mgumby10 (1856) - Jupiter, Florida, USA - AUG 5, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours dark brown with a small light brown head. Smells pretty sweet, a little tart smelling, with some dark fruit, and caramel malt as well. The flavor was more on the fruity side, lots of creamy vanilla mixed in with grapes, apples, plums, and a touch of some bready yeast as well. The alcohol presence was masked quite nicely for a barley wine although this wasnt a monster of a beer by any means. I thought this was well done.
kiefdog (1826) - Tampa, Florida, USA - DEC 31, 2008
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle courtesy of Ibrew2or3. Pours a dark brown cola color with a thin tan head. Aroma is malty and sweet with notes of bourbon, candy sugar, sweet cherries, and hints of wood. Flavor is malty and sweet as well with notes of raisins, dark ripe fruit, some hints of dark chocolate and coffee. Generally syrupy and full-bodied mouthfeel with a pleasing phenol note on finish
otakuden (1783) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - DEC 7, 2010
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Appearance: pours a blend of browns, blacks, and burnt mahogany. Little to no apparent carbonation. Deep ruby port glints along the edges. No collar, film, or head with swirls revealing nothing more.
Nose: musty. Raisins, prunes, dates, and brewer’s licorice. Rustic, earthen, and slightly tart prune skins in the back. Burnt woods. Black cake mingles with black strap molasses mingles with a dark oily black essence. Gentle haze of tartness. Slightly oxidized ruby port.
Palate: light, clean, and super tart up front with plum and cherry skins; tannins, too. Plums and cherries are followed by chocolate and fudge which dries the top of my tongue. Brett is fairly dominant though never intrusive. Funk, earth, old wooden barrels, leather, and dust. Sour tingles the sides of tongue with a pleasant addition of cranberries. Amazing. Burnt root and molasses. Flavors are mostly centered in the middle atop my tongue with the sides and back catching shadowy whispers of ruby port, vintage please, and artisanal red wine vinegar. Lovely.
Final Thoughts: from Dolii Raptor to Bran Reserva, Montegioco has definitely made a huge impression. I’ve known for a while that Italy is kicking out some spectacular beers unlike anything anywhere else, drawing influence from American craft and beyond. If this is any indication of their brewing tendencies and skills…may I have another, please.
Stine (1745) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - APR 9, 2008
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Chocolate brown pour tinted with red and skinned with a thin rim of nougat hued tan. Aroma is mostly a soft, lightly oxidized red wine; one full of nuance and revealing its many layers as it dies. First wash is all sweetness; cinnamon, maple, baked pear, and brown sugar. Soft black cherry and blackberry tartness in the middle. Soil and wet wood; vanilla, caramel, alcohol, bit of funk. Flavor is full of this awesome, deep maltiness and juicy tart fruit character, but it always lays back a little bit quietly and cautiously; the wine barrel is quite prominent and tends to offer mostly moldy and damp notes of earth, oak, bittersweet chocolate, raisin and mineral water. Flavors of overripe raspberry, pistachio and red grape; mid palate is very pasty and earthy with dry hints of brazil and pecan nuts that come and go. Syrupy, oily sweetness throughout, though with a consistently watery texture in the mouth; very low carbonation and seeming a bit lifeless at times. Swelling finish of warm pomegranate tartness, caramel, and heat. Really a unique, savory offering here; it could be truly memorable with a bit more punch and vibrancy and lot more malty texture. As is, it presents itself as a kind of high gravity sour brown.
JB175 (1665) - Bucks County, Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 28, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle from pepsican - thanks! Reddish-brown color with a sweet and sour aroma dominated by red wine, oak, and dark sugars. Flavor had some nice Sangiovese or Tempranillo along with a good dose of wood and a nice tart-citrus bite. Really good and unique.
JMFG (1587) - Florida, USA - MAY 10, 2008
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Courtesy Beerlando. Dark brown color with a thin ephemeral light tan head. Sweet oaky aroma with spicy and fruity notes. Light sourness and tannins on the taste, dark fruity malts, less than the regular Bran. An interesting BA brew, definitely changes the composition of the Bran but not as drastically as I would’ve thought. Still nice.
SoLan (1550) - Florida, USA - NOV 13, 2009
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Drinks very similar to the non barrel aged version. This is more vinous and has a very pleasant dry oak element. Palate has thinned a bit from the aging. Excellent brew from one of my favorite Italian breweries. From notes.
Rusty (1545) - Mesa, Arizona, USA - JUL 27, 2010
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours a deep brownish almost purple with a small light brown head. Aroma is sour grapes, chocolate, roast, a touch of grape kool aid, oak, red wine, and a little sourness. Flavor is upfront grape wine meets grape kool aid, malt, caramel, barley, chocolate, a touch of faded hops, a light sourness and mild acidity are present in a enjoyable way. Very unique and enjoyable. I’m wanting to describe this as if somebody blended a Grape Wine with Cuvee De Tomme. Really nice beer.
danielcurtis81 (1519) - San Diego, California, USA - SEP 3, 2010
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Sampled from a bottle at Crown in Indy. The appearance is a really deep black with some purple or ruby edges. The flavors and aromas are very vinous, a lot of dark fruits, figs, a nice mild tartness really sets this brew off. It makes me think of a soured port with a lighter body. Excellent, grabbed a bottle to enjoy later. Another Italian delight.
dionysus (1485) - Arizona, USA - SEP 10, 2010
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle pours deep brown with a khaki head. Aroma has lactic dark fruit goodness with red grapes, black raspberries, and strangely enough....chocolate. Flavor shows the same with additional oak notes. Overall body is light, somewhat sweet, and the acidity is present yet somewhat flat.