Transatlantique Kriek | New Belgium Brewing

very good
71 Reviews
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Transatlantique KriekTransatlantique Kriek

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States

Style: Lambic - Fruit

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.30%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAngel on 11-10-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 71 | Ratings: 92
Photo of Lupe
2.89/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours a cranberry-red color with a very small white head. Aroma of sour cherries jumps out while being poured. Hints of woodiness accompany the tantalizing cherry aroma. Flavor reminds me of cherry cough syrup. This is a problem since I despise cherry flavored cough syrup. Finishes dry and alcoholic. Light and spritzy on the tounge. I have enjoyed other kriek lambics, but I can not get past the cough syrup flavor in this one.

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Photo of Realale
2.92/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear lurid Luden's cherry red. Only the finest whisp of a white head which is quickly gone. Frankly, it looks artificial.

Nose is sour acidic cherry with a touch of earthy, stemmy character adding a bit of complexity. At least it doesn't smell sweet!

Sour cherry leads on the palate, but it quickly gives way to a thin, acidic midpalate. Touch of bready malt kicks in on the short finish. Seriously lacking in complexity, and has a huge hole in the midpalate.

Very lightly carbonated. I'd like more here, as there is not a lot of interest on the palate. Overall, a depressing effort, considering the amount of planning and expense taken to produce it. I was hoping for much more, and this effort does nothing to move Boon up my personal ranking of lambic purveyors.

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Photo of tjthresh
2.94/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I picked this up when I visited Devner for the 03 GABF.

Clear, cherry red. If you are quick enough to catch it, there is a pink head.

This thing smells real good. Tart cherries.

The tast is hard for me to handle. The cherry is there, but the sour hit me like a ton of bricks. I just don't care too much for it.

Light to medium body. Lack of carbonatoin give the preception of a fuller body.

This beer may be for some people, but not me.

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Photo of benito
2.94/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

From the same batch labeled "Best Before 3/23/04." I had a bottle of this at Toronado on 5/12/06.

As a caveat, I should say that this beer was clearly past its prime when I poured it, so take this review with a grain of salt. It's less a statement of how good this beer might have been when it was fresh than how well it is (or isn't) holding up with age.

A: No head and low carbonation. Color is a dark red with ruby tints.

S: Cherry syrup with a light sourness and a hint of flesh.

T: Cherry flavors are dominant, and again they're melded with sour and fleshy notes. At six percent, the alcohol flies completely under the radar. Also, it's worth noting that this isn't a true lambic. It's a lambic blended with an unnamed batch of New Belgium brew--more a hybrid style than a strict Belgian or New Belgian, so that may account for how this 'kriek lambic' has lost its mouth-puckering edge.

M: Light and less spritzy/sour than many lambics. Overall, it tastes a little thin.

D: Good, though again without the sourness or spritziness it is less refreshing than it might be. And again, it was also old by the time I tried it.

Unfortunately, this brew was not/is not one to lay down.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.03/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Transatlantique Kriek: Ales From 2 Continents. There's a brief, yet interesting story on the label describing the beer's creation.

This is the reddest beer that I've ever seen. It looks like cherry soda, maybe a bit darker, and is crystal clear. The head is a frothy light pink, persists pretty well and leaves copious sheets of broken lace. The nose is overwhelmingly of cherries, with a little Chardonnay mixed in. It doesn't smell much like beer since I don't appreciate either malt or hops.

TK doesn't taste like beer either, but then this is my first lambic, so take that impression with a large grain of salt. It tastes like alcoholic, sour cherry soda that is dry and acidic rather than sweet. Minimal malt is evident. The finish is short and to the point.

The mouthfeel is somewhere between light and medium and is too carbonated for my liking. The soda analogy just will not die. At only 6.3%, one would think that the alcohol would be completely hidden... but it isn't.

I don't want to be too hard on Transatlantique Kriek because I'm sure that it's a decent representation of the style. Having said that, it just doesn't seem like beer.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.06/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-pours a slightly cloudy dark red grapefruit color with a white head that has a hint of pale pink to it, very bubbly and thin.

S-the nose brings a lot of metallic notes, it has some copper penny to it, there is some light sour cherry notes behind.

T-the taste is better, still with flaws. there seems to be some wood notes, its very dry in flavor with tart cherry and lots yeast dominating the flavor.

M-thinner body, slick on the throat and rather dry finish. the carbonation is there and slightly prickly but the driness and carbonation don't blend well, more of carb or less of dry.

D-this is somewhat empty, seems a little off in the nose, the fruits are rather subdued and it has some leathery notes to it. the flavors are light and everything is muddled with the dry finish making it so flabby and tasteless.

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Photo of Rastacouere
3.18/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks Raindog for the first of an awesome package Very red body with a light haze: "Rose Bonbon" as we say in french. Dirty red head with pink reflects. Aroma is totally on the sweet side, uni-dimensional sweet tiny field cherries which could be better expressed, but in the end feel like powder sugar. Taste is mostly about sweet cherries, so much that it gets almost medicinal and then just before swallowing, there seems to be an empty moment. Finish is more fruity sweetness and not too complex. Powdery thin body displaying low carbonation come and accentuate even more the little "bland besides the cherries" aspect and makes me wish for a touch of wood or more acidity. Inferior to the sum of its parts...

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Photo of utfiero
3.23/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Color- rosy red. Very light carbonation. Strong aroma of cherries. Dry, unsweetened lambic with good body. Has a dark cherry finish. Good on a hot summer evening, but only one. Although a lambic, it's totally different from Lindeman's sweet lambic. From the makers of Fat Tire, here's what the company says- "In a never-ending quest to create new beers and defy category, New Belgium Brewing and Brouwerij Boon of Belgium are pleased to announce the release of Transatlantique Kriek - a spontaneously fermented lambic ale made with Polish cherries and blended with an original New Belgium brew. The kriek beer began life in the oaken vessels at Frank Boon's brewery in the Lembeek region of Belgium. After more than two years aging, Boon's offering shipped across the Atlantic and found its way to the palate of New Belgium's Brewmaster, Peter Bouckaert. After much sampling and internal consultation, Peter and his brew staff created a full-bodied golden ale to round out the light-bodied kriek. The resulting beer weighs in at 6.3% alcohol by volume. The cherry nose gives way to a pleasingly sour flash across the palate that rolls gently into a slightly sweet finish. Crisp, effervescent carbonation keeps the mouth feel bright and delightfully tingly. Transatlantique Kriek will be available in four-packs throughout New Belgium's area of distribution this fall." Tasted February 2004.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Taken from an old review. Saw this one on the shelf at Superior Liquor in Louisville, Colorado, and was devasted to find out it was not in the system and could not be purchased. I was instructed to come back the next day. I did, and I bought the beer. Poured a brilliant red color, with a somewhat rocky pink hued head. Very tart, with lots of cherry juice, some oak and some almond. Good, but not great.

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Photo of BeerManDan
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

When poured, the color was a clear reddish purple with no foam to speak of. The smell of cherries fill the nose right off and a hint of cedar in the nose. The taste of cherries was evident along with a tart and sort of sour fininsh to this ale. Not overly impressed with this Kriek. I think it was lacking in intensity and flavor. The bitterness was mild enough, but, the tart/sour feel in the mouth was a bit to much for my palate!

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Photo of BierReise
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a fantastic cranberry-red color that was clear with a thin bright white head. Has that cherry flavored sucrets aroma that is sweet and attractive. Highly carbonated mouthfeel with a puckering dry finish. Flavor is a bit thin but tart cherries are dominant. Somewhat simple in my opinion and lacking complexity and depth. I would have enjoyed a more bold flavor to compliment the full aroma of this one.

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Photo of JDV
3.56/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to fly, for sharing this beer with pint_size and me! Rich maroon pour. Smell is a lovely aroma of sour cherry juice. Mild, but evident. Cherry juice like flavor is predominant, and the body feels a bit thin as there is no carbonation left. I didn't find htis harshly acidic or vinegary at all, but rather very smooth and mild, with subtle sweetness. For being about 3-4 years beyond the best by date, this was still very enjoyable, and I'm glad I was able to try this out.

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Photo of paterlodie
3.57/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best before 19 may 04 so well overdate. Not much head on a redbrown and total clear beer.Got this from a friend so shure he kept this well. Nose is cherries in yoghurt mixed with rum. This has not much to do with a kriek and is more a fruitbeer. Probably has some cherries in there but don't think there is that much lambic in it. Can't find much at least with the nose. Taste is litle sour with lots of cherries. Quiet sweet also and again a dissapointment if your suspecting kriek. Not much off tastes and for a fruit beer plesant. Empty moutfeel for a kriek but again is this one? Good drinkable but expected more.

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Photo of Bighuge
3.59/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Luscious cherry red color. Clear and beautiful. No head forms upon the pour. Only the slightest of collars. Lace is nonexistent. Huge cherry sweetness on the nose. Literally almost like cherry pie. There's also some brown sugar sweetness and just a little vinegar like aroma in the background. I like the aroma. This beer tries to be sweet, but it's not in the long run. It starts sweet, with cherry sweetness hitting the tongue in a blast, but it's gone in a flash. Cancelled out by some lambic acidity and tartness. Cherry is the predominant flavor, but not sweet nor tart. This one finds a middle ground. Some slight granular sugary sweetness pops up in the mouth for a moment, but then it's gone as well. The lingering aftertaste is more bitter and tart than sweet.

Interesting brew, but nothing I'd run out to grab a lot of.

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Photo of Todd
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Man, I love New Belgium bottles. Pours a somewhat chill-hazed, bright reddish-orange colored beer, topped with a pink hued foaming white head with ample lace and stick to the glass.

Soft cherry juice in the aroma with suggestions of a tart flavor.

And tart it is, but not overpowering like other Kriek Lambics. It's a bit tangy with quick citric character of lime and young cherries. Just enough lip-smacking tartness to keep you interested. Hints of juicy cherry flavors. Light hop petal rawness and roughness on the palate. Hints of floral and milky pith sap. Drying finish with a lingering cedar wood character, way back there, and aspirin.

The info from the label states that this creation began in wooden (cedar) vessels at Brouwerij Boon, was treated as a Lambic, then fresh cherries were added. After this it made the journey to New Belgium, where they performed some final magic.

It's a refreshing beer, perhaps not as loud as other Kriek Lambics, but still rather tasty and an interesting effort by New Belgium to introduce the style to the US, from an American brewer.

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Photo of popery
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From notes, 9/10/10. Not a very good kriek but still an enjoyable beer. The beer is a dull maroon with a small but dissipating white head. Somehow, the look fits the beer. The aroma is mostly cherries but not terribly clean. There’s some cough syrup in there. The beer is also a bit sweet and lacking in intensity of flavor. It’s a washed out kriek that’s easy to drink but not compelling. There’s some sour character and acidity. It’s mildly tart on the palate. Feel seems appropriate. Good enough fruit beer.

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Photo of ElGordo
3.64/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a reddish-pinkish hue with a light, bubbly, white head. Poured mine into a wine glass due to lack of goblets at my parents' house. Sweet, candyish aroma of cherry soda and confectioner's sugar. Unfortunately, the beautiful aroma is the best thing about this beer. The palate yields a sourish, bitter lambic taste up front, muted by the sweetness of the cherries towards the finish. Sourness lingers on the tongue. Very thin mouthfeel, carbonation almost evaporates in the mouth. Nice, interesting, and a great concept, but ultimately you'll be better off drinking a true Belgian lambic.

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Photo of vurt
3.67/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Sampled from a 12 oz. bottle at the 12 Hour Belgian Beer Party at Pizza Port Carlsbad, on March 13, 2004.)

Deep red beer with a pink head, hazy from an overly enthusiastic pour. Yeast debris on the head and around the rim of the glass.

Institutional "wild cherry" flavor here, straight outta wild cherry LifeSavers with an alcohol note that veers towards the aftertaste of Halls cherry throat lozenges. Quite good, actually, though it doesn't really set you up for the tartness and maltiness of the flavor.

taste and mouthfeel:
Heavier than expected, given the sharp fruitiness of the aroma. Medium bodied and tart, but with a generous golden maltiness behind it. Very appealing. The combination of cherry tartness and sweetness mixing with a grainy, crackery blonde ale background is extremely more-ish. It is juicy, mouth-watering, and substantial all at once.

The "wild cherry" character of the aroma isn't quite realized by the cherry/malt character of the flavor, and that's a good thing. As it turns out, the cherries are a bit too much, and the malt is just slightly heavy. Pull them both back by about 10-percent and you'd have a near-godlike brew on your hands for this time of year (spring and early summer).

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Photo of WesWes
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a ruby red color with a thin pink lace head; very nice. The aroma is great. It is full of sour cherries; quite tart and refreshing. The taste is decent. It boasts of sour cherries and a super tart aftertaste. This is the most sour beer I've ever tried. The mouthfeel is good. It is a low bodied beer with good carbonation. This would be a great drinking beer if it wasn't for the tremendous sour taste. I love tart beers, but this is a little too much. Still, this is a fine beer.

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Photo of TPoling
3.71/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The kriek greets you with the scent of an IBC black cherry soda. The color is almost cranberry juice red. There is no doubt of its Belgian origins as soon as the taste of sour cherries hits the palate. It is a pleasant sourness that lingers on the back of the tongue even as the malt begins to balance it with some sweetness. There are some floral hops here, but they are almost undetectable.

This is a garden party beer and also could pair well with a repast of fish or chicken that features a sweet sauce or glaze.

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Photo of Crosling
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

My first Belgian Lambic style brew and definately not my last. Brewed by Boon and New Belgium and in my hometown. Quite the interesting story behind this beer as well. I won't bore you with the details probably already know. Now onto the beer.

This beer pours a pinkish red almost like a White Merlot. This beer requires a vigorous pour to aloft the beautiful light pink head. Unlike anything I have ever seen.

The aroma was full of sweet cherries and some sourness that I could pick up through the nose.

The first taste was an eye opener. Really Really sweet with a vast array of cherries and some woodiness, then some sourness was left lingering on the palate. This Kriek definately improved as the beer warmed. The cherries became slightly more dominate and the sourness came out more.

The beer was odd. I didn't really enjoy it during the sitting but, I really miss it and can't stop thinking about revisiting it.

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Photo of bditty187
3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thin reddish-purple hue, not as deep in shade as I expected, a smattering of bubbles dotted the top of the beer. Lovely looking but I was expecting more. The nose is lush with ripe cherries, both sweet and tart, similar to cheery pie. The potency is modest but a mouthwatering invitation is released nevertheless. The cherry flavor is prevailing upfront; a strong tart sensation sweeps it away in the middle, the biting acidity cleanses the palate with a dry furry. The finish is sharp, swift, and ultimately empty with only kisses of woody-almonds. The aftermath is dry; I’m refreshed yet parched. I was a bit underwhelmed as I leisurely quaffed it. The cherry sensation did seem to last a bit longer on the tongue after every subsequent sip but I never got the full-flavor taste I was expecting from an “Epic Blend.” The body was medium and hinted a being fuller than it actually was, a low, natural, distant carbonation helped fool my senses. I laud New Belgium for taking on such an endeavor and I’m thankful for Fat Tire’s popularity for making this financially possible. But I was not trilled with Transatlantique. I assumed NB would brew a knockout Kriek and, in my opinion, they did not. It is above-average and quite good but maybe not worth the $10 I paid for the four-pack in Lincoln.

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Photo of HardTarget
3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aroma: Like cherry flavored cough syrup. On the edge of sickly sweet. Some oak woodiness also comes through.
Appearance: Bright clear red with a pink frothy head that laced with abundance
Flavor: The sour horse blanket lambic taste slaps down any hint of cloying. Where the nose is all about sweet, the taste is much more complex and balanced. Cherries, of course, but much more of the oak flavor and a tart sour come through as well.
Mouthfeel: Light medium body and enough sour tartness to about invert my entire mouth.
Overall Impression: You never see the alcohol coming with all these flavors. This is an intense beer. Wood, ripe, almost overripe cherries, and a potent lambic sour melt into a great beer. Drinkability may be an issue, my mouth can only tolerate so much tartness, but this is an excellent dessert or appetizer beer. About the only down point in my opinion would be the nose. While the sweet smell compliments the taste well, by itself it’s a bit too cloying. Also, an outstanding label. Recommended.

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Photo of EPICAC
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Transatlantique Kriek pours a clear, ruby-red color with copper tints. It's topped by a thick, pink head that fades to a fluffy, sudsy film, leaving patchy lace. The aroma is mild with notes of cherries, buttery diacetyl, and mild funkiness.

Sweet cherry flavors greet the palate, but are quickly tempered by an acidic sourness that's strong enough to cut the sweetness, but isn't mouth puckering. The finish has a mildly earthy, funkiness. This beer is medium-to-light-bodied, has low carbonation, and a dry finish.

A decent sour. It's blended, so the sourness is attenuated, but it could be stronger.

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Photo of whynot44
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Light bodied, beautiful ruby red color with a small pinkish head.

Aroma is cherry cough syrup, followed by a yeasty acidic note.

Taste starts with a blast of sour pie cherries, like I used to like to eat off the tree as a kid. The cherry flavor is joined quickly by a funky, tangy flavor somewhat like a dry wine - possibly zinfandel.

Puckeringly tart, yet fairly smooth and very drinkable. Refreshing. It would go very well with a tart fruit pie or cobbler or just to enjoy on a warm spring day.

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Transatlantique Kriek from New Belgium Brewing
3.8 out of 5 based on 92 ratings.
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