Friday, October 15, 2010

Slowbeer Tasting #3: Cantillon Lambics

Hi everyone,

This tasting actually happened on Wednesday, so sorry for the slow posting. Still has given my tastebuds so time to settle from it. Actually, was not as harsh as I thought, or maybe Chris took us as gently as he could through the journey. After having a couple in Belgium last month (and actually tasted the Lou Pepe Framboise before I left on that trip, has been interesting acquire more of a taste to these lambic beers through Cantillon. As usual, will go through in the order of drinking.
1) Iris - Had actually wanted to try this before as had heard it was a fairly mild one good for entry level drinkers. Of course there was the slight tart/sour smell but on first taste found it quite flavourful but not overly intense. Sour hits hard early but cleanses on the back so no tart aftertaste, making it pretty mild and good to start on.
2) Gueze 100% Lambic Bio - With the use of older hops and wheat it definitely has a milder flavour to the previous. Is less sour, but then has a cider taste with acid with hangs on in aftertaste. Still, has a nice even flavour profile.
3) Lou Pepe Gueze - the added brewing sugar for carbonation does spike the flavours a bit more, but with this lambic being a blend of 2 and 3 year olds, the age dulls it overall, along with the cider aftertase. Somehow sense some sweetness though on the backpalate (?).
4) Grand Cru Bruocsella - The 3 years old, non carbonated lambic has a musty sour smell but is quite slight. Nice rounded and full flavour and comes across very earthy. Some slight burn in back of palate (similar to previous) and a long length.
5) Rose de Gambrinus (Framboise) - Has a pink champagne look with a sweet and tart smell. Bit hit of tart up front with almost medicinal impact but settles on mid palate when it warms on the tongue. Intensity makes it slower to drink (or am I just feeling the effects already?). Think adding the raspberries late in this brew only allows sweetness in smell and late in taste.
6) Lou Pepe Framboise - Artificial red cordial look with more sweetness in the smell than previous. Again, hits hard on the front (does the sweetness spike the tart flavour?) and sourness on sides of mouth/tongue. Sweetness dulls the cider aftertaste. Must say, was able to appreciate this better second time around then the first, when terms like 'rancid' were being thrown around.
7) Kriek 100% Lambic Bio - Very fine head and again with the cordial look. tart and a pink musk smell to it, with less spike on the front but has sourness on the sides. First taste has a woody musk finish with sour aftertaste the bites.
8) Lou Pepe Kriek - slightly browner than previous with a bit of sherbert in the smell. Very well balanced and rounded in flavours. Covers the tongue well with this and texture. Using 2/3 year old lambics in this really mellows it greatly allowing it easier for me to appreciate, and so really enjoy this one.
9) Vignronne - using Muscat grapes bring some higher sugar to the brew, and so get a similar sherbert sweetness before the sourness kicks in. Looks a bit like a lager and has a similar sour/tart smell to the beers we started the night on. Has quite a dry, acid on the back.
10) St Lamvinus - has a browny red look and a definite sour smell, which translates to a well rounded sour taste. More depth in the flavour but not sure what it is (the merlot grapes?). Cab Franc seems to dull the sourness as well.

As you can see, I am still trying to get my head around what actual flavours I get from these beers, but still able to find the Lou Pepe Kriek to be the best of the bunch. Did notice that there was generally a spiking flavour on the front of the tongue with each beer, and not sure if that is usual, or maybe they beer was being served a little too cold. Acid also seemed to be pronounced when the beers were cold. I also enjoyed the Gueze Bio (think that the older hops did it for me to make it milder), and thr St Lamvinus was also good to use wine in it's production.

So, 3 Slowbeer tasting down, and come out with another beer I have to try with a fresh palate to make sure it tastes as good by itself as it was in this journey. Come on Lou Pepe Kriek! Thanks to Chris for another great event. Looking forward to the ensuing tastings (russian imperial stouts? braggots? spiced chrissy beers? etc)



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