Wednesday, February 10, 2010

225. Cuvée De Ranke

Brewed and bottled by Brouwerij De Ranke in Wevelgem, Belgium. Cuvée De Ranke is a Belgian Sour Ale with Lambic added (it is also listed as a saison on at least one site); it’s a 70/30 blend of a sour ale made with Rodenbach yeast and a Giardin lambic. The nose is a crisp, sharp tart citric acid smell with lower levels of vinegar sourness and some slight funkiness; the color is a hazy gold with light white carbonation that quickly reduces to a ring around the glass. Starting with a tart citric bite that rolls across the tongue, Cuvée De Ranke moves into a slight chalkiness in the middle with an underlying malt character and some low levels of funkiness before finishing with a returning rise of citric tartness that leads into some sourness that lingers on the palate. Light bodied and bright and clean on the mouth, Cuvée De Ranke has a decent carbonation bite that contributes to the light mouthfeel. This one also has a whole lot of tartness and tongue curling, mostly from the sour aspects, and is very dry and sharp in part via the high level of attenuation. In addition, it is a light and refreshing beer, and very enjoyable—the 7% ABV could very easily sneak up and bite you on the ass with this one—well, if you like tart beers and consider them easy drinking. Cuvée De Ranke is an excellent beer; we’re making it a Top 10 Best contender.

From the paper wrapper: “The De Ranke Brewery was founded by two good friends, Nino Bacelle and Guido Devos. Their story is a classic in Belgium, where the very best craft brewing usually begins as a passionately pursued hobby, not an occupation. For Nino and Guido, brewing is literally a weekend obsession. For a few hours on Friday and Saturday, every week, they make small batches of what many consider the best specialty beers of Belgium. The beers are robust and flavorful, and famous for their massive hoppiness, which comes from the best Hallertau and Brewer’s Gold varieties.”

From the De Ranke website: “Cuvée is an ale of mixed origin like many Belgian breweries used to make. The production process is nearly the same as for the Kriek, the difference being that no cherries are added. It’s a naturally acidified ale in which we try to reach the perfect balance between sweet and sour. This amber-coloured ale contains 7% vol. Alc. and can age really nice.”

ABV: 7%
Best before: 04/2013


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