Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,429 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,429
Hads: 3,835
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 22.93%
Wants: 199
Gots: 667 | FT: 12
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Verhaeghe visit their website

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Duchesse De Bourgogne Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,429 | Hads: 3,835
Photo of Jason
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep brownish red colour with some haze from both the chill and yeast, tight off white lace with a half decent lace. Soft and slightly sour aroma, dry woody almost nutty back ground. Biting crispness within the light yet effervescent and smooth carbonation. Puckering twang of sourness hits the palate, fruity flavours ride along with this and give suggestions of ripe currant and apple peel. A woody dryness sneaks up and dries the mouth is a split second and clear all residual sweetness. Quite the enjoyable Flemish Red …

 530 characters

Photo of kojevergas
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Best before date: 30/03/2013. 11.2 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into me Guinness goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Bottle acquired at Red Carpet Liquor in Glendale, California. They also carried the larger bottle. I don't recall the cost. Expectations are through the roof given the reputation of this beer and the style - which I generally am quite fond of.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. This should be in line with the recommended 47-53 degree fahrenheit range. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Not paired with food. I wanted to enjoy the beer on its own, especially since the serving size is relatively small.

A: Pours a four finger head of great smooth cream, marvelous foamy thickness, and fantastic retention - though the ABV is merely 6.00%. Colour is a dark semitransparent ruby. Translucent. No floating yeast particles are visible. There's no bubble show, but I've yet to see a beer in the style with one.

Sm: Sourness, wild yeast, bacteria, cream, clean malts, and an oak tone - when I look for it. A subtle, mild strength aroma. Very encouraging, alive, and inviting. I'd prefer it stronger, but its downplayed timidness lends it a certain class.

T: Yeasty subtle sourness, with cherry fruit ester notes. Slight cream on the open and as an undertone. Oak is a backgrounded tone that isn't horribly noticeable. Hints of red grape notes (but not wine). Extremely subtle. Fantastic. The sourness isn't overdone, and would likely appeal even to people who don't usually enjoy sours. Incredibly well balanced. Exceptionally well constructed, with complexity and layering abound. Nicely tart. Pleasant to drink, even approaching refreshing. Very enjoyable. I quite like it.

Mf: Perfect creaminess for the style. Smooth and wet. Great thickness. It's a touch too wet methinks - especially on the finish. Subtle slight dryness would be ideal to coax out the next sip. Perfect carbonation. Complements the flavours quite nicely.

Dr: Incredibly drinkable. I could down this all night. A bit pricey, but well worth it. An exceptional sour. Quite remarkable and special. Perhaps the best beer in the style I've had yet.

A great candidate for aging.

Drank wonderfully out of me goblet. A snifter would also be appropriate.

Would pair well with a salad, but I'd prefer it alone. This beer warrants your full attention.


 2,499 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear brown with a reddish hue. Flavor is sour. Hoooie! I love it. Kind of an antiseptic edge to it. But it's nice and smooth. Feel has a fairly biting carbonation that hits quickly and leaves. Liquid is kind of sticky yet smooth. This is a pretty good example of this style. If you aren't ready for the sour, don't bother coming at all for this one.

 358 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.96/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours garnet with 4 fingers of off white/sand colored head. Insane lacing &healthy head retention

S: Sour, vinergary notes up front that dissipates to not much of anything & then comes back

T: Sweetness & sourness do battle up front, along with serious dryness. Currant/raspberry taste surface along with hints of vinegar and oaky dryness (squared) as this warms. Finishes tart, uber dry, with a tinge of vinegar & a touch of berry sweetness

MF: Sticky with low carbonation.

Drinks all-right would pair well with many meats & fish & even salads. Just not a session ale, but one to ponder & savor by a fire or in a dimly Belgian pub. I prefer rodnebach's grand cru to this, this is a beer universe expander & well worth a try

 728 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.37/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Ruby red brown with a nice caramel tan head leaves appitent amount of head leaves lacing that's beyond my belief. Aroma: Clear caramel malt with massive amounts of amber tones that left me in a frenzy solid looking flemish ale. Taste: Sharp cherry taste with an incredible amount of sourness that is somehow still enjoyable sets your spirit free excellent taste that can'e be let go. Tart fruit flavor that brings any oud bruin competition. Mouthfeel: Heavy carbonation medium bodied ale nice. Drinkability: Excellent solid array of flavors that proves this is a classic staple of the oud bruin or flemish style ale tradition good stuff.

 649 characters

Photo of smcolw
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very red and very clear

Deep malt aromas, lots of cherries. Very close in aroma to a Framboise.

The taste has lots of cherries, quite sweet. So much so that I re-read the bottle to see if it was infused with fruit. Again, this is very much like a Framboise...without the lip-smacking sourness. Tastes more potent than the alcohol indicates (6% abv). The body is full, carbonation is moderate. The aftertaste is a light tartness that diminishes slowly.

This is an unusual Belgian in that it doesn't have the typical flavors/aromas. Still, it is very good. Think heavy lambic with less tart.

 598 characters

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, best before 5/2014. Pours crystal clear dark reddish brown color with a 2 finger fairly dense and fluffy cream colored with with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice dense foamy lacing clings on the glass, with plenty of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of green apple, cherry, raspberry, pear, apple skin, floral, hay, grass, oak, light vinegar, light red wine, funk, and grassy earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity notes; with moderate malt sweetness and good strength. Taste of lightly tart cherry, raspberry, apple, pear, hay, grass, pepper, light vinegar, oak, light red wine, light funk, and grassy earthiness. Slight fruity and earthy tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark and light fruits, hay, grass, floral, light vinegar, light red wine, oak, and grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of fruity and spicy notes; with a moderate malt balance and zero cloying sweetness present after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a smooth, crisp, and lightly prickly mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with zero warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Flanders red ale. Very nice complexity and balance of flavors; and very smooth and crisp to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,412 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle.
Sits in the snifter a a clear, deep ruby hue, nearing on brown, with a toasty, fizzy head holding down the fort.
Spicy aroma, and plenty sour, replete with associations of dark fruit, grapes, dates, blackberries, and a twisted hint of licorice. Wicked mix in this nose. I like it.
Oooo, puckeration! Mega-hit of sour on first sip! Backwash of sweetness, cherries and plums, but the tart stays on top. Next sip: Ooooweee, it's at it again! Molasses-like, and treacly in the taste, thinning out by the time the flavor leaves the palate and I'm ready for another swallow...ooo, quit doing that!
Around this time, the intense tartness mellows a bit, and the brew plays a little lighter in the mouth. Sweetness glides arm in arm with sour, and they play a tight ping pong match.
body is medium, lightly fruity, long-lived finish. Tasty thing, despite the challenges that must be met in approaching the brew. I'm going to relax with the remainder.

 962 characters

Photo of jwc215
3.08/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

11.2 oz. bottle:

Pours deep mahogany (nice color) with very little head.

The smell is vinuous - dark grape.

The taste is of grape and pomigranite. Slight oak. Wine-like (Manishevitz comes to mind). Sour with a fruity sweetness (subtle hints towards a chocolate, but more in that you would find in some wines). Aftertaste of grape soda lingers. Sweettart. Sweet and sour dominates, but more towards the sweetness. Dry finish.

It has certain unique characters, however, it doesn't stand out as anything above average for the style, IMO. Too much like grape soda for me.

 579 characters

Photo of drabmuh
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer served on draft at a beer bar in FL. Beer served in a Duchess De Bourgogne wine glass. Beer is hazy brown and has a broken brown head with very little carbonation. The tiny head manages to leave some lacing on the glass.

Aroma is citric and lactic sour in nature. Not too much complexity but for this style its dead on. Time to drink.

Beer is sweet and sour, the sweetness comes first but its quickly overtaken by the sour nature of the beer. Beer is smooth and has a thin body. The drinkability is high and the midpalate is where the majority of the flavor is noticed. Its a good example of a sour beer.

 611 characters

Photo of mdaschaf
3.97/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes 3/12/11. Thanks to THECPJ for sharing the Duchesse.

A: Color of this beer changes with depth in the glass, there are layers almost, orange, red, and ruby. Small off white head that dissipates quickly and leaves no lacing.

S: Sour and tart, lots of apples and grapes. Also sort of spicy

T: Very tart, some sour cherries, the apples and grapes take sort of a back seat. Some caramel and a little chocolate on the finish.

M: Medium bodied, has a nice crispness, with a dry finish.

O: Good flavors, but it is over the top sour for me, a good sipper, but certainly not something I seeking out to have again.

 629 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours an amber to brown with a finger high light tan head that included several large air bubbles in it. There is pretty good head retention and some moderate lacing present on the glass.

S: Aromas of tart dark fruits, sour cherries, and a slight hint of vinegar. Minor amounts of funk are also present as would be expected from the style. Very pleasant overall in aroma.

T: Very complex flavors are present in this beer including sour cherries, apples, pear, and some candy sweetness. The sour flavor persists even after you have finished in a very pleasant manner.

M: Light to medium bodied with quite a bit of carbonation. The sourness makes you tongue pucker.

O: Nice and complex with wonderful tart and sour fruit flavors, extremely enjoyable and a beer that I would highly recommend. I might just have to go out and purchase a couple more of these to keep in the fridge.

 884 characters

Photo of stakem
3.61/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

750ml corked and caged offering that I have cellared for several years. In fact, ive held on to this too long as I see I have surpassed the best by date by 3 years. September 2012 is stamped on the cork. The brew is mahogany in color with a white cap. Ruby clarity is seen along the edges and spotty lace sticks to the glass

The aroma comes off like cider vinegar with some malty sweetness and hints of fruit juice. The taste is tart and fruity like apple cider and cherry juice. Very mild vinegar and residual sweetness with hints of oak. The sweetness here seems more sugary feeling than the typical malt character.

This is light bodied and moderately carbonated. An easy drinking brew but lacking a bit in body/complexity but otherwise quite refreshing.

 758 characters

Photo of WesWes
4.6/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark amber color with an offwhite head that fades to lacing. The aroma is very malty. It has a fruity feel as well which enhances the pale and crystal malts. There are hints of chocolate here as well. The taste is perfect. It has a malty base, but is dominated with a tart fruitiness. This goes down very easy and finishes a bit dry and acidic. The mouthfeel is perfect as well. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn good drinking beer. I love the fruitiness along with it's complex malt makeup.

 543 characters

Photo of Mora2000
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark red with an off-white head. The aroma is tart fruit with a little bit of vinegar. The flavor is a great combination of sweet and sour. The flavors include oak and lots of dark fruit such as plums, cherries and possibly apples and grapes. You get some tart cherries as well as a lot of sweeter fruit to balance out the tartness. Thin mouthfeel and low carbonation. A great beer.

 388 characters

Photo of GClarkage
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer on tap at the Toronado in San Francisco in September, 2004. Served in a authentic Duchesse glass. Watched as it poured with a small head that didn't remain for long. A very opaque, mahoganey color. Almost like blackcurrant juice. A beautiful hue to it. Tons of lace that just stuck to the side and didn't disipate. Smelled both sweet and sour at the same time. A typical Flemish stlye taste but better. Not too sour as I expected. Maybe a cranberry taste or even something nutty in the background. Aftertaste is good as well. A definite great beer that I will have again.

 585 characters

Photo of Gavage
3.97/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear amber / brown color with a medium head. Some lacing developed. The aroma was wine-like, fruity, and sour but very unique. The flavor was of malt and sour fruits and cherries. No bitterness at all.

The mouthfeel was crisp with a long sour fruity finish. This brew is medium / heavy in body with decent carbonation. This brew is for slow drinking session late at night, but drinking more than one would be tough.

 428 characters

Photo of smakawhat
4.07/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass. Best before September 9th 2012, and ready to roll.

A nice somewhat foamy head that is sort of cream and off red/white in appearance. Sits on a dark brown/red body resembling almost pancake syrup like in color.

Bouquet is very unique. A faint brown sugar, smoked wood chips, sour fruit and yeast all combine to make a real interesting nose. Hints of brett"y" saison quality. Real nice.

Taste is a very tolerable sourness, and what feels like maltyness and brown sugar on the finish. Both sour and sweet at the same time. A little bit of tight prickly carbonation though, and a bit of a wet mouthfeel.

Even still drinkability is pretty solid. I would have this more often if it wasn't so pricey.

 740 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A nice burgundy color, quite clear and pours with almost no head. Tastes lightly sour, with a hint of sweetness. Smells lightly woody and a bit sour as well. This beer tastes tart with a hint of cherry. A much more everyday, easy drinking version of Rodenbach Grand Cru. Maybe some hints of vanilla in the taste, followed by a bit of tannic background. No bitterness just a wonderful marriage of tart and sweet flavors. A hint of alcohol in the finish.

 452 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Ginger man NYC, Pours dark ruby reddish, cloudy and murky. Nose of must and old feet. Classic Belgian puffy head and leaves nice sheets of lacing. Not for the faint of heart or those lacking a sense of palate adventure. Intense flavors of sour cherries and sweet malts give this one excellent complexity. some nuts, some stinky cheese and some of this stuff and you're all set up for a flavor extravaganza!

 420 characters

Photo of BARFLYB
3.86/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a oversized DFH snifter+ a small wine glass. Thanks Birradr14

Duchesse De Bourgogne graces a dark brown look from afar. Up towards brightness, a red mixture with orange patches and a mahogany screen. A lucious creamy bright vanilla head rose about a inch or so creating snowflake lace.

Her scent comprises of a dose of dark fruit with apple slices and minimal pear. Being a flanders red ale, Duchesse brings vinegar and it is the most forward out of any flanders red i've had. Hops are not a factor here. A sweet shot of vanilla and some oak from the barrel.

Holy sweet vinegar birdman, it is the main contender. Vinegar forward with dark fruits following (apples upfront) with a vanilla or light cream finish. Some pear and cherry. The oak is really prominent in the bottle. On tap, Duchesse is very sweet and the vinegar comes out a bit more, I like this version better. Not really tart or sour.

This has a light to medium body. The carbonation is present and expected from the pop of the cork. It works well. The liquid goes down kind of smooth. I dont find this to be tart or sour in the least bit, although there is some slight acidity on the tounge. This is quite smooth and easy going. The sweetness sticks around for a while (vanilla) but not as much than the on tap version IMO.

This is great beer. Not high in alcohol and the ladies sem to love it. I prefer the bottle version and would prefer the smaller version, I couldent take to much more than that. Big bottles are great for sharing. This would go well with some dark meats. With all this said Out of all the flanders red's I've had it's low in ranking because of the over the top vinegar taste, I've had better.

 1,709 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The portrait on the front label looks like a Rennaissance work with the phrase "Flemish Art of Brewing" in small print towards the top. Some of the words are printed in Dutch and French. Wow, I'm getting worked up about this one, and this is quite an uncommon style to find. On to the beer:

Into a snifter it goes, and it's a lighter brown with red mixed in. This is a very intersting smell, one I haven't encountered yet because of the limited Belgian beers I've sampled. Smells of wine vinigrette and sourness. I'm afraid to go on any farther...no I'm not! This is really interesting, very fruity, and not esters, it's really sweet. A little sourness is mixed in, which seems to be the way the beer balances out the sweet flavor. The aftertaste is quite dry with bready malts. I enjoyed it more the farther I got along with it. Not too cloying and not overpowering. And really different from your everyday beer.

 914 characters

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.78/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap years ago and have not tried it since. This time it was in a bottle....

Pours a shiny hazelnut brown, reddish glows. Tan head, bubbly...looks like cola a bit.

Aroma isn't as strong as I remembered the tap version. Cherries, new leather, caramel, candied sugar, and some apple.

Sourness just isn't there, perhaps a bit of pucker though. It's foremost flavors remind me of apple cider, sweet cider. Some cherry/apple tartness. Tannins here and there. Caramel in the nose is almost gone in the taste. No flavors are bad or off-putting, but none are outstanding either.
I'd drink it again, probably

 616 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a goblet.

Appearance - Pours a deep mahogany with hints of red and a vigorous khaki head. The head bubbles away quickly leaving a thin layer of foam on the surface.

Smell - Sour cherries through and through. Some sweet aromas come through behind.

Taste - Surprisingly, the first flavor is sweetness and a lightness that I would expect in the finish. The sweetness, happily, is gone very quickly fading to a slight tartness. Not puckering, but enough to overcome the sweetness and give it a even a little bitterness.

Mouthfeel - I'm no sour expert, but what makes this one better than what I've had is that it doesn't have a sickly sweet finish. It's not dry, but the sourness holds out till the end.

Overall - As stated, I am no sour expert, but this is tasty, if not very complex. Single flavor going through, but a good flavor.

 860 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
4.21/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz. bottle, best by 9/2/11,

A: Pours a copper burgundy with a pillowy off-white head, lots of lace.

S: Attic dust and must, balsamic vinegar, and a hint of raspberry.

T: Sweet upfront, the fruit changes from raspberry in the nose to Bing cherry on the tongue. Sweet cherries, not sour cherries. Rather mild acetic acid is here. Definite oak character - there are hints of vanilla. There's a note of sweet caramel malt that's aching to get in the mix too.

M: Sweet to start out with, tart and sour on the finish. Complex. Not over-carbonated, which I was concerned about with the big head, but the carbonation is rather light here - the background acidity carries the body of the ale.

D: Again, I can see why these types of beers are known as the Burgundies of Belgium. Not only the colour, but they are delicious, complex; they have some wildness to them but are still completely distinct from the lambic beer family. I'd love to pair this with a venison steak and cherry reduction sauce, I think that would be amazing. The nice thing about this beer is it is very easy to find and not overpriced in the current price range of Belgian beers. It's making me wonder why it took me so long to revisit it.

 1,211 characters

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
92 out of 100 based on 1,429 ratings.