Way back in 2015 Mikkel Borg Bjergsø of Mikkeller came up with the idea to make his own blend of gueuze, but the thing with gueuze is that it’s a blend of 1,2 and 3 year old lambic – which meant that he had to reach out to a Lambic brewery/blender to realize his dream. Mikkel reached out to Frank Boon of Brouwerij Boon, a move that paved they way for some great collabs between Boon and Mikkeller – today counting 4 in total.
(For those of you, who don’t know what a ”Gueuze” is, you can quickly jump over to my Educational article about The Champagne of Belgium and give it a read.)
Back to the subject! The initial idea behind the first collab was to make a drier than normal Gueuze. Boon and Mikkeller made the ”Mikkeller and Boon – Oude Geuze Boon Bone Dry”, which also lead to Boon blending a similar version of Gueuze – this was called ” Boon Black Label”.
Unfortunately I haven’t had any luck getting hold of the first collab ”Oude Geuze Boon Bone Dry”, and therefor that particular beer isn’t part of this article. But I have a few words on that particular beer, that I would like to share with you guys before digging deeper into the 3 recent Boon/Mikkeller Collabs.
The ”Oude Geuze Boon Bone Dry” was a beer which shares a similar profile to the fairly easy to get ”Boon Black Label” as they were both blended from the same lambic which came from the same foeders but in different proportions. In contrast to the ”Boon Black Label”, there is more old lambic in the Bone Dry blend – thereby having less residual sugar which impacts how dry the beer is. – The first collab is really hard to find, the ”Boon Black Label” is not, so if you want to try a beer, which leans up against the first Boon/Mikkeller collab? Then your best shot is ”Boon Black Label.
Okay, lets switch our focus onto the main stars of this article! Let me present to you, the 3 recent Boon/Mikkeller collabs!
* Boon/Mikkeller Calvados Barrel Aged Oude Geuze
* Boon/ Mikkeller Oude Geuze (Vermouth)
* Boon/Mikkeller Oude Geuze Goût Americain
Now that you know the name of the beers, lets dive straight into what these golden nuggets bring to the table! The first beer I’ll focus on, and review is the Boon/Mikkeller Calvados.
Boon/Mikkeller Calvados Barrel Aged Oude Geuze
Following the success of the first collaboration, Mikkel once again reached out the Frank and arranged for the next Boon/Mikkeller Blend. The thought behind the blend was to blending three different Calvados-aged lambics (Young and old lambics).For those of you who don’t know what calvados is, then I’ll quickly run you trough it! Calvados is distilled from cider and then aged i Barrels. As calvados ages it develops aroma and flavors of apples, dried apricots, butterscotch, nuts, and chocolate.
Before telling my thoughts and review, then quickly do a little detour and head over to YouTube, and watch as Mikkel together with Rick Astley and Mixen Lindberg pays Frank Boon a visit, and sets up for the ”then” forthcoming Boon/Mikkeller Calvados Barrel Aged Oude Geuze.
Finished watching? Okay, lets continue with the blog post – next up, my review of the beer!
Boon/Mikkeller Calvados Barrel Aged Oude Geuze.
The color is a clear slightly hazy deep golden / orange. It pours a small white head, it falls to a thin lacing.
The Aroma is quite fruity with an underlaying funk! - The Brettanomyces has really worked wonders, displaying prominent wibes of lemon, pineapple, apple and some candy’ish apricot character. You’ll also find some aroma of funky musty cellar, leather and some wet grass and hay. The lactobassilus sourness is really upfront, but towards the back you’ll also notice a subtle mild Woody notes of
The taste starts out with a really big green apple character and a citrus fruit taste/acidity, but you’ll also get some pineapple and apricot before the beer propel you towards a barnyard’ish hay loft, musty Cellar and leather’ish wibe. The wood is still subtle.
The finish is a quick almost cutting ending dry’ness with, it has a low bitterness, It has a low to medium carbonation, with a light mouth eel/body
Conclusion at the end of the article - Next up!
Mikkeller / Boon Oude Geuze (Vermouth)
With the third collab Boon and Mikkeller went with the idea to create a geueze with a whole new dimension, which got possible as Boon had bought about 38 second hand foeders each which were almost all used for red wine before. A couple of them, however, were used for a white vermouth wine – and of course filled them with lambic.
Boon and Mikkeller decided to create an Oude Geuze with the lambic from the first filling of one of the Vermouth foeders to discover how the taste evolves over time when being made into Oude Geuze – back then Boon had not yet tried blending geueze from those foeders, but without a doubt Boon and Mikkeller went straight into doing so!
Enough chatter, here are my thoughts and review of the beer!
The color is a clear'ish hazy golden / orange. It pours a small white head, it falls to a thin lacing.
The Aroma has a big barrel character! The vermouth character really shines through! The same goes with the funk! All in all there is a lot of earthy, herbal, grassy, citrus fruits and some cheesy wibe going on. The herbal wibe is in fact quite prominent – sage is quite prominent.
The taste starts out quite savory with a herbal/sage like character and a taste of lemons. You’ll also get some cheesy wibe (Blue/ gorgonzola) and a somewhat subtler barnyard’ish, wet hay, musty Cellar and leather’ish wibe.
The finish is a bone-dry finish, it has a low to medium bitterness, It has a low carbonation, with a light mouthfeel/body
Conclusion at the end of the article - Next up!
Boon/Mikkeller Oude Geuze Goût Americain
The latest collab between Boon and Mikkeller came to life after Mikkel and Frank talked about making a geueze with a higher acetic acidity than normal, which lead them to set sails towards exploring the ways of the Goût Americain! Which translates into ”American Taste”. And what is the ”American Taste” you might ask? – Well to put it simple, ”Goût Americain” was a phrase/saying some producers of Champagne had made, to handle/sell the champagne batches which turned out more sour and acidic than normal. For a longer period of time, these ”Goût Americain” bottle were then sold to the American market – apparently the Americans cant get it sour enough, they want that high acetic acidity with a sting aka. Malt vinegar!
As a matter of fact, Boon had prior to making the ”Boon/Mikkeller Oude Geuze Goût Americain” collab, experienced that one of his foeders. (the VAT 108) gave of a higher than normal acidity, and as a wink towards the ”American taste “Frank Boon ended up putting that beer into the ”Boon Discovery Box”- which I also recommend you to seek out, as it’s actually a quit funny experience for all Geueze lovers!
Enough chit cat, lets fast forward to the case of the ”Boon/Mikkeller Oude Geuze Goût Americain” and my review of it
The color is a clear slightly hazy golden / orange. It pours a small white head, it falls to a thin lacing.
The Aroma is really sour! The funk and lactobassilus sourness is really upfront, but there is also a great amount of the bacteria Acetobacter that gives of a hint of vinegar. Besides the ”malt vinegar” characteristics, you’ll still get some green apple, citrus fruits, kiwi, hay, wet grass and grapefruit.
The taste starts out with all guns blazing with fruity wibes, and a higher acidity with a slightly vinegar’ish taste – BUT I got to say, that overall the sourness and acidity isn’t that much higher than normal, I am really surprised! Taking the nose into consideration, I thought this was much more complex – but this is still a tad to young. With that said, you’ll still get some great notes of kiwi, lemon, apple which combo’ed with the lactobassilus and Acetobacter character makes for a above average Gueuze.
The finish is a sour dry finish, it has a low bitterness, It has a low carbonation, with a light mouthfeel/body
Conclusion coming right up!
Conclusions: The Boon/Mikkeller collaborations.
First of, lets start with the best of the three! I actually think that the Boon/Mikkeller Calvados Barrel Aged Oude Geuze is the best, as the years in the bottle has done marvelous things making a more complex gueuze. Really great flavors, and a highly refreshing beer! – Perfect for a summer day, or as a pairing for food – I could actually see this as a perfect beer side by side with grilled pineapple and a great steak!
Next up is the Boon/Mikkeller Oude Geuze Goût Americain, why? Well i think this has a great possibility to evolve and develop nicely with some more years on it – the complexity isn’t that deep as of now, but the combo of yeast, bacteria and foeder usage makes for a great and refreshing beer! Even, if it wasn’t as ”American tasting” as I first thought.
Last but not least is the Mikkeller / Boon Oude Geuze (Vermouth), which I found to savory for my taste – but all in all, it delivers what it promises. The vermouth really shines nicely, and gives a nudge to the classic gueuze. I find this beer to be more of a food pairing beer, then a beer you’ll enjoy on it self.
There you have it, a complete run-through of the Boon/Mikkeller collaborations! Hope you find this blog entry helpful, and if you do! Please feel free to share your own comments about this beer with me, just follow the link and hit me up on Instagram!
Till next time, HopSkull Out!