Duchesse De Bourgogne | Brouwerij Verhaeghe

BA SCORE
92
outstanding
1,517 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:
1,517
Ratings:
4,167
Avg:
4.1
pDev:
14.15%
 
 
Wants:
238
Gots:
882
For Trade:
16
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Reviews: 1,517 | Ratings: 4,167
Photo of beerguy101
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Deep ruby color. Medium head. Aroma is slightly vinegar and malts. This is DEFINITELY a Flemish Sour Ale. A big bold sour tartness up front, gives way to a nice vinous fruitiness somewhere in the middle. Fruity and sour and vinegar and sweet all at the same time. Very reminiscent of a Rodenbach Grand Cru. Very complex flavors. Nice beer. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed this style. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is vinous and slightly bitter . WARNING::QUALITY CAN VARY FROM BOTTLE TO BOTTLE

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Photo of pootz
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a decadent dark garnet colored ale with orange highlights into my goblet. Tight 2 finger off white cap reduced to a thick surface lace that draped the gass sides with lace. Looks like a glass of burgandy with a head.

Nose: complex.. grape or cherry skins, fruits in blasamic vinigar, some woodyness light detectable sweetness. A delightful tart fruityness.

Medium body, puckering but silky mouth feel, vinous sweet and sour character.

Starts musty-maltty and quickly turns on the complexity...the tougue is pummeled with concord grape, apples, cherries, boysenberry, figs, vanilla pods, some tobbaco and lots of other tones too numerous to grasp in one mouthful....all this complexity is wrapped in a sweet and sour controlled acidy where the lactic acids and fruits are balanced off by sweetnes from rich malt and candi adjuncts. The finish is remarkably dry-tart where the vinous quility is experineced in a slow departure of tart fruit and musty-woody flavors...slightly sweet aftertaste.

MY God what a ride!! This is a great beer for what it offers...a speeding roller coaster of complexity in its delivery...it may not be everyone’s cup of tea but until you have tried it consider yourself deprived.

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Photo of allengarvin
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, served into a tall chalice. Exp date on cork is 06/09. The color is dark ruby, clear when held to the light, with a small head of foam. Aroma is complex and interesting: a solid underlying tartness is dominant, but there are also notes of cherry, soda crackers, red wine. Up front the flavor is initially quite sweet, but the taste develops after a moment, with a lot of yeasty, very ripe fruitiness, a touch of coppery-metallic hardness, and a finish of woody sourness, like a low-acidity vinegar. Body is full, creamy, with a little tannic mouthfeel.

Excellent beer; I'm glad it finally made it into the Texas market.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This delightful Flanders Red Ale was served on tap on 11/11/11 at Beer Geeks in Highland, IN. It was my third beverage on the evening, but by far the best.

Radiating a deep brown-amber hue, the ale was served in flute glass with an inch head. A fruity-sour aroma tickled the nose without much effort. The aroma was quite potent. As with most good sour ales, the taste was potent. A sour fruitness was the immediate impression; this included hints of tart cranberry and raspberry. The sensations continued into the tart and fruity aftertaste. The carbonation was a little more aggressive than I would have expected, but this did not subtract from the experience. Duchesse is a delicious and refreshing experience.

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Photo of maximum12
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Have heard a few songs of praise from the raised voices of local BAs about the Duchesse, so when I found myself at the Lowertown Bulldog for lunch, it seemed a good time to introduce myself. Good afternoon, Duchesse.

Amberish pour with little to no evident carbonation, she just lay there flat & still. Smell was sharp, tangy.

My taste buds shouted in surprise when the Duchesses arrived; I was expecting a sour blast, but instead she came with tartness, & a clean feel of sparkling grape juice (which I've always loved!). The expected sourness was nowhere to be found, only a Bottle Cap-like sweetness mixed in with the tart grape/cherry/fruits. A second sip confirmed all of this & more, & I was happy. The wife took a sip & was sad she didn't have a glass, too.

Drinkability? Damn straight. Down like kiddee Kool-Aid. My mouth might pucker up in protest after two, but it'd be worth it.

This is nothing at all like the only other Flanders Red I tried, but an excellent beer that could easily be utilized as a gateway to craft or Belgians. Duchesse, I bow to you, & hope we meet again.

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Photo of captaincoffee
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours red brown with smallish head that dissipates to spotty lacing. Nose is empty red wine barrel, vinegar, sweet malt. Very interesting. Taste is along the lines of the nose, a bit sweet, refreshing tang, complex. This beer might not be for everyone, but it is pretty amazing. Way better than something like Bourgogne de Flanders and (IMHO) a more enjoyable drink than Rodenbach Grand Cru. Great beer.

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Photo of Rayek
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Cheeky Monk in Denver, CO. Served in a Duchesse De Bourgogne glass.

A: Deep ruby color with a small cream colored head. Clarity is very good. Head retention is only fair. Leaves a heavy lace behind.

S: All I can think of is red wine when I smell this. Heavy on the dark fruits, plus a light pepper bite and a slight sourness that keeps the fruit aromas from being too sweet. Extremely complex.

T: The complexity of the nose transitions perfectly into the flavor. Tart grapes, cherries and cranberries dominate. Balance is created more by sourness than the peppery hop bitterness. Balance is great. Finishes somewhat dry, with lingering dark fruit flavors.

M: Medium body feels substantial in the mouth and has the right amount of carbonation.

D: This was easily my favorite beer at the Monk. A good sipping beer that I wish was served in a larger glass. Almost frighteningly good to my pallet. Well worth a revisit.

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Photo of gonzo138
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- pours a clear deep red, has a tan colored head that doesn't retain too well but does retain nicely

S- a little bit of tart sweetness, and a pleasant apple cider vinegar-ish smell to it as well

T- a little tangy, fruity sweetness at first followed by a mellowed tart sourness thats not too overwhelming, very pleasant

M- medium/ light body with moderatwe carbonation

D- could definitely have a few of these without getting sick of them, a very interesting style of ale, wish I could find more representations of this style

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Photo of EMV
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a pretty impressive Red Ale out of Belgium that I picked up at a SAQ (gotta love that place) on a whim, and is definitely a nice spicy alternative to whatever you normally drink. This one pours a rich dark reddish/brown with about an inch of creamy head that fell fairly quickly, leaving a great lace. The aroma is tart, yeasty, and very sharp, giving a great prelude as to what the beer is going to be like.

The taste itself is excellent and complex, with both sweet and sour flavours vying for dominance. There's a fruity touch there, and a smooth aftertaste that really rate this one high on the drinkability. It's one to be sipped and savored rather than gulped, and the ample carbonation is also very pleasant. Like I said before, I would definitely recommend this as an alternative to your regularly scheduled brew on one of those nights you need something a little more spicy.

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Photo of coalcracker
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a brownish-red with good head retention. Lacing forms as the tasting progresses.
Smell: Cherry and fruity in nature. Also can detect a bit of red wine.
Taste: Fruity start with cherry, wine, currant, and a little raisin. The sour notes arise toward the middle of the tasting with a bready finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium and lively. Smooth until the sour notes hit.
Drinkability: Very drinkable,but probably not a brew best served for sessions. More appropriate for slower and enjoyable tastings.

Overall- Extremely complex. I love the Flanders red style (as long as they are well-constructed). This hits the mark.

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Photo of mikestan06
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first sour - picked up a 12 oz. bottle on recommendation in Dallas. Poured into clear tulip glass.

Pours a dark reddish-brown with a tight tan head. Lasts throughout the glass - 10 minutes on and still sitting strong! Sticky lacing coats the side of the glass.

Smell is sweet, dark cherry and fruits? Taste is tart, almost mouth-puckeringly. Cherry and fruit come in strong. Like melted lifesavers.

Sticky in the mouth, really clings to the tongue. Little to no carbonation makes for smooth drinking.

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Photo of Bierguy5
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle, 6% abv. Cork indicates expiration date to be 05/2011. Pours a slightly cloudy darker amber color, with some shades of ruby. A nice steady stream of bubbles supports a frothy off white head. Nice retention and lace.

Some sour fruit up front. Earthy and oaky. A bit of a funky note that blends in with the earthy notes.

A bit of sweetness up front. A very sharp tartness. Fruity flavors are restrained until the middle, where some juicy notes come through. Finishes with a bit of earthy hops and a drying oak character.

Lighter in body with a good amount of carbonation. So refreshing. Very little trace of alcohol. This is world class.

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Photo of Celtics17
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Big cherry flavor. Very strong vinegar aroma, and the taste is strong following that smell. The taste of salad dressing or balsamic vinegar is big. A very big sweet and sour beer. I don't get much barrel aging in this.

This is a clean and powerful tasting sour, and one of the best you can get everyday.

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Photo of Gajo74
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one was a real treat. The taste is predominantly sweet, tart and sour. The aroma is earthy and even has a hint of vinegar. Would love to have again, perhaps with a hearty meal.

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Photo of IrieJackalope
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

One of my favorite beers, finally sitting down to give this one a review.
Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into my Belgian goblet. Pours a dark red, crystal clear with a good amount of head, leaving lacing down the glass as it disipates. The smell is sweet, tangy and oh-so inviting. I once heard someone describe the aroma as fermented ketchup and bowling alley shoes, but it's pretty damn wonderful if you ask me. The taste is equally amazing. A bit of sweet malt paired with a delicious tang that I've come to crave over time. Despite it's sour elements, the beer finishes pretty clean, although there's certainly a bit of the liveliness that lingers behind. Honestly, I could drink this stuff all day. I know it's not everyone's cup of tea (or beer rather) but the duchess will always have a space reserved in my beer fridge. Definitely worth trying at least once, it might even change the world of beer for you forever.

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Photo of FenwaySquid
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 11.2 oz bottle poured into a Chimay chalice. (the date on the bottle said best before 17-3-06.) The beer book I have showed it in what looked like an oversized wine glass, and that was the closest thing I could find to match.

Appearance: poured a very dark reddish brown, the carbonation was spritzy. A small head formed initially then faded qickly into a lace around the edge of the glass. A small, almost clould-like puff remained in the center though.

Aroma: Very faint, what I could detect was slightly sour.

Taste: I'm new to this style, and this is easily the most complex beer I've ever tasted, so here goes. At first it is sweet and pleasant, reminiscent of cherries. Then it takes on a more sour flavor, almost like a red wine, but not quite. the finish was rather vinagery, but still pleasant. Throughout the entire time it remained very smooth and semi-sweet.

Overall: This is a beer I wasn't sure I'd like, and I came away pleasantly surprised. I'm not sure I'd want to drink it on a daily basis, but it is truly a remarkable brew. I'd rather break it out once a month or so simply to remind myself how truly complicated and different beer can be. Once you're at this point you're light years away from anything the average person imagines when they think of beer, but that's the whole point, isn't it?

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Photo of everetends
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Review #200. Thanks to Goliath for the amazing hookup of this brew. Poured into a tulip and I am amped.

A: Pours a very dark red, almost brown. Once I hold the tulip up to the light, there is not doubt that this lady is red. A beautiful dark, murky red. The head was slightly off white, and I got a little over two fingers on the pour. The head receeded slowly down to a white ring that is very thick and lasting. The lacing is sticky and soapy. Spotty lacing designs casually laze about the glass. Just damned beautiful.

S: The scent of this baby is very nice. Cranberries, strawberries, and raspberries. Berries everywhere. Grapes?! This smells a bit like a merlot when you swirl the glass. Just an interesting combo. As this puppy slowly warms, you get the scent of some thick caramel. Sweet and sour overall for the aroma profile.

T: So damned tasty. This beer gets better as it airs out and warms up. Initially just some sour cranberry flavors kept me entertained. As it slowly warms, more and more sour fruit come out. Strawberries show their face along with some raspberry. There is also some plum in there. All of the fruitiness is sour, but perfectly sour. Nothing too crazy, just perfect on the way down. There is a slight hint of vinegar but nothing overwhelming. As it warms even more, caramel and a bit of breadiness comes in to round out the flavors. This brew is amazing.

M: Medium in body. This beer has a very sour and tart feel. It really challenges the taste buds. It lingers all around the mouth and really lets you enjoy everything it has to offer. There is absolutely zero hint of ABV. This brew really coats the mouth witha thick, almost syrupy texture. The amazing thing about this brew is just how long it lingers. Just perfect in feel.

D: This beer is amazing. I want more and I find myself nursing this because I don't want it to end. I could easily drink this in a couple gulps but that would be a waste. The Smell, Taste and Feel are all great. This brew is great. If I ever run across some, I will buy at least half a case. This brew is so dynamic. Loving it.

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Photo of jera1350
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours into a Duvel Tulip a deep burgundy color that is semi transparent. The head is light tan creating a wonderful contrast from the body. Some lacing and wonderful retention.

Sour smelling reminiscent of silage. Sour dark fruit, woody and earthy.

Juicy cherry, blueberry and blackberry flavors. Sweetness from the fruit flavors. Some balsamic, earthy and woody notes as well. Very deep in complexity. The sourness is there, but not strong in any way.

Velvety smooth with soft carbonation. About medium bodied with a super dry finish.

Great drinkability. I am loving this and am a little upset that I haven't tried it sooner. An awesome all around beer that I will definitely have again.

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Photo of eandersen
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Nice deep ruby with a 2 finger off white head. Dissipates quickly. Leaves some really impressive, thick lacing.

S - Balsamic vinegar upfront followed by deep wine like berry smells; dark raspberry, elderberry. Maybe a little bready malt. Slight oakiness.

T - The deep dark berry tastes come through much more than the nose would suggest. Definitely more ripe cherry than is detectable on the nose. Tartness at the front of the mouth, but not necessarily a balsamic tart, almost more of a lactic acid tart. Very nice sour. Super easy drinking.

M - Very smooth. Carbonation is somewhat less than I expected for the style leading to a slicker mouthfeel than many sours. But I'm totally OK with that.

O - Really excellent sour, will absolutely return to this. I could see this aging exceptionally well.

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Photo of SFBeerGuy
4.44/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle reading a best before date of 02-04-11.

A- Poured a crystal clear deep amber red with a thick and lively tan head. Champagne-like carbonation and fizzy foam that stayed for a long while before receding, leaving sticky lacing in the glass. Head remained for the entire drink.

S- Dark chocolate covered sour cherries. Tootsie Rolls. Licorice. Mouth-watering aromas.

T- Sour cherries up front with a tart snap. Sweet rock candy shows through. Currants and dark fruit is present. Slight toasted bread crust compliments hints of dark chocolate in the finish.

M- Not too puckering. Slight acidity. Lively and light bodied. Full carbonation tickles the pallet. Enjoyable bone dry finish which quickly takes the sourness and tartness with it. Very pleasant.

D- Incredible drink. Thirst quenching and a great complement to all sorts of food. Sweet and tart without being overbearingly puckering. Glows as it warms up! Best when served at recommended temperature. Got better to the last sip!

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Photo of CharlesRiver
4.44/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a dark reddish-brown with a nice off white head that seems to last. The smell is wonderful. Sweet, sour, balanced and simply amazing. The smell is a perfect five.

Taste is much more smooth than I expected. Cherries, wood, and a tad on the sweet side. No alcohol is present. So smooth and so balanced I am amazed this beer is aged in oak.

To be honest, I am sure there are better beers from this style. But, they are not that easily available. This is the best that I have had from this style and I can't wait to try more.

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Photo of SetarconeX
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: A wonderful dark red color, with an agressive brown head on it. Careful pouring this one, this head doesn't go away as quickly as you might think.

Smell: There's malt, and wine, and citrus, and the alcohol's definately there too. Don't think I've ever had anything that smelled quite like this before.

Taste: Sweet up front, and sour in the back. Very heavy apple flavor all around, with wine-like undertones. Don't think I've ever tasted a beer quite like this before.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and thick. Very good considering the unique tang the beer has.

What a unique little brew! Much too sweet for everyday use, but with completely unmatched complexities to the taste. I'd sell my soul for an exact ingredients list. I've never tasted anything like it.

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Photo of Fatehunter
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Into a snifter. Ruby colored with a two solid fingers of head.
Smells like cider vinegar, cherry and pear.
Fruity taste: cherry and pear again. A little malty sweet at the end with some lemon.
Champagne texture, lots of bubbles but not overly carbonated. Light body.
The vinegar smell actually fit well and thankfully didn't transfer into the taste. Top shelf here. An excellent all-around drink.

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Photo of Jon
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Comparative tasting with a 2001 Liefmans Goudenband 10/17/03.

Reddish brown color with a khaki head that becomes frothy after agitation. Some nice trails of lace remain on the glass. Nose is oaky and buttery with some subdued fruity esters. The nose, to me, screams California Chardonnay with that big buttery, oaky profile (and this is just on aroma). Taste-wise, this doesn't deviate too far from that California Chardonnay once again. Buttery, oaky, and vanilla notes give way to a tart green apple finish with notes of vinegar and funkiness. A wonderful interplay of sweet and sour. One of the most vinous beers I've consumed. The mouthfeel is pleasantly carbonated, yet quite smooth. This is an extraordinarily crafted Oud Bruin. Not quite as quenching as the Goudenband, but it seemed to be more flavorful with a fuller finish. Wonderful stuff.

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Photo of morimech
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish brown with a large tan head that had good retention. Moderate amount of sticky lacing is left on the glass. The aroma consists of a mild funkiness complimented by red wine and vinegar. The taste is just mildly tart. Some fruity sweetness also comes through. Some mild barnyard notes in the dry finish. Perfect mouthfeel. Soft texture that coats the mouth. Light body with mild carbonation. If someone is looking for an extra tart and funky beer, this is not the beer for you.

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Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
4.1 out of 5 based on 4,167 ratings.
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