Beer: Mort Subite Xtreme Kriek
Brewery: Alken-Maes (Kobbegem, Belgium)
Style: Fruit Lambic
Alcohol: 4.3% ABV
It’s hard to believe there was a time I had a serious dislike for the flavour of cherries. Taste buds change over the years, though, and I think it’s safe to blame fruit lambics like the Mort Subite Xtreme Kriek for turning me around. Still, I have a love/hate relationship with lambics and fruit beers — another bias I’m willing to show. However, I’m willing to give anything a try, and so here are my (overdue) thoughts on Xtreme Kriek.
From a 341mL bottle, Xtreme Kriek pours — unsurprisingly — a red colour. The cherry-coloured brew is accompanied by a thick, foamy, off-white head with a reddish tinge. There’s actually more clarity to the beer than I would have expected (it’s quite clear). Carbonation is about medium, and there’s plenty of beautiful lacing as the beer goes down.
The nose is all cherry, very reminiscent of cherry LifeSavers or cherry Kool-Aid. Even there is malt or hops somewhere in there, they’re hidden behind the cherry bomb.
The first thing that comes to mind is cherry cheesecake. Xtreme Kriek is sweet cherry in flavour with apparent bitterness or hops. Of course, the cherry also overpowers the malt. What you have here is a cherry beer — emphasis on the cherry. (Well, the brewery does call it “Xtreme.”)
For cherry lovers, this will be a heavenly beer (my brother fell is in love with it). It’s very heavy on the fruit side of things, naturally, and because of that, I think it’s best in moderation — such as a nice treat here and there. I’ll admit it’s not a style I typically seek in the liquor store, but I’m sold. While writing this review, my notes have been collecting dust for about three months or so, and I suddenly want a bottle to go with the beautiful spring weather I’m currently experiencing in the north (but unfortunately, this isn’t a beer easily found north of 60).
If you can get your hands on it, buy it. Trust me.