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Jason Johnson's picture

Transatlantique Kriek

March, 2016
Judges Rating: 
21 / 24
6 / 6
35 / 40
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
16 / 20

The beer pours a crystal clear ruby red color, similar to cherry soda, with a well-formed but low pink head. A low, wheaty malt presence pops up in the aroma but it gives way to the typical (though surprisingly subdued) lactic characters and a very low brett-like trace. The cherry aroma is fairly low and quite lower than I expected based on the color. The flavor is fairly tame, and well-suited as an introductory sour for someone not sure if they want to dabble in sour, tart beers yet. The cherry flavor is enough for you to notice it throughout the entire experience and is reminiscent of fresh cherry pie filling. There is also some lactic tartness, very low brett funk, and low cherry flavors underneath it all. There is a moderate hop bitterness in the finish that serves well to balance out the sourness and cherry, and it leaves you ready to drink more. Overall, the flavor is clean and non-offensive, the mouthfeel is medium-low with medium-high carbonation, and the tartness is mildly puckering and sensible. Overall, the beer is a good starter beer for those wanting to get into sours. I particularly liked the cherry flavor, which was well-balanced and quite tasty. The only issue I have is that the beer lacked a bit in the lambic category. It could have used just a bit more brett funk and a little more lactic sourness. The cherries did add some nice sweet and tart character, but the base beer seemed a bit tame for a lambic. All in all, it’s a great sour for the masses or those looking to see what sours are all about without getting their taste buds assaulted. I enjoyed the sample as a beer, separate from its style constraints, but for the style, it fell slightly short.