Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

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Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,416 Reviews
THE BROS
93
outstanding

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Reviews: 1,416
Hads: 3,758
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 13.48%
Wants: 190
Gots: 635 | 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
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Reviews: 1,416 | Hads: 3,758
Photo of Doshkin
4.59/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - good looking beer. deep amber with reddish hues. crystal clear. poured with a couple inch head that came down but stays as a nice frothy layer. wet, sticky lacing is a nice visual reminder of what you're missing in between each sip

S - so perfect. this is everything I want to smell in a sour-ish beer. vinegar is the dominating aroma, blending beautifully with deep sugary sweetness and tartness, akin to a cinnamon/sugar/apple combination, but much more malty and rich.

T - the vinegary tart tang encapsulates every aspect of the taste. everything in between is a smooth mix of brown sugary maltiness. oh man... it's almost gone and i'm only 60% done with the review

M - this is a tough one for me to classify. the fine effervescence and extreme vinegary sour try and trick me to think the beer is lighter in body than it really is. the rich complexity of the flavors, bold sweetness, and full, smooth swallow assert themselves in this beer to remind you of how robust it really is. tl;dr - medium mouthfeel.

O - truly incredible. if you want to try an amazing (sour) red ale, and you are willing to dish out some cash, look no further. i, for one, can say i will be taking the wallet hit again in the near future to experience what this beer has to offer (1,265 characters)

Photo of keoki182
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Madison WI's Malt House. Ruddy brown color. Vinegar aroma. Wonderfully complex sweet/sour balance in flavor with some mild cherry fruitiness. With a very basic understanding of the fine range of Belgian beers, I asked for something sour out of curiosity. I've seen beer lovers go ga-ga over sour ales, and I had to know what this was about. The aroma threw me off quite a bit, the strong astringency was very off-putting and made me afraid that I might be in over my head. The flavor though was quite a redemption. Duchesse had an interesting tartness that worked nicely with the understated malt notes and cherry. Really easy to drink, and unique enough that I would have a few glasses without getting bored. I'm looking forward to more ales like this one in my future! (780 characters)

Photo of jamespub
4.58/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had it first on botte, then twice on tap. obviously, this was at different times, but from my recollection, they tasted similar once they got to temperature and both methods were divine.

A- Caramel brown, clear, nice head that dissipated quickly. looks comparable to a belgian dubbel

S- Slight malt with a mild sour funk. I thought it would be more sour in the taste, so I was slightly misled by the smell. Nothing fancy here for me, but still had a good aroma.

T- stunning. i could drink this beer all day, everyday. it goes down sooo smoooth. sour, sweet, malty awesomeness. great caramel flavor to accompany the mild sour flavor.

M- way too easy to drink. amazing.

O- I absolutely love this beer. the tap ran out at the local bar and my heart broke. thankfully i have bottles available when i can get some more petty cash. buy this beer, drink it, savor it, and share it with me. (889 characters)

Photo of ghengisflan
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Look: Pours a clear ruby-red with a half-inch tan head.

Smell: A strong dry vinegar nose belies the great taste of this beer.

Taste: On the front end, a light sour flavor reminiscent of lychees. The aftertaste is pleasantly sweet, enough to balance out the sour.

Feel: Medium mouthfeel with lots of little bubbles.

Overall: An awesomely complex and balanced beer. A memorable sour. (385 characters)

Photo of AleDrinkToThat
4.88/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Beautiful burgundy hue under a perfect creamy beige head.

Smell: Oh, such a delicious smell of cherries and malt. I can tell just by the smell that there's more going on here.

Taste: Good thing I'm only typing about this, 'cause my mouth just exploded. Seriously, wow. This is excellent. The tart cherry is much more subtle than, say, a Kriek Lambic, and is so well balanced with delicious roasted malt.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, devilishly so, and the tartness danced all over my mouth, puckering all inner surfaces in its path (I'll leave you to picture that). The malt definitely rounded things back out, and the result is a heavenly complexity.

Drinkability: Go get one. Now. (689 characters)

Photo of runningjoke
3.85/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured into tulip glass.

Reddish brown with thin head and head retention,

Smells of sour cherry, balsamic vinegar, yeast, touch of malty breadiness.

Tastes of balsamic vinegar, cherry and altbier.
Alcohol is totally covered by these strong flavors. No bitterness just tartness in its place. Really almost like a desert wine.

Feels thick and slick, but not unpleasent.

I would not be able to handle too many of these.

This would be really good with vanilla ice cream or a plain cheesecake. A killer reduction sauce could be made out of this stuff. (553 characters)

Photo of BeerMeInMS
3.7/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Drinking Date Nov. 2nd 2011
Expiration: 03/13

Glassware: Tulip

Appearance: Dense brown with a red tinge; frothy beige head.

Smell: Very sweet and musky; fruity aroma maybe a little bread-like. Inviting smell

Taste: Sweet grape-ish flavor (wine-like); Tangy and fruity throughout. Not a lot of complexity or depth. Definitely redefines my box for beer tastes, though... Only the aftertaste had a little of the yeasty/malty flavor that reminded me of 'beer'. To me, it tasted like carbonated muscadine wine. (If you haven't had muscadine wine...It is similar to grape but with muskiness, more sweetness, and less acidity)

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied; highly carbonated.

Overall: I know this is supposed to be a standard for the style but I did not find a depth of flavor and I did not much care for the very sweet flavor it did have. Not a fan, but it was interesting to try. This was my first Flanders Red Ale, so nothing else to compare to. (943 characters)

Photo of Zonk
3.44/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Maloney's Matawan. Deep red color frothy head. Really strong nose of makted vinegar up front but blew off over time. Medium to lighter body, with vinegar and a bit of sweetness behind. Interesting beer. Hard for me to rate, as I have not had a lot of sours to put it in context. (293 characters)

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

Black brownish in initial color. Found dark red tints when I held it to the light. It had a nice dark tan head.
Smelled of vinegar and fruit. It definitely had a sour tinge to it not unlike a red wine.
It tastes very sour and vinegary and I sensed some metalic notes. There is virtually no hop taste present. This beer tastes like a sweet red wine. There are sweet and sour notes, tart to the aftertaste. Very interesting and good if you are into sour beers.
I found this beer to go down very smoothly. The carbonation eases the beer along nicely and the aftertaste is pleasurable.
This is a very drinkable beer for sour enthusiasts. (637 characters)

Photo of deliriumfest
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Consumed on 1/5/09

Served on Tap at the Town Hall Brewery in Minneapolis. Poured a very clear red/brown color with a small white head that faded quickly. Aroma was sour and funky with dried fruit. Taste was similar to the aroma but tart and had an oak flavor as well. Finish was very dry and the tart flavor slowly dissipated over time. Mouthfeel was sticky and carbonation was low. Overall, a great beer for a first review and good representation of the style. (462 characters)

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

I will preface this review by saying I didn't like this beer one bit. I enjoy the pure lactic sourness of a Berliner Weisse but the acetic character was a deal-breaker here. That said I will review to style, not to prejudice.

Appearance - An orange color with slight amber and brown tinges to it rests beneath a prodigious three and a half finger head of pure snow white. Obviously high carbonation keeps the head cap there, but the lacing isn't really that spectacular.

Smell - Whoo. Acetic city man. I smell a cidery acetic character almost to the exclusion of all else. I can detect a lactic lemony sour flavor I recognize from berliners.

Taste - The cider vinegar again takes a dominant position, squeezing out the lactic acid from the first sip. Once I take a few more I can tell there's more here than the acetic acid, but I'm not sure I like it because of the harsh vinegar character. There's the aforementioned lactic sourness and an accompanying lemon flavor over a lightly bread and biscuity malt. Sour fruit, especially cherries comes in midway. There's a sweetness and a metallic taste that enter during the finish with a lime-like sour note, some red wine vinegar, a vinous twang, and a hint of alcohol and spice.

Mouthfeel - The mouthfeel would probably be rather thick and unpleasant if not for the enormously carbonated nature of the beer. I take a sip and rather than getting liquid, i is mostly bubbles and foam by the time I swallow it.

Drinkability - For me not high at all. For the style this beer is right on, so medium I suppose.

I will continue to try different sours since flanders reds are supposedly very acetic compared to the rest. This one is not very appealing to me however. Time will tell whether or not I like brett character any more than acetic acid. (1,793 characters)

Photo of shortbus7
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A dark red color with a slight head.

S: Dark cherries, apples, and vinegar.

T: There is so much going on in this beer it's amazing. Dark cherries, apples, red wine vinegar, and malt. This beer is more sweet and tangy than sour.

M: Smooth and slightly puckering.

O: This is a great beer and a great place to start with sours. The taste amazed me. So much going on but nothing became muddled. (401 characters)

Photo of Cuvie62
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smells vingary at first. Great follow. Kombychka like. Awesome beer. If I could brew beers at hone I would give thus shit a shot. You need a deserni g palate for this shiz. Give it a whirl. Trying yo make a 250 word review and all I can say is "You gotta Try this shiz" not annormal beer. (288 characters)

Photo of nbree00
2.38/5  rDev -41.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This beer pours a beautiful deep brown with a reddish tint to it. The smell was pleasant with a sort of spiced cherry aroma coming through, however I was not very impressed with the carbonation which seemed to be low. The taste for me was pretty overwhelmingly sweet, no apparent sourness to better balance the flavors out. You can taste some of the roasted malts but other then that pretty bland with a cherry-banana sweetness coming through that makes it pretty hard to drink, definitely a sipping beer. Overall I didn't care for it much (539 characters)

Photo of xrdsci
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle.

A: Deep reddish brown color. Off-white head.

S: Fruity with a subtle wine-like smell.

T: Incredible balance of fruit and tart flavors. Neither overpowers the other. Sour cherries and other dark fruits are most prominent. Finishes dry, with a hint of spice.

M: Medium mouthfeel, light carbonation. Very smooth and creamy.

D: If my body would let me, I could drink a couple dozen of these.

Highly recommended for this style. (453 characters)

Photo of Maltmaiden
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful burgundy. Medium carbonation. Clear. Small head that goes away quickly and leaves a tiny bit of film and lacing.

Smell sour cherries. Toasted malts. Molases. Lemon.

Taste sour black cherries. Toasted malts and finishes with some breadiness (which I really like). Ruby red grapefruit. Winey. Green apple.

Mouthfeel it sticky. Nice carbonation.

Overall: I guess I am just new to this style but I was just not a huge fan of the tart/sweet taste. I am waiting for a headache to kick in from the sugar. (514 characters)

Photo of nathi
4.42/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very nice beer.

Somewhat cloudy, small head, nice amber color.

Excellent sourness in aroma. Light prune-like maltyness and subtle oak character.

Very rich flavor with storng sourness balancing it out. Complex malt flavor with raisnes, caramel and toffee. Excellent oak character, adds nice complexity and gives a port like character when combined with oxidized malt richness.. Sourness is a bit simplistic but balances out the flavor very well. A well balanced, and very drinkable sour ale. Very rodenbach like, a little less complex, but very nice. (558 characters)

Photo of cdrummer
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Beer Run, Charlottesville, VA in a 10 oz snifter

A: Deep depths of reddish brown and copper with a bone colored lacing head of foam.

S: I'm hit in the face by sourness (in a good way) in the form of vinegar, apple, lemon drop candy, raspberries, cranberries and a slight meatiness.

T & M: There is an endless supply of bubbles that disperse the sourness across the tongue. It's quite dense and syrupy, but still very refreshing, fruity and crisp. The overall taste is quite sour, focused on such flavors as were in the nose - those of tart cranberries and raspberries. While at first the sourness was overwhelming, as it warmed it turned into a pleasant port like quality, especially in the finish as the carbonation became more subdued.

D: Honestly, this took a while to drink, and I like dense beers... I think this is for one who enjoys a rich fruity brew more-so than I.

No kidding, I thought this was a lambic, but upon inquiry came to find that the sourness actually comes from the aging in oak casks - no lambic at all. Well done! (1,056 characters)

Photo of Andrewtherooster
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is the first beer I've had of this style, and boy, it's a good one.

A- Pours a great ruby red with a goldish rim around the edge. The lacing is beautiful, sticking to the sides of the glass and leaving a smeared haze.

S- Smells right away of tart dark cherries with a warm toastiness in the background. It smells to a degree like Welch's gone bad in the best way.

T- Wow, this smacks of the sour, tart flavor I was looking for. Each step in the sip is like a wave of sourness washing over, finishing off with a slight alcohol burn. It tastes like a variety of berries--blackberries, cherries, raspberries, and such--all soured, slightly lactic. It's all definitely enough to make your face contort.

M- The carbonation that kicks in halfway adds a nice punch to the sourness, and thickness of it is slightly surprising.

Overall, this is beer is a great and unique experience, though I haven't even finished this one and I'm looking at my snifter like I don't know if I can take any more. It's tasty, but I don't think it's something you'd want to drink more than one 11.2 oz. bottle of in a night. (1,106 characters)

Photo of th0m
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark ruby color with a finger of off-white head. Head lingers for a bit, then turns into a thin layer around the edges of the glass and in the middle.

Smells wonderfully refreshing on this warm NC day. Smells of raisins, plumb, tarty, a bit of must, farty farm smells, when I close my eyes and smell this, it takes me to an open meadow on a warm spring day with the sun setting.

Taste is sour up front with a very fruity finish. Very dry. Notes of strawberries, cherries, plumb, pineapple, currant, cranberries. As I sip this on my front porch, it hits the right spots. Very refreshing.

Mouth feel is light. Very carbonated. Refreshing, but one of those drinks you want to sip and enjoy, so maybe not very easily drinkable.

Overall I really enjoyed this. (768 characters)

Photo of diamond_mind
4.89/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Tart and complex, loads of fruit and phenol, some elegant vinegar and tasty soil. If you like your sour more than unidimensional which seems to be the trend, this is the beer. Deep brown with tartness that can still come off a little sweet. Flavors are melded but all play the same part in a rich symphony. (306 characters)

Photo of ocmpoma
4.24/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out a wonderful red brown, dark and rich coloring, into a Duvel tulip. Sported a good head maybe 2cm thick, although that dissipated relatively quickly.

The nose is very nice: Sour cherries and licorice, woody and with a musty hint of sweat -- very complex and quite different from just about every other beer I've had. Impressive.

The taste is also very nice: quite smooth, no real bitterness. There's an initial warmth and spicyness that lasts momentarily and gives way to a wonderful sour fruit taste that spreads to the edges of my tongue, sliding on top of a faint, underlying layer of mustiness. The finish is very crisp and clean, though; not hanging around.

The crisp finish and understated mouthfeel make this beer an easy drinker: three tasting swigs and I had made a serious dent in the tulip's contents. Overall a very nice, very different beer for me. (874 characters)

Photo of RTJakarta
3.92/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice sort of dark red/brown color with a light off-white head that goes away pretty quickly. Lovely lacing.

Nice, rich sour smell. Some tart cherries as well as vinegar. A bunch of the usual gang for a FRA. Loving it.

The taste to me is a battle between a strong sweetness and sourness. I sort of pick up a clash of both at the same time, which is kinda of nice, but I wish it would sort of pick one angle and run with it. Nice cherry notes throughout, though.

Mouthfeel is medium. Moderate, unobtrusive carbonation.

Overall, a pretty solid beer. If it had a more refined sour taste, it could probably be world class, in my opinion. Taste is too schizophrenic, though. Worth a drink, though. (703 characters)

Photo of zhivago373
4/5  rDev -2%

first sour for me. not sure what the expect.

pours a deep red, maybe brownish purple with a thin pale-brown head. i honestly expected more carbonation, being it’s a Belgian style.

smells of dark fruits a la plums and black cherries with an almost musty oak smell. not getting any distinct malt aromas. very red-wine like, more acidic and sour notes though. the sourness is well balanced with the fruits.

tastes of black cherries, plums, maybe a slight chocolate flavor, too. the oak barrel comes out in the tannic, acidic red-wine flavor especially on the back of the tongue. the malts balance things out without offering any distinct notes. finish is long and dry, the wine barrel notes lingering in the back. medium mouthfeel with nice carbonation.

overall, this is quite good. the red wine similarities are evident, but i prefer this to a wine (duh, it’s beer, it’s not a soulless drink!). the sour notes are in great balance with the dark fruits, and the medium carbonation makes this all the more palatable. at 6%, it’s quite easy drinking. will seek out again. (1,079 characters)

Photo of mkorpal
3.65/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

750ml bottle poured into two well used New Belgium globe glass. Pours a beautiful red wine like mahogany red creating a one finger, slightly off white head. Looks great.

Smell is of sweet cherry pie and a bit of rounded vanilla. Smell is very sweet, overpowering any funky sour that I would have liked.

Taste is of very sweet cherry pie and oaky vanilla. Sour and funk take a backseat, as the sweet fruit dominates the beer like none other. Taste is still good, but it is missing the sour that I want in the style.

Mouthfeel is heavy and syrupy. Sour doesn't do much to balance the sweet. This sweetness really hurts the drinkability and mouthfeel. More balance would be greatly appreciated.

it's an ok beer, to be sure. but there are others in this style that I will go to. (778 characters)

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
91 out of 100 based on 1,416 ratings.