Rick Franckhauser's picture

Judge's Review: 96 Rating - pFriem Oude Kriek by pFriem Family Brewers

November, 2019
Judges Rating: 
23 / 24
5 / 6
39 / 40
10 / 10
Overall Impression: 
19 / 20

pFriem Oude Kriek by pFriem Family Brewers was judged as a Fruit Lambic (with cherries - Kriek), BJCP Category 23F.

Aromatics of stewed cherries with a bright clean acidity. A little underlying lactic acid note provides the impression of the sourness that awaits your palate. Some earthy tones and a subtle funk of the barnyard variety are also noted. Additional esters make their way through reminiscent of purple plums. As the beer warms up, I pick up some subtle nut character that makes me think of Brazil nuts. The tart cherries remain in the mix of aromatics throughout. The beer pours a lovely cranberry, raspberry color with an underlying amber tone to it. Rather hazy with a slight pink tightly beaded head drops out a little too quickly. The tart cherries show up in the flavor as well. Very fresh and natural tasting cherries, not the cough syrup, artificial flavor you will sometimes find. Balanced toward the tartness with some tannin qualities providing additional balance in the absence of bitterness and a cranberry impression. Moderately dry with some funky Brett and lactic acid to round things out, providing layers of sourness that keep it interesting. There is a little underlying malt sweetness, a little nuttiness and a woody note that works to keep the tartness from being overly assertive.

I do love a good Kriek. One that tastes like huge quantities of fresh cherries were employed yet don’t completely dominate the beer. I also love a good Lambic, and we don’t get many of those here in the U.S. that blend complex layers of fun and sourness. This beer is intriguing without overwhelming the palate with oddities or resulting in a puckered-up face. When you find a good Kriek that combines the fresh tart cherries with elegant funky tartness that keeps revealing little secrets as you imbibe, that is a beer to behold and savor. That is beer history in a glass. pFriem Oude Kriek is one of those beers. Seek it out and savor it. This is what world class tastes like.