Cantillon Rosé de Gambrinus
A real treat from my cellar, Rosé de Gambrinus is the standard framboise from the famed Brasserie Cantillon in Belgium, this bottle is actually somewhat fresh, bottled in December of 2011. As a lover of sour beer, Cantillon is about as good as it gets when it comes to lambics and sours, with many of their offerings being the gold standard for their respective styles, my favorite being Fou’ Foune, the apricot lambic. It pours a spectacular raspberry red color, fairly clear complexion, hints of ruby when held to the light. A nice soft pink head sits atop the beer, which dissipates very quickly, leaves no lacing but does leave a small film atop the beer and around the rim of the glass. The aroma is wonderful, big burst of raspberry fruit, hints of other sweeter strawberries, a lot of barnyard and bretty funk, some soft and playful citrus, lemon zest or grapefruit perhaps, the tartness from the berries plays very well with the funk, everything is in harmony in the nose. The flavors are nice, tart raspberries, not as pungent as the nose leads on, some strawberry, a bit of lemon zest, some hay flavors, mild acetic acid and vinegar. The balance is strong, just the pop is not there like the nose suggests. The body is spot on, lively carbonation, but still somewhat creamy at times, perhaps from having so much in the glass at once, but overall, the beer has medium to high carbonation, prickly to the tongue and a bit sharp as it goes down with a dry finish.
Verdict: Delightful framboise from Cantillon, it’s probably not their strongest offering, even within the style, the Lou Pepe vintage framboise take care of that, but in the end it’s still an extremely enjoyable beer. The raspberry aroma and the color of the beer are unbelievable and while the flavors are a bit weak, I enjoyed all the elements and layers they brought forth, there is a reason why Cantillon is so highly sought after. (4.15/5)