Glühkriek | Brouwerij Liefmans

very good
46 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 02-15-2002

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Reviews: 46 | Ratings: 64
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.37/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

According to the cork, this is either from 1996 or 1998. Makes sense, as I haven't seen this brewery's products on shelves around here in a long, long time.
Impenetrable appearance, a murky maroon, with no head, just a gathering of bubbles at glass's edge.
Invigorating, bewitching aroma, deep, cavernous, funky nose with a cherry kick in it. Sour, musty, a little tickle of sweetness.
Taste: twisted! Thick and chewy, dancing toward and away from cherry cough syrup, bracingly tart, then levelling off, mellowing out, leaving the palate a well-rounded, cherry-bedabbed arena, all the juice spilled out of the punch bowl after the cotillion comes to a close. Each sip begins this shuffle again, each time a little less intensely.
Medium-bodied, with a tenacious fruity finish.
A fandango in the mouth, and a treat on all levels.
Defines delicious.

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Photo of santoslhalper
4.14/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearence: Pours a darker copper with a thin, beige head.

Smell: The smell is a mix of strong cherries and spices. Some woody notes are detectable as well.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Odd. It's flat. It still tastes wonderfully, but the normal tart fizziness of a lambic isn't there. The cherries are wonderful tasting, and seem very fresh. It's incredibly smooth and lucious tasting.

Dtinkability and Overall: A different lambic for sure, but still enjoayble. The lack of tartness is a suprise, but makes it a little more drinable. This is an incredibly smooth lambic, but definitly not the normal.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
4.31/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My first mulled beer. Wow. I warmed this up in a way I'm not proud to admit (microwave on low, for a few seconds at a time, bringing it to a nice temp.). I'm sure that's not how it was done by the Belgians when they first came up with this winter warmer, but what's a bachelor to do? The Bros. suggest a crock pot,and I don't have one, the only other option was a metal pan on the stove, and I was worried that it would give the beer a metallic flavor. So m-wave it was. And it actually worked ok, although I wasn't sure...

Pours a medium reddish brown with NO head, NO carbonation. A less than exciting visual presentation. But the other aspects more than made up for it. Aroma is of cherry and warming spices on a cold, rainy day (it is Southern California, after all- not much snow in my neck of the woods). Incredible. Flavor is sour cherries, light, feel-good sour, not the overwhelming sour of traditional lambics. This is good stuff.

Mouthfeel thick and syrupy, just as you would hope. Good stuff!

This is a beer to have on special occasions, and I hope those occasions come around more often!

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Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.27/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought this year but the cork said 1998. I mulled it for the tasting. From the 33cl bottle.

Pours a hazy, opaque reddish-brown. No head very still. Smell is spicy and sweet. Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and tart cheries. maybe hints of alcohol.

Taste mirrors the smell. Spicy and sweet. Cinnamon and nutmeg underpinned with ginger and clove. A light chery tartness on the tongue and quite sour on the back of the throat which makes for a nice balance. Medium bodied and sweet but not sticky. really tasty warm, not so hot (pardon the pun) as it cools. Definitely shines when warmed properly. I probably could have heated it longer. A good winter beer that I had not had in about 10 years. It was too long!

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Photo of dgallina
4.06/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

333 ml bottle. 1999 vintage. Served mulled, December 2004.

Pours a deep, wine-like burgundy with no carbonation or head. Strong clove and spice aromas over sweet wine and cherries. Flavors start with tart cherries, develop into port-like sweet wine, and finish with plenty of cloves, spice, and woody cherry-pit sourness. Smooth medium wine-like body with no carbonation. Much closer to a spiced port than a beer at this age. Very tasty on a cold winter night (assuming you know what you're getting into).

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Photo of marc77
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served mulled. Bottled 1998. Purchased in 2000 and cellared since then. Lightly hazed deep rose hue and utterly still. In aroma, pungent wafts of peppermint, clove, nutmeg and licorice are all in equal strength. Green raspberry and cassis undertone. Welcoming aromawise. In flavor, red apple sweetness upfront leads into a tart and earthy combination of underripe black cherry and fresh tobacco. Judicious, red sweet pepper and sweet clementine notions are static throughout. Trace grape skin astringency emerges mid palate, but adds an agreeable coarseness. Comforting hints of fresh sawdust add both sweet and woody notes late. Moderate in body overall, and akin to a thin Port in mouthfeel. Finishes with a resurgence of cherry tartness and also with lingering key lime like tones. A truly unique and complex brew. Served very warm, all fruit notes are very vibrant. Delicious and soothing.

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Photo of bditty187
4.19/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1998 Vintage

Clear, burgundy brown in hue, it seems darker once mulled. Maybe I was seeing things but there seemed to be a tawny-red tint straight out of the bottle. There was no head or lacing at any point. The appearance is unremarkable.

When cold the nose is spicy, like a Christmas bake sale, cherries underneath. Modest potency. Firm from the chill but still rich. Inviting [3.5]. The palate is spicy, cookie-like with orange zest and cherries. Minty with hints of clove. Tasty. Unique. Modest tartness. It says, “drink with duck” [4].

At room temperature the nose is milder and wider; spices are softer but more developed as I could distinguish the cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, coriander, etc. Cherries are more in the background but easily noticeable [4]. The palate is soft, spices are clear, cherries are weaker; tartness is pliable, orange zest at the end. Overall the taste is mild and yummy [4].

When mulled the nose is lively; cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg are the most dominating aromas. Tart black cherries. Orange zest. It is very juicy. Inviting. The palate is shockingly developed and flavorful compared to cold and room temperature. The cloves are loud and very aggressive at the back of the throat. It is amazingly juicy with a big blast of black currents, prunes, and cherries (these flavors are very strong at the finish). The spices are noticeable on a one on one basis but the sum of the parts remind me of a Christmas cookie fresh out of the oven. Very complex, it blows away many of its kin (i.e., a non spiced fruit lambic). This is the first time I mulled a beer and it won’t be the last. Medium/medium-full in body, the lack of carbonation is very noticeable as the mouthfeel as a slickness to it. It is pleasant though. This beer is drinkable to a point, I can’t see myself drinking more than one a night. I like the beer, I really do, but the spices are overwhelming after awhile. What a great cold weather beer. I purchased my bottle in Lincoln, NE. It is a “must try” just for the experience.

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

Pours without a head so no lace. Reddish amber color. The nose is a strong, sweet cherry and taste is a strong sweet cherry without the malts and hops. Nice clean crisp finish. Very good fruit beer, light bodied, no carbonation. 12oz bottle, $5.95 from Vintage Cellar, Blacksburg, VA

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

This is a sweeter lambic like the Lindeman’s line, but instead of the red body and pink head of the Lindeman’s, this is a dark, dull brown with only reddish hints and a mostly white head. I know this type of lambic is far from what the purists approve of, but I like this type of lambic.

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Photo of PopeJonPaul
3.6/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Fuzzy bright and headless ruby red, looks like a wineglass full of refined cran-raspberry juice. Smells sort of like a cherry Red-Hot. Taste is both cinnamon candy-sweet and cherry-sour, tastes pretty good but there's barely a tiny hint of Robitussin buried in there that rubbed me the wrong way. Feels like drinking wine or mead, with a strong candylike aftertaste, not as drinkable as I'd expected, too sweet to really go berserk with. Pretty good stuff, I'm not as big on the sour taste though so I'd pick a Quelque Chose over this one.

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Photo of cokes
3.48/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

1998. Mulled.

Hazy magenta topped with a few wisps of grey lace.
Nose full of Nyquil, cinnamon sticks, leather and black cherries.
Enters the mouth, cinnamon machine-guns blastings. Loads and loads and loads of the stuff. Hot, sticking, barky cinnamon. Plum skins, balsalmic vinegar, black grapes, and bread pudding underneath. There's a earthiness present, that's hard to pin down. Cherry too, of course, especially as it closes. Tart and sweet, and plenty medicinal.

Full bodied. Odd mixture of burning cinnamon, tart cherries, and sweetened medicinals. Hardly drinkable. I may have prefered not to mull this, given the small swig I took from the unheated bottle.

I can't say I'm in love....but I can't say I hate it either.

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Photo of BeerBuilder
3.87/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1998 Edition

Served heated

Poured to a reddish-brown color with no head and no carbonation. Cloves dominate the aroma, but a cherry aroma is present as well. The flavor is spicy and sweet with the cloves, cinnamon, and cherries. It is a very smooth, easy drinking beer, and almost a bit syrupy. A great warmer to sip on.

Sampled 12/31/03

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Photo of Rastacouere
4.06/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

6 years old bottle courtesy of Matta the Florida connection (you had not told me it was 6 years old you rocker!). Liefmans Gluhkriek has a murky ugly brown body with no head at all. The aroma is intense and vinous, indeed comparable to Quelque Chose, but not quite as powerful nor complex. Nevertheless, there are some neat cherry skins flavors together with cinnamon, nuts, oak and a pleasant mild refreshing Liefmans sourness. The body is medium and rather oily. Aftertaste is old rotten tart cherries with lots of spicy character (nutmeg, cinnamon). When mulled, it becomes perhaps a little thinner with the flavors taking a more vinous and medicinal angle with notes of tart apples and blue grapes. I personally perfer it hot, but the difference seemed less striking than in Quelque Chose. Dangerously drinkable despite being very sweet, a unique style I just wish we'd have more examples of.

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Photo of the42ndtourist
4.27/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

250mL bottle, pop-off cap.

Took the cap off, and heated it (slowly) in a pot of water. Interestingly enough (or I thought so), a head forms while heating, which gradually builds to the top of the bottle, and then spills over. Or, if you're like me, you continually use your finger to rescue it and send it where it's needed most.

I'm a little short on glassware (of any kind) at the moment, so I thought the best receptacle would be an insulated stainless steel mug. After all, Quelque Chose gets drunk out of a glazed ceramic cup/mug sort of thing when you're in Chambly. It pours without much head at all after all that buildup while heating.

Nose of spice, acid. Cinnamon and cloves, I should think. Big helpings of sour cherry. As you go to take a mouthful you get a dose of acidic vapour in the mouth and nose just before the beer. This isn't nearly as severe as with Quelque Chose, though. Taste is quite tart, but full and fruity. Cloves are certainly the most evident spice. In the end, it tastes like something between mulled wine and one of Liefmans' sour beers (Goudenband or Kriek).

This really is perfect as a winter warm-up. And if I had a steady source for it in Ottawa, it would quickly become a standard fixture. However, here in Southwest England (cornwall), it doesn't really seem like winter, what with constant 10 degree (C) temperatures, so Gluhkriek may not reach the same status. Still, a great beer.

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

Notes: 12 oz corked and caged bottle with some nice overwrap. 1998 edition as noted by the date on the cork. This beer poured a perfectly still, dark, ruby red colour. The aromas were of fresh cherries, cour ale, yeast, and spices. The taste was a nice blend of cherries, tartness, spices, and alcohol. The flavors and aromas were definately more pronounced mulled, and at room temp than they were at fridge temp. The mouthfeel is thick, but not cloying and the drinkability is excellent as well for a specialty beer like this.


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Photo of Jason
4.19/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served hot from crock pot filled by a couple of 750 ml bottles.

Appearance: No head as this beer has no carbonation, clear burgundy brown in colour.

Smell: Dominant clove and sweet tart cherry juice aroma.

Taste: Tart up front with a ton of ripe cherry juice flavour, this is countered by spices … mainly clove but close to an all spice as well. Alcohol has not been burned off as it gives quick vapors after each sip.

Mouthfeel: Leaning to a wine like slickness in the mouth off of the medium body. No carbonation.

Drinkability & Notes: Just the experience alone got my vote and something I’d love to sip on occasion though not something I could drink more than one of a night.

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Photo of Todd
4.11/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Notes from the 2002 Kerstbierfestival, Essen, Belgium.

** This beer was served hot. **

Dark ruby, near black, in colour with a still head. Aroma is 100% warm cloves -- like on a ham in the oven. Flavours freagin' nearly burst your mouth open! Mega juicy! Both sweet and tart characters, thick, notes of prune, black currant and grape.Coarse on the palate. With cloves rounding things off and running into the dry finish.

Based on the Liefmans Goudenband with the addition of North cherries. Very wine-like in many ways. Most impressive, especially when served warm -- the flavours increase ten-fold.

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Photo of Realale
4.43/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cork dated 1997. Purchased October, 2002.

Deep, deep cherry red with some rich mahogany tones. Zero head, zero carbonation. Add me to the list of folks who didn't know this beer was supposed to be heated when they bought it! Regardless, I drank mine at cellar temperature.

Nose is incredible sour cherry. Instantly makes your mouth water. There are spices there as well. Definitely a cinnamon thing, perhaps some allspice. There's an old woody note to it as well. Smells like its been aged a long time in wood.

In the mouth its thick, with a definite sweetness present to balance the normal Liefmans sourness. The sour cherries are there and the acidity gives it great length. Seems to be a bit tannic from the cherry stones as well. A bit of an odd duck style, but definitely a fine, fine beer.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.62/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Comes in a clear green glass corked bottle, but beautifully wrapped in an inviting green tissue paper, with pictures of red cherries and the Liefmans white logo on it. Like a Christmas present, it just screams to be opened. It is supposed to be served heated up (instructions are on the wrapper) to steaming - but DON'T let it boil, you will ruin it. A fantastic bold deep red colour, with a very spicy aroma that reminded me of being sat near a warming log-fire at Christmas time in a snow encrusted England. I once had this at a bar in Ostende, Belgium on a dark cold November night, where the bartender put nutmeg and a stick of cinnamon into the pan whilst warming the beer - it really benefits and balances the incredibly sour cherry taste. Why does it remind me so much of Christmas?. Simply Amazing!!!.

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Photo of Viking
4.92/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5 beer!

When I first bought this, I didn't realize it should be served hot. Luckily, I got a nice chilly spring evening to enjoy this amazing brew properly.

This deep, dark red beer has no head or any carbonation (I'm not positive if that's by design or not - it's bottled in '98). It has an incredible aroma of molasses, sour cherry, and spices (cinnamon and ginger, I think). Sour cherry dominates the initial flavor, with the spices more prominent on the finish. Nice tingle on the tongue from this beer. Don't let this beer cool too much! It's amazing while hot, but loses a little something when approaching room temperature.

Honestly, this beer makes me think of Christmas morning when I was a little kid. It reminds me of eating the gingerbread house with the tart 'n' tangy candies while opeing my presents! I'll make sure I have a good supply of Gluhkriek next winter!!

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Photo of rastaman
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

i had this at its proper temp (and thats 70 degrees celsius) and i dug it a lot. It was complex, sweet, sour, fruity (cherries), warming and a very good drop, if you ever get the chance to try it, don't hesitate. Intersting with and array of flavours and complexities, perhaps a bit better tha Quelque Chose, theres not much in it.

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Glühkriek from Brouwerij Liefmans
4 out of 5 based on 64 ratings.
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