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BJCP 2015 Guideline

European Sour Ale Lambic

BJCP 23D

BJCP 2015 23D Lambic example
23D - Lambic

 

Overall Impression

A fairly sour, often moderately funky wild Belgian wheat beer with sourness taking the place of hop bitterness in the balance. Traditionally spontaneously fermented in the Brussels area and served uncarbonated, the refreshing acidity makes for a very pleasant café drink.

Comments

Straight lambics are single-batch, unblended beers. Since they are unblended, the straight lambic is often a true product of the "house character" of a brewery and will be more variable than a gueuze. They are generally served young (6 months) and on tap as cheap, easy-drinking beers without any filling carbonation. Younger versions tend to be one-dimensionally sour since a complex Brett character often takes upwards of a year to develop. An enteric character is often indicative of a lambic that is too young. A noticeable vinegary or cidery character is considered a fault by Belgian brewers. Since the wild yeast and bacteria will ferment ALL sugars, they are typically bottled only when they have completely fermented.

Commercial Examples

The only bottled version readily available is Cantillon Grand Cru Bruocsella of whatever single batch vintage the brewer deems worthy to bottle. De Cam sometimes bottles their very old (5 years) lambic. In and around Brussels there are specialty cafes tha

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VITAL

  • OG:  1040 - 1054
  • FG:  1001 - 1010
  • ABV: 5 - 6.5
  • IBU: 0 - 10
  • SRM: 3 - 7
BJCP 2015 23D - Lambic Commercial Example
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