Deep blood red garnet hue with a pink head on top. Looks beautiful in the glass. Aromas are bursting with a vibrant mix of fresh blueberry and great funk. Woody with mellow vinegar. Just bursting with wonderfulness.
First sip brings vibrant berry flavors melding beautifully with wood and a mellow funk that's a little tamer than usual for Cantillon. Blueberry is all over the place and the mellow acidity and wood plays in so well. This is incredibly delicious and drinkable and it makes me sad to finish the glass.
Mouthfeel is smooth light and creamy...arid and oh so easy to drink as the acidity is not as overwhelming as most Cantillon's. Just a lovely beer and worthy of the high praises it has received. YUM!
Served In: Snifter
Huge thanks to Alex (MasterSki) for opening this one at our wild/sour tasting. 2009 Batch 4, poured from 375ml bottle into Bell's Tulip.
A - Pours purple/dark blue with a pink fluffy head. Lots of sticky lacing is left behind once the head dies down a bit. The look of this beer is unlike anything I've ever seen...something to be seen, no doubt about it!
S - Blueberry funk/tart, mellow sweetness, and light acidic notes. It's hard to put into words the perfection of this blueberry lambic, so pardon me if I just comment how awesome it is by saying, "it's awesome".
T - Well, what do you think it tastes like? Uh...blueberries? Yeah, I'd say so. Sweet blueberries, sour blueberries, funky blueberries. However you'd like your blueberries, this lambic dishes it out. A nice acidic bite but nothing too strong. This one stays pretty mellow when compared to the nose.
M - Light, nice fizzy carbonation that cover the palate well. This is a great beer to swish around on your mouth and enjoy slowly. A nice rich finish, that I really enjoy.
D - So easy to drink, I already want another all to myself!
Served In: Tulip
I couldn't wait to try this beer with my affinity for blueberries and Alex hooked it up yet again, thanks! I've never seen a beer pour quite like this one. The body glows rusty red with definite grape juice-like highlights throughout. Little chunks of blueberries float throughout the body and can be easily seen through the fairly clear liquid. The head is what makes this beer stand out like no other. A thick, fizzy cap has good staying power and shows off an incredible purple fizziness. I've never seen a head that's taken to the color of berries used as much as this lambic does.
The aroma is out of this world mouthwatering. There's that familiar Cantillon funkiness with all the wonderful dusty attic qualities and slight lemon acidity. Over the top of the funk are handfuls and handfuls of perfectly ripe, pungent blueberries. The funk runs deep below the blueberries and deeper pulls send off some cobwebs and wet rock with a slight wheaty twang. This doesn't have the huge funkiness of some other Cantillon products but the blueberries are showcased incredibly well.
The flavor can't quite stand up to the otherworldly aroma but comes awfully close. The blueberries aren't as vivid as the nose led me to believe but the flavor becomes more of a balance between the semi-tart blueberries and Cantillon funk. Mineral qualities abound with the always noted wet rock. Dusty barnyard aromatics more in the line of old wood than the usual horseblanket. Some lemon acidity kicks in and there's a decent amount of lactic sourness. The blueberries are still the showcase but balance more so than the aroma led me to believe.
The body is right where it should be with this lambic, light and airy. The carbonation shows a liveliness that pushed things through and manages to scrub the tongue clean for the next swig. A mild sweetness starts things off but quickly moves into the moderate tartness pushing through the finish before another quick flash of sweet counteracts the sour.
Drinkability is through the roof. It's hard to even set the glass down, which I didn't do at all but tried plenty. The tartness is super refreshing while the touch of sweetness keeps it from ravaging the tastebuds. I could drink this beer all day long if was allowed, no question.
I've been looking forward to drinking this lambic for ages now and can't thank Alex enough for sharing a bottle. Hopefully I come across more in the future. Blabaer is another homerun hit by the incredibly imaginative guys over at Cantillon, keep 'em comin'!
Served In: Tulip
Vintage 2007; Sampled April 2008
Pours with a frothy, initially two-finger thick, purple-pink stained tan colored head. The beer is a deep purple color, but shows a deeply hazy, plum-red color when held up to the light. As I was pouring this beer a scent of blueberries was noticeable. A closer inspection is much more accented towards the funky Lambic notes; lots of funky, phenolic, bandaid like aromatics, a definite acidity, ample butyric acid notes, musty cotton balls and cured leather. Behind all of this is a subtle, yet zesty, berry character that is distinctly of sweet-ripe blueberries; the blueberry notes are almost more noticeable in the nose when you are not trying.
Bracingly tart, with a fantastic sourness that almost causes me to pucker. I would swear that the ample sourness is magnified by tart fruit character, though it is mostly lactic in make up. The finish has a mouth-coating tannic character to it that is deeply stained with berry skin flavors. The flavor of this beer is not quite as funky or phenolic as the nose suggested, but this is definitely on the funky side of the spectrum with light bandaid phenolics and moldy cotton ball notes. The tannins, fruit and oak contribute a nice heft to the body of this brew though a zippy carbonation keeps this on the airy / light side; overall this is a beer to be quaffed in quantity, just like a Lambic should be.
As the beer warms up it picks up a bit more fullness and the acidity seems to mellow just a touch, becoming a bit more fruit accented, though still bracingly dry and tart. I really like the tannic structure that this beer has, it gives it a texture that is quite akin to the feeling while drinking black tea; this somehow provides some balance to this beer. My second pour seems to get just a touch of ripe-berry character to it, just enough to add an ephemeral touch of sweet fruit character without actually adding any sweetness. This is just getting more and more drinkable, it didn’t start out a slouch either, and I am suddenly left wondering what happened to my 750ml bottle & asking myself why I don’t have more to drink right now.
Wow, this is supposed to be the less tart / funky of the two vintages; I can’t imagine (or is it can’t wait) the 2005 vintage I have waiting for me being more sour than this. This is just quite funky right now, this definitely leans towards the hard side & I wonder how much of this has developed since bottling; especially since I see this as being less tart and more fruity than the 2005. This is fairly fruity, but certainly not in a dominant fashion (even by authentic Lambic standards), the fruit seems to more contribute to the tartness and tannic qualities of this beer rather than the ripe berry notes one might expect in a beer described as fruity. After having said all that, this is just a fantastic beer, as someone who really likes funky, sour beers and my fruit to be a supporting player, well this just hits the spot quite well.
Served In: Tulip
Vintage 2005; Sampled May 2008
A vigorous pour produces a very, large bubble consistency, initially fat-one-finger thick, pale off white colored head. The beer is a ruddy, light plum color and shows a lightly hazy, pink-tinged, copper color when held up to the light. The aroma is quite tart, with lactic notes up front and then butyric acid notes of Brett induced funk as a backdrop. A fruit skin aromatic note seems just perceptible, with maybe some imagined berry notes. Funk driven aromas of urea, funky-phenolics, damp horse blanket, some musty notes as well as some fruit-like acidity. I definitely think that the blueberry still contributes to the nose, it is quite soft, and I wouldn’t have noticed it if I didn’t notice this was a blue-berry beer, but it definitely adds something.
Bracingly tart as expected from a Cantillon product. As the head suggested this is only lightly carbonated, perhaps a touch more than a cask conditioned, real ale; the carbonation adds a hint of liveliness and more a texture than anything. The beer finishes with a touch of medicinal blue-berry character, though really the fruit character adds a slight roundness to the flavor that mellows the bracing sourness just a touch through the middle and finish of each sip. The substantial tartness reminds me a bit of sour-grapefruit, though the sourness is by and large contributed by lactic acid. Quite light, and if it wasn’t so acidic it would be down right quaffable; this is even on the light side for a Lambic as it doesn’t have an overly tannic structure to it that many have.
As the beer warms up the soft, non-specific, fruitiness becomes more noticeable. It really helps to soften the acidity, though to be honest for a sour beer lover the acidity was not too much to begin with. I could see many people having a hard time finishing a beer this sour. Fairly funky, though not over the top like the sourness. This has the requisite farmyard funk, some sweaty blanket notes and some wild mushroom character that provides a complexity boost behind the dominant sourness.
I believe this actually is a bit more sour than the Vintage 2007 version, but it also has less blueberry character, which makes the sourness a bit more pronounced. And this is most definitely on the hard side for a Lambic and even for a Cantillon; luckily I really find a bracing acidity quite nice, despite that fact that I can feel a slight burn in my stomach. I wonder how much this has changed since being bottled? I’ll never know, but I suspect the blueberry was just a bit more noticeable. Very nice, I haven’t had a hard Lambic in a while & this one definitely fit the bill and tickled my fancy.
Served In: Pint Glass
Huge thanks to my buddy Joey for sharing this one! Had this one at La Bella on 5-16-09 along with Tony, Danny, Jeff, and a few others. Hope you enjoyed this one Tony!
I was planning on drinking this for my 500th review but it crossed my path a little sooner, or I just didn't drink/review fast enough. The first time I had this beer was at the RateBeer Summer Gathering 2008, the Grand Tasting at Pizza Port Carlsbad. I only had about a 1oz sample and that was enough to make an impression on me and I've been hunting this one since then...fortunately a very generous trader worked out a trade with me and I was able to get a bottle (thanks jasonm, I will be enjoying that bottle soon).
The first time I tried this last summer (only a 1oz pour though) I thought the sourness and fruit were more balanced, maybe because it was fresher? Here goes...
From a 750ml bottle, 2007 vintage (batch II).
Poured a garnet and violet color, a little haziness, and an attractive pinkish quarter inch of foam.
Funky and tart blueberries assault the nostrils, lots of acidity, and lemon tartness. A bit of tea-like herbalness, lots of wet leather aromas, and musty as it warmed up. This beer was a battle of funk and fruit, both were very intense...the blueberries really make this beer outstanding.
Just like in the aroma, brett funk, hay, sour blueberries, very acidic going down, leather, and acidic lemon. It was almost like biting into a really sour lemon peel. The beer gets dryer with every sip. Again, the fruit flavor is just outstanding and doesn't overpower the beer. At some points it seems like there is some sweetness at the beginning but then the sourness and dryness wrecks the palate. Medium-high carbonation and a bit prickly on the tongue at first.
One of the best sours and truly one of the great Cantillon beers out there. Can't wait to have this again.
Served In: Pint Glass
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