Alengrin (6017) - BELGIUM - FEB 3, 2018
It is only on rare occasions that a brewery takes on a beer style as difficult and time-consuming to master as Flemish red, so this one immediately drew my attention; named after the original Zulte, which was taken over by Alken-Maes in 1988 and discontinued in 2007, I guess this brewer has been clever enough to recognise that this beer was still in (I guess mostly older) people's memories and decided to wake it from the dead in his own way... Medium thick, pale yellowish beige, regular head, settling as a moussy ring and a flat island of foam in the middle, over a cristal clear, deep burgundy bronze robe with vermillion hue. Aroma of sugared blueberry yoghurt, medlar, Paschka cheese and chocolate spread, butterscotch, stewed red apple, balsamic vinegar heavily softened by brown sugar, passion fruit jam, fresh oak wood, pork chops with honey sauce, peanut butter, but also freshly ironed cloth somewhere (pasteurisation?). Mildly estery onset, medlar, fig and pear sweetness with an equally strong blackberry and passionfruit sourness positioned next to it, in a rather sharply carbonated environment (a tad too sharp and minerally for the style, really); caramelly malt sweet middle under a drying, very yoghurty lactic effect, tart and drying but still remaining soft and sweet, even a bit buttery. Some subtle and well-placed woody notes in the finish, where the sourness from the onset seems to become a bit more outspoken, moving more towards sour grapes and redcurrant - but all the time, the underlying brown sugary and caramelly sweetness keeps providing balance. A brief, earthy hop bitter note pops up in the end but, as it should in this style, fades again quickly. There seems to be some diacetyl left in this one, but otherwise, the balance of flavours is quite right, with enough rounded sweetness to balance the sourness - too many new (especially foreign) 'oud bruin' beers tilt way too much towards sourness, whereas this style, at least traditionally, needs sweetness as well, like a sweet and sour Asian dish, so to speak. Yet, even with this basic mastery of the sweet and sour balance, this is filtered, pasteurised and rather simplistic within its specific context - far from the most complex 'oud bruin' around, in other words, but clearly leaning towards a classic Rodenbach-, Bacchus- or Duchesse-like flavour profile and in any case incomparably better than what Alken-Maes made of the brand (their version, may it rest in peace, was a simple brown beer, probably even bottom-fermented, with added industrial lactic acid - that says it all, I think). Good start, now let's hope they come up with more ambitious elaborations on the theme, like the Rodenbach Vintages or fruited versions. tderoeck (10983) - Gent, BELGIUM - JAN 23, 2018
21/XI/17 - 33cl bottle @ Horeca Expo (Ghent) - BB: 9/X/19 (2017-1920) Thanks to the brewers for today's samples and my Ghent beer posse for sharing the glasses and keeping my liver sane. :pkraddel (9439) - Antwerp, BELGIUM - NOV 28, 2017
Clear red brown beer, creamy irregular beige head, unstable, non adhesive. Aroma: pretty fruity, bit acidic, caramel, dried fruits, some red fruits. MF: very lively carbon, medium to light body. Taste: lots of sweet red fruits, strawberry candy, soft acidity, some citric acid, bitter touch. Aftertaste: very fruity, bit acidic, vinegar touch, red fruit, sour cherries, little bitter, bitter touch, nice fruitiness.
Pours clear, dark malty brown. Small white, rather stable white head. Smell is bit lactic sour, clearly so, but not overpowering. Tad sweet, with a fruity side to it. Very mild oak. Taste is fruity, lactic, ends very clean. Loads of cereal like malts ( reminds me of Cuvee Jeune Homme's aftertaste ) Tad nutty. Mild sourness. Some oak. Fruity. very nice. Medium MF and Body. blackisle (2940) - Amsterdam IJburg, NETHERLANDS - NOV 23, 2017
Bottle 33cl. @home poured into a teku glass. Clear deep rby brown, average fizzy beige head, sizzles away within seconds,no lacing; intense aroma, red fruits, brett, balsamico, light wood; taste medium sweet and sour, red fruits, krieken, bit woody; sweet-and-sour aftertaste, fruity till the end, bit woody; medium body, sticky texture, average carbonation; a well-balanced, smooth and refreshing oud bruin, very good. JefVerstraete (3827) - Oosterzele, BELGIUM - OCT 25, 2017
Bottle from LDW, Eke. Dark brown colour, beige head. Nose of balsamic vinegar, red fruit, wood. Taste is tart, light fruity, bit metallic. Very nice Oud bruin.
Jerre (3858) - Waregem, BELGIUM - SEP 28, 2017
Thuis geproefd op 24 september 2017 van 33 cl fles (Schotte).
Helder roodbruin met beige schuimkraag die redelijk snel verkleint.
Aroma: karamel, zure tonen, krieken, houttoets. Medium body.
Smaak: lichtzoet en tegelijk wat zuur, heel zacht gebrande mout maar meer karamel, doet zsoms bij momenten aan rode wijn denken, hout- en fruit(krieken)toets, aangenaam en dorstlessend.
Beter dan het originele Zultebier van destijds.