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Birra Etrusca - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Birra EtruscaBirra Etrusca

Educational use only; do not reuse.

674 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 674
Reviews: 129
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 14.05%
Wants: 29
Gots: 82 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Brewery visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
Herbed / Spiced Beer |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: billab914 on 12-09-2012

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 674 | Reviews: 129 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of HiWire
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of rderedin
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of TheCraftBrewReview
4.14/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Having long been a fan of Dogfish Head’s various eclectic offerings, I spotted this one on the shelf of my local package store a few weeks back. I was aware that the brewery had created a series of “Ancient Ales”, which focus on recipes several hundred years old. Perhaps the most widely recognizable variation so far created has been “Midas Touch”, which is somewhere between a wine and mead. This particular beer was created after the team traveled to Rome with molecular archaeologist Dr. Pat McGovern. Through analyzing drinking vessels found in 2,800-year-old Etruscan tombs, the variance was created, with the two main ingredients being two-row malted barley and heirloom Italian wheat. Curious to see if my inner Italian was satisfied with this brew? Read on!

Appearance – 87: I poured nearly half of the 750 mL bottle vigorously into a tulip glass, and was immediately struck by how fast the bubbles dissipated. There was no foam, or head to speak of in the slightest, almost as if one was pouring a wine instead. The coloring of the beer is a dark caramel.

Aroma – 93: After a sniff or two, the main notes that I was left with were the raisins and pomegranates. The beer (if you can even call it that) has a distinctly sweet smell that bordered on floral it was so pungent. Quite delightful to be honest with you, given that most of the recent reviews I’ve done have been with porters or stouts, where the malts and chocolate/coffee tones become rather “you’ve smelled one, you’ve smelled them all” after a while.

Body & Texture – 86: The beer sits in your mouth similar to a barleywine of sorts – very light and crisp. A layering sensation immediately hits your palate upon first sip, with sweet honey complimenting the heirloom wheat, followed by raisins then pomegranate juice. The aftertaste it leaves is pleasant – very sweet, but not overpowering. Very little “body” to the beverage and it drinks much closer to juice.

Taste – 85: When grading this beer I almost needed to separate my preconceived notions of what a beer tasted like versus what I was actually sampling. In terms of pure taste, it can almost be summed up as pomegranate juice with honey and alcohol – a slight sourness remains afterwards but it isn’t terribly noticeable. Dark fruits dominate the taste, and it leaves a distinctly Belgian taste to it – almost equivalent of a dubel. I’ve never had a “beer” like this before in my life, and doubt that I will do so again. Sweeter than I anticipated. Perhaps there is a reason that the Etruscans were wiped out!

Overall – 87.3 (Great): The label grabbed my attention from the start – ancient script writing in the style of my ancestors. Dogfish Head infuses their beer with almost anything that they can get their hands onto, and this particular offering is no different. The upside to the beverage is that it tastes almost akin to a juice or wine – very smooth and fruity with a distinct smell. However, the taste is lacking considering what I expected, and given the variations of ingredients that they added to the beer, perhaps eliminating one or two to have a more concise impression would be appreciated. Interesting to try and would certainly recommend sipping on it if available locally, but not something that I would ever come back to.

Photo of Beerparrot
3.96/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of dannyfayy
3.96/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Noahtrumble
4.29/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pretty good, not what I expected, with a decent tang to it

Photo of Dillinger
3.08/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Photo of greyghost86
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Tsar_Riga
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Copper, clear, with a short white head, fading quickly. No lacing.

S - Spices, grain, sour. Honey. Floral notes.

T - Sour notes. Spices in the form of cinnamon, cardamom. Grains.

M - Brisk, light. Solid carbonation. A bit of drying.

O - A decent spiced beer, different than your typical brew. I picked one up on clearance, but at full price I'm unlikely to grab one again. An interesting experience nevertheless.

Photo of trickynicky
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of dexterk1
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

Photo of VonZipper
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of rdilauro
2.24/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I love Dogfish Head beers because they have never been afraid to branch out and do something a bit different.
I have been on a quest to taste all of their Ancient Series....
I could have passed on this one.

Photo of Beer-Revelry
4.09/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a dark amber rust and orange. Formed a finger of almost instantly dissipating lightly tan head. No lacing left behind whatsoever.
S - Golden Belgian notes, banana and black pepper reign as the dominant aromas on the nose.
T - Literally tastes like a golden Belgian, a dark Belgian strong ale, a dubel, tripel and a quad all mixed together with a black peppercorn beer. Lots of dark fruits, such as cherry. On the exhale you get a strong sense of black peppercorn. Really unique.
O - An interesting, unique and one-of-a-kind beer. Never had anything like it before and probably won't again. More of an experience to be had rather than a beer to repeat buy and stay stocked up on.
V - Low value, almost 17 dollars for a single 22oz bomber.

Photo of mchegash
3.89/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - 4.2/5
Pours a deep orange, a bit of brown. A little bit clear. No head retention. Can see a moderately large amount of carbonation rising up at an average rate. Overall, looks deep and mysterious (well, at least the look combined with the knowledge of it as an 'ancient ale'...the point is it pulls off an ancient ale sort of look...whatever that is)

Smell - 4.5/5
Alcohol, honey, resin, grapes, spices, other fruity smell perhaps, another prominent smell which I can't quite distinguish. Overall, there was a lot going on in this boquet, I was really surprised and happy with it.

Taste - 3.6/5
Grapes, honey, somes strong spices/flavors. I have tasted spices/flavors like these before, probably in some kind of food, but don't know where/what. The spices/flavors have a distinct and strong floral/herbal/earthiness to them. Some spices that come to mind are rosemary and nutmeg, although I don't think either is in the beer. Whatever the flavors are, I could see them being in some kind of Italian food, or some kind of earthy, ethnic custine. The beer is moderately sweet, and there is a small alcohol taste. To be honest, I don't really like the flavor that much. The spices/flavors are just kind of weird, and not really something I would put on my food, much less my beer. But in the spirit of the Ancient Ale they are trying to pull off, the flavors seem to fit what I would expect from a beer from 8th century BC Italy. Not that I have any extensive knowledge of that time period, but being told that this beer was from that time/place, it seems to fit what I would expect. At the very least though, this beer if definitely interesting...that earns some points. As always, DFH pulls off another interesting Ancient Ale.

Mouthfeel - 3.5/5
The beer is medium-light in body. There is a light amount of moderate carbonation. The beer is very crisp.

Overall - 4/5
Overall, I am happy with this beer, though it has a slightly strange taste. But I love trying novel things, and loving getting to connect with history through DFH's Ancient Ale series. Overall this was a positive experience.

Photo of nathanmiller
3/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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

Very good, but not worth the extremely high price. Would not pay that much ($17 bottle) again.

Photo of DamienI
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of WastingFreetime
3.59/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of polloenfuego
3.81/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

3.26/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours copper with head that dissipates quickly. Very unique and well worth a try.

Photo of CJRubes
3.43/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of nebuchadnezzer
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

What a Fustercluck...
Spices I've never tasted before and can't place. Mead/wine/cider/beer. Nutty, fruity, dusty dry, balanced bitterness from who even knows what. Tastes like A nutty Brown ale, but with some mead, un-aged wine, and dry cider to it. The mouthfeel is just the tiniest bit too syrupy for my taste. the Spices seem to just meld the nuts and fruits together over the honey base. There is supposed to be wheat in there somewhere, but good luck finding it under the rest of what's going on. The yeast would probably be interesting in something I could pick it out in, but in this is just can't tell

Are you confused? So am I.

Photo of Budcole
3.87/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

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Birra Etrusca from Dogfish Head Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 674 ratings.