Duchesse De Bourgogne | Brouwerij Verhaeghe

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Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne
4,359 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: 4,359 |  Reviews: 1,561
Photo of ortie
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of LarryMyers
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of captaincoffee
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

 408 characters

Photo of Tom-Peters
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of kaseydad
4.37/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I picked up the Duchesse after many times passing her by due to the uncertainty. My wife picked her up for me at Whole Foods and unfortunately it was placed facing the cold box near an auxillary vent...of heat...which was keeping cheese cold. Go figure.

After 24 hours in the cold, the Duchesse and I had our rendezvous.

Being my first Flanders Red Ale, she went easy. She poured a nice reddish brown color with a single layer of foam. A light carbonation was also present.

She yielded a major vinegar aroma with a whisp of cherry in the background.

She tasted of a sweet vinegar on the initial sip with a nice sweetness on the back of the tongue and lips. A very intriguing taste for a newbie to this style.

It was a nice refreshing brew to some of the others I have tried in the past and is very drinkable if you can get past the ever-present vinegar smell.

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

I had heard odes sung lovingly (if not off-key) to this brew long before I had a chance to try it (that would be you, LongBeachBum) before I got to try in in its homeland of Belgium (I definitely recommend this approach, if you can do it!). But this review is based on a single bottle I found here in the states. I was worried- was it too old? Had it been handled properly? Well, guess what- this was not a problem!!!

Bottle best-by 3/31/05. Pours a dark brown with ruby port highlights, with a medium tan head and off-white chunks of yeast that quickly dissolved. Aroma is very inviting- pretty sour (in a good way) with dark fruits that offset each other very nicely. Flavor- ohmigod! Tart and brown sugar and candied fruits and sour cherries and plums and yes, all offset by the tartness. Talk about balance! I love this stuff!

One odd notation- there was a strange pond scum effect (I assume from the dissolved yeast) that sat below the head and above the beer. Gave an unusual smoothing effect I've never experienced elsewhere. Was not a bad thing, but strange.

Overall- can I have some more, please?

 1,114 characters

Photo of johntfox
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of ToddBeans
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of alienlifeforcecube
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

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

Photo of beaulabauve
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of MaxOhle
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of MaxPowers
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of RoamingGnome
4.14/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of ccozzi
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of magictacosinus
4.24/5  rDev +2.2%
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 +5.1%
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 npendres
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of GuitarIPA
3.86/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of carolinabeerguy
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
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 alostplot
5/5  rDev +20.5%

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

Photo of Mphis
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of KG710
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
Beer rating: 4.15 out of 5 with 4,359 ratings