Mikkeller: Spontanrosehip (Denmark: Fruit Lambic: 7.7% ABV)

Visual: Cloudy apricot. Moderate white bubbled head.

Nose: Tart. Sharp lemon. Light earthy/ horse blankets character. Perfume. Radishes. Brown bread.

Body: Tart. Cooking apples. Sharp acidity. Cider. Radishes. Lemon sherbet. Light peach. Lightly rustic. Tannins. Light black cherry yogurt at back?

Finish: Earthy. Oats. Drying. Jiff lemon. Cider. Peanuts. Dried apricot. Radishes. Tannins. Grapefruit.

Conclusion: You know, I have no idea what rosehips taste like. At all. If I had to guess from this beer I would guess like radishes. I have this strange strange feeling that I’m not even in the right ballpark. Those of you who have tried rosehips feel free to start laughing now.

You done? Good, we can move on then.

The base beer feel is that balanced, dry and slightly sharp lambic with just enough rustic earthiness that you can recognise from Spontanale. It gives a mouth tingling feel from the dryness and a touch of cider like apples and lemon sharpness against it. Even the tannins elements are definitely still there.

Through that what is new? Well it feels, maybe, more vegetable like in the aforementioned radishes. The aroma is a bit more perfumed in style, and maybe a bit earthier. It is hard to compare directly as for all the similarities, spontaneous fermented beers tend to have some variance between batches anyway.

Visually it is much more cloudy, and you can feel that cloudiness in the texture as well. I would say it is a bit sharper, and it gains an apricot like sweetness. There is more fruit character, raspberry like in feel at times if not flavour. This could be me feeling around the edges of a fruit I have not encountered before, or just effects of the higher abv.

The fruit additions do seem more subtle than in most fruit lambics, it seems to more emphasise the base characteristics rather than add all new ones. Again that could be my inexperience with the fruit showing.

Overall it has enough to feel different from standard Spontanale, in intensity if not really in type. I can’t see anything that makes it that much better than Spontanale though. It is a bit more complex but trades off for a higher cost and abv. It is more intense in most ways, but I personally would not call than enough to pick it over Spontanale. You can make your own call on if it matters to you.

Background: I have never tried rosehip. Ever. I am a sucker for an oddity. So, we all know that the traditional lambic fruits are raspberry and cherry, with black cherry, strawberry and the like being outliers. Rosehip. Rosehip. That is so far off the beaten path that I just had to try it. So now I have. This was picked up from Brewdog’s guest beer selection. Mikkeller does not own his own Brewery, instead he makes the recipes and hires time and other breweries for them to be made. Which is probably a good plan with the wild yeast lambics which can quickly infect other brews from what I have heard