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Duchessic Ale - Birra Del Borgo

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Duchessic AleDuchessic Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

103 Reviews
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Reviews: 103
Hads: 322
Avg: 4.14
pDev: 16.18%
Wants: 56
Gots: 46 | 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.
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Reviews: 103 | Hads: 322
Photo of WillCarrera
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375 ml bottle, best-before date of 07/2013, poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a slightly hazy golden color with an inch of bubbly white head, very good retention and a lot of delicate lacing.

S- Loads of barnyard funk, some citrusy tartness and oak, also some brett and a bit of spice and fruit.

T- Big funky and spicy notes up front, a bit of earthy and musty flavors, along with some apple and pear fruitiness. Has a balanced lemony tartness and some oak/tannic flavor, which lingers into the finish.

M- Light-bodied, crisp and well-carbonated with a dry finish.

O- A really nice beer, the saison and lambic qualities work really well together, definitely worth picking up if you see it.

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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...

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Photo of kbutler1
3.91/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Saw and the store and after seeing if was mixed with lambic from Cantillon, figured it was a safe-ish buy to try. Bottle gives a healthy "pop" when opened and pours a very heady slighlty cloudy orange amber color. The head is bone white and slowly settles. Spice, yeast, biscuit, and a slight lemon in the nose. Interesting. Lemon sour note up front followed by a drawn out saison/farmhouse floral, orange citrus, and belgian yeast flavor. Light mouthfeel. Some lace left on the glass. Overall, a nice beer. Refreshing. Wonder what some time on a bottle would do?

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Photo of kbrown
3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A 101 Beer Kitchen September beer club selection.

Appearance- Gold color, mostly clear with plenty of carbonation. 2 Finger high white foam head holding steady a few minutes in.

Smell- Invitingly sour citrus fruit aroma.

Taste- Textbook tart flavor. A nice blend of fruits. Tough to distinguish fruit separately.

Moutfeel- Sharp at the front and very bubbly. Too effervescent? Refreshing though.

Overall- A textbook sour taste although listed as a saison. Good, but not as distinct or outstanding as a Duchesse De Bourgogne any of the Cascade sours that I've had.

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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 DovaliHops
4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally opening this bottle. Pours a murky, golden color with some dark red floaties. This one is a bit of a gusher, but not too bad.Large white head that disappears quickly. Scent is definitely influenced by Cantillon. It is VERY funky with some queuze-like qualities. Pears and spices with some Belgian yeast. Hints of green apple. Amazing aroma on this. Taste is not as sour as the aroma was hinting. It is still as funky though. A ton of barnyard funk, which I love! Belgian yeast with pears and green apples. Some melon flavors too. Finishes slightly tart with some lemon and grass. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, crisp, dry, and refreshing. Drinkability is very high. Overall, this is a very tasty beer. If this beer would have been thrown in a Fantome bottle, I wouldn't question the quality of Fantome. That is saying a lot.

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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 WesM63
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into oversized wine glass.

A: Pours a straw yellow with an overflowing 3finger white head. Minimal lacing and retention.

S: As soon as I opened it I got a huge whiff of funk. Lots of tart and funkyness. Some citrus and wheat.

T: Some funkyness up front followed by almost some wheat/citrus then a sour tart dry finish.

M: Light body plenty of carbonation.

O: Overall, it's pretty good. I do get a hint of both of the styles. (Saison/Farmhouse and some Lambic like quality's) I would not hesitate recommending it to a sour lover.

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Photo of Etan
4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

375ml into a 3F taster.

A: Pours a hazy orange-gold with a spongy white head and thick sheets of lacing.

S: Characteristic musty Cantillon funk and sparkling minerality, dried peach, vanilla, sourdough, honeysuckle.

T: The lambic pushes forward in the blend, with a moderate dry tartness up front. Oaky, pressed grapes, slightly phenolic edge, stone fruit and lightly sweet grain, very dry and a bit floral in the finish.

M: Light-bodied with zingy carbonation.

O: This is very nice. I was expecting more sweetness given the saison in the blend, but this is very dry. Certainly not a bad thing.

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Photo of cfrances33
4.58/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a Hill Farmstead stem.

Pour: I made a very careful pour, so as to not disturb the sediment. Completely clear honey gold with a massive, 4+ finger white head. I has to pour for a LONG time to get most of the bottle into the glass. Big billowing white head, and some nice lacing.

Smell: Woah! Huge Cantillon lambic funk up front. Very strong lactic tartness on the nose. Some white grapes and oak. A touch of white pepper and yeast, but only just.

Taste: Slightly more balanced between the lambic and saison than the nose, but only just. Still a big lactic tartness and classic Cantillon funk up front. This honestly tastes like a young Cantillon classic. Some yeast and breadyness mid palate, and as it warms. Finishes with a lingering lemon and tartness.

Mouthfeel: Hugh carb. Maybe just a touch too much. Sharp and biting, but letting the glass sit helps dissolve some of it. Nice tartness. Pretty drinkable despite the carb. Refreshing.

Overall: Well this has gotten exponentially better since when I had it 5 months ago, and it was good then. I'm looking forward to having this again in the future.

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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 craytonic
3.97/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
4.02/5  rDev -2.9%
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!

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Photo of Bendurgin
4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared courtesy of Andy. Poured into a tulip. Gusher upon opening. Pours a hazy yellow orange with tons of white head. When it settles down we have a nicecap of creamy white foam. Chunks of yeast on the bottom. Seems to have stirred itself up gushing.

The aroma is a little bit tart with some pepper in the background. Nice musty farmhouse aroma with a little bit of lemon. Tart and light on the pallet. A little bit of a green grape flavor but a nice tart flavor to finish.

Nice and light on the body but it kind of expands in your mouth. Overall very tasty. Nice and tart with good saison flavors all around.

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Photo of ATPete
4.07/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

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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.

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

Reviewed from my tasting notes. Served in my 20oz Uprising chalice at Novare Res. This excellent beer pours a peach/orange color. It is slightly cloudy. It is very interesting looking. It has a yeast aroma, along with some citrus. It is a very good fruit smell. The main flavors are of peach and grapefruit. There's a bit of sourness to the finish. It tasted a bit chalky at first, but as I drank it, this went away. I think the beer may have been too cold at first and as it warmed, this chalkiness went away. The approach to cellar temperature really improved things. It has a medium body with no detectable carbonation or coating. It feels great. The drinkability is equally impressive. This beer has just the right amount of sourness. I'm really glad I got to have this beer!

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Photo of davey101
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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.

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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 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 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 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

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Photo of DaveHS
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

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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.

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Photo of timtim
4.6/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

awesome. my two favorite styles blended together by two of my favorite brewers. lambic from cantillon and saison from del borgo. light amber with a white head that seems to fade pretty quick. Still looks quite good. Nose is all things saison... pepper, barn, earth, sunshine, and they all seem to be elevated by the wild, sour notes contributed by the lambic. I think a lot of extra flavor comes from the blending here, and I also think that the lambic spritzes up the body and really helps spread the flavors all over the palate. I wanted way way more. Absolutely delicious beer, especially on tap. A must for the fan of the more wild and funky saisons.

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Duchessic Ale from Birra Del Borgo
92 out of 100 based on 103 ratings.