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Birra Etrusca - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Birra EtruscaBirra Etrusca

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

664 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 664
Reviews: 126
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 14.05%
Wants: 30
Gots: 77 | FT: 2
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: 664 | Reviews: 126 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of d1ckvanswype
4.7/5  rDev +27%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

22oz bomber into a wine glass.

A: Wow, what a stunning looking beer. Pours out as a copper-gold but sits in the glass as a resolute red-brown. When held to the light it turns back into amber-copper-gold. Really nice head, which disappeared before I could stop admiring the beer, the only visual flaw.

S: Honey and wheat, mixed with a strongly pomegranate scented must (pre-fermented wine), with a twinge of floral notes.

T: The first thing that hits me as the beer is held in my mouth is a warming cinnamon note, oddly, which turns to raisins, red grape skins, pomegranate tartness and the Gentian root, which comes out near the very, very end and turns into a warming, slightly numbing, slightly medicinal bitterness, which tastes EXACTLY like Moxie soda (available on the internet and in the Northeast US). The myrrh is also tasted in a very slight minty flavor mixed in with the Gentian root, but the myrrh comes out much more prominently in the next category.

M: This beer is SO exciting to drink! Sharp carbonation mixes with that cinnamon warming/numbing which feels dry on your tongue, but leaves your cheeks nice and moist. It turns refreshing and as the bitterness from the Gentian comes along and re-warms your palate with the alcohol the myrrh does something very cool, it brings a menthol-like coolness to the mouth when you breathe in. Just stunning.

O: It's the best of both wine and beer in one bottle, hands down. This is a great beer to taste on your own and I bet this would spark a lively debate during a tasting. Dogfish nailed it with this beer, I could easily drink this all the time, I hope this becomes a regular DFH brew.

Photo of NastyNate11
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%

Photo of MichaelBuck
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of mendvicdog
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%

Photo of slim2043
3/5  rDev -18.9%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.19/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Birra Etrusca by Dogfish Head in collaboration with Birra del Borgo and Baladin
25.4 oz. bottle, no apparent freshness date

The first thing this beer reminded me of was how much I miss the TV show "Brew Masters" on the Discovery Channel. Damn you, A-B!!!

Imagine this episode: Sam and Dr. Pat meet in Milton (scenes of fermentation vessels), and the Museum of Archeology at Penn (pan across an Egyptian sarcophagus) to discuss their next beer adventure. Dr. Pat grabs his Indiana Jones hat and whip, and they hop a plane to Italy (plane takes off / lands). After a few scenes of their silhouettes as they climb the hills of Tuscany, they start to dig in front of some ruins and find some broken clay pots. They meet up with the boys from Baladin and Borgo, have a few laughs and talk about beer, and then settle down to a huge Italian dinner made by a 104 year old mother who doesn't speak any English (cue pictures of Sam dancing with her at the end of the night, and some of the guests looking a little loopy from too much beer). Return to the U.S., talk about the historic significance of myrrh, brew the beer, show more tanks and bottling - and it's a wrap!

On to the beer... it's bronze in color with a reddish cast beneath a full head of fluffy white. The aroma expresses sweetish, dark caramel accented malt with an undercurrent of spice and a waft of earthiness. It's not bold, but neither is it bland, and the flavor goes the same way - you might expect it to be over-done, but it's actually a very accessible beer. The list of ingredients is as follows: honey, hazelnut flour, heirloom wheat, myrrh, gentian root, raisins, pomegranate juice, and pomegranates (why pomegranates are listed twice I don't know but I'm guessing it has to do with labeling guidelines). The honey is certainly clear, it almost comes through more than the malt. And the raisins are easy to find as well. Right there you've got a pretty good beer as it is, but then you also get a note of the pomegranate in the finish which lends it a light touch of complexity. What about the other ingredients? Well they're there, I just don't recognize them, and I'm guessing neither will you. It's not like we're adding gentian root to our salads, or dusting our morning omelets with myrrh. Both are bitter substances, and given the lack of hop aromas or flavors, I'm guessing that these were what was used to balance the beer in ancient times.

So how to rate this beer? It can only be done hedonistically as it doesn't follow any known style guidelines? Forgetting price, or any other side-factor or variable, and focusing simply on the beer itself, would you drink it again? And how much would you want to drink it again?

Interestingly enough, in the world of beer, wine, and liquor there's not much that reminds me of this as much as Dogfish Head's "Midas Touch" (which is, of course, the first beer that they did with Dr. Pat). There may be some beers that come close, and perhaps there's a bit of a dry red wine to it, but nothing springs to mind. And I liked the "Midas Touch", but I think I like "Birra Etrusca" better. It's lighter in body, less sweet, and softer in character. The alcohol is not as apparent, and overall, it's a much more rounded and polished beer. I thought it looked good, it smelled good, it tasted good, and it was nice in the mouth with the body of a rich wine. I'd very much like to enjoy it again. And I also think it would be a very interesting beer to pair against food.

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

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a tulip glass, 2012 version. This pours a reddish brown color with a two finger white head. The smells are of pomegranate, honey, ginger, raisins, mostly sweet very little hops. The feel is medium, mostly sweet, honey, juice a little noticeable alcohol very mild hops.

Photo of drummermattie02
3/5  rDev -18.9%

Photo of MADPolo
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of purdueflyguy
1.75/5  rDev -52.7%

Photo of DarkLordPsycho
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%

Photo of bkrbdan
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of rfgetz
4.14/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a golden amber, moderate froth, quickly gone. Scent brings big floral notes, flowery honey, light herbal quality, some bready yeastyness and spice, sugar and fruit. Taste has a lot going on as well... strong floral, honey, grape notes, moderate sugar, herbal, spice notes, rounded out with a grainy and bready profile. Medium bodied, some prickly carbonation. Overall, impressed with the uniqueness and drinkability of this one, only thing to question is value.

Photo of JAHMUR
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%

Photo of GreyGhost4
3/5  rDev -18.9%

Photo of leinie13
3/5  rDev -18.9%

Photo of Daktyls
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a slightly reddish amber color with a one and a half finger head that very quickly dissipates to no foam at all with a continual stream of carbonation rising up in the beer.

S: Light notes of pomegranate and raisins with some backing honey sweetness. Some light grassy notes are present with a small amount of malt as well.

T: The taste starts with a pomegranate flavor with a very light hop profile finishing with some bready notes. There is definitely some complexity here with the flavor profile morphing on the finish leaving a pleasant light honey flavor.

M: A tart mouthfeel with a medium amount of carbonation that seems a little too much for the flavors present in the beer.

O: Overall, quite tasty. I would definitely have this again. Some of flavors are a little muted, but otherwise very enjoyable.

Photo of SadMachine
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of prototypic
3.42/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Birra Etrusca pours a gold color. It’s crystal clear. Backlighting brightens it up a bit. There is a slight reddish tint to it. It’s subtle. Looks good though. It’s topped with a white head that rises to about a finger or so in height. It’s rather quick to recede. Lacing was non-existent. That’s a bit disappointing. Color looks pretty good though.

The nose is alright. It’s a bit weak and could use more strength. It kicks off with strong earthy and grainy notes. They’re prominent throughout. It smells a lit sweet and sugary. Fruit notes are apparent. Smells like berries, but I assume it’s the pomegranates. It does feature some interesting floral and herbal notes. They’re a decent complement to the other scents, but I wouldn’t say great. Alcohol is there. Not too strong, but it’s there. Not bad. More strength would be better.

The flavor is pretty good. It is earthy and grainy up front. Those flavors resonate throughout each sip. A mix of fruity, floral, and herbal flavors follows. The fruit flavor tastes like berries. It’s not all that strong. That’s a good thing here. It is sweet, a bit sugary. The floral and herbal notes are alright. They add some depth, but don’t taste great. Honey is definitely in the mix and adds a nice flavor. Nice complement to the other flavors. Alcohol is a little noticeable, but blends fairly well. Finishes earthy, sweet, and a little floral.

The body is on the lighter side of medium. Carbonation is light and soft for the most part. Feels a bit thin though. Either more body or more carbonation would help. Either way.

Birra Etrusca is nothing short of interesting. In terms of beer, it’s alright. Not bad. I do think the mix of sweet and floral flavors is just okay. More body or bubbles would help too. I’m not particular on which. It’s interesting, worth checking out. It’s another in Dogfish’s growing line of trailblazing beers.

Photo of Davepoolesque
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of ejane
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of CFHMagnet
3.74/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

I got a little excited on this and poured a little overly aggressive. Two fingers of head sit on top of my beer. Body color is a dirty, muted yellow orange.

Smells very strongly of yeast and malt. Gardeny hops come through, as well as a smell like watered down sarsaparilla. Spices float throughout.

The taste is tart yet sweet. Sweet malt up front comes into a companionship with with strong yeast and spices. The end is very lightly hoppy, with a tidbit of sour apple.

Carbonation is strong. The beer is very smooth throughout, but that carbonation leaves a bite on your tongue. Lightly coats the throat and back of the tongue. I would call it light-medium bodied.

Photo of LtColFrankSlade
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of buckyp
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%

Birra Etrusca from Dogfish Head Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 664 ratings.