Cantillon Kriek 100% Lambic

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Tonight’s beer was a special offering from Belgium’s world-renowned Cantillon Brewery. Cantillon is famous for their amazing lambic style beers, one style of which is a Kriek, a sour Belgian ale brewed with cherries. Cantillon doesn’t skimp on the cherries with this offering. Here’s an excerpt from their website that shows just how many cherries they brew a typical batch of this beer with:

“On a warm summer day, a lorry coming from the auction at Sint-Truiden delivers 4,000 kgs of fresh Kellery cherries to the brewery.
The brewery staff will then put about 150 kgs of fruits in oakwood or chestnutwood barrels which can contain 650 litres of lambic and which have been cleaned some days before.”

Here’s my full review:

Final rating: 4.34/5

look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Cantillon tulip. Purchased at Yankee Spirits in North Attleboro, MA.

Appearance – Pours a bright cherry colored, slightly hazy body with a light red, huge gushing, fizzy head that reduces quickly and leaves no lacing.

Smell – Has a sweet and sour aroma, fruity cherries, some funkyness, red wine.

Taste – Upfront there are big sour cherry notes, lactic, berries, red wine vinegar. The follow through reveals some sweet notes and a nice oaky aftertaste. Leaves a tart taste on the tongue.

Mouthfeel- Super crisp and carbonated.

Cantillon never lets me down. This was a lot more sour than I was expecting, in a good way. An excellent example of a world-class Kriek. Must try for all Belgian sour fans.

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Chocolate Oak Aged YETI!

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Tonight’s beer is brewed by The Great Divide, one of the many variants of their world-class beer YETI beer. This one is aged on oak chips and brewed with cocoa nibs and cayenne peppers. What an experience!

Full Review:

Final Rating: 4.44/5

look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a snifter. Purchased at Yankee Spirits in Attleboro, MA.

Appearance- Pours a pitch black, oily, opaque body with a slow rising, creamy, bubbly, milk chocolate colored head that reduces slowly and leaves some decent lacing on the glass. Absolutely beautiful and near perfect.

Smell- The smell is definitely not in your face but still very inviting. The most prominent aromas are freshly ground coffee, mocha, and rich milk chocolate. Slightly metallic.

Taste- This beer really lives up to it’s name as far as taste goes. From start to finish, it’s full of HUGE fudgy, chocolatey, cocoa notes. It’s like drinking a chocolate fudge cake. In the background is vanilla which is probably brought on by the oak, but it isn’t as forward as I would have prefered (-.25). The finish is nice and roasty, and the cayenne peppers add a little spicy note which really works!

Mouthfeel- Rich, thick, full-bodied, low carbonation.

A great variation of Yeti which definitely lives up to it’s name. If you like chocolate, you will undoubtedly love this beer. Very nice.

De Gulden Draak – A Monster of a Tripel

 

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Tonight’s brew was a Belgian Tripel brewed by Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V. This one’s name has an interesting back story:

“The legend says the gilded dragon first featured on the prow of the ship with which the Norwegian king Sigrid Magnusson left on a crusade in 1111. He offered the statue to the emperor of Constantinople (the current Istanbul) to put it on the cupola of the Aya Sophia. Some hundred years later, the Flemish count Baldwin IX had the showpiece transported to our regions. Here, the Norwegian dragon ended up in the hands of Bruges. After the battle on the field of Beverhout in 1382, the inhabitants of Ghent took the dragon as war booty and put it on top of their Belfry. In the Belfry all communal charters were kept. The dragon had to protect these documents and it was also the symbol of the freedom and might of the city.”

A dragon this important deserves a world class beer to represent it, and that’s exactly what The Golden Draak is. Here’s my review:

 

Final Rating: 4.46/5

look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 25 oz bottle into a La Trappe goblet. Purchased in North Providence, RI.

Appearance- Pours a muddy brown, slightly hazy body with bright cherry highlights. A fluffy, airy, generous khaki colored head rises and reduces slowly to a frothy layer, leaving thick lacing. Very inviting.

Smell- Lots of fruity aromas coming through here.. dark fruits, white wine, plums, and raisins are all present upfront. There’s definitely a roastyness coming through too.. lightly roasted malt, citrus, and a slight alcohol aroma.

Taste- Sweet caramel, toffee, and brown sugar upfront.. raisins, plums, candied sugar, bubblegum soon thereafter. The finish leaves an absolutely delicious roastyness on the tongue that I really love about dark Belgian beers. Some booze present , the 10.5% is not hidden well (-.25 for that).

Mouthfeel- Medium-heavy body, medium-low carbonation. Pretty rich.

I was highly impressed with the Gulden Draak. It was highly complex, flavorful, and full bodied. Sits up there with some of the best Belgian tripels. A must try.

The Bruery Oude Tart

Last night’s beer is one the best, if not the best, offering of it’s style. It’s a Flemish-Style Red Ale, which is essentially a sour red ale aged in oak barrels. This particular beer is aged in red wine oak barrels for 18 months. The result is an extremely delicious, pleasantly sour brew that has won many awards including multiple gold medals in it’s category at the World Beer Cup.

Here’s a video from the guy who brews it, and it also clarifies any confusion on it’s pronunciation!

Enjoy my review:Image

Final Rating: 4.48/5

look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a snifter. Acquired from my awesome BIF friend, ufmj. Thanks man.

Appearance- Pours a muddy brown, slightly cherry body with a fizzy white head that reduces very quickly and leaves no lacing or retention.

Smell- I get a lot of musty funkyness, sour grapes, leather, sour cherries, basement, and a distinct woddyness which is characteristic of barrel aged sours.

Taste- Starts off with a big acidic punch of sourness – lemon juice, vinegar, acetic acid, sour cherries and white wine. Immediately following is a musty, leathery, old flavor. The finish shows notes of wood and maybe some caramel.

Mouthfeel- Medium-light body, especially for 7.5% abv. The sourness makes it mildly easy to drink. Quite refreshing.

Overall a very nice Flanders ale. Very, very similar (I don’t think I could tell the difference to be honest) to some of the more known American Wild Ales like Russian River’s supplication and consecration. Recommendable if you can find it.

Götterdämmerung!!!

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Tonight’s offering is a huge, 102 IBU monster brewed by Stone Brewing Company for their 17th anniversary of brewing awesome beer. It’s another outside-the-box IPA that Stone really outdid themselves on, with a knock-your-socks-off hop profile, daringly balanced with the pilsner character of German malt.

The result is a very drinkable, unique creation that is worth trying. Here’s my full review:

Final Rating: 4.09/5

look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Stone tulip glass. Enjoy by 11/13/13.

Appearance- Pours a straw-yellow, completely clear body with a small 1-finger white head that reduces fairly quickly and leaves little lacing. Not outstanding looking.

Smell- Smells pretty malty, heavy, and hoppy. Subtle bread and pine notes, pretty sticky, floral, and resinous. Citrus zest. You have to strain for a good whiff of this one.

Taste- This is very interesting and unique.. starts off pretty sweet, the German malt is really shining here, caramel, spicy, peppery notes, which give way to a pretty bold, sticky, resinous, piney hop punch that lingers on the tongue for a while. The 9.5% ABV is well hidden behind the nice balance of hops and malt. It’s like a pilsner mixed with an imperial IPA.

Mouthfeel – Medium-low carbonation, medium-heavy body but it’s pretty drinkable.

I was pleasantly surprised with this one – the choice of malt and hops really went well together and created good balance and drinkibility. Worth a try.