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Oud Beersel - Oude Kriek Vieille 2014

Oud Beersel - Oude Kriek Vieille 2014

Beer Club featured in Rare Beer Club

Style:

Vintage Oude Kriek

Country:

Belgium

Bottle size:

750-ml

Alcohol by Volume:

6%

Oud Beersel - Oude Kriek Vieille 2014

  • ABV:

    6%
  • Bottle Size:

    750-ml
  • Serving Temperature:

    46–54° F
  • Suggested Glassware:

    Lambic Tumbler, Flute, or Tulip Glass

Oud Beersel's Oude Kriek Vieille 2014 epitomizes the authentic methods of crafting Oude Kriek, a tradition safeguarded under European protection, ensuring no compromise with added sugar, artificial flavors, or preservatives. In a meticulous process, sour cherries are slowly infused into the lambic, with an impressive rate of approximately 400 grams per liter—setting a standard within Oud Beersel's realm. The result is a sweet-tart symphony where lush, tart cherries intertwine with subtle notes of vanilla and almond.

This extraordinary brew bears a remarkable longevity, with a best-by date extending an impressive 20 years beyond its release. Our focus on the 2014 vintage stems from its entrance into the pinnacle of flavor complexity—a sentiment echoed by the scarcity of its U.S. distribution, with only a handful of the final cases available exclusively through the Rare Beer Club, and no inventory available via further imports.

Pouring a radiant ruby, Oud Beersel's Oude Kriek Vieille 2014 captivates with its modest off-white foam cap and core reminiscent of fine Pinot Noir, exuding a vibrant burgundy allure with deep variations in its hue. The aromatic journey is equally enticing, with deep red fruitiness leading the charge, underscored by the comforting presence of almonds and toasty oak. A delightful interplay of plush fruitiness and complex acidity delights the senses, with each sip revealing layers of juicy tartness and nuanced sweetness.

The hallmark cherry character of Oud Beersel's krieks shines brightly in this 2014 vintage, offering a harmonious blend of bold acidity and rounded cherry notes. A perfect equilibrium between sweetness and tartness unfolds, complemented by nuances of toasty vanilla, almonds, and subtle oak tannins, with a hint of comforting cinnamon adding to the complexity. This Oude Kriek is a true delight to savor, its well-developed profile inviting one to linger and contemplate its intricate flavors. As it continues to evolve over the years, its generosity promises an enduring journey of discovery, making it a cherished gem among cherry beers.

The brewery gives Oude Kriek a 20-year shelf life, which we’re at the half-way point of, so expect it to age gracefully for at least another decade. For pairing we recommend char-broiled salmon, roasted pheasant, seared duck breast with a cherry reduction sauce, cherry-wood smoked chicken, or turkey pot pie. It can even be paired with cherries jubilee or cherry pie for dessert. Cheers!

Situated roughly six miles from the heart of Brussels, Belgium, the historic Oud Beersel stands as one of Belgium’s last bastions of authentic lambic brewing. Its roots trace back to 1882 when Henri Vandervelden, initially a seasonal worker at De Kroon brewery, embarked on his own brewing venture. Amidst fruit-picking seasons, Henri’s dedication culminated in the establishment of his brewery on Kasteelstraat in Beersel, later christened Oud Beersel. Today, the brewery is one of very few to still be employing spontaneous fermentation in this classic brewing region—maturing lambic for up to three years in barrels—which can in turn be blended to go into the brewery’s classic Oude Geuze. For the brewery’s Oude Kriek, our featured beer, sour cherries go through a primary fermentation in lambic, as well as refermentation in the bottle. The local microflora in the air gives these beers their unique fermentation characteristics, and, quite simply, the lambics and geuzes of Belgium are some of the most expressive and delicious beers on the planet. We’re very grateful to have this lambic producer still around.

Egidius, Henri’s eldest son, inherited the brewing mantle, passing it on to his own son, Henri Vandervelden II. Through the decades, the brewery endured tumultuous periods, including World War II rationing, during which innovative substitutes were employed to keep the brewing tradition alive. However, the turn of the 21st century heralded a dark chapter for Oud Beersel, as the lack of a clear successor threatened its closure in 2002.

In a fortuitous turn of events, Henri Vandervelden II found an ally in Gert Christiaens, a fervent admirer of Oud Beersel's Oude Geuze. Determined to revive the brewery, Gert collaborated with Henri, culminating in a three-year transition period during which Gert collected the malting, brewing, and fermenting knowledge and experience that would be needed for such a vast undertaking, restarting one of the last lambic producers. Henri brewed with him during this period—gradually passing on the brewing knowledge the Vanderveldens had accumulated over the past century-plus.

Today, under Gert's stewardship, Oud Beersel honors its heritage while embracing modern advancements and exploring the nuances of spontaneous fermentation. Their Oude Kriek stands as a testament to this legacy, with the 2014 vintage exemplifying the pinnacle of spontaneously fermented fruited lambic. Furthermore, Oud Beersel's innovative spirit shines through initiatives like their pressure-resistant bag-in-box lambic packaging, underscoring their commitment to tradition and progress.

In essence, Oud Beersel's resilience and dedication ensure that the legacy of authentic lambic brewing endures, inviting enthusiasts to savor the distinctive flavors of Belgian lambics and geuzes.

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