Welcome to the barnyard blues. No review tonight guys. Or rather no new review. Recently my birthday came and went and I celebrated as I have the past couple years. With a 375ml of Cantillon Blåbær. This beer, for lack of a better way to describe it, is just magical to me. I can sit and smell this brew for years and still find complexity.
This beer is Cantillon‘s flagship lambic, blended with wild blueberries and sold once a year exclusively at Ølbutikken in Denmark. Sidenote, if anyone can help me land a bottle of batch#6 I would be exceptionally grateful. As I’m sure most of you know, it’s not an easy one to come by; and that’s a big part of why I chose it as a birthday anniversary beer.
In early 2010 I came across a few bottles of batch #4 (which the review is for) and near the end of the year came across a bottle of batch#5. What you see in the photos is batch #5. While the fruit shines slightly more in batch #5, I really enjoyed the cheese and funk aromas in the fourth batch.
The batch#4 review that follows was written in 01/15/10. Without further ado, here is my first beer review I ever did:
First let me preface by saying I grew up on a 44 acre Cattle and Horse farm that had wild blueberries, wild strawberries, wild apples, wild blackberries, wild pears, and a few other little goodies growing on the property. And I believe it’s that reason that I truly love this brew.
I poured directly from the fridge into a Lindemans tulip (how many of you want to kill me for that?). Pours wonderfully, although quite hazy. This could be the fridge more than the beer though. For some reason my fridge always tends to chill haze lambics and gueuze.
A dark mix of garnet and deep violet create almost a mahogany color topped with a very interesting head. It has this amazingly pink center that fades ever so gradually down a hue to a whiter pink on the edges. As an artist I find this color ramping to be sublime.
Initial impressions on the nose are a vinergary tartness but it actually feels as though it’s alive. The tartness level literally felt like it curled inward progressively. I loved it. The usual funk/barnyardy smells are present and make a strong showing which then seem to literally morph into a wild blueberry tartness. And I swear I pickup some stinky cheese (but a good stink) about midway through the nose.
Still chilly at this moment. I definitely taste the cheesiness in the middle to the end. Some more vinegary notes compliment the odd cheesiness well. The blueberries are almost a flash at this temperature. The tartness increases towards the middle with the fruit flavor literally flicking your tongue on initial taste.
The fruit flavor is sublime to say the least. If you like wild berries, this is just amazing. Dominated by wild blueberry, with some flavors/consitencies that seem like the skins as well with a slight grapefruit tartness. I can best describe the wild blues as to me, tasting like a grapefruit with a light zesting of lemon rind, perhaps a drip or two of fresh lime juice.
As it is now rounding the recommended temp I feel I should divulge further.
So much more wild blueberries on the nose. The smell has almost become the inverse of what it was. Now the cheese is playing the low and slow role. It hints in the front, but the blues now dominate from middle to end.
While intriguing cold, this is now changing into a wild blue bomb. Cheese & vinegar await you the second you swallow, but I am just blown away by the wild blue flavors. Also picking up some very subtle oaky notes in the front of the smell.
Mouthfeel appears to thin a little as it warms, but it coats your mouth so wonderfully I couldn’t give it a lower score. It seems to clean itself up so well as it travels.
The aftertaste is no longer in the middle of the tongue as it was earlier (I swear it stuck dead center with the berry-ness). It now is a clawing sourness that I love more than anything. Literally feels as if there are two hands clasping the sides of my tongue. Loving this, extremely pleasant.
Sorry for the book, this is my first review and I have literally two pages of notes and feelings about this particular brew.
Thank you Cantillon and Jepe!
I prefer gueuze in most situations, but I find myself unable to put this down and not think about it, although I’m sure rarity and excitement play into that here’s the real reason…
Directly quoted from my notes:
“This farm boy is practically time traveling to a simpler year. Cliche I know, but honestly I am awash with feelings and memories of growing up on the farm. Barefoot through the grass, eating handfuls of wild fruits, running with the horses as a child…Highly recommended to ANY country folk, I’m curious if this brew envokes anything similiar for the city dwellers. I could literally smell and daydream all day with this beer in hand!”
Cheers all, be safe out there.