25 April 2018

Touches of class

Dorothy pretty much insisted I try the Timmermans Oude Kriek from 2013. I didn't take much coercion, having previously enjoyed the aged Lambic and Geuze from the same house, one which is rarely counted among the great lambic producers; a little unfairly, I think. The Kriek did not disappoint. A sharp dry aroma is how it introduces itself, suggesting vinegar for an instant, before allowing mellower mature fruit through. The flavour performs a similar double act, beginning on a throat-scorching, enamel-stripping acidity which is quickly tempered by smoothly tannic cherry skins, creating an effect similar to a super-classy Italian grape ale. This is quite a workout for the senses and might be somewhat divisive, but it comes with my recommendation, as well as Dorothy's.

Just to fling another beer in the same broad genre in here, I encountered Boon's Lambiek Foeder No. 67 on keg at P. Mac's. Reviews of 97 and 104 in the series can be found here, and I assume this is the same deal: unblended lambic taken from one of the huge numbered oak barrels at the Boon brewery in Lembeek. Research tells me it had been aged just two years, and it was a sufficient 6.5% ABV. It came out completely flat, and had an unusual thickness: none of the usual spritzy zip of young lambic. There's a heavy wax bitterness, balanced by an explosive gunpowder spicing, with just a twist of orange peel on the end. This is fantastically deep and complex, chewy and much less attenuated than normal. Dare I say balanced? Yeah, go on then.

As always, it just takes writing about a couple of classy lambics to make me want more. Still a bit early to be dipping into the current stash, though.