Established in 1953
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Pours a beautifull, particularly dark red. Small formation of 'foam' thats pinkwhite. Intense , room-filling aroma of wet cherries. Intense red-level of intensity, almost ( though I haven't put them side to side) . Taste is medium acidic, you can tell it's actually higher by the finish, but the cherries are so intense (still, 5 years after botteling) that it gets more countered than you'd give it credit for when you're simply drinking this, rather than picking it appart. Bit one dimentional, very cherry forward, than again that might be the idea of this beer though. Not as flat as I would have thought, I'd say medium low to medium carbonation - whereas most Geuzes of cherry beers can go rather high, so it's still lower obviously.
Bottle shared. Bit hazy deep ruby. Massive tart cherry, wheat, dry funk, almonds, herbal, soft rhubarb but mostly cherries. Quite sour, quite light sweet and bitter. Nice.
The 'vintage' edition of Cuvée Armand & Gaston, one of 3 Fonteinen's greatest geuzes; made the same way as the regular version, but some bottles are deemed to possess excellency by the brewery and held back for sale years later, after extensive ageing. In the Armand & Gaston case, there have been only two batches so far, at least to my knowledge: the first one blended in 2015 and released only in 2018 (in magnum bottles I believe) and this second one, blended in 2017 and released in 2020 (in 37.5 cl bottles). For the record, my sample, from the last of these two batches, mentions "assemblage n° 19 - seizoen 16/17". Thickly moussy, audibly fizzing, egg-white, quite large-bubbled head, receding but generally stable, until it does dissolve in the very end; misty deep amber-tinged orange blonde robe with fierce 'champenoise' sparkling rushing throughout - a delight to the eye. Very deep, noble, mature aroma of bitter orange peel, sherry vinegar or at least old dry sherry, old wet wood, oxidized white wine of decades old, grass silage, dusty attic, olive, haystack, apple peel, unripe persimmon, peach kernels, green plums, stale armpit sweat funkiness, dried bitter plant leaves, mugwort from an old herbarium even, old rusk. Fizzy onset in a fine-bubbled, 'crystalline' way, playing with initially quite colourful fruitiness of unripe peach, persimmon, crabapple and rowanberry to even brown olives, becoming more 'contemplative' and vinous further on, as in old oxidized wine, moving over a firm bread-crusty backbone with deep lactic acidity trailing behind - all the while exuding this typical sherry vinegar-, herb tea- and bitter orange peel-like quality common to old lambic of good quality. Pronounced woodiness and this 'old hop' bitter note in the depths of the beer further expand its full complexity, but a lemony acidity keeps things fresh till the end. Very unmistakably 'old' - but in the most graceful, elegant and profound way, like an 'ordinary' 3 Fonteinen geuze which has aged for two decades in optimal circumstances. Glad I got my hands on this bottle, this is one of those great lambic experiences which keep me going through the trouble of searching bottles, opening them and reviewing them in detail. Geuze truly is the king of beers, especially when executed and treated with the wisdom, patience, respect and expertise that shine through here.
Bottle. Dull deep red. Lots of strawberries, some sour cherries, funk, wheat, fresh grass, cheesy, green wood. Quite sour. Medium bodied. Massive strawberries.
0,75l bottle at home. Bottled 05/09/2017. deep red color, almost no head (just some tiny bubbles). smells cherries, sour cherries, cherry pits, stone fruits, bit citric, very nice smell. full body, very light carbonation. tastes cherries, citric, grassy, earthy, cherry pits, bit lactic. finishes rather dry and medium sour with notes of cherries, cherry pits and some lactic notes. nice one overall, but rather dry / a tad too much on the lactic side.
Pours a, somewhat hazy, deep golden colour and a small white head with little retention. Aroma's: sour, funky, some sweet fruit. Retronasal follows this. Flavour is moderate sour with a hint of sweet. Light bodied, fair carbonation.
0,75l bottle at home. Bottled 21.11.2017. amber hazy color, small white head. smells citric, grassy, earthy, subtle funk, oak, subtle honey. very nice smell. full body, rather subtle carbonation. tastes citric, grassy, earthy, some oak, funk, cheesy notes. finishes rather dry and medium sour with notes of hay, citrus and some honey notes. very nice one, very good balance, rather on the dry side, which is nice in this heat.
0,75l bottle at home. Bottled 21.03.2018. yellow hazy color, small white head. smells citric, grassy, earthy, tangerins, some oak, hay, stone fruits. lovely smell. full body, soft carbonation. tastes of cereal, hay, earthy, citric, spices, light stone fruits, subtle funk, light walnuts. finishes lightly dry and lightly sour with notes of hay, stone fruits and some cereal notes. very nice one, lovely balance.
Bottled 10/03/2021. Nice pop. Light amber, plenty of white head. Feels a bit young, little bit of sharp acidity, pretty mineral. Lots of oak, but not really getting the honey. More on the funky side, not getting much fruit/apple. Tasty.