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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

2,645 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2645
Reviews: 1319
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 13.98%


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)
View: Beers (12) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,645 | Reviews: 1,319 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Sirwootalot
Sirwootalot

Minnesota

4.36/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the bulldog downtown in minneapolis, mn.

Pours a rich, dark ebony-brown with a nearly nonexistent pure white head. The smell is borderline unpleasant, like dirty underwear or rotting flowers. Each sip is elegantly, richly layered with notes of berries, balsamic vinegar, and dry malt. It's utterly delicious, and the taste evolves to an earthier, maltier molasses as it lingers on the tongue. If there are hops, they are utterly undetectable. The mouthfeel is sweet, silky, and slightly astringent.

Overall, this is a fantastic beer that makes me feel like i should be dressing up and pairing it with a cigar; it's easily the tastiest sour i've had to date and a new favorite. I'd score it even higher if it didn't smell so odd.

Serving type: on-tap

06-19-2013 03:15:46 | More by Sirwootalot
Photo of Mellonius
Mellonius

Brazil

4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Now, this is a real different one!

Poured from a longneck bottle into a chalice. Dark, deep mahogany colored, with medium head formation. The aroma can be smelled right away (no need to sniff the glass). A complex blend of acidic notes that brings out shoyu, balsamic vinegar and grapes. The taste is incredibly different, and at first I did not like it. It is the kind of beer that grows with each sip. After you get used to it, the flavor gets really interesting and very complex. It is kind of in between a beer and a red wine, with that vinegar thing always in the background. Amazing, classy drink!

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2013 00:17:27 | More by Mellonius
Photo of WyethBednar
WyethBednar

Illinois

4.71/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

While this is one of the most idiosyncratic beers I've ever had, it's also definitely one of my absolute favorites. I got it in one of the big wine-type bottles (not sure what the exact measurement was) over the summer, and I've gone through at least 3 more since.

Appearance: Really nice deep reddish brown. Carbonation is apparent just by looking at it. Very foamy reddish head that sticks around pretty well with good lacing throughout.

Smell: Very strong fruity aroma with a kick of hopped, spicy beer. Really interesting and prepares you for the taste very well.

Taste: Absolutely delicious. It honestly doesn't taste a whole lot like a beer (at least not what is traditionally thought of as a beer taste), but it's really great so it's never bothered me. It tastes more like a combination of champagne and wine with very fruity notes. Very full-bodied and complex and finishes strong too.

Mouthfeel: Very heavily carbonated, which is why I drew the champagne comparison.

Overall: Even though this beer is honestly like nothing else I've ever had, it still remains one of my favorites. It's complex yet very easy to drink; full-bodied and fun. I highly recommend it to anyone looking to try something truly new.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2014 02:21:23 | More by WyethBednar
Photo of graywalker
graywalker

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a delicious beer. Nice sour cherry aroma with a little bit of yeast and horse blanket. A lovely reddish brown color. The taste is wonderfully balanced - a little sweet up front, but it dries nicely. I get lots of fruit and yeast in the flavor, but not the tomato undertones that some people report. Overall, a more approachable sour red than Rodenbach, which I also like. I'm glad that I bought a four pack.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2008 00:51:41 | More by graywalker
Photo of whiterascal
whiterascal

Arizona

4.55/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: thin tan head, disappeared quickly, deep bronze in color
S: smells deliciously like Easter and makes my mouth water
T: truly a treat. Vinegary at first but so smooth at the finish. I taste green apple and cherries.
M: carbonated.
D: Poured into a goblet, I could enjoy the Duchesse all evening long

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2009 02:02:22 | More by whiterascal
Photo of Wutz
Wutz

North Dakota

4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes taken 6-28:

My first sour. It was too much for me. I'm not comfortable with the style but for the style guidelines, it was pretty spot-on.

Appearance: Dark brownish-red with a luxurious off-white head

Aroma: "Sour as hell" is all I got off of it.

Taste: Sweet maltiness with stinging cherry and tart/sour apple. There's a lot more going on under that but I can't pick it out with all that sourness running rampant.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and thick somehow leaving you dry and puckered reaching for another sip

Drinkability: I couldn't hang with it. I drank the whole bottle but it was too sour for me. Fortunately for this beer's rating (yeah, I'm sure Verhaeghe cares what I think), that's right in line with the style guidelines.

Overall: Too much sourness for me. I couldn't give this beer a fair enough shake. It was wonderfully complex but all I could pick out enough to name were the sour characteristics which a lot of people seem to love lately. Give this beer a shot - it's a masterfully crafted beer that was just too much sourness for me.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2009 09:39:47 | More by Wutz
Photo of robertjbell
robertjbell

Alberta (Canada)

4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: The beer is a burnt amber color with a touch of haze from the chill and the yeast, exhibits a pillowy foam head with decent lacing and retention

Nose: Wow, this is something different! There is an immediate presence of vinegary tartness, most like an aged balsamic and apple cider vinegars, this is followed by big notes of oak and hazelnut as well as very subtle hints of dark candied fruits, underlying sweetness

Taste: This is one of the most acidic beers I have had the opportunity to taste, the most pungent feature of the Duchesse is her big vinegary sweet taste, however this is not the only feature of the beer. There is an underlying vegetal sweetness to the beer, complimented by a tasted of tart cherries. The finish is slightly drying and chalky with a woody, oaky complextion bringing up the end

Mouthfeel: Sour, sour and sour! Yet the beer is still creaming, with just enough carbonation to keep the beer feeling alive on the palate

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2009 21:21:32 | More by robertjbell
Photo of lenin2040
lenin2040

District of Columbia

4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Just getting into various sour styles recently. Love the diversity of beer!

To benchmark flanders reds / browns, I've had Monks Cafe, Rodenbach and Rodenbach Grand Cru. This blew all of those away.

Poured a deep ruby with not much head. Light aroma of grape must, balsamic vinegar, some tropical fruits.

Flavor was cherries and balsamic vinegar with some definite complexity i couldnt put my finger on. much deeper (oak very apparent) flavor than the Monks, and IMO richer and more balanced than either variety of Rodenbach (both of which I enjoyed). Mouthfeel balanced the sweetness.

Insanely drinkable. Shared the 750 with two friends and bummed I didn't have another (or two!) to drink myself.

Will be seeking this out again.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2010 13:16:53 | More by lenin2040
Photo of dspoonrt
dspoonrt

Ohio

4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Duchesse is a dark reddish brown at first glance, but appears bright red and bubbly when held to the light. The beer pours with purpose, surging with plenty of off-white head that slowly dissipates.

Smell: The beer smells prominently of fruit and acidity, almost like vinegar. The tartness comes through heavily in the nose. While still covered in snowy foam, the nose is less present, somewhat airy, and smells kind of like cheap champagne. Once the head disappears, however, the aromatics emerge more notably and the nose noticeably improves.

Taste: Sourness and fruit shine through with each sip. The beer is continually tart, yet there is a sweetness that comes through in the finish. Sometimes the taste of alcohol is more present than others. This beer contains a variety of flavors and their combination is incredibly pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Duchesse is highly carbonated. The mouthfeel is tingly, but not so much that it is undrinkable. That said, though, there is a noticeable lightness as it moves across the palate. While mostly smooth, sometimes it feels a little syrupy.

Drinkability: Overall, this one's pretty drinkable thanks to the silky mouthfeel and fascinating flavor combinations. It's not a session beer, but it has a lot of character, complexity, and new things to discover with each sip.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2010 02:11:15 | More by dspoonrt
Photo of devlishdamsel
devlishdamsel

Washington

4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

S: Single 11.2 ounce bottle from shelve of local beer section in natural market. It was the last bottle. I thought about picking it up last week during a haul, but hesitated due to the price tag. Luckily she was still there when I returned and a friend of mine who is a local distributor sang her praises.

Appearance: Darkish red ( sadly the tulip style glasses i used were a very dark glass, its possible my perception of the color could be off due to this.) Very frothy voluminous white head.

Smell: As this was aged in oak casks for a bit i could definitely smell notes of that.

Taste: Exceptionally complex, with a very mild bitterness and slight sour acidity. I sipped on this with dinner and finished off with pairing it with fruit later. This beer pairs amazing with fruit, especially pineapple.

Mouthfeel: slightly carbonated in texture, but almost smooth like a cider. the froth on the head is composed of very fine bubbles.

Overall: Definitely a win! I will definitely add this beer to my rotation of Belgians as it deserves no less.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2012 02:35:50 | More by devlishdamsel
Photo of JulioH
JulioH

Florida

4.48/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This beer is very much like a fruit lambic. The color is a dark red, and pouring shows lots of tiny bubbles, like most lambics.
The difference would be a more dry lambic, it is not continually sweet, it starts sweet and finishes dry. Also, it is somewhat sour. It is sour on the nose, but when drinking it is not a very sour beer, although you can taste some berries and cherries in it.
Great beer for a hot summer day, but also strong.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2014 22:17:53 | More by JulioH
Photo of bobinverted
bobinverted

Michigan

2.05/5  rDev -50.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

My wife found this at AJ's in Ahwatukee, Arizona. She's been getting into Belgian beers, which is cool, but she didn't like this one and gave it to me to finish. I'd just finished a Stone IPA when she handed this to me, what a contrast. I guess I'm not sophisticated enough to enjoy a glassful of balsamic vinegar. That's what Duchesse de Bourgogne smells like, tastes like and looks like. Apparently this is suited to the style, but certainly not suited to my taste.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2004 02:19:19 | More by bobinverted
Photo of kuykendall
kuykendall

Virginia

4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is my first Flemish red, and my god I think I'm in love.
A= Deep Red color, closer to a burgundy.
S= an incredible amount of Fruitiness, but not over power like you get in lambics.
T= I can honestly say that parts of the flavor are completely indescribable to me. I taste the sour notes, but then the fruit comes in and malts follow it and then finally the funk I have heard so much about. It's final I'm a convert.
Mouth feel= Very bubbly but light on the tongue.

Drink ability= When I first really go into beer, it took me awhile to get used to the concept of wanting a bitter beer. It was contrary to my nature, but the sour and funk of this beer has pulled me in almost immediately. A highly drinkable beer, and I'm glad I picked it as my first Flemish.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2008 20:56:36 | More by kuykendall
Photo of acehart1
acehart1

New York

4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2006 Vintage, sampled on Jan. 22, 2011

Deep red, brownish color. Extremely pungent smell. Almost like vinegar. The smell almost overpowers everything else. The taste is much better than the smell. This stuff goes down much too easily. Very complex and drinkable, almost too drinkable. Dangerous. Very, very nice. We paired it with a brie with currant jelly. Very nice mixture.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2011 02:48:00 | More by acehart1
Photo of SauceBoss
SauceBoss

Florida

4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: The appearance poured darker than I expected being more dark brown/black in color at first then dimming to a firm brownish-red as I tilted the glass. Either way it was pretty. The head was creamy and laced nicely in a tulip glass.

Smell: Very fruity smell with a soft oaky background. Minute sourness and it was soft and pleasant.

Taste: Sour but not overbearing. It was more tart (sour) upfront followed by a nice sweetness both in a balanced combination. The fruity smell definitely came out when drinking.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation was nice and subtle. Had almost the consistency of a lambic and was pretty tart making my mouth pucker.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. This was a unique style of beer having been my first Flanders Red but with that said, I would drink another right now if I had one :)

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2011 20:48:07 | More by SauceBoss
Photo of jyuhas
jyuhas

California

4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - light ruby red, stacked off-white head, irregular lacing

Smell - sour cherries, noble-like hops, apple cider, acidic vinegar, light hint of alcohol

Taste - sweet tea, cherries, light caramel, apples, acidic vinegar

Mouthfeel - thin body with nice carbonation

Overall - aromas and flavors reminiscent of cherries and apples with some nice, tart, acidic qualities; sweetness light and somehow very smooth and subtle and balancing with sourness; really, really enjoyable sour

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2011 07:04:24 | More by jyuhas
Photo of justiceavocado
justiceavocado

California

4.65/5  rDev +12%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2011 02:13:38 | More by justiceavocado
Photo of DKRowden
DKRowden

Washington

4.51/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap into a 10 oz tulip glass. A very deep red with almost no light transparency and a creamy off white inch head. It has a very red wine like nose with the bitter sweetness. This is my first sour so I can't judge too much but it has a good sour sweet wine taste like a dessert wine or something. It has a crisp mouth feel with a moist finish. Overall quite nice for my first sour. It was aged and cellared by my local Beer Shoppe and I was lucky to try it.

Serving type: on-tap

04-14-2014 00:30:24 | More by DKRowden
Photo of GreatLeo
GreatLeo

British Columbia (Canada)

3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2005 05:02:58 | More by GreatLeo
Photo of Yooperduder
Yooperduder

Michigan

4.55/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours lightly, slightly effervescent without being a bubble monster. Light and delicate head, drops down to a shimmering smokey white lace.

Smells of raisins, slight rum, maybe like an old fashioned rum cake. Fruit, like apples or apricots.

Mouthfeel is nice, nothing extraordinary but not harsh at all. Flavor is definitely fruit, again apples or some sort of cider. Effervescence is very nice, gives an exceptional feel as it goes down. Not even the slightest hint of hops, though maybe a touch of spice.

Overall an extraordinarily smooth beer, would pair exceptionally well with a cobbler, apple tart, or a summer fool.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2009 22:52:29 | More by Yooperduder
Photo of Skidud313
Skidud313

Colorado

4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

My first try of this style. Been looking forward to it and it didn't disappoint.

Poured a deep burgundy/mahogany. A little over a finger of head, retention and lacing are incredible. Smells a bit tart and sweet. Tastes very unique, sort of sweet, almost cidery. I got more apples than the berries and cherries others were getting.

Very carbonated, dances on the tongue.

Looking forward to more like this.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2008 05:52:22 | More by Skidud313
Photo of DioS
DioS

Georgia

4.8/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Dark brown but not quite opaque. Soft head. I always thought the Duchesse looks viscous, even though it's really not. Smell is complex and delicious, more fruity (cherry, plum) than floral, with slight caramel and vanilla sweetness, and evocative of some wood like a fine dessert wine does, and the vinegary aroma tends to be mellow compared to some other Flanders I've had. I cannot get tired of smelling this one. The mellowness (as opposed to sharp sourness) and complexity truly make it stand out.

Taste is initially very sour and slightly funky, but the sourness settles down very quickly into ripened fruits (cherry, plum, jam, pear). The finish is long and lingering. The sourness almost completely subsides into the background and becomes just a tartness in the mouthfeel after 1/3 of glass. After that point it just tastes like a very interesting dessert wine, and very easy going down, yet tastes far from simple. Duchesse is a wonderfully smooth Flanders that can be drunken like session beer and hold my interest at the same time. I feel lucky to be close to pubs that serve it on the tap regularly.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2010 04:13:29 | More by DioS
Photo of bventure
bventure

United Kingdom (England)

4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lovely clear, deep red/brown. Medium buff-coloured head, subsides quickly, lace persists.

Smells of tart fruit, red berries, hint of acetic. Something else interesting I recognise, but annoyingly can't place, hits the back of the nose.

On tasting, irst impression is sourness (but pleasantly so). Tart and refreshing, unsweetened fruit, a hint of caramel sweetness in the finish, with lingering stewed apples. Some malt, no bitterness at all. Refreshing sweet-and-sour, vinous.

Medium bodied, a definite tingle on the tongue and roof of the mouth, good lively carbonation, just right.

Very drinkable, clean and refreshing, unusual and interesting flavours, and well-balanced sour and sweet. Very complex, won't tire of contemplating the many nuances. An excellent beer I hope to be drinking regularly.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2011 19:38:13 | More by bventure
Photo of SirWalkAbout
SirWalkAbout

Texas

4.9/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a snifter. Very dark red color, almost black. Nice head, 1/4" - 1/2", which stays around nicely.

Smells fruity like a champagin. Smells a bit tart and dry.

Taste is very pleasant. Very fruity, grapes. Good, strong carbonation. Nice and light.

Leaves the pallet quickly without any aftertaste, which I like.

I try not throw out a high score without justification, but I don't know how this beer can be improved for what it is. I find the look, lightness, and taste spot on. Not a beer I would drink all night, but used in place of a dessert wine or a sweet treat, look no further.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2012 03:47:46 | More by SirWalkAbout
Photo of Clints1991
Clints1991

Colorado

4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled, poured in a tulip glass. It pours a brownish red, with a light tan head. The head lingers around for quite some time. It has a strong aroma of fruits, tarts and some wine characteristics. It has a strong taste of fruits such as cherry and some melon. It is very palatable. It is an amazing beer overall!!

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2014 05:24:49 | More by Clints1991
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 2,645 ratings.