Duchesse De Bourgogne | Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding
1,496 Reviews
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Verhaeghe
Belgium | website

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:
1,496
Ratings:
4,099
Avg:
4.1
pDev:
23.66%
 
 
Wants:
232
Gots:
837
For Trade:
16
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,496 | Ratings: 4,099
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 RBorsato
3.76/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark reddish-brown with a full light brown head, good carbonation, and sheets of lace. Light sour aroma and light oakiness. Dark passion fruit flavors with chocolatey tones and woody tones. More sour than Rodenbach Grand Cru and not as smooth. Light-medium bodied.

I'd try other Flanders Red Ales before trying this one again although I'm hoping the age did not have a negative impact...

Best Before: 08/16/02
Tasted: 06/27/03

($2.99 / 11.2 oz.)

 455 characters

Photo of ColForbinBC
3.83/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle poured into a Chouffe tulip

Pours a muddy red amber with a bubbly, tan-infused cap that rose to fill the tulip and fell quickly. Very delicate lace left in its wake.

Sweet fruits work hard to mask the sour notes/vinegar, but lose out in the end. Vinous dark fruit (cherries, grapes), almost wine-like, green apples and balsamic vinegar waft out of the glass very easily and blend to make an overall sweet and tart aroma.

The flavor profile is just like the aroma. Very tolerable vinegar in the finish with the fruit qualities up front. The vinegar does not linger for very long and actually leaves a slight apple cider vinegar flavor behind. Sweet and sour in an almost perfect marriage.

The body is medium with the finish lingering for just the right amount of time. The prickly carbonation is tuned up a bit, but it fits the style perfectly.

This is a tough style to drink a few of anyway. However, this guy was pretty easy to get down and has a manageable abv. This really challenges the palate and nose, I wouldn't want more than one of these anyway.

 1,073 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 Stevedore
3.66/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle, best by 2/10/2015. Served in an Unibroue tulip at Pigs in a Fur Coat, Madison WI, 9/27/2014.

A- Dark burgundy colour with a LOT of offwhite head. It took quite a while to completely pour this, as it was clearly overcarbonated. Pretty off-putting. Lots of fluffy thick lacing, though. [3.5]

S- Cherries, brown malt sweetness, a bit of lemon acidity. Solid, nothing too complex. [3.75]

F- Some more complexity here- sour lemon acidity, raisins, grape juice, brown malt sweetness with an oaky, earthy middle finished off by a slightly acidic but metallic finish. I'm not a fan of the finish, unfortunately. And it's quite a bit sweeter than I expected it to be. [3.75]

M- Medium bodied, a bit thick and syrupy for a sour although it seems to be about right for the Flanders Red style. Fairly drinkable although the sweetness is a bit of a turnoff for me. [3.5]

O- Not that big a fan of this beer, but I wouldn't turn it down if there were no better options available. A bit too sweet for me. [3.5]

 1,015 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 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 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 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 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 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 Gusler
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well, this is one of those beers that I feel is better from the bottle than the tap, have tried it both ways several times and the bottle wins out, we did a side by side tap and bottle and to a person, everyone thought the bottle better.

The beer as it evacuates the dark brown bottle pours a deep incarnadine color with a majestic crown of tan upon that body, the consistency creamy and the residual lace a thick and clinging sheet that obfuscates the glass. Nose is sweet, fresh and crisp, hints of over ripe fruit, cherries comes to mind, bit of oak also noted, a real treat for the olfactory and ocular senses start, is sweet and malt laden, top is middling in its feel to the palate. Finish is benign in its acidity, the hops spicy and pleasant, with the aftertaste lingering long upon the palate, a true work of the brewer’s art.

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

reviewed from notes:

appearance: copper orange red brown thin lacing head

smell: dark fruits, sour, spice

taste: cherries, tart, sweet finish

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body

drinkability: decent brew but not the best in the style. glad I got to try it but will go back to the better brews in the style.

Cheers,

The CPJ

 334 characters

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.37/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle split and poured into a Unibroue tulip. 6% ABV, Best before: See Cork, Exp: Jul 2011.

Thanks to Beerwolf77 for bringing this over last night!

A - A hard cork pull relieves our "don't be a gusher" worries. An effervescent pour let the Duchesse give up a loose tan head with quickly popping and sinking bubbles. Low retention with little lace left over. The color is a clear red-brown. It looks unassuming and kind of like you pored a Coke in a tulip.

S - An oaky wood nose with an astringent, acidic sour smell kind of aims it towards the sour category. Hints of vinegar don't ruin anything, rather, it adds an extra dimension to the tart sourness the nose has to offer. Toasty malts have toffee in the background and combat the sourness reassuring that the taste wont be a mouth-puckering beer. No hop presence in this at all.

T - Delicious malty sweetness with a touch of brown sugar and caramel sweetness with toffee shavings on top. A light vinegar touch and some tart red grape with a mild funkiness backs up the malty sweetness with good balance. Awesome flavor with great depth! Mmmm.

M - The light tart funk melds well with the light-medium body and moderate carbonation finish. Very nice texture and finish but nothing in the mouthfeel really adds to the enjoyment of the beer, rather, it just helps it's awesomeness along.

D - This beer is insanely drinkable. Before finishing my review my pour from the 750 ml bottle was nearly gone. I busted out my 11.2 oz bottle to enjoy some more. Fantastic flavor and good aroma with such a well-balanced flavor and finish. I could put down a 750 ml of this myself no problem. Thanks Bnieman for recommending this time and time again and thanks Todd for bringing it over!

 1,739 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 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 ccrida
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served on draught from the Uber Tavern in Seattle, in the brewery's chalice, the Duchess is a hazy dark amber with a moderate eggshell head that leaves decent lace.

The aroma is vinous and tart, minerals and dry yet sweet softess, most intriguing, very strong and sweet!

Well this is one superb Flandrers red, the benchmark bar none. Sweeter then it may sound by description, there's some apple cider vinegar like sweetness and, although there's still plenty of funk, the finish is on the sweeter side. Lots of sugar, I like them with less, but I'll still take it! Of course, some of my scoring reflects the romanticism of this being my first of the style, which immediately hooked me on the style and the whole world of sours.

The mouthfeel, while not super fluid, is fairly average for the style, which is light in spite of the sugariness.

This is a pretty good Flanders Red, especially if you like the vinegar aspect tempered with sugar...you're in major luck! The sweetness really sets this one apart in the love-or-hate category.

 1,042 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 rodbeermunch
3/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The usual flanders appearance, if anything this one leaned a little more oud bruin than it did flanders, more brown than red. Little in the way of head formation, 1/12". Aroma was blended sweet and sour beer with old wet wood notes.

Taste was very young, didn't impart much tartness or sour, underwhelming was certainly a word that came to mind. Too much acetic notes. Just kind of rolled through the brown malt, tasted like old school recreation type of stuff. Interesting trip down historical road, but there was just too much burton tea like notes and dark fruit bitterness instead of some tart dark cherry, leather and oak notes I was hoping for. This had the earthy notes I guess.

 692 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 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 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

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
92 out of 100 based on 1,496 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.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe