Cantillon: Kriek (Belgium: Fruit Lambic: 5% ABV)

Visual: Clear black cherry with a dark burgundy red head.

Nose:  Black cherry. Apples and acidic feel. Wet oak. Mature cheese. Pips and raspberries. Lots of cherries.

Body: Tart. Vinegar and cherries. Wood. Mature cheese. Distinctly sour and dry.

Finish:  Fresh feel. Cherry. Teeth drying. Light raspberry and black cherry. Lime. Apple crumble.  Light cheese. Blackberry and lemon meringue

Conclusion:  So I return one more to the legendary and oft somewhat feared Cantillon.  One of the most prestigious lambics, one of the driest and one of the first I ever tried.

So, now I’ve had some more experience with the style, how is it? Still sharp as hell.  Manageable now though, it is mouth puckering sour and dry but no longer unpleasantly so.  The finish however, that is what intrigues. As you leave the drink after a sip, the still remains on your tongue shift through fruit flavours, sweet, sharp, acidic and sour in turns. Many fruit flavours express them, most of which are fruit that I know for a fact never came near the beer in its making, they instead result from the interplay of the layers of the beer.

The body may have equal subtly, but it’s still hard for me to tell behind its acid sourness.   Though just as it slips down your gullet it seems to lighten and you can really enjoy the full cherry flavour.

Full bodied, fruity and fresh.  Don’t pick this as your first kriek beer, or first lambic.  Seriously. Work up to it and you will appreciate it, it’s worth taking your time, both in working up to it and appreciating that long shimmering finish.

A beer than needs a work out to get ready for it, but worth the effort.

Background: Cantillon Kriek was one of the first lambics I tried and I had been warned it was quite challenging. The warning did little to stop my shock as my mouth promptly puckered.  It was a while after that before I gave lambics another go, since they I have returned to Cantillon again. This however is the first time I have returned to the first Cantillon I ever tried, their Kriek beer