Italian Beer Series: Peroni Gran Riserva (Vigevano)
A nice offering from Peroni, Gran Riserva was brewed to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the company. This one is actually quite good. At 6.6%, Gran Riserva is a bit stronger than the typical lager. Granted it does not have--nor could it afford to have--the complexity of an exotic spiced beer brewed for off-centered people, but for its one-notedness it is very likable. On pouring, the dark golden liquid produces a fine white head about two fingers in height. The aroma is slightly hoppy but mostly grainy, with a bit of burned caramel. The texture is medium, a bit heavier I would say for a Peroni. The bitterness and slight sweetness of really dark chocolate or burned sugar plays from finish to end, with the weak carbonation allowing that pleasant bitterness to be felt throughout. As mentioned, it plays just one note, but plays it competently. Although stronger than the typical lager, it doesn't feel heavy at all. A nice surprise, and would go very well with heavy beef stew or goulash of some sort.