Friday, November 7, 2008

The Session #21: What's Your Favorite?

This month's edition of The Session is being hosted by Matt over at A World of Brews.

The theme is "What is Your Favorite Beer and Why?"

Matt quickly follows the title of his theme with this comment: "Before you say I don't have a favorite beer or how do I pick just one, I say BS everyone has a favorite. "

Well, let me trump your BS with a bigger BS! It's BS that everyone has to have a favorite beer!

How would you determine that anyway? The beer you've been drinking the longest? The beer that you buy most often? The beer that you think tastes the best? The breadth of beer is too vast for that. How can I compare a great lager with a great Flemish red? How would I pick the best one? And why should I?

The title of Matt's blog says it all. "A World of Brews" It would be virtually impossible to select my favorite beer out of all the thousands of beers to choose from. So much of my preference depends on my mood, the season or what's for dinner. So I will choose a beer but don't mistake this for my absolute favorite beer.

I picked Oud Beersel Oude Kriek Vieille. It's not the best beer I've ever had but if you forced me to make a list of my favorites, this one would probably make the top 25. And since I had a bottle that had been in my cellar exactly four years, it seemed like an appropriate choice.

This beer is one of the best Kriek lambic beers I've ever tried. It's got just the right balance of brett funk and cherry sourness and while it delivers a significant "pucker factor", it's still quite refreshing and surprisingly drinkable.

It pours the color of cherry wood with a frothy pink head. The head on this aged bottle is nowhere near as big as the fresh sample I tried. But the aroma is still full of amazing sour cherry, barnyard funk and just a hint of wheaty sweetness.

The flavors have blended a bit over time and sometimes the funk and the sourness seem to be one in the same. The barnyard flavors actually seem a bit muted but the sourness form the cherries is there and builds as your drink it and as the beer warms. It's earthy and the body seems thinner than before but still retains a very champagne-like mouthfeel. The tart cherry lingers long past the finish and into the aftertaste.

At four years, this beer is developing nicely and it's status as one of my favorites is certainly cemented! If you like a sour, traditional but drinkable Kriek lambic, this is one you look for.

Brouwerij Oud Beersel

Check out more contributions of The Session over at A World of Brews. I'll post the exact link once Matt does...
(edit: The link to all contributions to The Session are now here.)

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