86 / 100
750ml caged and corked green bottle purchased as part of a bulk order with work.
Pours a rather burnished, brassy gold colour, darker than some, but not obviously oxidised. Head is a vivacious white froth to begin with but settles into a fine ring. Very mild, thin lacing. Body is smooth, and powdery lace rushes around when the glass is tilted. Looks good.
Nose is classic green-bottle funk, initially. It has a mild tartness, and a crushed vegetation sharpness. But it has softer characters as well, with vanilla and putty coming through. Warmer, it gives off crushed black pepper and apricot skin. It's complex, and very interesting.
Taste is really quite soft, but very pleasant. The stonefruit character is prominent here, and with that suggestion of vanilla smoothness, it gives ripe peach and apricot jam. But there's a pronounced lambic tartness to balance it, and this gives spritzy champagne-like qualities to the beer. It has a real sparkle in the back of the mouth, which lifts it into a very vinous zone. Finish has elements of green pear and powdered aspirin.
It's a really lovely beer, and one of those examples which just makes you remember why a gueuze is such a fine style. This is complex, but subtle and very well made.