ClarkVV (4619) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - FEB 18, 2005
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
UPDATED: DEC 12, 2006 2003 bottle consumed 2/16/05.
As I pop the cork and take in the vapors rising out of the bottle, I have visions of being snugly nestled in between some sheep, cows, goats and horses, lying on a dry hay ground in a warm, dry barn. Ok, itís not that extreme, but it sure is funky. Band-aid phenols, pure, concentrated brett and light vinegar. Itís not moldy/cheesy smelling as much as it is dry and sharp smelling of yeast, dry leather, rich, oily tannins and acidic sourness. The intensity of the aroma is second to none, as well.
The beer looks perfect, with a wit-bier like appearance, cloudy yet brilliantly colored (pale gold, straw yellow and light copper tinges all swirl about). White head sticks around, laying in clumps as it recedes.
Flavor wise, this beer is difficult to prepare for. Pure unadulterated tartness washes over the palate, sticky dough, and plenty of acid coats the mouth. Perhaps the strangest phenomenon, is the way the acid attacks my teeth, much like eating a raw lemon. I can only drink it a mouthfeel at a time and only after pausing to let my palate recover from the extreme sourness and tartness of it. Finish shows great potential to come, with emergent notes of light cheese (camembert/brie type notes), light wood and earth notes and a touch of sweetness. After letting my bottle breath and serving in a tumbler, the carbonation was perfect; it wasnt sharp or prickly, but was far from flat. For me, this was mind-blowing stuff. I donít know what it is, but this floored me. I kept trying to get that effect from the Girardin Black Label, but it didnt do it. I think I still have a lot to learn about the subtleties of gueuze, but I canít help loving this stuff right now. Iím betting that with age, the extreme acid attack mellows somewhat. Iíll test that prediction when I sample Bucknakedís 1996 bottle.
Yep, the 1996 is about as good as it gets. The aroma has mellowed out and softened a good deal, with tons of dryness working its way in. Barnyard funk is there, of course, but not in your face. Flavor is magnificent though. Is this oxidized? I sure couldnt tell. The effects of age have done nothing bad to it. Would drink this every day.
Draught at Redbones October 2005. Brett is more pungent/apparent. Funk and mold and cheese in the aroma of course. Not nearly as sour/acidic in flavor. Much easier drinking. But during the ballgame, I aint complainin. Good lacing, seems cleaner in flavor. Brett really wipes the palate clean after each sip. Reminds me more of drie fonteinen.
2004 bottle Incredibly funky, barny aroma with light sulphur and tons of tartness. Flavor is rustic, sour, tart, woody and dry. I think the flavor and aroma are as good or better than any vintage, but the mouthfeel seems a little bit looser than the 2003. No need to make any quick judgements though, time will be a better judge.
2006 bottleDelicious as always, nice to know some things donít get worse over the years. Reserved sourness, but still nice and tart. Lots of lacto and plenty of fresh brett. Sulphur, rubber, itís all here. Great texture, not as loose as the 2004 and 2005.
marcus (8000) - Sacramento, California, USA - FEB 15, 2005
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Consumed at the Cantillon brewery. This gueuze poured with a short white head. It had a very fresh taste with a lemony finish. This is one of the only traditionally made gueuzes still around, and it is truly excellent.
pilsnerrogge (2679) - FinspŚng, SWEDEN - FEB 14, 2005
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pale bronze colour, a bit hazy. Dense but small head. Sourish barnyard aroma. Sourish, but well-balanced flavor of unripe apples. Is there some raisin-sweetness in the background?
jeffc666 (1984) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - JAN 28, 2005
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
I have no idea how it has taken me this long to rate this beauty. Pours a hazy golden body with a frothy pure white head. The aroma is rotting wood, a caouldron of cobwebs, dust, sourness (can you even smell sour?), and light leather. The flavor is much the same with more citurs character and the cobwebs really come to the fore. Extremely dry and acidic, light to medium mouthfeel. I could drink this stuff all day. The tartness it leaves on your lips is like a good sour candy without any cloying sweetness.
Styles (2014) - Lincoln Park, Michigan, USA - JAN 19, 2005
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: AUG 19, 2005 Another style added, thanks to Qdog. Very hard to describe everything in this beer. Hazy cloudy yellow. Aroma is sour vinegar. Flavor is very sour lemon, enough to make you pucker. But everything fades fast. Might sound wierd but, would like to try this over ice on a hot and humid summer day.
Pailhead (6021) - Plymouth, Michigan, USA - JAN 16, 2005
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JUN 17, 2007 Bottle: Finally doing a re-rate. Great musty sour lemon funk aroma with some light hints of vinegar. It pours a hazy golden-orange with a small soapy white head that diminishes quickly. The flavor is extreme lemony sourness up front with a slight vinegar flavor in the background. Nice moderate woodiness in the finish with just the slightest hint of bitterness. Outstanding!
11026 (1772) - Alabama, USA - JAN 16, 2005
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle from Qdog!!! Nice little Gueze!!! Sour, foul aromaís!!!! Completely bitter tastes!!!!! This must be just NASTY!! No, this is fantastic beer. Imagine a beer fermented by the wild winds. Whatever lands in the beer makes this beers. Sour, Tart. Really tasty. I like this one. Sour and foul!!! Tart. Lovely!!!
qdog (201) - Cleveland, Mississippi, USA - JAN 16, 2005
3.2 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle, orange with slight cloudiness, no head or lacing, very strong sour smell upon opening, some vinegar, taste is sour as well, taste of vinegar, grapefruit, and leaves a lemony taste at the end. not bad for a lambic
rederic (3228) - montrťal, Quebec, CANADA - JAN 12, 2005
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Hazy golden honey color with a medium foamy head. Winey, acidic, tart, woody, oaken aromas, this is what is all about a real lambic nose. The beer has full flavors of wineyness, quenching acidity, with a little sharpness of small green apples, but less aggressiveness than the last time i tasted it, but through a champagne accent in a dry lingering finish. The real treat!!!!!!!
beerledgend (1196) - Waterloo, Wellington, NEW ZEALAND - DEC 30, 2004
2.3 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
Orange in colour with no head, yeasty sour tatse.
Style I of beer I have never had and would take some getting use to. Would like to be in the bar in Belgium where this is the local drop. Deffinitly not a session beer.