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Duchesse De Bourgogne | Brouwerij Verhaeghe

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
91
outstanding
1,492 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:
1,492
Ratings:
4,082
Avg:
4.09
pDev:
23.72%
 
 
Wants:
230
Gots:
829
For Trade:
16
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,492 | Ratings: 4,082
Photo of UncleJimbo
3.58/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at The Sunset in Boston.

This beer poured a clear, dark brown color with creamy, tan foam that settled flat. The smell was a modest but pleasant lightly tart aroma. The taste had a mild tartness with some fruitiness (cherries) and a bit of dried fruit. There was a hint of tangy sweetness and some sour caramel flavor in the finish. The mouthfeel was tart and crisp with medium body and modest carbonation. The flavor lingered only briefly. This was a decent Flanders Red ale, but I expected more from it. The flavor and aroma seemed somewhat muted compared to others of this style. I will have to give this one a try out of a bottle sometime soon.

 659 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.58/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy cinnabar with orange highlights and a considerable amount of uprushing carbonation. The small, airysoft, golden beige head has a featureless surface and a less than impressive lifespan. A thin ring of delicate lace indicates the high water mark of the head, and a series of vertical streamers run down to the deflating cap. Although the color of the liquid is great, not much else impresses.

Duchesse is the most vinegar-like beer that I've ever smelled. It isn't overwhelmingly vinegary, but if I caught it in the midst of deterioration, I wouldn't have wanted to pop the cap much farther along. There's also a funky, sour cherry aroma that I find appealing. On repeated sniffs, the cider vinegariness isn't all that bad. If it's that dominant on the palate, though, I smell trouble.

Vinegar is still noticed... and still stops just short of being a deal breaker. I would love to taste DDB fresh so that I wouldn't keep flashing back to coloring Easter eggs as a kid. This bottle is still more than a month away from its 'best by' date, so maybe it's supposed to taste like this. It's puckeringly sour and acidic with sour cherries still running rampant. I'd be amazed if cherries didn't play some role in the brewing process.

As I get deeper into the glass, I can appreciate a fairly significant sweetness that's all the more noticeable because of the medium-full, lightly viscous mouthfeel. The seltzer-like carbonation feels out of place, but it does keep things from bogging down and becoming overly syrupy. It also eliminates much in the way of mouthcoating; the finish is surprisingly clean.

I'm conflicted about Duchesse De Bourgogne. I can taste the outlines of what must be an incredible Flanders red, but this particular bottle tastes like it's on the cusp of the point of no return. Even though it's still drinkable, I'm convinced that the Duchesse and I haven't met in the most optimal of circumstances. I'll keep an eye out and will give a younger, more vivacious version a second review.

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Photo of dbalsock
3.57/5  rDev -12.7%
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 snogglethorpe
3.57/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A lovely deep burgundy color, with a huge creamy head. Smell is interesting, woody/fruity/musty. Taste doesn't really live up to the smell though -- it's sour, fruity, and refreshing, but not complex, and the woody notes in the smell are barely evident in the taste.

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Photo of vandemonian
3.56/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Duchesse De Bourgogne has a reddish brown colour and a decent 5 mm head that fades to lacing quite quickly. The smell is sour and vinegary with a hint of sweetness. Some sour apple and.. some flavour... I can't put my finger on it... maybe umami. The aftertaste is smooth and good with smallest hint of bitterness. The texture is foamy pretty thick. Overall, a very nice sour ale.

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Photo of granger10
3.56/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle. Pours a deep reddish almost brown color. Huge foamy, airy tan head rests on tap. Tons of lacing. Aroma is sour and vinous but not too acidic at all or pungent. Taste has a weird contrast of sweet and tart. The sweetness is fruity and kind of sugary but is soon balanced out by a drying tartness. Finish lingers a bit. Not really the vinegar wretching beer like other Flemish Reds I have tried and the sweetness isn't as deep of a maltyness. Take those characteristics as either good things or bad things. I couldn't really get totally into this beer but I didn't mind it really either.

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Photo of kindestcut
3.56/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

OK, so the conundrum is...how do you review a beer fairly if it turns out you don't really care for the style? Well, that's what I had to deal with here.

I wanted to like this beer. I really did. But I couldn't get into it (I say this as I drink a stout to cleanse my palate). So, I've looked at the style attributes and I've tried to be as fair as possible.

The Duchesse De Bourgogne poured a reddish brown. The off-white head was very active, rising to the top of my goblet and staying for quite a long time. When it began to recede it left a pretty lace.

The aroma was a combination of sweet and sour, reminding me of a good raspberry sauce with hints of lemon. If that sounds out of character, then it's because I was straining to find something familiar here.

The taste was also complex. Any hoppiness was dominated by a dramatic sweetness that gave way to a tart finish...a sour character that lived beyond the swallow. However, this beer is far more sweet than sour. The alcohol, although a hearty 6.2%, was not to be tasted.

Again, it's not my cup of beer but graded by the style, I suppose it's a solid example.

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Photo of madtowndmb1
3.55/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a deep redish brown color.

S: I get a lot of molasses and some vinegar like others.

T: Tart fruit, and carbonation, not a ton of vinegar acid

M: Carbonation, thin, actually the best part of this beer to me.

D: It's good to try, but not sure if I'd do a ton ton of them. Once a year beer. Too tart for me.

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Photo of abrand
3.55/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

11.2 oz poured into snifter

A- pours a very deep red that is translucent. About a 1/2 inch head that dissolves quickly with a lot of fizzing. Some lacing along the glass.

S- Loads of vinegar (this reminds me of when I was younger and my mother would make me bathe in vinegar when I had a rash). Also hints of fruits and spices. Is there the aromas of wine in there as well?

T- Lots of sweet fruits, predominately cherries which I did not sense with the nose. Along with the smell, I taste hints of red wine and malted vinegar.

M- light bodied with little carbonation

D- Fairly low IMO. While the taste is very unique and alcohol not that noticeable, this brew is way too complex. I enjoyed the experience but not something I would be able to drink routinely.

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Photo of mizzoueng
3.55/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Reddish hints in a dark brown, minimal head, but it was a tannish/taupish color

S - For being a Flanders Red, this was good. Smelled of grapes, almost like Chardonnay wine with hints of vinegar, fruit (couldn't place it), and clove

T - Not sour at all, almost sickly sweet. Like the beer was not fully fermented or a bag of sugar got poured in the fermenter right before it was kegged. Tasted more like a swet wine/beer hybrid. Was still good and drinkable, but not exactly what I had in mind when ordering a Flanders Red.

M - Full bodied, yet not very heavy. Like I keep pointing out, like a sweet red wine with a malty backbone.

D - I would order this again, but in a bottle to see how its different. I think this would be a good beer to age and see how the flavors meld.

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Photo of ojv
3.54/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A bottle from 2009 and may well be past its prime. Flat, thin, and sour upon first pour; it opened up nicely after standing with uch of the sour flavor that dominated the first sip dissipated. Some nice complexity remained and a nice Belgian red still wait in the bottle.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.54/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Body is a deep, tawny, foggy dark red. Pours with a one finger creamy, slightly off white (rose colored) head. Perfect retention and plenty of lacing is left behind in the glass.

S- Well I haven't had too many sours but when I cracked open the bottle vinegar smacked me in the face...once I got past the vinegar hints of vanilla, red fruity wine, and oak also emerged.

T- Puckering sour vinegar flavors upfront with a deep complex background of raspberry and dark cherry, oak, and woody flavors. The tartness tones down for the finish so that these flavors can be showcased.

M- Low carbonation and immaculately smooth body which oak and vanilla tones contribute to.

D- This is a good beer. The vinegar sourness is definitely the highlight with everything else in the background. Nice, complex Belgian all around. Probably will have this again.

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Photo of BamaBeerBuff
3.54/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a very deep brownish-crimson color with a sizeable off-white head that retains well and lays down a bit of lacing on my snifter. Very impressive appearance.

S: Initially the aroma of pure, unrestrained vinegar was awful, but it's mellowed a bit with time and some warming. Acidic and fruity, with notes of fermented cherries and a hint of woodiness. I can appreciate it, but it's worlds away from the other oud bruin I've had. The vinegar aroma kind of kills the opportunity for other positives to emerge.

T&M: Sour and tart. There's a good deal of cherry flavor and tartness with a residual aftertaste of vinegar. Some musty earthiness and woody character on the tail end and finish. I definitely appreciate the complexity and subtlety in here. The mouthfeel has a brisk, sharp carbonation and a lighter body, which is in-line with the style.

D: Hard to get a lot of this down because of the vinegar flavor and acidity. I wouldn't want to drink more than 1 of these in a session.

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Photo of aasher
3.53/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one poured a dark cherry brown in color with a quickly dissipating beige head. When you hold it up to the light it is ruby red, like freshly stained wood. This smells like sourdough, vinegar, spoiled milk, and cherries. It instantly makes me think of Monks Cafe. The flavor is just ok. You get ALOT of sweetness though. I'd say it's cloyingly sweet before it goes into the slight sourness. You can actually pick of a trace of alcohol, which is very surprising considering it's only 6.2%. It's tastes of a mix of sweet fruits and condensed milk. Sweet Moses this beer is sweet! How do people drink a 750 by themselves? I kind of like Flanders Red Ales but this beer is far too sweet for me. It doesn't help that the sweetness is the prominent part of the after taste. It's just ok in my opinion.

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Photo of texashammer
3.53/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours out of the bottle a dark brown, red when held to the light, with only a slight head. smell is a very funky sourness. just a hint of Vichtenaar's richness in the mouth. somewhat daunting sourness. delicate, with a slightly metallic bite at the end.

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Photo of GreatLeo
3.53/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Came in a 33cl bottle with best before date of 22-04-2006
The color was a really dark reddish brown mix with a real strong smell of fruits and spices which was evident almost immediately after pouring. I am not the biggest fan of lambric style beers so I wont diss this beer because of it. Very complex would be best served as a dessert beer rather than an actual meal beer. A very interesting mix of strong fruit flavors combined with a very earthy tone of wood added to the taste which makes sense because the beer was aged in oak casks. Overall a great choice of beer recommended for those who enjoy red wines or really rich fruity beers.

 642 characters

Photo of tlema1
3.53/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L: deep mahogany color, lacing tan head
S: tart fruits
T: very tart, acidic, not as sour as I imagined
F: long finish, I find it unpleasant
O: I rated to style, but this is a drainpour for me

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Photo of spdyfire83
3.53/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

297th Review
Bottle to Westy XII chalice
Vintage: Not specified.
BB: 2014-09-03

A: Medium plum red. Half (off-white) fingernail head on soft pour.

S: Tart cherry, cranberry, soft vanilla, and slight hint of vinegar acidity. Oak and hint of earthy red wine as well.

T: Soft sour character up-front with cherry, oak, and vinegar overtones. Muted red fruit sweetness and a bit of barrel here as well. Okay at best.

M: Medium bodied with decent carbonation.

O: Slightly above average here as this beer needs some time to become more rounded.

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Photo of hotstuff
3.52/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This is beer?? It tasted and smelled more like a wine than it did a beer and therefore it was very much not to my liking. It poured a large sized tan frothy head that consisted of fine-small bubbles. The body was opaque and carbonated with a red hue. The nose reminded me of pure wine as did the flavor. The mouthfeel was tingly, tangy, bitey and medium bodied. There was a fair amount of lacing with this beer.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.52/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Amber/ruby pour with off white head that showed some persistence.
Aroma is very refreshing and fruity: sour funk, some plums, raspberries, and spicy phenols.
Very sweet flavour, lots of redcurrants, more raspberries, some oranges and a hint of vanilla. Low sourness and acidity.
Quite highly carbonated, but not overly so for the style. Would have liked some tannin-like astringency.
Very refreshing overall, but too sweet.

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.52/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a dark burgundy-tinged amber colour with cream head of small bubbles that is here one moment and the next is settled out into swirling clouds of lace; it doesn't quite cling to the glass. Manifold trails of bead add life to the party. Pretty good.

Smell is musty and sour with a big balsamic vinegar aroma coming off that. Tinged with sweetness though, a touch of cherry and a good spicy belt of black pepper. Good vinous richness with oak and a whisper of honey as well, just part of a lovely sticky and sweet base that really must be smelled to do it any justice. Just wonderful.

Taste is an extremely sour Belgian affair, and sadly on first impression I can't count myself among its more ardent admirers. Starts with a tartness that is noticeably 'off' yet never puckering. Some might call it restrained, but I call it confused. The sweetness feels overdone, by contrast, and it lends the palate an overall spoiled quality that isn't so present in a Rodenbach or a Cantillon - because those beers just push with extreme force on the limits of sour. There is abundant fruit here, with cherry, gooseberries and apricots, but the sourness just renders them all a little off and gives a slight oxidised wine flavour overall. Mid-to-late is especially off-putting with a compost flavour. Look, on the right palate this might be an exception beer but, to me, everything tastes undercooked and the whole sweet/sour clash is a big turnoff. Points for complexity; not for balance.

A fair tingle on the mouthfeel from carbonation. Not overdone though to the point of harshness, just adds texture to go with the sour palate. Intriguing.

Not a favourite, but there is character enough to keep one exploring, albeit with more than a little trepidation.

 1,752 characters

Photo of beveragecaptain
3.51/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

330 ml bottle. Duchesse De Bourgogne pours out a Ruby color with a creamy head. The aroma is cherry, oak, and vinegar. The flavor starts out a sweet, but turns very sour. Fruity cherry flavor. I would be surprised if there were no cherries in this beer. A bit chocolatey. The finish is dry and woody. Medium mouthfeel with a high carbonation. This beer is definitely not for everyone. Overall I enjoyed it, but with each sip I alternated between thinking it tasted great and thinking it tasted nasty. I guess each beer lover will have to decide for himself.

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Photo of wd40
3.51/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Beautiful burgundy appearance. Deep dark red, fairly clear. Smells like a fantastic sour beer mixed with red wine. I really liked the aroma except there was a faint hint of metal. The tast up front is fantastic. Great sour bite that quickly fades into an almost soda-like sweetness. The finish of the beer is very sweet, more like wine than beer. The mouthfeel is soft. Subtle carbonation. The beer is very well-crafted but the drinkability is negatively affected by the sweetness in the finish.

 495 characters

Photo of wiseguy142
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Happy to be giving this a try, thanks to a Beers of the World gift certificate I received for graduation. My palate's leaning strongly towards wines and more assertive beers these days so I'm right in the mood for a Flanders Red.

Pours a reddish brown, more on the side of brown, with a soda-like off white head and lots of carbonation. Lots of bubbles sticking to the sides.

Aroma is of sweet vinegar and some minerals. Faint hints of meaty fruit like peaches or plums.

Taste is surprisingly sweet. Not too heavy on the sourness, which is a bit of a let down for me at the moment. Sometimes on the side of "rotten" moreso than "tart." Tastes like there's some brown malt in there or some equivalent that's pushing the beer more from "red" to "brown." Sweet like an English Brown ale towards the end and doesn't finish with any sourness.

Mouthfeel is effervescent and medium bodied. I'm already a bit tired of this thanks to the "rotten" taste. I was expecting more sour. I really enjoyed Ommegang Rouge and was hoping this would come close to it but it's definitely missed that mark for me.

 1,097 characters

Photo of samie85
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a dark, purplish red color with one finger of creamy, off white head.

S-Apple cider and balsamic vinegar with green apples, caramel, and some oak.

T-Sweet and slightly sour with a bit of barnyard character.

M-Pretty smooth and rich in the mouth with light carbonation,

D-Wow, I was expecting quite a bit more sourness but this reminds me a lot of Lindeman's Faro with a bit of sour.

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Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
91 out of 100 based on 1,492 ratings.
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