Sunday, 1 May 2011

De Ranke Kriek


I don't tend to get involved with The Session or Open It, as they feel a bit too contrived for my liking, so you can regard this blog entry as either chutzpah or co-incidence. On Friday I opened a long kept beer which I bought in Belgium many years ago. So many years ago that I can't really remember, but as it was best before July 2007, it must have been a fair few.  The fact that it has not been opened stems from the fact I have never got round to it and that I rarely drink anything at home. Why then did I buy it? Then, I suppose,  I was probably much more nerdy than I am now and did indeed drink a fair bit of beer at home, a lot of it for tasting note purposes.  Thankfully I am cured of the tasting note affliction and now I can't be arsed carrying heavy bottles back from abroad.  So the good news for those cursed with either of these distressing diseases is that they are likely to wear off given time.

What about the beer I hear you scream. Well I can't really be arsed about that either, so this is what it says on Beer Advocate: "Based on an extinct yet favorite tipple of the De Ranke owners, Nino Bacelle and Guido Devos, De Ranke Kriek emulates the famed Oud Kriekenbier from the defunct Crombé brewery in Zottegem. De Ranke Kriek is a mixture of two blended soured pale ales and Girardin lambic, all steeped in whole fresh cherries from Poland and then aged for six months. A unique and much sought after Kriekenbier."

Despite its age, it was in great shape. I had wondered if the subdued cherry was due to age, but seemingly not if you read some of the comments. I found it pleasant and enjoyed the red wine vinegar like sour lambic element pretty much, would have preferred a stronger cherry presence and  a bit more body. I  found little by the way of brett.  It was all a bit tame really and drank well below its 7% strength.  You wonder sometimes if those on Beer Advocate have much better imaginations than palates.

As Tyson would put it: "One for your Beer Geek Friend."

I've an idea I've been to the Crombé  Brewery many years ago. But then again, maybe not.

10 comments:

Tyson said...

Should have saved it for Sunday breakfast.

Tandleman said...

Nah. Match of the Day and tea.

Ron Pattinson said...

The oldest beer I've ever drunk was a Crombé Kriek from the 1950's. Didn't taste like beer at, but was really nice.

BeerReviewsAndy said...

Interesting stuff mate, i think the oldest Kriek i had was one that i got from Phil lowry, moreau heirloom kriek (i think thats what it was called) it still had plenty of cherry in after 20 odd years but i couldn't help but think it would have been amazing with loads of fresh cherry!

what's your favourite kriek? i'm always on the look out for new ones....

John Clarke said...

I'm a big fan of this and all the De Ranke beers - I think some of the cherry must have faded with time. It's not much like the famed Crombe Oud Kriekenbier - this was a pale ale referemented with whole cherries and (if memory serves me right) matured in a tank underneath the brewery floor for about 18 months. It was bright red and wonderfully sharp. You can if fact still get it (complete with folksy label) but it's now made by Strubbe and has some way to go before it recaptures its former glory.

Ghost Drinker said...

Still afflicted by both those diseases! Love em!! I'm hoping they won't ware off, if they did then I'd have to write more about the 'politics' of beer :(

Birkonian said...

Krieks are a stle that does age very well. I remember a monstrous hangover relieved by a wonderful dry, sharp draught 10 year old kriek (Hanssens, I think) in Oud Arsenaal, Antwerp.

"Eddie Rowles" said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
"Eddie Rowles" said...

Snap! I was in the cellar yesterday and I came across the same bottle but which in theory has expired in 2009 so it will be interesting to see how that has fared.

I was down there to put away some bottles of Boon Kriek Mariage Parfait that I'd got for 3.5 euros each when out on the Toer de Geuze on Sunday.

And I love De Ranke, especially the XX.

Whilst on the tour I bumped into Pete Slosberg, founder of Pete's Wicked Ale, that I remember buying from Oddbins in the late 80s. I came across an old bottle of their Winter Brew down in the cellar too.

I've had conflicting info about fruit lambics - one of the guys at Cantillon suggested I should drink it within a few years to get the best of the expensive fruit they put in it. However the bottles of Kriek I got on Sun have a best before date of 2030....

Sean said...

I love, love, love Kriek. Drinking it from the barrel on a hot summer day in Antwerp is one of my fondest memories!