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Duchesse De Bourgogne | Brouwerij Verhaeghe

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1,508 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: 1,508 | Ratings: 4,130
Photo of 51mmz0rz
4.54/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 0.5L Duvel tulip.

A: Light tan head, dark brown body with reddish tints. Head is loose with good retention and leaves great lacing as it fades.

S: Fruity sourness with light malt in the background. Smells like some krieks I've had. A slight roastyness, maybe just oak from the barrel. A little more acidic as it warms.

T: Sweet, smooth, fruity. Not intensely sour. Vanilla jumps on board later sometimes. Complex and delicious.

M: Medium carbonation, with a thick viscosity to match the sweetness.

D: Highly drinkable and rather refreshing if not a little sweet.

Flavors of this beer were mind bending. I will say it was a little sweet, but balanced fairly well with the sour.

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Photo of WoogityBoogity
4.54/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark reddish/brown color. Brilliantly clear. Semi-thick head that slowly dissipates.

S - Definitely a complex fruitiness. Cherry ester presence; maybe apples or plums? Few spicy phenols.

T - Intense fruitiness from cherries with intense sour acidic character. Few spicy phenols. No hop presence. Vanilla flavor is present. Sour and bitterness gives balance slightly towards finish.

M - Medium body with high carbonation. Prickly acidity and very little warming from ABV.

D - Superb palate of various fruit and spice notes. Sweet and sour notes accentuate the few spicey phenols.


What a stupendous beer! Complex palate and very well executed. Drinkability makes this a sipping beer, however.

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Photo of generallee
4.55/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was served on tap at the Blue Monk in Buffalo NY and presented in a tulip glass.

Appearance: The Duchesse De Bourgogne comes to the table sporting a small creamy off white head over a dark and hazy reddish brown body. It is full of lively carbonation rushing up to the head which has great retention and leaves perfect lace ring after each sip.

Smell: The aroma has lots of delicate tart fruit and wine like character with light woody and nutty nuances and some mellow malt sweetness.

Taste/Palate: Like the aroma its flavor displays notes of sour cherry, tart raspberry, browned apple peel and red wine backed by dry woody oak and some light yeast funk. This is balanced by some bready malt with mild sweetness. Everything is nicely balanced and slowly fades into a smooth dry finish. The palate has a lively well carbonated medium feel with tons of complexity and a mild sour pucker.

Notes: The wonderful balance of flavor and body works to give it lots of complex character and drinkability. I would highly recommend to both wine and beer drinkers who like sours.

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Photo of Calico
4.55/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my very favorite beers, truly a royal brew in my opinion. The only other Flanders sour red I've had is Rodenbach, but this beer is much more mellow and drinkable than even the Rodenbach Grand Cru.

Pours with an enormous head. Brilliant mahogany color.

Nose has winey notes, a little rose aroma, sugar sweetness, maybe a hint of irises.

Sherry and port tastes hit the back of the tongue. I also noticed a licorice note. I'm surprised to find this much of a sherry or winey taste in a less-than-7% abv beer. Some esters apparent; finishes with a sparkle of grapefruit.

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Photo of Cresant
4.55/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this 11.2 oz. bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. Dated best by: 30/3/07. Body was ebony/ruby color. Beige head was 1/2 inch at it's peak. Splotches of lace remained.

Smell was "WOW". The most distinct beer aroma I have smelled. Vinegar, Vinous, and pixie sticks. No alcohol discernable.

Tasted of tart, fizzy Kool-aid. Plums. Granny Smith peel. Faint woody finish. Complex, interesting, and sophisticated. Became even more drinkable as it warmed. Non-cloying.

Mouthfeel was light, finely carbonated, champagne-like.

Wonderful sipping beer. I will revisit.

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Photo of Chinookie
4.55/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have had this beer on many occasions, even having it on tap at home a couple of times (since it is the wife's favorite). But I thought I would write a review for the bottle we drank last night, aged just over three years. Although I did not taste it side-by-side with a new bottle, my wife and I are familiar enough with the flavor to notice the differences.

For Valentine's Day I pulled out of the cellar the bottle I had been aging since June 2005 to pair with the chocolate dipped strawberries. The expiration date on the cork said Nov. 2007, so I suspect bottling date was Nov. 2004. I had stored this in my cellar on its side.

Served in the brewery-designed glasses, it poured clear dark reddish brown. The head was thinner and with bigger bubbles than new bottles, and head retention was also a lot weaker.

The aroma was roughly the same (cherry, brown/candi sugar, some balsamic vinegar) with a bit more wood.

The flavor and mouthfeel were noticeably different and better than the fresh version. First, the texture was lighter than normal and more velvety. The flavor profile was very similar--sweet, cherry tart, a bit woody, sugary--but the usual balsamic acidity in the finish was gone, making it more drinkable and enjoyable.

It paired very well with the chocolate-dipped strawberries.

I highly recommend to fans of this beer to age some in a cool dark place for three years. I can't imagine that it could get better, so probably wise not to keep much longer.

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Photo of cncbofh
4.55/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a deep goblet as a deep copper red with lots of fizzy and quickly dissappearing bubbly. Amazingly, the beer itself did not "feel" carbonated in the mouth at all, but rather smooth almost like sherry or port.

The smell of roses and fruit were strong, but not overwhelming. Reminds me of Rosé de Gambrinus.

The taste lifted the bar. New and strange, but very very good. It had a soft velvety flavor of fruit - cherry and figs, with a light almondy nutty character. What amazes me so much about this beer is the character is so different and complex, yet the beer is so light and (can I use the word fluffy?)....

Good stuff. Made it to my top ten list.

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Photo of USCTrojanBrian
4.55/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle consumed at The Trappist in Oakland, CA. From notes.

Egg-like foamy head. Violet-brown color. Sour cherry and oaky aroma.

Overly smooth first taste. Low carbonation, good, like a cask beer. Solid base beer. Somewhat sugary but quite enjoyable.

Maybe needed a bit more sour to balance the flavors a bit but this thing is like candy within the style, hard not to enjoy.

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Photo of karst
4.55/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

From tap @ Capital Ale House downtown Richmond, VA Aug '07

Soft vinous cherry aroma with mild oak in back. Flavor of smooooth soft semisweet balance of malts and stoned fruits with a cresendo of cherry tartness - winelike drying midpallate into a clean finish revisiting malt body and fruityness.

Softer and with brighter citrus and cherry flavors as compared to bottled versions I have had.

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Photo of Jerico
4.55/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - dark, murky amber/red color with only a slight head.

S - slightly fruity - like a bit of cherry/raspberry/strawberry - and slightly sour with a hint of lovely funk.

T/M/D - wow, is this something special! The cherry/raspberry/strawberry flavor is there, but it not in a overly sweet or syrupy way at all - more sour, but not aggressively so. The beer also has a texture - it feels and tastes thick and creamy but not heavy. Amazing! I've had this on tap once before buying a bottle, and the bottled version tastes exactly the same! Outstanding stuff.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.55/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark ruby colored brew which sports a rocky, pillowy, off white head that seems to breathe as if the beer was alive (which it is). Craters opening up, the head finally dies down a little and leaves alot of lace. Just a beauty of a beer.

Smell: Apple cider, vinegar. A bit musty and sour smelling. Perfumy.

Taste: Tart and sweet with a lingering sour/metallic edge. This ale was matured in wooden vats, providing an oaky/woodsy dryness. As it warms, more complexity develops, fruits that do not exist like a mixture of cherry, granny smith apple and citrus with some acidity. This is one hell of a beverage.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a semi dry finish and a lingering sourness of the palate.

Drinkability: A very desirable sour that is a pleasure to partake. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Yooperduder
4.55/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours lightly, slightly effervescent without being a bubble monster. Light and delicate head, drops down to a shimmering smokey white lace.

Smells of raisins, slight rum, maybe like an old fashioned rum cake. Fruit, like apples or apricots.

Mouthfeel is nice, nothing extraordinary but not harsh at all. Flavor is definitely fruit, again apples or some sort of cider. Effervescence is very nice, gives an exceptional feel as it goes down. Not even the slightest hint of hops, though maybe a touch of spice.

Overall an extraordinarily smooth beer, would pair exceptionally well with a cobbler, apple tart, or a summer fool.

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Photo of waughbrew
4.55/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

What a beautiful beer in a style that is currently far too rare!

Very nice deep red/light brown with some blackness. Small off-white head stays a bit as lace but mostly as a small ring around the beer. Great up-front sourness in the aroma with vinegar. Bright and alive, an earthiness with acidity. Flavor is very well-balanced. The malt flavors come out as it warms. Light and crisp, wonderful bubbles. Very drinkable - I could have a few.

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Photo of roadhouse
4.55/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle into a snifter.

Appearance is a clear dark ruby shade of red with a one inch thick cream colored head with lots of tiny carbonation bubbles. Surprisingly leaves some great looking lacing.

Aroma is mildly vinegary in a good way, some notes of oak, cherry-like tartness, and a mild sweetness along with some leathery funk.

The taste is initially quite sweet followed by a mild sour that is more funky than anything. Vinegar notes from the aroma are no longer present. Tart cherries are certainly there. The sweetness here is interesting as it shows itself initially then is overtaken by the funk only to return again in the finish even stronger than it started. I wouldn't mind a bit more sour in this one, it might be a perfect score then, but it gets it done nicely.

Mouthfeel is medium-light in body, with an extremely creamy and soft carbonation. Perfect.

Easily the best Flanders Red I've tried. It's somewhat expensive, but totally worth it. I would like to get another bottle of Rodenbach Grand Cru to compare with since that was the first Flanders Red I'd ever had.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.55/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer is muy bonita. Lovely deep and clear burgandy tone. A creamy and dense beige head decorates the surface. Great retention is noted. I love the aroma: brown sugar, molasses, leather, sour cherry and ginger. The taste is up to the task as well. Great flavors at work. A bit of a battle of sweet and sour with the sweet actually winning out. No make that a draw. Pretty balanced in that area. A little sour cherry. A little sweet cookie dough. A little sour lemon. A little sweet brown sugar. Some subtle spicing I note as well includes ginger, cinamon and corriander. (Although I'm not sure that this beer is purposely spiced.) There are also some oaky and smokey qualities. A really nice blend of flavors. Body is light and the mouthfeel is on the lighter side of the carbonation spectrum. Wow. I do like this bruin.

Thanks marc77. Once again you've picked a winner for me.

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Photo of alysmith4
4.55/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Not usually a fan of this style, but I tried this beer and loved it! This was actually my favorite of all the excellent brews I tried at Brasserie Beck - a new Belgian restaurant in the city with supposedly the largest Belgian beer selection outside of Belgium.

Poured a dark brown color, with a reddish tone. Smell was of plums, cherries, pine, maple syrup, and something like candied ginger. Taste was most excellent, with all of the flavors mentioned before and a definite sour to sweet finish. The beer was nice and thick too, with a good amount of carbonation. Would definitely recommend this beer, a must-try!

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Photo of kzoobrew
4.55/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich auburn color. Light tan head crackles as it is poured but dissipated quickly. Ring remains surrounding the top but little lacing is left.

Dark fruit dominates the aroma. Tart cherries and currants. Soft sour smell complimented by a slight whiff of oakiness.

Flavor is incredible sweet fruit flavors mesh incredibly well with a strong tart taste. Excellent balance between the malty flavors with the somewhat sour fruitiness.

Mouth feel is incredibly smooth and crisp. Very dry.

Ridiculously drinkable. Excellent beer. Tremendously enjoyable to drink and goes down all too easy.

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Photo of dgilks
4.55/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Rich sweet and sour aroma like good aged Balsamic. Slightly earthy. Very good.

Rich ruby red. Mostly clear. Small, creamy, tan head.

I can see why people don't like this. Rich, sticky balsamic vinegar. Some vinous fruit. Actually quite sweet. I really like this.

Full body with moderately high carbonation. Very sticky.

A tasty, tasty beer. Lots of good here and while not easy to drink, it's the sort of sour I'd be back for in an instant.

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Photo of ordybill
4.56/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11 OZ bottle into a tulip glass. The appearance is a nice burgundy color with a small white head. Has a very strong wine aroma. Excellent beer.

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Photo of BWED
4.56/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle poured into a tulip

A- Dark brown with some mahogany/ruby hues. Tan head holds great retention, and great delicate lacing lines the glass.

S- Tart cherry, balsamic vinegar, just a faint funk.

T- Cherry again, nice and tart. Some oak notes infused. Faint toasty malt character.

M- Tangy, but really smooth and wonderful. Carbonation is light but ample, champagne-like. The body is medium.

O- I love this one. So much depth and some much to take in. If I would have known how much I liked this I would have gone straight for the 750 ml. Guess I'll have to go back. Really a great beer experience.

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Photo of Act25
4.56/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

My first Flemish sour, and a favorite.

A: The look is a 5. Deep, dense, thick, lasting tan head that lasts forever, starting as a pillowed crown and becoming a weathered sand castle.

Ruby Brown body, loads of lacing. A perfect pour.

S: puts you into the wine cellar with all the smells, wine, wine spills, oak, char, sawdust, concrete floor, mold, humidity, age.

T: This is three beers in one and so even at $7 a bottle is reasonable value. Smooth, soft, and tannic like wine. Chewy like wine, with body, in concert sweet and sour, fruit and malt, twin forces arise to treat your mouth to an utterly new sensation totally gratifying. 10s of flavors (as evidenced by the review) but dominant are burgundy pinot noir, cherry, balsamic, and jam. It rides on sweet bread and despite all this meditation complexity, it finishes clean. This is a must try, much try! One of my favorite firsts ever.

F: Leaves your mouth in a lovely kissing place like a great chewy wine or beer. You must let it warm. Also I drank my first one at the same pace as I'd drink 2 glasses of wine. Very slowly. And getting closer and closer to 55 degrees.

A-bro wrote " I must pause for a moment and thank the beer gods …Top of my list, an art performance… " I agree!

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Photo of bonbini26
4.57/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

a: Deep mahogany to brown. Cream colored head fades to a thin layer. Nice lacing.

s: Smells of tart fruit, cherry in particular and cola.

t: The combination sweetness and cherry reminds me of a cherry coke. Light tartness balances the sweetness. Low acidity for the style.

m: Carbonation is lively which complements the style.
Light to medium body.

d: Typical drinkability for style. I would drink a few if the sweetness didn't catch up to me. The sourness is more subdued than the other Flanders Ales I've tried. More sourness would help balance the sweetness.

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Photo of WellRested518
4.57/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

A- steady lacing with a dark cherry body. The head quickly falls to a tight crown.

S- Acidic with notes of cider, sour cherry, plum, and red wine. It's bittersweet.

T- Much like the smell, but with a slight punch of granny smith apple. Really reminds me of a black cherry Warhead.

Edit- I hate reading old reviews. -__-

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Photo of doppelmeup
4.57/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a style that is relatively new to me, and this particular brew was recommended by a friend.

Pours a rather deep mahogany color with a half inch head that slowly dissipates. Lacing is present but not spectacular.

Aroma was fruity and similar to a good quality cider vinegar.

Taste was a bit sweeter than I remember Rodenbacher Red to be. Definite fruits, sweet malt and cidery but with a very nice tang to balance the sweetness. Really nice flavor.

Mouthfeel was nice as well. The tanginess "got me here" but the moderate carbonation left a clean palate. It also managed to have a nice creaminess about it.

Overall, I really enjoyed this brew and will seek it out in the future. Perfect way to start off the evening prior to enjoying dinner.

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Photo of fragilehearted
4.57/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of my favorites! I've had it many times, so now that I have decided to review beers on this site, here goes!

750ml - if at home, I'll go for a snifter.

A - dark ruby red w/ a brownish tint. Head fades fast to lots of beautiful lacing.

S - sour cherries, balsamic vinegar, berries...very fruity. Sweet malts in the back. Smell is almost as good as the taste.

T - delightful. Sour cherries again, fruity, but still tastes like a beer...almost like a lambic, but better. It's sour, but not overly, not to the point of puckering. I enjoy the restraint w/ the sourness...could have been a bit sweeter, but I'm not complaining.

M - great carbonation (which I generally love). Light-to-medium body...very easy.

D - couldn't be better. I can put away a 750ml bottle of this like nobody's business & probably do at least once a month. It's not too sour, so I'd absolutely recommend it to someone who's getting started on this style.

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Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
4.1 out of 5 based on 4,130 ratings.
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