From the importer's blog...
SOURTIME AND THE LIVIN’ IS EASY
The 2012 bottlings of our special blends, LAMBICKX and LAMBRUCHA, are in. Since Don is the only person who has ever been allowed into Belgian lambic breweries to do his own special blends, we are talking rare. This is the only shipment for 2012.
Each year, we spend the 1st quarter in Belgium to work with our breweries and to select and blend the lambics we use for LAMBICKXand LAMBRUCHA. We only bottle once a year – prior to April – to ensure that we are working while the weather is cool. Once the weather warms up, the wild yeasts get active and the risk of developing too much acidity becomes too great.
Because these are true seasonal beers with base ingredients procured way ahead of time, quantities are extremely limited. They fly out the door and are offered on a 1st come, 1st served basis. In other words, if you want to order them, hurry up!
Lambics are, indisputably, the “wines” of the beer world. With wine one speaks of “gout de Terroir” because the land so inﬂuences a wine’s ﬂavor; with Lambics, one must speak of “gout de Tonneau“ because each cask (“tonneau”) produces a lambic that matures and tastes different. Blending these Tonneau is such an art that there exist independent Geuzestekkerij (blenders) who buy young Lambic then age and bottle it under their own name.
Lambickx™ is Vanberg & Famille’s brand of hand-selected and blended lambics. Every Lambic with the Lambickx™ name is made from casks personally tasted and chosen by Don Feinberg, one of the ﬁrst importers of Belgian beer to America and founder of the ﬁrst Belgian-only brewery in the U.S. Don chooses his Lambics for their complexity, brilliance and drinking excellence both by themselves and as exquisite accompaniments to food.
Here are Don’s tasting notes for this year’s crop of beers (click image to enlarge):
Source: Private Domain
Aroma of white grapes, sweet apples, fruit, tobacco, honeysuckle and hay. Restrained tartness.Bright, but not acidic, round and soft body, some chardonnay butteriness. Fine astringent finish with hints of quinine. Slightest hint of carbonation. Not quite cask still, but almost!
Source: Brouwerij DeTrochAroma of sweet grass, smoke, peaches, sour apples all spiked with a background barnyard funk. Big, round acidity in the mouth with notes of lemon, tangerine and grapefruit melting to a rich, sour-sweet finish, balanced by the full presence of tannic and wood notes. Slightest hint of carbonation. Again, not quite cask still, but almost!
LAMBRUCHAThis Vanberg et Famille creation blends organic Belgian Kombucha and Lambic from DeTroch. We invented this beer style combining two different live yeast cultures. Lambrucha was named “Experimental Beer of the Year” in the US Open and cited in Esquire as “one of the healthiest beers on the planet”. For the first time, this beer is available on the West Coast. This is the ONLY shipment of Lambrucha this year. Please do not delay.
Don’s notes: Beautiful pale gold color with hints of rose. Aromas of sage, rosemary, cucumber andsea spray come bracingly forward. A lemony sourness greets the palate but is quickly replaced by even more refreshing flavors of pine, mint, rosemary and cedar. A tight, small bubble carbonation cleans the palate completely leaving a sense of tonic refreshment.