Gueuze Giradin 1882 (Black Label) (Brouwerij Girardin)

Style: Gueuze

5% ABV

Malt: Raw Wheat, Malt (Unspecified variety)

Hops: 2-3 Years Old (Unspecified variety)

Bottled in: 2013

From: Dilbeek-St Ulriks Kapelle, Belgium

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The beer’s label is an old-timey Belgian label.  It has some nice barrels that are surrounded/wreathed in hop vines, and other than that it has a lot of basic text and a lot of clutter around the edges of the bottle.  This isn’t the ugliest label I’ve seen, truth be told, but the clutter is still pretty bad, and overall I would not keep this bottle on a shelf, and nor would I scrapbook it.

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The beer pours a dark and hazy copper color with golden yellow highlights.  The beer pours with a quarter-of-a-finger’s-width, creamy white head of tiny compact bubbles, and is replenished by a steady stream of bubbles coming from throughout the glass.  The beer’s body is a cloudy haze of proteins and such, and the other side of the glass can only just barely be seen.  On the nose, the beer smells properly barn-yardy, with touches of cherry fruit leather and salt.  The funk is nice and dominant in the nose, and provides a nice spiced feeling to the nose, perhaps briefly suggesting peppers.  Beneath the salty funk lies a nice citric smell, somewhere between lemons and grapefruits with a touch of pineapple thrown in.  On the tongue, the beer tastes sweet up front, and then quickly dries into bitter and savory flavors with a medium strength acidity washing through the mouth.  In flavor, the beer begins as salty fruity, almost like a pineapple.  The fruit flavors grow in the mouth and introduce barnyard, cherry fruit leather, and some nice herbal grassy flavors in the finish and aftertaste.  The finish moves towards a funky lemon flavor and has a nice long length.  The lemon lasts into the aftertaste, blending with the grassy herbal flavors to leave a pleasant taste in the mouth.  In the mouth, the beer feels on the light side of medium in body and crisp with a nice snappy and rough carbonation that scrubs the tongue free of any of the more cloying funk flavors.  The mouth is left clean except for a nice pool of acid neutralizing saliva.  Overall, this is a great gueuze with proper depth and complexity.  If anything, I would call it a bit subdued in flavor though.  It has all of the right components, but is too muted.  The grassy bitters are also a little too strong and hold back some of the other flavors in the beer.  This beer is a nice solid gueuze overall, though, and definitely worthy of a try.

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3.98/5

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