It is never easy to really pinpoint the vintage or bottling date on these specific beers because there are no markings or dates associated with particular bottles or lot/batch numbers. The main understanding is that the beer has a enjoy by date of about 20 years about bottling.

Hanssens Oude Gueuze is one of the first of the style that I had when getting into sour and wild ales. It's quite tart and very refreshing and one of the better examples of the guise style, in my opinion. Clearly, with a storage tag of 20 years, this beer was made to develop and age. This particular bottle was purchased back in 2010 and for safe assumption, we're giving it another year to make the estimated vintage date around 2009.

Slightest pop of the cork and not much of any sign of head. Very minimal carbonation. Very clear and sits at a nice orange color.

Smell is tart and sour. Sweetness with a vinegar, citrus, lemon, green apples and green grapes as well as the expected funk. Not as funky as some bottles, but it's still there. The funk actually grows as it opens up and the beer warms.

Taste is heavy on the light fruits. Green apple and grape are what I think of first. Very acidic. Some lemon and lime mix in with the sweetness of the perceived fruits. The back of the taste leaves you with a bit of earthiness, oak and yeasty aftertaste. Ends less dry than expected. Only after your last taste can you start to get a bit of a grain flavor and some light biscuit on the back of the tongue.

This specific beer kind of acts as my control beer for aging sours. With several of them on the standby and having at least one each year, it's a great indicator of how of good gueuze can react to time. It is a wonderful representation of the style and develops nicely over the years. Each time it is tasted you get something a bit different. With plenty of time left on the expiration date, there is a lot to be seen yet.


Our CELLARED series aims to explore the world of aging beer and sharing the effects of time in the bottle. Bottles have been kept away from light and at temperatures between 44-60 degrees. Individual experiences may vary depending on storage environments.

Posted on January 9, 2015 .