Saturday, December 03, 2005

Dogfish Head Festina Lente

I've been yearning to try this one for awhile now. It's a lambic brewed by Dogfish Head in Delaware. Lambic is a style that is deeply rooted in Belgian brewing and is VERY rarely produced in the United States. Lambics are beers that are often spontaneously fermented by wild yeasts that get into the open vats of beer. They can also be produced by simply adding these wild yeast strains..such as brettanomyces lambicus and others. These beers often times have fruit added, in this case peach, and are almost undoubtedly quite sour with a funky, barnyard aroma and taste. It's a great style to explore, with quite a history:

I finally pulled this beer from my cellar as I've been anticipating it for quite awhile. The Festina Lente pours from the 750ml bottle a crystalline orange/peach color with a few white bubbles that quickly fall, very subtle carbonation here. Aromas begin with smashed peaches, grapes and citrus fruit along with some vinegar acidity and a really nice barnyard funkiness. Nice and sour...I'm really enjoying the nose on this one. It has that authentic lambic musty, earthy funkiness.

First sip brings a puckeringly tart pale maltiness accentuated by a mellow sweet peach flavor. Vinegar acidity flows throughout each sip along with a nice earthy funkiness. Finishes with a lingering tart peach taste on the back of the palate. Fairly dry overall this is a tasty sour brew, the brettanomyces work their magic yet again. A lushious treat, where each sip has me anticipating the next and wishing I had more than just this one lone bottle!

Mouthfeel is fairly light and smooth with a really mellow carbonation that I actually like. There's just enough to give a nice tingle on the way down and making it easy to enjoy. A well done stab at a lambic by Sam and Dogfish Head here...I like the addition of peaches as it makes this unique to any other lambic I have previously sampled. A 750ml bottle goes down like candy to this wild/sour beer lover. An interesting brew that's worth checking out...I hope they brew this one again. Thanks to clvand0 for obtaining this bottle for me!

Overall I gave this lambic a 4.15 out of 5. A lovely rendition of the style.

Sam and Dogfish are always up to something good! Check 'em at www.dogfish.com

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