Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sunday Night Suds - Samuel Adams Cranberry Lambic

Tonight's Sunday Night Suds continues the survey of flavored winter warmer beers by evaluating the Samuel Adams Cranberry Lambic.

For those who are regular readers of this site, you are undoubtedly aware that no lambic has been previously reviewed. This is largely because most lambic's are flavored (thus requiring hashgacha in order to be consumed by those who follow the kosher dietary laws). The Samuel Adams Cranberry Lambic is the only lambic which I know to be under kosher supervision and since it only available in the Samuel Adams winter collection mix box I was unable to review it until now.

So what is a fruit lambic? The good folks at Beer Advocate define it as follows:

In the case of Fruit Lambics, whole fruits are traditionally added after spontaneous fermentation has started. Kriek (cherries), Frambroise (raspberries), PĂȘche (peach)and Cassis (black currant) are common fruits, all producing subtle to intense fruit characters respectively. Once the fruit is added, the beer is subjected to additional maturation before bottling. Malt and hop characters are generally low to allow the fruit to consumer the palate. Alcohol content tends to be low. Some breweries opt to use fruit / sugar syrups vs. whole fruits, producing very untraditional sweet versions of the style.
The Cranberry Lambic places a dageish chazak (loosely translated as an exclamation point) on the last sentence of the BA fruit lambic definition. It is overwhelmingly sweet and cannot be consumed on its own. I recall the first one that I had a few years back. It was so strong in flavor that I had to pour it down the sink (and I almost never do that unless the beer has gone bad due to age).

This evening I figured that I would have to take one for the team, while still hoping that the 2008/9 version was better than previous years. I poured mine into a Banks ("the Beer of Barbados") pint mug and sat down to try it with my supper (take out from Gan Eden in Great Neck - high quality kosher Asian food and superb prices). The results were decidedly mixed. I can report that it goes well with with sushi (this was confirmed by my wife's discerning palate as well) although for the life of me I cannot figure out why the flavor blends so well. Having said that, the quaff which I had on its own between the fish and the meat brought me back down to earth quickly and it was barely drinkable as an accompaniment to lo mein and kung pao chicken.

Verdict - if you like overly sweet beer or can imagine the taste of wheat beer + cranberry juice as acceptable, give this a shot. Otherwise, steer clear and be glad that this does not come in six packs.

Samuel Adams Cranberry Lambic is under the Kosher Supervision of the Star-K. To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about Cranberry Lambic, please follow this link -

As always, please remember to drink responsibly and to never waste good beer unless there is no designated driver.

Finally, if you've tried this beer or any others which have been reviewed on the kosher beers site, please feel free to post your comments (anonymous comments are acceptable).

If you have seen this post being carried on another site such as JBlog, please feel free to click here to find other articles on the kosherbeers blogsite. Hey its free and you can push my counter numbers up!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Are you drinking this cold enough? I pop a refrigerated bottle into the freezer, along with a glass for about 20 minutes, pop and pour just before the freezing point. If I time it just right, I'll get ice crystals in the glass as I pour. Ahhhhhh.

Six pack? I'd like to buy a case of this good stuff!