Brasserie Boon (Belgium) Geuze a la Ancienne - (£4.30, 7%)
LAMBIC isn't everybody's cup of tea, I know, but I often wonder whether this is because most people haven't given geuze a proper chance yet, reacting instantly, and negatively, to its sharpness and totally alien flavour structure when compared to most other styles of brewing.
Brewed to a traditional recipe, fermented only by the wild yeasts that find their way naturally into the wort, and then aged in oak casks for a number of years, lambic-flavour profiles align more with traditional ciders than with English bitters.
Each batch, each barrel, will taste different to every other, and it is the brewer's job to effectively blend each batch to create a consistent flavour profile.
Boon's Geuze a la Ancienne uses primarily mild, yet full-flavoured, 18-month-old lambic to create an extremely drinkable yet complex drink from an unpredictable art.
Pouring a lightly hazed copper with a dense, white head, the immediate rush of aroma from the bottle is of orange rinds and white wine, with a touch of damp hay.
The flavour is complex, yet exceedingly smooth – zesty lemon sherbert, strawberries and cream, and a rush of peaches explode across the palate before a tempered, tart finish scatters roasted lemons and dry cider around the tongue.
A beautiful beer born of an ageless, and unique, process – if this doesn’t win people over to straight lambics, I don’t know what will.
Recommended by Michael Bates, Trembling Madness, 48 Stonegate, York
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