Another personal first. While The Brew Club members have reviewed Lambic beers in the past, today its my turn! I’m trying my first Lambic beer! I’ve been meaning to try one for quite some time, and so I thought that now would be a good time to do it, especially since we’ve just recently reviewed some cherry flavored beer and some strawberry flavored beers. Again, we like themes here at The Brew Club!
I’m still trying to understand the whole Lambic concept, and so I thought quoting the text on the bottle might be helpful to everyone involved! “Lindemans Framboise is a lambic made from local barley, unmalted wheat, and wild yeast. After spontaneous fermentation raspberries are added, creating a secondary fermentation and yielding a beer of exceptional flavor and complexity.” Whew!
If you’re wondering about the whole ‘spontaneous fermentation’ idea, I was too. Apparently, the fermentation process is done with naturally occurring yeast and bacteria that is found in the local environment, such as the brewery’s own structures, the equipment, or whatever might be floating around in the Belgian air. Real Lambics can only come from Belgium. (Nobody else has those special bacteria floating around) It seems to be a much more random brewing process as compared to the high-tech, super-sanitary brewing process we’re more accustomed to, and so that’s pretty interesting in itself.
First, this thick Raspberry Lambic bottle is triple sealed. How’s that? Well, first you need to remove the decorative, raspberry-colored foil, then you need to pop off the bottle cap, and finally, you need to pull the cork – like a wine bottle! Triple sealed!
Pouring this unusual beer into my unfancy beer glass, the Lindenman’s created a big fizzy purpleish head that at first took up half of my glass! I’m guessing this is a highly carbonated beer! I might have been a little too aggressive in my pour, but I’m sure I’ll survive!
The Lambic itself is hazy which is expected as these beers aren’t typically filtered or anything. Light does shine nicely through the beer and it definitely has a raspberryish coloring to it. There’s also a purpleish layer of foam that remains on the surface of the beer. (Strangely, its looks reminded me of the horrid Wild Blue)
Getting on to the smell, well, it smells like raspberries! Going again to the label, this Raspberry Lambic’s ingredient list mentions Water, Barley-malt, Wheat, Hops, Yeast, and Fresh Raspberries. NOT raspberry flavorings, or natural flavors added, but actual fresh raspberries. Fairly basic, right? Well, the sweet raspberry steals the aroma spotlight and it smells good! Not ‘beery’ (as my wife calls it) at all! Its actually hard for me to pick up anything BUT raspberry in the aroma.
Now for the moment of truth! How does this wacky and wild beer taste? (I’m thinking that for $6 for a 12oz bottle, it better taste good!)
And it does! Its hard to compare this to any ‘normal’ beer, to me it almost tastes more like a cider or even some kind of weird wine. There isn’t any hop flavor, but we know they are in there – its a little malty, but mostly its sweet raspberry flavored. There is something in the flavor that I simply can not identify, perhaps the alcohol itself? I’m left a little puzzled drinking this beer mainly because I don’t have anything to compare it to – yet.
It leaves a very pleasant, if just a little too sweet aftertaste, but otherwise this raspberry lambic is a smooth sipper and I find it hard to put down long enough to get my impressions out! Its good stuff.
So, if you’re looking to try something different, give one of these Lambic beers a shot. I would certainly recommend the raspberry version from Lindeman’s as I found it to be very, very tasty. A bit sweet, maybe a little sticky feeling, but overall highly enjoyable. I’ll see if I can find it cheaper someplace and try a different flavor or three. Still, the raspberry was great and I’d get it again.
I’ve decided to give this wild beer 4 stars not so much because I know a lot about it, but because I found it so enjoyable to drink! Cheers!
What do you think of Lambic beers? Do you have a favorite flavor that you think I should try next time?
Also, if you are interested in learning more about Lambic beers, (I know I am), check out these websites!
- Lindeman’s Farm Brewery
- The Lindenman’s Importer’s Website
- The Beer Wench does a great post about Lambics in general. Great read.
- Thank Heaven For Beer hashes out Lambics as part of their Style Series.
Also, check out The Brew Club’s new Home Brew Shop page!