Duchesse De Bourgogne | Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding
1,503 Reviews
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
Reviews:
1,503
Ratings:
4,119
Avg:
4.1
pDev:
23.66%
 
 
Wants:
233
Gots:
849
For Trade:
15
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,503 | Ratings: 4,119
Photo of guinnessman
3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

a vinigar aroma, raisons, and a fruity like smell. a 3/4 in. bubly head, like champaign, that disipates guickely. a ruby red hue. very complex, I note chocolate, raspberries, banana. a nice mouthfeel, not coating, very smooth many flavors come at once, the finish is fruity and a bit tart. Not something I would drink on a regular basis, but for those people, like myself, who find labic to be to tart, this is a great alternative. A very enjoyable brew.

 454 characters

Photo of Brandegee
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from big bottle into goblet

A: Dark caramel brown, lacy head
S: One of the all-time great beer aromas, with intense wood, banana and sour esters
T: Dark fruits, lots of plum and raisin. Obvious sour but a surprising serving of sweet berry fruits accompanies the sour. Pretty amazing.
M: I'm not a fan of huge carbonation and this has a lot of it. That's part of what gives it a "cider" vibe, I guess. It's not objectionable at all, however, and the smell/taste really defines this beer.
O: I've had a number of Flemish sours prior to this bottle and I have to say the DDB really has the formula. Definitely the best of the style that I've had, and a stunning helping of flavor in this beer makes it memorable. I'd love to have this with some intense French cheeses.

Note: Buy this in the big bottle, for the corkage experience. I don't know if this contributes to the experience, but the bottle art is far better than the small bottles.

 945 characters

Photo of onecrazybreeze
4.6/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Tap at the Falling Rock. Poured a dark opaque brown with slight red tints, had no head by the time it got to me. Smelled sugary and fruity, mainly of raisins. Tasted more sweet then sour to me, mainly of cherries and raisins. It's not overly sour making it a great beer for those that need a good balance between sweet and sour in a sour brew. In all, a very likable beer.

 372 characters

Photo of Arinthos
3.62/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle. Best by mar. 2013 poured a redish murky brown excess proteins contributed to a chill haze. Smell of abundant fruit such as apple pear currant and soft bready yeast. Tastaste is overwhelmingly cider like very unlike a lambic or other sour beers this is more of a sweet and kinda sour expierence. Mouthfeel was light yet a bit syrupy and carbonation was minimal and head was not around for more than 10 seconds. Overall it was a good example of the style but not my cup of beer and would probabaly not revisit. I will say though this is a grow on you type of flavor.

 592 characters

Photo of BeerCentralWA
5/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

In bottle, served in wine glass. Appearance is slightly reddish with yeast clouding and effervescent head.

Nose is raspberry and yeast with clove and anise spice.
Mouthfeel is dry and champagne like. It literally disappears on the tongue, with rich malt and complex fruit and spice on the palate.

 298 characters

Photo of scbrew
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark crimson-brown color with light tan head that dissipates quickly. Slight sour, very fruity aroma. Wonderfully balanced flavor between sweet and sour. Mild sour flavors with slight candied sweetness. Excellent body. Seemed like a bigger beer. Loved it!

 261 characters

Photo of BhamBeerLover
5/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Oh the dutchess... Shall I compare the to a summer's day? Seriously though, this beer is phenomenal. For one expecting a good sour ale this beer cannot be beat, though potentially tied. I got exactly what I expected and would not wish for this beer to change at all. I hope to be able to share this beer with my children, when they are old enough of course. (At least not until they hit double digits.) Thanks to all those Flemish folks for this amazing contribution to the world beer community.

 495 characters

Photo of grdahl
4.92/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: rich red and Brown in color.

S: Champangne like

T: Tart sourness but very smooth.

M: Nice crispy, bubbly with meium body.

D: Very drinkable.I could drink this all night.

Serving type: large corked bottle

My first Flanders Red. Not my last. This is inspiring me to brew my own Flanders. Very different, very wine like in both smaell and taste.

 352 characters

Photo of mac56
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sample brought to me from Belgium by my sister, bless her heart.

Lovely ruby red appearance with an effervescent head that settled down to stay,

Slightly cidery aroma.

Taste: wow. Just wow. This bad boy's got a tang. Cidery and tart, with a slightly creamy mouthfeel. The tang clears the flavor away off the back of the tongue, clearing the path for the next swallow.

A special occasion beer, to be sure. I don't think I could drink more than one of these a night, but I can see doing just that sitting by a roaring fire in January sometime.

 556 characters

Photo of drinknewbelgium
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured thick and dark redish brown body with a thick head. Tastes of sour grapes/cherries but sweet like that of good champagne with a sour tart finish the mouthfeel was that of thicker champagne decently carbonated flanders reds are an aquired taste not to my liking but i am trying to be as objective as possible an above average interpretation of this style

 360 characters

Photo of headlessclown
3.96/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

25cl bottle poured into glass
Date on bottle: 06/10/2012

A: Pours red/dark brown. Moderate head retention, no lacing.

S: Funky. Like a weak vinegar. A bit on the unpleasant side.

T: Excellent balance of tartness and sweetness. Very flavoursome.

M: Medium feel and carbonation.

D: The 25cl bottles are far too small for this beer. Very drinkable.

 350 characters

Photo of 01121987
5/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

i am no expert on this style of beer, but i would have to say that it kicks some serious ass!
i tried this beer a couple of years ago and was disgusted by it, now i dont know how i ever could have thought that. this is my favorite sour beer. im surprised the bros didnt rate it as world class.
awsome beer!
not for the faint hearted!

 335 characters

Photo of IrieJackalope
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

One of my favorite beers, finally sitting down to give this one a review.
Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into my Belgian goblet. Pours a dark red, crystal clear with a good amount of head, leaving lacing down the glass as it disipates. The smell is sweet, tangy and oh-so inviting. I once heard someone describe the aroma as fermented ketchup and bowling alley shoes, but it's pretty damn wonderful if you ask me. The taste is equally amazing. A bit of sweet malt paired with a delicious tang that I've come to crave over time. Despite it's sour elements, the beer finishes pretty clean, although there's certainly a bit of the liveliness that lingers behind. Honestly, I could drink this stuff all day. I know it's not everyone's cup of tea (or beer rather) but the duchess will always have a space reserved in my beer fridge. Definitely worth trying at least once, it might even change the world of beer for you forever.

 921 characters

Photo of Mangus
4.6/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - ruby-copper red with a small tight lacy head.

Smell - complex, extremely interesting, light, fruity, clean

Taste - apples and fruit, intricate dance of flavors, tight crispness, and sweet tartness. What a wonderfully complex and interesting beer. I have to remind myself that this is actually beer that I'm drinking.

Mouthfeel - bubbly, crisp and syrupy. I'm salivating like Pavlov's dog's.

 414 characters

Photo of CheckmateBrew
3.43/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I am a big Belgian drinker so I had high hopes for his one.

Look is exceptional, nice 1 finger head, deep cherry wood color, I am getting excited.

smell is very complex, malt and I could detect rasin, oak lots of things going on here.

Taste is very complex, a bit almost too sweet, trappist yeast, interesting, but not the belgin I was expecting

 350 characters

Photo of 77ships
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this one at home, from notes:

A: bright, shinny red, small white head, minor lacing
S: funk, hint of vinegar & cherries, hint of oak
T: very fruit, heavy on cherries, green apples, lemons, wood chips, mild tart, hint of funk, some wine qualities, incredible, especially how fruity this is (I could have sworn they put cherries in here) and how the sourness balances this
M: light, refreshing & dry
D: the drinkability is insane, it is almost impossible not to chug it down at once

This is an absolutely amazing beer, if you are even remotely interested in sours, you must get this one.

 592 characters

Photo of kiya
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

upon a hard pour i'm left with a great thick light tan head that holds it's shape and size quite well over the couple of minutes i let the beer sit to warm it up a bit.

this is easily one of the best smelling beers i've ever encountered.. a sweet smokey scent that is so pleasant i wish i had an air-freshner that smelled like this.

nothing could have prepared me for what happened when this stuff hit my tongue. the initial flavor is one of sickly sweet fermented berries, which mellows out quickly leaving a slight molasses flavor that gets sweeter the longer you roll the beer around your tongue. from the carbonation level to the strong sweet overtones work really well here, where as normally (tasting within the style of beer) i'm not so sure i'd be happy if a beer was this sweet without it being a lambic ale of sorts.

i absolutely love the smell, and would definitely go for this again...

 908 characters

Photo of floraday
3.92/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz into a pinot glass

Walnut stain to rootbeer soda in appearance. Little head with light lacing.

Aroma of apple cider mixed with rootbeer barrel candy.

Apple cider and a little reduction on the palate. Slightly medicinal.

Very viscous on the palate. Juicy at first leading to a dry after taste.

A little sweeter than what I prefer but works well with sharp cheese.

 375 characters

Photo of astout
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow, very cool beer, definitely unique and very delicious.

Pours a deep burnished red colour very dark with a small amount of head.

Smells of balsamic, cherries, soy and a bit of chocolate in the background. Wine like aromatics from the barrel aging are all over this and I love it.

On the palate the initial sour balsamic thing I was expecting was there but quickly gets overtaken by a rich cherry fruit and cocoa nib interplay. Surprisingly smooth rich finish.

Low carbonation and smooth is the best way to describe this delicious red ale, I would definitely recommend this, and could do very well as a dessert beer.

 622 characters

Photo of smttycty
4.41/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Though I love my late-night after-work mini mart with it's good selection of single bottles, my luck at finding imports that haven't been staring at the UV lighting too long is about 50/50. I asked the clerk to fetch me a bottle of this one from the back side of the reach-in. At almost $0.50 per ounce, I wanted to improve my odds.

The dark tea-colored body was clear, the off-tan rocky crown short -lived, and the lacing minimal. But once I shoved my nose into the snifter, it didn't want to come out. I found a nuanced melange of tart fruit, rich chocolate, fig pudding, and sherry.

A few local brewers have been trying their hands at this style, but my first sip washed away all expectations for another "learn-to-like-it" vinegary concoction. This beer is all silk and satan. Tart cherries and granny smith apples wrapped in a softly spiced European pastry. With no bitter flavors to be found, the wonderful yeast qualities are testament to the attention payed to the blending of the newer and older vintages. As the flavors slowly dissipate the sweet flavors at the front of the mouth are fully distinguishable from the tart flavors in back.

Light bodied and very lively without being sharp, kind of a thick blanket of effervescence. Like a vacation I don't want to leave, I'll come back again and again.

 1,314 characters

Photo of billzav
5/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Duchesse may very well be the best sour ale I have ever had and it pours a deep chestnut brown color with notes of tart fruit, notably cherries, and dark malt. Since this ale is aged in oak conditioned casks, Duchesse has a red wine like feeling to it. The array of sweet and sour flavors are perfectly balanced throughout this Flanders red ale, and it’s velvety smooth from start to finish.

 393 characters

Photo of ExplosivoSR
4.7/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle poured to snifter. Best by date of 5/1/2013.

A - Pours ruby red with about two fingers of off white head and some lacing.

S - A bit softer of smell than expected, but it is welcome. It smells almost like a sour wine, with a hint of brown sugar. Not overpowering at all. Very unique.

T - An amazing balance here. Sour cherries and a hint of vinegar up front, which gives way to an unexpected sweetness which was a great treat. Lots going on.

M - Light body, and good carbonation.

O - I'd been thinking about trying this for some time, but could never pull the trigger. Thank goodness I did, because this is a treat. An exceptionally good sour, and one I will continue to by from now on.

 704 characters

Photo of alexmel7
4.6/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

It's like eating a kobe beef hot dog with mustard and ketchup plus a berry compote on top.

Seriously...this is why I'm a fan of wild yeast. This beer is very unique. Honestly I'm a much bigger fan of this than Rodenbach. Definitely worth a try, or two.

 253 characters

Photo of McThulhu
4.29/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Got it because it was on sale and said Flanders on the back. Sold! Always love the complex tastes and sour/sweet balance of Belgian sours.

Everything went as expected with this beer, until the taste. I won't lie, it was maybe too sweet for my personal expectations, but damned if I didn't drink every drop. Unapologetically sweet but still complex, it was almost like a red champagne, or one of those sparkling juices for wagon-riders. Would drink again, but I want an aged one next time, to see how that sweetness sours up.

 525 characters

Photo of samshaw
3.61/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Medium umber hue, mostly opaque, but a clearer garnet on the edges of the glass. Not particularly viscous. Very thin head that dissipates quickly.

S: Strong vinegar aroma with hints of fruit and berry.

T: Fruit taste much more pronounced, with strong cherry flavor. Much less vinegary on the tongue.

M: Medium body with moderate carbonation.

O: Tasty and refreshing with its slightly dominant vinegar note in scent its only major drawback.

 451 characters

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
4.1 out of 5 based on 4,119 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.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!