Oude Geuze 1998 (50th Anniversary)
Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen

Oude Geuze 1998 (50th Anniversary)Oude Geuze 1998 (50th Anniversary)
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Belgian Gueuze
4.5 | pDev: 9.78%
Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen
Retired (no longer brewed)
Oude Geuze 1998 (50th Anniversary)Oude Geuze 1998 (50th Anniversary)
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Reviews: 29 | Ratings: 87 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.3/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

obviously an absurdly rare treat to get to try this beer some twenty years after it was bottled, i feel lucky and blessed to have had the opportunity. some in the group said it was past its prime, and there is a little oxidation here, but its ancient lambic at this point, and some of that can be flattering. its a neat beer, obviously something a little maltier in the blend with more of a brassy color to this and with some obvious grain decomposition in the nose and taste, i get red apple skins and dried apricots and light fruity vinegar, white wine, and still the classic oaky lambic funk, lightly medicinal here, oddly with some sweetness, subtle maple or honey even to it, minerals, hay and straw, farmy must, and a certain mature dankness, still a cool balance between the different fermenting elements, and still some body. i was surprised that this held a little head and that it stayed lively in the bottle, but there is nice carbonation to this making it feel even more fancy than its age and rarity already does. this is about as old a beer as i have had, but its still got a lot of merit in the glass, i didnt find it past its prime, even though some oxidation is setting in, it works. tart but not too sour to want to keep drinking, and with a very cool almost autumnal fruitiness with apples and sweet dessert wine and dried fruitiness. complex and intriguing, i cant believe i got to drink this. special stuff, especially at this point. what a life!

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Photo of ArrogantB
4/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was lucky enough to attend a beer dinner where this was one of the pairings. Still a nice orange color, not much head to speak of. Smelled like sweet candy with no oxidation. Flavor was also strangely sweet. I bet this was killer when it was first distributed. It held up much better than the 2001 that was served prior. This was the oldest 3F geuze I have ever had and it convinced me not to let me bottles go too long, I'll be opening some mid-2000's bottles from the basement asap.

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ArrogantB from Colorado, Oct 18, 2018
Photo of stevoj
4.61/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of Douglas88. Light and airy, held up perfectly. Pale golden with light airy head. Mild tartness, sweet fruity. Fizzy, still...amazing

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stevoj from Idaho, Mar 05, 2018
Photo of kevanb
4.37/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, poured into a Drie Fonteinen "3" wine glass. Enjoyed on 1.28.17, reviewed from Tasting Journal.

The beer pours a nice copper color, light amber that's cloudy and hazy with a huge off white head, great retention with spots of lace. The aroma is super funky, a bit minty with dead dry leaves, loads of barnyard and horseblanket with light spice, wildflower that ends up being a bit herbal as it warms up with wheat and old grain and hops, exceptionally fragrant. The flavors are wonderful, super dry and funky, lots of barnyard character, stale grain, aged hops offer some green leafy character a touch of citrus. Wildflower bouquet builds as it warms, a bit herbal and minty with a nice lingering mineral water character. The mouthfeel is nice, lively and crisp with zippy carbonation, coats well that's smooth and easy with a tart finish.

Verdict: An awesome gueuze, quite lively and fragrant despite the age. Complex and refreshing, the minty character is unusual but it subsides as it warms and the balance feels more natural. Definitely a real treat of a beer.

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kevanb from Illinois, Aug 28, 2017
Photo of jaken0ss
4.01/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle shared on 7/20/15 in a blind tasting

This bottle really fell short in comparison to it's counterparts. Which really isn't fair, BUT, this bottle was clearly over the hill. There was barely any odors on the nose, and the taste was muted. Sad that it was only a shell of it's former self, but happy to have drank!

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jaken0ss from New Jersey, Jul 21, 2015
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.26/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle pour at Shelton Brothers The Festival 2014 held at Crafted in San Pedro, CA.

Pours a murky orange-brown with a foamy bone head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is sour with malt, grain, lemon, acidic, and funk aromas. Taste is much the same with sour lemon, funk, and acidic flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer that still has awesome sour and funk qualities all around after 16 years in the bottle.

Serving type: bottle.

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UCLABrewN84 from California, Nov 10, 2014
Photo of jegross2
2.16/5  rDev -52%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.75

Reviewing the 50th Anniversary Oude Gueze from Brouwerij Drie Fonteinen out of Belgium.

Score: 40

1998 vintage bottle served in a Kuhnhenn snifter and enjoyed on 02/11/14. Big thank you to Paul for sharing this bottle.

Appearance: Pours a golden orange color with a finger of white head off the pour that settles to a thin layer. Good lacing, above average retention for the style. 4/5

Smell: Minty Clorox bleach, a little lemon and ample feet funk. This is not what I was expecting...not terrible, but not good. 3/5

Taste: BLEH! More lemon and less bleach than the nose, but substantially more feet funk and blue cheese, followed by a little bit of that mint. There is a very faint tartness, but this nose is mostly just lasting funkiness with a minty cleaning product twist. Quite unpleasant, and difficult to drink. I drain-poured at least half of my glass. 1.5/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, nice heft for a gueze. Medium carbonation. Light tartness, tons of funk that coats the palate. 2.5/5

Overall: This beer was simply terrible. All funk, no real tartness. We drain poured over half of the bottle. What a waste.

Cost: $350 for a 750 ml (aftermarket prices).

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jegross2 from Illinois, May 24, 2014
Photo of cfrances33
4.15/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into a wine stem. Enjoyed 12/7/2013.

Pour is a deep orange with a billowing, 3 finger off white head. Lots of retention and lacing. Smell is a deep musty funk up front, with some lemon, and a floral touch. Taste is a bit subdued on all accounts. Nice lemony bite, cobwebs, hay, and mineral funk, but with the same floral aspect, and a touch of mint on the finish. Drinkable, and only a touch dirty on the back of the throat. Medium dryness. A privilege to try this one, but I think it falls short of other geuzes of similar age.

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cfrances33 from Illinois, Dec 28, 2013
Photo of WillCarrera
4.6/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle at Akkurat, date hand-written on the back of 21 Nov. '98, poured into a gueuze glass.

A- Pours a cloudy apricot color, topped with a huge, billowy white head, leaves nice lacing.

S- Incredible. Has a great damp, earthy, woody funk, along with a nice amount of honey aroma (got the same thing from Lente), sweat, there's a bit of mint as well, along with a ton of hay.

T- Has a lot of the same things going on as in the aroma, nice damp, earthy funk, more noticeable mint here, as well as a chalky mineral water flavor. Lemon and pear fruitiness and lots of acidity.

M- Medium-bodied, very high, spritzy carbonation, which usually I hate, but it works reasonably well here. Finishes very dry.

O- This was a very enjoyable beer with a really outstanding aroma. This has held up really nicely over 15 years. I'll be interested to see how this compares to some of 3F's other beers from the same period.

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Photo of Tnudish
3.88/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very big thanks to spdyfire83 for popping this bad boy, one of the last 3F I haven’t ticked. Thanks Bryan!

A-Pours a brilliant orange color with a half fingers worth of tight white head.

S-Wow, nose is kinda weird. Right off the bat, it smells minty, it overwhelms the gueuze characteristics of it honestly. Must and lemon are in the background, but very subtle.

T-Mint character is very light in the flavor, it leans more towards balanced gueuze with lemon and funk.

M-Good mouthfeel, light carbonation, gentle acidity, with a moderate finish.

O-This is a peculiar gueuze. The mintiness is kinda distracting honestly, it is way different than anything I’ve had from 3F. Thanks to Bryan for popping this guy, a real treat.

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Tnudish from Wisconsin, Dec 26, 2012
Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A huge, long time want. Thanks to Mike for this one. 750ml corked and caged bottle shared at a tasting on 12/8. Reviewed from notes. 5oz pour into a Cantillon flute.

Pours slightly cloudy goldenrod. 4 finger, foamy white head with great retention. No lace and thin legs. About what I'd expect from a 3F Gueuze. Solid. Huge carbonation.

Nose is oddly minty, hay, lemon rind, and yeast and wet wood funkiness. Mint notes throw this one off a bit but all the old, funky components make this one solid nevertheless.

Light and spritzy lemon rind, hay, wet wood. Barnyard funkiness with a light, tart finish. Overall tartness is very mellow with incredible balance. Not the most funky or cheesy but with a larger hay and straw presence. This one's aged very well.

Light bodied with moderate carbonation. Lively, tart, and dry in the mouth with a bone dry, puckering finish. Pretty clean aftertaste. Exactly what I want from the style.

Don't expect a beer that'll blow your mind here. Flavor profile is mellow, with decent complexity but incredible balance. Tartness is present but not overwhelming with a mouthfeel that really delivers drinkability. Very, very good. This one lived up to what I expected.

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SpeedwayJim from New York, Dec 09, 2012
Photo of HopHead84
4.62/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Thanks to Paul for opening this. Snifter. Long time want.

A: Very attractive yellow orange color. Big fizzy white head. Nice appearance.

S: Mushroom, damp forest floor, lemon. Musty barnyard with some blue cheese. Restrained lactic aroma with light horsey notes.

T: Moderate citric acidity up front with a firm tartness. Lemon blends with brackish character, earth, mustiness, a touch of peach, oak, and tannins. Finishes with a piquant citric punch.

M: Upper light body with light carbonation.

Overall: Well balanced and excellent overall. Simultaneously bright and earthy.

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HopHead84 from California, Oct 31, 2012
Photo of spdyfire83
4.62/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

220th Review
Unlabeled 75cl bottle shared at Akkurat with a great crew
Poured in a gueuze glass
Enjoyed on 9 May 2012

Vintage: 1998 - the one and only!

A: Straw yellow. 3+ (fluffy white) fingernail head on soft pour.

S: Wow! Must, barn yard funk, aged cheese, crisp lemon zest, matured, and so nice. Almost perfect, but not quite. Maybe with another couple of years though...

T: So complex, yet so easy to drink. Follows smell, but very dry and refreshing. My glass disappeared to quickly, but even the dregs of this were wonderful!

M: Light bodied with loads of carbonation.

O: A truly wonderful beer! Crisp, clean, and very easy to drink. The simplicity is beautiful and the pronounced zest is amazing. Well done Armand!

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spdyfire83 from Ireland, Jun 20, 2012
Photo of craytonic
4.33/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

4/14/2012 tasting, thanks Brad!

Appearance - typical for the style, golden-yellow pour with a very faint haze, small head and lacing
Smell: Delicious earth and funk, slightly sour
Taste: Earth, funk and sour, well integrated with each other. Touch of some herbal notes
Mouthfeel: Medium body and carbonation
Overall: Really delicious, yet another outstanding 3F

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craytonic from District of Columbia, May 17, 2012
Photo of drabmuh
4.05/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by ygtbsm at a recent tasting, served in a Drie Fonteinen tumbler. Beer is yellow and hazy with thin white cap of a head, some lacing, moderate carbonation, looks good.

Aroma is a little odd for a Drie Fonteinen, almost more malty, interesting beer though. I like the earthiness and oaky funk. A little papery.

This beer was probably the least interesting of all of them sampled that day, seemed to be a bit over the hill with a few obvious signs of oxidation but that being said it was still very good. Very oaky / tannic bitterness on the end, mild tartness and nice lactic acid presence, a pretty good beer but I don't think I'd have it again.

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drabmuh from Maryland, Apr 23, 2012
Photo of Huhzubendah
3.88/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared by ygtbsm94 at our insane sour and wild ales tasting on April 14, 2012. Sampled alongside 1999 Oude Geuze and Millennium Gueze.

The beer is mildly hazy and golden yellow hued with a small white head. The aroma is unlike any I have experienced from a Drie Fonteinen brew, with a huge mint and herbal character. The flavor brings abundant minty notes, followed by herbal, floral, and earth. The beer is smooth, with lingering funk and mint notes. I feel that the mint character overpowers the citrus, grass, and classic lambic character that would make this beer wonderful. I doubt I will ever try this again, but I would be curious to taste a different bottle. Millennium Gueze was the clear favorite of this trio.

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Huhzubendah from District of Columbia, Apr 22, 2012
Photo of mdfb79
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 04/14/12 notes. Big thanks to Brad for sharing this on at our DC Sour Tasting. Tried side by side with a 1999 Oude Geuze and 2000 Millennium Geuze.

a - Pours a hazy dark yellow-orange color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation.

s - Smells a bit minty, of bready malts, sweet fruity malts, earthy notes, and some light funk. Nice but not sour and very little funk.

t - Tastes of funk, spice, earthy notes, bready malts, light swet fruits. Taste is better then the nose and a little more funky, but is kind of old still.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Very easy to drink.

o - Overall I thought this was a good beer but I preferred the '09 Geueze, then the Millennium, to this one. Nice but a little old, and not as sour of funky as others. A good beer but a bit faded at this point.

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mdfb79 from New York, Apr 20, 2012
Photo of Thorpe429
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle at the DC Lambic & Sour Tasting on April 14, 2012. Served in an old-school Drie Fonteinen fountains gueuze tumbler. Huge thanks to Brad for this one.

Pours a clear golden color with a bit of a tawny hue to the background. The head is white and small, falling somewhat quickly and leaving behind some sparse lacing as it lays down in a thin collar.

The nose brings some heavy earth and funk with lightly-oxidized malt. Some interesting light herbal characteristics in the background that I've never gotten from a Drie Fonteinen gueuze before.

The flavor is much more complex and integrated, with the funk, earth, and light herbal character headed to the next level. Average flavor duration with light acidity and moderate funk through the finish.

The body is medium and slightly-chewy with light carbonation. Really great feel and complexity.

We had this side-by-side with the Oude Geuze 1999 blend (supposedly one of Armand's favorites) and Millennium, and both of those quite handily beat out this bottle. With that said, this beer was still very, very good.

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Thorpe429 from Illinois, Apr 18, 2012
Photo of cpetrone84
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drank at Akkurat on the longest lambic binge I could endure. Had with many of the classics and enjoyed this beer twice. The one bottle was the best beer I have ever had and was absolutely perfect, reviewed based from that. Pour is a hazy golden amber with tight fluffy white head. The nose has a rindy cheese to it, light dusty paper quality as fruits are unfolded. Lemon rind, hint of mint, bright ripe tangerine and peach notes. The taste has slightly less chessy find and a touch more dusty paper, the fruit flavors are even more bright and take stronger hold on the presence of the beer. more peaches with a little less of the tart lemon than I anticipated as the sourness takes hold and adds to the overall awesomeness and complexity of this beer. The body is extremely light, lovely effervescent feel, high crisp carbonation and just enough driness. Mid to late bottle pour is more funky, early pour is more fruity. Absolutely perfect!

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cpetrone84 from Pennsylvania, Jan 06, 2012
Photo of rvdoorn
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A special beer for rating number 500, opened during an EPIC sour tasting with PapaEugene and others! Thank you Michel for bringing the mythical 3 Fonteinen 50th Anniversary geuze.
Look: the beer pours a golden-yellow color with a nice white head that disappeared fast.
Smell: Barnyard, leather, horseblanket, wheat, tart, apples, hints of lemon, oak and sour
Taste: Mild but nicely sour, malts and funk. Some sour fruits appear as well, funky citrus.
Mouthfeel: well bodied for a geuze. I agree with previous rater that this beer is very close to champagne.
Overall: What an experience! This beer is so smooth, mild and still so fresh. More mild than most other 3 Fonteinen geuzes, but therefore more special. Exciting and a absolute want for geuze connoisseurs. Close to perfect. Blew away, although much younger and therefore difficult to compare, the Armand'4 series in a comparative tasting. WOW

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rvdoorn from Netherlands, Dec 05, 2011
Photo of ygtbsm94
4.39/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from a 75cl bottle; vintage 1998. Poured a light orangey color with a medium bubbly head. Fantastic aroma with a funky barnyard musty note. Taste was a mixed well balanced lemony, tart, and light sour note along with some medium light oak. Without a doubt drinkable with almost no acidity and some great carbonation! Mellow, soft, and a well balanced, quite refined Geuze. Without question an outstanding Geuze for the ages even after ten years.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.17/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle collectively obtained by our tasting group. Poured into mini-snifter tasting glass.

A - Pours a hazy golden straw color, fizzy white head, slight spotty lacing, no retention/cap.

S - Slightly sweet, farm, floral, barn, tart, sour slight. Not near as tart/sour as I was expecting. Very delicate then anything, nice soft floral notes, light on the funk.

T - Slightly tart/sour, barn, funk, champagne. This is the closest beer to a champagne I've ever had. No real sugary sweetness, but light tart/sour and nice floral funk with a touch of oak. Like the nose, very delicate.

M - Body is light, fizzy champagne-esque head, dry oaky finish.

O - Enjoyable and as close to champagne as I've ever had. I was very surprised how delicate this beer was and glad we cracked it first-thing. You really need a super-fresh palate to enjoy this one. A very subtle gueuze. I prefer the 1999 vintage and Millennium Gueuze over this one.

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Sean9689 from Illinois, Aug 01, 2011
Photo of MasterSki
4.27/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Todd Ashman for getting this into our collective hands. Served in an Alvinne snifter.

A - Quick-dissolving white foam settles to a partial ring of bubbles. Visible streams of bubbles inhabit a hazy peach flesh body. Looks like gueuze alright.

S - Cheesy funk, big floral and grass notes, some lactic acidity, grapes and white wine vinegar, buttery oak. Very nice, with plenty of intensity for a thirteen year old gueuze. No obvious oxidation at all actually.

T - Taste is heavier on the damp, earthen basement, sweat, feet, and a slight mineral water quality. Feels a bit...empty? Some nice citrus and grape character, and the slightest oxidation creeping in.

M - Zesty carbonation that tickles the palate, super dry, with mild pucker, and a medium-light body. Quite refreshing actually.

D - This actually reminds me a little of the Malvasia Rosso, but with a more aged quality to it. It's eminently drinkable, and a fine blend of lambics, but I don't anticipate it getting any better and could see it falling off quite precipitously with further age. A very different gueuze from Millennium and definitely worth trying.

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MasterSki from Ontario (Canada), Jul 31, 2011
Photo of corby112
4.7/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled alongside a '99 and Millennium at a recent tasting with sideshowe, callmemickey and his wife Marie.

Pours a dark golden yellow color with pale golden straw colored hues and a two finger soapy white head. Good retention, slowly fading into a lasting cap that leaves sporadic spots of lace in it's wake.

Earthy, musty aroma that isn't overly funky with barrel/wood character as well as some barnyard/horsey notes, crisp light fruit and subtle citrus.

Medium bodied with a soft, earthy funkiness that isn't harsh, solvent-like or overpowering allowing the citrus notes and vinegary acetic acids to shine through. Very clean, complex and smooth with a well balanced flavor profile that makes it very easy too drink. This beer has aged very gracefully, retaining it's puckering, funky character while remaining clean and quaffable. It became more funky as it warmed and we came back to it, with hints of puckering citrus/lemon and a lingering vinegary, dry finish that left me salivating for more.

This beer is pretty amazing at this stage and is worth seeking out. Highly recommended!

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corby112 from Pennsylvania, Jun 16, 2011
Photo of callmemickey
4.73/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared with my wife, corby112, and sideshowe at our Drie Fonteinen tasting.

A: Deep orange-wheat colored body. Large, fluffy off-white head. Stuck around for a few minutes before leaving behind a nice coating of lacing.

S: Subtle musty, earthy tones. Damp hay. Smells like the barrel room at Drie Fonteinen. Mild citrus.

T: A truly fantastic flavor profile. If you aren't going in expecting something super dank and funky, this will amaze. Delicate complexity. A refined blend bringing together a little bit of everything... lemon, orange, sweat, musty oak, barnyard notes of straw and musty air. The complexity of this really came out when we returned to this after trying the 1999 and Millennium Gueuze.

M: Stellar. Medium to light bodied. Lively effervescence. Restrained sourness in the finish.

O: An exceptional blend. Lucky to have been able to get to try it with a dozen years on it.

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callmemickey from Pennsylvania, Jun 07, 2011
Oude Geuze 1998 (50th Anniversary) from Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 87 ratings