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Duchessic Ale - Birra Del Borgo

Duchessic AleDuchessic Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

231 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 231
Reviews: 98
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 8.61%


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)
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Ratings: 231 | Reviews: 98 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of muttyd
muttyd

Massachusetts

4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

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

California

4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours hazy light rusty orange with a few chunks of yeast that hover before settling in the bottom of the glass. About an inch of foamy eggshell white head that settles quickly, leaving a thin sheet of lacing.

S-Musty barnyard funk, white pepper, lightly toasted oak, hand soap, zested lemon.

T/M-The Cantillon gueuze is really prominent in this. Bright, lemony tartness under a blanket of farmhohuse funk. Prickly, vibrant carbonation holds it all together. I wonder what the blending ratios were. The saison characteristics suggest that the base beer is a very funky, earthy rendition of the style.

O-Very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2011 03:31:42 | More by DaveHS
Photo of rudzud
rudzud

Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Purchased at Julio's. Unfortunately my botle promptly overflowed as soon as I cracked it resulting in a great loss.

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip while overflowing. Pours a nice golden brown colour, like others have said much ike a light apple cider. There was a nice rocky head that slowly faded to leave a nice white blanket and average side lacing.

S - A nice mingling of the usual saison aromas (funky, citrus) and lambic ones (acid, vinegar, tartness). Pretty good.

T - The same, its a nice saison with good barnyard funk followed b some unplaceable fruit tartness. Apples perhaps? Maybe cherries, I dunno. Quite sour and tart, very tasty though.

M - Have to give it a low score considering that all the carbonation was lost when I cracked it resulting in an almost completely flat drink.

O - Overall, thoroughly enjoyed this beer. I'd love to have it again but bottles will always be nervous for me seeing how this one blew. Perhaps on tap, as this has many qualities that make this beer easy drinking and incredibly addictive.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2011 03:12:42 | More by rudzud
Photo of adrian21
adrian21

Virginia

4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

had this today at pizzeria paradiso, two yr old, cellard. waitress opened bottle and it spewed out a bit :) interesting beer, looked orange yellow one and half finger very white head. it reeked of "horse blanket" and sourness... the flavor was very very sour more so than any gueze, wild ale or oud bruin/flanders red ive had... must be from aging all in all at that point it i feel it wasnt a saison minus the slight herbal and horse blanket notes... it was a fun beer though

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2011 02:18:24 | More by adrian21
Photo of THECPJ
THECPJ

Delaware

4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes 2/22/2011

A: pours a golden yellow with maybe ½ finger white head, doesn't leave much lacing

S: subtle hints of apple and a profound scent of funk- some sort of musty and/or perfumey thing going on, weird, but not off-putting

T: moderate carbonation, dry, tons of bubbles in the glass, medium body

M: sweet, funky sour, tart, almost champange-like

O: a very interesting/intruiging beer, a great collaboration between my favorite Italian brewery and Cantillon, definitely worth a try.

Cheers!
The CPJ

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2011 11:18:57 | More by THECPJ
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -16.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2011 03:38:51 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of craytonic
craytonic

District of Columbia

3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No noticeable Cantillon in this bottle.

Appearance: Hazy apricot-straw with an enormous head, bit of a gusher

Nose: Hops, honey, lemongrass, pears, apricots

Taste: Hops, apricots, peaches, pears, lemongrass. Slightly sweet, not any real funk or sourness.

Mouthfeel: Dry and light, creamy also

Drinkability: I was fascinated about the idea of two of my favorite styles being joined - sour and saison. Sadly it really just tastes like a regular saison, the cantillon contribution is not noticeable.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2011 04:50:55 | More by craytonic
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased this on a whim at Crown Liquors in Carmel. Figured that anything containing Cantillon lambic was worth a try. The fill level on my bottle was right up to the cap, and when the cap came off we had a slow gusher. Served in a wine glass.

A - Big soapy foam that eventually settles to a thick, chunky, cap and leaves behind lots of lacework. The body is a hazy peach color.

S - Stone fruits, hay, floral and grassy, a touch of honey. This is definitely way on the Saison side as opposed to the lambic side, with only a bit of brett character present.

T - This is a musty Saison in the Fantôme vein. Grapeskins, peaches, light grain/wheat and pilsner malt? Hops (or something) provides hay and grass flavors. Not particularly sour, just very earthy and lightly funky and leathery.

M - Moderate carbonation, medium-light body. The finish is quite clean and leaves behind light residual stickiness.

D - This is quite easy to drink, and could serve as a less strong session alternate to Fantôme. I'd like to see the wild lambic flavors come out a bit more, but at nearly a year they're still quite muted. Probably should have had this before the Wadesda #1 instead of after.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2010 14:16:55 | More by MasterSki
Photo of berkey
berkey

California

4/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2010 02:41:10 | More by berkey
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2010 01:09:30 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of DoubleJ
DoubleJ

California

4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a bottle at Beachwood BBQ, on to the beer:

Sparkling pale yellow in color with almost no head on top. Great nose; it's tart, it's mellow, it's grape. Tasting it brough me back to elemenatry school; what stuck out the most was that fruit snack taste that I remember fondly. There's a little tartness, and a little bit of citrus peel noted. Light in the mouth, easy on the carbonation.

Less a saison and more lambic-like in my opinion. Regardless, it is worth trying out.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2010 01:32:30 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

3.7/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle at Beachwood,

A: Pours a dark gold with a firm white head, good lace.

S: Rustic earthy Brett and pepper, but light.

T: Bitter coriander, white pepper, yeast and Brett flavours. The saison dominates with the lambic only offering a mild sour finish.

M: Dry, medium-bodied, robust, a nice feel in the mouth.

D: I was hoping the Cantillon would come out a little more, but this is nice saison, a good hybrid.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2010 22:30:02 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of augustgarage
augustgarage

California

4.18/5  rDev 0%
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...

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2010 00:06:01 | More by augustgarage
Photo of DefenCorps
DefenCorps

Oregon

4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

jleblanc was such a vociferous pimp of this beer that I had to grab a bottle.

Quite brilliantly clear, this beer is a gorgeous golden color with a dense white head with excellent retention and lacing. A steady stream of carbonation is visible.

The nose is quite saison-like with a rustic, barnyard aroma with a spicy character along with some honey and a mild floral character. I definitely do not get the gobs of horseblanket that some people allude to, this is still very saison-like, to the point that I wish I'd held onto it a longer. However, there is a definite Brett character to the nose, refreshingly so, mildly clove-like with some earthiness.

The palate opens with a delicious blend of dry, saison flavors and a wonderful Bretty character. Rustic and barnyardy with drying hay, spicy phenols, the pronounced Brett character does work well with base saison. The mid-palate is quite funky alongside which there's a combination of honey and a hibiscus-like floral character. Drying out on the finish with a earthy spiciness, this is quite delicious. Light in body with a moderately high level of carbonation, this is quite the treat on the palate. Thoroughly drinkable, I'll keep an eye out for this. My only complaint is the moderate bait-and-switch that this beer is. I've had many a Cantillon beer and this has nothing I really associate with one, this almost tastes like a good saison that's finished with an all-Brett beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2010 02:57:46 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of NYCWheatFanSC
NYCWheatFanSC

New York

3.65/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Hazy apple juice gold with a light white head that recedes at an average pace. Lots of lacing.

S - Horse blanket, hints of urine. Nice and funky, not very sour though.

T - Pretty bland/watery. Lots of pepper, but not too much funk. Almost has a similar profile to a hefeweizen.

M - Very watery, nothing to write home about.

D - Would not seek out again

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2010 01:36:30 | More by NYCWheatFanSC
Photo of nickd717
nickd717

California

3.8/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2010 17:36:04 | More by nickd717
Photo of Travlr
Travlr

District of Columbia

4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Rhode Island

4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

33cl bottle from Nikki's, 10.49+tax. Poured into my new Chimay goblet.

A- A mild, slightly hazy rusty sunshine yellow with little to no head... expected as I poured this slow as to leave the yeast for the second pour. Nice, dense bubble formation at the edges... this beer looks tasty.

S- Interesting... the lambic is noticeable in the nose. Leather/wet-dog/medicinal funk smell. Cherry/pineapple/green apple sweetness.

T- Interesting. Hard funky first shot. Not nearly as sweet as the nose would suggest. Mild pear, a faint grassiness, and a sharpness from the funk which is quite tasty. WOW... 2nd pour with the yeast puts this one in another level. Funk and fruit are multiplied... tart apple is ever-so-fleeting. very tasty! This is an interesting blend... not in-your-face, but pretty tasty, indeed.

M- Sharp, drying, and really complex. Beyond my tongue, I think... but I know I enjoy it!

D- Moderate... tasty, interesting, and unique... a bit too expensive to have a couple of these, but I enjoyed this for sure!

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2009 00:47:40 | More by ShogoKawada
Photo of Billolick
Billolick

New York

4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
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...

Serving type: bottle

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

California

3.63/5  rDev -13.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2009 05:27:43 | More by vacax
Photo of seaoflament
seaoflament

California

3.78/5  rDev -9.6%
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

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2009 03:02:07 | More by seaoflament
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received in a trade with jleblanc and consumed on 10/31/2009. The beer pours an interesting, vibrant, and hazy peach orange. I didn't let this settle more than a day before I opened it so the haze is likely my fault. The head is one finger, fizzy, and white. Retention is decent.

I was very interested in this beer when I first heard about it, and then I learned it was a one year lambic in the blend and my expectations dropped a bit. I'm immediately greeted by the signature wet leather that alerts me to Brett's presence. The citrus is prominent in the form of orange and lemon. Wheat notes are strong, and I detect subtle lactic notes as well as some yeast character. I get neither alcohol nor hops in the aroma.

The flavor opens up with a low level of lactic sourness with a little tartness, segueing into citrus wheat. The orange notes are almost tangy, and Brett is again present in a subtle form, imparting mustiness. The finish exhibits low lactic sourness with lingering citrus. The beer is light bodied with a lower level of carbonation.

This is interesting stuff that I can't help but think will improve with a bit of age. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2009 20:38:18 | More by HopHead84
Photo of ATPete
ATPete

New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

375ml capped (re-sealable) champagne style half bottle

Looky what I have here, a collaboration brew of epic proportions. Though I added this beer as a Saison / Farmhouse it truly is a blend of Saison from Birra Del Borgo and 1 year old Lambic from the one and only Cantillon, safe to say I'm excited to try and very privileged to have acquired this one.

Duchessic Ale pours an orange hue that i have not yet seen in a glass of beer before, it appears to have a sandy texture, hundreds of tiny bubbles line the surface of the pour, minimal 'foam' to speak of. Very delicate to the nose, a mild looming funk, fresh wood, slightly vinous, white grape/apple juice, faint lemon/lime skin a definite sweetness and a touch of a fresh hop character. My only complaint, albeit a small one, is that the beer drinks basically flat, very still in the mouth, it adds unnecessary weight to the quaff and accents the sweetness a bit too much. Glad I have another to age, id be quite interested to see what this does with some time.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2009 19:35:49 | More by ATPete
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Duchessic Ale from Birra Del Borgo
93 out of 100 based on 231 ratings.