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:
929
For Trade:
16
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,269 |  Reviews: 1,541
Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

Photo of Knapp85
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This ale poured out as a fizzy looking deep red color with a light tan colored head on it. The head didn't last very long and neither did the lacing. The color was great on this beer though. The aroma of oak wood and fermented cherries on the nose giving this quite a sour profile. The taste is exactly what the smell told me. The flavors in this beer are big a powerful upfront with tart cherry and fresh oak. The aftertaste settles into a more semi-sweet and very nice yeasty cherry flavor. The mouthfeel is bubbly and kind of thin but didn't bother me. Overall this is probably one of my favorite sours, I'm not really into this style too much but I'll admit I did enjoy this brew.

 684 characters

Photo of t0rin0
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at the Lucky Baldwins 10th Annual Belgian fest on 2/15/09.

Pours a dark hazy red. Medium lacing, low retention, white head.

Aroma is of sweet and sour cherries, a touch of vinegar, and crystal malts.

Flavor is of sour cherries, a little vinegar, red ale, and possibly some lactic acid. Tart and sweet. Not real complex but very nice. Medium bitternes.

Medium body, very drinkable and enjoyable.

 414 characters

Photo of nmann08
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of metter98
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured very dark red into a snifter glass with a white head that died down quickly. Judging from the bubbles, the level of carbonation appears to be light to moderate.
S: There's a distinct aroma of sour fruit with subtle notes of sweetness.
T: Like the smell, there's sourness in the taste but there's also an equal amount of fruity sweetness; the mix between sweet and sour flavors is rather refreshing on the palate.
M: The beer feels medium-bodied and smooth on the palate.
D: The sweetness balancing some of the sourness makes this very drinkable and refreshing.

 570 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.27/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

In the honor of the Duchess of Burgundy, a unique sweet and sour taste emerges in ale form- an unfailing choice for the curious palate to venture into the sour family, but with the malty-sweet support and a rich fruit flavor to balance its acidity. Its utmost complexity and refreshment is reserved for those who refine their palate but are tentative about sourness.

This Flanders red ale's tawny pour of browns, reds, and haze carry an inherent wine-like, cognac appearance that's shyly adorned with the daintiest of foam stance which It's similar to delicate coffee-like creme.

The nose is met with complex and succulent character that remind that strikes the olfactory senses with balsamic, chocolate, black cherry, weathered wood, soy sauce, red wine, and sherry wine. The sweet and sour interplay seems something much more of French reductions or Chinese cuisine than it does of beer.

Flavors are a dynamic sweet and sour interplay of to tart berries, mild toast but more so of vinous wine, savory umami character, lemon-like acidity,- its sour and savory combination can go on and on. Every point of flavor has a counterpart to balance, which carry the beer across the palate with a multitude of intrigue and wonderment.

Medium bodied, but the beer's tepid but acidic sourness makes the beer seem somberly tart while the succulent cherry and cocoa allow for a soft weight to be felt. Its moderate carbonation allows the beer to seep into the softer mouth tissues for fuller flavor but also ushers in a dry woodsy finish of crab apples with mild vinegary astringency.

Well balanced throughout, but the beer's sweeter and fruitier side buffers against any abrupt sourness which gives it a restrained property that not only challenges the palate, but soothes it with ample wine sweetness and toasty malts.

 1,815 characters

Photo of biboergosum
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle. So, like a gueuze, but not a Gueuze, eh? Screwy old-world denominations.

This beer pours a clear, rather dark reddish cola amber hue, with two pudgy fingers of foamy and soapy beige head, which takes a fair while to melt away, leaving some chunky, splotchy, and honeycombed lace around the glass for its efforts.

It smells of sour fruit esters - cherry, lemon, and apple - with more than a bit of sharp acetic acid, some timid boozy oak barrel notes, and a faint pale malt sweetness. The taste is big sweet and sour fruitiness - black currants, cherry, apple - further sugary caramel malt, and a burgeoning oaken vanilla woodiness. Some leafy, earthy bitterness loiters after the fact.

The carbonation is quite low-key, the body a solid, and fairly smooth medium weight, the echoes of abstracted fruit strangely doing no harm. It finishes off-dry, with the overarching fruitiness fully opening up to the yin and yang of tartness and sweetness.

A rather complex and sexy offering, the sourness alluring enough to draw one in, but not too pungent to outstay its welcome. In the end, one has to describe this as a more sweet than sour, tasty tipple, a testament to the balance of things.

 1,202 characters

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 emerge077
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

All food and balsamic vinegar references aside, this is a great introductory Flemish Red Ale. If you dig sweeter Belgians, go for this, if not, try Rodenbach. If neither float your boat, do us all a favor and don't review these beers until you have some point of reference, or at the very least read the style description.

From the 750mL bottle at cellar temperature, this ale pours a clear reddish-brown. Ever-present lacing is stable, and remains for the duration of the glass.

Smells a touch sweet, plums, fruit, nuts, unique farmhouse yeast. A metallic iron note offsets the fruitiness.

Taste follows the smell, fairly sweet fruit, very mild tartness that doesn't much compare to Rodenbach and the like. Slight residual mustiness and iron/copper notes.

Fairly thin mouthfeel, even carbonation keeps things lively. Drinkability is big if you can dig the style. A 750 is no problem in one sitting...

 907 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a deep garnet color with a nice head that retains fairly well and dots the chalice

Smell: Balsamic vinegar, sour cherry, pomegranite and lactobacillus

Taste: Starts with a sweet grape juice and sour cherry element that balances perfectly along with the added dimension of vanilla oak; after the swallow, balsamic vinegar and caramel elements creep in to add complexity; sour and bitter flavors compete at the finish, but the underlying sweetness is also apparent

Mouthfeel: Medium body, slightly creamy; moderate carbonation

Drinkability: The quintessential Flanders Red; I could sip on it for hours

 621 characters

Photo of oline73
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a dark reddish amber to brown. Two fingers of white head go away but leave some lacing.

Smell: Sweet and sour with hints of fruit and caramel.

Taste: Tastes like a sour caramel apple. Fruity notes with a mild sourness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a dry finish.

Drinkability: I like this beer, but it is a bit too sweet for a sour ale in my opinion.

 407 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of dmorgan310
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark red brew with a medium head. Sour taste with a distinct cherry flavor which is coming from the oak. Very impressive control of the flemish style. Alcohol taste is not evident at all. I could drink this at any point in time. One of the best flemish sour ales that I've had the chance to taste.

 297 characters

Photo of zeff80
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a chalice/snifter. It was a dark brown with flecks of red. It had a tan, two-finger head that left nice rings of lace.

S - It smelled of sour cherries and malt.

T - It tasted very sour with a little sweet kick. There was a good dosage of malt, too.

M - It was crisp and sharp. It was medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very good beer. It's the first Flanders Red Ale that I've tried and I really liked it.

 432 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of LXIXME
3.94/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of largadeer
3.43/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Dark reddish amber, not far from a dubbel in appearance. The cloudy tan head never lets up.

Smell: An intensely sweet aroma escaped from the bottle as soon as I uncapped it, which was initially a bit off-putting. A bit of swirling reveals sour cherries, molasses and vanilla.

Taste: Cherries again, red apple, grape, vanilla, oak and brown sugar. The taste has a sweet/sour dynamic, leaning a bit toward the sweet.

Mouthfeel: On the lighter side of medium-bodied, this goes down pretty easily, but it becomes a bit syrupy. Gentle but abundant carbonation tingles the tongue.

Not bad for a sweeter Flanders red, but I greatly prefer this style more dry and sour.

 677 characters

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, best before 5/2014. Pours crystal clear dark reddish brown color with a 2 finger fairly dense and fluffy cream colored with with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice dense foamy lacing clings on the glass, with plenty of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of green apple, cherry, raspberry, pear, apple skin, floral, hay, grass, oak, light vinegar, light red wine, funk, and grassy earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity notes; with moderate malt sweetness and good strength. Taste of lightly tart cherry, raspberry, apple, pear, hay, grass, pepper, light vinegar, oak, light red wine, light funk, and grassy earthiness. Slight fruity and earthy tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark and light fruits, hay, grass, floral, light vinegar, light red wine, oak, and grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of fruity and spicy notes; with a moderate malt balance and zero cloying sweetness present after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a smooth, crisp, and lightly prickly mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with zero warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Flanders red ale. Very nice complexity and balance of flavors; and very smooth and crisp to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,412 characters

Photo of mothman
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev -2.4%

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

Carefully poured from a long-standing bottle it's a surprisingly clear, reddish-brown with orange-ish highlights. The light tan head rises up full at first, but thins shortly. The thin cap, however, holds to the end of the serving - no doubt buoyed by effervescent carbonation - and leaves some noteable lace. The aroma is soft with sugary sweet dark fruit (cherry, raspberry, plum) and an array of gentle lactic notes including vinegar, leather, and barnyard. It's also a touch of vegetal character, and the combination of sugar sweet and vinegar leaves it with a note that's oddly similar to ketchup. It's not bad, but it's sweeter, more chalky, and much less sour than many of the examples from the historic town of Oudenaarde. The body is light but with some dextrins, and offers a crisp and zesty mouthfeel from a very fine, effervescent carbonation. The flavor starts with a combination of tart, sharp fruit (raisin, raspberry, prune, currant, sour cherry) and sweetish caramelized sugar at the front of the mouth, leading into a more winey character with a big woody note and sweet maltiness at mid swallow. It finishes a bit chalky and dry, with a light stickiness throughout the mouth and a sweet & tart note on the tip of the tongue - sometimes followed by an earthy, musty and acidic burp. A very good beer in the Oud Bruin style, posessing a solid oak character and good fruitiness, but possibly a touch sweet. Overall, quite enjoyable.

 1,448 characters

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