385. Cantillon Vigneronne

385. Cantillon Vigneronne

I purchased this a few nights ago at Downtown Wine and Spirits. I think this was the last of the $15 Cantillon bottles that I hadn't tried. There are three $30 bottles and one $40 bottle left. I'll eventually pick them all up. Vigneronne came in a corked and capped green 750 mL bottle. The label says "Blended Lambic Beer Brewed With Italian Muscat Grapes". I let this warm to around 45ºF and served it in one of my New Belgium snifters. It was consumed over the course of an hour and a half, and by the end the beer had reached ambient temperature (~70º F). The artwork on most of Cantillon's labels is very nice; this bottle is no exception.

Beer Stats:
Year: Bottled in 2004
Alcohol: 6.00%
Serving: 750 mL
Style: Fruit Lambic. BJCP Style Guide.

Appearance (5.0): Pours an absolutely brilliant hazy golden color, with a wispy head that thins to a tight white ring. The carbonation seems to be somewhat higher than the other Cantillon beers that I've tried.

Smell (4.0): This beer has the smell that I've come to expect from Cantillon lambics. There is an intense sour aroma, with a funky earthy barnyard aroma that emerges upon swirling. There are also light fruity aromas, but these are masked by the other aromas.

Taste (4.5): I could pick out some very lightly sweet fruity flavors that could be grapes. The sourness begins lightly in the center and grows in intensity through the finish where it mingles with earthy hay-like flavors.

Mouthfeel (4.5): Light carbonation is more evident than in other Cantillon beers. There's a slick oiliness and a very dry finish.

Drinkability (4.0): The intense sourness means that this is a beer for sipping.

Overall (4.45): There's a very nice interplay between fruit, sourness and funk in this beer. Lambics are fast becoming one of my favorite styles.

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