Birra Etrusca | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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Birra EtruscaBirra Etrusca
796 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 796 |  Reviews: 151
Photo of George2744
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of davey101
3.71/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2012A, 750 ml into a DFH signature glass. Ugh....another ancient ale that I must tick...

A - Pours a dark brown/red body. Very clear with some rising carbonation. Bronze? Eh, close enough. Three fingers of very dense bone white foam forms and disappears rather quickly. Leaves behind a thin soda like cap of awkwardly large bubbles. Moderate lacing with weak retention.

S - Well, theres a lot happening here. Not in the "woah, this beer is uber complex" way either. Just in the way that several very different aromas get to clash it up in my nostrils. I don't even know. Its nutty and sweet, with some herbal and savory notes. Mix in a bit of burnt plastic as well.

T - Again, just a cavalcade of question marks and nonsense. Starts off with some honey sweetness ala Midas Touch but with a bit of tart pomegranate fruit, then a wave of nutty flavors, then it all gets hit in the face with an odd savory tea/herbal like quality on the end. Its drinkable enough, just weird.

M - Thin to medium bodied with a decent carbonation.

O - Just another one of those silly ancient ales. Much, much better than the travesty that was Ta Drainpour, but this is still not a great beer. I might be tired of the beer history lessons because I've yet to have one of these beers that warrants a repeat purchase. Decent enough beer, but just wildly confusing in all aspects.

 1,360 characters

Photo of leodarko
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of FlussigkeitMut
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of peabody
3.52/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Definately a bronze color and almost reddish brown with a finger of off-white suds. Some lacing around the glass.
Smell is all over the place. Mostly I get belgian spice with a peppery note then some fruit in the grape/pommegranet family. Can really smell the sugar and just a hint of the alcohol.
Taste is sour and sweet and bitter and hard fruit candy all at one time. The spices do come in towards the end of the sip along with some phenol notes.
Mouthfeel is pretty sticky and the aftertaste of grape skin and belgian spice.
Overall this isn't bad but it has way too many things going on for my palate. Good to try once but would not visit it again.

 653 characters

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
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!

 900 characters

Photo of Vroom
2.5/5  rDev -32.6%

Photo of korguy123
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Maybe it's the long hours, maybe it's the food coma I just went into but the label on the bottle didn't make a hell of a lot of sense to me. I got 8 B.C Tuscany, pomegranate, bronze and a bunch of ingredients I've never heard of. I've come to appreciate the Ancient Ales series as something new that I'd probably never try without it. With that said, a lot of these ingredients don't really change my life one way or another. I appreciate the history behind the label more than what's in the beer.


Crystal clear burnt copper. Half finger off white head disappeared to nothingness. No lacing, just a single row of tight bubbles around the rim.

Definitely getting the hazelnut flour and the pomegranate. Aside from those I smell a lot of caramel, brown sugar, raisins and some sweet malts.

Pomegranate, raisins, apple skins, some leather and caramel. There is a powdery flour feel along with a taste associated with it. Slightly metallic tastes (most like from the malts not the bronze lol) The taste transforms from great, to bad, to good. It's hard to explain.

Light body, medium to high carbonation.

It has an aftertaste I can't put my finger on. I've had every ancient ale except Ta Hanket (zero interest in that one really) and this ranks probably the low middle of the spectrum of those releases. It isn't necessarily bad, just not necessarily great.

 1,370 characters

Photo of bccocx
2.75/5  rDev -25.9%

Photo of huysmans
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of champ103
2.57/5  rDev -30.7%
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 -5.7%

Photo of sixerofelixir
3.57/5  rDev -3.8%
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 +1.9%
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 +7.8%

Photo of Ctruskey
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of sailorastro
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of largadeer
2/5  rDev -46.1%

Photo of halo913
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of RedneckBeerz
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of brin611
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of brandon911
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of BBrewington
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of Beeradelphia
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Birra Etrusca from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 3.71 out of 5 with 796 ratings