Birra Etrusca | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

very good
787 Ratings
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Birra EtruscaBirra Etrusca

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States

Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by billab914 on 12-09-2012

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Ratings: 787 |  Reviews: 148
Photo of huysmans
4.25/5  rDev +13%

Photo of champ103
2.57/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

On tap at Hay Merchant in Houston.

A: Pours a clear amber/red. A one finger white head forms, and fizzles out in a second. Light lace is left behind.
S: The kitchen cabinet. Pepper, other nondescript spice, honey, light fruity flavors. Grainy, sugary, flour, literally powdered flour. No structure, just a mess.
T: Again, a mess. Lets see, black pepper, honey, fruit, corn, sugar, again flour. Like the stuff you cook with. What the hell is this? An aspirin like powdery flavor, I assume more freaking flour...what ever.
M/D: A medium body that is low on the carbonation and thin. Very powdery and chalky. While the alcohol is nowhere to be seen, this is just not something I care to drink.

I am glad I only tried a small snifter, and did not pony up for the ridiculous bomber. An absolute mess, and I have a hard time believing this has any resemblance to any "ancient ale." Just a waist.

 891 characters

Photo of RWACKO
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of sixerofelixir
3.57/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

25.4 oz bottle poured into a Lagunitas mason jar glass (I didn't have a crock handy). Bottling code present. Dig the label.

Poured a dark bronze as indicated, with lots of white patchy head that stuck around. Smell is fruit and grain, like it came from a juicer. I get a LOT of juice (pomegranate, cherry) on the taste. Also some of the exact same wheat flavor that I remember with Rhizing Bines, along with the soft feel of that beer. A lot of honey for the finish. The bittering is unique. There are a LOT of different things happening here; this is a very filling beer, even when sipped for an entire evening.

This brew blurs the “beer” expectation considerably, and although the DFH ancient ales haven't been my favorite things from them, I will definitely try each new one when it's released. I appreciate the efforts and the history. Cheers!

 853 characters

Photo of philbe311
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Slightly more than three fingers worth of audibly fizzy crisp off-white colored head with a slight honey colored hue... Decent retention gives way to a splotchy veil of lacing and slight collar... Carbonation is a mixed bag of sizes and speeds with no discernible patterns... The color is a rich honey amber when back lit and a medium bronze when not back lit... No lacing nor film is noticeable on the glass as the session progresses...

S - My initial thoughts are of incense that I used to burn back in high school... Once the aroma begin to separate a bit, there as a wide array of unique aromas... Honey... Hazelnut... Strong notes of fresh cut grass... Some light woody notes... Earthy... Unlike any other beer I've encountered... Very curious about how it will taste...

T - Sweet over ripened green grapes... Honey... Sugar cane... The hazelnut is a bit more subdued on the palate... Cherry... Hint of weak coffee... Apples... Pears... Just the slightest hint of vinegar... A rich mix of flavor over all...

M - On the lighter side of medium bodied... Limited carbonation... Sleek... Fairly smooth... Goes down very easily...

D - Definitely interesting and unique... Not remotely like any other beers I've encountered... I certainly enjoyed this one well enough, but I'm not quite sure it is something that I would seek out again or drink with regularity... I would recommend for those seeking out an experience and not afraid of tying truly unique brews...

 1,472 characters

Photo of JohneHoodlum
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of Ctruskey
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of sailorastro
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of largadeer
2/5  rDev -46.8%

Photo of halo913
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.25/5  rDev +13%

Photo of RedneckBeerz
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of brin611
4.25/5  rDev +13%

Photo of brandon911
4.25/5  rDev +13%

Photo of BBrewington
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of Beeradelphia
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of abex44
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%

Photo of rlee1390
3.79/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A-Clear amber, slightly ruby, not much carbonation, head doesn't last long.

S-Honey, grapes, apples and wheat.

T-An unbalanced mixed of honey, grapes, apple and vinegar. Spices and some slight pomegranate.

M-Light to medium bodied, but no carbonation.

O-Another interesting beer from DFH. Nothing great but I'm glad they make the Ancient Ales.

 347 characters

Photo of JamesWn
3/5  rDev -20.2%

Photo of mixed_master7
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of JClarson
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of airevac19
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%

Photo of d1ckvanswype
4.7/5  rDev +25%
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.

 1,651 characters

Photo of NastyNate11
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%

Birra Etrusca from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.76 out of 5 based on 787 ratings.
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