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St. Louis Gueuze Fond Tradition | Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.

very good
336 Reviews
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St. Louis Gueuze Fond TraditionSt. Louis Gueuze Fond Tradition

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.
Belgium | website

Style: Gueuze

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by rastaman on 08-03-2002

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Reviews: 336 | Ratings: 992
Photo of constantine_272
3.91/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light straw with a low fizzed head that flaired and dissapeared. A thin layer of tiny silky bubbles sloshed around for a while though. A little brownish sediment remained in the bottle. Fruit on the nose with tart green apple. Also smells lightly of earthy grassy yeast with a cold steel metallic note. The taste starts off again with a rush of sour fruit. The green apple mingled with lime juice and lemon zest and pinot frigid and then tingles at the end with a tangy citric acid. The mouth feel is very light but refreshing and crisp. A long texture of sour candy lingers long. Overall very delicious and refreshing.

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Photo of Beginner2
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I get too much of this gueuze and fight it off. So, it is better to listen to someone who knows what they are talking about....
MJ's "Great Beers of Belgium" said "in 1993, the first bottling had a light body; a clean, smooth, very refreshing acidity; and a tart thirst-cutting, spray, finish..."
MJ's 1999 edition gave Gueze Fond Tradition 2.5 stars and said "unsweetened and more traditional in style."

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.14/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Nice color like a peach or apricot. Thin 1/4" white head. Aroma was non distinct citrus and lemon, good sour patch quality.

Taste hit the sour notes, 7 on a 1-10 scale. Clean, takes on more of that peach flavor that I saw in the color, psychosomatic or what, I dunno. Many say this beer sits on shelves in their area, but I've never seen it, had to order it at a bar.

I like it. Worthy. Much better than some.

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Photo of frasergrove
3.56/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Unsure of bottling date, code is 45621. Very clear pale body, thin head. Aroma is mineral predicated, some nuanced wood phenols - but overlying smell is sweet plums, with little to no acidity. Taste has a quick acidic bite, medium body. The acidity lingers a bit, but is a bit one dimensional. Some mineral/iodine flavor that transfers from the nose. An average offering.

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Photo of Leftofthedial
1.5/5  rDev -61.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

2013 bottle. Drank in a blind gueuze tasting along with 3F, Oud Beersel, Hanssens, Cuvée Rene, and Mariage Parfait. This one lost. Big time.

Pour is copper, looks fine. Smell is plastic, burnt rubber. Taste is similar except some tartness and nail polish remover in there too.

Overall pretty much undrinkable. Even worse as it warmed up.

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Photo of BeerDawgs
4.29/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12.7oz bottle with a bottled on date of 7.18.2012

L - Light copper with clarity, and not much head or any lacing

S - Wild funk. Fantastic!

T - Sour and a HUGE tart finish. Almost brings tears to the eyes. Love it!

F - Well carbonated and dry

O - An awesome gueuze available in America for a decent price. I will return to this one

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Photo of dcotom
4.17/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12.7-ounce bottle into a champagne flute.

L - Poured a slightly hazy light golden copper color with a pure white three-finger head. Head lingers for only a few moments before dissipating, leaving no lacing and a 1-mm white ring. Very appealing.

S - Aroma is quite light. There is a little Belgian yeast funk on the nose, with some tart fruit and a hint of cider vinegar.

T/F - Sour apple, yeast, a hint of malt sweetness, finishes dry with a lingering tinge of tartness and bitterness.

O - A very well-crafted beer. Understated, but with some complexity. A nice, light, sour sipper, or would pair well with a variety of foods.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
3.87/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep, clear copper with a crackly, flash in the pan head. Lots of carbonation but no head or lace to speak of. Fruity apple cider notes, a bit of funk and grainyness in the nose. Lemony tartness up front with hay and leather notes. Barnyard funk is a bit restrained, but definitely there. Malt sweetness is perceptible. Low carbonation for the style with a medium to light body. Nice balanced tartness in the finish.

This is a great Gueuze. It’s not as bone dry as most, but still very nice and complex. Worth a try. Would make a good gate-way Gueuze.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.71/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

375ml bottle, ensconced in black foil, with stark white on black lettering comprising the label.

This beer pours a hazy, medium copper amber colour, with one finger of weakly puffy, finely foamy, and somewhat fizzy ecru head, which leaves a bit of surfacing periscope lace in places around the glass as things quickly dissolve.

It smells of sour and musty orchard fruit (red apples, mostly), wet cardboard, a bit of barnyard stench (I mean funk), white wine vinegar, a mild cheesiness, and very subtle bittering notes. The taste is lightly bready, kind of grainy pale malt, a testy acrid funkiness, muddled apple, cherry, and lemon dried fruit rind, soured cooking vinegar, a soft old earthy woodiness, wet black pepper, and more plainly subservient weedy and dead grassy hop bitterness.

The bubbles are fairly low-fi in their genial and unobtrusive frothiness, the body just shy of yer typical middleweight, and smooth, I suppose, if you're acclimated to drinking this sort of thing, but otherwise - not really. It finishes off-dry, the indistinct sugary character more pronounced here than one might be expecting.

Overall, this comes more or less within a short chip shot of being true to style, but in the end, for the lovers and haters out there, it will come off as just too sweet (hey, it even bugs me, a little). Still good and funky, though, which is something maybe more relevant to consider when approaching this offering.

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Photo of Moose90
3.34/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served On-Tap

A — Pours a deep golden hue, darker than others in the style, there is a tall and puffy white colored head on it, some lacing left behind.

S — Smells extremely funky, super yeasty, barnyardy, dry, oaky, acetic.

T — This tastes like horse blanket, that's for sure, furthermore it tastes like a horse blanket thats been on a dead horse, that has been splayed out in the field in a torrential downpour for quite some time. The flora and funk on this is truly unique and powerful, super funky.

M — Medium bodied, effervescent, clean.

O — Pretty nice overall, it pains me to say that this may be too funky for me, a bit too much of a dead wet horse component for me.

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Photo of barczar
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Kinda musty, sweet, fairly vinous aroma.

Flavor is subtle at first, but becomes extremely tart, acetic, lactic, and very dry. Reminiscent of sweettarts, with a hint of barnyard funk.

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Photo of Lucular
3.79/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I was hoping for a lot more from this beer. It was disappointingly bland and unexciting. Not nearly as sour or funky as I'd been expecting. Not bad but nothing I'd seek out again.

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Photo of Premo88
3.42/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12.7 oz. bottle poured into flute

L: peach or apricot, gold-yellow with some red in it; tall head in the flute on soft pour, maybe 1 1/2 inches; clear, perhaps a pinch cloudy but still clear; no sticking or lacing

S: classic farmhouse ale, very tart/sour, lemons, kumquats; doctor's office rubbing alcohol ... not strong

T: mouth-puckering sour, all lemons, very little else ... a hint of medicine/rubbing alcohol, only a hint

F: light, well-carbonated but a hair watery

O: a little too one-notes for me, but it does hit that note nicely, very sour and refreshing in the Texas summer heat ... no fruit character other than lemons; the watery quality and the doctor's office rubbing alcohol are the only thing about the beer not flat out sour

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Photo of Hoppsbabo
3.92/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Lager coloured, nice head.
S: Gueuze smell.
T: A very generic tasting gueuze. Slightly less vinegary than normal. Nice fizzy wash over the tongue.
O: Not my style but refreshing none the less.

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Photo of geodonnokepyo
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 5/22/2014
Pours a hazy orange with minimal head that disappears to nothing. A lot going on with the smell; sweet and tart apple, citrus, and funk. Taste is decent; funky, sour apples, hint of cherry, but pretty subdued due to the sourness. Pretty darn sour and acidic and almost has a seltzer-like quality, mouth feel isn't the greatest. Overall this beer was okay. A little too extreme (acidic/sour) for my liking, but then again that is indicative of the style. I most likely won't get this again though.

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Photo of SomethingClever
4.02/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

10 oz pour on tap

A: light straw colored with good clarity light head that is just a film

S:very lemon and vinegar forward

T: lemons hay and vinegar

M: lively on the tongue not bad medium feel

O: good lambic light on taste but has a nice acidic bite

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Photo of biegaman
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Once its bubbles fade away (which doesn't take long), St. Louis Gueuze Fond Tradition looks just like calvados in the glass. Its flat, amber complexion is clear and contains minimal haze, fairly surprising for a beer that isn't filtered and comes in a bottle caked with sediment at the bottom.

If this your first lambic you'll have a hard time understanding where people are coming from using terms like 'barnyard', 'funk', and 'horsey'. Rest assured that has nothing to do with your sense of smell - this aroma simply isn't that interesting. Only faintly tart, it is reminiscent of a traditional farmhouse apple cider but lacks any real dimension.

And as far as the taste goes, I like my gueuze both less sweet and more tart than this. Fortunately Fond Tradition lacks the corn syrup and industrial-grade honey notes of St. Louis Gueuze Lambic and instead offers far more pleasant flavours of rhubarb, tart apple and wheat crisps. But it's still lacking that searing acidity, irresistible tartness and the little bubbles as small as pinpricks.

So obviously it's still not quite on level with the highest rated (and my personal favourite) brands like Cantillon, Drie Fonteinen, Tilquin, or Hanssens. I'd rank this as a 'second-tier' lambic alongside the likes of Boon and Girardin - very serviceable but not world-class. And it's certainly leagues ahead of charlatans like Mort Subite, Chapeau, Timmermans, or Belle Vue.

St. Louis Fond Tradition is worlds - nay, galaxies - better than St. Louis Gueuze Lambic. But whereas one sip of a proper gueuze will transport me to the cobbled streets of Brussels, this one keeps me square in my suburbia Toronto seat (despite my imagination's best efforts). You won't go wrong buying a bottle of Fond Tradition but you'd be much better served splurging on one of the names recommended above.

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Photo of Svingjo
3.79/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazy golden colour with a minimal white head. The smell leads with a lemony citrus along with a sweet honey surrounded by an apple cider vinegar edge. The apple comes through on the taste along with that lemony tartness. It finishes with a sourness that bites at the back and sides of your tongue. The carbonation is very mild. An interesting little beverage.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.79/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Older bottle from Jasper's
Hazy golden lemon color with a decent sized off white head that dissipates quickly. Big lemony nose with lots of hay grain and earthy funk. The flavor is refreshingly lemon tart with bits of barnyard and rotting silage with a faint acetic component. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a bitter puckering mouthfeel. Not horrible and you can't beat the price.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.14/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear gold with a big then small head of foam that leaves good lacing behind.

It smells sour. ..vinegar like with some fruit and much funk.

It is pretty sour..fruit unidentifiable, vinegar, mild sweet notes throughout, and a very musty funky kick to it.

Light bodied with light carbonation.

Another tasty sour beer that I can get locally. Nice!

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Photo of ajchocholousek
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Into Teku glass:

Gorgeous cloudy deep orange color with a one finger just barely off-white head. The top of the head dissipated quickly, but that last little bit is hanging on for dear life, and grasping for the glass, leaving subtle lacing behind.

The nose bursted out of the bottle and into my nose without even intentionally sniffing: strong, but surprisingly sweet acetic apple, wood, and a touch of cheery. I'm getting a good bit of sweet orange peel here too with just a touch of rindy funk. My mouth is watering.

Perfectly prickly carbonation and a slightly slick, medium body lead the way to strong sourness, along with notes of funky apple, a touch of cherry, acidic lemon, and a bit of wood. I also get a touch of bruleed orange peel in here, and a fairly dry finish that leaves just a little bit of cardboard on the very tail end.

A good bit of booziness and the touch of wet cardboard prevent this from being a truly great gueuze, but I'm still enjoying it quite immensely. As it warms now, I get a note of tobacco. Overall, a lot going on, but I wish it had a bit more oomph and meldedness (is that even a word? you get the idea)

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Photo of Mike_Honcho1
4.44/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Poured a deep orange color, almost like an APA but less pale. This left a finger of white, quickly dissipating head into my snifter.

Smell: Barnyard funk with tart green apples on the nose.

Taste: This follows the nose. Nice tartness with a nice dry finish.

Feel: Nice carbonation and almost sour enough to make the lips pucker.

Overall: I enjoy this brew, my first gueuze and I'm delving deeper into sours.

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Photo of Rutager
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours brownish-gold with a half finger of white head. Nice sweet funk, white grape and a little old wood on the nose. Good tasting but a bit sweeter than I like in a gueuze. This one is bb 07-2022. Maybe some age will dry it out a bit? I'll put my other bottle away for a while and see.

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Photo of Ranz
3.24/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: Copper-orange in my Teku, the gueuze has a head that subsides nearly immediately. It has a great look.

S: Sour Warheads on crack with soured apples. Subtle, maybe perhaps too much.

T: Tart funk to the max. The finish, surprisingly, is very malty yet dry.

M: Dry yet sweet, this is unusual.

O: This being my first gueuze, it's not bad, but this certainly isn't my style. I will continue to seek the next that might truly win me over.

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Photo of Roguer
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Quick notes: cloudy orange brew, minimal head. Very tart and funky aroma laced with citric acid and oak.

Flavor follows: super tart and funky. Lots of woody oak, and a mingling of fruit.

Really fantastic Gueuze.

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St. Louis Gueuze Fond Tradition from Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.
87 out of 100 based on 336 ratings.