Friday, 14 December 2012

It's different for Gueze

Lambic pentameter: not amazing, but
neither anything to which I'm averse
In the depths of winter I finally learned there was within me an invincible summer. Terrific goalkeeper, Albert Camus, and he could handle the post-match press conference adroitly as well. 

Despite being one of the twentieth century's greatest existential writers, I can't imagine he struggled with the seeming futility and definite absurdity of trying to make passing a grey day in the full flush of a red wine throb at your former workplace interesting.

Well I can tell you, Albert, it's something of a challenge and I'm not entirely certain of success, but I'm all for giving it a whirl. The same can be said for the beer I pulled out of the calendar today. Despite having had a stomach churning harder than an industrial butter plant for most of the day, I'm genuinely looking forward to this one.

I remember the day I chose it. Was fairly ropey then as well. In fact I only just managed to get to the shop in time before it closed, having spent the previous nine hours or so rocking backwards and forwards in my chair at home in search of some kind of clarity.

At first glance, it looks for all the world like a miniature bottle of Champagne. And the resemblance doesn't stop there. Lambic beers, as this one is, quite often smell and even taste like Champagne too. Something to do with the yeast they use, I'd hazard. But it was the bottle that caught my eye, no doubt. I mean, it's even got a cork in it.

So despite a Nebuchadnezzar of trepidation when it came to opening the calendar door, I was pleasantly surprised and not a little excited to pull this one out. It's still going to be tough, but I've perhaps found more fortitude within where once I feared there was none.

Beer: Cuvée René Geuze Lambic Beer
Strength: An entirely manageable 5.5%
Colour: Really old, rancid cider. Actually, it looks more like someone's poured a dipsomaniac's sample bottle into my glass.
Smell: Really old, rancid cider.
Tasting notes: Sharp. Sharp as a tack. If this beer were a guy in the 1920s, it'd be wearing a one-button roll and some serious spatz. There's a massive amount of carbonation that's seen me belch within seconds of the first sip, but that just tees your tongue up for the sour taste that is its future. But if I'm honest, that future isn't much of one. I expected some kind of onslaught akin to gargling a bucket of quicklime, but really the sharpness tails off within a few paltry seconds.
Gut reaction: Considerable gas coefficient means high winds are on the horizon
Session factor: Pretty reasonable really. It's one to quaff and isn't too strong to prevent you having a few.
Arbitrary score: 634

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