Genziana - Birra Del Borgo

Not Rated.
GenzianaGenziana

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BA SCORE
85
very good

30 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 30
Hads: 48
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 9.42%
Wants: 7
Gots: 2 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Birra Del Borgo visit their website
Italy

Style | ABV
Herbed / Spiced Beer |  6.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: paulthebeerguru on 04-20-2008

No notes at this time.
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Reviews: 30 | Hads: 48
Photo of GRG1313
3.79/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ale brewed with gentian. Cloudy amber with a very firm, thick white head.

Nose of assertive fresh peaches and apricots; assertive candi sugar and a rich sweet floral nose.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and lightly creamy. Good texture and a quality feel.

A very well balanced and integrated beer of malty, stone fruit and light coffee with underlying and light citrus hop.

Pleasant light grapefruit finish that starts malty and with coffee and then goes to the bitter grapefruit and espresso. (497 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

i continue to just love exploring all the crazy italian beer out there, even though i hate the prices. borgo is up and down for me, but i like this one a whole lot. pale ale type brewed with gentian root or gentian flower, which i am not overly familiar with, but its definitely woody and earthy, and i know it has some cool healing powers. cloudy and pretty dull looking golden greenish beige color. the head is upbeat though, carbonation like champagne apparently, and a very cool nose. lots of little meadow flowers i get, little buttercups and queen ann's lace and that sort of thing, not overly floral in a perfume way, but definitely blooming and pollenated and all of that. i get an almost ginger spice to it too, more mellow, more galangal root or something, subtle but distinct. the flavor has all of that too. its weirdly hoppy, like bitter but stale or fading or something, not sure how much time is on this bottle. the herbal part of it, the gentian, is a major success, its delicious, but the hops aspect is strange, and the yeast that usually flatters these beers seems intrusive and not delicate enough for what else is happening. fun beer, cool idea, probably better on draft, hope to one day find out. worth buying even for the steep price (1,256 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
3.23/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured out looking much like a pilsner or a pale lager, it's got a clear yellowish color with a fizzy white head on top. The smell of the beer is a little floral and herbal, with that grassy pilsner aroma in there too. The taste of the beer is grainy and has a light amount of herbal spice in there. The mouthfeel is light and crisp with a dry feeling in the background. Overall this brew is decent in my opinion. I struggle to find anything really impressive with this brew. (485 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a small, interesting bottle (a 12.7 fluid ounce green glass Champagne bottle) that's capped with a plastic liner and then covered with a green plastic capsule.

Genziana, or gentiana, in case you weren't aware, is a flowering plant that is noted for its healing properties (by Pliny the Elder, nonetheless); and is used in "bitters" and herbal liquors.

It pours a fairly clear golden body until the yeast is roused, and then it takes on a bit more of an orange cast as it becomes a bit hazy. The creamy bright-white head holds remarkably well, and it leaves some very interesting streaks of lace that seem to throw themselves up into the air about the glass.

The aroma is grassy and herbal with a floral side, and a bit of citrus, kind of like lemon grass. There's also a hint of woodiness that reminds me of very soft cedar; and perhaps a drizzle of honey and some basement mustiness as well. A hint of yeasty chalkiness is present to boot. It's intriguing, but not necessarily enticing, although the thread of tartness and mustiness catches my attention.

The flavor follows suit, and it opens quite a bit as it warms. In fact, I find it so different from start to finish that for this beer I'd suggest opening it and nipping at it cold before giving it a few moments to warm up. The floral character of the gentian really comes out, and the herbal side softens. The grassiness remains, as does the hint of lemon, along with the soft woody spiciness. Which brings me to the finish, which is surprisingly dry and quick. There's a little dollop of lemon-drop and honey right off, and then what's left behind is a touch cedary, spicy, floral, and grassy - but it's not really bold at all, and it simply slips quietly away. Somewhere across the middle there's a mild slice of tartness (and in a way that's kind of needed for balance - along with the herbal character - as the bitterness is kept at a minimum), and that really rounds it out and pulls it into focus at the same time before finishing.

Impressive. It's a really interesting and complex beer, and yet it appears almost simple, and very drinkable as well. It reminds me in many ways of a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand (with much less grapefruit - well, no grapefruit), or even a vinho verde, and I think white wine drinkers would really enjoy this. Worth trying! Probably worth seeking out! (2,361 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.7 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a cloudy amber with a full white head. Good, full covering lace. Bunch of floaties, but that partially my fault.

S: IPA like, a lot of peach, tangerine and wood. Citrusy. Herbal notes.

T: Lots of citrus, orange fruity hop character. Some strong cedar like spicy hops on the back end. Malt is very timid, offering some sourdough bread sweetness at times, but allowing the hops and the gentian take over.

M: Smooth, creamy with a nice grassy, resiny aftertaste.

D: This is a wonderful little beer. It is definitely overpriced at $9.99 for the little bottle, but I was intrigued and in the end am glad I bought it. Well made and tasty. (663 characters)

Photo of corby112
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy golden-orange color with a huge foamy off-white head. Aroma consists of citrus peel, grapefruit and flowers. There is a nice malty balance to the citrus peel/ fruit presence. Very quaffable and sweet with a smooth, hoppy floral finish. (250 characters)

Photo of John_M
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours a solid gold color with good head retention and considerable lacing. Don't get a whole lot on the nose, but what's there is atractive enough. In this case, I get light honey, some ice tea flavor and maybe some light sour. The flavor profile is a bit better, but basically replicates the nose. There's some intial light sweetness, but the finish is fairly dry. Mouthfeel is fairly light, though the beer delivers a fair amount of flavor, and it finishes well. Alcohol is pretty much unnoticeable.

Mehhh... this is an OK beer, but there's nothing about it that would make me want to order it again. (636 characters)

Photo of aasher
4.07/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was a 375ml bottle, shared with two fellow BAs. It poured a light bodied bright orange with a light white head which laced the glass. The aromas and flavors were a mix of a boatload of citrus fruits, tea leaves, some unidentified spice (at least to my senses), orange peels, clove, and some light esters. The flavor was basically a bouquet of oranges, tangerines, lemon, grapefruit, and apricot. This is one quaffable beer. It assaults your sense of smell with euphoria. The best thing is, it somehow got better as it warmed a little. The mouthfeel was a little light but just find. It kind of made it even more drinkable. This beer is 6.2% but you'd never know there is any alcohol at all. If this wasn't so expensive, like 10.99 per bottle, then it would make a great spring and summer time session beer. I definitely recommend it if you want to try something new and something different. (895 characters)

Photo of avalon07
3.38/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a golden yellow color and a slightly cloudy consistency. There was a quarter inch of foamy head that quickly dissipated. OK lacing.

S: Had a very herbal smell, with strong dose of malt as well.

T: There was a slight herbal quality to the flavor, though it was mild and not overly medicinal. There was also a big malty presence, but after that it was a bit on the thin side. Not a very dynamic flavor.

M: A well carbonated beer with a somewhat slick finish. Light-bodied.

D: Not an undrinkable beer, but not very memorable either. (578 characters)

Photo of clayrock81
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a light gold with good head on light smell beer; airy hops with minor spices and very little malts. A lighter-bodied, smooth beer that is sweet with some spice and mellow hops. Balance between mellow sweet malt and some grainy, citric hops and spice. Finishes easy and is a good summer beer. (298 characters)

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.52/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours gold with a small head.
Nose shows floral, herbal and soft fruity notes (apples, pears). Underneath is very faint honey and bready malt.
Very floral flavours too, with what is presumably the gentian taking centre stage. Underneath is bready malt, honey and spicy hops.
Carbonation is nicely high. (302 characters)

Photo of Suds
3.76/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So, this beer is made with spices and the roots of Gentian flowers (Moxie?). It's a nice looking brew, with a large and stable head. Beautiful and very stable lace. The smell is average, a little very light (pils?) malt and some distant herbal hops. Average. The taste, though, makes up for the lack of a good smell. It's sweet, herbal, spicy, and pretty complex. Mild pepper, ginger, and malt. Lots of spice flavors swirl around the taste. Nice. The beer is full bodied and very smooth. Great craft beer. (505 characters)

Photo of StJamesGate
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours cloudy amber yellow with carpet of white foam that doesn't lace, just fades to film. Nose is deep honey malts and a fresh outdoorsy herbal scent. Mango syrup malts, a white pepper hit, banana esters, lemony hops and a Galliano bitter tang. Long citrus candy linger. Medium, chewy, round, slight burn.

Herbs, hops and yeast add up to quite a bitter package - drinks like a BSPA. Impressed again by the depth of flavor in this Italian brewer, and how it can feel so round and chewy but finish relatively clean. Still, too sweet and too much going on to be very quaffable - again, feel like it needs food. (610 characters)

Photo of hopdog
3.37/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle shared courtesy of Josh.

Poured a medium yellow color with a small sized white head. Lots of suspended floaters. Aromas of floralness, a bar of soap, minty, and bready. Tastes of herbalness, green tea, soap, and floral. To sum this one up - different.

Notes from 4/16/08 (280 characters)

Photo of msubulldog25
3.82/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Found this bottle at Saraveza several months back; it's been tucked in the back of the fridge ever since. Opened today during a lunch of mostly Italian cheeses and meats (appropriate), poured to a pair of tulip glasses.

'ale brewed with gentian', 6.1% alc. vol./12.7 fl. oz.

A: Shows a little bit of age with a few floating yeast flecks, but is otherwise golden and nearly clear. Steady carbonation and a short white creamy head. Little lace, only a few speckles.

S: Enticing floral aroma: honey, pears, apples. Tingling spices, a little peppery dry.

T: Salted biscuit dryness, with a covering of ground, dusty spices. Hard to figure out: it's sometimes peppery, a little bark, chalky, apple skins, citrus pith, sweeter lemon. General flavor is earthy, a bit soapy/perfumed but with a balance of honey/malt sweetness.

M: Quite smooth, a mild carbonation. A little thin, but a nice building/lasting spice zest.

D: Yep, it's an interesting brew. Strikes me a bit like a spiced version of a good American Pale Ale: similar malt qualities, hop balancing with the addition of 'gentian'. Worthy a try. (1,101 characters)

Photo of CHickman
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at Birreria, the Eataly NYC rooftop brewery and bar on Tuesday 7/26/2011; bottle said it’s brewed with gentian root.

Pours cloudy orange in color with a massive bubbly 2 finger beige head that faded slowly and left great spotty lacing and a creamy layer on top; tons of bubbles race up the beer.

Smells of citrus hops, herbs, sweet malt, grains, yeast, faint brown sugar, grass, floral hops, flowers and light spices.

Tastes of citrus hops, herbs, sweet malt, grains, yeast, light lemon, caramel, faint brown sugar, grass, hay, floral hops, flowers, spices and something that's funky and hard to determine (gentian root possibly?). It's like a malty, sweet Belgian that goes down easy, very easy in fact, especially on a hot summer evening.

Mouthfeel is creamy and slick, with little to no carbonation, a medium body and sweet dry aftertaste and finish. A very tasty beer that went down easy and could be a session beer; would also pair quite well with a fish dish. I recommend trying this beer. (1,009 characters)

Photo of Cylinsier
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12+ oz.

Pours a medium brownish amber, hazy, with an off-white head.

Smells floral sweetness and some herbal notes, kind of saison-like with grassy malt elements.

Tastes of mildly sweet malts with some grassy elements, some honey sweetness, and a herbal touch like oregano.

Medium to full body with soft carbonation.

A nice ale, something like a Belgian pale ale, and very enjoyable. Good flavor and good body for a lower abv. I would love to have this again. (466 characters)

Photo of augustgarage
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 375mL bottle into my Drie Fonteinen tumbler.

Golden poppy liquid, brilliant clarity, and two fingers of rocky ivory foam. Good retention, thick merengue-like lacing.

Lightly fruity, very slightly floral, and lager-like aromas.

The violets contribute a surprising amount of sweetness to the flavor profile, although this is balanced by pale malt and a biscuity minerality. Finishes medium-dry and vaguely spicy. Comes across as an ale-based cocktail in some ways.

Very smooth and rather slick mouth-feel.

The low ABV makes this one go down quickly, though it could use some tartness or perhaps more hops to balance the gentian and sugars. Very unique none the less, and worth trying though I wouldn't buy it again considering the price (the story of so many Italian craft beers stateside). (811 characters)

Photo of Patrick999
3.86/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Quite the interesting beer. Fancy Italian 750ml bottle. Really loud pop when I finally wrestled the cap off, followed by some gushing that would not quit. Clumpy, lumpy foam poured frantically into my snifter. Even after I poured, it still bubbled out the top. Take care, fellow BAs, this beer is alive. Clumpy Houblon Chouffe-type head, with yellow gold body.

Smells very flowery. I'd be inclined to call this a saison if I didn't know any better. That has to be the gentian coming through. It's a "different" nose. Probably not going to be something you've smelled a lot of before. Flowery, with a little sweaty-sock funk. So far, saison is still looking pretty good.

Taste? Like wildflower honey. It has a sweet honey background, with just a little tart, and a heady herbal presence I would really struggle to identify if I didn't know it was gentian.

Even though it looked over-carbonated coming out of the bottle, this is a very soft, luxurious beer. It has a silky mouthfeel.

I shared the 750ml bottle at Abraxas. It's very good, but the residual sweetness would get to me after a while, if you forced me to drink the big bottle by myself. The smaller bottles would be fine, but if you get the 750, bring it to a tasting. Excellent beer to bring to a beer-geek tasting. (1,283 characters)

Photo of timtim
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Saison spiced with gentian. Cool. Hazy, burnt white gold with a white head that holds very well and leaves pretty lace. Nose is floral, fruity, (tangerine, peach, raspberry) slightly musty and maybe a touch woody (cedary? comes out a lot as it warms. really nice touch whatever it is). Taste is delivered on a soft coton candy body, and it's well balanced, slightly sweet and even a bit minerally like a white wine. Notes of pepper and ginger pop up too as well as a touch of bitter lemon coming through in the finish, which is long and luscious. this is an extremely complex, yet refreshing beer that goes down way too easy. (625 characters)

Photo of nick76
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The aroma is floral, malty, citrusy, and spicy. The appearance is orange gold with a huge head! The flavor is like the aroma with a touch of sourness. The palate is a little thin but smooth. Overall I like it but its unusual. This is just one of those that defies typical classification. (287 characters)

Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Kickbacks in Jax, poured into a Unibroue tulip. One inch, thin white head floats on a golden body. Aroma is earthy and funky with hints of Belgian saison yeast and maybe I can pick up on the gentian notes. Taste is much like a belgian saison with plenty of earthy notes but with a softness to the sour that should make this more palatable to American saison drinkers or to the average American palate without diving head-first into some Belgian-style farmhouse funk. Very interesting Italian offering from a pretty cool Italian micro. (544 characters)

Photo of paulthebeerguru
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Genziana
750 mL

A: snifter. golden yellow color with a solid white head. decent retention, faint lacing. tons of sediment.

S: tons of citrus and berries. very yeasty. some slight sour notes as well.

T: very smooth flavors, no sours at all which was rather shocking from the aroma. definitely some spices thrown in this. almost tastes like how some flowers smell, like lilies. some citrus but very faint.

M: smooth and mellow. not as crisp as I thought it would be. high carbonation level, but still smooth.

D: very drinkable, but the big bottle can get old after a while. A good beer to share, but a full one is a little tiring. (645 characters)

Photo of trbergman
3.27/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a 375mL bottle into a Hennepin flute. Jesus! As soon as I cracked it open the bottle started spewing foam and wouldn't stop. I think I lost about a third of the bottle.

Appearance - Cloudy and amber in color with a speckled tan head that starts off huge and slowly settles down to about a finger. Chunky, with a lot of sediment.

Smell - Lavender, violets, lemon zest.

Taste - Gentle and sweet, balanced by herbal zestiness.

Mouthfeel - Soft and creamy. This could be because of the aforementioned spewing.

Drinkability - Not something I really want to drink much of. (583 characters)

Photo of shleepy
3.18/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served from bottle (bought at K&L in Redwood City, CA) into wine glasses.

A: Orange / light amber; very hay and full of sediment; medium white head.

S: Herby, spicy, floral, sweet.

T: Herby bitterness mixed with decent amount of caramel sweetness. Pretty interesting, but I wish it was drier. Sweetness stays in aftertaste.

M: Low-ish carbonation, medium body.

O: As usual with very "heavily spiced" beers, it's moderately complex and interesting, but not the kind of experience that I'd want to often repeat. (514 characters)

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Genziana from Birra Del Borgo
85 out of 100 based on 30 ratings.