Duchesse De Bourgogne | Brouwerij Verhaeghe

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
91
outstanding
1,473 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,473
Ratings:
4,021
Avg:
4.09
pDev:
23.72%
 
 
Wants:
225
Gots:
792
For Trade:
16
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Verhaeghe
Belgium | website

Style: Flanders Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-15-2001

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Reviews: 1,473 | Ratings: 4,021
Photo of WyethBednar
4.7/5  rDev +14.9%
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.

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Photo of demon
4.67/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

A: Reviewer mothmanscott, on Feb 05, 2015 said it best: "Pours a clear reddish to plum brown or ruby/garnet throughout when held to the light, producing 1.5 fingers of tan, finely bubbled foam, sometimes moderately lasting, sometimes shortlived head that recedes into a thin cap leaving a good coating of lace or sometimes no lace at all."

S: Sweet balsamic aroma with notes of ripe apples and cherries. On certain whiffs barnyard-like scents can be picked up. Smells very good over all.

T: The perfect combination of sweet and sour. Delectable sticky light malt aftertaste. Notes of fresh cherries and plums.

M: Puckering and tart. This one kicks you in the mouth. As the acidity dies down a very pleasant sticky and sweet mouthfeel develops.

O: As far as I am concerned, this is the holy-grail of sour ales. So enjoyable and interesting. I really like this beer, and would happily enjoy it over and over again. Definitely needs to be on your "to try" list!

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Photo of guinnessman
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

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Photo of Brandegee
4.45/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

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Photo of onecrazybreeze
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

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Photo of Sirwootalot
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
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 a dirty t-shirt 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.

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Photo of Arinthos
3.62/5  rDev -11.5%
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.

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Photo of BeerCentralWA
5/5  rDev +22.2%
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.

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Photo of scbrew
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
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!

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Photo of WhiskeyMax
4.31/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pour into tulip a cloudy brown with a light head that laced all the way down.
Smell was nice, with a tart cherry bran muffin notes. Smells more like wine than beer.
Taste was less sour than I expected in a way that was delightful. Oh the wonderful dark fruits
Feels nice, a light bit of syrup with little carbonation.
Overall I thought this a delicious beer that I will definitely drink again.

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Photo of BhamBeerLover
5/5  rDev +22.2%
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.

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Photo of grdahl
4.92/5  rDev +20.3%
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.

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Photo of mac56
3.63/5  rDev -11.2%
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.

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Photo of drinknewbelgium
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%
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

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Photo of headlessclown
3.96/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

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Photo of 01121987
5/5  rDev +22.2%
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!

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Photo of IrieJackalope
4.43/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

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Photo of Mangus
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

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Photo of CheckmateBrew
3.43/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I am a big Belgian drinker so I had high hopes for his one.

Look is exceptional, nice 1 finger head, deep cherry wood color, I am getting excited.

smell is very complex, malt and I could detect rasin, oak lots of things going on here.

Taste is very complex, a bit almost too sweet, trappist yeast, interesting, but not the belgin I was expecting

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Photo of 77ships
4.75/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this one at home, from notes:

A: bright, shinny red, small white head, minor lacing
S: funk, hint of vinegar & cherries, hint of oak
T: very fruit, heavy on cherries, green apples, lemons, wood chips, mild tart, hint of funk, some wine qualities, incredible, especially how fruity this is (I could have sworn they put cherries in here) and how the sourness balances this
M: light, refreshing & dry
D: the drinkability is insane, it is almost impossible not to chug it down at once

This is an absolutely amazing beer, if you are even remotely interested in sours, you must get this one.

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Photo of Whey2Hoppy
4.65/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A- Copper brown coloration with a one finger head.

S- Lots of pungent sour aromas. Kind of gross, since this is my first sour ever. But we will see how it tastes...

T- My lord, I have seen the light of the sour beer! I was expecting a drainpour, and to just delete everything I've written so far, but this is amazing! Very very sweet and sour, almost like a sweet tart candy. It's a strong fruity sourness, like sour raspberries.

F- Light body, with a high amount of carbonation that tickles the tongue as you're sipping.

O- I finally see why people love sour beers so much. I went in with an open mind, and was not disappointed!

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Photo of kiya
4.17/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

upon a hard pour i'm left with a great thick light tan head that holds it's shape and size quite well over the couple of minutes i let the beer sit to warm it up a bit.

this is easily one of the best smelling beers i've ever encountered.. a sweet smokey scent that is so pleasant i wish i had an air-freshner that smelled like this.

nothing could have prepared me for what happened when this stuff hit my tongue. the initial flavor is one of sickly sweet fermented berries, which mellows out quickly leaving a slight molasses flavor that gets sweeter the longer you roll the beer around your tongue. from the carbonation level to the strong sweet overtones work really well here, where as normally (tasting within the style of beer) i'm not so sure i'd be happy if a beer was this sweet without it being a lambic ale of sorts.

i absolutely love the smell, and would definitely go for this again...

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Photo of floraday
3.92/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz into a pinot glass

Walnut stain to rootbeer soda in appearance. Little head with light lacing.

Aroma of apple cider mixed with rootbeer barrel candy.

Apple cider and a little reduction on the palate. Slightly medicinal.

Very viscous on the palate. Juicy at first leading to a dry after taste.

A little sweeter than what I prefer but works well with sharp cheese.

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Photo of astout
4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow, very cool beer, definitely unique and very delicious.

Pours a deep burnished red colour very dark with a small amount of head.

Smells of balsamic, cherries, soy and a bit of chocolate in the background. Wine like aromatics from the barrel aging are all over this and I love it.

On the palate the initial sour balsamic thing I was expecting was there but quickly gets overtaken by a rich cherry fruit and cocoa nib interplay. Surprisingly smooth rich finish.

Low carbonation and smooth is the best way to describe this delicious red ale, I would definitely recommend this, and could do very well as a dessert beer.

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Photo of smttycty
4.41/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Though I love my late-night after-work mini mart with it's good selection of single bottles, my luck at finding imports that haven't been staring at the UV lighting too long is about 50/50. I asked the clerk to fetch me a bottle of this one from the back side of the reach-in. At almost $0.50 per ounce, I wanted to improve my odds.

The dark tea-colored body was clear, the off-tan rocky crown short -lived, and the lacing minimal. But once I shoved my nose into the snifter, it didn't want to come out. I found a nuanced melange of tart fruit, rich chocolate, fig pudding, and sherry.

A few local brewers have been trying their hands at this style, but my first sip washed away all expectations for another "learn-to-like-it" vinegary concoction. This beer is all silk and satan. Tart cherries and granny smith apples wrapped in a softly spiced European pastry. With no bitter flavors to be found, the wonderful yeast qualities are testament to the attention payed to the blending of the newer and older vintages. As the flavors slowly dissipate the sweet flavors at the front of the mouth are fully distinguishable from the tart flavors in back.

Light bodied and very lively without being sharp, kind of a thick blanket of effervescence. Like a vacation I don't want to leave, I'll come back again and again.

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Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
91 out of 100 based on 1,473 ratings.