2014 was a good year for Brouwerij Boon at the World Beer Cup held in Denver, CO; they took home a bronze medal for their Oude Geuze in the Belgian-style Sour Ale category and a gold medal for their Oude Kriek in same category. This represented 2 of the 5 medals won by Belgian breweries at this year’s competition.
Oude Kriek also marks the last of the Boon Lambics to be reviewed here. This was a beer I first encountered on my trip to Belgium in 2012. I saw this beer at the bottle shop I stopped at in Brussels and picked up two bottles. The first one I consumed a few days later, the other one traveled home with me where it sat in my Cellar until a few days ago. That first bottle was quite revelatory. To that point, I’d only had the regular Kriek and Framboise. The Oude Kriek is another animal entirely.
The Oude Kriek takes one year old lambic and adds 400 grams of cherries added per liter of beer. It then continues to age in the oak casks until it’s ready to be bottled where it undergoes secondary fermentation during bottle conditioning. This is where it develops its strong yet tight carbonation and bead.
Appearance: Deep purple/red, pink (almost red) head, great retention.
Aroma: Sour cherries, light funk, lemon rind, earthy notes, currants, almond undertones.
Taste: Tart cherries, lemon zest, lime juice, Bing cherries, oak, vanilla/almond cherry pit flavors.
Overall Impression: Like all Boon beers, this one is balanced and not overly sour. The tartness is present and strong without being overwhelming or distracting. It’s well integrated. There’s a nice mix of fruitiness, funkiness, and that little extra that extended aging on the cherry pits provides. This is another exception example of the art of Lambic brewing/blending that Boon is known for. One warning note, have your glass read as you’ll need to pour immediately. While it wasn’t an intense “gusher,” the beer was ready to come out of the bottle.
Availability: As far as I’m aware, this beer isn’t imported into the US at this time. Other Boon beers are imported by Latis Imports.