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 Ryan011235
1.61/5  rDev -47.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a Samuel Smith pint glass on 5/2/12

B.B.E. 05/15/13 printed on the bottle

The appearance is stained oak with a hint of haziness. A fizzy two finger head rises quickly, but isn't inclined to last. Retention consists of a smooth, thin layer.

Here are some fun things going on, aromatically speaking: tangy wheat and toasted grain, nuts, dusty yeast, cooked veggies, herbal hops, stale veggies, sickly sweet candied notions and a type of manufactured fruitiness I can describe only as "dental office." Make of that what you will. Oooh, there's some band aid, too.

Ewh. Everything about this tastes artificial and it's riddled with off flavors. Nutty, herbal and tangy with the grain. Nondescript dark roast lining the bottom. Metallic. Yucky.

The feel is puffy, and not in a good way. It's encroaching my personal space. Carbonation is low; perhaps the only truly redeeming thing about this beer. Slightly warm with alcohol.

Overall, this is one that deserves taking a pass. I won't be revisiting.

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Photo of kojevergas
1.62/5  rDev -47.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

500ml brown glass bottle with swingtop served into a conical Guinness pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger head of thin cream, nice cream, and awful retention. Colour is a rather dark caramel-copper. Not opaque. Nontransparent. No yeast particles are visible.

Sm: Artificial cherry esters and malts. The cherry is dominant. A strong aroma. Not particularly pleasant.

T: Artificial fruit esters, cola, and bland malts. Not complex, layered, or subtle in any way whatsoever. Boring, bland, and largely garbage.

Mf: Somewhat syrupy. Thick and wet. Smooth. Undercarbonated/flat. Doesn't suit the flavour really at all.

Dr: A garbage Italian beer meant to rob clueless Americans under the excuse of nonexistent cachet. Leave this on the shelf so we stop importing this swill. It hides its ABV well to its credit, but it hardly tastes like a beer. It's syrupy cola crap.


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Photo of mikeg67
2.18/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

500 ml bottle from Trader Joe’s. Pours red with a short lived white head and lively carbonation. Aroma is of caramel malt, grassy hops and some funk. Malt, hops and booze unpleasantly combine on the palate. It was a drain pour beer for me. What a waste of money.

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Photo of Yojimbo1941
2.22/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a La Chouffe tulip.

A - Medium copper hue, bubbly white head. I wouldn't call this "double dark". Looks more like a pale ale.

S - Malt, light toffee, hint of raisin and other dried fruits. Fig? Some honeyed cereal. Slightly nutty.

T - Hmm, kind of tastes like an amber lager. Not really much going one here. Still not much like a dark ale, or double dark for that matter. Alcohol bite on the backend.

M - Lighter than I expected, and again reminds me of a lager. I'm starting to wonder if the brewery mislabeled this beer.

O - This was disappointing. I expected, like the label advertises, a double dark malt ale but what I got was a sub-par amber lager.

I bought this at Trader Joe's and while they sell some decent beers this is definitely not one of them. What a shame.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.46/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

I'm sure he swigged some o' this whilst not fiddling, eh? Anyway, this stuff pours a clear copper topped by a finger of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises fake (Runt-like) banana, maple syrup, light biscuit, powdered sugar, and light sweet flowers. The taste brings in more of the same, along with a strangely candied orange peel, which lends a cloying sweetness that doesn't sit well with everything else. Damn delinquents... The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda drying finish. Overall, an odd bock, one that goes all over the place before landing in an unappetizing place. Even for the price, there's plenty better out there, folks.

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Photo of BobZ
2.46/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

500ml Bottle poured into my Duvel Tulip.

Appearance: Dark amber in color. Builds a thin 1/2” head that recedes to a ring, minimal lacing.

Smell: Odd, caramel malt, and a sweetness almost like honey.

Taste: Bready malt but unlike other malt–forward beers the sweetness is more honey like than caramel like. Just an odd flavor on the palate. As it warms the flavor intensifies and becomes more unpleasant.

Mouthfeel: Despite the sweetness this beer never becomes cloying, smoothness prevails.

Overall: Not an enjoyable beer but hard to pinpoint the specific flavor element that made the beer taste odd. I guess honey-caramel-grassiness is as close as I can come.

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Photo of jlmorgan4
2.49/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Another disappointing experiment to accompany the Nero's Red Ale I tried a few weeks ago.

As with that one (and the previous reviewer said that the Red Ale is actually blended into this one--I thought I recognized the same nose/flavor there!), this smelled much like an adjunct lager more than a doppelbock. The flavor was similar, with light malts, not much hop character, and the long finish the previous reviewer noticed--it became more pronounced and more unpleasant as the beer warmed up. Mouthfeel was nice enough, coating the tongue.

The best aspect was the appearance, with a nice head and a clear orange/brown color with tiny bubbles. Not particularly dark, but attractive. The head dissipated, leaving a little bit of lacing that disappeared over time.

In general, I had high hopes for these beers, given the provenance and the attractive packaging. I guess I shouldn't judge the beer by the bottling...

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Photo of Kromes
2.56/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Was expecting it to be darker...A clear copper color with a thin off-white head. Comes in a stopper bottle.

S: Smells remarkably like a Budweiser. Sweet grainy aroma with some stale, earthy hop.

T: A sweet honey-like toasted grain and caramel malt flavor with some booze and an acrid finish. That strong, stale bitterness lasts a while.

M: Light in body and a slight burn and bitter edge in the finish.

O: Judging it against other Bocks, I'm afraid that it doesn't measure up. The sweet caramel flavors were OK, but I kept getting the sense of stale beer like in a frat house basement.

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Photo of Jerone
2.62/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Caramel color with red tinges and a thin head that fades quickly, lots of bubbles.

S - Sweet malt, apple, no hops.

T - Taste is initially of malt and apples then goes to an acidic thing that I don't like and fades to a lingering sweetness.

M - Thin and with medium carbonation, dissapointing for this beer.

O - Wouldn't buy again, not terrible but not a well executed beer.

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Photo of DoubleJ
2.63/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A 500 ml swingtop bottle, so in case I can't drink the whole bottle in one sitting, I can some the rest for later. Nah. Let's try to kill it in one setting. On to the beer:

Rusty copper colored with visible bubbles runnning through the body and a sturdy enough head which initially is ½ inch thick. Some sweet breads and malt in the nose, also some minerals.

There's a strong sensation of alcohol, minerals, caramel, and bread at the begining. More sips come and go, and the stronger the mineral sensation gets while diluting the malt flavor. Not quite full and not quite medium bodied. The aftertaste is tough to take, a pool of bitter minerals that linger on and on.

Initially it looked that this was going to be good, but the aftertaste killed the mood. Not a particularly fun one.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
2.64/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

(Served in a snifter)
B.B.E. 5/16/13
A- This beer pours a clear slightly dense orangish-brown body with a bubble light tan head and some microcarbonation strands.

S- The clean soft toffee nougat note has some raw wet grain and iodine notes that grow as the beer opens.

T- The nougat melanoidin flavor has a touch of sweetness with a cheese note that lingers a bit. The soft lemon hop tartness peaks through the dry finish.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a soft fizz texture and no alcohol heat.

O- The soft bland nougat flavor dominates the other flavors. When it is cold it masks much of the other flavors but as it opens it just gets more odd and difficult to drink.

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Photo of ManuelHerrera
2.68/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The good thing about a Trader Joe's risk is that at least it's not a costly risk.

A - Pours from a neatly packaged faux-growler, a ruby red with a faint head.

S - Smells like pure malt, with a little bit of metallic notes and some grassiness.

T- Tastes like, you guessed it, pure malt. Like it's a double malt ale or something. Cooked cabbage and that distinct Simpler Times flavor comes's as one note as a malt liquor.

M - Light and heavily carbonated without any inherent complexity.

O- Meh, it's drinkable at least, but without the novelty of something cheap like Simpler Times.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.74/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

500ml bottle - $3.99 at Trader Joe's in Roswell, Georgia. B.B.E. 05/15/13.

Appearance: Pours out an amber-hued body featuring good clarity, crowned with an inch of off-white foam.

Smell: Bready, scantly grainy-scented malts wrapped in a noted note of gum with lighter hints of ripe fruits and a whiff of booze. The aroma is not exactly repellent, but it isn't inviting, that's for damn sure.

Taste: Toasted grains and bread glazed with lightly nutty caramel and a couple drop of Amaretto. Moderately sweet. Ripe plums and apple juice, then, a small pinch of resin and peppery alcohol. Drying at the very end with a final accent of cheap fruity-flavored gum, just like in the Apecchio.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: I didn't dig the Apecchio and I'm not digging the DDMA.

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Photo of mithrascruor
2.78/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

500 mL bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear, dull amber color. Not very "dark", and certainly not "double dark". Giant off-white head, though, with a fair amount of lacing.

Smell: Lightly toasted malts and not much else.

Taste: Dry, malty flavor. Kinda toasted, but nothing is really standing out. I do get a brief taste of sweet corn malts, but it isn't very strong. Mildly bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation; a bit grainy.

Drinkability: The 8% ABV doesn't really come out in the taste.

I didn't remember Trader Joe's beers being such duds. (With the exception of the annual holiday ale, of course). Though cheap, there's just not much too this: mediocre taste at best... for the quantity/alcohol/price it is not horrible, but picking up something of the same style, yet better, for the same price is an easy task.

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Photo of Boto
2.8/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500ml bottle from Trader Joe’s: this one pours a slightly cloudy amber color. There was a wisp of a white head that didn’t leave any lacing. Aroma is mainly caramel malt, a little grassiness, and something else I can’t quite put my finger on. Taste is OK, but not great. Caramel, a little alcohol, touch astringent. Not much sweetness. Just rates an OK, don’t know if I’ll be back for another one.

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Photo of Schagg
2.85/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked this up at Trader Joe's after much hype from the staff. Much to my disappointment this beer did not live up to expectations.

The appearance is a dark-red but not double dark as the label indicates.

It pours a nice head about 2-3 fingers high with good retention.

Very light hops with decent malt flavor. Fairly strong fruity flavor (banana is the strongest).

Overall this beer was decent but left me wanting more from it. I will try this brewer's other beers before I get this one again. If anything the bottle is cool and easily reusable for home-brew.

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Photo of mactrail
2.89/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Nice foam on the clear brown ale in the big globe. The big downer is the smell of old cardboard and your parents' basement. The up side is the big boozy rich malt flavor, though the candy sweetness mars the roast malt some.

Kind of a bitter woodiness. Heading toward astringency with the hops fading into bitterness.

It's a kind of cheap and rustic brew, but then it's three dollars instead of ten, so it gives a lot of beery intrigue for the buck. Not to mention the alcohol factor. Bound to impress the ladies with the sophisticated swing top, and that little gasp as they gulp down a good dose of inhibition-releasing and, oh never mind. Visit your local Trader Joe's.

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Photo of rinhaak
2.89/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle purchased at Trader Joes.

Pours a clean and clear red hue with a large foamy head.

The smell of rotten banana nearly knocks you over right away. Strong, but a rather unpleasant aroma.

Boozy and syrupy in the mouth, the taste is of alcohol and rotten fruit. There is a bock character, though the label refers to it as an ale. A cough syrup finish.

A curious and not very pleasant offering. Though it is inexpensive, I wouldn't call it worth the price unless you're collecting it for the bottle.

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Photo of GossageBrewery
2.94/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured this Bock from a bottle into a pint glass. This ale poured a hazy copper color, produced a off white head, decent retention and it left ample lacing on the glass. The aroma consists a base of sweet malted grain, with hints of white pepper and cherry. Medium in body, the foundation of this bock consists of a sweet malted grain base, some spice (white pepper) and cherry and apple juice. Overall, it was average- Odd variation of the style-

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Photo of notchucknorris
2.94/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up at Trader Joes

A: Clear dark brown color with a gorgeous creamy off white head. Fantastic retention.

S: Some toasted malt, bread and a slight bit of nuttiness.

T: I'll be honest, I can't figure out this style. It's like a weird cross between a bock, a brown and a dark lager. I read in the specs that it's a blend of a few beers but I can't remember them off the top of my head. I'll amend this when I find out. Flavor is super bready with a bit of an off-tasting stale bitterness. I suppose it's hops but I don't really know. Some funky yeast and overroasted malt as well.

OK, so the beer is 60% "Birra al doppio malto" and 40% Red ale, presumably the same red ale that's used in the other Nero beer that just hit Trader Joes. Still not exactly sure what to classify it as.

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Photo of TastyAdventure
2.98/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Appearance - cloudy brown, with a thin off white head.

Smell- dark figs. not too rich, but figs definitely dominate.

Taste - completely different than the smell. mildly sweet malt is immediately followed by crisp apple, some citrus. good balance of sweet and bitterness. not very assertive at all for a "double dark."

overall for the price, at 8%, a good deal to get your buzz going.

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Photo of woemad
3/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500mL swing top bottle purchased at Trader Joe’s in Spokane. According to the label, this beer is best by July 12, 2013. Not sure if naming a beer after a guy like Nero is really the way to go.

The bottle came open with a mighty, champagne-like “POP.” Very dark in color until held up to light, whereupon it took on a ruby hue. A light beige head was formed, but it did not linger.

Fruit and roasted malt greeted the nose. Hops were conspicuous by their absence.

Mild dark fruit flavor, paired with a brown sugar taste that was similar in intensity. There’s some clove-like spiciness, and a bit of booze to this as well. Odd, in that there are lots of individual flavor components but nothing really seems dominant.

A little bit of a leaden mouthfeel to this, nothing a little more carbonation wouldn’t fix.

A so-so beer. A little off the beaten path, style wise. I was hoping would be better, but I did buy it at Trader Joe’s, after all, and it was rather cheap. For some reason I had hoped it was a Belgian dubbel, but Bocks are good, too.

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Photo of zeledonia
3.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked this up on the cheap at Trader Joe's. The bottle drew me in. Says "B.B.E. 05/16/13". Best by date?

Pours a very clear cherry wood color. Two finger off-white head, decent retention, but little lacing.

Smells toasty, with a touch of lager yeast, and some mild cinnamon spice. On the bland side.

Taste is just kinda weird. There's actually a lot going on in this beer, but the flavors are fighting with each other, and the result is a bit of a mess. It's like getting punched from different sides, rather than smoothly sliding through different elements of the flavor. Mostly it's malty, but I get some very toasted, some very sugary. Little bitterness. There's a strange flavor running throughout that I don't like - almost like cough syrup, but toned down. This flavor becomes more pronounced through the finish, making it slightly unpleasant.

Mouthfeel is fine, although on the flat side, especially at the beginning. Medium body, slightly syrupy, that starts to feel heavier and thicker as it sits in the mouth.

Overall, not a great beer. Flavors are muddled and just not all that good. I had high hopes, but was disappointed. Oh, well.

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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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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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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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