Thursday, June 10, 2010


chestnut amber ale

It used to be that I was never without a few bottles of a favorite beer in the fridge.  Somehow I let that slide, I suppose since most of my imbibing is focused on wine now.  But a warm, sunny afternoon and a little yardwork made me really thirsty for a good brew.  The only one in the house was the Strada S. Felice Amber Ale brewed with chestnuts.  I popped open the fliptop stopper and enjoyed it.  It slaked my thirst and satisfied my craving for beer, but at the time, I wished it had been an India Pale Ale.

This unique ale is brewed by Birrifficio Grado Plato and runs at 8% abv, a little high for my taste.  The bottle is about 750 ml, and it cost about $20.

The beautiful chestnut brown color makes a fine introduction.  It's a very cloudy brew, with a lean head which clings to the glass well.  The nose is nutty, malty and yeasty.  It tastes malty, too, and is very light on hops.  The chestnut flavor really shines, with baker's chocolate notes in the background.  There is a very heavy particulate fallout which I do not like.  It's a lot like very large and coarse coffee grounds left in the bottom of the glass.  Also, the flavors change a bit when it warms and it gets a little more bitter.

Although I find the ale to be very interesting as a diversion, I don't think I'd try to have it on hand all the time. It's a nice drink to sit and relax with on a hot afternoon, but I would not say it's a great drink for summer.  it strikes me as something that would be a lot nicer during the holiday season.  

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