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Duchesse De Bourgogne | Brouwerij Verhaeghe

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
91
outstanding
1,478 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,478
Ratings:
4,040
Avg:
4.09
pDev:
23.72%
 
 
Wants:
229
Gots:
804
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: 1,478 | Ratings: 4,040
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 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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Photo of billzav
5/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Duchesse may very well be the best sour ale I have ever had and it pours a deep chestnut brown color with notes of tart fruit, notably cherries, and dark malt. Since this ale is aged in oak conditioned casks, Duchesse has a red wine like feeling to it. The array of sweet and sour flavors are perfectly balanced throughout this Flanders red ale, and it’s velvety smooth from start to finish.

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Photo of ExplosivoSR
4.7/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle poured to snifter. Best by date of 5/1/2013.

A - Pours ruby red with about two fingers of off white head and some lacing.

S - A bit softer of smell than expected, but it is welcome. It smells almost like a sour wine, with a hint of brown sugar. Not overpowering at all. Very unique.

T - An amazing balance here. Sour cherries and a hint of vinegar up front, which gives way to an unexpected sweetness which was a great treat. Lots going on.

M - Light body, and good carbonation.

O - I'd been thinking about trying this for some time, but could never pull the trigger. Thank goodness I did, because this is a treat. An exceptionally good sour, and one I will continue to by from now on.

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Photo of alexmel7
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

It's like eating a kobe beef hot dog with mustard and ketchup plus a berry compote on top.

Seriously...this is why I'm a fan of wild yeast. This beer is very unique. Honestly I'm a much bigger fan of this than Rodenbach. Definitely worth a try, or two.

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Photo of samshaw
3.61/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Medium umber hue, mostly opaque, but a clearer garnet on the edges of the glass. Not particularly viscous. Very thin head that dissipates quickly.

S: Strong vinegar aroma with hints of fruit and berry.

T: Fruit taste much more pronounced, with strong cherry flavor. Much less vinegary on the tongue.

M: Medium body with moderate carbonation.

O: Tasty and refreshing with its slightly dominant vinegar note in scent its only major drawback.

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

Poured from a 11.2 oz bottle into glassware.

A deep red/brown in color with a pillowy white head. Great vinegar'y smell typical of flanders. Has a great fruity sweetness coupled with a sour and bitter taste characteristic of its style. There is a little extra bitterness/funkiness on the backend of the taste, which dropped my rating a little.

If it wasn't for the cost of these little bottles, I would certainly be drinking more.

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Photo of Fatheranderson
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was my first Flanders Ale, and it was a rather interesting beer. Expiration was 12/2012

Appearance: Burgundy. Thick, dark burgundy that reminds me somewhat of a good Irish Red.

Smell: Strong nose of cherry, hint of bubblegum, slight floral bouquet.

Taste: Overwhelming taste of sour cherry, which is complimented extremely well by a hint of malt. My only complaint is that the cherry comes on a little too strong. Toning it back a bit and maybe adding a tiny bit of hops would make it perfect.

Mouthfeel: Thick, juicy, smooth. Feels like velour in the mouth (yes, I watched Futurama while drinking this... and Zap Brannigan's catch phrase stuck with me...)

Overall: The only improvement I could suggest is toning back the cherry a little bit. Otherwise, it's an absolutely superior brew.

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Photo of McThulhu
4.29/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Got it because it was on sale and said Flanders on the back. Sold! Always love the complex tastes and sour/sweet balance of Belgian sours.

Everything went as expected with this beer, until the taste. I won't lie, it was maybe too sweet for my personal expectations, but damned if I didn't drink every drop. Unapologetically sweet but still complex, it was almost like a red champagne, or one of those sparkling juices for wagon-riders. Would drink again, but I want an aged one next time, to see how that sweetness sours up.

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Photo of IdentityAles
3.4/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

11.2 oz bottle. Up front sourness followed by a orange, cherry aroma and some vinous qualities. Clear burgundy in color with a small off white head. Aggressive up front sourness, rounded with hint of sour cherries, sherry like, somewhat acidic and a little bitter orange peel. A little astringent for my tastes and the sweetness lingers on the back of the throat. Pretty good job of playing the sweet and sour contrast but seems a little rough around the edges. The aggressive sourness makes it a little one dimensional IMHO.

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Photo of Hawthorne
4.45/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap and thought it was brilliant!! After having this beer I became aware of how biased I was toward American craft beers. This beer pours a beautiful deep chestnut with limited head. The nose has sun dried fruit with a flavor that has a nice maltyness with raisin. mmmm!

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Photo of JokineAugustus
5/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love this beer. It has a pleasant sour fruit smell of Cherries, Cranberry, and Raspberry. Taste is quite similar. Has a slight bready and sour fruit aftertaste that blends well. Look is beautiful bright ruby red in a glass which I absolutely adore. One of my favourites atm.

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Photo of truebluebums
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in tulip glass

Good till: 12/23/2015

App: Pours a small white head that recedes rather quickly leaving a little lacing on the sides. Dark, deep red. You can see straight through it.

Smell: Vinegar. Fruity- Cherry and cranberry and maybe some darker berries in the back. Definitely a pleasant sweetness lurking behind the sour smell. Red wine aspect and some woody notes.

Taste: Sour black cherries. The sourness is at the forefront but very well restrained letting the other flavors shine through in the dry aftertaste. A mixture of a lot of different fruits. Cherry, cranberry, blackberry even some blueberry. Picking up on the tannins that other's are talking about. There's really a lot going on this little beer.

If you've never had Flemish Red or Sour, then this is a good introduction. There's definitely ones that are heavy on the sour side, but not this one. A great blend of sweet and sour and a lot of depth to the taste.

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Photo of Lafe
3.47/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark, hazy brown with flashes of burgundy into the chalice. Aroma is immediate and vinous. There's a strong component of vinegar, and a sour, musty, funky smell reminiscent of some lambics I've tried. Well carbonated, it forms a tan head, which recedes slowly to a frothy lace just covering the beer.

The taste delivers pretty much what the aroma promised. Intensely sour and strongly fruity, there is no bitterness readily apparent. The sourness seems to be fairly acidic, and pretty tart, and lingers after swallowing. The sweetness is subtle, and makes a stronger showing as the beer warms.

This is my first experience with a Flanders Red, and I find this beer to be interesting. That being said, it reminds me too much of fizzy wine, or perhaps a wine cooler mixed with champagne. Just not the sort of thing I normally go for. I'll try a few more examples of the style and revisit this. Some day.

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Photo of mizzoueng
3.55/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Reddish hints in a dark brown, minimal head, but it was a tannish/taupish color

S - For being a Flanders Red, this was good. Smelled of grapes, almost like Chardonnay wine with hints of vinegar, fruit (couldn't place it), and clove

T - Not sour at all, almost sickly sweet. Like the beer was not fully fermented or a bag of sugar got poured in the fermenter right before it was kegged. Tasted more like a swet wine/beer hybrid. Was still good and drinkable, but not exactly what I had in mind when ordering a Flanders Red.

M - Full bodied, yet not very heavy. Like I keep pointing out, like a sweet red wine with a malty backbone.

D - I would order this again, but in a bottle to see how its different. I think this would be a good beer to age and see how the flavors meld.

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Photo of cuttsjp
4.41/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 750 mL cork and cage bottle poured into tulip glass

Appearance: Beer pours a deep reddish-brown with a fluffy cream-colored head that starts off big and dissipates into a small film on the surface, with some of the most amazing lacing I've ever seen

Aroma: Sort of a sweet, musty cherry smell with a slight tart kick and a little funk, not as much as expected though

Flavor: Delicious. Tart cherries up front with some nice raisin/plum sweetness balancing the whole thing out. Some definite malty tones stand out in this one...edging on the side of an Oud Bruin (even though BA classifies it as a red). A tiny amount of hop bitterness graces the finish. Great to see how the flavor opens up as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and silky, with very balanced carbonation.

Drinkability: Amazingly drinkable, especially for a style that people seem to think is less accessible. I really enjoyed this a lot and could easily foresee drinking a whole bottle by myself. Great price, too! $10/bottle for something that is definitely as good as much more expensive ones.

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Photo of sirtomtom
5/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a hazy dark red/brown with a bit of white head.

S: Sour with a light touch of funk.

T: Medium sour with a faintest hint of funk. Not too tart to be mouth puckering but not so mildly sour as to wonder where the sour is. Not real heavy on any type of sourness, a nice balance between the different types of sour: lactic, citric, etc.

M: A nice medium body with a good bit of carbonation to balance it out.

O: A perfect well made sour great for an introduction to sour ales as well a great easy access sour for that hot day.

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Photo of Pip_Count_167
4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Ebenezer's in Brunswick. The taste is really reminiscent of a balsamic vinegar, especially when it first hits the mouth. The tartness didn't linger though, it left a fruity flavor behind. I've really been digging sour beers lately, and this one blew me away. Hopefully it's as tasty in a bottle.

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Photo of Davey-C
4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on 2/11/16 from bottle labeled "best before 2017-6-29". Aroma: Initial aroma of sour red wine. Aroma developed to become slightly earthy, very light sulfur with ester hints of stone fruit. Appearance: dark Amber with ruby hues. Moderately clear. Poor head retention with no head and only fine bubbles around run. Light amounts of fine lacing quickly dissipate. Flavor: malt forward balance, with no hop flavor and little to no perceivable hop bitterness. Initial palate of sweet candi that quickly turns sour and lingers on palate for short time before quickly fading away. Dry finish with pleasant cherry/stone fruit aftertaste. Mouthfeel: medium body. Light carbonation. No alcohol warmth. No creaminess. Light, slightly astringent and acidic aftertaste. Overall: complex beer! Balance between malt sweetness and sour is amazing. The types and succession of changing flavors is fast and very enjoyable. Only complaint is there is a sweetness perceived after consuming about 7 oz that occur during initial palate that detracts from the beer and really slows the rate of consumption - not that you would pound this beer, rather it encourages very slow sipping. I don't have a lot of experience with this style but am excited to try other examples and will keep an eye out for this gem! 42/50.

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Photo of yourchoice
3.73/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review is working off notes from a few nights ago...

A- Beer poured a muddy brown. Very little head and moderate lacing.

S- A very tart fruit on the nose. Sour.

T- A sour, tart fruit taste, with a subtle champagne presence. The champagne subtetly highlights this beer for me.

M - The tartness pleasingly puckers, but it seems a bit thin.

O - The bomber size is as about as much as I would want. I enjoyed the sour experience, but I hope to find something more to my liking next time I venture for something deemed sour.

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Photo of Airedoggie
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A deep ruby red with a slight head.

S: Dark sour cherries and apples

T: Taste of tart sour cherries and finishes clean and dry. Sour and yeasty at the end.

M: Mouthfeel is moderately light-bodied with decent carbonation. Creamy with a strong presence.

O: Flemish sour beers are always unique and interesting. This one is no exception.

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Photo of Firkin-Bunghole
4.45/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 fl oz bottle with best before date 11/30/2013
A: This one gushed when poured. Luckily didn't lose any. The pillowy foam subsided in a couple minutes and about a fingers worth of foam remained. Color was more dark red with brown
S: Smells real nice, cherries with slight woodiness
T: Tartness & sourness explodes during first sip. Took me back a little at first made my mouth and cheeks pucker. The sour/tart feelings do linger for a long time after finishing. Feel good that I had this beer at the end of the night.
M: Couldn't hold this one in my mouth for too long. Is well carbonated and feels medium
O: This beer takes me back to my youth when I would eat a roll of Shocktarts or a bag of Sour Patch Kids. The only down-side which might be a plus budget-wise is I can't have more than 1 of these in a sitting. Will buy a 4-pack of this next time instead of a single bottle. Also, really like to see a long best-by date printed on the bottle.

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Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
91 out of 100 based on 1,478 ratings.