Never before have I dared to taste such a Lambic; I took a risk and dropped down USD $7.99 for this big ol’ bottle of Lindemans Brewery’s (Brouwerij Lindemans) Pomme Lambic. For those that don’t speak the language, Pomme means “apple” so we’re sipping down an apple juice flavored beer.
You can understand my trepidation.
Let’s start with a solid base. What the heck is a Lambic? It’s a crazy little brew style using “spontaneous fermentation,” which sounds a bit scary to me. The beer is exposed to wild yeasts and bacteria which gives it a unique taste. The unique taste stands by itself with a bit of a sour aftertaste, kind of dry with a cider flavor.
“The origins of Lambic beer lie in the working classes of the region some 500 years ago who appreciated a weak, quenching drink that could be produced cheaply and easily on the farm. Since then, the style has diversified to a wide range of styles, strengths, and social classes.” (wikipedia)
When you’re used to drinking a white ale, dark ale, brown ale, mass market or microbrew you may not be expecting the taste and textures of a Lambic. Lindemans Pomme is a fruit Lambic and holds true to the concepts of Lambic style with its flavor and sour aftertaste.
My expectations were very low, I wasn’t a huge fan of the Cranberry Lambic from Samuel Adams back in college so I was planning on fighting this beverage down. Unexpectedly, this Belgian styled beer was nothing like I had initially expected… okay, a bit, but not fully.
I assumed an apple flavored beer would taste sweeter or perhaps sour like a Granny Smith Apple but I wasn’t expecting the full cider taste. Lindemans Pomme actually tastes like cider and very little like beer, almost classifying it as Hard Cider on my pallet but with lower alcohol content, like 4%, it isn’t going to knock you on your ass.
When poured in a glass you could smell the sweet scents of apple and the liquid was a cloudy whitish color mimicking that of an unfiltered white ale. Peering close against the glass like a CSI investigator, I watched small bubbles slowly rise to the surface in small groups of two or three… interesting.
The tartness wasn’t nearly as sour as I had initially expected, based purely on the fact that the bottle had green apples pictured. The taste was smooth and inviting but I cannot say I’d visit very often. One Pomme Lambic is enough for a night, perhaps as an after dinner digistivo or to halt a sweet tooth. I cannot imagine sitting down with a six pack of Pomme Lambic or any fruit flavored beverage for that matter.
A cold glass of apple juice is refreshing but I never have the urge to drain the entire bottle and this remains my position on Pomme Lambic from Lindemans. Refreshing, unusual and something different on the pallet helps to explore the lifestyle of Belgian brews and can help expand the horizons for any beer drinker.
I can safely say, I will not hesitate on my next Lambic from Lindemans. For more on this lambic, stay tuned for our next episode of Everyday Drinkers Podcast where we cover Belgian Beers.