Beer Review: Lindemans Kriek

Let me start off by saying that I like Lambics quite a bit. I think that they demonstrate the full possibilities of what beer can be more than any other beer on the market.

The problem here in the States is that sweet beers seem like a contradiction in terms. So the market for lambics is quite small. As such, there’s not much need for lambic producers in Belgium to export to America, especially if their beers are simply going to sit on the shelf for a while.

From purely anecdotal evidence, it seems as if Lindemans has filled whatever supply is necessary to meet lambic demand on this side of the Atlantic. While other lambics can be found on occasion, Lindemans seems to dominate the lambic market over here. And while Lindemans makes a nice product, there are other lambic producers I’d like to see get some measure of a foothold, if only to provide a Pepsi to Lindemans Coca-Cola.

In the grand scheme of things, I’m not a Lindemans fan. Don’t get me wrong, their beers are good, and definitely worth a moment or two of your time. (For the record, Oud Beersel makes what I think are the definitive lambics.)

Appearance: A nice light garnet coloring with a light purple head. The beer has a bit of a haze to it, but not remarkably so. The head had near zero retention, and was near gone within a few minutes.

Aroma
: Malt with a nice foundation of cherries beneath it. Not overwhelming at all. In fact, a little weak on the aroma.

Taste: Sweet, sweet, and more sweet before the taste of cherries actually comes through. Any taste of hops or malt is purely coincidental as this comes across more like cherry soda than cherry ale.

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation, but it doesn’t provide a strong zip as some beers can. This is a feature and not a bug with lambics, as the characteristics of the fruits should be allowed to come through.

Drinkability: There’s not a technical fault with this beer, but perhaps a philosophical one. The sweetness in this beer is overwhelming, but seemingly quite intentional. My preference is for lambics to have at least some hint of beer in the background, but Lindeman’s approach does not agree with mine. It’s highly drinkable, yes, but is it a good example of a lambic? I’m not so sure. I’ll split the difference and give it a “B”.

Rating: B