Duchesse De Bourgogne | Brouwerij Verhaeghe

BA SCORE
92
outstanding
4,269 Ratings
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
Ratings:
4,269
Reviews:
1,541
Avg:
4.1
pDev:
14.39%
 
 
Wants:
249
Gots:
928
For Trade:
16
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,269 |  Reviews: 1,541
Photo of zp6167a
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of ledouxfan
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of vrazionale
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Before holding to the light, you'd think this beer was a deep brown, with only a slight reddish tint. When held to the light, you see the rich complexity of color, not quite red but not quite brown. Head was a bit disappointing (probably due to the non-tulip glass), but the off-white color is a wonderful complement to the reddish-brown brew. A bit of a stretch, but the two colors together call to mind an image of an old mahogany wooden building in Europe.

S - The first smell is a very distinct tart cherry smell. I also smell raisins, brown sugar, caramel, amaretto liqueur, and a slight maple syrup aroma. The sweetness of the brew is quite evident - I'm interested to see how the tart cherry aroma will mingle with the expected sweet taste.

T - I definitely caught balsamic vinegar here, though it wasn't quite there on the nose for me. Cherries and amaretto are the major players, and these linger for a few extra seconds after swallowing. Certainly very sweet (a bit cloyingly so for me, but that's merely personal preference). I don't taste any chocolate notes, but I wish I had some Belgian chocolate to accompany this brew!

M - The very first thing that struck me about this beer was the carbonation. You know that feeling when you hold a sip of sparkling wine in your mouth, where you can feel the liquid pressing slightly on the roof of your mouth? I found that to be the case here. This is a slightly rudimentary theory, but I think that this phenomenon extends the beer's finish, because the tongue's flavor receptors are given a short break while the beer moves slightly upward in the mouth.

D - A wonderful, unique, exciting beer, but not one that I could drink all night. Grab a few to taste with friends, but make sure to grab some chocolate or even some creamy blue cheese to complement this remarkable brew! You'll love it!

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Photo of HumanParaquat
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Props to the marketing department...beautiful artwork on the bottle, capturing that whole Flemish Renaissance vibe. Pours a deep, dark burgundy red with an off white head. Leaves some good spotty lacing.

Apple cider vinegar, pears and grapes in the nose...very wine-like. There are also some subtle oaky notes detectable along with chocolate and cinnamon.

Tastes of cherries and red currants up front with a healthy dose of vinegar. Finishes long and dry with a tart pomegranate/cranberry acidity. A very nice balance between sweet and sour. Alcohol is well-hidden.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and tingly with good presence of carbonation. Mildly sticky and quite puckering. Takes on a smoother, more elegant feel as it warms.

One of the best Flemish Reds I've tried. I imagine this could be a gateway beer for wine lovers and girlfriends.

 842 characters

Photo of aracauna
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark burgandy with a lively pale khaki head. The aroma is like a fruit basket with peaches and green apples and grapes. There’s also a slight vinegariness in there. The flavor is more tart than I expected, giving the fruits life. A bit of wine. There’s some spice or herb in there that is slipping my mind. Slick on the tongue, this one takes a bit to get used to, but it improves as you sip it.

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Photo of memphischas
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of KeithE
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of nakedasajbird
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ZimZamZoom
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A beautiful deep ruby red color with a bubbly tan head that leaves ample lacing upon the glass as it fades. Nice looking beer as it sits in my Maudite tulip glass.

Just an awesome red wine and malt vinegar aroma, with subtle herb and spice notes. Not lost is the mildly sweet and slightly roasty malt backing. Folks this is one of those beers I could smell all day long. It's already been 10 minutes and I have not taken a sip yet.

The taste is pleasantly tart, Still a sweet presence in the back, but sour cherries and red wine vinaigrette take charge. Interesting and really a nice balance of sweet and sour. I like this Flanders Red.

Initially feels thin but the smooth maltiness is evident and it comes across as meaningful in the mouth. Drinkable...? I drank this one didn't I? Yes this goes beyond just a sipper and if I had one I'd consider following with another.

All around a great beer.

 902 characters

Photo of truebluebums
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in tulip glass

Good till: 12/23/2015

App: Pours a small white head that recedes rather quickly leaving a little lacing on the sides. Dark, deep red. You can see straight through it.

Smell: Vinegar. Fruity- Cherry and cranberry and maybe some darker berries in the back. Definitely a pleasant sweetness lurking behind the sour smell. Red wine aspect and some woody notes.

Taste: Sour black cherries. The sourness is at the forefront but very well restrained letting the other flavors shine through in the dry aftertaste. A mixture of a lot of different fruits. Cherry, cranberry, blackberry even some blueberry. Picking up on the tannins that other's are talking about. There's really a lot going on this little beer.

If you've never had Flemish Red or Sour, then this is a good introduction. There's definitely ones that are heavy on the sour side, but not this one. A great blend of sweet and sour and a lot of depth to the taste.

 943 characters

Photo of AlexFreudenberg
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of kojevergas
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Best before date: 30/03/2013. 11.2 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into me Guinness goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Bottle acquired at Red Carpet Liquor in Glendale, California. They also carried the larger bottle. I don't recall the cost. Expectations are through the roof given the reputation of this beer and the style - which I generally am quite fond of.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. This should be in line with the recommended 47-53 degree fahrenheit range. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Not paired with food. I wanted to enjoy the beer on its own, especially since the serving size is relatively small.

A: Pours a four finger head of great smooth cream, marvelous foamy thickness, and fantastic retention - though the ABV is merely 6.00%. Colour is a dark semitransparent ruby. Translucent. No floating yeast particles are visible. There's no bubble show, but I've yet to see a beer in the style with one.

Sm: Sourness, wild yeast, bacteria, cream, clean malts, and an oak tone - when I look for it. A subtle, mild strength aroma. Very encouraging, alive, and inviting. I'd prefer it stronger, but its downplayed timidness lends it a certain class.

T: Yeasty subtle sourness, with cherry fruit ester notes. Slight cream on the open and as an undertone. Oak is a backgrounded tone that isn't horribly noticeable. Hints of red grape notes (but not wine). Extremely subtle. Fantastic. The sourness isn't overdone, and would likely appeal even to people who don't usually enjoy sours. Incredibly well balanced. Exceptionally well constructed, with complexity and layering abound. Nicely tart. Pleasant to drink, even approaching refreshing. Very enjoyable. I quite like it.

Mf: Perfect creaminess for the style. Smooth and wet. Great thickness. It's a touch too wet methinks - especially on the finish. Subtle slight dryness would be ideal to coax out the next sip. Perfect carbonation. Complements the flavours quite nicely.

Dr: Incredibly drinkable. I could down this all night. A bit pricey, but well worth it. An exceptional sour. Quite remarkable and special. Perhaps the best beer in the style I've had yet.

A great candidate for aging.

Drank wonderfully out of me goblet. A snifter would also be appropriate.

Would pair well with a salad, but I'd prefer it alone. This beer warrants your full attention.

A-

 2,499 characters

Photo of Buck89
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Copper reddish brown color with a foamy tan head. Aromas of raspberry, cherry, barnyard, and grass. Tart taste up front but not overpowering. Cherry, raspberry, and understated funk. Almost all fruit for me. Dry and easy drinking.

 230 characters

Photo of sinistrsam
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark red, almost black body under a small tan head which dissapated quickly. The head left excellent lacing around the snifter. The aroma was dominated by fruits, namely cherries, dark sugars, alcohol and molasses. The taste was some of the same, with dark (very) sour cherries up front, and hints of wheat, hops, sweet malts and sugars. I thought it was complex and interesting.
The feel was sour obviously, but if you can stick that out, it has an excellent blend of carbonation and sweetness to compliment the sour feel. It reminded me of a lambic or more specifically yhr three philosophers, but more subdued. Overall an excellent beer.

 646 characters

Photo of BBP
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cherry chestnut hue with a solid head and lots of lacing.

The aroma is sour and full of tart. There's also hints of light and dark fruitiness.

The tastes starts up with both banana and raspberry. There's some tart to it as well and a bit of sourness. Mildly spicy and a bit peppery. Slight amounts of oak are detectable as well. All in all it tastes very fresh and bright.

The body is medium full. The carbonation is done nicely. It finishes dry and moderately sticky.

Overall, it's a solid drink with exceptional drinkability. Incredibly smooth as well. I'd definitely pick it up at least once. Considering it's from Belgium, the prices isn't too high either.

 674 characters

Photo of illidurit
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured into a snifter at The Red in Santa Cruz. Color is a mix between quadrupel brown and cherry red. Decent head for a style characterized by acidity.

S: Oak, brett, vinegar, cherry.

T: Nice red fruit sweetness is decapitated by an exquisite tartness and vinaigrette bite that puckers every corner of the mouth. Some oak and grape skin.

M/D: Thin bodied, dry, effervescent, and smooth. The only fault is that the sharpness is best in small doses, reducing the drinkability to me.

 487 characters

Photo of webmanspidey
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a large tulip glass. Color is a strong reddish brown with around half an inch of head. Smell is sour cider and cherry, very acidic. Taste is a kind of sweet and sour combination, with lots of grapes and maraschino cherry flavors. Thick, syrupy mouthfeel. Very good drinkability.

 297 characters

Photo of mnbrewery
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of brendan13
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured into a tulip glass a dark red copper colour with a couple of centimetres of slightly off white head that slowly falls away leaving a bit of lacing.
S - Tart cherries quickly followed by some oak character with a touch of malt vinegar.
T - Initially dominated by cherry flavour with some sour tartness but then balanced by some dark fruit & caramel sweetness.
M - Medium bodied with a medium to high carbonation. Slightly sticky feel with a long lingering cherry after taste.
D - A very intereting beer I'd indeed drink again. A great beer for wine nerds who say beer isn't complex...

 594 characters

Photo of Brettanomaestro
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Though it's a great bargain at $13 a bottle, Duchesse ran into the same issue as many craft beers. Despite being one of my favorites not five years ago, the last few years have been much sweeter and has lost that perfect balance of sweet and sour. Get back to your roots Duchesse, we miss you already!

 301 characters

Photo of julian
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a vibrant chestnut color, semi opaque with visible carbonation and a 1 finger or less frothy tan head from a vigorous pour. intricate and thick lacing lines the glass from the first sip on down.

S: mildly alcoholic and vinegary to the nose, mostly aromas of sour apples, cherries with a good balance of malting.

T: This is my first flanders red ale. tastes very similar to a Lindeman's lambic. tastes of sour apples, cherries. Somewhat dry and earthy taste. tastes a little too sweet, so IMO it's a little unbalanced. no apparent alcoholic taste.

M: high carbonation at first but quickly lessens in your throat when swallowed where it feels almost mildly syrupy.

D: This tastes a bit too fruity and sweet to be a session beer but otherwise it's a great red ale, and a great all around beer.

 804 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle.
Sits in the snifter a a clear, deep ruby hue, nearing on brown, with a toasty, fizzy head holding down the fort.
Spicy aroma, and plenty sour, replete with associations of dark fruit, grapes, dates, blackberries, and a twisted hint of licorice. Wicked mix in this nose. I like it.
Oooo, puckeration! Mega-hit of sour on first sip! Backwash of sweetness, cherries and plums, but the tart stays on top. Next sip: Ooooweee, it's at it again! Molasses-like, and treacly in the taste, thinning out by the time the flavor leaves the palate and I'm ready for another swallow...ooo, quit doing that!
Around this time, the intense tartness mellows a bit, and the brew plays a little lighter in the mouth. Sweetness glides arm in arm with sour, and they play a tight ping pong match.
body is medium, lightly fruity, long-lived finish. Tasty thing, despite the challenges that must be met in approaching the brew. I'm going to relax with the remainder.

 962 characters

Photo of babaracas
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%

Pours a clear red-brown, one finger of dense cream colored foam, delicate islands of lace on the glass. Smell: overripe apricot, quite oaky with herbal notes. Taste: tart nectarine, fruity sweet / acidic combo as in pineapple juice, white flesh plum, craisins and cherry juice towards the finish. Sweet fruit, quite tart, with plenty of oak character. Medium bodied and a bit syrupy with a sugary finish. Tasty, if not a little on the sweet side.

 446 characters

Photo of BGDrock
4.16/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark brown, clear body, like root beer, with a hint of ruby; frothy, sandy colour head recedes to a thin layer in a minute.
Aroma of raisin, prune, vanilla, iced tea, cherry compote.
Bracing sourness and a slightly oily mouthfeel, matched by effervescence like Perrier. Flavours of sour cherry and cassis dominate, but there is great balance between these tart notes and fruity sweetness. Dry finish and middling length.
This is a solid recommend for any sour or Belgian beer fan, it's delicious from start to finish.

 523 characters

Photo of andrew8626
4.16/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
4.1 out of 5 based on 4,269 ratings.
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