Duchessic Ale | Birra Del Borgo

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106 Reviews
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Duchessic AleDuchessic Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Birra Del Borgo
Italy | website

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.90%

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.

Added by ATPete on 11-01-2009

BEER STATS
Reviews:
106
Ratings:
338
Avg:
4.14
pDev:
16.18%
 
 
Wants:
61
Gots:
49
For Trade:
5
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Reviews: 106 | Ratings: 338
Photo of ShogoKawada
4.02/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

33cl bottle from Nikki's, 10.49+tax. Poured into my new Chimay goblet.

A- A mild, slightly hazy rusty sunshine yellow with little to no head... expected as I poured this slow as to leave the yeast for the second pour. Nice, dense bubble formation at the edges... this beer looks tasty.

S- Interesting... the lambic is noticeable in the nose. Leather/wet-dog/medicinal funk smell. Cherry/pineapple/green apple sweetness.

T- Interesting. Hard funky first shot. Not nearly as sweet as the nose would suggest. Mild pear, a faint grassiness, and a sharpness from the funk which is quite tasty. WOW... 2nd pour with the yeast puts this one in another level. Funk and fruit are multiplied... tart apple is ever-so-fleeting. very tasty! This is an interesting blend... not in-your-face, but pretty tasty, indeed.

M- Sharp, drying, and really complex. Beyond my tongue, I think... but I know I enjoy it!

D- Moderate... tasty, interesting, and unique... a bit too expensive to have a couple of these, but I enjoyed this for sure!

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Photo of MasterSki
4.01/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased this on a whim at Crown Liquors in Carmel. Figured that anything containing Cantillon lambic was worth a try. The fill level on my bottle was right up to the cap, and when the cap came off we had a slow gusher. Served in a wine glass.

A - Big soapy foam that eventually settles to a thick, chunky, cap and leaves behind lots of lacework. The body is a hazy peach color.

S - Stone fruits, hay, floral and grassy, a touch of honey. This is definitely way on the Saison side as opposed to the lambic side, with only a bit of brett character present.

T - This is a musty Saison in the Fantôme vein. Grapeskins, peaches, light grain/wheat and pilsner malt? Hops (or something) provides hay and grass flavors. Not particularly sour, just very earthy and lightly funky and leathery.

M - Moderate carbonation, medium-light body. The finish is quite clean and leaves behind light residual stickiness.

D - This is quite easy to drink, and could serve as a less strong session alternate to Fantôme. I'd like to see the wild lambic flavors come out a bit more, but at nearly a year they're still quite muted. Probably should have had this before the Wadesda #1 instead of after.

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

My 1000th beer review!!!!!!! Hit the big four digits! Had a wonderful day spending time with my family, enjoying a little rainy autumn weather, and snuggling with the kiddo with a movie and the fireplace crackling, seems like a great day for great beer.

A: A very hazy grapefruit yellow in color, with a very small white head on top that rapidly turns from frog eyes to a ring around the glass.

S: Sour tartness right away, but definitely an interesting grain thing going in there, almost a touch spicy. There is a touch of funk in the finish..

T: Tart and lively. Crisp acidity, light fruit, and some good citrus notes, finishes slightly herbal.

M: Light, with moderate carbonation, and a fairly dry finish.

O: Overall light, crisp, refreshing, with a wonderful tartness to keep you sipping.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

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

Bottle date 07 2013 which I assume is the best by date?

Pours a hazy translucent bright golden color with a super large tight bubbly white head with good retention and some soapy lacing.

Aromas begin with dry, musty earthy pilsner malt. Then I get some hay, straw and lesser wheat maltiness as it warms a little more. Some raw stone fruit flesh and granny smith apple emerges more as it warms.

The tastes begin with the same stone fruits and green apple, mixed with straw, hay, floral and grassy mild funkiness. As it warms I get some of the Saison yeasty spice, with a drying bit of funky yeast notes. Slight bit of honey sweetness emerges as it warms.

Mouthfeel is light bodied with high amounts of palate cleaning carbonation. High carbonation and Belgian Saison/Brett yeast lends to a dry finish.

Overall this was an interesting hybrid Belgian style which I thoroughly enjoyed on this warm evening. None of the flavors are too overpowering and work well with each other in a nice harmonious balance of spicy Saison and funky lambic.

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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 HopHead84
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received in a trade with jleblanc and consumed on 10/31/2009. The beer pours an interesting, vibrant, and hazy peach orange. I didn't let this settle more than a day before I opened it so the haze is likely my fault. The head is one finger, fizzy, and white. Retention is decent.

I was very interested in this beer when I first heard about it, and then I learned it was a one year lambic in the blend and my expectations dropped a bit. I'm immediately greeted by the signature wet leather that alerts me to Brett's presence. The citrus is prominent in the form of orange and lemon. Wheat notes are strong, and I detect subtle lactic notes as well as some yeast character. I get neither alcohol nor hops in the aroma.

The flavor opens up with a low level of lactic sourness with a little tartness, segueing into citrus wheat. The orange notes are almost tangy, and Brett is again present in a subtle form, imparting mustiness. The finish exhibits low lactic sourness with lingering citrus. The beer is light bodied with a lower level of carbonation.

This is interesting stuff that I can't help but think will improve with a bit of age. Recommended.

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark gold w/ minimal head that gave off minor head that died quick w/ lace. Nose and taste are the same; semi-sweet w/ a good touch of fruit like citrus and tart cherry although not so much tartness in this at all. Easy to drink w/ a crisp finish.

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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 jaasen64
4/5  rDev -3.4%

A- Opens with a loud hiss but not gushing. Pours a clear golden color with a 4-5 finger white frothy head that doesn't recede (4)

S- Definitely get the spelt and lambic which blend nicely together with the lambic adding just a touch of funkiness to the spelt. Backround aromas of clean saison yeast, light spices that blend with the spelt, and a clean profile. Nicely done (4.25)

T- Spelt and lambic again intertwine nicely. Flavors of spelt, hints of peppercorn, light lambic funk, saison yeast, and clean profile come out. The lambic blends nicely, a little bit of age might not hurt to let it come out a bit more too (4)

M- Very fizzy and highly carbonated, light and very drinkable, finishes a bit on the dry side. I suggest letting this sit for about 10-15 minutes to let the fizziness settle a bit (3.5)

O- This was a nice beer that I'm glad I picked up a bottle of. My only complaint was that it was a little bit overcarbonated, but that was solved by letting it sit for 10-15 minutes to settle. Might be worth aging this for a bit to let the lambic come out a little bit more, but it's drinking fairly well right now (4)

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Photo of zeledonia
3.99/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.99/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

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Photo of kbrown
3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.97/5  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.

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Photo of craytonic
3.97/5  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.

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Photo of John_M
3.96/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

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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 Thorpe429
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

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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 nickd717
3.83/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

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Photo of seaoflament
3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
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

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Photo of yankeepride
3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

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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 brewcrew76
3.73/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

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Photo of emerge077
3.68/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Served at 55º into a tulip glass. Back label stamped 07 2013.
Sharp hiss and an erupting violent gush... should've chilled it overnight, lost 1/3 of the bottle >_>

Murky and opaque pastel orange, with a dense, charged head of soapy white foam. In the meniscus of the glass was a miniature galaxy of suspended sediment. Arcs of sticky lace adhere to the glass as the beer is sipped. Swirling the glass quickly regenerates an inch of dense white foam.

Initial smell was of acidic bile, and a bit rank to be honest. Later it became less harsh, more sweet and tempered with notes of wet hay.

Sweet and tart citrus flavors, dry oak tannins in the finish. Peach or lemon-lime SweeTarts candy wafers. Lots of acidity and very effervescent, almost overly so. Some wet hay and gauze from the Brett yeast. There's a fine line of balance to walk here, and it seems slightly out of harmony here. Lacks complexity also, and comes across like middle of the road wild ales from the US.

Maybe if it was chilled overnight and settled, it would make a slight difference, but for the price, give me Cantillon anyday. Doesn't really seem to be much of an innovation, was hoping for more, especially with Cantillon involved.

Review #2400

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Duchessic Ale from Birra Del Borgo
92 out of 100 based on 106 ratings.
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