Nastro Azzurro is brewed in Italy – which, as it’s an Italian beer, is no great surprise – in one of four breweries: two in Rome. one in Bari, and another in Naples. In Milan in 1846, the company was founded by Francesco Peroni and has grown to be the largest brewer in Italy.
Nastro Azzurro first made an appearance in the mid-sixties and is now the most popular beer from Peroni.
It has been widely available in the UK for many years, albeit mainly in Italian eateries, but these days you can find it in most mainstream supermarkets where it retails at just over a pound for a 330ml bottle and around 1.70 for the larger, 660ml bottle.
Nastro Azzuro pours to a pale, yellow colour with lots of fizzy carbonation forming a large head that lasts…no time at all. The head soon disappears leaving a watery-looking effort with just one or two foamy patches which deposit hardly any lace on the glass.
There’s a slightly sweet nose initially but this soon goes the same way as the head, leaving very little aroma to speak of.
Light-bodied, the initial taste is somewhat disappointing and it goes rapidly downhill from there. It’s dry, and there’s a very subtle malt sweetness – subtle to the edge of non-existence. It’s a little grainy, there are some woody tones and I can just about detect some fruit presence but there’s absolutely no oomph, no bite at all. The finish is a little bitter, crisp and dry.
Oh dear, another stinker. At 5.2% ABV, drink a few and you’ll get drunk, but other than that, I can see no earthly purpose in drinking this. Served suitably chilled, I’m sure it’s a great thirst quencher, but save yourself some cash and drink water (I guarantee you’ll hardly know the difference). Actually, I’m sure I’ve had water that was tastier and far more complex.
As for food compatability, I wouldn’t imagine this would complement spaghetti alla carbonara too well – your best bet would be one of those cheap and plastic-like, frozen mock-pizzas.
The Gran Riserva, from the same brewer is a very good beer so it’s hard to see what went wrong here. Perhaps it’s yet another example of a brewer trying to compete in the already congested market for ‘trendy’ imported lagers that have great advertising campaigns and little, if any, taste.