I’ve come to terms with it and duly admit that in terms of depth, variety, and creativity, American beer is possibly the best in the world. You can have whatever you want. However, I do believe that most American breweries do have a deficiency is classic styles, which seems to be why our categorical distinctions are strangely expanding and blurring simultaneously. It’s getting hard to pin down several American styles, while some are now, it seems, enjoying neoclassic ensconcement. Granted, our American Pale Ale can be a lot of things, but it certainly is now becoming iconically American.
Now that we have my confession and reservation, I’m going to say it. Italian beer is underrated. Say what you want, think what you want, but some of the craft Italian beer is stunning. I had Nora the other night and loved it. The range on Beer Advocate is the typical operatic undulation of scores on this one. You know the people I’m talking about: the ones with the Pliny the Elder bottles as their pictures. I can’t imagine why they would excoriate a beer like Nora… Wait, yes, I can. I suppose there just aren’t enough Columbus hops on the nose. To be fair, there are some good raters on BA, so I’m not simple dogging that site.
At any rate, and without doing a full review, the Cedar spice on this beer was amazing. I felt like I was sitting a humidor without the actual cigar smoke. Now, I don’t know what all else was in there, and I’ve been cellaring my bottle for well over a year, so keep that in mind. Bottom line is this: Italian brewers are making some great beer, and it’s nice to step out of the U.S. scene to enjoy some seriously good beer. Please do yourself a favor and buy some of those Italian beers with that sexy bottle and lovely label design.