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Duchessic Ale - Birra Del Borgo

Not Rated.
Duchessic AleDuchessic Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

104 Reviews
no score

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

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  5.90% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ATPete on 11-01-2009

A sort of "collaboration beer" with the famous Belgian brewery Brasserie Cantillon: an interesting experiment on the world of spontaneous fermentation. Our classic Duchess - Spelt beer - is was cut with a 20% of Cantillon lambic aged one year. The result is a unique beer that blends in an extraordinary way the characteristic acidity and roughness of lambic with delicate and gentle notes of the Duchess.
View: Beers (45) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 104 | Hads: 325
Photo of 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.

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

the pour is amazing. poured into a drie fonteinen stemmed glass. cap pops and there is some gush. poured into glass where the head is thick and huge. takes forever to dissipate. slightly hazy body, very active.

very spicy and funky on the nose, slight hint of fresh young lambic or gueuze.

flavor is very interesting. loads of spice, funk, and floral notes. there is a complex blend of the above with some sweetness and lemon notes. and from that lemon, a bit of tartness.

very light and airy with a very moderate to active carbonation.

very interesting. not sure if this will develop over time, but great flavors. the hint of lambic really adds that extra dimension.

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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.

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

Pours a hazy yellow to orange-ish color with an off white head. In the aroma, a dry sourness. In the taste, quite carbonated sour fruitiness. A sour bite and a medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry sour fruitiness in the aftertaste. A nice sour fruitiness, super duper!

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

A: Pours a hazy, glowing gold with a thick white head.

S: Aromas of lemon, lime, talc, must, horse blanket, and sea salt are present on the nose. The smell deftly combines the best aspects of an authentic lambic and a saison.

T: Notes of green apple, lemon, lime, talc, must, cider vinegar, oak, unripened pineapple, and sea salt batter the mouth. The finish is sharp and fruity with lemon and lime flavors undercut by a lactic yeast bite.

M: Medium in body, this ale is very dry and firm. Carbonation is sharp and crisp. Surprisingly drinkable.

O: This is a fantastic and unexpected collaboration. Try this one while you can.

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Photo of 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.

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

12.7oz bottle shared with schwaeh.

Live review.

Poured into a Jackie O's snifter.

A: Bottled gushed lightly, poured a nice golden yellow with a 3 finger white head that lingered for a really long time. Settled into a small full cap. Leaves some light lacing. Hazy held to light.

S: Holy shit. Funk, acid, tart, sour, apple, lemon, hay, earth, spicy floral hop, light wheat graininess, blue cheese. Jeez, all but the kitchen sink.

T: This is literally what a baby of Saison Dupont and Cantillon Classic would be, albeit with an identity crisis. It has all the same pieces as the aroma, but with a nice dryness and slight sweetness. Very dry finish, completely hidden alcohol.

M: Mid-high carbonation doesn't hurt it much, creamy and light at the same time. Very nicely coating on the swallow, and the dryness sucks the moisture out of the mouth and makes your mouth water in the same note.

O: What a gem. Can't believe this was just sitting on the shelf. Would gladly buy again and drink again. Incredible beer.

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Photo of 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.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12.7 ounce bottle, 07 2013 stamped on the back label (I guess that's the best by date). Served in a tulip, the beer pours a hazy gold color with a couple inch frothy white head that stays around for a long time. There's also a good amount of lacing. The aroma is nice, it smells like peppery spice, lemon peel, pears, hay, wheat and some funk. It tastes like lemon peel, wheat, peppery spice, slightly tart lemons, apricots, white grapes and funk. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, with high (a little bit too high for me) but soft carbonation. I think this is a good saison/lambic blend. It's pricey at $9.99 a bottle but I'd buy this brew again, I liked it.

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

Birra Del Borgo : Duchessic Ale

Pours a clear golden color, bone white collar and decent staying power. Smells of musty lemon, hay, barnyard and funk aromas as well. In the taste, mild wheat malt, aggressive sourness from the Cantillion blend. Sour lemon, mild wheat and clove flavors, and mild bitternesss. Finish is drying, sour and beckons for another sip. Overall, a really nice farmhouse ale with ample sourness.

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Photo of 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.


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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.

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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).

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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 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.

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Photo of Hands22
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 12.7 oz bottle.

A- Gushed when I opened the bottle. Poured a golden, straw color with a huge, thick white head. Some lacing on the glass.

S- Great Brett aroma that comes off as barnyardy. The malt blends in nicely. Get some wheat most noticeably.

T- Tastes the same as the aroma with a nice, light tartness that is somewhat lemony. Finishes slightly dry.

M- Highly carbonated. Medium-light body.

O- An interesting blend. The lambic really adds great complexity and makes for a much better beer than Duchessa alone.

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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 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 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.

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Photo of aasher
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been waiting for this one to show up for awhile now. This one pours a very cloudy tangerine orange in color with a billowing head. It smells of a boatload of brett, faded hops that leave a citrus aroma, dry, and other yeasts. It certainly is a mix of a saison and lambic. The flavors are very sour. It is soured, fermented fruit and a ton of brett. It leans towards being soured citrus fruit, peach, and apricots. The brett takes charge on this one. It finishes light and dry. It is very effervescent and drinks very light. The sour is nice and right up Cantillon's alley. Overall this is a nice and interesting beer. Of course, it could use more lambic ;). Solid beer.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of Cadebro
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours golden/copper in color with quite a bit of head. The head dissipates quickly leaving nice lacing that lasts for quite a while.

S - The smell is quite an adventure. Dusky, hayloft prevails but there is citrus and saison funk as well.

T - Tart and citrusy up front followed by saison funk. You definitely get both the lambic and saison features in the taste.

M - It is light bodied and well carbonated.

D - Light and carbonated enough to be a summer guzzler but at its price and the quality of taste and smell it makes an excellent sipper. I would not tire of drinking this ale.

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

Poured into a Russian River chalice glass. Hazy, pale amber/golden yellow with a massive fluffy offwhite head. Lots of bubbles in this one. Beautiful looking beer, doesn't get much better than this.

Aroma hits you immediately with loads of lemon/citrus and dry/dusty barnyard funk. Some slight acidic/vinegar aroma in the nose, but the yeast aromas really dominate this nose. Flavor follows the nose with more citrus, earthy/mushroom/bretty funk and finishes with a rather grainy, malty sweetness. Moderate carbonation; just enough to lift the moderate sour finish of the palate.

World class beer here. Will seek out again.

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