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Oct 16, 2006 05:49 PM

Beer Reviews: Lambic tasting

The suggestion to post beer reviews here sounds fun so I'll dip my toes in the water. The other weekend, after getting positively fixated on lambics, I decided to have an informal tasting of three bottles; Oud Beersel, Geuze Boon and Geuze Girardin. Before I begin, I'll give away a realization, these beers go best with an appropriate foil. The funky, sour tang of the beers was superbly complemented by a batch of sugary, buttery Liuske Waffles.

Boon - I can't really get a bead on this one. It seems somewhat flat, as in uniform) in taste, not as complex as some others I have tried. There are strong mineral notes. Alternating sips with bites of waffle brought out very interesting, almost vegetal flavors. The mineral, almost metallic undertones make me wish I had a plate of mussels or oysters to go with it.

Girardin - Markedly darker than the Boon. The tartness seemed better balanced and the funky savour is exciting and satisfying. This beer has distinct winey notes and semmed more complex than the Boon. It was a great beer for the waffles but was equally satisfying on its own.

Oud Beersel - This one had me thrown to the point that I had to get a second bottle to confirm my first impressions. I'm still not satisfied. It had light carbonation and was sharp on the nose. Not one for beginners. This beer is deeply funky with a distinct musty bitterness. I really enjoyed the complexity of this beer, all of them, for that matter. The waffles, once more cut through any sourness or funk that threatened to overwhelm the palatte, which in the case of this beer was a very positive addition.

These three are worth revisiting again and again. I am fixated on these beers; their complex flavours, the refreshing finish and knowing that to enjoy them is to support a rare and wonderful brewing institution.


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  1. Good review, thanks Ernie. I am just getting into Lambics so this is timely for me. I have only had the Boon of the three you mention. While not too familiar with the style I noticed pretty much the same thing, the minerals. I liked it and would drink it again but want to try more examples of the style first.

    1 Reply
    1. re: MVNYC

      Cantillon is a spectacular lambic and one worth finding. At the risk of getting buttonholed, Hanssens is a favorite of mine.

      If you want to really get into the style, I would avoid Lindeman's for the time being. It's very sweet and not a good representation of the beer. That said, it could act as a bit of a stepping stone if you find some of them overpowering. I would stick with their Geuze styles, though.