NEXT stop on my tour of beers from the Latin world is Peroni from Italy. Not to be confused with Peroni Nastro Azzurro which is much more widely available and the subject of my next review. So check back for that one. But first, we turn out attention to this, and totally Italian language bottle.
First impressions are that it looks high-quality and classy. And that is looks mysterious. Not just because the dark brown glass means that we can’t see what lurks within. But because everything, on every label is in Italian.
How hard can it be to make sense of what it says? I’ll have a go, but anyone who can offer up any translations, do please leave a message at the end of the post.
This bottle goes for having a big wrap-around neck label, a front label and no back label. So up here is where we start.
The front of the neck label goes with the heritage angle. There’s a picture of what could be a brewery. It almost looks too beautiful to be a brewery. But then it is in Italy.
There’s a date too. 1846 appears to be as far as Peroni goes back. Not fantastic by North European standards. But in a climate where grapes and wine make sense, they can easily be forgiven for not bothering with beer for so many centuries.
The signature of the founder is there too, to add to the sense of heritage. And around the bottom of the neck label, a red bar proudly displays its “Italiana” origins.
Turning the bottle around to the back, and the neck label gives up this beers vital statistics.
This little bottle is the predictable 33cl. And it has a volume of 4.7%. Lower than lots of North European beers. But about average for the top-end of those from the Latin world. Interesting trend that.
The “Ingredienti” are “acqua”, “malto d’ orzo”, “granturco” and “luppolo”. Of those, I understood water and what is probably malted barley. Any help with the rest please?
Around to the front label now, and there is not much to say about it.
It’s a simple circle with a banner through the middle featuring the “Peroni” name. The top of it has an illustration of Mr. Pironi. I assume it is him. Who else could it be?
The signature and the date are all there. Around the bottom of the label are words which I think translate to “Tradition and Quality”. Is that right?
Unbelievably, that is it. None of these beers are laden with small novels on the back label. There’s no stories about how it was created, how it got its name or the way it’s brewed. Just the basics. I do like a something to read on a bottle of ale, but with these, it’s great not to have to set aside an entire evening just to write one of these reviews.
All of which means that we’re down to the point where we answer some important questions. Such as will Peroni be any good? What is it like? And is it better than the likes of Sol, Damm Estrella and Corona Extra? With Desperados being one a kind, we’ll be hard pressed to ever find anything to compare it against. Which means it’s up against fairly lousy competition.
Once poured, the head you thought you had vanishes quickly. After a few moments, you end up with some patches of bubbles clinging to the rim of the glass for dear life. The colour is a deep shade of amber. A refreshing sight after so many pale yellows. The smell is… hard to describe. Mainly because it’s so weak. There is a teeny tiny hint of the blend of beer ingredients, but you’ll struggle to smell it. Even after a few hard sniffs. Not what I expected.
The taste is equally unexpected. There is hardly any. About the only taste you’ll notice is, an admittedly smooth, malty bitterness. Not much. And it doesn’t linger for long. Apart from that, you’ll be struck by the utter absence of taste, flavour and body. The upside to this watery drink is that it is immensely easy to drink. Served cold on a hot Italian summer’s day, I’d happily quench my thirst on a big bottle of this. It’s not too gassy either, so you can maintain your composure among the beautiful people of the country.
Maybe it’s my hurried, anxious, Northern European mentality that leaves me feeling empty from this bottle. The lack of any meaningful taste and flavour are big disappointments. While I could say that this gives it character and distinctiveness, it wouldn’t be for the right reasons.
I truly wanted to be impressed and surprised by Peroni. What surprised me was that this was little more than mildly flavoured, alcoholic water. Refreshing and drinkable, but nothing to get your teeth into. About average compared to it’s competitors.
Have you tried Peroni? Or any other Italian beer? What did you think of it?
Leave your translations, corrections, additions, opinions, thoughts, ideas and suggestions here please and remember to check back again soon.