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:
4,117
Avg:
4.1
pDev:
23.66%
 
 
Wants:
233
Gots:
846
For Trade:
15
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Reviews: 1,503 | Ratings: 4,117
Photo of tectactoe
3.79/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Figured it was about time I got around to this one, oftentimes an introductory "sour" for those trying to ease their way into the style. Deep burgundy body with rose tones near the top where light is allowed to shine through. The beige head crackles away swiftly into a wimpy little skin that doesn't even maintain full coverage of the brew for more than a few seconds.

Either you're gonna love the aroma, or you're gonna hate it, and it pretty much depends on how much you enjoy vinegar. Copious amounts of vinegar in the aroma, which a back panel of lightly sour cherries and some mild cranberry notes. Spicy, woody vanilla pops out when you inhale deep enough, though your nostrils are busy sifting through the heavy, heavy apple cider vinegar.

Now, I'm a fan of vinegar, though I have to admit that had the vinegar been so heavy on the palate as it was on the nose, it might be a difficult beer to finish. Luckily, the first few sips show me that the vinegar notes, while still prominent and forceful, are toned down to acceptable levels. Some simply tart cherries back the vinegar and smooth things out just a bit.

Mild cola, oak, and faint vanilla make up the rest of the profile, but vinegar-soaked cherries are the leaders of the pack at the end of the day. The tail end aftertaste contains some funk, but nothing too crazy or notable. With time, it seems that Duchesse goes from being more sour to more sweet; by the time you finish the glass, it will be mostly sweet.

Medium bodied, a touch heavier than you may expect for a sour ale, with heavier carbonation as well, and a slick, almost oily mouth feel. Duchesse de Bourgogne is a decent way to soothe your apprehensive friends into accepting the world of sour beers. For people who are already deep into that territory, this beer won't be too exciting for you, so hopefully you can see it for what it is: a mild mannered bridge into a whole different type of beer.

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Photo of WildRage
3.79/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had 2 of these at the Tap Room in Warren, NJ last night. The brew looks gorgeous when poured into the chalice I drank it in - almost a ruby color.

There wasn't much of a strong smell - a little vinegery, and a bit fruity. I really liked the taste, although definitely more sweet than sour. A little more sourness and a little more alcohol would make this beer nearly perfect. I'm reminded of Rodenbach when drinking this, but as said before, a bit more sweet.

I would definitely order this beer again if I ever see it. Would also be a good introductory beer if you're not used to this style.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.79/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

11.2 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a beer flute
Best before: 05/01/2014

This beer looks kind of brown when in the glass, but when held to the light some blood orange highlights emerge. It is topped with two inches of tan head that leaves a little lacing.

At first I thought I got some hints of apple cider vinegar, but after it sat awhile I could not longer get that smell. I get some dark fruit with a vinous character now.

It starts out sweet with some black cherry. Then I get some tartness and light acidity and more dark fruit.

Low carbonation and medium bodied.

It was somewhat complex. It had some conflicting flavors that made it interesting.

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Photo of cocoapuph
3.79/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one poured with a quick disappearing head and a brownish-red hue. Smelled of candied cherries and booze. Some scents of sweet red wine comes through as well. Taste is a bit pungent but super sweet. Cherries and sugar, with grapes and red wine. A bit too sweet IMO. Mouth feel is smooth and a bit dry. Liked this but could have been a little more tart/sour to make it awesome.

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Photo of weatherdog
3.78/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 75cL bottle into two tulip glasses. One for me and one for my wife. The cork is labeled exp. 05/11.

It pours a brilliant deep red color with a two finger foamy dense head

Smells of acidity, sour fruit and vinegar notes. The nose is very inviting and promising for a tasty sour beer inside.

The taste is an explosion of colliding flavors. Starts a little tart with a lot of red fruit flavors. the middle is medium bard-yard brett and it finishes with the acidic vinegar and a surprising sweetness.

Mouthfeel is exceptional, a little tart but smooth and perfect carbonation level. Four a sour the drinkability is amazing. I'm drinking this faster than I wold have thought and it really goes down smoothly.

I haven't had many example of this style but I really am enjoying the trip. It wasn't as tart and sour as I had expected and the sweet finish was unexpected. I am unsure of the bottling date but i think I might pick up another bottle and let it age until closer to the expiration date to see how the tartness develops.

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Photo of ByTor2112
3.78/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this at the Cheeky Monk in Denver. Arrived in an Duchesse chalice. BA has this a Flanders Red, Cheeky Monk listed it as sour Flemish Brown. very dark brown with a very nice yeasty tart aroma. Tart fuits are very present.
Mouthfeel- Tasty roasted malty brown flavors. the sour flavor is superb and it is a little more than subtle without being overbearing. First time ever getting a very unique Belgian such as this fresh on tap. This one is just about quaffable, not too heavy. Very nice!

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Photo of beveragesampler
3.78/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

bottle dated best before 10/06/2012
very intriguing brew.

poured into pint glass. deep reddish brown in color with two fingers off white head, that receded into champagne like bubbley film. nice amount of foamy lacing that coated sides of glass.

smell is complex to say the least. 6% ABV well hidden. oak and red fruit, red delicious apple, red grape, maybe sweet rasins, pomegranate, ruby red grapefruit, raspberry etc..

taste: wow, thats sweet! smell comes straight through to taste. engulfs entire palate with an explosion of flavors. very effervescent like champagne. finish is sweet and sour, perfectly ballance between the two.

mouthfeel is bubbly but smooth and dry. very nice.

drinkability is good, two is enough for me though.

reminds me some what of frambosie lambec or a malvasia sparkling wine. could be great for a dessert beer. potentially great to cook or marinate with.

cheers!
Jake

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Photo of mzwolinski
3.78/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ruby in color with a thin, light tan head. The aroma is, first of all, sour. Not as sour as I expected, but with a sharp vinegar zing to it. Hints of vanilla lie underneath.

The taste, OTOH, is every bit as sour as I expected, and then some. It can take quite a while to work through this to discover any other flavors, especially for a neophyte to the style like me. A hint of oak seems to poke through, and the middle develops a nice sweetness as the beer warms. The finish, however, is reassertively acidic with something of an apple flavor to it.

It's hard for me to call this beer very drinkable -- it's certainly not meant to be quaffed in a few gulps, and quite frankly, I have a hard time seeing myself return to it very often. I imagine it would pair rather nicely with food, given its wine-like qualities. Either way, though, it's an experience worth having.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.78/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap years ago and have not tried it since. This time it was in a bottle....

Pours a shiny hazelnut brown, reddish glows. Tan head, bubbly...looks like cola a bit.

Aroma isn't as strong as I remembered the tap version. Cherries, new leather, caramel, candied sugar, and some apple.

Sourness just isn't there, perhaps a bit of pucker though. It's foremost flavors remind me of apple cider, sweet cider. Some cherry/apple tartness. Tannins here and there. Caramel in the nose is almost gone in the taste. No flavors are bad or off-putting, but none are outstanding either.
I'd drink it again, probably

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Photo of jwinship83
3.78/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- semi clear amber to copper color body with a finger of foamy off white, lacy head.

S- earthy with a slightly sourness to it. cherries, grapes, and apples

T- very sweet with a puckering sourness at the end. lots of champagne like similarities. i get alot of apples in it.

M- very smooth and creamy.

D- easy to drink and interesting enough to want a few more sips than the 11.2oz bottle had to offer. i dont think id want another whole one, or a 750ml but i can see myself coming back to this one at a later date.

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Photo of tpd975
3.78/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another brew I have had umpteen times without a rate. Today is the day.

A: Pours a nice dark brown hue with amber tones. Nice tall cream colored head. Execellent retention with nice streaks of lace.

S: Lots of cherry both sweet and sour. Notes of oak as well. Simple but good.

T: When I am in the mood for a sweet treat I like to reach for this one. Tons of sweet cherry up front, with notes of candy sugar. The middle is where the oak comes through along with a touch of red wine vinegar. The sweetness does not let it shine but it does appear. In the finish there is a touch of tinny red wine and a hint of tartness. Mostly sweet through from start to finish.

M: Medium in body, smooth, wonderful carbonation.

D: Takes me awhile to put a bottle down but I can easily do it. Not an everyday beer for me, but a treat that I like to enjoy every once and awhile.

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Photo of kjyost
3.78/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle acquired form the MLCC, BB 13/04/2014. Poured ~5C into a Perfect Pint glass.

Ruby red and seemingly crystal clear beer with a tan head of one finger that drops to a cap and laces surprisingly well. Tons of cherry pie filling in the nose off the hop, then a bit of buttered corn and earthiness come through along with a slight acidity. The body is a bit of a battle between the cherry and fruit with the malt. A surprisingly thick malt body that is hard to discern, but gives away a bit of a caramel sweetness that plays interestingly with the fruit notes. A hint of sourness develops, though much less than I had expected. Once again a bit of a butter note comes through oddly enough, which takes away from the beer's taste and mouthfeel.

Enjoyable. Would have been a much better beer without that buttery slickness, but worth buying a few more before they disappear to see how it evolves.

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Photo of ThomasMetal75
3.77/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

A- Black like stout with red tints throughout the entire glass. Had a thick head at first, but died quickly.

S- WOW! Estery dark fruits and red wine yest. Very malty and very inviting!

T- God damn! This has the carbination of a champagne, but with a taste of red wine! Just like the smell, It has a dark fruity/estery quality to it. It's very chewy! The finish is somewhat sweet before it changes to dry. Unlike any beer I've ever had in my lifetime!!!

M- The beer's downfall is It's too carbonated. Full bodied like red wine, but fizzy.

Overall it through me a curve ball, but in a good way. I've never had a beer like it. Itwas just like red wine. I want to try this with steak or lamb chops sometime in the future! An A rated beer for sure!

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Photo of Fugazme
3.77/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First beer of this style that I've tried... looks like a cola on the pour. Large bubbbles... dark brown and ruby colors.

Aroma is great. Cherry, oak, cabernet, phenolic, yeast, sour,
sweet tarts...

Mouthfeel is a touch awkward with carbonation at first, but mellows during the drink as it warms. Definite sour flavor. Cherries and yeasty overtones. Dry on the finish. Wine-like for sure.

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Photo of joeseppy
3.76/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a reddish brown with ruby highlights and a bumpy white crown that lasts all day long.

Cherry smell, sherry and a vinous tartness. Characteristics of leather and woodsy.

Not as sour as I was expecting. A bit unbalanced leaning towards a sweeter side-yet a complex craft. Definite cherry action going on that does finish on tartness. Don't really get any oak barrel.

Mouthfeel is smooth and dry. This does carry a lot of cane sugar with it.

For the price, I guess, my expectations were high. As one could tell I thought this was toot candy sweet. I did find it an enjoyable and like I say, every brew has it's place.

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Photo of CanuckRover
3.76/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown with a reddish tinge. Huge off-white meringue'y head. Thick lacings coat the glass.

Vinegar, cherries and caramel sweetness.

Sour cherries up front. Malt is sweet and sticky, toffee. Sour granny smith apples. Slight smokiness. Wood comes through in the finish.

Mouthfeel didn't float my boat, I think it may have gone a bit flat. Will have to try another.

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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.)

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Photo of ramseye4
3.76/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. I know nothing of this beer and have no prejudices, my fiancée picked one up for herself but is out of town and I'm out of beer, so it's now mine! Anyway, on to the review.
A=Dark oaky brown with a great 2 finger head and lacing covering the glass.
S=Whoa, I don't think I've smelled anything like this in a beer before. Sour grapes and apples, with an underlying vinegar aroma. Smells faintly of red wine.
T=This one is a doozy. It's unlike anything I've had in my beer tasting experience but it's different, but good. Predominately sour apple, with some grape and cherry, very tart with a bit of a vinegar. Very musty.
M=Sweet, sticky, medium bodied, pleasantly carbonated. Leaves a fruity taste around the lips.
O=I was apprehensive at first, but it's actually very good. For some reason it reminds me of afternoons I spent as a kid in my relative's houses out in the country. I would definitely get this again.

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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!

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Photo of Foxtrot
3.76/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

After really beginning to enjoy sours, I wanted to go a step further and review this brew. Best before 01/10/2011, must have some age on it.

Pours a nice burgundy hue with amber edges with some champagne bubble action. Head was a nice and big, and receded to a modest 1 finger width on top. Retention is looking good so far.

The nose has dominant aroma's of vinegar, with light undertones of funk and cherries. I don't know if this is me, but I also get mustard in the nose. The nose is pretty strong at first, but after a few sniffs those dark fruits really start to come out. You just need to get past that strong vinegar.

I thought this was gonna be a big sour bomb by the nose, but scents can be deceiving. Sours begins up front and sting the tongue with its pungent flavor, then moves onto sweetness of cherries and over-ripe raspberries. Little to no lingering bitterness, just a nice aftertaste of light tartness. This is pretty sweet, even for a Flanders, and becomes cloying about half way through the bottle.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly crisp, but silky smooth at the same time.

Drinkability is good. Starts off powerful, and finishes pretty mild. I wouldn't recommend this as a session brew due to the vinegar and sourness, but you can if thats your bag. For me, this is a good sipper beer.

 1,309 characters

Photo of shapudding
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Dark ambered and ruby with tons of carbination rising up to a thick and creamy khaki head. Wonderful aroma. Warm and oaky, molasses. Almost get a BBQ sauce scent, very spicey like a worcester sauce. Make sure to let this one warm up so you get all the flavors and scents to come out and play with ya! Tart and intense flavors! Wow do they reallly hit you in the back of your mouth... Sweet and sour. The blithering one that I drank this with said he tasted pickled beets.... yep... damn if he isn't right... how weird.... but yep. Very interesting tastes in this one, unusual. Not one that I could drink more than one of these 11.2oz'ers because there is such a huge intensity of flavors and there is such strength, but like I said, quite interesting tastes for sure.

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

This appeared a deep brown caramel color with a fairly tall light tan head. Scatterings of lace were left as this was consumed and the head retention was minimal. Holy Crap when I first poured this I took a big whiff and was hit with a HUGE funky tart aroma that was a bit overpowering. After letting it air for a bit it became much more pleasant with a bit of fruity tartness, a slight vinegar smell and some woody notes. Flavor wise this was super tart on the first sip that made me think it was going to take a while to get through this glass. After it warmed a bit I found it much more tasty and palatable with a nice mix of tartness and sweetness balancing each other out with the tartness taking a slight lead. There were fruit flavors and woody notes in the taste as well and a fairly nice lingering sour after taste. Mouthfeel was about medium with a soda bubbly feel to it that kind of detracted from it a bit but not much. This was a real sipper for me and I would definitely have to be in the mood for one of these to drink it. I would have it again in the future but I doubt more than one bottle at a time. Very interesting stuff that deserves a shot if you come across it, and I suggest letting it air out and warm a bit for the best experience.

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

After being floored by the tart, sour bomb that is a Cantillon Rosé on my birthday, this brew ended up rather tame and mild in comparison. Best before date of 29-04-07.

Pours out a dark brown and ruby bottom with some transparency and haze. Small tan foam on top that sticks to the glass and leaves a bit of murky foam.

Smell is a vinegar-hater's (which I'm not) worst nightmare. Over-the-top cider vinegar smell, with hints of green apple and tart cherries. Very vinous with a little oak, chardonnay-like grapes, and sweet malts/toffee.

Sourness in the flavor is well-regulated and by no means unbearable. Pleasant green apple/sour cherry on the tongue, with a vinegar-like acidity. Oak-aging imparts a wonderful, deep, wood flavor that mellows out the sourness well and gives the brew a dry finish. Medium body.

This one is not bad. I'd be interested in trying more flemish ales, but I can fully understand others' gripes with the style. I don't like to drink malted vinegar, but there's more to this one beyond the pungent aroma.

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

Dark ruby red brown, fizzy head. No real retention or lacing to speak of.

Whoa! Interesting smell. Mix between old wood and a weak balsamic vinegar.

Tartness, like a sharp cidar apple. Malt vinegar sourness. Smooths out a bit after that into a spicy marinated fruitiness...and yes the marinade includes some vinegar.

Lighter body coupled with some active carbonation help counter the tartness.

Reviewed this according to the style discription. Lot's of stuff happening here flavour-wise. A sipper, not a session beer and really not one of my favourite beer style. An aquired taste IMO.

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Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
4.1 out of 5 based on 4,117 ratings.
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