When I started blogging, I posted a fair number of beer reviews, but they have sort of slipped away over the years. Maybe it’s something others do better, maybe it’s because I prefer to write other stuff. It’s challenging to come up with new descriptions and expand your vocabulary, too, particularly with English as a second language.
Anyway, this bottle is one of two I picked up in a salumeria or delicatessen shop in Parma, Italy. The brewery, Birrificio del Ducato, is, as far as I know, recently started, and they are located not far from Parma. They don’t have a web site as yet, lets assume they focus on the brewing.
This beer, A.F.O. or Ale for Obsessed, is an American Pale Ale. A cloudy brown beer with a rapidly diminishing head.It has a fruity and complex aroma where you can distinguish prunes, tobacco and old leather.
Nice? I honestly don’t know. Intriguing? Yes. Very dry and dusty hops dominate the palate, and I suppose the hops is where the tobacco and shoe leather originates as well.
There is a fine sweet flavour under the hoppiness, but it does not have enough strength or body to be truly brilliant. It is 5.2% ABV, if they had aimed at 7% there could possibly be more of a match for the hops.
But it is certainly not a bad beer. It is not a great one, but a fine addition to the range of Italian micros that are popping up in the Northern regions. I look forward to trying their brown ale currently residing in my cellar – I doubt it will survive the Easter break.