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Verdi Imperial Stout - Birrificio Del Ducato

Not Rated.
Verdi Imperial StoutVerdi Imperial Stout

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BA SCORE
89
very good

103 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 103
Hads: 256
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 8.27%
Wants: 31
Gots: 17 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Birrificio Del Ducato visit their website
Italy

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  8.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Crosling on 06-11-2008

No notes at this time.
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Reviews: 103 | Hads: 256
Photo of Altenor
4.17/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Not always do two of my passions coincide, beer and opera. So I couldn't let it pass and had to try it.

A: Dark brown with hints of red brick with a big billowing creamy tan head. Not a common color but interesting. I would say it's the result of the peppers that were used.

S: Hazelnuts, leather, roasted barley, milk chocolate, vanilla, and a hint of spicy peppers. Really dig the smell. Some sweetness too but everything is very subtle and delicate.

T: Lots of hazelnut and only a little of the hot feeling of the peppers. I also get some minerals in the middle of the palate but then the sweetness and spiciness follow in the finish. Very interesting brew for sure. All the flavors are pretty balanced. Very well made. I also get some smokiness. Complex and more leaning towards the sweet side which is good in order to balance the peppers.

M: Feels very smooth and creamy. A little sticky and full bodied. Goes down really well and love the feeling of the peppers, probably because I am Mexican. It reminds me of chipotle chiles with the smoke profile or of spicy Mole with roasted nuts and chocolate flavors.

O: Wasn't expecting a great brew from this. I was mostly interested in the concept of being brewed in honor of G. Verdi, one of the best opera composers of all times. Happy to have tried it and will definitely seek out another bottle. More and more the Italian breweries are getting my attention. Try it if you can! (1,439 characters)

Photo of Proteus93
4.17/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Essentially black, with a little hint of brown around the edges... a little more cola-coloured, really, with a sandy brown head that pulls back to leave a little collar of lace that lasts throughout. Lacing is quite minimal, but there are little spots of it here and there.

S + T: Chocolate is quite heavy, both on the nose and in flavour. There is a cookie-like taste that I pick up on, kind of reminding me of an experience had with Terrapin's Wake'n'Bake once upon a time. There appears to be a very soft smokiness in the aroma which I do not detect so much on the palate. Rather sweet, really... the chocolate notes aren't really the standard unsweetened dark chocolate, but rather like a chocolate chip or something a little lighter. There's a smooth scent of malts floating around, as well, which make for a nice touch. I had forgotten that this beer was brewed with chilis until I started to note the mouthfeel and noticed the little kick right on the finish. It doesn't really stand out at all, and most certainly not until it has some time to breathe and warm to an appropriate temperature. Once it comes out, though, it's a very nice touch. The more it sits, the more notable that becomes.

M + D: Smooth and somewhat creamy feeling, followed by just a little bit of a spicy kick as it finishes. Nothing intense... it's modest and pleasant. Quite a tasty stout, really, and nothing out the roof in terms of alcohol - at least as far as big stouts go. An enjoyable beer that I would look forward to again. (1,520 characters)

Photo of Khazadum
4.17/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Beer gives its presence known with a bit of gusto. Solid retention time with many miniature bubbles creating the appearance of a solid mass, but its a falsehood. It actually is interesting formation of a two phase system. We have tiny bubbles stagnant on the bottom holding up a singular mass of cream. Coloration is that of a sienna brown. Low amount of carbonation viewed from the edges in this inky darkness. Not too much going on in terms of perpetuating the mass. There is a good amount of sticky lacing as the froth recedes.

S- Perfect amount of roasted grain. Its the aroma of baking bread wafting from the oven throughout the house. Following that is a tad bit of the acrid nature of burnt grains bringing it full circle to the heat of the chili. Light spicy nature like smelling too close to a jalapeno. Brings a bit of zesty chili spice to memory as well.

Maybe some cocoa, not exactly sure if that is the sweet nature or not. Could be a false aroma.

T- Opens with a moderate hit of roasted and mostly burnt grain. Quickly fades away to the middle where the true monster lies. A quick burst of chili heat that never corrupts the flavors. It doesn't burn, it doesn't saturate, it doesn't overwhelm. It is how chili is designed to be in a stout. As this slowly fizzles the finish perks up which is almost entirely chocolate. Awesome hit on the end of milk chocolate, sweetness, and chili memories. Not the spice or heat, just the flavor of a chili pepper. Great work on this.

M- Undercarbonated. It truly needs more carbonation. It has a medium build, but that is because it is a tad syrupy at times. The finish is great with lingering potentials. Thin sometimes, and for an 8% I wasn't really overwhelmed with alcoholic characteristics at all.

D- I like this beer a lot. It has some errors in the tactile areas, but it hit a solid double for smell and taste. I wonder how it would have been if it was much fresher. I never stopped drinking it. As it warmed, it began to get sweeter and sweeter. Reminding me more and more of a milk stout with a lactose sweetness rather than sucrose or malt. (2,111 characters)

Photo of ATPete
4.17/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Unique bottle.

Verdi Imperial Stout pours a very deep brown color with a small brown head. Coffee beans, vanilla and chocolate boom from the nose. Roasty and solid all the way through the quaff, some light alcohol heat and a slow creeping spiciness from the chilies very late on the finish. Awesome. I loved this one, must try from fans of imperial stouts and chili peppers. The food pairings with this beer are endless. (421 characters)

Photo of RuudJH
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Actually my first encounter with an Italian beer. Quite expensive at my local store, but as there are only few Imperial stouts available here anyway, I decided to try it .
Coffee, roasted nuts, a little chocolate, a bit of ash even. Taste is bittersweet, as there is some caramel.
Very simlar to the guinness special export stout, but I'm searching for dark fruits. They're hard to find, unfortunately.
Smooth mouthfeel. This is a robust beer. Well balanced.
Overall i think it's a good beer, just it could be more complex and diverse. (535 characters)

Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love Italy; unfortunately, I haven’t tried too many beers from there. Let’s hope this export stout is as gorgeous as its home country...

A: An enormously thick pour; the body looks like some sort of delicious chocolate sludge. A thick brown head bubbles just as slowly and deliberately-muddy as the body, sitting at an inch and a half before becoming a bold layer of wet retention. Lacing is oily and sparse.

S: Chocolaty and thick, though in a relaxed, earthy way. Mild vanilla and buttery aromas are in play, only adding to that forward fudgy profile; not a discernible trace of hops. The chili peppers are there, too, but you really have to try to get more than a tickle in the nostrils.

T: Boldly spicy! Verdi is a beer that centers on cinnamon, chili, and roasts to give the palate a fiery complexion, from first sip to last. It does have that distinct export stout chocolate-earthiness from the nose, too, and they level the tastes out to a smooth place of brown sugar, vanilla bean, fudge, and roasted pecans. If not, this beer may have just been a showcase for heat – a gimmick, more than anything – but the malts really do ground it enough to make it both drinkable and interesting. Touches of oats, macadamia, wet oak, and metallic mineral water show up near the back end, with a strong, rich aftertaste of buttery brown sugar and smoke.

M: The look doesn’t lie: this one’s thick. A full-feeling beer is expected for this style, but this one is more than that. A mandatory sipper that leaves very little for extra carbonation to peek through.

O: Unique, rich, complex, and, above all, satisfying; I don’t think I’ll have a chili beer in the near future that will knock this off the top spot. Very well done. (1,740 characters)

Photo of HeyItsChili
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So I woke up this Saturday morning and absolutely destroyed my to-do list. What's a guy to do but celebrate completion of a plentiful list of soul-killing banal minutiae with a delicious beer from the Greenville Beer Exchange? Nothing. That's what. There's nothing to do other than that. At all.

A - Poured from a bottle into a snifter. Pours molasses black with no highlights, some sediment, and a medium-thin, tightly foamed khaki head. The head dies away to leave a creamy film atop the beer and a ring of tiny bubbles around the glass.

S - The aroma is sort of forward-malty, with a little bit of dark chocolate, hint of coffee, and some solid wheat/barley notes. No sign of the hot chilis.

T - Pretty standard chocolate/cocoa, roasted malt, slight acidity stout flavor, but with that chili edge. There's a definite, reserved chili edge to the flavor that is a shade more prominent in the aftertaste. I wanted to call it sort of a capsaicin flavor, but a quick check shows me capsaicin has no flavor. So just a chili flavor then, not the active ingredient in aforementioned pepper. HEY, IT'S CHILI.

M - Just a tinge thinner than a lot of your stronger stouts, but that seems to work. (1,192 characters)

Photo of CampusCrew
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft Sampled at Kickbacks. Poured into a snifter a dark brown/black color with a light tan head. Roasty, malty, chocolate aroma with a touch of the pepper. Medium/heavy mouthfeel. Roasted chocolate and coffee flavors with a touch of bitterness. The pepper is mild but builds. Overall, rather nice drinking. Some lace left in the glass. (336 characters)

Photo of dcmchew
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours pitch black with one and a half light brown head, lasting for quite a while, to a nice lace.
Smells of roasted malts, caramel, some vanilla, spices.
Wow, hot peppers pinching from the start. Nice roasted malts, with dark (to milky) chocolate, great caramel and sweet italian coffee. Dark fruit, with dry raisin/fig, but also juicy plums and (fainter) berries. A vegetable stew feel from the chillies, but very faint. Licorice and vanila. Finish is mildly bitter from the roast, with a low hop presence, somewhat herbal tho.
Peppers keep working in the aftertaste, never disturbing though, along with the sweet roast. Creamy, nice low carbonation, perfect for its style.
Top grades for the perfectly implemented chillies, a great imperial stout. Quite a surprise. (768 characters)

Photo of Giovannilucano
4.23/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

No freshness on the bottle as I pour it into a pint glass.

A- A very dark but clean looking body with that fluffy head

S- Subtle and elegant aroma of chocolate and espresso

T- A middle of the road stout that is neither too heavy, nor light. The 8.2 is well hidden, and the taste of chili is on the back of your palate and throat.

M- Not so heavy to weight you down, but not thin.

O- I do enjoy this offering from Birrificio del Ducato. The balance of smell, taste, body, and appearance make this an absolute personal favorite and one I would suggest highly for those transitioning from your standard stouts. (614 characters)

Photo of vacax
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours between black and ruby brown, light brown head with a few arcs of lacing. Aroma is of milk, strangely, not lactose but milk, cocoa, umami, sugary espresso, and unsweetened cocoa. Tastes of dark malts, prunes, coffee, cookie, slight spice from the chiles, finish has cookielike malts, acidity, bready yeast, and licorice. Quite complex, I kept going back to break down the flavors again in my mind. Body is full, silky and oily, as a good stout should be. One of the best Italian craft beers I have yet to have.

Not sure why this is listed as a Foreign/Export Stout when the name clearly says Imperial Stout. It is a bit on the lower side, but it is actually pretty impressive that it is so rich for something with a relatively low ABV. The complexity and body are typically something I would expect from a higher alcohol beer. This is one Italian craft beer I would recommend trying, quite enjoyable. (908 characters)

Photo of lehkost
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Wow. This is one hell of a beer. I'm thinking that the peppers used in this beer must be of a smoky variety, because I'm definitely getting some of that on the palate.

This beer is a perfectly implemented European Imperial Stout. I say European to differentiate it from its (significantly) more hoppy American cousins. I can't think of a beer I saw that was blacker than this. I could barely see through even the thinnest portion of this beer. This is a malty, dry, thick and decadent stout with hints of chocolate and smoke. The chili imparts a mild, building warmth on the finish.

Really, I feel this is a unique beer that should be tried if you have the chance. (666 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle of this one at West Lakeview Liquors. Shared with my wife, and served in a Night of the Living Ales taster pint.

A - Porus wiht a finger of light mocha foam that settles to a thin cap and thicker collar. Body is a near-black that reveals some reddish transparency at the fringes.

S - Big cocoa and roast malt aroma, with a hint of chili peppers that clears the sinuses. There's some faint smoke and a noticeable coffee note that emerges as the beer warms up. Alcohol is very well-hidden.

T - The taste is much more burnt malt oriented, with notes of smoke and char. There is some nice balancing cocoa sweetness, and perhaps even a hint of vanilla (or lactose sugar?) The finish is a little peppery, but doesn't come across as excessively spicy or hot - I'm not sure I would have got "hot chili" from the taste alone.

M - OK - first thing I notice isn't technically "mouthfeel", but this beer makes my eyes water. It reminds me of when I'm cutting peppers and inadvertently rub my eyes. The body is medium, and seems about right for the 8.2% ABV. The finish has a peppery dryness to it. Carbonation is surprisingly high for an Italian beer, meaning it is medium-low. Some definite heat builds over 6oz or so.

D - This is really good. It's kind of like Hunhapu's Lite. If it weren't so expensive I'd get it more often. Also among the best Italian beers I've had. Pairs well with Verdi's Macbeth. (1,417 characters)

Photo of AgentZero
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Typical black looking stout with a small brown head that didn't stay for long and didn't leave much on the sides.

S - Some really nice chilis that don't seem too hot or too green. Chocolate, char, coffee, it's really a fairly pleasant mix.

M - Taste is really great. Reminds me a lot of a baby Hunahpu. Chili's have good flavor without being overpowering, and don't have enough heat to detract from the taste. Mixes well with the chocolate, char, and roast for a nice beer.

M - Fairly close to full bodied with moderate carbonation.

O - A surprisingly good beer, if you like Hunahpu, you might go for this. (614 characters)

Photo of Derek
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Black, pours with a huge tan head, excellent retention & lace.

S: Licorice, coffee, demerara sugar/molasses, bakers chocolate, light alcohol, underlying fruity esters and hints of nobel spicing.

T: Molasses, licorice, cappuccino, bakers chocolate, solid bitterness, alcohol is perceptible. The acidity is a bit like a classic baltic porter.

M: Fairly full body, smooth with a some acidity.

D: An exquisite sipper. (421 characters)

Photo of ColdPoncho
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I was recently told that many people believe this to be the best stout in the world, currently. I have tried the whiskey/blueberry version before (My Blueberry Nightmare), but this is my first go at the original.

A - pours with a big, light-brown foamy head, something to do with the weird bottle. A darkly-colored beer, looks more or less like any old stout.

S - Heavy caramel malts and hot peppers. A really interesting fruitiness in the nose. Complex, subtle, well-balanced—a really nice-smelling beer.

T - Woody, chocolatey, a hint of pine/grass/mint, with a deep and dark fruity background, and a touch of heat on the finish. This is really nice. Brings a lot to the table. A sipper, but a good one.

M - Smooth, full-bodied. The lingering heat on the finish makes you want to cool your palate with another sip. Nice.

O - This is a great-tasting beer, and a very interesting one. It's got some strange things going on, but they're very well-integrated. All that said, I'm not eager to spend $10 on another 11.2oz bottle. (1,031 characters)

Photo of Rutager
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance. Pours black with a small tan head that leaves a little lacing behind.

Smell. Molasses, light coffee, dark chocolate and a hint of vanilla, and spices.

Taste. Molasses, licorice, chocolate and a little coffee and pepper.

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body with below medium carbonation. Just a little alcohol warmth.

Overall. Nice flavours in this big stout. Everything just plays well together. I really liked it. (424 characters)

Photo of MisterClean
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted at de la rosa in SF at beer week.

A - Pours black with 3 fingers of mocha head. Dissipates slow, really pretty lacing.

S/T - Light roast coffee, hefty wafts of rich semi-sweet chocolate, and light bittering hops.

M - Full-bodied, well-balanced, sweet, wth some light alcohol on the end. Still, fairly smooth.

D - Good overall. Sessionable at 7.5% (357 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep pitch-black color stout with a large foamy head with deep dirty brown color head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of deep roasted malt with coffee notes. Taste has also loads of character with great roasted notes and some deep coffee notes with some dry black chocolate notes also noticeable. Body is quite full with great smooth texture with great carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Very well done with load of character though still easily drinkable. Nice mix between a cappuccino and an imperial stout. (539 characters)

Photo of Greywulfken
4.41/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: center pour into a snifter: obsidian pour yields opaque black beer with a fat firm chocolate mousse head

S: mellow aromas of roasty chocolate malt and espresso

T: I have to temper my enthusiasm here, because this beer is really good - the tastes and mouthfeel are a nice one-two combination - the flavors are of super mellow espresso, semisweet chocolate and hints of chili spice. Very drinkable - no hint of the 8.2 abv.

M: really creeps close to ideal - creamy smooth and easy-drinking, but the chili throws in sparks of tingliness that tantalize the tongue - leaves a little sting behind, perfectly contrasting this extremely creamy beer

O: no date on the bottle, but I've seen these sitting in the store for at least a couple of years, so they are at least that well-aged - a delightful first, recommended for stout and porter fans, chili beer fans, and advocates of good beer. (889 characters)

Photo of Janbobbo
4.48/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A very impressive imperial stout. After being poured into the glass it leaves a brownish thick head which lasts in the glass for quite a while.

The color is dark and rich and the smell is powerful with a hint of burnt meats.

The taste is where it all turns exceptional. There's a strong taste of spices that sets the tone of the drink and towards the end of the mouthfeel it turns slightly bitter although all in all the beer feels fairly balanced.

my bottle is marked as having an 8.2% alcohol content instead of 7.5%, a more recent batch? (545 characters)

Photo of samie85
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A-Pours a jet black with one and a half fingers of medium brown head.

S-Smells of rich and deep dark chocolate with maybe a hint of some chili.

T-Rich and sweet dark chocolate with a small hit of chili and finishes dry and slightly bitter with lingering, yet mild chili notes.

M-Thick and rich with a moderate amount of carbonation with a slightly dry finish.

D-Really easy drinking for a chili Imperial Stout. The chili is faint enough for the less spicy tolerant out there while the rest of the beer is a really solid, delicious stout. (541 characters)

Photo of jrallen34
4.52/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Rush to Map Room to try this bottle.

WOW, I learned 2 things tonight. 1. finally found an oustanding Italian beer, and 2. there is chili stout out there that is a poor mans Hunahphu... A black pour with a medium tan head, good retention and lacing...The aroma starts off sweet as mostly just chocolate. As it warms it really evolves bringing out some really nice pungent chili. It really is balanced and goes back and forth from chocolate to chili, each whiff is something new...The taste is awesome. Chocolate sweetness with a little chili kick at the end. This not ony has the flavors of chili but doesn't actually bring the heat. The heat is felt especially on the feel, after a bottle my mouth is tingling. This is just great all around.

Rush out and try to find this beer. (780 characters)

Photo of dionisio
4.53/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A Russian imperial stout, brewed in Italy, with chili pepper! I had to get this. I've been in the past few years realizing that Italy, if you're willing to pay the extra dollars, is making some of the best beers these days, so here and there I treat myself to a new one. When I saw that this had chili in it, I had to get it. I love chili; my favorite chili beer is the one at Eske's Brew Pub in Taos, NM, and what I love about that one is that it's just chock full of delicious hot chili flavor. This one definitely did not disappoint. My first reaction was that you can really taste the chili, which is a huge plus. And the beer, too, is another of these very fine Italian craft beers. The darkness of the beer combines perfectly with the heat and flavor of the chili. The mouthfeel is wonderful, one of the softest feeling beers I've ever had. I will definitely be buying another of these to lay down for a few years. (920 characters)

Photo of Perrumpo
4.53/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at Max's during their Italian Fest. One of my favorites.

A - Black in appearance with a coffee-colored head.

S - about what you would expect from a stout with some coffee and cocoa aromas. Malty.

T - I love this beer. It's comparable to Dogfish Head's Indian Brown Ale, but the chili peppers add even more complexity. You can taste the rich malts, coffee, chocolate, and the cili adds a smokey pepper flavor without being spicy. You can't even tell it's 8.2% (or that's what Max's said).

M - smooth, rich mouthfeel. The chili peppers do not take away from the smoothness.

D - High drinkability for an imperial stout. Could've had a lot more of it. (670 characters)

Verdi Imperial Stout from Birrificio Del Ducato
89 out of 100 based on 103 ratings.