This is a Lambic beer, or a blend of Lambics young and old, and is, according to the old brewery, ‘one of nature’s miracles’. As a multiple awarding winning brew it’s hard to argue with that. This style is what beer aficionados call complex and what others would call odd. My wife said it smelt like those yellow cubes you get in public toilets but then she recently asked if I could get her generic larger once in a while rather than my ‘fancy’ beers. Indeed…and she’s actually had it before and revelled in its sophisticated nature so I think we know where we can stick her critique.
Back to the plot…I’d describe Oude Gueze as a cider that’s been raised as a wine only to discover it was a beer all along. Finish one of these and you’ll be a fan for life. So hand your coat to your second, roll-up your sleeves and drink to the end, my friend. Don’t walk away from this fight for your beer soul because this one really is worth it.
Duchesse de Bourgogne (6.2%) – Verhaeghe brewery
On Saturday I had the pleasure entertaining a Duchess no less. The Duchess in question was the Duchesse de Bourgogne, a rather splendid Flemish Red Ale from the Verhaeghe brewery (try saying that after a few beers). This is an almost lady-like 6.2% and if it were a film it would be called ‘The sweet, the sour and the fruity’ and would feature Clint in his pomp. It is what I like to call a three-sip-beer; a bit like Holmes’ three-pipe-problems but beer-based and not involving any trained cormorants, civil servants or the second most dangerous man in London. The three sips method means taking your time and getting to know the lady/drink in question. Sip one; slowly make her acquaintance but be prepared for the sourness of her retort. Sip two; gently plant a kiss upon her regal shaker and witness the raising of a fruity eyebrow as she begins to melt. Sip three; take her roughly in both hands, drink deep and let her sweet and sour notes tantalise your taste buds and redefine your sense of taste. This is another complicated beer but like the ‘characters’ our friends often try to pair us with sometimes these can turn out to be a forever friend or even a lover.
Maneblusser (6%) – Het Anker brewery
I rather like Maneblusser mainly because it sounds as if it should be Flemish Dutch slang for a ‘gentleman who lacks balls’ or to describe a chap who is wearing a particularly borderline metro sexual fitted shirt. It actually means moon extinguisher – quite – and it takes its name from a hilarious optical illusion that occurred in town of Mechelen one night in 1687 when the moon, its reddish glow and some fog conspired to convince a drunken man that the church tower was on fire. I know, we’ve all been there. Anyway, the good folk of Mechelen have been known as ‘Maneblussers’ ever since. The beer itself is golden-yellow in colour, blonde in style, and is as soft as a goodnight kiss. Its relatively low strength, a rather domesticated 6%, makes it highly quaffable but there is enough bite to retain your interest and leave you wanting another.
Until next time