RateBeer
overall
92
63
style
Brewed by Birrificio del Ducato
Style: Barley Wine
Roncole Verdi di Busseto (PR), Italy
Serve in Snifter

bottled
common

on tap
available

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 120   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.5   EST. CALORIES: 390   ABV: 13%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
A Barley Wine aged 18 months in French oak wine barrels previously used for Amarone della Valpolicella wine.

Barley wine di grande carattere, maturato per 18 mesi in barriques di rovere francese usate per invecchiare vino Amarone della Valpolicella. Di color ramato intenso con riflessi rossi, al naso è straordinariamente ricco e complesso, sprigiona profumi di frutti rossi (marasca e ribes) e vaniglia, con sentori di sottobosco e reminescenze vinose. In bocca è caldo, di gran corpo e privo di gasatura. Una birra al di là di preconcetti e luoghi comuni, dedicata all’uomo di domani.

Alc. 13,0% 26°P

L’Ultima Luna è la birra che ho ideato per celebrare la nascita del mio primo figlio, Matteo. Ricordo che durante i mesi dell’attesa ho pensato a lungo alla birra che gli avrei dedicato, volevo che fosse profonda, complessa, evocativa e che si potesse destinare ad un lungo invecchiamento. Decisi di utilizzare botti usate di Amarone (uno dei miei primi amori in campo enologico), ma riempite solo per 2/3 del loro volume, in modo tale da favorire l’ossidazione della birra con l’aria (un omaggio al mio passato in Andalusia, ai vini ossidati di una terra in cui ho lasciato un pezzo di cuore). La birra (se così la si può ancora chiamare) avrebbe dovuto originariamente invecchiare 9 mesi, ma con l’esperienza ho capito che l’invecchiamento minimo per questa birra è di 18 mesi. In etichetta ci sono delle citazioni di Dalì e Saint-Exupéry, l’immagine del bambino che solleva surrealisticamente il mare è un chiaro riferimento a Matteo. Quello che mi affascina in questa birra è l’eccezionale complessità degli aromi terziari (cuoio, crosta del formaggio, madeira, legno, mandorla tostata) dati dall’ossidazione, una cosa che mi piace fare è lasciare le bottiglie aperte e berle dopo circa 3 mesi per innalzare il livello del godimento.


4.1
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 18/20
aasher (112) - Fishers, Indiana, USA - AUG 2, 2011
This beer pours a full bodied and murky, cloudy dark copper/muddied amber in color with only the slightest of lacings around the glass. Carbonation appears to be minimal for this 9 month Calvados aged barleywine. The aromas are of straight Granny Smith caramel apples with light cocoa. It’s quite possibility one of the most appealing noses I’ve ever experienced in a beer. The aromas resonate to the flavor. The flavors consist of oak, toffee, Granny Smith apples, caramel, and light booze. It’s very well blended and ultimately complex. This beer is phenomenal. It drinks light for the style and is on a different level for a barleywine. It’s light for the style but suits this beer perfectly. The barrel aging added something special to this beer. The apple and candied aspects are phenomenal, absolutely phenomenal. This may very well be the second best barrel aged barleywine I’ve ever experienced, behind the Mother of All Storms. Overall this is a must try beer and surprisingly worth the $18 or so per bottle. You’ll enjoy it.

2
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 1/5   OVERALL 8/20
Fred82 (2115) - Québec City, Quebec, CANADA - JUL 26, 2011
375ml bottle from IPB. Opens without a sound.
Appearance : Deep amber no head at all. Few bubbles but that’s it,
Aroma : Rich fruits with caramel and hops. Light wood and light oxidation. Not bad !
Taste : Humm not good. Light soy sauce, oxidation, weird fruity notes. Finish alcoholic and woody. Lots of tannins. Nah not good.
Overall : Nose started pretty good but taste is quite bad. Then nose started to show notes of soy sauce and stuff. Dead flat carbonation probably doesn’t help but even with proper carbonation it would still taste pretty bad. I’m not sure it’s bad bottle seeing many people report bad bottles. Disappointing because this was a rather pricey bottle. Drain pour.

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Labove (427) - Rome, ITALY - JUL 10, 2011
Molto meglio della Prima Luna, a dispetto del rating medio. Grande competenza nell’affinamento in botte. Gran birra, complimenti ancora!

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 18/20
Christian (11282) - Odense, DENMARK - JUL 8, 2011
UPDATED: OCT 21, 2012 Cloudy brown with a small off-white head. Strong aroma dominated by oak with cognac notes, and rich malt. Sweetish vineous and caramel-ly flavour with complex vanilla, oak, raisin and walnut notes.

2.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 9/20
MXD (304) - Gatineau/St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, CANADA - JUN 26, 2011
Bottle, from L’Autre Oeil. Extremely opaque chestnut barley-wine. Doesn’t seem to be any kind of carbonation. Seems thicker than your average beer, or your average barley wine for that matter. This is not pretty. (2+) Aroma is... Well, Here, you either like or utterly dislike. It has extremely strong notes of whiskey and alcohol, but the leading feature here is... well, dates. And Mud. So it basically smells like putting its nose where somebody dropped a 40oz. of Jack Daniels in a marsh, which is aboslutely awesome if you’re into that kind of stuff (8-). Taste is... well, first of all, it’s completely flat. Not cask flat... Just plain old flat. It was terrible at first, but the beer was served a little too chilly. 45 minutes later, it was certainly better, but it still looked like an experiment that got wrong. Grapes and cherry notes, some hints at licorice as well... Alcohol-burn galore. Not great (5) One thing it got right : the finale. Terrific maple kick on the finale. Heavier-than-heavy bodied. Sticky like there’s no tomorrow. (4+) This is technically a barley wine. I don’t know if there such a thing like a Date Wine, but it exists, it probably tastes a lot like the Ultima Luna. And I wouldn’t try it. Happy to have tried it (and would have been kicking myself if I never did), but... drink at your own risk. The worst offering I ever had from Birrificio del Ducato. (10-)

2.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 9/20
MartinT (8135) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JUN 9, 2011
My Bottom Line:
Banana purée, vanilla, and metallic oxidation aromas collide in this flat Barrel-Aged Barley Wine.

Further Personal Perceptions:
-There is no head of foam to top the murky reddish brown.
-The mouthfeel is quite heavy and limp with the lack of carbonation and potent residual sugars.
-Alcohol burns the palate.
-Caramel and black grapes recall the great Barley Wine this once was, before the barrel-aging process.
-This is truly sad since the Prima Luna is one very fine Barley Wine. This Barrel-Aged version was truly problematic. If I rely on other ratings, it seems the batch we got was a quirk in production. Then again, it’s an intense brew, it’s rare and this is Ratebeer...

Bottle.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
ben4321 (4100) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - MAY 11, 2011
Location: Bottle graciously shared with me at La Trappe Cafe & Trappist Lounge, 5/12/11

Aroma: The nose has a lot going on including oak/wood, vanilla, booze, malts, and caramel
Appearance: The pour is a dark reddish-brown color with a small bubbly beige head
Flavor: The taste has a good sweetness, rich and malty with some funk and acidic flavors as well
Palate: Really smooth, slight burn, low carbonation, big body, and way too drinkable for a 13% beer
Overall Impression: This was one was really interesting, thanks a bunch for sharing this awesome beer! A very well-made Barley Wine with an interesting complexity that is somewhat boozy but still dangerously drinkable considering the ABV. Anyway, I enjoyed sampling this one.

2.1
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 8/20
beerbuzzmontreal (3490) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - MAY 7, 2011
Muddy brown color with no head. Aroma of alcohol with caramel and something unpleasant. The flavor is awefull, very sweet, cloying. The body is medium and liquorous while the carbonation is very low. I guess this is a bad bottle since I’m used to better stuff from Del Ducato.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
JohnnyJ (4559) - San Diego, California, USA - APR 27, 2011
Bottle. Very dark amber pour, the beer is very still, but not completely flat. Dark sugary malt, vinous, oak (it is obviously wine barrel aged), toffee, sour fruit, slightly acidic, vinegar, and brandy. I thought it was an interesting and enjoyable beer. It could use a little more carbonation though.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
bhensonb (11533) - Woodland, California, USA - APR 25, 2011
Bottle shared by Marcus. Pours very hazy amber. Vinous and oak aromas. Med body. Smooth. Flavor is vinous, lightly brown sugar and rather oaky. A smooth, pleasant experience. Finishes somewhat brandy. Nice.


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