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Birra Etrusca - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Birra EtruscaBirra Etrusca

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

645 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 645
Reviews: 119
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 14.02%
Wants: 29
Gots: 68 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Brewery visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
Herbed / Spiced Beer |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: billab914 on 12-09-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 645 | Reviews: 119 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by BuxMontBeerLover:
Photo of BuxMontBeerLover
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

BuxMontBeerLover, Jan 14, 2013
More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
2.9/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Pours a deep copper color, maybe some shade of amber. Light, ruby-red notes show up as the light passes through the translucent body. The foamy white head lasts for a few minutes, but then retains as a ring around the glass for the largest portion of the beer. The aroma is very unique - zesty and vibrant; fruity, somewhat tart, berries, wheat, grains, crispy, musky hops. Spices are abundant as well; ginger, coriander, pepper... I know none of these things are listed on the beer, but I really am picking up some ginger. Perhaps from the hodge-podge of stuff thrown into this one?

The flavor is fruit like the aroma leads you to believe; honey-coated cherries, strawberry, pomegranate, raspberries. Unfortunately, there is a bit of an off-flavored, medicinal twang that's coming out and gets stronger as the beer gets warmer. Similar to crushed vitamins, they leave a weird, residual, chalky feeling and taste on the palate. Luckily, however, there are so many other, random flavors going on, that this weird flavor doesn't completely kill the vibe. Tartness shows up about halfway through as it eventually turns into a bitter sweetness. Hop flavors are very slightly floral, but mostly ashy, musty, and dry. Some more ginger and spices in the flavor, but once again, undetectable as to exactly what they are. I don't taste any hazelnut like the label says, but the big wheat backbone is definitely there. This beer reminds me of a weird attempt at a fruity, American-made tripel or BSPA. Carbonated to the brim with a medium body.

I honestly can't decide if I like this beer or not. Some sips were okay. Others were very mediocre. It's definitely unique, and overall - it wasn't bad.... Well, at times it wasn't. I don't know, honestly. It just bounces around the walls a little bit too much. Not really worth the price in my opinion, either.

tectactoe, Feb 01, 2013
Photo of t2grogan
4/5  rDev +7.8%

t2grogan, Oct 08, 2014
Photo of Tiernan
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%

Tiernan, Mar 25, 2013
Photo of tbryan5
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

tbryan5, Oct 10, 2013
Photo of csmartin6
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

csmartin6, Jan 01, 2013
Photo of marvin213
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Smells like raisins and tastes like honey. Pomegranate actually lingers--I thought the pom would be difficult to find. It's like Midas touch mixed with chateau jiahu. The figgish raisin nose is actually a little reminiscent of Raisond'etre. I don't know how to discern all the components described on the label, but I can't help but detect a pestle-and-mortar-like kind of feel. It makes me picture the chica people spitting in that beer on Dicovery Channel. It's like all the DFH Ancient Ales are flashing before my eyes! It's a murky dark raisin look with a similar smell, coupled with a dark-sweet/honey smooth/elixir-type vibe. I picked this one in part to combat the crud 'round here lately. It fits the bill for what it is, which I'll respectfully leave at that.

marvin213, Dec 20, 2012
Photo of SmellsofMahagony
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

SmellsofMahagony, Mar 23, 2013
Photo of Doomcifer
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

Doomcifer, Jul 26, 2014
Photo of iemailjack
4/5  rDev +7.8%

iemailjack, Jan 09, 2013
Photo of tigg924
3.66/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: 1/4 inch head that fades quickly, high carbonation, light orange-brown in color, clear

Smell: berries, honey, and alcohol

Taste: berries, honey, alcohol, ginger, and other holiday spices

Mouthfeel: medium-light body, sweet with slight bitterness, high carbonation

Overall: Interesting and spicy, but a bit of a disappointment. I think this one would make an excellent Christmas ale, but like many Christmas ales, I prefer them in 12 ounce servings, but whole bombers. I was also hoping for a bit more pomegranate and hazelnut flavors, both of which are hidden behind the spiciness. Glad I tried this, but once is good by me.

tigg924, Apr 15, 2013
Photo of sgn4779
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%

sgn4779, Nov 08, 2014
Photo of jburchett
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

jburchett, Jan 19, 2013
Photo of jondeelee
4.15/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Birra Etrusca opens to a funky, slightly sour fruit-and-bread nose that is immediately intriguing. White and light concord grape notes are present, as well as light pineapple and cherry fruit esters, wildflower honey, and touches of raisin. Put these fruits together and you wind up with something like a cross between a Dr. Pepper, a cola, and fresh-squeezed grape juice. Joining these is a bready underbelly, with tones resembling those found in yeasty, floury artisinal breads with crusts so hard you have to break them with a hammer. Dusty wheat and light hay add further earthiness. But the sugars easily dominate the nose, which is, as a whole, very interesting, and certainly unlike almost anything else on the market. It ends up smelling more like alcoholic grape-and-mixed-fruit juice than beer, with just enough of a bready, rooty counterbalance to make it interesting.

On the tongue, the beer opens with a sweet rush of fruits and sugars, with wildflower honey, lemon-lime, raisin, grape, pomegranate and pineapple joined by hints of a Belgian-like banana and clove mixture, as well as prune juice. The fruits tend largely toward the sweet side, though the pomegranate and raisin add funky, slightly sour runnels. The beer is more spicy here than hinted at in the nose, white pepper and clove dominating and lightly searing the tongue and soft palate with paprika-like intensity (though without the paprika flavor), with additional touches of cinnamon and cardamom, adding a lovely spice mixture to the fruit that is somewhat reminiscent of mulled cider. A good bread backing—again, like hard-crust bread—adds earthiness, and the hazelnut flour seems to add a touch of nut, but just a hint. There is perhaps just the slightest mineral overtone from the bronze aging. The aftertaste is a continuation the main mouthful, lingering on the tongue in sweet-sour-funky-spicy goodness for a long time. Mouthfeel is medium-light to medium, and carbonation is medium to medium-high, almost champagne-like in strength.

Overall, this is surprisingly palatable beer, and perhaps my favorite of Dogfish Head’s Ancient Ale series. This one is very much like a Belgian in many aspects, with Flemish and Saison flavors coming through as well. I did wish for a heavier mouthfeel and much less carbonation, but the fruit-spice notes were excellent, and delicious. If this tastes anything like what the ancient Etruscans actually drank, then I certainly know where I’ll be heading once I get my time travel machine up and running.

jondeelee, Jan 06, 2013
Photo of Janeinma
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Janeinma, May 26, 2014
Photo of Franziskaner
3.76/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Copper brown in color with vibrant carbonation and great clarity. The head vanished immediately. I smell honey and plenty of amber malt. There's a sweetness from the honey and the amber malt that is very prevalent upon tasting. There's an intense peppery earthiness from the spices. It's aggressively carbonated but has a dry,crisp finish.

Franziskaner, May 10, 2014
Photo of Mantooth
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Mantooth, May 20, 2014
Photo of arealbeersbeer
4.5/5  rDev +21.3%

arealbeersbeer, Mar 27, 2014
Photo of Libationguy
3.39/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reddish-copper color with bronze hues. Very thin cream colored head with almost no retention. Almost no lacing; what is there is spotty.

Funky on the nose with a dry "feel": light roasted grain, walnuts, hazelnuts, pomegranate, sultanas, smoke and a metallic note.

Pomegranate, smoke, animal hair and a metallic edge that carries. Slightly bitter with a lingering aftertaste.

Medium bodied with a moderate carbonation that has more to it in the mouthfeel than in the appearance.

Just funky. I applaud Dogfish Head for putting it out there, but Etrusca seems to be a take it or leave it proposition.

Libationguy, Aug 14, 2013
Photo of briandaube
4.5/5  rDev +21.3%

briandaube, Jan 08, 2013
Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

BurgeoningBrewhead, Aug 15, 2013
Photo of rwilde
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%

rwilde, Apr 06, 2013
Photo of williamjbauer
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

williamjbauer, Nov 16, 2013
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Big Bottled Birra Etrusca Bronze, a ruby brown tinted glowing clear body builds up a nice egg shell white foam head as I pour into my Tripel Karmeliet chalice, fine layered thin streaks of lacing settle to the sides. Aroma has an upfront tart raisin character with pomegranate, nutty earthy tones with a sweet floral honey aspect to it. Pretty awesome historical beers brought back to life with Dogfish Head, Baladin, and Birra del Borgo. It smells like pomegranate honey infused jam on a thick crusted artisan bread, hints of spice are flowing as well. Flavor is upfront sweet and malty with extra sugar additions adding to the flow of sweetness, no real bittering hops that are mentioned on the label, so I'm guessing the earthiness from the Myrrh and Gentian root added to the mix of help balance this one out. Sweet and tart qualities arise from the juicy plump raisin to the tart pomegranates. Definitely a vinous wine like quality even the way the warmth of the 8.5% alcohol hits the gut and the palate, very complex and interesting beer that actually works together quite nicely. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied lighter carbonation than expected working toward the advantage of a pretty drinkable beer. Overall impression is that I like it and I'm glad that the three brewers with the help of a biomolecular archaeologist can put something like this back together from actual ingredients found before vino arrived in Italia.

WVbeergeek, May 07, 2013
Photo of chinchill
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

chinchill, Nov 17, 2013
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Birra Etrusca from Dogfish Head Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 645 ratings.