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Cantillon Bruocsella (1900) Grand Cru - Brasserie Cantillon

Not Rated.
Cantillon Bruocsella (1900) Grand CruCantillon Bruocsella (1900) Grand Cru

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

650 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 650
Reviews: 292
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 12.21%
Wants: 120
Gots: 181 | FT: 15
Brewed by:
Brasserie Cantillon visit their website

Style | ABV
Lambic - Unblended |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-24-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 650 | Reviews: 292 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of falloutsnow
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cork says it was bottled in 2003.

A: Pours a hazy, murky golden amber without any noticeable carbonation or head. There are a few bubbles around the edges of the glass that tend to leave a slight haze after one takes a drink.

S: The bitterness is apparent upon simply putting the nose near the glass. Detecting traces of pear and apple with something of a leathery nature ghosting around as well.

T: Key adjectives for this one: acidic, bitter, tart. Similar to unripe or sour fruit (grapefruit, lemons, limes, apples) with its sharpness, but the intensity is short-lived, which is actually rather pleasant and refreshing.

M: Mouthfeel is best described as "warm" and medium-bodied (not watery, but not "thick"). The acid burn is not too intense on the mouth and the dry finish leads one to look towards the next sip.

D: An interesting, solidly produced beer. The tartness and acidity make it a strong choice for the special "once in a while" brew, something worth revisiting from time to time. I can imagine this being excellent with a meal to lessen the "tartness apathy" it instills after at time.

falloutsnow, Dec 04, 2005
Photo of Goldorak
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2001 "Bio" vintage.

Appearance: Golden peach, with little to no head to speak of.

Smell: Boy do I love the aroma of the stuff that comes out of this brewery...Pepper, mint, and just plain barnyard, dusty attic with cobwebs funky!

Taste: It's smoother than some of the other Cantillons I've had the previlege to sample in the past, it's not as astringent and mouth-puckering as I would like, but still has a nice refreshing acidity.

Goldorak, Oct 18, 2005
Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a flute)

A- This beer pours a slightly hazy golden deep yellow with no visible carbonation and no head except for a dozen big bubbles.

S- A slightly sour tart sent with a hint of canned tuna fish. A faint hint of goat and hay.

T- Bold grapefruit taste with faint horsey characteristics. The finish is dry and tart. Nice soft oaky hint in the finish.

M- Light body with a bold dry pucker but no astringency.

D- This is very smooth and doesn't have a lot of flavors from the barnyard. The tartness and crisp refreshing taste makes this really refreshing. I guess the age has really made this smooth.

rhoadsrage, Oct 16, 2005
Photo of nomad
4.68/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2001 vintage

What a drinker! Pristinely clear gold-orange, tinny in tone but shiny as all get out. Light head on top gets supported by plenty of tight carbonation. Scents are all layers of tartness, bretty spices and herbs, and a malt ravaged by all types of things I don't attempt to understand. Exceptionally clean clear flavor, just exploding with balanced tart and sour with the raw funk of nature. Tons of slick malts behind it all with pils, kilned sweetness, and wheat twisted by wild yeast. Carbonation is a dream, sprite yet soft, an amazing effect and aids the flavor tons. Slick and complex. Damn, like the Brueghel painting I could drink this by the tankard on a Fall night. Can we get more unblended lambics, please? A fascinating experience as the lack of barrel blending makes a for a clear and singular flavor profile.

nomad, Oct 03, 2005
Photo of clvand0
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2003. Pours an orange color with no carbonation and no head. Aroma has a lot of sour notes along with some fruity hints. The flavor is extremely smooth - I believe this has something to do with the lack of carbonation. Flows really well on the palate. Lots of sour flavors in there and some fruits that I can't pick out because of the sourness. The mouthfeel seems extremely thin, but this could be caused by the lack of carbonation. If you like sour beers, this one is a good one.

clvand0, Sep 30, 2005
Photo of kmpitz2
4.58/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a light copper color with very nice clarity. Light chunk fell into the glass before I could stop it. A very nice looking brew. No bubbles are present, suggesting a still beer. The nose is divine. Acrid sour and tart, but not offensive at all. Lemony and funky acidic. I dig it a lot. Flavor is very well balanced and unoffensive. I get a lemon start to the beer before swallowing. After swallowing, the light sourness and acidic nature hits, but nowhere near as strong as others I've had. The sourness does not linger at all,moving to a slightly sweet finish. The feel is moderate with no carbonation. Slightly sticky spit hangs on my tongue, but not too much. Incredibly drinkable beer. I really enjoy it. Its a toned down gueuze that makes the drinking very easy.

kmpitz2, Sep 30, 2005
Photo of Andreji
3.03/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had held this Cantillon in proper storage for some months now, and yesterday's arrival of a long time friend called for a bit of beer.

The 75cl bottle, unlike other Cantillons did not make a small gas related pop once the cork was drawn. It was the first bad sign.

The pour was almost completely flat, but I reckon other bright lambics aren't all that carbonated. this is much more like a wine than a beer, I said to myself. Appearance-wise, all the rest seemed perfectly normal: nice inside-of-an-apple sort of yellowish tones, a thin layer of bubbles atop.

I guess that was the only bad incident, but the rest of the beer I did not enjoy because it seems to me that it's too much like their other beers. the sour smell was a clear upfront indicator, I could've been drinking any other Cantillon Lambic here. Side-by-sidedness would not help. Plus, it wasn't too carbonated either. and the saltyness I'd felt before was still there.

Andreji, Aug 13, 2005
Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mellowed out cellared bottle.Just a mellow cantillon sounress and oak flavour, but well done on that account. Went well went varied with a doppleback and a mead. Cloudy yellow with no lace. Medium mouthfeel with acid that was tolerable. tart, dry finish.

Sammy, Aug 01, 2005
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.68/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

*1999 Vintage*

Presentation: Standard green glass 1 Pint 9.40 fl.oz. dimpled based flask bottle. Current labels typically show Bruegels' “The Wedding Feast”, depicting a typical Flemish scene showing the consumption of lambic from Jugs. However, the bottle I have has a picture of the 15th Century Gothic City Hall with its magnificent tower which is just shy of being 100 metres (315ft) tall. Labeled as “Grand Cru Bruocsella 1999’, sealed with a thick black foil, crown cap and a very clean, easily extracted cork dated 2.002, revealing that this is in indeed a 3 year old unblended lambic which has been aged in Oak Casks.

This is not a Gueuze, but a “top of the line” 3 year old lambic, unblended, hence the Grand Cru moniker. Served at 50-55 Deg.F.

Appearance: A light head forms but it is weak in stature, this is to be expected though from a 3 year old lambic. However, it soon rescinds to reveal a flat like russet gold torso that edges the Cantillon tumbler walls with a very thin slim white halo ring. The sheer sunny marmalade body has a flaccid appearance but sometimes has lots of dissolved bubbles that seemingly float freely in suspension, but given time this ends up looking like a tumbler of flat Cider or dark white wine.

Nose: Ooooh yeah baby, this is a hard core lambic, hands down. Acidic, dry and astringent, it has a gorgeous odor that pulls in the nasal hairs. Reminiscent of a sharp dry cider that can sting when deeply inhaled.

Taste: Fantastically dry and puckering, fine edged oak astringency lingers from start to finish. Dry and acidic with a Granny Smith apple sharpness. Desert humidity flashes a heated dry air across the tongue whilst it pulls in the cheeks with a Brett laden winch. A classic, this is lambic. Sheer perfection.

Mouthfeel: Muscat grapes and a white oak dryness linger with an anhydric vinegar middle. Shockingly dry finish that can perpetuate acidic burps which can feel like heart attacks. Awesome.

Drinkability: I enjoyed the whole 750ml bottle all to myself. I’m afraid for my liver, this stuff is just too damn good to put down or leave alone. This one has been in my beer stash for some time, I could have cracked it 10 years from now, such is its quality. Sheer brilliance and utterly quaffable.

Overall: Accepting the low carbonation as a part of the style, for it is, this is truly a classic offering and such a rare chance to try a 3 year old unblended lambic, so a sampling of this fine brew should always be exercised if the chance presents itself.

The Cantillon website says, and I quote;

“This aristocratic beer is to our national beer patrimony what Mouton-Rotschild, Petrus or Romanée-Conti are to the wines. After maturing for three years in oakwood barrels, it looks more like wine and its fine taste and flavours nearly make one forget that the Grand Cru Bruocsella Cantillon is a beer. This old lambic is bottled without any addition. A matchless, marvelous, eternal beer…”

Hell Yes!! This is a benchmark offering and a very rare chance to get to try and understand a traditional 3 year old lambic. Try it – Love it.

TheLongBeachBum, Jul 09, 2005
Photo of goodbyeohio
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

on tap at the moan and dove, in proper cantillon glassware

appearance: straw yellow with cloudy carbonation and a wispy but solid thin head. catches and refracts light beautifully.

aroma: hard core horse blanket. armpits, sweat. belgian field. serious notes of fermentation and sour ass. i am conditioned to like this smell though and i respond well.

taste: the ultimate in sour cantillon essence. the truest example of 'that taste' that i've had to date. mouthfeel is tingly and invigorating. aftertaste is a sour lime citrus and underripe cherry. mowed lawns.

remarkably drinkable for such a gnarly style, mostly due to the proper temperature and nice carbonation. bartended wanted to puke when i ordered it, i think he steers people off it.

goodbyeohio, May 30, 2005
Photo of HappyHourHero
3.45/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Cork says bottled in 2004. Pours a glowing hazy straw color with absolutely no head. There is coating of fine bubbles all around the inside of the glass. Very tart flavor almost like lemon juice, but not quite as puckering. This flavor is balanced by a cider flavor as the beer warms. Mouthfeel is light, and a bit watery. There is lemon in the aroma, but it is much more subdued and joined by a dash of spring meadow (dandelions and grass?). Different, but not quite as funky as I'd expected. Definitely not bad, but a bit of an acquired taste.

HappyHourHero, May 15, 2005
Photo of twelvsies
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2004 edition. Wow, these are interesting beers. Pours a vibrant light orange color, zero head, and apparently zero carbonation. But even before I poured it, as I let it warm up a tad from being in the fridge, I could smell it from the bottle a few feet away. Once it's in my awesome Schlitz snifter the fragrance is even more pronounced. Major funk, dirt, spices, lemmon rind... burns the ol nose hairs if you take a huge sniff. First sip; the taste is much more subtle than I was expecting. Much less intense or sour than their gueuze, which at first threw me off. However, I think since your tastebuds aren't attacked there's more room for unique flavors to present themselves. Wow there's a lot more here than I originally thought. There's a real wet hay taste to it, mixed with freshly cut grass. Also, lemon juice and citrus, along with some spice (maybe even a hop or two thrown in there). I'm also getting some distinct saltwater action, like taking a gulp of the ocean. Everything hits you again in the aftertaste, which lingers. Incredibly light and smooth mouthfeel. A really interesting beer, one you could taste again and again and find new and challenging things.

twelvsies, May 04, 2005
Photo of Truh
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Crashed a large party with this one on 4/22/2005. 10.5-oz. goblet pour at Redbones.

Swirling film of ghostly head with spots here and there. Very light golden hue with just a slight wash of haze and no discernible action. Real tangy lemon on nose with some flocculent yeast hanging in there too along with some apricot essence. Lemon/lime juice on mouth with some kind of yellow flower bite and a fairly light body.

This was my first sample of a Cantillon, and I could see where a couple of these would make you want to get up and boogie; must try more by these folks.

Truh, Apr 24, 2005
Photo of Bierschenker
4.75/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I found this beer very special. I had the entire 750ml bottle to myself so I had all the time to take in it’s subtle aroma’s. I had already heard a lot about this one on the BA site, but it was time to taste it myself. In the menu at Den Stillen Genieter it was the only real Lambic on sale. (Already something special.) It was described as a beerwine? Strange. When I opened the bottle a very nice sour smell came towards me. Nice! The first taste explained why it was described as Beerwine: It tasted like wine, but with a strong hop taste. It had a very strong sour grape taste and aftertaste. Every sip makes you doubt between bad wine or sour beer. This is one of those beers that are so un-commercial nowadays. They are considered to be for the beer aficionado’s. Shame because Lambic is one of the oldest Flemish beers. I am very fond of it’s unique sour dry taste, just like I love Faro. Now I know why all of you on the BA website where so fond of this one. The flavour is so simple to describe and yet it is so rich! The colour though is a quite dark yellow. Not very wine like. And it isn't really very carbonised. All this makes that it pours in very smouthly.

Ut vivat, crescat, floreat!

Bierschenker, Apr 01, 2005
Photo of santoslhalper
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearence: Pours a glowing orange with a thin beige head.

Smell: The smell is woody and fruiy, but no specific fruit is the focus. Very balanced.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The taste is very tart, but very yeasty. The rustic feel is overpowering, and doesn't blend too well with the sweet and tart flavors. But still, it's very unique and interesting tasting. The oak aging is appearent, but not the focus, which is kind of refreshing. The mouthfeel is fizzy but smooth.

Drinkability and Overall: This is a very unique beer, different from any other lambic I've had. It still has the lambic qualities but without the fruit focus. According to the back, this is the onlytru unblended lambic you can find. Really? Well, at least it's a good one.

santoslhalper, Mar 13, 2005
Photo of Stimack
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap last evening. The brew was poured to a cloudy brass color with no head what so ever. The smell was tart, as my wife said it reminded her of sour patch candy, also notices earthy like aroma. The taste was quite sour and also had wine like highlights. As the brew warms the tartness comes out more and more. Also notice what I believe is a oak like taste that seems to complement it quite nicely. Over all it was a good brew, just not my cup of tea. Would try it again, but not regularly.

Stimack, Mar 05, 2005
Photo of beveragecaptain
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a corked 750 ml bottle. I was a little worried because the side of the bottle was sticky, and the cork crumbled when I open it, but everything turned out fine. This beer pours out a hazy orange with a great deal of floaties. No head at all. The aroma is sour, typical lambic. Not quite as funky as some, but the funk is still there. Sour grapes and lemon. Acid burns the throat. This unblended lambic is not as complex as some gueuzes. No carbonation, but it's still easy to drink, even with the mouth puckering. A little thin, but very flavorful. Not the best from Cantillon, but a very good beer.

beveragecaptain, Feb 28, 2005
Photo of allengarvin
4.65/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2003 vintage.

Appearance: Pale straw, cloudy. No head retention at all (not unusual for lambics, I know, but it still looks limpid).

Aroma: Iron, oaky, almost vinegary smell.

Intensely sour, with some citric flavors that give it a taste almost like concentrated lemon juice. Vanilla, oaky, leathery, earthy. Very very dry.

Thin, watery mouthfeel. Very light bodied.

A wonderful treat. Very complex and satisfying.

allengarvin, Feb 11, 2005
Photo of GClarkage
3.13/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

02/06/05- Purchased at Beltramo's in Menlo Park, CA

Presentation- 750ml bottle shared with BA members at my Super Bowl Party last night. No expiration date listed.

Appearance- Not sure what a true lambic is supposed to look like. Kinda an orange-peach colored pour with absolutely zero head and about the same in lacing. I gave it a 4 in appearance, but I could re-rate it after trying other true lambics.

Smell- Guess I finally figured out the barnyard funk smell. My fiancee is from Montana and grew up on a cattle ranch, and she confirmed that it kinda smelled like a barn, a dirty barn! To me it smelled like a skunky-honey and baby poo diaper. Yet I liked it! I don't know why, but I did. I think there is a bunch of lemon and heavy citrus scents also.

Taste- Well, I was expecting this to be the most sour experience of my life. I had one of the Cantillon lambics at the Toronado about 6 months ago and spent $10 on a 12 oz pour. That was some sour ass shit! I literally had to chase each sip with a gulp of water to keep from gagging. Well, I was expecting the same here. Turns out all Cantillon's are not super sour. This one was sour, but not anything compared to the last one. Maybe I had the Iris or the Vigneronne. It was very watery and dull. Had a weird taste of latex or some weird tupperware taste. A bit stale. Not fruity at all. Very disappointed in this one. At least the other one had some fruity zing to it.

Mouthfeel- Ultra low carbonation and a watery mouthfeel. I know the carbonation was right, but the watery part?

Drinkability- I'll pass on this one. It was the cheapest of the Cantillon line when I bought it 6 months ago at about $12. Hopefully my next try will be better. Not even giving up on them yet.

GClarkage, Feb 07, 2005
Photo of Rastacouere
3.4/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Cloudy golden yellow, very hazy, no head. Sweet honey nose with strong brett profile. Kiwi, lemon, grapefruit and mostly pineapple make for a dynamic fruit salad. Horsey funk, salt, ink, lactic and big rubber tones make up for funk lovers. I couldn’t dig the flavor so much, plastic and rubber are a bit too dominant. I’m not one to complain about crap, leather and the likes, but I find no interest in plastic... Astringent and citric grapefruit/pineapple juice. Still body, juicy and funky. I expected more from my first unblended lambic experience..

Rastacouere, Jan 24, 2005
Photo of FormatKid
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Out of a capped and corked 750ml split with a friend. It pours out very mildly carbonated with no real head to speak of, a few bubbles cling to the insides of the glass at most. The body is thick with haze and is an orangish shade of amber. The nose is alive with damp hay, musty oak and sour funky aromas. Sipping this brew is almost a shock at first and even when you're used to it will still come back and slap your tongue around a little bit. Initially a bit astringent, mid-palate the funky flavors of damp earth and hay appear alongside musty oak and then intertwine and are eventually eclipsed by face-caving tartness that lasts through the finish where it is met a with the flavors of grapeskin. I can't even really describe everything that goes on in this beer but it is a wonderfully complex experience.

FormatKid, Dec 06, 2004
Photo of Gusler
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Upon it disembarking the 750ml green bottle resides in the glass a beclouded straw color with a smallish off white head and the resultant lace a thin but sealing sheet. Nose is tart, with hints of sour apples, citrus like in its crispness; start is dry and sour with the top light. Finish continues the devastatingly tartness, dry as a bleached desert bone, and the aftertaste lingers long, a true lambic lover’s brew that you will love or hate, I love it, but beware its not meant for everyone even if you like most lambics

Gusler, Nov 29, 2004
Photo of markman
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cantillon Broucsella (1900) Grand Cru (750 ml):

OK, let’s see what all the noise is about…my first lambic makes this a difficult review. Initially, Champaign like aroma…orange hue, the color of apple juice with a slight haze. Nice restrained head, that dissipates quickly to gossamer film. An uncertain smell is heading my way…slightly rotten and warmed apples perhaps, with a funky undertone that is hard to verbalize…earthy… peach-pit perhaps? Sour on the tongue, but not at all what I expected (not sure what that was). Dry as the day is long. Paired ungodly well with Stilton…never have I experienced such a perfect food/drink compliment. Drinkabilty here is an enigma. With a taste of stilton, I could easily down the 750 ml before me now and blissfully sit here and just let the warmth flood over me in harmony with all that is good (damn, I can now only imagine this lambic with a black truffle fettuccini Alfredo…freakin’ beautimus). Absent the stilton, while the tartness keeps forcing my hand to take another sip, the funk distracts and drinkability proportionally suffers. But somehow I’m still just diggin’ it.


markman, Nov 12, 2004
Photo of CharlesRiver
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have been waiting to try this beer for awhile. FYI in MA you can get it at Colonial Spirits in Acton. Pours out yellowish-gold and completely flat. Looks like apple juice. The smell is wow, tart! Bad apples and fruit squeezed for just the just. The taste is like a flat gueuze but more complex. Seems sweet in the start, fruity in the middle and tart in the end. The aftertaste is very dry.

What a complex yet well balanced beer. I really like it but I think I like the gueuze better. Cheers to Cantillon for keeping the tradition alive and well! FYI...Vintage 2003. I guess I couldn't wait any longer.

CharlesRiver, Nov 06, 2004
Photo of scottum
4.6/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2001 vintage

Pours out a strawish color with little to no head. Tastes big and sour just as one would expect a true lambic. Cantillon keeps putting out some of the best lambic in the world and this Grand Cru Broucsella is no exception. But you either like the beast or you don't. If you do like the sourpuss lambic, you won't lose with this one.

scottum, Nov 04, 2004
Cantillon Bruocsella (1900) Grand Cru from Brasserie Cantillon
88 out of 100 based on 650 ratings.