12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS #6: Birrificio L’Olmaia Christmas Duck, S. Albino, Italy from State Line Liquors, Elkton, Md.
Date: December 30, 2018
The Story— This is an Ex Post Facto (sorry) entry for the fifth of our 12 beers of Christmas. Find earlier posts with these links: first, second, third, fourth, fifth
We’ve had a number of Birrificio L’Olmaia beers in our favorite Italian beer bars. They brew well and interestingly. We found this this Christmas Duck on this side of the pond a few years ago, however. We think we purchased it at State Line Liquors, just south of the Delaware-Maryland border and just west of I95. It’s one of the best beer stores in the east and they have an extensive offering of Italian and other imported beers. They don’t come cheaply, however. (see below)
The Beer— Even and vinous dark ale with a fullness consistent with its 8% ABV. Some residual honey adds some floral notes to a surprisingly mild ale. If you’re rich, it’s yummy in a sort of quiet way. If you’re not rich, you’ll be clawing at the glass to find the flavor you thought you paid for.
Value — Fair. It was less than $20 but not by much. It’s not the store’s fault, though, and it’s not the brewery’s fault either. In the US, smaller brewers are taxed at a lower rate per barrel because their costs per barrel are so much higher than the big boys. In Italy, the small brewers are taxed much higher per barrel because their influence in the government is so much less than that of the big boys. We hope that will change when the government wakes up to the fact that the more that one thousand craft brewers in Italy provide far more jobs than the big brewers. Yes. We hope for a lot these days.
Values: “fair” is a good beer at an above market price, “good” is worth the money, “very good” is a bargain, and “excellent” is a steal.
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