Duchesse De Bourgogne | Brouwerij Verhaeghe

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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
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,496 | Ratings: 4,099
Photo of MbpBugeye
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml cork and caged. I must say this bottle and label are pretty good looking, especially amongst Belgian imports.

A- A very loud fizzy, cola like head rises up only as I pour. It fades as soon as the pour is done. The beer doesnt appear totally flat after that though. There are still the occasional little bubbles that hang out around the edges and some small wisps floating here and there. The color is a very deep and rich red. The beer is very clear, so back lighting makes this beer shine.

S- A touch weak on the nose for a sour but its very complex. Its acidic, lactic, fruity/berry like, cheesy, tart. There are notes of melon, berries, red wine, cheese curds, butter, salt, maybe some vinegar.

T- Lots more berries and melon and lactic sourness. Its very sweet as it hits the tongue with lots of blackberry, raspberry and cantaloupe. The middle is where the lactic sourness, whey and sour milk come in. The finish is like a sour, dry red wine.

M- Low carbonation, especially compared to all the other sours Ive had. The body is approaching full and is very slick until it comes to a dry finish. Sweet berries linger on the lips.

D- This is definitely a strange beer. I like it, but I think its going to become a bit cloying as it is quite sweet. I should have had someone help me with this bottle.

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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 TheRealBigC
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is definitely a good beer, but I've had other Flanders ales that were better and, most importantly, more sour. The sourness is what I love about the style and Duchesse De Bourgogne doesn't deliver quite as well as others. Even the bext most prevalant Flanders, Rodenbach's Grand Cru, does. So you're not going too far out of your way to get that extra goodness. I feel like I'm underscoring a bit, but for the price, I'm going to make sure I reach for Rodenback over this every time.

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

Chilled bottle served in a Chimay chalice

A = pours a dark brown/red with one finger of tan head with good retention.

S = smells of malt, sour cherries, bread

T = wow, not what I was expecting. refreshing with sour cherries, lemon, no hint of alcohol

M = thin, more carbonation than expected, dryness follows

D = high drinkability, very refreshing, overall a very nice beer. Will have this one again.

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Photo of cjgiant
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Original review: This is not my style of beer, to be certain. However, I did find myself enjoying it. My ratings will tend lower here, but for a style that doesn't hit me right, I would be happy to have one of these in the future.

Re-review:
Have become more appreciative of sours, so gave this a re-try. It was kind of a sweet-n-sour beer. Definitely increasing my review, but not as sour as I'd like.

A: dark ruby-brown, creamy edge lacing
S: sour cherry or maybe grape, a little semi-dry wine perhaps. Definitely a sour yeasty, maybe Brett-like backnote that just indicates sour notes.
T: much like the nose, tart cherries, wine notes (not very "beer-like" to my narrow definition), yet with a maltiness that replaces the yeasty mustiness of the smell. There are also some white raisin tastes, on the sweet side.
M: not much there except a little pucker from the tartness
O: mostly mentioned above, but this seems like a soured up barleywine, or a tart semi-dry wine.

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Photo of michaelphines
3.74/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Very pretty deep red almost amber color. Head was fleeting and didn't leave much lacing. I have to say my girlfriend washed these glasses with dishsoap recently, so I'm sure I didn't get the best view.

S - The smell is a little bit overpowering for my nose. It's a strong fermented fruit smell, but goes a little far. Almost a rotting smell. Bottle marked best before 18-3-11, I was told this was the intended smell.

T - Initial taste is all berries. Strong cherry flavor on the tip of my tongue. Which fades as it goes down. Just as you think the taste is over sour notes on the back of the tongue and a dry, slightly bitter aftertaste. Definitely complex. Makes you take another sip to ride again

M - The carbonation, a little more than average tickles the tongue on the sweet notes and intensifies the dry finish on the sour notes.

D- Drinkable, but I wouldn't say sessionable. A beer you want to enjoy by the bottle, not by the case.

The smell initially turned me off to this beer. Offensive to my nose, but very deliberate. Maybe you'll like it better. The taste was a ride. I'd definitely have it again if offered, but likely will not buy it in bottles again.

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Photo of xgrigorix
3.74/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brown 33cl bottle. Best by date printed on back label.

Full russet brown in colour, with reddish highlights. Large sized bubbles begin to form almost immediately, and intially look like particulate matter floating throughout the beer. A small tan head forms, but doesn't hang around for long.

Fruity aroma, with plenty of vinegar like sourness.

Fruity, sour, tangy. Cola sort of flavour running underneath the hole thing. Medium bodied, rustic carbonation.

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Photo of canucklehead
3.74/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

New to BC this is a nice find. Pours russet brown with minimal head, the kicker is the intense sour smell on the nose. I can't say I like the smell but it defines this beer as out of the norm. The flavours are a mixture of sourness, old cherries and vinous notes. I love how this beer tastes like it has been down in the cellar forever. Not a session beer by any standard but very drinkable in small quantiites.

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Photo of denver10
3.74/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark amberish-brown with a nice big beige head. Aroma is smoothly sweet and tart; some brown sugar, ssome fruits such as dark cherries, plum, raisins, some vinegar. Flavor was pretty much the same. A lighter mouthfeel to this, worked well for the style. Overall, a wonderful beer.

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.73/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Wow what a crazy beer! This is a classic sour and its got a really good bite to it. It smells like vinegar but it really has of complexity to it and I have to say its one of the most solid sour beers I've had! Even my girlfriend likes it!

Sorry for any typos I reviewed this on my friends phone

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Photo of 57md
3.73/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Looks like balsamic vinegar. Smells a bit like balsamic vinegar. The taste? You guessed it but the sour vinegar essence is not nearly as bad as detractors of this beer claim. Quite the contrary, the dry sourness is interesting.

Not really my thing but I can recognize the skill and craft that goes into this offering.

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Photo of therica
3.73/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Nose-- beef with Worcestireshire or A-1 Sauce?!?!? No way.

Taste-- yes, it's true! With some bitters. Very very strange. As it sets for a few minutes, there's a nose of liquor something like brandy, and taste becomes a little more flat and salty. Prune is probably partly responsible for the steak-sauce taste, because that's what many of them use as a base.

Appearance-- poured a surprising dark-tea color, minor light-brown suds that didn't last more than half a minute, but with lacing throughout the drinking.

Yes, another "add this to your bizarre list" beer-- a specialty beer, which I can appreciate for its unique creativity, from an objective point of view. From a subjective point of view, this beer is too far afield from being "beer" that I can't see myself buying another bottle to sample-- especially at closer to $4US a bottle. Unless, however, I really want to startle someone.

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Photo of Daredevil
3.73/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

elegant appearance ... malty smell .... taste is almost soury as a Berliner Weisse, thus a good thirst quencher, granny smith paired with smoky, sandalwood and malty hints, no bitterness in the aftertaste ....
an interesting, elegant brew, a bit too soury for my own taste

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Photo of yourchoice
3.73/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review is working off notes from a few nights ago...

A- Beer poured a muddy brown. Very little head and moderate lacing.

S- A very tart fruit on the nose. Sour.

T- A sour, tart fruit taste, with a subtle champagne presence. The champagne subtetly highlights this beer for me.

M - The tartness pleasingly puckers, but it seems a bit thin.

O - The bomber size is as about as much as I would want. I enjoyed the sour experience, but I hope to find something more to my liking next time I venture for something deemed sour.

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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 nomad
3.73/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a transparent deep red color. Had a soft bubbly head from a good amount of carbonation, and negligible lace. The nose was of oak, apples, and an almost rum smelling alcohol body. I could almost smell the sour that it tasted of. In all, I wish the scents were stronger, as their complexity from this beer's special brewing and aging proess is unique and excellent in the beer world.

The taste was of dry red apples and a great palatable sour - from start to finish, it really bit up at my mouthroof as I swallowed. Had a slight oak character from its cask aging. The malt was not readily apparent but quite nice, a good base strangely tempered by the blending (8 month old batch with a 18 month old batch) and fermentation process of Belgian red ales. In all, the taste was mouth watering, and so calm (again from the aging and blending) but not boring. Some tannins came in on the finish, and eventually the beer took on a unique sour & woody fruit taste.

With a slight tingle on the tongue, a thin and watery body, and a moderate length finish, the mouthfeel was lightly dry turning to a bud salivating end. Quite interesting as it lingered in my mouth for awhile – like the taste its calmly complex. Very interesting, must be great with food. If you enjoy quality red wines (like myself), check this out. Hop heads and fans of big tasting beers might find it boring or too "sweet."

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Photo of Mar02x
3.72/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer in the Mug, a pub in Middleburg. I just pointed at a beer that seemed interesting to me.

A - A red looking beer with a off white head. No visible carbonation.

S - It smells like sour wine and cherries. Somewhat similar to Rodenbach grand cru. I just don't like sour smells.

T - A beautiful cherry beer, sweet and a little sour.

M - Its quite sticky to my palate. The carbonation is medium.

O - A nice beer for a sour one. I would even say its worth buying.

 477 characters

Photo of ritzkiss
3.72/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle pours a dark maroon with hints of cherry red in the light; gorgeous foam on top that leaves sticky lacing down the glass. Beautiful looking beer.

Smell is dominated by vinegar - perhaps a little too much so. Hints of sour cherries, a faint sweetness. I can relate to the comment on it reminding one of ketchup - an all too acidic, tart ketchup.

The taste is less intimidating than the smell. Hints of vinegar, lots of fruitiness (cherries, plum, apple) - well integrated with a sweet malt background.

This is an extremely sweet beer and a true sipper. The sourness blends well and is not overwhelming. For a non-beer drinker this would stun the socks off of them - this is beer? A really well balanced and yet complex beer. Worth checking out.

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Photo of Zorro
3.72/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear dark red brew with some floaters in it.

Strong sour smell with a cherries and fruit scent. Is this a sour Lambic? Harder sniffing uncovers spice and a sweet smell too. The sweet smell is malt.

Flavor is very sour, with woody flavors. Cherries are present; this strongly resembles a Kriek Lambic in flavor. After you get over the sour shock other flavors come out. Add Honey, Mustard, and olive oil to this and you will have an interesting salad dressing.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Not real drinkable, it's to sour for most.

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Photo of Sixpoint
3.72/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Ahhhh. The Duchesse.

I'm a big fan of the Flanders Red Ale style.

Poured a deep burgundy color, murky color that I recognize from wild yeast, lactobacilus.

I liked the aroma - sour cherry, tart, musty. However, it seemed to be comprimised by a blanket of molasses. I hope it doesn't pervade the taste.

It did. DAMNIT. Syrupy blanket pervading and busting up precious hop and sour wild yeast.

Too thick a body to keep me interested; I love a good, dry, tart Flanders Red.

Pretty drinkable, but I think I could only have one or two.

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Photo of callmescraps
3.72/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Grabbed this guy based on some interesting reviews. Definitely excited to try something different. Expiration of 12/09, so should be no problems there.

Appearance - A deep, dark amber, almost brown, with a solid couple inches of head.

Smell - Super funk. Sour apples, some almost sweat-sock mustiness with serious earthiness. You gotta rate this smell for what it is. Not exactly a bouquet of roses here, but funky in the way it's supposed to be.

Taste - Um, hard to say. It comes with some serious sourness. I mean serious. Then it comes with some sticky sweetness. Almost some honey. Then some booziness. Reminds me of a super-hard cider.

Mouthfeel - Hard to judge because there is so much going on with the flavor. Nothing special.

Drinkability - Gotta be below average. This is super intense, super sour, and good in its' way, but you only need one. Some people just won't like it, and that makes sense.

Um. Wow. This is a funky, smelly, sticky sweet, deep as hell combo. It's good, almost undrinkable. Definitely worth a shot though, I'm going to polish this guy off.

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Photo of Justin8mypants
3.71/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Aromas of balsamic vinegar and dark fruit. I get a lot of vinegar in the taste but just enough to balance the sweetness of the plum and grape flavors. Mouthfeel is soft but well carbonated. Overall a very interesting beer. Much more complex than I had anticipated.

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Photo of D-HopSupreme
3.71/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a brown, barely transparent body with little to no head formation at the top. The scent is immediately tart, with red wine and vinegar coming off at the start, with a richer texture in the middle. The taste has an immense red wine tartness, with the same acidic vinegar characteristics. Overall it is a change, maybe I will have to revisit this one.

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Photo of taylorhamrick
3.71/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this at the Hopleaf, while their draft coolers were down.

Pours out hazy and amber colored. The head is white colored, fizzy and loose looking, that kind of falls back and leaves only a bit of lacing. Looks about normal for the style. The smell is just very vinegary, almost to the point where it sort of turns you off. Reminds me of Easter egg dying day. There's a nice tart note in the background, a hint of sweetness, but the vinegar smells make it hard to pick anything else out. I'd call this score more of a median score than an average score, because it smells all but average - but it doesn't impress me, yet doesn't disappoint me at the same time. The vinegar carries over to the taste, but it's much more to my liking here. The tartness still came through in the taste, but the beer still had a moderate sweetness, quite enough to make this one enjoyable. This one does a good job with the style, and in terms of flavor, is a beer to shoot for, but something I still think can be passed. Pretty enjoyable if you can get past the vinegar smell. The body is actually a bit thin, but is still quite pleasant thanks to the tartness. Not very malty, but just enough sweetness to get by. The carbonation is nice, bites just a bit without getting in the way. The drinkability is good, this one must be consumed rather slowly, though - just as the whole style ought to be. But overall, a good drink, something like a night cap for this one, and I'd recommend it to others hoping to explore the style.

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Photo of Bierman9
3.71/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed from an 11.2oz bottle, with a best before date of 19Jan08. Label says 6.0% abv....

Poured into a small tulip glass, the Duchesse has a lovely, clear, deep ruby hue. Luscious! Head is beige and steady at about 1/4", fine and tight. Carbonation heads topside at a regular pace, and lacing left behind is superb. Great looking bier! The nose is tart and cherryish, yet show sweetness at the same time as sourness. Very nice. Body for the Duchesse was a smidge under medium, with a light, bubbly, airy feel on the tongue. Not overly prickly, though.

Flavor has sweetness, with a syrupy cherry character at the start. Quite good at the outset, though in mid- to late-sip a funky, bitter aspect kicks in. Has some vinegar and woody traits, and reminds me somewhat of the horse-blanket flavor some Belgians have. Though not overly off-putting, it does put a damper on what was a great start to the flavor profile. Finish is crisp and dry. Still, tastes rather nice, all in all.

Zum Wohl!

overall: 3.9
appearance: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | mouthfeel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5

986

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Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
92 out of 100 based on 1,496 ratings.
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