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Tilquin 2012/2013 Oude Quetsche A L’Ancienne

Tilquin QuetscheGueuzerie Tilquin burst onto the scene a few years ago with an outstanding, new Gueuze that quickly got the beer world talking about this new Gueuze blender.  If you’re not aware, a blender doesn’t brew their own beer, but buys it from other Lambic breweries then ages it in their own barrels.  The beer is wort that has just been inoculated via a coolship at the brewery then is shipped to the blender.

Pierre Tilquin started Gueuzerie Tilquin in 2009, making him the first new Gueuze producer in over a decade.  Being a French-speaking Walloon, he located his blending operation in Bierghes (Rebecq as it’s called in French) which is 200 meters from the official linguistic line in Belgium (the line between the Flemish speaking and French-speaking portions).  Pierre holds a PHD in Statistical Genetics and is a bio-engineer.  Once he got the bug to start making beer, he trained at Huyghe Brewery (maker of Delirium Tremens), 3 Fonteinen, and Cantillon.

Currently, Tilquin is using wort brewed at Boon, Cantillon, Girardin, & Lindemans.  His gueuze batches have thus far been spectacular.  Additionally, Tilquin is one of the few Gueuze makers producing a draft version of his Gueuze, a few keg their fruit Lambics but not their Gueuze.  Not content to stop there, Pierre Tilquin is producing the only Plum Lambic, at least that I’m aware of.

Tilquin Plums
Fresh plums added to Lambic (Picture from Tilquin’s Facebook Page)

Oude Quetsche Tilquin A L’Ancienne is produced with local variety of purple plums.  It’s a blend of 1 and 2 year-old Lambic that have been blended then spend 4 months fermenting with the plums.  This is followed by an additional 3 months of bottle fermentation.  It is unfiltered and unpasteurized.  The first batch of this beer quickly gained cult status and was fetching very high prices on the resale market due to its amazing quality and highly small production  The second batch, however, was large enough to make a limited appearance outside of Belgium.

Appearance: Cloudy brownish-purple with lavender tones “plummy haze.”  Beige head with ok retention.  Tiny CO2 beads.

Aroma: Plum wine, plum butter, cinnamon, lemon notes, light funk undertones, prunes, currants, and general dried “dark” fruit notes.

Taste: Spicy, tart, lemony, peppery touches on the finish.  Prunes.

Overall Impression:  This is an impressive beer!  It’s balanced, flavorful, rich, and drinkable.  There is a nice level of tartness from both the Lambic and the Plums.  The fermentation notes (funkiness) were present but minor undertones.  I think, with age, they’ll come to the fore.  I’m excited that I have 2 more bottles to lay down in my cellar.  I’m really curious to see what this beer will do with age.

Availability: HIGHLY Limited!  If you see this, snap it up.  It’s not cheap, but it’s worth it.  Imported by 12% Imports.

6.4% ABV

Notes: Best Before 24/01/2023

You can read more about Tilquin and my reviews of his beers on page dedicated his Gueuzerie.

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