overall
93
76
style
Brewed by Birrificio Montegioco
Style: Barley Wine
Montegioco, Italy
Serve in Snifter

bottled
available

on tap
available

Local Distribution

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RATINGS: 136   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.61/5   EST. CALORIES: 255   ABV: 8.5%
No commercial description

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3.5
maeib (8749) - Wootton, Northampton, Northamptonshire, ENGLAND - AUG 13, 2008
Bottled - GBBF 2008. A black beer with a frothy coffee head. The aroma hs some hops and some light grass. The taste has alcohol and more grass. Some petrol, and sweet fruitiness. The body lets the beer down. Could have been really good.

3.4
fonefan (49427) - VestJylland, DENMARK - AUG 11, 2008
Bottle 75cl @ [ Mafioso Blind Tasting @ yespr, Bottle #10.]
Clear dark brown color with a average, frothy, good lancing, mostly diminishing, off-white to beige head. Aroma is moderate malty, roasted, chocolate, sugar, licorice. Flavor is moderate to light heavy sweet and bitter with a average to long duration. Body is medium, texture is oily, carbonation is soft. (300508)

3.1
oh6gdx (26488) - Vasa, FINLAND - AUG 8, 2008
Bottled. Brown colour, beige head. Aroma is caramel, roasted malts and mild woodenness. Flavour is sour, wooden and mildly roasted. Also some alcohol and mild notes of spices.

3.2
larsniclas (7078) - Billdal, SWEDEN - JUL 27, 2008
Bottled. Almost black with a small, beige head. Slightly burnt aroma; chocolate. Slightly sourish and pretty bitter. Vinous alco-feel.

4.1
puzzl (3258) - New York, New York, USA - JUL 20, 2008
Bottle shared (and bought) by Haukur. Black pour with a nice head looks like a stout. Aroma has much candi sugar and fruit sweetness, with an odd mustard seed thing going on. Oaty taste, with a great body, some bitter malts and dark chocolate. Some spice and mint. Deeply complex. Like a cross between a strong, dry stout and a sweet barleywine. Delicious.

4
JoeMcPhee (9427) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - JUL 19, 2008
Thanks to haukur for sharing this bottle. Deep brown beer with a light creamy tan head. Aroma is quite lovely, deep rich plummy aroma over sweet toasted malts, chewy molasses, plums/dates and even some sweet dried cherries. Soft tartness on the middle of the palate which helps with the inherent sweetness of this brew. Quite silky mouthfeel. The finish is lightly tannic and full of fruit skin character. Light toasted raisins with a lingering vineousness. Complex and quite tasty. Comes across more like a Belgian strong ale than barley wine, but whatever you call it, it is quite good.

3.7
DenverLogan (1219) - LA, California, USA - JUL 11, 2008
Dark brown, small head. Burnt malt aroma. Flavors of molassas, minerals, tropical fruit, slight spice, cola, raisin and bittersweet chocolate.

3.1
gnoff (10482) - Mölndal, SWEDEN - JUL 6, 2008
(Bottle at a beer tasting at rickgordon in Göteborg)
On July 5, 2008
Very dark red to black color, light brown head. Sweet, applesauce, rosted malt scent. Sweet, malty, scent taste. Medium mouthfeel, medium high bitterness.

3.3
bu11zeye (13029) - Frisco (Dallas), Texas, USA - JUL 2, 2008
(750ml bottle) Pours a black body with a small beige head. Aroma of anise, roasted malt, caramel, raisins, chocolate, and light smoke. Flavor of roasted malt, burnt, raisins, brown sugar, and spices. Interesting beer.

4
Drake (13741) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - JUN 23, 2008
From my recent review at cvillebeergeek.blogspot.com.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy dark brown with a reddish tint to it. So cloudy and dark, in fact, that to get an accurate read on the color I had to shine a flashlight through the beer. A medium head disappears quickly and leaves an ever-present thin film on the surface of the beer, just like your finer Trappist ales. 3.5/5.0

Aroma: Quite different from the Reserva, this has a very malty aroma, with notes of toffee, brown sugar, banana and tropical fruits. They say this is a barleywine, but so far it seems like a Belgian dubbel to me. In any case, a very smooth and pleasant aroma. 4.0/5.0

Taste: Not what I expected given the aroma. The banana and tropical fruits are still there but the taste is much less sweet than the aroma, accompanied instead by a strong roasted malt character that lends coffee and smoky notes to the beer. If you know my drinking preferences, you know that I abhor smoked beers, but this level of smokiness is just enough to add complexity without being offensive to me. There is also a spicy, peppery bit that is showing up as I continue to drink this. 4.5/5.0

Mouthfeel: Very smooth texture. I can’t really detect any bitterness, but nevertheless this beer is very well balanced. 4.5/5.0

Drinkability: The Montegioco web site claims this beer is 10% abv, though other sources claim 8.5%. Either way, this is a sipping beer, and a damn pleasant one. Definitely a beer to sit back and enjoy the nuances. It just dawned on me that I rate a lot of "sipping beers." Especially since summer is upon us, I’ll try to turn my attention soon to something that is a bit less of an undertaking. Whatever the alcohol content is, it is hidden absurdly well. 4.5/5.0

Overall: A smooth, complex and luxurious beer from a region known for, well, not beer. If your wallet can absorb the cost (mine can’t, but I bought it anyway), this is well worth it. Savor it now or save it for a special occasion. Either way it will not disapppoint. 4.35/5.0


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