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

very good
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St. Louis Gueuze Fond TraditionSt. Louis Gueuze Fond Tradition

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.

Style: Gueuze

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
St-Louis Gueuze Fond Tradition is a pure traditional gueuze aimed at connoisseurs. It has the pure taste of a true gueuze based on a blend of young and old lambics. Fruity apple aromas stand out. When tasting, the slightly sour touches, characteristic of lambic beers, make their presence felt. It is very dry in the finish.

Added by rastaman on 08-03-2002

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Reviews: 340 | Ratings: 1,017
Photo of kylehay2004
4.17/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Small head but excellent lacing on my out on a slightly hazy golden with orange hue body. Flavor is very fruity, somewhat spicey with hints if grain and club soda. Flavor has a nice tart and sour citrus throughout with a wild and funky presence and nice yeast flavoring. Light to medium body and moderate carbonation. Definitely sharper and more flavorful than others I have had in the style. Excellent wild and sour presence.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.06/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 1/20/10.

Pours a murky orange with a 1 inch fizzy bone colored head that fades to nothing. No lacing on this one. Some floating sediment is present in the glass. Smell is funky and tart but there is a particular sweet smell too. A bit of a skunky aroma came from the green bottle when it was opened but is not present after the beer is poured. Taste is also tart and funky but it gives way after each sip with a slightly sweet aftertaste. This beer has a higher level of carbonation with a very crisp and bubbly mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good gueuze with a better smell than taste but still a good beer to try.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a majorly tart sour beer. pours a champaign-like bubbly pale yellow with a bit of haze and an excited white head. smells like brett, but not entirely. there is some other sour element here, not particularly fruity, i cant quite place it. flavor is of course very puckery, starting out sour and a little lemony, escalating to an almost sour warhead candy intense soure for just a second, then backing off into a manageable dry musty finish. mouthfeel is nice, ultra light on the body, with extremely intense carbonation. easy drinking, but an intense experience really. a beer like none ive ever had, i really enjoyed this one. a great introduction to the gueuze style.

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Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is slightly hazy pale yellow in color and poured with a thin creamy white head that slowly faded away and left a thick ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. No carbonation is visible in the form of rising bubbles.
S: There are moderately strong sour aromas in the nose.
T: A sour flavor dominates the overall taste but this is not overpowering. There are notes of citrus and yeast.
M: It feels light-bodied and crisp on the palate with a low amount of carbonation. There is a bit of dryness in the finish.
D: The beer is very easy to drink compared to others in the style.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.02/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Could it be? The "castle" brewery that's set the stage for world class beers for years- are they getting better, even still? By all indications, ...yes! You simply don't go into making beers like Gueuze and opt to knock it out of the park; unless you're a masterful brewery already.

Their Gueuze pours with a bready-straw appearance- hazy gold in color, its frothy topping is creamy, white and laces with both tighly knit and loose bubbles that somehow denotes its "wild" character. Broken collars of lace also keep the beer looking formidable down to the final sips.

Sweat evoking aromas ensure as the first whiffs of the beer promise sourness and earthiness. White cider vinegar, dry chardonnay, limes, and under-ripened berries deliver its sour-ish tone. But its the roundness of damp straw, salt brine, drying leather and a musty horsey scent creates a rounded richness that's not reliant upon sweetness at all.

Then to taste, its acidic tartness reigns supreme- the taste of white grapes, salt, hay and wheat all round into a musty cracker taste. The beer continues to sour with cider vinegar, wine rot and limes before diving into a musty taste of weathered oak, saddle leather, and peppery sandalwood. Its late palate finishes with a return of aroma-driven echoes of sea air, barnyard and curing leather.

As short-lived bready malt texture quickly leads to a fleeting arid cracker-like dryness. Powdery late, the beer's textures are dry, woodsy and feathery with a pep of spicy peppercorn and mild alcohol warmth. Its finish is quick and firmly minerally like calcium rich shellfish.

Gueuze Fond Tradition is a superb version of the style. Its dry and earthen character is quintessential of the style and that is delivered with ease. Yet still, the ale deserves even drier character, even deeper earthiness and intangibles like almond pithiness and peps of cinnamon that could really set it apart.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.71/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

375ml bottle, ensconced in black foil, with stark white on black lettering comprising the label.

This beer pours a hazy, medium copper amber colour, with one finger of weakly puffy, finely foamy, and somewhat fizzy ecru head, which leaves a bit of surfacing periscope lace in places around the glass as things quickly dissolve.

It smells of sour and musty orchard fruit (red apples, mostly), wet cardboard, a bit of barnyard stench (I mean funk), white wine vinegar, a mild cheesiness, and very subtle bittering notes. The taste is lightly bready, kind of grainy pale malt, a testy acrid funkiness, muddled apple, cherry, and lemon dried fruit rind, soured cooking vinegar, a soft old earthy woodiness, wet black pepper, and more plainly subservient weedy and dead grassy hop bitterness.

The bubbles are fairly low-fi in their genial and unobtrusive frothiness, the body just shy of yer typical middleweight, and smooth, I suppose, if you're acclimated to drinking this sort of thing, but otherwise - not really. It finishes off-dry, the indistinct sugary character more pronounced here than one might be expecting.

Overall, this comes more or less within a short chip shot of being true to style, but in the end, for the lovers and haters out there, it will come off as just too sweet (hey, it even bugs me, a little). Still good and funky, though, which is something maybe more relevant to consider when approaching this offering.

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Photo of brentk56
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy apricot color with a nice, frothy head that leaves considerable lacing behind

Smell: Tart lemon/lime and other citrus elements combined with considerable funk

Taste: Tart and sour, with lemon/lime citrus elements and an increasingly puckerish sourness that builds through mid-palate; underneath, there is just the vaguest hint of citrusy sweetness on the tip of the tongue; the finish is long lasting and overwhelmingly sour

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation; quite puckerish

Overall: A fine example of the lambic tradition

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Photo of largadeer
2.06/5  rDev -46.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Draft at Toronado. Nice dark amber color with a small white cap, a few shades darker than the average gueuze. The aroma is interesting, big apple cider character along with a bit of orange juice, vinegar and pale malt. Very little bretty funk. Pretty similar on the palate, very cidery and acetic, oranges and pears, light tannins and a hint of malt. Decently complex but quite acetic for a gueuze, almost just tastes like a stale apple cider. Not terrible, but I can't say that I'm a fan.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.06/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a hazy orangey color gueuze with a large frothy head with excellent retention and some good lacing. Aroma of light acidic green apples with some subtle oak notes is better then I had anticipated. Taste is overall quite tart with a nice touch of granny smith acidity which provide a great refreshing factor. Oak is somewhat subtle with limited amount of funky ester. Body is quite full for style with great carbonation. I was expecting a sweeter version of gueuze based on what I tasted previously from this brewer but I must admit to being pleasantly surprised.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 11/07/06. 12.7 fl oz green glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Gouden Carolus goblet in me gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given its current ratings.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 3.5 finger head of pleasant soft cream, pretty good thickness, beige colour, and good retention. Colour is a clear bright colour. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Pretty standard for the style, but appealing nonetheless.

Sm: Heavy sourness, wonderful wild yeast, clean malts, candi sugar, and slight cream. A pretty strong aroma. Very alive and inviting.

T: Tart sourness. Great wild yeast. Some funkiness. Clean malts form the foundation with some candi sugar to sweeten it. Well balanced and built, though simple. It's quite enjoyable, with enough sourness to satisfy without being puckerworthy. Not horribly subtle, but complex enough. A standard fare gueuze. There's not much depth to it, but I like it for what it is.

Mf: Smooth and dry, bringing out the flavours quite a bit. Nicely carbonated. Just thick enough on the palate.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable. I'd have this again. It's a pretty typical gueuze, which means it's pretty good. Will satisfy fans of the style no doubt.

A great candidate for aging.

Would pair well with salad.

High B-

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Photo of emerge077
4.17/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle at Hopleaf, capped with cheesy gold foil on the neck. Served in a fluted tulip glass.

Golden orange tone, good clarity, a short cap of white sea spray foam.

Very sharp, acetic, vinegar mustard nose. Wet wood and sharp lemon juice. There was a suggestion of saltiness in there that reminded me of the ocean.

Quite sour, puckering citric lemon juice, light acidity with some mild cider vinegar notes. Dry finish. Carbonation was fairly vigorous and noticeable at first, then settled down with a few swirls of the glass. This was fairly unique as far as Gueuze goes. It had a fair amount of wild funkiness, not to the degree of Hanssens, Girardin, or Cantillon, but it was certainly complex, and not a one-dimensional sourness.

Worth the $12 to try it, and not have to fly to Belgium.

2009: Trying this again at home, there's a definite acetic flavor in this, reminiscent of horseradish mustard, the seeded kind, not the yellow hot dog stuff. Huge puffy head. Almost a barnacled sea plank saltiness too...strange. Not so puckering, a manageable introductory Gueuze.

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Photo of zeff80
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a cloudy, orange.amber color with some yeasty sediment. It had a one-finger, white head with nice retention and some sudsy lace.

S - It smelled very sour with some phenolic notes and apple.

T - It tasted of sour apple and cherry. Nice bite.

M - It was crisp and puckeringly sharp. A light to medium bodied ale.

D - This is a very nice gueuze. Love those sour ales.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

375mL bottle with a date of 2011.07.06. Purchased at Rick's in Alexandria for $5.49 this afternoon. Served in a Grote Dorst mini gueuze tumbler.

Pours a clear light golden color with plenty of visible carbonation. Initial foamy white heady quickly recedes to half an inch and has some good staying power. Light lacing and a thin cap throughout. The nose is mostly acidic with a bit of lemon. Not too much funk, and the same goes for the flavor. Nothing off really, just balanced in a different direction than I would go. Light, crisp body with a fairly-heavy lemon-like acidity through the finish, which is quite dry. A decent gueuze, especially for the price.

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Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

375 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 7/18/2012. Pours lightly hazy golden orange color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of sour green apple, lemon, white grape, wet hay, straw, grass, oak, leather, musty funk, white vinegar, wheat, light pepper, and yeast/oaky earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/funky/lactic yeast, oak, and light malt notes; with good strength. Taste of tart green apple, lemon, white grape, wet hay, straw, grass, leather, oak, musty funk, white vinegar, wheat, light pepper, and yeast/oak earthiness. Fair amount of earthy/fruity tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of green apple, lemon, white grape, wet hay, straw, leather, oak, musty funk, white vinegar, wheat, and oak/yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity and balance of fruity/funky/lactic yeast, oak, and light malt flavors; with a great malt/acidity balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, crisp, dry, and fairly acidic mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with zero warming present after the finish as expected of 5%. Overall this is a very nice gueuze style. All around good complexity and balance of fruity/funky/lactic yeast, oak, and light malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink with the balanced acidity. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of jlindros
4.37/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

What better way to celebrate the coming of the new year than with a nice Belgian Gueuze. Bottled on 6/20 2008.

Pours a nice fizzy pasty white head, some nice bubbles rising up through the center, fades at a med pace with some sticky lacing on the sides, over a mostly clear nectar orange color with hint of reddish hue.

Nose is great, a step from pure heaven. Hard to describe, but pure Belgian Lambic. Tart fruits, like a light lemony sourness. More general sour fruit aromas, soured mash like as well. Then light bready funk, not typical Brett like funk, more lactobacillus or Brett lambicus like funky aroma, and a light dry bready funk. I could smell this all day.

Taste is not quite as funky but definitely quite sour, a lot more sour than I was expecting, like biting into a lemon. Lots of sour lemon kick into gear quickly, with an overall tart fruit flavor, fruity and tart-y. Soured mash flavors are there, with a nice general soured wild yeast flavor. A bit funky, not very, again more like lambicus sour flavor and light wild funk. A nice bready malt character is present, a bit in the front but really shines through towards the finish. As it finishes it dries significantly, more than bone dry, enough to suck moisture back out of my tongue, and only my quickly watering mouth (due to the puckering sourness) saves me from implosion through my mouth. A great effervescent feel, as the butt-loads of carbonation help to cut through the tartness. Some acidity also there, not super acidic as many lambics, but fairly acidic, and even a bit phlegm-y on the finish.

Mouth is lighter bodied, tons of carbonation, mouth puckering sour, and acidic as well as phlegmy, and even sticky all around.

Overall great, but there are better gueuze beers from Belgium. However, this is an awesome beer and for the price and availability a great option compared to Drie Fonteinen or Cantillon. This is a true lambic and not a super sweet fake version either, so def worth a shot for all the sour fans out there.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 110706.

A: Pours a hazy sunburst orange with an initial 1-inch off-white head which fades to the rim leaving a couple of faint spots. As warms the haze goes away to become clearer.

N: Lemony, horseblanket, musty, moldy, grass/hay, tannic and vinegar sourness, faint biscuity yeast.

T: Bright lemon zest and sour tannins up front, followed closely by cheesy and musty funk along with some floral and mild peppery spices.

M: Medium body and carbonation. Feels prickly from the sour and dusty dry finish.

O: Having this relatively plentiful and available is a blessing. Will certainly have again.

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Photo of chinchill
3.46/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2012 green bottle poured clear, pale amber with an excellent, modest-size, off-white head.
The aromas was funky and not appealing but did smell more or less as expected for style.
Taste; nicely tart; a pucking sour, fruity taste that's lightly bitter and leaves an aftertaste that's wuite sour.
M: medium-light body with good medium-light carbonation; tart.
O: extra tart and dry with limited funk (excepting the nose).

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap 6/19/10 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep golden brown color, with a large white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of tart fruit, light Belgian yeast and very light malts.

T: The taste starts with a nice bite of sourness up front but it's not as over-powering as some other in the style. Then some mild flavors of citrus and tart cherries come in. The malt character is very thin but there's enough of it to provide a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sour.

M: Smooth and very crisp, light body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Very tasty, goes down very easily, not filling at all, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a very nice sour beer that is worth drinking for a long time.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

First had: on tap at Pinocchio's, Media, PA

Poured a cloudy almost murky golden yellow, with a thin cap of white head. Aroma was pretty light actually: tart with notes of lemon zest and apple skin, and a bit of barnyard funk. Taste was very nice, balance of tart and sweet, apples and lemon zest, wet grass, spicy yeast, and maybe just a drop of berry juice. Medium mouthfeel, nice and crisp and zesty. Drinkable, not too overbearing or sour, and quite good, even if not totally exemplary of the style.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Two guys went crazy with the gueuzes. Those two guys were me and AndoBrew. Let's start things off with a review of St. Louis Gueuze Fond Tradition!

Acquired back in July at Once Upon a Vine in Richmond, VA.

Appearance: Pours a hazy, dirty gold body with a thin, quickly diminishing white head.

Smell: Tart, musty aroma of apple cider, wheat, and concentrated citrus fruits.

Taste: Light, sparing apple-like sweetness with a sharp, refreshingly citrus snap to it. Hints of oak and even salt. Though quick, the finish is chiefly dry and acidic. Nice, eh?

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Lightly carbonated.

Drinkability: Impressive from the outset! Very distinctive and enjoyable.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy golden-orange color with a massive white, foamy head on top. Decent retention, but very little lacing.

S: Lots of barnyard funk upfront, with some light fruits mixed in, mostly lemon with a little bit of peach.

T: Light fruits upfront, a little more lemon and peach/apricot. It starts off with some tartness, but it does not last.

M: Medium bodied with medium to high carbonation. Drinks pretty easy though.

O: A decent gueuze, but would have liked it a bit more sour. Would probably drink it again though.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

light orange brown with a very nice three finger head of lace and a good amount of carbonation streaming up from the bottom of the glass. Nice retention only gradually let the head fade away, what was left was a very nice set of concentric side glass rings of lace. Smell was very sour, lots of grapes and other fruits. A bit light on the nose before the sour wrath kicks in. Flavor was very full and robust. Nice yeast filled flavor wrecks your taste buds but calms down considerably on the finish. A huge rush of sour fruit than kicks into overdrive and puckers your lips through the finish. This was a wonderfully unique brew that had a very good flavor and a light fruity feel that really made it shine. I could see why it is rated so high, as it is quite different then anything I had tried in the past.

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Photo of smcolw
3.67/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Good starting head but it settles quickly to rim lace. Little lace (some spots). Orange-amber with some haziness.

Sweet and sour aroma. Smells like many of Framboise available, yet I know there are no raspberries in this one.

Overly sour where no sweetness is present (unlike the smell). Lip smacking tartness which makes for a lingering aftertaste. Watery with a below average carbonation level.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.92/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The pour is a cloudy golden orange color with a thin cream colored foam on top.

S: The nose offers plenty of funk, namely the barnyard variety with some nice green notes of grass and apple, as well as some lemon.

T: As full and wonderful as the aromas are, the flavor is lacking quite a bit. The tartness is certainly present as is a dry, oaky, Bretty finish. But, there isn't much else. The funk is subdued at best, leading to a one dimensional flavor.

M: The body is medium with a high level of carbonation and a dry finish.

D: A decent gueuze that's easy to find, but nothing all that special. I would stick with Cantillon, Hanssens, or Girardin over this one.

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Photo of orangesol
3.89/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle picked up along my travels.

A - Pours hazy golden orange with a small one finger tall off white head leaving spotty trails of lace down the glass.

S - Smells of a decent amount of barnyard funk, wet grass, green apple skins, lemon zest, oak and some light sweetness.

T - Starts off with the barnyard funk and fruity zip but compared to how it smells it is a little bit muted. The oak, green apple and light sweetness round things out. Finish is tart with a decent amount of dryness, lingering on the palate long after the finish.

M - Medium body with moderate carbonation. Crisp, dry feel from start to finish.

O - A decent enough gueuze. Not at the top of my list for the style but it is still solid and definitely worth the lower than average price.

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St. Louis Gueuze Fond Tradition from Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.
3.88 out of 5 based on 1,017 ratings.
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