Duchesse De Bourgogne | Brouwerij Verhaeghe

BA SCORE
92
outstanding
4,220 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:
4,220
Reviews:
1,530
Avg:
4.1
pDev:
14.39%
 
 
Wants:
246
Gots:
905
For Trade:
16
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,220 |  Reviews: 1,530
Photo of bultrey
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a pleasant little surprise to find on draft at the Ginger Man in New York .Unofrtunately, it was served to me in an imperial pint glass instead of a proper tulip glass or wine glass, but I still enjoyed this interesting beer.
This beer has a beautiful deep red color, with a very wispy head and moderate lacing. The nose is very aromatic -- woodsy, minty, cherry, a little funky. Upon first sip, a sweet-tartness explodes on the palate like Smarties candies, only refined. Fresh cherries come to mind instantly, but there's something else too: a very vinous characteristic, bordering on vinegary, that appears but doesn't overwhelm at any point. There is also the feel as if this were aged in some sort of wood -- almost like cedar. The mouthfeel is a little thin, but very much like sparkling wine. The finish is dry and refreshing, with a wisp of tartness and bitterness. This beer is very refreshing. It's ironic that this is considered a "challenging" or rare style of beer in the US, when in fact, I would recommend something like this first and foremost to a wine lover that wants to get into beers. My first Flanders red, and certainly not my last.

 1,165 characters

Photo of Reiksguard
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 11.2 oz bottle into glassware.

A deep red/brown in color with a pillowy white head. Great vinegar'y smell typical of flanders. Has a great fruity sweetness coupled with a sour and bitter taste characteristic of its style. There is a little extra bitterness/funkiness on the backend of the taste, which dropped my rating a little.

If it wasn't for the cost of these little bottles, I would certainly be drinking more.

 432 characters

Photo of Livendadream
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of medic25
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Definitely a change of pace from the everyday beer. Served in a chalice, fairly short-lasting brown-tinged head tops a dark, reddish brown beer. The first whiff has quite a bite to it. Once you get past the initial vinegarish scent, a more fruity odor dominates. The acerbic trend continues with the first sip; an almost overpowering (but not at all unpleasant) sour cherry flavor dominates. The tingling aftertaste is probably my favorite thing about this beer; think eating sour patch kids when you were younger. Not a beer I'd suggest to introduce your macro friends to the BA world, but overall a pleasant drinking experience.

 630 characters

Photo of Lolli1315
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- A nice reddish brown color with about a finger of head and pretty decent lacing.

S- Fruits are coming out the strongest, in most particular I would have to say apple. Faint smell of alcohol as well, but the smell makes me want to dive in.

T- This is my first sour so maybe this will change later, but this taste is fantastic. Get that fruit taste up front and then bam, the fruity tartness seems to hit you all at once. Seeing as this is my first sour beer as well, this is something entirely new to me.

M- Thin to medium mouthfeel, more on the thin side. I think I would prefer this to be a little bolder, but still don't know how that would mold with the beer.

D- The only thing holding back this beer from being highly drinkable is the sweetness of the beer. Not hard to put done a glass, but some might be turned off from how sweet it is.

Notes: I think there is going to be a long love between myself and sours.

 925 characters

Photo of JohnfromDublin
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted on tap in Café Gollem, Amsterdam on 16th October 2005.
Saw this on tap, and had to try it.

I have reviewed a Flanders red ale before (Bourgogne des Flandres) and quite liked it, but this offering surpassed it. Appearance was typical red/brown ale with a little haze and a thin off-white head.

Smell was fairly complex; lots of things going on. Taste was less sweet and sour than BdesF and much more complex. This was a very enjoyable experience, so I repeated it!

 480 characters

Photo of scojo
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours brownish-red with a small caramel-colored head. Smells slightly fruity - I pick up a cherry scent, similar to a lambic. The cherry flavor comes in strong at first, but it mellows into a nice sweetness and finishes slightly sour. The carbonation is light but refreshing. The sweet and sour taste, along with the carbonation and the noticeable but not overbearing alcohol flavor work together to make this a refreshing, flavorful, very drinkable beer.

 455 characters

Photo of magicmoose66
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of mexikrainian
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml poured into a Unibroue tulip.

Appearance: brown amber with short-lived beige head and patchy lacing.

Aroma: pungent cherry aroma, slightly nutty and plum.

Taste: a balance of sour and sweet with dry, smooth finish.

Mouthfeel: syrup and acidic texture with medium body and light-medium carbonation.

Overall Impression: unique and complex, this delicious red ale is reminiscent of a carbonated plum wine. mmmm...give me more.

 434 characters

Photo of birderbeerer
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ruby red with solid head formed by tiny bubbles like a quad/abt. Lacing that lasts.

Sour, red wine aroma. Bit of citrus.

Sweet taste surrounded by a sour cloud. Great balance of sour and sweet malts. Moderately rich taste. Tart fruit softened by oak.

Fairly full body and creamy given how light it tastes.

 309 characters

Photo of Vivs85
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of sjdevel
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look:
Poured from a 375 ml bottle. Nice 2-finger head. Slightly hazy, and a deep copper/red colorf.

Smell:
Strong vinegar. Slight fruit and caramel, but overpowered by the vinegar sour.

Taste:
Slight bitterness at the first sip, then the balsamic vinegar becomes apparent. The vinegar fades quickly and it starts to go on the sweet side. Slight nutty flavors, wood/charred oak, sour fruit, and caramel. Dries out a bit and you are left with some oak and nut flavors. Very comples.

Feel:
Medium bodied. Pretty much spot on.

Overall:
I have had a few of these. This 375 ml bottle seemed to be of a lesser flavor quality than the 750 ml I had prior. Still a great beer, but I'm not sure why I liked the bigger bottle better. This totally justifies buying a bigger one. Highly recommend.

 799 characters

Photo of AltBock
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I was able to try this Flanders Red Ale on-tap at Teresa's Next Door on 5/23/2008. They served it to me in a goblet/wine glass.

Duchess poured a beautiful dark crimson red color. It almost looked like somebody poured cranberry jucie into a goblet for me. It was probably the glass that did this, but on top of this beer was a small quarter of an inch head of white foam. What was there had really good retention that left behind foamy white rings along the edge and a fair amount of white lace around the glass.

The aroma was rich, sweet, and sour with sour cherries, sour green grapes, a hint of sour raspberries, a splash of yeast, and some toasted oak in the back. It was so good that I kept going back for more. It's just what a Flanders Red Ale should smell like!

The taste had mostly the same flavors in it that the aroma had, but it tasted like I was drinking a sour and sweet candy beer. I'm not joking, it was that sweet. The taste was sweet and sour with sour cherries, dried and toasted oak, and a hint of yeast at the finish. Even though they took away a few sour fruits, I still enoyed the taste of this this Flanders Sour.

The mouthfeel was on the light side that contained a nice sized aftertaste of sweet and sour cherries, a hint of toasted oak, and a speck of yeast. This aftertase will linger on for a minute or two after the beer has left your mouth.

If you like sour beers that aren't too sour, but that are more sweet, then you'll like this one. For me, it was a joy to try this one on-tap and I can't see why not why this wouldn't be a joy to try if it came from a bottle. I would love to give this beer another go!

 1,643 characters

Photo of rangerred
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle into a goblet.

Pours a nearly clear medium brown with a smallish half finger tan head. Ok head retention with pretty good lacing.

Aroma has quite a bit of tartness and cherries along with some vinegar. Barnyard in the background along with yeast. Of all these aromas, however, tart dark fruit really dominates.

The flavor really has a lot going on. Lots of tartness and dark fruit up front but there is a solid powdered cocoa flavor underneath that surprised me a little bit. Barnyard rises quickly next but it remains restrained. Quite acidic all the way through but has a slightly sticky finish. Carbonation is soft and high.

Overall, a tasty but not over the top complex brew. It would make a good introduction into the expansive world of wild Belgian beers.

 779 characters

Photo of kirok1999
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very dark pour, rocky head that gushes up the glass. Beautiful dark ruby.
Smells like an orchard on a sunny day. Tons of dark ripe fruit aging in the sun.
Taste is dark and plummy, sweet caramel, apples, raisins. The finish lingers for quite a while, and no surprise since it's such a heavy beer.
Definitely a sipper that can stand up to almost any food you'd want to pair it with.

 383 characters

Photo of macpapi
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle.

Duchesse De Bourgogne has a brownish-red body, with hints of purple and burgandy shades when held up to light; 1/2 inch white head; and very nice lacing.

Smell is a nice mixture of tart fruit (mainly cherries, though plum is faintly present as well) and ripe, full-bodied malt. There also seems to be a touch of molasses or other sugary sweetness present on the nose. This is a nice, full, and complex aroma.

On the palate, one is greeted with the nice mixture of sweetness, a sharp tart pull, and well-balanced malt. Fruitiness is more notable than malt (tart cherries, a bit of plum, and hints of apple), but in the end is not quite overwhelming. Tart elements are kept somewhat in check by the other participants in this flavor party.

Mouthfeel is pretty full, with somewhat high carbonation, and a bit of tarty bite. The overall heavy body is somwhat akin to a red wine.

On the whole, this is a nice and drinkable sour-type beer. Not overly tart, but packs much of the sour flavor profile that typically brings praise for this type of beer. Flavorful and pretty well-balanced. For me, this is a nice introduction to the style.

 1,151 characters

Photo of kiya
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

upon a hard pour i'm left with a great thick light tan head that holds it's shape and size quite well over the couple of minutes i let the beer sit to warm it up a bit.

this is easily one of the best smelling beers i've ever encountered.. a sweet smokey scent that is so pleasant i wish i had an air-freshner that smelled like this.

nothing could have prepared me for what happened when this stuff hit my tongue. the initial flavor is one of sickly sweet fermented berries, which mellows out quickly leaving a slight molasses flavor that gets sweeter the longer you roll the beer around your tongue. from the carbonation level to the strong sweet overtones work really well here, where as normally (tasting within the style of beer) i'm not so sure i'd be happy if a beer was this sweet without it being a lambic ale of sorts.

i absolutely love the smell, and would definitely go for this again...

 908 characters

Photo of HopsForBrains
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Heavy ruby-red color, voluminous notes of balsamic vinegar, taste is sweet with a nice finish. Overall this is really good beer but I would prefer it to be higher in alcohol content for what it's offering.

 205 characters

Photo of output01x
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330 mL. capped bottle (Best Before 09/11/2013) into a tulip glass.

A strong pour yields a 1 1/2-finger tan-colored head atop a clear cherry brown body with a great torrent of carbonation bubbles surging from the center of the glass. After about a minute-and-a-half, the head dissipates to a thick dusting and thick foam ring. Some decent lacing can be seen clinging to the glass throughout consumption.

Sour and slightly funky, the nose is primarily vinegar and wet wood. Notes of sour apples, black cherries, and raspberry soda are also noticeable.

Each sip starts with sweet and tart flavors of black cherries, raspberries, oak, and just a bit of barnyard funk. Swallowing the beer only increases the sour level and invites flavors of raspberry and cherry candy similar to Jolly Ranchers. These flavors may fade over time but they stick on the palate and linger indefinitely between sips.

Medium bodied with excessive carbonation, this beer fizzes like Alka Seltzer in Dr. Pepper. The body is full enough to allow the flavors to not only register on the taste buds but to stick around for a good bit as well. However, the body never becomes sticky or coating, thanks to the effervescent carbonation. Despite all the fizzing, the carbonation really doesn't detract from the experience much and really helps to keep this beer really drinkable.

 1,361 characters

Photo of Frosty80
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Color: pours brown. sits reddish-brown with great clarity

Smell: good balance of tart sourness and fruitiness. fruit reminiscent of black cherries and currants. a quick punch of spicy phenols up front with just a hint of solvent-like presence.

Taste: again, good balance of fruitiness and tartness. fruitiness of black cherries and currants with maybe a little strawberry. somewhat dry throughout from the acidity. like aroma, just a tinge of spicy alcohol and acetone. finish is balanced in all respects

Mouthfeel: light-medium body with moderate carbonation

Notes: so far not my favorite sour ale but definitely a category im falling in love with

 652 characters

Photo of SierraJosh
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of akolb
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a murky brown with a vibrant head. Aroma has red wine, cola, vinegar, caramelized sugar, cranberries, earthiness, and apple juice. Taste has sweetness up front that fades into moderate tartness. Sour cherries, caramel, granny smith apples, and wine. Effervescent, prickly carbonation. A deeply complex, exceptionally well-balanced sour.

 342 characters

Photo of drewsmindseye
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of uno99
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This might be the most available Flanders Red in the states, but here in Canada this is hard to come by (or any other Flanders for that matter). This is by chance available in a local bar, but I happened to get this one in a trade.

Poured at 55 degrees into the center of a Lucifer goblet.

A: a tightly foamed head quickly forms as the beer is poured. Almost one finger in height. Lacing is really good, and sticks to the glass like glue. Head seems to stick around for a while as well; it settles into soapy, clumpy mess on top of the beer. Body is deep mahogany -- almost rosewood.

S: This is maybe the 4th Flanders Red I've ever sampled, so I dont know the style super well, but this could be the most "in your face" example I've had. Yes there's some sourness; curdled milk or off ranch dressing, but it's also quite malty and sweet. The oak comes through pretty well but not a dominate figure in the crowd. I would say this is all about the medium colored fruits and cherry sweetness. Strip the sour note away and you might even convince someone its Dr. Pepper.

T: Sweetness is upfront, but sourness pulls a good showing. Lots of fruit suggestions as well as earthy and nutty hints. Quite complex actually.

M: Quite a sweet and sticky mess in the middle, but a little dry on the edges. Would be a good dessert type beer, not a main course pairing choice.

Overall: I really enjoyed this one, and might actually be my favorite Flanders Red.

 1,449 characters

Photo of scbrew
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark crimson-brown color with light tan head that dissipates quickly. Slight sour, very fruity aroma. Wonderfully balanced flavor between sweet and sour. Mild sour flavors with slight candied sweetness. Excellent body. Seemed like a bigger beer. Loved it!

 261 characters

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
4.1 out of 5 based on 4,220 ratings.
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