Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,441 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,441
Hads: 3,883
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 23.17%
Wants: 211
Gots: 690 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Duchesse De Bourgogne Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,441 | Hads: 3,883
Photo of THECPJ
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

reviewed from notes:

appearance: copper orange red brown thin lacing head

smell: dark fruits, sour, spice

taste: cherries, tart, sweet finish

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body

drinkability: decent brew but not the best in the style. glad I got to try it but will go back to the better brews in the style.



 334 characters

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

25.4oz bottle best before June 09. Drank this with dinner and after last night

A: Pours a deep crimson with a soft one-finger light brown head.

S: A blend of vinegar and oaky sweetness, this one is simple but still delicious. I don't care much for the sweeter Flanders Reds but this is one that impressed me

T: Starts off mildly sour and vinegary before a pleasing sweetness takes over. Finishes with a hint of oak and a little dry

M: Well carbonated, fullish in body, almost like a dessert-wine but solid

D: I enjoyed my bottle and will drink this again and soon

 569 characters

Photo of ccrida
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served on draught from the Uber Tavern in Seattle, in the brewery's chalice, the Duchess is a hazy dark amber with a moderate eggshell head that leaves decent lace.

The aroma is vinous and tart, minerals and dry yet sweet softess, most intriguing, very strong and sweet!

Well this is one superb Flandrers red, the benchmark bar none. Sweeter then it may sound by description, there's some apple cider vinegar like sweetness and, although there's still plenty of funk, the finish is on the sweeter side. Lots of sugar, I like them with less, but I'll still take it! Of course, some of my scoring reflects the romanticism of this being my first of the style, which immediately hooked me on the style and the whole world of sours.

The mouthfeel, while not super fluid, is fairly average for the style, which is light in spite of the sugariness.

This is a pretty good Flanders Red, especially if you like the vinegar aspect tempered with sugar...you're in major luck! The sweetness really sets this one apart in the love-or-hate category.

 1,042 characters

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.37/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle split and poured into a Unibroue tulip. 6% ABV, Best before: See Cork, Exp: Jul 2011.

Thanks to Beerwolf77 for bringing this over last night!

A - A hard cork pull relieves our "don't be a gusher" worries. An effervescent pour let the Duchesse give up a loose tan head with quickly popping and sinking bubbles. Low retention with little lace left over. The color is a clear red-brown. It looks unassuming and kind of like you pored a Coke in a tulip.

S - An oaky wood nose with an astringent, acidic sour smell kind of aims it towards the sour category. Hints of vinegar don't ruin anything, rather, it adds an extra dimension to the tart sourness the nose has to offer. Toasty malts have toffee in the background and combat the sourness reassuring that the taste wont be a mouth-puckering beer. No hop presence in this at all.

T - Delicious malty sweetness with a touch of brown sugar and caramel sweetness with toffee shavings on top. A light vinegar touch and some tart red grape with a mild funkiness backs up the malty sweetness with good balance. Awesome flavor with great depth! Mmmm.

M - The light tart funk melds well with the light-medium body and moderate carbonation finish. Very nice texture and finish but nothing in the mouthfeel really adds to the enjoyment of the beer, rather, it just helps it's awesomeness along.

D - This beer is insanely drinkable. Before finishing my review my pour from the 750 ml bottle was nearly gone. I busted out my 11.2 oz bottle to enjoy some more. Fantastic flavor and good aroma with such a well-balanced flavor and finish. I could put down a 750 ml of this myself no problem. Thanks Bnieman for recommending this time and time again and thanks Todd for bringing it over!

 1,739 characters

Photo of Jwale73
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz. bottle served in my ST tulip. Best before 10-07-09 indicated on the label (whoops). Pours a hazy chestnut brown with a loose, one inch, tan-colored head embedded with tiny ringlets. Burgundy highlights are revealed when backlit, and head eventually settles into a solid quarter inch cap revealing porous bands of lacing. Nose is very rich and complex - tart fruit, a little vinegary, a hint of vanilla and a vinous quality; somewhat reminiscent of a cabernet. There also seem to be traces of spice (cinnamon and...) and cork intermingled with the other aromas. Taste consistent with nose - distinctive aromas coalesce nicely into a complex brew; maybe with some traces of wood expressed in the flavor profile, as well as muted atomic fireballs at the finish. Mouthfeel is light-medium (but closer to light), with an even carbonation level that falls shy of lively and a finish that falls just short of semi-dry. Having never had this before, I can't tell if it's really past it's prime, but I have to say that I found it interesting and complex - a nice introduction to sours for those new to the style in my opinion.

 1,125 characters

Photo of rfgetz
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lovely deep dark ruby brown color with pillowy off white head. Smell is of balsamic vinegar, tart cherry with hints of pear. Taste is a quick burst of tart cherry and apple cider vinegar / balsamic vinegar quickly backing off into a nice blend of semi-sweet fruit with a very earthy grain profile. Body medium... prickly at first, mellowing out quickly. Very good taste without overpowering. Would be a very good introduction into the world of sour beer for the novice.

 477 characters

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This comes out of the tap a beautiful opaque chocolate brown, very appetizing. Strong aroma is more like a hard apple cider than a beer. Flavor is mouth-filling and pleasing; apple taste dominates, and there is a hint of hop bitterness. Finish is very smooth and cider-like.

 274 characters

Photo of tectactoe
3.79/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Figured it was about time I got around to this one, oftentimes an introductory "sour" for those trying to ease their way into the style. Deep burgundy body with rose tones near the top where light is allowed to shine through. The beige head crackles away swiftly into a wimpy little skin that doesn't even maintain full coverage of the brew for more than a few seconds.

Either you're gonna love the aroma, or you're gonna hate it, and it pretty much depends on how much you enjoy vinegar. Copious amounts of vinegar in the aroma, which a back panel of lightly sour cherries and some mild cranberry notes. Spicy, woody vanilla pops out when you inhale deep enough, though your nostrils are busy sifting through the heavy, heavy apple cider vinegar.

Now, I'm a fan of vinegar, though I have to admit that had the vinegar been so heavy on the palate as it was on the nose, it might be a difficult beer to finish. Luckily, the first few sips show me that the vinegar notes, while still prominent and forceful, are toned down to acceptable levels. Some simply tart cherries back the vinegar and smooth things out just a bit.

Mild cola, oak, and faint vanilla make up the rest of the profile, but vinegar-soaked cherries are the leaders of the pack at the end of the day. The tail end aftertaste contains some funk, but nothing too crazy or notable. With time, it seems that Duchesse goes from being more sour to more sweet; by the time you finish the glass, it will be mostly sweet.

Medium bodied, a touch heavier than you may expect for a sour ale, with heavier carbonation as well, and a slick, almost oily mouth feel. Duchesse de Bourgogne is a decent way to soothe your apprehensive friends into accepting the world of sour beers. For people who are already deep into that territory, this beer won't be too exciting for you, so hopefully you can see it for what it is: a mild mannered bridge into a whole different type of beer.

 1,931 characters

Photo of ColForbinBC
3.83/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle poured into a Chouffe tulip

Pours a muddy red amber with a bubbly, tan-infused cap that rose to fill the tulip and fell quickly. Very delicate lace left in its wake.

Sweet fruits work hard to mask the sour notes/vinegar, but lose out in the end. Vinous dark fruit (cherries, grapes), almost wine-like, green apples and balsamic vinegar waft out of the glass very easily and blend to make an overall sweet and tart aroma.

The flavor profile is just like the aroma. Very tolerable vinegar in the finish with the fruit qualities up front. The vinegar does not linger for very long and actually leaves a slight apple cider vinegar flavor behind. Sweet and sour in an almost perfect marriage.

The body is medium with the finish lingering for just the right amount of time. The prickly carbonation is tuned up a bit, but it fits the style perfectly.

This is a tough style to drink a few of anyway. However, this guy was pretty easy to get down and has a manageable abv. This really challenges the palate and nose, I wouldn't want more than one of these anyway.

 1,073 characters

Photo of dar482
4.16/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The beer comes in a reddish brown mahoghany with a bit of light coming through, but quite dark with tons of lacing and a white head.

The aroma has some tart berries with cherries and a bit of cranberry. There’s some apple cider vinegar and and also some brown sugar and caramel candy sweetness.

The flavor follows with a bit less tartness than expected. It’s a combination of cherries and cranberries with apple cider vinegar. The middle gives you a bit of tannin of red wine vinegar. Then there’s just a sweetness that calms the entire beer. It’s candy sweet, but not too much. The finish gives you a bit of oak and red wine drying.

There’s tons of carbonation that balances the sweetness and tartness and makes the beer quite creamy.

It’s a really fantastic beer. It does not have huge huge characteristics, but it’s a wonderful beginner sour or for those who like red wine. However, for beer lovers, it still is a really well rounded and delicious drinking beer.

 984 characters

Photo of champ103
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a mahogany, almost dark brown color. A one finger beige head forms. Rings of sticky lace are left behind.
S: Wow! One of the most unique aromas I have come by. Buttery, musky, sour, tart malt. Some dark fruits and oak. Very unique and interesting. It doesn't quit mesh right for me, but I love how unique this is.
T: Buttery and sweet malt. Slightly sour fruits of apples and cherries. A tannin/wine like grape flavor with some oak. Some warming alcohol.
M/D: A medium body that is creamy and well carbonated. This is not that high in alcohol, though it is noticeable. Combine that with the sweet and sour character, one bottle is plenty for a night.

I have heard that this is very much like wine. I would have to agree with that opinion, and add that I would take this any day over wine. So complex, and very unique. This should be shown off to every wine geek to show the depth and range of this amazing beverage.

 925 characters

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.52/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Amber/ruby pour with off white head that showed some persistence.
Aroma is very refreshing and fruity: sour funk, some plums, raspberries, and spicy phenols.
Very sweet flavour, lots of redcurrants, more raspberries, some oranges and a hint of vanilla. Low sourness and acidity.
Quite highly carbonated, but not overly so for the style. Would have liked some tannin-like astringency.
Very refreshing overall, but too sweet.

 423 characters

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ahhh, a nice aged bottle of Duchesse, doesn't get a whole lot better for a Flanders. I believe this is an 07 bottle, has a best before date of 22-04-09. Pours a hazed, brown/red color with a creamy cap of tan head. Lacing very good for a sour, retention is as well.

Nose is full of vinegar, sour cherries and brown ale-esque maltiness. Very delicious and mouth watering.

I find this beer to be a bit too sweet for me when fresh, but that really mellows with some age and the sourness becomes more pronounced, although still not exactly mouth-puckeringly sour. Nice balance here; cherry fruitiness and carmely malt blend together perfectly. Mothfeel seems to thin out as it ages, but I'll trade that anyday for less sweetness. A pleasant, easy drinking, lightly sour Flemmish ale...tasty!

 789 characters

Photo of Immortale25
4.27/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Dogfish signature snifter. Label says best before 09/11/2013.

A- Pours a ruby-like brown color with almost two fingers worth of head that retains well before making its way down to an 1/8 inch ring around the edge of the glass. A nice sheet of surface foam and good lacing. Actually looks quite nice.

S- Oh, but it will be sour indeed. Pungent, almost medicinal fumes of wild funk. I can actually smell the tartness which immediately causes my tongue to pucker and salivate slightly.

T- Oh my. That's good! Sweet in the front, very tart in the back and plenty of twists and turns in between. Has the candy-like fruit flavor of a lambic while still brandishing that assertive sourness. Also a noticeable use of malts which keeps that nice, solid beer body amongst the acidity.

M- Very drying and, of course, puckering. Medium-high carbonation.

O- Yes, it's quite tart and does very little to quench my thirst but, after your palate gets acquainted with those tastes, it's very well-balanced. I don't usually get into sours, but I wouldn't mind having this every once in a while. Hat's off to the Duchesse.

 1,123 characters

Photo of stcules
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Mahogany color, bright, with ruby edges. Beige foam, good and creamy.
Malty smell, acicic, red fruit, strawbeery, raspberry, and sugar. And all on good acidic notes.
In the mouth a good acetic acidity, agai red fruit, oak notes, candy sugar. Good.
Light body. Great drinkability.
In the aftertaste the same pleasant note, a strong oak woody-ness, red fruit, and the acetic over all.
Definitely good, to drink in great quantity.

 427 characters

Photo of Darkmagus82
4.01/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a chestnut color with some ruby highlights seen shinning throughout. Upon pouring there is a small white head that fades relatively quickly leaving only a trace of lace.

Smell- The aroma is of dark fruit and sourness. The dark fruits are mainly of a cherry aroma, but have hints of raisin and prune mixed within. Along with these sweeter smells comes a good dose of a sour and tart aroma of a mix of apple cider vinegar mixed with some sour lemon.

Taste – The flavor of the brew is a nice blending of sweet and sour/tart. Upfront there is a good showing of a sweeter cherry flavor mixed with some lighter notes of sour grapes. As the flavor advances the sweetness fades slightly while the sour grape flavor grows stronger. Some hints of a yeasty taste begin coming to the tongue as well as a more sour and tart vinegar taste. In the end a rather balanced sweet and sour fruited vinegar flavor is left to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel- The body of the brew is on the thinner side with a carbonation level that is rather average to slightly below average. The thinner body and moderate carbonation are fantastic for keeping the brew on the more drinkable side, but while still providing enough body to support the sour and sweet flavors of the brew.

Overall – A very nice sour that is extremely drinkable and very tasty. One of the most balanced and enjoyable sours I have ever had.

 1,458 characters

Photo of AgentMunky
3.49/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 33cL bottle into a tulip glass at the J. Clyde in Birmingham.

A: Short-lived white head. Gorgeous, translucent red-brown.

S: Super-strong balsamic vinegar. Completely overwhelming.

T: It *tastes* like balsamic vinegar(ette). Some tart fruit (raspberries, strawberries) seems to be present as well. Very strange. My initial revulsion has fled, and the beer grows on me quickly.

M: Spritzy and delicious.

O: An interesting beer. Far too vinegary. I was recommended this beer multiple times as an introduction to sours, but it's simply not my thing.

 565 characters

Photo of tigg924
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: dark red/brown, medium head, medium carbonation, clear

Smell: sour figs, pears, and cherries

Taste: The big taste I get here is cherry sour patch kids, plus maybe a bit of berry

Mouthfeel: sour, tart, clean, and there is a sweetness to it as well

Drinkability: I think this would be an excellent starter sour. The taste is amazing and I could drink several as the alcohol is hidden.

 398 characters

Photo of thagr81us
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from bottle into a Bell's tulip. Poured a deep reddish brown with a two finger off white head with a slight light tan hue that subsided to half a finger very slowly. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, sour, tart, cherries, raspberries, and subtle wood. The flavor was of sweet malt, wood, sour, tart, subtle earth, and raspberries. It had a medium feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall there is not a lot you can say bad about this brew. Once upon a time I saw this on the closeout section at Duckworth's, I drank the entire stock of 12 oz bottles they had. Oops... Definitely has an excellent and inviting aroma going on here and a great flavor to go along with that. Everything on this one just works really well together. A great example of the style if you ask me. An absolute must try for any sour fan out there if you have not already.

 915 characters

Photo of maximum12
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Have heard a few songs of praise from the raised voices of local BAs about the Duchesse, so when I found myself at the Lowertown Bulldog for lunch, it seemed a good time to introduce myself. Good afternoon, Duchesse.

Amberish pour with little to no evident carbonation, she just lay there flat & still. Smell was sharp, tangy.

My taste buds shouted in surprise when the Duchesses arrived; I was expecting a sour blast, but instead she came with tartness, & a clean feel of sparkling grape juice (which I've always loved!). The expected sourness was nowhere to be found, only a Bottle Cap-like sweetness mixed in with the tart grape/cherry/fruits. A second sip confirmed all of this & more, & I was happy. The wife took a sip & was sad she didn't have a glass, too.

Drinkability? Damn straight. Down like kiddee Kool-Aid. My mouth might pucker up in protest after two, but it'd be worth it.

This is nothing at all like the only other Flanders Red I tried, but an excellent beer that could easily be utilized as a gateway to craft or Belgians. Duchesse, I bow to you, & hope we meet again.

 1,095 characters

Photo of Dogbrick
3.03/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I am still a little new to Flemish Sour Ales, Rodenbach Alexander being the only other one I have tried so far. From what I understand both are good examples of the style. That being the case I am fairly certain this is not a style I am a big fan of. Pours a dark amber/brown with a thick multi-colored head (beige with light brown splotches), with thin lacing. Aroma is alternatingly fruity and sour. The flavor actually reminded me of some Ohio Buckeye Brown that I tried not too long ago that had gone way past the "best by" date. Tart and vinegary flavor is tangy throughout. The finish is like an oaky Merlot. I was able to drink most of this in small doses, but I just can't appreciate the style.

 702 characters

Photo of popery
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well, this is my first real sour, and it is fantastic. I'm leaving some room in my score because I need more experience to give too high of a score. I will be coming back to this review when I've had a few more sours. This beer pours a beautiful red brown that looks incredible in my St. Bernardus glass. The aroma is tart, hinting at the sour cherry flavor. The flavor is big sour cherry with an underlying oakiness. It is fairly close to a sour cider that has been aged in wood barrels. There are flavors of great fruit vinegar. The feel is silky and mildly bracing. It's the best fruit flavor in a beer that I've ever tasted. I'm extremely tempted just to give higher scores now.

 682 characters

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a clean orange-ish brown color with a light tan head. In the aroma, sour cherry and oaky hints. In the taste, sweet to sour dark cherry and a small oaky hint. A smooth and sour medium to light bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry oaky and cherry aftertaste. Nice oaky hints, with a nice cherry sourness.

 307 characters

Photo of AgentZero
3.04/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Very brown beer here, was expecting more of the red, especially with the initial smell that came from opening the bottle. Not a whole lot of amber showing through on this one.

S - Wow, talk about vinegar. It's overpowering, great if that's your thing.

T - Tastes a lot more full than the smell would indicate, but the smell is getting in the way of this. Very sour beer, but sweet as well.

M - Once again, more than you would expect from the smell, medium bodies, but kind of oily. Nice carbonation on this one.

D - Very easy drink, particularly if you like sour taste. Will get you drunk quite easily.

 610 characters

Photo of ArrogantB
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

 693 characters

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
92 out of 100 based on 1,441 ratings.