Best Cantillon Candidate for Long Aging

Discussion in 'Cellaring / Aging Beer' started by matedog, Oct 24, 2013.

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  1. matedog

    matedog Initiate (58) Jan 25, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    I was thinking of trying to age a Cantillon gueuze for 5+ (maybe up to 15) years after really enjoying the 99 3F gueuze I had recently. Of the three main gueuzes (classic, Lou Pepe, and Gilloise/Champions), what would be the best candidate for long haul aging?
  2. Pahn

    Pahn Meyvn (1,449) Dec 2, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    i'd vote classic. lou pepe and champions both have interesting "have it fresher" characteristics, though lou pepe less so.
  3. ShanePB

    ShanePB Poo-Bah (1,635) Sep 6, 2010 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Give Classic a shot, that would be the one I'd do. In reality, they'll all hold up really well. Hell, I had a 1993 Rose de Gambrinus earlier this year, and it was epically sour and delicious.
  4. matedog

    matedog Initiate (58) Jan 25, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    Thanks guys. I do have a 375mL bottle of classic that I bought when I visited the brewery two years ago (my first foray into sours, really), so I'll just hold onto that.
  5. 4DAloveofSTOUT

    4DAloveofSTOUT Poo-Bah (2,265) Nov 28, 2008 Illinois
    Beer Trader

  6. HeadyTheElder

    HeadyTheElder Disciple (384) Nov 3, 2012 Louisiana
    Beer Trader

    I would age Classic over Champions. Champions had such a great fruitiness to it that would fade.
  7. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Poo-Bah (12,132) Mar 18, 2010 California

    Another vote for Classic. You don't have to worry about fruit, hops, etc. unlike some of the other Cantillon choices.
    GRG1313 likes this.
  8. tbadiuk

    tbadiuk Aspirant (267) Feb 9, 2009 Manitoba (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    I like Classic, fresh or aged. However, I must say the Lou Pepe Gueuze gets better with age...
    GRG1313 likes this.
  9. ManforallSaisons

    ManforallSaisons Disciple (385) Mar 20, 2008 Belgium

    Go for a bigger bottle, 75 cl rather than 37.5. I've had long-lived bottles of the classic gueuze as well as Iris (technically not lambic because no wheat but a nice variation made by the same method, and has held up well in a few older bottles I've tried)
  10. errantnight

    errantnight Meyvn (1,070) Jul 7, 2005 Iowa
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I'd drink any 375 from them whenever you feel like it. They specifically upgraded the corks on their 750s, not their 375s, a year or two ago, which implies the corks aren't great on the 375s.
  11. ArrogantB

    ArrogantB Poo-Bah (3,126) Jun 9, 2006 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I've had plenty of 375's and 750's over the last ten years with bad corks that aged just fine. I don;t think the cork change is going to matter a whole lot.
  12. Dupage25

    Dupage25 Aspirant (279) Jul 4, 2013 Antarctica

    Well first you would actually have to find anything Cantillon. Another alternative would be Tilquin Ancient Gueuze, which has some Cantillon in it.
  13. atomeyes

    atomeyes Disciple (381) Jul 13, 2011 Ontario (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    don't age anything with fruit. you will lose all of the specialness of the fruit. Jean himself will tell you that Lou Pepe is best consumed after bottling and not waiting. same with Iris.
    I have some bio-lambic from 2011 and, to be honest, i prefer it closer to bottling date. the amount of citrus has migrated from lime to grapefruit territory. less clean and crisp, more funk.
    GRG1313 likes this.
  14. tbadiuk

    tbadiuk Aspirant (267) Feb 9, 2009 Manitoba (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    Take the exact opposite of what he said above, and that's my opinion on the matter...:stuck_out_tongue:
    raveskdr and jedwards like this.
  15. SGToliver

    SGToliver Initiate (164) Nov 22, 2012 Washington

    Gueuze, lambics and fou foune.
  16. mocktm

    mocktm Devotee (437) Jan 3, 2011 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    I love Rose with 3 or so years on it. Fantastic!
  17. GRG1313

    GRG1313 Poo-Bah (3,581) Jan 15, 2009 California
    Supporter Subscriber Beer Trader

    Agree 100% and I can confirm the comments of Jean. He is at a loss as to why Americans "age out" the fruit. He indicated that he spends a lot of money getting the best fruit he can find and the Americans age it out and never get the benefit of what he intends with the beer.

    OK, I confess that I do like aged Cantillons of all kinds. However, and while it's hard to get yourself to open those new bottles, the fruit based are simply best young. Try it; you'll like it! JMO
  18. tbadiuk

    tbadiuk Aspirant (267) Feb 9, 2009 Manitoba (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    For me, without age the Lou Pepes (Fram/Kriek) taste watery and lack funk and sourness, no complexity what-so-ever IMHO.
    #18 tbadiuk, Nov 7, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2013
  19. Hopbomber

    Hopbomber Initiate (0) Mar 4, 2013 United Kingdom (England)

    Thirded, Fruit Cantillon should NOT be aged (hoarded).
  20. atomeyes

    atomeyes Disciple (381) Jul 13, 2011 Ontario (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    it's all personal preference, natch.
    would i age a Lou Pepe for 5 years? no.
    one year, max. and i have and there's a noticeable taste difference. i still prefer them fresh(er).

    now, someone should mention to Jean to perhaps use some older lambic and make Lou Pepe with that. perhaps that would be more complex.
  21. GRG1313

    GRG1313 Poo-Bah (3,581) Jan 15, 2009 California
    Supporter Subscriber Beer Trader

    Listen, while my prior post is my bona fide and general opinion, I will gladly confess that I've probably opened 4 or 5 bottles of 2009 LP this year and, every bottle, remained the best bottle of beer I'd had all year. In fact, I might go out on a limb and say that the 2009 LP is my "current" favorite drink. So, while I love this stuff fresh and with lots of fruit, as I've indicated, there ARE exceptions! Good call on the LP.
  22. atpca

    atpca Zealot (575) Jun 10, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    Fairly recently opened a 1996 Kriek. Had it next to a 2012. While very different we all agreed it was still quite good.

  23. joey_c

    joey_c Initiate (0) Nov 12, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    I was lucky enough to get my hands on 2 750ml bottles of 2008 Classic Gueuze this year. Opened one up and plan on holding onto the other one for at least 5 more years. Of course it was absolutely delicious.
  24. rmalinowski4

    rmalinowski4 Disciple (329) Oct 22, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I love old Brouscella Grand Cru. Had a 10 year old bottle at Zwanze day that was devine.
    SGToliver likes this.
  25. Gueuze_Goon

    Gueuze_Goon Initiate (0) Sep 4, 2013 Colorado

    Grand Cru is probably the best as far as aging...imo
    wesbray and SGToliver like this.
  26. Cambrinus

    Cambrinus Initiate (0) Mar 1, 2013 France

    From my point of view a gueuze ages better than a fruit lambic. I think the freshness of fruit disappears after several years, and I prefer to get their punch when I open one. Well, it's a good experience to do but not with all bottles !
  27. sweemzander

    sweemzander Poo-Bah (2,322) Mar 26, 2009 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I do not have alot of experiences with really old Cantillon, however, older bottles of Iris have been really rewarding, especially a bottle of 2007 opened up earlier this year
    pmoney likes this.
  28. CerealKillerKP

    CerealKillerKP Initiate (0) May 24, 2009 Kentucky

    I would recommend aging Cantillon Classic Gueuze the most
  29. sfr26

    sfr26 Disciple (383) Jan 15, 2013 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I was at Cantillon last month, and Jean happened to be drinking an Iris '96 (he even gave me a pour!). Seems to run counter to your statement re: Jean saying not to age Iris. I found the taste had changed significantly vs. fresh, not definitively better or worse, just different.
  30. Pahn

    Pahn Meyvn (1,449) Dec 2, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    re: not aging fruited lambics, meh.

    i agree that the fruit falls off (usually), and that in general "why did we put it in if you're going to wait for it to drop off??" holds (incidentally, the hoppiness of american barleywines was always a bit of a headscratcher for me).

    however, having had 6~7 year old lou pepe framboise, kriek, etc, i have to say that this is not a beer you're going to be like "oh maaaaaan, why'd you let all the fruit fade out!?" you're going to be saying, "god damn this is sour, minerally, funky, complex, delicious! and i think i even taste some raspberry!" (etc)

    still, i vote gueuze. develops just as much character, but doesn't lose anything of note.
    wesbray likes this.
  31. ManforallSaisons

    ManforallSaisons Disciple (385) Mar 20, 2008 Belgium

    Who wants to take on the question of the Gueuze vs. Grand Cru unblended lambic? The Gueuze brings the alchemy of blending, but the lambic is aged and built to last, too. So, will they age and develop differently? I've done vertical comparisons of them individually, both grow more complex and deeper and more seasoned (not in the spicy sense), I'm sure we all agree, but I haven't really thought through a cross-comparison. Cantillon's own site makes an interesting comparison of the Grand Cru to a Burgundy Chardonnay -- not something that wine cavistes would think of aging, whereas they would with a Champagne Chardonnay.
  32. LotsofLupulin

    LotsofLupulin Initiate (0) May 5, 2012 Colorado

    I'd have to vote for LP Gueuze
  33. atomeyes

    atomeyes Disciple (381) Jul 13, 2011 Ontario (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    it isn't counter to my statement. they age beer to see how it progresses, not necessarily to make it better. Jean told me in May to not drink Iris aged. same with the fruit lambics.

    think about it: if you're making a beer with a hop flavour and aroma, why age it?
  34. box_social

    box_social Initiate (116) Mar 6, 2013 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    had 2000 and 2006 Gueuze yesterday at Cantillon, absolutely ridiculous. i plan on putting a bottle of Gueuze, Rose, and Kriek away for 10 years.
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