Fruit Lambic
21st highest rated style (of 102)
Highest RatedCantillon Mamouche (92 / 100) Average score66 / 100 (Solid)
Lowest RatedChapeau Banana Lambic (30 / 100) Number Tried60
Oudbeitje Lambic
Reviewed by Jez on 22.02.18 in bottle
Overall:
71 / 100
(Very Good)
375ml caked and corked green bottle, purchased from Jane's Beer Store in Mountain View, CA. This is a strawberry lambic—one of the less common fruits for lambic addition.

Uncaps without much of a thunk, and the beer pours flat and lifeless, which is an inauspicious start. It's a deep golden colour, with a little bit of haze to it. No carbonation. After the initial pour, which stirred up a bit of bubbling through turbulence, it sits flat and dead. I'm honestly very unimpressed.

Nose is classically gueuzey. Herbal tones, and stacks and stacks of tart dried apricots. It has just a hint of that plasticky edge you get from a green-bottle lambic, but mostly, it's taken over by the dried fruit. It has more pungent tones as well, with Riesling-like kerosene, and acetone. It's all good—it works very well in this style of beer.

Taste is less good, because here we finally get a suggestion of the strawberry, which pairs too closely with a lactic acidity, giving the whole thing a globby flavour of fruit yoghurt. After a while, though, this settles down, leaving just the lovely Hanssens tart apricot character. It's long and soft, and has less persistent and aggressive acid than a lot of lambics. The feel could really use the subtle elevation of carbonation, so it's a shame this is flat.

Overall, it has a couple of missteps, but mostly the quality of the beer sitting underneath the unnecessary strawberry addition sees it through. Given the fact that the strawberry is what sets this beer apart from its brethren, I'm tempted to say it's not worth your time. But a beer from a brewery that knows how to get this lambic characters to work so well is always worth your time.
appearance: 2.0 | aroma: 4.25 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.75
Cantillon Zwanze 2017
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 06.12.17 on tap
Overall:
73 / 100
(Very Good)
On tap to kick off Zwanze Day 2017 at Bitter Phew.

Pours a cloudy amber with a hint of pink to it. Head dissipates to a white rim of clingy lace. Nice rim as you swirl it around. Looks pretty good.

Smells wild, with a big vinous oaky note and a sharp fruity cut to it - citrus and berry with a touch of mango too. Some herbal notes with some undergrowth and oregano at the back. Nice blend, with a good acidity front and centre.

Strangely thin upfront, with not a lot of character early on, just a hint of some fruity sourness. Develops that wild farmhouse acidity late-mid where it blends with the tea - quite oddly really, with a herbal bitterness that doesn't really go anywhere. Finishes tart and fruity with a nice underripe peach acidity, some apricot and lime as well maybe. Takes a while to get going but there's plenty of weird and wonderful complexities once it finds its feet.

Delightfully smooth, with a great body counteracting any pull from the wildness. Full and earthy feel.

An interesting blend, that I feel isn't fully successful even though it's been crafted with immense precision. The concept itself is slightly flawed though, I feel.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4.0
Creek 2016
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 20.07.16 on tap
Overall:
48 / 100
(Not Great)
Redo of their 2015 GABS beer, but this one brewed with a sour mash (which I think should make it a Berliner Weiss maybe) and without the cherry pips. Also aged in stainless rather than cognac barrels. Can't say I'm overly excited. Tried at the festival in Melbourne.

Pours a bright, bright red colour, slightly cloudy, with a nice creamy head on top that by proximity to the red, at least, looks pink. Pretty good.

Smells sweet, really. Big buttery caramel aroma and a touch of vanilla. Bit of cat pee on there as well, and maybe some diacetyl. Tastes like the weirdness you get from sour mash but without any development of the flavours into proper beery territory.

Taste is quite cidery. Sort of champagne character upfront, slightly crisp and tart, then develops a big green apple character midway, slightly sour and somewhat corporeal on the back. Not a lot of cherry, mostly just tastes like sour yeast notes. Not that impressive, have had better.

Texture is kind of sharply sour. Thin and slightly tangy. Average.

Doesn't do much for me. Sour mash, very tart, but not a lot to lift it. If they could have extracted more cherry flavour (hint: use pips) or got a complementary character to age it on (hint: cognac barrels) it may have been better. That said, I didn't love their beer last year either but this just seems a husk of that beer.
appearance: 3.75 | aroma: 2.5 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 3.0
'Without a Paddle' Cherry Sour
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 19.07.16 on tap
Overall:
67 / 100
(Solid)
I'm calling this a fruit lambic as it's the style that generically fits best. But I don't mean to project any arrogant delusions onto the brewers, who make no pretence about this being other than a simple sour fruit beer. Tried at GABS 2016 on tap.

Pours an amber colour, mild haze with very pale rim of bubbles but virtually no head at all. I guess that makes it very sour? But otherwise pretty lacklustre.

Smells tart, and fruity and wild. Cherry notes, crisp and sour at the same time with a touch of funk that descends into peppery the more you sniff it. Quite pleasant, really.

Taste is also fruity and funky. Cherry notes with a touch of green apple as well. Sour towards the late-mid then the finish gets quite oaky; buttery with a French chardonnay kind of character. Not a whole lot of fruit in the end, it finishes more on the side of funky than fruity or even sour. But not bad at all.

Decent body, bit of pull but not too much texture otherwise.

Bretty, earthy, organic. Bit funky, ultimately cleansing but doesn't quite fulfill all the tart complex potential it could have. Maybe give it a while to age and it could be something special.
appearance: 2.5 | aroma: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.75
Boon Framboise
Reviewed by Jez on 12.09.15 in bottle
Overall:
72 / 100
(Very Good)
375ml caged and corked green bottle, purchased from somewhere in Sydney that I don't remember.

Pours a beautiful deep red hue, perfectly clear, with a fluffy pink head that settles to some large-bubbled pancake lace. Body is light and thin. Looks decent.

Nose is quite pleasant, and perfectly acceptable for what it is. Big raspberry note, but tending towards the leafy, vegetative type of note. There is some pleasant acidity, with a hint of something peppery. The overarching character is slightly organic, a little sweaty and rank, but it matches the style.

Taste is pleasant. Sweet raspberry jam dominates, but it's cut enough with a sharp acidity and a pleasantly retained organic, leafy note. As a result it feels neither too sweet, nor too acidic, and that's a delicate line to walk for a fruit lambic.

Feel is clean and sharp. It's pretty solid.

Overall, it's a very nice lambic, and one from the very solid, classic style. This is the sort of beer you see in a shop and go "ooh, I have a hankering for a raspberry lambic" and you know is going to be good. It certainly doesn't disappoint in that respect.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 4.0
Abrigot Jammed Sour Belgian Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 12.07.15 on tap
Overall:
60 / 100
(Decent)
Tried on-tap at GABS 2015 in Melbourne.

Pours a solid yellow colour, very hazy and quite solid in the glass. Head is white, forming into a fine persistent ring. Lace is sheeting and forms pleasant full rings. Small amounts of carbonation form when the glass is tilted. Looks pretty decent.

Nose is quite pleasant. Jammy apricot character cut back somewhat by a slight peppery spice. There's just a touch of acidity to it, but overall it seems a little underwhelming in that respect. Not bad though all up.

Light clean entry on the palate with a slight peppery note. Fruit comes through in the middle, with a slightly dull, thick and gooey quality to it that doesn't ever really get challenged by acidity or crispness. Back in the end feel faint, doughy and floury with a whimper in the aftertaste.

Feel is very light indeed.

It's a shame in many ways, because there are certainly things to like about this beer. It's not bad, but it just feels uninspired after its first kick. Moreover, a beer like this really gets lost at GABS—it just isn't that interesting.
appearance: 3.75 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Creek
Reviewed by Jez on 12.07.15 on tap
Overall:
75 / 100
(Very Good)
Tried on-tap at GABS 2015 in Melbourne.

Pours a berry pink colour, very fluid and light in the glass, with solid hazing and minimal carbonation. Head is pink, but only forms a thin ring around the edges. Looks decent enough though.

Nose is interesting. There's a slight cereal grainy note almost like corn that permeates the otherwise pleasant crisp, tart cherry characters. Mostly, it's fragrant and pleasant, and that touch of cereal actually provides an odd counterpoint.

Front palate is light and tart with a little bit of bite to it. Slight crushed cereal again through the centre, but more fruit, that develops into a sparkly finish of seltzer and cherry pips. The flavour disappears like soda, leaving very little in the finish, but it's refreshing in this way.

Feel is very light, which works well for the beer.

It's actually really very drinkable, even if it does end up rather reminiscent of flavoured mineral water. I'd certainly call it refreshing rather than complex though, like the best sours can be.
appearance: 3.75 | aroma: 3.75 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 4.25
Puffinus Huttoni
Reviewed by Jez on 12.07.15 on tap
Overall:
63 / 100
(Solid)
Tried on-tap at GABS 2015 in Melbourne.

Pours a bright red-pink colour with some hazing through a rather light body. Head is pink, and forms a very full ring of very fine bubbles. Lacing forms in sheets. Looks pretty good.

Nose is tart, with some cake batter thickness and a little sweetness like apple juice. The boysenberry note is also very prominent. It's decent enough.

Light and tart on the palate, with raspberry notes coming through nicely. Rounded characters in the middle with a slight cling of acid and some slight astringency. Back is dominated by the carbonation, which seems frantic, while the finish is berry-tart and lingers a while.

Feel is a bit too dry to mind—with a bit more acidity it might match up nicely.

Overall, it's ok. There's certainly nothing wrong with it, but it ends up duller than it should be.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Feijoa Sour
Reviewed by Jez on 12.07.15 on tap
Overall:
77 / 100
(Excellent)
Tried on-tap at GABS 2015 in Melbourne.

Pours a faint salmon tint, very clear in the glass and very light in the body. Head is white and very full, leaving lace forming in sheeting streaks. Very fine, refined carbonation. It's a cracking looking beer.

Nose is clean and pleasant. Feijoa is unmistakeable in the aroma, matched with hints of long-aged lactobacillus faint notes of funk. There's even a slight twist of lambic plastickiness, which is nice.

Clean, vinous entry on the palate with a crispness like champagne. Mild fruit gives it a sweet-tart quality through the centre, although most of the action is late—full back palate with mild apple notes like cider and a lingering sparkling tartness.

Feel is very clean and clear.

Overall, I like it a lot. It's a solidly built sour with some interesting and entertaining twists. Feijoas are certainly a worthy match for sour beers.
appearance: 4.5 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 4.25
Creek
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 12.06.15 on tap
Overall:
64 / 100
(Solid)
Pours a red colour, touch of haze with white head; large bubbles but dissipates before too long. Looks like it should; no better.

Smells fruity, and cidery. Touch sour, with a slight berry character. Not a lot to it.

Taste is better. Again more getting berry rather than cherry but maybe it's just me. Touch of crisp underripe apple, sourness and a touch of barnyard funk. It's not Lindemans, but I like the slight acidic edge.

Bit of pull on the mouthfeel; body is a little thin but it suits the flavour well.

Not bad, but only as good as your typical Australian lambic.
appearance: 3.25 | aroma: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | drinkability: 3.5
Abrigot Jammed Sour Belgian Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 10.06.15 on tap
Overall:
68 / 100
(Solid)
Pours a champagne colour, hugely cloudy with white sparse head, medium crown. Not bad.

Smells somewhat Belgian. Champagney edge with some green apple crispness and a fair whack of phenolic character on there. Not a whole lot but it's the dominant character.

Taste is also champagney, with some tart fruitiness - green apple freshness and a touch of grapefruit. Don't get a big apricot flavour, if I was meant to, but still a fairly nice, tart and crisp early-to-mid followed by a good phenolic Belgian finish. Again not sure of the style here but it's decently constructed.

Mouthfeel is great; bit of texture but good body to pad it. Feels like beer should.

Decent beer, but nothing too special. Could have amped up the sourness a bit and made this fantastic.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Puffinus Huttoni
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 10.06.15 on tap
Overall:
65 / 100
(Solid)
They call this a 'soured boysenberry beer'; not sure if the right bugs are used to make it technically a lambic but it's otherwise comparable with the style.

Pours a vibrant red colour with pink head. Foamy, decent crown retaining. Looks pretty interesting.

Smells of berry. Fruity, with a touch of citrus and green apple but otherwise not hugely tart. Pleasant.

Taste is berry again, with a slight chardonnay oak character coming from nowhere. Sour notes are quite mild but definitely give this an edge. Touch of vinegar; otherwise sweet and decent.

Nice enough body; goes down OK with a bit of texture.

This wins marks for me because of how well it cuts through the Murray's 16% monstrosity I had prior to this. Inoffensive on its own; slightly tart but doesn't go overboard. Basically, a great cleanser.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | drinkability: 3.5
Feijoa Sour
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 05.06.15 on tap
Overall:
63 / 100
(Solid)
Pours a pale pink colour with a slight brownish tinge. White head, hugely creamy texture retaining nicely. Looks good.

Some funk on the nose, but mostly fruit. Apple, green apple mostly, with loads of cider character, a touch of oak and a crisp edge to it. Fruity, oak and funk.

Taste is very cidery, to the point where Jez was convinced it was a cider. Pear and green apple dominate, with some slight chardonnay oak notes, maybe a whisper of barnyard towards the back. As a cider it wouldn't be too bad; as a beer it's alright, just a bit odd.

Thin body, goes down fluidly like a quencher. Not bad.

Sour; oaky, vinous. Cidery. Not really my thing but perfectly fine.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | drinkability: 3.5
Saudi Grapes
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 19.05.15 on tap
Overall:
78 / 100
(Excellent)
On tap at the Local Taphouse.

Pours a pale gold, light at the edges. Head is white, thin and slightly creamy but just a rim really. Not sure how it should look; looks alright though, but not interesting.

Smells lambicy and pleasant. Tart, loads of berry notes. Brett, orange as well. There's an odd sweaty shoe character midway which is slightly off-putting but overall a nice tart aroma.

Taste is hugely puckeringly sour. Underripe berries abound, with cherry lactic acid and underrripe grapes as well. Touch of citrus midway through. Finish is clean, dry, with residual sweetness complementing the puckering character. Powerful, palate blowing, but excellently balanced and crafted. Sour, refreshing. Cleansing. Superb.

A bit too puckering for me. Bit of fizz too, which just adds to the layer-stripping texture of this in the mouth.

Drinks in a similar vein to a cantillon. Not quite as powerful or complex but has a similar enamel-stripping strength. It's a big credit to Ross but it's definitely the real deal here, relative to most Aussie sours. I do find Cantillons a bit off-putting though, as this is in a way as well.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.75 | drinkability: 4.0
Kriek
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 09.03.15 on tap
Overall:
68 / 100
(Solid)
Had at the FRBC Cellar Dinner, November 2014.

Pours a bright tomato red and opaque. No head. Looks like tomato juice. But interesting.

Nose is bretty and tart, with balsamic character. Not a lot of cherry. Touch on the back but mostly brett. Pleasant.

Taste has cherry. More sweet. Desserty with yes cherry, and port-wine notes. Touch of brett and slight acid, fair residual sugar on the back. Interesting, not a real krieky beer but pleasant and drinkable.

Bit of pull but not a lot, given the ABV it's a blessing.

Light, somewhat sweet kriek. But drinkable and palatable.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5
La Sirène Cherie Kriek
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 04.11.14 on tap
Overall:
67 / 100
(Solid)
On tap at the Local Taphouse during the BoOoOoB crawl in SCBW.

Pours red, with pink-tinged white head. Large bubbles, sinks quickly. Some lace. Nice colour, looks OK.

Smells lovely. Cherry and sour, but a big desserty vanilla yoghurt character as well. Raspberry, black cherry and touch of funk. Bloody lovely.

Taste is quite sweet upfront; lots of cherry fruit that descends into a compote kind of character midway. Develops some tart character late but not really enough; ends up fairly sweet and fruity. Certainly not unpleasant, but feel like it's missing something, especially on the back.

Fluid, touch of bite on the back. Bit soft drinky maybe with a nip from the yeast and bugs.

Tastes like other krieks from Belgium I've had. That's worth some credit. But yeah feel like it's lacking on the sour stakes, also like other krieks I've had.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | drinkability: 3.5
Oude Quetsche Tilquin à L'Ancienne
Reviewed by Jez on 01.04.14 in bottle
Overall:
82 / 100
(Exceptional)
2012 vintage. 375ml green gueuze bottle purchased from Cave à Bulles in Paris. I'd tried the original Gueuze Tilquin (both the on-tap and the bottled varieties), but had yet to come across this version, infused with Quetsche plums. Drunk at my hotel in San Gimignano out of a plastic cup, because I'm a classy dude.

Pours a very hazed rose colour, perhaps a little like freshly crushed watermelon juice. Lots of fine, vibrant carbonation that forms a steady lightly frothy head. Lacing forms in rings. Body is quite light and fluid. Overall, it looks good indeed.

Nose is great, taking everything that is wonderful about the original gueuze, and twisting it slightly with the fruit characters. It's certainly still extremely tart, although some of the funky, plasticky and horsey characters seem to be smoothed over a little from the plum addition: the plum acidity itself perhaps is what so strongly suggests the acidity on the nose. Very pleasant indeed.

Taste is clean and bright and very pleasantly tart, especially towards the back. Soda acidity with tart lemon rind characters and an underripe fruit astringency. Some of the funky, vegetative gueuze characters are indeed present on the front, with a leading plasticky twang. Back has a hint of stonefruit peel, almost tending towards a tannic bitterness. It's very complex and good.

Feel is sharp but smooth, with a tingle on the back from a combination of acidity and vivacious carbonation.

Overall, cracking stuff, as I knew it was going to be. While it's not extremely dissimilar to the original gueuze, it adds enough of a twist to make it a welcome diversion from Tilquin. These guys really know their stuff, and have to be one of the best lambic producers in the world.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4.25
Timmermans Pumpkin Lambicus
Reviewed by Jez on 26.10.13 in bottle
Overall:
49 / 100
(Not Great)
750ml corked and caged brown bottle purchased from Healthy Spirits in San Francisco, CA. Brought back to Sydney and shared with Sam and Rich.

Slightly hazy, slightly muddy orange colour, with a decently frothy head of white that leaves specks of lace as it collapses. Body is light, but with a pleasant fine carbonation in it that makes it feel a bit heavier. Looks ok.

Nose is pretty bland, actually, without much lambic bite and very little pumpkin. There's a carbonic acidity which runs through it and some ephemeral spice characters which give a very slight soapy character to the beer. As it warms, more cinnamon comes through which is pleasant enough, but mostly it's just not all that crash-hot.

Taste is very sweet, like I tend to find Timmermans' beers in general: sugary, candy-sweetness above an afterthought of acidity, this time that just happens to be laced with pumpkin and spice. The spice has a slightly plastic, artificial character on the back, again heavy with the cinnamon. Feel is light, but relatively pleasant.

Overall, only just okay. It's very sweet indeed and a little sickly, which really harms the drinkability as far as I'm concerned. The acidity is very much tamed and dumbed-down, and the pumpkin is almost just an afterthought: it's like the particular flavoured syrup that happens to have been put into this Starbucks lambic-lite.

appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.0
Pinky Framboise
Reviewed by Jez on 22.05.13 in bottle
Overall:
59 / 100
(Decent)
Served from a bottle at Penny Blue during their "Sourfest" event at Good Beer Week 2013.

Pours a cloudy pink with orange twinges at the edges. Head forms in a fine ring, but mostly the head is composed of chunky floaties at the top of the beer. Specks of solid lace. Fine body, not much carbonation. It looks OK, but not great: especially the floaties.

Definite raspberry lambic nose. Crisp fruit character, minimal sweetness, some funk, lactic acid and other acidity, and a little bit of rubber or plastic. There's also a slight hint of bread coming through and a noticeable yeasty tone. That's a bit disappointing, but otherwise, it's pretty good.

Light acid on the entry, before sweeter fruit characters and the raspberry come through. By the back, though, there's a really big bready, yeasty character which roars up through the centre of the palate. Finish is a little bitter and quite dry, with a touch of acidity to pucker the mouth somewhat. Some lactic tones on the finish and some aspirin character. Hmm.

Feel is pretty good. Light, but crisp and sour.

This is a beer with many flaws, but it has some decent things to offer as well. The yeasty character is unpleasant and near ruins the beer. But the raspberry character is done well, and the lambic sourness adds some authenticity to it. But I was hoping that Bright would do better.

appearance: 3.25 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | drinkability: 3.25
Spontankriek
Reviewed by Jez on 11.05.13 in bottle
Overall:
66 / 100
(Solid)
375ml green gueuze bottle purchased from Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA.

Pours a pink-hued cranberry juice red, with a pale pink, frothy head that settles to a persistent film and solid lace. Body is light and clean, holding pretty full carbonation. Looks pretty decent.

Nose has plenty of gueuze-like funk to it. A big plasticky Brett note, mingling pleasantly with the kriek, pithy, fruity but tart and sharp intrinsically. There's a strange spiciness to it as well, almost a cinnamon character backing it up. To be honest, I've had some others in the series, and I remember them being more intense in the funk and the acidity. So far, this seems a little weak.

Taste is certainly weak. The acidity is just not there at all, although the sour cherry character does a strong job trying to compensate. Mild crispness comes from the carbonation, but there's really quite a lack of true lambic acidity. There's also a candy sweetness coming through: perhaps the cherry provides more sugar than expected, in any case, it feels much less sophisticated than it should. At the same time, there's quite a bitterness on the back—where the acidity should be, there's quite a bite that makes it less refreshing and less drinkable.

Overall, it's a decent kriek. There's a genuinely pleasant cherry character to it, and it's certainly less of a candy-beer than, say, Lindemans Kriek or Boon Kriek. But others in the spontan- series have been really quite intense and very lambic-like. Disappointingly, this doesn't really follow suit.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | drinkability: 3.75
HaandBic
Reviewed by Jez on 23.08.12 in bottle
Overall:
76 / 100
(Excellent)
Uncaps with nary a fizzle, and pours a light rose-red colour, with a very insubstantial, but very fine head that sits in a ring around the edge of the glass. Body has a big of weight behind it, despite looking clear and fluid. Carbonation forms in a fine storm when the glass is tilted. Looks pretty good.

Nose is great. Definite lambic notes, giving a clear, direct vegetative note, like fresh olives. This mingles with a fruity acidity and a cranberry tartness. There's peppery, slightly dusty notes on the back as well. It doesn't capture some of the more subtle complexities of a rich Belgian gueuze, but it's a cracking approximation.

Taste is also good, but a little flatter and less expressive than I thought it might be. Cranberries certainly come forward here, with a big sweet-tart bite that seems to provide most of the acidity on its own. On the back we have some mild peppery and slightly vegetative characters, a little like roquette. Actually minimal lambic acidity, and it's missing a lot of funk, but it's still pretty interesting stuff.

Feel is flat, but crystal clear and bright.

Overall, this is pretty good stuff. It's no Cantillon, and perhaps it suffers from the comparison, but it's nice stuff well done, and they seem to have captured something of the classic style.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 4.5 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 4.0
Cantillon Vigneronne
Reviewed by Jez on 26.05.12 in bottle
Overall:
75 / 100
(Excellent)
Had as part of the "Evening with Cantillon" event at the Belgian Beer Cafe Eureka, part of Melbourne's Good Beer Week.

Yep, it's that classic Cantillon look. Hazy golden hue, with a firm white head that persists as a solid if marginal film. Decent sudsy lace, and a light but firm body. Looks good.

Nose is crisp and vinous, with a slightly oaky character like aged chardonnay. Classic rubbery aroma as well, like the gas tube for a Bunsen burner. Quite leafy as well, with the vinous characters giving a slightly herbal, rubber-plant flesh kind of aroma. Interesting.

Palate is initially clear, but is hit quickly with a crisp, direct sharp intensity of acid. It's almost a crystalline clarity, as the palate feels a little empty apart from this. The herbal notes fight in the background, giving a sharp brutal beating. There's hidden classic lambic characters, but they're subtle, and overwhelmed by the other, more brusque flavours.

Not a bad drop, but it certainly seems harsher and less refined than some other Cantillon beers. There's a rugged unapologetic nature to this brew which makes it less approachable than others, even if you're forced to respect it.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 4.0
Cantillon Mamouche
Reviewed by Jez on 26.05.12 in bottle
Overall:
92 / 100
(Superb)
Had as part of the "Evening with Cantillon" event at the Belgian Beer Cafe Eureka during Good Beer Week in Melbourne.

Pours a light hazed golden colour, with a fine but filmy classic lambic head. Some foamy lace forms, but the body is light. Overall, a classic, if generic lambic appearance.

Nose is anything but generic however. Incredible herbal elderflower gives a burst and lift above the classic funk and rubbery gueuze characters. Bright vegetative hints of capsicum and mild japapeño give a sweet, peppery capsicain bite. It's a fascinating, and perfectly blended aroma. Just gorgeous.

Clean, clear and bright on the palate. Crisp peppery spice, with a clean funk through the centre and a sharp, dry acid finish. Aftertaste gives more of those greenery characteristic, with a leafy vegetative finish. Feel is just as crisp and good as you expect. It's just lovely.

Wow. This is an exceptional beer from Cantillon as part of a strong range of exceptional beers. It's a lovely twist to a really well made lambic. Amazing stuff.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 5.0 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | drinkability: 5.0
Cantillon Fou' Foune
Reviewed by Jez on 26.05.12 in bottle
Overall:
84 / 100
(Exceptional)
Had as part of the "Evening with Cantillon" event during Good Beer Week in Melbourne.

Classic lambic look: hazed golden hue with a fine, tight white head that dissipates and leaves some soapy lace. Not much of a shift in colour from the fruit addition—it just looks like any other straight lambic or gueuze in Cantillon's range.

Nose is awesome, with crushed dried apricots coming through strongly above a vanilla sweetness like shortcrust pastry. There's a little greenness to it, but surprisingly, the lambic funk and acidity really doesn't come through. Overall, it's smooth, fragrant and rich. Lovely aroma.

Taste is also soft, and while the acidity is present here, it's much more restrained than in some of Cantillon's other brews. Ripe apricot, some fruit skin finishing with a clean crispness and a mild, soft tartness. Finish is long with a lingering funk and a bit of dust. Very nice.

Amazingly drinkable brew, perhaps one of the most drinkable Cantillons I've had the pleasure to sample. The soft sweetness of the apricots cushions the palate beautifully. Lovely beer.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 4.5 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 4.5 | drinkability: 5.0
Lindemans Kriek Cuvée René
Reviewed by Jez on 05.05.12 in bottle
Overall:
63 / 100
(Solid)
Purchased from Plonk in Canberra. Shared with @tobeerornottobe.

Pours a deep curranty red colour, with a sudsy, but ultimately rather filmy head of pinkish foam. Body is light, but supports what it's going for. It's not a huge looking beer, but it's solid for the style.

Nose tends towards the sweet fruit, with some crushed berry character mixing with the tart cherry aroma, but very little actual lambic acidity. Overall, it's a little flat and dead, with the lambic notes only providing a reprovatory hint rather than the basis of the beer.

Taste is similar, in that it feels flatter than it would have had it gone all out. There's still a pronounced and rather crisp cherry tartness on the palate, but there's not a lot of genuine lambic acidity, or else an acquiescent sweetness. It's a shame, because as a result it feels sort of half way—it can't be bothered throwing its cap in with the true lambics, but it also can't accept its true calling as a pseudo alco-pop.

I'm disappointed in this brew overall. I feel as though it doesn't go the full distance either way. It genuinely has the fundamentals to be a good kriek, but it holds back on fully expressing itself, and ends up a middle-of-the-road curiosity.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Oud Beersel Oude Kriek Vieille
Reviewed by Jez on 05.05.12 in bottle
Overall:
79 / 100
(Excellent)
Pours a lovely brown-tinged red-colour, with a fine pink head. To be honest, it's certainly a kriek-hued deep blood red colour, but you have to expect a certain hue from a kriek. Minimally fine head, with not lacing, and a soft, but rather obligatory carbonation. Overall, it's good; could be better.

Nose is excellent, however. Really pleasant plasticky gueuze like funk giving a strong and forward intensity to the brew. The cherries leaven and support the sharp acidity, but really, they're not at the forefront. Instead, you get a pronounced, classic gueuze/lambic like funk. And I love it.

Taste is a little lighter, and here, the kriek character actually detracts from rather than accentuates the pleasantness from the funk. It gives a slight colour to the acidity, but otherwise it provides something of a distraction. In many ways, this is just a good straight lambic, but it just reminds me what a good beer the Gueuze Vieulle is, and what an intrusion the cherry forms.

Really, it's a good beer, but it's a beer that detracts from its progenitor. I almost wish I had tried this first (being as it is, a very good kriek). But having had the Gueuze, I can't help but compare it to that, and the addition really does it no favours.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 5.0 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 4.0
Spontancranberry
Reviewed by Jez on 31.01.12 in bottle
Overall:
79 / 100
(Excellent)
Purchased at the International Beer Shop in Perth.

Pours a solidly pleasant murky pink-red colour, with an inconsistently frothy head of white. Head forms only in large bubbles and while it stays persistently, it's not the majestic head this style of beer needs. Body is very light, as I've seen with others in this series, leaving no persistent carbonation, and with a really odd fluidity to it.

Nose is actually quite marvellous: bright lambic funk gives a sharp metallic sheen to the fruit, which pops and crackles with a plasticky aromatic sweetness. I feel cranberries work really nicely here, as they give a fruity, bright fragrance, but don't suggest at any deeper sweetness. Perfectly tagged for a lambic.

Taste is crisp and really sharply acidic—very reminiscent of a Cantillon Lambic, in a way that suggests similar cultures and yeasts. The cranberries touch the centre of the palate, leaving a sensation of licking the outside of the berries without getting to their core. Finish is redacted and constricted, leaving some tight lactic sourness, but a crisp and odd smoothness on the back.

Overall, Mikkeller give us a very refined lambic here, in the very same style as some of the most intense Belgian examples. The cranberry is a wonderful addition, in fact, as it mirrors and reflects the sour characteristics of the beer. I feel I prefer the layered effect that comes from a sweeter fruit addition, but this is one that works.

appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 4.5 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 4.5
Spontancassis
Reviewed by Jez on 26.01.12 in bottle
Overall:
87 / 100
(Exceptional)
After some trouble getting my bottle cap to struggle with the larger-than-usual proper Gueuze cap, I manage to pour a lovely deep red-purple beer into my glass; a solid drop with a surprisingly decent heft in the body. Head is pinkish, and seems to form head and lace all in one, sitting in rings that continue right down to the body. Surprisingly, and perhaps a little disappointingly, it doesn't look particularly alive in the glass, sitting still and somewhat bereft of carbonation. Still, the colour is exciting.

Nose is bright, crisp and fruity, with a directly sour berry and grapeskin hit right off the bat. Mild Ribena characters come through, but the cassis character is a little muted compared to the general sour berry character. However, the bulk of the aroma is actually generated by the Gueuze-like funk, giving wonderfully complex tones of pepper, plastic, earth and hay, all tied together tightly and briskly into a direct package of acidic goodness. Genuinely close to the great Belgian lambics.

Taste is dry and acidic, with crisp funk and lambic tartness through the centre of the palate. Some tannic notes, and a berry tingle like dried strawberries. On the back, the ghost of the blackcurrants come through a little more, giving an aromatic sweetness (but no *real* sweetness), as the acidity inflects and dances on the tongue.

Feel is driven by the acidity, which is sharp and clinging on the palate.

Wow. Is there anything Mikkeller can't do? This is a top-notch fruit lambic, on a par with Cantillon in my opinion. It has really grasped the key points of the style and has put them together really beautifully. I can't wait to try the rest of the series.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 5.0 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4.0
Spontancranberry
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 02.01.12 in bottle
Overall:
68 / 100
(Solid)
Pours a fruity red colour with soft, pleasant and feminine pink-tinged head - overly generous, but sinking nicely. Not much lace; fairly prominent bubbling of the head. Looks nice, full of seductive feminine wiles.

Smells totally of funky wild yeast - brett and Belgian esters. Musty basement, washed-rind cheese -only really a hint of that tart fruit note I was so looking forward to after the regular spontanale. Very funky and slightly musty, it's got all the hallmarks of a nice funky Belgian beer, but I'm just craving more fruit!

Taste is all tart and little of the funk, although it adds a nice anchor to the flavour. Yes, cranberry notes are distinct here, adding their characteristic tartness with a hint of sweetness underlying. Of course the yeast is the star here and it undermines it all with sharp acidity - citric almost - with a funky barnyard/corporeal kind of note late. But really, that acidity takes over, coating my teeth in a way I haven't seen since my first Cantillon. Sharp, but palatable. Pretty nice.

Pulls back on the mouth from the get-go and puckers up totally. Acidic, really; could have used more malt body to defend against the sharpness.

Good, sharp, acidic beer. Cleansing and fresh but just a little bit overpowering.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 3.5
Boon Kriek
Reviewed by Jez on 20.12.11 in bottle
Overall:
66 / 100
(Solid)
Bottle purchased for me by @epiclurk.

Pours a perfectly gorgeous kriek-red, deep and subtle, with a translucent haze, crowned with a fluffy, substantial head of pink. Body is light and bright, lacing forms in futzy sheets down the side of the glass. No visible carbonation, but otherwise, a really excellent looking kriek.

Nose is sweet and tart, with chewy cherry taffy the most dominant aroma. Sweeter, milder tones of vanilla are present as well, along with a hint of peppery, slightly astringent acidity tingling the back of the nostrils. Very pleasant.

Taste is a lot flatter that it might have been, and there's actually surprisingly little acidity—more a slight lightness through the centre of the palate, which may well be to do with the fruit characters than a lambic fermentation. Still, the fruit is pleasant, if veering even more towards the artificial cherry flavour so prevalent in American candy. Powdery, aspirin dryness on the finish, which actually prevents too much fruit sweetness from residing on the back.

Feel is light and relatively smooth, but genuinely missing the crispness that a true lambic acidity would give it.

Overall, it's a decent kriek that is unfortunately obviously improve-able. There's just too much that could be done to make it better, which detracts from the positive characters that are there.

appearance: 4.5 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Raspberry Lambic
Reviewed by Jez on 06.10.11 in bottle
Overall:
59 / 100
(Decent)
Purchased from Whole Foods, Los Altos.

Possibly my first framboise from outside Belgium, this one pours a correct deep red, hazed with brown at the edges, and a frothy, fizzy head of light pink foam, that crackles up and then settles to nothingness. Body is very light for 7.2% ABV, but again, that's not unexpected in the style. Overall, it looks pretty good.

Raspberries could be perceived on uncapping, and once the beer is in the glass, their scent is pervasive. Big rustic, genuine raspberry character, with plenty of sweetness, but plenty of genuine raspberry tartness as well. There's little else to it, but that's not necessarily a bad thing for the style. Again, got it pretty much spot on.

Taste is a bit of a let down, with only a mild tartness streaking the palate, and not leaving much on the finish. Mild soda-water astringency throughout, with the overlay of raspberry skins and seeds giving it a deft touch of aroma. It feels very empty, with such a light body, and minimal tartness—often, you can forget the lack of breadth on the body of a lambic by the subtle complexities imparted by a really robust acidity. In this one, with such a mild sour character, you cannot.

It's a decent enough beer, and an interesting example of a style done with great art by the Belgians. There's nothing really offensive about it, except (let's face it) the style itself—and this doesn't have the complexity or ingenuity to make you forget about that.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 3.5
Cantillon Lou Pepe - Framboise
Reviewed by Jez on 21.07.11 in bottle
Overall:
88 / 100
(Superb)
2008 vintage purchased in Brussels from Bier Tempel.

Had to uncork with a bottle opener, but not due to a lack of pressure—the huge thunk as it opened almost perforated my eardrums.

Looks red, bright and very pleasant. Head foams up at the beginning, but then fizzed itself out so that only a thin ring of fine bubbling remains. Carbonation is gorgeously fine. Looks a great fruit lambic.

Nose is wonderfully and genuinely raspberry fresh. Plenty of tart fruit, a hint of sweetness and lots of genuine lambic acidity to give its basis. The fragrance of the fruit is very true and really lovely.

Taste has that classic Cantillon acidity: raw, cutting and tart, but the sweetness and fragrance of the raspberries gives a truly wonderful counterbalance. Still acidic and with a slightly strained bitterness on the finish, but everything else restrains and leavens it beautifully. Yes. This is a wonderful balance for a fruit lambic. Restrained, truly fragrantly fruity, balanced, but still raw and aggressive.

Yes, lovely. The fruit is just right in this one, and the Cantillon acidity is slightly more restrained. Gorgeous.

appearance: 4.5 | aroma: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4.5
Drie Fonteinen Schaerbeekse Kriek
Reviewed by Jez on 18.07.11 in bottle
Overall:
69 / 100
(Very Good)
Purchased in Belgium from Bier Tempel in Brussels.

750ml corked and caged green bottle uncorks with minimal effort with a loud socking thunk. Pours a dirty, muddled red-pink colour, with a frothing and fizzling head of rose that effervesces to nothing, like a glass of soda. Light body, very little to it. Apart from the colour, I'm not overly impressed.

Nose is organic and funky, with slightly acidic medicinal cherry overtones. Quite brightly flavoured, but also deeply husky and pongy, like a good lambic should be. Not bad.

Taste is clean, vinous and acidic, with pleasantly tart lambic sourness that cleaves its way through the palate. The kriek character merely tones the acidity—it doesn't add any sweetness of true fruit essence. Finish is lingering and slightly bitter with cherry pip and stalk characters. Crisp and biting feel, although the tingle comes exclusively from the acidity, not at all from the now dormant carbonation.

Not a bad kriek, and a pretty bright and unapologetically acidic one. It doesn't have a great deal of complexity, and the rampant acidity makes me consider it a little unbalanced, but it's a respectable beer nonetheless.

appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 3.5
Oud Beersel Oude Kriek Vieille
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 27.01.11 in bottle
Overall:
66 / 100
(Solid)
Pours a vibrant scarlet colour with pale pink head, quite fizzy when poured but sunk to a modest crown, aggressive bead feeds from below. Nice cherry colour, decent otherwise.

Smells very funky. Lots of acid and light cherry juice notes but oddly - and, I think, welcomely - it's dominated not by fruit or puckering tartness but by a barnyard funk. Lots of brett character but quite strong with a wet lucerne and horsey smell. Meshes well with the more subtle tartness to produce what I think is one of the most interesting kriek smells I've had.

Taste is also quite interesting, a ittle bit of a surprise too, but not so much of a delight. Fruit flavours on the front with mostly sweet grape wine notes that develops a pleasant acid on the mid where juicy cherry notes come through, fairly juicy and rich. They trail off at the back and there comes through that funky brett character, ending quite bitter really, a slight fruit rind note and very dry and attenuated on the back. Quite good and curious - oddly I'd like more fruit though, as it's overrun by less characteristic kriek notes.

Quite sharp and tart, as expected. Doesn't "feel" wonderful, but it's stylistically appropriate.

Yeah, hit and miss at the same time. Interesting and pleasant enough but also doesn't leave you feeling great.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 3.5
Pecheresse
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 07.12.10 in bottle
Overall:
51 / 100
(OK)
Pours a medium metallic gold colour with very mild haze. Steady bead of carbonation with minimal snowy head. Lace is OK, but a bit small. Decent lambic look but nothing special to report.

Smells very fruity, yeah peachy I guess, with a good nod to over-ripeness. Very sweet with just a hint of tartness. Lots of peach and a bit of pear. Fruity, not very lambicky.

Taste is surprisingly full. Lots of peach flavour coming through, again with that pear edge. Very sweet with a natural fruit flavour, quite juicy but a slight carbonation tingle. Certainly nothing particularly beer-like or alcoholic here, but there's a very decent feel and body to such a low ABV. Otherwise, nothing really to comment on, especially as beer.

If you want a beer that tastes like peach juice, this is the one for you! But seriously, grab an IPA instead. Or a Cantillon.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 2.5 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 3.0
Kriek De Ranke
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 15.09.10 in bottle
Overall:
63 / 100
(Solid)
Pours a bright red colour - very hazy, with pink-tinged white head. Lace is speckled, fairly thin. Yeah, looks odd, but not bad. I mean it's suitable for style. But it's odd, like the style.

Yeah, very sour nose, lots of cherry character, some cheese rind funk to it as well. Hints of red vinous notes, tart and acidic with a slight tomatoey note lingering at the back. Not bad.

Taste is very sour, fruity, with lots of tomatoey boldness to it coupled with mottled hints of cherry. The tart cherry juice character and bits of bitter cherry skin flavours come through on the mid, but that tomatoey aspect just won't leave my mind. Fairly refreshing, with nice fruity characters and a good hit of funk on the back. Crisp and tart. Pretty nice.

Has a good, firm body to it. Slightly puckering on the back though.

I'm not a big fan of the style, but if you're in the mood for a sour, cherry-flavoured beer this is one to look for.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Kriek De Ranke
Reviewed by Jez on 04.09.10 in bottle
Overall:
76 / 100
(Excellent)

Awesome paper-covered presentation. A big 750ml bottle that opens with a bare hiss. It looks impressive before I've even laid eyes on it poured.

Once it's in my glass, it's a very pleasant ruby red coloured brew, with a fine-bubbled and surprisingly heavy head of pink foam. Body is very thick, leaving some static bubbling when swirled. Very dense for a kriek. I like it a lot. I'm not sure I've ever had such a heavy kriek lambic before.

Nose is classically lambic. Big sour tart notes, although there's not a huge amount of cherry here. Still, it's extremely stylistically true, and has some wonderfully fresh and fragrant characters.

Taste is much in the same vein. Great classic and sour characters, with a refreshingly dry back palate. Cherry is present throughout, but only giving a subtle twang to the lambic sourness, which reigns throughout. Finish is indeed very dry. Mouthfeel is crisp and tart, verging on puckering without going to that extreme.

This is a very nice beer, and one that has to be respected for the expertise which went into making it so drinkable. I've had some intense and almost undrinkable lambics, but this does a good job of balancing character and intensity with drinkability.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 4.5
Lindemans Kriek
Reviewed by Jez on 12.02.10 in bottle
Overall:
59 / 100
(Decent)

Pours such an amazingly red-pink colour, so bright and so un-beer-like, with a big soft pink head of candyfloss foam. Lacing is extremely good, however, and it looks like the most extremely fruit fruit lambic I've ever tried. It certainly has that going for it at least.

Nose is rife with strong citric and slightly artificial cherry characters. Big ripe pips and stem aroma, quite sour, with a light crushed aspirin character. It's big, sweet, acidic and fruity. The sour character is very pleasant at least - it's not in the least offensive, but it does come across as somewhat one-dimensional.

Taste is very similar. It's incredibly sweetly acidic. Fruit really dominates, with a huge cherry character. It tastes absolutely nothing like beer - it doesn't even have the offensively sour characters of the most extreme lambic examples like Cantillon. It comes across as sweet and sugary - everyone else here thinks it's an alcopop. So, it has character enough, but it really doesn't have the ruggedness to mark it as a really good beer.

All things considered, it's not a bad drop to drink, and I find it quite a cleansing beer. It comes across as a well balanced lambic. It's very candy-like, and that makes it really unique. Not something I'd drink every day, but it's something I'd happily take on occasion.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 4.0
Cantillon Kriek 100% Lambic
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 22.01.10 in bottle
Overall:
53 / 100
(OK)
Pours a peach-tinged brown, just a dark pink really, with nice white head, but not enough of it. Just a thin rim of cloud, although lacing is delightfully dense and sticky. Strong bead - good-looking fruit beer, really. Could use more head though.

Nose is intensely sour. Large amount of brett, with a pongy brie rankness to it, and a large metallic coppery whiff as well. A fresh tart character at the back probably suggests fruit, but there is not a lot of distinctive cherry character. An impressive funk, but it just seems very brett, and I suspect this nose could be quite easily homebrewed with the right ingredients. I'm prepared to be wrong, though.

Oh yeah, taste is hugely sour. A real citric acid kind of intensity all over that. Right from the front taste my tongue feels like a layer is coming off it. Gets richer and slightly more mature towards the mid, with more of that pongy cheese rankness, some rubber and leather notes and some soil coming through as well, and what do you know - of all things - some tart, underripe cherry character as well. Yeah the richness on the late back palate are fruity hints, but the sourness really just pervades everything in a way I haven't experienced in a beer before. An intense, teeth-grinding, head-expanding explosion that makes you shriek "Yes! Come in my mouth some more, you sour-faced bitch!" Very impressive, for want of a better word.

The mouthfeel rips the fucking enamel from your teeth and I can feel ulcers popping out in my mouth. It just feels like swallowing acid. Insane, and painfully drying. It's too impressive for me to hate it though.

An unforgettable beer experience, but by 'unforgettable' I think I mean I will be getting major restorative work done on my digestive system as a result, and will forever live with the pain. A whole bottle was unbearable, and half of this went down the drain. This beer is a lot of things, but drinkable absolutely is not one of them.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 1.0
Cantillon Saint Lamvinus
Reviewed by Jez on 20.10.09 in bottle
Overall:
68 / 100
(Solid)

Served to me blind by laituegonflable.

Pours a deep pink-red colour, tending to very pale at the edges, with a filmy head of white bubbles. Little carbonation present, even though it was served in champagne flutes. Colour is nice for the style, otherwise a little disappointing.

Pretty sour lambic character on the nose - tending almost towards barnyard funk. Little fruit is present, except those that evoke acidity - lemon and green apple. I'm expecting a riproarer on the tongue.

Wow, much more subtle than I would have expected from the nose - certainly not teeth-clenchingly sour, but a marked acidity leavened by touches of tannic grape must, a light bubblegum character, and a crisp, dry finish. It does feel a little thin - it has neither the strong, pungent acidity, nor the sweetness to be truly full-bodied, but it's not a bad drop all up. Mouthfeel is crisp, but the thinness is present here as well.

Still, this is a pretty refreshing sour ale. It just lacks a little something to me - the fact that I can't pick what is in it implies that the fruit characters are what is absent. Not bad.

appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Cantillon Saint Lamvinus
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 20.10.09 in bottle
Overall:
73 / 100
(Very Good)
Pours a rude red colour, minimal head. Slow but decent carbonation. Leaves some pleasant beige lace in lieu of head, patchy but decent. For what it is, pretty good, yeah.

Nose is fairly sour with acrid qualities, but a distinct fruitiness akin to red grape tannins, with some cherry character on there as well. Sourness has a woody aroma as well, oaky mostly, and almost takes on a smokey quality. Pleasant nose and nice complexity.

Taste is quite sour, quite bitey, affair, with some vinous grape acid on the front descending into a dry tartness that has elements of citrus and yoghurt cultures in it. Overlying it all is a nice grape element, very vinous. Aspects of light bark, dark cherry and a lacquer kind of character comingle for an impressive and quite enjoyable palate.

Nice tingle on the mouthfeel, an unusual viscousness without being particularly syrupy. Leaves very dry though, and frankly the dryness is one of the reasons I prefer beer to wine.

Very drinkable overall, like a good young wine. Bit of an acidic linger but otherwise pretty decent.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 4.0
Cantillon Rosé De Gambrinus
Reviewed by Jez on 11.09.09 in bottle
Overall:
69 / 100
(Very Good)

Pours a lovely cloudy orange red colour, with a filmy but solid head of pink bubbles. Looks a picture - just like what you want from a raspberry lambic. Maybe a little more brightness in the body would make it perfect, but it's hard to fault it as it is.

A very fine lambic nose, deliciously tart and funky, but with the supple and sweet raspberry fruit note to counter balance any intimation of over-the-top wildness. Very pleasant indeed.

On the palate, there's the familiar, if not prototypical Cantillon acidity - teeth clenchingly sour, with a sharp, direct and pointed puckering character. The raspberries have an exceptionally hard time making their presence felt here, and what I can note about them is probably more aroma than taste. The lambic sourness is just boggling.

Once again, an extremely robust and incredibly niche Belgian lambic - not one for the faint of heart. Sharp, refreshing and confronting all in one package.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 3.5
Timmermans Framboise Lambic
Reviewed by Jez on 21.06.09 in bottle
Overall:
60 / 100
(Decent)

Very reddish coloured body, slightly cloudy, with a big pink head of fine white foam. Not a lot of lacing, and it does look very thin - much like a thin, sweet beer. Unsurprising, really.

Huge raspberry characters on the nose. Very sweet, with a very tasty tart character to cut through the undeniable sweetness. Lots of berry jam, sweetness, but just enough acidity to make it not sickly.

Taste is really quite refreshing and pleasant, a sweet and sour combination of raspberry fruits and just enough acidity to cut through. Finish is quite dry, but the jammy sweetness sticks around long enough to add to the lingering grily character. Let's face it - it's not an extreme, or even a particularly good example of a fruit lambic, but there's a time and place for it, and this is this time and place for it.

A very drinkable Belgian fruit beer, refreshing, and a nice balance between the tartness of a true lambic and the sickly sweetness of a beer pummelled with fruit syrup. It does perhaps err on the side of sweetness, and it is quite effeminate, but it's undeniably drinkable. I've had far more sickly fruit beers.

appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Cantillon Kriek 100% Lambic
Reviewed by Jez on 24.05.09 in bottle
Overall:
77 / 100
(Excellent)

Beautiful 750ml green champagne bottle. Corked and capped.

Big red viscous opaque body with a very fine frothy head of pale pink bubbles. Incredibly krieky, full of fruity looking insanity.

Cherry acidity on the nose. Smells extremely sour, lots of oaky notes as well, very heavy, with underlying hints of vanilla. Very rank. Very extreme. Love it.

Wow, it's even more intense on the palate. A huge puckering sour character, with a residual cherry flavour. The sour character sticks around so long that it ends up like a woody bitterness. Almost like a acetone note, it's that intense. Really intense, extremely, extremely sour - probably the most highly acidic beer I've ever had. The cherry is just an afterthought. Lambic rules the roost here. Mouthfeel is delicately effervescent. Lovely.

This is severe and extreme. A serious lambic, for those who like their lambics sour, raw and crazy. They mean the 100%; this is all lambic all the way. I love it - turn up the volume on these wild beers.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4.5
Timmermans Fruits De La Foret Lambic
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 16.04.09 in bottle
Overall:
50 / 100
(OK)
Pours a pink-tinged amber with a pure-white head, goes away and leaves some pleasant lacing. Looks fruity, not bad.

Blackcurrant on the nose, a lot of blackcurrant, plus strawberry and yeah, just berries in general. This is what our berry bomb beer should have smelled like. Can't get any beer from this though...

Intense fruity sweetness on the palate, eh, tastes like Ribena. I don't know if it's really worth saying more about the taste, because it's just sweet and fruity. Mouthfeel is quite full though very plain. Doesn't have very much but there is a slight lambic puckering at the end of the palate. Not enough to be very noticeable. Yeah, drinkable, but nothing special here at all. It's a fruit lambic.
appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 3.0
Timmermans Fruits De La Foret Lambic
Reviewed by Jez on 12.04.09 in bottle
Overall:
40 / 100
(Not Great)

Cloudy cherry red, with a bright pink filmy crisp head of thick bubbles. Excellent lacing. Looks like a great fruit beer.

Huge raspberry jam fruit sweetness on the nose. It's that sweet it's like solidified raspberry sugar. One character, that's it. Sweet and thick as hell.

Flavour is also sweet, just edging in a light carbonic acidity. But it's incredibly sweet, almost too much so - it just loads on the berries until they're sickly. There's no lambic acidity to temper it, more tartness would have added some class.

This is drinkable, to an extent, but it's just over the top and too sweet. Bloating and unpleasant by the end.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 2.5 | taste: 2.0 | feel: 2.5 | drinkability: 2.5
Timmermans Framboise Lambic
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 07.04.09 in bottle
Overall:
63 / 100
(Solid)
Pours a bright red colour with a slight pink tinge, pure white head with fairly sparse bubbles, doesn't stick around. Mainly due to the fact that there is no carbonation. Slight lacing, but not much. Looks fruity.

Nose is very, very pungent and very nice. I can smell it from a metre away. Very sweet, with a tangy fruit edge. Actually smells more like strawberry than raspberry to be honest, particularly like that artificial strawberry flavour you get filling strawberry cream chocolates, for example. Very aromatic and in spite of the fruit dominance it's quite enjoyably complex.

Well, my first impression is that it's not very sour, which I would expect from a lambic. It's very fruity on the front and mid and the only tartness is a slight puckering at the back. One note, really, through the palate, but it does have a rhythm to it. Sweet, a bit thin, then slightly tart. Quite decent, although the thinness is worrying. I'm going to sit here and worry about it for a bit. Mouthfeel is also a bit thin.

This is pleasantly drinkable, but it's not overwhelmingly good, and to be perfectly, brutally honest, I prefer things that taste like beer. It's just a quirk of mine.
appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 3.5
Timmermans Tradition Kriek Lambic
Reviewed by Jez on 21.02.09 in bottle
Overall:
71 / 100
(Very Good)

Deep, bright red colour with a massive mound of fluffy pink bubbles. Amazing lacing sits on the edge of the glass like solidified lava. Looks great. Really, really wonderful.

Huge sweet medicine and marzipan character on the nose. Yes, the cherry note is there, but its a really sour underripe cherry character. Mostly, and superficially though, it's the aroma of marzipan. Which isn't bad, don't get me wrong. Just unusual - even for a kriek.

Slightly sour but ultimately just sweet flavours of dried cherries and fruit. Light medicinal notes, but mostly just plain cherry-candy flavours. There is a surprisingly pleasant lightness to it. The mouthfeel is quite good, very slick and smooth - not as light as might be expected.

And of course, this is extremely refreshing and drinkable, even if it does insult your masculinity. Overall, a pretty decent kriek. Has all the right characteristics, even if it doesn't have the depth or complexity that would make it truly great.

appearance: 4.5 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 4.5
Timmermans Pêche Lambic
Reviewed by Jez on 30.01.09 in bottle
Overall:
70 / 100
(Very Good)

Bronze amber body with a thick and sticky head of white foam, peppered with larger bubbles. Lots of foamy carbonation keeps the head going. Lacing is divine. Body is quite thick - those bubbles have a rough time seeping their way to the top. Looks great.

Strong aromas of peach and dried apricot on the nose, as you might expect. A rich jammy sweetness, full of sugar and fruit. Almost too much, and it overwhelms anything else there might be. But it's pleasant enough.

Deliciously fruity on the front palate, a sweet peach jam flavour, full of ripeness. Dries out a little as it continues, but there's no tart afterpalate or even a hint of bitterness. Maybe just a little pepper character later, but not a lot. It's just peach/apricot/miscellaneous stonefruit pretty much all the way. Not complex on the palate, but it does what it does well. Mouthfeel is quite rich - it ends up matching the jam character quite well.

You have to give this credit for what it does. It's neither a huge brew, nor the most complex brew, but it's tremendously drinkable and refreshing. I would most happily drink another.

appearance: 4.5 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 4.5
Belle Vue Kriek
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 11.02.08 in bottle
Overall:
50 / 100
(Not Great)
My mate was kind enough to share a bottle of this brew with me, given that I'd never come across it before and in spite of my trepidation that it would be similar to my much-loathed Timmermans Kriek Lambic.

On first appearance it would seem so. A light crimson colour with a light frothy head, not much lacing. A light amount of carbonation and quite appealling on first glance. But then, it looked like soft drink.

Smells almost exactly like a cherry flavoured Jolly Rancher or something. Very few beer characters here, just an overwhelmingly rich fruit aroma, but quite nice for what it's worth.

Taste isn't bad and considering my aversion to Timmerman's, surprisingly good. It's light and fruity, a lot of cherry characters with the slightest hint of hops on the middle of the palate but mostly a slightly tart fruit quality, but not too sour that the taste makes your lips pucker. Quite pleasant and quite drinkable.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 2.5 | drinkability: 3.0
Chapeau Banana Lambic
Reviewed by Jez on 17.11.07 in bottle
Overall:
30 / 100
(Nasty)

Pretty standard amber-gold colour, with a thin ring of white. Minimal carbonation and a vague hint of floaties that should probably be contributing a haze, but they're just floating there in clumps.

Unsurprisingly, the nose is predominantly banana - but an almost artificial banana character, like banana lollies. A bit of brown-sugar sweetness as well. It smells artificial and chemicalised. Far too overpowering.

A vaguely cidery base on the palate, layered with sickly sweet banana character, and a vague lambic sourness. It tastes almost nothing like beer - even the most fruity lambics I've had in the past had a vague malty resemblance. Mouthfeel is clean and fresh, at least.

Eh. It's sickly and pretty unpleasant to finish. It's unique, but there's probably a reason why there are so few banana flavoured beers out there...

appearance: 2.0 | aroma: 2.5 | taste: 2.0 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 1.5