1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Duchessic Ale - Birra Del Borgo

Not Rated.
Duchessic AleDuchessic Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

267 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 267
Reviews: 100
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 9.88%
Wants: 54
Gots: 43 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Birra Del Borgo visit their website
Italy

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  5.90% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
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.

(Beer added by: ATPete on 11-01-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 267 | Reviews: 100 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

GRG1313, Sep 13, 2014
Photo of HaveUSeenMyCellar
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

HaveUSeenMyCellar, Feb 12, 2014
Photo of random846
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

random846, Thursday at 05:16 AM
Photo of ali1987
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

ali1987, Dec 15, 2013
Photo of brewcrew76
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

brewcrew76, Oct 15, 2012
Photo of strongaf
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

strongaf, Nov 08, 2013
Photo of yankeepride
3.76/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

yankeepride, May 29, 2013
Photo of seaoflament
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Shane for sharing this interesting beer this past weekend.

The beer poured a light amber hue with a few bubbles on top. Not much of a head to speak of but it's understandable with the young lambic that is used in this blend.

Nice tropical aroma upfront with notes of apricots, peaches, papaya, mango, and orange make up the first line of fruits. There is a leathery presence but it's a low profile. A bit of oak and vanilla with some citrus fruits make up the end half of the aroma. Tangy wheat later on and a bit of spices. It certainly has a presence of a cross/blend between a saison and lambic.

On first taste I get spices, wheat, and a dry brett flavor. The saison seems to have a stronger presence with a bit of funk in the background. Still feels like it's young in the bottle and could use some more time. Hardly any carbonation, quite still and somewhat thick at times but quite easy to drink

seaoflament, Nov 04, 2009
Photo of nickd717
3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared at the after-Bruery tasting. I was very interested to try this one.

Pours mostly clear golden with a well-formed white head and a little lacing.

Aroma? Two words: HORSE BLANKET. It's as if they ran a horse around all day with a big ol' load on its back, then took the dirty, sweaty, horsey blanket from between the horse's disgusting back and its saddle, then threw the damn thing in the fermenter. And I love it! Some brett and pepper in there as well.

Flavor is also very horseblankety, funky, and bretty. A little sweetness from pale malt pokes through the tartness and funk. Some pepper too.

Medium body with mild acidity and fairly lively carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. Overall, pretty much a poor man's Boulevard Saison Brett with a little more tartness and funk.

nickd717, Jan 25, 2010
Photo of IHyphySF
3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

IHyphySF, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of zeledonia
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

zeledonia, Sep 07, 2012
Photo of kbutler1
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
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?

kbutler1, Nov 12, 2011
Photo of Thorpe429
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours with an apricot body that is a bit hazy. Pretty nice white head that draws down to leave a little bit of lacing. Nose brings some light peach notes along with honey, grass, and a little bit of earth. The taste is ever so mildly sweet and fruity, but gives way to some drier, earthy elements and just a tad of funky leather. Mouthfeel is dry and a bit light. Fairly unique, and drinks pretty well overall.

Thorpe429, Oct 15, 2010
Photo of EgadBananas
3.98/5  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.

EgadBananas, Sep 26, 2012
Photo of John_M
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's. Sampled side by side with the Del Ducato saison style beer.

The Duchessic pours a slightly cloudy, honey gold color with very good head retention and considerable lacing. The nose is kind of muted, with some honey and hint of barnyard funk... could it be? Yes indeed, this beers shows some considerable sour funk to go along with the honey and clove. Considering the relatively low alcohol, I'm absolutely amazed by the amount of flavor in this beer. The beer has a nice texture, and seems pretty rich and full flavored. I feel as if I get a hint of melted butter in the finish, which is attractive. Drinkability is good, though this isn't something you'd gulp down.

Very impressive. One of the more interesting beers I've been lucky enough to try from Italy.

John_M, Jul 30, 2010
Photo of kbrown
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A 101 Beer Kitchen September beer club selection.

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

Smell- Invitingly sour citrus fruit aroma.

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

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

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

kbrown, Oct 22, 2013
Photo of laituegonflable
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a vibrant, burnished orange, with slight haze. Tightly-packed head, off-white, not too glamorous. Looks acceptable.

Smells kinda Belgian, with noticeable but subtle phenols. Strong cinnamon character coming through, with notes of poached apple and quince as well. Sweet; very pleasant. Could use a little more saisony funk though.

Taste is more of the same. Cinnamon apple notes, with sweetish spice throughout, and a nice cinnamon back. Fruit on the back is a bit more tart and green than it perhaps should be, quite a touch of acidity to an otherwise pleasant apple/pear palate. Still, very tasty overall.

Again, a bit of a pull from the astringency on the back. Body maybe a little too thin to handle it.

I love the idea here, and wish the execution was better. Just tastes a little undercooked; otherwise very nice.

laituegonflable, Mar 19, 2013
Photo of flannelman808
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
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).

flannelman808, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of craytonic
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No noticeable Cantillon in this bottle.

Appearance: Hazy apricot-straw with an enormous head, bit of a gusher

Nose: Hops, honey, lemongrass, pears, apricots

Taste: Hops, apricots, peaches, pears, lemongrass. Slightly sweet, not any real funk or sourness.

Mouthfeel: Dry and light, creamy also

Drinkability: I was fascinated about the idea of two of my favorite styles being joined - sour and saison. Sadly it really just tastes like a regular saison, the cantillon contribution is not noticeable.

craytonic, Jan 19, 2011
Photo of warnerry
4/5  rDev -3.6%

warnerry, Aug 25, 2013
Photo of Bizoneill
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Bizoneill, Aug 29, 2013
Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -3.6%

acurtis, Jul 22, 2012
Photo of Griffith
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Griffith, Aug 24, 2014
Photo of Gonzoillini
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Gonzoillini, Mar 08, 2013
Photo of JohnGalt1
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

reinheitsgematt hooked this up tonight at an impromptu Labor Day BBQ... Thanks Matt!! This was never on my radar.

Pours a crystal clear light golden with a sudsy white head... small drapes of lacing.

Nose is light spiciness punctuated by a good earthy funk.. the lambic is definitely present.

Flavor has a bit of fruitiness that reminds me of fermented out apricot or possibly green apple... dry grassy lawn clippings.. but the funk comes in swinging and doesn't die back.. well done.

Light body with a good carbonation.

Matt gave this to me blind... I guessed it was a very old Saison Brett... Good guess I think. Thanks again buddy!!

4's across the board.

JohnGalt1, Sep 03, 2013
Duchessic Ale from Birra Del Borgo
92 out of 100 based on 267 ratings.