Another beer from the Bruery, the place that continues to taunt me with membership opportunities not available to those living outside of California. And yes, that makes the Bruery a tease. A dirty, dirty tease. Although if you wanted to sign me up in secret, I promise never to tell. Hint hint. Any-whoo, this is another to add to the list of Bruery beers that I compromised my morals to obtain, which includes: 5 Golden Rings, Marrón Acidifié (a collabo with Cigar City), Autumn Maple, Humulus Session, 3 French Hens, Saison de Lente, Rugbrød, Hottenroth, Orchard White and Saison Rue.
Rueuze pours a crystal clear gold with a thin white head that disappears well-nigh instantly, although the small, consistent stream of small bubbles keep a thin ring on the glass—very thin. It is bright and luminescent, throwing plenty of golden highlights in the light refracted through the beer. The nose is musty earth, oak, tartness, and vinegar pretty much in that order. Flavors start with citric lemon-y tartness and a slight doughy softness from the malt, moving into oak mixed with an acetic tang in the middle—the two play off each other nicely on the tongue. The finish is tart and puckery with some residual sweetness returning after the initial bite. While the carbonation comes across as a bit low, the beer remains active in the glass, although the tartness provides more mouthfeel than the carbonation. In a similar manner, the dry body does have some residual sweetness lurking in the background. Thus, Rueuze is simultaneously soft and bright on the palate—soft from the light malt and body, but bright via the lactic and acetic tang, both of which are exacerbated by the gentle tannic oak bite. The dryness and tartness are in competition with the acetic flavors and softness: each is vying for the upper hand, but neither really takes control. While it could a bit more snap in the finish, it is nonetheless an interesting and enjoyable beer, one that is (or in this case, was) a good contender for further aging. The last pour was the best; the touch of yeast heightened the lemon-y tartness and rounded the whole of the beer. As it warmed, Rueuze hit that gueuze tang and bright bite that the first two-thirds of the bottle were missing—I was left with the small rosettes of bright flush on my cheeks that tell me I’ve found the tart sweet spot. Our final comments are summed up by the picture below: if the yeast culture produces anything even in the ballpark of this one, we’re all winners here.
From the bottle: “Our take on a gueuze-style ale, this intensely tart and funky beer combines three different vintages of our barrel aged sour blonde ale.”
From the Bruery website: “Rueuze is our take on the traditional Belgian-style blend of lambics of different ages. We carefully select a number of oak barrels from our warehouse that have been aging our sour blonde ale for various lengths of time and blend them to what we think is the ideal flavor. this is one complex beer. Notes of hay, barnyard funk, apricots, and even olives play wonderfully with the balanced acidity.”
And here is my attempt to give this beer more life in order to add it to the various other concoctions existing in my domicile.