1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

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

3,256 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,256
Reviews: 1,362
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 152
Gots: 352 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Duchesse De Bourgogne Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,256 | Reviews: 1,362 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of akahn
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was very exciting to me because it was one of those beers that just tasted different from everything I'd had before. A nice red color (more red than amber) with a curious nose. This beer tastes like candy! Potent sourness, but with more than enough sweetness to round it out. A very interesting beer and an interesting style. Seems like it would make a good dessert beer.

akahn, Jul 02, 2007
Photo of oelergud
5/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Deep clear ruby and mahogany body. Very low carbonation. Big tan butte head. Good retention and great lace.
Strong scents of both sweet and sour notes, very well balanced. Interesting and complex with cherries and dark malts.
Taste is amazing, perfect balance of sweet and sour, very strong. Cherries, prunes and sour characters all very powerful and delicious. Great aftertaste.
Hydrating mouthfeel that is slightly puckering and mouthwatering.
Great drinkability.

-Oelergud

oelergud, Jul 01, 2007
Photo of smcreator
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my first lambic to try so the overall mouth feel and flavor is new to me. Overall, I enjoyed the beer very much as it is flavorful and balanced.

A: Very dark burgundy red color. One finger initial head that settles to a 3 mm head and light lacing.
S: Smells very fruity and also of alcohol at the same time, but the alcohol does not bother me. The fruit notes are very pleasant and complex. Definitely a similar smell to walking through a fruit market where all the smells blend.
T: The alcohol smell and taste is balanced nicely with the fruity sweet notes so it does not tire to drink. The beer has three or more stages of flavor. At first there is an in-rush of a sweet fruit blend. Then there is a mellower taste that is slightly more dry. Finally, there is a nice semi-bitter alcohol finish that balances out the whole movement.
M: A very smooth medium-thick bodied beer with little carbonation. Feels like eating yogurt to some degree. The only drawback is that it leaves a slight film in your mouth.
D: It is very easy to drink as it is packed with flavor and feels nice in the mouth. You will not get tired drinking it, you just might have to spit from time to time.

smcreator, Jun 29, 2007
Photo of jtslay
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first beer of this style. This is a very fruity beer that has a dry aroma of fermented fruit. This beer was a recommended way of getting into Lambics. This is one of the most complex beers I have had in a while. It is definitely better as it warms through around 45 F. I was surprised by the complex mouthfeel. This is about as drinkable as wine in my opinion.

jtslay, Jun 29, 2007
Photo of doubleipa
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm not very familar with this style since I've ever had one of these on draft. However, I certainly will try as many of this style after having this one. This was really a spectacular beer. I can't say I would've appreciated this several years ago. Very sour aroma - duh! A little bit of vinegar, cherry, raspberry, and oak. Kind of hard to describe as the sour is so predominant. Taste is really huge. Incredible levels of tartness. Nice frothy head and a light ruby color. Great mouthfeel - very lively. I can't wait to pop open one of these at the next neighborhood party and offer this to someone.

doubleipa, Jun 29, 2007
Photo of KarlHungus
4.78/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This brew pours a dark clear ruby red color. The head is massive, and recedes very slowly leaving thick foam all over the glass. The aroma is of tart cherries with a nice refreshing acidity. The taste is more intense than the aroma. It is almost wine like. Cherries are the main element, and are accentuated by the combination of a thorough tartness, and a strong acidity. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a high level of carbonation. I cannot imagine how the mouthfeel of this beer could be improved in any way. Overall, this is one of the better Flemish Red Ales I have had. It is not as powerful as Panil, but it has more finesse and that counts for a lot.

KarlHungus, Jun 25, 2007
Photo of MYJELLOMISFIT
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Given to me as a sample...now I have to buy more. Pours a reddish brown with light pale brown head one finger thick then fades to a nice lacing. Smell is sweet and highly expressive ... it begs to be inhaled. Melon, cherry, apple, oak, alcohol, and oh soo much more. Mouthfeel is smooth with little to no carbonation "pop" on the tongue and a nice dry finish. Taste is excelently rounded and full of flavor. Cherry, raspberry, red wine, slight raw oak note. No bitterness or spice but wonderful array of sweet tartness that tantalizes the tongue. I think I gave some of my first fives.

MYJELLOMISFIT, Jun 20, 2007
Photo of largadeer
3.43/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Dark reddish amber, not far from a dubbel in appearance. The cloudy tan head never lets up.

Smell: An intensely sweet aroma escaped from the bottle as soon as I uncapped it, which was initially a bit off-putting. A bit of swirling reveals sour cherries, molasses and vanilla.

Taste: Cherries again, red apple, grape, vanilla, oak and brown sugar. The taste has a sweet/sour dynamic, leaning a bit toward the sweet.

Mouthfeel: On the lighter side of medium-bodied, this goes down pretty easily, but it becomes a bit syrupy. Gentle but abundant carbonation tingles the tongue.

Not bad for a sweeter Flanders red, but I greatly prefer this style more dry and sour.

largadeer, Jun 18, 2007
Photo of baggio
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Rubyred color with a beautiful, thin lace.

S: Homemade applewine, wild-apples.

T: Apples, cola, aceton(!)

Mouthfeel: Smooth with low carbonation and a fresh/sour aftertaste.

I had this beer in my pantry 6 months before trying it after my initial taste and this time around it was much smoother and more pleasant to drink. A refreshing beer perfect for a late summer-night.

baggio, Jun 18, 2007
Photo of ArrogantB
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this beautiful lady into a snifter. It was dark brown with ruby red tints at the edges. The head was a decent 2cm and had some staying power. The head also coated the sides of the glass as I swirled it, nice. The aroma was a little sweet and a little funky. The taste was jaw-dropping! I actually thought "wow" as I tasted it. Funky, slightly sour, some tartness, some fruit, lots going on.It really seemed to blossom in my mouth. It tasted like a sour jolly Rancher and also a little like wine. I drank some Jolly Pumpkin beers a week or so ago and it looks like this is what they were shooting for. I really liked this beer and am starting to learn to appreciate some Belgian beers.

ArrogantB, Jun 15, 2007
Photo of zeff80
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a chalice/snifter. It was a dark brown with flecks of red. It had a tan, two-finger head that left nice rings of lace.

S - It smelled of sour cherries and malt.

T - It tasted very sour with a little sweet kick. There was a good dosage of malt, too.

M - It was crisp and sharp. It was medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very good beer. It's the first Flanders Red Ale that I've tried and I really liked it.

zeff80, Jun 13, 2007
Photo of jettjon
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 750ml caged cork bottle, attractively packaged with a nice portrait on the bottle. The wife commented on it, so it must be nice. Cork dated best by June 2008. Decants with a pop, into the cervoise, a dark ruby red with heavy carbonation of large bubbles cascading up. Thick, heavy head of tight bubbles, about one finger thick and going nowhere fast. Good, clingy sheet-like lacing. Nose dominated by a definite yet not overwhelming sour-cherry scent. A bit of musty, earthy yeast, and perhaps a hint of alcohol. I was prepared for a sour flavor explosion, but I was greeted instead by a subdued cherry-like tartness tempered by sweet malts, almost candy-like, but not overly sweet. Great sweet-tart cherry flavor; I’m constantly amazed that there is no fruit used in crafting this style. Mild hoppy bitterness on the backside, kind of apple Jolly Rancher finish. Mouth is of medium viscosity with tons of gentle carbonation making things go down smooth. Sticky, short of syrupy, but the sugar’s there nonetheless. Drinkability is quite good, surprisingly; I had no problem downing the bottle, something I never would have considered with Rodenbach’s Grand Cru.

Overall: OK, I’m not a huge fan of Flanders ales or lambics, but this one is understated enough to make me try more of the style. I consumed this sample a full year before the end of the “best by” date on the cork: I wonder what a bit of cellaring would yield. Grab one of these if you have a chance, definitely recommended.

jettjon, Jun 12, 2007
Photo of brdc
4.83/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to stoutsnipas, this one is VERY fresh, expiration date Dec 2008.
I know this does not help, but I initially felt like writing "WOW" and concluding ny review, enough said. But let's try to elaborate.

Brown with multiple reddish overtones, tan head with good retention, and very sticky.
Aroma is acidic, tart, with some oak and sugar notes.
Nice medium body, flavorful, sweetish and malty, then tart and acidic, then sweetish again. Fruity, raspberry, cherries, citric fruits.
Clean finish with a tart and sweetish aftertaste.
Extremely refreshing, a fantastic summer beer.
I need more!

brdc, Jun 10, 2007
Photo of grub
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle, best before 21-03-08.

pours a deep dark red, nearly brown, with a small dense tan head. the head drops slowly and leaves spotty lace.

aroma is nice. big funky blast. lemony sourness. bit of malt vinegar. orange.

taste is good. nice light sweetness. bit of lemony sourness. light orange and tangerine. hint of malt vinegar. cracker malt.

mouthfeel is good. low carbonation. medium body and nice dry finish.

drinkability is good. not too acidic or vingary. nicely balanced. alcohol is completely hidden. really interesting and enjoyable beer.

grub, Jun 03, 2007
Photo of IPAcraig
4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this from the botttle at Het Elfde Gebod in Amsterdam. Poured from the bottle into the proper glassware.

A - This pours a beautiful ruby brown. Small head, htat hung around ok.

Smell - I believe this is the first 5 I have given out. This is amazing. Bursting with aroma. A big sour aroma, followed by this huge sweetness. Amazing balance, amazing smell.

T - Just like the smell, it starts off with this great sour tartness, that is followed by this very nice, big sweetness, and then back to a sourness that lingers on your tounge. This is like a roller coaster for your tastebuds. Absolutely amazing. The taste of this beer doesnt reveal it self all at once, it slowly unfolds bit by bit.

A light mildly carbonated mouthfeel. This may possibly be my favorite beer. Not the most drinkable though. With such an intese flavor it may be hard to drink two of these back to back. But no matter, this is an amzing beer.

IPAcraig, May 21, 2007
Photo of NJpadreFan
3.03/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Duchesse- Flanders Red Ale

Appearance- Blood red with no head.
Smell- Strong white vinegar with sour cherries.
Taste- Sour cherry and grape with a backbine of malt vinegar.
Mouthfeel- Sour up front with a dry/ sweet malt vinegar finish.

Overall- A beer that went exceptional well with my salty fries.

NJpadreFan, May 20, 2007
Photo of ski271
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Zeno’s in State College. Ruddy amber with a very small, off-white, foamy head. Vinous, medicinal, sweet smell with alcohol and tawny port-like aromas. Tastes is of sour fruit (most notably cherry) over a light malt backbone. It has a medium body and a slick texture. Flanders aren’t my thing, but going by style this one was pretty damn good! Definitely worth a try.

ski271, May 20, 2007
Photo of jwff
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Best before 29/4/07.. I think I'll live. Pours reddish with brown edges and little head to speak of. Excellent clarity. Balsamic vinegar stands out backed up by sour cherries, sugar, wood, and roasty malts. Taste is upfront fermented cherries with a nice hit of sugar and tartness. Finishes oaky (guessing French Oak because of the name Bourgogne). Tiny bit of butter in the finish with slightly roasted malts. Light bodied and fantastically carbonated. I was afraid it would get too sweet but it's holding up nicely. Would love to try this fresh. IS THIS A FLANDERS RED???

jwff, May 18, 2007
Photo of Nesued
4.8/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Clear, dark, amber/red, vibrant carbonation with a small head that both forms and retains for the duration of the time this beer spends in your glass.

Smell - Fruity, sweet aroma with a acetic (but not acerbic) presence. Musky presence as well.

Taste - What a complex taste. Both sweet and sour at the same time, with a balance to each. A robust carbonation allows for a fine retention of flavors long after the "taste" is gone. A malt base is added upon by the citrus/tart slightly acetic taste.

Mouthfeel - Retention is the key with this one. I was thrilled that the reminder of this beer was prolonged with the tartness lingering until I was able to replace the void left by the last sip.

Drinkability - Well, considering I'm on my second one, I think I've answered the question regarding drinability. This is one of my favorate Flanders Red Ales, passed only by a Vichtenaar. I cannot wait to purchase more which thankfully is now allowed in my state. I find this beer a overall complex and well staged representation of what a Flanders Red Ale should be. Now, pairing this with mussels and surrounding myself with the rustic feel of Monk's Cafe' in Phili would be my only change. Please pass another.

Nesued, May 18, 2007
Photo of willjschmidt
3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330 ml bottle into my Duchesse De Bourgogne glass. Bottle marked "best before 19-09-07".

A: A dark reddish brown color with a thin and quickly receding light tan head. Lots of lacing.

S: Some wine-like aromas: sour & acidic berries with some malt as well.

T: Slightly sweet and rather tart cherries come across in the flavor. It is smooth at first with the sour tartness dominating the aftertaste. A bit mouth puckering in the end. There are also some malt flavors evident that seem to come and go. There's really a lot going on with the flavors in this beer.

M: Light and fine carbonation, medium mouthfeel and slightly syrupy.

D: It's and easy drinking beer, one that would pair well with food. Definitely one of the more unique beers that I've ever had. A testament to the range and complexity that beers can achieve.

willjschmidt, May 16, 2007
Photo of pittvkyle7
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very dark with a good white head. The color becomes much more red when the light hits it, but looks black in the shade.

Smells sweet and berry like, alcohol present too.

wow big sweet cherry taste with some vinegar like grape to it. very tart with no bitterness. Has a great white wine taste to it. I wish I had some food to pair it with.

good drinkability, left you wanting more, the low carbonation really made it feel like you were drinking wine.

pittvkyle7, May 13, 2007
Photo of Reidrover
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml expiration date June 2008 Dark brown beer, with garnet acents, nice sized tan head Aroma, sour, cherries, apple cider vinegar, soor plooms, Fruity, juicy flavours with a cutting wine like sourness, some vinegar, a little "funk", very different and very intresting stuff. Nice on the palate, quite carbonated,but works well with the flavours. Very nice drink, easy for me to drink, though i can see were many would totally dissaprove!

Reidrover, May 12, 2007
Photo of mpyle
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Best before 06-06-08, so a year ahead of "expiration date".

app - Lovely reddish-brown color with sparkling clarity. Large, creamy, off-white head lingers nicely, leaving lace in its wake.

smell - A bit vinegar-like, and a sour berry smell dominates. Pleasant, but a bit simple and one-dimensional.

flavor - a dark berry fruity sweetness and a competing sour dryness. Overall balance slightly sweet. Hop flavor nonexistent as appropriate for style, hop bitterness not clearly evident (but providing some balance).

MF - medium body and low-to-med carbonation. A gentle astringency from the red wine-like finish, but in style. No alcohol warming.

O'all/drinkability - A beautiful looking, beautiful tasting beverage. Lovely mnelding of fruity sweetness and aged beer sourness, with tremendous balance. Given the price (think my 11.2 oz bottle was about $4) and nature of the brew, not one that will be a pounding session beer, but highly drinkable for a sour (in my view).

mpyle, May 11, 2007
Photo of Bierman9
3.68/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed from an 11.2oz bottle, with a best before date of 19Jan08. Label says 6.0% abv....

Poured into a small tulip glass, the Duchesse has a lovely, clear, deep ruby hue. Luscious! Head is beige and steady at about 1/4", fine and tight. Carbonation heads topside at a regular pace, and lacing left behind is superb. Great looking bier! The nose is tart and cherryish, yet show sweetness at the same time as sourness. Very nice. Body for the Duchesse was a smidge under medium, with a light, bubbly, airy feel on the tongue. Not overly prickly, though.

Flavor has sweetness, with a syrupy cherry character at the start. Quite good at the outset, though in mid- to late-sip a funky, bitter aspect kicks in. Has some vinegar and woody traits, and reminds me somewhat of the horse-blanket flavor some Belgians have. Though not overly off-putting, it does put a damper on what was a great start to the flavor profile. Finish is crisp and dry. Still, tastes rather nice, all in all.

Zum Wohl!

overall: 3.9
appearance: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | mouthfeel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5

986

Bierman9, May 07, 2007
Photo of icemonkey908
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap as a guest beer from town hall. Served in a 10oz glass. A very dark beer that reveals dark red undertones when help to the light. Very clear.

The smell is very strong. A strong cherry scent is evident along with an overall sweet aroma. The flavor is also very strong of cherry with some mild tartness. This beer is very sweet and very tingly on the tongue An interesting combination for sure.

Overall, this beer is a little sweet for my tastes so that detracts from the drinkability, but the distinct flavor and intriguing aroma are qualities that are hard to ignore. Not an everyday beer, but definitely one to try from time to time.

icemonkey908, May 05, 2007
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,256 ratings.