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Beer Review:
Moretti Birra La Rossa
San Giorgio di Nogaro, Italy
By: George Zhen

January 14, 2005

(Naples, Italy) - While preparing for the Italian part of our tour, I remember remarking to my counterpart that I wasn't particularly excited about the prospects for great beer. Perhaps it is partly because of these lowered expectations that I found myself over-the-moon about a little Italian brew called Moretti Birra La Rossa. Like water in a desert, this beer was a welcomed respite in a barren wasteland of brew.

La Rossa comes in a pretty little red-labeld package whose color compliments the beer's hue. Research has revealed that this is either considered a dopplebock or a double malted brew. It's deep, cherry amber appearance seems to be the result of some sort of double brewing - whether it is purely a malt beer, I cannot firmly say. Some Italian language skills may prove valuable here.

Whichever the case, there is no denying the rich maltiness that makes itself known from the first crack of the bottle's cap. La Rossa pours a nice head that laces well and lasts a decent amount of time. The color, as noted, is a brown deep cherry that immediately brings to mind a Hopper favorite, Skullsplitter. In fact there is much about this beer's characteristics that is comparable to Skullsplitter: The color, flavor and pouring performance are first rate!

The flavor of malt is balanced well with elements of molasses and tinges of bitter chocolate. It finishes surprisingly dry with a mild malt aftertaste that diminishes with each sip. Although not nearly as complex as some other brews, it supersedes anything I have sampled from the Mediterranean rim to date.

7.2% alcohol greets the drinker of La Rossa, and although it isn't a high-end knockout in this regard, it will do the job of getting the drinker where they want. In fact, this particular beer is nicer to the drinker the morning after than the heavy-hitting Skullsplitter. Nothing that potent here, which can be a good thing in some cases.

It was surprising to find this beer so enjoyable - a nice surprise indeed. I imagine that this beer would compliment many foods, particularly meats and Italian dishes (of course!). Not a premium beer by world standards, but a pleasant veer with great aspirations. There is little doubt that I will have this brew again.

Beer Tasting Scorecard
Moretti Birra La Rossa
Attribute Score
Head 3
Color 4
Taste 4
Flavor 4
Effect 4
Overall Score 3.8

For more information on Moretti Birra La Rossa, visit their website at

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