Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe
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Ratings: 3,052 | Reviews: 1,346 | Display Reviews Only:
4.03/5 rDev -3.1%
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.
09-29-2006 01:14:49 | More by smcolw
4.25/5 rDev +2.2%
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.
04-02-2010 22:29:28 | More by Halcyondays
United Kingdom (England)
2.53/5 rDev -39.2%
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.
11-22-2008 12:13:35 | More by BlackHaddock
3.95/5 rDev -5%
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.
07-17-2004 01:11:01 | More by Gavage
4.4/5 rDev +5.8%
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.
09-21-2004 23:33:12 | More by GClarkage
4.15/5 rDev -0.2%
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.
04-15-2012 03:56:50 | More by kojevergas
4.65/5 rDev +11.8%
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.
11-28-2008 07:50:29 | More by corby112
3.6/5 rDev -13.5%
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.
12-07-2007 03:15:21 | More by weeare138
3.9/5 rDev -6.3%
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.
04-16-2011 03:24:34 | More by lacqueredmouse
3.85/5 rDev -7.5%
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.
12-21-2008 13:07:40 | More by tempest
United Kingdom (England)
4.5/5 rDev +8.2%
Revisiting this vaguely-defined Flanders ale as part of my 7-bottle tasting panel of Flemish Red/Brown ales. BB 13/12/09, served lightly-chilled in Gulden Draak's tulip-shaped bowl sniffer.
A: dark russet brown colour with good clarity, coming with fine yet constant streams of carbonation in support of a thick, dark-beige frothy head that retreats reluctantly and leaves tight lacing behind.
S: marvellously fruity, lactic-sour, and sweet-malty... creamy yet salty-sour berry fruits are not "floating", but rather thick and oily, suggesting licorice-marinated prunes, strawberry/raspberry jam, fat smoked longan-fruits, and a dancing touch of diacetyl in the background, while the dark malts give out a strong aroma of crystallised sugar... A closer sniff reveals the underlying oak-ageing aroma, that is mildly vanilla-ish sweet yet inextricably linked to the vinegary character typical of this style. Still, having tried Rodenbach Grand Cru, this ale smells rather like a milder Oud Bruin to me.
T: the foretaste is just lightly lactic-sour cherry-fruity, backed by a thick body of mild brown-sugary malts, semi-sweet longan-fruits and utterly delicious prunes... as the vinegary sour-fruity edge softens, very quietly the main theme gives way to lightly flavoured, sweet-tea-ish herbal touch of hops and lightly aromatic notes of oak-ageing (not unlike an Oloroso Sherry actually), leaving a mildly woody/tangy palate to go with more aromatic undertones of Chinese prunes in the long finish. Simply delicious...
M&D: like my last bottle, the body is medium-plus and the texture is impeccably creamy-smooth, but the overall sweet elements apparently are much softer and the flavour structure is quite "evolving", hence a more enjoyable balance. Still, it's very hard to determine where a Flemish Red stops and Oud Bruin starts, as the characters shown in this nice ale border both, smartly.
* Tasting Date: 23/07/06
This is the first time to revisit this beer since my first encounter three years ago in Brussels. I still remember that it gave me a much sweeter impression than Rodenbach's range and other counterparts, thus I was not that keen to try it again. But my memory could be hazy, I told myself in the shop, and it deserves a "recorded" opinion as such~~ BB 11/07/07, served lightly-chilled in a large Burgundy bulb wine glass.
4 A: reddish-brown in colour the beige-hued frothy head settles fast to a rimmed foam and leaves uneven lacing along the way; medium-lively carbonation. Looking settled and promising.
4.5 S: slightly rusty upfront, followed by a much milder edge of red wine vinegar, creamy raspberry+strawberry-flavoured yogurt, lightly-caramelised sugar, and a fantastic note of smoked prunes and quite akin to a silky and prune-ish Rioja!! As I remember it right, the fruity smell does have a sweeter edge to the overall sour aroma, but in a sense a softer and creamy balance is obtained b/w wood-ageing factor and profound maltiness, neither so... exciting nor harsh as Rodenbach Grand Cru... Instead it's deeply aromatic, fruity, yet approachable.
3.5 T: an assertive flow of brown sugar like sweetness and sour-sweet berry- and stone-fruits smoothly caress the tongue, but in two different layers rather than being mixed seamlessly... the mid-flavour shows more sweet and creamy malts, which is not heavy but slightly too sugary, whereas the soft fruitiness and wood-ageing's sourness prevail in time to result in a slightly dryish, tangy and tartly-sweet aftertaste, thus an overall pleasant and evolving structure is secured all right. Short and clean finish.
4 M&3.5 D: can't complain at all about the texture--creamy and softly carbonated on the mouthfeel, and the body is quite solid yet pretty refreshingly-light vis-a-vis the flavour. Somehow the sweet edge of this beer is still what fails to convince me, just like my first encounter three years ago: the sweet, sugary edge running in parallel to, rather than hand in hand with, the sour-fruitiness poses the largest difficulty b/w me and this otherwise fantastic beer. Guess I'd only be converted to this ale either when my palate changes, or the brewer budges.
04-10-2009 19:13:35 | More by wl0307
4.33/5 rDev +4.1%
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!
07-13-2004 22:00:57 | More by Billolick
4/5 rDev -3.8%
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.
01-26-2008 16:01:15 | More by Georgiabeer
4.33/5 rDev +4.1%
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.
01-30-2012 23:39:50 | More by dbrauneis
3.63/5 rDev -12.7%
(Served in a snifter)
A-Pours a deep chocolate brown body that is almost opaque with a nice carbonation of tiny bubbles. It has a tan head that fades to a few clouds of head around the edge of the glass.
S- Black cherry, dried cranberry aromas with a sharp vinegar smell.
T- tart cherry flavor with a strong acidity. Hints of currants or cranberries are present. A slight hint of vanilla is present but the acidity dominates. Hints of port flavors in the finish.
M- Medium-light body and not any fizziness from the carbonation. It has acidic pucker at the finish but no sweetness or alcohol in the finish.
D- The sourness fades about 3/4 of the way through the beer. It starts to mellow after your taste bud get used to the shock. It has an almost red wine taste and it would be wonderful to develop that more at a port taste with other flavors popping out aswellas the acidity. Definitely an interesting experience.
04-13-2005 01:38:19 | More by rhoadsrage
4.35/5 rDev +4.6%
Pours with a two-finger white head leaving that fades quickly but leaves a good lace. Clear, deep reddish amber. Nose is raisin. Tastes of raisins and apricots, smooth with sweetness but has a slightly tart finish. Complex - sweet and sour. A 330ml bottle was $3.50 from Colonial Liquors, Acton, Ma.
05-17-2004 22:41:14 | More by jdhilt
3.73/5 rDev -10.3%
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.
02-19-2004 02:41:19 | More by Zorro
3.95/5 rDev -5%
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.
09-30-2007 03:35:59 | More by DoubleJ
Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,052 ratings.