Transatlantique Kriek is another visionary beer from New Belgium, and another reason that they are one of my very favorite breweries. It seems that everyone blends and collaborates on beers now days, but New Belgium began this process, seemingly, before it was cool!
Pouring a beautiful Ruby Red with a nice head that settles down to a faint ring around the glass, this beer smells as if it’s got some lactic sour in there! The cherry nose has been greatly subdued over time, but it’s still there.
The first sip is very refreshing. The cherry flavor is pretty natural and combines very well with the sour lambic notes.
This beer isn’t quite as sour as it smells, and has a wonderful maltiness to go along with it’s 8% ABV.
New Belgium actually took beer, brewed in Belgium (The old one) and combined it with a golden lager (Says the web page) brewed here in Colorado. The Cherry Lambic was brewed a full two years before it made its way to Colorado. This means that someone was thinking about my drinking enjoyment long before I had ever even heard of Kriek beer.
I find it very interesting that they chose to brew a lager instead of an ale. And I’m not really sure which they used. The web page at New Belgium says that it’s a lager, but the bottle says ale... Go figure. Either way, it’s beer! And either way, I’m certainly glad they chose that rout! When you start mixing beer with sour ales, you can very quickly muddy up the flavors and end up bottling something that is very mediocre! I think that their choice whether it was ale or a lager has helped to keep the brightness and refreshing quality of the lambic base.
After the time in the bottle, the malty undertones of the Golden Lager have really started to show, and in fact, have taken over most of the cherry flavor, but not the sour. Most, if not all of the sweetness is gone giving way tot the wonderful earthy notes and a touch of oak that I suspect have been covered by the sweetness.
The finish is crisp and rolls over the back of the throat with an effervescent sparkle that is just tart enough to cleanse, but not so potent as to pucker.
This beer took some time and thought to produce. The brewers didn’t just wake up one day and say “let’s make a Kriek.”
No, this took years to make, and it took me more than two years to store! This beer reminds me of why I cellar beer. It was good before, but it’s great now! I wish I had more that three left!
Check back in on Thursday, we’ll share a snort of Rum!
Have a great week till then!