Sunday, June 8, 2008

Night of Sours

My friends basically bought these beers by giving me a gift certificate to Hi-Time Wine Cellar, so naturally they needed to be around to share them with me. And I've been waiting a while to finally try some Cantillon beers.

We started off with a mild sour calibration consisting of Rodenbach Flemish Sour Ale. This beer is really nice, as the tartness is somewhat mellow and a whole lot of fruit comes out of it. The darker base gives it more of a deeper, richer taste. A nice beer, certainly similar to Monk's Cafe Flemish Sour.

Next we got into the heavy hitters. Cantillon Iris is a lambic with a bit of a twist. They hop it a little more aggressively than usual and use all malted barley instead of a portion of unmalted wheat. To be honest I couldn't really detect any of those differences. What I could detect was a pretty sour beer with a mild fruitiness to it. The smell even beat out the amazing taste. At first it's a whole lot of smelly funk. I mean it's almost off-putting, except that we are weird and like beverages that smell like feet. Overall this was really my favorite of the night.

The third of four beers was Cantillon Rosé De Gambrinus. This beer is a Framboise, containing a good amount of raspberry flavor. The raspberry isn't in-your-face dominant like the New Glarus Raspberry Tart, but has a nice amount hiding behind a pretty strong sourness and acidity. Sour raspberry isn't my favorite flavor for a beer but it was cool to try at least once, and I would have it again if it were the only thing that could give me a sour fix.

Lastly was Cantillon Classic Gueuze. As expected this was more intense than the Iris. Less fruit, more sour, and much drier. It was really great, but exhausting on the palate after the previous three beers. It also loses its carbonation really fast which was kinda odd. I would definitely get this again when in need of a gueuze though.


stagalicious said...

We're on the same wavelength. I hit HopLeaf yesterday for mussels and sours. I enjoyed the Cantillon Gueuze on tap and loved the bejeezus out of it!

headlessbob said...

Nice reviews! I look forward to visiting belgium at the end of the month and visiting the brewery.

Steve said...

Headlessbob, you are one lucky SOB! Can't wait till I get out to Belgium one day (presumably quite a while down the road).