Hand pumped from the cask at Birreria Eataly in New York, Wanda pours -- well, a chestnut brown, completely dark, as if a shade has been pulled around the glass and totally encompassed its contents.
The beer offers a smallish off-white head that lingers lovingly around the rim of my Dogfish Head glass. It smells mild; there's virtually nothing there to the nose.
Its taste is like a mild brown ale, with just a hint of coffee and chocolate.
But then it gets you: chestnut. It's there, very mildly, but unmistakably so. If this were more chilled it could be so subtle that you'd miss it, but hand pumped from a cask it comes through perfectly. Chestnuts are traditional in Italian brewing, but new to beers made in this country. In my mind, they would make the perfect addition to your holiday lineup -- can we get this in a bottle, please?
I like it. A lot: A-.