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04-12-2010, 00:41
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I’ve decided to make a weekend of Open It! (http://www.pencilandspoon.com/2010/10/announcing-open-it.html) and get through a few of the nice bottles which are in the beer cupboard (http://www.beercupboard.com/2010/12/03/mark-dredge-markdredge/). Following the action on twitter (http://twitter.com/#!/search?q=%23openit), it seems I’m not the only one taking full advantage and getting stuck into some of those beers which were gathering dust.

I’ve had the Marble Decadence Kriek (http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/marble-decadence-kriek/119556/) for ages. It’s just been sitting in the cupboard with no real to-be-opened occasion hanging around its shoulders. It’s an 8.7% imperial stout blended with kriek, a sour cherry beer (I was told what kriek it was but my booze-addled brain has completely forgotten). They also do a straight-up Decadence (http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/marble-decadence/82621/), which I’ve got but haven’t opened, and one blended with Frambozen (http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/marble-decadence-frambozen/118322/), which I had months ago. When I opened the Frambozen the cork nearly blew a hole in my kitchen ceiling, so I proceeded with caution with this, making sure eyes, teeth and lights were at safe distances.

It pours an oily black with a tan head flush with the pink of cherries. The kriek dominates to begin with to the point where eyes-closed this could just be a heavy-bodied sour beer, but if ever there was a case for a beer to be decanted (http://www.pencilandspoon.com/2010/11/beer-decanter-one-for-santa.html) then this is it, as over the space of a couple of hours it evolved and grew into something altogether different.

Starting with sour overkill, at one point I wrote that it tastes like cheap red wine (heavy on the tongue, sharply overpowering berries, tannic) but then it all changed and mellowed and the sour went in and the chocolate underneath came out. By the end of the bottle it’s chocolate, sour cherries and almonds in near-harmony, though still a little cherry-heavy for my taste. It won’t be for everyone, given the sharp tang running through it, but it’s an interesting beer. The true test: would I buy it again? Probably not (give me the kriek and the stout separately). I’d stick to the Special (http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/marble-special-2009/115557/) (which really is special) or try the new US IPA, Utility Special (http://mybrewerytapblog.blogspot.com/2010/12/marble-specials.html), which is currently available. Or the delicious Dobber.

Marble Decadence Kriek: I finally opened it! Now what should I have tomorrow...

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