Nero's 1st Century Double Dark Malt Ale | Amarcord Birra Artigianale Italiana

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Nero's 1st Century Double Dark Malt AleNero's 1st Century Double Dark Malt Ale

Brewed by:
Amarcord Birra Artigianale Italiana

Style: Bock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by notchucknorris on 12-09-2011

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Reviews: 48 | Ratings: 92
Photo of dhannes
4.22/5  rDev +36.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a standard pint glass.

A=Lighter amber color...more like rust. Head was almost light yellow...dominated during the poor, but quickly disappeared.

S=Honey smell present, with a backdrop of hops.

T=Honey along with bourbon and bananas; occasionally a sour lemon aftertaste as well.

M=Rather light body and little carbonation...would be a session beer if sourness fades.

O=Not a bock nor a brown ale...more like a sour ale, I think. I think this would go well with barbecued chicken or other hearty foods. May repurchase again.

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Photo of pkalix
4.1/5  rDev +32.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

trader joe's special!!
pours very, very dark brown. no head.
smells a tad fruit-y, and musty...
tastes... hmmm.... idunno, kind of malty, a little bit of fruit, easy to drink.
another italian special. my heritage. decent, but not great. easy to drink, but not best in class. very good, though. i can finish a few of these before switching over...

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Photo of TappaKeggaBrew
4/5  rDev +29.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear amber, with a fat finger of frothy, off-white head that lingered well and left a decent amount of lacing.

S: Sweet, bready malt. Faint spice (cloves?) Slight pine scent.

T: Sweet malt dominates, but not in a bad way. There's a fruity taste, a little bit like black cherries. Hops bitterness is there, but just barely. No unpleasant tastes to distract.

M: Moist, but with good carbonation.

O: OK, so it's not often that I give a beer all the same number ranking across the board, but this one fit the bill: Good, but not exceptional, in every category. Tasty, although not especially complex. I'd drink it again, although there are others I like better for the same price.

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Photo of matjack85
3.89/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I picked this up at Trader Joe's in Glen Ellyn, IL for $2.79. 500ml swing top bottle with no freshness date.

The beer poured a slightly hazed light caramel color with a 2½-finger light beige head. Retention was only a minute long and lacing consisted of a few sticky splotches.
The beer smells wonderfully malty and sweet. There's also a bit of a bubble gum scent.

The taste is not as strong as the smell led me to believe it would be, and it doesn't really live up to the "double dark" name on the label. Still, sweet caramel malt and brown sugar are the predoninent flavors along with some dark cherry fruit. After the initial light dose of sweetness, a mild hop bitterness and some sour twang come into play. The 8% alcohol, while noticeable, isn't that unpleasant.

Not that thick for a sweet beer. In fact it's only medium bodied at best. Carbonation is also on the moderate side.

This isn't bad. I liked it, but if you're going to call yourself a double anything, it ought to have more punch (flavor) to it.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.88/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nero's 1st Century Double Dark Malt Ale
16.9 oz. / 500 ml bottle, swing top closure
marked "B.B.E.06/23/13 B.C.3571101
$2.49 @ Trader Joe's #719 in Omaha, NE

Pours a slightly hazy, deep chestnut brown body beneath a creamy head of khaki foam. The head drops slowly but it maintains a solid surface covering, and it still manages to leave craggy streaks and tiny spots of lace behind.

The aroma is distinctly fruity (apple, pear, dried apricot, grape) over a light malt base of caramel and nuts, backed by some light floral and leafy hops.

The flavor follows suit, and it's surprisingly fruity and estery. I'm guessing that it's fermented at a fairly high temperature as I also seem to be finding some higher alcohols amidst its 8.0 % a.b.v. As it warms the malt widens a bit and it becomes sweeter, offering a more appropriate base for the wide fruitiness. The hops appear towards the swallow shifting gears a little bit, and adding depth. There's not a whole lot of bitterness present, but along with the leafy, floral, and somewhat earthy hops it does develop a dry, balancing finish.

In the mouth it's medium-full with a creamy smooth, moderate carbonation that gently caresses the tongue.

Everything considered, it's an interesting beer that's surprisingly unique. The execution could be better, but its charm more than makes up for its faults.

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Photo of BeerManDan
3.85/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color when poured in pint glass was medium dark brown with a minimum amount of foam and no lace. The smell of roasted malts was very evident, along with a hint of chocolate. The taste was of the roasted malts (bitter/sweet) and a touch of chocolate and caramel. Nice long flavorful bitter/sweet aftertaste. Just remember the is a malt ale and that is exactly what it is!!!

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Photo of Mosstrooper
3.7/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 500ml bottle into Guiness branded tulip pint glass.

Appearance: Cola colored with a medium off-white head that dissipates quickly and leaves behind a floating foam on top of the beer.

Smell: Caramel and chocolate dominate alongside some lighter notes of plum and apricot.

Taste: Begins with fruity sweetness and a bit of spice before finishing with deep caramel malt flavor and a bittersweet alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Thicker in body with sharp carbonation up front. The carbonation rounds out and this beer finishes very sticky.

Overall: A good representation of the style. This may not turn any heads, but is totally worth it at only $2.99 for a bottle. This beer seems to be a bit more of a doppelbock to me, but it stands up just fine as a bock.

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Photo of kenito799
3.67/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle poured into a chalice.
Nice dark browninsh amber with decent head on the pour, fades and leaves no lace.
Aroma is pleasant and fresh, some root beer spice notes.
The palate is quite pleasing with some more of that unexpected clovey spice, and a good balance of malt and soft bitterness. I am not sure how classic a bock this is, but I like it.

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Photo of YouSkeete
3.66/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep brown with an orange hue. Fluffy, two finger pale yellow head with nice retention. Smoky rye and wheat bread and molasses in the aroma. Rye bread, dark malts and bourbon on the first sip. Big bready, malty mouthfeel, not much else penetrates. Big oat flavors with smooth molasses and fresh malts. Really enjoyable bock, very simple.

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Photo of Lockedin
3.62/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml Captive cork bottle from Trader Joe's - at 2.99 I figured "why not"

A: Big POP! on opening. Pours a deep red gold and amazing clarity, 2.5 fingers of marbled ivory head with tight bubbles appears and never quite leaves, active small bubbled carbonation continually rises. Nice lacing throughout.

S: Immediate biscuity malt scent fills the room - no surprise as this says it is a malt ale on the label. A bit of wet cardboard; reminds me a bit of a malt liquor. Not bad, but not good either.

T: Very much a malt bomb. Bready, doughy, yeasty malt upfront, sweeter biscuit malt as it coats the tongue, and more malt on the - wait a minute - nice, subtle hop(?) bitterness balances out and blends with the finish (which lasts forever), especially on the exhale. Not at trace of alcohol to be found - amazing for 8%abv. Taste is much better than the smell!

M: Medium body, though somewhat thicker and slicker than I would have thought - I suppose that is part of the extra long finish.

O: This is my first go at this style since I started reviewing. While I lean more to West Coast DIPAs and Belgian styles, this is something that will be in my fridge again when the malt mood strikes. Enjoyable experiment - TY to the Trader Joe's guy that recommended trying it!

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Photo of Reidrover
3.5/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml swing top bottle ( very attractive package) from TJs Salem Oregon, $3.49 Amber/orange ale with a big ole thick bubbly off white head Subdued aromas..mainlly creamy cereal,roasted peanut..not that bad really Taste is again of course malty..bready,hay..slightly toasted..some semi-dark coffee bittering at the very end. I actually liked the mouthfeel..its rich enough yet still easy..only a touch of the alcohol. I actually did like this beer but its no doppelbock..a nice strong bock/ale hybrid

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Photo of Aaron_Ramson
3.49/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at a Southern California Trader Joe's for $1.99. Grading this beer with low expectations due to "budget beer" price.
A: poured with a nice 1" head, cola colored, carbonation bubbles against side of glass, dark without much clarity.
S: smell is of dates, raisins, fruity and malty.
T: forward flavors are molasses and figs, solvent and booze, burnt sugar, some hop bitterness near the end.
M: medium thin, not watery, good carbonation level.
O: for the price, I was very satisfied with this beer. It is richer and more complex than something I would expect in the "bargain beer" catagory. I would drink this again.

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Photo of MoreThanWine
3.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Other than being in a cool bottle and available pretty cheap from Trader Joe's this beer isn't all it claims to be. Poured a half inch off-white fine froth head with reasonable lifespan. The body is a slightly hazy burn sienna color, not dark at all like the name claims. It does smell of complex malt. But then when you drink it although you do get malt it's not nearly as malty as I'd expected, certainly not "double dark malt". It's still enjoyable though, and a decent value in beer.

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Photo of TheMarkE
3.46/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A decent caramel pour, not much foam or retention.

Smell: A sweet chocolate aroma. Nice.

Taste: More complex than expected, with chocolate, dark fruit, caramel, yeast, and spices rolling around in there.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body. slightly syrupy finish.

Overall: Not bad, especially at the bargain price of $1.99 from Trader Joe’s. It’s a decent, drinkable bottle of malt with an 8% ABV.

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Photo of LXIXME
3.41/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Medium sized light brown head settles into a pretty decent lacing above a clear dark reddish amber colored beer.

Light aroma of dark fruits and roasted malts that have a woody toffee and wine aspect to it.

Roasted grain malts with aspects of caramel and toffee blend well with a dark fruits like taste.

A light dryish aftertaste that brings with it the tastes of roasted grain malts and the darker fruits.

This beer seems to be a better version of similar beers like Amber Bock or Shiner Bock.

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Photo of elNopalero
3.38/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A cheap find at the local Trader Joe’s. Honestly, expectations are not high for this one. If it wasn’t in a flip-top I’d probably just as soon have passed it over.

But still…

This pours a ruby amber-malty color with tight foam. I found an ok malty-sweet aroma to it, with something akin to candied cherries and a light caramel aroma. The flavor comes across as sweet and smooth, with a dialed down sweetness. Thin bodied for the style, thinner than I had expected at any rate. There’s a light bitterness with some caramel-toffee hints. Pleasant enough but not one that I’d recommend for anyone with a love of dopplebocks.

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Photo of beertunes
3.35/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another Trader Joes bargain beer. If nothing else, I'll have a 1-pint swing top growler. Poured into 9oz pilsener glass. Poured a clean, clear medium brown with about 1/4 inch of off-white head that had low retention and decent lacing.

The aroma and flavors were very closely tied, mostly sweet malts with some yeasty spice and a bit of noticeable alcohol. The body was good, just a little fuller than medium, but not heavy, smooth and with a surprisingly (considering the sweetness of this beer) dry finish.

Drinkability was solidly good. Overall, a decent value brew. Worth trying if you see it. Plus, you get a sweet mini-growler out of of the deal.

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Photo of smcolw
3.33/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Little head that leaves nearly no lace on the glass. Attractive neutral amber color. Crystal clear.

Sweet, even for a Bock. Not much typical caramel, it smells more like whipped sugar (cotton candy?).

The taste is drier than the smell. The caramel is present in the swallow. Light hop, which I think adds to the flavor. Short aftertaste. Appropriately full bodied with an above average level of carbonation.

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Photo of gueuzeonhigh
3.33/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my glass looking nice-- a hair of lacing, a built up tightly knit head interspersed with larger bubbles like eyes looking back at me.

Slight nose- nothing special. Hints of malt.

Flavor- for what I expected a malt ale should be, I think this beer has a light body and a light flavor. Even the 8% AVB didn't give the beer the push over the edge... I'll bump the rating a half point because it does seem like a lite bock-- a calorie saver. It does have the sweetness of malt and a cordial flavor.

The rest of the flavor is non-descript. It's got the malt, but in slight proportion. There is the signature of hops as well.

The flavor comes on- almost as if garnering whaterever gusto it can manage, then quickly loses steam.

Mouthfeel is good-- what I'd expect of a craft brew-- so that's just the entry credentials.

Overall I'd rate this beer as "OK"-- there are many just "OK" beers out there. I think this is a fine beer to introduce a newbie to craft beers-- someone who's been weaned on American adjuncts-- maybe for guys-- your GF??? But as a bock it's lacking in body, strength and presence. This beer is not going to replace one's daily bread.

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Photo of whatthehull
3.33/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


A - nice leaning more on the red side copper, one finger off white head and a little lacing

S - lots of sweet malt, nice sweet and bready yeast, fruity (but I can't pin point one), honey, sweet flowers, a slight hop note and some vanilla

T - very sugary up front, vanilla, dried sweet fruits (maybe melons?), crisp water, very fresh calm but tasty hop, nice malts both sweet and toasted, lots of earth, slight booze and nice floral note

M - medium plus body, low acidity, nice balance, low complexity and medium plus finish

D - this is just a simple ale. Good flavor, nice alcohol, refreshing, crisp and goes down great. Not tons going on but still nice

Final thought - $3 and 8% abv, so, my question, why not?

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Photo of VncentLIFE
3.23/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On a recommendation from both Stuart and Kyle. 500 mL swingtop--Definitely saving this one for homebrewing.

Im not really sure about this things straight away. They needed to at least do some filtering to it, it looked like mudwater while pouring, but it did clean up a bit. But it still murky light brown. Lots of bubbles, but very small white head.

Odd smell.nail polish remover, raisins, and brown sugar. The fusel alcohols just dont really work all that well. Might not be a bad spiced christmas ale if it werent for them.

The first thing that comes to mind is a double Munich Dunkel. Smooth and sweet, with some dry grains to make it a bock. Still light bodied, but full flavors of boozy raisins. Finishes very bready reminiscent of rye bread.

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Photo of Proteus93
3.18/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked this one up at the Trader Joe's in Charlottesville... it was priced at only about $2.69, so I imagine I can't complain about value.

A: Pours a somewhat hazy copper, with a nice billowing head--almost three fingers tall! It recedes to about a half finger within a couple of minutes.

S + T: Rather fruity... almost like a cherry skin scent in there, along with some malty sweetness. It smells like it will taste quite sweet. That's a little deceiving, though, as the flavor comes across as a little bit muted. Toasted malts, and a little spiciness.

M + D: Medium bodied, rather plain. I would prefer a little more carbonation or crispness. Not a bad beer, but not one I'll be repeating anytime soon.

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Photo of fezmeister
3.18/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Yup, it's a doppelbock. All the bock yeast flavors and sweet, musty malts that should be there are present. Nice medium body for an easy-drinking quality in spite of its 8% ABV. All in all, not bad, but nothing to write home about. Worth buying for the beugel bottle if you'd like to have a 500ml of those around for your own bottling operations.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.17/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear dark crimson-brown with a foamy dark khaki head that fades to nothing. Small streaks of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of roasted malt and some dark fruit aromas. Taste is much the same with an alcohol kick on the finish. There is a mild roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an average beer that has a pretty good smell but the taste doesn't match up.

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Photo of morebeergood
3.1/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a stemmed beer glass. Light caramel colored body. Decent looking head. Smell was nutty and fruity. Taste was mostly average. It was very one-note; all it featured was malt. No layers of flavor at all. Plus, the mouthfeel was very sticky sweet and a bit hot from the abv. Not extremely enjoyable to drink. But I guess you get what you pay for, as this was a fairly cheaply priced beer. Not a horrible beer to gamble on for $3.99. Cool bottle at least.

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Nero's 1st Century Double Dark Malt Ale from Amarcord Birra Artigianale Italiana
3.09 out of 5 based on 92 ratings.
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