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.
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and activist, beer writer, beer reviewer and pursuer of all things good in beer. He lives in the North West of England and London. Despite his CAMRA membership, he does not limit himself to cask conditioned beer, though he believes that cask conditioning, when done correctly and appropriately, brings a quality to beer that is hard to equal by any other kind of presentation. He is a strong supporter of Northern methods of beer dispense and avidly detests poorly presented beer and dislikes pasteurisation. He regularly visits Germany, has conducted corporate British and German beer tastings for CAMRA at the Great British Beer Festival where he has worked for years on Biere Sans Frontieres and was Deputy Organiser at CAMRA's very successful National Winter Ales Festival in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and at the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival from 2013 to date. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink.
This blog mentions specifics; pubs and beer, good and bad. The opinions will be forthright, but you can always disagree, just don't be offended. Comments from those mentioned are particularly welcome and a right of reply is hereby offered.
Read my information and links and then decide for yourself. You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes.
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