Birra Etrusca - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Birra EtruscaBirra Etrusca

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very good

131 Reviews
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Reviews: 131
Hads: 714
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 11.7%
Wants: 33
Gots: 100 | 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

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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 131 | Hads: 714
Photo of brentk56
3.29/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color capped by an impressive head of foam that leaves some dots and dashes behind

Smell: Beyond anything in the beer world that I have smelled before, this beer has some spices (the myrrh and gentian root, perhaps) that give it the smell of a Middle Eastern spice shop; the raisin and pomegranate are recognizable enough and there is a clear honey tone

Taste: Perhaps this would be a taste treat for the ancients, but I am glad to be living in the 21st century as the sweetness, the weird spices and the fruit flavors create a bizarre opening and it moves in a phenolic band-aid direction from which I cannot escape

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Another interesting experiment but a failure to my palate (768 characters)

Photo of Flounder57
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750 ml bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger head that fizzled quickly to nothing. It is a copper color with tiny little bubbles coming up through the glass.

Smell: Bready and caramel malts with some honey, pepper, vanilla, herbal, and raisins.

Taste: Pretty much same as above with some nutty notes and a little warm alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Medium to high carbonation, a little dry, chewy, light to medium bodied, and a little tingly.

Overall: For a gruit/herbed beer, this was pretty tasty and easy to drink. Very enjoyable. (569 characters)

Photo of Samuel906
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours reddish, amber with a pearl white, thin head. Some lacing. Has a pretty great smell, complex. Definitely lots of honey and pomegranate, banana, yeast and some fruit funk. Taste is along the same line with some citrus and pepper. Can't really pick out much hazelnut, which I was kind of hoping for. Feel is light and crisp, works well with the citrus and mild sour flavors. Moderate to high carbonation. Overall, a great trip off the beaten path. Some new flavors that you don't see much and I applaud DFH as always for trying new things. One of my favorite parts of these beers is reading the story of their inception and history, and this one has some great flavors to go with it. (687 characters)

Photo of TheBrouMaster
4.34/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- pours a crystal clear deep copper, with a 1 finger head that quickly dissipates, the carbonation slashes into that glass and makes a cola like fizz

S- pomegranate right up front on the nose followed by rich brown sugar, dark fruits with a yeasty medicinal like finish

T- a fizzy carbonation pop followed by a tart cherry crush, sweet dark fruits, subtle orange and honey follow, finishes with a mix of alcohol honey and pomegranate

M- light to medium in body, easy to drink, fizzy tingling carbonation, sweet with a slightly dry finish

O- very interesting ancient ale, tons of flavor, very complex, slightly medicinal and funky. Not bad, would def go for another pint. (677 characters)

Photo of Fcolle2
3.44/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours an odd murky burnt orange with a slight caramel hue. Head is huge and violently fizzy until it dissipates leaving rolling carbonation bubbling vigorously through the whole beer.

Smell is interesting. I'm getting some light honey and molasses aromas forward before a sharp crisp dry grape aroma cuts through all the sweetness some nutty aromas and spices finish in the nose

Taste has a lot going on. A multitude of flavors assault the tongue all at once. Some pomegranate can be picked out along with lots of honey, champagne, wood, molasses and a small amount of caramel. It's hard to tell where one stops and the others start

Mouthfeel is intense. Sharp vigorous carbonation, dry finish, moderate sweetness and sharp acidic sourness. This beer is a little all over the place.

Overall this is a crazy beer, I'm still not quite sure what I just drank. Interesting, just too crazy. Extra props on making a crazy and creative beer like this drinkable. (959 characters)

Photo of BeerandWhiskeyHQ
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

deep copper with a red amber hue, no lacing, no head.
smells of clove, grapes, corriander, a strong underlying tone of raw honey straight from the hive. raisins and slight fruit notes.
Strong fruit flavor, much more than I was expecting! honey, pomegranite, a slight alcohol undertone, mild maltiness, it has a sweetness and the taste of corriander and a slight bitterness lingers long after the finish
Yet another intruiging ancient ale from Dogfish Head! It took me some time to figure out what I think of this beer, it has a lot of different and conflicting flavors but it really makes it an interesting beer to drink. I don't believe I'll buy it again, but I did find it intruiging and should be tried. I like the fact that its's sort of like drinking a beer that the ancient Tuscans drank. (848 characters)

Photo of Radome
3.81/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a goblet.

A - Color is a deep copper to amber with a nice reddish tint; very clear. Head is weak and disappears entirely after a few minutes. No lacing, but the beer leaves "legs" on the glass.

S - Aroma of honey and grape must, more like a mead than an beer. There is a soft herbal note, maybe saffron. Malt is very muted and there are no hops evident. Sweet alcohol aroma.

T - Bready malt up front, mixed with the honey and saffron. There are enough earthy hops to knock the sweetness down. Towards the end of the palate the honey and grape must dominate on the way to a semi-dry finish. Alcohol is not prominent, despite the nose.

M - Medium to heavy body. Very low carbonation and hops bitterness. No alcohol burn.

O - Interesting aromas and flavors. Lack of carbonation and head detract from an otherwise very appealing beer. (868 characters)

Photo of jmdrpi
3.06/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

750 ml capped bottle - bottled 6/17/13

clear orange rust color with cherry red highlights. white head fades instantly. herbal, earthy sweetness. a bit cloying. sweet, fruity. honey, golden raisins. needs more balance. thin body, the initial fizzy carbonation fades to a syrupy, sticky, feel.

overall - unique and interesting, but one's enough for me. (357 characters)

Photo of corby112
3.28/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a clear dark orange/golden copper color with mahogany edges and a one finger off-white head that immediately disappears. Nice color but has very pour retention with no head or lacing to speak of.

Musty, slightly spicy aroma with a prominent vinous dark fruit presence. Some earthy funk with barnyard and oak along with dank, resinous oils and pungent spice. Almost curry-like which I guess is coming from the myrrh. This is pretty strong in the nose but us countered by the dark fruit sweetness. Hints of raisin, plum, date and pomegranate countering the funk and musty spice.

On the fuller end of medium body with a surprising amount of carbonation considering how quickly it went flat even with an aggressive pour. Tastes very similar to the notes of the aroma with an even stronger vinous dark fruit presence than expected. Some earthy, musty funk along with strong peppery spice. Again, I'm guessing the myrrh is really standing out with an earthy, resinous flavor along with some peppery clove and cardamom. The pomegranate raisin and other dark fruit flavors stand out throughout the palate but are most prominent toward the back end, lingering long after the finish. The pomegranate and raisin sweetness is very prominent along with grape, dark cherry, currant and other dark berries. Kind of reminds me of a prunier barbera wine with strong peppery spice and slightly tart, musty funk. Overall, not the most flavorful beer but more interesting than some of the other ancient ales. I wouldn't order or buy it again but I enjoyed trying it. (1,556 characters)

Photo of SavvyStudent
2.75/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Just by the copper appearance and sweet notes on the nose I thought this beer was going to be another interesting find from DFH. Unfortunately this is out of bounds for my liking as the pomegranate, raisin, tart profile is extremely sweet for me and not something I would drink again. (284 characters)

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bronze and clear, nothing special about the head or lacing, in fact there wasn't much notable there.

Appearance aside, the typical dogfish head aroma and flavor come through with the usual elevated expected value. Fruit and honey come through immediately and are the natural descriptions for this beer, but there's also a somewhat funky, earthy, floral component that's hard to put my finger on. It may be this indescribable, yet awesomely delicious aspect of DFH ales that makes me love this brewery so much.

Body is really pretty light considering the fairly ample alcohol content and full flavor. Drinks way too easy. Always luv DFH ales. (644 characters)

Photo of Ilovelampandbeer
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

poured from a bottle into a dogfish ipa glass

A-nice dark copper color, lacing that quickly disintegrates to just a much carbonation can be seen rising from the bottom its not even funny...for me very inviting
S-doesnt mask the alcohol all that well...a lot of sweet honey and fruit that i cant quite put my finger on
T-a taste that definitely masks the alcohol way better than the smell..very enjoyable...not overly sweet but a lot of honey and fruit indeed. some pepper on the back end
M-very ok, kind of syrupy but not a dealbreaker
O-overall a very enjoyable change of can taste the quality in the ingredients and i like what dogfish does...its a brewery that, hit or miss, is the essence of this movement is all about and i recommend this brew if you want to switch it up with the ipas and stouts in the fridge (837 characters)

Photo of DaveSchultz
3.74/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - I really like how this beer looks. Reddish copper in color, clear, and very warm. Moderate lacing. Head quickly dissipates.

S - Sweet and fruity. I'm getting the honey first and foremost. Pomegranate is there and definitely shows up more as the beer warms.

T - As advertised with the smell; honey and pomegranate. Sweet and maybe slightly tart. I think I'm getting some raisin on the aftertaste. Surprisingly not boozy at all for an 8.5% beer.

M - Smooth with a healthy bite from the carbonation.

O - I really like this beer. It's not something I would get a case of, but it's something I'd bring a pint of to a friend's house for a sampling and a brief history lesson. Another job well done by Dogfish.

Cheers! (720 characters)

Photo of DavoleBomb
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

3.5 A: Clear medium amber color. Two fingers of fizzy beige head that falls quickly and leaves no lacing.

4.75 S: Goddamn this is interesting, which is always what I want from a DFH ancient ale. I don't even know where to start, but I'll start by saying that it smells freakin' great. Honey is perhaps the most prominent. Pomegranate, raisin, apples, and grapes make a medley of fruit that works the nose so well. The hazelnut flour complements the other aromas perfectly. The other crap, that I know nothing about, adds an earthy herbal component. I'm really impressed. This is awesome.

3.75 T: The taste is also very good, but not insanely good like the nose. Raisin really comes out. Apple is almost as strong with pomegranate and grape under that. Hazelnut and honey. Booze is supremely well hidden. Like the nose, it is complex and super interesting.

3.75 M: I'm not at all familiar with what DFH was going for, so it's tough to comment on this aspect. Carbonation is on the lower end of moderate. Super smooth with a lighter medium body.

4.0 D: I very much enjoyed this. While I'm always glad I tried a strange DFH creation, I usually don't think they are worth the price. This one is different. I would definitely buy this again. (1,264 characters)

Photo of Libationguy
3.4/5  rDev -9.6%
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. (602 characters)

Photo of uld2541
4.6/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Unique is a definite understatement with this beer, and it's undoubtedly one of those love-it-or-hate-it type of things. If you like wine, you'll probably enjoy this beer. If you don't, you may still like it, but may be less likely.

Appearance is a light amber color with moderate head that doesn't stick around too long. The smell is very aromatic and, much like the taste, is kind of dry, if that makes any sense at all. There's a lot going on on the palette when you take a drink; some carbonation, overall pleasant. The taste is where this gets interesting. I've read some reviews that it's just a mish-mash of many different things; and while that is kind of the case, it works well for me. The two things in particular that stick out for me are; dry and pomegranate. The dry finish is what reminds me of a nice red wine, so maybe that falls more under mouth-feel, but nonetheless...overall, I wish they brewed more of it; one of my favorite all-time DFH brews. (968 characters)

Photo of BlackDog
4.68/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Birra Etrusca pours a deep but clear bronze with a healthy head and lively carbonation bubbles. Lacing and retention are both as good as it gets.

The complexity of this beer comes out early in the nose. There are aromas of dark fruit, alcohol, and a variety of spices and herbs.

The taste is equally as complex and gratifying. Malt, dark fruit and apple come through early. It's very herbal, with a spicy yeast flavor, followed by a slight honey sweetness with a nice floral finish.

Birra Estrusca is a medium-bodied beer with a lively carbonation. There's a lot of flavors going on, but they work together nicely to make this a fairly drinkable beer. (654 characters)

Photo of mscudder
2.89/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Served in a snifter.

A - Copper hue carrying a full off-white head with below average retention and lacing.

S - Blend of spices, citrus, burnt wood and light alcohol. Smells like some refreshing aerosol!

T - Slightly sweet, deriving mostly from honey, among a slew of spices which fail to blend admirably.

M - Thin, somewhat chalky body, with pale carbonation. Much to be desired.

O - This beer is just an empty attempt to create something unique. Bland flavors meshed in something that is passable at best. (513 characters)

Photo of FembotsUnite
3.96/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber hue with a bright foamy head and little to no lacing. Head dissipates quickly.

Smell: Lots of winter spice up front followed with an almost smokey element. Cedar and sassafras come to mind.

Taste: Awesome. Heavyweight floral but it is balanced by the tart finish. The boozy ABV adds some nice sweetness as well. Taste is complex with the aforementioned spice and woodsy flavors as well as what I identified to be vanilla, falernum and ginger. But I'm not going by the label; I'm going by a sixtel.

Mouthfeel: Meh.

Overall: Contrary to the generally mediocre reviews of this beer, I find it wonderful. Normally i don't go for beers in dfh's massive cache of spiced ales but this one is worth trying. (734 characters)

Photo of teromous
2.99/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Murky tea appearance with a very small head that goes away to complete flatness. Zero lacing.

S: There's a mild spice scent, similar to sarsaparilla. Nothing fancy here, just some spice.

T: There's a lot going on here. Clearly the taste is the star of the show. There's a fruity quality to it...a bit like cherry. There's a huge spice flavor as well, a bit like cinnamon, then there's a lot of clove flavor. It's interesting to read the ingredients on the bottle after tasting. Perhaps the sarsaparilla I smelled is gentian root, and the cherry flavor I tasted was actually the pomegranate juice? It could be. It has some very good and strong flavors, but I feel that some are much stronger than others. The flavors I described as "cinnamon" and "clove" (don't know if they used these) are very strong. I would have preferred it to be a bit more mellow.

M: The mouthfeel is fairly fleeting and doesn't have enough carbonation for a beer. After reading the bottle, it mentions that the beer pays homage to what might have been consumed before the arrival of wine. Could it be under-carbonated on purpose? Who knows. Drinkability is fairly low for me because of the quantity of spices.

O: Overall I thought the beer was interesting, but it's not something I would ever buy again. It's seemed interesting so I bought it, but I can't say I'm a fan. It reminds me of what an exotic perfume would taste like...I say taste because this doesn't have much scent to it. (1,466 characters)

Photo of MrBoh
3.72/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

A- Pours a deep bronzy brown. Head white in the center, much darker around edges. The ehad retention would be terrible, if it was not for the constant gas release from the bottom. Very unstable, but, in this glass at least, it almost keeps up. Not much lacing either.

S- the aroma was very strong with grape, and balanced out by a grainy scent. THere is also a very herbaly, earthy scent.

T- the taste is beyond peculiar. I definitely get the grapes upfront, almost a rotten grape kind of taste, but not necessarily bad. This is followed by a very earthy taste.

M- Although not as full-bodied as it appears, it still has a good bit of body. And, despite thi, it manages to finish very dry.

O- A fun beer to try and to taste. It's not one I could see myself sitting down and drinking a bunch of, but I recommend it to anyone who is a fan of other more obscure Dogfish brews, especially their ancient ales and grapey beers. It will take me a little while to drink, so I'm glad I recently got the bottle opener/sealer to keep this fresh and sudsy. (1,049 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.87/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Birra Etrusca

LOOK: Pours a deep copper color with a short lived cracking head. Mostly clear with a slight chill haze.

SMELL: Sweet fruit snack aroma from the pomegranate and raisin. Good blend of fruits, with a bit of cinnamon like spice coming through as well. Very pleasing to the nose, the smell is great.

TASTE: Raisin, spice, cinnamon, earthy as can be, while still balancing the sweet fruit aspect. Some tartness and faint nuttiness in the finish.

FEEL: Medium bodied and well carbonated. Drinks easily, no real hint of the abv.

OVERALL: A good beer, definitely a hit rather than miss. Good fruit flavor, nice spice. For a spiced fruit beer, it's very good. (672 characters)

Photo of Brenden
3.97/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer's color is basically a gold-orange with some deeper, bright amber highlights in the body. A spritzy off-white head gives some effort, then fades to foam. A bit of what seems like a cross between patching and spotting is able to cling to the glass.
The base is light, certainly, but balanced as well as being able to put together some depth. The malts take on a wheat character that rests underneath the entire session. It's juicy, and from that element is derived a mix of sweetness and a light tartness. Earthy with something like root (meatier than leaf, without the raw edge or leafy aspect) and a light touch of nut make for an exteremely interesting overall profile. A bit of spiciness comes out with a gently floral edge in a very light bitterness.
The body manages a medium fullness. It develops a nice creaminess into a somewhat drier, mildly spicy finish. (874 characters)

Photo of snaotheus
3.84/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle poured into a large mug. Can't find a best by or bottled on date or code, but I'm not terribly good at noticing those sorts of things.

Pours a clear coppery color (although the word bronze is coming to mind because it's on the bottle). Pours with a fair amount of head, fades fast, and has lots of extremely active carbonation. Smell is pungent, musty, fruity. Spicy. Keeping in mind that it's supposed to be spiced, it's appealing.

Taste is very fruity. I think I get a lot of the pomegranate. Sweet. Tasty. Not very beery. Tasty.

Mouthfeel is smooth and effervescent. Overall, within the realm of spiced off-the-wall beers, this is pretty good. (663 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into signature tulip glass, bottled in late 2012. Pours slightly hazy orange copper color with a 1 finger foamy light khaki head with poor retention, that reduces to a thin lace cap. Minimal glass lacing and a ton of streaming carbonation that keeps the lace cap going. Aromas of apple, pear, raisin, banana, pomegranate, pepper, clove, bubblegum, honey, candi sugar, wheat, bread, floral, herbal, and earthy yeast spiciness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of fruitiness with malt and spicy yeast esters. Taste of apple, pear, raisin, banana, pomegranate, pepper, clove, bubblegum, wheat, bread, honey, candi sugar, floral, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of light and dark fruits, clove, pepper, bubblegum, honey, floral, herbal, wheat, and earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of fruity flavors with malt and yeast esters; with zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a slick, lightly syrupy, and moderately crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with nearly zero warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent excellent ancient ale collaboration. All around nice balance and complexity of malt, fruitiness, and spicy ester flavors; and very smooth to sip on. Really enjoyed this one, as expected. (1,371 characters)

Birra Etrusca from Dogfish Head Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 131 ratings.