Saturday, January 23, 2010

207. New Belgium Transatlantique Kriek

This is our fifth beer from New Belgium, and another from their Lips of Faith series (our last four were Biere de Mars, Fat Tire, 1554 Enlightened Black Ale and La Folie). Basically, more yumminess for our tumminess. And while my rhyme is lame, it is still not nearly as sad as the trite beer advertising hoo-hah we’ve seen this year (that’s right, I’m talking to you, Grand Teton and Lilja). But this has nothing to do with this beer...

Transatlantique Kriek is a radiant ruby red color, clear and bright with a fine white head. The nose has distinct cherry aroma with a hint of almond in the background; there are also low levels of yeast esters and some sour smell, which may be part of the cherry aroma. TK starts decidedly cherry—it moves from fruity to sour to tart as the beer progresses–and ends dry with some lingering sourness and a touch of mustiness. The body is light and dry with a crisp bite on the tongue, some from the dry tartness at the end and some from the carbonation bite (which is itself dry). Transatlantique Kriek is a exceptionally well balanced and deceptively simple beer, one that hides its 8% ABV very well—I’d call it drinkable, but this is the kind of beer that puts you in the hurt locker after a couple of glasses because the lightness and crispness make you forgot about the punch it carries. You’re all drinking along, lovin’ on this beer, and the next day you’ve trying to figure out where the truck is that ran you over.

From the bottle: “New Belgium Ale blended with Brouwerij Frank Boon Lambic with real cherries. 45% ale with cherries added, 55% ale.”

From the New Belgium website: “In a never-ending quest to create new beers and defy category, New Belgium Brewing and Brewerij Boon of Belgium have partnered together again to create Transatlantique Kriek - a spontaneously fermented lambic ale made with Polish cherries. This authentic kriek beer began life in the oaken vessels at Frank Boon’s brewery in the Lembeek region of Belgium. After more than two years aging, Boon’s offering shipped across the Atlantic and found its way to the intuitive palate of New Belgium’s Brewmaster Peter Bouckaert. After much sampling and internal consultation, Peter and his brew staff created a full-bodied golden lager to round out the light-bodied kriek. The cherry nose gives way to a pleasingly sour flash across the palate that rolls gently into a slightly sweet finish. Crisp, effervescent carbonation keeps the mouthfeel bright and delightfully tingly.”
Beer envy, thy name is dinner...

ABV: 8%


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