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Duchesse De Bourgogne | Brouwerij Verhaeghe

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Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne
BA SCORE
4.15/5
Exceptional
4,303 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
Ranking:
#1,465
Reviews:
1,551
Ratings:
4,303
pDev:
13.98%
Bros Score:
4.19
 
 
Wants:
252
Gots:
951
Trade:
16
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,303 |  Reviews: 1,551
Photo of euskera
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first Oud Bruin..

Nice reddish brown color with a small head. Smell was tart and vinegary. Sour overtones on the taste, with vinegar hints and red wine hints and just a nice tartness throughout with a woody overtone on the end. Maybe not something I'd drink on a regular basis, but very interesting for a change of pace..

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Photo of RenoZymurgist
3.42/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thin head that subsided quickly, for a flemish ale i must have not poured it right as i was carefull to omit the yeast. Color as deep and crimson as red wine. Aroma is sweet and fruity with no malt or hops to be found. Flavor is crazy with the high, soft carbonation causing the sour beer to attack my taste buds. Just enough sweetness to balance the sour flavors. This is a blend of an eight month and eighteen month old ale. The body is light but the carbonation gives an added boost to the strength of the flavors. Very drinkable, and a good beer to expand the horizons of beer flavors.

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Photo of RBorsato
3.76/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark reddish-brown with a full light brown head, good carbonation, and sheets of lace. Light sour aroma and light oakiness. Dark passion fruit flavors with chocolatey tones and woody tones. More sour than Rodenbach Grand Cru and not as smooth. Light-medium bodied.

I'd try other Flanders Red Ales before trying this one again although I'm hoping the age did not have a negative impact...

Best Before: 08/16/02
Tasted: 06/27/03

($2.99 / 11.2 oz.)

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Photo of jcalabre
3.94/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Originally sampled on draught 20 March 2002. This is one of the most unique beers I've ever tasted. It is dark reddish brown in color, but light in body. The balance between sweet & tart is excellent. I would have it again. It has a wonderful, fruity aroma. I wouldn't recommend it for any novice beer drinkers, but it's a must try for any serious beer drinker.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.03/5  rDev -27%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I am still a little new to Flemish Sour Ales, Rodenbach Alexander being the only other one I have tried so far. From what I understand both are good examples of the style. That being the case I am fairly certain this is not a style I am a big fan of. Pours a dark amber/brown with a thick multi-colored head (beige with light brown splotches), with thin lacing. Aroma is alternatingly fruity and sour. The flavor actually reminded me of some Ohio Buckeye Brown that I tried not too long ago that had gone way past the "best by" date. Tart and vinegary flavor is tangy throughout. The finish is like an oaky Merlot. I was able to drink most of this in small doses, but I just can't appreciate the style.

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Photo of nomad
3.73/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a transparent deep red color. Had a soft bubbly head from a good amount of carbonation, and negligible lace. The nose was of oak, apples, and an almost rum smelling alcohol body. I could almost smell the sour that it tasted of. In all, I wish the scents were stronger, as their complexity from this beer's special brewing and aging proess is unique and excellent in the beer world.

The taste was of dry red apples and a great palatable sour - from start to finish, it really bit up at my mouthroof as I swallowed. Had a slight oak character from its cask aging. The malt was not readily apparent but quite nice, a good base strangely tempered by the blending (8 month old batch with a 18 month old batch) and fermentation process of Belgian red ales. In all, the taste was mouth watering, and so calm (again from the aging and blending) but not boring. Some tannins came in on the finish, and eventually the beer took on a unique sour & woody fruit taste.

With a slight tingle on the tongue, a thin and watery body, and a moderate length finish, the mouthfeel was lightly dry turning to a bud salivating end. Quite interesting as it lingered in my mouth for awhile – like the taste its calmly complex. Very interesting, must be great with food. If you enjoy quality red wines (like myself), check this out. Hop heads and fans of big tasting beers might find it boring or too "sweet."

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Photo of jackndan
2.96/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Duchesse de Bourgogne: a reddish beer sitting under an initially thick off-white head. Great, thick lacing all the way down the side of the glass. Aroma is very sweet with hints of cherries. The taste is very remarkable: mixed sweet and sour that is almost candy like, unfortunately there is an unmistakable vinegar taste/aroma that is present throughout. The taste is very intense, and complex. Before I forget, the aftertaste is dry, and leaves almost a cabernet impression. Some sharp alcohol sensations as well. Overall, the sweetness kills this brew for me, but I’d give it too a wine drinker to show them what they are missing.

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Photo of jreitman
3.36/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purplish brown in color with a initally huge head that fades quickly. Aroma of vinegar was not appropriate. Much sweeter than should be the case for the style. Very remniscent of a Liefman's lambic in that respect. Quite enjoyable, but nothing outstanding. May be a good introduction to the style for a lot of people as it doesn't have the harsh acidity that most new sour ale drinkers get shocked by.

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Photo of francisweizen
3.86/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A very interesting and tasty Belgian beer. This beer pours a nice dark amber, hazy blood-reddish colour with a nice sized head. It has the aromas of oak, vinegar, sour fruit, tartness, horse blanket, and cherries. It tastes of tart flavors, oak, and cherries. It reminds me of Unibroues Quelque Chose mixed with Liefmans Goudenband. The mouthfeel is creamy and thick and the drinkability is good once you get past the sourness. This beer is a mix of a young beer and an aged beer. It is aged in oaken casks in Belgium. When this beer warms the flavors become more complex and the tartness is enhanced.
A classic example of this style, I am told. I would like to try more Flemish Reds!
Cheers!
-F

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Photo of dmarch
4.83/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is my first experience with a Flemish sour ale and I was blown away. It pours with a deep ruby color and a thin white head. The aroma is of red wine vinegar. Some may be turned off by the tart acidic tast, but I love it. Tastes of ripe cherries and red wine with that vinegar-like sourness. This is a style of beer I wish I could see more of.

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Photo of Viking
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep and murky, garnet-hued, brown body. Thick (1.5") foamy head. Retention leaves a bit to be desired, but plenty of lace left floating on top along with a bit on the side of the glass. Smell is very vinous (a little too much, in fact) and fruity (raspberry), with a hint of sourness. A bit of caramel malt present, but hidden deeply under the fruitiness. Rich moderately sour raspberry flavor. Solid backing of caramel malt becomes more noticeable as the brew warms towards room temperature. Sourness also seems to pleasantly increase after warming a bit. Smooth, creamy mouthful. Leaves an oily coating in the mouth. Excellent brew. A style that I find goes extremely well with game birds (pheasant, especially).

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Photo of the42ndtourist
4.8/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

33cL bottle. Another great find from a jaunt into Quebec.

Dirty garnet in hue, with a initially large head which fades quickly to a thin covering layer. I poured it into a Belle-Vue glass, which I think turned out to be a good choice.

Aroma lends a good clue as to what follows. Some people have mentioned balsamic vinegar, and that is rather appropriate (of course, this one is better suited to dessert than salad dressings). To me, this served to excite me even more about the coming beer.

Taste is initially sour, with a lot of fruity complexity. The first taste sent me straight to BA to see if it was actually a some sort of kriek variant. Nope. Just fabulously crafted and complex. There's so much to this - the sour start, the lovely sweet fruitiness - cherries, cassis, big juicy blackberries, home-canned plums like my mother used to make. It comes to a acidic and tart finish, which lingers with a tad of vinegar in the aftertaste (no it's nowhere near as bad as it sounds). I love it all the way through.

Beautiful slightly oily feel on the tongue. Carbonation, though seemingly energetic at the pour, is actually quite soft. I could (and would, if it were a little less expensive) drink this all night. It's fantastic, amazing, ethereal even. I've run out of adjectives, I'm flat out in love with this beer.

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

Appearance: Pours a reddish-brown shade with a touch of cloudiness. A light tan head starts off strong and stays that way.

Smell: Aroma of cherries, faint malt, and lactic sourness. Typical of a Flanders Red.

Taste: It's a tennis match between the dry, cherry sweetness and the tart sourness. The emphasis goes back and forth... The sourness makes for a very dry, cheek-caving finish. There's a touch of sweetness, with the faintest bit of spiciness at the very end. Very nice.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat thin-bodied with a dry, tart mouthfeel that sucks all the moisture from my mouth and makes my lips stick together.

Drinkability: Pretty good, if you can stand the sourness. I like it, and would have no problem pairing this with a good meal that would complement it's dry nature.

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Photo of yen157
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown and hazy beer with stick white lace on top. Aroma consists of malt vinegar, cherries, and some toasted malt. During the first sip, it’s hard not to jolted by the pervasive sourness. After that first sip tough, the whole beer comes into focus. The sour is nicely balanced by medium-bodied roasty malt. Very active carbonation, but the bubbles were small enough so that the effervescence didn’t get in the way. Overall, a very enjoyable beer, especially as it warmed a bit.

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Photo of nathi
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very nice beer.

Somewhat cloudy, small head, nice amber color.

Excellent sourness in aroma. Light prune-like maltyness and subtle oak character.

Very rich flavor with storng sourness balancing it out. Complex malt flavor with raisnes, caramel and toffee. Excellent oak character, adds nice complexity and gives a port like character when combined with oxidized malt richness.. Sourness is a bit simplistic but balances out the flavor very well. A well balanced, and very drinkable sour ale. Very rodenbach like, a little less complex, but very nice.

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Photo of Wildman
4.01/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a very dark red color and formed an amazing, huge pillow like head that left some very amazing laticed like lace. Heavy and beautiful style carbonation present. An aroma of malt and wine(but not sure of style). A flavor of malt, wine, and cherries. The finish was rather tart, brought on by the heavy carb and the wine aspect no doubt. It was the finish that hurt this beer in the end from getting a higher rating from me. I felt it hurt the overall flavor of the beer. But it is not a bad beer and worth trying.

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Photo of Jdiddy
2.06/5  rDev -50.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

While I looked the looks of this beer, unfortunately that is where the good parts end. Smell was an initial sour smell. While many who review this smell vinegar, I agree but also think it smelled spoiled and rancid. Very musty smell. The taste was like a very sour Chimay Red. Definite vinegar/wine notes. Not my cup of tea. The other 2 people who sampled it with me had the same opinion. I could never drink a full glass of this.

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Photo of John
3.36/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Relatively clear ruby/brown. Thin layer of tan foam. Aroma consists of sour, unripe fruit and balsamic vinegar notes. Vinous and champagne-like. Some sour cherries poke through...very dry. A unique style indeed. This brew redeemed itself somewhat as it neared room temperature. Do not attempt to drink this right from the fridge.

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Photo of purplehops
4.57/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another beautiful example of a Flemish Red Ale. When you first open the bottle you are hit with that sour cherry/lactic acid aroma. It has always amazed me that there are no cherries in these red ales. The color is a beautiful dried cherry red with lots of sparkle and a rich creamy vanilla-white head. The floral/sour aroma is just pure heaven (I have never found the right words for this aroma). The taste starts out tart and ends sour with hints of sweetness. I only wish this ale was a wee bit more tart with the sourness lasting a bit longer. It's not quite a Rodenbach but it's a very nice example of a Red Ale and very drinkable.

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Photo of sponberg
4.62/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Whoaaa, Nelly! Starts out malty with a gently lactic tang, then the flavors start flooding in - sour cherries, an oaky dryness, sweet prune/plum, a sweetness I can't describe (almost like a cherry dipped in caramel, but better), and hints of chocolate & biscuit towards the finish. The flavor is like a round ball with a point sticking out - the round ball being the malty character, the pointy part the lactic, sour tang. Then it all gently wafts away. Hugely entertaining if you're an Oud Bruin fan. I may like this slightly more than I like Rodenbach Grand Cru, which says a LOT.

The publican, when I ordered a pint, said "You remember the first time you had sex? This is better." It's not, but it's still one outstanding brew.

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

Carefully poured from a long-standing bottle it's a surprisingly clear, reddish-brown with orange-ish highlights. The light tan head rises up full at first, but thins shortly. The thin cap, however, holds to the end of the serving - no doubt buoyed by effervescent carbonation - and leaves some noteable lace. The aroma is soft with sugary sweet dark fruit (cherry, raspberry, plum) and an array of gentle lactic notes including vinegar, leather, and barnyard. It's also a touch of vegetal character, and the combination of sugar sweet and vinegar leaves it with a note that's oddly similar to ketchup. It's not bad, but it's sweeter, more chalky, and much less sour than many of the examples from the historic town of Oudenaarde. The body is light but with some dextrins, and offers a crisp and zesty mouthfeel from a very fine, effervescent carbonation. The flavor starts with a combination of tart, sharp fruit (raisin, raspberry, prune, currant, sour cherry) and sweetish caramelized sugar at the front of the mouth, leading into a more winey character with a big woody note and sweet maltiness at mid swallow. It finishes a bit chalky and dry, with a light stickiness throughout the mouth and a sweet & tart note on the tip of the tongue - sometimes followed by an earthy, musty and acidic burp. A very good beer in the Oud Bruin style, posessing a solid oak character and good fruitiness, but possibly a touch sweet. Overall, quite enjoyable.

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Photo of marc77
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep crimson hued with a light haze topped by a moderate off white head that leaves respectable lace. Very tart, unripe fruit dominates the aroma, but a constant undertone of wet horse Brettanomyces and old, cheesy hops counter the initial tartness nicely. The flavor consists of a pleasant blend of tart lactic notes and unripe raspberry offset by high residual sweetness due to the paltry hop bitterness. Sour acidity is present as a constant from start to finish. Light in body, and spritzy in mouthfeel. Finishes w/ tartness abruptly ending and sugary sweetness on the tip of the tongue slowly fading. This brew exhibits a good balance of lactobacillus tartness, fruity esters and residual sweetness. The taste grew on me the more I sipped. More "wild yeast" character would have added additional complexity.

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Photo of BeerManDan
2.36/5  rDev -43.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Nice Red hue to this brew. But either I had a bad batch or what, I don't know. My first taste of this beer was a taste of a sweet and sour wine flavor. Through out the whole glass of beer, I got a sweet rasin flavor, followed with a sour after taste. No thanks to his brew!

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Photo of mattmaples
4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What an exceptional Fanders Red. Good head, malty-winey aroma and sweet / tart flavor makes this beer a real winner for the style. With the sporatic supply of Rodenbach these days, it is nice to know there is another Flanders Red one can turn to.

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Photo of rastaman
4.19/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Excellent and very fun little brew. Deep brwon with atinge of red, nice pillowy head with good lace. Aroma is of cherry, balsamic vinegar and perhaps a bit winey, palate is slightly sweet most mostly tart sweet and then sourness aswell, fruity, quite comlex and very enjoyable.

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Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
Beer rating: 4.15 out of 5 with 4,303 ratings
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