Review: Transatlantique Kriek, New Belgium

Transatlantique Kriek
New Belgium Brewing Co. — Fort Collins, CO

  • Style: Kriek
  • Bitterness: 8 IBU
  • ABV: 8%
  • Malts:  Pale, Red Wheat, Carapils, Roasted Barley
  • Hops: Willamette
  • Yeast: Lager

Description:  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. — New Belgium Brewing Co.

Random thoughts:  New Belgium's Lips of Faith series produces small batch beers. Some are barrel aged, some use wild yeast, some integrate unusual fruits, but all are unique! I'm a huge fan of their Tart Lychee and hope it gets re-released soon. If it does, I'll stock up! I also love krieks and have been looking forward to tasting this.

The tasting:  Brilliant ruby red in color, clear with a frothy pink head that dissipates fairly slowly and leaves plenty of lacing on the glass. It's a nice looking beer! Aroma of sweet cherry and oak. From the first sip, the taste of cherry comes through. It starts out sweet and turns mildly tart in the middle. While it has plenty of cherry flavor, it reminded me of cough syrup. A light earthy hop bitterness and toasted oak also emerge in the middle. Alcohol isn't not noticeable in aroma, but a touch is present in the middle. Overall, it's stealthy for an 8% ABV beer. Transatlantique Kriek is light bodied, has a smooth mouth feel, and finishes with lingering cherry. 

Rating:  3 star. Good. I would drink this again if someone gives it to me.  If you're looking to sample the style for the first time, you should consider giving Transatlantique Kriek a try. However, for me, its medicinal flavor and nearly $15 price tag will probably keep me away should it make a return appearance.

Have you tasted New Belgium's Lips of Faith Transatlantique Kriek? What's your favorite kriek?

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