Style: Lambic – Kriek
From: Ingelmunster, Belgium
Brewer’s Note: “For 6 months the flesh of the fresh sour cherries slowly digests in the Lambic. The intense flavour of cherries and light nuances of almond from the pits determine the flavour of this fruity delicacy.”
The beer’s label has a slight, mass produced look to it. The St. Louis logo is cool and very old world, but the cherry graphic, the title font, and the color scheme just don’t mesh very nicely. It’s easy to look at, but it looks mass produced and boring. The company logo does save the look a little, and the neck label is very classy, but it just doesn’t quite work for me. The label is not worthy of scrapbooking or shelving.
The beer pours a candied ruby red with slightly dense body with tons of little carbonation bubbles bursting to the top of the glass. The beer pours with a heavy and smooth, two-finger’s width head that sticks around and is white with a slightly yellow-red tint to it. The head leaves a lacing of dry fat clouds of bubbles on the sides of the glass. On the nose, the beer smells of sweet candied cherries, like a cross between maraschino and cherry flavored cough syrup, though more towards the sweet maraschino. There is also a light spicy smell that hints at funk but doesn’t fully show it. On the tongue, the beer tastes sharply acidic with lots of fruit and sweet sugar and little to no bitterness. The flavor begins as sweet cherry cough syrup and then slowly works its way into maraschino cherry territory with very slight hints of funk, but no really funky character. The finish gives the most funk, but even then it is light and surrounded by sweet, candied cherry flavors. In the mouth, the beer feels on the light side of medium in body with a nice smooth and strong carbonation that gives some scrub to the tongue but doesn’t quite handle the cloyingly sweet cherries. The mouth is left very clean except for the pools of saliva on the sides of the tongue which are formed due to the large amount of acid in the beer. Overall, this is an alright sweet kriek. I do wish there was more of a funky character to the beer, and I do wish the cloying nature of the sweetness was a little more in check. That being said, my girlfriend said she enjoyed the beer a lot, though she detected a faint smell and taste of chlorine in the beer, so it does appeal to some beer drinkers. I’m unsure whether Van Honsebrouk used cherry extract in this beer, or if they just used too many cherries, but something in the beer is giving it a synthetic flavoring that is reminiscent of cherry cough syrup. An alright beer overall.