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 IPAcraig
4.72/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this from the botttle at Het Elfde Gebod in Amsterdam. Poured from the bottle into the proper glassware.

A - This pours a beautiful ruby brown. Small head, htat hung around ok.

Smell - I believe this is the first 5 I have given out. This is amazing. Bursting with aroma. A big sour aroma, followed by this huge sweetness. Amazing balance, amazing smell.

T - Just like the smell, it starts off with this great sour tartness, that is followed by this very nice, big sweetness, and then back to a sourness that lingers on your tounge. This is like a roller coaster for your tastebuds. Absolutely amazing. The taste of this beer doesnt reveal it self all at once, it slowly unfolds bit by bit.

A light mildly carbonated mouthfeel. This may possibly be my favorite beer. Not the most drinkable though. With such an intese flavor it may be hard to drink two of these back to back. But no matter, this is an amzing beer.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.03/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Duchesse- Flanders Red Ale

Appearance- Blood red with no head.
Smell- Strong white vinegar with sour cherries.
Taste- Sour cherry and grape with a backbine of malt vinegar.
Mouthfeel- Sour up front with a dry/ sweet malt vinegar finish.

Overall- A beer that went exceptional well with my salty fries.

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Photo of ski271
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Zeno’s in State College. Ruddy amber with a very small, off-white, foamy head. Vinous, medicinal, sweet smell with alcohol and tawny port-like aromas. Tastes is of sour fruit (most notably cherry) over a light malt backbone. It has a medium body and a slick texture. Flanders aren’t my thing, but going by style this one was pretty damn good! Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of jwff
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Best before 29/4/07.. I think I'll live. Pours reddish with brown edges and little head to speak of. Excellent clarity. Balsamic vinegar stands out backed up by sour cherries, sugar, wood, and roasty malts. Taste is upfront fermented cherries with a nice hit of sugar and tartness. Finishes oaky (guessing French Oak because of the name Bourgogne). Tiny bit of butter in the finish with slightly roasted malts. Light bodied and fantastically carbonated. I was afraid it would get too sweet but it's holding up nicely. Would love to try this fresh. IS THIS A FLANDERS RED???

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Photo of Nesued
4.77/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Clear, dark, amber/red, vibrant carbonation with a small head that both forms and retains for the duration of the time this beer spends in your glass.

Smell - Fruity, sweet aroma with a acetic (but not acerbic) presence. Musky presence as well.

Taste - What a complex taste. Both sweet and sour at the same time, with a balance to each. A robust carbonation allows for a fine retention of flavors long after the "taste" is gone. A malt base is added upon by the citrus/tart slightly acetic taste.

Mouthfeel - Retention is the key with this one. I was thrilled that the reminder of this beer was prolonged with the tartness lingering until I was able to replace the void left by the last sip.

Drinkability - Well, considering I'm on my second one, I think I've answered the question regarding drinability. This is one of my favorate Flanders Red Ales, passed only by a Vichtenaar. I cannot wait to purchase more which thankfully is now allowed in my state. I find this beer a overall complex and well staged representation of what a Flanders Red Ale should be. Now, pairing this with mussels and surrounding myself with the rustic feel of Monk's Cafe' in Phili would be my only change. Please pass another.

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Photo of willjschmidt
3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330 ml bottle into my Duchesse De Bourgogne glass. Bottle marked "best before 19-09-07".

A: A dark reddish brown color with a thin and quickly receding light tan head. Lots of lacing.

S: Some wine-like aromas: sour & acidic berries with some malt as well.

T: Slightly sweet and rather tart cherries come across in the flavor. It is smooth at first with the sour tartness dominating the aftertaste. A bit mouth puckering in the end. There are also some malt flavors evident that seem to come and go. There's really a lot going on with the flavors in this beer.

M: Light and fine carbonation, medium mouthfeel and slightly syrupy.

D: It's and easy drinking beer, one that would pair well with food. Definitely one of the more unique beers that I've ever had. A testament to the range and complexity that beers can achieve.

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Photo of pittvkyle7
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very dark with a good white head. The color becomes much more red when the light hits it, but looks black in the shade.

Smells sweet and berry like, alcohol present too.

wow big sweet cherry taste with some vinegar like grape to it. very tart with no bitterness. Has a great white wine taste to it. I wish I had some food to pair it with.

good drinkability, left you wanting more, the low carbonation really made it feel like you were drinking wine.

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Photo of Reidrover
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml expiration date June 2008 Dark brown beer, with garnet acents, nice sized tan head Aroma, sour, cherries, apple cider vinegar, soor plooms, Fruity, juicy flavours with a cutting wine like sourness, some vinegar, a little "funk", very different and very intresting stuff. Nice on the palate, quite carbonated,but works well with the flavours. Very nice drink, easy for me to drink, though i can see were many would totally dissaprove!

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Photo of mpyle
4.34/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Best before 06-06-08, so a year ahead of "expiration date".

app - Lovely reddish-brown color with sparkling clarity. Large, creamy, off-white head lingers nicely, leaving lace in its wake.

smell - A bit vinegar-like, and a sour berry smell dominates. Pleasant, but a bit simple and one-dimensional.

flavor - a dark berry fruity sweetness and a competing sour dryness. Overall balance slightly sweet. Hop flavor nonexistent as appropriate for style, hop bitterness not clearly evident (but providing some balance).

MF - medium body and low-to-med carbonation. A gentle astringency from the red wine-like finish, but in style. No alcohol warming.

O'all/drinkability - A beautiful looking, beautiful tasting beverage. Lovely mnelding of fruity sweetness and aged beer sourness, with tremendous balance. Given the price (think my 11.2 oz bottle was about $4) and nature of the brew, not one that will be a pounding session beer, but highly drinkable for a sour (in my view).

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Photo of Bierman9
3.71/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed from an 11.2oz bottle, with a best before date of 19Jan08. Label says 6.0% abv....

Poured into a small tulip glass, the Duchesse has a lovely, clear, deep ruby hue. Luscious! Head is beige and steady at about 1/4", fine and tight. Carbonation heads topside at a regular pace, and lacing left behind is superb. Great looking bier! The nose is tart and cherryish, yet show sweetness at the same time as sourness. Very nice. Body for the Duchesse was a smidge under medium, with a light, bubbly, airy feel on the tongue. Not overly prickly, though.

Flavor has sweetness, with a syrupy cherry character at the start. Quite good at the outset, though in mid- to late-sip a funky, bitter aspect kicks in. Has some vinegar and woody traits, and reminds me somewhat of the horse-blanket flavor some Belgians have. Though not overly off-putting, it does put a damper on what was a great start to the flavor profile. Finish is crisp and dry. Still, tastes rather nice, all in all.

Zum Wohl!

overall: 3.9
appearance: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | mouthfeel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5

986

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Photo of icemonkey908
3.82/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap as a guest beer from town hall. Served in a 10oz glass. A very dark beer that reveals dark red undertones when help to the light. Very clear.

The smell is very strong. A strong cherry scent is evident along with an overall sweet aroma. The flavor is also very strong of cherry with some mild tartness. This beer is very sweet and very tingly on the tongue An interesting combination for sure.

Overall, this beer is a little sweet for my tastes so that detracts from the drinkability, but the distinct flavor and intriguing aroma are qualities that are hard to ignore. Not an everyday beer, but definitely one to try from time to time.

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Photo of kms910
4.6/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted at the World Beer Festival Raleigh, NC

I wondered why so many bragged about this beer. I bought a bottle some time ago and never opened it.

Finally, I see why everyone is as amazed by the Duchesse as they call her. This beer is unbelievable, a must if you trying a Flemish Red for the first time or any time. I had no idea how much I was going to enjoy this.

A: deep, dark red almost – a barely there foam followed me down my glass

S: cherries, prunes, or raisins and other dark fruits

T: it’s a little sweeter than the smell with a gentle sour bite at the end – perfect

M: Beautiful in the mouth, crisp & creamy....how has this escaped me for so long?

D: Definitely a good beer, robust flavor with a substantial depth to it. I will definitely be drinking this more often.

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Photo of bosco7
4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

33cl bottle purchased from BevMo. Kind of dusty and a best before date of 9-9-06 (today is 4-29-07) not too worried.

Dull dark brown with some red. Nice head retention.

Red wine like aromas, cherries, oak, and lots of twang.

Sweet upfront with heavy cherry flavors, prune, and finishes with a mild tartness. Very nice balance between sweet and sour components. Tastes great. Although I forget that I am drinking a beer.

Chewy mouthfeel with almost divine carbonation tickling the tongue. It is a well attenuated beer with great balance making it very drinkable, however I could only drink one. Very interesting; I have had nothing like this beer before. Some might be turned off by the sourness but I love it.

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Photo of jbsteiny
4.48/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was intrigued by the “Flemish Red” on the menu at The Blind Tiger, and this beer blew me away. Looked almost like a hazy glass of port – a beautiful dark ruby color – but for the slight head – less than 1 cm of white sparse foam which laced nicely down the sides of the tulip glass. My entire table insisted that it smelled of vinegar, and it’s true that the primary note in the nose was basalmic red wine vinegar, but I also got Granny Smith and sherry. (My buddy Zack kept saying, “Yeah, but it’s a beer that smells like a salad.”)

Unbelievable complexity. I had no idea what the ABV was, but I was sure of two things: I could drink this all night, and if I did, I wouldn’t make it to work the next day. Tart & tannic, the Burgundy Duchess took me on a rollercoaster of taste starring sweet and sour red fruit. I don’t know what else exactly, but there was an earthiness and a floral element to boot. Again, I was blown away. A dry finish to what could have been a pucker-inducing glass, as well as an alcohol content masked by the sourness, only add to its high marks. Not something I would drink every night (or would I?), but an amazing treat for when I’ve been good.

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Photo of Sprows
4.27/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled at Flying Saucer - Columbia, SC.

11.2oz bottle (with lovely damsel on the label) poured into a tulip glass. Deep brownish-red, with a thin, lingering head. Full aroma, with apple overtones and some acidity.

Complex tart flavor, again like apples. Sweet off the bat, with a bold tart and sour taste following. Tastes & feels hearty, as Flemish ales will.

A pleasingly tasty and smooth beer, good for meals/cheese pairings (gruyere in this instance), sessions, etc. Hearty enough to enjoy in cold months, and refreshing enough to be pleasing in summer months. Excellent change-of-pace choice, and good for sharing. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Illini5596
3.73/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Excellent beer, strong fruit flavors, almost grape like, with a spicyness and definite effervescent feel. The taste is a nice mix of tart and smooth, with a sharpness in the aftertaste. While I really love this beer, it isn't one I'd have every day, or even every month. It has a bit of a thick and sticky mouthfeel, and isn't as drinkable as I would like, when compared to the excellent taste.

A good one to try and have on rare occasions.

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Photo of duncan9idaho
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Nice dark brown color with surprisingly light colored head. At first whiff it reminded me of very expensive balsamic vinegar and strong cider without the spice. My first taste was taken slow and a small amount because I figured this sour brown was gonna do a number on my palate. Much to my surprise The sourness did not trash my mouth as New Belgium's La Folie did the first time. A little more acid then most but flavors of apple cider, balsamic vinegar, sweet dried fruits, with tart finish on the backsides of the tongue. Better to be enjoyed out of the 4 pack if drinking alone or shared with a friend if enjoying a 750 ml.

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Photo of mjc410
3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass at Pizzeria Paradiso in Georgetown, Washington, DC. This brew left very sticky, lasting lacing, despite having only a thin ring of bubbles comprising its head. The bubbles were light tan, and the body was a translucent ruby-brown. The nose was led by grapes, then cherries, a touch of vinegar, and pepper. Very nice! The taste wsa quite similar, and pretty dry, and quality overall, but with a bit too much acidity. The body was medium-light, with also a light but tingly carbonation. A bit harsh, but still enjoyable.

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Photo of jmc44
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark, deep brownish-red, with a rocky offwhite head that sticks around forever.

Fruity aroma, apples, acidic, a bit of sweet malt and hints of earthiness.

Taste is complex. A great balance of malty sweetness with a strong tart flavor, like sour cherries, apples, and a hint of raisins and dark fruit. Light and sweet at first, followed by the pronounced tart and sour taste. Surprisingly clean finish.

Medium-bottled, fairly highly carbonated, smooth. A very good beer, very complex and yet well balanced.

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Photo of SiphonKing
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

delicious sour red from the Flanders region of Belgium. The sweet and sour creates a delicious feel on the tounge and goes down smoothly. Hop bitterness is minimal if at all with the sour shining through. A classic example of the Flanders style and worth looking out for.

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Photo of kernalklink
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

My first experience in the flemish art of brewing- new and exciting. Brew poured a deep dark mahogany, with a slighlty effervescent head. Aromas were strong on malts- sweet molasses, somewhat yeasty finish with an almost vine-like quality. Taste was big- my mouth puckered as the big sweetness was replaced by dry sourness. A combination of dried raisens, cherries and aged balsamic. Tingling carbonation allowed the earthy woodiness to come through and beat down the sourness somewhat. Heavy bodied in my opinion, it had the qualities of a good port with a sour kick. I had to sip this one, as my palate was overwhelmed. A must-try, but i expect it would take a more refined palate to make this one a go to brew.

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Photo of Bobikel
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - A very clear deep red with an extremely rocky head that dissapates and leaves a little lacing in its wake.

Smell - Deep maltyness and an apple like tartness give way to some black pepper, earthy notes.

Taste - Semi sweet with a mild sourness persisting. Grassy and fruity.

Mouthfeel - Slick and oily. Light carbonation.

Drinkability - Fairly easy drinking, although a little to sweet for much more than one glass. More carbonaiton would help here.

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Photo of jletts
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appeared dark amber with a strong, smooth frothy one-finger head that shrank but never totally dissipated during the duration of the taste. Smelled strongly of apples, sour cherry, some sweet dark fruit, and a little yeast. The taste centered on apples, pears and a little sour cherry- very strong on the sour apple flavor. A champagne-like effervescence filled the mouth until the very end. This beer is highly carbonated. Very good drinkability, a nice red sour-style and I would definitely drink a few if I had more.

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Photo of ColoradoBobs
4.94/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at the Falling Rock Tap House, Denver, CO, March 16, 2007, served in a lovely brandy-snifter sized tulip glass.

Appearance: Minimal head over a dark burgundy body. Pretty. Crimson highlights around the edge. Even though the head is smallish, it lasts and lasts and lasts. A bit of lacing.

Lovely sour-cherry and cardamom smell, with a candy-sugar background. Some sweet maltiness is there as well. Smells great. Hope it tastes this good!

Taste does not disappoint, although it's bit sweeter than the smell. Like a light red sparkling wine, with a malty backbone. Wow. What a delight. Sour, but not mouth-puckering. Delightful cherry notes, with some clove and cardamom. Very complex, and the sweetness advances as the beer warms a bit. Wonderful taste! Not quite a 5.0, but more like a 4.9!

Mouthfeel is surprisingly chewy for a 6.2% beer. Nice tingly carbonation -- makes you want to swirl and chew before swallowing.

Really very drinkable. I was surprised. This is only the second Flanders Red I've had (the first being LaFolie, which was so exceedingly sour it was like vinegar -- way too sour for me!), and I was very pleased. Now that I've had this on tap, I'll be looking for it in the bottle to compare.

Oddly enough, I found the sometimes rotten service at FRTH to be exceptionally cordial and efficient. I was sitting at the bar, and was just finishing a Hercules DIPA (ON CASK!), and asked the guy to recommend something at the opposite end of the spectrum from the Hercules, and he gave me a 3-ounce sample of this, which motivated purchasing a 12 ounce glass. What a great beer!

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.28/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

My very first sour ale. I was not sure what to expect going in, but definatly knew what it was about when it was done!

Poured a deep dark brown, with lots of reddish hints to it, making it almost seem a dull burnt orange in bright light. A huge billowing white head faded quickly, but left a nice film of lace about the top for most of the glass. The smell was probably the strongest I have ever smelled in a beer. Almost knocked me over. Huge flavors of sour grapes and apples, lots of fruity hints in there, and very very strong, really like nothing I have ever smelled. The taste was unbelievably sour. Like sour candy sour, huge flavors, too much for me. Actually made my eyes water with every sip. Very light mouth feel, and great carbonation were nice, and helped it go down smoothly, but was not really my cup of tea. Flavors were big, grapes, apples, peaches, raisins, plums, very very complex and fruity. Overall I did not enjoy it, but I am not sure if this was due t o the style or this particular brew. I will have to try a couple more to get a better feel, but this one was rough on me. I could see how someone would like its deep complex character, just not me.

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