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Review by SAP on 08/08/09  
 
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
90 3 11 18 4 9 2009
Best by 16.10.2028; Sampled August 2009
A very careful pour still manages to produce four-fingers of head in my 25cl plus an additional almost two fingers above the rim. The head is a light tan hue and the beer is a grassy, pale amber hue that shows a nice orange-gold hue and a touch of haze when held up to the light. Some light, but nice lacing forms on the sides of my glass as the head slowly subsides. The aroma has a nice grassy funkiness to it that reminds me of a mix of hay, weeds, phenolic soaked cotton, musty damp horse blankets along with a requisite musky, almost dried sweat stench. The sharper notes in the nose are defined by the lactic acid, a hard urea-laced spicing, some phenolic wild mushroom notes. The finish has some nice pale grain and fresh crushed wheat character to it. This is actually on the funky side for a Gueuze, and I must say it is quite nice.

This beer has a nice, solid, almost bracing lactic sourness. This finishes with a nice spicy oak note as well as some tannic woody notes, both of which integrate quite well with the other flavors in this beer. A touch of urea, or cat-pee for the Lambic traditionalist, is found in the flavor. There are some grassy notes up front and in the middle that are separate from the hint of grain character that is left in this beer (though this seems to contribute some grassiness and a touch of pale grain in the finish; not as much as is found in the nose though). While this seems bone dry, some of the notes here contribute a fruitiness that reminds me of sour-apples, a distinct grapefruit note in the finish. The finish has a long, lingering, sort of cotton mouth astringency to it from both the oak and phenolic notes. This is musty flavored but not as strongly so as in the aroma; musky, Brettanomyces notes, and some old sweat soaked blanket notes are found here as well.

My second pour is still as carbonated as the first. I get to drinking this much sooner than my first pour and this literally explodes as it hits my tongue with a aggressive effervescent that turns the beer into foam as it rolls across my tongue. The grapefruit note starts to come out more as it warms, some Klockera perhaps, and there seems to be a nice toasted oak character to the finish now as well. Other fruit notes of ripe, but unsweet, quite aromatic, tart melon and perhaps a touch of pear also become more apparent as this warms and actually turn into quite the juicy fruit character.

I am so glad that my bottle has been cleaned of all the diacetyl that has been troubling some peoples bottles. Pediococcus is a prodigious diacetyl producer and Lambics definitely need time to reduce it back out. I am so glad that this turned out to be quite tasty. Man this is quite good, about as tart / sour as I could want with just enough funkiness to keep things interesting. This is a fantastic example of a Gueuze, at least this particular bottle is; if you are too worried just hold on to these for a 6 months or so (perhaps the international shipping helped my bottles).

Price: $22.00 Served In: Pint Glass