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.
View: Beers (32) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 320 | Reviews: 103
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.

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.

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 sweemzander
4.29/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

375mL bottle poured into a tulip.

(A)- Pours a hazy golden apricot color. Produced some solid white froth with great retention and lacing.

(S)- An insanely inviting aroma of acidic oak funk meets dry lemon peel and apple. Its very very dry, but very very awesome. Subtle Brett bits.

(T)- Again, a Brett-like funky dryness meets subtle acidity with lemon. Finishes slightly yeasty with bits of ever so slight sweet apple.

(M)- A lively carbonation level. This has a great balance of dry funky oak, acidic lemon, and a subtle yeasty sweet finish.

(O)- The lambic influence in this is obvious, but it really adds a dynamic layer of funk and acidity to the base overall. Fantastic beer. This bottle has obviously had some time on it at the time of purchase due to how faded the label appeared.

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.

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.

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 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.

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 Rifugium
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to stakem for hooking me up with this extra!

Opened with a 'pop' and a slow rush of foam in the bottle, but fortunately it was no gusher. Even a slow, steady pour filled the glass with foam, so I dumped some into a Del Borgo teku, and some into a vintage Cantillon lambic mug (#doubleproper), and let it settle for a few minutes, eventually combining the two. Fortunately, not a drop was lost.

Settling down revealed a slightly-hazy golden liquid with a head that eventually simmered to a thin layer of lasting bubbles. Aroma was pleasant and lemony, promises of light tartness, and earthy, grainy malts, with a bit of barnyard funk. This beer was much better than I expected. Moderate lacto-tartness right up front, lemon meringue, crisp saison grassiness, with an earthy finish, the tartness lingering on the tongue. Very nicely balanced in just about every aspect. Smooth mouthfeel, medium body, drinkable to the point that I sad-faced once it was gone. I'd love to get more of this.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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 StonedTrippin
4.21/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

one heck of a great beer here, sour and funky, really intensely carbonated, drinkable, and fancy. hazy yeast heavy straw color with a massive champagne style white head, comprised of massive bubbles, looks more like the play place at mcdonalds than a brew, serious huge bubbles. the nose is prickly, ticklish I should say, tart yeast and wheat malt, than cantillon in this is evident from the outset. light though, not a big heavy beer, this is a drinker. notes of cut hay, fresh chopped wood, white wheat malt, and summery sour yeast all assault the palate. its an onslaught mostly because of the feel, which is maybe the most carbonated beer ever, and it works perfectly with the sour flavors, its a total rush. not overly sour, not at all acidic, this is like a table sour or something, a beer to be consumed frequently in decent volume. I wish I had more of this, I was very very impressed. Italy has some great stuff, its just really hard to find.

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.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

5.3% ABV per the label.

Pours a murky honey orange with a foamy orange-white head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy patches of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Tiny particles of sediment are seen floating around in the beer after the pour. Smell is slightly sour with malt, grain, funk, earth, wood, and acidic aromas. Taste is much the same with slightly sour grain, funk, apple skin, earth, and wood flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and prickly mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with a nice balance between the base beer and the lambic addition blended in.

Serving type: bottle.

Photo of THECPJ
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
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

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 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...

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.

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.

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