radiomgb (2686) - Peterborough, Ontario, CANADA - APR 17, 2004
Rating #600 I feel that I am very lucky to have been able to try this. When I was in Europe this past December I wasn't able to find this beer, so when I got home I contacted JorisPPattyn to see if he had any. He did and we were able to work out a trade. Being too expensive to ship from Belgium to Canada I told Joris that I had a friend in London who was coming over to Canada for a visit. A friend of Joris' went to Belgium from London and got the beer and handed it over to my friend Shaun to bring over to me. That was the only way I would be able to get it so it worked out perfectly. Now to the beer.beerhugger (542) - Oshawa, Ontario, CANADA - APR 17, 2004
1992 Bottle. It had a beautiful peachy/grapefruit colour with a long lasting head. The aroma was sour, with tangy oranges, some vinegar and mold. Very complex and unbelievable. The flavour was very tart and sour, with cider vinegar, citrus and apples. Again very complex and beautifully balanced. The finish was pucker dry. This is an amazing gueuze and its a shame that this isn't made anymore. Thanks to JorisPPattyn, Shaun and all of the others in-between in getting this beer safely to me. It turns out to be my first perfect beer. You all made my 27th birthday one that I will never forget.
Huge thanks to radiomgb for sharing this treat! (I can still taste it hours later....) Ok well I'm a neophyte when it comes to rating in general, and especially when it comes to this style of beer. Having said that, I have tried a slightly larger number of beers over the years than I have rated here; so I have probably developed enough of a palate to begin to appreciate this....barely.DonMagi (5593) - bantervile, Bedfordshire, ENGLAND - AUG 29, 2006
Was lucky enough to be able to rate the 1992 edition. Gorgeous orange-amber champagne with foamy/creamy tan head. Sour grapfruit and lemon and subtle spice and musty cellar aromas waft out. Very complex. Tart apple cider vinegar and sour orange citrus emerge from a beautifully balanced body. Very complex. Mouth-puckering dry finish lingers until....well it's still lingering actually. Very complex. Can't get over how incredibly this aged and how annoying it is that it's so hard to find. Did I mention it is very complex. Beautiful. My feeling is that there can only be one perfect 5 for each style of beer, and in my very limited experience I have a hard time imagining a better traditional gueuze. Wow.
Sour lambic, yeasty, fruity light carbonation, super easy to drink, could nose for hopurs, deserves 10 out of 5 as this is the finest beer ever ever ever ever ever ever........ ClarkVV (6839) - Boston, Massachusetts, USA - FEB 15, 2007
UPDATED: FEB 18, 2007 1999 bottle number 07282. Received one from Hildigoltur and Engelsmann, thanks so much to the two of you! Shared with SuIIy and JoshuaB on 2/3/07rotjoch (50) - Antwerpen, BELGIUM - MAY 31, 2011
What to say about the holy grail of gueuzes?? My earlier placeholder review summed up a lot of it pretty concisely: it’s incredibly bright for its age. That is to say, not oxidized/dulled, not softened in its acidity, nor loose/flat in texture. In another word, fresh (though it’s 8 years old). Appearance is pointless to judge at 8 years of age. It’s unfiltered, bottle conditioned and a true lambic, that’s a five in my book. Objectively, it pours a small covering of white head atop a brassy-peachy gold body that is still sparkling at first. Lacing is light to moderate, clarity is high.
Something is so simple and elegant about this beer (and about great gueuzes in general) that I don’t want to ruin it with a rambling review. Suffice to say it has a wonderfully balanced bacteria profile. Quite bretty, but with strong lacto cheesiness and sourness. Lightly oily from pediococcus and acetobacterias, I suppose with a subtle, but very enjoyable funkiness. Acidity is still highly active, making me pucker before my palate can adjust. Fully attenuated as it should be, with a soft, unfiltered texture and tight carbonation (though the carbonation does not last very long at this age). Wet hay, barnyard (yes, it’s there), lots of lacto and peachy fruitiness.
What the 1994 Cuvée Rene would be if it didnt have the light oxidation and some crayon/vanillin-like flavors. Not overly different from some vintages of Cantillon that I’ve had. Strong funk at the heart of it, is what makes my favorite gueuzes (and why I prefer this, Cuvee Rene and Cantillon to 3F). Don’t know if I’d give this a 5 in a blind rating, but it would be up there, I imagine. Special stuff.
1992 bottle sampled at Montreal RBSG.
Deeply mysterious, funky, dry nose veiled in cobwebs, cheese rinds, strong fruity pungency and very light brett. Nice and powerful considering its age and a beer that opens up with breathing.
This one wasnt as brightly flavored as the more recent bottle, and I think I would have given this one somewhere around a 4.5 or 4.6, but I chose not to rate it because it seems pretty silly to rate a 1992 bottle of beer that you’ve never had fresh (relatively speaking), based on a little tiny sample.
Lots of fruitiness, oily aceto/pedio and lots of hard, dry yogurt and cheese rind. Very funky, with all sorts of odd bacterial nuances. Strong mouthfeel still, with only slight, slight oxidation. Fantastic in its own right and having the 1999 puts it in great perspective. I’m very lucky to have had them both.
1989 vintage. second time I hasd this one. opinion still hasn’t changed. This is one of the best things ever brewn. Complex aroma, sour, with sweet notes, very round and mals in taste. Never boring, always there. perfect.
hopscotch (11181) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - SEP 25, 2007
Bottle #6772, 1999 Vintage... This beer rocks!... Murky amber ale. The aroma is an acetic mega-swirl of biting acidity, honey, caramel, aged cheddar, fallen ash or oak, a forty-year-old-yellow-paged book and old baseball glove. In a word; dank! Most intense flavor I’ve ever encountered. Mild sweetness up front with a note of apple. Involuntary eye-squinting sourness on the backside. Nothing balanced about it... no residual sweetness to buffer the onslaught of pungency. Beautiful lemon/orange zing. Full-bodied with a 1%-milk mouthfeel. Finishes delicately sweet with a well-rounded, refined tartness. Oh, so very good. Thanks to boboski for making it possible for me to finally try this beer! BDR (2534) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - SEP 27, 2009
1999 Vintage. Thanks for this one Theis! Utterly amazing! Hazy amber color and almost still as I’d feared from the low fill level. It’s been years since I smelled barnyard that was quite this, satisfying, in a beer. The body starts out with more of this incredible barnyard character and finishes with a dry, citrus like sour tartness. Every sip was tarter than the last until my lips felt permanently puckered. Had carbonation survived, this would have been a perfect 5. heykevin (1281) - Decorah, Iowa, USA - JUL 6, 2003
Goregous aroma. I could sniff this one for days. Strong sour amazingly complex aroma. Flavor is as extremely tart, as the aroma promised. Full of flavor, but an extremely refined and beautiful work of art. Freakin' incredible. My pick for beer of the summer gathering. Thanks to ToddA for providing the star of the summer party! Oakes (18543) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - JUL 8, 2003
UPDATED: JUN 21, 2009 1999 bottling. Cloudy orange-amber. Cheesy, tangy gueuze aroma...yeah, this is going to be good. Rich, earthy, tart depths of passion fruit, lemon, hay and leather. Huge complexity - a gueuze that shows me new things. At this stage of aging, a classic.
Belle Vue Fond Gueuze 1988. Muddy tan/light brown colour. Light funk, cheese and phenols on the nose. Very earthy palate. Flat. Complex and tart with a long finish. This is extra dry and deliciously dusty. 2-7-8-5-18 = 4.0