Having a little French in me, I know that Purple is often regarded as a Royal color. It’s seen across Mardi Gras parades, the artist formerly known as Prince endorses it in velvet, and the Baltimore Ravens won two Super Bowls in their young history sporting the color at home games. The Gueuzerie currently known as Tilquin carries on the tradition of taking the color purple and elevating it. They already have a widely successful beer in Tilquin Gueuze, a blend of multiple Belgian worts fermented in oak, but they have slowly branched out and started trying new things. Quetsche is a Lambic that embraces Tilquin’s style of excelling blending with a little twist. A moundful of macerated purple plums get’s tossed into the barrels to simmer for months upon end resulting in one of the more uniquely colored beer’s I’ve had in a while. Time to run them numbers…
Smell: Corn flakes, sweet flowers, you can tell there is fruit, just not quite sure exactly if it’s apricots, apples, plums, or a hybrid of all three. A citrus, acidic smell is also wafting from the Teku that’s commonly found in many sours. You can tell it’s going to pucker.
Taste: This Lambic starts off tart, but then like Popey crushing a can of spinach, it quickly amps up to a level that is cringingly sour. The sourness explodes all over the palate and carries throughout the beer all the way to the finish. The plums really shine here. The sour flavors are reminiscent of the skin of the plum which tends to be surprisingly tart. That taste is very identifiable in this beer, however the flesh of the plum is definitely on the back burner.
In addition to the sourness, I get flavors that are earthy, musty, and oaky, with pitted black olive finish. Some sweetness comes in late which tastes ever so slightly like the flesh of a plum. Quetsche is very clean with no off flavors. It does have a little bitterness that hits you – it reminds me of the pit when you get down to the core of a plum. It’s earthy. The tartness subsides slightly as the beer warms up, and more fruit flavors come out – granny smith, under ripened grapes, lime, citrus peel. I actually thought this beer would be more fruit forward since I drank it while it’s young – the best before date is a decade from now.
The mouthfeel on this was medium bodied, which is bigger than I was expecting, the carbonation was fine, and the ABV was big for a sour at 6.4%.
Overall: This beer was incredible. It’s likely the best sour I’ve had. It was really hard to put this guy down because it was so balanced, funky, complex, and savory. The likeness to plum skin is there and a little of the flesh comes through. A+; hall of fame. Purple suits this beer well.