Duchesse De Bourgogne | Brouwerij Verhaeghe

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Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne
4,374 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

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Ratings: 4,374 |  Reviews: 1,565
Photo of Hiraman
4.92/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of RMW66
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Hophazzard
4.11/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of thehyperduck
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330 mL bottle from the LCBO; listed at 6.2%. Best before Jun 21 2019 and served slightly chilled. Excited to finally tick this long-time want.

Pours a ruddy brownish-maroon colour; quite dark in complexion, but holding it to the lamp reveals its clarity, as well as its scarlet red highlights. About 1 cm of loose, bubbly, beige-tinged foam gathers atop initially, only to disappear almost as quickly as it arose; all told, the process needs less than 60 seconds to run to completion. A modest collar of soapy froth survives, but without much in the way of lacing. Sour and fruity on the nose, which is of course very typical for this style - balsamic vinegar is the most prominent aspect to me, but there's also notes of sour cherry, red grape and cranberry juice, as well as some subtle oak character. A bit funky, with hints of vanilla and caramelized sugars, too.

Tart and tasty, with added complexities revealed as the glass warms. Balsamic vinegar is a constant background presence, though it at least has the courtesy to share the spotlight, with fruity notes of sour cherry, cranberry, green apple and even a hint of juicy raspberry. The acidic elements of the profile - despite being firmly in the driver's seat for most of the sip - are blunted somewhat by the presence of some sweeter notes, including caramelized sugar, candied apples and ripened red plum. Weak suggestions of oak and funk towards the finish, with a touch of earthiness; the aftertaste is similar, with red fruit flavours and balsamic sourness that fade slowly from the palate. Medium-light in body, with moderately lively carbonation that prickles the tongue and froths up a bit in the mouth, giving it a soft, light mouthfeel.

Final Grade: 4.25, a highly recommended A-. I don't know if Duchesse de Bourgogne is the best Flanders Red that I've ever had, but it's a damn fine one either way - intensely sour, yet with enough sweetness to serve as a counterpoint and keep the flavour profile in check. This is not what I would describe as a good introduction to the style: the balsamic vinegar notes may seem overpowering to uninitiated taste buds, as will the sourness in general. I can't drink these beers regularly - they send my acid reflux into overdrive, and are only sporadically available here anyhow - but I will still seek this one out and drink it as often as I can.

 2,359 characters

Photo of GarthT
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Vaulmas
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BeanBump
4.41/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

One of my go-to's. I love this beer. It has subtle, earthy undertones and sort of a light malty backend (which reminds me of a brown ale) that pair incredibly with the medium level of tartness. The sour end of the beer is what makes it for me. There's an underlying bitterness that reminds me of vinegar but it works phenomenally well here. I could, and hope to, drink this beer all day.

 387 characters

Photo of RBuckley73
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of IckyT2012
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of emincems
4.39/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Famous example of my favorite style; mixed fermentated Flemish Red. It pours dark maroon-brown with medium sized tan head. Foam is not long-lasting, but it leaves a cover on top. Vinous aroma. Sour berry and plum, oak and molasses are on the nose. Taste is moderately sour. Red fruits, wood, slight vanilla and toasted malts are mixed with acidic sourness. Dry and slightly sour finish with soft astringency. Medium bodied and softly carbonated. Delicious and highly drinkable.

 477 characters

Photo of Dewsby
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BEER88
4.24/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Leif_Eriksson
4.04/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Deep, dark red with a slighty lacy head
N: Sour, red wine, redcurrant/cranberry, cherry
T:Sour and sweet all at once. Cherries, some creamy oak, and cranberry tartness. Quite sweet.

 184 characters

Photo of Wmubroncos85
5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of AGust82
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Birdlegs
3.99/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of putonyourwalkingshoes
2.63/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

I'm going to throw my two cents having this numerous times both on tap and from bottle, this is a bad Flanders. My friends wife loves it and for the life of me it drives me nuts. Heavy on the metal vat taste not to mention vinegar. And not even in the rodenbach "ok you guys are getting a little bit close there" way. This is just not good. I've approached this beer eons in the past when I thought all craft beer came from
Bevmo, and having this recently nothing has changed. For $5-6 a 11.2 oz bottle with so many sours out there, there are better options.

 558 characters

Photo of taxandbeerguy
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

10 oz chalice glass on tap at Rib Eye Jack's in Burlington.

Appearance - dark red, kind of burgundy in color with a finger and change of soft off-white head with fantastic retention. Quite hazy and promising,

Smell - tart, balsamic notes with faint grape aromas making it smell not far off a good wine. Oak is plentiful although subtle and a hint of vanilla adds enough complexity to bump it up a notch from other contenders.

Taste - remarkably like the nose with tart notes, sour flavors shining through, balsamic and wine, with plentiful oak and modest vanilla. There's a subtle sweetness of brown sugar mixed in with the vanilla that again separates from the other contenders. While not Rodenbach Grand Cru there's a certain finesse even among impeccable crafted Flanders ales that is distinctive.

Mouthfeel - velvety smooth, low carbonation sensationally easy to drink.

Overall - while not quite at the level of one of my all time faves in Rodenbach Grand Cru it's a half step behind and clearly above the field. Needless to say I will keep my eyes peels for the Duchesse.

 1,083 characters

Photo of Briggsy43
4.48/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of -steve-
4.01/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: Lovely deep red colour verging on opaque. Foamy off-white head and you can see bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass.
S: Cherry and vinegar smell.
T: Sweet, tart cherries. Subdued oak on the finish.
F: Mouth puckering tartness. Oily on the tongue.
O: Much in the vein of the Rodenbach Grand Cru. Satisfying and balanced sweet with tart. The sour beers on offer in Ontario leave me wanting, but the Belgian Flanders Red Ales are superb! Wish this style was more readily available from the breweries around town.

 522 characters

Photo of HypnoKraken
5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Easily my favorite beer, if you are partial to sour tastes, this is for you.

76 characters

Photo of PorterPro125
3.34/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving Type: 330 mL Bottle

L- Pours a very dark red, nearly opaque. Minimal head with poor retention. No lacing.

S- Distinct smell of Balsamic vinegar that is incredibly off-putting at first, but it seems to grow on you after awhile. Not getting anything else here.

T- Balsamic vinegar again with a little more sweetness. Not much else going on from what I can tell.

F- Light-Medium Body and low carbonation.

O- I've never had a Flanders Red Ale before but I can say for sure that it's an incredibly distinct experience. I do like Sour beers but I found this one particularly hard to get through. Not bad, but certainly different. Good to experience I suppose, but I don't think i'll be picking this one up again.

 724 characters

Photo of nullbort
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of SirFolmarv
2.2/5  rDev -47%
look: 4.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A strong yeasty vinegar on the nose with a hint of sweetness. A very unique smell. Looks a beautiful dark brownish amber with a darker off white head. On the tongue it is medium sour with some balsamic qualities. It is a good sour, but I'm not usually the biggest fan of them. This one is particularly strange. I'll have to try again, but this one did not sit well with me as I couldn't make it through the glass.

 413 characters

Photo of Erachel91
4.88/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
Beer rating: 4.15 out of 5 with 4,374 ratings