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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 stakem
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle, 2010 dating with the St. Gilloise label. Split with friends and poured into a matching Cantillon long stemmed tulip. This brew appears a golden hazed color with some lighter yellow coloration around the edges. A white frothy head recedes leaving some finger-like patterns of lace and small patchy patterns. A swirl revives a finger of yellowish stained froth across the top.

The smell of this brew is of moist cork, damp woodsy notes with a light amount of lemony citrus and an indication of light cardboard quality. It is earthy around the edges with some deeper fruited quality throughout. As it warms up, there is a bit of a dirty gym sock character that brings on the funk.

The taste initially is of damp wood, funk and earthy notes. Citrus like lemon has a brightness to it that goes beyond lactic character or just zest, it is more of a deep rindy flavor of fresh lemon with a bit of bitterness. The combination of funk and earthy quality is very enjoyable with lots of layers of complexity to sift through.

This is a medium to light bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. There is seemingly no alcohol inclusion. This is a type of brew that is complex enough tht you can sit and ponder over it for a long time but it is easy drinking enough that you could take down a whole bottle effortlessly. Pleasantly tart without going overboard, as far as the geuze style goes, this is not harsh at all. Very well rounded and enjoyable. I will be seeking more of this out.

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Photo of alcstradamus
4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Labeled Saint Gilloise. October 2010 European release, 5 months old

Pours a golden yellow color with 3 fingers of head that leaves wisps of lacing.

The aroma is somewhat unique for a Cantillon, you can tell that something is different here (in this case, the dry hopping). Not as much dusty attic or farmhouse funk as expected, instead it is mostly lemon, grapefruit, pine needle, and flowers. There is still a bit of the signature Cantillon beneath, but the dry hopping has added a thick layer on top.

The flavor is excellent. Musty attic and sunflowers lead the way, with a sour lemon finish that is both acidic and vinegary. Quenches my craving for sour and doesn't sacrifice depth in the process. Some earthy nuttiness, oak, and grass. Faint banana sweetness and stank cheesiness.

The body is medium to light and carbonation is high and feels appropriate.

Overall this is yet another top quality offering from the best brewery in the world. If you see some, pick it up!

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Photo of brentk56
4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrives rather cloudy, the honey colored liquid lacking any cap; no lacing

Smell: Rather cheesy, with hints of hay, peach and pineapple

Taste: Tartness dominates from the outset, with a range of subtle citrus, tropical and stone fruit flavors developing, in the middle; the cheesy funk builds a bit, after the swallow

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with low carbonation

Overall: A really nice Geuze; I like the impact of the hops but it is the funk that makes it

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of SpdKilz
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to cadaugherty for sharing this with me at the CBS release. Cheers!

Appearance – Pours into a standard tulip with a hazy dark orange color. About a finger and a half of chunky white head is achieved with a moderate pour that leaves great looking lacing.

Smell – Slight floral hop presence that fades quickly to a wonderful oaky barnyard funk. Sour green apple, lemon zest, wet hay, and must.

Taste – Earthy funky mouth puckering flavors. Very little hop presence. Tart citrus, oak, must, and barnyard funk. Ends with more earthiness.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, finishes dry and tart.

Overall – A fantastic beer from Cantillon. A great gueuze and would love to try this again.

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Photo of errantnight
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Certainly wish I'd picked up more than one bottle of this while it was available locally...

Pours a hazy glowing pale copper with a frothy white head that leaves little lacing and holds nicely around the edges.

The aroma is really what makes this beer for me (well, it's gorgeous in the glass, too)... layers of fruity funk, peaches and maybe a hint of grapefruit, grassy, herbal barnyard notes and a lemony sharpness.

It's actually just ever so slightly disappointing on the palate... there's a specific flaw... it's a little too bitter. Combined with the incredible dryness (expected), the hop additions are deepening the aroma pleasantly but they provide a bitter edge that when combined with the sourness lends a metallic tinge to the front half of the taste, and leaves it feeling a bit thin on the back end. This mellows a bit as it warms, and the beer really shines as an eminently sessionable, warm weather beer. Sourness is biting but it's not stomach assaulting and over-the-top (which, for the record, I love).

Perfectly carbonated, lightly spritzy without feeling fizzy. Just a knock of a hit as it is initially perceived as a tad thin (when nearer room temperature this fades).

Despite not completely falling in love with how this sits on the tongue, its beauty, its jaw-dropping aroma, and the simple drinkability of it make it an instant favorite that I'd like to buy in quantity for those times when the mood for a sour hits but I'm not looking for something over-the-top.

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Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Cantillon. Poured into a small tulip.  White head, medium retention atop a light gold body. Aroma of peach, green apple and some balsamic. Taste of citric like green apple, tart apricot and grapefruit. Quite mouth/tongue puckering and tasty. 

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Photo of Beerenauslese
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed a glass of this in March, 2011 at the Cantillon brewery cafe, where this is called Cuvee St. Gilloise. Reviewed from notes. Gueuze dry hopped with Hallertau.

Body is a hazy gold, no head, just some bubbles in a ring.

Smells funky, leathery, with orange notes.

Tart, with notes of light malt, orange rind, with a spicy finish. Characteristic Cantillon funkiness. I really enjoyed the Hallertau, which lends this the orange flavor.

Body is light and the carbonation is low. The mouthfeel is clean and tart. Brought a few bottles home for the cellar.

A nice drinking gueze. I like the tartness and the orange in this, which makes it distinctive.

I talked with Jean about the name change (now named after the area rather than the football team who have not been champions in awhile). Jean pointed out that each vintage is different because the lambic is always different and he cannot predict how the lambic will react with the hops he chooses.

So I'll just keep drinking this year after year then. Save some for a short vertical in the future.

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Photo of Wildman
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes:

This beer poured a cloudy amber color and formed a bubbly white head that left circular lace as it subsided. An aroma of sour lambic with some nice fruit aromas with a small hint of barnyard aspects.
A flavor of lambic sourness that I still am getting used to, but very good for this style. The body is medium with a sour finish that is also astringent. A very good beer.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to JealousChalice for sharing this at DarthKostrizer's tasting.

Label says Cuvee Saint-Gilloise. Bottled 10/4/10.

Pours a clear honey orange with an orange-white head that settles to a thin cap on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is sour, tart, and funky with some grain and herbal hop aromas. Taste is exactly the same with a slight bitterness on the finish. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a great gueuze with a nice hoppy presence.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle, poured into a lambic glass; 03-04 vintage

A somewhat dull orange underneath a thin layer of foam. The head was creamy and long lasting, never fully receding. The nose is full of tart apple, leather, tobacco, cider vinegar, and white grape skins. Soft and complex, with equal parts sweet and tart. The tartness leaps onto the palate with a punch of flavor. First, it was a good amount of earthy tones, then white grapes, tobacco, green apples, cider vinegar, sea salt, aged cheese, and a light, old oak flavor burst onto the palate. Holy complexity. Just waves of flavor on top of a bed of sour. Light to medium body, low carbonation with a sharp acidity. This is a damn fine gueuze with a tremendous amount of complexity. It could take days to truly break down everything going on.

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Photo of nas5755
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage served in a Mystic Flute

A- slightly hazy straw gold, a nice thick head.

S- Barnyard, hay, lemons, green/sour apples, some musty notes.

T- Tart, sour apples, lemons, some barnyard flavors, lots of depth, some hop citrus flavors, a nice musty slightly-bitter flavor on the finish. very impressive. The musty, vegetal flavors with hop characteristics add a very interesting complexity to gueuze.

M- sour, nice high carbonation

O- A really interesting take on gueuze. I love mixing hoppy dipas and ipas with lambic and this is not quite what I was expecting in terms of hop profiles on the nose. It was much more interesting this way, I really enjoyed how the hops played with the barnyard and sour notes.

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Photo of armock
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to champ103 for hooking this one up in a trade.

A - Poured a hazed golden color with a white head that leaves lacing behind

S - This is one stinky lambic funky barnyard scents with some citrus as it warms the nose gets a little tart

T - The taste is quite a bit more tart and less funky than the smell but still has a a touch of lemon citrus to it very good tasting

M - This beer has a light body with high carbonation to it

D - I don't really know what else to say about this beer I'm loving the taste of this one I'm the type of person that will drink sour after sour and don't see any problem in drinking this 750ml myself tonight worth finding to try

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Slightly hazy golden-orange with a finger of frothy white head. Fades normal.

S - Sweet wheat, oak, vanilla, barnyard funk, tart green fruits, lactic acid, citrus hops, lemon zest, light sourness.

T - Sweet wheat, oak, vanilla, barnyard funk, tart green fruits, lactic acid, lemon zest, light citrus and floral hops, light sourness.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth with a funky, tart, sour finish.

D - Fantastic balance and complexity, the hops are a great addition.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

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Photo of Sarlacc83
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2011 cork date. Split two ways. Consumed on 1-11-13, reviewed from notes.

A: Clear copper with a foaming white head. Serene inside of the glass.

N: Delicious. Musty hops, lemon zest, and attic spaces. Oak holds down the fort with some black peppercorns and graininess. Hints of grapefruit and pineapple.

T: Lemons, straw filled barn stalls, pineapple, horse blanket, oats, and wood. There’s a very balanced sourness here and some excellent funk. Tart without being grotesquely sour.

M: Perfect. Like drinking a pilsner it goes down so smoothly.

O: Accomplished beer and one of my favorites in the Cantillon pantheon. The hops and the lambic work for me.

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Photo of pdoran10
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours out a slightly hazy golden color into a snifter. One finger of white head that leaves decent lacing.

The smell is musty with a pleasant lemon acidity, mildew and tart.

I get big lemon tartness up front which becomes more complex with slightly grainy and funk flavors coming through. Finishes dry with a lingering bitter grassy flavor.

The mouthfeel is on the thin side with moderate and well done carbonation. Very dry finish.

Overall a great beer, very complex tasty flavors and excellent mouth feel. As to be expected from Cantillon, this beer is delicious.

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Photo of hooliganlife
4.43/5  rDev +3%
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.

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Photo of LambicPentameter
4.44/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed as part of a tasting group out of a green 750 mL bottle with a regular cork and crown. I didn't write down the bottling date, but I'm pretty sure it was February 2014. Poured into a Belgian-style tulip glass.

Appearance (4.5) - Pours a hazy, bordering on cloudy body the color of apricot skin, but a bit brighter, almost glowing from the ambient light. Atop the body sits a finger of off-white foam that consists of predominantly smaller bubbles, a la champagne, but with far more staying power. Retention is moderate, and lasts longer than I'm willing to wait before taking my first drink. Lacing is sparse, but present in places along the sides of the glass.

Smell (4.25) - A nice blend of ripe fruits--mainly in the vein of stone fruits like apricot and peach, with some white grape tartness--and souring bacteria, lending a nice lemony acidity and sharpness to the nose, like pickling liquid. There is also a more subtle note of citrus zest and grapefruit pith, and a hint of what might be white pepper? Hard to tell, because the stone fruit and souring bacteria are the predominant players in the aroma.

Taste (4.5) - What was a very bright and refreshing smell has become a taste with the same bright, acidic notes, but a little more presence from some complementary flavors. Again, stone fruit and now some green apple rule the roost, with overly-ripe peach coming to the forefront, and the lacto provides a puckering sour citrus that reminds me of really tart lemonade, but without the sweetness. The sense of white pepper and some earthy funk comes back, but this time more recognizable than in the smell.

Mouthfeel (4.5) - As noted, this one is bright and acidic, with just enough pucker to make it refreshing. Body is light and the finish is predominantly dry.

Overall (4.5), just another fantastic offering from Cantillon. From what I'm aware of, both this one and Iris are hopped up lambics, but I think I prefer this one a little more, as it's a lighter lighter in body and less bitter. Perhaps the blending that takes place in this one (that I don't believe takes place in the Iris) has smoothed out the rough edges a bit.

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Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
4.44/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very opaque, no head.

Noise is strongly of vinegar, some sweetness underneath? Funjy.

Taste its bit nearly as acidic as i would have thought. Sourness is 6 of 10, and much more pronounced on aftertaste. Acidity really lingers.

No real hint of the dry hops, very funky.

This was delightful, not nearly as acidic as the regular gueuze, it seems as if the hops really moderated some of that. The hops are very subdued, I really couldn't detect them all that much, they may have muted some of the vinegar in the nose.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was the beer I finished the night off with at Novare Res and I'm glad I did. A perfect beer to cap the night and something I wish I had more of.

Pours a straw color with a good sized head, fades fairly quickly but leaves a lasting impression.

For something described as a dry-hopped lambic, I had my hopes rather high, unfortunately I hardly picked up any hops at all, instead was a mild funk with light fruit aroma (apples and such).

The taste was exceptionally drinkable about, not overwhelming in any aspect but perfectly balanced, still didn't pick up that dry-hopping but I didn't care, the funk is more present than the sour yet still lingers, the citrus really shines through and I found long after I drank it I could pick up some of the hop bitterness (but barely, and don't rinse or drink anything else if you want it).

Personally, I think it's one of Cantillon's more accessible brews and almost sessionable for the style, wish I would see it more often.

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Photo of BBP
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours hazy gold with not too much of a head, but a head that held for the duration of the drink. Some slight lacing came up as well.

The aroma was fragrant and crisp. Tart came through as well as citrus and some slight vinegar.

The flavor was very smooth and incredibly refined for a gueuze. While it was very sour, it never really led with that aspect. It represented itself with a ton of tart, as well as some grassy hops, bready malt, and citrus. While it sounds like a basic formula, the beauty was in the balance. Regretably, I can taste the complexities in the drink, but struggle to put them into words. It was a graceful, balanced drink, while still being a bith sharp and exciting.

The body was medium full and medium heavy. Carbonation was integrated so perfectly that I could have forgotten it was there. For a lighter beer of this style that's quite an accomplishment. The finish was moderately dry and slightly sticky.

Overall, this has to be the most refined gueuze I've had to date. It might not have been the most memorable, due to its lower alcohol and smoother taste, yet I think I would say that it was the finest crafted I've had yet. I sort of think of this as the gold standard for gueuzes now.

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Photo of jampics2
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle split with the future Mrs. at the Beer Engine. Mobile review, so excuse the brevity.

A- nice color, not too cloudy, golden orange and small head that stuck around for a bit

S- smells good, but not great. Classic gueze but thankfully a bit brighter and w/o any skunky dirty diaper smells some put out

T- woah! Nice tartness followed by an apple or tart berry-ish flavor from the dry hop. This is sublime and probably my favorite unfruited lambic to date.

M- champagne bubbles dance on the tongue. Exceptional!

D- I could seriously drink 3 bottles of this, no problems. Not too sour but true to the style. Love it! Great treat, get some if you can, even if the other Cantillons are too acidic for you. Not an entry level sour beer, but not too crazy advanced either.

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Photo of oglmcdgl
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at teresas next door. Served in a flute.

A- comes to me with no head. Hazy yellow orange in color.

S- musty funky wood and cheesey feet. Wet hay and grass.

T- tart and lactic up front with some sour apple and lemons. Lots of funky oak and cheese. Vegetative and grassy hints.

M- medium to light in body with a nice crisp effrevesant carb that tingles. Nice pucker.

D- this stuff is the cats pajamas a very refreshing offering from cantillon.

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