Geuze starts with a lambic, or more than one lambic to be precise. A lambic is a Belgian style of wild-fermented beer which means it is left open to the elements and is fermented by whatever yeasts happen to be in the atmosphere – this usually leads to a very dry and sour beer.
A geuze is a blend of an older lambic (2-3 years old) and a younger lambic (about 1 year old). This blend is then left to ferment in bottles for a second time using the residual sugars from the younger lambic with the “wild” flavours of the older lambic. This leads to a beer which is fruitier and drier than a traditional lambic.
An “oude geuze” is a geuze that has been made by blending more than one 100% lambic beer, and that is what this beer is. This is the Oude Geuze by Oud Beersel.
Geuze beers traditionally come in champagne style bottles with a cork, and are often referred to as “Brussels Champagne”.
This beer opened with a satisfying pop of the cork exactly like a champagne bottle, and poured with an amber to light-copper colour. Considering the pop, the beer had a surprisingly small white head, although, again, much like champagne it had a continual effervescence to keep a thin head going. This effervescence combined with almost perfect clarity, made this a very appetising looking beer.
As expected, the beer had a sour, fruity aroma, with hints of citrus. Geuze has traditionally been associated with barnyard or horsey flavours and aromas, being my first geuze I was sceptical on this flavour profile, but I could smell these aromas and they were quite pleasant.
The flavour was moderately sour, but far smoother than lambics or other sour beers I have previously tried, I think this is the effect of the blending and aging process. The beer was very well balanced with a sweet fruitiness and earthiness, again some mild barnyard and leather flavours were surprisingly pleasant.
The finish was long and sour at the back of the tongue, yet still smooth, with a strong citrus bitterness and some apple cider flavours coming through.
The beer was light to medium bodied, very highly carbonated, tart, tingly and mouth watering, it was also warming on the way down with some soft tannins evident.
This was a very different and interesting beer, very pleasant. However, given the “uniqueness” of the flavours, coupled with the wild sourness, I would stick to the one!
A fantastic looking beer with some very unique and interesting flavours. Highly recommended but probably just for one.