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 (14042) - San Leandro, 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 (6487) - 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 (8868) - 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 (4045) - 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.
MeadMe (1513) - Fishhawk, Florida, USA - JUN 19, 2010
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
A: Pours a cloudy orangish pink with a small head. No retention or lace to speak of.
S: Aromas of funky cheese, earthy barn yard funk. Mild floral notes with hints of hay and citrus.
T: Just wow, a real drinking experience. So complex for a gueuze. Citrus and cheese. Earth and cheese. Perfect level of acid, and vinegar. Boldly sour.
M: Light and zippy. Very dry finish.
D: Awesome. Expertly crafted, one of the best beers to ever pass my lips.
Glouglouburp (6103) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JUN 2, 2010
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: JAN 23, 2011
In short: A wonderful fruity complex gueuze. One of the best of the best
How: Bottle 750ml at In de Verzekering tegen de Grote Dorst. 1984 vintage (26 years old!!!)
The look: Cloudy blonde body topped by a long lasting off-white head
In long: Nose is intensely barnyard and countryside but not quite as sharp as most good gueuzes. Not a problem with me. I could smell that barnyard, horse saddle and wet country field for hours. Taste brings together the best of what a gueuze can offer. First, the beer beer feels very fruity with strong notes of citrus fruits and various other tropical fruits. Refreshing and fruity like a fruit lambic (tropical fruits lambic, if such a thing existed). Notes of sawdust, lemon, dried fruits, wet wood. Let’s not forget the expected dry acidity you expect from a gueuze. Full body, lively carbonation. Overall the strong fruity character makes the beer feel less sharp and aggressive than most gueuzes. What a surprise this bottle was. During my second trip to Belgium I hunted more special lambics. Some were mild disappointments, some lived up to the hype. But this bottle of Eylenbosch Gueuze was without a doubt the surprise of my trip. Of course with a 26 years old vintage there’s nothing to say that another bottle might be as enjoyable, or even enjoyable at all. But if there is a place where I would try another one it is at In de Verzekering tegen de Grote Dorst where I drank mine. It is pretty much an accepted fact that they have the best lambic cellar in Belgium. A mysterious wet cold underground cellar. Your bottles come all dirty with the labels eaten my the mold. Nice. So if you find yourself in that pub I highly recommend that you take a chance on this 1984 vintage. I can’t believe one of my favorite bottle ever is from 1984. Crap, that’s old. That’s the year Apple released the firs Apple Macintosh launching the era of personal computers, revolutionising the way we communicate and watch porn.
daknole (10350) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - MAR 16, 2010
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Thanks to Ryan Blanski for this one. Cloudy orange pour. Small, wispy head. Aroma is yeasty, cheesy, funky, leather, barnyard. Damn. Funky and vinegar flavor. Cheesy. Delicious. Mouth watering.
rodenbach99 (3683) - Longueuil, Quebec, CANADA - MAR 14, 2010
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bouteille, dans un petit resto de Bruxelles avec un steak à la sauce béarnaise. La bouteille était sale, elle empestait, mais le nectar était succulent. l’équilibre parfait. aigre, trouble. longueur en bouche exceptionnel. Malheureusement se produit n’est plus brassé.
Slatetank (17) - York, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 5, 2010
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Wow, Thanks to FooFaa for acquiring this bottle for us to share!
Poured implementing the traditional lambic method into wine glasses
A - A mellow golden clouded appearance w/ modest quick it’s there, now it’s gone carbonation that makes a ring of pin sized bubbles the
color strikes me as a caramel sunset
S - A smell that is so complex it is hard to put into words! a blend of sweet and sour grape aromas, oak and floral elements w/ mild funky accents not really off putting at all but contribute highly to the nose w/ a hint white pepper and mild orange rind. There is light herbal hints but the nose also has a gentle aroma of persimmons under the citric aromas
M - The right mix of lemony tartness and sweet pineapple like acidity whcih has balance that outweighs its acid and tannic qualities. The lambic is both light on the tongue and wild w/ fruit notes and light toasted oak texture - the feel is good but leads you right to the taste...
T - Holy Hyena Harpsichord - the Best flavor I could not even imagine a taste this sublime - I did not want it to end with one glass or two or...
A light grape and passionfruit blends with sweet pear and mellow grapeskin flavors, but the acidity in taste is pleasant and layered w/ mild lemon rind and hints of vanilla. The intensity is great but not to the extreme of grapefruits, just delicous citrus delivering both the sweet and sour in one forceful action, the flavor lasts on the palate long after the liquid is swallowed like ripples of pleasant flavor echoing in the taste buds
D - I wish I could say I was exaggerating, but this is hands down the best gueuze experience I could imagine let alone actual have - The layers of taste peel back and beckon for each additional sip the aging has contributed wondrously to the mellowness and complexity yet still retaining the sweet sourness every gueuze fan longs for