Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...
Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest BeerAdvocate updates delivered to your inbox.

Cantillon Cuvée Des Champions - Brasserie Cantillon

Not Rated.
Cantillon Cuvée Des ChampionsCantillon Cuvée Des Champions

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

259 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 259
Hads: 1,107
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 3.28%
Wants: 557
Gots: 240 | FT: 26
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 259 | Hads: 1,107
Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cuvee Saint-Gilloise Bottled on 04 Oct 2010, Opened on 9.25.12.

A - Pours a clear, copper orange with a huge off-white frothy head with amazing retention.

S - Lots of funk, green apples and pears are most noticeable.

T - Nice barnyard funk, then some tart lemon, apples, pears, and hay.

D - Tons of carbonation with a light body. A crisp light finish on the tongue.

O - More muted, but I love the apple/pear flavors that dominate. (436 characters)

Photo of Tnudish
4.07/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Opened for Sour Day 2012. Picked this up recently at Binny’s, 2011 vintage.

A-Poured into a Duvel tulip. Saint Gilloise pours a cloudy orange in color with about a half finger worth of tight white head.

A-Nose is exceptional, you can definitely detect a good hop presence from the dry hopping, there is also lambic, some urine, and must.

T-Flavor is less focused on the hops and more on the lemon. The hops are more in the background with some moderate funk.

M-Light mouthfeel, light carbonation, heavy lactic acidity, and a long finish.

O-Great beer that is a nice change of pace for Cantillon. I really like the hop character that St. Gilloise and Cuvée des Champions have, it’s a nice compliment to the lambic. Still prefer Cuvée des Champions more than St. Gilloise, but both are awesome. (808 characters)

Photo of BBP
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
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. (1,224 characters)

Photo of mdaschaf
4.08/5  rDev -4.4%
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. (727 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pungent and deeply earthen, the brine character of old lambic meets the youthful zest of sour citrus and a pang of acetic sharpness and plays out fully on the palate from nose to finish.

Cuvee des Champions opens with a rusted haze of deep gold with orange highlights. Allowing only a diffused glow from behind, the beer carries a mystic semi-opaque appearance beneath a fluffed head off eggshell white which stands tall throughout the session but with minimal lace. Eventually, the low pH gets the best of the beer.

Surprisingly tart and complex aromas flood the olfactory senses with wave after wave of varying scents that stands off that first sip until the nose first becomes comfortable with the pungent aromas. Sour grapes, lime, grapefruit pith, light vinegar, crab apples and bruised fruit rise in those early visits to the glass. But becoming acclimated to the aromatic matrix more robust notes arise in the shape of wet hay, leather, dried tobacco, weathered oak, sandalwood, horse hair, mushroom and sea air. The beer takes the nose on quite a journey even before the first sip is taken.

But then the intense pang of sourness penetrates the soft tissues of the mouth with ease, bringing with it the fruity sourness of white wine must, dried limes, and complementing bitterness of white grapefruit. What follows is a mid palate of dry woody, husky malt taste that pins against the taste of straw and hay from hops. And then the long a drawn out finish reveals the more mature lambic taste of leather, sea brine, tobacco, worn oak, copper, mushroom, and light Stilton cheese. Despite the clean lactic sourness closes the beer suddenly and sharply, the aftertaste of maturity lasts seeming indefinitely. But throughout, this becomes one salty gueuze.

To the mouth, the sharp acidity reigns supreme with high astringency that hides behind the taste of sourness and bitterness in much the same way as does grape skins and raspberry seeds. The salty taste informs the skim malt underpinnings and provides just enough texture for the carbonation to reside; giving the beer slight creaminess at first but sparkling wine sprite at mid palate. Powdery-dry to finish, the notion of old dried woods return with tannin and alcohol evaporation.

Cantillon delivers once again a superior gueuze that takes the palate in all sorts of directions at once. As complex as the beer is, so many flavors reveal at once that is seems to confuse the nose and palate as much as it satisfies them. It's akin to that Picasso that's awe inspiring in the gallery but you don't want hanging in your home. (2,588 characters)

Photo of ShanePB
4.04/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle of Cuvée Saint-Gilloise, vintage 2011. Shared by mdaschaf, thank you sir! Served into a tulip glass.

A: Hazy bright golden sunset orange body with a rocky, foamy white head. Retention was decent but the lacing was a bit lacking. Nothing really out of the ordinary for the style.

S: Odd funk, very musty and dank smelling. Faint citrus notes orange and lemon peel. A bit grainy towards the back, just an overall strange smelling Gueuze.

T: Much better than the aroma, thankfully. Bright citrusy funk is up front and through the mid-palate. Through and through the classic funk character moves bringing in some minor tartness along with it. Refreshing, tasty and certainly hits all the marks for what it is.

M: Highly carbonated, again without much of a "pop" from the cork. Dry like I normally get but it's not overboard. Plenty of bubbles on the palate.

I enjoyed this one quite a bit. The aroma didn't set the bar high but the taste came through. Cantillon does it once again. (990 characters)

Photo of birchstick
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
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 mattsander
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 Bottling

A: Hazy apricot with a bone white temporary head, very nice looking beer.

S: Damp cotton, lemon, green apples, overripe fruits. Less straight up brett funk than the classic Gueuze. More fruity and citrusy, very nice.

T: Plenty of lemony acidity, oak, dank herbal hops, a slightly cheesy finish. Very complex, highly drinkable. I feel like the hops retract from the big brett character, but this is an awesome and unique Gueuze. More approachable than the classic IMO.

M: Bone dry with pinpoint carbonation. Hugely refreshing and very easy to drink despite the considerable acidity. Another awesome offering from Cantillon. (640 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
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. (548 characters)

Photo of WillCarrera
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, bottled October 4, 2010, poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a hazy, really pretty golden color, topped with two fingers of creamy white head, good retention, leaves some spotty lacing.

S- Very funky, hay, apples and some lemon.

T- Very fruity and citric, big lemon flavors, nice funky tartness, floral notes as well, not picking up on a lot of hops in the aroma or flavor.

M- Light, crisp feel, well carbonated, slightly puckering, dry finish.

O- A really excellent beer, this is the only Cantillon gueuze I've had besides their regular Gueuze 100%, and I definitely enjoyed this one just as much, if not more. (631 characters)

Photo of Agold
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
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 MasterSki
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
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. (954 characters)

Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
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.  (255 characters)

Photo of kingcrowing
4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
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. (484 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the Cuvee Saint Gilloise and a different beer. Not sure why they are put together in one on here. Pour is a transparent golden peach with a very loose small bubbled white head. The nose has a lightly dusty funk, cob web, hint of sea salt and some zesty yeast notes. There are some golden fruits behind and a strong hp punch of juicy citrus and floral hops. The taste seems brighter and more balanced. Very dusty funk, lemon rind and a bit of sour peach. There is a fair bit of lingering sourness, citrus hops, and an assertive bitterness with just a light touch of heat. Medium body, very active and granular on the palate, high carb and fairly dry. This is starting to open up in flavor and has an interesting and awesome hop presence and bitterness but not quite balanced and integrated enough to be great. (816 characters)

Photo of rowingbrewer
3.8/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my friends brought this to a tasting a little while back I don't know why it took me so long to get around to reviewing this.
poured from 750ml (cuvee de dhampions labe forget the bottling date)
Pours a slightly cloudy yellow color with a thin white head. the smell is slightly funky, tart and a little hop presence. the flavor is sour, but not overly sour with a little bitterness. the mouthfeel is dry and well carbed. overall this is a a good gueuze not a great one (475 characters)

Photo of liamt07
4.19/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of freud, 375ml into a tulip. Review 600, label indicated this is the Cuvee Saint-Gilloise. Bottled January 29, 2 Pryed the cap off and there was a bit of fluid on top of the cork, and the cork came off with a light hiss.

Pours a light orange-gold, with a finger or so of bright white head. Carbonation isn't outstanding here, but there's some lace left in addition to a bit of head retention. Nose was prominent as soon as I popped the cork, tons of lemon and sour green apple, a hell of a lot of funk. White vinegar and a load of acetic acid. Love the funk and some semblance of barrel here. Taste wasn't as tart as I had expected, still more raw green apple and pear, Cantiloon funk, a touch of barrel and notable acetic acidity. Some interesting sweetness mid-palate, but a tart bite finishes off the palate. This gets more and more complex with each sip, each revealing the characteristics of this gueuze in a different tone. Quite a light body, with a fairly modest carbonation, not as effervescent and zippy as some others, but still works well for the drinkability. Still very nice, and something that I wish I could've enjoyed on a warmer day! A nice gueuze, thanks Fred! (1,198 characters)

Photo of spdyfire83
4.32/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

51st Review
Bottle to snifter

From notes. Thanks to bspringer for this wonderful birthday gift! Cracked at a BBQ tasting in late July.

A: Golden yellow. 2+ fingernail (pure white) head on medium pour.

S: Hay, (tart) green apple, hay, pear, hay, and more hay.

T: Tart, funky, and sour start to finish. Subtle hints of citrus and lemon. There is also a predominant presence of an unripened fruit, but I my taste buds can’t narrow it down.

M: Light bodied and lots of carbonation. Very dry.

O: A very enjoyable birthday gift that I was thankful to share with a wonderful group of BA’s. I would seek this out if you have not already. IMO, I think this is a great introductory beer to the style of gueuze. (713 characters)

Photo of wordemupg
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 corked and and capped bottle into tulip 2/11/11

A hazy golden orange with loads of tiny suspended particles being moved around by some pin prick bubbles that produce a sort lived head that leaves no lace, on par for the style

S funky as all hell with some lemon and almost smells like a big oaked chard with the vinous notes and wood

T some cereal on top of what smell, very dry and funky with some sour apple

M very tart with quite the pucker too it but smooth at the same time if that makes any sense, thicker then expected and just a few pinprick bubbles give it a little life

O pretty straight forward but great if you the funk, I might be tasting this tomorrow at this rate

I'm still a rookie in the world of lambic's but slowly I'm learning what I like, thanks Adam for bring this by (801 characters)

Photo of rvdoorn
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2005 vintage, Cuvée des Champions
Look: The beer pours a yellow-orange color with a very nice short lasting white head.
Smell: Sour lemons, hay, grass, grapes, apples and dust-must. Light barnyard.
Taste: Moderately acidic, lemon, with a very dry finish, bit bitter finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, high carbonation
Overall: Nice and refreshing, not too sour, not too complex, but easy to drink (394 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
4.37/5  rDev +2.3%
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 stakem
4.4/5  rDev +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. (1,495 characters)

Photo of Auracom
3.82/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2 oz. bottle pour into a wine taster at the Bruery Provisions on November 7th, 2011. #2 of a 5-bottle Cantillon flight.

A - Same golden hue as Classic Gueuze, but more transparency and quite a bit more frothy, white head. Lots and lots of carbonation and legs on the sides of this one.

S - The brett is more potent in this one. Horse blanket, wheat, hay-covered earth. Underneath lightly-astringent fruit. Lemongrass/lemon peel, subtle apple.

T - Certainly sour, but not huge. Citrus notes, lime tartness. Slight hop bitterness (that or I'm mistaking it for tannins). The drink doesn't offer quite as much depth as the nose. Semi-dry finish.

M - A tad thicker body than Classic. Otherwise very similar.

D - It's an interesting mix, but I don't find Cuvée des Champions quite as purposeful as Classic. Wouldn't say no to another tasting, but wouldn't really seek it out either. (886 characters)

Photo of SpdKilz
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
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. (726 characters)

Photo of zhanson88
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a pale, extremely clear straw color, with 2.5" of eggshell white head. Retention is excellent, lacing is okay.

Smell: Smells of white grapes, green apples and pears, with horseblanket, grassiness, and brett funk following. Mostly tart, but maybe a touch sour. Lots of complexity and layers.

Taste: Ditto smell. Nice white grape and pear flavors initially. Funk, hay and tartness follow. Perhaps a bit more sourness on the palate than on the nose, but still not overly sour.

Appearance: Light bodied, high carbonation, very sprizty on the palate. Finish is drying and very refreshing. Overall, a very solid gueuze. Complex, not overly sour (not necessarily a good or a bad thing for me), and nice hop character. (731 characters)

Cantillon Cuvée Des Champions from Brasserie Cantillon
95 out of 100 based on 259 ratings.