Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Lindemans - Kriek

Purchased From: Harvest Fine Wines & Spirits
Serving Type: 12 oz. corked, capped, foiled, green glass bottle, poured into a fluted glass

After essentially panning two flavored beers (Long Trail's Blackbeary Wheat and Abita's Pecan Harvest) I decided I needed to prove to myself, and my readers, that I wasn't irreversibly biased against flavored beers. So, I turned to a place I was confident I would be happy. I've had fruit-flavored Lambics in the past and enjoyed them, so that's where I went.

Kriek is a specific style of Lambic beer that is flavored with sour Morello cherries. Lambics themselves are a breed of beer all their own, brewed exclusively in Belgium. The beer has a glowing purplish-red body reminiscent of beet juice. The pink foam head is fluffy with great retention and leave tons of lacing in clearly delineated layers. The nose has a potent cherry scent like black cherry soda. There's also a sugary sweetness that reminds me of Luden's cherry cough drops (a/k/a candy).

The flavor is intense with tons of sweet cherry flavor. The carbonation is extremely strong with Champagne-like bubbles. The beer rounds off with a tinge of sour, grape-like crispness on the finish. Like other fruit beers, this also, unfortunately, leaves a sugar-coated feeling on your teeth after you're finished. But it's an understandable price to pay for this unique and delicious fruit-infused beer.

Final Verdict: B+

Bonus anecdotal content: On my visit to Belgium (the day before my trip to Chimay) we took a walk from the train station, where we arrived, to visit the Cantillon Brewery. Cantillon is one of the few famous breweries producing Lambic beers. The style utilized spontaneous fermentation, which relies on free-floating yeast to turn wort into beer. While there, we sampled their Gueuze (a re-fermented blend of young and old Lambics) and a variety of their flavored beers, including a Kriek and a Framboise (a raspberry-flavored variety). I took a few pictures at the brewery, which I'll look into posting in the next week or so.

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