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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: 3,801
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 13.48%
Wants: 198
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Duchesse De Bourgogne Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,419 | Hads: 3,801
Photo of dbrauneis
4.32/5  rDev +5.9%
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 mdaschaf
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
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 WesWes
4.6/5  rDev +12.7%
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 +8.3%
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 +7.4%
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 -2.7%
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 Gueuzedude
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
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 BARFLYB
3.86/5  rDev -5.4%
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 Billolick
4.32/5  rDev +5.9%
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 Halcyondays
4.21/5  rDev +3.2%
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)

Photo of smakawhat
4.07/5  rDev -0.2%
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 BlackHaddock
2.53/5  rDev -38%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Third Flanders Red I've reviewed on this site and it is receiving the lowest scores so far. Very surprised to see it in the top ten for its style.

I didn't like the sour, vingerous aroma mixed in with the old cherry and almonds smells. I know that is what should smell like, but this seemed a over the top.

It looked fine, clear ruby red when held up to the light. The head started as a wisp and didn't change much throughout the drinking, apart from getting less and less.

The sweet and sour taste was too sickly and it was too fizzy as well, over carbonated for sure.

This is a designer beer, I've had it on tap and bottled before, it wasn't great then. My wife doesn't like it and I don't either. (703 characters)

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.78/5  rDev -7.4%
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 DoubleJ
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
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 Alieniloquium
4/5  rDev -2%
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 tempest
3.85/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Farmhouse in Emmaus, PA. Served, post-dinner, in a large wine glass, murky brown with no head. This beer reminds me of Goudenband. The beer menu described this as having chocolate-covered raisin flavors, and I think that's a bit of a stretch. Certainly, there is a pairing of sweet candy and sour flavors, and I can find raisins in here, but no chocolate. This beer is not that much of a dessert beer. For it's creamy mix of flavor (which also includes salad vinaigrette) it's not an incredibly drinkable beer, but it is a semi-approachable sour ale that drinks a bit like a thick hard cider. Not my favorite, but a beer to try if you're into the wild styles. (673 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark ruby colored brew which sports a rocky, pillowy, off white head that seems to breathe as if the beer was alive (which it is). Craters opening up, the head finally dies down a little and leaves alot of lace. Just a beauty of a beer.

Smell: Apple cider, vinegar. A bit musty and sour smelling. Perfumy.

Taste: Tart and sweet with a lingering sour/metallic edge. This ale was matured in wooden vats, providing an oaky/woodsy dryness. As it warms, more complexity develops, fruits that do not exist like a mixture of cherry, granny smith apple and citrus with some acidity. This is one hell of a beverage.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a semi dry finish and a lingering sourness of the palate.

Drinkability: A very desirable sour that is a pleasure to partake. Highly recommended. (797 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally got around to reviewing this classic of the style. Had a bottle at the Brick Store poured into the appropriate glassware. Poured red without much head or lacing, but still pretty to look at. Sweet and sour aromas of apples and cherries and a lightly acetic quality. The taste has that same sweet/sour combo as its main thread of flavor. Added to that are flavors of spiced cherries, a bit of oaky woodiness, and a developing creamy sweetness with a hint of bitter tannins right at the finish. Mouthfeel is creamy and soft and a bit sweet. This is on the low side in the sour spectrum that this style encompasses. Very nice, if not quite as complex as some others. Still, relatively easy to find and a solid brew. (720 characters)

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

Pours a beautifully clear red/brown with a bubbly off white head that starts off strong but leaves us much too soon but sticks much lace on my glass. Smells of horsehair, must, oak, some berries, tart acidic. Taste is filled with all the wonderful things I smelled. I pick up the funk sweet and sour dried fruits, some vanilla, even a faint bourbon in there as well. Mouthfeel is syrupy, sticky, smooth. Body is medium, carbonation is low but ample. I wish I had tried this sooner as it is a fantastic sour and seems to be readily available in my area. (552 characters)

Photo of corby112
4.65/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Serving type: bottle.

Pours a dark amber brown with burgundy edges. Beautiful aroma of oak, cherry, vanilla and sour tartness. The combination of the two aged brown ales provides this beer with a perfect smooth balance that is not to sweet and not to tart. Hints of oak, vanilla, grape, cherry, sugar and sourness. (315 characters)

Photo of weeare138
3.6/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appears a semi-transparent red auburn with an off white head that fades into a mild collar.
Smell is of tart cherries, caramel, vanilla, oak, rhubarb, and bacteria.
Taste is of the same with oaky berries, brown sugar, and grassy, minty leaves.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, syrupy, sugary oak, and cherry flavors lingering. (321 characters)

Photo of Zorro
3.72/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear dark red brew with some floaters in it.

Strong sour smell with a cherries and fruit scent. Is this a sour Lambic? Harder sniffing uncovers spice and a sweet smell too. The sweet smell is malt.

Flavor is very sour, with woody flavors. Cherries are present; this strongly resembles a Kriek Lambic in flavor. After you get over the sour shock other flavors come out. Add Honey, Mustard, and olive oil to this and you will have an interesting salad dressing.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Not real drinkable, it's to sour for most. (541 characters)

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml caged and corked bottle purchased from Jackson Wines & Spirits in Lafayette, CA. Shared with @LaitueGonflable and @tobeerornottobe.

Pours a gorgeously deep and gem-like ruby red colour, with a fine and relatively solid head of pale orange-white. Lacing is sheeting, but quite sticky. Fine bead, and good body. Lovely looking brew.

Vinegary and acetic on the nose, giving big sour characters and a red wine-like spice to accentuate it. Under it are rounder notes of oak and vanilla, but the acidity always powers through, showing you who's boss. Nice.

Taste is really quite surprisingly tempered. Certainly very little true acidity, but more of a sweet vinous bite and plenty of oakiness. Quite sweet for the most part, indeed far sweeter than I expected from the nose, giving it a cherry soda kind of alcopop appeal. It's nice, and surprisingly mellow, but it lacks a bit of complexity as far as I'm concerned.

A very drinkable, and very soft Flanders Red, but I prefer mine with a more robust acidity and deeper complexities from oak and tannins. Still, very enjoyable, very easy to drink and really very refreshing. (1,127 characters)

Photo of biegaman
4.37/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer is 'red' only in regards to its highlights, which blaze a casual orange-red, like that of persimmon fruit. The body is slightly dark and its shine is modest. A patchy yet all encompassing tarp of head slates the beer at all times. Irregular patterns of lacing are splotched about the glass.

The smell can evolve throughout the tasting. Generally speaking it is a compost of candy apple, balsamic vinegar and spiked cranberry lemonade. As it became room temperature, the smell grew more sweet than it was at first sour, and became remarkably alike a mead. One (or all) of the cranberry lemonade/balsamic vinegar/candy apple is what most will likely pick up on.

The Duchesse, somewhat distinct from others its style, has an underlying bittersweet cocoa mixed with granola kind of flavour. More like others, the sense of balsamic vinegar is strong. Strawberries, cherries, bruised apple, and dates characterize most of the overripe fruit taste.

The mouthfeel is certainly a lot closer to a wine than most beer drinkers would be used to. Bitterness is replaced by sourness (although no Cantillon) and tartness (although no Rodenbach). The oak aging contributes greatly to the overall dimension of the beer, lending a dryness, but also combining with the sweetness in flavour to make for rum, port, or sherry like taste.

Like lambics, Flanders Ales are a blend of young and old beers and carry a touch of funk. Although the two styles also share in common barrel aging, the merging of tart, sweet, and sour, as well as the often underlying acidity, the reds and bruins of Flanders certainly don't drink like their Brusselian cousins.

Flanders Ales offer you a choice. Their subtleties and complexity allow for something that can be sipped and savoured. The medley of sweet and sour, on the other hand, make for something refreshing and rewarding, a glass that won't last long full. The choice can be yours.

I've had the Duchesse De Bourgogne on so many occasions now, including the beer at different ages, and I can honestly say that it is always a treat. The Duchesse especially epitomizes the art of Flemish brewing. (2,128 characters)

Photo of John_M
4.32/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was very surprised to see that I had not reviewed this previously. On tap at the Hudson Street Stackhouse.

The beer pours a reddish amber color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is very attractive, showcasing considerable cherry, vanilla, sweet tart and hints of chocolate. As good as this beer smells, it tastes even better. The flavor profile replicates the nose, but the cherry and sweet tart really come on strong. Also, I really like the hint of vanilla, wine and chocolate I'm picking up as well. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a long, tart, mouth puckering finish.

Just delicious, and probably the best example of how my taste has changed over time. At one time I found this beer barely drinkable, as it was just too sour for me. Now I think the level of sour in this beer is just right, and sometimes think it borders on being too sweet. Regardless, this is an outstanding beer, with an amazing amount of flavor given the 6% abv. This is the beer I think of when I think of a flanders red ale. (1,018 characters)

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