12 Beers of Christmas 2013 – Day 9 – Bran “Birra Raven”

If you’re familiar at all with the actual 12 Days of Christmas, you’ll know they start on Christmas. This celebration involves lighting a candle on each day, more celebrating, more gift giving, and more feasting. I personally would love to see this tradition make a huge comeback in the United States. It would drive folks crazy trying to have parties, and such, for an additional 12 days after Christmas, but I think any time you have an excuse to party, you should take it.

I’m just about over my cold so I think it’s a great time to get back into the beer reviews. We had a very good Christmas with family and friends, and I’m kinda sad to see the celebrations come to an end. There’s still New Year’s Eve to be celebrated, but that’s more about partying than spending time with family and friends.

Bran “Birra Raven”, Birrificio Montegioco, 8.5% ABV

Unwrapping Bran like a present.

Unwrapping Bran like a present.

This beer is very dark brown, basically black in color, with an tan colored head. The aroma is fruity, light sour quality, slight chocolate, and roast. The flavor is a very balanced between light chocolate, roast, some caramel notes, light fruity quality, low herbacious character, and slight tartness in the finish. Hop bitterness is low. Slight fruity alcohol quality. Body is medium, carbonation is medium, while the finish is on the dry side.

Bran looking good in a glass.

Bran looking good in a glass.

This is an interesting beer that I’m liking more and more with every sip. There’s a lot of stuff going on, like dark roasted malt flavors, fruity notes, slight alcohol, and even slight tartness, but no one particular thing stands out. That’s what’s cool. Each sip yields a new discovery without one particular thing taking over. I want to keep drinking more to see what I’m able to pick out next.

To be certain, I’m not even sure if this was a true “Christmas beer”. I picked it up because the packaging had winter-like elements to it. I also picked it up as I haven’t had very many Italian beers before and I’m curious to see what the Italian craft beer tradition is all about.

Merry Christmas!

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