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


on tap

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RATINGS: 126   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.51   EST. CALORIES: 390   ABV: 13%
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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.

   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-)

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 9/20
MartinT (8281) - 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...


   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
ben4321 (4361) - 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.

   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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
JohnnyJ (4728) - 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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
bhensonb (11901) - 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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
marcus (7082) - Sacramento, California, USA - APR 25, 2011
Bottle from Healthy Spirits. Pours cloudy copper with no head at all and a sour fruit aroma. There is a sweet fruity flavor with a vinous brandy finish.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 1/5   OVERALL 6/20
TaktikMTL (6221) - Montréal, Quebec, CANADA - APR 7, 2011
Magnifique bouteille de 330 ml obtenue via Importations Privées Bièropholie. Arôme: Très forte odeur d’alcool qui cache tout. Apparence: La couleur est brune foncée. Saveur: Fort goût d’alcool avec une pointe de pruneaux. Durée moyenne de l’arrière goût. Palette: Le corps est moyen avec une texture légèrement aqueuse. Faible effervescence en bouche. Présence d’alcool en arrière goût. (Rating #3592)

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 9/20
jrallen34 (3487) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 30, 2011
11.2oz bottle picked up at WLV, drank from my Darkness glass...Cap pops without a hiss at all, not a good sign of things to come...Predictably it pours with no head, a dark brown almost purple color with red hints...The aroma all white wine, you can tell right away it was aged for 9 months in the wine barrels. Vinegar and lactic notes become prevalent as it warms. Its not bad, just not at all what is expected or what any barleywine I’ve had tastes like...The taste in all honesty, is just a mess. Its very similar to the nose, but now just doesn’t work. White wine mixed with vinegar is not appetizing. Those two flavors are distinct throughout, just terrible. Skip this beer for sure, especially at the $17ish price tag.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
harrisoni (14462) - Ashford, Kent, ENGLAND - MAR 27, 2011
Sampled at ACBF 2011. Deepamber colour. Sherry and wood aroma. Too much wood maybe. Yep like licking a barrel. Some tangerine fruit. Wood and crystallised tangerine fruit dominate. Tobacco too on the wood notes.

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