Brewed by Verhaeghe
Style: Sour Red/Brown
Vichte, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium
Serve in Snifter, Tulip, Tumbler


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 2785   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.71/5   EST. CALORIES: 186   ABV: 6.2%
Duchesee de Bourgogne is the traditional top fermented reddish-brown ale from the West-Flanders region of Belgium. This refined ale also known as "The Burgundies of Belgium" is a blend of 8 and 18 months old ales following careful maturation in oak casks. 100% natural and unpasteurized.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
yngwie (16518) - Kristiansand, NORWAY - JUN 9, 2006
UPDATED: MAR 20, 2009 Bottled, 25cl. Clear, non-carbonating brown beer. Sour on the nose, with yeast, alcohol and cherries. The flavor is kind of caramelized cherries with green apples and sourness. It feels sparkling in the mouth, and of course quite astringent. The finish has some sweetness to balance the sourness. Rating: 7-4-7-4-14-3.8. (060513)

Bottle, 33cl. It pours a clear, ruby body with a beautiful carbonation giving a big, rocky, dense off-white to beige head. Superb lacings. Slightly vinegary on the nose, with red berries doing a good job. Mostly cherries. There’s a good dash of sweetness to give it something resembling balance, and some woody vanilla notes blend in. The alcohol is present, but very subdued, and there’s a good dash of dried fruits as well. Smooth and effervescent body, medium full. Maybe a bit too fizzy, at least I think I would like less co2. A touch of alcohol warmth too. Where the "fake" krieks has an unpleasant sugary sweetness, this one has a lovely sugary sweetness to balance the sourness and still not overpowering the cherries, cherry liqeur, balsamic vinegar, wood and notes of dried fruits. Tart, but in a balanced way. Sweet, but tart enough to avoid fur on the teeth. Lasting sour and sweet finish with red berries and balsamic vinegar. Damn, I had forgotten how good this one is. (090320)

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
eaglefan538 (3032) - Wilmington, Delaware, USA - JUN 5, 2006
UPDATED: MAR 8, 2008 Poured a slightly hazed red-brown color with very little head. In fact, the only knock on the beer was its lack of head or lacing. The aroma was typical for a flemish sour, full of vinegar (no idea why I like that, you wouldn’t think that would be appealing, but in this style, it’s great). Mild fruity accents to the flavor, but I couldn’t pick up specifics. Flavor was a beautiful blend of sweet-sour with tart apples and cherries coming through. Mouthfeel was medium to heavy bodied with low carbonation. I really liked the sweet sour balanced on this one. Great stuff. So much better than the lambics, due to the balanced sweetness and the lack of funkiness. Re-rate of Nov07 expiration bottle on 3/17/06: Definitely finishes on the sweet side and is more balanced to sweet over the sour. Either way, just a flat out enjoyable experience. Re-rate again of Nov07 expiration bottle on 4/3/06: Yeast comes through lightly and the head was nice, one finger head that laced well. A great sweet-sour balance and some dark fruit blance, thick mouthfeel for the style relative to the top peers. This might be my favorite Flemish Sour. Re-rate again on draft at Half Moon in June ’06: Darned perfect beer. Head was huge, lacing was fantastic. Flavors were all rich and beautiful, full bodied, well balanced sweet and sour notes, some bready notes come though with the dark fruit, and tart cherries and apples. A smooth drinker, great mouthfeel. Appearance remains a 9 due to the average of my experiences, and the overall only a 9, because it just can’t be the beer for all moods and occasions (and no beer is perfect).

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
timtheenchanta (70) - Clemson, South Carolina, USA - JUN 4, 2006
Deep amber/ruby color. There’s a decent two finger head with good retention. Very sour and woody smell to it. Smells of cheap red wine. Tart taste rules initially with a wine like taste lingering in the back. Delightful sourness that is a bit tainted in the finish by a metallic hint. This brew feels wonderful on the tongue and is a delight to have. It’s not my favorite Flemish but certainly isn’t bad beer to have on hand.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Trev (2023) - Lakeville, Minnesota, USA - JUN 2, 2006
Pours a dark ruby brown with a thin bubbly tan head. Aroma is at first strong sour vinegar (balsamic tones) and a port like woody vanilla spiciness. Flavour is deep fruity and tangy cherry and fermented grape. Sharp in the middle and flat in the cheeks. Oakey with sourness softly overtaking the fruit. I’ve only rated 2 now, and sampled only 3 or 4 different kinds of Flemish Sours, but this is the one I’ve enjoyed the most.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
17thfloor (2443) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JUN 2, 2006
UPDATED: MAR 17, 2008 Pours a dark reddish-brown with a small tan fizz on top for a head. Strong aroma of vinegar, nail polish, a little caramel, yeast and something nutty. Flavor is more sweet than sour and not as vinegary as a previous rendition I had. The cherry-candycane-like sweetness sits very nicely on top of the malty base. This really is very different than when I had it two years ago, what a difference age makes! The flavors finish very nicely...seems to be a seperation of them in the finish, easy to pick out the sweet from the sour on the tongue. Palate is somewhat syrupy with larger bubbles for this style, but not too impeding. *after about half a bottle the sweetness/tartness really covers up all the other flavors and it becomes one-dimensional.

   AROMA 2/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 2/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 3/20
collieman (191) - montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JUN 1, 2006
Mtl beer fest. Ok, so I could see how people would love this, but not me. Flavour was dominantly sour, way to sour for me. Cource, I dont like sour beer. Might be great for you, not so great for me. Cheers

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Brigadier (3550) - Chagrin Falls, Ohio, USA - MAY 25, 2006
UPDATED: OCT 3, 2006 11.2 oz bottle
Aroma / Appearance - Opaque ruby colored body has a slighty vinegary aroma mingled with bitter chocolate, wet leaves and dusty books.
Flavor / Palate - The first impression was of melted semisweet chocolate combined with cherries, vanilla extract and ripe grapes. It was extremely dry with a clean finish that left behind traces of hazelnut and raspberries. Very easy to drink; if it was a little cheaper then it would be a daily drinker. It still rates highly for those times when you want something special.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
kms399 (267) - plymouth, Minnesota, USA - MAY 25, 2006
aroma is sour, yeasty, and malty. taste is slightly acidic with a light sour apple/dark fruit after taste. pours a clean deep ruby red with a huge fluffy off white head.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
GarrettB (1474) - San Diego, California, USA - MAY 24, 2006
UPDATED: OCT 3, 2007 : Elegance, as inherited by primogeniture and blue blood, has long passed. In its place is something we prefer to call class, which is related to archaic elegance but only remotely. Anybody can have class; the magnate in his vogue mansion or the cad on the street. It isn’t easy to learn, and it’s impossible to buy, but class can be acquired through assiduous and diligent work. Elegance, as the wealthy were expected to have in years past, is altogether unattainable for those outside the upper classes. It is the very impossibility of having elegance that made it so sacred. But even many members of the rich found it challenging to fill their role as the elegant blue blood. The first and most obvious requirement is to be ejected from the womb of a bourgeoisie, and preferably to have been fathered by one. After that, it was merely a game of chance against in-breeding and developed tyranny that sculpted the quite literally nouveaux rich into adulthood. History is replete with cases of royal albinos, trisomy 21, incompetence or just plain idiocy, and there are plenty of historical accounts of upper class children who accrue an unnatural concept of class warfare and, when they mature, exercise their power with excessive enthusiasm. Let us take the few remaining cases of the beautiful, the wise and the kind regal individuals; those coursing with blue blood and compassion; those who regale us from fairy tales and a few justly optimistic histories are the ones we speak of having an elegance no longer found today save for a few obscure descendants living on vestigial fortunes. But I’ve found one. She’s remarkably gentle but rich, formal but enjoyable, sweet but mature. The Duchess de Bourgogne, though fictitious, is a blurry depiction of a bygone royal lady whose personality doubtlessly charmed her family and subjects alike. She is the altruist from above, showering the ground with coins and flowers from her ivory tower. She is only a story, but one that nicely summarizes the Duchess de Bourgogne Flemish sour ale. The crepuscular and mellowed tone of the beer nuzzles against the glass below a margaritaceous crown of foam, baring nothing to the unobservant eye. It’s a chaste and modest drink, hinting at its alluring flavor by breathing a slow but diligent waft of green apples, confectioner’s sugar, orange zest, shining red cherries and oak. Below this divine vapor sits the chaliced drink, reverently waiting for imbibing. There the eager drinker finds a similarly rich batch of flavors. Faint vinegar coarseness guides the column of tastes, featuring a light and sweet honey, red and white grapes, orange zest (amongst other citrus) and a very heavy and bombastic conclusion of oak. Poignant and garrulous as the Duchesse may be, she still fits the appellation “elegant” nicely. The blend of friendly and charismatic flavors allows anyone, be they friend or foe to beer, to pick up a glass and enjoy. If the rich, bold, sweet and sour flavors do not suffice the claim to elegance, then at least the extrovert, humble and generous nature of the Duchesse does. These are, after all, higher qualities that we aspire to. That is, if we want to be classy.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
jimvy (131) - O’Fallon, Missouri, USA - MAY 24, 2006
UPDATED: OCT 2, 2006 Bottle. Brilliant reddish color, extremely clear, thick light tan head that last. Aroma is sour with a fair amount of dark fruit--cherries and plums, and perhaps a touch of smokiness. Body is medium. Well balanced between malt and sourness. A light sweetness upfront, followed by a significant sourness that last into the finish. Dark fruits are there and again, a hint of smokey character. Overall, fantastic beer if you like sour beers (and I do!). The sourness is significant enough to be a key part of the beer, but there is enough balance to make it fairly easy to drink. I love it.

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