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
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:
1,503
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 Celtics17
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Big cherry flavor. Very strong vinegar aroma, and the taste is strong following that smell. The taste of salad dressing or balsamic vinegar is big. A very big sweet and sour beer. I don't get much barrel aging in this.

This is a clean and powerful tasting sour, and one of the best you can get everyday.

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Photo of Gajo74
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one was a real treat. The taste is predominantly sweet, tart and sour. The aroma is earthy and even has a hint of vinegar. Would love to have again, perhaps with a hearty meal.

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Photo of IrieJackalope
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

One of my favorite beers, finally sitting down to give this one a review.
Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into my Belgian goblet. Pours a dark red, crystal clear with a good amount of head, leaving lacing down the glass as it disipates. The smell is sweet, tangy and oh-so inviting. I once heard someone describe the aroma as fermented ketchup and bowling alley shoes, but it's pretty damn wonderful if you ask me. The taste is equally amazing. A bit of sweet malt paired with a delicious tang that I've come to crave over time. Despite it's sour elements, the beer finishes pretty clean, although there's certainly a bit of the liveliness that lingers behind. Honestly, I could drink this stuff all day. I know it's not everyone's cup of tea (or beer rather) but the duchess will always have a space reserved in my beer fridge. Definitely worth trying at least once, it might even change the world of beer for you forever.

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Photo of FenwaySquid
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 11.2 oz bottle poured into a Chimay chalice. (the date on the bottle said best before 17-3-06.) The beer book I have showed it in what looked like an oversized wine glass, and that was the closest thing I could find to match.

Appearance: poured a very dark reddish brown, the carbonation was spritzy. A small head formed initially then faded qickly into a lace around the edge of the glass. A small, almost clould-like puff remained in the center though.

Aroma: Very faint, what I could detect was slightly sour.

Taste: I'm new to this style, and this is easily the most complex beer I've ever tasted, so here goes. At first it is sweet and pleasant, reminiscent of cherries. Then it takes on a more sour flavor, almost like a red wine, but not quite. the finish was rather vinagery, but still pleasant. Throughout the entire time it remained very smooth and semi-sweet.

Overall: This is a beer I wasn't sure I'd like, and I came away pleasantly surprised. I'm not sure I'd want to drink it on a daily basis, but it is truly a remarkable brew. I'd rather break it out once a month or so simply to remind myself how truly complicated and different beer can be. Once you're at this point you're light years away from anything the average person imagines when they think of beer, but that's the whole point, isn't it?

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Photo of everetends
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Review #200. Thanks to Goliath for the amazing hookup of this brew. Poured into a tulip and I am amped.

A: Pours a very dark red, almost brown. Once I hold the tulip up to the light, there is not doubt that this lady is red. A beautiful dark, murky red. The head was slightly off white, and I got a little over two fingers on the pour. The head receeded slowly down to a white ring that is very thick and lasting. The lacing is sticky and soapy. Spotty lacing designs casually laze about the glass. Just damned beautiful.

S: The scent of this baby is very nice. Cranberries, strawberries, and raspberries. Berries everywhere. Grapes?! This smells a bit like a merlot when you swirl the glass. Just an interesting combo. As this puppy slowly warms, you get the scent of some thick caramel. Sweet and sour overall for the aroma profile.

T: So damned tasty. This beer gets better as it airs out and warms up. Initially just some sour cranberry flavors kept me entertained. As it slowly warms, more and more sour fruit come out. Strawberries show their face along with some raspberry. There is also some plum in there. All of the fruitiness is sour, but perfectly sour. Nothing too crazy, just perfect on the way down. There is a slight hint of vinegar but nothing overwhelming. As it warms even more, caramel and a bit of breadiness comes in to round out the flavors. This brew is amazing.

M: Medium in body. This beer has a very sour and tart feel. It really challenges the taste buds. It lingers all around the mouth and really lets you enjoy everything it has to offer. There is absolutely zero hint of ABV. This brew really coats the mouth witha thick, almost syrupy texture. The amazing thing about this brew is just how long it lingers. Just perfect in feel.

D: This beer is amazing. I want more and I find myself nursing this because I don't want it to end. I could easily drink this in a couple gulps but that would be a waste. The Smell, Taste and Feel are all great. This brew is great. If I ever run across some, I will buy at least half a case. This brew is so dynamic. Loving it.

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Photo of jera1350
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours into a Duvel Tulip a deep burgundy color that is semi transparent. The head is light tan creating a wonderful contrast from the body. Some lacing and wonderful retention.

Sour smelling reminiscent of silage. Sour dark fruit, woody and earthy.

Juicy cherry, blueberry and blackberry flavors. Sweetness from the fruit flavors. Some balsamic, earthy and woody notes as well. Very deep in complexity. The sourness is there, but not strong in any way.

Velvety smooth with soft carbonation. About medium bodied with a super dry finish.

Great drinkability. I am loving this and am a little upset that I haven't tried it sooner. An awesome all around beer that I will definitely have again.

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Photo of eandersen
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Nice deep ruby with a 2 finger off white head. Dissipates quickly. Leaves some really impressive, thick lacing.

S - Balsamic vinegar upfront followed by deep wine like berry smells; dark raspberry, elderberry. Maybe a little bready malt. Slight oakiness.

T - The deep dark berry tastes come through much more than the nose would suggest. Definitely more ripe cherry than is detectable on the nose. Tartness at the front of the mouth, but not necessarily a balsamic tart, almost more of a lactic acid tart. Very nice sour. Super easy drinking.

M - Very smooth. Carbonation is somewhat less than I expected for the style leading to a slicker mouthfeel than many sours. But I'm totally OK with that.

O - Really excellent sour, will absolutely return to this. I could see this aging exceptionally well.

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Photo of SFBeerGuy
4.44/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle reading a best before date of 02-04-11.

A- Poured a crystal clear deep amber red with a thick and lively tan head. Champagne-like carbonation and fizzy foam that stayed for a long while before receding, leaving sticky lacing in the glass. Head remained for the entire drink.

S- Dark chocolate covered sour cherries. Tootsie Rolls. Licorice. Mouth-watering aromas.

T- Sour cherries up front with a tart snap. Sweet rock candy shows through. Currants and dark fruit is present. Slight toasted bread crust compliments hints of dark chocolate in the finish.

M- Not too puckering. Slight acidity. Lively and light bodied. Full carbonation tickles the pallet. Enjoyable bone dry finish which quickly takes the sourness and tartness with it. Very pleasant.

D- Incredible drink. Thirst quenching and a great complement to all sorts of food. Sweet and tart without being overbearingly puckering. Glows as it warms up! Best when served at recommended temperature. Got better to the last sip!

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Photo of CharlesRiver
4.44/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a dark reddish-brown with a nice off white head that seems to last. The smell is wonderful. Sweet, sour, balanced and simply amazing. The smell is a perfect five.

Taste is much more smooth than I expected. Cherries, wood, and a tad on the sweet side. No alcohol is present. So smooth and so balanced I am amazed this beer is aged in oak.

To be honest, I am sure there are better beers from this style. But, they are not that easily available. This is the best that I have had from this style and I can't wait to try more.

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

Appearance: A wonderful dark red color, with an agressive brown head on it. Careful pouring this one, this head doesn't go away as quickly as you might think.

Smell: There's malt, and wine, and citrus, and the alcohol's definately there too. Don't think I've ever had anything that smelled quite like this before.

Taste: Sweet up front, and sour in the back. Very heavy apple flavor all around, with wine-like undertones. Don't think I've ever tasted a beer quite like this before.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and thick. Very good considering the unique tang the beer has.

What a unique little brew! Much too sweet for everyday use, but with completely unmatched complexities to the taste. I'd sell my soul for an exact ingredients list. I've never tasted anything like it.

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

Into a snifter. Ruby colored with a two solid fingers of head.
Smells like cider vinegar, cherry and pear.
Fruity taste: cherry and pear again. A little malty sweet at the end with some lemon.
Champagne texture, lots of bubbles but not overly carbonated. Light body.
The vinegar smell actually fit well and thankfully didn't transfer into the taste. Top shelf here. An excellent all-around drink.

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

Comparative tasting with a 2001 Liefmans Goudenband 10/17/03.

Reddish brown color with a khaki head that becomes frothy after agitation. Some nice trails of lace remain on the glass. Nose is oaky and buttery with some subdued fruity esters. The nose, to me, screams California Chardonnay with that big buttery, oaky profile (and this is just on aroma). Taste-wise, this doesn't deviate too far from that California Chardonnay once again. Buttery, oaky, and vanilla notes give way to a tart green apple finish with notes of vinegar and funkiness. A wonderful interplay of sweet and sour. One of the most vinous beers I've consumed. The mouthfeel is pleasantly carbonated, yet quite smooth. This is an extraordinarily crafted Oud Bruin. Not quite as quenching as the Goudenband, but it seemed to be more flavorful with a fuller finish. Wonderful stuff.

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

Pours a reddish brown with a large tan head that had good retention. Moderate amount of sticky lacing is left on the glass. The aroma consists of a mild funkiness complimented by red wine and vinegar. The taste is just mildly tart. Some fruity sweetness also comes through. Some mild barnyard notes in the dry finish. Perfect mouthfeel. Soft texture that coats the mouth. Light body with mild carbonation. If someone is looking for an extra tart and funky beer, this is not the beer for you.

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

Thanks to Mac56 for this beer, via Newbie "Onebox" BIF '05

Poured into my Rodenbach tulip.
250 ml. bottle

Very large quickly dissapating head. Went from 3.5 fingers to covering the top of the beer in about 25 seconds.
Dark reddish copper color with a steady stream of carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass. Decent lace clings to the edges.
Smell: Sour and musty. Not as viniagry or "over the top" as say Rodenback Grand Cru. This is definately more my style. Nice tart fresh cherry and off-the-tree apple sweetness, with definate hops towards the back. Oak comes through later on.
Taste: This is gorgeous. Tart, but not overly. Malty sweetness on the tongue. Almost on the verge of an apple-wine. Very fruity. Slight bitterness, like the bitterness from a fresh apple peel that you just picked off of the tree. I keep going back to the apple references. If apples actually tasted this good, Jesus, I'd eat an apple with every single meal of my life. May have wanted it a bit more tart, ended up being a bit too sweet towards the end.
Mouthfeel/Drinkability: I could have drank this beer in about 3 sips. Medium mouthfeel. Nice and creamy. I would have liked it a bit more tart and brisk. Finishes dry, drier than I would have thought possible while drinking this beer.
Full of surprises, flavors and aromas. Nice beer.

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

Very excited to see this on tap at House of 1000 Beers in New Kensington, PA.

Poured into a stemmed tulip: Dark reddish-brown, kind of burgundy, with deep plum highlights & a finger of khaki, loose head. Great color, big crown of lacing.

Smells of balsamic vinegar, tart, dark cherries, vanilla, green apple, a little leather, a little sawdust. Very complex & nicely integrated.

Taste follows aroma very closely, with some amplified acidity & more pronounced cherry & apple, wrapped up well. Wish I could say more, but it's pretty much already been said.

Full-bodied, smooth, a little viscous but with that moderate acidic bite. Very engaging.

This is one great beer. Flavorful, complex, but doesn't overwhelm or knock you out. That said, two is probably my limit. Maybe I had expectation bias, but I went in prepared to love this & I loved it, so there you go.

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

Flanders red indeed, a beautiful crimson brown color with nice whitish head and some spiderweb lacing that otherwise fizzles out until warmed. The aroma smells of sour and tart fruits, red skinned ones, cherry, red apple, plum, and vinegar for some reason.

The taste similarly puts on a display of sweet, tart, sour fruits, follows the grape to an almost vinous quality, earthy and complex and... vinegar again? (Now, I'm not the biggest vinegar fan, far from it, but it seems ok here for some odd reason, but still, pushing my buttons.) Sweetens a bit with a juicy body through the middle only to tart up and dry out a bit at end.

The body is mostly medium, a spritzy effervescent carbonation. The great thing about this beer is it ages well, and because I have to really be in the mood for this style (though when I do, I really crave it), that makes it all the better. In all, a delightful brew, one I've had on a few occasions now, both in bottle and on tap. Always a treat.

(Also, I should note, after reviewing this beer, I broke out some Saint Andre cheese with raspberry preserves and Brenton crackers, they all played together nicely.)

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Photo of berley31
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured with a fairly large, off-white head that was long-lasting and eventually settled to 1/2-finger. Body is dark ruby red and quite clear.

S: Fantastic aroma of medium sourness, with some cherry fruitiness thrown in as well. Slight horse-blanket smell in there, too.

T: Nice balance of fruitiness and sourness... doesn't become overpowering at all. Awesome.

M: Medium body, medium-light carbonation. Both sweet and tart in the finish.

D: My first Flanders Red. I loved it.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a clean orange-ish brown color with a light tan head. In the aroma, sour cherry and oaky hints. In the taste, sweet to sour dark cherry and a small oaky hint. A smooth and sour medium to light bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry oaky and cherry aftertaste. Nice oaky hints, with a nice cherry sourness.

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Photo of lenin2040
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Just getting into various sour styles recently. Love the diversity of beer!

To benchmark flanders reds / browns, I've had Monks Cafe, Rodenbach and Rodenbach Grand Cru. This blew all of those away.

Poured a deep ruby with not much head. Light aroma of grape must, balsamic vinegar, some tropical fruits.

Flavor was cherries and balsamic vinegar with some definite complexity i couldnt put my finger on. much deeper (oak very apparent) flavor than the Monks, and IMO richer and more balanced than either variety of Rodenbach (both of which I enjoyed). Mouthfeel balanced the sweetness.

Insanely drinkable. Shared the 750 with two friends and bummed I didn't have another (or two!) to drink myself.

Will be seeking this out again.

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

Served on tap into a wide mouthed red wine style glass.

This beer is a beautiful ruby color and smells like sherry. I would bet that people who did not know any better would mistake this for sherry.

The taste is malty, but the sherry / sour cherry taste takes the lead. A very interesting beer, and one you may need to be in the mood for.

Mouthfeel is good, a little to be desired.

I could drink more of these, and probably will though they will likely be one at a time.

An excellent beer. Recommended.

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

Pours a beautifully clear red/brown with a bubbly off white head that starts off strong but leaves us much too soon but sticks much lace on my glass. Smells of horsehair, must, oak, some berries, tart acidic. Taste is filled with all the wonderful things I smelled. I pick up the funk sweet and sour dried fruits, some vanilla, even a faint bourbon in there as well. Mouthfeel is syrupy, sticky, smooth. Body is medium, carbonation is low but ample. I wish I had tried this sooner as it is a fantastic sour and seems to be readily available in my area.

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

I had this on tap and thought it was brilliant!! After having this beer I became aware of how biased I was toward American craft beers. This beer pours a beautiful deep chestnut with limited head. The nose has sun dried fruit with a flavor that has a nice maltyness with raisin. mmmm!

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

Before even pouring it I could smell that slightly vinegary kombucha smell ( which I'm slowly growing to like). Pours dark coffee with deep red highlights. The head is small but pleasantly leaving lacing. With further inspection smells of Belgian yeast minor hops and mild sweet vinegar. Taste is complex, sweet, slightly fruity esters mixed with a tinge of bitterness. Sour cherries and the bottom of apple cider, nice bit of acidity, might be good for food. This is a really different ale than I'm used to the only other I've had at all similar was a gueze lambic, but I know this is a very different beer. I enjoyed this I might even buy others like this, but its something I will slowly learn to enjoy.

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

Aggressive pour into a Hennepin tulip. Garnet chestnut color with a thick and creamy khaki-colored head and impressive retention. Settles to a patched lace. Aromas of apple cider and sour cherries.

Opens with sour cherry tartness and the tang of apple cider. Pleasant prickly effervescence. Suggestions of lime citrus co-mingle with tart fruit flavors. A hint of balsamic vinegar surfaces. Finishes dry with a subtle oak tone.

Great balance between sweet and sour. Exceptional drinkability. Outstanding. I'm extremely bummed I don't have another bottle of the Duchesse to sip and savor.

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