Beer Review: Hanssens Oude Gueuze – Gueuzes, Mary, and Jospeh!

Next up, Hanssens Artisinaal Oude Gueuze:

I am undertaking a concerted effort to reduce the swearing on beerbecue. Based on my stats, I know many of you slackers read this at work. And I would hate for the 5 of you who actually read this blog to suddenly become productive because your employer started blocking my profane site. Although, you would probably just Sporcle more or play Fantastic Contraption.

Unfortunately for me and my vocabulary, this review follows the effective date of my new policy.

This is an oude gueuze: An unflavored blend of old and young lambics, which is then further aged in the bottle (this one for over 3 years). I believe the “oude” designation just means that it was produced using old school methods. Someone can correct me if I’m wrong…I concern myself more with humor and hyperbole than technical accuracy.

Here we go, with less swearing….It is an attractive beer, pouring gold-orange with a white head that recedes to a persistent film. The pour released some serious expletive funk. Upon further inspection, it smells like green apples, a cheestique, a wet sycamore tree, and a reject batch of Sweet Tarts that one of Willy Wonka’s Oompa-Loompas forgot to put sugar in. Already my salivary glands are calling for reinforcements. First taste…I obscenity in the milk of your mother! It’s like sticking your tongue to an expletive 9-volt battery (without the electrocution thing). It’s obscenity sour the whole way through. There is a little grassiness in the middle, and I also taste grape skins and some green apples with some especially obscenity tart skins. It finishes dry with a little cheesetique funk. It is fairly light bodied and has lowish carbonation.

Guezes, Mary, and Joseph, this son of an expletive is dry, sharp, sour, and funky.

I must have more.

The Haybag: Judging from the look on your face, I think I will grab something else from the fridge. Thank you, though.


Hanssens Oudbeitje (Strawberry Lambic): A cautionary tale for Strawberry Shortcake

Next up, Oudbeitje, from Belgian blender, Hanssens Artisanaal:

Oudbeitje is a blend of 2-year old lambic acquired from Boon and Girardin breweries. It’s blended, and secondarily fermented, with Belgian strawberries in wooden barrels for an additional year before it’s bottled.

For me, it started out rather inauspiciously as the cork slid out with absolutely no pop whatsoever. I poured it vigorously, only to achieve as much head as if I had poured water with the same vigor. It couldn’t even be bothered after I gave it an encouraging swirl. In fact, this entire beer became emblematic of the inevitable future of childhood starlet, Strawberry Shortcake.

1980 – 2009: Evolution of a floozy

Following Strawberry Shortcake’s numerous failed attempts at a relationship with lazy gadabout, Huckleberry Pie, she descended into an inextricable tale of woe. It started with the inevitable collapse of the World of Strawberry Shortcake’s economy, which had always been precariously based too heavily on berries, pastries, and happiness derivatives. Soon thereafter, Strawberry Shortcake’s mansion, Berry Happy Home, was foreclosed upon. With the threat of homelessness looming, Strawberry Shortcake had no choice but to give in to the persistent, amorous entreaties of the Peculiar Purple Pieman. Ultimately, Strawberry Shortcake wasted away the best years of her life in the Pieman’s musty, funky-smelling Pie Tin Palace, leading a jaded and dour existence completely devoid of her former effervescence and proclivity for berry-related word play.

We already know how Oudbeitje pours. It looks hazy orange, with just a little enough hint of pink so as to not elicit any questions of manhood. And it smells funky. Like farm animal and hay funky. And like cave-aged cheese funky (the kind with the rind that in the back of your mind makes you wonder if you’ll end up with botulism). Also, I can pick up some distant strawberry, or general tart fruitiness, amidst the funk. The taste brings some serious acidity, like greek yogurt sour and tart fruit; and the funk continues. Finally, as I wade through the funk and the sour, there are under-ripe strawberries.

This one is tough to enjoy, though. The acidity and funk are pretty high, and the fruit is sharp…which I generally enjoy; but the lack of carbonation makes it tough to hack. I liked their Oude Gueuze much better. Perhaps I will review that soon.

The Haybag sat this one out, as she thought “that beer be nasty”. She also claims that you can’t look cool drinking a lambic.