Cantillon Cuvée Des Champions - Brasserie Cantillon

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Cantillon Cuvée Des ChampionsCantillon Cuvée Des Champions

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

1,045 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,045
Reviews: 258
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 8.03%
Wants: 546
Gots: 227 | FT: 22
Brewed by:
Brasserie Cantillon visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Gueuze |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Dukeofearl on 01-23-2005

Two year-old lambic, dry-hopped in the cask for three weeks.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,045 | Reviews: 258
Reviews by aorloski:
More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
4.33/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Mike for splitting his bottle with me - Cantillon in any form is always greatly appreciated. Cuvee de Champions (a.k.a. Cuvee St. Gilloise) pours a somewhat translucent, golden-yellow color with a huge, foamy, eggshell tinted head that fizzes up quickly and leaves some nice bouts of chunky lacing along the glass. Very volatile beer, as even a modest pour produces a huge layer of foam.

Before I even lean in to the glass, I can already smell the funk in this one. Extremely funky from start to finish; cheesy, musty barnyard, horse-blanket, wet hay, old cork... you name it. The funk is based off of that signature Cantillon aroma, but even takes it up a notch and amplifies it quite a bit. The funk is accompanied by some herbal lemon zest, a bit of grass and leaves, and a mild, abrupt tartness that is mostly akin to apples and white grapes. If anyone asks you what "funk" smells like, let them take a whiff of this.

Needless to say, I was very excited to finally toss this one down the gullet after the insanely funk aroma that had just pierced my nostrils. The first sip includes a nice round of pears and even some peach tartness that went primarily unnoticed in the aroma, along with smaller amounts of green apples and white grapes as noted earlier. The tartness exerts itself quickly, jolting your taste buds for a moment before fading away into nothing more than a lasting, fruity sweetness.

The funk is actually a bit toned down on the palate, although it's still incredibly apparent and certainly the most important part of this brew. Funky musk, damp cellar, and corky horse blanket all come to mind when tasting this brew. Sometimes it's hard to accurately describe the funk you're smelling, but those words all come to mind. Just know this - Cuvee de Champions is an incredible funky brew, bottom line. The mouth feel is pretty sparky with a nice, highly carbonated snap. Light bodied; slick with a dry aftertaste.

Probably one of the nicest additions of funk I've tasted - so incredibly funky while remaining drinkable and free from anything offensive or off-putting. A nice meshing of flavors with some fruits and a light, yet assertive tartness that keeps you coming back for more. If this were more easily available, it would be the "go-to" brew to introduce someone to the world of unabashed funk.

Photo of brownbeer
4.57/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Typical Cantillon funk in the nose with lemon, earth, and a noticeable floral hop bouquet.

The taste isn't as sour or acidic as some of their others, which sets the tone for how drinkable it is and ups how approachable it is. Earthy hay and subtle lemon with a nice, dry, hoppy finish. Great carbonation as well.

Thanks to nightbrew for opening yet another stellar Cantillon brew.

Photo of warnerry
4.38/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 27 June 2012 (Cuvee Saint-Gilloise label)

A -Pours a slightly hazed deep golden brown with one finger of creamy off-white head. Head has good retention before fading to a thin cap.

S - Nice lemon and funk initially. The funky element of the aroma is persistent throughout the aroma, but it isn't particularly strong and not overpowering, though it seems to get stronger and pick up more of a cheese element the further I get into the glass.

T - Very tart up front, with a lot of lemon and some under-ripe peach. The tartness masks the funk initially, but a nice earthy layer comes in midway through and lingers into the aftertaste. Both he tart elements and the funk linger for a long time after the finish.

M - Very creamy mouthfeel to accompany the mouth puckering tartness. Finishes moderately dry, but less so than many other gueuzes. Pretty impressive.

O - Still relatively young, so I assume this may become more dry over time, but this is a very enjoyable gueuze.

Photo of Billolick
4.39/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on tap at the Yeast fest @ Spuyten D in Bklyn. Poured cloudy light apricot, nose is of funky cheesy feet with a slight lactic sourness. Smokey, moderatly sour brew. With a long flavorful finish. Approachable Lambic, Brett present but not out of control, give a try of this one to Lambic newbies. Great brew to experience if you can find any more around.

Photo of Mora2000
4.3/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to blutt59 for sharing this bottle. I have been looking forward to trying this beer for a long time.

2009 vintage. The beer pours a murky yellow color with a white head. The aroma is tart lemon with some oak and earthy qualities. The flavor is heavy on the lemon tartness with some oak notes. There is not as much funk as I was expecting. The beer is very acidic and is very, very dry which forces you to drink more and more. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of kingcrowing
4.03/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml corked and capped bottle poured into a hill farmstead tulip. Bottled 02 November 2011, labeled Cuvée Saint-Gilloise.

Pours a slightly hazy yellow miner with a very small white ring of foam. Nose is slightly hoppy, bitter, tart, and very crisp.

Taste is much happier than the other Cantillon beers I've had, which is really nice with the tart Cantillon funk. Taste is classic Cantillon tart and funk, a bit fruity with a dry finish. Mouthfeel is crisp and dry. Very good beer.

Photo of ehammond1
4.59/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle

Belgian Beer Festival 2011
Pizza Port
Carlsbad, CA

A bright, dark orange and a thin white head. Highly carbonated. Looks thin, with a myriad of little bubbles racing their way to the top of the glass.

A spicy, musty, funky aroma, consisting of bright fruit, lemon, and apple, tangy Brett yeast, hay and grass, and lots of barnyard funk. Pretty awesome. This seems like Cantillon's classic gueuze amped up to the n-th degree, and it just smells extraordinary. Heavenly!

The sweet fruit flavors are really able to shine here--lemon, apple, and pear. The tart funk and sourness is huge, though this beer seems extraordinarily well balanced and a touch sweeter and brighter than the classic gueuze.

Light, bubbly, airy mouthfeel--an absolute pleasure.

Perfect.

Hands down, my favorite beer of the Pizza Port Belgian Beer Festival.

Photo of Soonami
4.38/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I recently had a 2010 bottle of Cuvee des Champions with friends on thursday night--thanks Jeff for sharing this with us. This is a beer I've looking forward to try but it was difficult to find enough beer geeks to share it with. 7 people splitting a 750 ml bottle meant that each person got a 4 oz pour, which unfortunately is not as much as i want to drink but enough to get a good feel for the beer. This beer combines two of my favorite brewing techniques wild yeast fermentation and dry hopping.

The Lambic was golden orange in color with a good bit of haze and sediment. Not sure if it was hop bits flocced yeast or pieces of barrel, but the color was gorgeous and capped with a solid white cap of foam. The head really helped carry the aroma which was was definitely wild, musty straw, squeezed lemons, and a sawed pine wood aroma that is likely coming from the hops.

The beer tasted very smooth with great light carbonation and a du finish. The bugs are very expressive giving good lemony tartness and restrained classic Cantillon funk. The dryhops help to keep the beer grounded providing a woody and herbal character almost like oak aging would contribute.

Refreshing, spritzy, and delicious. I'm glad to have tried this and to share it with friends

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.7/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another bottle from the Reno Sour Bottle Share @ St. James Infirmary, jmoore50 thanks a bunch, this is one of if not my favorite gueuze.

Pours a rough day of partying urine orange, small white head to it. Plenty of carbonation. Like champagne, this uses little bubbles. Much like the classic gueueze, a tart, tight and minerally funk permeates the nose. Mixture of pear and apple. Of course, there's lemon. Huge salivating sour factor.

Despite the funkiness in the nose, and the sour on the tongue, this really has a refreshing edge to it. Light hopping. Shares some of the apricot it seems from fou fune. Throw in a little hay and grassy notes, and you have a complex but clean and enjoyable gueuze that is balanced throughout from the first sip.

Photo of mondegreen
4.38/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml into a stemmed Cantillon glass. 2010 Vintage.

Pours a clear gold with a dense frothy head. Lots of carbonation evident with tons of tiny bubble racing to the top of the glass.

Nose is full of tart fruits and a light funk. I get a suggestion of hops, but nothing more.

Taste is sharply sour, but not as overwhelming as other unblended lambics I've had. The finish is surprisingly smooth, leaving me ready for the next sip.

Mouth is highly carbonated. The high carbonation and signature Cantillon dryness makes this a crisp, drinkable beer. A very approachable and enjoyable lambic.

Photo of glid02
4.22/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased from Five Points Bottle Westside in Athens, GA.

Pours a slightly hazy light copper color with a one-finger white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of light malts with large amounts of nuanced funk - leather and wet hay. Also present are solid amounts of tropical fruit hops with hints of deeper earthy hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Light malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by lightly tart citrus flavors. Joining in shortly thereafter are hints of lighter citrus hops that temper the tartness. Midway through the sip the funk takes over, carrying through to a moderately tart ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall this was one of Cantillon's more interesting beers however I'm not sure it's one of my favorites made by them. Still, the hops add a nice dimension, making this well worth a shot.

Photo of pwoods
3.77/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to FtownThrowDown for sharing this bottle.

Brewed 1/07, bottled 5/09

750ml corked and capped green bottle poured into a GLBC snifter.

A: Pours a murky burnt lemon color. Decent head on the pour with a little retention. Decent lacing.

S: Loads of hops. Piney, somewhat resinous, lots of pungent lemon. Very spicy as well, helped along by the yeast. Peppery. Some tart lemon.

T/M: Lots of hops, pine and lemon, lemon zest. Very spicy and peppery. Some tart lemon and citrus tartness. Funky but hard to describe. Not really cheesy or moldy, and only light horse blanket. Funky nonetheless. Some subtle and smoothing barrel to kind of hold things togeher. Body is medium to medium light with average carbonation.

D: Low ABV and tasty but something in there that doesn't make me continue to reach for the glass.

Photo of biboergosum
4.1/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml capped and corked affair, the January 29, 2010 bottling. Apparently this is the same beer as the Cuvée des Champions, but ze label sez what ze label sez. So, a hoppy Cantillon, eh?

This beer pours a slightly foggy, medium burnt golden amber colour, with two fingers of puffy, tightly foamy, and somewhat soapy eggshell white head, which disappears slowly, leaving very little beyond a few instances of ocean swell lace around the glass.

It smells of wet, spicy bread, earthy, funky yeast, musty tropical fruit and more pedestrian citrus pith, and leafy, dry grassy, and floral hops - evoking images of a very rustic, simmering summer meadow. The taste is much more sour upfront - acidic citrus, green apple, aged lemon, and free agent vinegar, alongside some mild barnyard funk, a decent barley grain backbone struggling to keep its head above the tartness line, and a hefty, but well moderated dose of spicy grassy and herbal hops - that dry hopping sure did the trick.

The carbonation is fresh and sprightly in its understated frothiness, the body more or less medium weight, and quite crisp, which detracts a bit from any (snicker) smoothness that might have been. It finishes just a touch off-dry, the funk, base grainy malt, and fading floral hops riding us out into the sunset across the aforementioned meadow.

Definitely a tart one, but in a much more manageable way then a number of other offerings from this brewery. The two years spent in oak isn't overtly noticeable, but must contribute to a certain degree to the softer, smoother nature. Nice and drinkable, with the usual caveats, and now with a hoppiness quotient to boot! A sassy flavour contrast to some nice homemade cupcakes - thanks, babe!

Photo of mdaschaf
4.08/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared with ShanePB. Review from notes.

A: Poured a hazy golden yellow with a fizzy white head on top. Decent retention leaving a thin white cap on top. A small amount of random lacing formed on the glass.

S: Extremely funky, not very fruity like other Cantillon gueuze I have had. Very barnyard/musty with some faint lemon and grass.

T: Much more like it! Plenty of citrus fruits, some lemon, peach, green apple. and apricot. As it warms the flavors intensify a bit as does the sourness of this gueuze.

M: Slightly lighter than medium bodied, tart, but not overly so. Very drinkable. Flavor much better than aroma imo.

O: Another great gueuze from Cantillon, though I preferred classic and Monk's to this one.

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.53/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Purchased at La Bodega in midtown Anchorage. Cork reads 2009.

Pours a slightly hazy yellow with some light orange highlights and good carbonation. The head rises pretty quickly, but turns to a skim and ring around the glass pretty quickly and leaves mediocre at best lacing.

Nose is full of green apple and lactic armpit. Some good lemony zest and slight spicey oak notes.

Wow. This is an excellent lambic. Excellent. Very large green appley awesomeness. A great lemon zest spritz and oaky dryness. The finish is exceedingly dry with the perfect amount of sourness. Very refreshing, green apples linger into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is pretty damn solid. Very spritzer-like carbonation, exactly where it should be for the style, almost like a champagne yeast was used. The dryness is exquisite.

Drinkability is hard to beat for the style. Very refreshing, and incredibly easy to drink.

Overall, this is one of the best lambics ive had in a while. The green appleyness almost rivals that of Ithaca Brute (almost). Can't wait to see how this does with some age. The Drinkability is downright amazing right now. Certainly one of the best lambics on shelves. Great, great beer.

Photo of Sammy
3.76/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle at Beerbistro, a bargain at $30. A geuze for intermediates, this is a smooth drinker. Aroma still floor cleaner and funk, sweat and arseic. Light orange body, medium mouthfeel. Not too hard on the palate initially, a key for beginners. however it is there hours after.Fruit and ginger and apple.Bottle with Todd B

Photo of augustgarage
4.36/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage courtesy of ShogoKawada (many thanks!) since I didn't buy one of the 6 bottles I saw in time when they were briefly in SoCal last year...I'm not the biggest football (read: soccer) fan, but Cantillion hasn't steered me wrong yet.

Poured from a capped-and-corked 750mL green-glass bottle into my Drie Fonteinen tumbler. The cork crumbled but I managed to keep it from falling into the beer...

Cloudy orange peel liquid with a half-finger of lingering beige suds. Delicate amoeba-like lacing slowly slides down a runway of tears.

Lightly oaky aroma suggest almonds and fresh wood. Hay and citrus contribute a delicate barnyard/acidity note.

Rustic pure earthy goaty goodness in the glass. Hints of tangerine peel, vanilla, clove, and mineral-rich waters add complexity. Tart with hints of kambucha, cave-aged blue cheese and fresh raw goat milk. Grassy and incredibly evocative finish takes you right to the cellar, the attic, the barn...a touch restrained but still quite superior...

Creamy, light-bodied, with decent carbonation.

Very smooth and drinkable without sacrificing purity - probably the best place to start with the style if you are unaccustomed to traditional lambic.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Carefully poured to decant, but also build a head, the Cuvee D.C. 2003-4 delivers a beautifully clear, glowing, orange and gold body beneath a full head of creamy off-white foam that steadily settles to a thin surface covering... and then nothing.

The nose is sweet and lightly tart; and loaded with notes of fresh cut apple and white grape.

In the mouth it's delicately zesty on the tongue, and then thin and smooth, but also mouth-coatingly astringent and almost puckeringly tart. This, however, is made from aged lambics, and doesn't have the additional sugars of a vos version to add to its carbonation.

The flavor is as the nose suggests, and there's a balance between sweet and tart that's not found in most of the other Cantillon beers.... they're usually more full-tilt sour. The apple flavors are quite nice, and there's some other fruit in there as well (cherries, peach), along with a good deal of grassy & floral hops. It's lambic characteristics are oddly toned-down, perhaps because it's made only from a blend of older geueze (although the yeast pour brings out alot more wet-straw and mud.

This is quite accessible, and except for the fact that it's a limited edition and rather pricey, this would make a great entry in to geueze for those who've only experienced the fruit-flavored lambics.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.84/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this one at Gingerman out of a Snifter

A: Poured a fluffy white filmy head with very little retention. Brew itself was light orange and semi-cloudy with absolutely no lacing.

S: Sourdough, bready, citrus, and faint alcohol.

T: Extremely tart in the beginning but fades into a grassyness. Hops appear in the end as does the sourness. Bitterness in the aftertaste lingers extremely long.

M: Medum bodied and coarse, finishes wet and clean with a very strong and memorable aftertaste. Feeling left in mouth is oily.

D: Rather drinkable but this one tastes more like a sour than anything else. Building of bitterness in the end takes away from overall enjoyment though.

Photo of dirtylou
4.37/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, consumed at moeder lambic. dont recall the vintage offhand

reviewed from brief notes

appearance: nice bottle, pours a pale straw-golden color into a cantillon tulip

smell: sour lemon, oak, funky yeast, citrus

taste: another fine unblended lambic consumed at a lovely rate - sour lemon, barnyard funk, white grape, tart apple. love cantillon

mouthfeel: lovely tartness

drinkability: good

Photo of mikey711
4.52/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2010 bottling

A: bright orange and gold color with a fluffy champagne like head that has a layer which lingers at the top that is about a quarter inch thick. It is cloudy and looks quite a bit like a DIPA

S: Very nice tart lemon smell along with hints of melon and apricot. the hoppiness is floral and earthy. notes of vanilla and wood

T: A bit of a cheesy flavor back by some tart lemon and melon flavors. oak and funky become more prominent in the background a bit more acidity comes through as it warms.

M: Crisp refreshing feel. not to heavily acidic and no harsh vinegar notes

D: very quaffable and the fruity aspects make it very easy to casually sip throughout the day

Photo of hooliganlife
4.43/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

pour was dirty hazy light yellow with a massive fizzy head that made way in good time.

lots of lemon zest with a crisp hop scent. light malty biscuit notes.

light lemon really flows through out this. other light bitter citrus with some slight hop bitterness. a very strong barnyard funky biscuit combination.

very light and easy. nice moderate to strong carbonation. hint of dryness.

insanely drinkable. i could kill a 750ml bottle at ease, or a growler if i was allowed one. never boring, very flavorful for being lighter overall.

Photo of nickd717
4.3/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Green 750ml bottle at Toronado SF. I was turning the big 27 and figured I'd spring the crazy $35 for this bad boy to share with a few of my doggs. The blend of champions, this is.

Pours clear golden with a one-finger white head and some good lacing.

Aroma is sweet malt, wild tartness, and funk - your usual Cantillon smell - as well as floral hops, which are a nice touch here.

Flavor is typical Cantillon as well. Pale malt, their usual awesome wild yeast, and barnyard funk, with light fruits (pineapple/citrus) and floral hops. This was a fairly fresh bottle (less than one year old), so the hops really came out.

Medium body with pretty mild acidity for a Cantillon beer. This is not overwhelmingly sour.

Great beer overall. I'd like to see Cantillon make more forays into the hopping arena, although they should use some darker bottles if they're going to do that, or the beers could become major skunk-o-ramas. A Cantillon IPA sounds amazing.

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.3/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled 1/29/2010. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Barely a pop. Small white head atop a mostly clear body.

Smell - Herbal. Funky. Less acidic than a Cantillon usually is. More in the 3F vein. White pepper in the back.

Taste - Back to the true Cantillon sourness. Strong white wine notes and it gets herbal again after the sourness fades. The finish is far less acidic.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied. Strong wine presence that takes away from its spritz.

Overall - Excellent. Maybe lacking in complexity, but the flavors it has are phenomenal.

Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to MSquared2 for sharing this one during a fair sized Cantillon tasting! 2011 Vintage! Served from bottle into a Cantillon balloon. Poured fluorescent orange with a minimal white head. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, fruit, fruit hop, funk, tart, and herbal. The flavor was of sweet malt, fruit, fruit hop, funk, wood, sour, spice, and herbal. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a good brew. The hop character on this one really added a very unique touch to this style that I never would have thought possible. The fruit hoppiness really blended quite well with this brew and kept me interested after each sip. This could be a good gateway for some who like fruity hops and want to get into sours. Will be interesting to see what some age does to this brew as the hops start to fade. But as is, this is still a very solid brew.

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Cantillon Cuvée Des Champions from Brasserie Cantillon
97 out of 100 based on 1,045 ratings.