Drawing inspiration from Belgian beers, it features 9 different spices. Intense amber with balsamic and fruity aromas and a base of caramel, it is a Christmas beer. Its citrus nose and sour mouth are delivered by the use of wild yeasts (Brettanomyces) and lactic bacteria that during the beer’s 12 month aging, trigger a secondary fermentation. Surprisingly charming and rich, it is dedicated to all those moments that will never come back.

ABV. 9,0% 20°P

I created Strepponi Reserve a few years ago when I decided to use Brettanomyces, Bruxellensiis and Lactobacillus strains for the secondary fermentation in bottle. The first batch was far from encouraging; it smelled like prescription drugs, acid yogurt and salami mold. We stored it meaning to dispose of it and forgot all about it.

Whenever a new beer is brewed, the results are not always great. Sometimes the results are very far from what is expected. Sometimes the best beers are a result of the accident and not design. It has happened many times that the beer which is not liked initially and is condemned and kept aside for discarding can turn into a best seller. After some duration, some beers can turn into a very tasty and heady concoction and it seems like a good thing that it was not discarded. Aging can be really good for some brews but can turn some into totally distasteful drinks. Brewers can do everything possible to make a beer very palatable and tasty, but it is the unexpected things which can turn the beer into a pleasant surprise. Blind taste test can be a good way to find good beers. Without any outside influence or extra resources, one can concentrate on the true essence of the beer. The aroma, taste, balance, and textures all seem more potent when you are fully concentrating on one or two senses only. Really tiny amounts of adjustments made while brewing can become more pronounced during a blind taste test. The flavors which otherwise would be lost become easy to guess and make us enjoy the beer more.

Then, during a hot summer day, Maso (at the time assistant brewer) presented me with a blind taste test. I was taken by surprise: a well balanced mix of aromas of rust, lactic, leather, cherries, fruit candies, anise, citron, balsamic and cola with a sour finish! It painted a big smile on our faces for the remaining of the day!

We called it Strepponi Reserve to honor Giuseppe Verdi’s second wife….the “sour wife”!