Captain Lawrence Birra DeCicco
What happens when Captain Lawrence brings in one of their biggest supporters who happens to also be a high end food market? You get a Abbey Ale made with Imported Italian Chestnut Honey and Jam. I’m not even sure what “Italian Chestnut honey and jam” is, but it peaked my interest. As a big supporter (or at least I try) of local breweries, I drove up to Captain Lawrence on Birra DeCicco’s release day to snag a couple bottles of this intriguing brew with Lee from Hoptopia.
Here is how Captain Lawrence describes their beer:
Fermented with our house Belgian-style Ale strain to impart the classic fruity and spicy flavors of a traditional abbey ale. Infused with imported Italian chestnut honey and jam to create rich and smoky undertones. Re-fermented in the bottle using even more Italian chestnut honey to give the beer its lively carbonation.
The beer pours nice out of the bottle, I’m not sure why but I’m immediately thinking flanders red. It has this appealing hazy reddish brown hue with this creamy head of foam. When held up to the light, there is a very appealing bright red/ruby tone around the edge of the glass.
While it had the same Rodenbach color, it smelled nothing of the sort nor should it. The Birra DeCicco had a very big yeasty nose, typical of a Belgian Abbey Ales. It also had aromas of black cherries, nuts, wood/earth, pinch of smoke, and a bit of alcohol. Pretty complex and interesting aroma.
First off, My wife likes this beer. That puts this beer into rare company. We have not found many beers that she likes, Dogfish 120 was the last one she liked…
Now for my 2 cents, Great mouthfeel, lots of carbonation makes this beer zing though your mouth. The first impressions in the mouth are of sweet nutty chestnuts and bit of a wine like quality, like a zinfandel. All through the beer, the yeasty quality is ever present, like a wave, up and down in intensity. In the middle mouth there is a pretty significant sweet citrus flavor, but not a hop citrus, but more of a fruit citrus. Very interesting. As that citrus subsides, the yeast comes back and you have this yeasty tang left lingering in the aftertaste.
Glassware: Tulip or Wine Glass
Calories: Unknown, since the ABV is not known
Lee and I had samples of this beer at the brewery and a sample doesn’t do this beer justice. You need to experience this beer as it warms, the flavors are so complex and evolving as you drink this beer. I don’t think the chestnuts played a huge role in this beer, but did give it some nuttiness which added nicely to the complexity of the beer. I’ve noticed that a lot of Italian craft breweries are using Chestnuts in their beer, I think it is a great additional flavor that doesn’t overwhelm a beer. As for the Jam, I dunno. Captain Lawrence if you read this, what is the “jam” in this beer?
One final note, if you can try this beer and pair it with some food to bring out the chestnuts! This beer is a wonderful food companion.
Sounds like a great beer Peter! As you mentioned, any wife-approved beer is in a special class. (I’m still trying to find one!)
This beer looks and sounds amazing. I cannot get any Captain Lawrence stuff here in Central Illinois, but I’ll be looking for this one on my travels. By the way, where did you get the glass you used in the photos? I didn’t see a brewery logo, but I’d love to get my hands on one. Keep the great reviews and great beers coming!
@Scott – I know it’s tough. But I keep trying and she keeps trying them so, it is a good progression. IMO, if you don’t like beer, you just haven’t tried enough to find a couple you like 🙂
@James – thanks for teh kind words. I believe it is a Libbey 14 or 16 oz Tulip. I got 4 of them, but I’m not sure where. Probably a Restaurant supply reseller
I’m super jealous. This (and the golden delicious you reviewed) have got my full attention. I find it interesting that your wife liked 120 minute IPA while not being a huge beer fanatic.
As much as I’d love to know what Jam was used, I’d love to discover the origins of the yeast strain. great review and pic.
@Nate, you get lots if great stuff in you neck of the woods too. Like I said to mike, the grass is always greener. 🙂
I sent mike a bottle of Golden Delicious, maybe I should send you a bottle of this.
I believe the yeast is one of there house strains, an abbey style. Who’s it was before, I don’t know. But it is very nice andding some great dimention to the beer.
Sounds like a nice brew, but probably not like a daily drinker. The Jam is interesting. When you kept saying you didn’t know what kind, and the yeasty qualities of this brew for some unknown reason I kept thinking toe jam. I know, I know, you don’t have to say it…I will, GROSS!
Keep finding interesting brews and supporting you local breweries Peter. It is a noble cause, and you find some pretty interesting stuff that way.
You’re to funny, Don! Thankfully this didn’t taste like toe jam! Don, what does toe jam taste like? 🙂
it’s pretty easy to support local brewery’s like capt Lawrence, who make such great beers!