Cantillon Gueuze – Class in a Glass
Happy Friday! So, I finally acquired a few beers from Belgium’s one and only Cantillon brewery, famous for their world-class Lambic style beers. Highly sought after and hard to find (unless you want to pay in the triple digits to have some shipped), these limited release brews only show up on the shelves once in a blue moon.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the style, lambics come in a variety of forms that all share the same characteristics – they are spontaneously fermented in the bottle for at least a year with wild yeast (80+ different types of yeast have been identified in Lambics, but the predominant type is brettanomyces for all you biology geeks). The resulting flavor is unlike any other style- funky, tart, earthy, and even mouth-puckeringly sour. You really have to try one to know what I’m talking about.
Not to worry though, there are many less-than-limited lambics that you can find on the shelves of any liquor store with a good craft beer selection – look for the lambic section which should have styles such as Kreik (lambic with cherries), Gueze (blended lambic), and Framboise (lambic with raspberries).
I was very impressed with this Gueze, which is probably why it’s regarded to as one of the best in the world. Here’s my review:
Overall rating: 4.66/5
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
Poured from a 25 oz bottle into a Cantillon tulip. Purchased in Wakefield, Rhode Island.
A- Pours a golden-orange, slightly hazy body with 2″ fizzy white head that reduces quickly and leaves no lacing.
S- The first aroma upon popping the cork was a musty, bready, leathery, earthy funk sitting on an acidic, lemony, tart backbone. Smells like other sours I’ve had but more pungent and balanced.
T- Oh my god that’s amazing. The first sip of my first Cantillon beer literally put a smile on my face. The second it hits your tongue you get a mouth puckering tartness that has lemon, green apple, and white vinegar notes. The follow through reveals some funky notes, including fermented fruit, leather, and a nice earthyness. Oak is present throughout the whole experience, really balancing everything and creating a super complex beer.
M- Light and crisp, medium carbonation. Really sip-demanding.
I’m glad that I tried the Classic Geueze as my first Cantillon beer. It’s complexity, balance, drinkibility, and magnificent flavors really make for a world class brew. Definitely the best sour that I’ve ever tasted. Seek it out.