Duchesse De Bourgogne | Brouwerij Verhaeghe

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Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne
4,359 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 4,359 |  Reviews: 1,561
Photo of Byeast
4.4/5  rDev +6%
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 amicar
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a just-shy-of 12oz bottle, poured into a standard cabernet wineglass. Part of a food/ wine pairning.

Poured with a slight brown- tinged head; the beer color has a mid- caramel with red undertones. The smell itself is amazing- a hundred different smells pull you in multiple directions; you get just a hint of the fruity tartness that lies under the surface;
The sip is a little tart and malty at the same time; there's a full toffee/ caramel feel and a syrupy sensation, but none of these aspects are overdone; they are restrained just the right amount to let the dried tart cherry taste underneath through; the tartness is 'almost' masterfully balancing the sweetness; I would have preferred a hair less.

I thought this was a great beer when I tasted it alone; then I had it with food.... oh my gawd.
The meal was a pork tenderloin with a portabella/ shallot/ cream sauce (if anyone wants, beermail me and I'll share the recipie). The underlying sweetness matched nicely with the shallot/ cream sauce, and the muskiness of the beer and that of the mushrooms were perfect together; The tartness/ cherry sensation was less pronounced but still detectable with food. mmm....

anyway, overall, this is a fantastic beer. Alone, a single bottle can occupy you for an extended period of time; however, it would be tough to have more than one (kind of like very how you can only take so much rich chocolate) at a sitting. I can see how it's probably not for everybody; Definitely try it with food, especially something with cream or that has similar body.

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Photo of LargeCrab
4.4/5  rDev +6%

Photo of Jefe76
4.4/5  rDev +6%

Photo of Traquairlover
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2-oz. bottle poured into a 22-oz snifter.

A = Pours a deep red almost like stained cherry. Frothy off white head.

S = Sour dough bread, malt, sweet and sour notes. Very complex.

T = Great example of the style. Starts with a lot of tartness, then brings on undertones of sweet flavors.

M = Great medium-heavy body. Light carbonation.

D = This is a very distinctive beer and I'll gladly drink this again.

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Photo of Ed2
4.4/5  rDev +6%

Photo of mooseo
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Murchmac
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Didn't know what to expect with this one. But i'll compare it to Scarlett Johansson since she was in the Girl with a Pearl Earring.

Poured a foamy white one finger head, Reddish brown. Probaly like Birdy's hair would have been in The man who wasn't there if it was in color.

Smells funky, red wine, vinegary, Like how Steve Buscemi's Apartment must have smelled in Ghost World.

I actually like the taste of this it alternates between supersweet and tart sour taste, very complex, keeps you guessing, Kind of like the Island, not a great movie, but she's hot in it.

Alternating tart and sweet finish, good enough body, leaves me feeling uneasy, but I want more, like Match Point or Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Did I mention Scarlett Johansson's hot?

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Photo of donkeyrunner
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Popular with the ladies!

How come no one has created a "best historical ruler beer" thread yet, i.e. Duchessese De Bourgogne, Kate the Great, etc?

Cinnamon red color with a decent tan head. Retains a thin skim that leaves spashy lace in it's wake. Expiration 6/10.

Smells like apple vinegar and making Ukrainian Easter eggs with my mom. That however opens the door to cherry infused malty bread pudding sweetness and a whole world of depth.

Sweet caramel covered cherries with a sour tinge. Bits of sour bob up and down just to mess with me. As the sour fades from the aroma it seems to seep into the taste creating a circular pattern of intrigue between sour and sweet. Delicate but outgoing mouthfeel.

My biggest qualm with this beer is inconstancy. It's my girlfriend's favorite beer so I drink it alot but it's rarely the same twice. Sometimes sour takes center stage, sometimes sweet, sometimes its perfectly balanced and unilateral (which is when Duchesse is at her best). Sometimes I think I just haven't figured out an aging schedule, sometimes I think it's just an off bottle.

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Photo of gimmehead
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful burgundy brown infused with ruby highlights and multitudes of streaming bubbles that form a thin but lasting head. The smell was a little sweet initially, but rapidly changes to a very winelike aroma. Flavor is great. Sourness up front, grapes and tart cherries, caramel malt backing that does't quite balance the tartness and a lingering vinous mouthpuckering semi-dry finish. Very good. The tartness builds with each beer so if you are planning on making this a session keep some palate cleanser handy.

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Photo of machavez2003
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of phantomwyse
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep mahogany colored body, slightly opaque in clarity, with soft brown highlights. Effervescent head builds quickly producing a rich tan one finger head that readily disintegrates leaving a lathery film -- still manages to create a decent lacing pattern.

S: Red table wine aroma at first glance moving to soured fruits like plums, apples, and white grapes. A sugary sweetness moves in shortly after, reminiscent of the charred sugary crust of a creme brulee.

T: Half sour light fruits as witnessed in the aroma, pears, plums, apples, and white grapes. Again, after the initial whiff of fruit, sugary malts come into play with toasted caramel and artificial sugar, saccharin, sweetness trailing off into a tart finish.

M: Light to medium bodied, decent carbonation, vaguely syrupy, and leaving off tart and dry.

D: Sour ales just really appeal to me, I found that this beer is incredibly palletable, and just kept me wanting more.

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Photo of BeerAndBourbon
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

"Exp. date: Jul 2011"

A. Pours a brownish-amber with a creamy tan head.
S. Sweet malt with sour cherries on oak with some musty farmhouse smells.
T. Tastes like a lambic with malt as the fruity focus (rather than cherries or raspberries). A nice level of tartness with an ample sweet malt profile that balances nicely. Some subtle cherry and oak flavors also come through.
M. Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation - just enough to pick the tartness up off of the tongue.
D. Wonderful. This is a wonderful sour that I could definitely see myself picking up again - especially since it's now available at the grocery store I regularly shop at.

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Photo of harrisjohnson
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of FFreak
4.4/5  rDev +6%

Bottle dated 'Best by' 4-29-2015. Poured into willy glasses and shared with a friend.

This has a beautiful dark reddish brown color, like cherry cola or root beer, with an ample off-white head that persists throughout leaving tons of lacing.

Smell is of cherries and sour grapes with some funky yeastiness. Very interesting.

Taste is just wonderful. It's so different than anything I've had before. It has very vinous qualities and leans a little towards vinegar, but in a very subtle way that leaves the underlying cherry and plum flavors intact. It makes you think sour, but its actually sweet and fruity at the same time.

Mouthfeel is also very interesting. Almost has a champagne-like carbonation, somewhat fizzy, but still soft. It tends to make you want to sip it even though it's not big at all.

Overall, this is one of the most interesting beers I've ever experienced. Takes the experience to a new, different level. Well worth trying.

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Photo of jack-ruby
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of BT_Bobandy
4.4/5  rDev +6%

Photo of ericj551
4.4/5  rDev +6%
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 Karnivool1
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Fantastic belgian sour. Tart cherry taste but this flows so smooth. The sour part hits right away, but balances quick with sweetness towards the back end. Any fan of a solid sour will no doubt enjoy this.

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Photo of Yojay22
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of unclejimbay
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was my first notably sour beer to date. I enjoyed it much more thnan I thought I would. It was almost to the edge of undrinkable with it's dominant vinegar character. It was just edgy enough where it kept me sipping more to revist the cherry, fruit and tart notes whispering out of my snifter.

Appearance was ruby red with brillant clarity. Excellent head, retention and lace.
Smell is a bold balsamic and cider vinegar reduction wafting with some red wine and dark fruits (most notably cherries).
Taste as it smells, fruity red wine character greeted by your childhood easter egg dyes of yesteryear. Repeats mellowed balsamic reduction memories over and over again, in a good way, but almost overdone. Almost overdone, but not quite.
Mouthfeel is sour. Tart. Sharp. Medium body & carbonation. Wow this is a very curious and moving target taste.

On the drinkability...
2 of us slit the small bottle. My wife couldn't finish hers. I was hesitant at first, but gladly finished hers up as I warmed up with this strange concotion. In the future I would gladly split a bottle with someone for the right meal, but would not do it solo or too frequently. I would pursue this with the right food pairing or when I have a sour beer craving (a new concept altogether as of today, thanks to Duchesse!)

Seems like it would god very well with a rich steak, salty meats, subtle balsamic salads or nuts.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clear dark amber brown with an off-white head which lingers and clings to the glass. Aroma of sour lactobacillus and other lambic type bacteria. Slight oak aroma and deep fruity aromas are present. Flavor is unbelievably good. Complex flavors of fruit, malt, subtle sour nature, deep fruit and a lasting slightly sour fruity finish. The body is med-light and very refreshing.

11.2 ounce bottle, best before date of 04/05/04.

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Photo of DamienI
4.4/5  rDev +6%

Photo of Onibubba
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Not the beer that I was expecting. Poured an almost black brown with a beige frothy head that quickly dissappeared. Smell was intensely strange with raisins, cherries, and balsamic vinegar. I was expecting something sour, but this was indulgently sweet. The taste reminded me very much of the dressing used on a Killed Spinach Salad - Sugar and vinegar are quickly heated in bacon fat and poured over the spinach. That is the taste which solidified wiht me, and not in an offputting way at all.

You've heard the term smooth as silk, and that is an accurate description of the mouthfeel here. No carbonation detectable at all, but somehow a thin film of lace clung to the glass with each sip. Alcohol does not assert itself. This beer was a perfect nightcap after a bottle of La Roja.

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Photo of chunkymayo101
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
Beer rating: 4.15 out of 5 with 4,359 ratings