Black Current Lambic 1997 Vintage | Storm Brewing

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13 Ratings

Brewed by:
Storm Brewing
British Columbia, Canada

Style: Lambic - Fruit

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
This authentic Belgian style ale is intensely sour, dry and complex. Brewed in 1997 and aged 12 years in oak casks, this is what James has become famous for. After the initial brew, roughly 15kg of black currants were added to each cask, open fermentation allowed naturally occurring wild yeasts to produce a secondary fermentation which is what gives Lambic its unique sour character. This beer is not for the faint of heart and should be treated like a fine port or an aperitif, sipped and enjoyed with an open mind and refined pallet.

Added by DoubleJ on 06-06-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 13 |  Reviews: 10
Reviews by JordanHageman:
Photo of JordanHageman
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

More User Reviews:
Photo of yeahnatenelson
4.43/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1L swing-top filled by the brewer and generously donated to a recent tasting by skalawag. You win, Mark.

Appearance -- Pours a rosy red hue with a slim sudsy beige mauve head. Looks pretty good for a three-month-old swingtop from BC.

Smell -- Immensely fruit-forward with sweet/tart currant and what seems like sticky fresh pineapple. Some acetic character in the nose, but not much; same goes for brett funk. You'd swear this was a New Glarus black currant beer. Still, really pleasant.

Taste -- The nose lies - incredible acetic sharpness and funk overwhelm the senses upon the first sip. Currants, dank cellar must, lacto funk, pineapple, and guava. Nice sharpness but with a fruitiness that's so over-the-top that I have to wonder how long the beer aged on the currants. Amazing.

Mouthfeel -- Medium in body with lively carbonation. Quenching.

Overall -- I find it hard to believe that this 12-yr old lambic has been sitting on black currants for this long. INCREDIBLE fruit character. Consumed side-by-side with the most recent batch of Consecration and there was no comparison. I'd put this up against Cantillon fruit lambics any day. Just incredible.

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Photo of Viggo
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at St. Augustines. Canadian lambic, yes please!

Pours a hazy dark orange, some light bronze highlights, thick off white head forms and settles down to a big and thick layer, leaves a bunch of chunky lace on the glass.

Smell is real neat, very acetic, black currant sourness, barnyard funk, lightly cheesy, wood, very fruity and sour, balsamic, pretty intense stuff though not over the top.

Taste is real nice too, lots of vinegar and cheese up front, black currants, a bit tart, acidic and sour through the middle, a bit of soy sauce and some oxidation, lightly funky, wood, very sour in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. A pretty damn good shot at a lambic, I can agree this is part lambic/part oud bruin, but I was very surprised with how good this stuff is.

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Photo of canucklehead
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a newer flavour strain of the old cherry lambic that I had years ago and passed onto other BAs in home brew bottles. I had this as part a taster set at St Augustines and it stood out as tart , funky and great. The horse blanket smell is there and so is the Normandy Cider taste but the fruit is also there though in the background. Thoroughly orginal and actually fair true to the style this is still one of my fave BC beers

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Photo of ehammond1
3.23/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3


Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Hazy auburn copper with more orange edges. Very thin off-white head.

Sweet fruits, sharp sourness, and strong alcohol are the central pillars of this beer's aroma. The fruit (currants, cherries, grapes, ?apple?) are here in full force, with a bit of an earthy and wood component as well. There's a stinging sourness and an in-your-face smacking of burning alcohol as well.

In one word: aggressive. The fruit flavors are huge (sweet and bitter), the vinegar and sharp sour notes are huge, and the alcohol heat is near cough-inducing at times. This is a sipper, for sure.

Light to medium bodied with low carbonation.

A powerful and aggressive beer, no matter how you slice it. I don't mind this, but in all honesty, a small pour is more than enough.

 800 characters

Photo of chickenm
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of ozmodium
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Convinced my little brother the Lambic virgin to purchase a glass of this at st. Augustine's in vancouver.

I have only once seen such animated reactions to a beer. It was upon ordering, and sharing a glass of an extreme aged (and extremely sour) lambic (the origin escapes me) at Alibi Room at a buddy's b-day party.

Arrived at the table as an innocuous glass of clear dark red beer, half finger, off white head

To the unitiated nose it was described as:
Cider vinegar, nail polish, ribena (currant syrup) and rotten beer.
To the more seasoned nose, I described it, to many jeers, as highly barnyardy, lactic and fruity; wheaty, aged wine and sour currants. I think I drooled on the table.

Sour and dry fruit. Complex Funky funk that only a great aged Lambic can provide. Reminds me of goat cheese.
This actually tastes very much like a much sourer version of a Flemish Red that I LOVE called Duchesse de Bourgogne.

A polarizing beer, you'd have to like sour European beers to appreciate this gem. I could guzzle this stuff all night, then buy a keg and replace my water cooler at home with it. My brother's friends however were less impressed, and I wish I could post the picture I have of my brother's sour face as he finished the glass with one large gulp. Classic!

 1,278 characters

Photo of Rutager
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap and part of a sampler at St. Augustines, Vancouver BC.

Appearance. Nice deep amber with a little red. Just a film of head and what looks like zero carbonation.

Smell. Sour apples and musty funk with a little currant. Cool.

Taste. Wow! Sour green grapes, pungent dry cheese, and some dank funk. An understated hit of current is there too. Interesting and complex.

Mouthfeel. Low carbonation but much more than the appearance leads one to believe. Medium body.

Drinkability. A good drinker. Will look forward to ordering a full serving the next time I'm there.

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Photo of womencantsail
1.64/5  rDev -58.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Hand pump at Churchill's

A: The beer pours a rather hazy amber color with almost no head.

S: Just smells like vinegar. To make things better, tons of acetone. This is just flat out not very good. On top of that, for a black currant lambic, not much fruit.

T: The flavor is at least mildly fruity, but it is also marred by the same acetone and vinegar characteristics that the nose was. Just an awful, harsh flavor.

M: Medium in body with low carbonation.

O: This was an atrocity. Not sure why I even ordered this.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.23/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3


On tap at Churchill's Sour Fest. I had a couple small glasses of this. A 12 year old lambic from Canada sounds pretty interesting.

A: Hazy reddish amber with a modest off-white head.

S: Strongly acetic, with evident notes of wood and vanilla. Dark fruits are prominent, mostly currant and dark cherry, but the vinegar presence is by far the most pronounced quality. Lactic notes are strong, but there are also faint barnyard notes that peak out from behind the vinegar.

T: Again, highly acetic and producing a burn with each swallow. Faint cheese notes accompany wood, tannins, and a little vanilla. Currants and dark cherries have a significant presence, but again, the vinegar is a bit too strong. Lactic sourness is at a moderate level and mostly clean. The sour finish burns.

M: Medium in body with an upper low level of carbonation. The mouthfeel is smooth and sticky.

Overall: I was happy to try this rarity (perhaps it's just an oddity).

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Photo of EskimoDave
5/5  rDev +27.2%

Photo of DoubleJ
4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

What's this, a Canadian lambic? And one aged for 12 years? I know what to do, get me a glass please! On-tap at St. Augustine's in a 10 ounce glass, on to the beer:

It looks like medium cherrywood color, crossing over to dark amber. The nose is big! The black current aroma is well-defined, and let loose without any ropes. Hints of pepper work into the nose as well. As expected, it's one that'll make you pucker. Red grapes and currents at the beginning, then comes a HUGE wave of cheese, the latter sticking around long and intense in the aftertaste. The body of this lambic is a little thicker than others of the style, and it's moderately acidic for the style.

I knew I would be in for a ride, good or bad. I'm glad to report that it was for the good. I do wonder if there's another batch of this being aged, because if there isn't, get it now.

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Photo of LittleDon
4.57/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16 oz. poured in a goblet at the Alibi Room in Vancouver.

Opaque brown-red with no head or visible carbonation. Strong ester aroma, like fermenting apples and turpentine, with a whiff of berries and oak. Acidic and extremely sour up front, with the esters definitely present in the middle along with a bit of oakiness. Clean and light finish. Over-the-top sour more akin to a Flanders Red like La Folie (though not as sour) than a lambic. Wouldn't have known it was made with currents, as there is no definite fruit profile.

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Black Current Lambic 1997 Vintage from Storm Brewing
Beer rating: 3.93 out of 5 with 13 ratings
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