Monday, February 18, 2013

DePROEF & HAIR OF THE DOG's "FLANDERS FRED" BLEND

I try to buy any new team-up collaboration ale Belgium's DE PROEF is willing to make with a like-minded American brewer, even if that brewer is Portland's HAIR OF THE DOG, a well-marketed but ultimately overrated craft brewer whose wares I've found it hard to really get behind. The two brewers put out "FLANDERS FRED" together in 2012, which is a straight-up blend of Flanders lambic (presumably brewed by De Proef) and Hair of The Dog's longtime "Fred" ale. Was it poured together in a big tank, stirred together by a robot arm, and then bottled in lovely brown glass with a cork to then be shipped all over the world? However it happened, it's a very well-done sour Belgian ale that I'm happy I got to try.

"FLANDERS FRED" is a deep golden-orange color. I even pulled out all the stops and used my finest Belgian beer stemware, as you may see from the photo. It has a pillowy, creamy white head of foam. It tastes of both apricot and toffee, with an acidic tartness on the finish that's mildly sour and creamy. Fruit is big in this one, and puckering is the name of the game. It's not a hands-down worldbeater, but I truly enjoyed it and reckon it can still be found pretty easily if you're so inclined. 7/10.

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