Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Duchesse De Bourgogne | Brouwerij Verhaeghe

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
91
outstanding
1,491 Reviews
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Verhaeghe
Belgium | website

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
Reviews:
1,491
Ratings:
4,080
Avg:
4.09
pDev:
23.72%
 
 
Wants:
230
Gots:
828
For Trade:
16
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,491 | Ratings: 4,080
Photo of BeerTaster
3.89/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not bad by any means you just have to remember what this beer is trying to be not what you expect it to be. Appearance dark brown but the head left a bit two quick for my taste. Smell was vinager and some oak. Taste very winey and sour with hints of vannila and oak. Mouthfeel was mediem body and low carbonation. Drinkability not bad a decent thirst quencher.

 360 characters

Photo of SmokinSmyth
1.31/5  rDev -68%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Poured into a Tulip glass, nice big head, minimal lacing, brown color.

Aroma is strong, vinegar and another sour are in the majority.

Taste - just not for me. I see the good ratings, but this is a rare beer for me, in that I didn't finish it, and actually poured it down the sink. My children were shocked. Tasted way too much like vinegar for me, and I checked the date, the bottle had another year to go.

Mouthfeel - didn't really register as I didn't want in my mouth after my tongue had gotten hold of it.

 512 characters

Photo of mortarit
3.94/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

A Flanders Red, are commonly referred to as the "red" beers of West Flanders. Belgian Red Beers are typically light-bodied brews with reddish-brown colors. They are infamous for their distinct sharp, fruity, sour and tart flavours which are created by special yeast strains. Very complex beers, they are produced under the age old tradition of long-term cask aging in oak, and the blending of young and old beers.

Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 4.0-8.0%

I copied the definition so I could reviews this one since it is my first Flanders Red. I remember one cohort here at this style picked as his prefered choice. Man, was I way off. I thought this would be a beer of simply taste. I was blown away from the sharp taste. I should of know when I open the bottle , it had a little kick in the release of the cap.
Fruity
Alcohol can be detected
The tartness is a little over whelming.
It's different, I am glad I had the chance to experience it.
Uh, try again.
I would like to try others in this group to have a broaded range of this style.

 1,060 characters

Photo of Reinheitsgebot71
4.87/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A friend of mine and myself went down to the beer bistro earlier in the week and tried a few new beers each of which I'll review in turn.

A: It poured very dark brown almost completely opaque with a mocha
brown half inch head and minimal lace.

B: Immediately upon first sniff mincemeat pie came to mind followed by a slight hint of pine. The more subtle hits then manifested themselves, namely raisins and rock sugar. I didn't detect any hit of alcohol whatsoever, unsurprisingly as it is a lower percentage compared to some of its other Belgian counterparts.

T: Right off the bat raisins again followed by, lemon, iron rust, honey, hints of curry powder, cardamom in conjunction with the more prevalent lemon sapidity. Hidden at the very bottom of the taste spectrum were nice finishing touches of allspice, cinnamon and soothing caramel.

M: Uber smooth, very sparse effervescence, but what little there is tingles the mouth nicely in conjunction with the magnificent flavors abound in the beer. Overall quit silky smooth almost marshmellowy feel in the mouth.

D: A very very nice beer; goes down very well. After I finished it I immediately craved another. I don't think I could ever get sick of this beer, just excellent. I recommend it to any true lover of beer.

 1,283 characters

Photo of kpoole25
3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11-ish bottle to glass. Gentle pour leads to huge head, color is dark brown/red. Smell is somewhat sweet and a little vinegar. Taste is somewhat like soda pop in carbonation and sweetness, with decent sourness. Not as sweet as Monk's Cafe, a good thing. More interesting than drinkable for me.

 293 characters

Photo of BillyBoysPie
4.28/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap in the appropriate glassware at the (soon to be if it isn't already) legendary Sergio's World Beers in Louisville, KY. Go. Now.

Reddish-brownish-purple with a dense white foam on top. Near perfect lacing with decent retention.

Tart and sour flavors dominate the nose. Well fruited, mostly cassis (currant) and raspberry combined with tart rhubarb like acidity. Some malt comes through, but the slight buttery is far more interesting.

Grape bubblegum and tart raspberry are in the front with some of the oaky, woody characteristics filling out the beer. It's very delicate, but really clean. Well balanced and very enjoyable.

Light, not too viscous. Enough carbonation to accentuate the tart without overpowering the sour.

Easy to drink - if you like the style, which I do. It's really fun and deep.

 810 characters

Photo of Brewfan
4.45/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Mac56 for this beer, via Newbie "Onebox" BIF '05

Poured into my Rodenbach tulip.
250 ml. bottle

Very large quickly dissapating head. Went from 3.5 fingers to covering the top of the beer in about 25 seconds.
Dark reddish copper color with a steady stream of carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass. Decent lace clings to the edges.
Smell: Sour and musty. Not as viniagry or "over the top" as say Rodenback Grand Cru. This is definately more my style. Nice tart fresh cherry and off-the-tree apple sweetness, with definate hops towards the back. Oak comes through later on.
Taste: This is gorgeous. Tart, but not overly. Malty sweetness on the tongue. Almost on the verge of an apple-wine. Very fruity. Slight bitterness, like the bitterness from a fresh apple peel that you just picked off of the tree. I keep going back to the apple references. If apples actually tasted this good, Jesus, I'd eat an apple with every single meal of my life. May have wanted it a bit more tart, ended up being a bit too sweet towards the end.
Mouthfeel/Drinkability: I could have drank this beer in about 3 sips. Medium mouthfeel. Nice and creamy. I would have liked it a bit more tart and brisk. Finishes dry, drier than I would have thought possible while drinking this beer.
Full of surprises, flavors and aromas. Nice beer.

 1,346 characters

Photo of zymurgy4all
4.52/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is quite an interesting beer. It pours a deep reddish brown with a dense white creamy head. The aroma is all sourness: lactobacillus, brettanomyces, and a hint of oak. The immediate flavor is sour, then it finishes sweet leaving a sweet & sour taste in your mouth. The aftertaste lingers for a while as well. This is a beer that you learn to like--after having a gueze, this one tastes wonderful. Great beer, but don't drink it until you've had other sour beers to compare it too, and you develop your palate.

 514 characters

Photo of TVolt1
3.45/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A: Deep amber color, good clarity, small amount of white head.

S: mmm great smell. Smells of cherry warhead candies and that's my favorite type of sour beer! Good hint of wine smell too.

T: Has a great bubbly, cherry initial flavor that excited me. The aftertaste is almost nutty and does not fit with the beer at all. Finish is disappointing...

M: Good bubbly, carbonated mouth feel, light on the tongue.

O: I like every other factor of this beer but the final taste. Too bad because everything else is going well for it.

 527 characters

Photo of amicar
4.4/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

 1,564 characters

Photo of cpmichael
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel snifter.

A: Pours a brownish-red, very thin lacing.

S: fruity, tart cherries, some hints of oak and vanilla.

T: Tart cherries, slight metallic taste right at first, but as the beer warms up it smooths out into a sweeter taste. Almost too sweet for me. a bit of oak flavor comes through too.

M/D: Good carbonation, and not a bad beer in the least, I would advise letting the beer warm a bit because I found it to taste much better when it warmed up. The metallic flavor was gone. Still I found it to be too sweet, even for the style and could have benefited from being more on the sour side.

 614 characters

Photo of WhatsNewinBooze
4.64/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one caught me by suprise. This beer (if you can even call it that) pours a clear reddish brown with a thin fizzy head that atually foams up after waiting a few minutes. The nose was loaded with red berries, citrus, sweet malts and yeast. The palate was loaded with red fruit and citrus flavors with some wonderful notes of bread, yeast and spice. Evryone should try this at least once.

 390 characters

Photo of NardiByNature
4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bold, clear, reddish mahogany with a decent head and cap leaving behind some lacing. Ruby tinging in the light. Vinegar-astringence and some fruit: pear, cherry, apple. A slight whiff of that woody smell of a basement. Big, fruity and sour, this beer is a delicious mash of sweet and sour cherry and pear flavor. Some heat on the backburner. Puckering, smooth, dry, and a little spicy carbonation.

O: Loved it. Assertive, smooth and sour mash-up. Looking forward to trying more brown ales.

 491 characters

Photo of Wolfsdenbrew
4.11/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours with a light beige fizzy head that dissipates toa thin head layer rather quickly. A shower of tiny bubbles rises from the bottom of the glass constantly. It pours a deep ruby amber and leaves minimal lacing.

Very little aroma in this one but what is there sort of smells like a sweettart.

Taste is very sweet in the beginning and then turning to a sour apple vinegar to the finish. There are hints of cherry and other berries with no real hop presence.

The carbonation level is a bit soda like (extremely fizzy) with a nice medium body to the mouthfeel.

I am pretty much a newbie to this style but it is quickly becoming one of my favorites!

 659 characters

Photo of goblet
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured this particular one out of a bottle with a beautiful work of art on the label even the cap with the lions holding the shield was a nice touch.

A,this has a dark brick red brown color with a one finger thick white froth that dissipates quickly leaves spots of lace .

S,wow! overwhelming ,this took me off guard. it`s like a sweet and sour wine with vineger and fruits ..

T,sweet yet a strong vineger wine quality to it.fruity ,apple ,plums and sour grapes though it`s got balance .

D, i find this beer very good ,like a fine wine the more i drink it the more i appreciate the multiple flavors

 602 characters

Photo of thartman
3.97/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Last one from my cellar stash. It's about two years old and the best before date is stamped 10-02-07.

Poured into tulip-shaped glass dark ruby red with brown tints. Tight tan head with pockets of carbonation.

Sour cherry and vinegar smell, a smidge of vanilla and oak.

Pucker up with the taste,... sour and very vinegar-like, although not as tart as I remembered. It definitely mellowed with some aging and there was noticably less carbonation. Finished up dry with oak and vanilla left to dazzle the taste buds.

Very unique and complex beer. If you like this style, also try the Flemish Red from Rodenbach.

 611 characters

Photo of beersheppard
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Apperance: dark rub, mahogany, with tan head.

Smell: raspberry vinegar, brown sugar, musty

Taste: predominant flavor here is sour cherries, unripened grapes, and very sour with a long aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: is intense, with good tingle.

Drinkability: a good beer and good example of this type. But, it would be hard for me to have more than one of these.

 358 characters

Photo of Steasy66
4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

~12oz pour at Nomad world pub into a wide mouth glass.
A- Dark brown, not much head.
S- Smells quite fruity, very sour.
T- Nice red fruits, a lot of oak, somewhat sours. I don't really like sours, but this is a fine beer.
M- Crisp carbonation, not too thick, nice.
O- Pretty shocked to find a sour I liked. Would drink again.

 325 characters

Photo of alk3kenny
4.78/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Just starting to get into/try sour beers and from I understand this is a legend. Pours a dark, dark ruby red. Nice tan head that sticks around for awhile. Smell dark fruit, banana, not really picking up anything sour on the nose but smells amazing. OOOHHH there's the sour lol it's all over the taste and mouthfeel. Tart, sour cherry some of the funky taste I recognize from beers with brett but not nearly as pronounced. This is very nicely balanced. Won't be an every day beer for me because of the price point but I'll be back for more.

 539 characters

Photo of USCTrojanBrian
4.55/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle consumed at The Trappist in Oakland, CA. From notes.

Egg-like foamy head. Violet-brown color. Sour cherry and oaky aroma.

Overly smooth first taste. Low carbonation, good, like a cask beer. Solid base beer. Somewhat sugary but quite enjoyable.

Maybe needed a bit more sour to balance the flavors a bit but this thing is like candy within the style, hard not to enjoy.

 383 characters

Photo of SPThirtyThree
4.67/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from the standard 750 mL bottle you see in stores. The carbonation was perfect and the cork came out easily. Pours into the goblet a deep, crystal clear gobet with a brilliant red hue and ruby highlights. A one-finger cream-colored head quickly boils to the top of the beer, in a fizzy, effervescent way, to crown this Flanders' Red. Surprisingly, the head persists, as a fine cream layer on top of the beer that shows patterns from the rim every time I lift the glass.

S: The nose is exceptional on this beer. It's extremely sweet and sour all at once. Lingering just behind the veil of sweetness is a tart, sour vinegar note, like that of sour cherries. A clove-like spiciness and the faintest hint of copper suggest a Belgian yeast. Duchesse de Bourgogne actually smells a lot like a soured Delirium Noel.

T: Deliciously smooth and sweet with a hint of tartness. This beer opens with sweet flavors of honey surrounded by sour cherries. Next comes a faint vinegar flavor, and finally, the beer finishes with a hint of butterscotch and a tart, apple juice crispiness.

M: The mouthfeel is extremely creamy and frothy, resulting in a smoothness that perfectly accentuates the sour tang left on the tongue by the Duchesse.

D: High. This beer is delicious. The only fault is that it seems to be very sugary, which makes it quite filling.

Overall, this is a pretty solid ale. It isn't overwhelmingly sour like a Kriek, but instead, so it's very accessible to non-sour drinkers. The only drawback is it's might be too sweet and sugary for some. I was a little surprised that that this filtered beer, as I expected a yeast cake on bottom, but I suppose that makes sense with the amount of residual sugar in this Flanders' Red Ale.

***Re-reviewed 5.18.2010 to edit review from 1.13.2010. The score changed to reflect a better nose, but more noticeable fillingness of the beer. Also, I seem to have missed a handful of details the first time I experienced this brew, so tasting notes were augmented.***

 2,011 characters

Photo of amatuerbeerguy
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured out ruby red color, off white head with lasting and lacing head retention. soured fruit, raison, floral, mulled wine aroma. some cherry, tangy, tart, sour, red wine flavors. moderate bodied with high carbonation. overall a nicely sour, tangy drink for the palate to dissect

 280 characters

Photo of smcreator
4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my first lambic to try so the overall mouth feel and flavor is new to me. Overall, I enjoyed the beer very much as it is flavorful and balanced.

A: Very dark burgundy red color. One finger initial head that settles to a 3 mm head and light lacing.
S: Smells very fruity and also of alcohol at the same time, but the alcohol does not bother me. The fruit notes are very pleasant and complex. Definitely a similar smell to walking through a fruit market where all the smells blend.
T: The alcohol smell and taste is balanced nicely with the fruity sweet notes so it does not tire to drink. The beer has three or more stages of flavor. At first there is an in-rush of a sweet fruit blend. Then there is a mellower taste that is slightly more dry. Finally, there is a nice semi-bitter alcohol finish that balances out the whole movement.
M: A very smooth medium-thick bodied beer with little carbonation. Feels like eating yogurt to some degree. The only drawback is that it leaves a slight film in your mouth.
D: It is very easy to drink as it is packed with flavor and feels nice in the mouth. You will not get tired drinking it, you just might have to spit from time to time.

 1,190 characters

Photo of DKRowden
4.52/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap into a 10 oz tulip glass. A very deep red with almost no light transparency and a creamy off white inch head. It has a very red wine like nose with the bitter sweetness. This is my first sour so I can't judge too much but it has a good sour sweet wine taste like a dessert wine or something. It has a crisp mouth feel with a moist finish. Overall quite nice for my first sour. It was aged and cellared by my local Beer Shoppe and I was lucky to try it.

 466 characters

Photo of weazal
4.67/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

S: Alcohol and sourness blends perfectly. Although, a little medicinal. Some notes of sweet caramel snuck in there.

T: Shockingly sweet, puckeringly sour cherry with a rounding our creaminess. Vanilla cherry cheese cake! Perfectly balanced, unique, exciting, and tasty!

 270 characters

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
91 out of 100 based on 1,491 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe