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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

3,339 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,339
Reviews: 1,367
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 151
Gots: 379 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Verhaeghe visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Flanders Red Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Belgian top-fermented reddish-brown ale, a blend of 8 and 18 months old beers following the careful maturation in oak casks.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-15-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,339 | Reviews: 1,367 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of avalon07
3.15/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had a dark brownish-red hue and very small head. Some lacing, but not a lot.

Very vinegary smell. Not totally unpleasant, but it kind of reminded me of a salad in liquid form.

The taste was complex, but not in a way I enjoy. A previous reviewer said it was like a red wine vinaigrette and I tend to agree with that. It almost didn't have the qualities of a beer.

It had a fair mouthfeel. Not a huge amount of carbonation here. The finish was not especially smooth.

I didn't particularly care for this one. It had much to pungent a taste to go down well Like I said, it almost wasn't like a beer at all.

avalon07, Feb 25, 2008
Photo of pmcadamis
1.55/5  rDev -62.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Tried this at Brewhaus when out with some friends (Feb, 25 2008).

A - Dark amber reddish hue. Hazy and deep. The head is about half of a finger, and leaves a little lace on the glass.

S - Red wine vinegar, ketchup, tomatoes, and earthy mulch. Very, very odd and quite vegetal.

T - Red wine vinaigrette salad dressing, rotten tomatoes, brown lettuce, and tart rancid vegetables.

M - Light in body and carbonation. This is like swishing ketchup in your mouth.

D - I've had other flanders reds that I really enjoyed, so it's not a style thing, but this tastes like absolute crap. It's sort of like retching up a pint of V8 and vinaigrette salad dressing. Interesting, but completely foul.

Original review A=3.0, S=1.5, T=1.0, M=1.0, D=1.0
Overall score = 1.5 One of my lowest ratings ever.
---

Here is the second tasting to clear up the issue of whether or not the first bottle (1 year ago) was ruined in some way:

My BA buddy orangemustache and I tried this out at Brewhaus one night and were appalled by how bad it was given the generally high scores by other BAs. I picked up a 750 ml bottle of this at Binny's in Chicago and we decided to give it another go while we were stone cold sober and our palates were fresh.

A - Deep garnet clear brew with a two finger dense khaki head. Lots of light tan lace is stuck to the glass.

S - Ketchup, vinegar, tomatoes, and mushrooms. V8 vegetable juice with some age on it. Something old and dusty is there too.

T - Old rotten tomatoes, V8, bloody mary mix, red vinaigrette salad dressing, applesauce, and some fruity sugar on the tip of the tongue.

M - Light, initially sugary and fruity, but progressing to a thicker viscous and nasty mouthfeel. This finishes like puke.

D - Ok, I picked this up thinking that the first time that we tried it the bottle must have been old and ruined. This tasting, however, reaffirms my hatred of this brew. It's honestly better, fruitier, lighter, and more rounded than the rotten bottle we tried at Brewhaus, but its still disgusting.

The current score is indicative of my opinion at the second tasting (December 2nd 2008)

pmcadamis, Feb 25, 2008
Photo of boulevard2
4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Experation date June 2008

Pours a brownish ale with a thick head and lots of bubbles. Heavy retention and it all clings to the glass. Sour cherries and sugar are present in the nose. A nice sour cherry twang at the start then mellows out at the end. There is also a great berry aftertaste which I think is rare for a flemish ale. Overall very smooth and well worth the price. I recommend this to anyone who hasnt tried this style before!

boulevard2, Feb 24, 2008
Photo of czfreeman
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The duchesse pours out a deep brown with a reddish tone showing in the light. Small 1 finger head, short retention. Head leaves lacing around top of glass. Smells like a bubbly Lambrusco wine, some sour cherry,slight alcoholic-red grape tones, again like a tart red wine. Mouthfeel is very lively and carbonated, trat finish yet slight more chewy and creamy than other Ive had. Cherries,sour yeasts,woody flavors. Leaves a tart lasting finish on the tongue. This beer is everything that is good in a Flanders red. Thank you Duchesse, will buy again definatley.

czfreeman, Feb 24, 2008
Photo of tronester
3.6/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark red with a medium tan head that fades away pretty quickly. Smells of vinegar primarily with some maraschino cherries. Taste is quite unique. The beer is quite sweet tasting, with a balancing tart and sourness from the vinegar like flavors. The beer seems to share a lot in common taste wise with a sweet wine. The bitterness is very low. Mouthfeel is medium with medium carbonation.

This is quite an interesting beer. I've heard you either love it or hate it. Well, I am somewhat in the middle of the road. While the taste was pretty good, I think I would start to grow tired of it after a glass. Nevertheless, still a good choice if you want a more obscure style.

tronester, Feb 23, 2008
Photo of Goliath
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer oours a dark reddish brown color with two fingers of light tan head that receed fairly quick. Aroma is vinegary and slightly sour. Taste is fairly sweet for a Flanders. A slight tartness and slight vinegar taste. Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Drinkability is fair.

Goliath, Feb 23, 2008
Photo of AleDrinkToThat
4.9/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Beautiful burgundy hue under a perfect creamy beige head.

Smell: Oh, such a delicious smell of cherries and malt. I can tell just by the smell that there's more going on here.

Taste: Good thing I'm only typing about this, 'cause my mouth just exploded. Seriously, wow. This is excellent. The tart cherry is much more subtle than, say, a Kriek Lambic, and is so well balanced with delicious roasted malt.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, devilishly so, and the tartness danced all over my mouth, puckering all inner surfaces in its path (I'll leave you to picture that). The malt definitely rounded things back out, and the result is a heavenly complexity.

Drinkability: Go get one. Now.

AleDrinkToThat, Feb 22, 2008
Photo of alysmith4
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Not usually a fan of this style, but I tried this beer and loved it! This was actually my favorite of all the excellent brews I tried at Brasserie Beck - a new Belgian restaurant in the city with supposedly the largest Belgian beer selection outside of Belgium.

Poured a dark brown color, with a reddish tone. Smell was of plums, cherries, pine, maple syrup, and something like candied ginger. Taste was most excellent, with all of the flavors mentioned before and a definite sour to sweet finish. The beer was nice and thick too, with a good amount of carbonation. Would definitely recommend this beer, a must-try!

alysmith4, Feb 21, 2008
Photo of SurlyDuff
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Caged and corked bomber.

Into my glass and it reveals its dark cherry color. A thin ring of lace hangs around for a while.

Sour cherry, ketchup, vinegar in the nose. Despite being unusual, it's certainly appealing in some way.

It's an edgy flavor, but I think it does a good job. There's other fruit flavors in there too. Notably grapes, plums, apple, etc.

THe aftertaste is noticably smooth and enjoyable. The lingering flavors are not acidic or anything. If anything, there's a bit of viscous/syrupy quality to it. I look forward to finishing the bottle off. At 6%, it is very drinkable and really grows on me.

This is definitly not your typical brew, especially for here in the states. It's true to the Flander's style in many ways, but also adds a lot of interesting characteristics.

SurlyDuff, Feb 21, 2008
Photo of MerkinMan
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap into a wide mouthed red wine style glass.

This beer is a beautiful ruby color and smells like sherry. I would bet that people who did not know any better would mistake this for sherry.

The taste is malty, but the sherry / sour cherry taste takes the lead. A very interesting beer, and one you may need to be in the mood for.

Mouthfeel is good, a little to be desired.

I could drink more of these, and probably will though they will likely be one at a time.

An excellent beer. Recommended.

MerkinMan, Feb 21, 2008
Photo of mithrascruor
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz. bottle poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a very deep crimson color with off-white dense film-like head.

Smell: Unusual but generally pleasant aroma. Reminds of apple cider vinegar, but a bit more mellowed out.

Taste: Very tart, but also sweet. Semi-bitter cherries, vinegar, sugar... Finish of crisp apples and a tart aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light- to medium bodied with a quite smooth mouthfeel. Very little carbonation; noticable most at the finish.

Drinkability: Though not a session beer (drink it slow), the taste really grows on the drinker. Perfect ABV with an intriguing taste.

Really one of the most unusual beers I've had. Takes a few minutes to adjust to, but overall I am enjoying it! Quite an enjoyable surprise; well worth checking out! I'll have to get this again.

mithrascruor, Feb 18, 2008
Photo of kleffman
4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally getting to try the Duchesse after having numerous examples of the Flanders Red style that impressed me. I continually hear that this is the supreme example of the style so we'll see.

Pours a dark very clear ruby red and brown color into a Chimay goblet. Slight head and retention with only a little lacing. Quite beautiful looking in this wide mouth glass.

Aroma has a definite vinegar presence with a TON of tart cherries and vanilla from the oak. Smells acidic and I'm in for a treat.

Taste is just as it smells but way more complex and very little vinegar! Mostly incredible tart cherry vanilla flavors with oak, earthy yeast characters and slight raspberry hints. Really sweet with a tart background. Perfectly balanced and really complex however.

The mouthfeel is an incredible lively, smooth and refreshing experience. I want more. I wish it wasn't quite so expensive, I could keep this constantly on hand. I would love one of these every single Friday after work. Very high drinkability, and an extreme enjoyability. I can't imagine much better for the style. Only the Rodenbach beers match it in my opinion.

kleffman, Feb 16, 2008
Photo of Chinookie
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have had this beer on many occasions, even having it on tap at home a couple of times (since it is the wife's favorite). But I thought I would write a review for the bottle we drank last night, aged just over three years. Although I did not taste it side-by-side with a new bottle, my wife and I are familiar enough with the flavor to notice the differences.

For Valentine's Day I pulled out of the cellar the bottle I had been aging since June 2005 to pair with the chocolate dipped strawberries. The expiration date on the cork said Nov. 2007, so I suspect bottling date was Nov. 2004. I had stored this in my cellar on its side.

Served in the brewery-designed glasses, it poured clear dark reddish brown. The head was thinner and with bigger bubbles than new bottles, and head retention was also a lot weaker.

The aroma was roughly the same (cherry, brown/candi sugar, some balsamic vinegar) with a bit more wood.

The flavor and mouthfeel were noticeably different and better than the fresh version. First, the texture was lighter than normal and more velvety. The flavor profile was very similar--sweet, cherry tart, a bit woody, sugary--but the usual balsamic acidity in the finish was gone, making it more drinkable and enjoyable.

It paired very well with the chocolate-dipped strawberries.

I highly recommend to fans of this beer to age some in a cool dark place for three years. I can't imagine that it could get better, so probably wise not to keep much longer.

Chinookie, Feb 16, 2008
Photo of seaoflament
3.68/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark ruby color with a fluffy two inch mass of foam. Great retention and some lacing as I drink.

Aromas of tart cherries, oak, caramel malt, vinegar and hints of vanilla. The aroma reminds me a bit of strawberries and cream. Tart and sour strawberries with the acidity and sweetness of sour cream.

Taste is good. Sweet berry flavor right away with a tangy vinegar finish. A huge taste of ripe fruits, peaches, strawberries, grapes, and an oak flavor binding everything together. I thought this one would be more sour or at least tart but it's pretty sweet.

Well carbonated and delicate on the palate.

It's a good beer. I was in the mood for something tart or sour but this one was too sweet. Even though I was in the mood for a different type of beer I still feel that the sweetness hurts the drinkability of this beer.

seaoflament, Feb 12, 2008
Photo of JEFFRIBEGGIN
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Beer with intense tawny color and not persistent foam. The scent has wine notes and after a persistent acidulous tone. In mouth you have a persistent acidulous tone and then you can feel a yielded tone. A little bit bitter for fight acidulous note. Not to drink alone.

JEFFRIBEGGIN, Feb 05, 2008
Photo of Proteus93
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Red with an amber hue through the flute. A rich, deep, head that leaves liberal sticky lacing behind.

S: Something of a plum-like scent? Almost like the fruit in a wooden crate, maybe a little closer to a mass of cherries in a shipping crate. Can't really make out the specific fruity aroma, but it is certainly Almost a touch of a solvent like aroma in there - it's not cedar, but that's what is coming to mind at the moment.

T/M/D: Crisp, tart fruits. Peeled cherries, lightly spiced, but sour through the end. Maybe a little more on the sweet than sour side, and something of a champagne like taste and mouthfeel in there. The puckering sensation leans more towards being lip-smacking than a cheek-sucked in sourness. An intriguing ale, and a style that I'd like to look into further.

Proteus93, Feb 03, 2008
Photo of objectivemonkey
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Flanders red indeed, a beautiful crimson brown color with nice whitish head and some spiderweb lacing that otherwise fizzles out until warmed. The aroma smells of sour and tart fruits, red skinned ones, cherry, red apple, plum, and vinegar for some reason.

The taste similarly puts on a display of sweet, tart, sour fruits, follows the grape to an almost vinous quality, earthy and complex and... vinegar again? (Now, I'm not the biggest vinegar fan, far from it, but it seems ok here for some odd reason, but still, pushing my buttons.) Sweetens a bit with a juicy body through the middle only to tart up and dry out a bit at end.

The body is mostly medium, a spritzy effervescent carbonation. The great thing about this beer is it ages well, and because I have to really be in the mood for this style (though when I do, I really crave it), that makes it all the better. In all, a delightful brew, one I've had on a few occasions now, both in bottle and on tap. Always a treat.

(Also, I should note, after reviewing this beer, I broke out some Saint Andre cheese with raspberry preserves and Brenton crackers, they all played together nicely.)

objectivemonkey, Feb 02, 2008
Photo of Rezzin
4.97/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Poured into a tulip glass. 1/4" tan head that doesn't hang out long. Color is a deep mahogany red and it's crystal clear. I expected it to be bottle conditioned but I didn't notice any trace yeast in the bottle. Looks quite appealing.

S - Wow, the aroma is incredible. Complex with fruity notes. Cherries, plums, some tartness in the nose. Slight barnyard character - sweet caramal.

T - This is an excellent flanders red - the sweet and tart is perfectly balanced. There's that a ever so slight barnyard character that just perfectly compliments the flavors in my mouth. You have to search for the barnyard - it's very slight. Sour cherries, raspberries, maybe even some plum with a nice balanced sweetness. I'm loving these sour beers right now!

M - Medium to light body with a nice acidic crispness. Moderately carbonated.

D - I've died and gone to sour beer heaven. I love this beer. I'm looking forward to trying other examples of this style to see what i'm missing. If this is not one of the better ones then I'm in for a real treat!

Rezzin, Jan 28, 2008
Photo of Georgiabeer
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally got around to reviewing this classic of the style. Had a bottle at the Brick Store poured into the appropriate glassware. Poured red without much head or lacing, but still pretty to look at. Sweet and sour aromas of apples and cherries and a lightly acetic quality. The taste has that same sweet/sour combo as its main thread of flavor. Added to that are flavors of spiced cherries, a bit of oaky woodiness, and a developing creamy sweetness with a hint of bitter tannins right at the finish. Mouthfeel is creamy and soft and a bit sweet. This is on the low side in the sour spectrum that this style encompasses. Very nice, if not quite as complex as some others. Still, relatively easy to find and a solid brew.

Georgiabeer, Jan 26, 2008
Photo of Graham5161986
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a clear, deep red colour with a nice, tan head that quickly dissipates to a thin layer of film and leaves a nice sticky lace.

S: rich aromas of ripe fruit and spice (cherry and plum dominate), lots of caramely sweetness as well - nice and pronounced

T: sweet and sour cherries throughout with hints of apple and spice on the finish (possibly a tad of red wine on the finish as well) - quite complex, very strong, and nicely balanced.

M: medium bodied and very crisp, good carbonation and a throat tingling spicy finish.

D: A great beer. Very strong aromas and flavours, well crafted and quite easy to drink despite it's relatively high ABV. I could put a couple of these in a night, but I would rather sip it slowly to discover the many flavours hidden in this very fruit-forward ale. I highly recommend that everyone try this beer and I will definitely be buying this one again.

Graham5161986, Jan 25, 2008
Photo of dsa7783
3.05/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Purchased an 11.2 oz bottle from Total Wine and More in Union, the first Flanders Red Ale I ever tried, and to be honest, I was pretty overwhelmed with the cloying, thick, rich, and ultra-sweet taste I encountered... nice ruby-red appearance with decent frothy head... smell is sharp and sweet, full of pine, sugars, and candy... taste is extremely rich and ultra dominating, very, very sweet with a strong apple-cider taste overpowering the beer... the smell is strongly alcoholic even though there is a modest 6.2% ABV... With such a strong and rich combination of flavors, this is definitely not a brew that I would want to down more than one of in a single setting... Copped this single sample for about $4.99... Very over-powering and strong... took it easy with this one... you will either love it or hate it...

dsa7783, Jan 23, 2008
Photo of Patrick999
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Very nice looking Flemish red. Dark mahogany, excellent head and retention. Probably the best I've seen.

S - Fruity and woody, a little incense.

T - Not really enough sour for my liking, this is overbalanced toward the sweet. I like the slight funky, woody, sasparilla/birch beer-like tang halfway through; that's about the only thing that cuts the sweetness. Of course, this is quite tasty even though it's too sweet. It tastes so good, I'm still going to give it high marks.

F - Highly carbonated, it's kinda burpy. Avoids stickiness, no small feat given the sweetness.

D - It's very easy to drink, though I feel the sweetness could get in the way. This is well-done, but I prefer the sour, more-difficult Rodenbach Grand Cru.

Patrick999, Jan 21, 2008
Photo of RevChico
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a goblet. Color was a mixture between mahogany and cherry wood. When poured head was about one finger thick, which dissapated rather fast. Lacing was exceptional and was there for the entire beer.

S: I picked up a good amount of different scents in this one... Dark fruit came though, as well as a very strong port wine scent, toasty, currants, molasses, peat, soy sauce, and a faint hint of chocolate.

T: Sweet up front then went into a tart dark berry & cherry profile. One of the flavors that was lingering in the background that took me a minute to put a finger on was toasted almond. Chocolate was there but very faint as well. This beer for sure had some flavor charactaristics that were similar to a port wine.
Very nice after taste.

M: Medium body, nice bubble feel on the tongue.

D: I think it's a great beer but I could only go for a few of them due to the sweetness.

The bottle I poured had been aged for at least two years in my cellar. I can't really remember what it tasted like when I drank it when I first got my hands on a few bottles. I do not remember there being as many scents at the time though. Over all a very nice beer. Would lend itself very well to many different foods.

RevChico, Jan 18, 2008
Photo of bonbini26
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

a: Deep mahogany to brown. Cream colored head fades to a thin layer. Nice lacing.

s: Smells of tart fruit, cherry in particular and cola.

t: The combination sweetness and cherry reminds me of a cherry coke. Light tartness balances the sweetness. Low acidity for the style.

m: Carbonation is lively which complements the style.
Light to medium body.

d: Typical drinkability for style. I would drink a few if the sweetness didn't catch up to me. The sourness is more subdued than the other Flanders Ales I've tried. More sourness would help balance the sweetness.

bonbini26, Jan 18, 2008
Photo of hopsleeroy
1.95/5  rDev -53.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

I was excited to give this style a shot. This is my first experience with the Flanders Red. Looked very nice on the pour with a deep copper body and a very minimal white head that dissipated quickly. The smell-lets say a tad sour. Reminded me of the fruity flavors and strong scent of balsamic vineagar. The taste was sour cherries! It just blasts you right up front and them dissipates. The Duchesse is well carbonated which accentuates the sour flavor up front then swallows fairly clean. The sour was too much for me. I felt like I was drinking vineagar. I only managed 4-5 sips and was done. There is a lot of flavor in there but the sour/vineagar flavor was so overwhelming it was hard to enjoy everything this beer has to offer. Everyone should give this a shot, but you may learn like me that this flavor does not suit your tastebuds.

hopsleeroy, Jan 17, 2008
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,339 ratings.