Duchesse De Bourgogne | Brouwerij Verhaeghe

BA SCORE
92
outstanding
1,516 Reviews
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Verhaeghe
Belgium
brouwerijverhaeghe.be

Style: Flanders Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-15-2001

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,516
Ratings:
4,164
Avg:
4.1
pDev:
14.15%
 
 
Wants:
236
Gots:
880
For Trade:
16
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,516 | Ratings: 4,164
Photo of audiojon
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This tasted a bit like fermented grape soda upon first sip. By the end of the glass i had grown a taste for it. Very tart, very dry, but verrry different and pretty damned tasty. I couldn't see drinking more than one or two tho.

Poured on tap at O'Brien's in San Diego. Appearance was nice, smell was very sweet and fruity, lots of grape and cherry. Effervescent mouthfeel, extremely fizzy. The taste is sweet at first, then rapidly shifts to extremely sour. From there it's a contrast of the dry tartness and a refreshing sweetness.

Recommended, but only for sour beer lovers.

 585 characters

Photo of grub
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle, best before 21-03-08.

pours a deep dark red, nearly brown, with a small dense tan head. the head drops slowly and leaves spotty lace.

aroma is nice. big funky blast. lemony sourness. bit of malt vinegar. orange.

taste is good. nice light sweetness. bit of lemony sourness. light orange and tangerine. hint of malt vinegar. cracker malt.

mouthfeel is good. low carbonation. medium body and nice dry finish.

drinkability is good. not too acidic or vingary. nicely balanced. alcohol is completely hidden. really interesting and enjoyable beer.

 571 characters

Photo of euskera
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first Oud Bruin..

Nice reddish brown color with a small head. Smell was tart and vinegary. Sour overtones on the taste, with vinegar hints and red wine hints and just a nice tartness throughout with a woody overtone on the end. Maybe not something I'd drink on a regular basis, but very interesting for a change of pace..

 328 characters

Photo of stckhndlr
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- dark orange amber beer. Very clear with a good head on it and determined lacing.

S- some dark cherry and sour apples.

T- Tart up front with a funky finish. Very tart. Bitterness at the end starts by leaving a not so pleasant taste in the mouth but the more you drink it the better it gets.

M- Feels great. Good balance and smoothness. Right carbonation.

O- At first the finish didn't work for me. but the more I drank it the more accustomed I got to it. By the time I reached the end it was a pretty pleasant Flanders.

 527 characters

Photo of Vengeance526
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lightly hazy dark reddish amber color with a 1 finger tan head that lasts for about a minute before subsiding to a small ring, leaving small bits of lacing.

The smell upfront showcases a burst of sour cherries amidst a woody background. There is a vinegar like smell at the end, but the aroma mostly comes off a little more sweet than sour.

Now the taste mixes things up a little. There is absolutely a strong taste of vinegar upfront. Towards the middle, the cherries come back into the picture, and there is still a faint woody taste in the background. Raspberries are also present, making this one quite fruity at times, but also a little acidic. The finish is again a little more sweet than sour and that sweetness is needed to balance out the vinegar. I'd think that vinegar taste could be done away with but I'll still give this a good mark for being satisfying overall.

Medium bodied, maybe a little thin, medium carbonation. Duchesse looks good, smells fairly good, and the taste is good, but a little weird. That sharp acid upfront is just strange, but it balances out by the middle and into the finish. The sweetness of the fruit helps bring it all together. I could rate this one much higher if not for that vinegar touch, but it is still enjoyable for the most part. Good to try no doubt, but I won't be stocking up on these.

 1,348 characters

Photo of whoneeds8
3.87/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Best before date of 08-14-09. Poured into a westmalle glass very dark brown with a one finger off white head.

This is my first attempt at a Flemish Red. And whoa, is it different. First off the smell is something totally unexpected. Rich in carmalized raisins. Followed by a wooded smell. I would almost compare it to wood rot.

The taste is very interesting. There is a sweetness to it that counters to a very strong and overpowering sourness. The raisin flavor is there along with an almost lichorice flavor.

I've got to say, for my first experience with a Flemish, I don't like it one bit. I'm sure this is a very good example of the style, which is why I'm going to rate it high because it's got all the characteristics. It just seems this style isn't my cup of tea.

 772 characters

Photo of JaimeLondon
3.87/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

First Flanders I take and I must say it's really difficult to rate this... It is distinct from all other beers I had in my life.
So.. the beer has a nice appearance, dark amber color and a bubbling foam that leaves small lace.
Smell is extremely acetic with notes of red fruits (blackberries and raspeberries!)
Taste is similar, possible to feel the level of sourness/tartness, that are extremely high; the beer has also a light body and a nice carbonation

 456 characters

Photo of Jonada
3.87/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

750ml cork and cage bottle served in a DFH signature glass. Cork shows an expiration date of 7/2015.

Appearance: Pours a dark red brown color with 1+ finger of a tan head that yields good retention and lacing. When held to light, body is clear with a dark amber color. Lots of visible carbonation.

Smell: Balsamic vinegar, sour cherries, damp oak, some light caramel and red grape.

Taste: Starts with a surprising amount of sweetness on the tongue before some mild sourness starts to creep in and balance it out some. Flavors are sweet and sour cherry, vinegar, red apple, hints of brown bread and Belgian candi sugar.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, soft mouthfeel with medium carbonation. No real alcohol presence.

Overall: Great in all other aspects, but a bit of a letdown in the taste. There's some nice complexity there, but the sweetness is a bit distracting. If the sweetness were turned down and the sourness/acidity turned up a bit, this would be excellent. It's worth a try if you haven't had it, but if you're looking for a regular Flanders Red fix, just stick to Rodenbach Grand Cru

 1,096 characters

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

So, I need to admit a prejudice against Flemmish reds as I go into this review. As a self admitted hop adict, it's just not my "go to" style. Nonetheless I went ahead and ordered a 350ml bottle tonight and I was favorably impressed.

As others have noted, this guy brings a Great pour to the table. I was impressed, but, alas, my beer was too cold, so I had to cuddle it for a while. Once warmed, a lot of the sour notes mellowed out and it became quite drinkable.

Still, I had the feeling I was missing something. Perhaps it's just my palate, but the sour notes overpowered everything else the beer might have had to offer.

Based on past experiences with Belgians, I toyed with the idea that food might help, so I paired some frites with mayo with it. Much to my surprise, the salt on the frites really did a number on this one, opening up a whole new range if flavors I hadn't noticed before.

So, word of caution. Come to this knowing it'll taste profoundly different from almost anything else you'll easily find.

As always, my 2¢ only...

 1,050 characters

Photo of mullenite
3.86/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 750ml bottle the ber showed a very dark red, opaque in the middle but translucent blood red on the edges. White head that had excellent retention and left a beautiful lacing on the glass.

Smell was a little bit less sour than on tap, the balsamic smell stood out more from the bottle.

Taste from the bottle was exactly as it was on draft, sour cherries, candy, with a smooth balsamic finish. I enjoyed this was a beef roast and it was excellent.

Very light carbonation but worked as an absolutely wonderful drink to go with dinner. Very clean drinking beer.

I still could not drink more than one glass of this in a sitting unless I was eating a large meal with it and needed more than one glass to accompany my meal.

 734 characters

Photo of Earthchild180
3.86/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Before this beer, for funky beers I have only had Allagash Interlude, which I LOVED. My friend and I picked up a bottle at the local co-op to go with brie, fruit, and crackers. Split two ways between an eight ounce ball jar and a four ounce tulip glass. I got the eight ouncer :-P

Just as a side note, my bottle clearly says 6%abv, so not sure why it says 6.2% on this site.

A- Poured with a perfect 1-2 finger head in each glass. Head is smooth and even. Color is a crystal clear brilliant red. No yeast sediment in bottle- perhaps they filtered it at bottling??

S- Interesting smell. On initial opening of bottle there was a very strong fruity/vinegary smell of kombucha. Upon pouring this changed to have a slight kombucha nose initially fading to malty/fruity oak.

T- Whoa! Not what I was expecting! First sip started with a nice balance of clean tart fruitiness and malt. This quickly changed to a very strong musky bitterness reminiscent of sour milk, which quickly changed again so a slightly syrupy malty tartness. A whole lot going on in this beer. The oak flavor was not as up front as the aroma suggested. If it weren't for the moderately offensive musky bitterness and the abrupt changes in flavor with each sip, I might have given this section better than a 3.5 rating. I would say that nothing was "smooth" about the drinking experience. The flavors didn't really change much as we got through the bottle.

M- An odd contrast between a slight thick syrupiness and a thin dryness- perhaps from the blending of old and new beer?

O- If it weren't for the musky bitterness, I think I would have loved this beer. It was beautiful, smelled divine, but with that musky bitterness and how the beer's flavor changed so rapidly during each sip that it was hard to relax and appreciate the subtle flavors as they slowly evolve on the pallet. Don't think I will be getting another one of these any time soon, but I would certainly like to continue trying the wild/sour beers that the US and Europe have to offer.

 2,020 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 francisweizen
3.86/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A very interesting and tasty Belgian beer. This beer pours a nice dark amber, hazy blood-reddish colour with a nice sized head. It has the aromas of oak, vinegar, sour fruit, tartness, horse blanket, and cherries. It tastes of tart flavors, oak, and cherries. It reminds me of Unibroues Quelque Chose mixed with Liefmans Goudenband. The mouthfeel is creamy and thick and the drinkability is good once you get past the sourness. This beer is a mix of a young beer and an aged beer. It is aged in oaken casks in Belgium. When this beer warms the flavors become more complex and the tartness is enhanced.
A classic example of this style, I am told. I would like to try more Flemish Reds!
Cheers!
-F

 698 characters

Photo of ehammond1
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

A dark ruby and chestnut brown. Nearly no head. Decent lacing down the glass.

Tart sourness, some vinegar, and lots of sweet cherries. The cherries and sweet fruit stand out far more than in other Flanders Reds I've had. A very sweet, though tart and pleasant, aroma.

Taste follows the nose nearly identically. While this is sour, I wish it was even more so, as the cherry sweetness is a bit dominating and makes this beer just a bit too sweet and one note.

Medium bodied and somewhat sharp, though a pleasure to drink.

A great introductory beer for the style, especially for someone who may prefer sweeter beers, but it's a bit too sweet for my personal likings.

 719 characters

Photo of RomanW70
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark reddish brown with a frothy tan head. Aroma a combination of sweet and sour cherries. Very sweet up front, flowing into a mild sour and finishing smooth with a slight vineous tartness. Med-low carbonation. Medium mouthfeel. Good beer, bit would like to see more sweet/sour balance. A little heavy on the sweet side.

 326 characters

Photo of tempest
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
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 alleykatking
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 11.2oz bottle.

A- Pours a clear reddish brown color. One finger tan head shows medium retention. Light lacing left on the glass.

S- Big red wine like vinegar mess upfront. Ok..maybe I shouldn't say mess but very much the standout aroma. Light cherries in the middle to backing of this beer. Band-aid like aroma lingers here and there rounding out most of the aroma. No real alcohol in the nose.

T- Sour puckering vinegar notes right off the bat. There is a light nutty malt in the middle mixed with a cherry flavor. Some oaky notes and back to the cherry acidic tones. Very backend shows more green apple tones then anything else.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonatoin is good for the style I would say. Cherries and vinegar left on the palate with some green apple aftertaste. Flavors blended well with this beer but the vinegar lasts over and through most of them. Light drying on the palate after each sip.

D- This was a good beer that I was glad to try. A perfect amount came in the bottle and left me really not wanting anymore. I would do yourself a favor and seek this beer out.

 1,100 characters

Photo of ocelot2500
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep reddish brown that has a small off white head that leaves a layer of lacing on the glass.

Smells of sour cherries, apple cider, and a little red wine.

Tastes of a big apple cider vinegar taste. A little sweetness to cut the sour, but the sourness takes full stage. Fruits again are found in the sweetness with the likes of cherries, apple, grapes, and plums.

Mouthfeel is a solid medium a prickly amount of carbonation that is a little harsh.

 458 characters

Photo of ne0m00re
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured the 33 cL glass into an oversized red wine glass to capture the aroma. Best by date: March 18, 2011.
A: Mahogany with ruby hues and a clear body. Poured with a thick tan film, which died to a good lace.
S: Tart raisin, cranberry granny smith apples with earthy, musty notes.
T: Very sweet and tart cranberry/cherry sparkling grape juice. It is extremely fruity with toffee, walnut and pecan flavors.
M: Very syrupy with a soda-like carbonation.
D: This is too sweet to have many in a row, but it is quite mild and refreshing like sparkling juice.

 553 characters

Photo of runningjoke
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured into tulip glass.

Reddish brown with thin head and head retention,

Smells of sour cherry, balsamic vinegar, yeast, touch of malty breadiness.

Tastes of balsamic vinegar, cherry and altbier.
Alcohol is totally covered by these strong flavors. No bitterness just tartness in its place. Really almost like a desert wine.

Feels thick and slick, but not unpleasent.

I would not be able to handle too many of these.

This would be really good with vanilla ice cream or a plain cheesecake. A killer reduction sauce could be made out of this stuff.

 553 characters

Photo of dougfir
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very unusual, although I am not well-versed in this style, so perhaps they are all like this! Rye or pumpernickel nose. Very fruity and malty tasting. Not much head, but highly carbonated. Slightly tastes like dry cider. Tastes more alcoholic than it supposedly is. Quite an interesting beer, and certainly worth at least trying.

 329 characters

Photo of Suds
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Now this is something interesting! I completely didn’t expect the flavor of this brew.
It pours a dark, deep, rich brown and red. The carbonation is extreme, contributing to a huge, soft, tan head. Amazing lace. The aroma is wild and strange…both acid and sugar, yeast, cherries, smoke, berries, candy, vinegar, and countless other sensations. Wooo….the smell alone is dizzying with complexity. The taste is out of this world….sweet and sour…cloying and mouth-puckering. It’s a mashed-up dichotomy of unexpected flavors. Again, extraordinary strange….I can see that this one’s not going to be for everyone. Thin to medium mouthfeel, with a lot of prickly effervescence. I personally didn’t find it extremely drinkable….it’s an experience, and good (without a doubt), but it’s also tongue-taxing and the acidity got to me.

 834 characters

Photo of Murrhey
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 550ml bottle at the Playground in Santa Ana, CA. Reviewed from notes.

A- Pours a finger high white head. Ruby red color. Good carbonation.

S- Red wine and alcohol smells.

T- Tastes like a sour champagne. Hoppy and delicious.

M- Light bodied, vinous and finishes astringently.

O-First Flanders Red. I like it a lot.

 333 characters

Photo of PatandDavid
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Anam Cara, and I enjoyed this one. I am liking this style! Anyway, pour when served was the dark burgundy, no head. It had a rather muted aroma, although I thought there were some kriek like notes. I found it easy to drink, more sweet than sour, with some cinnamon powder like taste and texture in the finish. I am intrigued by the sweet vs sour experiences of the other reviewers when trying this beer. Maybe it has an evil twin? I liked this, and would get again.

 479 characters

Photo of mdcrouser
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep brown, with amber and ruby colored prisms reflecting from each angle, the nose is distinctly aromatic of balsamic vinegar, as suggested by the storekeep. Bubbling on the lips and then sweetly settling on the tongue, blossoming out with initial flavors of vinegar down the center, with more robust fruits, cinnamon adn dark break congealing at the back of the throat, yet leaving a dryness in the mouth. Smooth throughout and surprisingly complex, but odd in the fact that sour vinegar is predominant. That makes it difficult completely without a food accompaniment, but well worth the try and oddly enjoyable.

 614 characters

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
4.1 out of 5 based on 4,164 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.

    Subscribe