This is a beer I've been waiting to have for over a year, since it was given to me by friend/reliable beer gifter Lachie for my 21st. At the time, he walked into the Abbott's and asked for a beer that his beer nerd friend probably won't have had, and was directed towards this, supposedly from the only case of such beer in the country.
As it turns out, this was indeed sage advice.
Hanssens Artisinaal Oude Kriek pours a ruddy pink and attacks the nose with ridiculous amounts of juicy, sharp and tart cherry. There's sherbety sweet hints and some roundness underneath too; semi-sweet macerated fruit provides some aromatic balance for what is a mostly acidic nose, while, with time, some damp wood and sawdust develop to add to the generally enticing pungency. The palate too faces unrelenting attack, this time from a mouth puckering, eye watering, intensely satisfying sourness at the front akin to pure lemon juice, though here, the main player is still tart cherry. This is grounded by almondy roundness, sandalwood and a thirst-quenching wheat fullness, while the finish again produces lingering, refreshing sour notes.
The overall effect here is of an acidic wash that fades in and out of potency, while allowing the more delicate flavours to shine in the middle.
Truly wonderful stuff, and the best of the style I've had so far.