Duchesse De Bourgogne | Brouwerij Verhaeghe

1,527 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: 1,527 | Ratings: 4,203
Photo of Ginger-tipple
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

An exceptionally good dark sour ale. Could do with an extra 1% or 2% and the aroma was a bit weak. Other than that, a brilliant drink, went perfectly well with cold meats, potato salad and sourcrout .

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Photo of buschbeer
3.79/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

11.2 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a beer flute
Best before: 05/01/2014

This beer looks kind of brown when in the glass, but when held to the light some blood orange highlights emerge. It is topped with two inches of tan head that leaves a little lacing.

At first I thought I got some hints of apple cider vinegar, but after it sat awhile I could not longer get that smell. I get some dark fruit with a vinous character now.

It starts out sweet with some black cherry. Then I get some tartness and light acidity and more dark fruit.

Low carbonation and medium bodied.

It was somewhat complex. It had some conflicting flavors that made it interesting.

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Photo of aleigator
4.64/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a dark red color, with a beige, fluffy head.

Smells of acetic, fermented grapes, glue and old mushrooms. Dried plums and rock sugar get easily balanced by the sharpness of the acetic sourness. Brings a pleasant fruitiness to the nose, which adds a fantastic complexity. This may be the beer, which comes closest to a red wine I have yet experienced, and it does a great job by doing so.

Drinks very soft, with a lively, well nuanced carbonation and a medium body.

Tastes sour from the first split second, with its acetic sharpness setting the tone in the taste as well. Its sour profile is far away from offering a citraic crispness, instead the beer got a ton of matured wine grapes, which gets almost decadent next to the powerful acetic quality. It remains pleasant on the palate with its balance resulting from sweet cakey malts, rock sugar and sugar glazed grapes. Both flavors, sweet and sour are intense in this, reminding me of a joung, untamed wine. Got a soft spiciness at its peak, perfectly blending into the grapes, opening up the palate to a long lasting, sour finish.

One of my all time favorits. So different than what you've expect from a beer and yet so mindblowingly good. I personally enjoy the pungent sourness a lot, as it constantly develops on the palate due to the slowly uprising sweetness, which turns out to be just as complex.

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Photo of D-HopSupreme
3.71/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a brown, barely transparent body with little to no head formation at the top. The scent is immediately tart, with red wine and vinegar coming off at the start, with a richer texture in the middle. The taste has an immense red wine tartness, with the same acidic vinegar characteristics. Overall it is a change, maybe I will have to revisit this one.

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Photo of Ferb
4.21/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Flanders ales are some of my favorite beers now. The Duchess has a flavor that moves from citrus to old ale to wood to a whisper of balsamic vinegar and then to malty ale and back again, each sip changing as it warms and even as it sits on your tongue. This and Vander Ghinste red/brown are beers that I have to have at least one of in my fridge for when I need a personal indulgence!

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Photo of kicktothehead
5/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Seriously the best Flanders Red on the planet. For all you douchebags that give this a 1 or 2, you're idiots and should stick to Bud.
Complex, sour, oakey, vineious, in your face. Love it!

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Photo of ordybill
4.56/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11 OZ bottle into a tulip glass. The appearance is a nice burgundy color with a small white head. Has a very strong wine aroma. Excellent beer.

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Photo of kitch
3.91/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A 750ml corked and caged bottle with an expiry date of December 2016, poured into a Cantillon ballon glass.

Appearance: It poured a clear reddish brown colour with a red hue and a one finger khaki head that has decent retention and leaves lots of nice lacing.

Aroma: Sour, tart, cherry, red wine, oak and sweet vinegar.

Taste: Sweet and sour but leaning a bit more towards sweet. Cherry, grape, cranberry and oak with a hint of balsamic vinegar.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with moderate prickly carbonation.

Overall: I am a huge fan of sour beers and this was a little on the sweet side for me. However, it was a still a good beer and easy to drink.

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Photo of alexander_ostrofsky
4.87/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Outstanding. I have never had anything like this. I wish there were more people being inspired by and following the Belgian style. This rich ale has an extraordinary soft scent of mature vinegar that really comes out in the bouquet. This full flavoured beauty will always have a home in my cellar.

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Photo of Shilnikoff
3.84/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle 750 ml with cork | Best before end of 20-09-2017 | Bar code 5 411364 151300
Served in Bourgogne des Flandres glass

Appearance: Red brown, 5 mm foam
Smell: Apple vinegar
Taste: Sour champagne
Mouthfeel: A bit dizzy and sharp
Overall: I really like it, gonna try it from tap in a local bar

NB: 6.2% ABV

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Photo of Kknee
1.15/5  rDev -72%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This is ranch dressing.....like legit. If this isn't old fermented ranch dressing, then it's witchcraft. This is hate in a bottle. It pours a very dark red, almost brown. The smell reminds me of rancid ranch dressing. The taste is...... you got it, ranch dressing. I love ranch dressing, but this is ungodly. Damn.

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

Pours red brown with smallish head that dissipates to spotty lacing. Nose is empty red wine barrel, vinegar, sweet malt. Very interesting. Taste is along the lines of the nose, a bit sweet, refreshing tang, complex. This beer might not be for everyone, but it is pretty amazing. Way better than something like Bourgogne de Flanders and (IMHO) a more enjoyable drink than Rodenbach Grand Cru. Great beer.

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Photo of depiesdesjacobins
4.53/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A dark beer that pours with minimal head that dissipates quickly into nearly nothing. Consistency is thicker than other sours in a pleasant way with a tart finish. Flavor notes of oak mingle with tart grape to create a subtle but delicious flavor profile.

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Photo of Whiteweasel
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Drank from a chalice, poured from on tap.

A: Deep dark reddish black, hard to see through without direct light. Luxurious creamy off white head.

S: Musty, muscat grape and fig, very similar to a rich cabernet sauvignon, and with more than a hint of balsamic vinegar.

T: Sour and surprisingly refreshing. Sweet with a strong grape essence, like what a cabernet sauvignon tastes like at the dregs at the bottom of the bottle. Strong sweet balsamic in a very pleasant way.

M: Fizzy and tasty mouthfeel, very strong flavour that fills the mouth and throat, lasting well after you've swallowed it. Definitely sour and bold in nearly every way, but no noticeable alcohol.

Overall: Extremely interesting and like a combination of cider, red wine, beer, and vinegar. Wouldn't want to have another one though, one is quite the experience as it is.

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

11.2 fl oz. bottle, best by 10/27/2016 on the back label. Finally getting around to reviewing this one; acquired the 4 pack from the local Binny's.

Poured into a Duvel tulip snifter.

A - Part ruby wine red; part woodsy brown, near opaque, with one finger of thin frothy khaki head that falls to a ring, leaving excellent scattered strands of brownish-pink lacing. Adequate carbonation. Looks excellent.

S - Huge aroma of red wine / wine grapes, oak wood, alcohol fumes, must, toffee, vanilla, sour cherries. A truly complex, intricate, and expressive aroma.

T - Taste is the same: smooth, tart, creamy, & complex. Notes of sour cherry tartness, vanilla, toffee, oak wood, mustiness, cream, red wine / wine grapes. Perfectly tart berry juice blend flavors emerge as i sip on, notes of blueberry, cranberry, raspberry, tart cherry. Subtle notes of alcohol ferment. Mildly metallic / minerally on the finish.

M - Feel is very smooth & creamy, good level of tartness, with excellent carbonation. Finishes semi-dry & wine-like.

Overall, a beautiful and artistic expression of what craft beer can be. A bit pricey, but an excellent import, and a beautiful beer; probably the best example of a Flanders Red i've yet had. Highly recommended / must-try stuff for any beer enthusiast.

Brouwerij Verhaeghe Duchesse De Bourgogne -----4.5/5

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Photo of chinchill
4.06/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

On tap in Asheville.
I'm surprised to find I haven't rated this before. It's certainly been too long since I've had this. While the strong aroma is no more or less appealing than I recall, the flavor and mouthful are superb and better than remembered.
Mild-moderate tartness with loads of sweet and sour fruits, including cherry and raspberry.
Lively and fairly high but soft and appealing carbonation. Excellent large and dense head.
Overall: a joy.

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Photo of SaltofOH
4.76/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottle BB 6-29-17. DFH Tulip.

A: pours a surprisingly dark red/brown with 1 finger khaki head, lots of visible carbonation. Not much retention, but fairly good lacing. No haze, clear (left a little sediment in the bottle).

S: the sourness is perceptible on the pour from a distance pf 8 inches. Deeper inspection yields a lemony, citric, acetic, and earthy mix. Black cherries and cape gooseberries. Dried cranberries.

T: bright, tart arrival, slightly sweet and extremely fruity mid palate, turns toward the end to a very faint, very familiar earthy English hop, or perhaps the light roast of the barley. Right as it transitions from arrival to mid palate you are assaulted with this puckering tartness that you just don't want to quit. Then right at the end the malt toastiness and cozy earthy hop do a tango; it tastes - a little like young bourbon. Young wheated bourbon.

M: lighter side of midweight, slightly slick but the acidity makes it feel less so. Lower carbonation than the appearance lets on.

O: I am not a huge fan of sours, but I LOVE this beer. Balanced, complex, distinctive. If you like balanced to malty beers and want to try a sour, this is a great place to start. Liked it better than Rodenbach or Rosetta. Would buy again on s special occasion.
This is probably going to be my highest-rated beer.

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Photo of polloenfuego
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a lovely ruby brown with a minimal head. The smell is fantastically tart with nice stone fruits and an earthiness to it. Taste is tart/sour with cherry and and sweet raspberry also coming through. There is a nice acidity to this that is not too harsh, it just adds to the beer making for a nice treat. The aftertaste is a little bit winey, but there is also that sweet fruit left on the palette. Good carbonation, a touch prickly. Quite a nice beer, very easy to enjoy and worth a recommendation and revisit.

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Photo of Lewnanny
4.26/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A real nice beer, with the touch of a champagne. I can drink this beer with my wife and she have love it.

The IBU is definately 0, and the SRM is about 20. The 330 ml bottle is a must for everyone that want to taste a beer out of the common.

Try this one as soon a possible.

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Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
4.27/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From the bottle, it pours a reddish brown amber with a small head, quickly dissipating to a ring and a thin layer. Tart smell. Tart and yet sweet.....Yum!!

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Photo of Beginner2
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is one of the few Flanders Reds that I like. (I suppose it is not open-minded to be that way about a style, but I have tried very hard to like the sours and their brethren, the gueze... but I cannot acquire the taste no matter how much I spend.)

Anyway... The Duchesse sour complemented a summer salad and went well enough with the basil pesto on pasta.
For me, this sour is contained so that the other ingredients can be appreciated.

Reviewed in MJ's "Great Beers of Belgium" he said it had "a good lace; and has a smooth rich, texture; with a very interesting interplay of passion-fruit and chocolate. (I didn't get the chocolate.)
Reviewed also in Roger Protz' "300 More Beers To Try Before You Die", a sequel to his CAMRA classic.
The Duchess is also listed on the "1001" and most arguably should be there.

An August 2016 tasting did not change my rating.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 cork and cage into a snifter, the beer is a deep, ruby-red color. Very vibrant in the light, with a steady flow of carbonation feeding the tall, bubbly, foamy, off-white head. Nose of tart cherries, dry Merlot notes, earthy highlights, and subtle sourness. Flavors are smooth and sweet cherry forward, followed by rich berry blends, tart grape, earthy highlights, woody notes, and some sugary sweetness lingering about here and there. The sour notes are very mellow (this bottle has a couple of years on it). Smooth and light bodied, with a dry and crisp finish. Solid cherry sweet aftertaste, again with hints of sourness. Very drinkable.

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Photo of Whey2Hoppy
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A- Copper brown coloration with a one finger head.

S- Lots of pungent sour aromas. Kind of gross, since this is my first sour ever. But we will see how it tastes...

T- My lord, I have seen the light of the sour beer! I was expecting a drainpour, and to just delete everything I've written so far, but this is amazing! Very very sweet and sour, almost like a sweet tart candy. It's a strong fruity sourness, like sour raspberries.

F- Light body, with a high amount of carbonation that tickles the tongue as you're sipping.

O- I finally see why people love sour beers so much. I went in with an open mind, and was not disappointed!

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Photo of drdiesel9483
4.27/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark reddish color with a good lasting tan head. Funky tart and sour candied cherry scent. Taste is just like the smell with a sour after taste. Medium creamy body. Different but I like.

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Photo of RMelyon
4.36/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Smelled funky but god damn this was so good. Awesome sweet fruity flavor, relatively syrupy mouthfeel. A++ would drink again. Bartender even made fun of me for pronouncing it bore-gone. Thanks, bud, for letting me know it's bore-gon-ay

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Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
4.1 out of 5 based on 4,203 ratings.
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