Greetings from the middle of last week!
If the Icelandic volcano behaved itself and no other misfortune befell me, I should be back from Copenhagen by now, filled with exciting tales of beers I stood in a shed and drank tiny samples of. It'll probably take me a few days to sort through my scraps of paper and turn them into the usual boring scribblings you find here, so in the meantime have some comments on a beer which, last I checked, did not feature in the 324-page festival programme.
Chapeau Exotic pineapple lambic is a particular favourite of Ruth Deveney's and is supplied more or less exclusively to her shop by the importer. It took a fair bit of hard sell to convince me to try it, but I eventually succumbed, having rather enjoyed the sweet and unfussy kriek from the same stable. If you've not tried this you probably won't believe me when I say this, but here it is anyway: this is not an alcopop.
I confess I honestly was expecting an artificial syrupy sort of confection the likes of which Huyghes churn out under their Floris and Mongozo marques. I was surprised, then, to get a whiff of proper dry and gunpowdery lambic from the surface of the slightly hazy honey-gold beer. That comes through a little on the flavour too, but the pineapple dominates. And it really does taste of pineapple: I got that pithy, fibrous taste of real, fresh pineapple. Yes it's sweet too, but in a nuanced way, and the sour lambic notes do a great job of balancing it.
Sadly, the label is totally lacking in useful information, so I don't know what sort of percentage of fruit we have here, nor even the strength (it's 3.5% ABV: I looked it up). All I'll say is: don't dismiss this. If you went "ugh, pineapple lambic" yet don't normally have a total aversion to fruit beers, it's worth looking out for (if you do have a total aversion to fruit beers, hey: you're a bigot -- work on that first). Thanks for helping me see the light, Ruth.
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