Duchesse De Bourgogne | Brouwerij Verhaeghe

BA SCORE
92
outstanding
1,523 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:
1,523
Ratings:
4,186
Avg:
4.1
pDev:
14.15%
 
 
Wants:
239
Gots:
895
For Trade:
16
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,523 | Ratings: 4,186
Photo of scruffwhor
3.2/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a light, red wine color with a hint of brown. Smelled a bit like red wine, but with a slight hop nuance and cherry lambic tartness. Tasted very sour, this was my first Flanders Red Ale, so I didn't know what to expect. Reminded of a cherry lambic, something I would have after dinner with a tart torte. Could also taste some winey grape notes as well. Mouthfeel was light but with an unexpected tartness, I wouldn't have more than one of these 750ml bottles in a day.

 474 characters

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

25.4oz bottle best before June 09. Drank this with dinner and after last night

A: Pours a deep crimson with a soft one-finger light brown head.

S: A blend of vinegar and oaky sweetness, this one is simple but still delicious. I don't care much for the sweeter Flanders Reds but this is one that impressed me

T: Starts off mildly sour and vinegary before a pleasing sweetness takes over. Finishes with a hint of oak and a little dry

M: Well carbonated, fullish in body, almost like a dessert-wine but solid

D: I enjoyed my bottle and will drink this again and soon

 569 characters

Photo of bark
4.37/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The colour is dark red-brown; the liquid is clear. The low off white foam slowly sinks down leaving a small amount of lacing.

The smell is… Ehhh… Different. Sticky sour notes chemical of acetone, red fruits, barrel-aged flavours, some bitterness and a hint of chocolate. Cool.

The taste is very complex, yet balanced and smooth. The first very sour chemical flavour passes quickly leaving room for a fruity sweet note: Red apples, cherries, raspberries, strawberries… There is a mild sour note with some earthy flavours and a growing matured flavour of wood and strong wines. The aftertaste is fruity and sweet with a gentle low bitterness.

The carbonation is medium strong with lots of short-lasting small fresh bubbles. The liquid is creamy and a little bit thick.

I have never tasted anything like this. Much more fruity and matured than the fruit Lambics, still it is very sour and chemical.

 913 characters

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

750mL corked and caged champagne-style bottle, with best by date on cork. poured into snifter

appears a deep dark brown with creamy head. but head up to light, a brilliant garnet color. head coats to the end, and great lacing.

funky aroma, a little musty and sweetness. but not off-putting.

taste is slightly sour start, but finishes more like a biscuity malty brown ale. complex and very enjoyable.

extremely smooth mouthfeel. couldn't be better.

I thought this beer had a great reputation, and it did not disapoint.

 524 characters

Photo of DrJay
3.76/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep ruby colour with a bit of brown topped by a pale tan head. Good lacing made up of very fine bubbles. Tart aroma with some fruity esters and a bit of tobacco. There's a hint of solventy alcohol here that was slightly distracting, but diminished somewhat with time. Syrupy sweetness balances the fruity tartness quite nicely - almost like candy. Dry finish. Very fine carbonation, full mouthfeel and palate coating. Quite nice overall. The sweet and tart combination in the flavour really works. Thanks Viggo!

 512 characters

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.

 884 characters

Photo of Jwale73
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz. bottle served in my ST tulip. Best before 10-07-09 indicated on the label (whoops). Pours a hazy chestnut brown with a loose, one inch, tan-colored head embedded with tiny ringlets. Burgundy highlights are revealed when backlit, and head eventually settles into a solid quarter inch cap revealing porous bands of lacing. Nose is very rich and complex - tart fruit, a little vinegary, a hint of vanilla and a vinous quality; somewhat reminiscent of a cabernet. There also seem to be traces of spice (cinnamon and...) and cork intermingled with the other aromas. Taste consistent with nose - distinctive aromas coalesce nicely into a complex brew; maybe with some traces of wood expressed in the flavor profile, as well as muted atomic fireballs at the finish. Mouthfeel is light-medium (but closer to light), with an even carbonation level that falls shy of lively and a finish that falls just short of semi-dry. Having never had this before, I can't tell if it's really past it's prime, but I have to say that I found it interesting and complex - a nice introduction to sours for those new to the style in my opinion.

 1,125 characters

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

Pours a ruby red/brown, medium off white head forms, lots of lace, head goes in not too long. Smell is sour cherries, caramel, yeast, sweet malt, acidity. Taste is a strange mix, sugary at first, cherries, then a super sour/acidic hit. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with low carbonation, nice and creamy. Crazy sour/acidity, but great, would definately try again.

 361 characters

Photo of StJamesGate
3.84/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Deep chestnut with creamy beige head that fades to film.
Balsamic, cranberry, wood and dark candy sugar.
Raspberry vinagrette, a speck of chocolate, a vanilla oak hit and berry jam.
Winey finish and tart cherry skin linger.
Medium, chewy, creamy but clean.

Surprisingly sweet, some vinegar and wood but lots of red fruit sugar. Expected Brett or at least some big yeast but there's no funk at all. Oud Bruin more than Flanders Red.

Nice, just not so interesting.

 470 characters

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

Was fairly excited the first time I tried this, heard it was one of the all time classics. Poured equal parts light brown and dull red with a little bit of head formation. Aroma was a heavy wood and proportional sweet and sour.

Taste, the sour was very minimal was my first reaction, the sweet a little more than ideal for me, to say the least, and any degree of soggy wood, much less to that extent wasn't built to leave me all that impressed. Some flanders just don't have that acidic or fruity bite, and this be one of those. Decently covers up the alcohol, but doesn't impart really any appreciable tartness. Not enough carbonation. If anything I'd say I pull out some cocoa powder and toffee over flavors more often associated with something sour.

If there was fruit, it was that raisin and plum thing, as if it were made with tea. Sorry, I just don't see what the fuss about this one is.

 895 characters

Photo of maximum12
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Have heard a few songs of praise from the raised voices of local BAs about the Duchesse, so when I found myself at the Lowertown Bulldog for lunch, it seemed a good time to introduce myself. Good afternoon, Duchesse.

Amberish pour with little to no evident carbonation, she just lay there flat & still. Smell was sharp, tangy.

My taste buds shouted in surprise when the Duchesses arrived; I was expecting a sour blast, but instead she came with tartness, & a clean feel of sparkling grape juice (which I've always loved!). The expected sourness was nowhere to be found, only a Bottle Cap-like sweetness mixed in with the tart grape/cherry/fruits. A second sip confirmed all of this & more, & I was happy. The wife took a sip & was sad she didn't have a glass, too.

Drinkability? Damn straight. Down like kiddee Kool-Aid. My mouth might pucker up in protest after two, but it'd be worth it.

This is nothing at all like the only other Flanders Red I tried, but an excellent beer that could easily be utilized as a gateway to craft or Belgians. Duchesse, I bow to you, & hope we meet again.

 1,095 characters

Photo of Suds
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Now this is something interesting! I completely didn’t expect the flavor of this brew.
It pours a dark, deep, rich brown and red. The carbonation is extreme, contributing to a huge, soft, tan head. Amazing lace. The aroma is wild and strange…both acid and sugar, yeast, cherries, smoke, berries, candy, vinegar, and countless other sensations. Wooo….the smell alone is dizzying with complexity. The taste is out of this world….sweet and sour…cloying and mouth-puckering. It’s a mashed-up dichotomy of unexpected flavors. Again, extraordinary strange….I can see that this one’s not going to be for everyone. Thin to medium mouthfeel, with a lot of prickly effervescence. I personally didn’t find it extremely drinkable….it’s an experience, and good (without a doubt), but it’s also tongue-taxing and the acidity got to me.

 834 characters

Photo of jrallen34
3.6/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I drank this from a 750 ml bottle into a chalice.

This poured a light brown, almost a coca-cola that had its ice melted. It had a brown head that went away quickly with little lacing.

This beer is totally overwhelmed by its flavor which is dominated by vinegar. It is very tart with light notes of cherry.

It tastes ok, but the smell overshadows the taste. It is a light complex flavor, but nothing special for this red.

 423 characters

Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Cola colored body very clear throughout the body. Off-white head that dissipated quickly but some mild lacing was present.

Smell: Allmost wine-ish smell. Hints of vinegar, oak, plums, caramel, sour apples and cherries. Some mild spices present.

Taste: Starts off with a smooth caramelish taste. The fruits and spices come in to excite the palate. The finish is again the caramel with the lingering spices and mild tartness

Mouthfeel: Mild carbonation and silky smooth feel. NIce coating in the mouth. Almost cidery.

Drinakbility: Well I definitely plan on having another of these and saving the last 2 for company at some point. I could see this going very well with a dessert.

 701 characters

Photo of champ103
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a mahogany, almost dark brown color. A one finger beige head forms. Rings of sticky lace are left behind.
S: Wow! One of the most unique aromas I have come by. Buttery, musky, sour, tart malt. Some dark fruits and oak. Very unique and interesting. It doesn't quit mesh right for me, but I love how unique this is.
T: Buttery and sweet malt. Slightly sour fruits of apples and cherries. A tannin/wine like grape flavor with some oak. Some warming alcohol.
M/D: A medium body that is creamy and well carbonated. This is not that high in alcohol, though it is noticeable. Combine that with the sweet and sour character, one bottle is plenty for a night.

I have heard that this is very much like wine. I would have to agree with that opinion, and add that I would take this any day over wine. So complex, and very unique. This should be shown off to every wine geek to show the depth and range of this amazing beverage.

 925 characters

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.

 448 characters

Photo of Darkmagus82
4.01/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a chestnut color with some ruby highlights seen shinning throughout. Upon pouring there is a small white head that fades relatively quickly leaving only a trace of lace.

Smell- The aroma is of dark fruit and sourness. The dark fruits are mainly of a cherry aroma, but have hints of raisin and prune mixed within. Along with these sweeter smells comes a good dose of a sour and tart aroma of a mix of apple cider vinegar mixed with some sour lemon.

Taste – The flavor of the brew is a nice blending of sweet and sour/tart. Upfront there is a good showing of a sweeter cherry flavor mixed with some lighter notes of sour grapes. As the flavor advances the sweetness fades slightly while the sour grape flavor grows stronger. Some hints of a yeasty taste begin coming to the tongue as well as a more sour and tart vinegar taste. In the end a rather balanced sweet and sour fruited vinegar flavor is left to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel- The body of the brew is on the thinner side with a carbonation level that is rather average to slightly below average. The thinner body and moderate carbonation are fantastic for keeping the brew on the more drinkable side, but while still providing enough body to support the sour and sweet flavors of the brew.

Overall – A very nice sour that is extremely drinkable and very tasty. One of the most balanced and enjoyable sours I have ever had.

 1,458 characters

Photo of Rutager
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 330cl bottle with a bb date of 28/07/2013

Appearance. Pours a rich and deep red-amber with almost a finger of off-white head that settles, but sticks around and leaves some nice chunky lace.

Smell. Sour cherries and spoiled apples and banannas with a bit of woody funk. It smells better than that sounded...

Taste. Cherries again along with strawberries, sweet apples, a little malt vinegar and just a bit of musty funk and fresh cut hardwood.

Mouthfeel. Medium body, full carbonation.

Overall. Great stuff. Maybe just a little sweet, but tastes gooood.

 572 characters

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into little hotel glasses. The beer was more brown than red and had an off-white almost brown foam. The smell was sour and had a hint of vinegar aroma (better than it sounds).

This is one of the better tasting Flanders Reds I've had. The flavor was sweet with a sour after-taste. Absolutely perfect pairing of flavors.

Get this beer if you like sour ales. I'd recommend it even if you think you don't like the style.

 452 characters

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Like hammer09, I bought this beer because my wife liked the label (and I like Belgians). It was a 750ml bottle with an expiration date of 06/08 on the cork. The label describes it as a red-brown ale from the West Flanders region. It is a blend of ales aged 8 and 18 months in oak casks. It was truly reddish-brown in color, with a medium off-white head. Nothing outstanding about the aroma, mostly sweet. The taste, though, was exciting. Sweet, dark fruit, with a little chocolate. As it warmed up, it became spicy. I loved it. Good mouthfeel, very drinkable. A little on the sweet side, so maybe no more than the 750 in one sitting.

Had a chance to try this on tap recently at Ebenezer's Pub in Lovell, ME. Even better, more complex.

 737 characters

Photo of glid02
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at the Brick Store in Atlanta.

Pours a clear dark ruby color with a one-finger off-white head with a rose tint. The head sticks around for quite a while before receding into a thin layer on top and a thick ring around the glass. Lacing is pretty heavy.

Smells sweet and sour, mostly cherries with some sour apple mingling in there as well.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Equal parts of sweet and sour flavors up front, again mostly cherries, that has a slightly tart ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's very light and the carbonation makes it almost airy. Very nice.

Drinkability is good. It's not the most flavorful Flanders Red that I've had but it's solid.

Overall I enjoyed this one. The mouthfeel makes it very light and refreshing. Give this one a shot if you see it around.

 800 characters

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

Mahogany color, bright, with ruby edges. Beige foam, good and creamy.
Malty smell, acicic, red fruit, strawbeery, raspberry, and sugar. And all on good acidic notes.
In the mouth a good acetic acidity, agai red fruit, oak notes, candy sugar. Good.
Light body. Great drinkability.
In the aftertaste the same pleasant note, a strong oak woody-ness, red fruit, and the acetic over all.
Definitely good, to drink in great quantity.

 427 characters

Photo of AgentMunky
3.49/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 33cL bottle into a tulip glass at the J. Clyde in Birmingham.

A: Short-lived white head. Gorgeous, translucent red-brown.

S: Super-strong balsamic vinegar. Completely overwhelming.

T: It *tastes* like balsamic vinegar(ette). Some tart fruit (raspberries, strawberries) seems to be present as well. Very strange. My initial revulsion has fled, and the beer grows on me quickly.

M: Spritzy and delicious.

O: An interesting beer. Far too vinegary. I was recommended this beer multiple times as an introduction to sours, but it's simply not my thing.

 565 characters

Photo of ArrogantB
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this beautiful lady into a snifter. It was dark brown with ruby red tints at the edges. The head was a decent 2cm and had some staying power. The head also coated the sides of the glass as I swirled it, nice. The aroma was a little sweet and a little funky. The taste was jaw-dropping! I actually thought "wow" as I tasted it. Funky, slightly sour, some tartness, some fruit, lots going on.It really seemed to blossom in my mouth. It tasted like a sour jolly Rancher and also a little like wine. I drank some Jolly Pumpkin beers a week or so ago and it looks like this is what they were shooting for. I really liked this beer and am starting to learn to appreciate some Belgian beers.

 693 characters

Photo of BMMillsy
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark red with medium head that disappears quickly with no lacing left on the glass. Smells like tart cherries, beautiful. Bit of vinegar, heavy sour here. Taste is tart cherries., uckering on the palate. Bit of a dry woody oak finish. Crisp mouthfeel with good carbonation. Really enjoyable though a bit pricy.

 316 characters

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
4.1 out of 5 based on 4,186 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Subscribe