"Lambic" is an infamous Belgian style of beer, which can only truly be produced in a specific region of Belgium from local barley, unmalted wheat, and aged or "debittered" hops, and matured in oak casks in the breweries cellars. These casks harbour various local wild yeast and bacteria, causing the wort to ferment without the addition of a commercial yeast strain (known as spontaneous fermentation). The result is a light bodied but intensely sour and complex beer - the tartness is akin to a hard cider or white wine.
To make the beer more palatable en-mass (most people are scared of sour and funky flavours, the poor souls), breweries often add fruit to the casks mid fermentation. Kriek (cherries), framboise (rasberries), apple and cassis (blackberries) are the most common additions. The beer takes on intense fruit flavours and colours when brewed in this manner, though interestingly the fruit does not add any sweetness to the beer. Sweet versions are produced by sweetening before packaging. Both adding fruit and sweetening are methods of "taming" these wild brews, by offering balance to the oft intense sourness.
Lindemans is a highly regarded producer of lambics. The brewery produces the not-so-traditional sweet versions of the style which have gained world wide popularity. In traditional times, the beer would be sweetened by the barkeep using sugar syrup, sometimes flavoured.
Lindemans Kriek - A 3.5% ABV sparkling cherry flavoured brew that is smooth and refreshing. It hits the nose with black cherry aromas, and a hint of malt. Tastes, again, of black cherries, and strikes a delicious balance between tart and sweet.
The Lindemans Framboise pours a deep pink with a tight, pink flecked white head. Pronounced raspberry fruit aroma with some yeast and almonds. Flavour begins with a tart edge before the sweet raspberry characteristics takes over. At 2.5% ABV this is a fantastic thirst quencher.
Black currents are added to Lindemans Cassis
, yielding an ale of exceptional flavour and complexity. Like the other beers in the Lindemans range, the Cassis is void of hops (hops infact inhibit successful souring of the beer), instead utilising wild yeast and fruit for flavour.
Lindemans Pecheresse is a 2.5% ABV golden peach lambic. The aroma is of fresh cut peaches and the beer itself is bursting with peach flavours. It finishes with a pleasant, lingering tartness.
Lindemans also produces two gueuze lambics. Gueuze lambic is a blend of different vintages of lambic (to the blenders discrepancy) refermented in the bottle - just like champagne. Akin to the tortoise in the fabled hare versus tortoise race, the bugs at work in these beers are slow but steady performers. Lambics take around 3 years to completely ferment, offering a variety of flavours along the way. Blending offers the advantage of balancing the sharp acidity of young lambic with the vineous and complex flavours of an old lambic. The right blend is crucial to producing a good beer, and is done by only the most experienced of blenders. The young lambic also offers additional unfermented sugars for bottle conditioning. Gueuze lambics are traditionally golden in colour, with a cidery, winey palate and a complex, natural farmhouse flavour.
Lindemans produces a filtered and pasteurised version of the style - the Lindemans Gueuze.
The brewery also makes a traditional gueuze, the brewerys grand cru - Cuvée René.
|Nogne O Double IPA #500|
Initially a limited edition collaboration with Toshi Ishti of Yo-Ho Brewing in Japan, this is now part of Nogne O's year round range. Bittered with Millenium hops, flavoured with Amarillo, Centennial and Brewers Gold, and dry hopped with Chinook and Centennial. The aroma is big warm citrus, floral, pine with caramel after notes. This is what double IPA is about - hops!!