Day Five - Cuvée De Ranke (Belgium, 7%)
Day five's entry finds me pondering further on the artistry of the blending process, as today's beer is another blend. For this example De Ranke, one of my favourite Belgian breweries, brew and age a sour beer in-house and then mix it with Girardin lambic on a 70/30 ratio.
The lambic dominates the aroma, with notes of lemon juice and oak, and it pours almost still with a frothy head that fizzes away to almost nothing. Many hallmarks of lambic are instantly apparent in the taste, too - green apples and lemons, leather and wood. Sharp tropical fruits - pineapple and kiwi - are in there, too, perhaps a quality of the original De Ranke beer. Yesterday I noted quinine/tonic water as a common flavour amongst sour, oak-aged beers, and it's certainly present here. It actually comes off more like grapefruit in this instance, with the kind of dry, puckering sensation you get when you chomp on the skin of a particularly tart green apple.
Pure sophistication, this, continuing an unbroken run in which I utterly love every De Ranke beer I try.