Duchessic Ale - Birra Del Borgo

Not Rated.
Duchessic AleDuchessic Ale

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

103 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 103
Hads: 320
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 3.86%
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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Reviews: 103 | Hads: 320
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. (558 characters)

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. (1,512 characters)

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. (733 characters)

Photo of brewcrew76
3.73/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Huge hiss when opened. Slight gusher.

A - Hazy golden amber with a thin off white head.

S - Earthy, musty, wet hay, straw. As it warms I pick up a little green apple, lemon and funk.

T - Sweet wheat malt along with tart citrus. Sweet Tart candy flavor. Lemon, oak, wet hay. Very acidic, almost burned at times going down.

M - Well carbonated, maybe a tad bit over carbonated. Lively with a tart acidic bite.

D - A little disappointed with this one. Was hoping it would be a little more complex. (499 characters)

Photo of ADZA
4.07/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

As soon as this brewery started hitting our shores there was three beers from these guys that ive always wanted to try this is the last one on my list and pours a hazed golden yellow hue which leaves a fluffy three finger head and lacing everywhere.

The smell is pineapple,bubble gum,barnhouse funk,sherbet,candy and fresh fruit.

On taste you can taste the two beers blending together with hints of pineapple,guava,lemon sherbet,blood oranges,candy and finished with a sour funky dryness that makes you want another sip straight away.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and tart with moderate carbonation.

Overall its nice and the blend works,would age well and will buy again cheers. (680 characters)

Photo of EgadBananas
3.97/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy medium orange color with a tinge of pink I think. There's a finger and a half of a billowy white head.

The aroma is earthy, with some musky hay notes, mild tart fruit notes and some yeasty esters.

Taste is Slightly tart, with some earthy yeast tones, spices, musk, hay and a hint of fruitiness.

The feel is lighter in body, somewhat crisp with a good carbonation level.

It's more of a milder gueuze cuz I don't get much of the farmhouse quality, but it's still an interesting and refreshing brew. (517 characters)

Photo of Holland
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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. (556 characters)

Photo of zeledonia
3.99/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasted 21 August 2012, reviewed from notes. Couldn't pass up a saison/lambic blend, especially one with Cantillon lambic. But we'll see how it is.

Looks clear coming out of the bottle, but in the glass it's a little hazy. Very orange color, one finger of white head, decent retention and lacing. Moderately attractive.

Smell is fantastic. The saison yeast, which is fantastically full and fruity, apricot-like, works really well with the light lemony sour of the lambic. The combination creates these layers of sweet-sour, acidic and fruity. I'm really digging it. Like a slightly sour, bretted saison.

Taste is good, with a lot of the same characteristics. But for some reason they clash more in the taste, where they were in such harmony in the smell. The saison feels spicier, and the acidity of the lambic is more pronounced, making for a much rougher-edged beer, spicy and sharp. Good, but not as stunning as the smell. Like a spicy acid-forward lambic, without depth or much to balance it.

Mouthfeel is on the flat side. I'd like more carbonation from these two styles, so that it bubbles up more. Lots of small bubble carbonation late, but it takes a long time for that to appear. Lasting finish, but what lasts is that slightly bitter, acidic sour.

Fantastic smell, but the rest of the beer doesn't hit the same level. In the smell, the sides of the lambic and saison that I really like pop out. In the taste, it's the other way around, with the parts I don't like coming through most clearly. The contrast is quite striking. (1,538 characters)

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. (829 characters)

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. (696 characters)

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

If the appearance has anything to say for Duchessic, it makes a statement from the get-go, showing lots of depth and structure. The light yellow-tinted head sitting on this clouded dark gold brew grows to almost three fingers on the pour and retention is fantastic, as the creamy, thick and frothy pillow lays on top for awhile before becoming a heavy layer of foam. Lacing is in thick deposits before going patchy. If only it didn't fade afterward, this beer would likely have a perfect score. Floaties mix it up and then settle down, but can be swirled up along with the head as it sits.
The smell is lovely, showing the good aspects both of lambics and saisons, and it's a style combination that just seems natural. The funk is potent on the nose, horseblanket and wet hay all over the place without any rot to it; as "purely" as funk can be funky, it is. The earthy, dusty elements pull through nicely as well, with a light leafy and herbal quality and just a nip of spiciness in the back.
As can happen, something lightens and thins out a bit in the flavor. I get flashes of the funk I found in the aroma, but it comes and goes less consistently. Thus, the flavor is good but not quite on par with the smell. Most of the dustiness forms the foundational element of this beer's flavor. It does a good job of avoiding metallic qualities or the wet cardboard taste that can sometimes sneak in.
The feel offers a crisp note underneath with a moderate smoothness in a light-medium body with a carbonation that's just right. (1,523 characters)

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. (559 characters)

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. (463 characters)

Photo of ccrida
3/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance is dull gold with a big-bubbled white head that leaves almost no lace.

Smell is odd. It's funky, but with a notably sweet caramel note.

Taste is also flirting with the brilliance of cantillion lambic, but laden with what seems like a lot of malt sugars. This has potential to develop if the lambic chews down the attenuation, but I'm left wanting now.

Mouthfeel is slick, medium light bodied.

Drinkability is okay, but not as good as I hoped. When I heard about this, Cantillion and saison - yes please! I had a high bias going into this, which is probably why I'm fairly disappointed. I think it can develop, but I'm not loving it now. (653 characters)

Photo of claspada
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle date 07 2013 which I assume is the best by date?

Pours a hazy translucent bright golden color with a super large tight bubbly white head with good retention and some soapy lacing.

Aromas begin with dry, musty earthy pilsner malt. Then I get some hay, straw and lesser wheat maltiness as it warms a little more. Some raw stone fruit flesh and granny smith apple emerges more as it warms.

The tastes begin with the same stone fruits and green apple, mixed with straw, hay, floral and grassy mild funkiness. As it warms I get some of the Saison yeasty spice, with a drying bit of funky yeast notes. Slight bit of honey sweetness emerges as it warms.

Mouthfeel is light bodied with high amounts of palate cleaning carbonation. High carbonation and Belgian Saison/Brett yeast lends to a dry finish.

Overall this was an interesting hybrid Belgian style which I thoroughly enjoyed on this warm evening. None of the flavors are too overpowering and work well with each other in a nice harmonious balance of spicy Saison and funky lambic. (1,042 characters)

Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into tulip. This is one of the most unique and amazing looking brews I ever poured! It looks like there is a bunch of sediment flowing, but its actually these thick bubbles that seem to be the same weight as water...then they rush to the top; it actually puts the famous guinness "dance" to shame.
Pours an orangey rust, with a bit of thin head. Smells of fruity apple lambic. Very obvious lambic, but a bit wheaty. Taste is very smooth, refreshing, and uber crisp. A bit sour/tart but that comes with the territory. Overall, really amazing brew. Very unique and one of the most interesting style "blends" I ever had. Worth the $10 paid. (657 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
4.07/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: giant frothy white head that took a while to go down. Pale golden cloudy body.

S: yeast, pear, light strawberry, green apple and corriander.

T: very interesting beer which seems to get better the more you drink it. mildly tart citrus with mostly green apple coming through. herbal notes and club soda.

M: light body, very high carbonation. almost has a fine sediment to it. semi dry finish.

Overall: interesting beer. This combination compliments each other very well making a beer that only gets better as you drink it. (527 characters)

Photo of drpimento
4.88/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Exceptional beer! Poured at a good temperature with an enormous, fluffy, frothy, foamy, off-white, billowy head that very slowly settled and loads of sticky lace. Color is a very slightly hazy amber with many bubble trails. Aroma is yeast, citrus and pears, malt, crackers. Flavors very close to nose, ever so slightly sweet, great bitter and carbonic tang balance. Body and carbonation are perfect. Finish is like flavor with a neat slight sweetness up front and astringency in back, fairly long, and drinkable for a tart brew. (528 characters)

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!! (272 characters)

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. (640 characters)

Photo of emerge077
3.68/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Served at 55º into a tulip glass. Back label stamped 07 2013.
Sharp hiss and an erupting violent gush... should've chilled it overnight, lost 1/3 of the bottle >_>

Murky and opaque pastel orange, with a dense, charged head of soapy white foam. In the meniscus of the glass was a miniature galaxy of suspended sediment. Arcs of sticky lace adhere to the glass as the beer is sipped. Swirling the glass quickly regenerates an inch of dense white foam.

Initial smell was of acidic bile, and a bit rank to be honest. Later it became less harsh, more sweet and tempered with notes of wet hay.

Sweet and tart citrus flavors, dry oak tannins in the finish. Peach or lemon-lime SweeTarts candy wafers. Lots of acidity and very effervescent, almost overly so. Some wet hay and gauze from the Brett yeast. There's a fine line of balance to walk here, and it seems slightly out of harmony here. Lacks complexity also, and comes across like middle of the road wild ales from the US.

Maybe if it was chilled overnight and settled, it would make a slight difference, but for the price, give me Cantillon anyday. Doesn't really seem to be much of an innovation, was hoping for more, especially with Cantillon involved.

Review #2400 (1,232 characters)

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. (1,282 characters)

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! (1,301 characters)

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. (726 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a hill Farmstead Tulip/wine glass. Review#1300.

Duchessic has a hiss when popped. The liquid looks esquisite, a nice hue of orange with some darker amber spots on the edge. A nice bright white bubbled foam that clang to the glass. A lot of active carb seen. Small sediment floating.

Smell is pretty bold and very earthy with a floral and mineral scent. Some scents of lemon with some of that acidic gueuze thrown in. Some apple skin and coriander. Very floral forward. A very nice smeller, that builds over time.

This is very exciting stuff, the lambic addition does not overpower the saison at all. A big farmhouse character, floral notes, mineral flavors, some apple and earthy appeal. Some weird spice flavor and coriander. The lambic gives off a slight pucker without being acidic.

Feel is pretty much perfect. A light saison with a slight twang to it. Packs a punch up front than whimpers off in a good way, with a small aftertaste. Carb is perky and not bitey. Not acidic, not sour, lightly tart. A nice mix.

Pretty good stuff here, it is interesting. I would give it a go again. A floral saison with a twist of small citrus and twang. (1,163 characters)

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