Duchesse De Bourgogne | Brouwerij Verhaeghe

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BA SCORE
92
outstanding
1,503 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:
1,503
Ratings:
4,118
Avg:
4.1
pDev:
23.66%
 
 
Wants:
233
Gots:
848
For Trade:
15
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Reviews: 1,503 | Ratings: 4,118
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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Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.82/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

A - Clear ruby to burgundy color with a sizeable head that leaves thick rings of lacing down the sides of the glass.

S - Sweet raspberry, cherries and candied sugars.

T - Very sweet, like a slightly sour cherry soda, there is a bit of raspberry and light malt. After taste is empty, the flavor just vanishes.

M - High carbonation, harsh like a soda, pretty refreshing.

D - Definitely a good beer, mild pleasant flavor with a substantial depth to it. Worth a try certainly. A good beer to convert those who dislike hops.

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Photo of Stubbie1
4.01/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

When I popped the cork on this brew, a big “Best Before June 2008” was on the cork. Wonder when it was bottled…..

This beer poured a deep red color, almost a dark garnet. Heading was a decent, two finger thick off white in color. I cant remember seeing a beer this red and clear before. Lacing was thick after the head made its way and present until the end of the glass.

Aroma is sour, tart, spoiled juice or maybe a bit on the vinegar side, different but yet inviting. A hint of something “fruity” was floating around but never fully developed.

Taste is wonderful in its own way. Tart sour start with, like a fruit type of vinegar and a mild semi-sweet fruit feel in the middle washing out to a crisp clean finish. No lingering after taste. I was surprised on how “fresh” the pallet felt after this brew went its way down.

Mouth feel was thin, not a bad thin but a refreshing one and there is quite a bit of carination going on in there. Drinkability, well I could sit and slowly enjoy two or three of these over the course of an evening.

Overall this is a different but very enjoyable brew. The tartness may be a turn off to some and may play into the drinkability of this brew. Some might get the taste buds burnt out but I think it is worth the try and well worth another bottle.

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Photo of hummni
4.71/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Why ever drink any thing again after this beer. I love this beer I can’t stop drinking it. I drink it in my Maudite Tulip glass...The color of Duchesse is a wonderfully dark red and it looks awesome behind the maudites winged devil...the head is around 2-3 fingers and a light tan color not real sticky but some nice lace. Smell is a sour smell but so much more...hard to explain I fine this beer very complex. Taste is sour and very drinkable no ALC. taste, being only 6%abv. This was expected. All in all if you are looking for something different to try, try a sour Flemish tonight and this is an awesome example of them.

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

This brew has been sitting in the fridge for the last 6 months, as I feared of a potential similarity to Rodenbach Grand Cru. Different world..out-of-this world. First and foremost is the absence of clinical levels of acids which are present in Rodenbach. This brew is extraordinarily well balanced; slightly sour, slightly acidic and moderately sweet. The nose is a soft essence of wet wood with the perfect accompaniment of bret on the nose; wonderfully integrated. An impressive foamy tan head leading to massive lacing throughout the tasting. Sweet malts and candy sugars make for the perfect foil to the sour elements of this brew. This bottle was easily consumed with a meal of sweet & sour shrimp stir-fry, simply a perfect match! With its rich deep cinnamon color, beautiful balance and exceptional flavor profile, this is a surprisingly complex and delectable treat.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of mmmbeer
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330 mL brown bottle, best before 10/18/07. The Duchesse is a blend of 8 and 18 month old ales that have been aged in oak casks. It pours a lightly-sedimented mahogany that thins to amber near the bottom of the flute, and has medium to light carbonation that goes up to an inch of yellowish/brown head that leaves nice sheets of lacing. The aroma is sweet and sour, lactic?, with fruit (berries?), chocolate?, mild oak, iron, and maybe some green hops, all blended very nicely. It is a delicious beer, both sweet and tart, with a lactic or wild sourness, a mild bitterness, raspberry/blackberry, cherry?, chocolate?, and maybe some green/leafy hops, but is overall just a touch too sweet. The body is light to medium body, smooth, with a tannic dryness, and medium carbonation and finish. Overall very refreshing and quite drinkable - not too sour and fairly balanced. I could probably drink two or three in a row without too much trouble.

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Photo of russpowell
3.96/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours garnet with 4 fingers of off white/sand colored head. Insane lacing &healthy head retention

S: Sour, vinergary notes up front that dissipates to not much of anything & then comes back

T: Sweetness & sourness do battle up front, along with serious dryness. Currant/raspberry taste surface along with hints of vinegar and oaky dryness (squared) as this warms. Finishes tart, uber dry, with a tinge of vinegar & a touch of berry sweetness

MF: Sticky with low carbonation.

Drinks all-right would pair well with many meats & fish & even salads. Just not a session ale, but one to ponder & savor by a fire or in a dimly Belgian pub. I prefer rodnebach's grand cru to this, this is a beer universe expander & well worth a try

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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...

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Photo of dbalsock
3.57/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Poured brown with minimal head. Not much to say about the appearance... pretty bland, but nothing strange or off about it.

Smell: Ketchup? Catsup? A1... this smells like something I would put on my steak. Is that bad... no... just unexpected.

Taste: Again the ketchup and a1 come through quite powerfully, but when I try to ignore them, I can pick up some intense raisin and prune action going on. Maybe my palate isn't strong enough to pick up the complexity of this brew, but all I can get is vinegar, and ketchup. This is great with my steak though.

Mouthfeel: There's a sharpness to this beer that balances with the sweetness, but overall the mouthfeel is kinda weak and relies too much on the taste for support.

Drinkability: I find this to be an interesting beer, and not bad at all, just not something I ever want to drink again. It's far too strange for me.

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Photo of wcudwight
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a ruby, burgandy color with a light brown head with average retention that leaves lot's of heavy lacing.
Smells of cherries and malt vinager.
Wow! This is much better than I thought. Sharp raspberry and cherry flavors. Bitter sour apple. All with a vinager like backbone and a hint of oak chips. This is delightfully complex and quite tasty. I wonder how they get so much variety in this beer and still keep it so well balanced.
Mouthfeel is bubbly, tingly, crisp and smooth as silk. Quite refreshing.
This beer is a pleasant suprise. Not a style of beer that I'm fond of but I am very fond of this particular beer and will be looking for some more.

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Photo of Onibubba
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Not the beer that I was expecting. Poured an almost black brown with a beige frothy head that quickly dissappeared. Smell was intensely strange with raisins, cherries, and balsamic vinegar. I was expecting something sour, but this was indulgently sweet. The taste reminded me very much of the dressing used on a Killed Spinach Salad - Sugar and vinegar are quickly heated in bacon fat and poured over the spinach. That is the taste which solidified wiht me, and not in an offputting way at all.

You've heard the term smooth as silk, and that is an accurate description of the mouthfeel here. No carbonation detectable at all, but somehow a thin film of lace clung to the glass with each sip. Alcohol does not assert itself. This beer was a perfect nightcap after a bottle of La Roja.

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Photo of Greenfloyd
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one wild beer....

Poured into a snifter with a very dark amber hue, with a yellowish, orange decently lingering head. This beer had a tart cherry nose , with subtle hints of malt vinegar. The taste was a pretty wild ride....Rainer cherries collapse into a mildly sour, oaky cider. Very unique, yet refreshing for such a dark menacing looking beer. The strains of yeast clearly dominate the characteristics of this Flanders Red. The medium body helps the drinkability, as this beer should be paired with mild, semi-soft cheeses and tart apples. Of course a grilled Montreal style rib-eye pairing coupled with some Portabello mushrooms would be great as well...Enjoy

Note: Don't give up on this beer until you've tried it a few times. I had three before I really started to enjoy the complexities of this ale. My taste is an easy upgrade to "4.5" after the repeated sampling...it's still a crazy beer though...

Note part 2: I can't help it. It's a "5" in the old taste category now. The more I drink it the more I love it. Simply amazing...

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Photo of Reinheitsgebot71
4.87/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A friend of mine and myself went down to the beer bistro earlier in the week and tried a few new beers each of which I'll review in turn.

A: It poured very dark brown almost completely opaque with a mocha
brown half inch head and minimal lace.

B: Immediately upon first sniff mincemeat pie came to mind followed by a slight hint of pine. The more subtle hits then manifested themselves, namely raisins and rock sugar. I didn't detect any hit of alcohol whatsoever, unsurprisingly as it is a lower percentage compared to some of its other Belgian counterparts.

T: Right off the bat raisins again followed by, lemon, iron rust, honey, hints of curry powder, cardamom in conjunction with the more prevalent lemon sapidity. Hidden at the very bottom of the taste spectrum were nice finishing touches of allspice, cinnamon and soothing caramel.

M: Uber smooth, very sparse effervescence, but what little there is tingles the mouth nicely in conjunction with the magnificent flavors abound in the beer. Overall quit silky smooth almost marshmellowy feel in the mouth.

D: A very very nice beer; goes down very well. After I finished it I immediately craved another. I don't think I could ever get sick of this beer, just excellent. I recommend it to any true lover of beer.

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Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
4.1 out of 5 based on 4,118 ratings.
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