Tag Archive: Vandenbroek


Vandenbroek: Brut Nebbiolo (Netherlands: Fruit lambic: 6.8% ABV)

Visual: Reddened orange to a rose wine, or onion skin. Lots of tiny bubbled carbonation. Thin dash of a white head.

Nose: Dry white grapes. Cake sponge. Spicy red wine. Chill seeds and paprika. Vanilla touch. Wet oak. Strawberry as it warms. Menthol. Red onions touch.

Body: Dry white wine front. Wet oak. Mashed cherries. Mossy dark touch. Charring. Light chalk. Tart grapes. Strawberry. Vanilla yogurt. Red onion.

Finish: Black cherry yogurt. Dry white wine. Black pepper. Wet oak. Red onion. Mashed cherries. Lemon curd.

Conclusion: While not up to the standards of the amazing Watergeus that the same brewery turns out, this is still another rewarding and complex lambic from Vandenbroek.

I really have to stop summing stuff up in the first line, I need to give you lot a reason to read further.

On the eye this reminds me of the much praised Cantillon: Rose De Gambrinus, even though the load out of fruit used to make it is very different. Admittedly I am saying that from memory, so feel free to point out if I am full of shit. It had that reddened kind of onion skin to rose wine colour that really catches the eye and gives a great first impression.

The aroma is fairly standard dry lambic, though with a bit more spiciness in this take. Warming lets more notes slowly come out, giving a more rounded character.

The body is where the main play comes out. It is very dry white wine feeling. The darker fruit seems to wait and subtly come out in sweeter ways in the middle of the beer. The fruit is rich, with cherry to black cherry like notes coming out, and strawberry hints around the edges. There are tart grape notes, but they work into the main body of the dry lambic character easily, reinforcing rather than contrasting it.

There is even, oddly matching the visual, a kind of sharp red onion style character – especially in the finish where it gives a quiet savoury underline to the finish. Also, I mean this as a complement, it is really odd what flavours actually work in a lambic where you would hate them elsewhere.

As you can see from the main notes, there is a lot to examine – from lemon curd thickness to peppery spice and fresh menthol air, but I’ve tried to cover the main prominent themes here. The rest are just extra sparks of flair.

A lot going on, a lot worth examining, another great Vandenbroek.

Background: Vandenbroek! From the Netherlands, not Belgium. I may have, erm, made that mistake last time and had it pointed out to me. Many thanks! Serves me right for half arsing research. Especially as it turns out it is a place name. Anyway, always good to admit you are fallible. Still, been adoring their lambics, so decided to grab this one for giving a go. This is made with fermented grape must, with the peel and grape pips remaining in the beer for up to 10 months – duplicating a traditional wine making technique. Since lambics are already the most wine like of beers, this is an interesting take. The abv on the bottle may be saying 6.0 or 6.8%, a quick google suggests 6.8 so that is the one I went with. This is another one grabbed from Independent Spirit. They have a decent range of Vandenbroek and a huge range of sours in general, which makes it very easy to dabble with this style. Music wise I went back to IDLES: Joy As An Act Of Resistance to listen to. Ultra Mono is good, but that is IDLES best in my opinion – and that mix of anger and emotional vulnerability still kicks, especially in the current world situation.

Vandenbroek: Watergeus (Netherlands: Gueuze Lambic: 6.4% ABV)

Visual: Clear, just slightly hazy, with an apple juice colour. Thin white bubbled dash of a head. Very small amount of small bubbled carbonation.

Nose: Horse blankets. Fresh cut apples. Dry. Light chalk. Crushed dry roasted peanuts. Crushed walnuts.

Body: Juicy apple. Brown bread. Nutty. Light chalk. Dry white wine. Slight champagne. Vanilla.

Finish: Pears. Fluffy feel. Popcorn. Yeast funk. Slight mild cheese.

Conclusion: This somehow manages to feel both dry and yet also fuller than most lambics I have tried. It is an impressive and pleasing mix.

The bigger weight side of things is felt in a fruitier, especially more apple filled, character, and touched by vanilla sweetness. However, despite that it still keeps the very dry, white wine like undertones – which gives a mouth drying, yet simultaneously refreshing style. The more refreshing notes are especially notable in the main body while the dry wine like air roars over the finish after each sip.

In-between that full front and dry finish is a yeastie experience. It calls to champagne in some ways, and the brett influence feels more like how I have encountered it in some non lambic beers – giving a fluffy, lightly cheesy notes that give real weight to the middle.

Around all that are those traditional horse blanket aroma and nutty core that make it very familiar as a lambic. This is such a showcase of lambic style. It is very telling that I have had a ton of these already, have one ageing, and have only just around to doing notes. I really enjoy it.

A fantastic lambic on every level. Expect to see more from this brewery here whenever I pull my thumb out and do more notes.

Background: Oh man, how many of these Vandenbroek beers have a I tried before I finally pulled my thumb out and did notes on them? Quite a few! Anyway, I was obviously enjoying them so decided it was my duty to do some notes and maybe bring these to the attention of people who may have overlooked them until now. This is their standard gueuze – coming in a slight bit higher abv than I’ve seen listed in other places online, so I’m guessing the abv changes batch to batch. This was grabbed from Independent Spirit, who were the people who introduced me to them and have a great lambic and sour collection. Went with Miracle Of Sound’s Level 11 to listen to while drinking, “A Long year” was especially feeling appropriate as the end of 2020 loomed in front of me. Which, reminds me – Happy New Year! Enjoy Your drink!

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