Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen, Oude Kriek Intens Rood. Okay, let me preface with this before I continue..... I am not a BJCP judge, I am not an expert on the nuances of certain beer styles, I am not a snob or a fanboy. But what I am is honest and forthcoming. I give out what I take in and as such I tend to be a bit on the brutal side of honesty. With that said let's get going with this review. What is the 3 Fontenien Oude Kriek Intens rood? This beer is a blended Belgian sour beer, or Fruit Lambic style beer to be precise. It's a Lambic style beer aged with a mixture of cherries (40% apparently) over an extended period of time, usually 4-6 months. It is then bottled and aged for another extended period of time to achieve the complexity this style is known for.
Name of Beer: Oude Kriek Intens Rood
Brewery: Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen
Brew Style: Belgian Fruit Lambic style beer
My review of the following beer attributes is based on a scale of one to five and a small note on my experiences.
1- Terrible, 2- Poor, 3- Okay, 4- Good, 5- Excellent
The aroma of this beer was very complex and hard to describe to be entirely honest. Up front, it was rather vinous, sour fruit, tannic, not so much cherries but that acidic type aroma that some fruits contain when they're high in malic acid. Secondary aromas consisted of Lactic acid/Lemon juice, jammy cherry and blackberries, vanilla, and a mild almond and faint cinnamon hiding in the background. There wasn't much in the way of yeast character present from an aroma standpoint, but that's to be expected in a beer of this style. When it comes to hop aroma, there is none, which is completely to style.
An intense maroon to crimson colour with a slight haze. A short-lived light pink head gives way to a brilliant dark black cherry colour outlined by the light pink head. The beer resembles some red wines I've had, and although this is a beer, if it weren't for the light ring of head it could easily be mistaken for one.
This was an absolute treat to drink. It was vinous, it was jammy, it had tonnes of fruit complexity, it was nicely balanced with the acidity and had very little in the way of competing flavours. There was a tannic character I enjoyed that also brought me back to red wine, but it was a welcomed addition as a counterbalance for the tartness this beer posseses.
Light body, but not thin in any way, heavily carbonated but this isn't indicated as such due to the lack of head retention. A somewhat bright and refreshing mouthfeel that keeps you engaged and aware of the other characteristics of the beer. Exactly what you want in a beer of this calibre and style.
Overall Impression: 4
This was an absolute pleasure to drink! I don't think I'd drink this beer on a regular basis, I'm just not sure my stomach could handle the acidity, and at $20+ for a 375ml bottle, neither can my wallet, but I'd certainly cellar a few to see how they evolve. I believe everyone should treat themselves to a good bottle of Lambic or Kriek at least once in their beer drinking life, and if I were to recommend one to a novice, this beer would certainly fit the bill. Easy drinking, refreshing, and complex. What else can you ask for in a great beer?
Would you recommend this beer to other homebrewers?
Unequivibly! This was a fantastic beer, superb for the style and an easy entry into Lambic and sour beers in general. A great sour beer for the seasoned or new drinker. 8/10 all day for sure.
Any additional comments:
The one drawback to this beer is it's scarcity. If we could get easier access to beers like this I believe more people would begin to enjoy them and learn to love them as much as I do.