Duchesse De Bourgogne | Brouwerij Verhaeghe

BA SCORE
92
outstanding
4,237 Ratings
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
Ratings:
4,237
Reviews:
1,534
Avg:
4.1
pDev:
14.39%
 
 
Wants:
247
Gots:
919
For Trade:
16
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,237 |  Reviews: 1,534
Photo of Ahhdball
1.34/5  rDev -67.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I'm going to be blunt on this. Horrible. It came in a bottle with a "best before" date of 01/01/06. I liked the color, a nice deep auburn capped by a small beige top. The smell consisted of berries, and a sort of cough medicine overtone. A small amount of citrus hit the nose as I drank. When I forced down the first drink all I tasted was vineager. I tried another few "pulls" and after tasting round after round of vineager and berries I had to give up. I even orderd a sprite to get the taste out of my mouth.

 512 characters

Photo of corneliustoad
1.42/5  rDev -65.4%
look: 4 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.25

Photo of Jduche17
1.44/5  rDev -64.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 2

I think i got an infected batch because this was not good at all but some friends of mine like it usually i will have to try it again eventually

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Photo of Analog_kid
1.46/5  rDev -64.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

I bought this beer at Total Wine in NoVa, and looked forward to drinking it over the span of a week. Before I begin let's be honest, not every one tastes the same thing exactly the same way.

That being said, people need to get over this idea of sour beer, no matter how beautiful the packaging. Beer should be any of the following combinations:

• Hoppy
• Java-y (if that's a word).
• Malty
• Chocolate-y (if that's a word)
• Fruity
• Citrus-y (if that's a word)
• Spicy
• Good
• Excellent
• Meh

But among those flavors that a beer shouldn't be, is sour. Before I even bought this beer I came to our beloved BeerAdvocate to read up on the overall reviews. I thought with a BA score of 92 and Bros score of 93, there should be no question that this is a home run, so I greedily bought it like a kid buying the last piece of chocolate in a candy store.

My first smell of this beer made me jerk my head away in revulsion, as if I just smelled a jar of liquefied roadkill mixed with malt vinegar. But realizing that smells of beer can be a bit deceiving, I decided to get past the smell and let the liquid flow over my taste buds. Only after swallowing this concoction did I realize that I had made the worst mistake of my beer life.

I tried to give it one more try, hoping that, having paid $15 for one bottle, there would be some redeeming quality to this beer>. Alas, there was none.

This beer is beautiful to behold, I'll grant the brewers that. But as for drinking? No thanks. That being that, this is so heavy on the vinegar, maybe it would make a good marinade for chicken or beef short ribs. Either way, I'd rather drink an entire truckload of Iron City before I even consider drinking this again.

But hey, my friend absolutely loved it.

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Photo of leinie13
1.5/5  rDev -63.4%

Photo of sean_paul
1.5/5  rDev -63.4%

Photo of xLifelessx
1.5/5  rDev -63.4%

Photo of pjhdaas
1.5/5  rDev -63.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I just don't like it's sour taste and smell. my pallet does not enjoy this beer.

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Photo of deldad
1.5/5  rDev -63.4%

Photo of B967ierhunter177
1.51/5  rDev -63.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

This beer pours a beautiful, bold ruby red with no head but long lasting lace. It's aroma is of dark fruit, musty hay, and yeast. The flavor is mainly sour cherries with a yeasty, bread-like note. The mouthfeel is full with a warming finish. Duchesse De Bourgogne is an okay beer, very filling but a good representation of the style. Slightly recommended.

 355 characters

Photo of apasternak
1.53/5  rDev -62.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Tastes exactly like balsamic vinegar. Not sure if it was a bad batch, but I couldn't get through this

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Photo of Brew_42
1.54/5  rDev -62.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I ordered another beer at the bar and this one came, and the bartender couldn't speak English (not that he should, I'm in Korea) but I decided to drink it anyway. I am not a big fan of sour beers to begin with, but this beer was particularly bad. I couldn't finish it which is rare for me.

A- Reddish with little to no head

S- vinegar. Terrible smell. I knew it was going to be a struggle as soon as I smelled it. The vinegar smell i strong, I may as well have been smelling salad dressing.

Taste-sour vinegar with a little bit of fruitiness but nowhere near enough to compensate for the vinegar taste. I really did not like the taste of this beer.

Mouthfeel was medium body with lots of carbonation.

Overall I did not enjoy this beer one iota but then again I hate sour ales anyway so take it with a grain of salt. Going off the ratings, it seems I am in the minority, so give it a try and you will probably like it.

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Photo of irisier
1.55/5  rDev -62.2%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

I tried this one again to see if I've warmed to this brew. Unfortunately, this time I seem to have soured to it (no pun intended) even more.

Appearance: Nice dark reddish brown with a excellent fizzy head.

Smell: Vinegar fumes. Some fruit and wood is also noticeable. Did someone mix balsamic with malt vinegar and label it as beer?

Taste: God, it's even worse than I remembered it. Fruity vinegar with some tannic wood tastes. Cloying sweetness makes sure you know there is plenty of sugar in here. Hmmm.. this might be good to use as a base in a sweet/sour sauce. I actually managed to finish it the first time I tried it, not this time though.

Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated.

Impressions: To give you some perspective. A few years ago after reading an article about how prison inmates make "wine" out of ketchup, juice, and fruit snacks with moldy bread as the fermentation culture. I gave it a try out of curiosity. The funky, weird smelling drink I got was still not as bad as this brew. If this was the only beer on Earth, I'd be a teetotaler.

---Old Review---
Appearance: Clear reddish brown body with a fizzy tan head that actually seems to amplify with time. Highly carbonated and effervescent.

Smell: Sour malt vinegar smell. I didn't expect it to be that strong. Some faint fruit is also present

Taste: Sour and sweet. Slightly fruity as well. I can't help but feel like I'm drinking balsamic vinegar. I wouldn't exactly say that these flavors are pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a lively carbonation.

Impressions: I'll preface by saying that I've never had a Flemish Red before, but I really tried to keep an open mind. There may be a possibility that I got a bad bottle. This just was not good. I had a really hard time even finishing it. It was like drinking balsamic vinaigrette. I've heard this described as being "wine-like", frankly if I had a wine that tasted like this, I'd think it had spoiled. This just tasted too much like vinegar.

 1,972 characters

Photo of smudgewhat
1.58/5  rDev -61.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

The balsamic vinegar flavor overwhelms any other aspect of this brew. Smells like wine, fairly carbonated, very sour and unpleasantly vinegar-y. A total pass for me though my female companion liked it. If you're more into wine than the typical Belgian beer then maybe you'll like it more. I'd rathe have a Chimay or Rochefort.

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Photo of pmcadamis
1.59/5  rDev -61.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Tried this at Brewhaus when out with some friends (Feb, 25 2008).

A - Dark amber reddish hue. Hazy and deep. The head is about half of a finger, and leaves a little lace on the glass.

S - Red wine vinegar, ketchup, tomatoes, and earthy mulch. Very, very odd and quite vegetal.

T - Red wine vinaigrette salad dressing, rotten tomatoes, brown lettuce, and tart rancid vegetables.

M - Light in body and carbonation. This is like swishing ketchup in your mouth.

D - I've had other flanders reds that I really enjoyed, so it's not a style thing, but this tastes like absolute crap. It's sort of like retching up a pint of V8 and vinaigrette salad dressing. Interesting, but completely foul.

Original review A=3.0, S=1.5, T=1.0, M=1.0, D=1.0
Overall score = 1.5 One of my lowest ratings ever.
---

Here is the second tasting to clear up the issue of whether or not the first bottle (1 year ago) was ruined in some way:

My BA buddy orangemustache and I tried this out at Brewhaus one night and were appalled by how bad it was given the generally high scores by other BAs. I picked up a 750 ml bottle of this at Binny's in Chicago and we decided to give it another go while we were stone cold sober and our palates were fresh.

A - Deep garnet clear brew with a two finger dense khaki head. Lots of light tan lace is stuck to the glass.

S - Ketchup, vinegar, tomatoes, and mushrooms. V8 vegetable juice with some age on it. Something old and dusty is there too.

T - Old rotten tomatoes, V8, bloody mary mix, red vinaigrette salad dressing, applesauce, and some fruity sugar on the tip of the tongue.

M - Light, initially sugary and fruity, but progressing to a thicker viscous and nasty mouthfeel. This finishes like puke.

D - Ok, I picked this up thinking that the first time that we tried it the bottle must have been old and ruined. This tasting, however, reaffirms my hatred of this brew. It's honestly better, fruitier, lighter, and more rounded than the rotten bottle we tried at Brewhaus, but its still disgusting.

The current score is indicative of my opinion at the second tasting (December 2nd 2008)

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Photo of corywalston
1.59/5  rDev -61.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Photo of Rekrule
1.6/5  rDev -61%

Photo of Cramshawbar
1.68/5  rDev -59%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I really wanted to like this. I have tried sour Belgian before and found it awful. It's a personal taste thing. This one is clearly more balanced than the other was (can't remember the name, but it doesn't matter) but not enough. The tart cherry is so overwhelming that it actually makes me shiver. Way too sour to enjoy. As soon as I'll finish this, I will need something sweet, so I shall have a glass of Fonseca Bin No. 27 Port.
Cheers!

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Photo of IvarTheBoneless
1.69/5  rDev -58.8%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

Expensive sweet tasting nastiness

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Photo of DIM
1.7/5  rDev -58.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

My only other example of this style has been Rodenbach's Grand Cru, which I loved. There was a space on the label of this one marked best before, but there wasn't a date. Did I get a bad or old bottle?

a: This looked appealing at least. It was a crystal clear coppery mahogany color. It poured with a medium sized, fizzy, off-white head that faded fairly quickly.

s: As expected, I got notes of sour, vinegary cherries. Unfortunately, this was intertwined with some gritty, saccharine sweet maltiness. Alone, either smell is fine. Together though, it was just a complete turn-off.

t: Same story here. I like sour edge, but the cloying artificial sweetner made this undrinkable to me. Maybe I need to revisit this one, but I'd have a hard time working up the courage.

m: The carbonation was fine, but the aftertaste was abominable. That combination of tart vinegar, cherries and malty Sweet and Low was too much for me.

d: I like sour beer, but this one just isn't for me. Strangely, it was just too sweet.

 1,010 characters

Photo of kerry4porters
1.72/5  rDev -58%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

awful taste of malt vinegar with weird sweetness to it. If this isnt a spoiled bottle there is something seriously wrong with the brewers cuz this is the worst beer I have drank including an infect Vanilla Noir from Prairie. I feel like this would work well poured onto an Itallian sub as dressing.

 299 characters

Photo of tcfishler
1.74/5  rDev -57.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Deep red-brown, like an old/oxidized red wine.

Winey nose of sour cherry, yeast, and aceto balsamico.

Hits first with acidity...definitely acetic acid (aka vinegar). Comes through afterward with quite sweet fruitiness, and a tiny bit of roasted malt as well. Highly carbonated. Finishes long but astringent.

Very much a love-it-or-hate-it beer, or perhaps an acquired taste. For someone like me whose background is in wine-drinking, this isfar too similar to a wine that has gone bad, what with the brownish red color and copious volatile acidity (acetic acid). I couldn't even manage to drink more than a few ounces, which is a tragedy given the care put into brewing this. Take my rating with a grain of salt, keeping in mind my biases.

EDIT: Come to think of it, reducing this in a pan on the stove could make an awesome sauce. In that context the vinegar-y flavors would be appetizing rather than offensive.

 923 characters

Photo of Brew33
1.75/5  rDev -57.3%

Photo of dunlap926
1.75/5  rDev -57.3%

Photo of AxlSkull
1.82/5  rDev -55.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
4.1 out of 5 based on 4,237 ratings.
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