Friday, October 30, 2015

Timmermans Pumpkin Lambicus (7/10)

Timmermans is apparently the world's oldest lambic brewery, which makes this possibly the most authentic of the lambic beers you might try. Timmermans is located in Itterbeek, Belgium, and is one of the official Belgian Family Brewers.  When I found this beer on special at Kenny Road Market, I had to pick up a bottle to try.  I'm a big fan of Belgian beers in general, and am just starting to appreciate the lambic style.

Pumpkin Lambicus pours a very bright and clear amber color with no head and minimal carbonation.  You'll think something's wrong with it when you first pour it, if you're used to the typically very carbonated Belgian beer styles.  There is no head, and no lacing.  Very few bubbles rise up through it, even if you pour it very hard.

The aroma betrays the pumpkin in the beer, mixed with a hint of the typical lambic sourness.

The flavor is surprisingly far less sour than you might expect for a lambic.  It's more like a white wine than a lambic beer.  It starts with a very mild sourness (a Jolly Rancher sour apple candy is a LOT more sour than this).  This is followed by a mild pumpkin flavor (not pumpkin spice) and a mild malt element.  Hops, if present, is definitely taking a back seat here.  This is not a brew for IPA fans.  Finish is very mildly bitter.

Beer Advocate gives Timmermans Pumpkin Lambicus an 82 out of 100 or "good" rating.  Rate Beer gives it an 80 out of 100 overall.  I have a bit of a hard time rating it.  Compared with other lambics I've had, I'd definitely give this an 8 out of 10 - possibly a 9.  Compared with other beers that I've rated 8 out of 10, I don't like it quite as much.  I don't do "half" ratings (like 7.5), so I guess that's my answer... it's a 7 out of 10 for me.  I like it, and I like more than most lambics, but there are other beers I'd prefer to drink.  If you're looking for a good introduction to the lambic style without intense sourness, this may be what you want.

As noted earlier, I purchased this beer at Kenny Road Market earlier in the year.  You may still find it there, or you may need to look around.

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