Brouwerij Oud Beersel “Oude Geuze Vieille Vandervelden 137” Gueuze

Name: Oude Geuze Vieille Vandervelden 137
Brewer: Brouwerij Oud Beersel (Belgium)
Style: Gueuze
ABV: 6.5%
Review Year: 2021

Oude Geuze Vieille Vandervelden 137 is a special gueuze made by Brouwerij Oud Beersel to celebrate their 137th anniversary in 2019. This gueuze is a unique blend of purely three-year-old Lambics was aged in foeders used primarily for the maturation of Brunello di Montalcino, the revered Italian red wine. 

STYLE GUIDELINES

This beer is being evaluated as a Gueuze (23E) in the context of the 2015 Beer Style Guidelines of the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP). The most current version of the guidelines can be found on the BJCP website.

TASTING NOTES

Broadly clear pale gold; foamy white head (medium retention). The initial aroma is orange citrus; closer, the nose revealed soft pomelo, faint leathery, barnyard with late tobacco aromas. Light-medium bodied, highly effervescent; lightly puckering quality. Flavor profile is mostly citrus-sour (e.g, pomelo) with supporting “Brett-like” funky, barnyard, champagne, and hay qualities. A bright malt character akin to that of a pilsner was noted in the background. Medium acidity, medium-low bitterness, and no sweetness (very dry finish). The bottom pours with sediments were very acidic and astringent as expected.

THE VERDICT

Oude Geuze Vieille Vandervelden 137 is an elegant display of what “Brett” can contribute to an already pleasantly sour, effervescent, and citrus-forward Lambic blend. “Brett” made its presence known first in the aroma through the leathery, barnyard, and tobacco notes. This continued into the flavor with the funky, barnyard, champagne, and hay characteristics.

While tobacco aroma is associated with Brettanomyces in lambics and gueuzes, the BJCP notes that “cigar-like” aroma and flavor are generally unfavorable and undesirable, respectively. Interestingly, leather and tobacco scents are not uncommon in Brunello di Montalcino wines based on reviews.

Despite this beer being advertised as oak barrel-aged, do not expect fresh, oak-forward qualities since the barrels used typically for these beers tend to be old and, thus, exhibit little oak character. Enjoy with seafood and pour gently to avoid any undesirable astringency and acidity from the sediments. Excellent.

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