody can have class; the magnate in his vogue mansion or the cad in on the street. It isnt easy to learn it, and its impossible to purchase it, but class can be trained. Elegance, as the wealthy were expected to have in years past, is altogether unattainable, even for some of the rich. The first and most obvious requirement is to be ejected from the womb of a bourgeoisie, and preferably to have been fathered by one. After that, it was merely a game of chance against in-breeding and developed tyranny that sculpted the, quite literally, nouveuax rich into adulthood. History is replete with cases of royal albinos, trisomy 21, incompetence or just plain idiocy. Also, there are the benevolently raised children of the upper classes that accrue an unnatural concept of class warfare, who then exercise their power with excessive enthusiasm. Let us take the few remaining cases of the beautiful, the wise and the kind regal individuals. The ones coursing with blue blood and compassion, and the ones imprinted in fairy tales and a few justly optimistic histories are those we speak of with an elegance no longer found today, save for a few obscure descendants living on vestigial fortunes. But Ive found one, remarkably gentle but rich, formal but enjoyable, sweet but mature. The Duchess de Bourgogne, though fictional, is a blurry depiction of some royal lady whose personality doubtlessly charmed her family and subjects alike. She is the altruist from above, showering the ground with coins and flowers from her ivory tower. All Ive done is told a story, one that I think is nicely summarized in the Duchess de Bourgogne beer. The crepuscular and mellowed tone of the beer nuzzles against the glass below the margaritaceous crown of foam, baring nothing to the unobservant eye. Its a chaste and modest drink, hinting at its alluring flavor by breathing a slow but diligent waft of green apples, confectioners sugar, orange zest, shining red cherries and oak. Below this divine vapor sits the chaliced drink, reverently waiting for imbibing. There the eager drinker finds a similarly rich batch of flavors. Faint vinegar coarseness guides the column of tastes, featuring a light and sweet honey, red and white grapes, orange zest (amongst other citrus) and a very heavy and bombastic conclusion of oak. Poignant and garrulous as the Duchesse may be, it still fits elegant nicely. The blend of friendly and charismatic flavors allows anyone, be they friend or foe to beer, to pick up a glass and enjoy. If the rich and bold, sweet and sour flavors do not suffice the claim to elegance, then at least the extrovert, humble and generous nature of the Duchesse does. These are, after all, higher qualities that we aspire to. That is, if we want to be classy.
05-25-2006 00:05:08 | More by GarrettB
3.35/5 rDev -19.5%
A: Filtered chestnut brown with a thick and luscious tan head. Plenty of carbonation streams visible.
N: Rotten fruit (dates, plums, and blackberries mostly) and sour apples. Vinegar.
T: Sweet and sour weirdness. Tastes like very, very rotten fruit mostly plums and apples. Rotten to the core. Nasty stuff. The initial sip causes ones lips to pucker violently but that is followed by this strong sugary rotten fruit sweetness. This is strange brew.
MF: Sour, then sweet, then sour again. Medium body with a lengthy slightly sweet nasty finish.
D: Low. This brew doesnt sit right. Too much vinegar. I dont think more than one goblet would be healthy.
05-22-2006 21:01:51 | More by DaPeculierDane
4.65/5 rDev +11.8%
A wonderful find on tap at Falling Rock in Denver.
This comes a handsome brown with a thick head that laces the glass well. The bouquet and flavor both are a mix of butter and oak, with hints of pepper and maple syrup.
The interplay of sweet (buttery) and sour is amazing...indeed, the beer moves across the palate with a light and tickling grace that I've ever seen in only a handful of other beers. Each swig reveals a new complexity in the flavor profile--a different spice here, bubble gum there.
Were this less costly (at $6 for half-a-pint) I would have kept trying la Duchesse all day. A wonderful beer.
05-22-2006 19:14:27 | More by benito
4.5/5 rDev +8.2%
A - Poured into a tulip a deep ruby red with a 1/2 inch of tan head. This quickly drops to a thin layer. Looks to have almost no carbonation.
S - Mild solvent, musk, sourness mixed with sweetness, cherry
T - Sweet and juicy at first, then tartness kicks in. Red fruits fills the middle, then a syrupy sweet and sour finish which lingers and becomes dryer. Very nice.
M - Syrupy and refreshing all in one. Carbonation is subtle and works well.
D - Very moreish beer. Well worth a try and I'll be having more soon.
05-19-2006 17:30:39 | More by haz77
3.38/5 rDev -18.8%
On draft at Rustico, and served in Chimay chalice.
Arrives a deep garnet with cordovan highlights. Topped with a modest head of fine sand colored bubbles that slowly settles to a thick coating leaving big clots of foam floating. A few active carbonation streams are visible. The smell is tart, dry, sharp and of balsamic vinegar. Sweet and with a pleasing, slightly woody tartness. Sweet up front, and almost sugary. The balsamic notes ride through the middle into the finish where the tart bite shows up, but is then completely dominated by a syrupy sweet flavor. Fine, but active carbonation, rich and medium bodied slightly, ever so, dry. This has a bit of a soda feel about it. I kept coming back to the chalice hoping that it had changed somewhat, maybe dried out a bit, or that the tartness a fought its way to the front, or that at least the sweetness had dissipated. Alas, the chalice was empty and the sweet, cloying taste lingered. I had hoped for more. My wife enjoyed it more than I.
05-18-2006 01:06:59 | More by hopsaplenty
3.8/5 rDev -8.7%
Very cool beer. Very sour and very sweet. Different than most Belgian sours. The carbonation is TERRIBLE though, the overall impresion would have been higher if it was spot on. There is no head and very fizzy. Perhaps I got a bad bottle. Very fun beer regardless.
05-13-2006 19:28:14 | More by Westsidethreat
4.15/5 rDev -0.2%
Poured from a brown bottle featuring, presumably, the Dutchess of Burgandy on the label.
A: Poured with a thin head. Distinctly red hue in color. Leaves vague lacing.
S: Very tart. Red wine vinegar, maybe bordering on an English malt vinegar. Unripened apples. Plenty of vinous character. Very pronounced nose.
T: Complex is an understatement. Sweet and sour initially. Sour apple candy. Sweet cherries. Soured cider. Imitation grape. Red apple flesh. Finishes with something very similar to an imitation strawberry flavor, maybe even imitation watermellon. Aftertaste does have a touch bitterness and a mild tartness. The longer the aftertaste goes the more it only leaves the bitter, like the dividing pieces of a pecan.
M: Highly carbonated, but not distracting in the same way that champagne bubbles aren't distracting from the flavor. The flavors really dance around the mouth. Finishes a little dry, but that doesn't linger. In the aftertaste there's something metal, maybe iron.
Overall: For those not familiar with the style, this beer may hit you a bit like a sweet tart does. The first time I had a red it took me a little while to convince myself I wasn't drinking some kind of sweet-and-sour sauce. This really isn't too unbalanced of a beer. Sure, the sour wins out over the sweet and bitter, but it's not so pronounced that it landslides everything. Certainly haven't come close to defining everything in this beer either. Very complex and worth trying if you can find it.
05-06-2006 23:23:16 | More by sevineyes
4.3/5 rDev +3.4%
Dark red. Extremely vinous nose (Pinot Noir), with hints of ripe red fruit, muffin batter, overloaded with blueberries, a light touch of caramel and of course. lactic and acetic acid funk. Quite vibrant. Rich compatibility between the sweet malts, bright fruits and sweeteners (?) and the funky and sour lactic and acetic, lightly woody tones. Really more of a mild Red, but very characterful and complex.
04-24-2006 15:47:26 | More by Crosling
4.2/5 rDev +1%
Deep amber/ruby color. There's a decent two finger head with good retention.
Very sour and woody smell to it. Smells of cheap red wine.
Tart taste rules initially with a wine like taste lingering in the back. Delightful sourness that is a bit tainted in the finish by a metallic hint.
This brew feels wonderful on the tongue and is a delight to have. It's not my favorite Flemish but certainly isn't bad beer to have on hand.
04-23-2006 06:19:22 | More by timtheenchanta
4.22/5 rDev +1.4%
Pours a dark burgundy with a creamy, red-tinged head that leaves behind a thick, well-sustained lace. The nose features a distinctive vinegary aroma, and even a faint touch of sulfur, with some definite fruitiness in the background (strange as it might seem, this is actually a good thing, considering the style). The sour palate also has some pleasant fruity sweetness to it (with a distinct cherry character to it). I cant really make out any hop bitterness as the sourness eclipses most everything else. The finish is not as sour but is certainly fairly tart with a little more of that sweetness coming through. The mouthfeel is surprisingly light with a sharp carbonation tang.
One thing I like about this style of beer (or at least good examples of it, such as this one) is that even though they are very sour, they are also rich and quite drinkable, something to which the unexpectedly light mouthfeel contributes. The other thing I like about these is how unique they are: while I certainly cant see myself drinking them all the time, they are a refreshing change of pace. And this particular example is one of the better. So, while this might not be the most approachable style for someone who is new to the craft beer scene, it is definitely something a more adventurous and more experienced beer drinker should try. Highly recommended.
04-05-2006 07:36:03 | More by arguemaniac
4.13/5 rDev -0.7%
Very dark red, almost black body under a small tan head which dissapated quickly. The head left excellent lacing around the snifter. The aroma was dominated by fruits, namely cherries, dark sugars, alcohol and molasses. The taste was some of the same, with dark (very) sour cherries up front, and hints of wheat, hops, sweet malts and sugars. I thought it was complex and interesting.
The feel was sour obviously, but if you can stick that out, it has an excellent blend of carbonation and sweetness to compliment the sour feel. It reminded me of a lambic or more specifically yhr three philosophers, but more subdued. Overall an excellent beer.
03-27-2006 19:44:49 | More by sinistrsam
4/5 rDev -3.8%
Part of the Monk's Cafe Michael Jackson dinner. This was beer # 3. This beer poured a dark burgundy color with a nice tan head and nice lacing. The aroma is at times an overwhelming sourness of cherries but pretty pleasant. The taste is tart cherries, a bit earthy. This one is a bit acidic but overall a crisp beer and with a medium body, pretty drinkable.
03-24-2006 03:31:21 | More by ggaughan
3.83/5 rDev -7.9%
Came in a 11.2oz brown bottle, label stated: Best before 12/06/03. Aged, I think so. Pours a very dark mahogany-burgandy(no murkiness) with a nice creamy tan, inch of head. Looks rather exotic. The head finally subsides to a quarter inch, with tons of thick lacing to follow.
It has a very different smell to it, sweet grape and berries up front with an assertive balsamic vinegar tang in full persuit. Very interesting, smells like a great salad dressing, never smelled a beer like this before.
First taste is sweet for starters, then turns tangy and fills the mouth with a rich, sour fiz and ends on a bitter note. Tastes like it smells, a very different kind of beer for sure.
One of these in a sitting is fine for me, a most unusual, yet tasty beer that seems to be what Belgians do best, gotta hand it to them, complexity is second nature in their brewing tecniques...Prost!
03-18-2006 09:41:02 | More by scottoale
District of Columbia
4.22/5 rDev +1.4%
Beer pours a dark red, nearly opaque. Head forms about half an inch and recedes to a light covering. Aromas are incredible, jump right out of the glass. As this is my first Flemish Red I will just describe what I find, as I'm not sure what I "should" find... Smells like red berries, balsamic and red wine vinegar sourness. Never smelled a beer quite like this wow! Flavors are both sweet and sour (to me, akin to some duck sauce from Chinese take-out). This beer is incredible, have had nothing quite like it. Drinkability is only so-so as it's a fairly sweet brew and I'm not sure if I could have many of these.
03-11-2006 23:07:41 | More by dreadnatty08
4/5 rDev -3.8%
Pours dark ruby red, almost brown. Head dissipates to almost nothing but leaving plenty of lacing.
Smell is sour dark fruit and spices.
Taste mildly sweet. Fruity cherry and plum flavors with subtle corriander and cinnimon spices. Tartness is not overstated. Smooth balanced flavors with a crisp finish.
Mouthfeel is light and smooth.
Overall this is a decent brew. Flavors are surprisingly smooth and balanced.
03-08-2006 01:06:05 | More by Blakaeris
4.38/5 rDev +5.3%
330 ml bottle: best before 09-08-06
Pours out dark brown with outlines of ruby when put in direct light. The head comes and goes quickly, but will leave a slight ring if agitated. Smells of balsamic vinegar, tart berries and oak. I also detect an eau de elmer's glue, but oddly enough, it's a good thing here. Tastes of tart fruit, specifically cherries, alonside oak tones, a slight alcohol presence, and a grape-juice/wine-like acidity. I got a lot of the same wine-like characteristics as I did with the Vichtenaar, but with this brew, they seemed more married to the other flavors and don't stand out AS much. Mouthfeel is vibrant and biting. Leaves me dry. Excellent. This one seems a lot more mellow than the Vichtenaar I reviewed earlier, both in the flavor profile and mouthfeel. Fantastic beer.
02-25-2006 07:05:08 | More by goochpunch
1.98/5 rDev -52.4%
This was the first Belgian red ale that I have ever tried. I didn't know what to expect, but I didn't expect this. I consider myself to have a pretty open mind when it comes to beer. Bavarian beers are my favorite, but I had yet to find a quality beer that I simply couldn't stand. Today I found that beer.
I really don't consider this to be beer. It may technically be beer, but it tastes nothing like it. It resembles a strange wine. The first taste was quite striking... I was expecting something that tasted somewhat like a Brown Ale. The flavor was incredibly sweet, with a strange tartness cutting accross about half way through the sip. It tastes a bit like nail polish smells.
Yes, this beer is complex. Very complex. I haven't tasted anything like it. However, the complexity isn't pleasant. I want a beer, not a science experiment. I guess that I'm too attached to the Reinheitsgebot... I'd take the robust complexity of an Aventinus to this beer anyday.
02-25-2006 02:51:39 | More by WMBierguy
4/5 rDev -3.8%
Best by date of 08-06-06
Pours a very dark burgundy color with a thick two finger head that settles to a solid ring that leaves behind nice webs of lacing.
Smell; very vinous and slightly sour. There's planty of fruit present (cherries, apples and raisins) as well as a bit yeasty. I really like that way this smells. The sourness isn't quite as pronounced as I had expected, and blends well with the fruit aromas.
Taste; a slightly surgary sweetness hits at first, followed by cherries, apples raisins/plums intertwined with a tart sourness. There's a bit of a dry oak flavor, as well as a touch of cinnamon in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with nice carbonation that makes this somewhat creamy.
This is my first beer of this style, and I'm pleasantly surprised. I didn't expect to like this nearly as much as I have.
02-23-2006 02:18:12 | More by RedHaze
3.48/5 rDev -16.3%
Picked up a single at Riley's here in Madison.
Part of my three-part series of intimidatingly sour/funky beers along with New Glarus' Sour Brown Ale, and Oude Gueuze.
Pours a striking dark ruby/garnet with a short, fading tan head. Nose is similar to the Sour Brown with the strong balsamic vinegar astringency along with tart lambic fruits. Taste starts with a quick vinegar/lambic sour bite and then gets sickly sweet with overripe granny smith apple peel and rancid citrus then finishes with a hint of dry tart. Mouthfeel is clean and bubbly. Would be a lot more drinkable if the sickly-sweetness was kept in check, but still certainly one of the most unique beer experiences I've had to date.
02-21-2006 23:22:16 | More by Golden2wenty1
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,098 ratings.