Written by Franz Hofer for A Tempest in a Tankard
Cantillon needs no introduction. Even if you’re not yet a convinced imbiber of wild-fermented beers, chances are you’ve at least heard of Cantillon, that legendary Brussels brewery of mythic proportions and mystical imaginings. If lambic and gueuze producers in Flemish Brabant merit pilgrimages, Cantillon is the holy grail.
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This one is as fresh as it gets. it’s an Extra Special/ Extra Strong Bitter.
Profiled by Maria Devan
Pours clear and orange with a tan head that lasted well. Effervescing.
Citrusy crisp orange peel. Fresh tangy spice and twigs. Biscuity malt. Smooth and long. Nice and creamy but with a mellow but very deep toastiness. silky hops give chic citrusy flavor. Bubbly. Bitter finish to linger firm and to show off a little. The hops never take the middle as fresh they are. So succulent and the beer finishes malty. Gentle with tall sweet grasses that are juicy with stems that have a somewhat bitter and sticky sap. Fresh soft herbal. Light peppery bitterness as the toasty malt finishes round.
Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “perfecto.”
Maria Devan lives in Ithaca, NY and is a great beer writer. That’s Maria in the middle. The other two are not, but they are lucky to have her as a friend.