Brewery: Brouwerij Boon
As the oldest beer in the tasting at 6 years old, I was especially interested in trying this beer, even though gueuze isn’t exactly my favourite style of beer. I find that they can be slightly too vinegary for my taste sometimes, but I was hoping the extra years of maturing in the bottles could have taken the edge off the sourness a little. Boon is named after the breweries founder Frank Boon, who was inspired to blend his own lambic and gueuze beers after a trip around his home country of Belgium in 1972. Based in Lambeek, central Belgium, Frank is referred to as the “saviour of Gueuze” after building the first new gueuze Brewhouse in 40 years in 1990, and the sour beers Boon produces are recognised as some of the best in their styles. Mariage Parfait is an unsweetened, unfiltered Oude Geuze which mainly consists of 3-year-old lambic beer that matured in oak barrels.
This varied in colour depending on where you get your sample, as the top pour from each bottle was a clear golden colour, but it gradually became more hazy as more was poured. A faint lacing was noticed when swirled, releasing acidic notes of unripe gooseberry, citrus, apple cider vinegar and oak. This continued into the taste, with the sharp acidity hitting the palate first, followed by the fruit notes behind. A medium carbonation and funky notes of orange peel, dried grass, yeast, sour grapes and again vinegar and oak continued the flavour profile. The high acidity made the mouth water, before drying it in the aftertaste.
This isn’t an easy beer to drink, but it was complex and well-made. For me, this would be a great sharing beer, as personally I wouldn’t need more than 10cl at any one time. I enjoyed this though, and I’m glad I had it in the tasting!