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

Not Rated.
St. Louis Gueuze Fond TraditionSt. Louis Gueuze Fond Tradition

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BA SCORE
87
very good

321 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 321
Hads: 928
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 5.41%
Wants: 19
Gots: 92 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V. visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Gueuze |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: rastaman on 08-03-2002

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 321 | Hads: 928
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 (257 characters)

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. (1,837 characters)

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. (372 characters)

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. (402 characters)

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! (359 characters)

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) (1,151 characters)

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. (417 characters)

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. (286 characters)

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. (443 characters)

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. (213 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
1.49/5  rDev -61.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.25

Pour is hazed deep orangish amber with a good bit of white head. Nose is burnt sulfur, almost like the cooked ash of a firework. Taste is pretty rough, overly sweet and sugar with tons of burnt sufur and burnt out sparkler. Just bad, don't drink. (249 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Has a lemony tart nose. It pours hazy gold with a head that looks like the foam on the sea shore after a big storm – it’s big, fluffy and persistent. The palate is a balance of lemony tartness and light sweetness. It is somewhat unexciting but perhaps a good starter for those looking for a less intimidating Gueuze. (320 characters)

Photo of UrbanCaveman
4.36/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12.7 oz bottle, poured into a snifter at ~50 degrees F.

Appearance: Pours a deep cloudy yellow-amber, and forms a thick white head with good retention.

Smell: Musty hay and funky mildew, with hints of melon, pear, and wheat that seems still green and growing as opposed to golden and ready for harvest.

Taste: The flavors open sharp and tart, heavy with citrus and melon flavors, and the sharpness does not relent as it goes along. Barnyard funk rolls through as the beer progresses, bringing along some wheaten grassiness and sour pear flavors. There are vague hints of pepper and some herbal spices that appear here and there as well.

Mouthfeel: Light and quite carbonated, possibly adding to the sharpness of the sour.

Overall: Quite an enjoyable gueuze, pure yeast ester flavors left unmolested by hops or excessive malt. I will repeat this one. (854 characters)

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

look: Hazy apricot. Foamy off white head.
smell: Smells a little like a sour chardonnay. Some citrus and earthy funk though not as pronounced as other Gueuzes i've had.
taste: Again, not as rich in funkiness as i've come to expect from a Gueuze but very damn tasty nonetheless.
overall: not the best Gueuze but very nice. (322 characters)

Photo of Codyvanvactor
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Just okay. Nothing wrong with this beer, but it lacks complexity. Taste is very strongly sour, almost vinegar like. Hints of citrus. I would not buy it again, but I am glad I tried it. (188 characters)

Photo of SierraFlight
3.74/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Beachwood BBQ poured into footed tumbler. Appearance is orange-gold with some cloudiness, a thin ring of bubbles, and a few spots of lacing. Aroma is tart citrus, barnyard funk, cider vinegar, and some green apple sweetness. Taste is briefly sweet citrus, quickly replaced by tart vinegar and lemon sourness. The funkiness is there, too, but less than the nose indicated. Medium body, thin texture, active carbonation, crisp, drying, puckering finish. (461 characters)

Photo of ONUMello
3.91/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.7oz bottle dated 11/13/13 poured into a tulip
A: Pours a muddy brown color with a thin head that quickly settles, though nice carbonation
S: A bit woodsy/musty with distinct vinegar, grape juice, sour apple and lemon aromas
T: Sour grape, strong lemon, sour apple, a bit of earth/vinegar
M: Light-bodied, sour
O: Always interesting to try a beer with a bit of age but I think I would have enjoyed this better fresher and will try to find a younger bottle. If you like sour, this definitely delivers and is worth a try (520 characters)

Photo of thehyperduck
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

375 mL bottle picked up at the LCBO; best before July 2022 and served slightly chilled. The label says 5%, but a sticker slapped over top claims 6%.

Pours a cloudy golden-amber hue, topped off with an inch of fizzy white head that wastes no time in receding. A modest, bubbly collar is the only remnant, as no lace whatsoever is produced. The aroma is vinous and tart, with distinct notes of green apple, vinegar and lemon pith. Light touches of white wine and oak, too; a little funky, but not particularly so.

Good, tart flavour with a nice pucker. Both juicy green apple flesh and skin come through loud and clear, with sour lemon, lime and white grapes on top of a light wheaty malt backbone. The acidic notes are not as noticeable as they were on the nose, but are definitely still there - particularly in the latter half of the profile, where they are joined by oak and some funky, yeasty notes that remind me of dill. Finishes with a subdued tartness that quickly dries out the palate. Light-bodied and refreshing, with relatively restrained carbonation and a crisp, lively mouthfeel.

Final Grade: 3.93, a B+. As someone with very little experience in the field of lambics, all I can really offer here is a subjective opinion: I find St. Louis Gueuze Fond Tradition to be pretty good value for the price, but it still doesn't strike me as the best that this style has to offer. Recommended as an accessible, affordable introduction to the world of sours; I'll grab another bottle and hold onto it for a few years to see if there are any new developments, but for now I'll just call this a pretty good lambic and leave it at that. (1,641 characters)

Photo of MrBoh
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a crisp amber, with a thin cap of off white soda like head which disappears quicker than it came.

While pouring, initial aromas reminder me that it was a green bottle. That soon faded into fruity notes, mainly Apple. Upon further examination, dusty, musky, very woody , tart apple and a bit of vinegar at the end. Finishes sweet. Very interesting, and balanced, great other than the vinegar smell.

Pretty darn sour. Strong notes of old oak, Apple and something a bit minty. Pretty solid flavor. The vinegar is much less prevelant here.

Moderate to sweet here. Very little carbonation on the tongue, but the sourness provides all the mouth needs.

Not the best representation of the style, but a good buy when you have limited other options. (749 characters)

Photo of MTLDOG
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip a hazy/cloudy dark golden color with one finger of bright white head. No lacing but a good ring around the top. The nose is strong. A musky aroma. Sour apple, white grape, lemon and oak seem to be the most obvious but a little wheat and a little bit of bread. The taste is a wonderful sour and sweetness. Tart big lemon and sour apple. White wine and a burst of sweetness. Very dry finish. Perfect amount of dryness for the style. The mouthfeel was light, crisp and had champagne carbonation that give an added bite. Overall a very nice lambic with good sour notes and a dry finish. Good price for the style too. (633 characters)

Photo of AlexFields
2.62/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On draft. Some rubber and plastic in taste that is really unfortunate. Smells like and really should be a decent budget gueuze but the off flavors make it marginally bad. Never had from bottle, hopefully a lot better in bottle. (227 characters)

Photo of MNishCT77
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle (don't recall the format) from Fri., 01/02/2015 tasting (thanks, Erich and Sara!), dated "120718" (lol), poured into a snifter glass, drank over ~30 minutes (170 characters)

Photo of babaracas
4.16/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque but radiant dark orange, with dense white head settling to a thin ring, with trailing streaks of lace down the glass. Smell: cherry, limeade, hay, barnyard note, oaky, overripe apricot. Taste: sour cherry, lemon segment, soured overripe peach, herbal, oaky, with vanilla, acetic, and hay notes. Medium bodied, sugary beneath the sour and mild funk, then finishing dry with oak and grape skin. Bottled 1/2014. Really nice, balanced approach and flavorful. (470 characters)

Photo of Fatehunter
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a finger of head on a cloudy light straw body.
The aroma is lots of raspberries.
The taste is sour and tart all over the place; raspberry and lemon.
The texture is soft, light and fizzy. Amazing.
An outstanding drink. (223 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.81/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the Tap and Mallet in Rochester, NY.

Pours a slightly dark-ish straw yellow, with a small half inch head, and no lacing.

Smells quite funky and barnyardy, lots of Brett and lacto, big hay, some lemon. Horsey all around.

This tastes pretty similar to the aroma. Fairly mouth-puckering, with a wet haystack flavor, and a little bit of citrus. It definitely feels gueuze-like, but it feels slightly uninspired, and uninteresting. Doesn't seem all that complex, other than a big barnyard feel. It does taste pretty good, though, just wish there was a bit more.

This is fairly light bodied, with a highly carbonated and tart mouthfeel. It's a slow sipper due to the intense sourness.

This was alright, but far from the best sour I've ever had. (753 characters)

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St. Louis Gueuze Fond Tradition from Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.
87 out of 100 based on 321 ratings.