Tag Archives: belgian

Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen Oude Geuze Golden Blend Review

Brouwerij Fonteinen Oude Geuze Golden Blend

What’s better than a nice, aged lambic? Why, a blend of four lambics of different ages, of course. Geuze beers are traditionally unfiltered, unpasteurized blends of one-year, two-year and three-year-old lambics that are bottle conditioned for at least a year, but Belgian brewer Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen‘s Oude Geuze Golden Blend is unique because it’s equal parts one-year, two-year, three-year and four-year old oak-aged lambic.

Oude Geuze Golden Blend is a special creation from Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen’s master lambic blender Armand Debelder, and it is a one-time limited release. As such, it’s quite rare because relatively little of the beer was made.

My 12.7 FL OZ bottle cost me $32—it’s certainly not cheap—and it has been sitting on my shelf for a while now. It was bottled on February 17, 2011. And it has an ABV of 6%. Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen says its Oude Geuze Golden Blend will age well for as long as ten years. But I couldn’t wait another day.

When I opened the bottle its cork nearly took my eye out; it rocketed out of the bottle’s stem as soon as I removed its decorative foil and untwisted the cork cover. I quickly poured the geuze into a small goblet to avoid spillage, and it instantly formed a frothy, bubbly head, like Champagne. It’s darker than I expected, with a tanish, dark-sand color. Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen Oude Geuze Golden Blend has a sweet, tangy-and-sour aroma and a funky, musky body. It’s very tart with a mild sour-acidic taste and a surprisingly bitter aftertaste. The aftertaste sort of rubbed me the wrong way at first, because it was unexpected, but it grew on me as I drank the brew.

Before drinking Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen Oude Geuze Golden Blend, my favorite geuze was Boon’s Geuze Mariage Parfait. The Golden Blend is a bit more complex, but I think I still prefer Boon’s Geuze Mariage Parfait.

Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen Oude Geuze Golden Blend gets a 7/10 rating on the Urban Beer Nerd scale. (It has an impressive rating of 95/100 on BeerAdvocate.com based on 46 user reviews at the time of posting.)

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Barfly’s View: Marble Taps at the Publick House in Brookline, MA

Green marble taps in the Monk's Cell at the Publick House

The Publick House in Brookline, MA’s Washington Square sits atop my list of Boston’s best beer bars not only due to its impressive beer selection, but also thanks to its ambiance. One of my favorite aesthetic touches: The green-marble and sterling-silver taps in the Publick House’s Monk Cell’s, where they only pour Belgian brews.

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Fantôme Extra Sour Special Original Creation (2012) Review

Fantome Extra Sour Belgian Saison in Tulip Glass

I must admit, I’m excited about this review. I’m excited because I’ve had Brasserie Fantôme’s Extra Sour Special Original Creation once before, and it’s a one of a kind saison. In fact, I’d say it’s one of the top five brews I’ve had this year—and the Urban Beer Nerd drinks a lot of different kinds of great beer. (I drink so much good beer that I can refer to myself in the third person when describing my craft beer consumption.)

Here’s why I love it so much. I love quality saisons, and I love sour beers. And Fantôme Extra Sour is one of best saisons and one of the best sours I’ve ever tasted.

Fantôme Brewery is a small specialty brewer located in the small town of Soy, Wallonia, Belgium, that produces only saisons. The Fantôme brewing facility is so small that it can only produce tiny batches of beer, and as such, its saisons, especially it’s “Special Creations,” or limited production can be difficult to find and very expensive.

The packaging is simple yet elegant with just two small labels at the bottle’s base and a thin-paper ribbon over the bottle cap. To open the dark-green bottle you first must remove the paper, pop a bottle cap and then pull the cork using a tradition wine corkscrew, which is the case with all Fantôme’s “bomber” bottles. I poured the golden-honey potion into a large tulip glass and it settled nicely with a frothy cuttlebone-colored head. You can smell the sweet-sour tang as soon as you put your nose close to the brew, along with the funky Belgian yeast.

Fantôme Extra Sour taste like a smooth, fresh saison at first but it finishes with a mouth-puckering-but not-too-acidic sour bang. It’s a big beer with a 10% ABV, and the sour funkiness mostly kills the alcohol taste. But it does leave a mild burn and you feel it after a few large sips.

Of my favorite sour styles is the barrel-aged Flanders red ale, and though Fantôme Extra Sour is very different than the popular Flanders ales such as Rodenbach, it has a similar barrel-tang that really combines nicely with the saison style.

Fantome Extra Sour labels

Fantôme’s Extra Sour “Speciale” is the second is limited series of Special Creations from the brewery, and as mentioned above, it’s extremely rare and expensive. My “bomber” bottle (1 pint, 9.4 fluid ounces) cost $32. As much as I love saison, that’s a lot of money for beer. If you see a Fantôme Extra Sour for sale, I recommend purchasing it and saving it for a special occasion.  Good luck finding it, though.

This sour saison gets a 9/10 on the Urban Beer Nerd scale. (BeerAdvocate.com readers rated Fantôme Extra Sour at 4.85/5, though only four readers submitted ratings at the time of this post.)

Check out Brasserie Fantôme’s website for more details on the Belgian brewery. (Website is in French.)

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Timmerman’s Framboise Lambicus (2012) Review

One of my favorite craft beer styles right now is the lambic. I really like sour beers, and many lambics are quite sour or at least very tart. And many are brewed with fruit.

My latest sour lambic: Timmerman’s Framboise Lambicus (2012). It came in a large “bomber” bottle (1 pint, 9.36 fl. oz.), and it was bottled on May 31, 2012. The price was $12.25, though pricing will vary based on retailer.

Timmerman's Framboise Lambicus in a Goblet

First thing you notice after removing the cork is a very strong raspberry scent that immediately wafts out of the bottle. (Framboise is the French word for raspberry.) I poured the brew very slowly into a small-stemmed goblet, and it settled with medium carbonation and very little head. The color of the beer is a beautiful and vivid deep pinkish-red, and it seems to glow if you hold it up to a light.

The raspberry flavor tastes natural, unlike many framboise lambics or other raspberry flavored beers that taste fake or too sugary.  Some lambics are noticeably acidic. This one isn’t. And that’s a good thing. The brew is also aged in oak, though the associated flavor is rather mild.

Timmerman’s Framboise Lambicus has a low, 4.0ABV, and you really can’t taste any alcohol. In fact, it tastes a lot like a carbonated raspberry juice.

I’m still working a better rating system for the Urban Beer Nerd blog, but right now, I’m using a 10-point system, with 10 points being the best possible rating. I give Timmerman’s Framboise Lambicus a 7/10 rating. (BeerAdvocate.com user rating is 74/100 based on 63 reviews at the time of this post.)

Deep pinkish-red color of Timmerman's Framboise Lambicus

Timmerman’s claims to be the “World’s oldest lambic brewery,” and the Belgian brewery is part of the Anthony Martin “Finest Beer Selection” family of brewers.

Learn more about Timmerman’s Framboise Lambicus or order the beer online from the Anthony Martin website.

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