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!

Duchessa - Birra Del Borgo

Not Rated.
DuchessaDuchessa

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

52 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 52
Reviews: 25
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 13.13%
Wants: 2
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Birra Del Borgo visit their website
Italy

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: bishopdc0 on 08-22-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 52 | Reviews: 25 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mick303
3.96/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - an amber gold brown, sort of brown colour, quite hazy with a fair bit of suspended yeast. Lacing is quite slight on this.

S - lots of lemon and rich herbal yeasty character, caramel malt, slight nutiness, really aromatic and rich.

T - smooth dry yeast with some hay and lemony citrus, some honey and good complexity, end is dry and full, has a pretty decent malty body but also a complex floral and yeasty notes with some herbal esters.

M - moderate bodied and and tasty, with good soft carbonation, refreshing with a long aftertaste.

A quite tasty and full saison that drinks nicely with decent complexity, unique beer with an interesting array of herbal, grassy, and floral character, finish is a bit cloying and long but otherwise a tasty beer.

mick303, Jul 01, 2013
Photo of Kirk
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Kirk, Jun 27, 2013
Photo of AngusOg
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

AngusOg, May 24, 2013
Photo of elNopalero
4.51/5  rDev +26%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Imported from Italy… in my suitcase. Zing!

Bottle says its best before 3/2015—I’m assuming this means it was brewed March 2013? At two months out it pours a light straw-golden color with a good cap of creamy foam. There a spicy aroma to this beauty, with some faint Brett-notes. It’s peppery with floral characteristics and a pleasing floral note that comes through. I found it to taste similar, with a pepper-spice zing upfront and a dry yet floral finish. A tasty, tasty Italian take on the saison.

elNopalero, May 21, 2013
Photo of laituegonflable
3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale straw-gold colour, massive haze through the body, almost opaque. Head is white, foamy, retaining really nice and thick. Looks like a great saison.

Smells very Belgian. Lots of spicy phenols, with a touch of barnyard funk. Heavy on the yeast but still smells a bit more on the side of Belgian Pale than Saison, could use more of that organic funk character and a bit more freshness.

Taste is a little sweet. Quite malty with a touch of banana as well. A little bit of funk towards the back and some light spice esters. Little bit phenolic on the finish but not really enough to tame the sweetness. Ironically after the nose the palate needs more of those Belgian phenols to ground it. Or more funk.

A little bit of bite from the carbonation; good enough body.

Not a bad beer but nothing spesh and a bit lacking in the saison stakes. More organic funk and possible tang would amp it up big time.

laituegonflable, Feb 08, 2013
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%

westcoastbeerlvr, Jan 11, 2013
Photo of cancino45
4.25/5  rDev +18.7%

cancino45, Jan 04, 2013
Photo of allouez86
3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

allouez86, Jan 04, 2013
Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.45/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

jazzyjeff13, Aug 30, 2012
Photo of Beerenauslese
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Beerenauslese, Aug 28, 2012
Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.35/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Italian SpecTapular festival held at the Local Taphouse in Sydney.

Pours an opaque yellow colour, with huge hazing to the body. Weight is very light, not unexpected for the style. Head is a pocked, but firm white, that leaves some patchy sheets of lacing. Looks pretty good.

Nose is bright and slightly piquant with coconut, brusque funk and a vegetative aroma like frozen peas. This melds with some other sweeter characters like vanilla. It's weird, even for such a lively style as a saison.

Palate is light and smooth on the entry, but a little bit flat, before the suggestion of proper saison-ness comes through on the mid-palate. Here we get some grassiness, a little bit more veggie character, and an earthy, grounded funk. However, this funk sits initially above an oddly sweet body that feels a little wrong, and then drops out entirely, leaving the finish dry, with floury pastry notes.

Feel is light with a hint of astringency that's not present in the flavour itself.

Overall, this is a fractured and fractious beer. The weirdnesses to it just go a little far, and make you feel as though this beer is erratic and uncontrolled. The novelty of this almost saves it, but I can't help feel that overall it's just wack.

lacqueredmouse, Aug 13, 2012
Photo of GONZALOYANNA
3.1/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

GONZALOYANNA, Aug 01, 2012
Photo of ZethOfTheNorth
3/5  rDev -16.2%

ZethOfTheNorth, Jul 13, 2012
Photo of drpimento
4.13/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Best Italian saison/farmhouse I've had. Poured at a good temperature with a decent size, cream colored, foamy, head that slowly settles to a nice cover and a tiny bit of lace. Color is a clear amber with lots of bubble trails. Aroma is malt, yeast, hop, dust, caramel. Flavor's like nose and has very nice balance between bitter, sweet, and carbonic tang, plus has a bit of butter. Body is great and carbonation is outstanding. Finish is like flavor, of good length, and is very drinkable.

drpimento, Jun 03, 2012
Photo of tbeckett
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

tbeckett, May 15, 2012
Photo of majcher33
3/5  rDev -16.2%

majcher33, May 09, 2012
Photo of Archemedies
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

Archemedies, Apr 13, 2012
Photo of seand
3.78/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy orange amber with a large amount of dense white head. It dissipates to a thin layer fairly quickly, which is enough to leave solid streaks of lacing.

S: Floral sweetness with a strong malt background. Nice complexity with a touch of citrus on the top end.

T: Grain-forward syrupy sweetness, with grassy hops. Finish is dry and crisp.

M: Medium body, medium prickly carbonation.

Overall, quite nice. A good food beer.

seand, Feb 26, 2012
Photo of drgarage
3.28/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

375ml bottle

A: Cloudy, yellow-orange. Comes out hypercarbonated (yep, a gusher). Giant, egg-shaped head, with huge elliptical bubbles like you see on freshly fermenting beer. Once it settles down, virtually no head. But the color is nice.

S: Fairly typical farmhouse funk with a hint of spice on the nose. Smells cloudy, if that makes sense.

T: Complex farmhouse with a lot of layers. Coriander on the finish and a little bit of sourdough. Easily the strength of the beer.

M: Nearly flat, given the gushing earlier. Basically a good saison body gone a little bad.

O: I assume I got a below-par bottle here. Given how much I loved the My Antonia from Borgo, I would still recommend trying anything they make. This one I would approach with caution, particularly if you're not a saison-lover.

drgarage, Feb 03, 2012
Photo of DaveHS
3.93/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

DaveHS, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of MaineMike
2.5/5  rDev -30.2%

MaineMike, Dec 18, 2011
Photo of pixieskid
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not real sure about it being a Saison...but hey, I guess that works.

Pours a dark orange with a nice white head.
Aroma: Floral and a hint of spice.
Taste: Herbal and floral notes with a hint of citrus; lemon peel. There's a lingering yeasty overtone throughout that creates an overall rustic vibe...guess that Saison styling is coming into play.
Finishes with a zesty herbal note and a suggestion of elderberries?!?!

Overall; unique and interesting, exactly what I was hoping for.

pixieskid, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of HopStoopid120
4/5  rDev +11.7%

HopStoopid120, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +11.7%

JAHMUR, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of SpeedwayJim
2.4/5  rDev -33%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

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.

SpeedwayJim, Sep 17, 2011
Duchessa from Birra Del Borgo
80 out of 100 based on 52 ratings.