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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

3,242 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,242
Reviews: 1,361
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 150
Gots: 348 | 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
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Ratings: 3,242 | Reviews: 1,361 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Edgy Belgium. No particular aroma - balsam vinegar? Good lace. Foamy pour, fluffy. Sweet aftertaste. Oak lends a brown to the amber. Some cherry tartness here, maybe sour lemon and unripe fruit, and oud bruin style. Carbonation in the bottle. And as Monty Python would add, woody.

1.5 years later, sourness to it. Interesting yeast flavours. Expires 6/07.

Sammy, Aug 22, 2004
Photo of t0rin0
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at the Lucky Baldwins 10th Annual Belgian fest on 2/15/09.

Pours a dark hazy red. Medium lacing, low retention, white head.

Aroma is of sweet and sour cherries, a touch of vinegar, and crystal malts.

Flavor is of sour cherries, a little vinegar, red ale, and possibly some lactic acid. Tart and sweet. Not real complex but very nice. Medium bitternes.

Medium body, very drinkable and enjoyable.

t0rin0, Feb 16, 2009
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Lucky Baldwin's Delirium Cafe in Sierra Madre, CA.

Pours a murky crimson brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is slightly sour and tart with some malt, sour fruit, red wine vinegar, and woody aromas. Taste is much the same with a woody and slightly acidic flavor on the finish. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer but it's definitely not as sour as I remember it being from the bottle.

UCLABrewN84, Jul 04, 2012
Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

djrn2, Feb 16, 2012
Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

spycow, Mar 11, 2013
Photo of Thorpe429
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes, although not sure I need them considering how many rimes I've had this brew.

Pours a nice off red color with a bit of brown. Very light off white head. Nose brings cherries and a bit of balsamic. Slight caramel flavor. The taste brings oak, cherries, acetic acid, and a little bit of caramel. Feel is moderate and quite creamy. A bit of an acetic character. Drinks really, really well and is still one of the best introductory sour beers.

Thorpe429, Oct 20, 2010
Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

acurtis, Sep 01, 2013
Photo of nmann08
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

nmann08, Jul 28, 2012
Photo of metter98
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured very dark red into a snifter glass with a white head that died down quickly. Judging from the bubbles, the level of carbonation appears to be light to moderate.
S: There's a distinct aroma of sour fruit with subtle notes of sweetness.
T: Like the smell, there's sourness in the taste but there's also an equal amount of fruity sweetness; the mix between sweet and sour flavors is rather refreshing on the palate.
M: The beer feels medium-bodied and smooth on the palate.
D: The sweetness balancing some of the sourness makes this very drinkable and refreshing.

metter98, Apr 14, 2010
Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Texasfan549, May 15, 2012
Photo of brentk56
4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a deep garnet color with a nice head that retains fairly well and dots the chalice

Smell: Balsamic vinegar, sour cherry, pomegranite and lactobacillus

Taste: Starts with a sweet grape juice and sour cherry element that balances perfectly along with the added dimension of vanilla oak; after the swallow, balsamic vinegar and caramel elements creep in to add complexity; sour and bitter flavors compete at the finish, but the underlying sweetness is also apparent

Mouthfeel: Medium body, slightly creamy; moderate carbonation

Drinkability: The quintessential Flanders Red; I could sip on it for hours

brentk56, Aug 18, 2007
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy cinnabar with orange highlights and a considerable amount of uprushing carbonation. The small, airysoft, golden beige head has a featureless surface and a less than impressive lifespan. A thin ring of delicate lace indicates the high water mark of the head, and a series of vertical streamers run down to the deflating cap. Although the color of the liquid is great, not much else impresses.

Duchesse is the most vinegar-like beer that I've ever smelled. It isn't overwhelmingly vinegary, but if I caught it in the midst of deterioration, I wouldn't have wanted to pop the cap much farther along. There's also a funky, sour cherry aroma that I find appealing. On repeated sniffs, the cider vinegariness isn't all that bad. If it's that dominant on the palate, though, I smell trouble.

Vinegar is still noticed... and still stops just short of being a deal breaker. I would love to taste DDB fresh so that I wouldn't keep flashing back to coloring Easter eggs as a kid. This bottle is still more than a month away from its 'best by' date, so maybe it's supposed to taste like this. It's puckeringly sour and acidic with sour cherries still running rampant. I'd be amazed if cherries didn't play some role in the brewing process.

As I get deeper into the glass, I can appreciate a fairly significant sweetness that's all the more noticeable because of the medium-full, lightly viscous mouthfeel. The seltzer-like carbonation feels out of place, but it does keep things from bogging down and becoming overly syrupy. It also eliminates much in the way of mouthcoating; the finish is surprisingly clean.

I'm conflicted about Duchesse De Bourgogne. I can taste the outlines of what must be an incredible Flanders red, but this particular bottle tastes like it's on the cusp of the point of no return. Even though it's still drinkable, I'm convinced that the Duchesse and I haven't met in the most optimal of circumstances. I'll keep an eye out and will give a younger, more vivacious version a second review.

BuckeyeNation, Aug 01, 2005
Photo of BEERchitect
4.26/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

In the honor of the Duchess of Burgundy, a unique sweet and sour taste emerges in ale form- an unfailing choice for the curious palate to venture into the sour family, but with the malty-sweet support and a rich fruit flavor to balance its acidity. Its utmost complexity and refreshment is reserved for those who refine their palate but are tentative about sourness.

This Flanders red ale's tawny pour of browns, reds, and haze carry an inherent wine-like, cognac appearance that's shyly adorned with the daintiest of foam stance which It's similar to delicate coffee-like creme.

The nose is met with complex and succulent character that remind that strikes the olfactory senses with balsamic, chocolate, black cherry, weathered wood, soy sauce, red wine, and sherry wine. The sweet and sour interplay seems something much more of French reductions or Chinese cuisine than it does of beer.

Flavors are a dynamic sweet and sour interplay of to tart berries, mild toast but more so of vinous wine, savory umami character, lemon-like acidity,- its sour and savory combination can go on and on. Every point of flavor has a counterpart to balance, which carry the beer across the palate with a multitude of intrigue and wonderment.

Medium bodied, but the beer's tepid but acidic sourness makes the beer seem somberly tart while the succulent cherry and cocoa allow for a soft weight to be felt. Its moderate carbonation allows the beer to seep into the softer mouth tissues for fuller flavor but also ushers in a dry woodsy finish of crab apples with mild vinegary astringency.

Well balanced throughout, but the beer's sweeter and fruitier side buffers against any abrupt sourness which gives it a restrained property that not only challenges the palate, but soothes it with ample wine sweetness and toasty malts.

BEERchitect, Aug 25, 2005
Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark red brew with a medium head. Sour taste with a distinct cherry flavor which is coming from the oak. Very impressive control of the flemish style. Alcohol taste is not evident at all. I could drink this at any point in time. One of the best flemish sour ales that I've had the chance to taste.

Phyl21ca, Nov 13, 2003
Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

kjkinsey, Feb 04, 2012
Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

GRG1313, Oct 28, 2013
Photo of mikesgroove
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

My very first sour ale. I was not sure what to expect going in, but definatly knew what it was about when it was done!

Poured a deep dark brown, with lots of reddish hints to it, making it almost seem a dull burnt orange in bright light. A huge billowing white head faded quickly, but left a nice film of lace about the top for most of the glass. The smell was probably the strongest I have ever smelled in a beer. Almost knocked me over. Huge flavors of sour grapes and apples, lots of fruity hints in there, and very very strong, really like nothing I have ever smelled. The taste was unbelievably sour. Like sour candy sour, huge flavors, too much for me. Actually made my eyes water with every sip. Very light mouth feel, and great carbonation were nice, and helped it go down smoothly, but was not really my cup of tea. Flavors were big, grapes, apples, peaches, raisins, plums, very very complex and fruity. Overall I did not enjoy it, but I am not sure if this was due t o the style or this particular brew. I will have to try a couple more to get a better feel, but this one was rough on me. I could see how someone would like its deep complex character, just not me.

mikesgroove, Mar 16, 2007
Photo of jaydoc
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

jaydoc, Aug 16, 2013
Photo of womencantsail
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The pour is a dark, rich, red color without too much carbonation or head formation.

S: Loads of dark fruit, specifically sour cherries and currants. There is a nice lactic sourness along with a mild vinegar aroma.

T: Almost identical to the nose. A wonderful tart/sourness, but not overpowering. The cherries really come through here as well as a touch of sweet malt.

M: Medium bodied with a high level of carbonation and a crisp, dry finish.

D: I'm still getting used to these sour ales and this is a great one to start on. Nothing overly intense about it, but a nice beer nonetheless.

womencantsail, Jul 12, 2009
Photo of kylehay2004
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Two finger rapidly dissipating head with a little lace on a clear near perfectly amber body. Near perfect sour cherry aroma with candy notes. Flavor is initially sour then sweet in the finish with a predominantly dark fruit backbone. This beer is excellent and very very drinkable. Medium body and moderate carbonation. I will be having this one again.

kylehay2004, Jan 25, 2012
Photo of Knapp85
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This ale poured out as a fizzy looking deep red color with a light tan colored head on it. The head didn't last very long and neither did the lacing. The color was great on this beer though. The aroma of oak wood and fermented cherries on the nose giving this quite a sour profile. The taste is exactly what the smell told me. The flavors in this beer are big a powerful upfront with tart cherry and fresh oak. The aftertaste settles into a more semi-sweet and very nice yeasty cherry flavor. The mouthfeel is bubbly and kind of thin but didn't bother me. Overall this is probably one of my favorite sours, I'm not really into this style too much but I'll admit I did enjoy this brew.

Knapp85, Jun 07, 2011
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best Before: 05-12-09.

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark mahogany brown body with a full, frothy, light khaki-colored head. Fair amount of lacing deposited on the way down.

Smell: Sweet-smelling, sugar-coated fruit nose with a big, hearty dose of malt vinegar. Light whiff of an unidentified herbal component.

Taste: Sweet dark caramel maltiness precludes a fruity dose of raspberries and a sugary, lightly tart cherry juice character and with an addition of both aged balsamic and malt vinegars. Squirt of fresh lemon juice. Tiny pinch of cocoa powder. Mild woodiness throughout. Undercurrent of tart acidity, particularly at the end. Long, fruity, crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-plus carbonation.

Drinkability: Recommended. An enjoyable, tasty, relatively smooth Flemish Red jam-packed with rich fruity complexities.

ChainGangGuy, Nov 12, 2008
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

westcoastbeerlvr, Jan 11, 2013
Photo of oberon
3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby color with a nice creamy,sticky head that leaves waves of lace down my brandy snifter,aromas are all Belgian some sour cherry and malt vinegar with a touch of funk hits right on.Now I got alot more sweetness than expected in this brew,a kinda sweet/spicey mix that coats ur mouth with only a touch of sourness in the finish wich was unexpected.I picked up some cherry stone and iron notes a little more as I drank but this seems to stay more on the sweeter side for the style,true to the style not sure, but worth a try its a quality brew.

oberon, Aug 24, 2004
Photo of JAHMUR
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

JAHMUR, Jun 02, 2013
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Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,242 ratings.