Belgian brewing behemoth, Cantillion, makes some of the world’s greatest sour beers. On deck is a fruited sour brewed with Morello cherries, aka, Kriek (the Belgian word for the varietal of cherry used in this brew). Although it’s one of the “easier” Cantillion beers to acquire, any beverage from this Brussels brewery is a treat to open… then open again (that cap & cork combo is something that I’ll never quite get). Let’s run them numbers for a perfect summer beer.
Smell: Lemons, granny smith apples, mustiness, oak, slight Cantillion funk (band-aids), lemon Italian ice, sprite, and some wine. Nose is all over, but all the flavors compliment one another, this should be a treat to drink.
Taste: Extremely sour. This is the most sour Cantillion I’ve had yet, with so many flavors appearing from lemons, cherries, and limes to apples, passion fruit, and kiwi. The fruits are complimented by what seems like a mulled wine taste and sour tape. The fruits are the star and that Cantillon funk that I smelled pretty much stays bottled up – I did get a little bit initially, but it faded quickly and only lasted two sips. This is by far the cleanest Cantillion bottle I’ve had to date.
While sour up front and full of great fruity tastes, this is lacking some complexity. Outside of cherry, candy, and mulled wine flavors (which one could argue makes this complex enough), there aren’t many layers this beer. The finish is exactly the same as the first sip/mid palate and there’s not much oak shining through. That said, you don’t need an incredibly complex brew for it to be a knock out. Cantillon’s Kriek is a flawless Kriek that slams it out of the park with cherry and complementary fruit flavors. It’s crisp, refreshing, and perfect for an 80 degree day.
The ABV in here is perfect for the style at only 5.0% and the carbonation is zesty like tiny bubbled sparkling water. The mouthfeel is thin to medium bodied which helps make this a phenomenally drinkable sour.
Overall: Cantillon Kriek gets an A. I love how the band-aid flavor that I’ve gotten from other Cantillon bottles didn’t come out and I admire how fruit forward and clean this brew is. It’s a great beer, and honestly, not all that different from its Lou Pepe older brother. Cheers!