Sour beers: Starting all over again

I'm very much at the beginning of my beery education when it comes to Lambics and sour beers, I'm still getting to grips with the classic flavours I should be looking for, and even what makes one example better than another. In many ways it's refreshing (in more ways than one) as I don't have any preconceptions when tasting a sour beer, I can genuinely just drink it and think "ooh that's nice" or "hmm not so sure" without any preformed notions of what the correct response should be.

Finding a new experience in beer feels revelatory, like tasting my first super hoppy pale ale or intense imperial stout for the first time again. It feels like starting all over again, and started properly with my trip to Ghent in Belgium last year. I must admit that I learnt a lot from Melissa and a few other people when it comes to these mental sour bombs, and since then have been actively sniffing them out with increased fervour.

I've tried a few different Cantillon sours and loved them, but they are also some of the most well known and rightly famous sour beers available, so I want to talk about a different one today. A beer I first tried in North Bar under Matt's recommendation, but then stocked up on when I took a trip to Utobeer for some Racer 5. The beer is Lindemans Gueuze Cuvée René, and it rocks.

The aroma is, as is typical from these beers which use aged hops, very light. There's just a bit of lemon freshness and faint sourness, but ultimately it just smells really citrussy, juicy and refreshing. The flavour is bitter lemon, lemon pith, super fresh, cleansing, bright green apple, and sour without any sharpness. It's all fruity citrus sourness and there's no vinegar sourness at all. Dry and tart in the finish, it's approachable and not punishing.

In terms of a sour beer journey, it'd be a great place for anyone to start.

2 comments:

  1. I've got a bottle of this in my cupboard. Was waiting to share it, apparently goes well with ceviche

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is one of the best easy-drinking sours I've had - pour this instead of Champagne and see what people think!

    It took me a long time to get into lambic and gueuze - I just didn't understand why anyone would drink it! Then one hot day I drank a cold bottle in the garden and it suddenly made sense! The thing I love most is the flavour of the wood in it - a richness, sometimes cheesy, textured. Some of the American sours I've had have been incredible - Russian River, especially.

    While I love lambic, I hate Flemish Reds - I can't stand the vinegar sharpness of them! Lemon juice is good, vinegar is bad!

    ReplyDelete