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Dirty Horse | De Struise Brouwers

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Dirty HorseDirty Horse

Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers

Style: Lambic - Unblended

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Starting with a Lambic grist bill composed of 70% barley malt and 30% unmalted wheat. No yeast was artificially added to the wort, but was exposed for two days to the open air in one of our plastic tunnels at the Noordhoek Ostrich Farm. First fermentation took place in second hand sherry oak casks for six weeks. 200 grams of Northern cherries per litre and the Roeseleire yeast strain were added after six months, provoking a new fermentation process. Eight months later, we pumped over the young ale to oak casks and let it mature for another 3 years. This project was realized after a tasting of the same recipe Urbain once made 20 years ago and was barrel aging in his garage in De Panne ever since and while he was in Africa and forgot all about it. As this is a very limited version, this ale will not be suitable for export but rather for sale at the farm when available.

Added by ggaughan on 09-19-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 68 | Ratings: 99
Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.61/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Auction bottle # 5/250. Shared at a tasting 6/4/11. This is the 90% 1983/10% 2005 blended version. 5oz. pour from a 750ml waxed and capped bottle into a Cantillon oversize wine glass. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a .5 finger thick, creamy white head with poor retention. Beer is a semi-clear reddish-purple. Lacing is spotty and stringy with poor cling. Pretty standard for the style.

S: Nose is overripe cherry puree mixed with aged smelly cheese. Notes of barnyard and barn animal funk round out the experience. Very robust, deep, and balanced. That the fruit is still so prominent is miraculous after all this time.

T: Opens sweet cherry, band-aid, straw, and a mellow Brett funkiness. Light crisp tartness comes in towards the middle but isn't overwhelming. Finish is a soft cherry sweet tart embedded in a cheese wheel. Big cherry notes in the aftertaste. One of the most balanced and subtle beers I've had to date.

M: Light to medium bodied, lightly carbonated, smooth and oily in the mouth and soft and mellow going down. Finish is mellow with a soft, pleasantly lingering aftertaste.

O: The hype is real with this one. One of the best fruit lambics I've ever had the pleasure of having. Not over the top and bursting with flavor and nothing outrageous going on here. But incredible balance, incredible feel, and just amazingly mellow and subtle all the way around.

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Photo of seeswo
4.47/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

100% 1983
Pours a slightly clouded reddish color with little head. The nose is slightly musty with sour cherries and a big of barrel. Smell is really nice. The taste shockingly still has a solid presence of cherries. Vinous and slightly sour/funky. Very nice flavor. Age has treated this one well. The mouthfeel is light and low carb. Drinks very easy. Overall, this is a very good one to have tried. The effort at this point might be a little much to justify, but it is a really good beer.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.94/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle shared by Urbain, a very generous guy.

A - It pours a brilliant color of red; red like fire engine, red like lipstick, red like grenadine, just intensely red. It looks like it'd stain if it was (unconscionably!) spilled on anything. There is a miniscule head, or more accurately, an encircling ring of bubbles, that persists for most of the glass; Lambic isn't about head or retention though, obviously.

S - The nose reveals a striking depth of fruit flavor as well as perfect funk. For the fruit, there is a seeming melange of berry flavors, including cherry, but extending to blackberry, blueberry, et al., and also revealing generally bushy notes suggesting foraged drupes. For the funk, it is equal parts medicine cabinet and band-aids, lactic cheesiness, horse-y barnyard, cobwebs and musty basement, and acetic rotten peaches; something that sounds so bad never smelled so good.

T - The flavor is exquisitely complex, and is comprised of the same balance of delectable fruit melange, led by tart-sweet cherries but accompanied by impressions of bushy drupes, then coalesced with a medicinal-horse-cheese-cobweb-overripe funk. Tartness is moderate; it is not bracingly sour, it is exactly right to sharpen the funk while allowing the individual nuance of the fruit-flavor to shine. The cherry comes through intensely and delectably on the finish, whereas it is mostly sublimely stated during the quaff. This is the best Kriek I've had, hands down.

M - Feels good man. Lighter than medium-bodied, intensely silky, and with enough soft carbonation to keep it lively.

O - A masterpiece. Big thanks to Kristina from WLV, and Bryna and Alex, for the instrumental role they played in making this happen.

Oh, yeah, this is review #1000. A nice wale, every bit as good as hype would suggest.

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Photo of Chico1985
4.3/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Woahh, 1983 unblended Dirty Horse, wuddup? Thank you Ebenezer's. Poured from a keg to a sampling glass.

Pours maroon, no head, some flecks. A small white ring is formed with some agitation. Fine considering the age.

Nice scent, big cherries and lemon juice.

Taste brings on pretty intense cherry+lemon sourness, some musty basement funk but it's mostly fruity. Some red grapes/red wine presence there as well. Quite fruity+bright considering the age, impressive.

Good mouthfeel, surprisingly lively and drinkable for the age+ABV.

Happy to finally bite the bullet and try this - though it's not quite world-changing, it's very good and you'd probably never guess it was nearly 30 years old.

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Photo of alleykatking
4.7/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review #1000. Poured from 750ml bottle. Many thanks to Mark for busting this gem out for shits and giggles. Review from notes...

A- Pours a hazed plum color toward the middle with some light ruby grapefruit color on the outer edges. When held to the light there is some golden yellow hues on the edges of the glass. One and a half finger pink head shows light retention. Pink edges on the top of the beer after everything dies down. Spotty lacing on the glass when taking sips.

S- First thing that comes through on the nose is soured cherries. This is light overall and blends together with musty barnyard funk. I have never really smelled wet leather before in a beer but I did in this one. Wet hay also comes through. There is a nice vinegar like aroma that blends with some oak aging. Hints of soured cherry come back once again with a little more to it than in the front. Alcohol that comes through in the ending is inviting and lightly tingles the nose.

T- Soured cherry in the front of the beer which I expected to be more tart than anything else. This has some vinegar notes in the front as well. Some light barnyard funk with hints of hay toward the middle. This kind of takes over and makes the cherry die down almost completely. Oak comes through on the backend with more cherry bursting through. This gets acidic when it warms a little more toward the ending. Alcohol doesn't really seem to be an issue in the flavor at all. The flavors blend all into each other and make this beer taste wonderful.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Low carbonation on this beer but this is expected considering how old this beer is. Soured cherries, oak, and some light funk are left on the palate. Aftertaste is mostly acidic cherries, some light oak, and wet leather and hay. Medium alcohol drying on the palate with each sip. No off flavors were present when drinking this beer. Overall this beer was very balanced with and I enjoyed the mix between cherries, oak, and barnyard funk.

D- This beer was very inviting from the sound it made when it opened to the ending of the last sip. I could and would have easily drank this entire bottle by myself but I had to take only my share of it. A nice drink that wasn't harsh on the stomach or on the palate. This is one beer to seek out and I would do it soon before it is gone forever!

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Photo of Brabander
4.82/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I NEVER drink a beer when i have to drive in my car...untill yesterday. Who can i blame? The big man himself; Urbain.

As always i take a few Ba's with me on tour when i go the the Saint Sixtus abbey and after that to the Struise Brouwers. This time B0rderman and Claaark13 and his WIFE!! (sorry Sean that i called her your girlfriend) joined me.

Urbain is one of the best hosts you can imagine. He magicly 'found' a 1983 bottle of this heavenly brew. It could be that the bottle was not good enough he told us. without cherries. Boy, were we lucky. This bottle was with cherries and it was superb.

I only drank a little bit of it because i still had to drive my guests safe back to Brussels and Antwerpen but i was very impressed by this beer.

Every sip gave me three different mouthfeels, very edgy and very surprising, i never had this with a beer. The sour was flattened which made this beer very accesible for a non lambic lover.

About the taste you can read enough in the other reviews. I am going to open an elderyhome in the old schoolbuilding for retired BA's. There we can drink his beers all day and get old very easy.

Thanks Urbain from the bottom of my heart for your extraordinary hospitality!!

Nectar of the Gods...


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Photo of kingcrowing
4.62/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap, 100% 1983, poured into a wine glass at Ebenezer's 7th annual Belgian feast (8/19/11), reviewed from notes. HUGE thanks to Chris & the whole Eb's crew for this surprise night cap!

Pours a very ruddy dark and hazy brown/red with a small light brown head that doesn't hang around - no lacing to speak of.

Nose is tart and funky, that classic old school wet horse blanket but I guess not so surprisingly after near 30 years the nose has mellowed a decent amount.

Wow, the taste on this is super balanced, much more so than any fresh lambics I've had. It's got all the funk, the tartness, and the sour but all together it's very well rounded and smooth which is quite surprising to me. Rhubarb is a flavor that stands out a lot as it lingers.

Mouthfeel is very light, smooth and very rich.

Overall this is a fantastic beer, lots of hype, but it really is amazing, very tasty, mellow, refreshing, and unique, it's certainly something I'd drink all the time if that was an option.

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Photo of Urbancaver
4.67/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1983 unblended 100% version On tap...
Pours a dark hazy reddish maroon. Looks like an old kreik. A touch of bubbly head that dissipates almost immediately.
Smells really nice, tons of cherry aroma with a kick of tart sourness on the nose.
Tastes very tart, a bit of funky. Very mellow while still being acidic. Amazingly not oxidized for a 29 year old beer.
Nice light carbonation, sits very nicely on the tongue. Overall, a stellar beer. Worth what it costs? Well, maybe not. But well worth the experience

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Photo of craytonic
3.5/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle at the DC Lambic & Sour Tasting on April 14, 2012. From Notes. 100% 1983 version.

Appearance: pour is a murky dark plum/raisin, not particularly impressive.

Smell: Heavy malt, caramel, toffee, brandy, slightly sweet with some oxidation. Not particularly sour or funky.

Taste: Similar to the smell, slightly sweet with malt, caramel, toffee, brandy, and vanilla.

Mouthfeel: a bit chewy, little-to-no carbonation

Overall: On my beer bucket list, but a bit past its prime.

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Photo of Mark000
4.67/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1983 Unblended Version

Not a bad looking brownish red and definitely hazy. Basically no head except for a tiny ring around edge that is now gone. The musty aroma is there, but the cherry still comes through pretty strong with some barrel. Flavor is slightly sour at first, followed by the cherry and then I get the vinous flavors coming through. It is hanging around between sips and very enjoyable. The feel is pretty thin, but I think it's fitting. Overall very enjoyable. I am very grateful to have been able to try this legend.

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Photo of drseamus
4.83/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served on tap at Ebenezer's under the name Vuul Peird

A: Nice red body with a thin white head. I'm a little surprised that there was head.

S: All sour cherries. All good.

T: Intense tartness. It hits hard with cherries followed by continued tartness. It is almost singular in its tartness. This isn't the tartest beer I've had but it's easily top 5. Off hand, the Peach Raspberry Lambic that was served at EBF was more intense but not by much.

M: Light body with an intense puckering character. Finishes with a clean puckering finish. Lots of pucker in this fucker.

D: How do you rate the drinkability of a beer of which only 1 keg exists and cannot be reproduced?

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Photo of ToasterChef
4.97/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewed from my notes. I was provided a small goblet of this beer by Chris Lively, who cracked open a large decanter of this beer for my wife and I when we visited Ebenezer's on fine Sunday afternoon. He called the beer Dirty Horse 40/60, as it was actually a blend of the 28 year old batch and 3 year old. I was very honored to get to try this great white whale. It is one of those beers I never thought I'd ever get to try.

The beer has a great deep plum color. There is some carbonation clinging to the sides of my glass. A tiny ring of white bubbles encircles the beer like a halo.

The aroma was not what I was expecting. It has a good fruit character, with lots of cherries, but not nearly the amount of funk and sour that I was expecting. It did smell a bit musty and old. So perhaps it is the inclusion of a 28 year old lambic that tones down the funk; I don't believe I've ever had a blend with such an aged component. I found it to be very nice.

It tastes like a cry kriek at first. It is truly awesome. It tastes slightly chalky, but not powdery. It is very acidic (Chris says this is compliments of the 28 year old lambic). It finishes with an odd, out of place but very welcome peach flavor.

I find the beer to be slightly puckering, but it is hard to judge what kind of physical effect the beer has because of the giant smile I have on my face. It is tart all the way through. There is some coating that possesses a tiny amount of sweetness. No real carbonation to speak of. To me, this is what a fine sour beer should feel like.

This beer is exceptionally drinkable. Sure, it's tart and sour, but it goes down so well. Plus, I don't think anyone would be able to try a glass of this brew if they didn't love sour beers. I only got a small pour, but every drop is worth savoring. [Perhaps you know how great the food is at Ebenezer's; I let my lunch get cold so I could fully enjoy this beer] I am so glad I was able to have this beer.

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Photo of Beerenauslese
4.8/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at the Alvinne Craft Beer Festival March 4, 2011. Review is from notes.

Body is reddish copper with a small quarter-inch head that dissipates to a ring of bubbles.

Smells of light malt and cherries, with oak and vanilla notes.

Tastes deliciously tart from cherries with a nice dry and spicy finish.

Bodi is light and the carbonation is fizzy. Very lively and refreshing mouthfeel.

A lovely wild sour ale that is very drinkable. Could drink lots of this. Very well balanced and smooth drinking.

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Photo of ColdPoncho
4.47/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1983, Unblended. like a boss

A - A moderately cloudy garnet body with no head (surprise, surprise).

S - Tart cherries, light vinegar, black pepper, barnyard, gym socks, woody notes. It's a good array of things.

T - An almost spicy tart cherry flavor is up front, with a strong wood presence throughout. There's a touch of salinity, an acetone-like dryness and heat (esp. on the finish).

M - Dry and smooth.

O - I mean...this is a 30-year old lambic, poured from a keg, into a glass, then into a 1.5 ounce vial, and then into another glass at a rather hefty price tag. It's really good, and quite complex (but I haven't though this much about other beers in a while, so it's complexity might not be out of the ordinary). I like it, I'd drink it again.

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Photo of rvdoorn
4.73/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this unique beer at the 1st Borefts bier festival (BBF 2009).

Poured into a de Molen sniffer. The beer pours a dark hazy ruby-red color, with a very persistent white head, leaving a great lacing.

Smell: Full of fruit, mainly tart sour cherries. Woody and a bit musty. Nice

Taste: what an incredible balanced beer was the first thought that crossed my mind. Up front, there is a hint of sweetness (this one is natural, not the artificial crap that is present in the more commercial fruit beers), followed by a great, balanced sourness. Cherries are all over the place, but also some hints of malts and almond. The woody oak taste is also there.

Mouthfeel: Normal bodied for the style (a bit watery). Medium carbonation

Overall: I have to say that I normally really not like this style, actually, I almost avoid it. But after the Crianza Helena and Blabaer from Cantillon, this is the 3rd I love. Pity all of them are limited brews....

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Photo of beerpirates
4.7/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted at Struise school in Oostvleteren togheter with urbain

A: pink reddisch in colour with slight carbonation and small, quick disappearing white foamy head , .no lacing .

S : Aroma is complex and very refined. Berries of all kinds, wood, sous bois, old top class wine and antique furniture.

T: Taste is smooth, soft tart, with lots of berrie fruit ,
balance between sweet and sour is perfect and it has a very unique deep complex taste . cedar wood, fresh tobacco and old hops. Taste is crisp, A most wonderfull beer that earns respect .

D/M : very drinkable and smooth , medium carbonation Aftertaste is very refined and clean. Thanks Urbain for this awesome beer

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Photo of claaark13
4.97/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Urbain for sharing. The bottle was without a label, and "yeast burn" was on one side. It was also great to share with the people at the sampling, cheers to you all. Thijs this wouldn't have been possible without you! Ok, thanks to Urbain too!

A - Dark ruby. The head retained, but it was poured at a distance so its hard to say if it would've retained the head if poured closely. Great color though, looks like a good Flanders red.

S - Some sour aromas mixed with honey and cherry. It seems that this will be much more sour than the taste provides. Very interesting and impressive aroma for something this old.

T - There is some sort of honey and sour mixture up front. The sour is faint, as the age has mellowed this one out. There is no dominance between the two, as the years have merged them well. Then, cherries kick in. The entire last 2/3 of the flavor develops with the cherries. They fit so well. Upon the second third sip, they really appear as the dominant flavors. After the first sip, the cherries stick to the lounge. It's not like a Kriek, its not like a lambic, ts not quite like a Flemish Red. Well, I guess if I guess if I had to compare it to something, it would be like a 25 year old Earthmonk but less sour. Just to think about it makes me want a bottle right now.

M - At first I had this lower, but I boosted it to a 5. Each sip is thicker than the last and it cakes onto the lounge. I mean the cherry flavor was there until my next beer almost 20 minutes later. There is almost not carbonation on the tongue. It's a lot like a brandy on the tongue as far as feel, but without the burn. Considering the age, quite impressive. Also, considering the amount yeast caked to the side of that bottle, I bet the body was thicker in the past.

O - I'm not sure what else to say. I could literally drink bottles of this one. I know its a hyped beer due to the availability, but its great in reality. If I had a bigger tasting group, I would seek this one out. During my trip to Belgium, this was the best beer I had. Damn, this is a beer. It seems Urbain has been doing it right for longer than most of us know. Cheers to you, my friend.

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Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.89/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

There are so many people to thank for helping/allowing Trey and me to procure this bottle. To Masterski for alerting Urbain, thanks, Alex! And to Urbain, for his incredible generosity, there aren't quite words enough to express my gratitude.

Auction bottle 94/100, 100% 1983 vintage, sent from Urbain himself. The centerpiece of the tasting, this was 2nd on the 2nd day, and 8th overall.

The bottle opens with a slight hiss, but generally, there isn't much carbonation left in this one. The body of the beer is a clear brownish garnet, highlighted by ruby hues in the presence of light. Touches of bubbles as a result of the pour (like you would find if you added water to your glass), but nothing there from carbonation.

The aroma is one of the most complex I have experienced in any style. This is going to be a fun one to pick apart. Immediately, there are tart apples, cherries, and a drying funk. There is a light lactic sourness as well, though it is far from as sour as other reviewers here have mentioned...I wonder if the latest batch is more sour. Oaky tannic notes from the eternity that this spent aging while it was forgotten, but there are no vanilla notes, due to the old and seasoned oak. This aroma is earthy as all hell, too.

I usually smush the aroma and flavor into one paragraph, but doing so would just be a disservice to this beautifully crafted brew. The flavor opens with apples, much as the aroma did, but it leads into a wild and gamey but sweet honey flavor. Completely unexpected, and wow, what a great bit of character to add. Earthy tannins and a touch of dark molasses in the mid-palate are also extremely evident. There is a touch of vinegary acetic character that comes along with sherry-like notes of oxidation...how has the oxygen not let the acetobacter take off??? Everything in this flavor is perfectly balanced and subtle, but at the same time, very intense and concentrated. The finish is sweet and complex with apple cider and candied apples. There is another wave of funk and honey that make another appearance before the beer is gone.

The mouthfeel is still with just a hint of absorbed CO2 that comes through only on the palate. Looking at the beer, you would expect the carbonation level of tap water. Completely integrated, well rounded, and perfectly textured. This is by far the most delicate and subtle beer that I have ever enjoyed. Insanely nuanced and balanced, this beer is a true testament to Urbain's craftsmanship. Truly a world class offering, and I hope that I am able to try the new batch to be able to compare my experiences.

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Photo of waltonc
4.8/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to popkas for generously sharing this bottle. This is one of those beers I just assumed I'd never have the chance to try. Pours hazy ruby with white head. Smells of cherries, lactic funk, and earthy must. The flavor is amazing and definitely the highlight beer of the night in our massive tasting of great sours - again, lots of cherries in here, with drying oak and lactic funk. Sour but restrained and quite mellow. The fruit is still remarkably bright. Amazingly well balanced. This beer has held up great for being mostly 27 years old, and seems like it will continue to hold up for some time to come.

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Photo of ggaughan
4.97/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Samnpled at the Struise Farm from Urbain from a wine decanter. What a wonderful 5 year old treat. The beer poured a hazy orange color with nearly no head. The aroma of the beer had nice notes of fruit, cherry, and some wine like qualities. Slightly sour. The taste was the real treat. Although 5 years old the taste was very present. A nice cherry quality, not to acidic but had a good sour quality. There were some definite wood notes as well. I found there to be an excellent balance of the sweet fruit and the tart character as well. This is one very drinkable and well rounded beer. I just wish there was more to go around. I wanted to run with the decanter and drink it all but that would not be good form for a guest at the farm! Seek this beer out if you can find any.

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Photo of mikey711
4.2/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle graciously shared by Jim.

A: Deep red, near purple pour with good clarity with a mild carbonation of prickly white head

S: Someone at the tasting put it in the elegant terms "Garbage has never smelt so good." I would say that is a fair description, it reeked of funk with notes of hay and stinky old cheese, but there is still a nice fruit aspect which was a big surprise to me

T: Very prominent cherry notes followed by some hay and earthy barn yard notes. The flavor profile was very mellow and delicate, but still had lots of cheesy and cherry notes

M: Extremely mellow, very little acidity or vinegar quality, each sip was refreshing as i found myself trying to savor it over a long period of time

D: What impressed me the most about this beer was the fruitiness that was still present after such a long period of time. Overall just a very nice lambic

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Photo of treyrab
4.72/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Video of this beer being poured at our testing:


First, I have to thank Urbain for sending this beer to Nittanybeerfan and I. By a stroke of luck, Urbain was having a tasting with Tod Mott while brewing the most recent batch of Kabert over in Oostvleteren, Belgium. Thus, the timing worked out perfectly that he wanted some rare American beers and as such he parted with two bottles of Dirty Horse. We cannot thank him enough for his generosity. He is a true advocate to the beer community.

100% 1983 Unblended Version. Bottle Number 94/100.

The bottle looks very antiquated, but with a new label. The beer was originally unlabeled in 1983, but Urbain subsequently printed a few labels for the 1983 version for the few that he sent out. The bottle has been laying on its side for over 28 years in his personal cellar, and even with a trip across the Atlantic, the yeast sediment was caked onto the side of the bottle. Even after the rigor of that trip, and standing upright for six months before drinking, the sediment never moved from the side. It is permanently glued to the side of the bottle.

The beer was the second beer of the main tasting day on March 26, 2010.

A: The most anticipated beer for most of us popped with a slight hiss with a ever so slight ghostly smoke that crept out of the neck. After 28 years, the carbonation was slight on this, but that was expected. Dirty Horse poured into our glasses a beautiful, clear, brick, mahogany, crimson red with a very slight eggshell white head. The pour was slightly rigorous, and even then, the head was only slight. Apparent carbonation, but just a touch. Held to the light this was more of a glowing orange with some peach hues and grapefruit tones. The yeast caked on the side of the bottle never budged, and was still there after the pour, thus we did not get much yeast in our glasses.

S: The smell was unlike any beer (lambic or other) that I have tried. It starts with an intense earthy, leathery, and tobacco scent. The dry leather then morphs into a pungent, sour maraschino cherry. But the cherry scent is intriguing as it is sweet smelling as well, as if dipped in clover honey. The honey aspect was very nice and blended well with the cherry sourness, leather earth, and hint of lactic sourness. I also get a slight hint of cocoa, and upon swirling, a nice red wine vinegar.

T: The delicacy of this beer is unparalleled. So many intricate flavors, but none of which are overpowering nor do they clash to beat out one another. All the flavors blend so well together into a delightful beer. Starts with the sour cherries, then blends nicely with the earth, slight mushroom soil, and sweet honey. Not mouth puckering sour, but the lactic lemons are apparent, but just enough to let the other flavours shine. Swirling this around the palate, it really coats the mouth from having a very slight carbonation, and you can really pick out all the delicate nuances of the beer. One of the most interesting, and well balanced lambics I have had. The fact that this is unblended, 28 years old, and is this complex, is remarkable.

M: As noted, the carbonation is light from sitting on its side in Urbain's cellar for 28 years. But it complements the beer nicely as it lets the beer really coat your tongue so you can get the full effect of the complexity of the flavours in the beer.

O: Overall, we were all very impressed with this. One of the most interesting and complex unblended lambics ever. The fact that it has had time for all the flavours to meld together over 28 years has really made this beer stand apart. From the taste of this now, and for being 28 years old already, this one definitely has some more time to get more interesting.

We have to thank Urbain one more time for this one!

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Photo of fisherman34
4.67/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Draft sample at Délirium Hoppy Loft. Pale red in colour with moderate carbonation. Ethereal nose of cherry, funk, wood, lemon, and leather. In the mouth, more cherry, slightly cheesy funk, lemon rind, and savory/earhty kitchen herbs. Delicate on the palate, but not short on flavor or acidity (especially on the finish). A unique masterpiece.

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Photo of Jmoore50
4.73/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dirty Horse, what an honor to have consumed this magnificent beverage with some fellow beer lovers. All of the credit goes to Nerd for opening this at a great tasting pre-Toronado 23rd Anniversary. To date, this is the oldest beer I have ever consumed.

Nerd had a tough time working through the wax, the rubber bands, and finally the cork. With a hard pour the beer produced a white finely carbonated head that did not stay around for very long. The heart of the beer was a dark plumb color with having it gradient out to a ruby red. Thick oily legs coated my glass, even after the beer was gone the glass had a solid coating of beer in it.

The smell was of barnyard and musty basement notes, funky blue cheese, and a smell that I associate with Schaerbeekse cherries and Krieks that use those specific cherries. It is a specific smell that has not been replicated anywhere else in my life.

A beer so rare and old and with so many people holding this beer up on an almost unreachable pedestal, it reached my expectations. It had a great ripe cherry flavor that was unbelievable given how old this is. A great funk flavor that captured all of those great barnyard, must, and vintage lambic flavors. Incredibly complex with its sourness, really effecting the entire palate with its combination of flavor, carbonation, and thick oily mouthfeel.

It was a bitter sweet feeling tasting this beer. It was so delicious and such a complex beer that I was awestruck. Unfortunately it will be a very slim possibility that I ever get to try this beer again, but I was grateful to nerd and the tasting group for participating in such a great experience.

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Photo of BearsOnAcid
4.42/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

'83 served on tap

Opaque dirty red color with a fluffy white head.

Rustic funk with sour notes. Cherries have fallen out of the aroma obviously. The aroma has sort of evolved and perfected itself into one of the best smelling lambic aromas.

The flavor is very interesting. The sourness is relaxed, fairly dull, on the palate and let's you take in all that funk and muddled old cherry pit flavor. Once swallowed, the mellowed sourness kicks into the back of your jaw. The flavor comes in precise stages.

This beer offered more than I expected being so old. It's showing it's age but still feels like it has many more miles to go. It's especially unique since I haven't had many krieks that I thought were holding up after 10+ years.

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Dirty Horse from De Struise Brouwers
4.55 out of 5 based on 99 ratings.
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