Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Mort Subite (Kriek)

Mort Subite (French for "sudden death") was the one that got away, the final beer we didn't quite get to in our wonderful AlesByMail tasting session recently. It's brewed with Belgian cherries and is 4.5%abv.

This is the first lambic beer we've reviewed. It's a style of beer from a part of Belgium, and is distinguished by being spontaneously fermented by being exposed to that regions 'wild' yeast, rather than the scientifically controlled process of normal brewing. This gives the beer a dry, cider-like and sour taste. Doesn't sound overly appealing, but let's see.

Out of the bottle its a fizzy auburn tumult, almost red, with a strong persistent pink head. The nose is a pungent cherry-sherbert yeasty waft, not unattractive although a little alien to a standard ale drinker.

The first sip is a big-style cherry hit, almost akin to 70's cherryade. I'd like to say it's followed by other notes, but the fact is the cherry is so powerful that once it dies, a short drying of the tongue leaves not a lot else.

It's not unpleasant, and does come across superior to some other fruit beers I've tasted. The tart nature of cherries suits a beer foundation, unlike the sickliness of some other fruit.

All in, not a bottle I'd seek out - it comes over as perhaps just a little bit too champagne-cocktail, although as a schnifter after a meal it's not a poor option.


5/10 - Fun and fruity - possibly the best a cherry beer can be, albeit a bit one-dimensional

- The Broadside


  1. You want to try the Oude Kriek - a rather different animal altogether

  2. Thanks John, will try and track down a bottle.