Blind Gueuze Tasting

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by errantnight, Jan 26, 2016.

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  1. Beer_Line

    Beer_Line Aspirant (298) May 29, 2015 California

    Drain poured DDG? What happened to that bottle? I've had recently and it was spectacular...
  2. errantnight

    errantnight Savant (952) Jul 7, 2005 District of Columbia

    I'm glad you've had better luck, but as noted above, this was an acetone, solvent mess.
  3. errantnight

    errantnight Savant (952) Jul 7, 2005 District of Columbia

    Yes, Drie Fonteinen (3 Fonteinen) comes to the states.

    Depending on your area, Drie Fonteinen seems, entirely anecdotally, to move about the same rate as Tilquin. Faster than some, not as fast as Cantillon. But I don't know much about the distributors or sales peculiarities of Maryland.
  4. errantnight

    errantnight Savant (952) Jul 7, 2005 District of Columbia

    That's one of the reasons I love blind tastings, it's interesting to see which of my existing preconceptions are on, and which are off.

    I wouldn't say the bottle of Broken Truck we had at the tasting was particularly remarkable as the best lambics or even American wild ales go, but it WAS damn tasty and I'd be happy to have another.
  5. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (3,503) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Society Trader

    I'll definitely be looking for it now, especially if in stores in DC or Baltimore areas that get larger distro. Hopefully it doesn't get up to Cantillon hype levels before I can find it.
  6. anteater

    anteater Champion (821) Sep 10, 2012 Oregon

    I haven't had 100% of the gueuzes from this tasting but I did have Broken Truck and 3F OGV 08 in the same sitting one time. The most amazing thing to me was how similar they were, with Broken Truck being a bit more assertive. Both absolutely incredible but I think I preferred BT by a hair.
  7. TurdFurgison

    TurdFurgison Poo-Bah (3,424) May 29, 2005 Ohio

    True, and De Cam and Hanssens are also blenders. 3F should be added as a blender too although they are now brewing their own lambic again to be used along with purchased stuff. Oud Beersel doesn't brew currently but their lambic is created with a unique recipe by Boon.
  8. eb1610

    eb1610 Disciple (354) Jan 3, 2014 Massachusetts

    I love when people post tasting results like this
  9. rowingbrewer

    rowingbrewer Champion (837) May 28, 2010 Massachusetts

    Tilquin uses cantillon wort not cantillon lambic.
  10. LambicPentameter

    LambicPentameter Initiate (0) Aug 29, 2012 Nebraska

    Good point. I knew it didn't sound right when I wrote lambic, as it felt strange that a brewer would sell their finished product to essentially a competitor.
  11. F2brewers

    F2brewers Champion (820) Mar 12, 2005 Massachusetts
    Fest Crew Society Trader

    Very much this. After visiting De Troch a few years back, I've been begging to get distro on their Oude Gueuze and, as you note later, now Oude Kriek in the US. It's entirely traditional and fermented only in oak barrels whereas their more commercial offerings frequently age in chestnut wood.

    Anyone who has been to Cantillon...if you think they appear antiquated, visit De Troch (only ~ 30 minutes outside of Brussells in Wambeek). Their entire brewing operation exists in a single room though sadly, their direct fire mash/boil tun is no longer operational and they've had to replace their copper coolship with a stainless one (much like 3F).

    Speaking of...

    The first batches from the new operation came during the fall of 2012 actually. :wink:

    It's hardly *most* of their blend even now...even back in the day it never was. Their operation remains significantly smaller (volumewise) than Cantillon and they still purchase wort from Girardin (Armand's favorite) and Lindemans though (I hear) no longer from Boon or not much from Boon. They've been adding their own

    However, if they are able to open their planned new facility, that may change.

    You need to let it sleep... after five years (or more), you'll get the kinds of things you're looking for there. LP Gueuze isn't technically a gueuze in the traditional's a blend of ~ 2 year lambic referemented in the bottle with sugar. As such, it doesn't have the depth that an Oude Gueuze (traditional blend of 1, 2, 3 year lambic) would have at the start (no 3 year) and without the young (1 year lambic), it takes much longer to break down the 2 year lambic.

    Most blenders, Tilquin included, purchase lambic wort that's been allowed to spontaneously innoculate and ferment it in their own barrels/facilities and then blend it. Minor discrepancy, but true nontheless.
  12. errantnight

    errantnight Savant (952) Jul 7, 2005 District of Columbia

    Any idea if the LambickX Kriek was De Troch? Because that was fairly phenomenal and if it's any indication of what the Oude Kriek will be like...

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  13. cquiroga

    cquiroga Initiate (181) Oct 14, 2004 California

    Isn't this how all "blenders" work-- they get wort from various places, and then the beer is fermented in their own oak barrels before blending? So to say that Tilquin uses Cantillon lambic or that Drie Fonteinen uses Lindeman's lambic or Boon lambic *is* to say that they are using *wort* from these places, which was brewed specifically for the production of lambic. I know this may seem like a small, semantic quibble, but I'm actually just hoping to clarify your point...

    I had previously thought that blenders acquired "lambic" that had already been fermented and aged, and then they primarily did the blending, packaging, bottle-fermentation/aging, etc., but some several years ago on one of these here internet forums, someone with a degree of authority (can't remember whom, exactly) pointed out that when blenders acquire beer from other producers, it is actually (always? almost always?) in the form of unfinished wort, and that the fermentation and maturation of that lambic was primarily if not exclusively under the guidance of the "blender".

    I wonder if both practices are, in fact, going on...

    Anyone got some better clarification on this point?

    EDIT: I see F2brewers clarified this a little bit in his post above (damn posting a reply before reading through the entire thread!), but I'll leave this stuff here still... Does anyone know if there is also some amount of acquisition of *already aged* lambic by one facility from another? So the art of the production/release is then almost exclusively in the blending?
  14. southdenverhoo

    southdenverhoo Devotee (437) Aug 13, 2004 Colorado

    OT but the geuze/lambic experts on this thread will know: Am I remembering entirely incorrectly, or do they serve Oud Beersel at the cafe at 3 Fonteinen? It was the next to the last day of a trip that took us from Brussels to Ghent to Bruges to Watou to Dour/Blaugies to Florenville to Beersel to Brussels and things run together in my memory...but that's the way I remember it.

    EDIT: this reads confusingly, I meant IN ADDITION TO the 3F offerings, do they also sell Oud Beersel offerings, I'm remembering a 1 year old lambic and a geuze being on the menu.
  15. AndrewK

    AndrewK Aspirant (275) Oct 20, 2006 California

    The LambickX Kriek was not De Troch. The source of those barrels does not want to be named on another company's label, but lets just say that their own Oude Kriek is very good and readily available in the US.
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  16. F2brewers

    F2brewers Champion (820) Mar 12, 2005 Massachusetts
    Fest Crew Society Trader

    From talking to Wendy Littlefield at VanBerg & Dewulf (who hand selected the blends), the original bottling of LambicX (not the Kriek) with the orange label and the 2008-2011 dating was DeTroch Lambic. It's quite nice actually.

    The second bottling of LambicX (2009-2011) as well as LambicX Kriek is a little more nebulous since they call it "private domain". She wouldn't divulge the source of the wort, but it was fermented and blended at Strubbe in Ichtigem. My guess is that it has some DeTroch, but likely also has elements of Boon, Lindemans, Girardin and 3F since VB & DW also imports DeCam (who uses wort from all four) as well as Bzart (a specific line from Oud Beersel (separate from their main line which is imported by Wetten) which uses Boon wort).

    It's not 100% clear.
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  17. F2brewers

    F2brewers Champion (820) Mar 12, 2005 Massachusetts
    Fest Crew Society Trader

    Most blenders prefer to buy wort and then ferment it/age it in their own way. When I asked, 3F (prior to the resumption of brewing), De Cam and Oud Beersel all had day old wort trucked into their faciilities and then pumped into their own barrels for fermentation/aging. That allows a sense of terroir both from the brewery since the barrels/pipes/foudres/vats are all open (at least a bung opening) during primary fermentation as well as the specific organisms and characteristics of the vats/pipes/foudres/barrels themselves and allows for the temperature and humidity fluctuations in the areas where fermentation takes place.

    Yes, some blenders to acquire aged/fermented lambic to put into their blends. It's expensive to pay someone else to do so, but it does happen. It's not a well advertised practice in most cases....but take De Heeren's Heerengueuze: a (roughly) 50/50 blend of 3F and Cantillon lambic (2008 brewing season) that was purchased separately from each brewery by De Heeren in 2010/2011 and then contracted for bottling at Cantillon (neither Cantillon nor 3F knew it was happening). De Heeren then laid it down in their cellars for two years and started selling it in 2013. That's a whole other story though.
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  18. rowingbrewer

    rowingbrewer Champion (837) May 28, 2010 Massachusetts

  19. djs467

    djs467 Initiate (0) Mar 1, 2011 Colorado

    I'm curious of one more thing here.
    From my understanding, what happens is blenders by unfermented wort from lambic brewers and ferment it at their own facilities. Has this wort spent a night in the coolship before being sold? Making it unfermented, but inoculated with the yeast/bugs of the brewery.
    I would like to think that this is what happens, since without the flora from the brewery what would be the point of blending lambic from multiple sources? The grain bills are not providing the diversity, so this must be the case. But again, I'm speculating.
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  20. cquiroga

    cquiroga Initiate (181) Oct 14, 2004 California

    My thoughts exactly.
  21. errantnight

    errantnight Savant (952) Jul 7, 2005 District of Columbia

    While I certainly can't say, I'm not sure what other practice the brewers would have to cool the wort OTHER than this, so this seems like a pretty logical speculation, to me.
  22. _RL_

    _RL_ Disciple (345) Oct 2, 2013 Maryland

    Maryland gets far more Tilquin than Drie Fonteinen in my experience. I could likely find some Tilquin (probably Quetsche) this evening if I wanted. Drie Fonteinen gets here, but disappears quickly and I've never seen their plain gueuze here (only their fruited lambics).
  23. clayfu

    clayfu Initiate (0) Apr 27, 2010 California

    Sorry late reply, didn't see the thread till now. Wish I took notes, but seating was a bit packed and I wanted to concentrate on pouring and tasting.

    I think we're seeing big time bottle variation on this beer. I've had some incredible bottles in the last 6 months and also some real nasty bottles of this.

    About 1-1.5oz pours. More than enough to get a good impression (but not a good enough long impression as some of the beers definitely opened up by the end) but not enough to dull the palate.

    I also strongly believe doing flights of 3-4 focuses your attention on the beer. Also the spacing between flights allows you to re-calibrate your palate. If it was a free for all pourfest I'd definitely have the same impression as you.
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  24. ManforallSaisons

    ManforallSaisons Devotee (427) Mar 20, 2008 Belgium

    Congrats and thanks for this thread. Obviously there are limits with any tasting. A 1.5 oz pour is really useful for getting to unpick some of the mysteries of these beers. But as I once a product (not beer) marketer explain, side-by-sides aren't the best predictor of longer term preference. His classic example was Pepsi beating Coke in taste tests by being slightly sweeter, but Coke ultimately outselling it, as they figured out when giving people both to take home for a week. Ugh, this is a terrible comparison -- I don't much like any colas. Anyway. One excellent point above made me think of this -- I've also had the experience of Girardin seeming a bit flat and lifeless next to the Oud Beersel in a side-by-side. But I still love it, drink it often, and I also can't help but take into consideration that it's crazy cheap here.
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