Tag Archive: Oud Beersel


Oud Beersel: Green Walnut: 2017 (Belgium: Lambic – Fruit: 6% ABV)

Visual: Clear dark yellow. Large yellow-white head.

Nose: Oats. Horse blankets. Crushed nuts. White chocolate touch. Dried apricot. Moss.

Body: Acidic apple. Acidic pears. Lemon sherbet. Tart and acidic. Tart grapes. Cashew nuts. Dry white wine.

Finish: Lemon sherbet. Cashew nuts. Moss. Tart apples to cider. Dry white wine. Earthy notes, Charred notes.

Conclusion: Now this is nutty, very distinctly nutty, however lambics are fairly often nutty so I am unsure where the lambic base influence ends, and the green walnut addition begins. So, Let’s look at it as an overall beer for now, and see how things go from there, ok?

It comes in initially pretty tart and acidic on the main body, after you have moved past the fairly stereotypical horse blankets and oats aroma. The body comes in as a dry cider to dry white wine mix that gives a short sherbety burst before heading back to drying the mouth, leaving just a slight sweet sheen to keep it away from its ultra dry brethren. Throughout this is a kind of cashew nuttinesses, along with a mix of green nut flecks and moss notes that definitely call to its name. Psychosomatic due to the name? Who knows, but it gives an earthy, savoury middle to the beer that works well. Now, as mentioned the nuttiness becomes quite a bit element to the beer, maybe walnuts, but I would find it hard to say specifically.

Slightly sweet, but still tart, grapes come to again offset the hugely dry character so it doesn’t become harsh. Despite that, over time, the finish does gain a slight charred note that can come with a dry lambic. While this is not perfect, so far it has not harmed the beer as much as similar encounters with that element, so it isn’t a show stopper.

So, this feels pretty close to the standard lambic at the base – definitely more nutty than most, but I’m not sure if it is the most nutty. Time has brought out a lot more nuts than were evident at the start though, and considering the fact I have run into some pretty darn nutty lambics without the walnuts it seems to be doing ok. It is pretty dry, but not super dedicated to that part so doesn’t go too harsh or hard. Not a real stand out lambic, just a very solid one that leans into the nutty side of a lambic. I can’t complain, but it doesn’t feel super different for the odd ingredients used.

Background: This one has been on my radar for a while – a lambic made with green walnuts, a fairly unusual choice and so something worth checking out I felt. However at over 20 quid a bottle I kept finding other things to try. So, I finally bit the bullet and grabbed it from Independent Spirit. Hope it works out. Put on Heavens To Betsy – Calculated. Recent bullshit on various places online have put me back in a listening to Riot Grrrl punk kinda mood again.

Oud Beersel: Oude Geuze Vieille Vandervelden 135 Years (Belgium: Gueuze Lambic: 6.5% ABV)

Visual: Cloudy yellow and pale. Small bubbled carbonation with a small white head rim.

Nose: Oats. Clean and tart. Dry white wine. Light white grapes. Muesli.

Body: Fizzy. Champagne. Slight cheesy yeast that rises. Dry sherry. Black cherry. Chalk touch. Madeira. Dried apricot. Apple cider. Moderate funky character.

Finish: Dry sherry. Sultanas. Slight chalk. Light tart apples and grapes. Plums. Tart cider. Cheese puffs.

Conclusion: Been trying a few of these darker barrel contents aged lambics recently – I quite enjoy them – they add a nice depth to what is traditionally a more sharp flavour dominated style. This one lets the wine foeder ageing show through more obviously than the others I have encountered. Lots of raisins, through into plums and black-cherry rising up out of the fresh beer.

It feels like a traditional lambic mixed up with tons of Christmas fruitcake imagery – It still shows the cider notes and white wine influence that I associate with lambics and delivers them it a dry style – however that imagery is easy matched, if not exceeded, by the red wine notes that come through.

The main lambic style is not too harsh – the traditional horse blankets aroma is muted and the main body is dry rather than sharp. It feels very dry white wine like as I’ve mentioned and it is a solid base, but here is mainly just setting a lambic sandbox for the darker red wine notes to play in.

Together it is rich and rewarding, tasting much more red wine like than it looks and all nestled within a well done lambic character. It may show more of the foeder ageing than it does the base lambic, but it is nice to see the “wine of beers” showing something a bit more red wine and sherry styled to keep fans of that happy, while still not betraying the more white wine lambic base.

A very nice experience.

Background: Another beer I picked up as part of Independent Spirit’s big influx of unusual sours. This one is a mix of one year old lambic aged in foeders that had held red Brunello di Montalcino Tuscany wine and three year old lambic from Oud Beersel foeders. I’m presuming the 135 relates to the 135th anniversary of the brewery being set up (1882).

Lervig: Oud Beersel: Black Acid (Norway: Sour Ale: 8.5% ABV)

Visual: Black. Small brown head.

Nose: Acidic apple mixed with thick molasses. Madeira. Rum soaked raisins. Dry sherry. Fruitcake. Sultanas.

Body: Tart yet thick. Bready. Sultanas. Chocolate sauce. Pear drops. Dry sherry. Tart black-cherry.

Finish: Charring. Tart pears. Malt chocolate and grated chocolate. Dry sherry. Raisins and sultanas. Madeira. Slight chocolate liqueur. Marzipan.

Conclusion: Whoever first thought of mixing sour beers and stouts – I salute you. Each time I encounter this unusual mix I am reminded that this is the beer style I never knew I needed, yet now I have it, it is brilliant.

For all its large base elements used to make it, this is a very balanced beer between the styles. From approach to aroma you get huge apple, tart and fresh and yet backed with chocolate thickness. It continues that way as you start drinking – fresh, touched with tart apples and pears up front then the sour character just seeps into heavy chocolate liqueur and dark fruits.

In some way it feels like the barrel ageing is what makes it perfect – a bridge built between the two, marrying the styles brilliantly. If you will excuse my mixed metaphors.

It brings dry sherry, dry fruitcake and spirit soaked raisin notes that are familiar to the stout style, but also vinous enough to not seem out of place in a sour beer; It works as matchmaker mid body then as the finish comes in it plays its own game – leading out for a long time with dry sherry like complexities.

Together it takes brilliant elements from each of the three influences and makes it a rich, yet tart and vinous beer with the stout weight giving it a lovely heft.

A brilliant complex mix – definitely worth getting. Go. Get it!

Background: Now this one jumped out at me at Independent Spirit – It is a mix of Oude Lambiek from Oud Beerel, with a Lervig brewed stout. I love the whole sour stout thing that pops up every now and then, and this one has been aged in the Cognac barrels that the Lambic was blended in, and then in Akevitt barrels. I had to google what Akevitt is. Anyway, put on some good old 90s tunes – Garbage 2.0. I slightly prefer the more raw feel of original Garbage album, but both of them are awesome.

Horal's Oude Geuze Mega Blend 2013

Horal’s Oude Geuze Mega Blend 2013 (Belgium: Lambic – Geuze: 7% ABV)

Visual: Cloudy banana yellow. Large tight bubbled white head. Lots of carbonation in the body.

Nose: Lightly like fresh crusty bread. Light apples. Dried apricot. Fresh. Light grapes. Oatmeal.

Body: Sherbety. Sour white grapes. Tannins. Champagne. Lychee. Apples. bready and yeastie. yellow raspberries. Mango. Dried banana. Light custard sweetness under the acidity.

Finish: Dry oak. Oatmeal. Fresh cut apples. Vanilla. Funky yeast – puff crisps. White wine. Mango. Lychee.

Conclusion: Well, I say “god damn”!. I guess having all those different lambic breweries to go to for samples to blend really gives Horal a hell of a lot to work with. Should have been self evident really, but it is always surprising to see it work in practise. This is lovely, just acidic enough to give a slight dryness, but then packing a huge fruit explosion for flavour.

I think the trick is, while it has that mouthfeel of being like a dry white wine, the fruitiness is sweet and embedded deep within the beer. You can almost imagine fruit syrup oozing up out of the middle of it to your tastebuds. Because of that you get the freshness and mouth tingle, that oatmeal dry aroma, and the dry feel in the mouth- all of which says lambic so well and leaves your mouth feeling scrubbed clean, but you also get mouth watering tropical fruit.

Alone that fruit would feel just like alcohol fruit juice, a style that is fun but wears out its welcome quickly. Backed by the wine like character as it does here, it just boasts a tremendous complexity that transcends the wine comparison used so often for lambics. This could only be done as a beer, and more than that only as a lambic. There is a weight to it that belies the dry wine character and gives it depth.

Utterly refreshing, utterly complex. One of the finest geuzes I’ve had the fortune to be able to try.

Background: Broke this open as a reward for myself after doing a massive clean up job on the apartment, chucking out or recycling everything I didn’t need. Took best part of a day. Picked up from Independent Spirit, this is a blend of lambic from (deep breath) 3 Fonteinen, Boon, Timmermans, Oud Beersel, Lindemans, De Troch, De Cam, Hanssens and Tilquin. I may have spelled some of those wrong knowing me. Whew. Of those Tilquin is the only one I have not tried before. Incidentally, the cork on this popped out nice and easy. Wish more did that.

Oud Beersel: Oude Kriek (Belgium: Fruit Lambic: 6.5%)

(Note: There are apparently two versions of this beer, the other being a 4% beer designed for export. This is the original version)

Visual: Bright light vivid red with a huge firm milkshake head.

Nose; very sharp and sour, sour cherry and sherbet.

Body: Dry with an obvious sour cherry nature. Not overwhelming but evident. Dry sherry, balanced and frothy. Bready texture and wood.

Finish: Very dry and gin like, sourness lasting. Cherry stone sourness influencing.

Conclusion: A very dry, cherry stone sour beer. The sour dry qualities make for a sharp refreshing beer. Not the greatest but very well balanced.

Sharp sour and fruity with a frothy yet substantial feel. It will not convert the undecided to the harsher lambics but a fine way to pass the day. Those more experienced with lambics claim much greater complexity than I tasted but I could not claim to have found them myself.

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