The CannibalMay 1, 2007
Available: from the restaurant
Judging from the label and name, this is no “warm and fuzzy” brew, but is the ale as aggressive as its image? Pale and slightly hazy even when carefully decanted, this Belgian-style strong golden has a forceful aroma, all right, holding notes of clove and green peppercorn, yellow plum and key lime. It’s a bit tamer on the palate, though, with a sweetish, somewhat honeyed character supporting tropical fruit and brown spice flavors, offset by a rising tide of hop bitterness towards and during the finish. It’s no aperitif beer Ã la Duvel, but neither does it bring to mind a specific food partner. Perhaps best, then, to enjoy it on its own as a late afternoon restorative.
- Stephen Beaumont
Okay, I admit I’m anticipating a gonzo beer. Big, malty, fruity aroma reminiscent of some Belgian-style strong ales. Notable head retention, but not dense and firm. Wonderful balance of initial malt sweetness rounded quickly with a tingling and pleasant tartness. Hop balanced to minimize lupulonic impression. Clean aftertaste. Fresh and devilishly deceiving as other devilish ales are wont to be. A very nice beer, well formulated and executed by a skilled brewmaster. I’ll decide for you: try this beer. Not quite gonzo, but very friendly indeed. Cut me some cheese: I’m into it!
- Charlie Papazian
The cork pops and the beer pours pale gold, raising a sustained, pillowy white head. The aroma is wonderful — hops, lemon peel and chamomile. On the palate, the bitterness is restrained, allowing a fruity sweetness to step forward, carried by insistent carbonation. The beer dries into the finish, leaving an almost gingery glow. A delicious beer. The Cannibal doesn’t bite at all; in fact, he’s rather friendly. A great beer for delicate fish — perhaps sea bass in a mandarin orange sauce?
- Garret Oliver
Stephen Beaumont boarded his first plane at the age of 15 and hasn’t looked back since, obsessing about travel to the point that he gets nervous if he doesn’t have a ticket or two stacked on the corner of his desk. When he’s not running around in search of new taste experiences, he makes his home in Toronto, where a new cultural experience is only as far away as the next neighborhood.
Author of the New Complete Joy of Homebrewing, founder of the Great American Beer Festival and a Beer Examiner at www.examiner.com, Papazian is a leading voice in beer and brewing.
Internationally recognized brewer and expert on traditional beer, Garrett Oliver is the brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery and the author of The Brewmaster's Table.
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