Wednesday, August 5, 2009
June 4, 2009: La Rossa
Ahhhhh, Italy! There's no other place on earth quite like it. The only country on the planet where you can work for three hours, take a three hour lunch, then come back to work for a couple more hours (or not. who's going to be able to tell the difference? Everyone else is still asleep). An entire country full of people who can't seem to speak without waving their arms around wildly in the air like marionette puppets. A culture where every man with functioning genitalia is convinced that he is God's gift to women, and is just dying to prove it to any gullible, toed headed tourist. Yes, Italy is a nation that is nation that is well know for many of it's peculiarities, but not so much for their brewing heritage. The grape has always been king in Italy, and it's no secret that some of the world's finest red wines have been produced there for centuries, but as a nation they've been slow to jump on the beer bandwagon. In fact, one of the worst, most god awful examples of putrid filth that I've ever had the displeasure of tasting was an Italian lager called Wuhrer.(It only cost me 54 euro cents when I was last vacationing in Italy, but I would have demanded a refund if it were possible. Seriously, don't try Wuhrer.) As a result, I've always been a bit biased against any beer that happen to come from Italy, but the 365brews project has taught me to expand my horizons a bit and to be careful about judging anything until I've tried it for myself.
Tonight my friend Chris just happened to show up with a six pack of an Italian beer called La Rossa, which he was more than happy to share with me. Moretti and Peroni are pretty much the only two Italian beers that have any kind of presence on the international market, so it's no surprise that La Rossa is brewed by the makers of Moretti. La Rossa is a red ale, which if you have any grasp of a latinate language like Italian you were probably able to figure out. Most Italian beers follow the vienna style lager format, which generally means a light golden color, slight edge of hops and notoriously light on the tastebuds. La Rossa however, as the name implies, is a red ale which is pretty uncommon for the eyeties. As a result, La Rossa turned out to be a much more interesting beer than I had anticipated. La Rossa is a dopplebock that is a dark, rich red color with a very complex mix of flavors and aromas that grabbed my attention from the first sip. If you grab a case of La Rossa, be sure to look out for the flavors of malt, caramel and dark roasted grains that are infused in flavor of this beer. While Italy still may not known for it's world class beers, La Rossa is definitely a step in the right direction toward changing their lacklustre reputation.