Sunday, March 22, 2009

New Belgium Dark Kriek review

New Belgium Dark KriekI love my local breweries and whenever they put out a new line of beers I just have to check them out. The New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado recently decided to make a big push with their "Lips of Faith" series of beers and put them in all new packaging. Previously, you typically had to go directly to the brewery or to a local pub to try some of their employee inspired special ales. But now, New Belgium is wanting to share several of these brews with the world and package them into painted label 22oz bomber bottles. One such beer that has been released recently is their New Belgium Dark Kriek - Lips of Faith beer.

Dark Kriek, as it's name implies, is a beer infused with cherries, cherry juice to be specific. This beer is also a blend of 65% cherry flavored ale and 35% wood aged brew. The blending of this ale gives this brew a distinctive flavor. This is what I consider to be a sour lambic brew. Sour, like it's cousin La Folie, and cherry like their Old Cherry Ale.

Dark Kriek is no lightweight brew as it weighs in at a hefty 8% ABV. I chose to taste this brew in a nice fluted glass which goes well with the sour lambic style.

Appearance: The Kriek poured a very dark red, nearly like a cola and had a very small light tan head. The head did not build much more than a finger tall and quickly disappeared. There was very little lacing with this brew. Swirling the brew would bring up a nice little bead of bubbles and a fresh new bouquet of scents.

Aroma: Immediately upon opening the bottle I could smell a nice sour funkiness to this beer. The cherries and wood aroma were dominant with just a hint of acidity. I've been a big fan of sour beers and I could tell that this style of beer was going to be right up my alley. The smell of this beer was very inviting.

Mouthfeel: Upon the first sip I found my tongue surrounded by bubbles almost as if the brew reacted to my mouth. There was a nice body with a sharp crispness on the palate. It was slightly acidic but not nearly as much as a La Folie.

Taste: As yes - we have a sour! The cherries and wood work well together in this beer. It was tart, smooth and satisfying. The cherry in this beer tasted authentic and not artificial which made me a fan right away. The alcohol affect was noticeable soon after drinking but was not the dominant factor. I could close my eyes and imagine drinking this brew straight out of a wood barrel. There was that distinctive funkiness that I've come to love in a sour beer.

Overall: The New Belgium Dark Kriek certainly lived up to all of my expectations and more. I had heard mixed reviews from others out there but I simply had to judge this for myself and I'm glad I bought this. The price was right and I'd buy this beer again in an instant. It's tart, sour, semi-sweet, cherry, bitter, and dry with a hint of vinegar. Perfect for this style. I'm giving this beer high praise. I enjoyed this from start to finish.

Related articles:
- New Belgium revisited.
- New Belgium La Folie review.
- New Belgium Mighty Arrow Pale Ale review.
- Oud Beersel Kriek Ale review.

This article came from FermentedlyChallenged.com
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