Duchessa | Birra Del Borgo

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31 Reviews
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DuchessaDuchessa
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Birra Del Borgo
Italy
birradelborgo.it

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by bishopdc0 on 08-22-2011

BEER STATS
Reviews:
31
Ratings:
82
Avg:
3.69
pDev:
10.57%
 
 
Wants:
2
Gots:
16
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 31 | Ratings: 82
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.03/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Birra Del Borgo "Duchessa"
on tap @ Open Baladin, Roma, Italia on 29 November 2015
€5 / glass

Notes: Mostly clear (it's unfiltered) golden-amber beneath a short head of creamy white. Good retention with better than average lacing. Aroma is yeasty, fruity (lemon, apricot, orange), and gently floral and spicy. The flavor displays sweetish malt with brighter citrus and a stronger spiciness that includes black pepper and some herbal character. This is a spelt beer but I don't really find that. It's bready, and sweetish, and perhaps a bit honeyish and then subtly tart and slightly woody but it's hard to tell what's coming from where. It's firmly bitter and the malt over-rides it at first, but the spice and subtle acidity help to balance it and bring it to a dry, peppery, and herbal finish. Medium to medium-light in body with a very fine-bubbled, delicately effervescent carbonation. Pleasant and enjoyable, it's actually more basic than it sounds here.

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Photo of Everydayoff
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On-tap served in a stemmed glass at Mikkeller Bangkok.

L:
Slight hazy golden orange in color, it tops with thick creamy head that stays with decent retention before sinking to some bubble film atop and leaving lots of lacing patch on the glass-side.

S:
Funky, peppery, floral, light honey, fruity yeast in kind of banana, pineapple, orange, and tropical fruit. Bread and biscuit malt in the background.

T:
Some sourness and tartness in the lead, then it is some funkiness and fruitiness of lime, orange, and pineapple. Some peppery spice in the middle together with a little sweet bready malt undertone. Hop is a bit hidden with some earthy touch.

F:
Medium body, crisp with lively carbonation, rather smooth mouthfeel, very dry finish.

O:
Pretty good Saison, no ground-breaking.

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Photo of SABERG
4.04/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a recently purchased 11.2 oz undated bottle into the modified tulip glass.
A - Satin wood yellow, huge carbonation, aggressive, cap is white and towering.
S - Musty, lemon rind, and dusty basement. Cut flowers and a bit of honey. Really nice.
T - Semi sweet grains, a bit of cheese rind, and again hints of must, calcium and salinity.
M - Stays in a narrow band, cheese rind, and marmalade.
O - So glad to have tried this, Similar to Blaugies spelt saison.
Worth seeking out

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Photo of stevoj
3.33/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

11.1 oz (33cl)Bottle from Boise Co-op. Poured into Duvel tulip, lazy carbonation, suspended particulates, thickish body. Deep golden cloudy pour, smallest of heads. Floral herbal aroma, some cheese, some mustiness. Graininess in the taste, close to a witbier, but I think it is the alternate grain (spelt) which is driving this beer's character. I've had this style before in Germany. spelt is an ancient food grain.

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Photo of GrumD
4.39/5  rDev +19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Love this funky, earthy but quaffable beer. It's nose is filled with spice and straw and the initial taste hints at yeast and farmyard. Fruit comes through in a subtle but pleasant finish.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.99/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

cant get enough of the italian stuff right now, even if it is stupidly expensive. this stuff is cool, a slightly funky spelt based beer that has a lot of body for how low the abv is, finishes a little sweet, and has a very unique old world sort of yeast profile. cloudy and viscous for a lighter beer, honey colored, rich looking, although the white lace head cant stand up for more than a minute or two. the nose has a lot of funk, almost wine yeast or something tangy and mildly acidic in this, but its no where near sour, or even approaching the level of duchessic in that regard. the spelt adds a sweet and spicy complexion to the finish, like a rounder bolder rye flavor, really nice in such a well carbonated and yeast driven beer. i have not had nearly enough beers from these guys, but every single one i try is unique and impressive. i think i like the duchessic better, just a little more going on there, but this one is subtle genius.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Another new beer at Liquor Shed.

A big foamer, once it settles down, I see a slightly hazy golden brew.

The smell has all sorts of things going on. Tropical fruit, banana, almost a barnyard aroma. Can I say sweet and sour?

It tastes like it smells. Tropical fruit both sweet and sour, earthy, and now peppery. So different but I like.

Medium body and carbonation.

As Sargeant Schultz would say, very interesting.

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Photo of JaimeLondon
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%

Italian saison made with farro (something similar to wheat).
It has a dim, hazy and a bit dark ocher color and a nice whitey foam that makes big bubbles.
Smell and taste are extremely malty with some sourness, combined with bitterness, in the end. Some fruit tones are present, specially peach. I also could feel some plum.
Earthy and spicy tones (some cloves, for example - and the easiest to distinguish) are present and gives a saison tone to the beer. Some wheat tones, combined to the spicy ones also gives a witbier sensation, I think that's really nice.
About the mouthfeel.. body and carbonation are at high level, there's a really small efervescence.
Yeah, this beer is nice. But I expected more...

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Photo of chogm54
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

700ml bottle, poured into flute glass.

A- golden, pours a foamy white head about 1cm thick. Clear, but with many fine particles that remain suspended.

S- sweet malts with a hint of lemon.

T- earthy, grassy flavours and sweet malts with a sour tinge apparent the whole way through. There are strong sour citrus flavours coming in halfway through. More lime than lemon.


M- feels more heavy than it looks, lively carbonation, acidic finish.

O- zesty lively beer that would be great with food. It does feel a bit heavy though.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of janubio
3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.49/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of doktorhops
3.92/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of metter98
3.67/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

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.

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Photo of mick303
3.97/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.52/5  rDev +22.5%
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.

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.56/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

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Photo of allouez86
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

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Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.44/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

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Photo of Beerenauslese
4/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.4/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

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Photo of GONZALOYANNA
3.12/5  rDev -15.4%
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.

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Photo of drpimento
4.13/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

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Photo of seand
3.8/5  rDev +3%
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.

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Duchessa from Birra Del Borgo
3.69 out of 5 based on 82 ratings.
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