Birra Etrusca
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Birra EtruscaBirra Etrusca
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Style:
Herb and Spice Beer
Ranked #41
ABV:
8.5%
Score:
84
Ranked #35,242
Avg:
3.74 | pDev: 13.64%
Reviews:
154
Ratings:
799
From:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
 
Delaware, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  42
Gots
  144
SCORE
84
Good
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: 799 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by huddyball:
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huddyball from New Hampshire

2.5/5  rDev -33.2%

Apr 05, 2013
More User Reviews:
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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
Photo of Moneypenny
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
Photo of jopezu
jopezu from Georgia

4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

deep amber color, almost no head. bright raisin and sugar nose. taste is a lightly sour, dark "fruit juice" mixture, likely attributed to the pomegranate. if there were hops in this beer, it would taste like an american wild ale/sour beer. interesting to try, but probably will not be a regular.

Mar 22, 2015
Photo of BT_Bobandy
BT_Bobandy from Ohio

3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Apr 20, 2015
Photo of guzzleacoldone
guzzleacoldone from Ohio

3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

May 24, 2014
Photo of kylehay2004
kylehay2004 from Illinois

3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Initially a 3 finger head which dissipated rapidly with little lacing on a clear copper body. Aroma is dominated by pomegranate with grape, red apple and some generic spice. Flavor also has a lot of similar flavors with pomegranate again dominating with red apple and grapes also again noted. Additional notes include pine resin, honey and herbs. Medium body, fairly oily on the palate and moderate carbonation. Initially this one seemed complex but eventually it became more like a tart fruit juice. Certainly drinkable, almost too sweet. As with the other ancient ales, this one is worth a try.

Jan 08, 2013
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-NESTO- from New Jersey

3/5  rDev -19.8%

Sep 11, 2013
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willjschmidt from California

3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Feb 10, 2013
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BlurryVisi0n from New York

3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Served in a signature DFH pint glass.

Appearance: Straight amber, light with light bubbles on the body. Off-white head with a hard pour rose to about 2/3" but settles too quick. It dropped flat in less than a minute.

Smell: Easily a fruity scent, comes off pretty strong. Yeasty but nice sniff that I wish I had a cheesecake at the time of the brew. Smelling lightly sweet.

Taste: Comes off fruity and complex. Has a honey feel that almost overwhelms the rest of the beer. Very grapey and lightly sour with a yeast feel that only gets better with each sip.

Mouth: Light to medium carbonation, has a sweet sour finish at the end that is definitely the acquired type of feel.

Overall: Definitely a different type of beer, taste alone reminds you maybe something from Belgium. This brew i will mind you is not for everyone, you have to have an open mind to appreciate it for what it is. Salud!

Mar 18, 2013
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civicm87 from New York

4.75/5  rDev +27%

Apr 20, 2013
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canawler from Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Oct 30, 2013
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Texasfan549 from Texas

3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Jul 11, 2013
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Skott1123 from Ohio

3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Apr 13, 2013
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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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Lantern

4/5  rDev +7%

Jan 15, 2013
Photo of AGust82
AGust82 from Connecticut

3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Nov 18, 2013
Photo of Brad007
Brad007 from Vermont

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

Pours a beautiful copper color with a thin-head into my glass. I'm not sure what to think of the color but reading the description puzzles me a bit. Time to smell.

A bit funky and fruity with a strong apple and pomegranate essence in the nose. Very similar to the aroma of a wine.

Light, crisp and dry with a wine-like finish. Grape skin comes to mind as a texture. Perhaps a bit of nuttiness too.

Again, mouthfeel finishes fairly dry and leaves nothing but a pleasant reminder of grape.

Very interesting take on an ancient recipe. I give them kudos for once again going against the grain and creating something unique.

Dec 14, 2012
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alexsergio from New York

3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Sep 06, 2014
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FembotsUnite from Pennsylvania

3.96/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

Jul 08, 2013
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kaelingirl from Massachusetts

3.25/5  rDev -13.1%

Jan 14, 2013
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SadMachine from New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Feb 17, 2013
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Mendicant from Australia

3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Jan 01, 2014
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Chuckdiesel24 from Illinois

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

Really enjoyed this, I get the pomegranate and the rest is a nice meld

Aug 06, 2020
Photo of deapokid
deapokid from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +7%

Jan 30, 2014
Birra Etrusca from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 799 ratings