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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

3,174 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,174
Reviews: 1,356
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 148
Gots: 334 | 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: 3,174 | Reviews: 1,356 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of 3Vandoo
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
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!

3Vandoo, Apr 29, 2005
Photo of blitheringidiot
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

blitheringidiot, Apr 28, 2005
Photo of silver0rlead
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

silver0rlead, Apr 27, 2005
Photo of guinnessman
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

guinnessman, Apr 25, 2005
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

feloniousmonk, Apr 23, 2005
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.63/5  rDev -12.7%
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.

rhoadsrage, Apr 13, 2005
Photo of Toddv29424
3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

Toddv29424, Apr 12, 2005
Photo of GreatLeo
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
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.

GreatLeo, Apr 12, 2005
Photo of whynot44
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

whynot44, Apr 05, 2005
Photo of Barraclou
4/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Barraclou, Apr 03, 2005
Photo of ElGordo
3.65/5  rDev -12.3%
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.

ElGordo, Mar 26, 2005
Photo of counselor
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

counselor, Mar 15, 2005
Photo of soper2000
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

soper2000, Mar 15, 2005
Photo of gimmehead
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

gimmehead, Mar 13, 2005
Photo of UncleJimbo
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
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.

UncleJimbo, Mar 11, 2005
Photo of Gaisgeil
2.93/5  rDev -29.6%
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.

Gaisgeil, Feb 28, 2005
Photo of TinusTime
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

TinusTime, Feb 25, 2005
Photo of FenwaySquid
4.45/5  rDev +7%
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?

FenwaySquid, Feb 21, 2005
Photo of Wolfsdenbrew
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours with a light beige fizzy head that dissipates toa thin head layer rather quickly. A shower of tiny bubbles rises from the bottom of the glass constantly. It pours a deep ruby amber and leaves minimal lacing.

Very little aroma in this one but what is there sort of smells like a sweettart.

Taste is very sweet in the beginning and then turning to a sour apple vinegar to the finish. There are hints of cherry and other berries with no real hop presence.

The carbonation level is a bit soda like (extremely fizzy) with a nice medium body to the mouthfeel.

I am pretty much a newbie to this style but it is quickly becoming one of my favorites!

Wolfsdenbrew, Feb 21, 2005
Photo of Shultzerdugen
4.93/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

11.2 oz. bottle with best before date of 22-4-06.

Pours a deep red- dark copper with a large tan head comprised of big bubbles that quickly dissipates.

The aroma is very complex, very tempting. Fresh tart cherries, musty earth tones, bourbon.

Easily one of the most complex brews I've drank. Cherry juice. At first light and refreshing, I had a hard time not slamming this down. Very tangy, very sour. Even at 6.2% abv the alchohol is warming down the gullet. Slight metallic taste, but it adds rather than distracts to the beer's awsomeness. Lime. Hershey's cocoa from the tin towards the end. The finish doesn't finish, with sour malt going and going.

I could easily drink this every day, but it would be like eating steak and lobster every day. Speaking of which this beer begs to tried with a wide range of food.

Shultzerdugen, Feb 13, 2005
Photo of Quaffer
3.33/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz. bottle. Still one good year left according to the BB date.

Appearance: A deep, ruddy brown beer with a course, tan head. The foam rose up easily to over two fingers and disappeared quickly. A rough ring of bubbles was left around the edge of the glass, but there wasn't much lacing at all.

Smell: There was a lot going on in the smell. Sharp, tart fruit cameto mind first. It reminded me of straight cherry juice. It had a acidic edge to it, but was sweet as well. After that initial hit, I started to notice a stong oak character, wine vinegar, and hints of Brett. Very enjoyable overall.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied and slightly buttery at times in the front of the mouth. The carbonation really built as the beer sat in the mouth, until it became strong in the throat.

Taste: The first half of this beer was a combination of sweet and tart fruit, as well as a nice woody component. The tartness was not anywhere close to being as strong as I was expecting. Surprisingly light, in fact. The second half of the glass retained the aforementioned characteristics, but they became a shadow underneath a flat, astringent bitterness that clawed at the roof of my mouth. The finish was dry, with the aftertaste being a mix of sweet fruit and turnips.

The tartness just didn't seem to be there in this beer, and the astringency that developed was rough and harsh. I would like to give it a try again in the future, though.

Thanks, babydoc!

Quaffer, Jan 31, 2005
Photo of CharlesRiver
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a dark reddish-brown with a nice off white head that seems to last. The smell is wonderful. Sweet, sour, balanced and simply amazing. The smell is a perfect five.

Taste is much more smooth than I expected. Cherries, wood, and a tad on the sweet side. No alcohol is present. So smooth and so balanced I am amazed this beer is aged in oak.

To be honest, I am sure there are better beers from this style. But, they are not that easily available. This is the best that I have had from this style and I can't wait to try more.

CharlesRiver, Jan 22, 2005
Photo of claytri
4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured a beautiful rich brown that let just enough light through to provide read highlights. It generated a thin tan head. The aroma is sharp and winey with an alcohol burn. The tastes starts with a wonderful tanin taste, then moves to a sweet dark berry flavor, and finally progresses into a dark tart fruit finish. The feel is smooth and creamy with a nice rounding of flavors on the tounge. An absolutely enjoyable drink and something I will have to consider everytime I go to the shelf to make a purchase.

claytri, Jan 15, 2005
Photo of kindestcut
3.55/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

OK, so the conundrum is...how do you review a beer fairly if it turns out you don't really care for the style? Well, that's what I had to deal with here.

I wanted to like this beer. I really did. But I couldn't get into it (I say this as I drink a stout to cleanse my palate). So, I've looked at the style attributes and I've tried to be as fair as possible.

The Duchesse De Bourgogne poured a reddish brown. The off-white head was very active, rising to the top of my goblet and staying for quite a long time. When it began to recede it left a pretty lace.

The aroma was a combination of sweet and sour, reminding me of a good raspberry sauce with hints of lemon. If that sounds out of character, then it's because I was straining to find something familiar here.

The taste was also complex. Any hoppiness was dominated by a dramatic sweetness that gave way to a tart finish...a sour character that lived beyond the swallow. However, this beer is far more sweet than sour. The alcohol, although a hearty 6.2%, was not to be tasted.

Again, it's not my cup of beer but graded by the style, I suppose it's a solid example.

kindestcut, Jan 08, 2005
Photo of lackenhauser
3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice deep chestnut brown color. No real head to speak of. Oakey,vinuous aroma. Makes me think of a cabernet. Raiseny like flavor. Malty upfront. Very wine like. Not overly sweet-nice balance between sweetness and a slight sourness. Good smooth body. A nice beer. Good sipping beer-not real high in alcohol but a sipper none the less.

lackenhauser, Jan 04, 2005
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,174 ratings.