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Wednesday
Jun052013

BIRRIFICIO UN TERZO MATER

Birrificio Un Terzo Mater. This is an Italian "artigianale" beer, or craft beer as a loose translation, and it's a strong ale.

And it sure is a strong ale. it's named after Catherine de Medici, the Florentine Mater of the Medici clan who became Queen of France and squeezed out two French kings back in the pre-ham slicer days.

It's not a cheap beer, either, retailing at 10 euros in those few places in north Italy where it can be found at all. At least they give you plenty of it.

It smells like a cross between a cheap air freshener and a fairy floss/cotton candy machine after a hard day at the school carnival.

Then it pours with a head that's remiscent of a plain sponge cake that's still on the rise - you know, one of those eggy ones you use for lamingtons. Still, it stays strong all the way down the glass.

From there, though, it does little to justify its price, but it does explain why they use such a large bottle. They just want to clear it out of their vats ASAP, I reckon.

It's definitely a strong ale, though it doesn't get there via the strength of character the English would use for such a thing. Instead, it uses an eight percent alcohol concentration and it's alcohol you can taste, ethanol-like, on the front half of the tongue.

From there, it's beerish, but in a way that's constantly hidden by an oddball mix of flavours, like pine needles and flowers and caramel, so much so that you can barely detect the hops in it at all. So, it's more a Belgian Strong Ale than a British one.

The issue I have with it is that there are no hops to speak of, no bitterness, no genuine balance and no effort to find its own way. It feels like the brewer is trying to replicate something he found somewhere else and liked. If only we knew what that was, we'd know if he failed or succeeded.

I'd have this again, but I wouldn't go out of my way to find it.

 

5/10

 

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