Duchesse Cherry
Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Duchesse CherryDuchesse Cherry
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Sour - Flanders Red Ale
Ranked #27
Ranked #4,852
4.15 | pDev: 10.36%
Brouwerij Verhaeghe
Duchesse CherryDuchesse Cherry
Notes: Duchesse Cherry is a blend of 1 and 2 year-old Duchesse de Bourgogne with local, sour cherries added to the maturing beer. The malt beverage is aged in oak casks, and utilizing whole cherries from the Limburg region of Belgium, as opposed to cherry syrup that is sometimes used in cherry beer production, Duchesse Cherry truly lives up to its name.
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Reviews: 24 | Ratings: 77 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of janubio
janubio from Spain

4.77/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottle at Echarle Huevos, served at home in a duchesse glass. Very nice red colour, medium pinky head and retention. Good lacing. Aroma of cherries, cherry kernel, wood, vanilla, grapes. Medium body, sticky texture, active carbonation. Sour finish with a bit of sweetness. Taste is sour, though sweetness comes up with a little bit of time, cherries, wood, vanilla, grapes, meringue and nuts. Great.

Aug 04, 2020
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josanguapo from Spain

3/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

De 2d2despuma. En copa Teku. Jugando a Roblox con Asun (Story de accidente de avión) No está mala, pero parece que la duquesa se ha prostituido. No parece una cerveza sino un refresco de cerezas, quedando poco de la birra base

Jun 01, 2020
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Hooded from Texas

4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Notes from 5/11/2020.
Poured from a 11.2oz bottle into a Rastal nucleated Teku glass.
The body is clear ruby red with 1/2 finger of pink head. Retention is low leaving a few patches of thin foam.
The intensity of aroma is medium. There are notes of cherry, a lot of oak, some funk, and a hint of vanilla.
The intensity of taste is medium-high. The flavor has cherry, oak, funk, and a medium sour finish. It's difficult to tell where the oak ends and the funk begins.
The feel is slightly above medium in thickness. It's somewhat creamy, a little sticky, effervescent with medium carbonation, and an astringency level that's slightly above medium.
Overall, it's a big beer. The oak and funk are a little overwhelming. I like it but it will be a long time before I buy it again.

May 25, 2020
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bobv from Vermont

4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

11.2 oz. bottle.
BB 2023-06-06.
Moderate to vigorous pour yields a 3/4 inch off white (ever so slightly pinkish-tan) head over a ruby red body with a little lacing. Nose of slight funk, cherry, and very slight oak. Funk aroma is almost gone after a few minutes. Nice flavors of cherry, other dark fruit, and a bit of oak. This really is quite delicious! Nice feel and overall, better than expected (after perusing other reviews) and would recommend to any sour beer aficionado. Cheers!

Apr 20, 2020
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jrc1093 from Connecticut

3.67/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Best before 1/23/23

Pours a clear deep maroon-blood red body capped with a finger of pillowy, rosé-hued foam receding fairly quickly to a lasting layer of dense cap and bubbly collar; lacing is nonexistent.

Aroma features cherry hard candy tendered by a musty raspberry undertone; a slight funk to the middle cuts an oaky brown sugar overlay coursing through the bouquet.

Taste shows cherry juice vinaigrette fading into mild lacto funk on the mid-palate, with wisps of raspberry presenting quietly; a fruit punch tone lingers through the finish to a chalky, grassy exhale.

Mouthfeel has a medium-light body glazed with a fuzzy but consistent medium-low carbonation; tempered acidity along the mid-palate softens further to a balsamic tartness beneath an oaky grit into the finish.

Unexpectedly mild for a beer in the Duchesse pedigree, the cherry component never feels like an intrusion on the profile, though never quite imposes enough to fully integrate. A tepid approach overall, but still pretty quenching and inoffensive.

Mar 20, 2020
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puck1225 from Texas

4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful beer poured from tap into a a tall fluted glass. Clear ruby red with a pink tint. Very nice pinkish head and lacing. Cherry and dark berries smell and taste. Tart cherries with a very pleasant sweet finish. Greatly enjoyed it!

Feb 21, 2020
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RaulMondesi from California

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

Out of the bottle at Provisions in Orange, CA.

Thing straight up pours sexy. An extreme dark, beautiful red/crimson shines like that one cheerleader Junior year who wouldn’t let you play with her pompoms. Nose is faint vinegar and cherry like a walk through Washington DC. Taste is not as pronounced as this player would like, but the cherry and vinegar is smooth like Pepe Le Pew after a Valium.

It’s nothing special, but it’s fine for the time being.

Jan 17, 2020
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SierraNevallagash from Maine

4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle - BB: 2023-06-06 - poured into a wine stem at cellar temp.

Pours a beautifully brilliant shimmering crimson red, almost perfectly clear, and topped with a finger of soft, foamy, pale pink head which has some impressive staying power. A lively stream of healthy effervescence flows ever-upward, feeding the pink cap. Beautiful.

Nose: An immediate explosion of sweet and tart cherries. Jammy and juicy, but not without a nice touch of funk. It isn't forceful stinky funk, but primarily farmhouse and barnyard notes - wet hay, leather, dusty wood, brett, and just a subtle touch of balsamic. Just the faintest hint of rancio, horse blanket, and old musty damp oak. Notes of gently tart lemon, rose hips, fresh piney spruce needles, forest floor, and a hint of mint. Very approachable, while retaining complexity and nuance.

Palate: I had to stop myself with this, because I took once sip, then subsequently drank half the glass in about a minute. This isn't a crazy funky ultra sour Flanders ale. There's almost no trace of the funk from the aroma, and this definitely has cherry added post-fermentaion. A fresh cherry juice sweetness greets the palate, paired perfectly with a mild-to-moderate lactic pucker. It's the perfect balance of sweet and tart, and it drinks like tart cherry juice. Jammy notes of cherry preserves, mixed red and dark berry compote, lemon juice, tannic red wine, used oak, vanilla, wet hay, dusty attic and a hint of fresh leather. The finish brings stone fruit pit bitterness, dusty brett, and just the faintest hint of balsamic vinegar - almost as if it were slightly reduced. The sweetness fades quickly in the finish, and the tannins aid the gentle tartness in creating a wonderful dryness. Lingering flavours of dry cherry essence.

Mouthfeel/Body: This ale is as light as a feather, thanks to the zippy champagne-like effervescence. The fruit sugars add heft in place of malts, and then the tartness allows for a dry, ultra-clean finish. Each swallow immediately begs for another sip.

Overall: This isn't what i was expecting, whatsoever. I was expecting a funky puckering experience of all sorts of wild bits, but this is really just like a tart version of Lindeman's Kriek Lambic. Slightly less sugary sweet, much more funk, and some actual sour notes, but still a near dessert beer. Don't get me wrong, it's absurdly delicious. The wife, girlfriend, and even the little ones would probably enjoy this (do not encourage underage alcohol consumption) - it's the beer equivalent of a wine cooler, with a sour edge and a hint of funk. It's absurdly delicious in the way juice is. I love it as a thing, but it's certainly not a hardcore funky Flanders ale.

Dec 14, 2019
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russpowell from Arkansas

4.07/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 2.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a sparkling garnet color with fast-falling pinkish head. Trace amounts of head retention

S: Vinegar, a little barnyard

T: Sweet and tart cherry, dryness, plus some leather & woodyness up front. Sweet cherry persists along with leafy hops, plus tart/sour cherry as well. Finishes sweet/tart with a little leafy hop & vinegar

MF: Medium body, dialed back carbonation, enamel stripping stickyness shows once warm

Pretty drinkable, the cherry makes this less complex/challenging compared to the world class base beer

Nov 23, 2019
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

this beer already has such strong suggestions of cherry to it, its no surprise they finally got around to actually doing a cherry edition of it, makes perfect sense. its always weird to mess with a classic like this, but this special version is really cool, and im thankful to have had it. its lighter in color than i recall the original being, more pinkish red, less deep ruby dark tones to it, the fruit is visually obvious for sure. the cherry is tart in the nose but seems to cover up some of the usual red wine vinegar flemish red acidity too, like it has some sweetness as well, and it seems less malty to me. the flavor definitely has a lot of juicy cherry to it, real natural, and i think it rounds out and softens the base beer a lot, this isnt like kriek, but like back sweetened with the cherry, makes the base beer way more drinkable. still cool mature sourness to it, but it oddly seems lighter to me, less acidic. red fruits, red wine, and earthy nuttiness all over this, some sweetness too but its light, the cherry leads the way. an interesting iteration of this beer, the original is almost unrecognizable here, which is not at all what i was expecting. fun and different, peppy carbonation from the tap, complex and old worldy, lots of cherry juice, really good. im curious and excited for the chocolate cherry edition as well!

Nov 10, 2019
Photo of zeff80
zeff80 from Missouri

4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle. Poured out a clear, dark red color with a small, khaki-colored head of foam. It smelled of dark cherries, sweet malt and toffee. Tart black cherry taste with some malty sweetness.

Nov 09, 2019
Photo of emerge077
emerge077 from Illinois

3.99/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Light reddish brown, ample foam that sticks around, bright clarity.
Drippy lace and eventually the surface skim breaks up a bit.

Aroma is cherry forward, light Brett expressing a slightly musty attic note.

Tart verging on sour, heavy cherry presence, very attenuated.
High carbonation, thin bodied, less sweet than Duchesse.
Frothy with a pleasant, natural cherry taste, maybe a little one dimensional.
Could use a little more barrel character, but it’s more assertively tart than Duchesse.

Overall worth a try, had side by side with Barbe Ruby and was pleasantly surprised.

Oct 10, 2019
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sjdevel from Colorado

4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look - only about a 1 finger head with a pretty beefy pour - a beautiful reddish brown and slightly hazy

Smell - slight hop - large amounts of cherry and raisin/prune - slight vinegar and some yeast on the tail end - almost a sharp cheddar cheese / blue cheese hint

Taste - some sharp zings of vinegar and tart fruit - some caramel comes in and it sweetens briefly - Belgian yeast hints and some bread - gets slightly sour with some stronger cherries that come in - trails off with some raisin and fig - some woodsiness and earthy notes

Feel - medium bodied - slightly slick and oily - not much carbonation

Overall - a good beer - original Duchesse I still prefer, but this is nice - there are some flavors that seemed a bit off to me (the earthiness and some more vinegar than I like) - but still a good one that everyone should give a try

Aug 26, 2019
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hman43 from North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: It pours burgundy with a pinkish head. Head retention is very low.

Smell: It has aromas that are sour with red wine like elements and cherries. There are low chocolate notes with very low orange.

Taste: It is moderately sour with strong cherry flavors and moderate red wine like flavor. There are low levels of chocolate.

Feel: It has a medium body with medium carbonation.

Overall, the cherry is strong as is the sourness. It is a good, quality flanders red.

Aug 24, 2019
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Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

4.11/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

$ 5.82 (Including tax)/11.2oz bottle ($ 0.520/oz) from Shangy’s, Emmaus, PA. Reviewed 6/29/19.
“Best Before 2022-06-07” printed at the bottom of the back label. On shelf in store. Stored at 42 degrees and served at 54 degrees in a hand washed and dried glass coffee mug.
Appearance – 4.
First pour – Pink, clear.
Body – Ruby red, clear.
Head – Small (Maximum two cm, aggressive center pour), very light pink, high density, average retention, diminishing to a three mm crown and complete cap.
Lacing – Good – irregular ring of predominantly tiny bubbles.
Aroma – 4.25 – Slightly sour cherry – very pleasing.
Flavor – 4.25 – Slightly sour cherry. No alcohol taste or aroma (6.8 % ABV), no diacetyl, no dimethylsulfide.
Palate – 3 – Thin, watery, soft carbonation.
Impression and interpretation – 4.25 – Delicious cherry, slightly sour and refreshing. Lacks the cough syrup interpretation that so many non-Belgian krieks have – reasonably priced.

Jun 29, 2019
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superspak from Michigan

4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle into tulip glass, best before 6/7/2022. Pours slightly hazy/cloudy ruby red, light orange/copper color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense and fluffy light pink head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Nice spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big sour/tart/tangy red/black cherries, fruit skin/pits, lemon, lime, orange, peach, plum, pear, apricot, melon, red/green apple, currant, red grape/wine, oak, hay, straw, grass, caramel, brown sugar, wheat, cracker, and toasted bread; with lighter notes of oaken vanilla, peppercorn, leathery/musty funk, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of cherries, fruity/funky/acidic/spicy yeast, oak barrels, and dark/bready malt notes; with big strength. Taste of big sour/tart/tangy red/black cherries, fruit skin/pits, lemon, lime, orange, peach, plum, pear, apricot, melon, red/green apple, currant, red grape/wine, oak, hay, straw, grass, caramel, brown sugar, wheat, cracker, and toasted bread; with lighter notes of oaken vanilla, peppercorn, leathery/musty funk, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Very minimal red wine vinegar in the aromas/flavors. Light-moderate fruity/lactic tartness, fruit tang, and yeast/oak tannin spiciness on the finish. Lingering notes of tart/tangy cherries, fruit skin/pits, lemon, lime, orange, peach, plum, pear, apricot, melon, red/green apple, currant, red grape/wine, oak, hay, straw, grass, caramel, brown sugar, wheat, cracker, toasted bread, vanilla, peppercorn, leathery/musty funk, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of cherries, fruity/funky/acidic/spicy yeast, oak barrels, and dark/bready malt flavors; with a fantastic malt/tartness, tangy fruit, and yeast/oak spiciness balance; with zero puckering/astringent flavors after the finish. Fairly crisp finishing. Light-moderate increasing dryness from lingering tartness, tangy fruit, spiciness, and carbonation. Medium-plus carbonation and medium body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/grainy, and fairly acidic/tangy/tannic balanced mouthfeel that is fantastic. Zero warming alcohol for 6.8%. Overall this is a fantastic Flanders red ale! All around fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of cherries, fruity/funky/acidic/spicy yeast, oak barrels, and dark/bready malt flavors; very smooth and fairly crisp/refreshing to drink with the mellowly acidic/tangy/tannic/drying finish. Mellowly lactic for the style. Amazingly balanced between juicy/jammy cherries, and Brett/Bacteria complexity; with great oak presence and dark/bready malts against acidity. Minimal residual sweetness with crisp acidic/tangy dryness. A highly enjoyable offering, and top tier quality style example. This is my favorite of all variants.

Jun 20, 2019
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flagmantho from Washington

4.19/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 330mL bottle into a tulip. Best before 1/22/2023 -- I think I'm okay :D

Appearance: rich amber hue with a clear body and a good effervescence. head is a finger of fizzy pink foam that subsides somewhat quickly. Despite the head retention, this is a beautiful beer due to its amazing color.

Smell: sweet and malty with just a dash of tartness and a hint of cherry flavor. It definitely has a bit of a candylike character, which I love in the style.

Taste: quite sweet, with a mild sourness at the end that is well-balanced and definitely adds to the candy character of this beer. There's also a dash of phenolic character, which kind of makes it a bit medicinal, but which doesn't bother me at all. I think it's pretty delightful.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with a good effervescence and a pretty good creaminess.

Overall: cherry beers are just about always right up my alley. This is a great example of cherries added to an already-great beer and yielding wonderful results. Go buy one now!

May 16, 2019
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Viaduck from California

4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very lovely, sort of candy apple red but darker with a pretty pink head that is somewhat modest in height. Aroma consists of a fairly strong hit of vinegar, vanilla, butter, nutty & finally the cherries. Taste is not as sour as it’s aroma implies, nicel balance of salty, tart, sweet & bitter. Flavorful & tasty: malted grain up front, then the same flavors as it’s aroma plus a little alcohol. I wasn’t overly impressed at first but after a few sips, it gets even better. I’m getting that tickling sensation at the back of the tongue, just as with Sour in the Rye. Medium body, excellent carbonation. Every bit as good as the regular Duchesse.

Jan 13, 2019
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HoppingMadMonk from New Jersey

4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice cherry aroma,tart,sour as well
Taste followed aroma,mix of tart, sour and sweet cherries. A little grain and yeast with nothing dominating or overpowering.
Definitely well made and worth a try

Nov 19, 2018
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Sabtos from Ohio

3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It seems that most of the reviews are nailing my thoughts exactly, albeit it with slightly higher scores than I'd give it, but I'll still tack one more review on anyway.

Appearance is clear bright red with a stubby head that settles to a creamy pink ring.

Smell has a starkly contrasting sort of lactic note when taking its base into account, with accents of sweet cherry and hints of black pepper.

Taste is more sweet and fruity than the base, more like candy apple with lighter, brighter cherry.

The feel is more fluid and less sour, making it a very easy swallow, with a mild tingly carbonation bringing out a hint of cinnamon before a crisply semi-dry finish.

This is one of those examples that goes to show you don’t mess with a good thing, especially a classic. Duchesse Cherry is not quite the wild cherry I was hoping for, but instead is a more pedestrian version of her big sister. Although, admittedly, it could do quite well with a more casual crowd.

Oct 25, 2018
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Roguer from Georgia

3.91/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours ruby red from the bottle, and settles into a crystal clear reddish-brown in the glass. Head production is modest, and retention is OK, with a slight pink foam struggling to hang on just a minute after the pour.

Aroma is strongly tart and sour; cherries, oak, raspberries, vinegar, vanilla, and tannins. As good as the standard Duchesse, and nearly on par with Rodenbach, albeit lacking in depth in comparison.

Flavor is more one-dimensional and simple. Moderately sour, with notes of oak, cherry, tannins, vinegar, and vanilla. Raspberries and strawberries provide depth (despite cherries being the only added fruit). Just a touch of funk. Not particularly deep or complex, but tasty enough.

Oct 14, 2018
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Stevedore from Oregon

3.99/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle, snifter glass. Darker brown body with a slight purple hue, one finger light pink head, good retention and no lacing. Smell is standard acetic Duchesse, a bit of sweet toffee, and a fair bit of tart cherry flesh that actually rounds out the normally heavy acetic nose on Duchesse. It's noticeably sweeter with a nice cherry twang. Flavour is a more balanced acetic acidity with cherry tartness, light toffee and a bit of grain, not metallic. Overall acetic acidity is fairly high, but again it seems tempered by the cherry. Mouthfeel is medium lighter body, dry, good carbonation, cleans off the palate really nicely.

Oct 06, 2018
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smcolw from Massachusetts

4.07/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Amber color with a red hue. Clear. Minor, short-lived head. No lace.

The smell is of great cherry with a light sweetness, definitely a Flemish Red.

The flavor is more tart and less sweet than the smell. Good cherry presence. The liquid it's thin and the carbonation a bit elevated. The finish is similar to the initial sip leaving a short aftertaste. Overall, though, the flavor is rich and attractive.

Sep 28, 2018
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metter98 from New York

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

A: The beer is crystal clear dark red in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high tan head that settled down, leaving a thick collar around the edge of the glass and some patches of bubbles on the surface.
S: Light to moderate aromas of black cherries are present in the nose along with hints of vinegar.
T: The taste follows the smell, having flavors of cherries and faint bits of associated sweetness along with slight hints of vinegar and traces of oaky vanilla.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and somewhat tart on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The addition of cherries to this Flanders Red Ale makes this beer very easy to drink. It's like a dessert version of the style.

Serving type: bottle

Aug 30, 2018
Duchesse Cherry from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 77 ratings