Birra Etrusca
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Birra EtruscaBirra Etrusca
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Herb and Spice Beer
Ranked #40
Ranked #36,593
3.74 | pDev: 13.64%
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States
Birra EtruscaBirra Etrusca
Notes: This beer is based on a beverage that may have been enjoyed by the Etruscans of Ancient Italy around 800 BC. A strong ale containing an Italian heirloom grain called Cappelli Senatore, along with pomegranate juice, raisins, and hazelnut flour, together with 3 types of honey: chestnut, wildflower, and clover. Spiced with several hop flowers, Gentian root and tree resin (think Myrrh) in the kettle.
Reviews: 154 | Ratings: 801 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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StoutElk_92 from Massachusetts

4.57/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottled on 06/03/14

Nice, complex, tart, fruity, with an interesting herbal incense spice note, myrrh, gentian root, honey, hint of hazelnut, wheaty, with fresh pomegranates, pomegranate juice, raisins, some acidity, herbal notes, and a touch of bronze

Apr 25, 2019
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puboflyons from New Hampshire

3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From the 750 ml. bottle. Sampled on May 20, 2018.

It pours a handsome looking and slightly murky looking amber brown. Quick lived off-white head.

The aroma is alive with sensations including pomegranate, honey, woody spiciness, and hazelnut. A kid of earthiness throughout.

The body is medium to bold and rather slick.

IN the flavor the sweet honey is front and center with a boost of fruitiness. The alcohol is downplayed yet there is an exotic spicy character. Hops are not found. A unique tasting beer.

May 20, 2018
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Roguer from Connecticut

3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Rated blind.

Clear brown brew, with a fizzy head of moderate size that rapidly disappears completely.

Prunes feature heavily on the aroma, along with figs and dates, light Belgian yeast notes, and brown sugar. Something on the nose is a touch stale and cloying.

My immediate impression on the palate is figs and grape juice, along with apples, light brown sugar, hay, wheat, and mild spices. Not as strong as a Belgian in flavors.

Sticky finish, but a light brew overall. Surprising warmth belies a moderately high ABV.

Oct 10, 2017
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secondtooth from Indiana

3.84/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Aged maybe a year.

Appearance: This Bronze-age ancient ale pours a deep and clean amber, with average head and no lace.

Aroma: Fruity. Sour pomegranate notes seem to take hold first, with a grainy maltiness ruling. Not bad.

Taste: Fruit again, sweet but with a warming finish. I get a honey taste, too. Can’t detect much of the hazelnut flour, but I do get the raisins and some spice, too. Feels a lot like a wine vibe overall, but pretty well delicious and fruit/malty in the realm of the fine Belgians. Really pleasant and tasty.

Aug 26, 2017
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mikeinportc from New York

4.16/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy , (slightly) reddish-purplish orange-amber. Maybe if a touch of pomegranate juice were added to cider? Light , off-white head.

Smells like a V. labrusca-based wine ('Concord',etc.) , plus a slight yeastiness. As it warms, a boozy, brandy-like aroma emerges, like a Belgian tripel.

At first, the flavor is like a very dry, slightly (hop) bitter, grape soda, with very fine carbonation. As it warms some honey, spice, floral, and nut flavors come out, and it becomes less dry and crisp.

Overall, a good one. I wouldn't want it often, but it hit the spot today. I'd have it again, and would recommend it as worth a try.

Mar 19, 2017
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Lucular from Maryland

3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Tastes pretty good for what it is. None of the individual components overwhelms the others. I have to wonder though, most of DFH's ancient ales are fairly high ABV - did all beer used to be this boozy?

Feb 17, 2017
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patre_tim from Thailand

4.19/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Copper with no sediment on the first pour. Only fine, fine, fine, bubbled carbonation, and a half finger of bright yellow tinged head.

First thought is, its a Belgian triple based on the nose. Smells of phenols, and what I think of as Belgian yeasts, its fruity, like apples, alcohol and a hint of creme brûlée.

Sweet and way more complex than I expected. Tastes like layers of flowers and fruits, it could be a perfume based on the taste. I get apples, and grenadine syrup (yes, the pomegranate) a fair amount of sweetness considering I've had this bottle for over a year. Flowers, molasses, and its like concentrated pomegranate syrup is present. The floral aspects might be a residue of the honey.

Medium, slightly weighty body with moderate, almost low carbonation. Very smooth, alcohol only detected in the throat.

My wife got this at Bruisin Ales in Asheville, NC in August 2015. Drank in Chiangmai, Thailand, Sept 6th, 2016. Really standing up with time. Well worth a try, no disappointments here. Unique, and tastes good, and having a historical background is a huge bonus.

Sep 06, 2016
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0_0 from New Jersey

3.41/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.75

L - Decent Head dark amber in color
S - Sour, slight fruit notes
T - Sour, bitter, grapes and only the tiniest hint of the bottle - mentioned pom.
F- I;m high right now, what does it matter how i feel?
O - The ancient ale is interesting, but really its story is more build up than its actual delivery.

Jul 30, 2016
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dacrza1 from New Jersey

4.21/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

DATE: July 28, 2016... OCCASION: watching our wedding videos (thanks for sending the VCR, Jer!) while celebrating fifteen blessed years of marriage with Shana... GLASSWARE: Affligem goblet.... a dark copper, almost brownish opaque body challenges daylight... the off-white fizzles to a pencil-thin ring, while small clouds circle inside... apple, sour apple, grapefruit, vanilla, honey, grapes, and saltiness--safe to say, I haven't smelled something like this before, although the aroma loosely approximates freshly unwrapped cassette tapes from the eighties... in summation, quite a cornucopia to process... upon first sip, surprisingly active in the mouth... medium-bodied, warming, and dry, with the honeyed finish that provides depth and length to the taste... demonstrative apple, honey and citrus and sour mash... ginger, raisins, dry nuts, and phenol hints develop a complex, almost unworldly profile, one that encourages sip upon sip... a beer worthy of the our milestone anniversary, I cannot help but think this beer is challenging in all the right ways, stirring fruit, spice and lesser elements to develop a taste akin to a Belgian ale but with drastically different draw and depth.. manageable at its 8.5% but formidable as well, with its spiciness erupting with every sip... on sale at A&P Liquors? yes, please...

Jul 29, 2016
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colts9016 from Idaho

3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pour the beer into a chalice glass, since it is an ancient ale. A hard pour produced a pathetic head that immediately dissipated. The color of the beer is a rich Amber hue with orange, rust, and mahogany hues. The beer has some carbonation bubbles that rise to the top. It is knida neat to see it.

The nose on the beer is complex the labels says pomegranate, but I only can detect some fruitiness, the malt is toasty, biscuit, yeasty, a herbal like medicinal and grass. This is odd but the nose has this smell like a freshly painted room. A floral and perfume note on the back end.. The Nose is very fragrant.

Taste: Immediately there is that medicinal herbal note with grass, wheat, kinda like yarrow tea. The taste is weedy, slightly sweet, biscuit, yeast, fruity, floral and oranges.

Mouth-feel: A dry tannin like feel, that is bitter, but not astringent, carbonated, and the finish lingers for a few moments.

Overall: Ok this beer is one strange cookie, just like what Dogfish is known to do. I can not tell you if I really like or not. I have this bomber to drink. The strong herbal note takes minute to understand. It is made well and great for its style.

Apr 24, 2016
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sjdevel from Utah

4.12/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Hazy and a deep copper brown color. Fairly light on carbonation. 1-finger head and recedes rapidly. Some residual bubbles continue to flow up, but not enough to replenish the foam bed.

Smells of sour fruit up front. Some floral properties either from hops or other ingredients. Spices quickly take over. There are many different grassy and herbal notes that take turns hitting your nostrils.

Instant bitterness and sourness. There is a bite at first, then it kicks into a sour fruit, wine, and vinegar. It starts to sweeten a bit, just before the earthiness rolls in. Wow, it’s hard to describe the earthiness. There are flavors of fresh cracked black pepper, grass, tree lings, roots, plants, leaves, rocks, minerals… well just about everything else imaginable. The sweetness fades and the spices start to fade, then there seems to be some evidence of late addition hops (or some other ingredient taking on the same role). It dries out a bit more and you are left with a slightly smoky malt flavor and fruit.

Medium+ mouthfeel. Not very fizzy, but it doesn’t totally go flat. A bit oily and slick. It is quite interest though.

This was a very interesting brew. There are a lot of flavors in there that you can’t quite place and keeps you guessing. One sip seems a bit different from the next. I am a big Dogfish Head fan. I am an off-centered person and love their off-centered beers!!!!!

Apr 14, 2016
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Zythophile from District of Columbia

4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle Date: 6/16/15
Palate Contaminants: spicy stuff an hour before

Another Ancient Ale. Gotta love the initiative.

Appearance is a slightly opaque light brown.

Smell is pleasant. It's starts like mead, but then the dried fruit really dominates.

Everything that's in the taste is in the smell, but the balance is different. It actually starts out like a really hearty hefeweizen, then the unique nature shows. Raisins, prunes, and honey dominate. It's actually like a sweet trailmix, if that makes any sense.

Feel shoots par.

This is one that I'd be happy to have again, but I have too many other things to try for me to go looking, but it is a pretty good beverage.

Mar 06, 2016
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maddogruss from New Jersey

3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: pours dark golden body with amber tones with a thin white head with no real retention or lacing.
S: herbal, honey, sweet alcohol notes with some fruity undertones
T: sweet, herbal tasting beer. Hazelnuts are a little relevant, some piney notes and an earthy aftertaste. Alcohol aftertaste
M: medium bodied and pretty smooth
D: ok mouthfeel and taste combination for a good drinking beer; definitely not a session beer, but still goes down pretty well!

Feb 22, 2016
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Wasatch from Colorado

4.12/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled On: 06/17/13

About 2.5 yrs. on this bottle

Poured into a DFH glass a pretty nice clean/clear golden brown color, very nice carbonation, with a very nice one-finger creamy/fizzy off-white head, which leaves some sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, yeasty, some figs, raisins, plums, grapes. The taste is malty, yeasty, with some dark fruits, slightly tart/sweet, slightly spicy. Medium body, ABV hidden very well. Overall, a tasty brew. Reminds me of a BSDA with a twist.

Jan 03, 2016
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Sabtos from Ohio

2.57/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

What in the world is going on with this? This is like the most extreme version of a Christmas ale I've ever had, and it's not even advertised as such. There is so much spice in this it's beyond comprehension. As I've said with other DFH ancient ales, they didn't always do things better in the past.

Dec 16, 2015
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Gajo74 from New York

4.02/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very interesting and unique brew. Golden, honey colored pour;nice looking. Sweet aroma and taste, fruity, pomegranate, honey, raisins. Yet, it is not so sweet that it doesn't taste like beer. This is because the herbs and spices do a great job of balancing it out. Smooth and sweet finish and feel.Relatively light but quite flavorful. Another bold creation of DFH.

Sep 19, 2015
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VABA from Virginia

4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a dark amber color with a nice head and lacing
A-Aroma has pomegranate hints
T-The taste follows the nose with a generous pomegranate flavor
M-A medium bodied well carbonated beer
O-A good Spice beer

Aug 28, 2015
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qcghost from North Carolina

4.02/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Interesting brew. Poured on tap at the brewery. Unique aroma of raisin, sweet honey, and fruit. Very sweet taste and finish. I thought there would be a little more body to the beer with the higher ABV. Overall not a bad drink but Dogfish has put quite a few better ones out there.

Aug 24, 2015
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mandy_mic700 from Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a 10oz pour at the Dogfish Head brewery. Candy-like sweetness, carefully balanced with spice. I am not one for sweet brews, so the I definitely appreciated the spice which broke up the sweetness a bit. Definitely one of my favorites from DFH.

Aug 21, 2015
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hophugger from Virginia

3.39/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly deep gold color with decent head and lacing. Aromas of dark fruit, some candy essences and sweet malt . Taste is of hard candy, raisins, exotic fruit and some bready malt. Cloying sweetness lingers for awhile with a touch of hop bitterness..

Aug 20, 2015
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StJamesGate from New York

3.81/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pale mahogany with white film. 3.75
Perfumed, almost greasy floral notes. Nice! 4
Forest honey, honeysuckle, some slight nuts, and a sour end. 3.75
Chestnut end and Pom juice linger.
Halfway to medium, sticky, round. 3.75

Made with honey, hazelnut, myrrh, and pomegranate, among others.

Sweet and perfumed. Brings a lot for having no hops. But more interesting proof of concept i.e. not hugely drinkable. 4

Aug 10, 2015
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jngrizzaffi from Texas

3.51/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy dark amber to slightly red color with a small carbonated head. Head retention and lacing are non-existent. Can definitely smell the pomegranate. Maybe some slight raisin. Very fruity. Strong pomegranate taste with some raisin at the end. My wife says she can taste the hazelnut, but I am having trouble with it. Light bodied with high carbonation. Decent taste but not what I really expect from a beer. No hoppiness.

Jun 24, 2015
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IckyT2012 from Florida

4.22/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this bottle aged 3 years. I don't know what it tasted like fresh, but the honey is strong with this one. Drinks more like a fruit juice than a beer.

Jun 23, 2015
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EMV from Pennsylvania

4.17/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass.

L: Pours a deep clear mahogany color with 1 finger of off-white head that falls rapidly.

S: Smells of dark fruits and cherries. Honey sweetness and alcohol.

T/F: Tart at the start... cherries and plums that is well balanced by honey and spices. Delicious flavor, nice alcoholic warmth, and a smooth finish. Carbonation is mild to moderate.

O: Great little beer and off the beaten path. I like this more than others in the style.... and more fruit/honey and less spice I think is a good thing. I'd enjoy having this again and another fine effort from Dogfish Head.

Jun 17, 2015
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Moneypenny from Connecticut

3.64/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Begins like apple cider. Minimal head dissipates quickly. Sam Calagione's video on this brew shows a head that stays consistently in the cumulonimbus region. Maybe he added sat like they used to do on Cheers to keep the head on Norm's mug of Near Bear. In any case, the cloudy apple cider appearance becomes transluscent over time (and mind you, you do not want to drink this one quickly).

On the nose, Birra Etrusca is strong on stone fruit, specifically stewed prunes and raisins. The alcoholic punch belies it's 8.5% ABV. It drinks more like a 12%. As it ages in the glass, the deep, rich chocolate notes shimmer through.

There is something disturbingly familiar about its presence, as if I'd worn it last week as a fragrance, or my ancient long dead self drank this in front of my late husband king's funeral pyre. Mission Accomplished.

Apr 30, 2015
Birra Etrusca from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 801 ratings