I'll be curious to compare this Wilmington take on the style with the one from Media.
A solid pour into my large Tripel Karmeliet glass produces a fizzy, initially one-finger thick, pale pink tinged, off white colored head. The beer has a red tinged, amber color to it that shows a pretty clear, red-copper color to it when held up to the light. As I pour this beer I smell notes of tart cherries. A deeper inspection of the nose yields a substantial sourness to this beer, as well as a touch of phenolic, almost acetone like note towards the finish, a background ripe cheese / moldy cloth and musky Brettanomyces signature. The dominant sour and funk aromatics tend to drown out the more delicate cherry aromas, but they are able to peek through from time to time to provide a bit of cherry fruitiness to the nose.
The taste is quite tart tasting, it is not as bone dry as I was expecting though, there is a very subtle, soft sweetness to this that accentuates a soft cherry flavor towards the middle. The touch of sweetness and the cherry notes combine with some funkiness to provide a flavor that is somewhat reminiscent of children's aspirin. This has a fair amount of body to it as well, it has a certain soft creamy texture to it that is cut a little bit by a prickly carbonation. I like the sweet / tart balance here, the acidity definitely wins out; without the sweetness the very subtle cherry flavors might have been lost among the more prominent lactic acidity. As my palate gets used to the beer I am able to notice the cherry flavors much more prominently (the sweetness becomes more pronounced too); tart with a cherry medicine like flavor as well as light cherry juice flavor. The cherry notes seem to be lacking a tannic backbone that I like in a Kriek; I wonder if whole fruit was used and if it is from a sour cherry varietal as that might make some difference or maybe this just didn't come through. Ether way this is missing that teeth coating tannic character. There is an oral-nasal note of phenolics here that sort of lightly spices the flavor, but this isn't the most funky of Lambics. Nor is it tame though, there is a touch of acetic acid character here that adds a bite lacking from the lactic acidity.
The warming of this beer also accentuates the cherry and acetic acidity more in the nose, providing a cherry-vinegar touch to the nose that is definitely pleasant. This quite good, it is perhaps a little thick bodied and with a touch too much sweetness to be fantastic, but damn is it good and I am quite happy with this interpretation.
Bottle generously shared by sloth. Poured an orangey amber color, decent initial head that thinned to a small ring. Aroma was cinnamon spicing and ginger with higher temperatures, some caramel type malts. The flavor followed the aroma: ginger, cinnamon, juniper, caramel type malts. This beer finished with a firm bitterness, not sure if it was from a hop (Stone's contribution?) or some other odd ball ingredient like a caraway seed, lol? The mouthfeel was oily big relative to the appearance and what I was expecting. Decent carbonation to keep it somewhat zippy on the tongue. Did Jolly Pumpkin really have anything to do with this? Where's the Bret? A for sure disappointing brew given the collaboration of such quality brewers. Thanks, Bert, for sharing.
A reddish orange appearance with little head. A nice funky raspberry aroma. Some barnyard aroma. Like sniffing Mr Ed. The flavor is very sour with raspberry and vinegar. Face pukering aftertaste. Good bier.
This was a great beer that I got to try at the Wilmington location during a Belgian night. Light brown color. Very sour and tart. Horseblanket aroma with hints of cherries. Good balance and full of flavor. Mmmm
GABF '03. Kriek de Hill. Now I am starting to get the hang of this style, I feel that I can rate this fairly. Nice bright red color with fluffy pink head. Nice sourness to the cherry balanced out by the acidic finish. Can only have one of these at a time.
Poured dark brown, with a nice reddish hue, light pink head and lacing on the side of the glass. Funky tart cherry aroma. Taste was that of spicy and tart cherry, lots of cherries. Some brett, also very sour. This was a very nice Kriek, not what I would expect from Iron Hill.
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