Pours unclear blonde, bit darker. Small white head. Scent is full, fruity, rough grapes. Tad earthy, brett, some wood. Taste is full, aromatic, spices, a bit like moscatel - very spice forward grape aroma. Not necesarily my thing, but interesting and well made nevertheless.
Created around the same time as Tilquin’s Gewürztraminer grape lambic, here is 3 Fonteinen’s interpretation of the same idea, with the profit generated by these bottles being donated to charity (as is the case with that ‘Lambic.info’ bottle – a good enough reason to order this bottle first at the Open Beer Days last weekend. Snow white, medium thick, open but stable ring-shaped head over a deep, hazy orangey-peach robe, turning increasingly cloudy and beige-hued as the bottle is gradually emptied. In the nose, something bizarre happens: at first a lovely bouquet of strong Gewürztraminer producing associations of lychee, yellow kiwi and strawberry (just like in Tilquin Oude Gewürtz), but in the second glass from the exact same bottle, a weird and strong aroma of burnt rubber and old care tyre appears, recurring in later pours from still the same bottle but luckily fading away quickly too, releasing the fruity and somewhat exotic Gewürztraminer again, now surrounded by lambic associations of sorrel, raw red cabbage, sweet sherry, cooked plum, calvados (indeed this fruit lambic exceeds 10% ABV!), yoghurt and something lightly soapy. Very fruity, juicy Gewürztraminer in the mouth, grapes galore, accents if lychee and kiwi again, crisply sour lemony edge and underlying lactic tartness throughout, softly tingling fizz, full body; bread-crusty and almost peanutty aspects, probably a combination of malts, yeast and grape seeds, echo in the background while this vinous ‘grapeyness’ develops, with increasingly strong grape skin and grape seed tannins, eventually overruling that exotic fruitiness. Lactic sourness from the lambic comes to the foreground in the finish, as well as woodiness, a weird, volatile and brief retronasal whiff of carraway seed somehow, and this warming, calvados- or sherry-like alcohol glow. Very distinct, almost spectacular nose, equally unusual and surprising as Tilquin Oude Gewürzt – it seems this particular grape cépage has a lot in store, so I cannot wait for others in the lambic world to start experimenting with it; a bit of a rollercoaster with ups and downs, in all, but in being so interestingly varied from within one single bottle, quite unique and complex as well. The high alcohol content surprised me too: I had a few superstrong lambics before (3 Fonteinen’s own “De Langste Kook” and Cantillon’s LHD) but those did not completely convince me – after this one though, I am beginning to doubt my own conviction that lambic does not perform well at 10%+ ABV values… In short: a highly fascinating grape lambic with a sulfuric and rubbery aspect that goes away and then comes again – I have difficulties even rating this one for that reason.