Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Oh, hey there! It's been a little while. A lot has happened over here in the past few months, most notably (for me, at least) my engagement to my amazing girlfriend of six years, Bailey. I don't think there's anyone who knows me quite as well as she does, and I don't know that many things illustrate that as well as the story I'm about to tell you.
It started 5 years ago, when I first began delving into (I'd say experimenting with, but that makes it sound like I was trying out black tar heroin) craft beer. The more I was drawn into craft beer, the more great San Diego beers I wanted to try. And there was one, high up on Beer Advocate's Top 250 List, that I just couldn't get my hands on- Lost Abbey's Duck Duck Gooze.
As it turns out, there was a pretty good reason I wasn't finding Duck Duck Gooze- it was pretty much a ghost by the time I had heard of it. It's a brewery only release that Lost Abbey had only released once (at that time) in 2009. And because they didn't have multiple batches going at the same time AND because it's a gueuze (a blend of 1 year old, 2 year old and 3 year old lambics), I was pretty much S.O.L. for at least 3 years while they made another batch.
It turned out to be 4 years. In 2013, Lost Abbey finally announced they would be releasing Batch #2 of Duck Duck Gooze. It would be sold online and then bottles would be available for pickup on one day only during a release party...which happened to be on the day we were planning on going to the wedding of a close friend in Central California. Not good. I was totally screwed. Unless I got super lucky, I was going to have to wait until the next release in 2016 or 2017 for a chance to try Duck Duck Gooze.
Or so I thought... As it turns out, Bailey worked in a preschool that had some parents who were pretty high up in the San Diego craft beer food chain. She, and her awesome friend, Michelle, were able to pull some strings and gave me the biggest surprise I've probably ever received on my birthday that year- Duck Duck Gooze. And it was from the first bottling in 2009. So thanks to my amazing fiancee, I'm happy to finally present #20, Duck Duck Gooze.
Duck Duck Gooze pours a dark golden, almost copper color with a thin-off white head that settles down pretty quickly. When you smell it, you're met with a nice blast of cheesy funk right away. Beneath that is a nice lactic tartness, a big hit of lemon, light oak and just a hint of apple cider vinegar.
The taste opens with a nice, juicy push of Granny Smith apple tartness, lemon and underripe D'Anjou pear. There's a smooth middle with a touch of oak and lemon meringue, followed by a lingering lemon flesh finish that sticks with you forever. The finish brings just a touch of white wine barrel, cherry skin and a breath of brett.
Overall, this beer is fantastic. It walks the fine line between sour and funky that most gueuzes seem to fall on one side of. This doesn't have the sourness of Cable Car, but it's also not the funk bomb that Drie Fonteinen's Oude Gueuze can be. It's right in the middle and it just keeps pummeling you with new flavors on each sip, none of them bad. It's one of the best beers I've ever come across and I'm so glad that I finally got the chance to try this. You're the best, Bailey!
Final Grade: A+
Top 250 Beers Tasted: 114
Note: Since the last time I posted, there have been some major changes to the Top 250 List. Unfortunately, a good amount of beers I had tried on there have disappeared. But fear not, my friends. We press on!