Are you a fan of lambics?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by elohim, May 2, 2018.

  1. elohim

    elohim Initiate (185) Dec 4, 2010 Georgia

    Question is pretty straight forward. I may grab a bottle as a dessert beer once a year or so.
  2. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,634) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Yes, when I can find them fairly fresh.
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  3. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (834) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    How are you finding fresh lambic? Visiting the Pajottenland?
  4. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (834) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
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    Which ones do you fancy?
  5. elohim

    elohim Initiate (185) Dec 4, 2010 Georgia

    The last one I got was Coolship Chaos and it was delicious. I enjoyed Jung as well. Prior to last year I only really had experience with the different flavors of Lindemans.
    EvenMoreJesus likes this.
  6. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,634) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Well that's probably the best place. (That is the only place I ever gotten to try a 1 year old poured from the barrel.)

    Around here it's much harder but occasionally one lucks out. For example about 6-7 years ago I bought a couple of 750 ml bottles of Drie Founteinen Schaerbeekse Kriek that were about 9 months in the bottle by the time I'd finished both.
    #6 drtth, May 2, 2018
    Last edited: May 2, 2018
  7. Dweedlebug

    Dweedlebug Disciple (331) Feb 28, 2012 Pennsylvania

    What would a "fresh" lambic even be? They're bottle conditioned, right? I mean you don't really want to be drinking them right after they are bottled, do you?
  8. Snowcrash000

    Snowcrash000 Savant (951) Oct 4, 2017 Germany

    I do enjoy a lambic every now and then, but it's not really something that I drink on a regular basis, even though I have very good access to them where I live.
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  9. Ozzylizard

    Ozzylizard Poo-Bah (3,228) Oct 5, 2013 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    Do I actively seek them? No. If I stumble across a new one, yes.
    Harrison8 likes this.
  10. dcotom

    dcotom Poo-Bah (1,986) Aug 4, 2014 Iowa
    Premium Trader

    Based on my limited experience with lambics, I think these are styles that I could really get into if money were no object. I really like gueuze and unblended lambics (maybe because I'm a wine guy).
    KentT, BenHoppy and EvenMoreJesus like this.
  11. HopsDubosc

    HopsDubosc Disciple (318) Apr 24, 2015 Vermont

    Yes. Rarely buy 'em in the States though. Twice a year my buddy visits from Europe... looking forward to the next time.
  12. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (834) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    This may seem like splitting hairs, but here are a couple things:

    1) Sour beer produced outside of Belgium should never be called lambic, even if the Methode Traditionnelle is adhered to. That's not to say that it isn't a good/great product. It's just not lambic.

    2) Although Lindemans is a member of HORAL, I would not consider their fruited beers to be a good representation of lambic. First they are blended, which makes them gueuze, and secondly they are Pasteurized and back-sweetened with Stevia. Their Cuvee Rene, however, is pretty good, IMO.
  13. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (834) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    Traditionally straight lambic is served still while gueuze is carbonated. The closest that I've had to straight lambic here in the states is Drie Fonteinen's Doesjel, but there are certainly others that peek their heads out once in a while.
  14. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (834) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
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    Any reason that you prefer them fresh as opposed to aged?
    rgordon likes this.
  15. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,478) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Premium Trader

    I love lambics, as well as brett beers in general. The gueuze are my standards, but maybe I'll get a fruited one for a change of pace. Tilquin is preferred, but I'll also get whatever is handy; all of the Belgian imports are at least 'good'.

    My first love was actually the Lindemans Peche, but from the days before they started back sweetening. With something like peach at least you can get a better sense of the base beer than cherries or raspberries, imo.
  16. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,634) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    With fruit flavored Lambics I've found that for me the fruit flavors recede with age.
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  17. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (834) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    The acidity is very familiar and seems to be what draws oenophiles to sour beer.
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  18. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (834) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
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    Pierre makes some wonderful beers.
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  19. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (834) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    I would agree in spirit. I think the fruit flavors and aromas change greatly over time. I don't think that they go away, but the closer they are consumed to packaging, the more fresh fruit character they will have.
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  20. Harrison8

    Harrison8 Poo-Bah (2,680) Dec 6, 2015 Missouri
    Premium Trader

    Planning out a European trip with one night in Brussels for the sole purpose of drinking lambics, and some very specific ones at that.
  21. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,634) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Same difference then. As for aging a Gueuze, I'm finding I prefer them with a bit of age.
  22. Dweedlebug

    Dweedlebug Disciple (331) Feb 28, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Yes, but "fresh" isn't really what one thinks of as a descriptor for a beer that sits for at least a year before even being bottled. Young, maybe, but not really fresh. Semantic argument perhaps.
  23. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (834) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    Ehh . . . I think that aged fruited gueuzes tend to take on a more cooked or baked fruit character, in contrast to the fresh fruit character of fresher versions. YMMV.

    #23 EvenMoreJesus, May 2, 2018
    Last edited: May 2, 2018
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  24. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (834) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

  25. hopsputin

    hopsputin Meyvn (1,302) Apr 1, 2012 New Jersey

    Can't say I've ever had any well-regarded Lambics before, but I don't actively seek out Lambics. Whether it's because I've never had any good ones, or I'm just not the biggest fan of the style, I can't say. I'll hold my final verdict once I've had a universally praised example of the style.
    Lahey likes this.
  26. tobelerone

    tobelerone Poo-Bah (2,269) Dec 1, 2010 New York

    Yes I like lambics.

    Love lambics! Spending a few days in Brussels last year drinking at Cantillon and Moeder Lambic was one of the highlights of my beer drinking life. Hope to go back in the years to come. Great beer, great cheese, great people. If I come across Lambic and gueuze in the states that's not priced exorbitantly I will buy it. Just picked up some fresh 3F gueuze at hill Farmstead a few weeks ago for 12 bucks a bottle, I thought that price was more than fair.
  27. Dan_K

    Dan_K Devotee (481) Nov 8, 2013 Colorado

  28. WadeBridgman

    WadeBridgman Aspirant (245) Oct 18, 2013 Illinois

    Love em, I think any sour/brett/wild beer gives the palate something to play with. Flanders' as well Kriek Des Jacobins comes to mind
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  29. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,168) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Premium Trader

    Yes I do.
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  30. TonyLema1

    TonyLema1 Poo-Bah (1,674) Nov 19, 2008 South Carolina

    Lindeman’s fruited varieties in small doses
  31. Mothergoose03

    Mothergoose03 Poo-Bah (2,212) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    I like lambics, especially if they are fruited. However, and probably like most of us, I don't buy them very often because they are pricey (even though production costs justify the higher price).
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  32. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (2,062) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota

    I dislike sour beers, so I don't care much for Gose, Berliner Weissbier, or regular Lambics. But I love Fruit Lambics such as Lindeman's Framboise and Kriek. A local taproom almost always has Lindeman's Framboise on tap, and it's great. The 2.5% ABV is nice to have when you need to drive.
    Bitterbill likes this.
  33. Lahey

    Lahey Disciple (358) Nov 12, 2016 Michigan

    I've only had lindemans framboise. I thought it was ok, but probably too sweet for most situations. I think I'd prefer lambics to wines, but other beer would beat lambics out. I need to try more of them to be confident in that statement though.
    Mothergoose03 likes this.
  34. BigJim5021

    BigJim5021 Zealot (568) Sep 2, 2007 Indiana

    You absolutely should try some other lambics. The core line of Lindemans are remarkably sweet and non-traditional given the style. That said, their Cuvée René (and the CR Kriek) is excellent and right in line with the traditional stuff.

    THANAT0PSIS Crusader (763) Aug 3, 2010 Wisconsin

    There seem to be a lot of people in this thread that think lambics are sweet, which may be the norm for things that are accessible in the US, but it is not historically the way of things. Lambics should not be sweet and instead should be dry, sour, and funky, even when fruit is added. Lindemans fruited beers are not good examples of lambic (though they can be tasty in certain contexts, and I consider them more of a fruit beer than a lambic); their Cuvee Rene series is absolutely worth your money and is a great example of what true, unsweetened lambic should be (but it is not the apex of the style). If you think lambic is a sweet, fruity beer, I urge you to try Lindemans Cuvee Rene Gueuze or Kriek in order to remedy that somewhat incorrect assumption.

    Also, OP, I know it's been said, but beers made in the US legally aren't lambic, even though many US brewers like to think that they are. It isn't a quality thing (even though Belgian brewers want to think it is), but a legally protected designation tied to a specific region in Belgium: the Pajottenland. Think of Champagne and how it cannot be made outside of the Champagne region of France (save for grandfathered California wineries) or Scotch, which can only be made in Scotland. Lambic is the same way (and I would argue that despite not necessarily agreeing with the legal protection the term is afforded, Belgium does it much better than the US with entries from Cantillon, Drie Fonteinen, Girardin, Tilquin, and Lindemans being by and large much better than their American counterparts with some notable exceptions).

    I love lambic and seek out as much as I can find/afford. Lambic is basically the only style that I can justify spending excessive amounts of money on because it is an extremely unique, complex flavor experience. I cannot wait to visit Belgium since it's basically the only way I can purchase bulk lambic without paying beyond excessive (more exorbitant) amounts of money.
  36. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,634) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Just as an FYI, the word Lambic has no legal protection outside the EU. No agreement similar to Champagne, Scotch, or Bourbon have been put in place yet.
    #36 drtth, May 3, 2018
    Last edited: May 3, 2018
  37. beergoot

    beergoot Poo-Bah (4,110) Oct 11, 2010 Colorado
    Premium Trader

    I like 'em, just not in a hardcore way.They're a good change of pace and a great way to break me out of style ruts I dig myself into every so often...
  38. AMessenger

    AMessenger Initiate (27) Mar 17, 2018 Pennsylvania

    For my money they are the most complex and interesting of all beer styles.
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  39. NeroFiddled

    NeroFiddled Poo-Bah (10,287) Jul 8, 2002 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    H U G E F A N !!! I enjoy the fruited versions but I really prefer straight Gueuze. OR at least one of the less sweet versions. Frank Boon makes some of the best stuff in my opinion, as well as Cantillon.
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  40. SpruceFish

    SpruceFish Aspirant (201) Jan 18, 2009 California

    I would bath in lambic, if i was ever given the option