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Review by SAP on 01/24/09  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
84 3 10 17 4 8 2008
A solid pour barely produces a one finger thick, frothy, large bubbled, quickly dissipating head in my large Tripel Karmeliet glass. The beer is a ruddy, amber hue that shows a hazed, copper color when held up to the light. The aroma smells of oak and lactic acid at the first draught of the nose; tannic wood, spicy oak in the finish and a sharp lactic acidity are most noticeable at first. There is an underlying aroma of musty, moldy blankets, a touch of musky animal sweat, and a cured leather spiciness as well as a slight vegetal note, some plastic phenolics. This has a more pronounced character overall, and a nice Brett component that was lacking in the Wilmington version of the Lambic. The nose is not huge for a Lambic, but it is nicely complex and enjoyable.

Sour and mouth puckering as this first hits my tongue, there is also a significant sweetness to this beer starting in the middle and through to the finish. It is significant by Lambic standards, but fairly light for a typical beer. As of now though, this comes off as a bit drier then the Wilmington Lambic de Hill. The lactic sourness is the most dominant note, but it is significantly rounded by the residual sweetness as well as the body of this brew; this seems to have a certain barrel influence in the body that increases the viscousness and texture of this beer with a tannic structure. This finishes with a spicy hit of oak and lactic acidity that tends to dry out the long finish pretty well. The spicy oak almost adds a bourbon reminiscent warming to the finish. This almost has a pithy, grapefruit like flavor to it with the acidity and tannins; this grapefruit note seems to grow as the beer warms up. There is also a touch of aspirin character to the finish.

As this beer warms, unlike the Wilmington version, the sweetness does not become more pronounced, in fact this seems to even get a bit more dry with time. This beer is a much more "Lambic" like example than the other version, though I could still wish for a bit more bracing acidity. Both versions have much more oak character than is typical in a Lambic, but it works quite well here and actually helps to balance out the sweetness to make it just a little bit less noticeable. Both versions have an acetic note to them that is more akin to a Flemish sour, but it is much more pronounced in the Wilmington version (I think this also helps to accentuated the sweetness in that version as well).

Price: $24.50 Served In: Tulip