Monday, September 5, 2011

Hanssens Artisanaal - Oude Gueuze

Purchased From: Harvest Fine Wines & Spirits
Serving Type: 12.7 oz. corked and caged bottle, poured into a fluted glass

Oude Gueuze is an entry from Hanssens Artisanaal into the singular and classic style of Lambic beers from which it takes its name (Gueuze or Geuze). The beer pours a chill hazed orange body clouded with yeast and dotted with specks of floating sediment. The moderately-sized nearly white head is also speckled with orange flecks of yeast. The retention on the head is modest and the foam leaves a light layer of lace at the top of the glass.

The nose has an aroma of sweet sugary grapes and a mild fitting mustiness. The slight cellar funk comes from the spontaneous fermentation that the beer goes through, and the 2+ years in the cellar. Gueuze beers are a mixture of "young" (one year old) and "old" (two to three year old) Lambics that are subsequently cellared for an additional year.

The beer is extremely fruity and considerably tart. The tightness of the beer almost pinches the cheeks while you enjoy the beer. Carbonation in this Oude Gueuze is high and has pronounced Champagne-like qualities. Sweet and complex without being sugary or cloying the beer's tart funk and grape-like qualities make the style unlike any other. It's delicious and refreshing and worth checking out. Gueuze beers aren't very common in the United States, and are certainly not a popular style, but are well worth being explored. If you can find any authentic Lambic Gueze I'd recommend it. I'd especially recommend Oude Gueuze from Hanssens, especially for the price.

Final Verdict: A

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