K Is For Kriek
Brooklyn Brewery

K Is For KriekK Is For Kriek
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American Wild Ale
3.97 | pDev: 9.07%
Brooklyn Brewery
New York, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
K Is For KriekK Is For Kriek
Notes: “B” is for “Brooklyn.” We all learned that in school, yes? But “B” is also for “Belgium”. And when our brewmaster first visited Belgium in 1984, he learned that “K” is for “Kriek”. “Kriek” means “cherry” in Belgian Flanders, where for centuries Kriek beers have been made by adding cherries to lambics and other sour beers. Here in Brooklyn, we based our distinctly American take on Kriek on our dark abbey ale, the estimable Local 2. To this beer’s subtle marriage of malts, dark candi sugar, local wildflower honey and zing of orange peel, we added tart dried whole Montmorency cherries from Michigan. Around this, we wrapped a barrel of charred American bourbon oak. The sugar of the cherries began to ferment away. The barrels hissed. And we waited.
Six months later, the beer emerged with a glowing red color, vibrant acidity, complex fruit aromatics, and a foundation of oak flavors, its strength moving past 10%. Its transformation almost complete, the beer joined priming sugar, Champagne yeast and wild Brettanomyces yeasts in the bottle and underwent a third fermentation. And we waited yet again.
Now, a full year after we brewed it, this beer is ready for your table. K is for Kriek is dry, fruity, tart, full-bodied, and expansive, able to be enjoyed now or after years of cellaring. This beer is wondrous with poultry, duck and pork dishes, tremendous with goat cheeses, and a fine pairing for desserts. We originally made this beer just for ourselves, as part of our unreleased Ghost Bottle series, but it was too tasty to hoard. Beer is for drinking. And K is for Kriek.
Reviews: 38 | Ratings: 167 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Bpayne88:
Photo of Bpayne88
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

More User Reviews:
Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass; blend #3, bottled early 2015. Pours slightly hazy dark ruby red color with a 2 finger fairly dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of tart/sweet cherry, pear, apple, orange peel, honey, brown sugar, toast, pepper, oak, light vanilla/bourbon, herbal, grass, light funk, and yeast/oak earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of cherries, fruity/spicy yeast, dark malt, and oak barrel notes; with good strength. Taste of tart/sweet cherry, pear, apple, orange peel, honey, brown sugar, toast, pepper, oak, light vanilla/bourbon, herbal, grass, light funk, and yeast/oak earthiness. Fair amount of yeast/oak spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of cherry, pear, apple, orange peel, honey, brown sugar, toast, pepper, oak, herbal, grass, and yeast/oak earthiness on the finish for a short bit. Damn nice complexity and robustness of cherries, fruity/spicy yeast, dark malt, and oak barrel flavors; with a great malt/yeast/fruit balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Some light-moderate dryness on the finish as well. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, fairly crisp, and slightly creamy/acidic mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent fruited Belgian red ale. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of cherries, fruity/spicy yeast, dark malt, and oak barrel flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.34/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

BOTTLE: 750ml. Brown glass. Branded hood-and-wire cap over a cork.

Acquired: At a local Austin, TX bottle shop.

Reviewed live at low altitude in Austin, TX. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Vintage: 2015.
ABV: 10.1%.
Style: Kriek (per the label).
Serving temp: Cold. Allowed to warm over the course of consumption.
Serving vessel: Gueuze glass.
Expectations: High given the style and brewery.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 2.5 fingers wide. Off-white colour. Okay thickness. Kind of fizzy. Light uneven lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Retention: ~4 minutes.

BODY: Murky amber-brown. Dull. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Appears okay for a kriek. Far from unique or special. Appears decently carbonated.

AROMA: Deep cherry. Faint tartness. Mild sournesss (~3-4/10). Some acetic notes. Faint pie crust. A hint of bourbon (with a bit of vanilla an white oak).

Aromatic intensity: average.

No yeast character, alcohol, or off-notes come through.

TASTE: Faint acetic notes. Muted tartness. Mild sourness (~2-3/10 intensity). The bourbon is quite faint (I get some light vanilla and white oak). Abbey yeast. I'm not finding the brettanomyces yeast, and the wild yeast profile leaves much to be desired. It's nice for what it is.

Depth of flavour: Average.
Flavour duration: Average.
Flavour intensity: Below average.
Flavour amplitude: Nice.

Balanced and enjoyable, but it leaves much to be desired in terms of depth of flavour, complexity, subtlety, and intricacy. Not gestalt, but cohesive.

TEXTURE: Smooth, wet, aptly carbonated, fairly refreshing, medium-bodied, aptly thick, and aptly hefty/weighty on the palate.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, rough, or scratchy.

Complements the taste nicely for what it is.

OVERALL: Quite drinkable and enjoyable. It's a decent kriek, but I'm not sure why they bourbon barrel aged it. Not a great beer from Brooklyn, but nice for what it is. I wouldn't buy it again at this price point, but it's pleasant.


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Photo of JGam115
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2012. Think baby supplication with oozing cherry and pomegranate. Big beer.

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Photo of Sammy
3.94/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle - $19.99 at Bullock's Wine & Spirits in Marietta, Georgia.

Blend #3.

Appearance: Pours a hazed, amber-tan body with a wispy, yellowish head.

Smell: A dense blend of moist cherries, soft bourbon elements, woodsy, earth-toned spices, toasted caramel, sweet-scented honey and a perfumy hint of citrus and while it's not really funky there is a tiny bit of mustiness within.

Taste: Toasted maltiness, a little caramel and honey, some stealthy chocolate with a middling sugared sweetness throughout. Tart cherries, modest addition of earthy spices. While tart, it's really not overcoming or overwhelmingly so. Bourbon barrel accents remain slight. Citrusy accent from the orange peel. Warming, semi-dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with some tongue-coating heft to the mouthfeel. Medium-light carbonation.

Overall: Can we all just have some time to cool off? Can we have some time? Maybe give it another go later on down the road?

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.96/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Hedging their bets on both sour cherry and Belgian dark ale, Brooklyn brewers venture onwards by using Flander's barrel-aged technique and applying them to American bourbon barrels. It's unruly combination gives us an imperial overlay on the Senne cherry styles.

Its classic rusty ruby hue is hazy and firm, yet capped with a gentle swirl of cherry stained creme. Its cherry influence denotes is look as well as aromas as a tangy scent of bing cherry, orange blossom and ripe apple captivate the nose. Cherry sweetness and tartness coat the early palate while slim earth, caramel and amend entice the tastebuds.

Across the middle, the sweetness is reluctant to subside. Its slow transition patiently releases its sugars and allows the tang and earth to gain an eventual grip, delivering soft red wine must, apple cider and faint balsamic to satisfy the palate as the finish looms.

Medium-dry on the palate, a terse sweetness clings on even though the beer trends acidic and arid. Fleeting glimpses of caramel, coconut and vanilla decorate the finish as those spicy bourbon and oak flavors gain prominence in the beer's waining moment.

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Photo of janubio
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Tasted at The Situation. Served in a snifter glass.. Pours a hazy brown colour, samll head with short retention, no lace.
Aroma of cherries, citrics, brown sugar, red wine.
Medium to full body, creamy tarty texture, no carbonation. Sweet finish
Taste of cherries, brown sugar, citrics, red wine.
Excelent beer.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750 ml caged and corked bottle, Blend #1. Served in a Unibroue tulip, the beer pours a hazy reddish/brown color with about a half inch light tan head that didn't stay around too long. There's a small amount of lacing. I like the aroma, the brew smells like sweet and tart cherries, oak, bourbon, and some honey. For the most part the taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also some citrus peel and earthiness noticeable. I think the flavors are a little more tart than sweet. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's coating with low/moderate carbonation. Overall I liked this brew, but at $19.99 a bottle I'm not sure if I'd buy it very often. With that being said, it's definitely worth trying if you come across some.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.09/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of PBoegel
4.47/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Notes from three separate tastings, all labeled blend #3 (full disclosure as of the writing of this 2.25.15 my brother works for the Brewery)

With the base beer for this project being Local 2, the hue is deep brown, atypical for a true Kriek, but that is not exactly the aim here. The head is mellow, creamed coffee tan in color, small but persistent.

The aroma is where this beer takes off. The interplay of the cherries and brett create an array of concord grape, grapefruit rind, apple brandy and floral perfume alcohols. The bourbon barrel is there as a complement, touches of charred oak, mild booze.

The flavor just takes things up a notch. My imagination had me thinking this would be a cloying and confused beer, but the brett L serves to assist in drying out residual sweetness, paving for create interplay of vanilla, maple, tart cherry, subtle grapefruit and just enough malt to balance the full package. Extremely drinkable for it's heft and not destructive to the palate. It dances the line of barrel punch and sour cleanse. Each sip invites another. Generally I would say one glass with such a big beer and a 750 ML presentation, but frankly, you can fight me for each ounce.

Get it. Cellar it. Enjoy.

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Photo of metter98
3.89/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy dark brown in color and has some slight hints of amber hues near the sides of the glass. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that quickly died down, leaving a collar consisting of large bubble and some delicate lacing on the surface.
S: Light aromas of cherries are present in the nose along with hints of oak. The cherries become a bit stronger as the beer begins to warm up.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste starts off with flavors of cherries and a light amount of sourness. Notes of oak and hints of bourbon are present in the finish.
M: It feels light-to medium-bodied and a little tart and dry on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is deceptively drinkable considering its strength because it does a very good job of masking any traces of alcohol. However, the taste didn't have as many complexities as I would have expected.

Note: Blend #1

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of bobhits
3.23/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I love cherries and I love Krieks, so I'm pretty excited to see this from Brooklyn. I'm a bit iffy on the use of bourbon barrels, but I'm not one to avoid bourbon with anything.

I'll pass on the aromas and appearance discussion. It's red, it's lacking carbonation that gives lacing, its a kriek but not one of the better looking or smelling versions. With most sours I struggle to get a lot of notes from the nose, mostly just sour elements and some random items. It's interesting.

The flavor is cherries up front and then some malt and barrel notes at the end. The beer is sour, but only marginally. On a scale of 1-10 this is about a 3 on the sour scale maybe a 4. A part of me enjoys the more drinkable low sour aspect but not at 10%.

Apples, cherries, light vinegar, earthy notes, oak..there's more here but I'm not placing it well.

At 10% this is very drinkable. The body is very clean and easy to drink.

At the end of the day I'm rather disappointed. Given the price and the effort that went into this I'd expect more from the end product. I'm glad to see these kinds of efforts from Brooklyn, but this is a miss. I'm scoring this based on beer and not the style, this misses a bit on the style but overall it's still above average beer all be it by a hair. Now as for style, this is way below average for what imo is one of the best sour styles out there.

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Photo of markgugs
3.69/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sample pour at Beer Culture in NYC

Appearance was very reddish amber, bordering on dark brown, like over-fermented cherries. Nose was a bit muted, but somewhat medicinal with a bit of earthy funk mixed in. Cherry flavor was prominent, unfortunately it was akin to a Halls cough drop. Finish was lengthy, earthy, and dry. On the plus side, the nearly 10% ABV was nowhere to be seen. This is just nowhere near the world class kriek lambics out there.

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Photo of tikk
3.99/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of jkane101
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of BlissJunkie
4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of scootny
4.51/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is a ridiculously good beer that keeps revealing layers of complexity as you take your time to savor and explore its depths. It rewards patience and an appreciation of nuance. It starts with a husky mahogany red fluid that serves up a crown of a darkish off white head. Nice size and decent retention that laces well considering the abv. The nose is the trump card for me, especially if you let it warm in a tulip glass. It becomes a fountain of savory and sweet beer notes. Oak and bourbon subtly underscore a sweet bouquet of cherries that carry a funky Belgian tartness. A bit of leather and vanilla. An alcohol punctuated peppery spiciness. An aroma that develops and increases and it sits in your glass. Taste is a knockout as well. All those nose characters show up in superb balance. Malty sweet cherries have a caramel background. Oak and bourbon unfold to create depth and complexity while allowing the Belgian aspect to shine. Leather and vanilla show in the finish which is tart and dry with subtle hops. Honey and candi sugars add body and subtle layers of sugar complexity. Feel is lightly syrupy with a crisp carbonation that cuts though to make a delightful swallow. This is a great beer and it is on par with any great sour imo. An excellent choice for the holiday table. It will stand up to any red wine you may choose and in my opinion trump them all.

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Photo of hardy008
4.29/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark hazy crimson, with a 2 finger light beige head, and better than expected retention. Has a pleasant aroma with tart cherries, oak, Bourbon, vanilla, and candi sugar. There is so much going on with the aroma, that I am sure I am not able to pick everything out.

The taste has a nice combination of sweetness and tartness with tart cherries, candi sugar, oak, vanilla, Bourbon, citrus peel, and Brett. I can't taste the alcohol, and this is a 10.1 % abv beer. Very well made.

edium bodied with modest carbonation. Finishes somewhat dry, with an oak and tart cherry aftertaste. A nicely made beer.

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Photo of Smakawhat
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

A bit of snapping sounding and carbonation fizz coming out of the bottle, fills the glass with a deep redish and rusty brown body, quite opaque with no hues to it at all. The head forms two fingers but fizzles out, but manages a supper creamy quarter finger puck that is tan vanilla yellow in color, and always being repopulated by excessive carbonation all along the sides of the glass.

Aroma is quite interesting. Large vanilla soft sweet oak tones, mild cherry, not hugely tart but a real balanced soft acidity. Little chocolate sense, milky, not a big Belgian sugary malty brew, real excellent play on barrel aging, yeast, and fruit character. Doesn't come off particularly funky or hinting of brett very much but has an excellent contrast with mild cherry, sweet vanilla, and caramel quality.

Palate is real fun and interesting. Excellent creamy mouthfeel highlighting vanilla but also a milky chocolate angle. Cherry angle is very subtle, not particular tart or sweet but then the brett really brings out some great character and more noticeable than on the aroma. Slight and subtle peppery finish, with excellent malt sweetness to go with it. Fruit angle is rather standard not diverse in other berried character or qualities.

Real interesting take, some playful mix that is real unexpected that works out well. Very enjoyable, very unique and quite a memorable brew as well too.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.79/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark cherry red and free of sediment. Fizzy head forms and recedes to a ring before disappearing. Aroma of cherries, balsamic vinegar, cider, cherry, candy and citrus. In the taste, some sour cherry upfront, oak and vinegar show briefly and a hint of lush cherry in the finish. This beer is significantly better as it warms, the flavor intensifies it was a touch soft at first. Very likable, enjoyable and deceptively strong beer. Aging this would be a good call. Thanks to Brewmeist for the bottle.

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Photo of billab914
4.04/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of tvljr
3.66/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of stephensinner
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jaydoc
4.31/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

K Is For Kriek from Brooklyn Brewery
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 167 ratings