Girardin Gueuze 1882 (Black Label) - Brouwerij Girardin
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Ratings: 922 | Reviews: 522 | Display Reviews Only:
5/5 rDev +16.3%
If you like sour beer, and have never tried a Gueuze (pronounced gooze), do not hesitate any longer! Gueuze is a type of Belgian Lambic beer that is made by blending young and old lambics into a new beer, which is then bottled for a second fermentation. Additionally, because of the aged hops, and the wild yeast that are used in the original lambics, the resulting Gueuze is completely unique, and bears little resemblance to most other styles of beer. The taste is often described as sour and barnyard-like.
Girardin Gueuze is made at the Brouwerij Girardin, a farm brewery in the Senne Valley of Belgium. Girardin began in 1845, and is now the largest of the authentic lambic brewers and gueuze blenders left in the valley. At the brewery, they grow their own wheat, and still have a mill that uses stones to grind their grain. They brew Lambic in the winter, and Pils in the summer. Girardin Gueuze is thought by many to be the best traditonal Gueuze there is. I would agree.
Girardin Gueuze pours a hazy, glowing peach color with a light, Champagne style head that fades quickly. The smell is sharp and super-funky, yet clean. It reminds me of wet straw, and cider, it is very rural. This is by far one of the most interesting flavors that I have ever experienced. Tart and sour hit you right up front, but the elegance and balance keep the gueuze really smooth and drinkable. It tastes like green apples, green grapes, earth, the unfiltered yeast, citric fruits, and those peppery edible flowers. It is incredibly refined. The mouthfeel is a little thick and creamy, which is nicely complimented by the Champagne-like bubbles. The finish is still sour, dry, and a little bitter. It leaves you wanting so much more! I want to get on a plane, move to the Senne Valley, and make Girardin Gueuze for the rest of my life. Then, I really could drink this beer all day, everyday. It would never bore me.
You may not think so, but this is an awesome beer for food pairing. Particular dishes can really bring out a whole other side to the Gueuze, and vise-versa. Try it with caprese for instance. The creaminess and milky flavor of the fresh mozzarella will play well with the acidity and sour tang of the beer. Also, the tomatoes and basil share similar flavors with the beer. Mussels and fries, grilled vegetables, and richly sauced cuts of meat will be nice pairings too. As for cheese, try Girardin Gueuze with Delice de Bourgogne. This is a triple-cream cow's milk cheese from the Burgundy region of France. The creaminess will go well with the sour acidity of the beer, much like how an acidic wine can cut through the fat of a creamy cheese.
03-10-2011 03:26:13 | More by KDeLibero
5/5 rDev +16.3%
3rd Edit: I am pleading to all people who drink this beer as an introduction to gueuze, lambic, or sour beer in general: Please revisit it in the future. This beer is so perfect that it can't even be appreciated until the rest of the sour spectrum has been conquered. It is so flavorful yet delicate...walking a tightrope that is hard to appreciate without the experience. I have drank multiple bottles ranging from 1 to 3 to 5 years old and I love them all equally for their own reasons. A couple batches have been subpar (by subpar, I mean less than a 5.0 since that is my rating), but more often then not I reaffirm my love for this heavenly elixir every time I pop a new cork. Pair it with a few slices of Dubliner cheese and prepare to enter a state of euphoria.
2nd Edit: Had a 2005 vintage tonight and thought it was one of the best bottles I have had. Definitely a 5.0
1st Edit: After much contemplation I have come to the conclusion that giving this beer any less than a perfect 5 rating is not doing it justice. Each time I have drank this beer I have bumped my score up, and I think I was fooling myself by not giving it a 5 in the first place. It was only my third gueuze I had ever tried, so I'm not sure I "got it" right away. But I definitely get it now.
On any given night and from vintage to vintage, Cantillon Classic Gueuze and Drie Fonteinen Oude Gueuze join Girardin as beers that I might call the single best in the world. But among the three, the one I find myself yearning for most is this. The beautiful black label. The flawless beer.
Below is my original review text
Pours a nice copper/orange with a large fluffy head that leaves a wall of lacing.
The aroma is basically a blueprint of how a nice gueuze should smell. Mildly tart lemon and orange on top of a blanket of cobweb and funk that is inviting rather than intimidating. There is no mistaking what is in front of you here.
The taste is surprisingly light on the tartness and funk and heavy on the juicy citrus flavor. Wow, this is not what I thought I would be drinking when I popped the cork and I have to say it is actually a pleasant surprise. As a matter of fact, it is more than pleasant...it is divine. Absolutely rich and well balanced and complex as hell. Oak, lemon, orange peel, band aid, horseblanket, cheese, pepper, grass, grapes, it goes on and on.
This has one of the fullest feeling bodies of any sour I can remember. Carbonation is at high levels but it is soft which is a huge plus.
1882 Black Label is quite simply a spectacular, world class beer. Buy it, drink it, go to bed happy.
03-27-2011 05:10:52 | More by alcstradamus
5/5 rDev +16.3%
This beer is not for everyone. It is a mix of 1000 green apples and a dark musty cellar. This is one of my favorite beers. The look of this beer is a beautiful color of amber. It smells musty and sour. Mmmmm. It pours nicely into my glass with very little head when poured gently and with respect for this amazing beer. The mouthfeel is refreshing and a pleasure to the pallet. I highly suggest trying this beer.
03-26-2008 21:21:12 | More by bennorthenor
5/5 rDev +16.3%
Small corked bottle, poured into a snifter.
Beautiful glowing orange, hazy, with a good white head that lasts forever, with a lot of lacing down the glass.
The aroma just flies out the glass, hitting you as you pour; it is musty, leathery, quite funky as it is to be expected. Guarana seeds, oak and a fruitiness round up the amazing nose.
This is a superb combination of a beer that is light enough to be had in a hot day; low enough alcohol to be a session beer, and enough flavor packed to even be a sipper. Funk all the way, sour, with asweet oakiness somewhere in the middle; bone dry finish. Lots of fruits somewhere in the middle.
09-06-2008 01:36:37 | More by brdc
Girardin Gueuze 1882 (Black Label) from Brouwerij Girardin
95 out of 100 based on 922 ratings.