Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Birra Etrusca Bronze

Birra Etrusca Bronze is an ancient ale brewed by Dogfish Head.  It is based on an 8th century B.C. recipe from the region of Italy now known as Tuscany then known as Etruria.  

A chemical analysis was performed on 2,800 year old drinking vessels found in Etruscan tombs and that's how Dogfish Head developed the recipe that includes honey, hazelnut flour, heirloom wheat, myrrh, gentian root, raisins, pomegranate juice and pomegranates.  

Italy is known for its love of wine.  Apparently, ancient Italians loved their beer!

Birra Etrusca Bronze (8.5% ABV) pours a lush golden mahogany with a medium density cream colored head that fizzles to a wisp of foam that swirls around the top of the glass.  The 

The aroma is intense and complicated.  Sweet honey, wheat, spices and fruit prevail but there are other subtle scents that waft forth, as well.

It's not surprising  but the taste is unlike any other beer and very difficult to explain.  Birra Etrusca Bronze is something to be experienced.

The first thing I tasted was the wheat but honey and fruit immediately takes over; the tang of pomegranate,  the deepness of dried fruit and the intense sweetness of honey. The spices add a whole new level of complexity - the anise-like essance of myrrh and the bittering gentian root.  And then there is a subtle nuttiness attributable to the hazelnut flour.  The finish is . . . uhm . . . odd.  Not in a bad way, just different.  But there is a lingering bitterness - is it hops or the gentian root?

The mouthfeel light to medium with good carbonation.  

This is a unique beer.  Probably not for a beer novice but someone who appreciates a craft brew should appreciate it. I did.  I actually liked it.

Overall: very good.

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