Tuesday, 27 December 2016

12 Beers of Christmas - Day Eight - Mikkeller SpontanPassionfruit

Day Eight - Mikkeller SpontanPassionfruit (Belgium/Denmark, 7.7%)

And here's today's second post, bringing us back up to date. To begin, I must apologise for the so-called 'Iceman pour', which was purely accidental and resulted in me spilling what should have been the first mouthful over the counter, further proof that this is a bloody stupid trend. The beer is Mikkeller's SpontanPassionFruit, one in a seemingly endless series of fruit-infused lambics. These beers come from De Proefbrouwerij in Belgian, and if I understand correctly are produced by fermenting wort bought in from lambic breweries in wooden barrels with the added fruits.

The aroma is fantastic, full of vibrant passion fruit but also hinting at acidity. As you'd obviously expect from a beer of this style, the taste is tart, with the usual lemon and Granny Smith apple along with a touch of wheat and oak character. The addition of the fruit is nothing short of masterful, the two elements blending perfectly - the result is a beer which is tart in exactly the way that passion fruit is and incorporates all of the nuances of the real thing, including its honey and floral components and the crispness of the seeds. The best part is the finish, a kiss of passion fruit flavour which is as tropical and sticky as it is dry and wine-like. The ABV is staggeringly high for the style - the Cantillon Kriek I drank at the start of this run was a mere 5% - but there's no sign of elevated booze in the flavour, and its smooth and harmonious throughout.

The Spontan beers may be pricey, and may not involve ol' Mikkell himself doing much more than selecting a fruit adjunct, but on the strength of this I'll be seeking out others in the series.

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