I was a little bit confused when Kieran at Regional Wines suggested I buy a beer brewed by Heineken Italia.
I mean – I thought those guys were evil. I thought they only produced that tasteless, fizzy, oft-overpriced stuff that’s taking up far too much space in Auckland bars. Surely they weren’t responsible for something that actually had flavour?
Not that Heineken is necessarily responsible for this beer tasting good (which it does, but I’ll get to that soon). Birra Moretti was an Italian brewery that had been around since 1859, and in 1996 it was acquired by Heineken. I’m not sure how much has changed at Birra Moretti (who now refer to themselves as a brand, rather than a brewery) since Heineken took over, but it would appear that this beer at least hasn’t been bastardized in the process.
Anyway, god, what’s more important than who owns it is what this beer actually tastes like.
This is a lovely, sticky, treat of a beer – just what I felt like after a weekend of crisp Pale Ale’s. It poured a dark, amber colour with a small white head, and actually didn’t give a lot away on the nose. It smelled like malty beer to me, nothing too complex. On the mouth there was so much more though – a rush of sticky molasses, toasty malt, fruit, licorice and candied sugar. It had a real Belgian taste, full and boozy and sweet, but with a relatively zippy, clean finish.
So there you are. So far I’ve learned to not judge a beer by its label, its name, or for having a corporate giant owner. Instead I’ve got to do it the hard way, and in the name of education just Taste Taste Taste!