Duchesse De Bourgogne | Brouwerij Verhaeghe

BA SCORE
92
outstanding
4,239 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
Ratings:
4,239
Reviews:
1,535
Avg:
4.1
pDev:
14.39%
 
 
Wants:
247
Gots:
919
For Trade:
16
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,239 |  Reviews: 1,535
Photo of dipso123
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of Brushkanna
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of MaxPowers
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of RoamingGnome
4.14/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of magictacosinus
4.24/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had this way too many times already, but I finally took the chance to review it. Poured into a snifter at the Albany Taproom. Review is from my notes.

Pours a reddish brownish color that is slightly hazy, with a bone white 2 fingers worth of head at the top. The head eventually settles down to a less than exciting ring, revealing the ruby tinges that linger at the side of the glass. Lacing is excellent, although I've found that this varies from the bottle, age, as well as on tap. Bubbles are not as present as you'd think, and while it does look slightly murky here, it's a pretty traditional take on the style and remains memorable.

I remember the first time I took a whiff from this thing, I swear I was only getting balsamic vinegar. Well, even if that be the case, I've learned over time to find all kinds of great aromas in this thing. At first there's the barnyard, slightly funky, vinegar flavor, which soon melds into soured cherries, raisins, plums, and a bright grainy nuttiness. Wood is not as present as one would expect. However, it makes up for it. As soon as the funk carries on, this is replaced by a refined malt profile that mixes well with the grassy hoppy texture, often resembling a yeasty bready flavor of sorts. Absolutely refreshing to whiff on this thing - it makes an ideal compromise between the funk and grainy, earthy texture at the finish.

The aroma is actually not puckery at all, although it does continue the aforementioned compromise in an excellent way. At first there's the blast of vinegar, as well as soured, tannic characteristics from the oak. They eventually meld into the classic sour cherry flavor, combined with tart raspberries, raisins, walnuts, leafy dry phenols, and bright earthy notes that linger in the finish. The initial fruity flavors fall back on (once again) the malt brownish profile, which is very refined from the blending made in the wood, as well as from the spontaneous fermenting process. It adds texture to the beer rather than allow it assault the palate with excessive sourness. The aftertaste is definitely astringent, in a very unpasteurized, lactic acidic manner, but the malts and slight citrus from the hops hold together the fort quite well. Delicious.

Really a classic in the realm of Flanders reds, and perhaps sour beers in general. This was the very first sour I had years ago in my initial craft findings, and I remember not minding the astringency as the fruitiness and bready, yeasty texture were both so predominant in the flavor overall. It's not as complex as other beers in its realm, but it terms of widespread availability and accessibility, it's definitely made its mark. This is a great one to use to introduce people to soured beers - tart, fruity, slightly nutty, and very refreshing.

 2,787 characters

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

 235 characters

Photo of n2pux
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of alostplot
5/5  rDev +22%

Photo of JOldewurtel
4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of MattGrimley
4.24/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Mphis
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of KG710
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of redleg411
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Beerswag
4/5  rDev -2.4%

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

Photo of adam42381
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 11.2 ounce bottle into a Duvel tulip. Best before 04/08/2012 printed on label.

Appearance: Pours a dark caramel brown with ruby highlights and a 2 finger foamy light tan head. A touch of sediment pooled in the middle of the head as it settled in. Once the head settles, it leaves bubbles around the edge of the glass that look like chocolate milk bubbles.

Smell: Tart and sour fruits with sweet malt in the background. Smells a bit like a winery. Very strong and powerful aroma.

Taste: Tart wine grape hulls up front followed by sour cherries and a touch of sweet malt in the middle before ending with Belgian yeast and more sour notes at the finish. Aftertaste is light with a mix of sweet and sour.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: High drinkability. I would have no problem polishing off a couple bottles throughout the course of an evening.

Overall: Excellent beer overall. This is a near perfect introduction to the world of sour beers. I would highly recommend this one. Just make sure you drink it fairly fresh. Once it reaches or passes the best before date, it's a vinegar bomb.

 1,149 characters

Photo of ToddBeans
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of TXhomebrewer
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of Boilermaker88
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle into a flute. Bottle had a best before date of 08.06.06 on the back of the label.
Appearance: dark chestnut brown color streaked with maroon highlights and topped by a bubbly yet durable off-white head. Minimal carbonation seen yet the head endured and left nice lace behind.
Smell: sweet-and-sour aroma with hints of cherry and oak. Soft caramel and touch of funk. Some vinegary notes, too. Interesting, but not as potent as expected.
Taste: puckery vinegar taste right up front vied for attention with a sweet/tart fruitiness. My guess was a bit of cherry but I couldn't quite place the fruit. Caramel and slight earthiness contrasted with the sour bite. Oak flavor undertones. Sharply acidic finish.
Feel: medium body, lively.
Overall: an interesting contrast of sweetness versus tart acidity and biting sourness. Nicely done.

 865 characters

Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.47/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear brown with hints of mahogany. A persistent and dense ivory head with nice fine lace. Smells sour, a bit vinegary (but in a good way). Vinuous and oaky nose.

I have heard this beer described as one of great depth but i'll be damned if I can find it. It's tart, like tart cherries. Then gets quite winelike and hints of oak but is overwhelmed by a cloying sweetness that overwhelms the palate and disappointingly chases all the sourness away. Very sticky mouth with a lingering tartness but no sour driness to speak of, the kind of thing I like in a Flemish Red. Because of the sweetness not too drinkable either. Not bad but not great. I have the rest of a four pack to let this one change my mind.

 714 characters

Photo of webmanspidey
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a large tulip glass. Color is a strong reddish brown with around half an inch of head. Smell is sour cider and cherry, very acidic. Taste is a kind of sweet and sour combination, with lots of grapes and maraschino cherry flavors. Thick, syrupy mouthfeel. Very good drinkability.

 297 characters

Photo of jarrgal
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

Photo of Stigs
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle served in a St. Bernardus chalice

A - poured a healthy finger of tight and frothy off white foam, slowly falling to a thin layer. the beer is a rich dark amber color, and quite clear.

S - mostly vinegar mixed with overly ripe dark fruits, some belgian yeast, funky socks, and sour lemon rind. spicy finish.

T - immediate funky vinegar turns to a surprise candy like sweetness. just a tad sour, but mostly fruity sweet, white grapes, pears, plums, and cherries. last third, the cherries really take over as some yeast, funk, and vinegar joins in. quite unique.

M - medium bodied and creamy. carbonation is subtle but there. nothing fancy.

D - unique, even for the style. just sour enough for some character, but the sweet fruits mostly dominate. wine lovers might like this, and also a good intro to the style.

 828 characters

Photo of DavidST
4.58/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm extremely new to sour beers, having only tried them for the first time a couple of months ago, but I really love the few that I've had.

This pours a deep brown, there are hints of red but I wouldn't have known its a red ale otherwise. The head is a finger width and light brown, it quickly fades away but leaves a nice lace. This smells a little sour, woody and slightly unusual, hard to describe. Nice mouth feel, it gets very carbonated if I gently move it around on my tongue, I can feel the tartness. The taste is a little tart / sour at first but on the way down it seems to sweeten up quite a bit, this is definitely a unique flavor for beer, but I really like it. It kind of reminds me of shock tart candies I used to love as a child, this my second bottle to try and the aftertaste sweetness is more than I remembered. Overall this is a great beer and very well could be one of my favorites.

 905 characters

Photo of kushlash23
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
4.1 out of 5 based on 4,239 ratings.
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