Was walking around in Mt Eden Village seeking various dinnery things for the night, when I noticed a sign in a winery saying ‘go through here for cold beer’, anyway, I’d only been to this place previously maybe once or twice, and years before. Back then I don’t remember them having beer, anyway, they’re a fairly upmarket independent sort of place, so I thought to myself ‘you know, monkey, they just might have some fun beers you’ve never had before’, went inside and found that to my delight I was right, they had a good selection considering how little space the’ve allowed for beer.
Anyway, one of the brews I grabbed was a Bell-Vue Framboise, a raspberry flavoured lambic.
If you’re not familiar with Lambics, well, that would be because they’re so damn weird. They’re only produced in Belgium, and they undergo a process called ‘spontaneous fermentation’ which basically means the vat is left open and any old crap in the air can fall into the soup, this includes wild airborne yeast and bacteria. After being left open to the air for a while in a large open tun, it’s left to ferment in large wooden barrels.
I thought this one looked like it might be a winner, with a lovely illustration of raspberries on the label – the only other one was cherry, I don’t like cherry flavouring, so raspberry it is.
Big champagne style cork & wire cage stopper, fairly ordinary green bottle, but clearly designed to be more reminiscent of a (bubbly) wine bottle than a beer bottle.
It looks okay in the glass, small but sustained head, interesting deep amber, and it smells lovely and fruity.
It tastes awful – very sour, with a nasty medicinal aftertaste and an almost sudsy mouthfeel, and a flavour which is shallow and unpleasant, almost tasting like it’s had some sort of cheap asian candy mixed in with the brew.
I really don’t think it works at all well. Not refreshing, not a pleasant flavour.
In some ways I’m very pleased to finally find that Belgium is capable of producing bad beer, so many of their other brews are just so gooood.