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Duchessic Ale - Birra Del Borgo

Not Rated.
Duchessic AleDuchessic Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

104 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 104
Hads: 325
Avg: 4.14
pDev: 16.18%
Wants: 56
Gots: 50 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Birra Del Borgo visit their website

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.
View: Beers (45) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 104 | Hads: 325
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.

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Photo of fdig23
4.29/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From the bottle. Gushes immediately after the cap is popped. Be careful with this one.

Appearance: Deep hazy orange with the biggest fluffiest white head I've ever seen.

Nose: Sharply acidic white grapes, fresh cracked black pepper, smooth vanilla, buttery croissaint, and good bit of funk.

Taste: Very vinous, like a nice dry Riesling. Taste isn't quite as complex as the nose. Plenty of grape, lemon, a hint of red wine vinegar, and a buttery, vanilla finish. The Duchessa contributes a bit of breadiness and barnyard. Can't help but think the saison only works to dull down the lambic.

Mouthfeel: nice and full all things considered.

Overall: It's like a Gueuze Lite. The sourness and lambic qualities are muted by the bready saison, which doesn't seem to contribute much flavor-wise. Instead you end up with a thirst-quenching and delicious mildly sour beauty.

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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...

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

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.

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

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.

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Photo of Seanniek91
4.31/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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.

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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.

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Photo of DenverLogan
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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!!

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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.

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Photo of mrfrancis
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of muttyd
4.36/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of Travlr
4.37/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

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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!

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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!

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Photo of Keffa
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of andrewinski1
4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a wine taster. There is a slightly hazy straw color. This is a gusher. There is a large foam head with a ton of sticky lacing.

The aroma has some nice tartness with a heavy dose of brett. There is some lemon zest to go with sweet malt.

The taste starts with some slightly wheaty malt. There is a lot of lemony flavor here also. This is really nice and the lambic is a prominent part of the flavor.

This is light to medium in body with nice soft to medium carbonation.

This is amazing. I am glad I grabbed another one.

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Photo of rtepiak
4.48/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

a saison with a low abv and a complex flavor that is a rather good study of grain. The better of the two i had that day. Said to be brewed on buckwheat... or was it spelt? Pour is cloudy golden with a nice white head that doesn't have as much stick as a bipa. Nose is saison funk wheat with sweet hints. Wheaty and mineral notes but not husky. Light clay marzipan... Light grass citrus. Interesting ester undertones that wouldn't be likely in something so low abv. Great summer sipper or gulper.

had it again about 2 weeks later at the birch bar in norfolk VA and it was even better. the best saison i've had this year. head on looked like dough and caulk. well sustained and creamy but not yeast and overwhelming.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.49/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of PHBoiler
4.51/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Huge carb/head and an orange body. Smell is hay and lemons. Beer is really well balanced with a creaminess from the body and a light citrus. Like a HF saison with some brightness from that lambic, but it's a saison to its core. Excellent beer.

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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

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Photo of stakem
4.55/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

375ml bottle into a Cantillon tumbler. Slow gusher here when chilled, borderline explosive when warmer.  The brew is a hazy golden with rich bubby froth nearly 4 fingers strong despite a careful pour. Patches of lace stick all over the glass.

The smell of this brew is strongly reminescent of Cantillon sourness. Some mild oak scent of funk. Lemony lacto is quite bold. Some earthy quality of saison yeast notes almost with a yogurt aspect run all through the back with an increased focus on grain as it gets warmer.

The taste is yogurt like creamy yeast. Some saison like spice of clove sits overtop barnyard straw grain and must. Very fruity with tart lemon, pear, apple hints. Mild alcohol warmth and spice from the saison yeast. That Cantillon inclusion is quite pronounced in thus offering,

This is a medium to light bodied brew an effervescent level of carbonation. It is light, refreshing and super easy drinking. Amazing offering here that is a hybrid of saison and lambic with more of a focus on the later. I'm sure this brew will be met with mixed opinions but overall this was fantastic. Can't believe I haven't heard anything about this brew prior to trying it. Get some of this ASAP, its awesome and sure to develop into something even more enjoyable down the road.

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Duchessic Ale from Birra Del Borgo
92 out of 100 based on 104 ratings.