Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Cantillon Cuvée Des Champions - Brasserie Cantillon

Not Rated.
Cantillon Cuvée Des ChampionsCantillon Cuvée Des Champions

Educational use only; do not reuse.

264 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 264
Hads: 1,156
Avg: 4.3
pDev: 16.98%
Wants: 552
Gots: 255 | FT: 28
Brewed by:
Brasserie Cantillon visit their website

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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 264 | Hads: 1,156
Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another fine beer from Cantillon, what a surprise.

A: Orange hue with a bubbly bone white head of a pinky that dies down slow. Straw highlights on this.

S: Has the classic Cantillon farmhouse yeast and funk and nice toasty oak. Maybe a light hop presence here as well, with champagne grapes and straw. Some green apple too, maybe even apricot./

T: Great flavor with cherry, grape, green apple, tart berries mixing with a dirty earthy oak. Quite nice bread malt and grains for support of the tart fruit flavors. Not as sour as other beers from the brewery but elegant and champagne like with a good amount of tartness and even some bitter hops. Lots of apple lingering at the back of the palate.

M: Spritzy and lighter in body. Good tartness.

 749 characters

Photo of MDDMD
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A-hazy golden yellow color with a nice white head and decent lacing

S-lemon, bready malt, yeasty funk, tart grapes, grassy

T-bready malt, lemon, yeasty funk, grass, tart grapes, vinegar

F-medium body with nice crisp carbonation, dry and puckering

O-really enjoyable, could drink this often if I could find it

 312 characters

Photo of dirtylou
4.37/5  rDev +1.6%
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

 406 characters

Photo of rlee1390
4.37/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-Cloudy yellow, nicely carbonated, one finger head.

S-Very funky, oak and grapes.

T-Great balance, very funky, very acidic oak and grapes.

M-Medium bodied, well carbonated, dry crisp finish.

O-First Cantillon Gueuze. It was tasty. Not as good as the Classic Gueuze.

 271 characters

Photo of megahurts4
4.37/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cantillon Cuvée Des Champions

Appearance: golden amber, large head, and good lacing.

Smell: acidic sourness, earthy, and a nice oak aroma.

Taste: sourness, oak, and yeast.

Mouthfeel: medium and smooth.

This is a very nice lambic. It has a great deal of flavor and a nice sourness. There is a lot of carbonation.

 330 characters

Photo of taylor714914
4.37/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, a HUGE thanks to merc7186 for breaking this bad boy out.

a 2012 cork date on this bottle.

Pours a cloudy yellow with a finger of off white head.

Smells of old damp basement, stinky cheese, and a bit of sweat.

Taste is interesting, a tartness quickly washes over the tongue, followed by a peach and apricot flesh taste. Following this, a quite hit of tartness, and the it fades to almost nothingness. After a few seconds, a cold root cellar flavor emerges, almost like moist underground dirt.

As the beer warms up, the flavor profile opens up, allowing for more fruit, along with the tartness to expand a bit and a subtle hop sharpness as you swallow, which then once again fades to cold dirt basement floor. The mouthfeel also opens up, become soft and smooth.

Overall, a super enjoyable beer, one I would absolutely drink again.

 840 characters

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.37/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy light amber with a foamy, shortlived head. Lots of lace trails drape the glass on the way down. Acidity, restrained funk and cheesy hops fill the nose. Acidity lingers in the nostrils for a good while. The taste is huge sourness, but not quite as puckering as the Cantillon Geueze. Lemon, barnyard funk, gym socks, some vinegar and some tea(?) notes mingle together. Hugely complex and enigmatic. The mouthfeel is briskly carbonated, almost like a champagne. Finishes sour and earthy with a lingering citric edge.

This is an excellent lambic, apparently straight 2 year. The differences between a standard gueueze are apparent - a bit less funk depth and south intensity - but still stupidly quaffable and complex. Another must try from Cantillon.

 761 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.37/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this a lot ...thanks to stake for sharing this w/ negation and me. From the 750 into a cantillon tulip.

Bright golden w/ translucent clarity and thin white cap comprised of tiny beads,lace sticks ok. The scent is strong w/ woody and light sour yeast w/ hints of earthy and floral notes. The smell of mild funk is present w/ subtle spice and gentle vinous odor. The feel is moderately funky and dry w/ light tanning from the wood w/ some extremely high coronation which gives the perception of subtle spice and toasted elements. There is a light bitter and acidic aspect that brings a balance that is great for the style w/ moderate puckering astringency and a drying finish.

The flavor has bits of wood w/ lemony sour and other funk aspects-there is mild citrus rind and slight bitter herb w/ a hint of white pepper and pineapple+ melon w/ a hint of grassy astringency. the tropical fruit presence goes well w/ the oak in the finish. Overall I thought this was a pretty great gueuze - I enjoyed other for its complexity and the level of sourness ...this is pretty drinkable and brings a nice amount of oak from the barrel and funkiness to the experience

 1,165 characters

Photo of botham
4.37/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2003 vintage poured into a tasting glass. pours a midlly hazy orangish amber with a single finger of tight white head that has moderate retention and leaves no lacings.

aroma is vinous, with an acidic sour note and a light funk. a lightly yeasty fruit note hides behind the sour note and grounds the overall profile. very pleasant and sour in the nose.

taste is of a sharp sourness up front with a light funk and a decent fruit presence. a mild funk note on the back end eases a bit of the tartness after the fact, with a sharp sourness on the way down. residual fruit and sour/tart notes linger.

mouthfeel is tart and sour with a vinous character and a supremely sour texture. the brew smooths out as the palate gets used to the sourness, with a finish that carries a light bite and leaves the palate with a distinct tartness.

drinkability is great. wonderfully sour and just mellow enough to keep a bite and remain drinkable. a solid sour with a very drinkable aura (for those BAs who love a good sour beer). cheers!

 1,022 characters

Photo of augustgarage
4.36/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

 1,200 characters

Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one came out of my cellar for the Philly Epic Tasting of The Ages. Enjoyed with randawakes, treyrab, CoolJosh, Dyan, and Melissa and Ashley. I had been looking forward to the tasting for a chance to finally enjoy this beer with good friends. Bottled in 2008, still with the old label displayed.

The pour produces a typical geuze-like color of translucent golden straw. Some of the yeast definitely got off the bottom and into the pour. A thin layer of head remains after the coarse 1-finger head produced by the pour subsides.

The aroma is very interesting. Definite evidence of dry-hopping with noble hops, especially Hallertauer, adds a nice twist to a classic style. The wild yeasty and bacterial funk so characteristic to Cantillon sours lingers in the background, as if it is hesitant to show itself. But show itself it does once you take a sip. The funkiness of that spontaneous fermentation really come through here. The pilsener malts and the dry noble hops contribute a dry earthiness to the flavor. The finish is pretty acidic and leaves me looking for a water glass. The flavor left on the tongue is that of citric acid and lemon zest.

The beer displays tangy citric acidity, light body, and sticky texture. This lambic is extremely well-balanced, and the hops just serve to enhance the dryness and the flavors already in the beer. I will certainly seek this out again.

 1,388 characters

Photo of birchstick
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - pours orange in color with a nice one finger head

S - smells of citric lambic deliciousness with some funky notes. You can tell its a loon.

T - tastes really citric upfront. This fades to a bit of a metallic that is washed aside by more citric flavor and a bunch of funk. This one seems a little softer and not as sour cutting as other gueuze's I have had from Cantillon.

M - really soft mouthfeel with good carbonation and a little bit of a dry finish

D - really good offering from Cantillon. This has a nice combination of funk and gueze flavors. Not as extremely sour as some of their other offerings, which makes it more drinkable in my book.

 654 characters

Photo of msubulldog25
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An early pour (4 oz, give or take, to a short goblet) off the 750ml capped/corked bottle I shared at an epic tasting among BAs. The base of the back label reads 'Brewed November 2005 --- Bottled January 2008'.

I recall getting a taste (well, maybe two) of this fine lambic at a distributor's event back in 2009... And it was poured by the now-departed Toby Day; we chatted a few minutes about the beer and about his job repping imported brewers like Cantillon. I digress...

A: Golden, somewhat hazy (with a few stray larger bits), but loads of rising carbonation to a small but tight whitish head, creamy then fading to a slim ring.

S: Sharp, nostril-twitching tartness at first, then a transformative moment where sweeter fruit (a lighter apple, or white grape maybe?) and 'barrel' mustiness introduce themselves.

T: 'Tart' is both a given and an understatement. Yes, it's wonderfully sour, projecting pithy lemon, brash green apple and unripened raspberries, but there's a lurking woodiness and dry spice (hops?) in the finish. Never grows into sweetness much, but really that's ok because there's so much depth to the simple little word 'tart' here.

M: Among the more pucker-inducing, cheek-tugging, tongue-twisting mouthfuls I can recall. So acidic; saliva flows like an open spigot. Busy carbonation, clinging sourness, drier finish.

O: Clearly one of the favorites among all the wilds/sours tried - and rightly so. Wonderfully ripe and pungent, juicy and lasting, great depth. Sure, it's what Cantillon is known for, but it's always nice to be reminded of why they are, arguably, the best at what they do. A pleasure to drink and to share among friends.

 1,668 characters

Photo of SacoDeToro
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2003

Opened a well settled bottle and got a bright and clear yellow pour with a rocky white head. One initial thought related to the name: If this is an unblended lambic, then why is "cuvee" in the title?

The aroma was full of brettanomyces barnyard funk, lactic acid, some acetic note, and mild cheesiness.

The flavor was pretty tart and acidic. The beer had a clean biscuity and wheaty malt backbone (very subtle, but nice). There was a nice grapefruit pith bitterness in the finish.

The carbonation was spritzy the mouthfeel was light and crisp.

Very refreshing and highly drinkable. It's nice to have unblended lambics to be reminded of what these beers can taste like in their "naked" state.

 710 characters

Photo of Agold
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled October 4, 2010

Tight white head on top of a golden mildly hazy body. Aroma is really funky, lemon rind, some cobwebs, and green apple. More of a horsey, sweaty, musty funk. Flavor is crisp, clean, lactic, musty, apple, grapefruit rind, i get a mild floral almost honeyish flavor as well. Mouthfeel is light and airy, good carb, dry and mildly tainnic. Really nice and refreshing.

 389 characters

Photo of rhinos00
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a tulip glass. Bottle was dated May 19, 2009.

A- Poured a dark maize color. Three fingers width of white head, reduced to a ring over time. Very murky.

S- Very nice blend of various aromas. Getting lots of oak and a familiar barnyard mustiness in the nose. Also noticeable is distinct sour lemon/citrus fruit aroma.

T- Upfront there is a definite note of lemon tartness with oak underneath. This tartness eventually fades towards the middle, giving way to a earthy, grass-like flavor. There is some oak, wood flavors in there as well. The beer finishes with slightly bitter hops.

M- One of the better mouthfeels on a lambic. Light body, yet carries a feeling of fullness due to the carbonation. Finishes rather dry.

D- This one goes down very easily, given that this beer was not overly tart. Could be a great session beer.

Overall, definitely one of the more unique lambics I have had to date. The dry hops were definitely something I have never experienced in a beer of this style. That being said, I'm a huge sour head and this one lacked a lot of tartness that other Cantillons have. If you don't like your lambics really sour, drink this one now and just enjoy the unique hops flavors. If you like your them very sour, try aging this one.

 1,286 characters

Photo of Sephiroth
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with small head. Body is a slightly hazy orange. Aroma is tart with hint of malt.

Taste is quite puckering at first, then it seems too smooth out some. Not as tart as the grand cru or Iris. The lack of sourness allows for the perception of malt driven flavors, although I am at a loss to describe them. Second pour is moderately ( for Cantillon ) dirty. Mouthfeel is great, the slight carbonation is spot on. If not for the acidity, I could drink another 750ml.

 471 characters

Photo of yourefragile
4.34/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 bottle at Tap and Table in Emmaus, PA.

Pours a hazed golden orange color with a large whitish head that settles into a persistent film with clumps of scattered lace. Aroma is a my favorite part of the beer, a complex and potent blend of funk, lemon zest, yeast, must, oak, and mild hoppiness. Flavor is a little bit of a letdown from the nose and just general expectations of Cantillon. Flavor is a clean, dry punch of zesty lemon, mild funk, apple and earthy dry hops. Body is medium thick with sparkling fine carbonation, nothing too remarkable. Very drinkable, and refreshing. Another excellent offering, but not the best Cantillon.

 641 characters

Photo of TX-Badger
4.34/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

At Cantillon, bottle as Cuvée Saint-Gilloise. Pours an amber color with white head. Funk, fruits, some hop spice, tartness, light grass on the nose; follows onto the palate. Finishes tart and dry with fruit.

 208 characters

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.

 2,333 characters

Photo of Dukeofearl
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

As described by my Brussels friend, BelgianBeers (who kindly presented this to me during the Belgian Beer Paradise festival in Brussels, September 2004), after he acquired it on its first day of release:

“It tastes very much like their regular geuze, but with the added bonus of a delicate bitterness, especially in the finish, brought about by dry-hopping. Another difference with the regular geuze (which, as you probably know, is a blend of one, two and three-year old lambics) is that this is a blend of two-year old lambics only. The refermentation in the bottle is sparked by adding a tiny dose of priming sugar (with regular geuze, the sugar-rich young lambic performs this function). From the brewery's last email: "The "Cuvée des Champions", made to celebrate the promotion of the Royale Union Saint-Gilloise football team to the second division, is available. Just like the "Cuvée 1904", made to commemorate the centenary of the team's first title, it is a selection of two years old lambics which underwent a cold hopping in the casks and a second fermentation in the bottle."

Presentation: 75 cl bottle with a yellow and purple label with an emblem of “USG” in yellow and purple circles (the team’s colors, I assume). “In celebration of the title..." (in French) proclaimed on the label. Cantillon Brewery is only identified in small type on the label.

Appearance: Pours dark golden, slightly cloudy with a thin head and a small stream of steady carbonation.

Aroma: Oh, there it is, that familiar lambic sour. Not as strong as some, sour apples, sour champagne fruitiness hidden behind the sour sourness.

Flavor: Sour, tart, sour, dry, and with that barnyard flavor so similar to this style of beer. To be honest, I can’t tell the difference between this and Cantillon’s gueuze- I wish I had done a side-by-side taste comparison.

Mouthfeel: As is common with this style, a very tart, mouthpuckering event. Full mouthfeel (if full is the opposite of watery).

Drinkability: As with the other products, I really like this when the mood strikes (when it’s warm, with a good meal, when I don’t want a strong, high-ABV beer, when I want to reflect on travels to Belgium). But it’s not something I would drink all the time.

Overall: I like this as I like the Cantillon products, but to be honest, I have yet to learn to fully appreciate these beers. I’ll keep trying though, because I do like this one (and it’s siblings).

 2,466 characters

Photo of peabody
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a nice cloudy yellow with lots of white foam gracing the top and leaving some lacing.
Smell is sour cherries and lemon zest/orange peel and a little dirty sock thrown in there for good measure.
Taste is sour cherry and orange and grapefruit. Very nice lambic.
No alcohol in the smell taste or feel. Slighty dry and sticky must mean that there is some sugar here but it's way in the back.
I could drink lots of this. Cantillon just rules the roost.

 457 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle, I've got to pounce on a chance to try this rarity at Beachwood BBQ, brewed 1/07, bottled on 5/17/09, $32/750 mL,

A: Pours a hazy orange with a lightly fizzy white head, good retention for a lambic for sure.

S: Hoppier than any lambic I've had. Lighter than I expected in its pungency, lemons, definite Cantillon funk.

T: Great. Lemons and fermented oranges galore. Big lactic acidity and some Brett notes in the secondary mixed with an interesting dry hop character from the Hallertau.

M: Moderate acidity, the acid is not crazy here. Dry, absolutely. Very smooth and elegant with lots of complexity.

D: This is delicious, it really gets good when it gets near room temperature. Expensive, but where else am I going to get to try this.

 755 characters

Photo of BTPete
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cuvee Des Champions 2008 bottle had at Novare Res. Poured to Cantillon stemware.

A: hazy golden, thin head that wistfully creates bubbles as swirled.

S: musty nose, smells of green grape, vinous in a way. Lemon rind and light hops.

T: tart and funky. A definite grape/lemon presence over a dry barnyard finish.

M: carbonation seems low in glass until swirl, livens right up as it goes across your tongue. I guess less carb due to unblended status?

D: pretty darn good, would drink a second if I could afford it!

 517 characters

Photo of metter98
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy golden yellow in color and poured with a two finger high off white head that gradually died down and left some lacing.
S: The nose has strong aromas of sourness and funk.
T: The beer is very tart and sour and also has flavors of oak from the barrel aging.
M: It feels light-bodied on the palate and has a low amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is relatively easy to drink for the style because although the sourness is strong it does not overpower your palate.

 480 characters

Cantillon Cuvée Des Champions from Brasserie Cantillon
95 out of 100 based on 264 ratings.