Total Score: 9.1/10
Review #850!!! Told you I was saving up something special: Doc’s first bottle of Cantillon! I’ve been waiting 6 years to get my hands on a bottle of this – the hype train has turned into a blimp, a giant golden blimp that is headed right into the sun where it might possibly crash and burn, but what a blaze of glory to go out on right? So why exactly is Cantillon so highly sought after? Some call it “the champagne of Belgium”, others like them whales because they are so damn rare – like a single case of this gets to Australia every year, or it could be that this is a blend of one, two and three year-old lambics (spontaneously fermented) beers – a perfection of Belgian brewing in a glass… I’m about to find out what it is that makes Cantillon: Cantillon.
Poured from a 750ml corked bottle into a Duvel tulip.
A: Cloudy deep orange, like a dying sunset on a beach somewhere in Belgium [they have beaches there right?], body with a nice off-white splotchy head that leaves some lace on the side of the glass, top-shelf. 9/10.
S: Funky grape with a mead-like scent, yeast-driven brew, colognes struggle to smell as good as this! Hints of apple/pear esters, earthy notes, more musty character than you can poke a stick at. If you’re into your Saisons/Gueuzes/Lambics/Flanders Oud Ales then then Cantillon is music for your nose. Sets the bar high here. 10/10.
T: Brett funk, tart grapes/lemon/apple/pear leads into a honeyed mead-like centre, finishes with an acidic cider vinegar note and an oak-driven woody dryness. Quite a multifaceted flavour – hits the tongue with sour/sweet/bitter/dry all at the same time. Herbal bitterness in the background. Flavour is a bit more sour than I like, but I can totally appreciate the overall complexity of this fine Gueuze. 9/10.
M: Mid to light, bordering medium bodied, with a light/dense carbonation – all works well, more body wouldn’t go astray if I had one thing to pick about it. 8/10.
D: Well it was quite a whale, not quite my Moby Dick (that would be Heady Topper), but nonetheless a BIG tick off my bucket list here. What did I think overall? Amazing aroma, TBH it smells much better than it tastes, the sourness and acidity is borderline more than I can stomach, still this is a benchmark Gueuze that everyone should try at some point – doesn’t need to be a daily purchase, and the flavour of Saison Dupont is more up my alley anyhow. Glad I finally got my hands on a Cantillon though, good times! 9/10.
Food match: Would pair perfectly with a hard cheese platter – truffle pecorino especially. Also brasserie cuisine – Cantillon was made for this.