Friday, 6 July 2012

Mikkeller Spontankoppi

Good evening all. It's been a while since I did a beer review, and after a quick recce of my cellar I found something quite interesting that deserved the full treatment. It's Spontankoppi, a Lambic from the gypsy brewing supremo Mikkeller (Copenhagen, Denmark). Not content with conquering the world of fruit Lambics with his "Spontan" range, Mikkel decided to brew a new addition to the series, with the unconventional inclusion of coffee. The first time I heard about this beer I was immediately interested in trying it, so seeing it on offer at the fantastic Beers of Europe almost justified the impulse order that I ended up putting through. Will it be another successful experiment from this master brewer, or will it be too "out there" for once? Review after the pic....

Spontankoppi (5.3% ABV) pours a dark golden colour with a short-lived white head that dissipates to nothing in the glass. The aroma is characteristically sour, with effervescing tartness, cooking apples, some honey sweetness and an awareness of the coffee in the background. As with most sour beers there is no distinctive aroma, just the perception of funk and the results of spontaneous fermentation, but on the nose it has quite a lot in common with cider. The taste is pretty amazing and also quite startling, with the coffee becoming much more noticeable in comparison to the aroma, accompanied by the tartness, some sweetness and a light hop character in the aftertaste. The coffee hits the taste buds immediately but isn't too piquant, with the yeast tartness gradually permeating through to act as a counterbalance. Towards the end of the beer, the flavours combine to create a funkiness with a slight coffee piquancy, but somehow this still works and is a welcome shift from the beginning when the flavours are almost separate entities. The sourness doesn't linger in the finish, but there is some light hoppiness and an aftertaste of cooking apples. The mouthfeel is quite light and airy and the beer is moderately carbonated. As with most sour beers, the perception of mouthfeel comes more from the feeling of the sourness effervescing on the palette as opposed to explicit carbonation. Overall, whilst I can't see this taking off as a legitimate beer style, it's certainly a very interesting offering that shouldn't be dismissed as a novelty. The coffee isn't too sharp and compliments the sourness very well, with neither taking precedence over the entire course of the beer. Definitely recommended, give it a go and be pleasantly surprised.

Until next time....

1 comment:

  1. Didn't even know this existed, have to get it!