Tilquin Oude Gueuze 2011/2012

Posted on Posted in Beer Reviews, Beer Tourism, Belgian Reviews Slider, Belgium, Brettanomyces, Gueze/Geuze/Gueuze, spontaneous fermentation, Wild Yeast

Tilquin Oude GueuzeI’m less than 3 weeks away from getting on a plane for my 2 weeks in Belgium where I’ll be visiting a host of fantastic breweries. I’ll literally be traveling from the far north of Belgium to the deepest south of the Ardennes and points east, west, and in between.  One of the many highlights will be Gueuzerie Tilquin, the newest Gueuze blender in Belgium.  While Pierre Tilquin’s operation may be new, he’s making world-class products.

Gueuzerie 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 which is a part of the town of Rebecq 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.  The 2010/2011 bottling was the first batch available in the US.  The 2011/2012 is the second batch available in the US.

Appearance: Hazy gold, white head, good retention.

Aroma: Light sweaty funk, blood orange, citrus rind, Meyer lemon, light earthiness.

Taste: White grapefruit, grapefruit seeds, lemon rind, light oak.

Overall Impression: As always, Tilquin’s Gueuze is tops.  It’s got a nice bitterness that adds depth and complexity to tart treat.  It’s a nice balance of tart fruit and funky earthy aromas.  It’s simultaneously complex and drinkable.  If you get a chance to try a beer made by Tilquin, grab it.  His production is pretty small and his popularity is growing.

Availability: Limited due to smaller production. Imported by 12% Imports.

6% ABV

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

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