Gueuze Flavors - What are you into?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by sjverla, Jan 26, 2013.


What flavors do you prefer to be more prominent?

  1. Tart/Acidic

    36 vote(s)
  2. Funky/Barnyardy

    26 vote(s)
  3. A little (or a lot) of both. Keep it balanced.

    84 vote(s)
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  1. sjverla

    sjverla Devotee (490) Dec 1, 2008 Massachusetts

    I've had a few gueuze's over my time as a beer drinker and liked them all. But the one that's really stood out to me has been Girardin 1882 Black Label. The amount of funk in that bottle was incredible and really took center-stage over sourness. It was so earthy and woody - moldy in a good way (like bleu cheese).

    Of the few gueuzes and otherwise "wild" (inoculated) I've had, nothing has come close to that flavor. And since it's such a unique and varied style, I ask, what flavors do you like to see in your gueuzes?
  2. ItsLaTrappe

    ItsLaTrappe Initiate (0) May 15, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Like gueuze's tart and acidic, but not vinigary like a flemish red. I haven't gotten much barnyard like you get from brett beers or saisons, farm house... Never had a Black Label though. Funny enough had a St Louis Fond Tradition this afternoon. Going to assume the higher end gueuzes may have more age funk on them depending on blends, with the more available being simply tart.
  3. poopinmybutt

    poopinmybutt Initiate (85) May 25, 2005 Nebraska

    3f (when i could still get it regularly) was my favorite. it was funky as hell but also quite sour in a lemony way.

    i like a lot of both, but honestly i have not yet had a bad gueuze. i like em all a lot, mild or strong.
    dachshunddude86 likes this.
  4. gatornation

    gatornation Poo-Bah (3,673) Apr 18, 2007 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    i like funk first with tartness in the after taste In order IMO
  5. immobilisme

    immobilisme Aspirant (231) Nov 8, 2005 Illinois

    According to Parliament...

    Ow, we want the funk
    Give up the funk
    Ow, we need the funk
    We gotta have that funk

    3F for life.
  6. tewaris

    tewaris Initiate (0) Jul 14, 2009 Minnesota

    3F is indeed the right answer!
  7. ASUBeer

    ASUBeer Aspirant (212) Nov 4, 2011 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    I like a tart, acidic taste with a dirty, funky nose. Cantillon, DeCam, and Tilquin are probably my top 3.
  8. reverseapachemaster

    reverseapachemaster Aspirant (244) Sep 21, 2012 Texas
    Beer Trader

    I like both.

    The strong acidic flavor is often -- but not always-- a sign of how much young lambic is in the blend. The more old lambic, the less sharp acidity and more earthy/funky character you get. Sometimes the cherry pie funk lessens over time as well. Young lambic tends to be more sharply acidic and more cherry pie in the funk. Both are good separately. Both are good blended.
  9. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Poo-Bah (12,433) Mar 18, 2010 California

    Balance between them for sure.
    FosterJM likes this.
  10. TheJollyHop

    TheJollyHop Initiate (0) Sep 2, 2009 California

    davey101 and sjverla like this.
  11. sjverla

    sjverla Devotee (490) Dec 1, 2008 Massachusetts

    Glad to see so much love for 3F. I got a 750 of the Oude Geuze from the inlaws for Christmas. Just waiting for the right occasion to pop it.
  12. glaze3

    glaze3 Initiate (17) Jul 29, 2010 Nevada

    There never seems to be enough oak influence for me, though the Black Label and well aged Geuze seem to be my favorites.
  13. Immortale25

    Immortale25 Poo-Bah (3,031) May 13, 2011 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    With the more intense gueuzes, I get this rubbery flavor and aroma (a little with Oud Beersel Oude Gueuze Vieille, a lot with 3F Oude Gueuze) but with the more attainable, less renowned ones (Lindeman's Cuvee Rene, St. Louis Fond Tradition), I just get the tart acidic notes. Maybe what I'm perceiving to be rubber is maybe oak? Either way, I don't find it enjoyable. Still trying to figure out the style.
  14. tewaris

    tewaris Initiate (0) Jul 14, 2009 Minnesota

    Only after you "closet" them for long enough. Applies to all beers.
    dachshunddude86 likes this.
  15. tewaris

    tewaris Initiate (0) Jul 14, 2009 Minnesota

    I believe it is something related to Sulfur. I have noted this, especially in 3F, and as my tasting buddies/my only friends outside of the 'net would vouch, I love it!
  16. reverseapachemaster

    reverseapachemaster Aspirant (244) Sep 21, 2012 Texas
    Beer Trader

    Lambic is aged in well worn barrels. There shouldn't be any oak character.
  17. ArrogantB

    ArrogantB Poo-Bah (3,259) Jun 9, 2006 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I prefer my gueuze to have flavors of 3F Golden Blend with hints of Lente around the edges.
    davey101 and afrokaze like this.
  18. Jeffo

    Jeffo Poo-Bah (2,745) Sep 7, 2008 Netherlands

    God that Girardin Black Label was musty and mouldy as all hell. Fungus and more fungus. You can have mine :slight_smile:

    I prefer more tart and acidic gueuze, but without the vinegar flavors. A little funk/mould is alright, but I'd lean towards the acidic side of the spectrum. De Cam and Tilquin come to mind.

  19. Etan

    Etan Initiate (0) Jul 11, 2011 Wisconsin

    You're right - I should explain myself.

    It is true that lambic producers generally seek out older casks, and give them a thorough cleaning before use. This is to limit the tannic influence the barrel-aging has on the beer, but not to entirely get rid of it. Go and drink the most traditional gueuzes and you'll notice some oak character in all of them (thought it should be moderate to very subtle, never dominating the beer). Furthermore, some traditional lambic brewers/blenders are experimenting with specific cask types (see Crianza Helena and the specific use of Cognac and Bordeaux casks). While the principle is the same (the notes imparted by the spirit/wine-soaked wood itself should be subtle and in balance), the idea that there should be no oak character makes no sense in this light.
    davey101 and luwak like this.
  20. Tashbrew

    Tashbrew Initiate (0) Dec 29, 2007 California

    I prefer of Cantillon late 80's into the 90's. When Jean took over from his father a little of that flavor has gone away.
    westcoastbeerlvr likes this.
  21. sjverla

    sjverla Devotee (490) Dec 1, 2008 Massachusetts

    It was actually you're review that got me thinking about it. I had a Mariage Parfait on Christmas and it had some nice funk, but i was hoping for Girardin proportions. So I was browsing reviews for what I guess could be described as "moldy" gueuzes. I came across yours and thought it would be interesting to get people's preferences one way or another.
  22. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,307) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    That 'moldy' character might not actually be part of the beer- it can come from the cork (what wine people refer to as TCA). I recently had some Hanssen's Kriek that was unfortunately infected in that way, so it can happen.
  23. JoePoc17

    JoePoc17 Initiate (0) Apr 12, 2008 Pennsylvania

    I'm definitely down with lip puckering pungently tart gueuzes. Although I like a little funk, I prefer it in other Belgian brews. But when it comes to gueuzes, I prefer them tart, because in my opinion that's what distinguishes the style from other Belgians.
  24. Immortale25

    Immortale25 Poo-Bah (3,031) May 13, 2011 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    I appreciate the feedback.

    I really want to try the Girardin 1882 Black Label. I have no problems with the earthy, woody, moldy tastes you describe but did you detect any "rubbery" (can't find another adjective to describe it) or astringent flavors in it? If so, I may want to pass because I'm starting to get sick paying over $10 a pop for little 12.7 oz bottles of beer that end up tasting kind of like wet blacktop concrete.
  25. sjverla

    sjverla Devotee (490) Dec 1, 2008 Massachusetts

    I don't recall any rubbery tastes. Granted it's been over a year since I had it, so YMMV. I will say though that I've only seen it once since the first time I've had it and regret not buying it again.
  26. thegoon55

    thegoon55 Initiate (0) Oct 27, 2012 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Having something too tart/acidic takes away from the complexity of a good sour IMO.
  27. DogfishTail

    DogfishTail Initiate (0) Jun 30, 2011 Rhode Island
    Beer Trader

    I actually had this about a week ago, and was not impressed. It was a 2011 bottle, and I'm not sure of how well it was cellared, but it was lacking the acidity that I like, and seemed to have some earthy off flavors.
    I would absolutely not describe it as "blacktop concrete" though. I guess I just had higher hopes for it.
  28. peteinSD

    peteinSD Initiate (0) Apr 25, 2010 California

    key to me is a bone dry, clean body/mouthfeel. next i want a melange of tart, cheese rind funk, oak, lemon, and wheat grain. there's a seemingly infinite amount of ways to pull the above together for the competent blenders/brewers. such a great style of beer.
  29. Immortale25

    Immortale25 Poo-Bah (3,031) May 13, 2011 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Earthy off flavors I can deal with. Pretty sure I'm ISO this one. Need to get to the bottom of this.
  30. FosterJM

    FosterJM Poo-Bah (2,719) Nov 16, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    Really like them to be balanced. Hence why Lente is the epitome of the style. My only 5/5 on BA after 1712 reviews.

    davey101 likes this.
  31. poopinmybutt

    poopinmybutt Initiate (85) May 25, 2005 Nebraska

    his grandfathers was even better.
    TongoRad likes this.
  32. westcoastbeerlvr

    westcoastbeerlvr Poo-Bah (1,882) Oct 19, 2010 California

    In my experience this isn't the case. Jean Pierre's stuff really was incredible.
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