Pros: Sweet,smooth, clean, dry, delicious.
When we took our daughter to La Summa for her birthday. I decided I would get whatever kind of beer my husband ordered. Wherever we go he will order a beer he hasnt had. He was delighted when our waitress told him that Moretti La Rossa was a dark beer. I was a little concerned I wouldnt like it and he was driving so giving him mine would not have been a good idea.
Moretti La Rossa is high on my love list. At this moment it is tie for #1 with Bar Harbor Real Ale. I was in for a surprise and a treat.
The bottles of La Rossa came to us with a label I couldnt help but notice. The fact I knew I would review it made me take an even closer look. It is quite unusual. The label shows a man drinking a beer. This label was created from a picture of a man drinking a beer in a restaurant. It doesnt have any fancy significance but it is an eye catching label. Birra Moretti was founded in 1859 by Luigi Moretti. It is said to be the most popular beer in Italy.
You may see this beer called different names. You may see it as Birra Moretti, Moretti La Rossa or Moretti Birra La Rossa. Our bottles had the name La Rossa on it. It wasnt until I went to write this review that I learned that Moretti is the most important part of the name! Our bottles did not look like the one pictured. It had the man on the label
Moretti La Rossa is a lager beer. Lager is a general term for beer made with bottom fermenting yeast. La Rossa uses Spalt select hops.
I drank this beer from a glass. The Summa is not the kind of restaurant where one would drink beer from the bottle. I only smelled it in the glass since the waitress poured it. I was pleasantly surprised. It had a sweet smell to it that I didnt expect. The nose was slightly malty. It is a double boch (double malt) beer using 100% malted barley which would account for the rich, sweet and fairly strong aroma of roasted malt. You might note a hint of citrus in the nose. I did not note the smell of alcohol.
Rossa means red but I noted a golden hue in this reddish- brown beer. Reddish brown equals amber to me. This comes from the kind of malt that is used in the brewing. Malt is dried roasted barley. The head was thick and creamy. It was white in color rather than tan. I noted that the foam lasted for quite awhile. It certainly lasted through half the glass.
Moretti La Rossa should be served at a temperature of about 50 to 60 degrees F. I tasted no flavor of alcohol which is one important factor in whether I like a beer or not. This might be surprising since it has an ABV (Alcohol by Volume) of 7.2%. Luckily our dinner lasted a long time and we had that long walk back to the car. On the bitterness scale La Rossa weighs in at 22-26 EBU. This gets a little complicated but for those just learning let me explain a bit.
The International Bitterness Units scale, or simply IBU scale, provides a measure of the bitterness of beer, which is provided by the hops used during brewing. An IBU is one part per million of isohumulone the higher number, the greater the bitterness. The bittering effect is less noticeable in beers with a high quantity of malt" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Bitterness_Units_scale)
Another reason I just loved La Rossa was how smooth it went down. If there was any essence of bitterness it was in the aftertaste but even that I felt to be really mild. Instead I tasted the malt.
Food compatibility :
Not surprisingly Moretti La Rossa was a perfect match for our Italian meals. My meal was slightly spicy. I found La Rossa to be a clean, crisp beer.
I liked the carbonation which I would characterize as high.
Due to its high alcohol level I wouldnt put Moretti out during my July 4th party on the beach. This in my opinion is a beer to drink with a meal. Drink it slowly and enjoy it with pizza, fish or calamari. It will go well with an appetizer of Italian bread dipped in oil with feta cheese or an antipasto.
I cant understand how anyone wouldnt like Moretti La Summa but we all have our own taste buds! This medium bodied beer would have fooled me as a dark beer but thats the classification. Although a bit more ABV than I am used to if you drink it with a meal it will enhance both the beer and the meal and give you a chance to digest both.
241 calories in a 12 ounce bottle. La Summa is sold in 6 packs of 12 ounce bottles and in 7.92 gallon kegs.
In the store you will find it selling between $1.55 to $1.85 a bottle.
My other beer reviews:
Bar Harbor Real Ale
Newcastle Brown Ale