Bran Reserva by Birrificio Grado Plato Montigioco of Italy is a 8.5%ABV English Porter aged in Barbera Wine Barrels to become a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. They take their Bran Raven ale and age it for several months
Produced a Bran aging for 10 months in barrels (ex Barbera Bigolla Walter Massa). In the glass is black, impenetrable, with foam cappuccino color, the nose coexist roasting (with a scent reminiscent of cocoa paste) and notes derived from aging in wood (reminiscent of balsamic vinegar). In the mouth it is very divided: on one side the obvious toasty, cocoa, soy sauce, and secondly the acidity. Long in the mouth, the tannins in the finish shows the wood and a slight astringency of roasting. Beer very complex, difficult, for lovers of strong emotions. Serving suggestions: hard to match, recommended after a meal, maybe (if you want) with a big cigar.
I don’t smoke so the Cigar might be a no go here ;). .The flavors are of vanilla, wine grapes, banana, dulce de leche bread, possibly a flan, sweetened condenced milk (Leche Nestle), raisins, butterscotch, lemon, cherries, blackberries, sour apples, peach. minor tart, vinegary and Jolly pumpkin style funky notes, oak wood, The after taste is like raisinettes, those chocolate covered raisins and coffee. Despite being somewhat tart and somewhat funky, this is pretty amazing. Lots of sweeter and rich flavors verlap the sourness. The little bit of sourness does not last and disappears soon and leaves some awesome sweet flavors. This is the Third beer I try from Italy’s Birrificio Montegioco. None of their beers have disappointed me at all and possibly this one and the Draco are my favorites from the 3. This is a must try if you can find it. It is the type of beer that steps into the realms of the Wine and becomes Neo from the Matrix…quote the raven…Forevermore…
Finding this in a specialty shop or online and is also considered to one of the 100 beers to try before kicking the bucket: http://www.complex.com/city-guide/2012/12/100-beers-to-try-before-you-die/grado-plato-montegioco-bran-reserva