Brùton St. Renna

Reviewed by on December 5, 2013 in Holiday Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Birrificio Brùton

  • Origin: Italy

  • Rated On: December 26, 2012

  • Best Before: July 2014

  • ABV: 9.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

Here we have an upstart Italian microbrewery, from a region between Florence and Pisa, and their Christmas Ale, it would seem, produced with honey and unspecified spices. The name is likely a play on the Italian word for gift (strenna), and the word for reindeer (renna), as the sub-title is ‘la birra delle renne’, or ‘the reindeer’s beer’.

This 750ml teardrop-shaped bottle pours a hazy, very dark orange-brick colour, with two fingers of densely foamy, pretty creamy pale tan head, which leaves a low wash of ebbing curtain lace around the glass as it evenly subsides.  It smells of biscuity, bready caramel malt, some additional toffee/treacle notes, muddled cinnamon and clove spice, a little heat amongst them, loose brown sugar, a mild savoury herbal character, and some soft earthy, noble hops. The taste is grainy, bready malt, a touch of doughy sweetness, some agreeably soft, yet mildly tangy yeast, a bit of musty honey, some understated, blended dark fruit, and leafy, somewhat grassy hops.

The bubbles are average – supportive, and otherwise not really noticeable, the body a decent medium weight, and mostly smooth, just a twinge of metallic alcohol playing the pea to this particular princess. It finishes on the sweet side, the malt gaining a caramel character, the black fruit kicking around that tin can, and the yeast relaxing in front of the fire that is the slowly simmering booziness.

A pretty good BSDA, with some strong winter warmer tendencies, well blended into virtual obfuscation, but that’s a-ok with me. Enjoyable, hearty, and almost cake-like, in the laid-back, panettone way that Italians have of presenting a block of Yuletide confectionery to the masses.

Brady White

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