Thursday, June 10, 2010

345. Hanssens Artisanaal Oude Gueuze

Belgium’s in the house tonight—this is our first beer from Hanssens Artisanaal in Dworp, Belgium. Oude Gueuze pours a clear reddish honey color with a minimal white head that quickly rings the glass, although there is a fair amount of active small, tight bubbles; the nose has a big citric tartness accompanied by some barnyard and earthy aromas—it has just a bit of the funk hiding in the background. Opening with a citric earthy tartness—think crushed vitamin C tablet rubbed in a fresh loam—the tartness slightly fades in the middle, leaving a more rounded vinegar/acetic acid flavor with a slight sweetness. The finish is dry with both a chalky and mineral flavor and feel in the back of the mouth from the return of the citric bite from the front. Oude Gueuze has a light-body, which is further lightened by the bright and sharp carbonation. There is a good deal of tongue curling from the super tart and tangy elements of the beer—it is a puckery, savory masterpiece. While this may a bit too tart for the beginner, it is certainly a beer that we’ll be looking for again—I loved the tang and the curl of my tongue from this beer, and Elli was initially shocked by the tartness, but quickly got behind the flavor. Most certainly a challenging but rewarding beer, and one of the better gueuzes we can recall having—we’re making it a Top 10 Best contender.

From the Hanssens website: “A regulation of the European Community, dating ninety-seven, defines a difference between geuze and old geuze. The name old refers to the way of making a geuze and is synonym for traditional. It has nothing to do with age. The blending of old and young pure lambic is the traditional way of making Geuze. Old geuze is made of one hundred percent lambic beer, which undergoes an additional fermentation in the bottle resulting in the natural formation of foam and carbon dioxide.”

ABV: 6.0%


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