Style: West Flanders Oud Bruin
Brewer’s Note: “The main ingredients of our Vanderghinste Oud Bruin are malted barley, wheat, hops, water, and caramelized malts. These are used to brew a top-fermented beer./ Blending this beer with lambic beer aged in oak for 18 months results in this specific West Flanders Brown beer. It’s typical flavour is characterized by a well-balanced, hardly noticeable sourness./This first flavour impression is soon followed by a second pleasant discovery: a slight bitterness followed by a hint of sweetness.”
The beer’s label is very old school, and clearly hasn’t changed much through the years. The two cartoon gentlemen on the front of the label appear to be drawn in the ‘30’s-‘40’s cartooning style, with outfits reminiscent of the ‘20’s. I do like how their heads and hands are the only part of them, and how their body is made invisible within the blue background. The red border for the label is also nice, and the fonts carry a fancy funky quality to it them, but I’m not really in love with the label as a whole. It’s a nice old-timey looking bottle, but nothing really jumps out at me. I’ll probably scrapbook it, but this one is not worthy of putting on a shelf.
The beer pours a dark candy brown, with a lovely creamy white head that sits at a finger’s width above the beer. In the light and in the glass, though, the beer is beautifully dark ruby in color, with some slight muddling in the color to suggest brown maple syrup. Lacing is thin and tendril like along the walls of the glass. The body appears to be clean and free of particles, but is really quite opaque to the eye. On the nose, the beer smells strongly of cherry leather and funk, with big fruity waftings and a light barnyard funk lying beneath everything that just barely touches upon less appealing smells. The smell actually begins with a nice malty base, but that is swiftly washed away by the funk and fruit. On the tongue, the beer tastes tart with wonderfully fruity notes that move mostly in the tart cherry range, but do hint slightly at other fruits. The funk detected in the nose is lighter in the taste, but still present in the background of flavor. The beer begins with light funk before quickly opening into sweet fruity cherry notes with some mild leather to suggest the funkier side of the beer. The finish mingles light funk and fruit beautifully, and the aftertaste rings with a surprisingly salty sour funk, while still hinting at the cool fruity cherry. In the mouth, the beer feels light to medium in body, with some fierce prickling from the carbonation, though it remains smooth other than that. The mouth is left neutral, with only the slightest watering at the sides of the tongue. Overall, this is a lovely light wild beer. It tends more towards the fruity side of the road, but suggests some nice funk notes while still holding onto the fruit. The beer is a terrific introduction beer for wild ales, and a nice fruity beverage overall. I like this beer.