Straffe Winter
Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen

Straffe WinterStraffe Winter
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Lambic - Faro
4.11 | pDev: 9.98%
Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Straffe WinterStraffe Winter
Notes: Closest to a faro since dark candi sugar was added, though the Lambic portion was untraditional using some amber and Munich malts.
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Reviews: 46 | Ratings: 97 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium from Florida

3.7/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep hazy orange. No head.

Smell - Kinda funky. Orange. Dry grass. A little lemony acidity.

Taste - Much more sour than I thought. Lemon. A bit of vinegar. Woody. Some deep brown sugar. A bit of oxidation.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Medium carbonation.

Overall - I thought this would be terrible, but it's pretty good. Very sour.

Sep 21, 2014
Photo of falloutsnow
falloutsnow from Illinois

4.26/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From: Etre Gourmet, Belgium
Date: Bottled in 2008
Glass: Tulip

Drie Fonteinen's Winter Straffe is an excellent, interesting, perhaps experimental use of atypical malts (for a lambic mash) and Belgian candi sugar to produce a not-quite-gueuze, lambic, or faro. Stylistically, it's closest to faro, with the added sweetness that the malt and candi sugar add to the beer. This is one I'd be happy to try again, but its rarity and the 25euro price tag it tends to presently command make this unlikely to happen. Maybe Armand and Michael will brew it again once the new brewing operation is in full swing. Until then, I have fond memories.

Pours a 1cm tall head of beige or off-white colored foam, composed of small and medium-sized bubbles, a bit frothy looking, but with below average retention, lasting under a minute as it fades to virtually nothing, with minimal lacing (though this fairly typical of many lambic-inspired beers). Body is a dark copper brown color, with light bringing out burnt orange tones. Suspended sediment creates a hazy appearance, about 40-60% opacity. Carbonation is visible from the bottom of the glass, appearing fairly vigorous.

Aromas of tart, unripe, green apples with modest dry straw, basement must, and amber-colored Belgian candi sugar. The sweetness is well-blended into the tart and "wild" aspects of this beer for a unique and enjoyable collection of scents.

Front of palate picks up modest malt sweetness with added amber Belgian candi sugar, but this is quickly broken down by strong, tart lemon and sour apple. The lactic and acetic acid continue through the mid-palate, generating pleasant tartness as though from unripe or tart fruits. Back of the palate picks up continued tartness and sourness, but with mild must and straw flavors, amber Belgian candi sugar, and noticeable oak character. Closes with a flash of tartness, leading to a lingering aftertaste of amber Belgian candi sugar sweetness, a hint of toasted or caramelized malts, and waning tartness.

The beer has a medium weight to it, with carbonation of medium intensity, creating a gently carbonated, never quite fizzy, mouthfeel that smoothly crosses the palate with a slight foaming effect. This is enhanced by the tartness, which causes a mild, pleasant puckering effect. Closes crisp and dry, as could be expected, with a touch of stickiness remaining across the palate.

Jan 08, 2013
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spdyfire83 from Ireland

4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

275th Review
75cl poured into a Loon glass
Vintage: 2008

Shared with kscaldef while he was in Dublin.

A: Murky, deep tan. Barely a quarter (off-white) head on medium pour.

S: Smells of sweet candy, funk, soft apple, dark fruit, touch of leather, and cherry. Enjoyable to sniff!

T: Taste is a balance of sweet caramel, dark fruit, and apple. Touch of oak and cherry mid-to-back while the funk of the lambic is subtle, but very enjoyable. Finishes with a smooth, soft tannin/leather feel as well as caramelized brown sugar. ABV is hidden and this beer is thoroughly enjoyable and very easy to drink!

M: Medium body with prickly carbonation.

O: This beer was enjoyed shortly after tasting the De Cam Oude Faro, so that was the benchmark and I think the Straffe Winter stands well above the De Cam. More depth, complexity, and character. I think this beer does a great job capturing the style of the faro while not being too overwhelmingly sweet. I look forward to aging it a bit more and seeing how it stands the test of time. Solid brew!

Sep 24, 2012
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orangesol from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to MaxxDaddy on RB for bringing this bottle to Campground Brewdown. Yet another Drie Fonteinen off the list.

A - Pours murky brown with a small one finger tall off-white head leaving very small trails of lace down parts of the glass.

S - Smells of very light funk, dark candied sugar, dark fruits, oak, caramel and a light mineral quality. This one isn't as funky as I was expecting.

T - Starts off with some sweet caramel malt and plenty of dark candied sugar that never really go away. Hints of dark fruits, oak, light musty funk and some minerals help to break up the sweetness. Finish is pretty dry, lingering on the palate long after the finish.

M - Medium body with moderate carbonation. Kinda sweet with some lingering dryness.

O - I enjoyed this one for what it is. It definitely sports some interesting flavors but it really isn't my style. Fun to try but I wouldn't actively seek it out.

Aug 23, 2012
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Jeffo from Netherlands

4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jeroen's place graced us with plenty of enjoyable 3F sours. Thanks agian guys!

From a 75cl bottle into a mini-flute.

APPEARANCE: Pours a small white head that vanishes almost immediately. Looks still pretty quickly. Hazy burnt orange with medium levels of carbonation evident. No wisp or ring remain and no lacing. Looks pretty flat by the end, which is disappointing.

SMELL: Hay and some funky notes in there, with green apples and other green fruits. A nice toffee hint comes though as well, which adds a very nice touch. Nice nose.

TASTE: Sour green apples and lemon notes up front, with some nice candy sugar and toffee sweetness coming through after the swallow, offering some very nice balance to the taste profile. Hints of oak come through as well, along with touches of floral bitterness after the swallow. Bold aftertaste of sour apples, sweet sugary toffee and a touch of bitterness lingering nicely on the palate. Very flavorful and balanced for sure.

PALATE: Light on the palate and medium-high levels of carbonation. Creamy and vibrant on the palate, goes down fine and finishes quite dry.

OVERALL: Next to Hommage, this was probably the beer I enjoyed the most. The sweet tones from the sugar accompanied the sourness extremely well, and I really appreciated the light bitterness at the finish. This is one I’d gladly stock up on for future consumption. Really enjoyed this, and found it extremely approachable for a sour rookie. Good choice on this one guys. Thanks again!

Apr 05, 2012
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woosterbill from Kentucky

4.52/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle enjoyed at In de Verzekering tegen de Grote Dorst, poured into house tumblers.

A: Cloudy orange body with some sediment; one finger of fine, creamy tan foam. Nice retention and lacing. Pretty good.

S: Heavily lactic, with tons of acidity dominating the aroma. Underneath the lactic acid is some classic earthy funk, with plenty of minerality. Smells like a combination Lambic/American Wild. Great.

T: Very sour, with puckering lactic acidity continuing from front to back, and leaving a tingling vacuum throughout my mouth - my cheeks just keep sucking in. Along with the intense sourness are notes of earthy, hay, must, mushroom, and lemon. Powerful and delicious.

M: Creamy, lively, silky, and ultimately crisp and puckering. Perfect.

O: I didn't know what to expect with this one (besides awesomeness, being from 3 Fonteinen), and I was really blown away. Completely unlike any other Lambic I've ever had, and fascinatingly delicious in its own unique way.


Apr 04, 2012
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Phyl21ca from Canada

4.06/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle (4 years old): Poured a murky deep amber color faro with a small bubbly head with minimal retention. Aroma consists of funky yeast ester and some barnyard notes. Taste is a mix between some candi sugar notes mix in with some funky notes with loads of barnyard and wet leather notes with some tart notes at the end. Body is quite full for style with limited carbonation which again is to be expected. Funkier then expected with less residual sugar then I had anticipated.

Apr 02, 2012
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brystmar from Texas

4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage with a "drink by" date of Jan 2012. My first Faro!

Really nice looking sour: copper body, plenty of white head, strong lace. Oaky barrel character in the nose compliments the funk and sourness well. Taste has plenty of oakyness too, plus mild sugary sweetness, a good amount of tartness, lots of malt, and tons of complexity.

Wasn't sure what to expect from this one, and I really liked it. Reminds me of Rosso, but much better. Would love to try it fresh!

Mar 30, 2012
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cpetrone84 from Pennsylvania

3.48/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pour is a darker copper toned amber with a tight creamy off white head. The nose has a very webby funk to it with a yeasty spice presence up front. Tons of candied sugars dominate the bulk of the nose with some faint sour cherries in back with a touch of booze. The taste is very sweet, dusty up front but light, overly sweet candied sugar and caramel. faintly sour cherries in the back. lighter creamy body with a grentler carbonation and bit juicy with a faint driness.

Feb 20, 2012
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beerpirates from Belgium

4.12/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

75cl Bottle poured into my cantillon tulip glass

A: . Pours a murky, deep orange (bordering on brown) body with a small white head. Nice.

S : Aroma is subtle and complex: candy sugar, brett notes, barnyard funk, dried fruits, almonds and some nutty, woody notes.

T : Taste is matching: smooth brett tones, sweet malts, candy sugar, hay, yellow apples , wood and baker’s yeast.

O : The added candy sugar makes this a sort of crossbreed between a Belgian ale and a classic lambic. Which I do like. A really, really nice brew and a truly original lambic.

Jan 29, 2012
Photo of DCon
DCon from Missouri

4.52/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Shared a e75cl bottle w/ STLwill & GeoffTheAleMan @ Hair of the Dog in St. Louis, MO. Poured from the corked&caged green bottle w/ 3 STRAFFE in orange writing, a glass filled w/ the beer, & wheat in the background on it into a 12oz Tulip Glass. Has Botteldatum 25/01/2008 & Houdbaar tot 01/2012 on the side. Label also says ouvrir prudemment (open carefully)! Thanks for the hint.

Aroma- Has a strong acidic aroma from the start with a ton of fruit behind it! Has the normal horsey/barnyard notes and seems like there is honey in the background.

Appearance- Pours 4 fingers of head that last forever with tons of bubbles. The body is a dark orange color with tons of cloud. Leaves good lacing behind.

Flavor- A surprisingly well-balanced sour ale! Apples, strong malt, and tart flavors start of this brew. Has good barnyard taste and tons of peach/apricot taste as well. Finishes very acidic but not too much for the palate.

Mouthfeel- Light Bodied, Highly Carbonated, High tartness and then has a dry finish. Not sure I caught any attribute in the finish like what was involved in the taste.

Overall Impression- This is my second Faro and my favorite of this style so far! Many things I appreciated in this one was all the fruit that stuck out and the perfect amount of acidity involved. I will be looking to buy this one in stores or if I'm overseas will be stocking up on this! Get your hands on it if you can!

Nov 07, 2011
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danieelol from Australia

4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to bluebetty (?)

Colour was caramel with not a lot of head.

As well as funk in the nose there was a nice caramelised milky smell.

This one does have sugar in the taste but it's also _really_ sour and funky so it ends up really well balanced. The interplay between sweet and sour was described as "twangy".

This one really impressed me. The sugar additions actually totally work in this case.

Oct 16, 2011
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billab914 from Virginia

4.07/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into a tasting glass. It poured dark orange in color with a thin white head clinging to the edge of the glass.

The aroma has a mix of funky,sour notes and sweeter, sugary flavors. More tart and funky but with a little acidicness. Pretty good balance between sour and sweet.

The taste shows more of the tart, funky and sour characteristics up front. The sweeter, candi sugar, malt flavors come out more in the finish. I get some musty, basement like qualities to it in the finish as well.

The mouthfeel is a bit heavier then I expected but medium bodied overall with carbonation being high. Overall it had some good sour and sweet characteristics to it and was a pretty tasty beer overall. I don't think I'd choose this one over any other Drie Fonteinen's Lambics or Gueuzes though.

Aug 03, 2011
Photo of SFLpunk
SFLpunk from Vermont

4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to forgetfu for this awesome extra! 750mL green glass cork and cage (tiny cork came rushing out). Bottled 25/01/2008.

Pours a cloudy true amber with a quick crackle and no lacing. Nose is super funky on first smell. Lemon rind or preserved lemon aromas, some hay, apricot and a marmalade note.

Palate is surprisingly sour. Some carbonation is buried deep in there (well done). Flavors are along the lines of the nose with leather and preserved lemons leading the show. Finish is long and reminds me of a Rhone White (Marsanne/Rousanne-esque). Good minerality here as well. Some honeysuckle on the finish.


Jun 02, 2011
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Huhzubendah from District of Columbia

4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by drabmuh. Thanks Matt!

The beer is dark yellow and slightly hazy, with a small head that leaves virtually no lacing behind. The aroma brings sugar, with a mild funk. Personally, I would never choose a faro over a gueuze, as I much prefer sour to sweet when it comes to beer. That being said, this is the best faro I have yet had, though my experience in this genre is quite limited. The beer is lightly sweet, and still brings a helping of funk, albeit muted by the sugary presence. A decent beer and a fun experience, I would have this again.

May 27, 2011
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh from Maryland

3.8/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The #1 Faro shared by me at a recent tasting. I love Drie Fonteinen a lot. This beer...not my favorite from them.

Beer is amber and mostly clear with a lazy head, moderate to low carbonation and no lacing.

The aroma is mildly acetic but sweet with malt at the same time.

It is sour but not overly so, kind of sugary sweet / malty at the same time. A bigger body than expected, a decent beer but not my favorite. I'd have it again but I doubt I'd buy it again.

May 25, 2011
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mikesgroove from South Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

so happy to be able to try this one, i opened it up tonight as i really needed to relax hardcore. served in a snifter.

as it hit the glass i notice a caramel colored light brown liquid falling in. head of white foam formed quickly with lots of carbonation bubbling up toward the surface. this was replaced by a thin line of white around the edges of the glass, and a small amount of side glass lace.

aroma is dominated by the funky yeast, ,Nice sour apple and pear aromas start to come through then and are mixing in with a candied apple and sugary smell that as it warms starts to take over the profile a bit, but was still leaving behind the nice funky notes way in the back. Lots of honey infused flavors here now, really sweet. With some residual funky yeast, flavors were there if you really looked for them, but again, buried under caramelized candy like sugar flavors. The feel was light, and a little slick, with surprisingly a lack of carbonation, which I did not think, would be an issue. It was very light and airy though,

overall an acquired styl for sure but vry well done!

May 25, 2011
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bylerteck from Canada

4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Bottle split at Pikulintu in Helsinki. Bottled Jan 25, 2008 and Best Before Jan 2012. From notes.

A - Dark copper colour with a one finger eggshell head. Ring of bubbles is all that's left after a minute. Muddy.

S - Sweet smell is nice. Candi sugar obvious with a labicy sorta compliment. Sour cherry, sourness, funky characteristics. Cool.

T - Same as aroma with sweetness, candi sugar, sour cherry and other sour elements and a funk note. Very lovely actually. Alot more sour than the aroma which was really good but balanced by the sweetness wonderfully. Great.

M - Tingly carbonation and a medium body. Dry finish.

O/D - I would love to have a few more bottles of this any day. A great, tasty beer. Not too sweet like a few Faros I've had but really good and a higher alcohol to give it a bit more depth. Nice, nice, nice beer. On a warm day this would be super.

May 04, 2011
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fewa from Belgium

4.67/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle bought at Drie Fonteinen Open Day. Pours a nicely brown/amber color with good lacing.The nose is moderately funky, some sweet candi sugar and caramel, barnyard, bread and wood. Taste: what a nice surprise. Not overpoweringly acidic, with a great balanced sweetness. Fruity sugars are present, the alcohol is extremely well hidden and the aftertaste is long and sour again. A very successful beer experiment. I think this one has great aging potential! Happy to know I still have some for later. Great beer!!

Apr 11, 2011
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mdfb79 from New York

4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 03/27/11 notes. Thanks to tarheels86 (RB) for opening this one up; always excited to try a new Drie Fonteinen beer! 2008 vintage

a - Pours a murky amber color with one finger of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells sugar, apples, some definite brett, and some dark fruits, raisins and figs. Definitely a bit sweet, but enjoyable.

t - Tastes of apples, brett, oak, sweet fruit, orange, sugar, and dark fruits. Again sweet, but not too much.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

o - An enjoyable beer from Drie Fonteinen, though not my favorite. It's a bit sweet from the sugar added to it, but nice if you split a bottle with a few people. Something I would be itnerested in having again for sure.

Apr 05, 2011
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Thorpe429 from Illinois

4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Consumed at a recent DC area tasting. Served in a SAVOR snifter. Thanks to GT for opening this.

Pours a moderate golden-yellow color with a good white head and some mild lacing as it goes down. The nose contains a good amount of breadiness as well as some yeast and spice. Light sugary character along with a moderate amount of Brett funk. Its profile is pretty similar to 3F Oude Gueuze, but a bit subdued. Flavor is nice with a bit of apple and barnyard funk. There's is a touch more sweetness than a normal wild, though it's really more noticeable in the mouthfeel, where a mild sugary sweetness coats my palate. Good carbonation. Overall, quite a solid effort and something I thoroughly enjoyed.

Mar 31, 2011
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rarbring from Sweden

4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Vintage. The beer is clouded dark orange, almost brown. A small off-white head, no lacing, good curtains.

The smell is reminding me of crayfish with dill, some brown sugar, vinegar and yeast.

There is a malty sweetness as of brown hard bread, crayfish shells, some what fruity, ripe apples and dried pears.

Medium high carbonation, micro bubbles, a soft and complex body, a dry finish.

This beer has lots of smell, lots of taste, very interesting and rewarding.

Feb 19, 2011
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Mora2000 from Texas

4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bu11zeye for sharing this bottle. Glad to try another Faro.

The beer pours an orange-amber color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the lemons, apples and caramel malt. There is a good bit of tartness to the aroma and a little bit of funk.

The flavor is similar, but a little bitter in my opinion. I get light to medium farmhouse funk. as well as some sour apples and lemons. There is also a little bit sugar mixed in, but the beer is still a lot more sour than the other Faros that I have tried.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A very good beer. Drie Fonteinen never disappoints.

Feb 19, 2011
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BearsOnAcid from Washington

3.92/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is not a Faro. Belgian candy sugar was added to the beer before fermentation.

Turbid amber hue, khaki head.

Earthy Brett, caramelized malt sugar, acidity and a vibrant green/crab apple aroma.

Tastes very similar to sour crab apples. Some malty sweetness and tea. A little heavier than your normal lambic, probably due to the different malted barleys that were used. It makes me think these could be bottle bombs in a few years if there is a good amount of residual sugar left for the wild yeast to eat up.

Feb 19, 2011
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SpeedwayJim from New York

3.72/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Jeff (ipa247) for this one. Poured from a 750ml corked and caged bottle into a Captain Lawrence snifter. Shared with schen9303.

A: Standard pour yields a .5 finger powdery white head with good retention. Beer is a cloudy orange-bronze. Lacing is stringy and thick with nice legs but no cling.

S: Nose is unlike anything I've ever smelt before. Brett, caramel, slight tartness, and candied brown sugar. Also a baked yam richness. Funk is noticeably present but covered by an odd deep sweetness.

T: Opens sweet spice. Coriander, clove, and cane sugar. Tartness comes on a bit towards the middle along with cobwebs and Brett. Some peach and brown sugar graininess. End is sweet tea mixed with tartness and caramel. Finish is drying with a spicy aftertaste.

S: Light to medium bodied with low carbonation. Silky and oily in the mouth with a slight dryness. Goes down with some slightly rough edges and a nice crispness. Finish is dry with a sticky aftertaste.

D: Having a faro for the first time, it's a bit of a combination between the traditional sour lambic style and the Lindeman's fruit beers loaded with sugar. That being said, this is pretty enjoyable. Not overly sweet and with a light tart character. Worth trying if you get the chance.

Feb 06, 2011
Straffe Winter from Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 97 ratings