Duchesse De Bourgogne | Brouwerij Verhaeghe

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BA SCORE
92
outstanding
1,503 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:
1,503
Ratings:
4,117
Avg:
4.1
pDev:
23.66%
 
 
Wants:
233
Gots:
844
For Trade:
15
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Reviews: 1,503 | Ratings: 4,117
Photo of mikesgroove
3.28/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

My very first sour ale. I was not sure what to expect going in, but definatly knew what it was about when it was done!

Poured a deep dark brown, with lots of reddish hints to it, making it almost seem a dull burnt orange in bright light. A huge billowing white head faded quickly, but left a nice film of lace about the top for most of the glass. The smell was probably the strongest I have ever smelled in a beer. Almost knocked me over. Huge flavors of sour grapes and apples, lots of fruity hints in there, and very very strong, really like nothing I have ever smelled. The taste was unbelievably sour. Like sour candy sour, huge flavors, too much for me. Actually made my eyes water with every sip. Very light mouth feel, and great carbonation were nice, and helped it go down smoothly, but was not really my cup of tea. Flavors were big, grapes, apples, peaches, raisins, plums, very very complex and fruity. Overall I did not enjoy it, but I am not sure if this was due t o the style or this particular brew. I will have to try a couple more to get a better feel, but this one was rough on me. I could see how someone would like its deep complex character, just not me.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The pour is a dark, rich, red color without too much carbonation or head formation.

S: Loads of dark fruit, specifically sour cherries and currants. There is a nice lactic sourness along with a mild vinegar aroma.

T: Almost identical to the nose. A wonderful tart/sourness, but not overpowering. The cherries really come through here as well as a touch of sweet malt.

M: Medium bodied with a high level of carbonation and a crisp, dry finish.

D: I'm still getting used to these sour ales and this is a great one to start on. Nothing overly intense about it, but a nice beer nonetheless.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.57/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this at Crush in Lancaster. Served chilled in a wine glass.

A - Dark burgundy w/ small beaded pale tan head. The color has some ruby accents

S - Smells like a mix of sweet and sour w/ worcestershire some wood and spice w/ a sweet cherry and light currant. There is a subtle raspberry note w/ mild dark sugar aroma

M - The feel is slightly candy-like at first w/ a subtle sour and mild fruit texture, slight berry w/ vinous elements and moderate carbonation. The beer finishes on the dry side.

T - The taste of dark and sweet cherry w/ hints of sour berry notes and light brown sugar like a dessert beer quality. The taste has mild lemon rind acidic flavor w/ mild vinous dark grapeskin notes and wild berry w/ mild spice and earthy hints. The taste is complex to say the least with even a tinge of leather and oak.

D - This is a fantastic flanders w/ subtle smooth sour blended with the fruit and sweet notes. The Duchesse stands alone as I have not had a beer quite like her, very drinkable sweet/sour blend and I find this an easy ale to drink but prefer to save it for occasions.

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Photo of russpowell
3.96/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours garnet with 4 fingers of off white/sand colored head. Insane lacing &healthy head retention

S: Sour, vinergary notes up front that dissipates to not much of anything & then comes back

T: Sweetness & sourness do battle up front, along with serious dryness. Currant/raspberry taste surface along with hints of vinegar and oaky dryness (squared) as this warms. Finishes tart, uber dry, with a tinge of vinegar & a touch of berry sweetness

MF: Sticky with low carbonation.

Drinks all-right would pair well with many meats & fish & even salads. Just not a session ale, but one to ponder & savor by a fire or in a dimly Belgian pub. I prefer rodnebach's grand cru to this, this is a beer universe expander & well worth a try

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Photo of Jason
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep brownish red colour with some haze from both the chill and yeast, tight off white lace with a half decent lace. Soft and slightly sour aroma, dry woody almost nutty back ground. Biting crispness within the light yet effervescent and smooth carbonation. Puckering twang of sourness hits the palate, fruity flavours ride along with this and give suggestions of ripe currant and apple peel. A woody dryness sneaks up and dries the mouth is a split second and clear all residual sweetness. Quite the enjoyable Flemish Red …

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

A: Pours an amber to brown with a finger high light tan head that included several large air bubbles in it. There is pretty good head retention and some moderate lacing present on the glass.

S: Aromas of tart dark fruits, sour cherries, and a slight hint of vinegar. Minor amounts of funk are also present as would be expected from the style. Very pleasant overall in aroma.

T: Very complex flavors are present in this beer including sour cherries, apples, pear, and some candy sweetness. The sour flavor persists even after you have finished in a very pleasant manner.

M: Light to medium bodied with quite a bit of carbonation. The sourness makes you tongue pucker.

O: Nice and complex with wonderful tart and sour fruit flavors, extremely enjoyable and a beer that I would highly recommend. I might just have to go out and purchase a couple more of these to keep in the fridge.

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Photo of smcolw
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very red and very clear

Deep malt aromas, lots of cherries. Very close in aroma to a Framboise.

The taste has lots of cherries, quite sweet. So much so that I re-read the bottle to see if it was infused with fruit. Again, this is very much like a Framboise...without the lip-smacking sourness. Tastes more potent than the alcohol indicates (6% abv). The body is full, carbonation is moderate. The aftertaste is a light tartness that diminishes slowly.

This is an unusual Belgian in that it doesn't have the typical flavors/aromas. Still, it is very good. Think heavy lambic with less tart.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.97/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes 3/12/11. Thanks to THECPJ for sharing the Duchesse.

A: Color of this beer changes with depth in the glass, there are layers almost, orange, red, and ruby. Small off white head that dissipates quickly and leaves no lacing.

S: Sour and tart, lots of apples and grapes. Also sort of spicy

T: Very tart, some sour cherries, the apples and grapes take sort of a back seat. Some caramel and a little chocolate on the finish.

M: Medium bodied, has a nice crispness, with a dry finish.

O: Good flavors, but it is over the top sour for me, a good sipper, but certainly not something I seeking out to have again.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.37/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Ruby red brown with a nice caramel tan head leaves appitent amount of head leaves lacing that's beyond my belief. Aroma: Clear caramel malt with massive amounts of amber tones that left me in a frenzy solid looking flemish ale. Taste: Sharp cherry taste with an incredible amount of sourness that is somehow still enjoyable sets your spirit free excellent taste that can'e be let go. Tart fruit flavor that brings any oud bruin competition. Mouthfeel: Heavy carbonation medium bodied ale nice. Drinkability: Excellent solid array of flavors that proves this is a classic staple of the oud bruin or flemish style ale tradition good stuff.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear brown with a reddish hue. Flavor is sour. Hoooie! I love it. Kind of an antiseptic edge to it. But it's nice and smooth. Feel has a fairly biting carbonation that hits quickly and leaves. Liquid is kind of sticky yet smooth. This is a pretty good example of this style. If you aren't ready for the sour, don't bother coming at all for this one.

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Photo of stakem
3.61/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

750ml corked and caged offering that I have cellared for several years. In fact, ive held on to this too long as I see I have surpassed the best by date by 3 years. September 2012 is stamped on the cork. The brew is mahogany in color with a white cap. Ruby clarity is seen along the edges and spotty lace sticks to the glass

The aroma comes off like cider vinegar with some malty sweetness and hints of fruit juice. The taste is tart and fruity like apple cider and cherry juice. Very mild vinegar and residual sweetness with hints of oak. The sweetness here seems more sugary feeling than the typical malt character.

This is light bodied and moderately carbonated. An easy drinking brew but lacking a bit in body/complexity but otherwise quite refreshing.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a goblet.

Appearance - Pours a deep mahogany with hints of red and a vigorous khaki head. The head bubbles away quickly leaving a thin layer of foam on the surface.

Smell - Sour cherries through and through. Some sweet aromas come through behind.

Taste - Surprisingly, the first flavor is sweetness and a lightness that I would expect in the finish. The sweetness, happily, is gone very quickly fading to a slight tartness. Not puckering, but enough to overcome the sweetness and give it a even a little bitterness.

Mouthfeel - I'm no sour expert, but what makes this one better than what I've had is that it doesn't have a sickly sweet finish. It's not dry, but the sourness holds out till the end.

Overall - As stated, I am no sour expert, but this is tasty, if not very complex. Single flavor going through, but a good flavor.

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Photo of jwc215
3.08/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

11.2 oz. bottle:

Pours deep mahogany (nice color) with very little head.

The smell is vinuous - dark grape.

The taste is of grape and pomigranite. Slight oak. Wine-like (Manishevitz comes to mind). Sour with a fruity sweetness (subtle hints towards a chocolate, but more in that you would find in some wines). Aftertaste of grape soda lingers. Sweettart. Sweet and sour dominates, but more towards the sweetness. Dry finish.

It has certain unique characters, however, it doesn't stand out as anything above average for the style, IMO. Too much like grape soda for me.

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

Pours a beautifully clear red/brown with a bubbly off white head that starts off strong but leaves us much too soon but sticks much lace on my glass. Smells of horsehair, must, oak, some berries, tart acidic. Taste is filled with all the wonderful things I smelled. I pick up the funk sweet and sour dried fruits, some vanilla, even a faint bourbon in there as well. Mouthfeel is syrupy, sticky, smooth. Body is medium, carbonation is low but ample. I wish I had tried this sooner as it is a fantastic sour and seems to be readily available in my area.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle.
Sits in the snifter a a clear, deep ruby hue, nearing on brown, with a toasty, fizzy head holding down the fort.
Spicy aroma, and plenty sour, replete with associations of dark fruit, grapes, dates, blackberries, and a twisted hint of licorice. Wicked mix in this nose. I like it.
Oooo, puckeration! Mega-hit of sour on first sip! Backwash of sweetness, cherries and plums, but the tart stays on top. Next sip: Ooooweee, it's at it again! Molasses-like, and treacly in the taste, thinning out by the time the flavor leaves the palate and I'm ready for another swallow...ooo, quit doing that!
Around this time, the intense tartness mellows a bit, and the brew plays a little lighter in the mouth. Sweetness glides arm in arm with sour, and they play a tight ping pong match.
body is medium, lightly fruity, long-lived finish. Tasty thing, despite the challenges that must be met in approaching the brew. I'm going to relax with the remainder.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.07/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass. Best before September 9th 2012, and ready to roll.

A nice somewhat foamy head that is sort of cream and off red/white in appearance. Sits on a dark brown/red body resembling almost pancake syrup like in color.

Bouquet is very unique. A faint brown sugar, smoked wood chips, sour fruit and yeast all combine to make a real interesting nose. Hints of brett"y" saison quality. Real nice.

Taste is a very tolerable sourness, and what feels like maltyness and brown sugar on the finish. Both sour and sweet at the same time. A little bit of tight prickly carbonation though, and a bit of a wet mouthfeel.

Even still drinkability is pretty solid. I would have this more often if it wasn't so pricey.

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Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Medium brown toned body with a foamy beige one finger head.

S - Tangy and tart, also fruity and fresh. Some grainy scents are there too.

T - Alot of fruit tartness like cherries and possible red grape/apple. This beer is also acidic and has wine like qualities. The alcohol is smooth and crisp. The back of the tongue gets some wood aftertaste and the beer has some sour dryness to it as well.

M - Very effervescent and clean mouthfeel. The beer has a lighter-medium body and is very smooth and refreshing.

Notes - I enjoy sours and this is one of my favorites of the type. Its always good, easy to drink and just an overall quality choice.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 cork and cage into a snifter, the beer is a deep, ruby-red color. Very vibrant in the light, with a steady flow of carbonation feeding the tall, bubbly, foamy, off-white head. Nose of tart cherries, dry Merlot notes, earthy highlights, and subtle sourness. Flavors are smooth and sweet cherry forward, followed by rich berry blends, tart grape, earthy highlights, woody notes, and some sugary sweetness lingering about here and there. The sour notes are very mellow (this bottle has a couple of years on it). Smooth and light bodied, with a dry and crisp finish. Solid cherry sweet aftertaste, again with hints of sourness. Very drinkable.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer served on draft at a beer bar in FL. Beer served in a Duchess De Bourgogne wine glass. Beer is hazy brown and has a broken brown head with very little carbonation. The tiny head manages to leave some lacing on the glass.

Aroma is citric and lactic sour in nature. Not too much complexity but for this style its dead on. Time to drink.

Beer is sweet and sour, the sweetness comes first but its quickly overtaken by the sour nature of the beer. Beer is smooth and has a thin body. The drinkability is high and the midpalate is where the majority of the flavor is noticed. Its a good example of a sour beer.

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

On tap at the Ginger man NYC, Pours dark ruby reddish, cloudy and murky. Nose of must and old feet. Classic Belgian puffy head and leaves nice sheets of lacing. Not for the faint of heart or those lacking a sense of palate adventure. Intense flavors of sour cherries and sweet malts give this one excellent complexity. some nuts, some stinky cheese and some of this stuff and you're all set up for a flavor extravaganza!

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Photo of Gagnonsux
4.21/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Color is maroon with a ruby glow. Head is tall and light brown. Aroma starts with an initial blast of sour funkiness, which gives way to a sweet dark fruit smell. Interesting, but relatively weak. A sip starts with plenty of tartness. Soon, sweet dark fruit flavors take over until a sugary sweet finish. A slight edge of what I believe to be oak flavor is noted as well. A constant theme here is that of sweet and tart flavors volleying for my palate's attention. The overall flavor here is excellent, very complex and layered, making this beer almost too easy to drink. Highly recommended.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer on tap at the Toronado in San Francisco in September, 2004. Served in a authentic Duchesse glass. Watched as it poured with a small head that didn't remain for long. A very opaque, mahoganey color. Almost like blackcurrant juice. A beautiful hue to it. Tons of lace that just stuck to the side and didn't disipate. Smelled both sweet and sour at the same time. A typical Flemish stlye taste but better. Not too sour as I expected. Maybe a cranberry taste or even something nutty in the background. Aftertaste is good as well. A definite great beer that I will have again.

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Photo of tempest
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Farmhouse in Emmaus, PA. Served, post-dinner, in a large wine glass, murky brown with no head. This beer reminds me of Goudenband. The beer menu described this as having chocolate-covered raisin flavors, and I think that's a bit of a stretch. Certainly, there is a pairing of sweet candy and sour flavors, and I can find raisins in here, but no chocolate. This beer is not that much of a dessert beer. For it's creamy mix of flavor (which also includes salad vinaigrette) it's not an incredibly drinkable beer, but it is a semi-approachable sour ale that drinks a bit like a thick hard cider. Not my favorite, but a beer to try if you're into the wild styles.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.78/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap years ago and have not tried it since. This time it was in a bottle....

Pours a shiny hazelnut brown, reddish glows. Tan head, bubbly...looks like cola a bit.

Aroma isn't as strong as I remembered the tap version. Cherries, new leather, caramel, candied sugar, and some apple.

Sourness just isn't there, perhaps a bit of pucker though. It's foremost flavors remind me of apple cider, sweet cider. Some cherry/apple tartness. Tannins here and there. Caramel in the nose is almost gone in the taste. No flavors are bad or off-putting, but none are outstanding either.
I'd drink it again, probably

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Photo of WesWes
4.6/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark amber color with an offwhite head that fades to lacing. The aroma is very malty. It has a fruity feel as well which enhances the pale and crystal malts. There are hints of chocolate here as well. The taste is perfect. It has a malty base, but is dominated with a tart fruitiness. This goes down very easy and finishes a bit dry and acidic. The mouthfeel is perfect as well. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn good drinking beer. I love the fruitiness along with it's complex malt makeup.

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Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
4.1 out of 5 based on 4,117 ratings.
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