Lou Pepe Framboise glimmers a brilliant ruby red in my oversized flute. Faded orange highlights the body near the stem of the glass. A pink tinted head snaps to attention at over a finger in height before fizzling down to a skim coat. The collar is rather thick and leaves behind thin sheet lacing. The color of this beer is amazing.
Ahhh...Cantillon! That incredible Cantillon funk is present in all it's glory. Crazy amounts of mustiness cradle every other aspect of the nose and there's a bracing green raspberry and vinegar sourness that instantly makes my mouth water uncontrollably. A mild but interesting floral quality sneaks up along with a touch of Sweet Tart sweetness. I could happily take deep whifs of this beer all night long.
Each drink is cheek puckeringly sour. Green, underripe raspberries get things moving and they're as musty as ever. A Sweet Tart candy like sweetness comes across mid palatte while trying to balance out the sourness and falling miserably short. Dusty, funkiness runs throughout this entire beer. Another absolutely delicious Cantillon. The raspberry seems to ripen up as this warms.
A light body combines with the puckering sourness that I get used to halfway through the glass. The carbonation is tiny and somewhat prickly. It does a great job of scrubbing the tongue clean after each drink.
Drinkability is off the charts. The acidity will bring along the heartburn but it's worth it for a beer of this caliber. The light body and refreshing sourness make this bottle disappear far too quickly.
Lou Pepe Framboise is another gem of a beer coming from Cantillon. Great raspberry flavor and great sourness. I won't be drinking this often because of the price tag but it will be in the rotation from now on.
Bottle Vintage 2002, Sampled February 2004
Pours a deep hazy red color. It is well carbonated and produces a pink head as I pour it into my glass, though the head disappears quickly. There is an immediate aroma of raspberry seeds (fruity and woody). A slight sour aroma is joined by a musty leather note, though raspberries certainly dominate the nose. There is a good raspberry presence in the taste as well. The raspberry fruitiness makes it seem like there is a hint of sweetness in this otherwise austerely dry Cantillon offering. As expected this is fairly sour, though not extreme. The beer has a tannic, woody aftertaste that coats the teeth and mouth like a tannic red wine. A bit musty, but overall the Brettanomyces character seems subdued.
This beer definitely expresses the raspberry character more than the Rose De Gambrinus, though this is still quite dry so that the fruit can be hard to pick up if you don't know what to look for. I really like how the acidity pairs with the fruit character. This is a very well integrated beer, no one element overpowers the other.
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