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Beer Information
Average Review High Score Low Score Reviews Tried Consumed
86 86 86 1 9 3
50°N-4°E by Brasserie Cantillon
7.00 % ABV

Review by SAP on 09/07/09  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
86 3 11 17 4 8 2009
2007 cork Date; Sampled May 2008
Only lightly carbonated as a partially vigorous pour only produces a finger-thick, pale, barely off-white colored head. The beer is a light honey color that shows a lightly hazed, golden-copper color when held up to the light. The aroma smells sour of course, but has surprising backdrop of fruitiness to it; it smells of lightly, but distinctly of currants and berry-like notes in addition to more typical notes of tart apple, perhaps light pear and sour grapefruit. Quite mellow barnyard aromatics, with some light mustiness and a touch of horse blanket.

Nicely sour tasting, but with more oak influence than one typically finds in Lambic. The oak contributes more towards the end and finish of each sip with a spicy-oak component, a tannic woodiness and something a bit like warming alcohol (is that the cognac influence). Tart fruit notes of sour grapefruit, green apple and not quite ripe, tart pears and not quite ripe chardonnay grapes. This is exceedingly quaffable, my 750ml bottle of this is just easily disappearing down my throat; while light, the oak definitely gives this a structure and tannic texture. The light, yet soft prickle of carbonation keeps this from being airy (like many a highly carbonated Gueuze). Not as funky as many, still has a lasting, deep sourness, but also has an interesting, damp mustiness a slightly phenolic-cotton ball notes.

As the beer warms up and loses its carbonation a bit the unripe, green fruitiness becomes a bit more noticeable. Interestingly, besides a little warmth and the more noticeable oak notes, the Cognac seems to produce a chardonnay wine like flavor that is more fruity than anything, but has touches of flint to it. The warming alcohol, Cognac influence becomes more noticeable too, with the vapors influencing the nasal passages during each sip. Some tropical fruit influences even seem to take hold towards the end of this 750ml bottle; star fruit, and something vaguely like guava / papaya. The nose has definitely picked up some warming alcohol notes as well as a touch of buttery oak and even a funky, sort of cheesy fruitiness. The fruitiness even seems to accentuate a perception of sweetness, that just kisses the palate.

I am really surprised how mellow the barrel character is here, the cognac must have stripped out a lot of those oak flavors. This is a very well balanced beer; the barrel plays a significant supporting role here, sourness of course takes the lead, but not excessively so (this is not as hard as some Cantillon's) and the funk is definitely a supporting character. I like that this was lightly carbonated, given that this is not a blended beer I was expecting a much flatter experience, but the soft carbonation definitely adds a nice touch to the texture. Quite the tasty beer, I certainly wouldn't mind having a lot more of this in my cellar.

Served In: Tulip

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