Experimenting with lambic is clearly on the rise. After SpontanBasil from Lindemans Brewery (Vlezenbeek) and Green Walnut from Stekerij Oud Beersel (Beersel), now Armand De Belder from 3 Fonteinen Brewery (Beersel) had the honour to present something new, in collaboration with sommelier Andy De Brouwer from Restaurant Les Eleveurs (Halle).
Spanish sherry casks
With pride they presented their < strong>Zenne y Frontera, a lambic aged in Spanish sherry casks. “In these casks rested authentic Oloroso and PX sherry for over forty years,” says Andy on Nieuwsblad.be. “In May 2012, I selected these vessels personally. Armand Debelder then filled them with his illustrious young lambic. After another year of maturation, the assembly was bottled on March 1st 2014, to rest then another 1.5 years in the bottle in the cellars of the brewery. Therefore, one bottle of Zenne y Frontera is 3.5 years work.”
“It’s incredible how the full aroma of the sherry and the strength of the wooden barrels give a sophisticated touch to the typical gueuze character of this beer. The beer has a touch of fruit, nuts and a fresh acid complexity that really comes into its own, if one carefully decants the bottle. I had in my mind an idea of â€‹â€‹how the Zenne y Frontera could taste. The result is even better than expected“, beams Andy.
“It is the first time that the tradition of lambic and sherry is put together. In this respect, this new beer really is innovative. And that actually is not a coincidence”, said Andy De Brouwer. “There are a lot of similarities between the valleys of the Senne and those of the Frontera. In both regions is a kind of microflora that allows maturing in wooden barrels. Both regions have a centuries-old craft tradition developed. In my opinion, Zenne y Frontera is really the missing link between beer and wine.”
In total, Armand made 4,000 bottles of Zenne y Frontera, as an experiment. Because the result is so good and refined, there is no doubt that the beer will become a permanent fixture in the 3 Fonteinen range. For now, you can only taste the beer in Restaurant Les Eleveurs (Halle), but Andy has already received numerous requests from fellow sommeliers to be able to serve it in their business as well. So it looks as though the Zenne y Frontera will be a real gourmet product.
(Source: Ingrid Depraetere, www.nieuwsblad.be)