Saturday, 25 February 2012

Brasserie Cantillon Rosé De Gambrinus

Good morning all. I'm finally back after a self-imposed break due to illness, and whilst I'm still not completely free from the shackles of sickness (if that's not a death metal album name it should be), I have at least managed to progress to the point where I can perceive tastes and aromas, so I felt this would be an appropriate time to do a review. It's also #openit weekend, where the beer blogging community delves into the depths of their cellars to sample a beer they've been holding on to for some time, commonly with the intention of opening it "when the time is right". Of course, on the advent of that momentous occasion the beer could be wonderful or it could end up being an incredible disappointment, hence this pledge was created to encourage drinkers to savour a rare or unusual beer and hopefully not miss out on all it has to offer. I'm not sure if the beer I'm going to review now (consumed last night) will be my only contribution towards #openit, but I will at least say it's a start. That beer is Rosé De Gambrinus, a framboise lambic from the masters at Brasserie Cantillon. As always, review after the pic....

Rosé De Gambrinus pours a ruby colour with a wispy head generated during pouring that dissipates very quickly by the time the glass is full. I was expecting the aroma to be quite hard-hitting, but was surprised to find it was more subtle and well-balanced. However, the very nature of lambics means each bottle will be slightly different, so I'm not sure if this is universal for this particular offering. Plenty of raspberries with a tart sharpness/acidity, some characteristic barnyard funk and a background of acetic acid/vinegar. Tasting the beer, you'd be forgiven for thinking there weren't any raspberries in it in the first place, as their contribution is masked by sharp piquancy and a puckering sourness. The finish isn't overly dry or sour, and there's certainly no bitterness. During drinking, the beer seems to effervesce over the palette, amplifying the mouthfeel and tartness very nicely, giving a nice burst of flavour before settling down to bring out a bit of the raspberry character. The mouthfeel is light with low carbonation and no cloying on the palette. Overall a good offering from Cantillon, but one that left me wanting a lot more. For me, the lambic experience is all about the initial sensory overload from the spontaneous fermentation being gradually diminished by the fruit, which wasn't really happening here. The tartness and sourness kept going and the raspberries were really fighting to gain any prevalence, which only happened every so often. This could be a good introductory lambic, or a lambic for those moments when high acidity isn't on the agenda, but besides that I don't think I would get this beer again. Still worth a try though.

Until next time....

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