27 February 2013

Hope springs Italian

Spring? But I haven't finished my winter beers yet! Oh well, back in the stash they go.

First of the new season is New Morning from Birrificio del Ducato near Parma. It's 5.8% ABV and the label lists a cocktail of grains including wheat, rye and oats, plus some unspecified "spices". Bottle conditioned but well settled, it's a lightly hazy pale amber. The aroma offers a pleasant blend of clovey weissbier and hop bitters, but the latter almost vanishes on tasting.

What's left is mostly sweet cinnamon biscuits, dusted with apricots. It's the sort of combination that could get a little difficult to drink, except the high carbonation helps dry it out and the gravity is modest enough that it isn't in any way thick or cloying.

I don't see what makes it particularly springy, though. Surely cinnamon (or the cinnamon effect - research indicates that it's ginger and chamomile at work) is more a winter thing. Decent as it goes but probably not worth the €4.50 DrinkStore took off me for it. I certainly won't be rushing to spend the €14 they're asking for Ducato's barley wine and imperial stout, even though I know the latter, Verdi, to be lovely.

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