SpontanKoppi from Copenhagen’s Mikkeller is a lambic by style. To be more specific it is actually the Lambic style known as Gueuze with an odd additive; coffee. The Gueuze is a style of beer originating in Belgium brewed in the Lambic style with old hops and as like other Lambics, Gueuze is fermented with wild yeast. Typically Gueuze beers are bone dry, complex, slightly sour and fervently carbonated. Gueuze is often compared to Champagne for their bone dry astringency as well as their complexity. As a matter of fact, Gueuze is often nicknamed the “Champagne of Brussels”. But as to the addition of coffee, I have a few reservations and worries about this unique twist.
Spontankoppi poured a flowly well carbonation bright gold with a thick and densely packed light beige head that leaves a ton of lacing bands on the glass. A beautiful stream of tiny bubbles cascade from the stem of the glass upwards giving a brilliance to the appearance. The nose has a pseudo typical Gueuze style aroma with the typical sour and acetic notes as well as light floral and grassy hop notes. The coffee is completely undetectable for me and perhaps the strong aroma characteristics of the sour funky Gueuze is to blame (perhaps thank) for that. Taking my first and uncertain sip a light sweet fruit note is soon taken by a nice sour funk and a hint of musty wood notes. The finish isn’t predominantly sour and forebearing with acidic notes but a nice lingering funk and woody note fill the aftertaste. A hint of vanilla bean and leafy floral hop notes are barely noticeable amidst the complex flavor profile. The aftertaste while mild has a definite astringent mouthfeel and drys the palate out. Through all the clashing and complex flavor notes in Spontankoppi I am not able to discern the coffee in neither the aroma or the flavor. But maybe that’s a good thing. I’m sure the people of Brussels would have a few things to say about a coffee lambic. As far as Lambics or Gueuze go this is a rather disappointing effort that lacks the sourness and bone dry finish.
Grade: 80/100Price: $10.50