You might recall that back in January I reviewed Kasteel Cru lager for The Brew Club. If you don’t want to follow the link and read the Kasteel Cru review, back then I gave it four stars extolling the virtues of its “very pale amber colour and a full, fizzing head. A fine hoppy nose that is refreshing before you even taste the drink that’s… really light and refreshing, and ever so slightly sweet.”
Well, thanks to Patrick O’Brien in the comments to my previous review, we’ve learned that Kasteel Cru have introduced a rosé lager. This is a new one on me, so at the first opportunity I was investigating! The Kasteel Cru website (http://www.kasteelcru.co.uk) has no mention of the rosé, there was nothing for it, I had to drive fifteen miles to my nearest stockist.
The lager gets its rosé colour from “a hint of elderflowers and elderberries”.
At first I was sceptical, I know elderflowers and champagne go together very well (there’s a delicious elderflower liqueur called St Germain (http://www.stgermain.fr/) that makes wonderful Bellini’s), but elderberries?
Fruit beers are not uncommon, and I have a couple of friends in my local who drink lager with a shot of blackcurrant cordial, so I guess elderberries are not too left field, bring it on!
Kasteel pours as I recall from earlier pourings, with a full aromatic head that rapidly subsides. I couldn’t detect much elderflower in the nose, but the colour, a gentle hint of rosé pink is clear evidence of elderberries in the mix.
The elderberry is just detectable in the flavour too, the fruit brings its own flavour, sweetness balanced with a dryness that prevents it from damaging the delicate balance of the beer. As I said in my earlier review “somebody’s really done their homework on this one“.
And the better news is that the price seems to be coming down. The supermarket where I bought this were offering both Kasteel varieties as part of a ‘three for a fiver’ offer, that brings this down to the equivalent less than $2.77 a bottle.
That said, I’d still give this four stars, and while I’ll keep a few bottles of the rosé in my beer fridge for visitors, I’ll stick to the original.