I liked some things about the Belgian Table beer with cherries that I did last year; the color was a beautiful reddish purple with a cotton candy pink head, and there was a very subtle fruit flavor. However, my main thought was that the beer would’ve been much better if it were sour. For this batch, I decided to double the amount of cherries and pitch only a lambic blend from Wyeast. This batch aged for a grand total of 15 months and yielded around 2.5 gallons.
Appearance: Deep burgundy/purple with an off-white/pink head. Moderately clear.
Aroma: Sweet cherries, plum, dark fruit, with a touch of barnyard funk.
Mouthfeel: Prickly carbonation helps to bring out some sourness.
Flavor: Well rounded cherry with a hint of sour/vinegar and funk in the finish. Surprisingly sweet for how long this fermented. I would have imagined this to be much drier by now.
Overall: This turned out to be a very “mature” tasting lambic, IMO. The cherry flavors were smooth, soft and balanced, almost like a cherry wine. There was some definite funk present, but the sourness just wan’t quite there. I wound up blending 1/2 and 1/2 with some Berliner Weisse that was considerably more tart. That helped a little, and there was so much cherry flavor in the unblended half that cutting with 1/2 Berliner didn’t have a huge effect on the overall magnitude of cherry flavor. I’m not totally sure that if I had kegged this 6 months sooner it would have been better or worse, but I feel like some of the sharp cherry acidic notes faded. Regardless, this ended up also being a small lesson in blending of beers, so that was cool.