After the very disappointing experience that was my first venture into a sour beer, I was determined to make Lindeman's Gueuze Cuvée René work. To do this, I wanted to wait until I could enjoy it in my garden in the sun with a proper thirst on, to maximise it's quenching, refreshing ablilities. Unfortunately, with work dominating most evenings for the next few weeks, drinking during the sunny day was just never going to happen. So, I settled to drink the beer just after sunset, with candlelight for added romance.
I don't know why I was surprised to see a pale, orangey amber shade of a beer when I poured it out, but I was. I was even more pleasantly surprised when my cautious nose found none of the vinegary fumes of Rodenbach Grand Cru, but instead a fruity, wheaty, pungent and slightly sweet aroma that spoke more of grapefruit, bready malt and farmyard-yeastiness than of vinous acidity. There is some sourness to the taste, but it's actually quite delicious, with tangy, almost sherberty apple being the key player among a palate that's generally light, fruity, sweet and dry. The finish is abrupt in killing the piquancy of the sour note, but leaves in it's place a gentle citrus aftertaste. To be honest though, the real star of the show is the aroma. At times it smells like a field complete with smelly cows, at others the sea, but all the time it smells good.
Warm it wasn't, thirsty I wasn't, but delicious this beer was.
Roll on a summer of Lambic.