Duchessa - Birra Del Borgo
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Ratings: 44 | Reviews: 22 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by doktorhops:
3.93/5 rDev +9.2%
It's not often you find a craft beer from Italy, a country renowned for it's red wine and, when it comes to beer, it's Lager. So it was even more of a surprise to find a Saison, one of the craftiest of craft ales in the local liquor emporium (also this is made from spelt - which is fairly unique). Birra del Borgo itself is based in Borgorose - a small village in the Rieti province nestled in the Apennine mountains, sounds like a pristine location for a brewery.
Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Chimay chalice.
A: The body presents an appealing cloudy sunburst with a very light chalky lace for a head.
S: Notes of pineapple, honey, grapefruit and a hint of guava give this brew quite a fruity/hoppy aroma for a Saison, which are generally more yeast heavy. There is a faint wisp of bread yeast in the background and the spelt (malt) base is in there somewhere. Expecting some Saison sour flavours.
T: Intriguing taste, sweet upfront and fruity as expected. The interesting part is that the sweetness is not as you would normally expect from a grain, and spelt is a different flavour to barley (which is the common brewers grain); it has a honey-rye sweetness. This is followed by the above mentioned tropical grapefruit hops and a slight sour yeast finish. This has a different after taste as well - a kind of cloying vinous note.
M: Body is medium and lightly carbonated, with an oily slickness to the mouthfeel.
D: Overall more interesting than expected, and easy to drink with enough different flavours to keep you going. That being said this does not taste like any other Saison I've had and to label it a Saison is misleading, it tastes more like an attempt at a Medieval ale with it's honeyed Mead flavour and use of an ancient grain, maybe it could be labelled a Braggot? Aside from that it's a pleasant excursion to Italy which I will be fond of taking again one day.
Food match: This brew conjured up an image of honey-roasted suckling pig, roasted fennel, potatoes and sweet potato. Of course a vegetarian version could be made with tofu turkey roasted with a honey glaze as well.
12-19-2013 02:21:48 | More by doktorhops
More User Reviews:
3.5/5 rDev -2.8%
"Beer is brewed with farro, traditionally grown in the territory of the Regional Park of Monti della Duchessa. It is golden, with orange hues, barely-concealed; the foam is abundant, and creamy. The nose is very broad, fruity (banana, pineapple, tropical fruit and floral, with a light and pleasant peppery. In the mouth the carbonation and end, there is a slight acidity and the body and adequate. The hopping and moderate, very pleasant, fresh." From the brewers website.
Served in a chalice at the Lions Pride.
The beer is orange with wispy white lace.
The aroma is a sweet malty, with notes of orange and other floral notes.
It begins with a slight tingle of carbonation in the mouth, taste of orange and citrus, more acidic then the nose would indicate. The hops are grassy and come in but are not overwhelming.
08-22-2011 21:28:43 | More by bishopdc0
United Kingdom (England)
3.45/5 rDev -4.2%
A 330ml bottle with a BB of Sept 2012. Picked up ages ago from an Italian deli in York, and cellared in my garage. The ingredient list on the label mentions the addition of spelt to the brew.
Poured into a straight pint glass. A very hazy, almost tranlucent golden hue with tons of chunky yeast fragments and low carbonation. The yeast sediment remains suspended as if trapped in aspic. Yields a large head of white foam that remains for a few minutes before collapsing and disappearing. Aroma of light, grainy malt with subtle fruity yeast esters and a touch of sweetness. A faint whiff of alcohol in the background.
Tastes of fruity yeast esters with a hint of spice and a dry finish. Notes of grain, mild banana, faint bubble-gum, a suggestion of clove, sugar and a whiff of solvent. A slightly harsh cardboard flavour in the background, along with stewed leaves. Dry, earthy yeast upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth, dry and tingly, with a spicy quality and good body. Rather astringent. Aftertaste of fruity yeast and a strangely artificial harshness.
Interesting and certainly not bad, though I don't know how close this really is to a Belgian saison. The appearance is deeply unappetising - tons of chunky sediment despite a careful pour. Carbonation also seems to have gone AWOL. The rest is better; a pleasant yeasty aroma and a flavour that is dominated by a Belgian yeast character. A solid effort that goes down nicely - worth trying if you come across it.
08-30-2012 22:59:56 | More by jazzyjeff13
2.4/5 rDev -33.3%
375ml foiled and capped bottle shared by schen9303. Poured into a Cantillon tulip.
Pours a nice 1.5 finger frothy white head with good retention. Beer is a clear goldenrod. Lacing is stringy and spotty with good stick. Attractive.
Nose is surprisingly citrusy. Lemon tartness, straw, and juicy fruit gum. Not what I normally expect from a saison, but tempting nonetheless.
Opens sweet corn sugar, citrus, wet straw, and cobwebs. Very odd and very sweet. Some herbal notes towards the middle. End is sweet and more corn sugar. Finishes sweet with a weird adjunct-y aftertaste. Very odd and not to style... no in a good way either.
Light bodied with low carbonation. Smooth and oily in the mouth and somewhat watery going down. Finishes oily with a quiet aftertaste. Not to style. No life and not enough carbonation.
Perhaps I don't understand this beer but from a style standpoint, it completely fails. Feel is not lively and there's a complete lack of saison-funk character in the taste, replaced instead by an adjunct-like sweetness. I won't revisit this one.
09-17-2011 02:00:56 | More by SpeedwayJim
3.68/5 rDev +2.2%
A: The beer is slightly hazy golden yellow in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger and a half high white head that gradually died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of earthy and fruity yeast as well as nutty malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste seems to follow the smell, but is a little more complex and has more yeasty flavors along with initial bits of sweetness and hints of spices towards the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. No dryness is perceptible.
O: This beer is interesting in its own regard, but seems to be a little maltier and heavier bodied compared to some other beers in the style. I would much prefer drinking this beer in the winter compared to the summer months.
07-04-2013 02:05:56 | More by metter98
United Kingdom (England)
3.49/5 rDev -3.1%
Draught in Open Baladin, Rome on 10th Dec 2013.
Almost clear pour, golden hue to it, on top a smooth white covering.
This was a little maltier and richer in texture than most Saison beers I've had, not that it's a big total of beers. This had those 'farmyard' esters and earthy features that summarize this style so well, so it wasn't a long way off the Belgian ones that I've had.
Different and after a Gose style beer in the same bar I was beginning to warm towards the Italian craft beer scene. This is a very pleasant brew and I'm really pleased I had a large glass full of it.
01-08-2014 14:54:02 | More by BlackHaddock
3.1/5 rDev -13.9%
Smart champagne shaped bottle. Delirium Tremens Snifter glass. Enjoyed on jul´12. -funny no-planned tasting session in good company at the Freiburg-. Golden amber color. Chill haze appearance. White froth. Brief crown. Floral fragrances, intense cinnamon, nutmeg & spiced hues, hay & cereal notes to the nose. Flavors shown sweet malty backbone, subtle sourness, raw grains, yeast & slightly lemony. Spicy touch. Low bitterness. Light to medium body. Moderate to high carbonation. Watery texture. Slightly sweet finish & subtle resins on the aftertaste.
08-01-2012 01:12:04 | More by GONZALOYANNA
3.63/5 rDev +0.8%
Bottle poured into my New Belgian globe.
A dark golden straw color in appearance with a good sized off-white head that disappeared relatively quick. Lots of bubbles, looks like a saison.
Smells a bit "barnyardy" at first, assuming that's the spelt. There's a little bit of banana and a hint of bubblegum. I know the saison category is quite broad but there isn't as much of a citrusy nose to it that I love in my saisons.
Wheat, or spelt in this case, is the first thing I get out of the taste. It says on the label that it's brewed with spelt so it's not a surprise that I get wheat. Sadly I'm not getting much else. The banana and bubblegum are there on the end of the sip but it's not quite as exciting as I'd hoped.
The mouthfeel is thicker than I'd thought. It's not a bad thing but it sort of takes away from the dryness that I like in my saison. There is a good carbonation bite to it.
Overall this beer is ok but that's about it. I really like every thing else I've had from Birra del Borgo, especially Duchessic. That being said, I'm glad I tried it but there are better saisons and farmhouse ales that are available.
01-04-2013 00:08:04 | More by allouez86
3.93/5 rDev +9.2%
A-Pours clear, pale orange with nearly an inch of fluffy, brilliant white head, very little retention and spotty lacing.
S- Light, spritzy aromas of peach, cane sugar, zested meyer lemon and a touch of spicy coriander.
T/M- The addition of spelt to the malt bill makes for a soft, mouth coating sweetness tinged with delicate citric acidity, not unlike a good hefe-weizen. Grassy hop bitterness fades in mid-palate and carries through to the dry finish, accentuated by spicy coriander. Medium bodied with zippy carbonation and a lingering dry finish.
O- A pleasant, food friendly saison.
01-08-2012 21:46:49 | More by DaveHS
4/5 rDev +11.1%
Poured from the bottle a golden-orange color with two fingers of thick white head. Light lacing left behind.
Aroma of lemon, herbal notes, fruit, yeast, and fresh earth.
Tasted of lemon, banana, black pepper, herbal notes, earth, and Belgian yeast.
Medium bodied and crisp with a moderate carbonation.
A very nice Saison from an unexpected place. Italy.
03-12-2014 19:39:57 | More by Monkeyknife
4/5 rDev +11.1%
Bottle at the Diamond bar in Greenpoint. Pours hazy gold with TONS of sticky white head. Seriously, more head than almost any beer I've ever poured. Sticky lace remains as the active carbonation fizzes away.
Funky yeast, sweet malts, earthy, plenty of Belgian spice. Really pungent and inviting. My tongue was bombarded by crazy spices upon first sip! Very active carbonation pelts the tongue as the spices join in the fray. Mild sweetness in the middle; funky yeast enters before finishing bone dry.
Body is thin and weak with a level of carbonation rivaling most champagne. Easy drinking here; not too funky or crazy, but still spicy enough to be interesting. A solid beer from one of Italy's top craft brewers.
09-02-2011 00:28:27 | More by brystmar
3.9/5 rDev +8.3%
375 ml bottle into tulip glass, best before 3/2013. Pours moderately cloudy golden orange color with a 1-2 finger dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of lemon, pear, grape, apple, clove, pepper, bread, light honey, floral, grass, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast ester and malt notes; with good strength. Taste of lemon, pear, apple, grape, pepper, bread, light honey, clove, grass, floral, herbal, light nuttiness, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of light fruits, bread, pepper, clove, light honey, grass, herbal, light nuttiness, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a bit. Very nice balance and complexity of malt and fruity/spicy yeast ester flavors; with good flavor robustness and no cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth and crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with no warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very nice saison style. All around good balance and compexity of malt and yeast ester flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable offering.
09-07-2013 05:12:08 | More by superspak
3/5 rDev -16.7%
750 ml. bottle. Pours an amber peachy colour, with a standard head that doesn't hold for too long and leaves some lace. Smell of fruits, citrus, honey and herbs. Medium body, sticky and creamy palate. Taste of honey, fruits, sweet. Bought in Gourmet Cervezas.
02-15-2014 19:10:44 | More by janubio
4/5 rDev +11.1%
Hazy golden body with a nice foamy head with good retention and some lacing.
Smells of light wheat malt and spice, I'd say ginger and coriander.
Light malt sweetness, with some fruit, some white peaches, and a funky yeast strain. Has some grassy hops and a dry ginger spice finish, with some bitter citrus peel. Overall, kind of honey sweet, but nothing cloying.
This is not a typical saison. Although it tastes like a wheat-based beer, farro is the main grain used.
Seems to taste better to me in the bottle than when I had it on tap, but that was a year ago. In the bottle version, I am tasting ginger much more. It evolves as it warms up, becoming sweeter.
This is a good drinking beer with a bit of complexity. It has that Italian twist of funkiness and fruit going. In the end, it tastes a tad too sweet and fruity, hardly what one expects from a French farmhouse, but maybe an Italian one with some peaches and honeybees.
08-28-2012 00:20:08 | More by Beerenauslese
Duchessa from Birra Del Borgo
82 out of 100 based on 44 ratings.