Kriekbier | Brouwerij Liefmans

very good
194 Reviews

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Liefmans

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-13-2002

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 194 | Ratings: 261
Photo of Sammy
4.42/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2000 edition,aged 4 years 5.5% acquired in Montreal. Highly carbonated cherry champagne. Like a high quality carbonated natural not sweet juice fun to drink. Dessert, appetizer, whatever. No overwhelming aroma. Lots of JUICE. Tart but not sour. Not too much alcohol, so quite drinkable. 2007 edition, excellent kriek.Great aroma.

 329 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.84/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours a watery cranberry juice color with no head and no lacing. There were bits of sediment floating in the glass.

S - Smells of sour cherry/berry and slight balsalmic vinegar.

T - Tastes of sweet and sour cherry with a faint vinegar aftertaste.

M - Somewhat lacking in carbonation with an acidic puckering effect. There is also a coating quality in the mouth.

D - Very tasty beer. I had been looking for this one for a while and they got some at my local Whole Foods. I would get this one again.

 505 characters

Photo of metter98
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is slightly hazy dark mahogany red in color. A few specks of dark yeast particles are visible near the bottom of the glass. The beer does not have any head or visible carbonation.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of cherries in the nose along with some notes of sourness.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has flavors of tart cherries with notes of sourness and initial hints of sweetness.
M: It feels a bit shy of medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very enjoyable and has a nice amount of fruit flavors. It’s not very sour or tart so it’s easy to drink.

Note: 2007 vintage

 653 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It looks like something that would have been made from cherries. Has a red hue with golden streams in it.. Very bubbly and vibatious. Holds a fizzy head that disipates relatively quickly. Aromas are moderately sweet from the fruit and grain bill. Tartness comes from the fruit and the sour comes from the Belgians. Woven all together, the flavors are complexly sweet, tart, and sour. Ripened cherries supply rich complexity to an otherwise overly sour beer. Good play on the mouth, round and full, but not heavy. Finishes very dry without warming. Aftertaste lingers well into the next sip with a refreshing tart quality.

 621 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.97/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 bottling; tasted in 2009

Appearance: Pours a pink/purple color with a fizzy head that disappears rapidly but leaves a few dots of lacing behind

Smell: Tart cherries and hints of mustiness and alcohol

Taste: Sweet and tart cherry flavors battle with one another through mid-palate, but fuse after the swallow into a pleasant combination

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Not overly complex but pleasant to drink

 449 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.67/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Liefmans Kriek Magnum 2005 150cl" bottle served into 20cl Beer Sommelier stemware at Beer Passion Weekend 2011 in Antwerp, Belgium. Obviously, this is the vintage 2005 version. Reviewed from notes.

A: Half finger head of slight cream and fair thickness. Abysmally laughable retention. Dark ruby colour. Solid and nontransparent.

Sm: Heavy cherry and alcohol. Moderate strength scent

T: Nice dark fruit esters. Cherry. Nicely complex, well balanced, and well built. Sweet but nicely tame. Avoids the pitfall of being too sugary.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Complements the flavours of the body brilliantly.

Dr: Very drinkable, great quality. Very fair price, especially for the age.

 684 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle December 2002 - Paper-wrapped bottle. Reddish brew with almost no head. Cherry flavour with acidic and sour aftertaste. This is one of the best fruit beer I have ever had. I noticed a lot of sediment at the bottom of my glass. I hope more people would brew those type of beers

 283 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2002 vintage, green bottle labeled simply Kriek, with no paper wrapper. Served at cellar temperature into a Liefmans glass.

Cork pops loudly, smoke wafts out with a whiff of musty cellar air. The Kriek pours a deep scarlet brown, with plenty of crackling foam at first. A good finger of foam creeps up, which is a good sign for a 5-yr. old bottle. Tiny streams of carbonation feed the ring of foam that stays for the duration of the glass.

Cherry is there in the aroma at first, with that musty aged woodiness.

Time has mellowed out the fruitiness, but the tart brown ale base is still kicking. Tart note is followed by a sweetness, again, it's mellow. Finish is slightly dry after the tart and woody character passes.

This was an interesting find, and I'd say that age has treated this well. Still alot of carbonation and crispness. Easy to finish the 12.7oz. bottle. From T-Birds.

 887 characters

Photo of superspak
3.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375 ml wrapped bottle into tulip, best by 08/2017(2007 vintage). Sediment is caked to the side of the bottle. Pours slightly hazy dark red color with a small off white head with poor retention that reduces to a ring of lace. No real amount of lacing clinging to the glass. Aromas of big tart cherries, vinegar, light spices, and some woodiness. Some fairly nice aromas with good strength. Taste of big cherry juice, cherry skin, light spices, light vinegar, and light tartness. Lingering notes of cherry juice and cherry skin on the finish. Light carbonation and medium bodied; with a slightly syrupy mouthfeel as expected. No alcohol noticed in the taste or finish. Quite sweet but is not cloying at all. Fairly dry finish. Overall this is a very nice Kriek; too bad it is not produced anymore.

 795 characters

Photo of jlindros
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one for a while now, maybe a year and a half. Top says best before 08/2017. Cork says 2007.

A: Hmmm, barely any noise when I pop the cork, just a very low fizzle, which worries me a bit. Even a super aggressive pour yields a very light fizzy head covering that fades so fast I'm not even sure it was there. That's somewhat typical for the style though. It's slightly opaque with lots of little bubbles on the sides of the glass and a dark crushed grape like color, dark maroon purple almost murky brown color. Actually, as it thins it's pretty clear.

N: Ooh, a nice tangy sour twinge hits my nostrils on the first aroma. It has a definite malt vinegar aroma, with some nice soured malts, even some dark malt aromas. Reminds me a lot of Duchesse. There is some slight bright berry fruit under that, a cherry and plum aroma too, all with a sour fruit touch. A dark Belgian/bolotin like cherry aroma too, over ripe.

T: OH man, my glands just stung for a second with the initial sour hit, but then the sour actually isn't that heavy. A lot more malt vinegar taste than sour. Lots of sour malts, darker malts even, with plenty of malt vinegar. THere is a sour and slight tangy cherry flavor too, more of that over ripe bolotin or Belgian cherry taste with hints of plum too. It's decently sweet too, but not anywhere close to too much sweetness. I'm very attune to sweetness and it's easy to be too sweet for me so this is pretty nice. A little caramely even. There's a pretty high acidity level too.

M: Medium and full bodied, with lots of little bubbles but not a lot of overall carbonation. It seems to give a little tingly feel to the mouth from the acidity.

F: Finishes with a little sticky sweetness, but dries quite a bit. It's mostly dry on the finish actually. A slight malty taste, malt vinegar, and a little of the over ripe sour bolotin cherry all linger very slightly, but mostly the finish is very short. It's a little too short actually, I would have liked a little lingering taste. Slightly flemmy in the back of the mouth. Nicely drinkable too. This reminds me of a blend of Duchesse and some ripe cherry juice.

 2,138 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.4/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Liefman's produces an Oud Bruin as its regular beer, and a stronger version of the same beer (matured for another half year +) to blend/create its special Goudenbond. Once a year some of the stronger beer has cherries added to it to create the Kriek. Their multi-strain yeast originally came from Rodenbach, and lends to its tartness.
It pours a hazy reddish-brown body topped by a creamy off-white head that holds well at first, and leaves some nice lace even when settled. The nose is complex and interesting with some mustiness, a good deal of barnyard character, and an authentic cherry fruitiness. The body is light but enhanced by a very fine and effervescent carbonation that leaves it airy and smooth across the palate. Barnyard character, tartness, and authentic cherry flavor combine in the flavor. It's rich and distinct, but not overdone. There's no syrupy cherry flavor or overt sweetness. It finishes dry with some residual tartness. Very nicely done!

 966 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.92/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a slightly hazy garnet red with a very thin off-white ring at the edges of the glass. The little head this beer pours with dissipates almost instantly. There are a few floating yeast particles in the beer. No lacing is observed.

S: Aromas of sour cherries with light hints of mustiness and sourness. There is a slight sweetness under the surface of the aroma.

T: Taste follow the smell... Starts out just a little bit sweet but quickly you get sour cherries, mustiness, and a slight amount of sourness. There is a lingering tartness in the finish.

M: Medium bodied with very light amounts of carbonation. Slight dryness in the finish.

O: Really nice flavors of natural sour cherries, nothing artificial here and no obviously added sugars to sweeten it. Very easy to drink and very enjoyable. I have had this beer many times and will likely continue to enjoy it in the future.

 888 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Muddy, dark brick red with a tidy, compact head of red-tinged beige perched atop the beer. This ain't no sissy lookin' girlie drink, but a lambic that anyone would be proud to be seen holding. The foam is ultimately too soft to leave much lace, but is par for the style.

The nose is full-to-bursting with cherries, of course, but there's an underlying earthy, musky funkiness that's appealing. It isn't a classically pleasant aroma, but one that entices nevertheless (I've given up trying to convey what this really reminds me of, there's just no polite way to put it).

Liefmans Kriekbier is less 'sweet, juicy cherry' than Lindemans Kriek, but is just as good in its own right. This beer has a funkier, more bohemian flavor that permeates the fruitiness. It also has considerably less sugar than the other kriek lambics that I've had. As a result, a significant puckery tartness gathers steam throughout each mouthful and hits with a vengeance on the finish. Light-medium body with ebullient carbonation.

Kriekbier gives those looking for a cherry lambic a clear choice since it's so different from the Melbourn Bros. or Lindemans versions. As noted above, it's less sweet, more funkified, and perhaps even more drinkable. Good stuff.

 1,239 characters

Photo of smcolw
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Light brown color and cloudy. Mild head that leaves some spotty lace.

Sweetish aroma, closer to a framboise than a kriek. Not much sourness.

The sour cherry comes through in the taste. Lots of sour aftertaste. Highly carbonated with a decent body.

This is a superior lambic. Lots of sweettart flavor. A great dessert beer.

 326 characters

Photo of Jason
4.17/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish rusty colour with a thick haze, good lacing as it leaves a few rings on the glass.

Fluffy spritzy body. Tartness and sweetness battle it out, tartness wins but not by much. Musty barnyard character is soft in the aroma and flavour. Cherry flavour is prolific as it gives tart and sweet juicy flavours.

Very quenching, lovely balance of tart and sweet. I was very pleased to find this on tap.

 405 characters

Photo of womencantsail
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The pour is a cloudy dark ruby color with a slight cloud and a very mild off-white foam.

S: A definite aroma of cherries, primarily sweet fruit flesh. I might pick up just a touch of vinegar in there.

T: This one has quite a nice balance of sweet and sourness. The cherry flavor is fairly sweet, but a nice acetic tinge of sourness and perhaps even a bit of tannic feel on the finish.

M: The body is medium with a low, smooth carbonation that actually tingles the tongue a bit.

D: A really easy drinking kriek. Not overly tart, but still a nice balance and not medicinal or overwhelming sweetness.

 604 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Lindemans lambic flute.

2007 vintage. I was in the mood for some fruity goodness from Belgium, so I picked this guy up. It pours a clear red-tinted auburn topped by a half-finger of off-white micro-foam. The nose comprises sugar-coated cherries...and nothing else. Very straight-forward. The taste doesn't seem to want to deviate from the established formula at first sight, but delving deeper uncovers a mild tartness beneath a blanket of black cherry goodness. The body is a solid medium, with a very light carbonation and a light syrupy feel. Overall, a solid kriek, maybe not the best out there, but more than enough to spark plenty of enjoyment.

 663 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.07/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by drabmuh. Thanks Matt!

A: Chestnut brown, thin head that leaves just a bit of lacing on the glass.

S: An all around wonderful aroma. Very musty and funky with scents of wood barrels and cherries.

T: Very good flavor. Nicely blended tastes of sweet and sour. Must and funk are present throughout.

M: Medium bodied, a bit syrupy. Slightly puckering with a hint of vinegar.

D: Would definitely drink again.

 426 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.69/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a reddish foggy blob. No head off a good pour by the 'tender. Nose is soft and full of cherries. Flavor is extremely smooth and sweet cherries with a great level of sugar on there. Excellent touch of wood. Feels beautiful on the mouth. Smooth and silky with a great carbonation. An excellent fruit beer absolutely worth trying.

 333 characters

Photo of jwc215
4.17/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Paper-wrapped, cage-corked bottle:

Pours dark red with a thin pink head that descends to a patch. Some trailing lace slides down the glass.

The smell is of tart cherries with bready notes. Enough barley malt is in the smell to let you know this is a beer.

The taste is of ripened, juicy cherries. Tart with sweet grain and caramel backing it up. Finishes sweettart and dry.

It is light to medium bodied. Very smooth, somewhat puckering.

This stands out way ahead of the typical fruit beer. Real cherry flavor mixes in nicely with a complex character. Very refreshing.

 582 characters

Photo of drabmuh
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had to drink these since these are the old versions and I'm not sure you can save sour / funky beers for consumption later.

Beer is brown with a mild haze and a thin head that breaks. Carbonation is moderate, minimal lacing, looks fine.

Aroma is cherry (shocking) and strong funk, like a basement.

The beer is thin and mildly sweet on the get go and develops into a cherry flavor that is followed by a TON OF OAK. This is about as much oak as I can take before it gets distracting and detracting from the rest of the beer. There is some acetic brightness to it and some overall Brett character to the whole thing. Awesome.

 625 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from 8/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a nice dark reddish amber with a hint of a head, but some lacing forming a fringe around the glass. Cherry aroma. Sweet and sour cherry with a hint of malt. Nicely balanced sweet to sour. I like this a lot. Could use a bit more carbonation, but still enjoyable.

 327 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Doesn't the paper-wrapped bottle make your eyes go goo-goo? It did for me, and $8.99 later, the 375 ml bottle was mine. On to the beer;

The cork is labled with a 2007 vintage. After removing it and pouring into a chalice, the beer is illustrated with a violet-orange color with a short head that doesn't last really long. That's okay for this type of beer. The aroma energizes me with a pleasant tartness with a little help of souring critters.

Blitzkriek! This is an explosion of sweet cherries that's breathtaking. Lost in the cherry wave are little waves of tartness. There's some acidity to this, and more of this builds into the aftertaste where it starts to get some attention. Somewhat syrupy too with moderate carbonation. Surprisingly, it's very easy to drink.

How do you say really good in Flemish? Just an awesome fruit-infused that really easy to drink.

 870 characters

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this 750ml bottle.

The beer pours a dark red to purple color with a small white head. The aroma is very sweet cherries and not too much else. The flavor is sweet cherries with just a little bit of tartness mixed in. I also get some vanilla notes in the flavor, but I am not sure where that comes from. Medium, slightly syrupy mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

A very good fruit beer.

 416 characters

Photo of biegaman
4.24/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A thick slurry of guava juice with little bubbles taking the form of the seeds; the more I stare at it the more I see the resemblance that the two share. There are signs of carbonation but none come to show on the surface. It appears terribly sludgy and is rather opaque even when held against a bright morning backdrop of sunshine.

The aroma exhumes a luscious must of ripened cherries as well as the sharp tartness of vinegar. It is a surprisingly appealing combination, anyone who enjoys raspberry vinaigrette dressing over their salad could attest. The woody balsamic is foremost but fruitiness also abounds and there is a decent dosage of funk for good measure.

Liefmans Kriek is nowhere near the sweetest cherry beer nor is it anything close to the most sour lambic. It is a little of both but not a lot of either. For that reason, it is likely to appeal to members of both camps. On the same hand, it is doubtful to rank at the top of either list for that same reason. It gives those unfamiliar a good idea of the style.

The brewery uses actual cherries as well as cherry juice to achieve the fruity flavour, which is a very nice one by the way. The shot of acidity gives the beer a refreshingly tart edge that vividly washes over the palate with each sip. Although this bottle is already two years of age, there seems to be a sizable amount of sugar still hanging around.

Any Liefmans beer is worthy of sharing an afternoon with you, a bowl of fresh fruit and your most expensive cheese. As mentioned, this Kriek is not likely to be anyone's favourite but it is certain to appeal to everyone. Its balance of sugary bright red fruit and dark vinegary balsamic is worth stocking the cellar over - I know I'm glad I did.

 1,733 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Kriekbier from Brouwerij Liefmans
4 out of 5 based on 261 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.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.