Beer Type: Geuze Lambic ABV: 5.2% IBUs: 16 Tried from bottle.
Their Description: “Glowing golden color, cidery, winey palate; reminiscent, perhaps, of bubbly dry vermouth but with a more complex and natural flavor. It’s very dry, appetizing and energizing, but some tasters do find gueuze to be demanding the first time they taste it due to the sour and acidic flavors that make it so unique. Cuvée René has been imported into the US since the early 90s, a time when the “sour beer” category didn’t exist here.”
The Reality: The scent is an aggressive sour funky yeasty mix that’s tough to describe but tickles your nosehairs for sure. It has a huge light fluffy head and the beer itself is abundantly bubbly. The first sip provides flavors of citrus and apricot with a hint of earthiness. This is followed by a sour pungent palate that is potent but amazingly inoffensive, adding to the complexity when it should overwhelm, and not hanging too long on the tongue. The finish is quite dry and the aftertaste of sour tart tingle dissipates quickly.
Final Verdict: I wouldn’t be surprised if the sour beer movement in the U.S. was started because some Americans went to Belgium, tried this beer and then yelled, “Viva La Revolution!”. This is what a sour beer should be. It’s complex, it’s amazingly well crafted, and yes it has some extreme flavors that aren’t for everyone. Much like a fine bleu cheese, smoked salmon or robusto cigar, not everyone is going to appreciate them, but if you know you like sour beers, this is a beer you must try. Lindemans was making sour beers while many U.S. breweries were still in diapers. If there was a Mount Rushmore for sour beers Lindemans Cuvee Rene would be on it.