Oude Quetsche Tilquin à L'Ancienne - Gueuzerie Tilquin
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4.23/5 rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
An off-putting blend of murky pink and orange hues, Oude Quetsche Tilquin looks something like pulpy grapefruit juice or apricot purée, which is odd given the fact it's brewed with purple (Quetsche variety) plums. Unappetizing sediment dots the glass like a snow globe. This ugly appearance's only saving grace is its cushion-y, glinting, pristine-white crowning.
The aroma has enough funky bacterial tartness that it could give you a nose infection; luckily it also has enough sharp lemony citrus to sanitize it. The first smell blew me away like the guy in the Maxell logo - *this* is the stuff, the real deal. Musty, mildewy, lightly vanilla-accented woody notes and the sourness of countless indigenous bacteria and wild yeasts run wild.
As is typically the case with Fruit Lambics, which fruit was used is virtually next to impossible to determine; it's hopeless in the midst of so much sourness and wet barn/basement funkiness. Nevermind the plums, the only fruit tasted is lemon (and plenty of it). The finish is dryer than a Canadian winter wind and, likewise, can eventually lead to a sore throat.
Quetsche plums are said to be much sweeter than standard purple plums and supposedly lack any tartness at all; facts hard to believe given the overwhelming sourness of this beer. All this acidity comes over the palate like flood waters, though there's some hay and wheat to soak it up. Indeed, the malt provides more sweetness than the fruit.
Oude Gueuze Tilquin à L'Ancienne is one of the best lambics in Belgium, so the fact that adding plums to it didn't result in much of a change really doesn't matter. Bastardized, commercial fruit lambics are defined by their fruitiness but authentic, traditional fruit lambics are defined by their lambic-ness; great lambic is great lambic. And this is certainly that.
Serving type: bottle
04-08-2014 22:38:27 | More by biegaman
4.26/5 rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
2012 vintage. 375ml green gueuze bottle purchased from Cave à Bulles in Paris. I'd tried the original Gueuze Tilquin (both the on-tap and the bottled varieties), but had yet to come across this version, infused with Quetsche plums. Drunk at my hotel in San Gimignano out of a plastic cup, because I'm a classy dude.
Pours a very hazed rose colour, perhaps a little like freshly crushed watermelon juice. Lots of fine, vibrant carbonation that forms a steady lightly frothy head. Lacing forms in rings. Body is quite light and fluid. Overall, it looks good indeed.
Nose is great, taking everything that is wonderful about the original gueuze, and twisting it slightly with the fruit characters. It's certainly still extremely tart, although some of the funky, plasticky and horsey characters seem to be smoothed over a little from the plum addition: the plum acidity itself perhaps is what so strongly suggests the acidity on the nose. Very pleasant indeed.
Taste is clean and bright and very pleasantly tart, especially towards the back. Soda acidity with tart lemon rind characters and an underripe fruit astringency. Some of the funky, vegetative gueuze characters are indeed present on the front, with a leading plasticky twang. Back has a hint of stonefruit peel, almost tending towards a tannic bitterness. It's very complex and good.
Feel is sharp but smooth, with a tingle on the back from a combination of acidity and vivacious carbonation.
Overall, cracking stuff, as I knew it was going to be. While it's not extremely dissimilar to the original gueuze, it adds enough of a twist to make it a welcome diversion from Tilquin. These guys really know their stuff, and have to be one of the best lambic producers in the world.
Serving type: bottle
04-01-2014 15:20:17 | More by lacqueredmouse
Oude Quetsche Tilquin à L'Ancienne from Gueuzerie Tilquin
97 out of 100 based on 311 ratings.