Brouwerj Lindemans "Cuveé René" Oude Kriek Lambic Ale, Belgium (750ml)
*Cellar Selection* This selection is new to the U.S. market, but according to the brewery's Web site, it is the beer they are most proud to create. This is masterfully crafted and perfectly balanced. Whole cherries are added to the base lambic inside oak foudres, then fermented for six months before bottling, resulting in a complex, layered, dried- and spiced-cherry character. Cherry juice, pie filling, baking spice, rose petal, barnyard and light oak dance on the nose and mouth. It's unpasteurized, not sweetened like many of the brewery's other fruit lambics, and referments in the bottle, giving this a dry, pleasantly funky character that lingers long on the finish.
From the brewery: "In order to produce Oude Kriek Cuvée René, whole cherries (including pits) ferment in a lambic that is at least six months old in huge 10,000-liter oak barrels called foudres. After six months, this traditional kriek is bottled in corked 750 mL bottles. Oude Kriek Cuvée René is bottle-conditioned: a second fermentation process which, after a few months, will produce the carbon dioxide to which this authentic beer owes its carbonation and distinctive foam head. Oude Kriek has been brewed by the Lindemans brewery since 1961, renamed Oude Kriek Cuvée René in 2007, and imported into the US in 2016. The brewers blend aged lambic and younger lambic, to taste, and refermentation occurs in the bottle after capping. It is highly coveted by gourmands in Belgium and in the US who lay it in their cellars, sometimes for years. Lindemans Oude Kriek Cuvée René is authentic Oude Kriek, every batch blended by hand."