Birrificio Troll

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Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Ranked #335
Ranked #37,650
3.51 | pDev: 18.23%
Birrificio Troll
Very Good
Reviews: 9 | Ratings: 15 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of biegaman
3.95/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Palanfrina isn't just brewed with chestnuts it is, perhaps unsurprisingly, coloured like them too. Its shady, monotone brown complexion allows no highlights, is positively cloudy but has negative carbonation. Truth be told, it's not much to look at - unless you have a thing for ugly beers.

The aroma, on the other hand, is enticing. On the subtle side, but indubitably enticing. Notes of toasted chestnuts are illusive but benefit from a rich, sweet maltiness and distinctive yeast which contribute notes of caramelized brown sugar and plum-raisin esters, respectively.

The flavour is another story - bravo! è fantastico! (as they'd say in Italy). There's enough toasty chestnut taste for me to reminisce walking the streets of Rome in winter, where vendors literally roast chestnuts on open fires, and before you know it I've got Christmas carols stuck in my head.

The mouthfeel is flat, but each sip provides adventure. The malts continue to contribute sweet molasses and treacle as well as all kinds of chewy dried berries, currants, and figs (the latter note which lends it a characteristically Mediterranean feel). The 9% alcohol knows better than to crash the party.

Everyone knows Italians have arguably the best cuisine and gastronomic culture in the world. What goes overlooked, however, is that they, unlike most peoples, have an appreciation for bitterness. This beer isn't short on sweetness but finishes on an earthy, almost woodsy bitter note (not unlike chestnut honey).

Most beers that veer off the beaten track get lost; they wind up being more 'interesting' than good. A chestnut beer may sound unusual but it's a traditional ingredient for Italians and Palanfrina tastes like a beer they've been making for centuries. Someone call Carlo Petrini - this regional offering is special.

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Photo of Knapp85
2.44/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This poured out as a brown color with a rapid fading head on top... Head is gone, leaves no lacing at all. The smell of the beer gives off some sweet malt, candi sugar and roasted nuts. The taste of the beer is sweet, moderately sweet with a dry aftertaste, no bitterness. The mouthfeel is nearly flat, light bodied and kind of boring. Overall this beer needs some work. The carbonation is way too low, the flavors are too subtle and it's kinda boring. Not really much of a Belgian Dark Ale to me.

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Photo of ADZA
3.37/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

An ale brewed with chestnuts and it pours a cherry brown hue which leaves a fast vanishing one finger head and a rim of lacing,the smell is sherry,toffee,boozy alcohol and chestnuts,the mouthfeel is medium bodied and a tad oily with tastes of boozy warming alcohol first up followed by some sweet and sour cherries,sherry,toffee,chestnuts,brown sugar and finished with a herbal bittersweetness and overall its average it does has some good things going on but i wouldnt buy it again anytime soon.

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Photo of Zraly
3.17/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a sherry aged firkin. A deep amber with red highlights into a wine glass. Very little head to speak of.

This ale has a sour quality to it, in addition to a nuttiness that overwhelms the senses. Because of this, it strikes me as a bit unbalanced. The sherry lends a wine quality, and that factor helps round out the sour quality. There is an interesting cigar wrapper/tobacco note in the finish.

Carbonation is low and body is medium.

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Photo of drpimento
1.86/5  rDev -47%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Not at all what I was expecting. Maybe beyond its bbe or bad bottle - whatever. Poured with ok tan head and a little lace. Color is slightly hazy reddish amber. Aroma was chemical solvents. Some slight sourness as well. Body was ok and so was carbonation. Flavor's the same. Finish is like flavor. I was really looking forward to this and am vastly disappointed. Maybe try again someday.

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Photo of Suds
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew has a nice, dark color deep chestnut (ahem) hues. Atop the liquid sits a soda-pop head that doesn't produce much lace, and isn't particularly firm. The aroma is good...a little roast and chocolate. No hops in the smell. The noteworthy smell, though, is that of chestnuts, which is suprisingly strong and well matched with the roasted malt. Fairly sweet beer, with lots of flavor. It does a reasonably good job of hiding the 9% alcohol, but a little warming does make its way through. The mouthfeel is a little slick and oily, but, rather than detracting, it seems to go well with the nut flavor. The mouthfeel, in this case, highlights the castagne. Quite good...the beer grows on you.

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Photo of nick76
2.76/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The aroma is not what was expected. I do get some nuttiness but it's mostly yeasty and somewhat herbal with some light fruit. The appearance is chestnut brown with a small but nice head. The palate is smooth but thin. Overall it's not good but drinkable.

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Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle enjoyed at Mondial 2008. This was not too great a Belgium.The chestnuts were unique and imparted a kind of off-taste like they didn't belong. Looked good, black with white crown. Licorice in taste I also didn't like. Medium mouthfeel.
Had it 1.5 years later at Cole's Italian tasting. Here it was a liquor sipper.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.2/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a viscous appearance and a frothy, initially three finger thick, brown tinged, tan colored head. The beer is a very concentrated, amber tinged, dark brown color, when held up to the light the beer shows a brilliantly clear, gem-like, rich red color. The aroma is sweet and fruity up front, but quickly mixes in toasty malt notes and a substantial nuttiness that has a distinct spiciness to it. As I try and dissect the nose I get aromas of raisins, light cherries, tart-sweet plums, sweet cranberries, white pepper, woody ginger, browned malt and a sweet jam like aromatic note. I really like what the chestnuts have added here, it is quite distinct, and quite nutty.

Reasonably thick bodied, but strangely not nearly as sweet as I was expecting. Actually this is almost more tart than it is sweet. Distinctly accentuated by the various chestnut additions; this is woody, nutty, spicy and sweet nut meat. The finish has a sort of tannic, nut husk astringency to it that provides a distinct bitterness to this brew. While not overly sweet, this does have a jam like, fruity sweetness to it that accents notes of concentrated berries, cherries, sweet plums and light raspberry notes. At times a lightly warming, almost spicy note of alcohol is noticeable in the finish as is a light, floral honey flavor.

A very interesting beer, I really like the touch that the chestnuts add to this beer; it also has a surprising fruitiness to it, that I almost wonder if it is at least accented by the chestnuts note (if not down right attributable to them). The fact that this is not overly sweet, yet lightly tart and offset by an astringent finish, really is quite nice. While, at times, fantastically interesting, I wouldn't say this is not the most nuanced or complex brew, but it is certainly a tasty tipple; so this is merely a very tasty brew, as opposed to perfection in a glass. Ultimately this is a very pleasant suprise that i am enjoying very much righ now.

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Palanfrina from Birrificio Troll
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 15 ratings