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Duchessic Ale - Birra Del Borgo

Not Rated.
Duchessic AleDuchessic Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

311 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 311
Reviews: 103
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 9.18%
Wants: 54
Gots: 46 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Birra Del Borgo visit their website
Italy

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  5.90% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ATPete on 11-01-2009

A sort of "collaboration beer" with the famous Belgian brewery Brasserie Cantillon: an interesting experiment on the world of spontaneous fermentation. Our classic Duchess - Spelt beer - is was cut with a 20% of Cantillon lambic aged one year. The result is a unique beer that blends in an extraordinary way the characteristic acidity and roughness of lambic with delicate and gentle notes of the Duchess.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 311 | Reviews: 103
Reviews by seaoflament:
Photo of seaoflament
3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Shane for sharing this interesting beer this past weekend.

The beer poured a light amber hue with a few bubbles on top. Not much of a head to speak of but it's understandable with the young lambic that is used in this blend.

Nice tropical aroma upfront with notes of apricots, peaches, papaya, mango, and orange make up the first line of fruits. There is a leathery presence but it's a low profile. A bit of oak and vanilla with some citrus fruits make up the end half of the aroma. Tangy wheat later on and a bit of spices. It certainly has a presence of a cross/blend between a saison and lambic.

On first taste I get spices, wheat, and a dry brett flavor. The saison seems to have a stronger presence with a bit of funk in the background. Still feels like it's young in the bottle and could use some more time. Hardly any carbonation, quite still and somewhat thick at times but quite easy to drink

More User Reviews:
Photo of sweemzander
4.29/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

375mL bottle poured into a tulip.

(A)- Pours a hazy golden apricot color. Produced some solid white froth with great retention and lacing.

(S)- An insanely inviting aroma of acidic oak funk meets dry lemon peel and apple. Its very very dry, but very very awesome. Subtle Brett bits.

(T)- Again, a Brett-like funky dryness meets subtle acidity with lemon. Finishes slightly yeasty with bits of ever so slight sweet apple.

(M)- A lively carbonation level. This has a great balance of dry funky oak, acidic lemon, and a subtle yeasty sweet finish.

(O)- The lambic influence in this is obvious, but it really adds a dynamic layer of funk and acidity to the base overall. Fantastic beer. This bottle has obviously had some time on it at the time of purchase due to how faded the label appeared.

Photo of Billolick
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Small green bottle, large cap. Pours cloudy dark peach, delicate off white head, leaves fine blobs of lace. Complex nose, earthy, light barnyard, citrus, grape juice. Yummy creation, delicate, complex with notes of more light funk, Tropical fuits, lactose, brett, chunky/drying skunky hops..a lot going on here...all of it quite delicious...

Photo of codysjb
4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Chimay glass.
Gushes out of the bottle and pours a massive three or more knuckle head.
A: Huge head, golden color with some sediment in the beer.
S: Lambic and citrus with some wheat and a nice saison smell.
T: Funky, citrus, lemon, maybe some apple undertones. The whole thing feels like its midway between a limbic and a saison.
M: Some citrus, the limbic fills the mouth while the saison part takes a backseat.
O: Good, the cantillon stands out against the saison. Not something I’d seak out but certainly worth trying and buying again. B+ A- range.

Photo of Homebrew35
4.16/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a billowing 3 fingers worth of head in a medium size wine glass. Hazy pale straw color. Some lacing and good retention.

Smells lightly of lemony funk, some hay, and slight white vinegar. Not too strong or distinctive on the nose.

Tastes like fermented lemon mixed with some funk, very clean and refreshing. A medium sour character. Very clean in the sourness and ends quite clean with no substantial sourness.

Thin bodied and fairly prickly/spritzie on the palate.

Overall this is an entry level beer for sourness. A mildly complex with regards to flavors. This beer shines in its even, yet refined flavors. Concise and somewhat short. I prefer a bit more sourness and complexity in flavors. A bit pricy at $9 a 12% bottle.

Photo of standardcherry
4.58/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazy golden color with a large, frothy white head. Lots of lacing and sediment.
S: The lambic funk takes over here. A bit of saison yeast spiciness and fruity/citrusy sweetness but a large part is funk. A bit of apricot/pear in there as well.
T: Not as funky as I expected. The balance is perfect between the lambic and the saison. Lots of lactic sourness, some yeasty breadiness, some sweet malts and finishes with lemons and dry tartness. Excellent.
M: Light/medium bodied but a bit overcarbonated. Extremely drinkable though, very refreshing.
O: Very impressive beer from these Italians! World-class, I would drink this every day if I could.

Photo of Brenden
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

If the appearance has anything to say for Duchessic, it makes a statement from the get-go, showing lots of depth and structure. The light yellow-tinted head sitting on this clouded dark gold brew grows to almost three fingers on the pour and retention is fantastic, as the creamy, thick and frothy pillow lays on top for awhile before becoming a heavy layer of foam. Lacing is in thick deposits before going patchy. If only it didn't fade afterward, this beer would likely have a perfect score. Floaties mix it up and then settle down, but can be swirled up along with the head as it sits.
The smell is lovely, showing the good aspects both of lambics and saisons, and it's a style combination that just seems natural. The funk is potent on the nose, horseblanket and wet hay all over the place without any rot to it; as "purely" as funk can be funky, it is. The earthy, dusty elements pull through nicely as well, with a light leafy and herbal quality and just a nip of spiciness in the back.
As can happen, something lightens and thins out a bit in the flavor. I get flashes of the funk I found in the aroma, but it comes and goes less consistently. Thus, the flavor is good but not quite on par with the smell. Most of the dustiness forms the foundational element of this beer's flavor. It does a good job of avoiding metallic qualities or the wet cardboard taste that can sometimes sneak in.
The feel offers a crisp note underneath with a moderate smoothness in a light-medium body with a carbonation that's just right.

Photo of augustgarage
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to ShogoKawada for this one. Poured from a 375mL green bottle into my Drie Fonteinen tumbler.

Cloudy orange peel body with a lasting small seashell head. Nice thick lacing too.

The aroma reveals an acidic funk from Brett. coupled to a sweet sourdough starter yeast scent. Floral and tart.

I'm guessing pilsner malt as there is a slight lagerish note tied to the acidity - thankfully this is absorbed by white pepper, chamomile, and bread from the yeast and a faint cellar note from the lambic. Asian pear mid-palate. Hops contribute a light bitterness which works well with the acidity and earthiness of the finish. An interesting blend, but the lambic and the saison maintain their individuality rather than synergize.

Nice pillowy body - medium but refreshing. I'm guessing the spelt adds some depth to the feel. Good solid carbonation.

Very refreshing with a brisk minerality. Just enough funk to keep you from guzzling, but this is a great ale to open after working in the sun for a while...

Photo of hooliganlife
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

the pour is amazing. poured into a drie fonteinen stemmed glass. cap pops and there is some gush. poured into glass where the head is thick and huge. takes forever to dissipate. slightly hazy body, very active.

very spicy and funky on the nose, slight hint of fresh young lambic or gueuze.

flavor is very interesting. loads of spice, funk, and floral notes. there is a complex blend of the above with some sweetness and lemon notes. and from that lemon, a bit of tartness.

very light and airy with a very moderate to active carbonation.

very interesting. not sure if this will develop over time, but great flavors. the hint of lambic really adds that extra dimension.

Photo of nickd717
3.83/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared at the after-Bruery tasting. I was very interested to try this one.

Pours mostly clear golden with a well-formed white head and a little lacing.

Aroma? Two words: HORSE BLANKET. It's as if they ran a horse around all day with a big ol' load on its back, then took the dirty, sweaty, horsey blanket from between the horse's disgusting back and its saddle, then threw the damn thing in the fermenter. And I love it! Some brett and pepper in there as well.

Flavor is also very horseblankety, funky, and bretty. A little sweetness from pale malt pokes through the tartness and funk. Some pepper too.

Medium body with mild acidity and fairly lively carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. Overall, pretty much a poor man's Boulevard Saison Brett with a little more tartness and funk.

Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Slow pour into a Saison Dupont tumbler glass, while listening to Sound Opinion's podcast and Wilco's new album.

A - A slow, lambic-style pour produced a huge, gushing fluffy head on top of a hazy straw colored head.

S - Crisp pale malt, snappy lemon zest sweetness and tight lime sourness take front seat in the aroma. Some slight toastiness, unami, and musty/dusty aromas provide some nice complexity.

T - Fun to see how the sourness and funk really go back and forth, competing for dominance on my palate. Plenty of sourness, with a fun underlining of mushroom and musty funk. Tart fruit (dried apricot, lemon candy) and slight nuttiness help balance out the funkier flavors. More body than expected.

O - Really fun blending of two distinct flavor profiles, both exciting and enjoyable. I can see lots of food possibilities here. I am really impressed by Birra del Borgo's ability to so expressively highlight the strong characteristics of both beers.

Photo of SpdKilz
4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A huge thanks to Dan (DSlim71) for this great beer. Cheers buddy!

Appearance – Pours into my trusty tulip with a vibrant hazy golden color and three fingers of fluffy, slightly off white head. The head dissipates at a slow pace leaving fat chunky lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell – Heavy and wonderful smelling barnyard funk. To be perfectly honest it smells like the JP yeast strain. Lemon zest, slight biscuty aroma, brett, wet hay, green apple, and apricots.

Taste – Awesome. Quite fruit forward with peaches and apricots which fade to a sharp lemon zest and white pepper. As previously mentioned, the “funk” from the beer is reminiscent of Jolly Pumpkin, meaning it is more tart/funky than sweet like other Saison’s. Spot on for the style I enjoy. I would love to have this side by side with Bam Biere no joke. The beer finishes up with a tartness after the midway wet hay and barnyard funk. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel – Medium to lighter bodied, spirited carbonation, finishes dry.

Overall – I love this beer. A very pleasant surprise, and even a bigger pleasant surprise finding out it was blended with Cantillon. I will absolutely seek this beer out in the future. I am not sure if it is available on the shelves by me as I have never seen it, but I hope so. If not, ISO!

Photo of emerge077
3.68/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Served at 55º into a tulip glass. Back label stamped 07 2013.
Sharp hiss and an erupting violent gush... should've chilled it overnight, lost 1/3 of the bottle >_>

Murky and opaque pastel orange, with a dense, charged head of soapy white foam. In the meniscus of the glass was a miniature galaxy of suspended sediment. Arcs of sticky lace adhere to the glass as the beer is sipped. Swirling the glass quickly regenerates an inch of dense white foam.

Initial smell was of acidic bile, and a bit rank to be honest. Later it became less harsh, more sweet and tempered with notes of wet hay.

Sweet and tart citrus flavors, dry oak tannins in the finish. Peach or lemon-lime SweeTarts candy wafers. Lots of acidity and very effervescent, almost overly so. Some wet hay and gauze from the Brett yeast. There's a fine line of balance to walk here, and it seems slightly out of harmony here. Lacks complexity also, and comes across like middle of the road wild ales from the US.

Maybe if it was chilled overnight and settled, it would make a slight difference, but for the price, give me Cantillon anyday. Doesn't really seem to be much of an innovation, was hoping for more, especially with Cantillon involved.

Review #2400

Photo of bluejacket74
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12.7 ounce bottle, 07 2013 stamped on the back label (I guess that's the best by date). Served in a tulip, the beer pours a hazy gold color with a couple inch frothy white head that stays around for a long time. There's also a good amount of lacing. The aroma is nice, it smells like peppery spice, lemon peel, pears, hay, wheat and some funk. It tastes like lemon peel, wheat, peppery spice, slightly tart lemons, apricots, white grapes and funk. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, with high (a little bit too high for me) but soft carbonation. I think this is a good saison/lambic blend. It's pricey at $9.99 a bottle but I'd buy this brew again, I liked it.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear bright golden color ale with a super large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of dry fruity malt with solid malt backbone. Taste is also dominated by light fruity notes with solid malt backbone and a dry finish. No yeast signature or dominating ester or floral notes which I usually associate with the style. Body is a bit light with great carbonation. Interesting though below average for style.

Photo of EgadBananas
3.97/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy medium orange color with a tinge of pink I think. There's a finger and a half of a billowy white head.

The aroma is earthy, with some musky hay notes, mild tart fruit notes and some yeasty esters.

Taste is Slightly tart, with some earthy yeast tones, spices, musk, hay and a hint of fruitiness.

The feel is lighter in body, somewhat crisp with a good carbonation level.

It's more of a milder gueuze cuz I don't get much of the farmhouse quality, but it's still an interesting and refreshing brew.

Photo of smakawhat
4.32/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 11.2 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Great looking honey dark orange body with hints of lemon yellow color. Opaque. Head forms very foamy with bubble bath retention and large size. Great even pinhead bubbles throughout while forming an easy four fingers, with meringue and shampoo like whipped top. Always gets repopulated with thin white carbonation on the sides and matching middle carbonation in the middle. Great looking brew.

Nice mild brett and herbal and floral sensations. Warm earth and moderate funk, with not much acid hinting but just a touch. Very garden smelling with hints of brett and spicy yeast qualities. Real nice bouquet.

First sip has a real nice tart flavor in the mid palate, bringing a mix of lots of hot brett. Giant funk and lots of numbing and pepper sensations on the finish, almost novocaine numbing. Light bread malts seem to give a honey mild backbone to this, with some floral qualities. Sharp and stinging but very lingering finish. Carbonation is quite good with very noticeably almost prickly character, but not too large.

This reminds me a bit of Orval, but with a finish that's a little bit more jarring. Quite a nice beer very much enjoyed it.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

reinheitsgematt hooked this up tonight at an impromptu Labor Day BBQ... Thanks Matt!! This was never on my radar.

Pours a crystal clear light golden with a sudsy white head... small drapes of lacing.

Nose is light spiciness punctuated by a good earthy funk.. the lambic is definitely present.

Flavor has a bit of fruitiness that reminds me of fermented out apricot or possibly green apple... dry grassy lawn clippings.. but the funk comes in swinging and doesn't die back.. well done.

Light body with a good carbonation.

Matt gave this to me blind... I guessed it was a very old Saison Brett... Good guess I think. Thanks again buddy!!

4's across the board.

Photo of berkey
4.02/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12.7 fl oz pry off bottle courtest of jleblanc. Poured into my Duvel tulip 06/22/10.

Forms a great head that settles quickly but what's left is nicely retained for the rest of the tasting. Body is a pale blonde with an amber hue. More lucid than a typical lambic or many Saisons. Leaves some filmy lacing on the sides of the glass.

Aroma is both sweet and slightly tart. Distinct acidic sour notes come through strong and are backed up by some pleasant floral hops. As it warms to room temperature some dirty apple and funk come through.

Flavor is not quite as good as the aroma but still quite enjoyable. The great sour notes tease me a bit and have me craving full on lambic intensity but as I drink on the dry and floral hop flavors and subtle fruitiness combines with the tartness to become something quite unique and tasty.

Very easy drinking due to the delicate balance and well hidden 6.9 ABV. Nice clean and dry finish. Not overwhelming but very well done. I'll be on the lookout for more from this brewer in the near future.

Photo of mindspin315
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a huge soapy white bubble head pour. Has settled to a cap of white foam. Carbonation shooting up the middle of the glass. Pale gold yellow body. One swirl of the glass and a big amount of head reforms.

Hit with that Cantillon lambic funk right away. This one only blends in 10% of the lambic but it smells like a lot more than that would've been used. The barnyard funk, wet hay marry nicely with lemon, pepper, sage, and sharp cheese aroma. The Cantillon lambic is blending in nicely and really accents this beer in a great way.

The sourness is coming out right away which carries along to the finish but fades as it goes along. The carbonation ramps up to the middle, then fades away leaving behind a mild dry and sour palate. Lots of lemon and peppery yeast flavors. Also some breadiness. This is light bodied bordering on medium on the palate. The carbonation is a little much at the start but then fades more into the finish. A little less upfront would make this a lot better.

This beer seems like it could've been taken right out of the Cantillon lineup of beers. It does a great job at living up to Cantillon's high quality of lambics. Haven't had any other beers from Birra Del Borgo but this one has peaked my interest in some of their other offerings.

[90/100]

Photo of mikesgroove
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to Julie and Jason for this one. I would not have even known about it if not for them. Served chilled and poured into a small taster glass, this one was consumed on 05/16/2010.

The pour was rather nice. Light amber in color with a nice golden glow to it. Lots of carbonation was visible streaming up through the glass to continually reinforce the nice white head of lacing that seemed to be permanently perched on top. Had a very light but at the same time, filling look to it.

Aroma is light, nice touches of apples, pears, peaches. Hints of grasses, light bready notes and a touch of light plum as it warms. Really quite light and complex with a earthy and fruity quality to it. First sip though let loose with a nice white grape flavor. Nice light body and near perfect carbonation really let this one pop for me. Each sip was clean, crisp, refreshing and most of all quite unique. Lots of more earthy fruits up front, apples, pears, etc but there were hints of light citrus bouncing around now as well, really nicely done all around. At barely 6% there was just a really nice drinkability to it that was quite nice to see and really helped me get this one going in the right direction. As it was nearly 90 degrees outside and I was cooking over a grill, it was a damn fine choice for a hot day.

Overall very nicely done I have to admit. This is one that will most certainly fly under the radar, but I really think is quite worthy of a look by anyone.

Photo of Immortale25
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Saint Somewhere wine-style glass. No freshness date.

A- Pours a hazy medium amber color with a 1/2 inch white head that retains well before shimmying down to a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a full sheet of surface foam. Sudsy, resilient lacing. Tiny specs of sediment in the body stick to the glass.

S- Funky saison yeast aroma upfront with some fruit sweetness in the back that has a hint of vinegar. A great blend of two distinct aromas. A bit effervescent.

T- More tart than expected at first but then the yeast funk swings in to round things out and finishes sweet. Slightly Bretty with some green olive notes that linger. I like the way the lemony citrus flavors bounce off the funk and then back to the sweet fruit. Very complex and enticing of more sips. Hint of soap flavor.

M- Moderate amount of tartness with a relatively moist feel for the style. Medium carbonation and a body that's on the lighter side.

O- Wonderful blend of two styles. Absolutely worth the ten bucks spent.

Photo of vacax
3.65/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

We have a little saying around here that "anything Cantillon is good" and since this is part one-year old Cantillon lambic this has to be good as well. Duchessic pours a cloudy dark gold color with a sparse white head. Microbubbles cling along the perimeter of the glass and a few larger bubbles coat the surface initially. Soon after the pour all that remains is a few patches of lace and a ring of fine bubbles.

The aroma hits me at first with some definitive funk, then I pick up some catty muscat grapes followed by a wave of lilac. Not sure if I would call the bouquet exceptionally appealing, but I am finding the contrast between funk and flora interesting. The flavor profile starts with a trickle of tart flora and proceeds to the midpalate with some muscat grapes, funk and white pepper. Finishes with even heavier spicy, herbal, dry funk. Feel is light with easy, low carbonation.

Interesting beer, though honestly not entirely my cup of tea. This actually reminds me of Cuvee de Castleton, albeit with more of a funk to it than a sourness. Unique flavor would make a nice palate cleanser in a tasting.

Photo of eric5bellies
4.52/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank from my duvel tulip

A _ pours a very inviting cloudy copper colour with a huge white foamy head that stays the course and laces.

S - Big yeasty aromas with cirtus ,spice, apple. Authentice Belgian with a twist

T - Up front plenty of spicy malt, followed by citrus, yeast and a nice aniseed finish. This is a very silky saison

M - Medium to full body with low carbonation the overall mouthfell id very smooth indeed.

O - Probably the best saison that i have had to date other than the Fantome Ghost

Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into tulip. This is one of the most unique and amazing looking brews I ever poured! It looks like there is a bunch of sediment flowing, but its actually these thick bubbles that seem to be the same weight as water...then they rush to the top; it actually puts the famous guinness "dance" to shame.
Pours an orangey rust, with a bit of thin head. Smells of fruity apple lambic. Very obvious lambic, but a bit wheaty. Taste is very smooth, refreshing, and uber crisp. A bit sour/tart but that comes with the territory. Overall, really amazing brew. Very unique and one of the most interesting style "blends" I ever had. Worth the $10 paid.

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Duchessic Ale from Birra Del Borgo
92 out of 100 based on 311 ratings.