Hype. That is the first word that came into my mind regarding this beer. I had heard and read about the famous brews Cantillon produces, but considering I was not a fan of lambic beers I put them on the back burner. Well, the day finally came when I sat down to a tasty lambic and have not looked back. This style has really grown on me in the last year. Roughly a month ago I happened upon this bottle and decided to see what all the hype was about (now that I had broken in my palate).
This gueuze was bottled in September of 2010 and is a blend of 1, 2, and 3 year old lambic. Granted, if this beer was in a 750 ml bottle I probably would have aged it for a few years, but seeing as it was a small 12 oz bottle I opted to enjoy. As I turned the cage six times and popped the cork my excitement level rose rapidly.
When pouring a gueuze it is important to go slowly as the pluming, rocky, fizzy, bubbly head will creep up on you quickly. In all the commotion the aromatic smell of musty straw and funk filled the air. Very effervescent! As the head faded quickly the smell did not. Great grassy notes could be found along with hay, straw, wheat, bags of grain. A tart funkiness was definitely apparent lending peach, lemon Lysol, barn, musk, apple (granny smith), and sour notes up front. I could picture the vintages aging in oak barrles in a dark dusty basement of a barn.
When it came to the taste I must say the hype is justified. Sour/tart prickles covered the sides and back of my tongue while a light wheat mouthfeel lapped over my palate bringing some freshness to the mix. You can tell it is a gueuze as there was great interplay between sweeter fresher lambic and old funky lambic. It was more mellow in flavor than Iris 2007 which came across much more tart. A lemony fruit middle gave way to an almost puckering finish that was dry and slightly oaky.
While this beer lives up to the hype, offering a refreshing delicious session, it should not be placed on a pedistal.