Reigniting a Sense of Wonder
A Review of Young Lambic by Mikkeller
Posted on 7/23/2012 by Chops
When you first embark on your journey through lands of better beer, everything is new and exciting. Your palate is a blank slate and all those rich flavors tingle your taste buds. Once you do gain a level of flavor sophistication, beers surprise you less and less. But occasionally you will come across a beer that reignites that initial sense of wonder. I recently came across one such beer when I visited the Mikkeller Bar in Copenhagen, Denmark. It's called the Young Lambic and boy was it a head scratcher.

Lambics are beers produced by spontaneous fermentation. In other words, they are exposed to the wild yeasts which often gives them a soured vibe. Fruity notes and dry mouthfeels are common. Young lambics are beers that have not fully fermented yet. I have little experience with these brews as it is, and now I sit down with Mikkeller's take on the style. Needless to say, I walked myself right into a ''black hole'' of knowledge and expectation. (pun intended)

In the glass, this beer has a semi-hazy golden orange coloration. It comes with a sudsy white head that dissipates quickly. On the nose, a pure vinegar smell fills the area around the glass rim. It's so precise that it resembles balsamic salad dressing or sweet rice vinegar. I had no idea what to make of this, so I shrugged my shoulders and went in for a taste.

The mouthfeel is what initially caught my attention, which is very light and airy. There is also a crispness to it which I can only assume is coming from the hop profile. I found a savory fruity sweetness resting underneath the sour notes, giving this beer a pleasant balance of sweet and sour. The finish is also very crisp and leaves behind a tart fruity aftertaste. Strangely enough, this beer is actually quite refreshing, even as a soured brew. I could see myself drinking several of these on a hot summer day.

Overall, Mikkeller's Young Lambic is a strange yet tasty brew. I have absolutely no idea now to rate it as a style, so I have to settle for my overall impression. I did enjoy the experience and would definitely drink more. Fans of lambics and sour ales will certainly enjoy this brew, but it's a total toss up for everyone else. It's mild enough for general fans to enjoy, even with the dominant sourness. So if you ever find yourself with the opportunity to try this beer, I say go for it. At the very least, I guarantee it will be a unique experience.

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Young Lambic by Mikkeller
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