Duchesse De Bourgogne | Brouwerij Verhaeghe

BA SCORE
92
outstanding
1,522 Reviews
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Verhaeghe
Belgium
brouwerijverhaeghe.be

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:
1,522
Ratings:
4,178
Avg:
4.1
pDev:
14.15%
 
 
Wants:
239
Gots:
889
For Trade:
16
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Reviews: 1,522 | Ratings: 4,178
Photo of WYVYRN527
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Like most beers of this style, I like to describe them as sparkling pinot noir. However, This one is different. It pours a dark garnet color, with a thick head consisting of rather large bubbles. On the nose is a hint of spice, with a scent of blackcurrant. Beginning with a sour flavor of raspberry and cranberry, it is followed by a sweet finish of plum, currant, and brown sugar. The beer is medium-to-full bodied, and is not something that will fill you up before or after a meal. Because of it's acidity, I would serve this beer with fresh fruit or a salad. It would go great with pork tenderloin as well... For those looking to explore into a realm of something truly different, I highly reccomend this fine product.

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Photo of zymurgy4all
4.52/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is quite an interesting beer. It pours a deep reddish brown with a dense white creamy head. The aroma is all sourness: lactobacillus, brettanomyces, and a hint of oak. The immediate flavor is sour, then it finishes sweet leaving a sweet & sour taste in your mouth. The aftertaste lingers for a while as well. This is a beer that you learn to like--after having a gueze, this one tastes wonderful. Great beer, but don't drink it until you've had other sour beers to compare it too, and you develop your palate.

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Photo of skeetermoses
2.56/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

I was looking forward to this beer, and was very disapointed in it. I had a large bottle of this beer and was not pleased. I thought I would enjoy this beer with turkey stew, but am glad I did not drink this with it. Instead I drank it over a disappointing loss by the Longhorns vs. the Aggies, I shared this with about 4 other people, and we all came to the same conclusion. This beer tastes like someone poured a beer into a bottle of red wine, mind you they are all wine drinkers, except me.

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Photo of rodenbach99
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

bouteille de 330ml

comme ce style est plaisant, les bières rouges des flandres sont dans mes préférées. Comme la rodenbach cette bière a une belle couleur rouge brique foncé, avec un nez un peu surette de cerises. En bouche elle est aigre-sucrée-surette..parfaitement dans le style.

Au Québec il n'y a plus de rodenbach a défaut on se jette sur la Duchesse de Bourgogne.

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Photo of walshclimb
4.26/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark reddish brown with thick off-white to tan head that thins quickly and leaves a nice lace. The aroma is lightly sour with definite sweet cherry influence and a hint of fermented grapes, like port. The taste is complex with sweet cherry, port-like initial flavor with a tart aftertaste that is at once pleasant and strong flavored. Medium to full bodied with active carbonation. This is a very interesting dessert beer that goes very well with chocolate and cherries.

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Photo of bluegrassbrew
4.06/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a deep reddish brown with a massive tan head. Excellent retention and great lace all over the glass. This is an impressive looking brew.

Smell is sweet and tart at the same time. Sweet candy and funky fruit.

Taste is boldy tart. Some hints of vinegar are underneath sour apples and sour melon.

Overall, this is a fine Flanders beer. Looks fantastic. Maybe not as seemless as a Rodenbach, but still very good.

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Photo of HardTarget
4.54/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Duchesse De Bourgogne
Bottle Inspection: Fine art on an 11.2 oz. brown bottle noting 6% abv. and a best by date of 01-02-09, enjoyed 28-10-07. Serving temp suggestion of 47-53F.

Aroma: Definite wood character, a sweetness there too, like Coca Cola syrup, and a funky twang, almost like vinegar. A really sniffer; I long lingered here trying to find words.

Appearance: Deep reddish brown with excellent clarity from the top of my chalice. Only a wisp of brownish head that doesn’t look long for the world.

Flavor: Wow. Almost a steak sauce flavor, like A1, with a vinegary edge much like a red wine. Funky, but not intense. Mild Oak flavor but no woody tannins. Mild sweetness is there too, again, close as I can come is Coca Cola. Just a hint of paper in the finish but it adds just a touch more of complexity.

Mouthfeel: Given the lack of head, I’m surprised how lively the feel is. Tiny little bubbles fizz and pop on the tongue without getting foamy. Medium body with a long lasting finish that triggers a bit of chew.

Overall Impression: I’m seriously impressed. This is a work of art. I take little sips and then gaze lovingly at the glass. The TABC has completely failed in their quest to keep interesting, high quality beers out of Texas. They won’t nap long. Join me in hording all of this you can find. I’m betting this just keeps getting better with age.

Outstanding.

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Photo of BubbaSteve
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have had this brew only bottled (VERY envious of those who can get it on tap!) but am writing this review after the 750 ml bottle.
First, the appearance. Absolutely gorgeous! Dark brown with beautiful mahogany red edges, nice creamy white head that lasted a remarkably long time. The aroma struck me as wine-like with a hint of oak and vanilla (not surprisingly as oak has the second highest concentration of the chemical vanillin from which vanilla beans get their flavor and aroma) and perhaps a touch of raisin as well.

The taste is very hard to describe other than to say that it is very complex with a bit of fruitiness, malty sweetness and an acidic note like cherries or even blackberry. It seemed to begin with a softly tart maltiness that then subsides and very much flows into the fruity notes ending with just a hint of raisin. Amazingly good stuff!

I found it to be eminently drinkable which I set out to prove by finishing 2 of the 750 ml bottles over a 4 hours period. Was saddened once it was gone. I will be stocking up on this for the upcoming holidays!

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Photo of jasonjlewis
2.9/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I haven’t been marking the blind tasted beers I have had. My girlfriend poured this for me out of 7 beers I gave her to choose from.

Appearance: little head with decent lacing: Red color. I can see my fingers through the glass. 2.0

Smell: 4.5 toffee and black currents and grapes with caramel. A heavenly delight of a smell

Taste: 2.5 This beer is incredibly sweet. Loads of candy sugar in this, I am sure. Belgian sugar candy with black currant. Back round is of toffee and caramel. This beer has crazy sweetness It’s very cloying. I am smacking my lips because of the sweetness. It is tart and sweet. Some balancing sourness comes out as the beer warms. This could become well rounded if they put less candy sugar in this beer.

Mouthfeel: 2.0This beer is undercarbonated and makes my lips smack. The overly sugariness of the beer does not make for a good mouthfeel.

Drinkability: 2.5 I could drink this beer fast because it is so sweet, but it wouldn't make for that enjoyable og an expriece.

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Photo of wheelinshirt
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle, corked and caged, purchased at Abe's in Bethlehem for $8.50. The first thing my friend and I noticed when we popped the cork was the smell of alcohol which was surprising since it is only 6%. It quickly faded, though, and we poured it into two tulip glasses.

Much darker than I would have expected, kind of mysterious looking with about a finger of creamy tan head that retains well and leaves some lacing. The smell is dark ripe fruits and some bread/biscuits as well. The taste is extremely complex with the aforementioned fruitness upfront followed by a tart sourness behind. Mouthfeel was a bit heavy for the style i think and a lighter body and a bit more carbonation would have made this a bit more drinkable. I finished the lions share of this bottle and my mouth was pretty worn out by the end. An amazing beer to sip and be awed by, highly recommended and unusual.

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Photo of allengarvin
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, served into a tall chalice. Exp date on cork is 06/09. The color is dark ruby, clear when held to the light, with a small head of foam. Aroma is complex and interesting: a solid underlying tartness is dominant, but there are also notes of cherry, soda crackers, red wine. Up front the flavor is initially quite sweet, but the taste develops after a moment, with a lot of yeasty, very ripe fruitiness, a touch of coppery-metallic hardness, and a finish of woody sourness, like a low-acidity vinegar. Body is full, creamy, with a little tannic mouthfeel.

Excellent beer; I'm glad it finally made it into the Texas market.

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Photo of jaxon53
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served slightly chilled in a goblet, from a growler supplied by magget. Poured a deep brown with bright ruby highlights. About a finger of thin off white head topped the beer. Head actually lasted longer than I had thought it would, and left a thin coating of lace on the glass. Aromas of sour cherries, plum, yeast, with a nice malty note to it. Taste was pretty much the same. Tons of tart cherry, a nice bready yeast flavor, some dark fruits with a nice woody character to it. Tart enough to make you pucker but not overbearing. A nice well balanced Flanders Red Ale. Had a wonderful full bodied mouthfeel. Quite tart but very drinkable.

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Photo of Redwood21
4.07/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I believe this is the first flanders red ale that i remember trying. I must say i was suprised by the aroma and taste

A: I wish it had a longer lasting head but the color is a beautiful dark brown red color that makes the most robust red wines blush.
S: This has a very fruit ester smell to it, almost like a sparkling hard cider with some earthy woody aromas as well, likely from the oak aging.
T: very complex it starts out almost wine like, with similar characteristics to a spicy red, but becomes more tart and finishes with a crispness, almost tart green apple like. there is a note of ester but nothing too overwhelming.

i enjoyed this beer, was suprised, and would have it again. extremely good suprise

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Photo of MrBen
4.76/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Looking for a bold departure from your favorite brews? Call the Duchesse De Bourgogne!

The beer comes in a dark red/brown with a cream-colored head. Smell is crisp, slightly fruity, and tart. Very interesting. Flavor is deceptively good. Wine, cider, presence of tart and sour fruits. Some nice sweetness as well. It's very complex and holds my attention. I ended up ordering two of these -- one before and one after lunch.

Mouthfeel is captivating. You get a the urge to pucker up, but then a mild, almost acidic, dryness comes forward, much like the feeling you'd get after eating a bunch of fresh cranberries.

Duchesse De Bourgogne is an amazing beer. If you're looking for something unique and superbly crafted, do yourself the favor and give this a try.

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

Bottle is a beautiful big 1 pint , 9.4 oz.er , corked and caged , with a painting style label of the duchesse.

Appearance: This flanders red poured a very deep shade , with some purple and brown mixed with it's styles characteristic crimson color. The head was of small proportion , almost tan, with some slick lace.

Smell: An acidic but not overpowering scent with some wine-like qualities, wood/oak, some red fruit hints like dark cherries, and just a touch of apple.

Taste: Where do i start... wonderful flavor in this beer , lots of complexity. Some tart and lightly vinegary flavor of red fruits gushes over the tongue, cherry moves to an apple quality that is soon covered in and mixed with perfectly balanced malty sweet layers, chocolate , vanilla/creamy, caramel, then some oak and a flash of fruit in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Kinda creamy and full , yet very refreshing

Drinkability: A superb beer , one of those beers that makes you feel like you've just expanded your beer horizions further again. Awesome complexity and balance , very unique. The mix of tart fruit and sweet flavors was very unexpected and memorable , ah Duchesse you tell of what beer can do.

It also paired very well with some dark chocolates with ginger inside.

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Photo of timtim
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

i really love this one. nice reddish brown color with an off white head that shrinks down but never goes away. nice lace as well. smells of some fruit like plum, raspberry, cherry and vinegar as well. also some sweet sugary smell. tastes like a mix of all three fruits with a raw sugary sweetness and has an incredible sour kick. not too sour, just remarkable in my opinion. mouthfeel is soft and silky with a great carbonation that gives the drink some legs as it goes down. a real pleasure of a drink.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The portrait on the front label looks like a Rennaissance work with the phrase "Flemish Art of Brewing" in small print towards the top. Some of the words are printed in Dutch and French. Wow, I'm getting worked up about this one, and this is quite an uncommon style to find. On to the beer:

Into a snifter it goes, and it's a lighter brown with red mixed in. This is a very intersting smell, one I haven't encountered yet because of the limited Belgian beers I've sampled. Smells of wine vinigrette and sourness. I'm afraid to go on any farther...no I'm not! This is really interesting, very fruity, and not esters, it's really sweet. A little sourness is mixed in, which seems to be the way the beer balances out the sweet flavor. The aftertaste is quite dry with bready malts. I enjoyed it more the farther I got along with it. Not too cloying and not overpowering. And really different from your everyday beer.

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Photo of kenito799
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle poured into a Duvel glass. "Exp date Jun 2008" printed on the cork.

Moderate off-white head is raised on the pour over a clear dark brown brew with ruby undertones. The head fades slowly leaving wisps of white lacing, not sticky, just lazy. Looks a lot like root beer, actually.

Aroma is a promising funky lambic-style sourness, apple cider vinegar, unmistakeable cherry aroma, hints of woody oaky vanilla.

On the palate this is much sweeter than I expected. Fruity sweetness of cherries, apple hits first, really counterbalancing a nice tangy sourness...the finish is bitter like cherry pits rather than hops. Tobacco and oak notes in there...quite complex. Light body on the tongue, fizzy soda-like carbonation fills the mouth with foam, an unusual mouthfeel...no creaminess to the brew itself whatsoever. Again, sort of soda-like.

The fizziness, the nicely balanced sour tanginess and bitterness, all are just barely enough to keep the heavy fruity sweetness in check, but for me there is a cloying aspect that knocks the drinkability down a notch. Still it is an interesting, unusual and delicious beer. Would work really well with frites and mayo, welsh rarebit, or a nice braised pork or lamb shank.

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Photo of CharlieMopps
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a deep burgundy with some ruby highlights, topped by a fairly dense, eggshell colored head that showed good retention and lacing.

S: Smelled of sour cherries, a bit of a yeasty note, with tartness coming to the forefront.

T: Definitely a strong cherry flavor present, which was nice, but this beer was actually quite unexpected. The middle offered up a sourness that was assertive, but not too intense, as the quintessential sweetness of a Belgian fused with the other flavors. These rushed toward a washed out finish that leaves very little aftertaste. Interesting dynamics.

M: Plenty of carbonation, very bubbly around the palate. There is a density in the liquid that seems to bring the tart cherry flavor down to the tongue.

D: A welcome addition to the roster of Belgians I've tried. While similar in style to other beers that I've had the good fortune to sample, this one stands out and offers up a full plate of sour cherry goodness.

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Photo of ericj551
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Duchesse De Bourgogne pours a deep ruby red with a thin but lasting off white head. The aroma is sweet dark fruits, vinous and almost champagne like with some smooth spicy oak. The taste is sharp and tart at first, rounded off by a fruity sweetness with hints of berries and chocolate. It finishes with a light smooth oaky flavor, nicely balanced. Creamy and smooth, this beer is really delicious. It's a little on the sweet side, but that only detracts slightly from its drinkability.

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Photo of SilentSabre
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Quite possibly the best Flanders Red I have ever had. Pours up a nice brick red colour with a gorgeous off-white head that lasts for ages. Smell is sour fruit and wet wood, but nothing is too assertive. So often in this style the whole sourness thing is way over done, both in the aroma and the taste, as well. Taste is right where I feel it needs to be for the style. Again, sour fruit, some sweetness, and a bit of woodiness, but nothing is over done or too assertive. Mouthfeel is smooth and easy to drink. This is simply a very solid representation of the style, and certainly one to seek out if one is interested in trying this style. Fantastic!

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Photo of hellcatsjg
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle poured into my new goblet.

Appearance: Dark, dark red. Good 1 finger head.

Smell: Spices with some brown sugar.

Taste: Sweet and sour cherry taste up front. A good peppery spice along with brown sugar towards the end. Very good flavor here. Good warmth follows a few seconds later.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Very clean and crisp. Good amount of carbonation but also very smooth, which seems to be tough to pull off sometimes. Taste does not linger long in your mouth but instead is quite drying, making you want another sip.

Drinkability: Very high. This is my favorite of the Belgians I have sampled so far. Very good sweet and spicy flavor, very smooth, and low alcohol content make this a great brew. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Floydster
3.24/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Goblet at Naja's Place

Super sweet and sour, one of my friend's favorites, so I gave it a try

10 ounces for $6.50 was a little steep in my book

Highly carbonated and large head

Berries and vinegar hints dominated the smell

Taste lasts a long time and makes you even thirstier

Could not drink much of this at all, 12 ounces would probably be the limit

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Photo of TechMyst
3.35/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Root beer appearance; opaque with garnet as transmitted color. White wine aroma. 4 months after 'best by' date, but let's be honest, that shouldn't matter much here. Apple cider vinegar taste. Sweet/sour dry grapes. No head retension; thick rings which slid back into brew. Bubbles spaced very far apart. Tried this warmer than normal. Thin Mouthfeel. No bloating, which is unique to this style for me. Resinous palate. Oaky with tart cherry undertones. Almost cloyingly sweet. Drinkable though.

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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.

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Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
4.1 out of 5 based on 4,178 ratings.
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