Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The final frontier! (At least for Kriek!)

This Kriek Tuesday, the end of the era, I have a New Belgium Dark Kriek from the Lips of Faith series.

This beer is a masterful combination of 65% Ale brewed with cherry juice, and 35% ale aged in wood barrels.

Sitting at a firm 8% abv, I was a bit tenuous when I added this brew to the collection, but in hind site, I should have added a few more!

Again, I’ve failed you. I don’t know how long ago they made this brew, but I’m sure it’s a 2010 vintage! I wish I had a month, year and price to share with you, but I simply didn’t think that I’d be writing a world famous beer blog and reviewing this brew with you when I purchased it!

I feel like I should point out to those of you that poo-poo New Belgium for their beer called  “Fat Tire” that has become the BMC of the craft beer world, that their very main stream beer income is what allows the creativity of the Lips of Faith series that I tend to love more than hate! There are a few I don’t care for, and you know I’ll share that too... but basically, I’m inspired by this line of beer!

The nose is  a clean, sour. I know I use that stupid phrase more than I should, but once you experience it, you’ll know what I mean. It’s a pleasant sour aroma that doesn’t smell bad... Just funky.  A mildly fruity, sour with a light, yet distinct locker room foot aroma and dried fruit and plum.

This brew is mostly sour and brown! Oakey, but not really “Woody” or “Vanilla” like most barrel aged beers. I am struck by a rather smokey dark complexity that is really hard to describe. Like the difference between a Plum and a Prune.

There is a nice sour character that keeps reminding me that this is one of those funky sour marvels of brewing wonder that I so love.

A sweet aroma is deceiving of the dry palate and finish. This brew has a fairly full body... Especially
 for the style!

There is plenty of complexity and a light to medium carbonation levels to make for a very nice flavor.
There is an early finish of dried fruit leather, funky and mildly metallic with a cleansing sour profile that again... makes me yearn for a greasy bit of gourmet goose! I am ready for another sip.

I think that the oak barrel sticks out more than the cherry.
All that I can say is that it is dry and extremely interesting with flavors that mingle and meld like a symphony of sour dried fruit, pleasantly sour, mildly malty beer goodness that I thoroughly enjoy without any pretense of style.

As for calling it a Kriek? Close, but no dice! People who love this beer could hate Kriek with passion. People that hate Kriek could easily LOVE this beer with style. Perhaps that makes it a great transition beer?

I don’t know for sure, but I know that everyone who enjoys sour brews should have a sip from this glass.... Right now!

I paired it with some aged cheddar and rice crackers just to give a little contrast, and at points I was reminded of the port wine cheese ball that I get at Christmas!

Not that the beer has much to compare with wine, but if you’re looking to make the connection, I say go ahead! Treat it like a cold big red wine and you will NOT be let down!

I hope you all get the chance to try this, and if you don’t, pick up a few bottles of the currently available Lips of Faith brews and bet on the come!

Your future is limited only by your vision for today!


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The adventure never stops

The adventure never stops
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