1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Duchessic Ale - Birra Del Borgo

Not Rated.
Duchessic AleDuchessic Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

259 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 259
Reviews: 99
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 9.38%
Wants: 53
Gots: 40 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Birra Del Borgo visit their website
Italy

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  5.90% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
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.

(Beer added by: ATPete on 11-01-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 259 | Reviews: 99 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of afsdan
afsdan

Colorado

4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

05-21-2014 04:34:04 | More by afsdan
Photo of Steggun
Steggun

Wisconsin

4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

01-31-2012 18:12:43 | More by Steggun
Photo of KVNBGRY
KVNBGRY

Florida

4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

12-16-2013 14:58:22 | More by KVNBGRY
Photo of lacqueredmouse
lacqueredmouse

Australia

4.48/5  rDev +7.7%

Bottle purchased from Beermongers in Portland, OR. Brought back to Sydney and shared with @LaitueGonflable and @tobeerornottobe.

Uncaps with a massive fizz, but fortunately no foaming. Pours a lovely bright yellow-golden colour, very cloudy, but pleasantly light-bodied. Head is a smooth, egg-white sheen across the top of the glass. Some patchy, streaking lace. Looks pretty good.

I immediately get coconut on the nose, but it has an odd greenness to it, perhaps like coconut water, or the coconut that would lace a Thai stir-fry—because under it is layers of biting acid and mild astringency, that suggest citrus pith, plantain and an almost pine or cedar wood character. Wowee. This is expressive and exciting stuff.

Taste is also extremely good. There's not the mouth-ripping acidity of a straight Cantillon lambic, but it plays along with the other characters, suggesting that it could destroy your mouth if it wanted to: it's just that right now, it's feeling generous.Instead, we get a lovely buoyancy of mild citrus along with more oaky coconut, pithy greens, a touch of white grape juice, with a faintly fruity freshness to finish with. Wow. This is exceptionally good.

Feel is clean, but very, very smooth. It creates yet another wonderful balm to the acidity.

This is a truly wonderful beer, but it's unsurprising given the two breweries who gave birth to it. Birra del Borgo are now well on-top when it comes to Italian craft beer for me, this being just another in a great line of good beers.

11-11-2012 03:11:42 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of OWSLEY069
OWSLEY069

Pennsylvania

4.45/5  rDev +7%

Pours a hazy yellow to orange-ish color with an off white head. In the aroma, a dry sourness. In the taste, quite carbonated sour fruitiness. A sour bite and a medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry sour fruitiness in the aftertaste. A nice sour fruitiness, super duper!

01-14-2012 16:44:49 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of Keffa
Keffa

Ohio

4.45/5  rDev +7%

12.7oz bottle shared with schwaeh.

Live review.

Poured into a Jackie O's snifter.

A: Bottled gushed lightly, poured a nice golden yellow with a 3 finger white head that lingered for a really long time. Settled into a small full cap. Leaves some light lacing. Hazy held to light.

S: Holy shit. Funk, acid, tart, sour, apple, lemon, hay, earth, spicy floral hop, light wheat graininess, blue cheese. Jeez, all but the kitchen sink.

T: This is literally what a baby of Saison Dupont and Cantillon Classic would be, albeit with an identity crisis. It has all the same pieces as the aroma, but with a nice dryness and slight sweetness. Very dry finish, completely hidden alcohol.

M: Mid-high carbonation doesn't hurt it much, creamy and light at the same time. Very nicely coating on the swallow, and the dryness sucks the moisture out of the mouth and makes your mouth water in the same note.

O: What a gem. Can't believe this was just sitting on the shelf. Would gladly buy again and drink again. Incredible beer.

12-11-2011 04:34:20 | More by Keffa
Photo of SpdKilz
SpdKilz

Illinois

4.43/5  rDev +6.5%

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!

03-11-2012 01:35:53 | More by SpdKilz
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

4.43/5  rDev +6.5%

On-tap at Beachwood Brewing

The pour is a cloudy/turbid golden straw color with a solid white head. A really funky nose to this. Great straw and grass with plenty of oak, lemon zest, and barnyard. Plenty of fruit notes to it as well, a touch of peach, lemon, and green apple. The flavor has a hint of tartness but a really enjoyable funk/farmhouse character. Quite dry with some lactic acidity on the finish. Might be a mild note of vanilla on the back end, too.

07-30-2012 22:05:07 | More by womencantsail
Photo of Stinkypuss
Stinkypuss

Pennsylvania

4.43/5  rDev +6.5%

Birra Del Borgo : Duchessic Ale

Pours a clear golden color, bone white collar and decent staying power. Smells of musty lemon, hay, barnyard and funk aromas as well. In the taste, mild wheat malt, aggressive sourness from the Cantillion blend. Sour lemon, mild wheat and clove flavors, and mild bitternesss. Finish is drying, sour and beckons for another sip. Overall, a really nice farmhouse ale with ample sourness.

12-02-2011 04:31:02 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of gfreed
gfreed

Massachusetts

4.43/5  rDev +6.5%

On tap at ChurchKey DC. This take a steep curve toward pilsner territory, making it something of a light saison and an excellent one at that. The aroma is full of lemons and oranges and even some Elmer's white glue-- not in a bad way, frankly. I was gripped with the urge to spread glue all over my hands, let it dry and peel it off, leaving it on the floor for someone else to clean up. Frothy, fluffy head and a taste that was loaded with citrus, with a tangy bite at the end. An excellent beer for the summer.

07-17-2011 01:23:32 | More by gfreed
Photo of mothman
mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

4.43/5  rDev +6.5%

We got a gusher a little here. Lots of white head. Color is a hazed bright golden orange.

Aroma: Lots of funk and citrus flavor. The cantillon flavors are there. Green apples and lemon citrus. Old cobweb. Fruity and funky. Very nice.

Taste: A nice amount of saison funk and spice. Green apples, lemon citrus and some other juicy fruits. Basement must and cobweb. A great saison flavor mixed with some nice lambic. I like it.

Mouthfeel: Tart and smooth. A little bubbly. Light bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Ends clean.

Overall, this was a great saison, and I am not just saying that because it is made with Loon Lambic. It is a great saison with an additional layer. Very drinkable. I highly recommend this one.

03-04-2012 01:17:04 | More by mothman
Photo of muttyd
muttyd

Massachusetts

4.38/5  rDev +5.3%

Poured into a Russian River chalice glass. Hazy, pale amber/golden yellow with a massive fluffy offwhite head. Lots of bubbles in this one. Beautiful looking beer, doesn't get much better than this.

Aroma hits you immediately with loads of lemon/citrus and dry/dusty barnyard funk. Some slight acidic/vinegar aroma in the nose, but the yeast aromas really dominate this nose. Flavor follows the nose with more citrus, earthy/mushroom/bretty funk and finishes with a rather grainy, malty sweetness. Moderate carbonation; just enough to lift the moderate sour finish of the palate.

World class beer here. Will seek out again.

10-10-2011 01:35:07 | More by muttyd
Photo of mrfrancis
mrfrancis

Kentucky

4.38/5  rDev +5.3%

A: Pours a hazy, glowing gold with a thick white head.

S: Aromas of lemon, lime, talc, must, horse blanket, and sea salt are present on the nose. The smell deftly combines the best aspects of an authentic lambic and a saison.

T: Notes of green apple, lemon, lime, talc, must, cider vinegar, oak, unripened pineapple, and sea salt batter the mouth. The finish is sharp and fruity with lemon and lime flavors undercut by a lactic yeast bite.

M: Medium in body, this ale is very dry and firm. Carbonation is sharp and crisp. Surprisingly drinkable.

O: This is a fantastic and unexpected collaboration. Try this one while you can.

12-22-2011 18:32:51 | More by mrfrancis
Photo of Immortale25
Immortale25

North Carolina

4.36/5  rDev +4.8%

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.

04-23-2013 01:36:54 | More by Immortale25
Photo of DenverLogan
DenverLogan

Colorado

4.35/5  rDev +4.6%

Golden with some particulates...small lingering head. Funky fruit and wine flavor...sweet malts in arom and taste. Dry, grapefruit, sweet malt...fun and tasty with who knows what Cantillon influence...ayieee! Big carbonation and sweet tasty goodness....overall nice brew!!

05-28-2012 01:55:49 | More by DenverLogan
Photo of Billolick
Billolick

New York

4.33/5  rDev +4.1%

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...

11-21-2009 21:34:05 | More by Billolick
Photo of AleWatcher
AleWatcher

Illinois

4.33/5  rDev +4.1%

Bottle opened Easter sunday and shared with my wife and brother-in-law.

This was a GUSHER! Open with cups ready!

Yellowy golden with a slight haze to it. Foamy fluffy 2.5 finger head. Great retention, and great lacing.
Dry malt, tartness, oak, and brett all coming through on the nose. Some lemony citrus and chalky wheat malt with a good dry tart finish. Light Cantillon funk and sourness on the finish.

Feels thin and airy-- it really works well on a 70 degree spring afternoon.

Overall-- I like it much better this time than the first time I had it... Perhaps bottle variation? In any case, I like this one. Would drink it again.

04-08-2012 18:43:48 | More by AleWatcher
Photo of Beerenauslese
Beerenauslese

California

4.33/5  rDev +4.1%

On draft at Pizzeria Paradiso in Georgetown, DC.

Body is a hazy light brown, like an apple cider. Poured with a slight head that quickly dissipated to a ring with minimal lacing.

The Cantillon lambic characteristic smell is present in this beer. Being a saison, there is also more malt and spice.

This is a saiason/lambic blend, and it tastes like it. There is light malt, like a farmhouse saison, but with definite Cantillon lambic funk and tartness. Some spice, I am getting cinnamon and coriander. Has a dry, lightly hopped finish.

Body and carbonation is light, but has a crisp mouthfeel.

A tasty saison and lambic blend, the first I've ever heard of, and rather delightful.

09-16-2011 01:29:48 | More by Beerenauslese
Photo of Travlr
Travlr

District of Columbia

4.33/5  rDev +4.1%

Bottle at Churchkey in Washington DC.
A: hazy yellow, same color as a urinary tract infection (but in a good way). Larger than expected white head that lasts longer than expected. Great lacing.
S: simply amazing combo of freshly mown grass, barnyard, hay bales and horse stall.
T: starts with light citrus and bread, continues to a musty finish with the barest hint of bitterness.
M: body is lighter than expected. This might improve with age.
D: the aroma is everything. definitely a unique brew.

12-14-2009 02:14:11 | More by Travlr
Photo of smakawhat
smakawhat

Maryland

4.31/5  rDev +3.6%

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.

09-29-2013 18:35:43 | More by smakawhat
Photo of MRsojourner
MRsojourner

Massachusetts

4.31/5  rDev +3.6%

hazy and dark gold in appearance with a super lively head as the bottle overflowed when i opened it- beware!
aroma is of hay and straw and a little bit musty and leathery as well.
taste is rather juicy like tangerines mixed with a touch of tartness and a lil bit of acidity. very little hop bitterness and whatever is there is just used to balance out the malts. i would dare to say that there might be some sort of citrus hops used in the flavor dept.
dry mouth feel that leaves the palate wanting more.
to bad i dont have more this, it was gone to soon
it taste like a tank7 mixed with a lambic

09-02-2013 18:47:02 | More by MRsojourner
Photo of Seanniek91
Seanniek91

Rhode Island

4.3/5  rDev +3.4%

Served from a 11.1oz bottle into a Hill Farmstead stemmed tulip. This bottle was a real gusher.

Appearance- Beautiful orange/gold with massive bubbly white head that raised over the glass. What I like to see in a saison. Huge lacing follows.

Smell- Huge brett and oak with a bit of gueze funk. Rather akin to Arthur. Very funky and earthy lemon and green grapes.

Taste- Big brett notes with the lemon funk of the lambic. Earthy, juicy, but with a dry finish. Grapes, peach, lemon are all coming through.

Mouthfeel- Very effervescent and dry. Light bodied and easy to drink. Tart, but not sour. I could drink it all day.

Overall- This is a really enjoyable and tasty blend. Pick a bottle up and check this out.

02-03-2014 01:27:40 | More by Seanniek91
Photo of Cadebro
Cadebro

Maine

4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

A - Pours golden/copper in color with quite a bit of head. The head dissipates quickly leaving nice lacing that lasts for quite a while.

S - The smell is quite an adventure. Dusky, hayloft prevails but there is citrus and saison funk as well.

T - Tart and citrusy up front followed by saison funk. You definitely get both the lambic and saison features in the taste.

M - It is light bodied and well carbonated.

D - Light and carbonated enough to be a summer guzzler but at its price and the quality of taste and smell it makes an excellent sipper. I would not tire of drinking this ale.

10-14-2011 17:20:23 | More by Cadebro
Photo of davey101
davey101

Connecticut

4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

Oddly shaped 11.1 oz bottle into a HF wine glass. This is the newer 2013 batch that was just released. Opens up with little drama but even with a slow pour this beer foams out of control. The beer violently bubbles as the foam rises up and over the glass. Takes a solid five minutes for it to even become drinkable. Loads of sticky lacing and everlasting retention. The body of the beer is a hazy orange/amber body.

S - Mostly saison notes of pear, apple, lemons, grass, and some Belgian yeast esters. A very faint musk lingers on the end of the nose that almost resembles white wine and leather.

T - Fruity and vibrant; pear and apple juice with some grass and doughy yeast. A sharp acidity cuts through and provides some much needed balance. Some lactic smoothness on the finish with little funk or musk. Mouth feel is full and creamy yet spritzy and refreshing.

O - A really fantastic saison with just enough lambic notes to make it unique. I could drink gallons of this, its very refreshing and delicious. The only draw back is the lack of availability and the high price of admission.

04-16-2013 05:51:37 | More by davey101
Photo of Holland
Holland

Illinois

4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

A: golden straw color with a thick white head that dissipates, leaving the beer half covered in thin bubbles.

S: slightly sweet, smells of lemon and tartness

T: a bit of the lemon and tartness up front, then the grains and slight sweetness hit, leaving me with a bread-like flavor in my mouth.

M: medium to high carbonation on a medium-light bodied beer means deliciousness for this style.

O: have heard great things about this, and it did not disappoint. Complexity and deliciousness are there, but it's not a regular buy at $9 for a 375 ml bottle.

09-11-2012 00:29:06 | More by Holland
Duchessic Ale from Birra Del Borgo
92 out of 100 based on 259 ratings.