Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

3,731 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,731
Reviews: 1,463
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 188
Gots: 610 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,731 | Reviews: 1,463
Photo of homersimpson
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear tawny red/brown with a sedate tan head.
Sourish malty nose, somewhat like a confectioner's shop.
Medium smooth body.
Hits your tonue with a quick sweet / sour flavor. Very candylike. Citrusy up front like a demented lemonade. Smoothly transitions and leaves your mouth with a fruity syrupy flavor that hangs around for the next sip.

Photo of Katahdin
4.04/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

I was suspiciou at first of this beer. I am not generally a fan of Sours, but this one won me over. Very smooth and crisp. Has a nice sour taste and a full body but without the tartness of many sours. This is a beer that will not pucker your mouth with its tartness. it has a surprisingly sweet finish to it and is imminently drinkable. Even more the aroma is not overwhelming like many other sours.

Photo of jletts
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appeared dark amber with a strong, smooth frothy one-finger head that shrank but never totally dissipated during the duration of the taste. Smelled strongly of apples, sour cherry, some sweet dark fruit, and a little yeast. The taste centered on apples, pears and a little sour cherry- very strong on the sour apple flavor. A champagne-like effervescence filled the mouth until the very end. This beer is highly carbonated. Very good drinkability, a nice red sour-style and I would definitely drink a few if I had more.

Photo of steadydose
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best berfore 1-10-11

Poured this one into my trappist glass. The beer was burgundy, brown w/ red highlights. There was a wisp of cream foam around the perimeter of the beer. Looked good in the wide mouthed glass, especially with the sun overhead.

Duchesse had a good aroma with cherries, rasberries, pie crust and sweet fruit all coming through in the nose. I didn't notice much vinegar or oak in this bottle.

I got a lot of cherries, rasberry fruit juice in the taste with just a hint of tart and vinegar. There was a fair amount of sweetness towards the end, but finished pretty clean.

Mouthfeel was very good, with proper carbonation and a light body.

Overall, I enjoyed this particular serving more than the other bottle I had about a year ago, which tasted more like vinegar and old stale wine to me, this serving may have been fresher as it was cleaner and presented with more fruit sweetness.

Photo of 5pmsomewhere
4.31/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Incredibly complex balanced flavor that lingers forever.

Photo of jenbys2001
2.19/5  rDev -47.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

I bought this beer as part of a mixed six pack on a recommendation from a friend. I had high hopes for it since I have a fixation on Belgian beers. Unfortunately though I was really disappointed. It's one of the few premium beers that I sincerely disliked.

For me the flavor is far too cloying and sweet. It tasted similar to a heavy sweet wine rather than beer. Although I did enjoy the after taste. The lingering flavor is very nutty, almost coffee like- which I would attribute to the oak casks. Although the color is very appealing and the smell is fairly pleasant and spicy I did not like the lack of carbonation. It gave the beer a syrupy quality that I did not enjoy. Definitely a sipping beer, but my husband and I had a hard time finishing one 11.2 ounce bottle between the two of us.

However, if you enjoy very sweet beverages you might appreciate this beer.

Photo of carpezytha
4.51/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very well balanced beer. Do not try this beer if you are narrow minded. It probably falls outside of whatever classification you will try to fit it into.

Fabulous appearance. Deep bronzed ruby in color.

An eager foam gathers after a good pour. I used a small chardonnay-shaped glass and that worked.

A bit musty on the nose, with some sourness anticipated, indicated.

First on the tongue, a well balanced sweet and sour, good carbonation. I think the carbonation helped it.

Beneath the sourness of the yeast and the sweet light malt there are citrus notes underneath, some jammy cherry and peach, tangy notes with a light scatter of spicebox, cedar and leather. There really are several flavors here that combine well.

I will definitely try this one again soon if I can. I was surprised and impressed.

Photo of Dspohn
2.98/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

11.2 oz poured into an oversized wine glass.

A. Pours a very dark ruby/brown but has some excellent red highlights. A little dark for me considering the style but it does have some nice lacing.

S. Sweet and sour vinegar aspects, has a nice balance. Not quite the sour punch I was hoping for but there is definitely sour cherry/red fruit smell present that I would expect. A little muted but it smells pretty good.

T. Damn. The taste brings the flaw that I was hoping to avoid from the smell. Sweet and sour but the sweetness wins out in the taste. Unfortunately I find the sweetness to be of a balsamic vinegar nature as opposed to dark red fruits, which would be more pleasing. Not enough tart cherry or acidity or drying characteristics to balance it out sufficiently.

M&D. Nice light mouthfeel, not too syrupy or anything but becomes a chore to drink after awhile for me. Would be a great introduction to those looking to explore beers with more sour qualities without being overwhelmed. Dont think I'll be buying much more of this however, a decent offering but when I'm looking for a flanders red ale I'd rather spend my money on some others over this one. (Rodenbachs and La Folie come to mind...)

Photo of jmaharaj
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- a burning deep red. white foam lingers around the edge of the glass. this beer looks beautiful.

S- Sour. not an overpowering tart, but it feels deep. slight cherry, maybe un-ripe apple.

T- amazing. you feel the tartness right away. its a wonderfully complicated tartness that tastes of cherries and apple skin. theres a little malt that carries the tartness until a puckering dry finnish that fades into a light woodsy spiciness. this beer is complicated, long, and all those elements dance together beautifully.

M- thin, an almost passive-aggressive carbonation. carries the flavors well and then leaves you wanting more

O- love it. nothing about this beer tastes forced or artificial. its cohesive while being incredibly dynamic. one of the best flemish style beers ive had.

Photo of weltywm
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into my Dogfish Goblet.

Appearance: Dark red/burgundy with a quickly dissipating white head. Little lacing on the glass.

Smell: Smells like a great sour: balsamic and vinegar up front. Also tart red fruit and musty grape.

Taste: A really great, well balanced sour: oak, vinegar, tart red fruit, balsamic, and wine-like grape. A nice sour, mouth-puckering taste overall. Very well balanced, with a lot going on.

Mouthfeel: very crisp, dry, sour, and refreshing. Medium body and medium carbonation. Long finish.

Overall: A really great Belgian style sour ale. Nice balance of sour, tart, and fruity. Would definitely buy again.

Photo of DagenhamDavis
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

My first 'sour' beer, so take that as you will. So weird! It tastes like a lambic, a Lindemans' Framboise, for example, but without the raspberry. It smells and tastes a bit like vinegar and wine, too. Complex and tasty with something of a metallic finish.
Honestly, It's a lot to get used to. I can't really see someone drinking this on the daily considering the substantial taste and cost ($6.10/bottle) . I will try again if I can find it fresh. This bottle was a little past its prime, and was probably not properly 'cellared' in the supermarket for a good 9 months...
Cheers to Flanders and the Duchesse- try it! You'll certainly be trying something unique.

Photo of jtslay
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

Photo of jpiper
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught at Buckeye Beer Engine.

Amber-brown with a nice finger and a half pillowy head which turns into a thin lace.

Prunes and dates and raisins, oh my. Lots of delicious sweet dried fruit.

Taste is more of the same. Tons of sweet fruits plus a mild
tartness. A coppery taste in the middle, but the finish is pleasant with more of the sweet fruits, minor amounts of breast yeast, and some acidity. Some richer roasted flavors also come out in the finish. Further in to the glass, as I become accustomed to the forward flavors, I get some chocolate at the beginning as well.

Very dry finish. Nice and clean.

This is pretty drinkable save for the coppery middle palate, which dissipates further into the beer.

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

Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle into a pint glass

A: Garnet brown in appearance with a light tan head that held strong and left a good bit of lacing.

S: Sour berries and stone fruit with burnt sugar and butterscotch.

T: This brew joins tart and sweet flawlessly. A sweet rush comes initially, followed by a tart twang that left me yearning for another sip.

M: A bit too much carbonation with a medium mouth feel.

D: Very drinkable, indeed.

Photo of Muhly
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-deep reddy brown. Pours with a large off-white to tan head.

S-citrusy and bread-sweetness

T-tart, acidic, dark fruit sweetness

M-ebullient

O-yay. Very good. More complex than Rodenbach Classic with a good wallop of tartness to keep sour fans happy.

Photo of CraigS119
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smells like vinegar and soy sauce. But taste is very smooth and light, pleasant. Surprisingly a very good beer.

Photo of grindcore666
1.15/5  rDev -72.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

A union of red and black beneath roasted marshmallow foam.

Aroma is of eggnog, sweet and sour sauce, and vinegarrrr. This is one of those occasions where I'm absolutely certain that's what I'm smelling. But...I'm disgusted by it.

After taking a sip: feels like a cherry cola before I sense the taste. A sharp, sweet, super sour cherry sensation escapes nasally. Sugar up the ying yang. Thick vinegar overdrive. Gross.

Carbonation. Carbonation. More carbonation. It's a super carbonated cherry cola with a tang. I think this one was too much for me: overly sweet and funky. Couldn't finish it. Awful.

Photo of MrBen
4.76/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Looking for a bold departure from your favorite brews? Call the Duchesse De Bourgogne!

The beer comes in a dark red/brown with a cream-colored head. Smell is crisp, slightly fruity, and tart. Very interesting. Flavor is deceptively good. Wine, cider, presence of tart and sour fruits. Some nice sweetness as well. It's very complex and holds my attention. I ended up ordering two of these -- one before and one after lunch.

Mouthfeel is captivating. You get a the urge to pucker up, but then a mild, almost acidic, dryness comes forward, much like the feeling you'd get after eating a bunch of fresh cranberries.

Duchesse De Bourgogne is an amazing beer. If you're looking for something unique and superbly crafted, do yourself the favor and give this a try.

Photo of audiojon
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This tasted a bit like fermented grape soda upon first sip. By the end of the glass i had grown a taste for it. Very tart, very dry, but verrry different and pretty damned tasty. I couldn't see drinking more than one or two tho.

Poured on tap at O'Brien's in San Diego. Appearance was nice, smell was very sweet and fruity, lots of grape and cherry. Effervescent mouthfeel, extremely fizzy. The taste is sweet at first, then rapidly shifts to extremely sour. From there it's a contrast of the dry tartness and a refreshing sweetness.

Recommended, but only for sour beer lovers.

Photo of phirleh
4.85/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the first of this style that I've really tried, I bought it in January in Quebec. Poured an amber red colour, and the head was minimal but very long lasting. The first taste was very sour and almost wine like, further drinking revealed a much more complex flavour profile, sweet and sour, almost like grape juice with hints of green apple and cherry. The carbonation is slightly prickly, very Belgian. Very drinkable and well deserved of its high rating. I have another bottle in my basement. Always buy 2 to avoid disappointment!

Photo of justiceavocado
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into a snifter.

A – Small head, but great retention. Maybe a quarter inch of pancake batter-thick froth, and the bubbles just keep on gushing from the bottom of the snifter, like CocaCola. Lacing is strong, as well. The color of the actual liquid is also like soda, dark and cloudy and reddish. (Update: I just wrote the rest of this review, and the bubbles are still gushing up from the bottom. Jeebus!)

S – Funkier than I expected, almost like with wild yeast. Definitely some blackberries and sour raspberries in there. Intriguing and unique.

T – Yikes! The shortest millisecond of bitterness (following the aroma) is immediately overpowered by sweet fruitiness. Still raspberries, but not sour at all, for most of the swallow. Towards the end, though, the sourness comes back, and lingers long afterwards. Maybe some pear flavor, too, gently.

M – Lovely. This is the mouthfeel I want in a Belgian. Creamy but not chewy, not like a stout, but with a strong presence and tight carbonation.

O – Terrific. I am enthusiastic about this one's uniqueness. I like the surprise of the sweetness after the funky aroma. I like watching the bubbles (which are still going!). I like that this beer has strong opinions about itself, and is not afraid to share them.

Photo of Webbydag1
3.57/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Big fruity smell and taste. I have to admit I needed to acquire a taste for sours and I'm still learning.

Photo of Calico
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my very favorite beers, truly a royal brew in my opinion. The only other Flanders sour red I've had is Rodenbach, but this beer is much more mellow and drinkable than even the Rodenbach Grand Cru.

Pours with an enormous head. Brilliant mahogany color.

Nose has winey notes, a little rose aroma, sugar sweetness, maybe a hint of irises.

Sherry and port tastes hit the back of the tongue. I also noticed a licorice note. I'm surprised to find this much of a sherry or winey taste in a less-than-7% abv beer. Some esters apparent; finishes with a sparkle of grapefruit.

Photo of fragilehearted
4.57/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of my favorites! I've had it many times, so now that I have decided to review beers on this site, here goes!

750ml - if at home, I'll go for a snifter.

A - dark ruby red w/ a brownish tint. Head fades fast to lots of beautiful lacing.

S - sour cherries, balsamic vinegar, berries...very fruity. Sweet malts in the back. Smell is almost as good as the taste.

T - delightful. Sour cherries again, fruity, but still tastes like a beer...almost like a lambic, but better. It's sour, but not overly, not to the point of puckering. I enjoy the restraint w/ the sourness...could have been a bit sweeter, but I'm not complaining.

M - great carbonation (which I generally love). Light-to-medium body...very easy.

D - couldn't be better. I can put away a 750ml bottle of this like nobody's business & probably do at least once a month. It's not too sour, so I'd absolutely recommend it to someone who's getting started on this style.

Photo of icemonkey908
3.82/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,731 ratings.