837: Liefmans Cuvée Brut

837 - Liefmans Cuvee-BrutName: Liefmans Cuvée Brut
Brewery: Liefmans Brouwerij
Country of Origin: Belgium
City & State: Oudenaarde, Belgium
Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer
Alcohol Content (ABV): 6%
First Brewed: ca. 1937
Price: $10.99

Tasting Notes
The aroma is of sour cherries, with some sweet malt. Taste is tart cherries with a mild sweetness, perfectly in balance. Great with chocolate cake, fruit pie, ice cream, and other rich desserts.

Ricky’s Thoughts

Today is Valentine’s Day! Sheryl said, “Let’s do a Valentine beer.” I was wanting something hoppy, but she wanted to do a “red” beer! So we grabbed a bottle of Liefmans Cuvée Brut. I stare at this beer all the time at Total Wine & More, but am excited to try it. After reading about this beer, I can’t wait! I don’t normally like the flavor of cherries, but they mention tart and sweet. Sounds like me! The cherries sit for 12 months? That is awesome!

She’s right, this beer looks like a holiday beer! Low ABV, but I am sure the sweetness will be enough to share a bottle. Ready to start drinking and get this holiday started. Bottoms up, people!

In the Glass: Well I could smell the cherries as I was pouring this out. Sheryl made a good point… I don’t usually like cherries. The older I get, the more I appreciate the flavor… but this is different. These cherries have been sitting for 12 months. That is absurd. I am sure they have mellowed out, and the beer (an oud bruin) produces a more enjoyable sour experience. The beer appears thick and creamy in the glass, and has a nice thin white head. No lace. Of course, my glass is so full I could barely carry it into the office. But the beer looks enjoyable in the glass.

Nose: I expected the aroma to be a little more sour, but it has a nice malty backbone to it. There are times I will grab a bottle of scotch and think, “This beverage has been in a barrel for 3, 8, 12, 28 years.” 12 months isn’t that long, but to think the amount of attention and dedication that went into this beer helps me appreciate it even more. A second whiff leaves more sour aromas. I do like a good sour, so let’s taste this beer.

Flavor: WHOA! That is incredible. It is VERY complex, too. Sour, no doubt… but very tart. Imagine taking a sour piece of candy, biting down, and the flavor that explodes across your palate. That is what you get here. I mean, the flavor is incredible, but if you don’t like sour beers, stay away. The sour doesn’t last long, but it is there from the time the beer hits your tongue until you swallow.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is fun. It starts sour, then bubbles kick in, and then you swallow with more sour flavors and a nice polished finish. (The burb is quite nice. It brings some of the sour flavor back, but not overwhelmingly so.) Now that I have room to swirl the beer, I am seeing little lace, and a lot of tiny bubbles rushing to the surface.

Also, I will mention that as I drink this, the sour (tartness) becomes less and less intense. That’s not a bad thing as you drink through the bottle, you get several conflicting and complex flavors. Makes a bottle this big (750ml) more enjoyable if you are not sharing. But sharing is what craft beer is all about!

Aftertaste: Those same sour flavors are hanging on, but not as much as you would expect from what your palate just went through. With every the sour becomes less and less evident, but the flavor from the cherries really comes through. It’s a dark cherry flavor, not like biting a fresh one off the stem. That is the flavor I don’t like. Cherry typically tastes like medicine to me. Not in this beer.

I have been looking at this beer every time I walk down the beer aisle at Total Wine. Glad that I picked one up. There is a blue one (I assume blueberry) next to it. That is also on our “list”. We will get to that soon, I am sure. VERY happy with this bottle, and glad that we could drink this to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Hope everyone had a good beer to share, regardless if you are drinking alone!

Liefmans Cuvée Brut – The bottle says: “NA”

The Liefmans Cuvée Brut was wrapped in tissue paper. The bottle didn’t say anything, but the label did. It was listed in several languages, but here is what the bottle said in English:

“Liefmans Cuvée Brut is brewed only once a year, in July. After brewing, freshly harvested and carefully selected cherries are blended in and the young beer is cellared at the brewery. After a slow maturation of 18 months to 3 years, different vintages are carefully tested and blended to create the final result: a complex, deep-red ale with refreshing, balanced tart-sweet taste, strong cherry notes and sparkling carbonation.”

Rating: 5/5

Sheryl’s Thoughts

I’m looking forward to our beer today.  Ricky told me to go pick one out, and since it’s Valentine’s Day, I was looking for something special.  This was pretty much the only choice that would even do.  It came wrapped in a bright red paper – perfect!  It’s an “ale aged with cherries”, as the wrapper says, and a Belgian.  Even better!

The beer poured out dark and thick.  Not black, but dark brown with a nice red hue to it.  Pretty much exactly what I expected.  It smells… like sour cherries.  Also to be expected.  This looks like the perfect Valentine’s Day beer to try today.  Let’s see how it tastes.

Wow, is that tart!  It’s pretty much like drinking a cherry pie.  This one is even more tart than a lambic, if you ask me.  It’s so sour.  But I like it.  If you like cherries and/or sour beers, you definitely want to check this one out.  It leaves your mouth puckered up a bit, but it’s still pretty good.  There’s not a whole lot I can say about it, as it’s a pretty straightforward taste – sour cherries.  This is a yummy beer, and a great one for today.  Definitely one I might consider buying again.  Go out and grab yourself or your sweetie one for Valentine’s Day!

Rating: 4/5

836 bottles of beer on the wall…

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