Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Drie Fonteinen Straffe Winter | Brouwerij Drie Fonteinen

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
46 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Drie Fonteinen Straffe WinterDrie Fonteinen Straffe Winter

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Drie Fonteinen

Style: Faro

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Closest to a faro since dark candi sugar was added, though the Lambic portion was untraditional using some amber and Munich malts.

Added by Pennywise on 09-05-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50  | next → last
Reviews: 46 | Ratings: 97
Photo of Beerenauslese
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Body is clear gold with a vigorous head. At the end of the bottle the beer gets a little cloudy due to the disturbed sedimentation. The vigorous head dissipates quickly, but leaves lots of lacing on the glass, which is unusual for a lambic.

The aroma is sour, and is very clean and fresh smelling. Apples, lemon, and spice, especially ginger and maybe a trace of cinnamon.

Tastes of both tart and ripe apples with a bit of yeasty funkiness. The malt lies in the background but provides great structure. Layered on that is a lemon juice and lemon rind sourness, balanced by candi sugar. Wintery spices are evident, including some ginger, a trace of cinnamon, and I'd say a hint of clove. Vanilla and oak wood are there as well. All of this goes together so smoothly. There is a slight taste of hops that extends into a long delicious finish.

Body is medium and the mouthfeel is creamy--also unusual for a lambic.

This is a great beer, a recipe based on three malts (lager, ambre, and munich), aged hops, and candi sugar, and the beer is aged in oak barrels for 2 years. This lambic is so tasty and so smooth and so nicely spiced. I wish I had more of this, but I am down to 1 bottle which I will treasure for awhile.

 1,221 characters

Photo of craytonic
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Nice off-white head, pour is a dark brown-mahogany-amber that grows increasingly cloudy as I descend through the bottle.

Smell: Plum, dates, caramelized apples and other fruits with a light sourness and enjoyable barnyard / horse blanket mustiness. A bit of brown sugar and balsamic vinegar as well.

Taste: Plums, dates, apples, figs with some nice horse blanket barnyard mustiness with a hint of oak. Not that sour or tart. Extra points for being an unblended lambic; reminds me a bit of consecration.

Mouthfeel: Dry, perhaps a bit over-aggressive carbonation that sticks around

Drinkability: Lower sourness makes this one perhaps not one of my favorites, but it disappears very quickly because of it. Was best when it hit room temperature.

 757 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.94/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ditmier provided this one at a recent tasting... thanks Eric!! Now we wait. ;-)

Pour hazy orange with a flimsy white head.

Lactic sour and more than enough funk.. but some brown sugar essence really seems to me to be the defining quality.. the sugars pull the yeasty elements out swinging.. musty brett.. and decaying compost combines with too much sweetness... plenty of sugars leftover and even a bit of vanilla.

Caramel or brown sugar sweetness makes me think "Faro", but what do I know? The sugars seem too heavy for the dank hay and moderate funky cheese... there is some sorta spiciness that screams clove, but it easily gets lost in the other flavors.. a bit of acetone and acetic acid prime the EtOH with warmth.. Really interesting and really odd.. seems sweet/funky and obviously alcoholic... but the sweetnes seems to dial in the funk and never lets it escape the way I was hoping it would.

Thanks Eric... wow... odd and complex.... I want a bottle or two to forget about for about 10 years... otherwise, I think this will be a chintzy review.


 1,069 characters

Photo of callmemickey
4.42/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

January 2008 Bottling.

A: Orangish-red bpdy. Very thin off-white head. A nice thin skim remains on top as soapy lacing is left behind.

S: Alternating blasts of oak and tart berry-like aromas. Some lactic funk and lemon runs underneath. Some nice sweaty aromas as well.

T: Similar to the nose as a nice blend of wood, funk, sourness, tartness, sweat, and some berry. A bit unusual, but quite nice.

M: Silky smooth body. I think more carbonation would have been a nice addition. The sourness/tartness is a bit timid, but is still quite noticeable.

D: A very nice, refreshing lambic. Interesting and unique. Will have to track down more bottles soon.

 652 characters

Photo of Verecund
4.21/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Opened on 12.31.2010 to usher in 2011. Opens with a pop.

Brick red with a barely off-white, pinkish head. One and a half finger head.

Lots of vinegar and funk in the nose, but there's a light malty sweetness as well. I pick up on underripe strawberries, lemons, vanilla, and lots of soft oak character. Taste is an interesting interplay between sweet, sour, and musty funk. The berry notes are reminiscent of dried lingonberries which combines with the wet woodiness and [a good amount of] cheese rind; finishes tannic, but with notes of sweet honey from the addition of sugar. Surprisingly malty and sweet, with notes of vanilla.

Lightly funky, lightly tart, with a nice sourness. A great beer.

 699 characters

Photo of hooliganlife
4.42/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

HUGE thanks to sleepydave !!

vintage 2008

pours a deep ruby and brown. light haze. although the cork blew on this, very little head at all. very light retention.

nice light lemon and sour strawberry. nice light lactic notes. lighter hints of vinegar and cherry. a bit of funk.

lots of cherry up front and through out. light lemon zest sourness with a nice strong oak flavor. lighter hints of apricot and wheat. the sourness to flavor is pretty spot on. everything really balances each other out. tons of complexity.

for an unblended lambic, this has a fairly moderate carbonation. lots of oak gives off a nice dry feeling. lots of lemon zest left behind in the aftertaste.

this may be the best Drie Fonteinen i have had yet, such amazing flavors. i feel quite privileged to be drinking this.

 800 characters

Photo of jrallen34
4.37/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml that I got at Drie in Beersel, poured into my 3 tulip...A dark orange cloudy beer, very unusual for a lambic. Light tope head, good retention with a thick but small cap and great thick lacing...The aroma is really nice and balanced, lots of oak with medium horse blanket, not as strong as expected...At first the taste is malty and bread, but then comes a huge burst of sour horse blanket. Horse blanket settles down as your drink, medium strength lends to drinkability. Additional notes of oak and candied sugar. I really like it...The feel is ok, not the typical pucker, attack of the senses.

Overall, a really good lambic, probably the best unblended I've had. Really malty which is a nice twist, worth getting for sure.

 731 characters

Photo of mothman
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into LA Stemware

Pours a very thin layer of off-white head. Color is a slightly hazed ruby hued peach.

Aroma: Classic 3 Fountains sour and funk flavors up front. Oak, sour and tart cherries. It has some vinegar notes with a light layer of nail polish remover, but in a good way. Has a musky basement smell mixed with sour grapes. Pretty solid.

Taste: Fairly tart and pretty sour. My mouth is puckering already. This one again has the signature 3 Fountains sourness. Vinegar and light nail polish remover. Tart cherries and sour grapes. Some oak and a bit of spice. Pretty similar to the taste but a bit more tart. A very nice sour even though I have no idea of the classification.

Mouthfeel: Tart, sour, mouth-puckering. Lighter bodied with a lower amount of carbonation. Ends fairly clean.

Overall, this was a great beer from 3F. It had a good amount of sour and tartness yet still drank really easy. I was surprised with how sour this one was. Pretty drinkable. I am a fan.

 988 characters

Photo of DefenCorps
4.17/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sigh. I guess I'm not going to Jackie O's after all. Bottled 25th Jan 2008, consumed 02 Dec 2010.

A clear copper with a dense, off-white head that recedes to a thin disk, leaving some lace. Plenty of carbonation is visible. The nose is completely unconventional, especially for Drie Fonteinen. Tart, vinegar is present, along with some moderate fruitiness, bringing to mind strawberries and black cherries. Vanilla is present, along with quite a bit of oak. Mildly cidery and grassy, there isn't much funk. In some ways, this is a cross between Rodenbach and Le Terroir (minus the dry hops).

The palate opens with quite a bright acetic character, tart, juicy and refreshing. Again, I get some fruity, berry character, and there's a very prominent tannin character, especially on the finish which lends a moderate bitterness. That wet wood character is signature Drie Fonteinen, but the acetic character isn't. A touch of sweetness is present as well. The lack of funk is rather disappointing, but approached as a Americanized-Flanders Red, this is a lot better. Drying on the finish with some alcohol, the sweetness is noticeable as well. Carbonation is soft and supple, this feels spectacular on the palate. I really like this, but I was hoping for more. Unlike your typical gueuze, the acidity does hamper drinkability just a hair. Complexity is high, but ultimately, this could be better.

**Edit: An hour later, once my nose has gotten a chance to get used to the moderate acetic character, I do get a lot more funk. To my palate, the delicacy of a cheesy funk is easily overcome from the brightness that acetic acid brings. Adding the yeast does increase the funkiness of this brew

 1,689 characters

Photo of kbutler1
4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of mothman. Poured into a tulip glass a slightly hazed orange amber color with pretty much zero head, almost looks like a heavy herbed tea. The aroma is sour and tart, cherry and fruit with some earthy funky notes as well. The taste has notes of fruit, grape, some barnyard, and light toasted malt. The tartness is fairly strong upfront with a nice semi malty background. Lots of lemon zest as well. Light mouthfeel with very little carbonation.

 461 characters

Photo of Douglas88
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at De Heeren van Liedekerke September 4th 2010. Pours a dark copper hue with a large white head. I know nothing about this beer, I'm surprised it is a Faro. The aroma is huge barrels and a sweet, well it seems like Bourbon and vanilla nose. A sweet flavor; lots of woody earthy flavors, pears and earthy wood, vanilla and something akin to bourbon, tartness fights to get through. Wonderful. A lovely beer that stood out. Edit: it is not listed as a Faro on BA.

 468 characters

Photo of rvdoorn
4.8/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle bought at Drie Fonteinen Open Day.
Look: Pours a dark color for a lambic, nicely brown/amber color with good lacing.
Smell:The nose is moderately funky, some sweet candi sugar and caramel, barnyard, bread and wood.
Taste: Wow, 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.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with soft carbonation.
Overall: What a nice surprise. A very successful beer experiment. I think this one has great aging potential! Happy to know I still have some for later....

 630 characters

Photo of HopHead84
3.7/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


Thanks to largadeer for sharing. Deep golden with a frothy white head. Aroma is musty, with notes of dark fruit, oak, candied sweetness, and mushroom. The nose displays moderate acetic notes and caramel. The flavor has a moderate candied sweetness accompanying traditional wild notes like earthiness, mustiness, and some wet leather. Citrus is evident, and there are lesser notes of dark fruits and a light acetic character. Lightly tart and moderately sour with oak and tannins in the finish. An interesting and enjoyable beer.

 538 characters

Photo of womencantsail
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Chris for sharing this one. It sounds interesting if nothing else.

A: The pour is quite dark, an amber sort of color with a fair amount of brown notes. The head is rather large and off-white in color.

S: The nose is only mildly funky, for a Drie Fonteinen beer, anyway. A very slight hint of their usual sweaty sock aroma along with some grass and earth. Quite a bit of sweet candi sugar like aroma, which I was not expecting at all. And there are lots of fruit notes to this beer as well.

T: A fairly aggressive grassy quality comes through on the palate, as well as some straw. The tartness is there, but only a slight lactic/lemon character to the beer overall. Again, the fruity sweetness shows itself, but it provides a very interesting contrast.

M: The body is medium, perhaps what you might expect for a "lambic". The carbonation is soft, but present enough.

D: If nothing else, an interesting experiment in fermentation. I would be interested to see how this beer develops over time.

 1,006 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.05/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

January 25th, 2008 Bottling Date, Best by January 2012; Sampled October 2010
A soft pour into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip produces a two-finger thick, lightly amber-tinged, tan colored head. The beer is a dark amber color that shows a hazed (despite sitting in the fridge for a month or two), plum, light amber with gold highlighted hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells tart and fruity up front and really reminds me of plums with a caramelized apple backdrop to it. There is a certain mustiness to it as well as some damp, barnyard aged, musky cloth blanket notes, perhaps a touch of phenolics / acetone and a certain spiciness that I can't quite tell if it comes from acetic acid or not. I poured some for my wife in a 25cl tulip glass and a note of overly-ripe cheese and perhaps a touch of rotting fruit aromatics even, or is that a rotting vegetable like note (baby puke even :-).

Dry tasting up front, but quite carbonated, though it doesn't get very fizzy as the body of this brew is quite thick (at least if you were expecting something Lambic like in texture). Woody oak notes and a touch of spiciness show the barrel influence. This is actually quite dry; there is not much of any residual sugar as all the Candi-sugar has been fermented out completely. The darker malts used (the label mentions Munich malt and amber malt) add some nice malt character to the finish; it is subtle underneath the more dominant Lambic-like character, but provides finishing touches of biscuit-like malt, a touch of toasty whole grain character as well as a chewy brown bread crumb (crumb being the part of the bread inside the crust and not crumbled dried bread) notes. Nicely tart tasting, but it is not nearly as bracingly tart as one would expect from a regular strength Lambic (extra alcohol does tend to inhibit lactic acid production) and the acidity couples with some phenolic notes to produce some light spiciness in the finish that intermingles with the spicy oak notes. A touch of vanillin character is contributed by the oak aging and maybe even a hint of coconut. I do like the texture of this beer, the ample, but not over-whelming carbonation mixes quite well with the medium texture that has a certain creaminess to it. Perhaps a hint of sweetness comes through as this warms up, but really it comes through as a boost to the fruitiness rather than as an actual sweetness; notes of plum, fragrant apples (like Macintosh) and perhaps a hint of caramelized melon are just barely noticeable.

This is not over-carbonated yet, and I don't really see this being a future problem for this beer; there is very little residual sugar left here and I would guess that this will age gracefully well past the January 2012 best by date. This is a nice alternative to a lighter Lambic / Gueuze, definitely a bit more appropriate for the winter time, though this is certainly not heavy, but I am not sure that I would ever choose this over a more traditional Lambic. Worthwhile as an experiment, but I can't see myself stocking up on this particular batch; with the variation between batches and given this is a first time thing, if future batches took a different turn than this has it might be worth picking up those; I wouldn't mind if there was more lactic acidity and perhaps even more character from the darker malt or even the candi-sugar.

 3,354 characters

Photo of muttyd
4.23/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared with some BAs at Ebenezer's.

Orange/amber body with a thick white foamy head. Big funky, sweaty, acidic, somewhat spicy aroma. Very sour beer. Lemon zest, sweet (almost cherry?) malty backbone, barnyard funk, leather, and oaky flavor. Very low carbonation as expected for the style. Another excellent beer from 3F.

 322 characters

Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml corked and caged bottle, Jan 2008 bottling.

Copper colored, hazy at first and then muddy toward the end of the bottle. It's very well carbonated, though only a small head forms.

The nose is fruity, funky, mildly sweet. The combination of musty oak and caramel is unusual. Dark berry tartness and balsamic vinegar comes through strongly as it warms.

Very different from the aroma, it's quite sour and dry on the tongue. Though there's a solid malt backbone, it doesn't lend any sweetness. Fruity, tannic and vinous with more acetic acid than I would expect from a 3 Fonteinen beer, it reminds me a lot of the first bottled batch of Consecration. Sourness is moderate, and the finish is quite dry. An interesting experimental beer, it seems to be more of an American sour than a strong lambic.

 800 characters

Photo of MasterSki
4.44/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled January 25th, 2008. Best before January 2012. Served in a tasting snifter at hoppymeal's place.

A - Pours with a quarter-finger of off white foam that settles to a thin ring and leaves a touch of film on the surface. No lace. The body is a hazed dark orange-brown.

S - Huge cheesy, horsey funk - it's that signature earthy Drie Fonteinen smell. This is fairly oak heavy, which is a surprise, and also has light acetic acid and a hint of the 8% ABV when it warms up. The malt character is also more pronounced than typical lambic.

T - The taste is also more malt-forward than you'd expect, but thankfully the candi sugar element is attenuated and this doesn't come off as high-gravity faro. Plenty of funk present, as well as some lactic sourness instead of the vinous variety.

M - Super dry, with some cottonmouth and tooth-coating residual feel. Lower carbonation, and a decidedly medium body.

D - I had a second pour of this one - it's excellent stuff. There's no alcohol taste either, which is a plus. Definitely going to have to order another bottle of this one.

 1,079 characters

Photo of Sean9689
4.42/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle.

A - Pours a hazy orange/copper, no head, very thin ring around the glass with no lacing or retention.

S - Funky, very cheesy, some tart/sour, oak barrel, very in-your-face. The funk and cheese notes just stick out right away. Some lactic acidic notes round this one out.

T - Lip-puckering sour notes right from the start. The cheesy notes aren't quite as pronounced as compared to the nose but seems to follow up later on the finish. A nice oak barrel note in there too which seems to smooth this one out on the end.

M - Light, very little carbonation, semi-dry finish.

D - I'm a fan of this one. I love the funk and oak notes and how well they work together with each other. I'm def on the lookout to try this one again.

 744 characters

Photo of nickd717
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ah, the elusive Lambic - Unblended tick. You don't get many of those. fagradeer shared this one I think.

Pours a cloudy orangish-amber color with a small off-white head that fades.

Funky aroma, almost fruity and cherryish, with big leather and oak.

Great flavor too. Mild sourness, and rather acetic. Oak, leather, earth, and barnyard funk.

Medium-bodied with low carbonation and average acidity.

Typical quality you expect from 3F, i.e. really good. Different.

 466 characters

Photo of kappldav123
4.8/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'm very happy I got some bottles of this beer. Bottle looks great. Small cork that almost flew of the bottle when I tried to remove the wire. Very zippy in the glass, huge head. Dark copper-brownish. Sweet aroma. Starts very strong but not alcoholic, quite spicy with intense earthy-woody notes, hidden caramel, a little bit vanilla. Finish more sour without being to much. The sour notes fit perfect to the eartly spiciness. Very, very drinkable. I love this beer and it will be hard not to open the other bottles I have within the next week...

 546 characters

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50  | next → last
Drie Fonteinen Straffe Winter from Brouwerij Drie Fonteinen
4.17 out of 5 based on 97 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer FestĀ® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!