QTN™: Oud Beersel, Oude Geueze Vielle

I’ve been holding onto this one since my first pilgrimage to Downtown Wine and Spirits. My favorite kind of beer on the planet (very broadly speaking) is Belgian, and my favorite Belgian beer style is geueze, the amazingly complex melding of young and old lambics in one wild-yeast-fermented mouth bomb. And, as of this writing, my favorite geueze might be the Oude Geueze Vielle from the Brouwerij Oud Beersel.

What to say about such a complex beer? The nose is peppery with citrus overtones, with deeper notes of earth. The flavor is a little sweet immediately followed by a yeasty sour depth, with the lingering carbonation picking up the flavor and brightening it again. It’s all in perfect balance, and spectacularly tasty. Almost as refreshing as a Flemish red, but with a bready aftertaste that inevitably recalls Champagne—fitting, as Michael Jackson calls beers in this style “the Champagnes of the beer world.”

Lisa tried a little of this and said, “Wow. That’s different. Save me some.” I regretfully complied, though not without severe temptation.

I tasted this with a non-traditional food accompaniment—a platter of burnt ends and pulled pork from Blue Ribbon Bar-B-Q. Somewhat to my surprise, it was a great combination, the sweetness and smokiness of the meat playing perfectly against the breadiness of the beer, and the vinegar in the greens joustling happily against the tartness of the geueze. Belgian beers may not replace sweet tea at Southern roadhouses anytime soon, but they may well at my table from now on.