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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: 3,803
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 13.48%
Wants: 199
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
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Reviews: 1,419 | Hads: 3,803
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 TDotScott
4.51/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a wine glass from a 22 oz bomber, cellared for nine months.

L- Deep auburn with very little head. Highlights of Garnet.

S- Acetobacter like whoa. Lots of vinegar and sour fruit, without being fusel-y. Still a malt presence, but all about the yeast and bacteria.

T- As expected, the cellaring has turned the beer into a more robustly sour version of its fresh self. As I like my sours sour, I'm not one to complain. Vinegar, sweet chocolatey malt, with a dry finish.

F- Not as lively as I like it.

O- Worth it to cellar it for nine months to a year, if you're down with the tartness. Any more, and the vinegar might turn into something ugly (but I don't know for sure). (686 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)

Photo of irisier
1.55/5  rDev -62%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

I tried this one again to see if I've warmed to this brew. Unfortunately, this time I seem to have soured to it (no pun intended) even more.

Appearance: Nice dark reddish brown with a excellent fizzy head.

Smell: Vinegar fumes. Some fruit and wood is also noticeable. Did someone mix balsamic with malt vinegar and label it as beer?

Taste: God, it's even worse than I remembered it. Fruity vinegar with some tannic wood tastes. Cloying sweetness makes sure you know there is plenty of sugar in here. Hmmm.. this might be good to use as a base in a sweet/sour sauce. I actually managed to finish it the first time I tried it, not this time though.

Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated.

Impressions: To give you some perspective. A few years ago after reading an article about how prison inmates make "wine" out of ketchup, juice, and fruit snacks with moldy bread as the fermentation culture. I gave it a try out of curiosity. The funky, weird smelling drink I got was still not as bad as this brew. If this was the only beer on Earth, I'd be a teetotaler.

---Old Review---
Appearance: Clear reddish brown body with a fizzy tan head that actually seems to amplify with time. Highly carbonated and effervescent.

Smell: Sour malt vinegar smell. I didn't expect it to be that strong. Some faint fruit is also present

Taste: Sour and sweet. Slightly fruity as well. I can't help but feel like I'm drinking balsamic vinegar. I wouldn't exactly say that these flavors are pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a lively carbonation.

Impressions: I'll preface by saying that I've never had a Flemish Red before, but I really tried to keep an open mind. There may be a possibility that I got a bad bottle. This just was not good. I had a really hard time even finishing it. It was like drinking balsamic vinaigrette. I've heard this described as being "wine-like", frankly if I had a wine that tasted like this, I'd think it had spoiled. This just tasted too much like vinegar. (1,972 characters)

Photo of Chessmaster
3.22/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Received a bottle of this as part of a Christmas sampler gift pack.
Poured from the bottle into the accompanying Barbe chalice.

A: Poured a beautiful dark ruby red that was clear enough to see through. A small white head turned into a lingering cap with some lacing

S: The initial smell from the bottle was off-putting vinegary sourness. This later mellowed into a pleasant tart cherry smell

T: Initial taste is of tart cherry, the finishing notes are just lingering tartness and bitterness. I assume this is correct for the style, but it is not _my_ style :-) No hop aromas nor flavors, no real malt flavors. Sort of like drinking a weird sour cough syrup. Didn't hate it, but didn't love it.

M: Crisp and refreshing, pleasant carbonation

O: Again, the style is not my favorite, but I can guess this is true to the style guidelines. Appearance was very nice, smell ended up being nice, the flavor just okay for me. (920 characters)

Photo of guinnessman
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

a vinigar aroma, raisons, and a fruity like smell. a 3/4 in. bubly head, like champaign, that disipates guickely. a ruby red hue. very complex, I note chocolate, raspberries, banana. a nice mouthfeel, not coating, very smooth many flavors come at once, the finish is fruity and a bit tart. Not something I would drink on a regular basis, but for those people, like myself, who find labic to be to tart, this is a great alternative. A very enjoyable brew. (454 characters)

Photo of Brandegee
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from big bottle into goblet

A: Dark caramel brown, lacy head
S: One of the all-time great beer aromas, with intense wood, banana and sour esters
T: Dark fruits, lots of plum and raisin. Obvious sour but a surprising serving of sweet berry fruits accompanies the sour. Pretty amazing.
M: I'm not a fan of huge carbonation and this has a lot of it. That's part of what gives it a "cider" vibe, I guess. It's not objectionable at all, however, and the smell/taste really defines this beer.
O: I've had a number of Flemish sours prior to this bottle and I have to say the DDB really has the formula. Definitely the best of the style that I've had, and a stunning helping of flavor in this beer makes it memorable. I'd love to have this with some intense French cheeses.

Note: Buy this in the big bottle, for the corkage experience. I don't know if this contributes to the experience, but the bottle art is far better than the small bottles. (945 characters)

Photo of onecrazybreeze
4.6/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Tap at the Falling Rock. Poured a dark opaque brown with slight red tints, had no head by the time it got to me. Smelled sugary and fruity, mainly of raisins. Tasted more sweet then sour to me, mainly of cherries and raisins. It's not overly sour making it a great beer for those that need a good balance between sweet and sour in a sour brew. In all, a very likable beer. (372 characters)

Photo of Arinthos
3.62/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle. Best by mar. 2013 poured a redish murky brown excess proteins contributed to a chill haze. Smell of abundant fruit such as apple pear currant and soft bready yeast. Tastaste is overwhelmingly cider like very unlike a lambic or other sour beers this is more of a sweet and kinda sour expierence. Mouthfeel was light yet a bit syrupy and carbonation was minimal and head was not around for more than 10 seconds. Overall it was a good example of the style but not my cup of beer and would probabaly not revisit. I will say though this is a grow on you type of flavor. (592 characters)

Photo of BeerCentralWA
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

In bottle, served in wine glass. Appearance is slightly reddish with yeast clouding and effervescent head.

Nose is raspberry and yeast with clove and anise spice.
Mouthfeel is dry and champagne like. It literally disappears on the tongue, with rich malt and complex fruit and spice on the palate. (298 characters)

Photo of scbrew
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark crimson-brown color with light tan head that dissipates quickly. Slight sour, very fruity aroma. Wonderfully balanced flavor between sweet and sour. Mild sour flavors with slight candied sweetness. Excellent body. Seemed like a bigger beer. Loved it! (261 characters)

Photo of BhamBeerLover
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Oh the dutchess... Shall I compare the to a summer's day? Seriously though, this beer is phenomenal. For one expecting a good sour ale this beer cannot be beat, though potentially tied. I got exactly what I expected and would not wish for this beer to change at all. I hope to be able to share this beer with my children, when they are old enough of course. (At least not until they hit double digits.) Thanks to all those Flemish folks for this amazing contribution to the world beer community. (495 characters)

Photo of WyethBednar
4.7/5  rDev +15.2%
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. (1,222 characters)

Photo of grdahl
4.92/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: rich red and Brown in color.

S: Champangne like

T: Tart sourness but very smooth.

M: Nice crispy, bubbly with meium body.

D: Very drinkable.I could drink this all night.

Serving type: large corked bottle

My first Flanders Red. Not my last. This is inspiring me to brew my own Flanders. Very different, very wine like in both smaell and taste. (352 characters)

Photo of mac56
3.63/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sample brought to me from Belgium by my sister, bless her heart.

Lovely ruby red appearance with an effervescent head that settled down to stay,

Slightly cidery aroma.

Taste: wow. Just wow. This bad boy's got a tang. Cidery and tart, with a slightly creamy mouthfeel. The tang clears the flavor away off the back of the tongue, clearing the path for the next swallow.

A special occasion beer, to be sure. I don't think I could drink more than one of these a night, but I can see doing just that sitting by a roaring fire in January sometime. (556 characters)

Photo of drinknewbelgium
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured thick and dark redish brown body with a thick head. Tastes of sour grapes/cherries but sweet like that of good champagne with a sour tart finish the mouthfeel was that of thicker champagne decently carbonated flanders reds are an aquired taste not to my liking but i am trying to be as objective as possible an above average interpretation of this style (360 characters)

Photo of headlessclown
3.96/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

25cl bottle poured into glass
Date on bottle: 06/10/2012

A: Pours red/dark brown. Moderate head retention, no lacing.

S: Funky. Like a weak vinegar. A bit on the unpleasant side.

T: Excellent balance of tartness and sweetness. Very flavoursome.

M: Medium feel and carbonation.

D: The 25cl bottles are far too small for this beer. Very drinkable. (350 characters)

Photo of 01121987
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

i am no expert on this style of beer, but i would have to say that it kicks some serious ass!
i tried this beer a couple of years ago and was disgusted by it, now i dont know how i ever could have thought that. this is my favorite sour beer. im surprised the bros didnt rate it as world class.
awsome beer!
not for the faint hearted! (335 characters)

Photo of IrieJackalope
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

One of my favorite beers, finally sitting down to give this one a review.
Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into my Belgian goblet. Pours a dark red, crystal clear with a good amount of head, leaving lacing down the glass as it disipates. The smell is sweet, tangy and oh-so inviting. I once heard someone describe the aroma as fermented ketchup and bowling alley shoes, but it's pretty damn wonderful if you ask me. The taste is equally amazing. A bit of sweet malt paired with a delicious tang that I've come to crave over time. Despite it's sour elements, the beer finishes pretty clean, although there's certainly a bit of the liveliness that lingers behind. Honestly, I could drink this stuff all day. I know it's not everyone's cup of tea (or beer rather) but the duchess will always have a space reserved in my beer fridge. Definitely worth trying at least once, it might even change the world of beer for you forever. (921 characters)

Photo of Mangus
4.6/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - ruby-copper red with a small tight lacy head.

Smell - complex, extremely interesting, light, fruity, clean

Taste - apples and fruit, intricate dance of flavors, tight crispness, and sweet tartness. What a wonderfully complex and interesting beer. I have to remind myself that this is actually beer that I'm drinking.

Mouthfeel - bubbly, crisp and syrupy. I'm salivating like Pavlov's dog's. (414 characters)

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