Armand'4 Oude Geuze Zomer (Summer) - Brouwerij Drie Fonteinen
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4.75/5 rDev +1.7%
Opened alongside Lente, it was time to see how the second season, Zomer, stacked up. The color is essentially the same, a beaming copper color from top to bottom. Perhaps Zomer is just a shade lighter in hue, and just a touch more cloudy than its older brother. A similarly white, big-bubbled, fizzling head is loud and boisterous after the pour, vanishing to a collar within moments.
There are few beers in the world that smell as wonderful as Zomer (pro tip: Lente is definitely one of them), and each whiff is a strong indication of the complexity that this beer exhibits, and the craftsmanship that went into the blending process. Just an insanely powerful, yet perfectly balanced teeter totter between funky and tart and dry and oaky, and all sorts of those lovely things. Things that lesser gueuze only dream of.
Sweaty funk, tart apples, dirty horse blanket, plentiful barnyard, acidic and sour stone fruit skins. It smells sour, it smells funky, it smells Belgian. Grass, wet hay, and cellar floors outline the wonderfully perplexing aroma as I'm sitting here, trying to pick out the differences from Lente. I believe Zomer is a bit more floral and earthy, while at the same time showing a little bit more acidic tartness. Both are KO's as far as aromas go.
One sip… yes, notions confirmed. Zomer has a beautiful, uplifting tartness out of the gate that has me grinning from ear to ear. Lemons, fresh apples, mild citrus back-end notes and a touch of lesser used stone fruits and maybe even some apricot or light peach notes. Zomer is a fruity haven and there's no shortness of tart or sour, here. Just enough acidity to provide that bite that sour heads crave, without completely obliterating your belly.
Though Zomer is (possibly) just a *touch* less funky than Lente, the funk is still not lost on it. Sweaty oak barrels, rolling through a field of wet, trampled hay where horses once lived. Funky like a wet dog sniffing a damp forest floor, full of earth, grass, and shit you probably don't want to eat. Lovely oak in the finish creates the dry finish that has become an expectation of the style. Nice finishing tartness, drying fruit skins, and residual funk notes.
It's hard to pick a winner between arguably two of the best gueuze out there. I think Zomer was just slightly more adjusted to my tastes, with the slight increase of acidity and tartness, but both beers are really phenomenal. Zomer is a great testament to Armand, possibly the best blender of lambic in the world. While this beer'll run the gamut on your wallet, if you really want to see what gueuze is all about, you should buck up for it, at least once.
09-02-2013 13:59:47 | More by tectactoe
4.56/5 rDev -2.4%
A - Initial pour is a light copper with a massive four fingers of craggy off-white head. The head retention is excellent, and leaves an incredible amount of lacing behind.
S - Funk, some lactic acid, and lemon are the immediately apparent aromas. Subsequent whiffs really bring out the musty funkiness, along with some more subtle aromas of moldy cheese and fruits like pear and green apple.
T - Quite tart, more so than Lente, and way more than Winter. Nice lactic tartness on top of lemon, green apple, cheese, and musty funk. Finishes very tart and quite dry, with a faint residual mineral taste.
M - Mouthfeel has a bit of slickness to it and is surprisingly creamy as well. Quite luxurious.
O - Very nice balance of funk and tartness. Probably the most tart of the series, but by no means tart-dominant. The funk is a nice mix of funky elements (must, cheese, a bit of hay). Another winner in the series.
08-16-2013 23:47:02 | More by warnerry
4.9/5 rDev +4.9%
Thanks for sharing this, Tim!
Side by side with the Lente.
Faint haze throughout the gold and amber body. Quickly forming, tall, and persistent white head. Thin sheets and spots of lacing mess the glass.
Tart and sour aroma, though rich, deep, layered, and complex: tart citrus, grass, earth and rock, body funk, and of course stinging, explosive sourness throughout. All the same aromas are here as in the Lente, but they seem just a bit more faint and faraway. That being said, as this beer's temperature rose to room temperature, the aroma began to open up and came close to matching the Lente.
Taste follows the aroma very similarly: huge sour and tart character, lots of lemon, earth and rock, grass, musty body and funk, and the oak shines through more and more as the beer warms. Wonderful! I still would choose the Lente over this, but they're so close it's really splitting hairs.
Light to medium bodied, though incredibly well carbonated. Spritzy and light yet coating and full all at the same time. A joy.
A (near) perfect gueuze.
08-25-2011 22:52:14 | More by ehammond1
4.38/5 rDev -6.2%
Thanks to James for bringing this to the bottle share during the weekend, definitely the biggest whale I've had in a long long time.
Looked the beautiful part, vibrant orange looking, concentrated fruit type of pour. Looked like a really impressive dipa at times, was that glowing to the eyes. Aroma, super funky, had a bit of that vaccuum belt breaking rubbery aroma, had me a bit worried, as I didn't think this was a desired component of the aroma.
And then it reared its ugly head as part of the aroma. But within a few sips, it was something that while it didn't go away, it did meld and not become so intense or worrying. Really chewy, sour flavor here, lemon, some citric fruit possibly. Almost too intense, really had to search for some of the flavors beyond the gritty, rubbery smell and taste.
Plenty sour, puckering, a mix of super strong cheese and burnt rubber seem to be the prevailing notes.
A damn good gueuze, if you like yours like super sharp expensive musty cheese, this is up your alley. For myself, and most of those at the bottle share, it was a very good beer, with some aspects that were simply too much, specifically, the feeling at times we were drinking a beer in a room where a vaccuum belt just burned up and broke. I'm far from the most seasoned gueuze dude, and if you like the rancid rubber funk, you'll probably give this beer a perfect 5. Thankfully, I got used to it, and the beer continued to get better the more I drank of it.
I'm glad to have tried it and thankful such a whale was broke out.
09-26-2011 21:13:03 | More by Beerandraiderfan
4.1/5 rDev -12.2%
750ml bottle poured into a Cantillon tulip. Shared with schen9303.
Pours a monstrous, frothy 4 finger white head with very good retention. Beer is a semi-cloudy deep orange-peach. Lacing is patchy and spotty with good stick. Head retention and size put this one far above average but it suffers a bit from clarity.
Nose is wet straw, lemon, sharp cheese, and rotting wood. Very robust and aromatic and great complexity. A fantastic lead-up to the first sip.
Opens tart lemon, some yeasty bitterness. Transitions into straw and a massive woodiness in the background. I feel like I'm chewing on dried grass dipped in lemon juice. Rotting wood and a distinct abrasive cheesiness right before the finish which is tart and puckering lemon zest. Aftertaste is tart with a touch of yeasty bitterness. This beer is clearly the "dirty straw" type of gueuze instead of the "cheesy" gueuze.
Light to medium bodied and highly carbonated. Prickly in the mouth and puckering going down. Messy finish with a lingering aftertaste. A bit too carbonated. But otherwise, perfect for the style.
As a lover of the really cheesy type of gueuze, this isn't my favorite. However, its an incredibly well crafted beer with great balance and complexity all delivered with an on point feel. Highly recommended.
08-28-2011 00:34:29 | More by SpeedwayJim
4.5/5 rDev -3.6%
poured into a 3F stemmed glass
as the cork popped the gushing began, didnt lose much but still. it was opened at around 46 degrees. huge head on this, lots of cloud like fluffiness. a hazy burnt golden orange.
slight sour white grape with an underlying sharp funkiness. a bit of cheese. strong lemon.
lots cheese with a muted tartness that hides beneath. very light dry oak. the lemony tartness just seems like it wants to come out but cannot. be it a mix of oak and funk, or just so much body that the sourness just cannot pop out.
excellent carbonation through out, a nice little bite on the tongue. not overly light like some gueuze. shockingly not as dry as i would have expected.
absolutely delicious however i give the full nod to Lente for being everything and then some. this just falls short in the taste. a world class gueuze by all means which really sets the bar all things considering.
10-08-2011 00:06:02 | More by hooliganlife
4.13/5 rDev -11.6%
750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Bottle dated 3/26/2010. Reviewed from notes.
Appearance - Another gusher. Orange and hazy with a big head. Better retention than Lente, but otherwise a similar looking beer.
Smell - Bigger funk to this than Lente. Less citrus, but has more of a distinct orange aroma. The funk is like an aged aged. Very nice and distinctly different from Lente.
Taste - Heavy funk. Much heavier than Lente. Verging on a vinegar acidity. Dry and less fruity than I'd like. Herbal hops in the finish.
Mouthfeel - Dry. Cottonmouth dry, really. Puckering from the dryness, but not really from the sourness. Not as high in carbonation.
Overall - Good, but a step down from Lente. Hefty funk character that actually makes it feel a little sluggish. On to Herfst!
07-20-2012 00:04:17 | More by Alieniloquium
4.45/5 rDev -4.7%
750 ml bottle into several glasses. Tasted next to the Lente version. Huge thanks go to Stakem for busting these out because he felt that I hadn’t reviewed enough Geuzes yet LOL! Well here ya’ go buddy and thanks again for sharing these!
Pours a hazed peach color (maybe a tad darker), with a finger of rich and foamy off-white head. This maintains a strong and robust look, leaving back a frothy cascade of lace which hangs in thick swathes down the sides of the glass. The aroma is bit funk heavy up front, with a musty and earthy quality to it, while an underling acidic tartness gives this a touch of sharpness. Sweet toasted grains fills out the edges of the nose. There is maybe just a smidge of warmth coming out as well.
The taste is zesty and tart up front, which is dulled by a good bit of earthy and musty accents to the flavor. This does get a bit sweetener underneath. The backend of the profile is fairly dry and acidic feeling, which lingers with a good bit of tannic character. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a bit more of a slickness from the barrel that mingles with some overall chewiness to the body. This is also showing some more alcohol in spots than I would have guessed.
While this lacked the bright and refreshing qualities of the Lente, the boldness of the wild yeast flavors and that chewier body definitely brought something new to the table and still kept this drinking rather nicely. I really liked this. It’s definitely a top Geuze for me. Thanks again for sharing these Adam. They were both quite awesome!
08-02-2011 16:57:32 | More by Kegatron
Armand'4 Oude Geuze Zomer (Summer) from Brouwerij Drie Fonteinen
100 out of 100 based on 315 ratings.