Belgian Beer Challenge 44 – Mort Subite Oude Gueuze
I’d actually tried this beer before at it’s source in the wonderful Brussels cafe bar A la Mort Subite, I’m insisting though on trying each one again to make sure I am being true to the actual beers described.
It’s a lovely example of a bottle conditioned Lambic Gueuze beer, pouring a hazy golden yellowish colour with a fluffy white head which drops away quickly.
The aroma is slightly musty, apples, with vinegrous citrus lemon zest. The taste though is fresh and refreshing, lot’s of lemon tartness in there again and the sourness expected with lambic.
Not a beer to try if Lambics are new to you, but Mort Subite do offer a selection lighter, fruited and generally more palatable versions which are sweeter and give you a more gentle introduction, however a no doubt firm favourite for old hands.
I’d like to add a little about the bar itself, tucked away from the main square in Brussels it’s a must visit place and one we went back to again and again when we were there.
It was always busy, but never really packed out with a friendly buzzing mixture of tourists and locals, especially at lunchtime where they offer a typical Belgian bar fayre of cold meats, cheeses etc.
On a warm day the few seats on the pavement were in high demand, rightly so as it’s a lovely place to watch the world go by whilst having waited service.
It’s inside though that makes the place so wonderful. The room is long with a very high ceiling, the bar running the full length of one wall. There are huge ornate pillars and mirrors, symmetrical lines of tables leading your eye down to the dominating staircase that leads up to a mezzanine platform and what I assume are living quarters. Throughout the bar there are photographs detailing the history of the place, the beers and surrounding area.
On the bar itself you get a choice of their own lambic beers, plus a reasonable selection of others to choose from along with soft drinks and coffee.
If you are in Brussels or are planning a trip, make no mistake you need to visit here it’s just beautiful..
History of “A la Mort Subite”
We need to go back in time for 80 years to explore the origin of this unusual name. About 1910 Mr. THEOPHILE VOSSEN ran an establishment called “LA COUR ROYALE”. Amongst his many customers were a lot of employees working at the National Bank of Belgium. Those employees passed their time in the pub playing a dives game called “421”. Before returning to the office , the employees played a quick last game and the one who lost was called the: “MORT SUBITE” or the sudden death.
Very soon this name became well known and when THEOPHILE VOSSEN moved to this actual address in 1928 he decided to call his pub: “AT THE MORT SUBITE”. The same name as this own beers.
His sons and grandsons René and Jean-Pierre VOSSEN continued the tradition for more than 36 years.
Today, the fourth generation of the VOSSEN family Olivier and Bernard, continuous to serve you these delicious Gueuze beers in the same establishment which also retains the original 1928 decor.