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Struise Dirty Horse

Formerly brewed at De Struise Brouwers
Style: Sour/Wild Ale
Oostvleteren, Belgium
Serve in Snifter, Tulip, Tumbler


on tap


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RATINGS: 180   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.19/5   EST. CALORIES: 210   ABV: 7%
Starting with a Lambic grist bill composed of 70% barley malt and 30% unmalted wheat. No yeast was artificially added to the wort, but was exposed for two days to the open air in one of our plastic tunnels at the Noordhoek Ostrich Farm. First fermentation took place in second hand sherry oak casks for six weeks. 200 grams of Northern cherries per litre and the Roeseleire yeast strain were added after six months, provoking a new fermentation process. Eight months later, we pumped over the young ale to oak casks and let it mature for another 3 years. This project was realized after a tasting of the same recipe Urbain once made 20 years ago and was barrel aging in his garage in De Panne eversince and while he was in Africa and forgot all about it. As this is a very limited version, this ale will not be suitable for export but rather for sale at the farm when available.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
lilannie (384) - Adamstown, Maryland, USA - JUN 14, 2008
UPDATED: JUL 19, 2008 Shared by Urbain at Struise farm.
Served from a decanter.
Aroma: horse blanket, Rodenbach yeast, earthiness, apples, minerals, light sour cherries, sourness, and some grapefruit
Appearance: Semi-bright, semi-hazy deep red
Flavor: sour and acidic, sour apples, hay, woodiness, some tart cherries, fresh pears as it warmed
Palate: smooth but sharp and acidic
Overall: a wonderful beer, really blooms as it warms. Fabulous

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
3fourths (9137) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - JUN 14, 2008
UPDATED: SEP 26, 2012 Shared by Urbain at Struise farm. Color is rusty red cedar with light haze but mostly clear, and a medium dark tan head. Nose is downright amazing hybrid of the flemish red Rodenbach yeast, minerally, earthy apples and funky toast, mixed with a true lambic farmhouse/barnyard funky brett and lacto note. Fresh cedar and oak all around, very rich and tart. Sour and acidic... downright awesome acidity, not simply acidic but incredibly flavorful cedar wood and sour apple cider vinegar, and full bodied and rich on the palate. Outstanding.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
JoeinDahlem (1452) - Berlin, Berlin, GERMANY - JUN 10, 2008
Thanks to Urbain and the Struise guys for sharing this jewel. This was the five-year old batch from a wicked-fat decanter. The beer looks semi-bright, semi-hazy with just a few sparse bubbles. Incredibly fruity nose with lambic-like overtones, old red wine, sour apple must, grapefruit and lemon, sour cherry notes in backdrop. Flavor was intense, tart and juicy, but without feeling extreme in any direction. The Rodenbach character is there, teasing out the tart cherry and leaving a juicy impression that coats the tongue and tickles the throat. The acidity feels light in the mouth, but it blossoms in the belly, stoking your hunger like a "cat clawing the inside of your stomach," as someone said. In other words, a great aperitif. The centerpiece of an enjoyable afternoon.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
ygtbsm94 (12) - Blacksburg, Virginia, USA - JUN 7, 2008
Wow!!! This is one of hell of a Sour/Lambic. Shared a decanter of this 5 year old Horse with Urbain, Peter, Phil, and Joe at the Struise Farm. Pours into the glass as an orange/hazy color with hardly any head. This is where fun begins; the aroma was fruity and vinous with a hint of cherry, along with a light hint of wood. Flavor is a light cherry goodness, while remaining lightly vinous, lightly acidic, along with a light hint of wood; an exceptionally complex brew. The balance of this stunning sour and intermixing of sweet and sour flavors, with an underlying hint of cherry is just superb! Perfectly smooth light body and juicy funk to balance the sourness. Absolutely a world class beer and one that I would love to try again; words canít do this brew justice! Thanks Urbain for this rare treat.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
omhper (23428) - TyresŲ, SWEDEN - MAY 30, 2008
Served from jug at the Struise farm. Cloudy dark amber, minimal head. Aroma of vinegar and hay. Tart with some malt sweetness. Hugely complex flavour of horse blanket, lemon and black currant. Midly oaky. A 5y/o sample waslivelier and spritzier than the 25 y/o sample that had more juiciness. Simply fantastic!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
MIBRomeo (2570) - Wisconsin, USA - MAY 18, 2008
UPDATED: FEB 19, 2010 I tried a 2 year old next to a 22year old... WOW... they are almost different beers with age. The 22yr old was my favorite so mellow and easy to drink, while the younger was much more active and assertive on the palate. Both are fantastic. Definite wet blanket, leather, earthy, some light sour fruits as well. I really enjoyed this.. Thanks to Urbain & Carlo...

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
toccata (70) - grembergen, BELGIUM - APR 13, 2008
Surprize at Deca, A very rare beer from struise, served from a jugg. Hazy lambik like color with orange glow and small white head. In the nose there is a fine malty tartness and hints of unripe fruits. Also sensations notissable of barnyard, wood and fresh herbs. Taste is refreshing and very complex. It has hints of leather, wood, old lambic and cherry. The aftertaste has the wiseness of an old beer and the soft fruits sensations that ballances the whole lot. I guess I had my lucky day, it was well worth driving to Deca in West-Flanders to buy some cases of Pannepot. Thank you Urbain and Carlo for letting me taste this crazy Dirty Horse beer.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 18/20
cgarvieuk (21581) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - APR 8, 2008
Oh my oh My where do i start. HUGE thanks to Urbain for letting me try this at the Struise Farm... Wonderfully subdued red/brown colour... Complex lambic fruity Cherry nose ... Some sweetness behind the tart woody complex woody maltyness and just a touch of sherry... I couldnt identify it as cherry but its definitly packed full of fruit and some metalic blood tones ... Sour Ales are not my normal choice... but the complexity won me over in many ways... Iíd not drink it regularly but id jump at chance to have more of this.

As an aside i took a very small amout (in open bottle) away for my wife to try , but she didnt want to It being sour. SO i ended up drinking it 2 days later, Oh i was suprised by how it had kept its complexity and developed a little caramel and oddly lost some of its sourness.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 20/20
harrisoni (17278) - Ashford, Kent, ENGLAND - MAR 4, 2008
UPDATED: DEC 29, 2008 Bottle shared at the Struise Farm with Urbain, Mesandsim and Duff. According to Urbain this has had 1 year of secondary fermentation and 4 years on cask, making it 5 years old. It is orange / pale brown/gold with no head. The aroma is of cherries and a slight almond marzipan. It brought to mind an aged Chianti wine with the red cherries from Sangiovese. Brett and Rodenbach yeasts used on separate primary fermentations means that this beer has great complexity and character. Once you then actually drink it, this lambic quality kicks in. The finish just goes on and on and on. There is some caramel (caramelised cherries, said Duff), but itís not really sweet. Some juiciness in the mouth. The fruit is just stunning. Bit of funk on the aroma. Not any mustiness on aroma. Great acidity on a lasting finish. Phenomenol. This will be on commercial sale from the Struise farm once they have their shop there set up and I for one will be going and buying this. Urbain then gave us a sample of his 20 year old version that the 5 year old is based on. More brown in the colour, but you can tell itís the same beer. Less fruity, but still plenty of vinous cherries. It is like the most perfect red wine. Acidity has preserved it well. More almond marzipan. The fruit is just so stunning and the smoothness of the flavours. Little bit of spice/perfume. Simply, one of the best beers Iíve had. Thank you Urbain so much for letting us try this 4.9/5.0 Its got cherries, raspberries and strawberries. Woody aroma and first flavour, but then this explosion of red fruits, redcurrants. That first hit of cherry/almond is just so stunning, then settles down into lasting redcurranty sourness.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
MesandSim (7117) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - MAR 4, 2008
UPDATED: FEB 24, 2010 A Mes rate: Samples from two 1.5 litre bottles at the Farm.
Some from a 2005 bottle, some from a recent bottling of the original 20 year old barrel that was left in Urbainís garage and finally, Urbain was generous enough to indulge me and blend the two so I was lucky enough to have three different goes at this one. Full write up to come, all I will say for now is:
Itís abut time I stuck my notes in for this one. In all honesty I had forgotten that I had not properly rated it yet until Urbain appeared with a decanter full of it and a big smile on his face list time I was at the farm. Anyway... A beautiful soft red brown colour, just a lovely amber colour with just a faint hue of pinkish red. Every time I have had this the aroma makes my brain dance. The yeasty notes are wilder than a Tasmanian devil, the cherry is amazingly soft and delicate and rounded but so bloody adorable. Glorious bread and cakey notes in the background play a perfect supporting role but they are zingy and tarty as if they have been marinated in some cherry madness. Flavour wise this is up there with the best Flemish sours I have tasted, in fact it probably beats them all. Soft, gentle and brimming with finesse, elegance and such balance. The finish and development in the mouth is nothing short of incredible. Similar to the aroma it makes my head spin like a lovesick teenager. The mouthfeel is equally unreal. Caressed, then puched, then eventually caressed again. Wow. Just wow. Rodenbach eat your heart out.

Following trying the new version of this, not the 2005, the recently brewed version, Iíve had to bump this up. The new version drinks basically like a world class fruit lambic. I make no excuses for my love of Struise, theyíre just out and out the best for me. The three versions I have had of this simply sublime brew are some of the things that have made me certain of that.

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