ketchepillar (1172) - Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - AUG 11, 2010
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
RBSG Tasting. Officially the oldest beer I’ve had. 1984. Crazy shit. Really effing crazy. Aroma is corky and old. Seriously weird as shit, cigar ash sour-I love it though. Cheese that fills the sinuses.
rlgk (13371) - Göteborg, SWEDEN - AUG 9, 2010
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
37,5 cl bottle from 1988. At Akkurat, Stockholm. Golden color, white head. Aroma from raisins, rubber, sweetish notes, earthy, sourish and with some yrup. Vinous, sour flavor, sweet fruits, rubber. Very balanced and smooth. Amazing sweetness after 22 years.
Savvy1982 (1705) - Lethbridge, Alberta, CANADA - AUG 8, 2010
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle at RBSG 2010. Pours murky brown, low carbonation, no head/lacing. Nose is mushroom, leather, funk, tobacco, vinous notes, acid. Palate is very tart, mildly oxidized in the mouth. Leather, horseblanket, butter cookies, baked goods finish. Insane that I even got to try this...
gnoff (8740) - Mölndal, SWEDEN - AUG 8, 2010
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
37.5 cl bottle at Akkurat, Stockholm. BB was August something, but the year ws torn from the label. 1988 vintage.
On August 6, 2010
Clear copper color, white head. Acidic, milky, red wine, some dirtcellar, dates, raissin, sweet scent. Swet, sugary, lactic, metalic, acidic taste. Smooth mouthfeel, low bitterness. Dates and raissin aftertaste.
NobleSquirrel (3438) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - AUG 6, 2010
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle of the ’84, graciously opened by the guys at Hopcat, 90 feet underground in an old gypsum mine cum cold storage facility. One of the two bottles opened gave a pop and hiss upon pulling the cork. Poured with a beautiful effervescence. A bottle nearly as old as me... Pours a crude oxidized brown/bronze that is actually quite beautiful, particularly compared to its belabored brother. The nose is funky, acid and sweet at the same time, horseblanket, old grass clippings, fresh rain and yoghurt all comingle. On taste, there is plenty of carbonation to remind you that this is a gueuze. Lemon tart, a bracing bitterness that is surprising. I think the main reason this has done so well is the level of bitterness present. Nice old oak notes as well. I can’t give it a 5, but this is a very refined and magnificent beer.
puzzl (3257) - New York, New York, USA - AUG 5, 2010
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
(note: this is a rating for an indeterminate Eylenbosch bottle that may or may not be the Gueuze. The gueuze rating itself is to come)
Swing-top bottle, green and white label simply says "lambic." Frank Boon things it is the faro, and I am inclined to agree. Muggy, very oxidized aroma, herbal, some dry lemon. The flavor hits with a distinct white sugar/faro note up front, but has a strong, pure underlying acidity, more acetic acid than lactic acid, which makes me think it may be unintentional. Very fruity, fairly uncomplex I feel, some oak notes remain. Sweetness is a bit too much, but this is a very well aged beer for 28 years old.
brokensail (13231) - Orange County, California, USA - JUL 28, 2010
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
I figured this beer would be worthy of review #1000. A huge thanks to Dstructo for not only bringing this to, but sharing it at, Stone Sour Fest 2010!
Bottle from 1982 (gotta love drinking a beer that’s older than I am).
A: The pour is a muddled brown/copper/dark amber color with no head and some minimal carbonation bubbles.
S: The tartness is immediately noticeable, but surprisingly still not in a terribly degraded sense. The nose is quite lactic and pugent, but only a hint of vinegar (impressive for a 28 year old beer). A moderate funkiness that is quite earthy and somewhat barnyard like (hay, wet wood).
T: The funk is surprisingly not as pronounced in the flavor. A bit of musty wet oak, some hay, and a bit of earthiness, but not a huge brett flavor. Good tartness all around, in fact, this is one of the more sour beers I’ve had. The vinegar/acetic quality is minimal, and the tartness is very lactic and lemony.
M: The body is quite light and the carbonation is there, but not overdone, either. Fairly minimal carbonation for what you might expect for a gueuze, to be honest.
D: This is one beer that I’ve really wanted to try very badly and I was so pleased to have the opportunity. And even better, it was actually a very nice beer.
TheAlum (6193) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - JUL 27, 2010
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Sampled at the RBSG Summer Grand Tasting (Grand Rapids, MI). Another ’84 bottle. Pours a murky brownish hue smells like straight pears and bananas. Initial is decent sourness, heavy on the lactic acid end of things. Lighter, pear and apple on the backend. A bit bland and well thinned out, lighter sourness than anticipated with some heavier yogurt, light lactic acid. Brett is decent, funky and dusty but this seems too fruity for me, almost moving towards Banana Laffy Taffy. Interesting, but just not my thing. The cheese and brett are nice elements but the fruity esters are just too big and distracting for me.
deyholla (8114) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - JUL 26, 2010
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Sampled a 1984 bottle thanks to the amazingly generous guys at Hopcat! Poured a cloudy pinkish gold with a thin near white head. Aroma was quite sour with some grapes and vinous notes and some funk definitely came out as well. Flavor began with very tart grapes but the mellowed towards the finish allowing some nice funk to enter in. Amazed I even had the chance to try this.
FlacoAlto (3849) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JUL 15, 2010
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
UPDATED: NOV 12, 2010 1984 Vintage bottle, at In de Verzekering tegen de Grote Dorst; July 2010
It was pretty cool to pass the long closed Eylenbosch Lambic brewery as we drove our way from the airport to this, open only on Sunday for three hours and no other days of the week, cafe. The bottle arrives covered in a thick layer of dust and the cork at the top seems to have a thin layer of black mold / rot to it, luckily most of the cork, including that touching the beer is in prime condition. The beer pours into my straight sided, traditional Lambic tumbler (even with the Eylenbosch brewery markings) with a brilliantly clear, bright, pale gold color that doesn’t show a hint of oxidative darkening. The head is bubbly with a thin, just barely off-white colored head. The beer smells lightly tart as I visually inspect it; a closer smell reveals notes of cork, a touch of cider-like notes as well as a lactic acidity that is not especially over-powering. The actual cork smells like a mossy forest bed. As the beer warms aromas of oak, or perhaps it is the woody cork, become more noticeable. A fruitiness starts to come out more too (though it is nondescript, but seems to remind me of cider or pears), mushroom like aromas also become more noticeable. After thinking about it for a bit I think the fruitiness here really is better described as being from an unripe version of a fruit. Very nice, and very vibrant smelling, you would never guess this was 26 years old.
The beer as it first hits my tongue has a biting sourness to it that is especially noticeable after the soft Kriekenlambik that I just had; big lactic notes, viscously stick to the palate as does some tannins from the oak character (though this last is fairly subdued, though it comes out more as it warms up). Flavors of urea add some extra sharpness to the acidity; there is even a hint of a burn as the beer goes down my esophagus. This is very, very vibrant and fresh tasting considering the age; it is definitely something to marvel over. If this was aggressively funky at one point, then it has certainly mellowed with age; there are still some sweaty, leather-like notes, some woody mushroom flavors and just enough acetone to contribute positively to the flavor profile and complexity. The tannins in the finish lay on the palate with a light astringency that makes you want to take another sip. The texture is made that much more fantastic when you consider the age; light, yet it has a lactic slickness, boosted by oak-tannins, with a light-zippy carbonation, each of these combine to create a superbly drinkable beer.
This is hard to not judge this beer as the perfect experience; an ancient bottle, still so vibrantly fresh, shared among friends, and an exquisite beer, with a visually old bottle that few will have the opportunity to try again (including myself). My second pour of this beer I was able to pour out the last drop because the sediment at the bottom of the bottle was so compacted with age; it only picked up a touch of haze. The hint of sediment adds an earthy complexity to both the nose and the flavor. An outstanding beer experience, one which was unexpected on this first day of my trip.