Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

3,424 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,424
Reviews: 1,373
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 159
Gots: 419 | FT: 7
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,424 | Reviews: 1,373 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of eat
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Flanders Red Ale...I have no idea what this is supposed to taste like, but it looks like this is a good one to start with. I can only review this as a beer in general since I have nothing to compare it to. Best before 10-09-11 and consumed 18-04-10; lots of time left.

Pours with a beige head which fades down to a nice blanket, sticking around with not much lacing. Great colour: dark ruby-copper, or when held up to the light, a reddish-amber. The beer is transparent against light but the dark colour makes it appear to be opaque.

Pretty big complex smell. I've definitely never encountered a profile like this before. Oddly enough, the only thing I can compare it to is some six-year old La Terrible I just tried a couple days ago, but it's even quite different from that. Pumpernickel, red wine vinegar, yeast, a hint of something chocolaty, walnuts, prunes, alcohol. Slightly funky even. I'm into it but it's very different. My girlfriend claims it smells like "horse pee-pee" but I wouldn't know, not having smelled horse's urine before.

Wow. I have no idea what to make of this, it's barely reminiscent of beer at all compared to styles I've tried. That said though, it's pretty delicious. It tastes like some kind of complex, fruity cocktail but with a beer mouthfeel. Tons of different flavours combine to produce quite a pleasant brew: prune juice, grape must, red wine vinegar, apple cider, sour raspberry, light chocolate, wheat. Very complex and interesting. I wouldn't necessarily have expected this, but my girlfriend says it's the best beer she's ever tasted, even going so far as to want to buy some more for herself. This is saying a lot as she pretty much doesn't drink, period. I can kind of see why actually; it's really fruity and doesn't taste at all like your standard beer. It's kind of like the girly cocktail version of beer (in a good way). There are similarities to lambic, but I find the Duchesse to be much more complex than the Cantillon Gueuze I tried recently. Pretty sweet but balanced with a drying bitterness on the finish that seems to come out of nowhere. Aftertaste of wine grapes. I'm almost wanting to give this a 4.5 but really still don't know what to make of it.

The feel is pretty good. Light-medium mouthfeel and a light but effervescent carbonation. I can't figure out what's causing it, but it leaves your tongue with a dry, tingling feeling. The dryness even extends down the throat.

I'm really enjoying this beer but it's hitting me a little like a lambic: a bit too sour to session. I feel like two of these might leave my stomach feeling like I just ate a few too many Cherry Blasters. I am enjoying this more than the Cantillon, however. I would definitely drink this again though and would be very interested to try other beers in the style.

Photo of allstar255
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of banger7
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of RuudJH
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

25 cl. bottle, with classical picture on the label.

Looks chestnutt brown, clear with decent carbonation. Modest head, modest lacing.

Nice smell of oak and wine. A bit of roasted coffee as well.

Taste is interesting indeed: slightly tart, with wine and fruits notes. Also roasted malts that develope into nutty and coffee, with modest hops and yeast.

Smooth and refreshing. Very drinkable too.
An interesting experience.

Photo of teddyarrowhead
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of desint
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of SlightlyGrey
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Tafyob41
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of bconsidine
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of jpd026
4.2/5  rDev +1%

Photo of Azpittil57
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of BEERschlitz
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of JeffreyJDavis
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Hopmarc
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of GreenWBush
3.45/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Blood red in the glass with dark brown highlights. A modest head.

Slightly vinegary on the nose with hints of cherries and sour apple. Oak characteristics appear later.

The taste of this beer is understandably devisive. Sour, funky, and amazingly champaign-like in alot of ways. Sourness builds up in the bottom of the palate in a strangely addictive way. Oak is strong by the end.

A tasty detour from my usual...

Photo of KornWallace
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of TheSleepyMonkey
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of nhindian
2.4/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

11.2oz bottle poured into a Cantillon wine glass.

A - Pours a deep cherry red, almost perfectly clear and extremely pretty. The hue and darkness brimming around it makes the parts which are that mahogany look even more vibrant. About 2 fingers of tan head, with great retention as well. The lacing is weakest part of an otherwise spectacular-looking beer, with it being sticky, but to the beer instead of the glass. It does loosen up as it is drunk, however.

S - Unlike past Red Flanders I've encountered, this beer isn't too focused on the tart or the funk, but rather embraces a more full-bodied aroma. It does bring the slight sour, but it's more of a binding agent rather than jumping out and overwhelming the beer. Surprisingly, a good amount of caramel malt comes through, as well as some vinegar. Not incredibly complex, but certainly whets the palate.

T - Whereas the nose and appearance built this beer up, the taste just does not do it for me at all. Again, the tartness is almost a complete afterthought after a few seconds as it is thrown to the wayside in lieu of a big wave of vinegar. This persists throughout the beer, unfortunately, only stopping momentarily to bring in quick jolts of cherries and grapes. The finish, however, is a complete turn-off. It is somewhat vegetal and saccharine, almost as if there's just too much sugar or sweetener in it (although I am pretty sure nothing in this beer is artificial). Moreover, the blend of all the flavors and the vinegar leaves the finish eerily tasting similar to ketchup in a strange way.

M - Mouthfeel is moderately light-bodied with decent carbonation. Not the most lively beer, but I'm not expecting that given the strict aging requirements of this beer before bottling. Long lasting finish of tart cherries, vinegar, and Heinz 57.

D/O - Drinkability is moderately low. I'm disappointed that after the relatively strong first impressions, this beer just falls off quick for me. Way too much vinegar, not enough tartness, and the vegetal notes in the finish are brutal. I had this at a bar tasting about a year ago, and it was my first sour. I thought it was pretty decent then, but it was just a small sample, and I guess my palate has developed a taste for different types of sours since then...

Photo of Stillyman11
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of tlazaroff
4.88/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: This pours a very deep deep and ultra clear burgundy red. It's head is a slight off-white color. This beer is breathtaking to look at.

S: As I opened and poured the beer a huge almost cherry-like aroma almost over-took me. Upon closer inspection I was able to confirm this. There are many different dark fruits on the nose, but cherry takes the cake here. There is a noticeable sourness to the smell.

T: Huge sour cherry notes here in a background of light plum. The sourness is there, but not extreme and not subtle either. This beer tastes perfect and it is quite a religious experience.

M: This is so smooth, with low carbonation and a nice medium body. The sourness doesn't detract from the mouthfeel either.

D: To me, this has such low drinkability because I want to enjoy it. That said, it's extremely drinkable.

Photo of dherling
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out a dark reddish brown with a minimal head that drops quickly. The nose is sour, even vinegary. There are also some nice notes of fruit and mustiness. I pick up some faint spice and sweetness lingering as well. The taste uncovers the sweet and extremely fruity notes from the nose. The body is amazingly sour grape juice, with a subdued bitterness that really works. Totally different than the nose, a nice surprise. Medium bodied, with good carbonation. The finish is pretty dry, like white wine.

Photo of PaulsBrew
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of Hayley_86
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of kayrex
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Fish113d
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle poured chilled into a tulip glass

Pours a dark mahogony color with ruby tint. Head is thin, but a bit "lofty" (it is like a cloud in the sky) Off-white to tan color head. Decent light getting through. Decent.

Aroma is mainly of fruits (strawberries and cherries) with a strong oak wood dry aroma. Some vanilla also hits my nose as does a bit of alcohol. Maybe a bit of vinegar.

Definitely suits the style. A cherry-to-rasberry flavor up front along with a bit of oak barrel flavor. Alcohol is also on the menu as is a bit of a slight metallic taste that doesn't go well with me. Reminds me of champagne. I expected something a bit different I guess.

Thin body with a champagne quality feel. Bubbly on my tongue with a bit of alcohol biting me quick! Decent aftertaste though of souring cherries.

Overall drinkability? Not bad. I've had better in the style, but solid. The metallic flavor has me thrown a bit...maybe a "bad" batch. I'd have another just to see.

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,424 ratings.