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Duchesse De Bourgogne | Brouwerij Verhaeghe

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1,507 Reviews
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Verhaeghe

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

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Reviews: 1,507 | Ratings: 4,128
Photo of lastauss
4.88/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Tart, tangy, gorgeous to look at, this has got to be one of my all-time favorites. Notes of sour, sour cherry interlude to delicate oakiness. My only [minor] complaint is that its faint smell totally belies the explosive flavor of this beauty. Truly, a sexy beer, by all counts.

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Photo of donotknowme
4.88/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This poured a deep reddish-brown with a thin lacy head that quickly faded. The nose was dominated by a sour smell with hints of berries and maybe some oak. One of the best mouthfeels I have ever had in a beer. At the end it got a little thick and sticky from the sweetness but the tartness cleared it up nicely. Easily my favorite beer.

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Photo of Im4jojo
4.88/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

A very sophisticated red ale. Poured into a tulip glass a gorgeous burgundy which reminded me of red wine. Little carbonation with cranberry right at the front. A bit acidic, but I could definitely live with that! The finish was smooth and dry, and I regretted only buying one bottle.

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Photo of AronVietti
4.88/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From a bottle that has a best by date of 29/10/2012 poured into a wine glass. Gave a nice hiss when the bottle was opened at 48 degrees.

Appearance: White puffy billowing head with a mixture of small and large bottles. Head dies down to half the hight quickly with strong lacing on the glass but the rest remains intact. Deep brownish red hue and absolute clear, like an aged Pinot Noir.

Smell: Fruity with a strong smell of Sour Cherries or unripe plums, new leather and a subtle amount of malt. The aroma is strong but not over powering.

Taste: Starts with a fruity sweetness that is soon balanced by a slight acidity and nice Plum flavor with a hint of spice. The acidity lingers with a bit of bitterness that further helps the balance with the original sweetness and carries the spice notes.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is balanced for the style, and the body of the beer is very full though not heavy. The finish is long, and the taste overall is as reminiscent of wine as the color was, which is perfectly within the style.

Drinkability: This beer is extremely drinkable, at only 6% there are no hints of alcohol for me, and though the mouthfeel is full the beer doesn't seem heavy. I would have one of these with a rich meal, relying on the acidity to cut through cream or cheese heavy dishes and the fruitiness to add to the experience. And afterwards I would have one with a cheese plate for the sheer enjoyment of it.

I would like to try a bottle of this just before the 'Best Before' date to see if there is a difference

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Photo of SirWalkAbout
4.88/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a snifter. Very dark red color, almost black. Nice head, 1/4" - 1/2", which stays around nicely.

Smells fruity like a champagin. Smells a bit tart and dry.

Taste is very pleasant. Very fruity, grapes. Good, strong carbonation. Nice and light.

Leaves the pallet quickly without any aftertaste, which I like.

I try not throw out a high score without justification, but I don't know how this beer can be improved for what it is. I find the look, lightness, and taste spot on. Not a beer I would drink all night, but used in place of a dessert wine or a sweet treat, look no further.

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Photo of AleDrinkToThat
4.88/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Beautiful burgundy hue under a perfect creamy beige head.

Smell: Oh, such a delicious smell of cherries and malt. I can tell just by the smell that there's more going on here.

Taste: Good thing I'm only typing about this, 'cause my mouth just exploded. Seriously, wow. This is excellent. The tart cherry is much more subtle than, say, a Kriek Lambic, and is so well balanced with delicious roasted malt.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, devilishly so, and the tartness danced all over my mouth, puckering all inner surfaces in its path (I'll leave you to picture that). The malt definitely rounded things back out, and the result is a heavenly complexity.

Drinkability: Go get one. Now.

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Photo of alexander_ostrofsky
4.87/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Outstanding. I have never had anything like this. I wish there were more people being inspired by and following the Belgian style. This rich ale has an extraordinary soft scent of mature vinegar that really comes out in the bouquet. This full flavoured beauty will always have a home in my cellar.

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Photo of Reinheitsgebot71
4.87/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A friend of mine and myself went down to the beer bistro earlier in the week and tried a few new beers each of which I'll review in turn.

A: It poured very dark brown almost completely opaque with a mocha
brown half inch head and minimal lace.

B: Immediately upon first sniff mincemeat pie came to mind followed by a slight hint of pine. The more subtle hits then manifested themselves, namely raisins and rock sugar. I didn't detect any hit of alcohol whatsoever, unsurprisingly as it is a lower percentage compared to some of its other Belgian counterparts.

T: Right off the bat raisins again followed by, lemon, iron rust, honey, hints of curry powder, cardamom in conjunction with the more prevalent lemon sapidity. Hidden at the very bottom of the taste spectrum were nice finishing touches of allspice, cinnamon and soothing caramel.

M: Uber smooth, very sparse effervescence, but what little there is tingles the mouth nicely in conjunction with the magnificent flavors abound in the beer. Overall quit silky smooth almost marshmellowy feel in the mouth.

D: A very very nice beer; goes down very well. After I finished it I immediately craved another. I don't think I could ever get sick of this beer, just excellent. I recommend it to any true lover of beer.

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Photo of Andreji
4.87/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

WOW. I won't try to describe this beer to perfection because words just won't be enough. I invited a few friends (among which owner of Ozy Pub Camilo Ospina) to try this beauty out. I'd aged it for about a year.

The pour is just mystical. you seem like you're indulging in a frambozen sort of- as in, the pour is very dark, almost purplish-brown, and the head is clearly white with a medium consistency.

The smell....well, it wasn't all that strong, but as you acknowledge it you find all sorts of blends (screw it, I won't step into this) ranging through cocktails, fruits, wines....

The taste and mouthfeel....OMG (I don't like this sort of acronym but it seems suitable). It's just beautiful, you feel like you've blended a lambic with a kir royale, and the offspring is just bliss. wonderful in soooo many senses!

I downed the drinkability and mouthfeel just for the sake of it that is, just that I absolutely was enchanted by this beer but it's not perfect (in my de leckere standards) but this IS A MUST for any beer lover. bless you, madame la duchesse.

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Photo of clickpush
4.86/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pour: 33cl bottle to Duchesse glass. Half finger tan head over red/brown body. Ruby hues abound. Head tapers quickly to very nice lacing and halo.

Nose: Bret and bread. Very tart aroma, some grain and yeast as well. Sour cherries, an autumn day, overripe grapes, puckering. Oak and vanilla.

Mouth: Juicy, sour tasting immediately upon entering but sweetens as it moves back, grapes, raisins, plums. Some grain, a resinous aftertaste. Vinous, lingering juiciness. Nice malt body. Caramel, toffee. Mouth feel is sharp tingling carbonation that gets creamier as it moves back, smooth swallow. Is both rich and dry in the finish. Easy drinking. Loooove it!

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Photo of Wobbly
4.86/5  rDev +18.5%

One of the best examples of a very difficult style to perfect. In fact, only the examples from Rodenbach are clearly superior. With all due respect to attempts from the U.S. (I know American Wild Ales do not count, as they are their own, special sub-style), none of them compete with the Flemish originals. Where I live, the price for this beer varies dramatically, so I suggest shopping around for a good price.

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Photo of Honza
4.85/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Great beer, sour sweet balance. Enjoyable for a long drink. Best in Vichte where it comes from. Verhaeghe brewery is very lovely little building, family business...just great! I was lucky enough to visit it several times. I liked their other beers too, but this is one is exceptional. i saw more beers from wooden casks lately in the US, but this is a bit different...

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Photo of phirleh
4.85/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the first of this style that I've really tried, I bought it in January in Quebec. Poured an amber red colour, and the head was minimal but very long lasting. The first taste was very sour and almost wine like, further drinking revealed a much more complex flavour profile, sweet and sour, almost like grape juice with hints of green apple and cherry. The carbonation is slightly prickly, very Belgian. Very drinkable and well deserved of its high rating. I have another bottle in my basement. Always buy 2 to avoid disappointment!

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Photo of TheEclecticGent
4.85/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A very dark red-amber flemish (Flanders) red ale w/moderate to loose carbonation. The smell is sharp and sour but has overtones of mellow fermented fruit. The taste is extremely complex dominated by a fermented fruit flavor ranging from berry to banana spice, a wonderful range of sharp to mellow flavors. It has a moderately heavy mouthfeel with a very fizzy and full feeling. This is my favorite beer in the world (period).

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Photo of danielofthedale
4.85/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A-A dark red color. Nice foamy head that retains well. A good amount of carbonation bubbles streaming up to the head.

S-Vinegar smell is what I got fist but also tart apples. The funky aroma that one would expect from a Belgian beer.

T-An upfront tartness. Good blend of sour and sweet. Pleasant apple taste. And just when you think the sweetness is over powering you get a good and lighting fast bitterness that leaves just as fast to cut through the sweetness.

M-Very foamy and full of zest from the carbonation. Slightly chew but still light.

D-Extremely drinkable. I think it would be perfect to have on a nice summer day sitting out on the deck or proch to end the day.

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Photo of lsummers
4.85/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not sure when I first got into sours, but this beer doesn't dissapoint.

The Overall look of the beer is a satisfying deep red brown with a great tan head and lacing to match.

The smell is that of sour apples mixed slightly with wood.

The taste is fantastic, the sour notes hit first, the apple flavors come alive and bounce around the taste buds. It's a very tart beer.

The mouthfeel is great, the carbonation helps the beer feel light on the tongue and lets the sour notes float around the mouth. After the first sip, I can't wait to take another.

Overall, I've had this beer many times, I plan on having it again. It's currently my favorite sour.

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Photo of SundaySour
4.85/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: A misty deep red like the skies above Mordor with a thin white head and some fabulous lacing. You know this beer is about to get real.

S: The smell is distinctly a cherry covered in dust. It sounds gross, but it isn't. Think of all the highly romantic and yummy smelling dusty places; like a haunted house or the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland. You love that smell.

T: By far the most delicious, life-changing sour I've ever had. Tart cherries blowing up in my mouth like the Grand Finale on the 4th of July. Uncooked pie dough crust, raspberries, and pomegranate all come through. It has a lightly sweet finish, and things got a little weird when I tasted angel kisses and sunbeams. HOW CAN BEER TASTE LIKE THIS? O wild yeast, my Lord and Master!

M: Crisp and tart, like new money.

O: This is currently my favorite pick for a sour, beer, AND a beverage. It never lets me down with it's crispy tart holiness and mouth-watering goody goodness. Sometimes I wake up in the night and cry out for a glass of Duchesse, screaming until the dawn. "Duchesse! Duchesse!" It must be tasted to be believed.

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Photo of tlazaroff
4.85/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: This pours a very deep deep and ultra clear burgundy red. It's head is a slight off-white color. This beer is breathtaking to look at.

S: As I opened and poured the beer a huge almost cherry-like aroma almost over-took me. Upon closer inspection I was able to confirm this. There are many different dark fruits on the nose, but cherry takes the cake here. There is a noticeable sourness to the smell.

T: Huge sour cherry notes here in a background of light plum. The sourness is there, but not extreme and not subtle either. This beer tastes perfect and it is quite a religious experience.

M: This is so smooth, with low carbonation and a nice medium body. The sourness doesn't detract from the mouthfeel either.

D: To me, this has such low drinkability because I want to enjoy it. That said, it's extremely drinkable.

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Photo of insaneshow
4.85/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love this beer, I want to drink more of it and it has opened up a whole new style of beer to me; Sour Beer / Flander's Red Ale.

The beer was sweet with rich malt flavors, I remember noticing some cherry. It was not over carbonated and tasted like it was almost half wine and half beer. The mouth feel was thick and sweet, but not grainy. The appearance in the glass was a deep dark rich red with a nice creamy head.

I would strongly suggest this beer.

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Photo of cabsandking
4.84/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Mahogany red color and a fair sized tan head with good retention. The nose is pungent with notes of acidic tannin, alcoholic esters, sweet and tart plum, and oaky. Flavors are much more mellow than the nose leads to believe...mild dark cherries, oaky vanilla, maple syrup, apple, plum, white grapes, and bigger caramel notes as it warms. Mouthfeel is delicately smooth creaminess with some slight crisp fizz at the end. Now this is a flanders that I could drink more of, perfectly blended and all the flavors meld together so well.

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Photo of PorterLambic
4.84/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pouring produces a a dark, reddish brown with a big head that falls evenly to cover and some lacing.
Smell is sweet, a bit musty, earthy.
Taste is very complex, malty, sweet, sour, fruity, tart, a light effervescence, a little earthy with some alcohol showing up in the aftertaste. An extremely well balanced brew.
Mouthfeel was nice and smooth and somewhat creamy.
This is one of my Top Ten favorite beers. This is a great beer, not just in this style. Extremely drinkable. An absolute "must try" beer.

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Photo of paulivanovich
4.83/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Flemish Red is a great mix between Belgian Strong, Sour Ale, and Lambic. Still satisfying in that it's filling like food. Beer is after all, "liquid bread". But otherwise Flemish Red is more like wine than beer.

Best Flemish Red, in my humble opinion. Dry but light like a good Pino Noir. Great mouthfeel: very satisfying in texture and astringent acidity. But not too acidic like my next favorite flemish red, Rodenbach Grand Cru, which is a few bucks cheaper, but not as balanced and subtle.

Colored red more like wine. But hazy and more opaque of course; it is a beer. Light carbonation. Just enough to complement the sharpness of the palate, but not too much to make you bloated. Hats off to this fine character.

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Photo of dmarch
4.83/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is my first experience with a Flemish sour ale and I was blown away. It pours with a deep ruby color and a thin white head. The aroma is of red wine vinegar. Some may be turned off by the tart acidic tast, but I love it. Tastes of ripe cherries and red wine with that vinegar-like sourness. This is a style of beer I wish I could see more of.

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Photo of bonsreeb85
4.83/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - nice sustaining head atop this burgundy colored beauty.

S - lots of cherries, also some red wine and vinegar. is tart a smell??

T - much sweeter than the nose leads on. I get a mouthful of cherries that initialy begin sweet, but then turn towards the tart side, but not overly so. This is a very complex brew. I also taste oak and wine with that a nutty flavor comes through and displays an earth-like quality. Excellent balance is acheived. never cloyingly sweet or overly sour.

MF - full and chewy with buttloads of spritzer like carbonation. makes my mouth tingle with joy.

D - exceptional. I easily finished the 750.

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Photo of BillHilly
4.83/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this in Praha (Prague) at the Pivovarsky Klub (Beer Club).

A: Absolutey the best of the best of the Flanders when on tap. Beautiful dark red, like a balsamic.

S: Sweet & Sour, citrus fruit, vinegar

T: Like a cranberry vinegar with little to no hoppiness, very unique.

M: Thick, pleasant carbonation

D: Have had it both on tap and in bottle, the tap is far superior to the bottles you will get at the local bottle shop...might have to travel abroad to get it on tap, but worth the trip, espcially if you are in Europe enjoying the vacation as well.

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Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
4.1 out of 5 based on 4,128 ratings.
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