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Duchesse De Bourgogne | Brouwerij Verhaeghe

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1,508 Reviews
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Verhaeghe

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

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Reviews: 1,508 | Ratings: 4,130
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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Photo of Brandegee
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from big bottle into goblet

A: Dark caramel brown, lacy head
S: One of the all-time great beer aromas, with intense wood, banana and sour esters
T: Dark fruits, lots of plum and raisin. Obvious sour but a surprising serving of sweet berry fruits accompanies the sour. Pretty amazing.
M: I'm not a fan of huge carbonation and this has a lot of it. That's part of what gives it a "cider" vibe, I guess. It's not objectionable at all, however, and the smell/taste really defines this beer.
O: I've had a number of Flemish sours prior to this bottle and I have to say the DDB really has the formula. Definitely the best of the style that I've had, and a stunning helping of flavor in this beer makes it memorable. I'd love to have this with some intense French cheeses.

Note: Buy this in the big bottle, for the corkage experience. I don't know if this contributes to the experience, but the bottle art is far better than the small bottles.

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Photo of ghengisflan
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Look: Pours a clear ruby-red with a half-inch tan head.

Smell: A strong dry vinegar nose belies the great taste of this beer.

Taste: On the front end, a light sour flavor reminiscent of lychees. The aftertaste is pleasantly sweet, enough to balance out the sour.

Feel: Medium mouthfeel with lots of little bubbles.

Overall: An awesomely complex and balanced beer. A memorable sour.

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Photo of SolomonGrundy
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Actually, it's Verhaeghe VICHTE - sorry folks...Pours a beautiful dark cherry red with a half-finger's worth of creamy off white head...decent carbonation...Aroma is wonderful...Some funk, some spice, lots of black cherry and raspberry notes. Very nice so far, one of the best I've seen to this point. Wow!! Very sweet, to some it might be cloying. Brilliant flavors - mostly fruit like cherry and raspberry - very fruit forward to the point it's almost wine-like. This is lucious...The carbonation really rounds out the sweetness. It's really like a black cherry soda with less sugar and with added alcohol. Some may hate this, as it's less a beer and more a Lambic fruit ale, emphasis on the fruit. I love it and think it's awesome anytime of year...must find folks...

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Very nice looking beer. Deep amber with a slightly red hue. Head is unabashedly tan, full, and leaves thick lacing.

Smells of oak, vinegar, grape, a bit of grain and alcohol.

Flavors are tart, sweet , full, oak, cherry, cider-vinegar, slightly metallic. The taste is freekin' awesome. The oaking has given it a complexity all its own, and beyond that there is a complexity and flavor that is amazing.

Mouthfeel is full and smooth, high carbonation and lingering tart and slightly sweet finish.

It is just a bit odd to be super-drinkable, but it is quaffable.

I am pleased with this beer. It is a style I have tried once before but that one really lacked the complexity of this one. This one is a treat.

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

Lets start off by saying damn I love this beer...

Sweet malt in the nose with a touch of sour bacterial edge

Lots of sweetness in the mouth that fades to a light sourness that lingers just a little on the pallet, very smooth, creamy, not harsh, leaves the mouth wanting more...

A wee bit expensive but worth every penny. also a great transition beer for anyone who thinks they arent into flanders red's, very easy to get into.

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

11.2 fl oz bottle with best before date 11/30/2013
A: This one gushed when poured. Luckily didn't lose any. The pillowy foam subsided in a couple minutes and about a fingers worth of foam remained. Color was more dark red with brown
S: Smells real nice, cherries with slight woodiness
T: Tartness & sourness explodes during first sip. Took me back a little at first made my mouth and cheeks pucker. The sour/tart feelings do linger for a long time after finishing. Feel good that I had this beer at the end of the night.
M: Couldn't hold this one in my mouth for too long. Is well carbonated and feels medium
O: This beer takes me back to my youth when I would eat a roll of Shocktarts or a bag of Sour Patch Kids. The only down-side which might be a plus budget-wise is I can't have more than 1 of these in a sitting. Will buy a 4-pack of this next time instead of a single bottle. Also, really like to see a long best-by date printed on the bottle.

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

Pours out bright copper-brown and sits deep, ruby brown in the glass with a good sized, battered tan head, fading to a faint skim, pushed to the sides with some good lacings.

Smells of sweetened caramel and dark brown sugar, tart and sour in the back. Tart cherries and golden raisins mingle with figs and browned apples. Wooden hues along the sides, faint leafy hops.

Medium sweetness and well-matched tang and light acidity up-front, boasting pre-ripe tart cherries, pears, apricots and raisins. Fantastically mouthwatering, juices drip all over. Brown sugar coats the crowd and melds to bits of charred oak. Finish is equivalent to the introduction, but fades out with a very mild, almost non-existent bitterness hinting on grape seeds.

Crisp in the mouth with tact carbonation. In time with some gentle swirling, this mellows out into the delightfully smooth, silky body that lies underneath. This is built for an overnight stay in the mouth.

I cannot find a flaw large enough to constitute a complaint as this beer is highly drinkable and warrants many more encounters. A very finely crafted ale.

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Photo of Catracho5
4.46/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

11.2 bottle poured into a Belgian style tulip

A: Very nice looking mahogany, looks like a dark cherry, with a tan creamy head that lasted about 2 minutes.

A: Vinegar bomb, some alcohol, sour, slight tart berry aroma, smells great.

T: First impression, not as sour as the nose, very dry finish, not a lot of alcohol, there is some tart, sour berry flavors, definitely getting a sour cherry flavor, taste great.

F: This has the same carbonation and mouthfeel of a coke, except for the dry finish.

O: This is my second sour beer, didn't enjoy the first one, but this one is a lot better. The sour vinegar aromas and flavors turned me off at first, but then I notice there is some subtle cherry, berry aromas and flavors in the beer. Highly recommend if you're into sours and will definitely drink again.

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Photo of BeerImmediately
4.46/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750ml bottle, 6/10 exp date. Poured into tulip at 40 degrees.

Pours with a 1/2 glass full of thick, tan head which fades to heavy film and leaves a ton of lacing. Body is deep ruby, and nearly opaque.

Smell hits you with balsamic vinegar, oak barrel, vinous but not overpowering, and slightly earthy funk.

Flavor is, wow. Not nearly as tart as I expected from the aroma, quite sweet actually. Plum, cherry, and some limey bite, plenty of sweet and sour balance - mostly sweet. Reminiscent of grape juice, with zero hint of alcohol.

Scary smooth mouthfeel - could've used a touch more carbonation to tighten it up.

Top score on drinkability - pretty sure I could've chugged this. Bottle is going down way too quickly.

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Photo of reebtaerG
4.46/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had on draft at Lures 8oz pour in a wide mouth short glass 2/21/14

A-Appearance: dark ruby color, nice beige head.

S-Red wine, barrel, barn, sour notes.

T-Destintive and remember able taste of red wine, sour, sweetness coming form malty backbone, slightly astringent, quite dry.

M-mouthfeel is full body and high carbonation, nice wine aftertaste.

O-Overall great first sour ale and Flanders must try more

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Photo of dancinwillie
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cork reads exp. date 10/09.

Dark red pour, topped by a loud fizzy white head. Thick dense bubbles slowly fade away.

Aroma hits me before I even pour. Malt vinegar and tart cherries start my mouth watering.

A little more vinegary than I remember, but still, YUM. cherries come into play, and I do mean play. This is just a fun beer. A bit of dry roasted malts sweeten it up, and I don't detect hops anywhere in here. No idea what kind of yeast was used, but this tastes like a great wine had a baby with a delicious beer, and they named her little Duchesse. She grew up to hold a bird on one finger, and delight dancinwillie. The end.

Mouthfeel is great, very lively carbonation, and eternally refreshing. I could easily chug this beauty.

Overall, a tremendous example of what beer can be. Multi dimensional and bold, all while having a modest 6% ABV.


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Photo of brewerburgundy
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle, Bruery tulip, best by 10/6/12.

Gorgeous very clear red, cherry red. The head is a fairly thin, frothy tan that does seem to stick well to the glass.

Delicately acidic, like very fruity red wine vinegar. Cherry, raspberry, and cranberry all make an appearance, as does some good, honest sweet biscuit malt.

The flavors are a fuller realization of the aromas. Strawberry joins the mix and it seems like the better characteristics of rose champagne and sparkling cranberry juice are combined with beer. It has a lovely level of tannins that work to balance the sweetness in the absence of any obvious hopping. The sourness is pleasantly drying and tart.

Prickly carbonation is reminiscent of champagne, as is the tannic roughing of the tongue and drying of the mouth. One is left with little aftertaste, save a little acidity in the throat.

I love my first sour beer and Flanders Red Ale. Will power has kept me from having finished the glass already. While this sours might not be a go to, they are a new favorite. Duchesse is nothing extreme but very tasty.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from bottle into a Bell's tulip. Poured a deep reddish brown with a two finger off white head with a slight light tan hue that subsided to half a finger very slowly. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, sour, tart, cherries, raspberries, and subtle wood. The flavor was of sweet malt, wood, sour, tart, subtle earth, and raspberries. It had a medium feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall there is not a lot you can say bad about this brew. Once upon a time I saw this on the closeout section at Duckworth's, I drank the entire stock of 12 oz bottles they had. Oops... Definitely has an excellent and inviting aroma going on here and a great flavor to go along with that. Everything on this one just works really well together. A great example of the style if you ask me. An absolute must try for any sour fan out there if you have not already.

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Photo of ThaCreep
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nose that directly think of red grapes and more particularly to wine (particularly in 75cl bottles where it is much more emphasized) but also harmonious tannins, probably due to a shift in casks. It also collects other flavors of red fruits, including cherries how. The palate is sweet tasting at first but it soon becomes sour. The finish leaves an impression of Red Flanders but more complex than his sisters and that's what makes it so valuable. Bubbly, light and far from being disgusting, it can boast of offering both unique flavors and easy to drink.

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Photo of nighthawk
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

33mL bottle with best-before date printed on back label, poured into tulip.

Pours a deep cherry amber. Head is initially off-white and a finger high, settling to a small foamy layer on top. Bits of lacing cling to the glass here and there.

What a smell! This is my first time trying a flanders red, and I'm incredibly intrigued. Oaky, but not the vanilla bomb of so many BA stouts. Vinous, sweet fruit, and vinegar. This is a beer? Amazing!

This beer really takes your palate on a journey. Oak, slight metallic flavour, then syrupy sweet grapes and cherry, fading to tart vinegar, which gracefully lets the oak and fruit take me to the finish.

Light-bodied, bubbly carbonation, and slight stickiness in the mouth.

Quite the beer. Belgium keeps impressing me.

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Photo of Ryan011235
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Peculier Pub tulip on 1/29/13

Best Before: 05/01/2014

Dark copper color with ruby highlights. One and a half inch head fills the upper portion of the glass. Billowy, uneven retention and raised patches of lace.

Acidic aromas, dark cherry, damp oak, hints of blackberry jam, herbal hops and notions of spiced bread. With each sip, sourness and dark fruit juice wash o'er the palate. The sourness falls away pretty quickly leaving a robust, jammy fruit middle which, by some stroke of talent or luck, isn't very sweet. Undercurrents of jam-ready bread notions. Musty oak lingers at down times in flavor. The feel is brisk what with the shot of sour and ample carbonation, despite the body being of moderate heft. Clean, slightly oaky finish.

I am not the most eloquent or well versed on such beers; this is just mighty tasty.

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Photo of zrab11
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a reddish black color with a small 1 finger head. Good lacing throughout

S- Has a yeasty aroma with some sour fruit smells as well.

T- Wow this is tasty It starts out with a nice sweet raspberry flavor and then moves on to a tiny bit of bitterness/sourness and then finish's with a nice pear flavor

M-Medium to full bodied with decent carbonation

D-Overall i was not expecting this brew to taste this good. It had just the right amount of sour and sweet fruit flavors and a nice bitter funk to it. I love this brew and will get it again. I see why this is 5$ a bottle. Alittle steep but for a brew this good ill pay it. Def. pick this up if u can or trade for it!

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Photo of Seanniek91
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 11.2oz bottle into an Affligem Goblet.

Appearance- Beautiful amber color with no sediment floating around. Little to no head, but a slight ring around the top.

Smell- Oak, vanilla, tobacco, cherry, yeast, some malts. Absolutely beautiful.

Taste- Cherry, vanilla, malts. Some oak is present. Not to sour. Very well balanced.

Mouthfeel- Nicely carbonated. Very smooth, not too resinous.

Overall- This is a beautiful beer. All around very well balanced. I'll be buying this again.

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Photo of korguy123
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Notes from 4/30/2011

A- Clear ruby red, brownish pour. Finger width creamy eggshell head. Lacing sheets the glass and won't let go.

S- Red wine vinaigrette, little bit of wet blanket funk. Cherries, apple skins, cinnamon and brown sugar. Vanilla and oak meld it all together.

T- Vanilla, brown sugar, apples, sweet cherries. Tart vinegar, almost like a war head candy. Lemons and a little funk.

M- medium bodied, high carbonation adding a prickle to the tongue as it tries to handle the sour and sweet.

O- Can't go wrong with this. This is a "love it or hate it" style and I think I'm a lover.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into little hotel glasses. The beer was more brown than red and had an off-white almost brown foam. The smell was sour and had a hint of vinegar aroma (better than it sounds).

This is one of the better tasting Flanders Reds I've had. The flavor was sweet with a sour after-taste. Absolutely perfect pairing of flavors.

Get this beer if you like sour ales. I'd recommend it even if you think you don't like the style.

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Photo of Tim2000
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 mL brown bottle, best before 10 months from now.

Dark mahogany brown, very clear brew with a small cap of tightly knit bubbles that leaves a bit of lacing.

Notes of ripe sour cherries, raisins, cloves and cinnamon melt together in a complex, spicy and tart aroma.

This is an intensely flavourful beer. A dominant cherry fruitiness, with hints of berries and green apples, is complemented by clove. Alcohol is definitely present and lends a pleasant warming sensation. Quite a sweet beer, reminiscent of port, but a mild cidery tartness leaves the palate refreshed. Finishes dry and spicy. Body is thin but silky and carbonation is moderately high.


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Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
4.1 out of 5 based on 4,130 ratings.
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