We wrap up the third week of the Advent Calendar (well, not precisely, but we are at the arithmetical 3/4 mark for sure) with yet another multicultural and spicy beer. Italy's Birrificio Del Ducato has gifted us with Molotov, a strong ale (7% abv) with a Russian moniker, but seasoned with a decidedly Japanese spice: wasabi.
As a result of this, I approached Molotov with no small degree of trepidation, but I was safer than I thought. It pours a hazy gold with very little head to speak of, and gives off a scent that is far more citrusy than horeradishy.
In the mouth, Molotov is very well balanced, the malts tamed by the fruity hops but not so much so that you get any IPA pucker out of the affair. Moderately carbonated, the beer has a smooth finish and any spiciness is left towards the very end of each sip. Yesterday's Black Alligator felt more intensely peppery than Molotov does, strangely enough.
It is a pleasant enough beer, despite not matching the incendiary qualities one might associate with the name. A failure of marketing, or a triumph of brewing? Each will have to judge for themselves.
I'm not sure what sort of food it might go best with; one is instinctively compelled to say 'sushi', which could be quite all right, actually. Roast pork or other white meats could also make a good pairing, or a chef's salad garnished liberally with shredded radish.