Friek: the name combines the words “kriek” (lambic fermented with cherries) with “framboise” (French for raspberry), reflecting the unusual elements Odell has combined in this award-winning beer. Pours a slightly cloudy blush pink with a thin head. The aroma is full of fresh berries and SweetTarts with a woody edge. In the mouth, Friek prickles with carbonation. More retro candy flavors—SweetTarts but also Zotz Fizzy Candy, which had to be explained to most of the tasters. Friek is not as sweet as its aroma suggests, and the carbonation seems to be responsible for some of the acidic notes, in the manner of champagne. Oak-barrel aging add slight vanilla and woody notes. Is there a hint of almond from cherry pits, or is that just suggestion? Friek carries its alcohol gracefully. As tasty as it is, Friek is not freaky: there is only a hint of the barnyard funkiness one might expect from a wild-fermented, wood-aged beer—which makes this a perfect introduction to sour beer, if less challenging than its Belgian cousins.
Published January 2012, Volume 32, Number 6