Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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: 3,884
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 23.17%
Wants: 211
Gots: 691 | 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: 3,884
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.

 355 characters

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

 456 characters

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.

 572 characters

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.

 664 characters

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

 205 characters

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.

 751 characters

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.

 362 characters

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!!!

 489 characters

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

 277 characters

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!

 964 characters

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.

 321 characters

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.

 745 characters

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.

 266 characters

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.

 451 characters

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!

 1,028 characters

Photo of a_lac50n
4.34/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

It has a taste that sharply distinguishes itself form other beers. Meant to be drunk in small quantities (as it tastes like red wine), not in huge gulps. Not really one that is meant to be brought into those "crazy" parties and events to get drunk. Rather, it is an essential for the beer connoisseur.

 301 characters

Photo of Catracho5
4.21/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

11.2 bottle poured into a Belgian style tulip

A: Very nice looking mahogany, looks like a dark cherry, with a tan creamy head that lasted about 2 minutes.

A: Vinegar bomb, some alcohol, sour, slight tart berry aroma, smells great.

T: First impression, not as sour as the nose, very dry finish, not a lot of alcohol, there is some tart, sour berry flavors, definitely getting a sour cherry flavor, taste great.

F: This has the same carbonation and mouthfeel of a coke, except for the dry finish.

O: This is my second sour beer, didn't enjoy the first one, but this one is a lot better. The sour vinegar aromas and flavors turned me off at first, but then I notice there is some subtle cherry, berry aromas and flavors in the beer. Highly recommend if you're into sours and will definitely drink again.

 808 characters

Photo of scotorum
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best before 3/4/16. The label art of a Renaissance portrait (presumably of the Duchesse) exudes a classic impression from the gitgo.

Poured from the 11.2 oz. bottle into a Unibroue stemmed flute.

a; Clear reddish copper with a two inch thick foamy offwhite head which receded to rocky surface foam and dense patterned lacing.

s; Overripe fruit.

t: Sour fruitjuice which puckers the inside of the mouth in quick order. Slightly sour finish.

m; Medium with good body and plenty of carbonation tingle mixing into the sourness.

o: I have been wary of Flanders Reds as well as Lambics and Saisons (although in the last category I have had a few exceptionally fine ones) because I am generally not a fan of sours and have had a bad "drain pour" experience or two with them. But this is like an elegant strong hard fruit cider. Looks great and tastes healthy while rivetiting your attention on the flavor.

 908 characters

Photo of Chessmaster
3.22/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Received a bottle of this as part of a Christmas sampler gift pack.
Poured from the bottle into the accompanying Barbe chalice.

A: Poured a beautiful dark ruby red that was clear enough to see through. A small white head turned into a lingering cap with some lacing

S: The initial smell from the bottle was off-putting vinegary sourness. This later mellowed into a pleasant tart cherry smell

T: Initial taste is of tart cherry, the finishing notes are just lingering tartness and bitterness. I assume this is correct for the style, but it is not _my_ style :-) No hop aromas nor flavors, no real malt flavors. Sort of like drinking a weird sour cough syrup. Didn't hate it, but didn't love it.

M: Crisp and refreshing, pleasant carbonation

O: Again, the style is not my favorite, but I can guess this is true to the style guidelines. Appearance was very nice, smell ended up being nice, the flavor just okay for me.

 920 characters

Photo of SebD
4.06/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has a nice dark brownish red color to it. It has a nice light beige head that dies down moderately and leaves light lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of tart cherries, definite acidity, brown sugar, light funk and faint vinegar.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has some sweet cherries upfront, brown sugar, some acidity, a slight tartness and faint vinegar.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied by good flavors and aromas.

Serving type: bottle

 581 characters

Photo of gloucester13
4.93/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reddish brown in color, smells like apple cider/balsamic vinegar. Mouth feel is quite pleasant, crisp and highly carbonated. Taste is like an aged balsamic vinegar with hints of apple cider vinegar and a touch of grape. Well balanced sweet and sour notes. My favorite of the Flemish Red Ales.

 293 characters

Photo of Mikus
4.58/5  rDev +11.7%
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 -11.5%
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 +10.5%
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 +20.5%
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

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