Duchessic Ale - Birra Del Borgo

Not Rated.
Duchessic AleDuchessic Ale

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

320 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 320
Reviews: 103
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 9.18%
Wants: 56
Gots: 46 | FT: 5
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: 320 | Reviews: 103
Photo of ne0m00re
2.82/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

11/15/11- Had a bottle of this one marked 072013.
A: Light clear gold, constant bubbles, big white head.
S: Crisp, metallic, mild apple, lemon citrus, cotton candy.
T: Dry, almost like sparkling water, copper, mild apple/lemon acid.
M: Very frothy, silky and then... soapy.
O: Eh. Very metallic with a strange mouthfeel. Not very acidic.

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.

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.

Photo of Viciousknishs
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a golden hay color with a finger of eggshell white head. Crazy streams of champagne like carbonation. Great head retention.

S- pungent juicy fruitiness of peach, pear and white grape. Wonderfully funky with notes of earth, wet hay and lemon citrus. The lambic realy amps up the saisons musty character. Finishes with wheat aromas.

T- very juicy tart fruit flavor up front with notes of peach, white grape and dragonfruit. Earthy musty funk with a spicy white pepper note in the middle. the lambic lends some great acidity, lemon citrus and iced tea notes. Finishes with wheat, goat and yeasty flavors that last long into the aftertaste.

MF- juicy champagne like mouthfeel with a light medium body and active frenetic carbonation.

D- very very drinkable.

Overall a very good saison with lambic like qualities. Delicious.

Photo of suspect
4.16/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 375ml bottle into a Founders brewing snifter. Thanks to Jon for sharing.

A: Hazy, opaque faded golden color. Neat pour leads to a thin white ring of fizz that fades immediately leaving whisps. No lacing.

S: Yeasty up front with funk. I can almost smell the carbonation. A bit of smarties is picked up in the nose as well.

T: Taste is mild but good. Funky barnyard flavors, touch of mold and grain.

M: A touch overcarbonated but fizzy and crisp.

O: A good beer, definitely a lambic vs. a farmhouse ale but it's good. Glad to have tried it.

Photo of MRsojourner
4.29/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of flannelman808
3.96/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: This sits pale hay hued ochre. Tiny sediment particles dance and make for a dayglow haze. resilient small to medium sized bubbles hold true and speak of fine champagne. lacing is minimal.

S: Proper champagne grapes and lime recently fallen from the tree jump out from a foot away. Grape flavored sour and sweet candy have to be what this smells like. I need a grape pixy stick and a grape flavored Mad Dog for proof I suppose. Up close the nose is assaulted with a sense of prickle. eventually flavors develop as it warms showing more wet farm qualities, wet mud, hay, and earth. but in the end I can nearly smell foamy carbonation itself.

T: A highly carbonic Citrus zest prickle showing a yeasty cracker, dried toast sort of sweetness rounds out the range of flavor. wheat and finally Meyer lemon

M: Mad Dog candy...

O: Cool stuff and not too over priced I would say. Don't be fooled by the cantillon juice involved. It is in the end mulled out with foreign Birra Del Borgo yeast which seems to be the dominant. That said something weird as hell is happening in that bottle and I think Ill need to grab a few more bottles and see what happens a year plus down the road. truly an interesting mouth feel to this and I believe the closest thing to explosive foamy champagne as I've had in a beer.

also with the nuts carbonation and feasting yeast inside of this bottle. It has a weird suction cap bottle cap which reminded me of a rubber winesaver plug. 1-6+ years I'd guess (barring explosion).

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.

Photo of adrian21
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
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

Photo of PerHops
4.02/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Beautiful golden orange. Head dissipates and looks soapy in the process. A ton of carbonation

S- Beautiful. The type of beer that makes me smile when the top pops off. Before I even try I smell the sour funk. Cherries, crab apples, funk, musk, glory.

T- Very sour. Finishes a little spicy and a hint of lavender.

M- A little bit too much carbonation.

O- very good and could be great with the right carbonation.

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.

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!!

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

Wowza. Nice hiss as the cap pops off. Not used to that in a lambic styled beer. Initial pour into a tulip is nearly all foam. Great head and carbonation. I really like that. I was told going in that this is blended with lambic, and baby does it shine. The farmhouse character of the saison is practically overpowered by the sour aspect of the lambic. Aggressively carbonated, it seems to just zing its way down my throat. Super good stuff.

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 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 deschutes_fan
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

350mL Bottle poured into a bittercreek Teku

-Pours a golden hazy orange with WAY too much carbonation resulting in overflow... the foam tastes of sour deliciousness as I try to save some of the overflow. Foam is quite airy and aromatic, dissipating quickly.

- Smell is complex with a big sour nose at first followed by citrus and barnyard funk. Also can pick up some floral spiciness.

- A nice sour taste upfront, funky tart with lemon and orange citrus. Once the palate adapts to the sourness, I can really pick up on the saison characteristics with spicy floral notes and more citrus. Finish is dry, but not as dry as I was expecting with all the carbonation and sourness.

-Overall a nice sour-saison hybrid, which isn't shocking since they started with 1year old Cantillon lambic. Quite unique with good complexity, however, it is lacking if one is looking for a pure sour gueuze punch.

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 tmzl
4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Look: (maybe some gushing at start - happens some times with saisons) Pours with thick, fizzy white head. Slow retention, mostly diminishing, leaves a very thin thick layer. Sticky fair lacing. Medium carbonation, colour is yellow wheat (with light orange hue). Cloudy as fck but the yellow is very intense and looks marvelous, very lively.

Smell: Consists of medium fresh lemony, citrus, wild berries sour and leathery funk. Freshness is very nice and the funk is low-medium, goes along, good balance. Hidden in the backbone lurks light sweetness and some floral notes.

Taste: Lemon, berries sour hits you first, continues with good medium-light funkiness. Just before it goes down there is a small spike of mushroom, wood, earthy tart. Medium sour and light brett funk stay with your at the end. Very light sweet backbone.

Mouthfeel: Very crisp, high carbonation - but isn't annoying (bubbles small enough). Light, dry and fresh.

Overall: Great beer, if funk and sour please you - do yourself a favour and grab this one. Fresh and good balance.

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.

Photo of IHyphySF
3.76/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a bottle of this because it was highly recommended.

Before opening noticed there was a bit of sediment on the bottom of the bottle. Opened it and it had a large pop. Poured into a tulip glass was pretty foamy and a nice hazy golden color too it. Smelled lemony and tastes like it smells but i tasted a slight apricot aftertaste and the carbonation is perfect.

Overall great tasting drinkable beer.

Photo of yankeepride
3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a very cloudy/hazy golden color, with a thick pillowy head and clingy rows of bubbles that hang off the inside of the glass. Has a musty, dusty smell initially, but as the bubbles fade away and it sits in the glass a bit, the lambic becomes the dominant smell. It's really an interesting beer with a lot of depth. Every mouthful has a transition from a light, bubbly saison-standard wet-wheat taste into a clean, very-slightly sour and then leaving a mouth-coating gritty and and musty trailer that has the -very- faint note of wild cherry skins. Overall for its style, it would appear to be world-class in hitting its mark, just not a flavor profile that would have me coming back for more.

Photo of NYCWheatFanSC
3.68/5  rDev -11.1%
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

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 fragilehearted
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.7oz bottle into my Duvel tulip. There's a little hiss as the cap is popped off. Stamp on the back says 07 2013.

A - hazy golden yellow. Good thing this Duvel tulip is pretty big, since this beer had an enormous amount of thick foamy head that left big clumps of lacing as it went down. Interesting! Had to let that bad boy sit out for a bit to settle down. There's a little bit of sediment at the bottom.

S - first funky lemon and grape, then musty barnyard. Hay and wheat on the finish. Seems to be like what the bottle indicates, saison with lambic blended in.

T - sour and acidic. Pretty light, very citrusy and fruity (grapes, tart apples, lemon, orange). Some spicy pepper (white pepper, coriander) notes as well. A little hop bitterness in the finish. Pretty complex, but it goes together better than it seems it should.

M - light-to-medium, but with a dry finish. Almost a little too carbonated, but it didn't ruin anything. Alcohol is well hidden but present in the finish.

D/O - pretty good beer, tasted like I thought it probably would. I'm more of a lambic fan, so this was nice to try to get to know saisons a little better. I don't know that I'll seek it out again, but it was enjoyable.

Duchessic Ale from Birra Del Borgo
92 out of 100 based on 320 ratings.