From the fantastic Brouwerij Verhaeghe, makers of Duchesse de Bourgogne, Vichtenaar and Echt Kriekenbier – we have a second beer in the Barbe range.
Barbe Ruby is classed as a fruit beer, featuring cherries but in a very different way to a Kriek. It pours a stunning dark red colour, topped by the prettiest pink hued foam.
The aroma comes bursting out of the bottle, and this is where I (at first) felt a dislike for this beer. To me it was all sweet almonds, like those complimentary Italian almond cookies (Amaretti) you get with coffee.
There is an early sweetness, a combination of fruit and malt, which is quickly overridden by a solid and sustained tartness that continue to induce an eye squint at each sip.
And then just when you thought it was over, the raspberries come through with a dry, tart bite that leaves your mouth feeling refreshed and ready to do it all over again. I went from loathing to quite liking this beer, several times over, but in the end I finished my glass and probably could have explored another. But not straight away!