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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,419 Reviews
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,419
Hads: 3,801
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 13.48%
Wants: 198
Gots: 654 | FT: 12
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Verhaeghe visit their website
Belgium

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: 1,419 | Hads: 3,801
Photo of davedahl
4.58/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a delicious brew.

_Appearance_
Very clear ruby-bronze color - and gradiated. When held to a light it shows off brilliant clarity and a few champagne-like bubbles rising to surface. Small head with low head-retention.

_Smell_
Sour cherries, crab apples, creamy-carmely malt.

_Taste_
Slight tannin, sourness, light carmel malt. Whole cherries. Young and sweet but deliciously sour and complex. Clearly a blend.

_Mouthfeel_
Full and well-rounded. Semi-dry finish. Slight mouth-pricle from medium-to-high carbonation.

_Drinkability_
Despite complexity, sour/sweet ness, this is highly drinkable thanks to how well balanced and only slight dryness.

Drink it! (664 characters)

Photo of PiecefulToker
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was my first flander's red, and wow was I impressed. This beer is awesome.

At first glance, it poured a beautiful bergundy brown color, with a nice 1 finger head that lasted quite a while. Nice lacing down the glass.

S: It smells like sweet, delicate, fruity wine.

T: Wow, this beer is amazing, sweet, but with a nice sourness that comes in. It has wine like character that I really enjoy.

M: Excellent. Smooth, yet it has a great tingling carbonation to it.

D: I would only want one of these ever so often because they are so delicious, I could easily get addicted. (576 characters)

Photo of beersabound
3.63/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The aroma smells of sour cherries with some alcohol and malt sweetness. It has a deep red color with a large tan head that lasts forever. The mouthfeel is slightly slick with some tartness and a little CO2 bite. The flavor is sweet, tart, fruity and delicious. The finish is still sweet but has some dryness to it. Other than this dryness I do not get much oak out of it. This is a good flanders red but I prefer them with more sourness and less sweetness. Everyone seems to be ga-ga over this one so here is a different opinion. It's good but very sweet. (555 characters)

Photo of ThirdLap
4.53/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

So it turns out that I was wrong.

I tried Duchesse in my early craft beer days and found it to be utterly revolting. Perhaps it was due to a bad bottle I picked up, but I'm more inclined to blame it on an undeveloped palate. Yesterday I tried it on-tap at Sacramento Brewing and realized what I'd been missing out on.

Get this: A non-beer-drinker in our party declared it her favorite beer of all time, ordering two additional glasses for herself.

A - Pours a light cherry brown with a light, dirty tan head. Lots of lacing remains after the head dissipates nearly completely.

S - You know that it's going to be tart before even taking a sip. As a beginner I got vinegar and little else. This time I pick up dark cherries, vanilla, with a nutty backbone. You will recall this beer by its nose more than anything else.

T - To cut to the chase, absolutely delicious. It's creamy, sweet, tart, with cherries, vanilla, and dark berries. The vinegar is present, but doesn't ruin the experience.

M - Medium bodied, crisp, with lots of carbonation.

D - A sipper, but one you want to sip all damn day.

Never in a million years did I think I'd say it, but I love Duchesse! (1,174 characters)

Photo of mexikrainian
4.17/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml poured into a Unibroue tulip.

Appearance: brown amber with short-lived beige head and patchy lacing.

Aroma: pungent cherry aroma, slightly nutty and plum.

Taste: a balance of sour and sweet with dry, smooth finish.

Mouthfeel: syrup and acidic texture with medium body and light-medium carbonation.

Overall Impression: unique and complex, this delicious red ale is reminiscent of a carbonated plum wine. mmmm...give me more. (434 characters)

Photo of 3sheets2wind
2.12/5  rDev -48%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.75

Nice looking beer. Pours auburn with pillowy off-white head. Cherry red lifesaver with vinegar after taste. Mouthfeel is nice. Aroma is melted sour apple slurpee and red vines. Not sure why this beer gets so much love. Get some cuvee de jacobins fellas. (253 characters)

Photo of nogoodreason
2.64/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Appearance: Nice. Deep red, fairly clear. Lovely thick cream head with a slight red hue. The Duchesse is pretty.

Smell: Um. Vinegar? Sweet Vinegarette? Some fruit, rasberries, cherries. But mostly vinegar.

Taste: Like the smell only with a cloying, sickly sweetness. Again, there is a big fruity aspect there. The more I drink, the less the sweetness effects me and the more I can taste a nice yeastiness but it's subtle, and I still have to wade through the sweetness and the vinegar aspects to get to it.

Mouthfeel: If I can separate the way it feels in my mouth from the smell and taste, I find this to be quite pleasant. Thick, viscous and with enough carbonation to please.

Drinkability: I guess you could call this drinkable, if it's your thing. To me the sweetness made me choke it back rather than savoring it.


I thought at first that I might've gotten a bad bottle, but I asked around and the people that I talked to have had this experience. Some liked it, some didn't. Count me in the latter group. It tastes like a bubbly raspberry vinegarette. Ugh. (1,081 characters)

Photo of DPFRD
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Reddish brown, very clean when light is shone through. Head dissipated quickly, leaving a soapy presence. Good Carbonation.

S- Sweet, Oak and tart acidic notes, very subtle.

T- Sweet and sour duel on a tight rope. The transparency and complexity of this beer seems unreel. You have to look into it. Has a tart fruit aspect with the fruit being very subtle or short rather, as it is there. As it warms fruity notes begin to propagate.

M- Medium, decent carbonation activity on tongue, has a puckering aspect.

D- Wonderfully drinkable, and quite interesting. Has wine like qualities.

O- I'm into this. I want to travel to Flanders now and get into all the sour shit they have. The beer was more sweet to me than sour, but not overly. (740 characters)

Photo of TPSReports
2.27/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Picked up this bottle with great ancitipation for Chan's now Aloha World of Wines in Pensacola, FL. The bottled looked good and the cork was solid with no dust on the bottle.

I lightly chilled the beer then popped the cork. It poured a reddish brown with a nice head. That's basically where the fun ended.

The smell was vinegarish with some cirtus notes blended in. I'm not a fan of vinegar unless we're talking BBQ sauce.

Anyway, the taste matched the smell to my taste. I let the beer warm and tried some more. No change. I put the bottle in an ice bath and tried it again. Still nothing but disappointment. Bummer.

I guess the mouthfeel was OK, but the taste killed the feel.

I will not drink the beer again. Based on the other reviews that I've read, I guess my bottle was good, but didn't agree with me. Glad everyone else seems to enjoy it.

Cheers. (872 characters)

Photo of kleffman
4.58/5  rDev +12.3%
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. (1,127 characters)

Photo of tcfishler
1.74/5  rDev -57.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Deep red-brown, like an old/oxidized red wine.

Winey nose of sour cherry, yeast, and aceto balsamico.

Hits first with acidity...definitely acetic acid (aka vinegar). Comes through afterward with quite sweet fruitiness, and a tiny bit of roasted malt as well. Highly carbonated. Finishes long but astringent.

Very much a love-it-or-hate-it beer, or perhaps an acquired taste. For someone like me whose background is in wine-drinking, this isfar too similar to a wine that has gone bad, what with the brownish red color and copious volatile acidity (acetic acid). I couldn't even manage to drink more than a few ounces, which is a tragedy given the care put into brewing this. Take my rating with a grain of salt, keeping in mind my biases.

EDIT: Come to think of it, reducing this in a pan on the stove could make an awesome sauce. In that context the vinegar-y flavors would be appetizing rather than offensive. (923 characters)

Photo of mbrasi
3.83/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best Before 03-10-09 Pours a reddish brown with a head that dissipates fast. Aroma is sour, lactic, vinigar dominates, with some wood. Flavor is sweet up front, some then vinigar, with a wood finish and some lingering lactic notes. This one kind of grows on me. At first I thought it wood be drain pour (and I love sours) because of the too much vinigar and sweetness, but the flavors start to blend into something that is more enjoyable as you drink this brew. Mouthfeel lacks significant carbonation but has a decently rich body that compensates. (548 characters)

Photo of joshwlt
4.16/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tan brown color with a purple grape juice-like tone when held to the light. Off white sticky head. Smells vinegary, sour, and acidic. It really shines in flavor though. Has an apple cider-like sweetness but not overly sugary as it has a bready malt to match and a sourness that puckers the sides of the tongue. This stuff just tastes delicious. (344 characters)

Photo of SteveS1
4.02/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Look: Pours dark ruby/caramel with a decent head that fizzles out at an even pace.

Smell: Tart fruit and lots of it, dried cranberries, raisins, plums, currents, rasberry and a distinct woody scent.

Taste: Tart fruit (raspberry and cranberry) on the tongue melts into much mellower berries (strawberry, sweet blueberry), and finishes with a clean and dry red grape. Current/woody aftertaste. Sweet overall and nary a trace of alcohol.

Feel: Fantastic carbonation subsides into a refreshing light body.

Drink: Exquisite beer or fancy soda? Indeed, this is a beer, and quite an impressive one, but there isn't nearly enough tart to balance the sweetness for me. Very drinkable, almost dangerously so. (702 characters)

Photo of Sumdeus
4.02/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Split a 750ml bottle among a group.

A: very dark red and clear pour, a finger of head that rapidly dissipates into the beer leaving some good lacing on the glass.

S: slightly acetic tart, fruits and some oaky/woody notes.

T: tart fruits, not super tart, but a nice acetic tart. Very clean taste.

M: crisp and clean. Nice and bubbly too.

O: great mildly tart beer. (368 characters)

Photo of beerfairy
2.96/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Very nice foam presence, a copper-ish brown color

S - Vinegar and diacytel with hits of prune

T - Sweet vinegar and prune tastes

I'm not sure if I got a good bottle of this one, will have to try again, but it's expensive. It was from a 750ml bottle. (257 characters)

Photo of markmiller
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful dark reddish ruby brown with a decent finger of off white head. Nice lacing.

While pouring this, there is a funk that wafts up...kind of hard to describe. The aroma is one of tart fruit, brown sugar and vinegar. As it warms, it seems to get more "funky".

A long, drawing sip proves this one to be sweeter than the nose. I was expecting far more tartness to the Duchesse, but she's pretty damn balanced. There is a that fruit, maybe some strawberry, candied citrus rind. Oak is present, and this one finishes lightl and balanced. Never too much fruit or tartness. Unique and delicious!

Crisp finish, not overly sweet on the aftertaste.

Outstanding example of how complex beer can be. Enjoy this at least once for sure! (739 characters)

Photo of SDDanC
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into tulip from tap at sd toronado. Pours a dark brown with a small bit of amber. Creamy, but thin, egg white head that does not linger very long. Nose is spice, vanilla, and sour yeast. On the tongue it has a very smooth and sweet vanilla taste that coats the mouth. Sourness is subtle but comes out most in the middle then gives way to the vanilla and dark fruits. Mouthfeel is great, comfortable carbonation that compliments the toned down sourness.

Overall, awesome beer, nice switch from the fruity, tart sours (523 characters)

Photo of Greenfloyd
4.65/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one wild beer....

Poured into a snifter with a very dark amber hue, with a yellowish, orange decently lingering head. This beer had a tart cherry nose , with subtle hints of malt vinegar. The taste was a pretty wild ride....Rainer cherries collapse into a mildly sour, oaky cider. Very unique, yet refreshing for such a dark menacing looking beer. The strains of yeast clearly dominate the characteristics of this Flanders Red. The medium body helps the drinkability, as this beer should be paired with mild, semi-soft cheeses and tart apples. Of course a grilled Montreal style rib-eye pairing coupled with some Portabello mushrooms would be great as well...Enjoy

Note: Don't give up on this beer until you've tried it a few times. I had three before I really started to enjoy the complexities of this ale. My taste is an easy upgrade to "4.5" after the repeated sampling...it's still a crazy beer though...

Note part 2: I can't help it. It's a "5" in the old taste category now. The more I drink it the more I love it. Simply amazing... (1,049 characters)

Photo of Maction
4.27/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Mahogany with rosy amber edges and a thin straw-colored head that quickly fades to a mist.

S: A very complex nose, with sherry, leather, malt vinegar, aromas and some funky, swampy, earthy notes.

T: Complements the nose, with sweeter raspberry hard candy, balsamic vinegar, and mushroom-y finish

M: Wine like feel, with some sparkle at the end, and a sweet-and-sour finish.

D: This isn't a ballgame chugger, but a nightcap sipper, to be enjoyed by the fireside. Does that make it less drinkable than an ESB? I think not. (527 characters)

Photo of NolateM
4.77/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle is just over 2 years old, which should not affect this review too much considering the style.

Super dark brownish-reddish-almost-blackish, with a thin head that quickly dissipates. The aroma is inviting: citrusy, brown sugary. The flavor is superb - literally one of the finest beers I've ever tasted. Tangy and lemony, but not mouth puckering. Some wood flavor, cherry, brown sugar, and vanilla... all very lingering. Easy to drink, with almost no alcohol flavor present, and a lively, soda-like carbonation.

Damn there's a lot going on in this fine piece of beverage art! I'm a fanatic of the Flemish ales, and this goes down as my favorite so far. A special occasion beer that is truly worth every penny.

About 13 bucks if you find a four-pack of small bottles, and 9-10 dollars for a the more common 750 mL. (823 characters)

Photo of Marty
3.43/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a transparent deep rosy amber, which surprised me because I (for whatever reason) expected this to be an unfiltered. Dense, craggy, light brown head.

Smells very sweet, cider-like. Taste is very similar, and surprisingly simple. No hops to speak of, and not even particularly malty. Just FRUITY! Very fruity. Impressive that such a tart flavor could come just from yeast, because I was pretty sure there was a whole granny smith apple in that bottle.

Not something I would buy again, but worth a try. (512 characters)

Photo of BlueHammer
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really enjoyed this beer! It is very similar to Nostradamus, which is one of my favorites. As soon as you pop the cap off the bottle the sweer, malty, fruity aroma emanates from within. The beer pours a dark reddish brown, only slightly translucent when held to the light. There was a light tan head that held for a while and left lacing on the glass.

The flavor was very sweet and malty with a clear prune/plum flavor. Delicious. This is a heavy feeling beer, very filling, and better sipped. The beer is smooth and balanced as you drink. (544 characters)

Photo of GooberMcNutly
3.18/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours as a thick, reddish brown with white head and good carbonation. Aromas of sour, acidic cider with cherry and rasberry notes. Taste bursts of fresh grape juice and red wine vinegar with nice oak notes. I found the overall body to be very light and unassuming with less of an acidic kick than I was expecting. Nicely subtle and the dry finish makes for a good starter beer. (377 characters)

Photo of infestaxion
4.68/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Best by 27-07-10

A - Ruby reddish brown with a fluffy off white head that doesn't hang around very long but leaves a nice lacing.

S - Dark cherries and alcohol. Almost a port smell. A bit sweet at the end.

T - Oh wow. That is really good. Why have I waited so long to try this beer? Cherry and grape with a malty sweetness. Amazing flavor. The tartness and sour is there but I wish it were more. If it was more sour it would get a 5 easy.

M - Great tingly carbonation and good body.

D - Very, very drinkable. (513 characters)

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
91 out of 100 based on 1,419 ratings.