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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

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Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

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1,430 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,430
Hads: 3,843
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 22.93%
Wants: 201
Gots: 671 | 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
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Reviews: 1,430 | Hads: 3,843
Photo of blitz134
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had the pleasure of first having this on tap at the Brickstore in Atlanta. I'd never had a "flemish sour" as it was labeled and gave it a shot. I'm certainly glad I did as this has quickly became a favorite style to me and opened my eyes up to the world of sour beers.

This beer pours a lovely crimson, garnet red clear body with an initial tall 2 finger head which reduced down to a fairly thick half inch. The smell to me is amazing and one I have never found in any other beer. Its all about the balsamic vinegar, which I personally really like. Additionally there is a good dose of grape and other fruit aromas which remind me of a dark red wine.

The taste is of slight vinegar with a body of sour grape juice along with tart cherries. Its quite juicy and sweet on the tongue and finishes a bit sour, but not overpowering. When I had this on tap everyone who tasted it all agreed it was very interesting. This one sits a bit warm on my stomach although it isn't a high ABV brew.

Mouthfeel is a touch thin but coats the mouth well. Drinkability is good as well but it plays with my stomach a bit. I find this so tasty though that I can deal with that.

Overall, this beer (and the style in general) has an amazing flavor that everyone must try at least once. This is just one more example of the breadth of the capability of the beer world.

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Photo of AlexJ
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This lovely lady pours into my Delirium tulip a deep garnet hued brown with a medium sized head of off white that quickly fizzles out leaving light lacey streaking as it goes.

The aromas are intense, brimming with tart cherries, oakey dryness, musty cider, green apples, and celler must.

The flavor is really quite incredible, a blend of sweet and sour cherry, oak, earth, vinegarry apple cider, sugary sweet and dryly tart at the same time. Each sip makes me go mmmm.

The body is quite large, silky smooth and lightly carbonated. The mouthfeel is lush and sweet and really coats your palate with beautiful, funky, sweet and sour flavors. Too bad it's so expensive cuz I could drink this every day. We shared this bottle and paired it with soft Borgogneian cheese of the same region. It was a match made in heaven, thanks Gabe!

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Photo of Boilermaker88
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle into a flute. Bottle had a best before date of 08.06.06 on the back of the label.
Appearance: dark chestnut brown color streaked with maroon highlights and topped by a bubbly yet durable off-white head. Minimal carbonation seen yet the head endured and left nice lace behind.
Smell: sweet-and-sour aroma with hints of cherry and oak. Soft caramel and touch of funk. Some vinegary notes, too. Interesting, but not as potent as expected.
Taste: puckery vinegar taste right up front vied for attention with a sweet/tart fruitiness. My guess was a bit of cherry but I couldn't quite place the fruit. Caramel and slight earthiness contrasted with the sour bite. Oak flavor undertones. Sharply acidic finish.
Feel: medium body, lively.
Overall: an interesting contrast of sweetness versus tart acidity and biting sourness. Nicely done.

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Photo of pentathlete
3.33/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a flute. Beauty ruby brown with large head. Nose is all tart and cherries. Taste is cherry fruit with some sour notes. Pleasant, but rather tame. I expected more sour bite. Too much sweetness, almost candy like flavors. Perhaps my palate was spent, but I was not altogether thrilled. Not a bad beer, but nothing special.

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

Pours a wonderful deep red with a tan head that is made up of small bubbles bursting everywhere trying to escape.

Aroma is tart, vinegar mixed with fruit prodominatly sour cherries musty wood notes underneath. Taste is tart lightly sour tastes wine like almost, vinegar and hints of vanilla mix with tart cherries. Finishes with earthy wood flavors lightly dry. A very complex and different style beer. Have sampled before with a friend but my first attempt at reviewing a Flanders Red. Think my pallette is not mature enough to appreciate the flavors coming thru.

Mouthfeel is light crisp springy almost and at the same time it finishes a dry medium. Drinkability is good a very diffrent beer but change is good atleast as far as beer is concerned. Look forward to trying more of this style in the future.

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Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.47/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear brown with hints of mahogany. A persistent and dense ivory head with nice fine lace. Smells sour, a bit vinegary (but in a good way). Vinuous and oaky nose.

I have heard this beer described as one of great depth but i'll be damned if I can find it. It's tart, like tart cherries. Then gets quite winelike and hints of oak but is overwhelmed by a cloying sweetness that overwhelms the palate and disappointingly chases all the sourness away. Very sticky mouth with a lingering tartness but no sour driness to speak of, the kind of thing I like in a Flemish Red. Because of the sweetness not too drinkable either. Not bad but not great. I have the rest of a four pack to let this one change my mind.

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Photo of asabreed
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer last week on tap, and I realized I could get a 4-pack, and then decided that clearly, after flipping about the beer on tap, that I should certainly do so.

Appearance: Gorgeous dirty white head, meaning the reddish color is putting it off on that degree a bit, and in a good way. A nice amount of bubbles flowing up from the bottom.

Smell: Red wine, vinegar, some tart apples and fruit -- maybe granny smith apples. Almost some sour apple candy type smells. Fantastic.

Taste: Sweetness up front, and a slight amount of tartness. Fruitiness and apples, cherries, raspberries. Some sugars. Just wonderful overall. The wine / vinegar quality is there, yes, but the balance is amazing and fools and teases your taste buds into only good things.

Mouthfeel: A great balance with carbonation and the tartness that sneaks through into the taste. Not creamy, really, but not really light. It almost starts out like a spritzer and then somehow fills into a gorgeous dance of balance, complexity, and taste. And this is just the mouthfeel...

Drinkability: Easily one of my new favorite beers. I need more beers in this style I imagine. The wine-like character may turn some people on, though some, on the other hand, may be completely turned off. However, the ABV is moderately low, but I personally think this should be a treat, and especially without food. There's so much beauty going on that no compliments are needed.

Please try this in some form, just to try a pretty different style at the very least. I can't wait to get more.

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Photo of 3Vandoo
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice looking beer that is dark amber in color, the head only showed his head out of the window to wave "hello" and quicly let a shadow of her image on the beer.

Some cherry aromas comes from that beer, a sourness, and an oaked flavours emerges from it.

As for the taste, the same as the above mentionned occurs, cherry flavours, the oaked taste with some spices come play in the mouth. A light alcohol taste comes to play indeed but just lighty, it is quite odd especially with the cherry taste.

I was impressed with that beer, me like!

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Photo of blitheringidiot
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Label has a lady with a bird(?!) "Flemish art of brewing, Best before 2/11/04, 6.2% ABV 47-53 degrees, 8 and 18 month old mix." Let's see...anything else? Nope.

Poured into Broyhan goblet, this Flanders Red is a dark, ruby russett with some suspended yeasties floating around under excellent head retention that is PAINTED to the side of the glass.

Spicey sour aroma. Estery, musty antique trunk and root beer nose and a pinch of Wrigley's Doublemint gum. It rarely gets better than this.

Fisrt swigs: Gentle sour 7-Up pucker, dark fruit and Granny Smith apples, cherries, and a cider malty backbone keeps this from becoming overly sour. Vegetable and pickled beets lettuce leaf vegetal finish.

Lots of carbonation and medium feel, with an enjoyable carbonation.

Last swigs: Complex sour Cherry y-Up for adults sipper. A true Flemish sour. Best before 2/2004 eh? Hmmm...quite craveable. Special thanks to BA Shapudding for the tasting.

Beer is good. Happy interesting beering.

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Photo of silver0rlead
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

WOW, definately the most unique beer i've ever tried (this is the first flanders red i've tried) but its definately a kick in the pants. Pours with a thick white head and a deep amber almost ruby red color with excellent lacing down the glass. The smell is definately unlike any beer i've ever tried, very vinegary and also red wine like with a hint of oak and a fruity belgian yeast smell. The taste is incredible, worlds away from any beer i've ever tried...i never knew beer could taste like the this. The taste begins with a sour cherry tart flavor, followed by a biscuit-like malt taste and finishes with a winey, oaky dryness that lingers on the tongue as well as a warming alcohol sensation. The mouthfeel is smooth with a crisp carbonation that settles as it warms. The drinkablilty is ok but this is very complex and unique so more than a couple wouldnt be so good. Overall a fantastically unique and unbelievably complex brew that my palate cant really grasp fully. A great beer.

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Photo of guinnessman
3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

a vinigar aroma, raisons, and a fruity like smell. a 3/4 in. bubly head, like champaign, that disipates guickely. a ruby red hue. very complex, I note chocolate, raspberries, banana. a nice mouthfeel, not coating, very smooth many flavors come at once, the finish is fruity and a bit tart. Not something I would drink on a regular basis, but for those people, like myself, who find labic to be to tart, this is a great alternative. A very enjoyable brew.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle.
Sits in the snifter a a clear, deep ruby hue, nearing on brown, with a toasty, fizzy head holding down the fort.
Spicy aroma, and plenty sour, replete with associations of dark fruit, grapes, dates, blackberries, and a twisted hint of licorice. Wicked mix in this nose. I like it.
Oooo, puckeration! Mega-hit of sour on first sip! Backwash of sweetness, cherries and plums, but the tart stays on top. Next sip: Ooooweee, it's at it again! Molasses-like, and treacly in the taste, thinning out by the time the flavor leaves the palate and I'm ready for another swallow...ooo, quit doing that!
Around this time, the intense tartness mellows a bit, and the brew plays a little lighter in the mouth. Sweetness glides arm in arm with sour, and they play a tight ping pong match.
body is medium, lightly fruity, long-lived finish. Tasty thing, despite the challenges that must be met in approaching the brew. I'm going to relax with the remainder.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(Served in a snifter)
A-Pours a deep chocolate brown body that is almost opaque with a nice carbonation of tiny bubbles. It has a tan head that fades to a few clouds of head around the edge of the glass.

S- Black cherry, dried cranberry aromas with a sharp vinegar smell.

T- tart cherry flavor with a strong acidity. Hints of currants or cranberries are present. A slight hint of vanilla is present but the acidity dominates. Hints of port flavors in the finish.

M- Medium-light body and not any fizziness from the carbonation. It has acidic pucker at the finish but no sweetness or alcohol in the finish.

D- The sourness fades about 3/4 of the way through the beer. It starts to mellow after your taste bud get used to the shock. It has an almost red wine taste and it would be wonderful to develop that more at a port taste with other flavors popping out aswellas the acidity. Definitely an interesting experience.

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Photo of Toddv29424
3.82/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark dark brown color, and the smell is amazing like wine... many grapes and dark fruits. Taste is not so amazing. The bulk of it has no taste, but when it is swallowed a sour pear and fruit taste lingers. The grapes are also apparent in the finish. If you are looking for a sipping beer with much flavor this is it. Solid, but is has its flaws.

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Photo of GreatLeo
3.53/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Came in a 33cl bottle with best before date of 22-04-2006
The color was a really dark reddish brown mix with a real strong smell of fruits and spices which was evident almost immediately after pouring. I am not the biggest fan of lambric style beers so I wont diss this beer because of it. Very complex would be best served as a dessert beer rather than an actual meal beer. A very interesting mix of strong fruit flavors combined with a very earthy tone of wood added to the taste which makes sense because the beer was aged in oak casks. Overall a great choice of beer recommended for those who enjoy red wines or really rich fruity beers.

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Photo of whynot44
4.21/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Medium bodied, rich mahogany red color with a moderate off white head.

The aroma is vinous rich ripe fruit with a bit of vinegar tang.

The taste is complex with a rich malt base dominated by fruit flavors - tart cherry, raisin, apple, plums - with an oaky, spicy tone. It starts out tart, then mellows somewhat to a smooth, sweet rich fruit tone then drys out for a funky tart, acidic finish that just makes you want more.

Just a hint of alcohol warmth. Almost more like wine than beer, a fantastic balance of flavors.
This would be a great desert beer but would go well with almost any food, although just sipping it by itself is great.

Very easy to drink and very refreshing. Fantastic stuff. Not for everybody, but give it a try.

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

Presentation: 330ml bottle

Appearance: Dark amber color or to be more accurate, brown with red reflets. High carbonation. When you pour it, it is like pouring a soda.

Smell: Very fruity. Cherry is the fruit you think first when you smell it.

Taste: It tastes like kind of good fermented orange juice, apple cider or a mix of orange juice, wine and pop. Pretty weird, but I like it. When you swallow it, you taste oak from its time in barrels.

Mouthfeel: It is very smooth, creamy and sweet to drink with a sour aftertaste (aka its basalmic vinegar style reputation). The carbonation is less appearant at this mouthfeel step rather than when you pour it.

Drinkability: Very fun and different. It is very good, but the sweetness make be too strong to drink many Duchesses in a row. This is a high quality beer for sure.

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Photo of ElGordo
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours from the 330ml bottle a deep brown-ruby hue with a huge, beautiful, creamy light brown head that retains very well. Nice lacing, too. Interesting nose of sour cherries, dark wood, light sweet malt, and a touch of Belgian yeast. Palate is exceedingly complex - sweet, tangy fruit (dark cherry, raspberry) is dominant, accompanied by notes of light malt, a faint hint of brown sugar, and good amount of acidity. Finish is mostly Rich, creamy mouthfeel is almost perfect.
By and large, an interesting beer that should be tried by anyone interested in Belgian styles. This is my third or fourth encounter with the Duchesse, though, and it's always difficult to finish the bottle.

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Photo of counselor
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

pours a dark glimmering maroonish brown with a tight white head. Smells of tart cherries, woodsy, mild citrus. Smells sweet and tart soured fruit and sugary sweet mixture. Well balanced flavors run from sweet on the touge to tart and mildly sour in the cheeks. The mouthfeel was awesome with silky smooth liquid and superb carbonation. The aftertaste was slightly tart, fruity and begged for another mouthful. Super beer.

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Photo of soper2000
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Having this on-tap at the Hopleaf was a wonderful experience and compelled me to purchase a bottle for review. It poured a very handsome burnt maroon with a small tannish head that quickly retreated to only provide a nice lacing on the glass. Smell is ever so slightly tart with a nice woody/earthy background and a small note of yeast is present as well. Taste is quite refreshing and complex at the same time. Tart cherries eventually yield to a massive oakiness that lingers on the tongue. Finishes sweet. Very good beer in my opinion. On-tap was just a tad better for me, but I'm sure that was due to my surroundings and the gigantic bucket of mussels sitting in front of me.

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Photo of gimmehead
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful burgundy brown infused with ruby highlights and multitudes of streaming bubbles that form a thin but lasting head. The smell was a little sweet initially, but rapidly changes to a very winelike aroma. Flavor is great. Sourness up front, grapes and tart cherries, caramel malt backing that does't quite balance the tartness and a lingering vinous mouthpuckering semi-dry finish. Very good. The tartness builds with each beer so if you are planning on making this a session keep some palate cleanser handy.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
3.58/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at The Sunset in Boston.

This beer poured a clear, dark brown color with creamy, tan foam that settled flat. The smell was a modest but pleasant lightly tart aroma. The taste had a mild tartness with some fruitiness (cherries) and a bit of dried fruit. There was a hint of tangy sweetness and some sour caramel flavor in the finish. The mouthfeel was tart and crisp with medium body and modest carbonation. The flavor lingered only briefly. This was a decent Flanders Red ale, but I expected more from it. The flavor and aroma seemed somewhat muted compared to others of this style. I will have to give this one a try out of a bottle sometime soon.

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Photo of Gaisgeil
3/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Hm, reading the other reviews really makes me wonder if something was wrong with my particular bottle...

Poured a beautiful deep red with a thin lace of a head. Nose was very intriguing, notes of apple peel, grains, very fragrant. The taste followed a similar vein only to be taken by an intense sourness, not unbearable, but not particularly pleasent either.

I'll have to revisit this brew another time, I seem to be the only one with this experience.

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Photo of TinusTime
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brownish red. With a nice fluffy head. The head doesnt last as long as some, but disolves into a thin lace on top. The aroma is extremely complex. Hints of apple, sour cherries, oak, light smoke, leather, fig vinegar. Everytime you take a sniff there seems to be something different there. Taste Is seemingly as complex. Its a great blend of both sweet fruity notes with some sour cherry, vinegar notes. The taste might not be for all. At first it reminded me of the Italian tradition of having a shot of really nice balsamic vinegar after a meal. The sourness however, does not overwhelm and the beer has a nice lightly carbonated mouthfeel that keeps the sourness from becoming too much and lets the sweetness and oakiness shine through. Drinkability is good, however im sure after a number of these the acidity would play wreck havoc with ones GI tract. Overall I recomend this beer and it goes wonderfully with tart foods or foods with cherries in them.

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Photo of FenwaySquid
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 11.2 oz bottle poured into a Chimay chalice. (the date on the bottle said best before 17-3-06.) The beer book I have showed it in what looked like an oversized wine glass, and that was the closest thing I could find to match.

Appearance: poured a very dark reddish brown, the carbonation was spritzy. A small head formed initially then faded qickly into a lace around the edge of the glass. A small, almost clould-like puff remained in the center though.

Aroma: Very faint, what I could detect was slightly sour.

Taste: I'm new to this style, and this is easily the most complex beer I've ever tasted, so here goes. At first it is sweet and pleasant, reminiscent of cherries. Then it takes on a more sour flavor, almost like a red wine, but not quite. the finish was rather vinagery, but still pleasant. Throughout the entire time it remained very smooth and semi-sweet.

Overall: This is a beer I wasn't sure I'd like, and I came away pleasantly surprised. I'm not sure I'd want to drink it on a daily basis, but it is truly a remarkable brew. I'd rather break it out once a month or so simply to remind myself how truly complicated and different beer can be. Once you're at this point you're light years away from anything the average person imagines when they think of beer, but that's the whole point, isn't it?

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Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
92 out of 100 based on 1,430 ratings.