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Cantillon Cuvée Des Champions - Brasserie Cantillon

Not Rated.
Cantillon Cuvée Des ChampionsCantillon Cuvée Des Champions

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

919 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 919
Reviews: 247
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 8.03%
Wants: 484
Gots: 204 | FT: 19
Brewed by:
Brasserie Cantillon visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Gueuze |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
Two year-old lambic, dry-hopped in the cask for three weeks.

(Beer added by: Dukeofearl on 01-23-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 919 | Reviews: 247 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

SocalKicks, Sep 14, 2013
Photo of emerge077
4.18/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Label reads: Bottled 10 Jan 06

Pours a hazy deep golden tone, with a good half-inch of dense foam. Coloration is fairly saturated and bright. Aroma is of wet grass and sharp citrus, orange at first, becoming sharper lemon once it sits for a bit. Melon is also apparent.

Carbonation races, it's fairly spritzy and prickly in the mouth at first. Cidery with subdued acidity, with a dry residual aftertaste that hints at hops. Character is mellow only in it's lower acidic sharpness than other Cantillon Lambics. Not as funky or "farmhouse" either, it's bright and straightforwardly citrusy.

Paired best with a Morbier cheese and pears. Shared this with some euro soccer fans, but it would be a treat to have a bottle to myself...

emerge077, Jun 17, 2007
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!

biboergosum, Jun 18, 2010
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.

NeroFiddled, Aug 09, 2005
Photo of nickfl
4/5  rDev -8.3%

nickfl, Dec 15, 2013
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.33/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled 7-19-2007. I believe this is my first unblended lambic. Pours a brown hued orange. Nose is slightly like a certain flavor of Ricola throat drops. I can't remember exactly what kind, but I think it was lemon and herbs or something like that. Antiseptic tone to it. Fair amount of wood is on there too. Flavor is sour indeed. Definite wood character to it. Just a pure mix of tart and wood. This is what a lambic is. Feel is as expected on the liquid and ripe with carbonation. Overall very drinkable. If you haven't had a real lambic and don't appreciate that sour funk, you won't dig this one. This is a purists dream. Very much worth taking the bus to Philly for a day to get a hold of.

RblWthACoz, Dec 31, 2007
Photo of Slatetank
4.38/5  rDev +0.5%
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

Slatetank, Nov 19, 2011
Photo of MasterSki
4.43/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage at Prairie Moon. Served in a tulip.

A - A finger of white foam settles to a thick cap but no lace. Mostly transparent golden body, until you get to the end of the bottle of course.

S - It's got that signature Cantillon funk, some light medicinal flavors, stone fruit malts, wet leather, gypsum, a bit of acidity, and minimal hop presence - guessing two years is too long for the dry hopping to stay present.

T - The taste is far more acetic than I was expecting. Sour lemons, under-ripe stone fruits, musty basement funk, a light brackish note in the finish.

M - Medium body, pleasant moderate carbonation, dry finish, and some growing acidity. A touch less delicate and more hearty than I was expecting.

D - I really enjoyed this vintage - I've had mixed success with Cuvée Des Champions in the past, but the bottles I've had most recently have ranged from very good to stellar. I'm looking forward to the bottle I have in the cellar.

MasterSki, Mar 18, 2012
Photo of jlindros
4.53/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle marked as St Gilloise. Shared wtih many at my cellar cleaning party.

Light fizzy head, clear golden orange color.

Nose awesome, great sour, tart fruit, lambic funk, light bready malt, just pure awesome lambic blending.

Taste mild hoppy slight grassy hop, then nice tart lambic, sour fruit like, lemony grassy and bready tart funk, juicy but tart, little flemmy tart sour finish, delicious.

Mouth med to lighter bod with little flemmy, lactic acid, nice carb.

Overall great lambic blend with good hoppy touch to it, a really interesting beer. I don't think there is anything the Cantillon family can touch without it turning to gold.

jlindros, Dec 29, 2013
Photo of drabmuh
4.23/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is Cuvee de Champions, in case anyone was wondering. Popped this open at a recent tasting to share, since its dry hopped I realized I shouldn't let it age, plus there have been a few recent beer reviews of aged Champions that were less than encouraging.

Beer is yellow with a slight haze and thin head of white small bubbles that doesn't leave any lacing on the glass. Carbonation is moderate to low.

Aroma is a little grassy with some mild hop presences and mild acetic notes. There is also some lactic in there and some nice strong funk. Smells like I expected, Cantillon gueuze plus hops. Nice.

Beer is medium to light in body. In the palate, the hops are lost among the carbonic and acetic notes with a strong lactic background and a slightly funky finish. There is no aftertaste, just another great palate cleansing sour beer. Not as complex as some of the other lambics but this beer is quite good overall. Nice drinkability.

---

Transferred from my Cantillon Cuvée St-Gilloise review (that has now been deleted)

Best beer day ever. Amazing draft at Churchkey. Cantillon anything please.

Beer is straw yellow with moderate to high haze. Forms a big thick white head of medium bubbles, two fingers. Head falls away leaving some lacing on the glass. Carbonation is steady and moderate. Looks awesome. I think I got the first pint of this beer out of the keg.

Aroma is overall kind of mild. There are those classic Cantillon sour notes in there, citrusy, a little lemony, lactic and mild acetic. There is also a hoppy aroma in there, very interesting.

Beer is thin, as expected, and not as sour as I thought it would be. Interesting earthy bitterness to this beer, citrusy in a way, just like the aroma indicated. Finishes nicely with a slight dryness at the backend. Not bad, not bad at all. Overall sourness is lower than other Cantillons but this is a young unblended lambik, so what should we expect. A great beer none-the-less.

Serving type: on-tap

drabmuh, Oct 04, 2010
Photo of oline73
4.13/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this bottle at Max's Belgian Beer Fest.

Appearance: Pours straw golden and is very slightly cloudy. There is a two finger very fluffy white head of which a good size layer remains throughout.

Smell: I pick up a bit of barnyard/straw, and some sour citrus. There is also an herbal quality as well as some spice from the Belgian yeast.

Taste: Again there is a bit of a barnyard/straw type taste. I'm picking up a lot of sour vinegar and citrus notes. There is some spice from the yeast and a quite bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and super dry. There is a medium amount of carbonation which is quite light.

Drinkability: I enjoyed this one a lot and it was worth the price. I would love to have more if I ever get the chance.

oline73, Feb 21, 2011
Photo of mendvicdog
4/5  rDev -8.3%

mendvicdog, Oct 14, 2013
Photo of mdfb79
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 375ml bottle into my Duvel tulip. Bottled on January 29, 2010, label says Cuvee Saint-Gilloise.

a - Pours a murky orange color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident. Little bit of lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of lemon, pepper, spices, sour fruits, some grass, very light funk, light acetic notes, and some flowery/floral notes. Smell is a nice mix of lemon/sour citrus and spice up front, and wasn't as tart or funky as I was expecting. Some definite hop presence in the nose as well. As it warmed up it got more and more sour, and a little more funk came out.

t - Tastes of lemon, tart citrus, vinegar,
earthy notes, floral notes, spices and pepper, and some funk/cheese. Wow, the tart is a lot more tart and funky than the smell was, and there is some definite vinegar in there.

m - Dry mouthfeel with a medium body and moderate carbonation.

o - Overall I thought this was another great beer from Cantillon. I really liked the smell and enjoyed the hops mixing with the classic Cantillon gueuze smell. The taste was good, though slightly too mch vinegar. None the less, I had no problem finishing a 375ml bottle of this and glad I have another bottle of it.

mdfb79, Mar 16, 2011
Photo of beernads
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

beernads, Apr 05, 2013
Photo of MarkyMOD
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

MarkyMOD, Sep 12, 2013
Photo of Mora2000
4.33/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Mora2000, Apr 19, 2010
Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Rochefort10nh, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.4/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2004 bottling, Sampled September 2005
Pours a hazy straw-orange color with a hint of ruby-grapefruit colored notes. The carbonation seems quite low, as the cork did not pop at all when pulled, it is carbonated though, but the head is wispy and a frothy pale color. Ah, the aroma; a suitable funky smell greet my nostrils as I take my first draught of the nose. The aroma is a mix of citrus, funky notes of mushroom, perhaps some notes of farmhouse cheese, and musty earth. The Brett character is quite pronounced, and the aroma just keeps the senses piqued for continued sniffing pleasure.

The beer is of course shockingly tart in the first sip, after that is through it becomes pleasingly tart with a bracing note of acidity. The beer is quite light, and has just enough carbonation to enhance the spritzy refreshing character. I do think that there is a bit of grassy herbal character here too from the dry hopping in the cask. This has a nice note of tart grapefruit, and is not nearly as funky in the taste as the nose suggests. There is a light note of funky cheese in the finish that seems to linger a bit in an astringent manner after the beer has been swallowed.

As this beer warms up it really begins to soften a bit, open up, and become quite a bit more fruity with lots of grapefruit and lemon notes. This is definitely quite enjoyable, and I definitely do not enjoy Lambics enough, it is definitely a special occasion type beer for me, and I would much prefer that it was an everyday beer for me.

Gueuzedude, Sep 19, 2005
Photo of kojevergas
3.96/5  rDev -9.2%

Reviewed from notes taken August 2014. Label: Cuvee des Champions. 2003-2004.

BOTTLE. Bottled May 19, 2009. 5.00% ABV. Purchased at Olutravintola Pikkulintu in Helsinki for 28 euro. 75 cl with colorful label art.

Served cold into stemware and allowed to come to cellar temp during consumption (per instructions on the label). Expectations are very high given the brewery, rarity, and style.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 1 finger wide of white colour. Nice supple complexion. No lacing. Retains for 2-3 minutes. Could appear softer. Head is average for a gueuze.

BODY: Translucent quasitransparent pale copper with faint orange hues. Above average vibrance. No yeast particulate is visible - at least not in the first pour from the bottle.

Appears aptly well-carbonated. I'm looking forward to trying it, but it looks like any other upscale gueuze.

AROMA: There's definite sourness - maybe a 6/10 in terms of intensity. Lambic yeast, wild bacteria (incl. lactobacillus), and pedio. A faint neutral oak tone is present throughout. I love that it's not as cereal-emphatic as many of Cantillon's gueuze. Has some wet wood notes, indicating the 5 years of age have induced some pleasant changes. A hint of apple and pear. Light vinegar. Faint grassy hops.

It's a pleasant aroma of mild strength.

TASTE: Lovely. Grassy hops complement the mellow not-too-malty not-too-grainy neutral base nicely. Hints of apple, pear, lime, and plenty of esters. It's not cereal-emphatic like many inferior Cantillon gueuze, but maybe that's the aging at work. Sourness intensity is a 6/10; not puckering, but pleasantly smacky. The fantastic wild yeasts and bacteria (pedio, a bit of lacto, mainly lambicus) complement each other and the rest of the flavour profile beautifully.

Has a hint of white vinegar. White oak undertones throughout. Some apple cidre. It's not real funky or "farmyard-y," but there is some faint wet hay.

Balance is excellent overall. Plenty of complexity, intricacy, and subtlety is featured here, but it could have more depth of flavour. Has a long duration of flavour, with the acidic vinegary notes lingering in the throat in the aftertaste. Very pleasant to drink, and refreshing as well. The lambic/wild yeasts are the highlight here.

It's a very cohesive, dareisay gestalt build, though there is room for improvement. I could definitely go for more sourness, and some lemon and/or farmyard character would be nice. It's not as tart as would be ideal, either. But boy is it tasty.

TEXTURE: Wonderfully smacky on the palate. Smooth, wet, and refreshing. Perfectly carbonated. Ideally medium-bodied. Approachable and enjoyable. This texture complements the taste wonderfully.

It's not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, rough, or scratchy on the palate.

OVERALL: This is a damned impressive gueuze from Cantillon, and absolutely one I'd get again...at non-Finnish prices. Well worth trying for those who enjoy the style, and certainly one of the better gueuze I've had from Cantillon. I think the 5 years of age helped erase the cereal signature of Cantillon's younger beers in the style. I'll greedily finish this bottle alone.

High B+

kojevergas, Sep 20, 2014
Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev -8.3%

XmnwildX12, Nov 22, 2013
Photo of Halcyondays
4.4/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

Halcyondays, Mar 30, 2010
Photo of Gavage
4.15/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had at Max's Belgian Fest.

Appearance: hazy orange yellow color with a short one finger head that falls immediately. No lacing develops.

Smell: muskiness is up front and dominates the nose.

Taste: strong initial sourness that mellowed after the tastebuds got accustomed to the flavors. Sour and tart grapes, tart green apples, fruity sweetness, and some mild bitterness wrapped in a musky barnyard blanket. Extremely dry beer.

Mouthfeel: smooth and very dry throughout. Long sour aftertaste. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: decent despite the strong sour flavors. This beer grew on me during the session, and the taste score rose as it warmed. Very interesting on tap.

Gavage, Feb 25, 2007
Photo of GClarkage
3.15/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

10/14/08- Purchased at Whole Foods in Redwood City, CA. Paid $19.99.

Presentation- 750ml bottle, capped and corked. Cork says bottled in 2008. Poured into my miniature Cantillon wine-like glass. Think it's a 6oz glass as it took me 4 full pours to empty the bottle.

Appearance- Unfiltered peach or brighter pear juice in color. About a 1/2 inch head upon pour which disappears in a blink of an eye. Leaves ultra light spotty lace, which is all common for such a style.

Smell- Light farmy aspects, mostly a mid range sourness and a whaft of tart citrus fruits. A fair amount of oak as well.

Taste- Well, my bottle must have been from a different batch or something...not even up to the standards of those previous reviewers. From the first sip it was very watery. It became a tad less as I consumed the rest of the bottle, but for the most part, it was quite watery. It was sour, but not even to the standards to an unblended lambic. More tart than sour with some pera, lemon and maybe a touch of melon. Oak flavor is nice, which saved the overall flavor.

Mouthfeel- Thin, watery, but a nice carbonation level. Considerably dry.

Drinkability- I have to admit, it was refreshing and easy to drink, but the watery part made it a bit borning and dull to drink. I've had much much better from Cantillon. Maybe just a bad bottle. But, I don't think I am willing to shell out another $20 to find out.

GClarkage, Oct 15, 2008
Photo of imperialking
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

imperialking, Nov 30, 2011
Photo of InspectorBob
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

InspectorBob, Oct 21, 2013
Cantillon Cuvée Des Champions from Brasserie Cantillon
97 out of 100 based on 919 ratings.