Duchesse De Bourgogne
Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne
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Style:
Flanders Red Ale
Ranked #9
ABV:
6.2%
Score:
94
Ranked #1,327
Avg:
4.22 | pDev: 13.74%
Reviews:
1,593
Ratings:
4,488
From:
Brouwerij Verhaeghe
 
Belgium
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  273
Gots
  1,036
SCORE
94
Outstanding
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne
Notes: Belgian top-fermented reddish-brown ale, a blend of 8 and 18 months old beers following the careful maturation in oak casks.
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Reviews: 1,593 | Ratings: 4,488
Reviews by Wildman:
Photo of Wildman
4.01/5  rDev -5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a very dark red color and formed an amazing, huge pillow like head that left some very amazing laticed like lace. Heavy and beautiful style carbonation present. An aroma of malt and wine(but not sure of style). A flavor of malt, wine, and cherries. The finish was rather tart, brought on by the heavy carb and the wine aspect no doubt. It was the finish that hurt this beer in the end from getting a higher rating from me. I felt it hurt the overall flavor of the beer. But it is not a bad beer and worth trying.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of FFreak
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%

Bottle dated 'Best by' 4-29-2015. Poured into willy glasses and shared with a friend.

This has a beautiful dark reddish brown color, like cherry cola or root beer, with an ample off-white head that persists throughout leaving tons of lacing.

Smell is of cherries and sour grapes with some funky yeastiness. Very interesting.

Taste is just wonderful. It's so different than anything I've had before. It has very vinous qualities and leans a little towards vinegar, but in a very subtle way that leaves the underlying cherry and plum flavors intact. It makes you think sour, but its actually sweet and fruity at the same time.

Mouthfeel is also very interesting. Almost has a champagne-like carbonation, somewhat fizzy, but still soft. It tends to make you want to sip it even though it's not big at all.

Overall, this is one of the most interesting beers I've ever experienced. Takes the experience to a new, different level. Well worth trying.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.27/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

In the honor of the Duchess of Burgundy, a unique sweet and sour taste emerges in ale form- an unfailing choice for the curious palate to venture into the sour family, but with the malty-sweet support and a rich fruit flavor to balance its acidity. Its utmost complexity and refreshment is reserved for those who refine their palate but are tentative about sourness.

This Flanders red ale's tawny pour of browns, reds, and haze carry an inherent wine-like, cognac appearance that's shyly adorned with the daintiest of foam stance which It's similar to delicate coffee-like creme.

The nose is met with complex and succulent character that remind that strikes the olfactory senses with balsamic, chocolate, black cherry, weathered wood, soy sauce, red wine, and sherry wine. The sweet and sour interplay seems something much more of French reductions or Chinese cuisine than it does of beer.

Flavors are a dynamic sweet and sour interplay of to tart berries, mild toast but more so of vinous wine, savory umami character, lemon-like acidity,- its sour and savory combination can go on and on. Every point of flavor has a counterpart to balance, which carry the beer across the palate with a multitude of intrigue and wonderment.

Medium bodied, but the beer's tepid but acidic sourness makes the beer seem somberly tart while the succulent cherry and cocoa allow for a soft weight to be felt. Its moderate carbonation allows the beer to seep into the softer mouth tissues for fuller flavor but also ushers in a dry woodsy finish of crab apples with mild vinegary astringency.

Well balanced throughout, but the beer's sweeter and fruitier side buffers against any abrupt sourness which gives it a restrained property that not only challenges the palate, but soothes it with ample wine sweetness and toasty malts.

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Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%

Poured from the tulip into a large snifter.
Pours a nice dark reddish/plum hue with a thick, substantial head.
Smells of brett like yeast, dark fruit, spice.
Tastes amazing. Raisin, plum, with some mild spice and brett tartness.
Mouthfeel was perfect, inviting.
This is a flat out wonderful beer. Unique and delicious.

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Photo of Analog_kid
1.46/5  rDev -65.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

I bought this beer at Total Wine in NoVa, and looked forward to drinking it over the span of a week. Before I begin let's be honest, not every one tastes the same thing exactly the same way.

That being said, people need to get over this idea of sour beer, no matter how beautiful the packaging. Beer should be any of the following combinations:

• Hoppy
• Java-y (if that's a word).
• Malty
• Chocolate-y (if that's a word)
• Fruity
• Citrus-y (if that's a word)
• Spicy
• Good
• Excellent
• Meh

But among those flavors that a beer shouldn't be, is sour. Before I even bought this beer I came to our beloved BeerAdvocate to read up on the overall reviews. I thought with a BA score of 92 and Bros score of 93, there should be no question that this is a home run, so I greedily bought it like a kid buying the last piece of chocolate in a candy store.

My first smell of this beer made me jerk my head away in revulsion, as if I just smelled a jar of liquefied roadkill mixed with malt vinegar. But realizing that smells of beer can be a bit deceiving, I decided to get past the smell and let the liquid flow over my taste buds. Only after swallowing this concoction did I realize that I had made the worst mistake of my beer life.

I tried to give it one more try, hoping that, having paid $15 for one bottle, there would be some redeeming quality to this beer>. Alas, there was none.

This beer is beautiful to behold, I'll grant the brewers that. But as for drinking? No thanks. That being that, this is so heavy on the vinegar, maybe it would make a good marinade for chicken or beef short ribs. Either way, I'd rather drink an entire truckload of Iron City before I even consider drinking this again.

But hey, my friend absolutely loved it.

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Photo of SeanMNCraftBeerLover
2.32/5  rDev -45%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.25

Well I don't know what happened here... Was exited to have it... Looked great... Smelled decent.... Then all hell broke loose once it hit the lips. Maybe it was a bad line but damn this was not a good beer.

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Photo of jjamadorphd
3.81/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was unlike any beer I’ve ever had, sweet and sour all-in-one...

Right out of the bottle it had this nice very dark, rustic color. There was no head and no lacing. The smell was more danky than I prefer but it did have a sweet touch to my nose. Mouthfeel is dry, lightly carbonated as well as astringent. Then we get to the taste - a sweet mixture of cherries, a bitterness from lime or lemon and oranges to mix it all together. Very unique and I graded it as such. Overall, I found this to be something out of the ordinary, yet it wasn’t particularly spectacular.

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Photo of royalenfield
4.26/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I know this is not everyone's cup of tea, but I just love this beer. It isn't lip-puckeringly sour like some Flemish Reds, but it's still got a nice sour kick like a really good grade-school soccer player. For some reason it's always very popular with ladies, particularly white wine or cider drinkers. Perfect with clam chowder, carbonara, gumbo, and other creamy/spicy rich foods.

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Photo of JDW4195
1.93/5  rDev -54.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

$20 a four pack and it is god awful...holy f'n s. This beer blows!!!

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Photo of jw4free
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: pours a near opaque dark brown. Limited off-white head, that fades to a champagne like bubbly. S: sour raspberry, cherry, caramel oak. T: cherry, fruity wine, but a sweet and sour interplay. F: bubbly effervescence, crisp, taste lingers pleasantly on the palate. O: seriously complex and dynamic. A real eye opener to unique styles of beer. Excellent beer.

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Photo of jrc1093
4.19/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Best by 2/26/20 (presumably bottled on 2/26/18)

Pours a clear, deep brownish red with a glistening maroon complexity; an ample head of light tan foam has decent retention and leaves a thick collar alongside sporadic bits of thick, soapy lacing in its wake.

Aroma brings a deep hit of balsamic vinegar upfront, with tart fruit, oaky caramel, plenty of acidity influencing the entire bouquet going forward; funky and very unique, this aroma takes its notes and explores them with no lack of depth.

Taste smooths with a very well-balanced sweetness introduced unexpectedly; I’m now getting leather/tannins, dark cherry, red grape must, caramel, oak, underripe sugar-coated strawberries, and light raspberry tones; the sweetness hits its ceiling without really overwhelming, and balances alongside the acidity for further complexity.

Mouthfeel displays a highly robust body on the lighter side and finished with medium-high levels of carbonation; stays dry and vaguely syrupy up until the finish, where a bright bit of oaky, semi-sweet tartness bursts through; refreshing, with some really nice depth on the palate.

Potential ignorance here as this is my first Flanders red, but I can’t help but see this as a unique, complex beer by any standard, with the interplay between tart and sweet notes evolving into a true highlight. This is one to build a relationship with.

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Photo of TonyLema1
3.53/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L: deep mahogany color, lacing tan head
S: tart fruits
T: very tart, acidic, not as sour as I imagined
F: long finish, I find it unpleasant
O: I rated to style, but this is a drainpour for me

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Photo of Madtownbeerguy
4.8/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Been a fan of Flemish reds for a few years and for some reason I only just had my first bottle of this. I've heard it spoken of as a "gateway sour," which makes sense. But damn, it is just majestic, whether you've never had a sour or have been drinking them for years. Nose shows raspberries, and surprisingly does not give way to the the deep, slightly viscous and eclectic complexity that's about to unfold. Sweet, but perfectly balanced. Medium sour note, a bit of acid in the middle, hint of pinot noir, and then the most clean smooth finish imaginable. I could easily session a few bombers of this. Reminds me a lot of the New Glarus fruit beer series in its sweetness and acidic funk, bit the sour component pushes it to another level. Phenomenal beer that is a steal at the $12 price point for a 750ml.

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Photo of weareallfalafel
5/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Disclaimer: this has always and likely always will be my all time favorite Flemish sour, so I haven't a single negative thing to say about this.

Newer bottle I'd assume based on turnover, but no date listed. Poured from a 750ml cork and cage bottle into a teku glass. Pours a deep mahogany brown that allows only a touch of light through below an inch of stable tannish/light khaki head that is stable as all get out and once it does fall, one good swirl in the glass brings it right back. When it does, you get a great nosefull of sour plums, tannins, vanilla, oak, and balsamic. It smells almost more like fine french wine than it does beer. The taste is equally as absolutely mind-blowing. You first get sweet and fruity, slightly caremelized flavors from the darker malts and a touch of vanilla. Then comes the sharp, balsamic twang from their artful use of acetobactors that leaves you wanting another mouthful even before you get long, oaky finish. The mouthfeel is medium in body, and somewhat luxurious for something of such a modest abv. Overall, this really blurs the line between beer and art. It's easy to understand with a glass of this in front of you how the sour ales of Flanders are dubbed the "Burgundies of Belgium". Not only due to the careful aging, maturation, and blending in oak, but also in vinous and tannic character, as well as a respect and devotion to what they are producing. This is, and likely always will be, an all time favorite of mine, and almost as good if not just as good as Rodenbach's world-famous Grand Cru.

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Photo of mothmanscott
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The rating below comes from multiple bottles over a period of several years: Pours a clear reddish to plum brown or ruby/garnet throughout when held to the light, producing 1.5 fingers of tan, finely bubbled foam, sometimes moderately lasting, sometimes shortlived head that recedes into a thin cap leaving a good coating of lace or sometimes no lace at all. Aroma is acetic & vinous, caramel malt, tart cherry, dark grape & cranberry with some woody, earthy hints. Taste is fronted by a battle of sweet & sour cherry, strawberry & some grape overlaying a thin maltiness backed by musty yeast, a metallic quantity and a peppery spice. The mid-sip is honey & grape with a "Sweet Tart" candy note. The finish is a faintly malty, sour yeastiness, dry with tart cherries, green apples & spice with distinct wood & metallic notes. The aftertaste is astringent & very dry with hints of oak, metal, cherries and apples. Mouthfeel is lively & medium bodied with decent carbonation, forward juicy, finishing dry & drawing. Very Complex!

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Photo of Dinglehacker
4.34/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Poured into snifter. Little head, lacing shaped like the eye of Sauron. Looks black until held to light, then a murky red like a fine old piano.

Smells of vinegar, dark fruit, and soft malts.

Tastes tart and delightfully sour. Vinegar is now tempered with plumb, grape and cherry.

Feels a little dry, puckers the throat just a bit. Swallows tart, but does not linger or cause too much pucker.

First sour beer & first red ale I ever tried, and still the best. Not as sharp as Cuvee, not as overly saccharine as Delirium and Founder's Rubaeus (for comparison) might be. Not unlike a Lindeman's lambic, but more deserving the title of "beer." Sour beer is simply not for everyone, but for those who don't mind a mistress with snarl, Duchesse is among the most delicious of beers.

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Photo of Kknee
1.15/5  rDev -72.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This is ranch dressing.....like legit. If this isn't old fermented ranch dressing, then it's witchcraft. This is hate in a bottle. It pours a very dark red, almost brown. The smell reminds me of rancid ranch dressing. The taste is...... you got it, ranch dressing. I love ranch dressing, but this is ungodly. Damn.

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Photo of intransitive
5/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

look: gorgeous opaque deep-brown/ruby-red.
taste: sweet and tart with undertones of ripe fruit... but well balanced, not too vinegary or too cloying.
feel: once it warms a bit, the mouthfeel becomes somewhat creamy, rich like a dense cake...
overall: Flemish red is my favorite style of beer, and this is my favorite beer in that style. Duchess is the Flanders red that, for me, all others must be compared to.

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Photo of michelgruenberg
5/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well... Whoever hasn't had a Duchesse on his life, does not know what a good beer is. Altough "beer" wouldn't be the word to describe it accurately, since this little piece of heaven is known to mimic a good sweet-sour wine. Matured in centennial old huge oak casks from french cellars, this beautiful blend of two different harvests stays during a total of a year and a half in the process of maturation. The smell is of a good balsamic vinegar, deeply sweet-and-sour at it's peak and a little spicy at it's end; the taste itself turns to be that of a good black cherry, with a very sour tannin bottom and a creamy top; some people find it to have a "metallic" aftertaste, which is also posible. The siblings, Mr Karl and Miss Mercedes Verhaeghe, as well as their parents, created a form of making wine without grapes... and not ANY wine, a GOOD BURGUNDY ONE, without EVEN using any artificial or natural aroma from the fruit. As well as the Vichtenaar, this little piece of treasure remains as my top pick... my sincere congratulations to the brewers.

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Photo of ham413
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Very similar to wine, goes perfect with steak....

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Photo of connecticutpoet
4.82/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This poured out a clear reddish-brown with a one finger head. It left a little bit of lacing on the glass.

The aroma was a blend of sweet & sour, worcestershire sauce, cherries, light malt, and oak tannins.

Taste mirrored the aroma... sweet & sour and cherries. It was rather tart. Excellent.

Mouthfeel was perfect for the taste, and I would get this one in a heartbeat were I able to find it around me. Thanks to GClarkage for the trade!!!

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Photo of kimcgolf
4.64/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was my first Flemish Sour, and it really grew on me. Poured to darlk brown with hints of red, and a thick tan head that lasted for the whole drink and left excellent lacing. The aroma was very funky, reminded me of those old Paz Easter Egg Coloring kits where you drop a colored tablet in pure vinegar. I was afraid of what I would be drinking next. To my great surprise, the taste was excellent. It was sour fruit, and at first caught me off guard, but I quickly adapted. Finish was dry, sour and warming. I bought this in a 4pack, and was concerned that I may have over-bought. Now, I know I will be heading back for more.

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Photo of kornkid8600
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of davidwhatshisnam
5/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of csiewert
3.26/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a dark ruby color with a trace of off white fizzy head that retain and laces pretty well. The aroma has notes of sour cherries, dark fruit and some vinegar. The taste starts with the sour cherries and then has a strong note of vinegar... Not very good. The mouthfeel is on par for what a sour ale should be like, but I don't know if I got a bad bottle or what, but this was way too vinegary for me.

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Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 4488 ratings