Cantillon Crianza Helena - Brasserie Cantillon

Not Rated.
Cantillon Crianza HelenaCantillon Crianza Helena

Educational use only; do not reuse.

189 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 189
Reviews: 91
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 7.4%
Wants: 438
Gots: 32 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brasserie Cantillon visit their website

Style | ABV
Gueuze |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ggaughan on 01-06-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 189 | Reviews: 91
Reviews by alfrantzell:
Photo of alfrantzell
3.65/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to xpimptastikx for this bottle, vintage 2008. Shared at a tasting with Arbitrator, chswimmer, largadeer, nanoslug, nickd717, Sandstone, and 2oztoFreedom.

Smells like newly struck matches and -bal aged toes. Smacks of lemon juice, white wine, oak staves, and.. sugar? There's a residual sweetness that coats the mouth, probably from the cognac barrels.

Sweet sourness is the province of Flanders Reds; it doesn't do gueuze any favors. This is Boon territory. That in conjunction with the abundant carbonation makes me wonder if there was corporate sabotage at play. Rest assured, I'll get to the bottom of this. Just let me get to the bottom of my glass first.

Okay, I'm on it.

More User Reviews:
Photo of ricke
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazy pale orange with a small white head that leaves small lacings.

S: Funky barnyard, mild acidity, lemon and oak. Some sweetish fruity notes, perhaps from the cognac. A good smell, very well balanced.

T: The taste is fantastic. Beautiful balance between a pleasant sourness, funky notes and sweetish cognac notes. Lots of fruit notes (lemon, apples), hints of oak, grass, mud and hey. The cognac really adds a nice dimension to this beer. The finish has that characteristic grassy bitterness found in so many beers from Cantillon, some acidity and a lingering semi-sweet note almost reminiscent of vanilla.

M: Medium body, clean and refreshing carbonation.

A: Wonderful beer. It's not mouth-wreckingly sour, as some other beers from this brewery, in fact taking the brewery into account, it almost comes out as mild. But it's so tasty that it nevertheless makes for a great tasting experience.

Photo of Mora2000
4.52/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to ericandersnavy for sharing this bottle. Really excited to try this one. Dated 2008 on the label.

The beer pours a yellow color with a white head. The aroma is full of the classic Cantillon funk with some yeast, wheat and lemony notes. There is also a little bit of wet wood mixed in to the aroma, which smells amazing.

The flavor is a little more complex than the aroma. I get a lot of tart wheat and lemon notes, with some really nice funk and some oaked notes. There is also a little bit of apple notes as well as some nice sour notes. The sour and funk notes are not overpowering and are very well done. The beer is extremely easy to drink and very enjoyable.

The carbonation is absolutely perfect and the mouthfeel and about medium and very smooth.

Photo of kingcrowing
4.32/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml corked and capped bottle poured into an acbf tasting glass.

Pours a very light golden amber with a very thin small white head. Nose is very nice and tart and funky.

Taste is super dry and tart, it's really nice and crisp. Lots of sour and tartness but actually quite tame on the sour but super musky for cantillon.

Photo of ggaughan
4.47/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled brewed for De Heeren Van Liedekercke to mark the birth of the daughter of the owners on 23.10.08. This gueuze is a blend of lambic aged in cognac, Bordeaux and jonge lambic.

The beer poured a fairly clear golden color with a thick white head with strong bubbles. The aroma had some straw notes, strong citrus character and some yeast notes were present. The taste is so fresh with a nice tart taste, citrus and some peppery and other spice notes. There were also some good orange notes, grapefruit as well. Overall this is one fantastic and vibrant beer that will probably get even better with age and I can't wait to try it again.

Photo of nkersten
4.17/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared by Chris (thanks!) and reviewed from notes. Poured from bottle into tulip with a light golden body and small white head that quickly fades. Smell is characteristic Cantillon funkiness - very similar to iris, lemon tartness, barnyard funk, some oak. Taste is a pretty intense sour, barnyard, hay, some cheese flavors, a bit of cognac, oak, and apple skins in the finish. Mouthfeel is light bodied, medium to high carbonation and incredibly dry. The sourness of this beer is almost overwhelming when the dryness is factored in. A good beer and I happily finished my pour, but I would most likely not go out of my way to try this again.

Photo of Lazerlobe
4.2/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to digita7693 for the chance to try this.

A: Soft golden wheat color. Whispy ephemeral foam.

S: Straight up Cantillon funk (earthy, dirt, lemon must). Light and spritzy.

T: Light, funky, dark mushroom, dry and tannic tartness comes on but quickly gives way to bretty spiciness and steps back to allow spices to shine. Not picking up any barrel.

M: Light and dry. Carbonation begins to fade quicker than other Cantillons.

O: A fairly standard Cantillon gueuze. Quite good and light but not mindblowing.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.99/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared at a tasting. Poured 3oz. into a small snifter. Reviewed from notes.

A: Poured a 1 finger white head that dissipates quickly. Beer is a slightly cloudy orange-yellow. Lacing is sparse and with little cling.

S: Nose is wood, bark, tart, and stale rubber. Tickles the insides of my nostrils. Cognac barrels are present but relegated to the background. Aromatic and very style appropriate.

T: Opens mildly tart and slight woody in the back. Yeasty bitterness is present towards the middle and finish but this is mostly covered but a lemon, citrussy sourness. Slightly peppery. Brett funkiness appears towards the end just before the finish which dries out the palate. Aftertaste is tart.

M: Light to medium bodied, light carbonation. Sticky and oily in the mouth. Saliva enducing puckering sourness. Messy finish with a dry, lingering aftertaste.

D: A very solid offering from Cantillon but this isn't too much (if at all) better than an aged Classic Geuze. Cognac barrels are detectable but just barely and is lost on someone who's palate isn't sophisticated enough to appreciate the subtleties of that flavor. Again, a very good beer but not worth trading house and home for.

Photo of hooliganlife
4.55/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

poured into a drie fonteinen tulip

vintage 2008

pours a burnt golden yellow with a fizzy white head. great retention. slight haze through out, yet bright.

musty oak and stale lemon. funk is bright and zesty. strong, with a complex mix of sour and funk, sharp.

very similar to the nose with the added oak, oak is strong and dominating in the finish. up front is the bright funk mixed with a tart and sour lemon. low lying white grape and green apple. subtle yet complex and perfect.

light, soft, but with a strong carbonation to bring out the best of every flavor.

this is stunning, seek out asap.

Photo of nickd717
4.45/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle shared by alfrantzell at a tasting. 2ozToFreedom was there, and it was great to see the short-lived legend still doing his thing (ticking).

Pours hazy golden with a frothy white head that fades to a millimeter-thick foam layer.

Aroma is feet, but good feet. Sweet malt, barnyard funk, oak, and cognac.

Flavor is really excellent. Some malty sweetness as well as tartness, funk, feet/cobweb, oak, and cognac.

Great palate - medium-bodied with a nice restrained tartness and lively carbonation.

This beer lived up to the hype. Excellent stuff.

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.19/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Golden body until the end of the bottle, where it gets murky. Medium white head.

Smell - Herbal with some lemon acidity. Kinda fruity from the cognac barrel. Woody and a little bit of hay.

Taste - Sharp lemon sourness. Hay and grainy wheat. Yeasty. Light fruitiness. Lemon sourness lingers in the finish. Really funky.

Mouthfeel - Moderate sourness. Kinda bitter, surprisingly. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Very different from Classic Gueuze. I wasn't impressed, initially, but after drinking it for a bit, it was really good.

Photo of thagr81us
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review #1200!!! Massive thanks goes out to my boy beeruser for busting this out just because he knew I wanted to try it! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured a slightly hazy golden orange with a one finger pure white that subsided to a half finger slowly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, funk, fruit, tart, tart cherry, vinegar, wood, and sour apple. The flavor was of sweet malt, funk, sour apple, tart, fruit, subtle vinegar, wood, lemon rine, and tart cherry. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was an excellent brew. It is hard to believe that I finally got the chance to tick this one after chasing it for so long on the ISO:FT forum. It did not let me down at all... The aroma was surprisingly complex with all of the notes that I was able to pick up on. And the flavor took the same complexity and ran with it. Mouthfeel was spot-on for the style and made this one drink quite well. Worth the trade value if you have the weight to pull it. I plan to be trading for a bottle of two in the future based on this experience myself...

Photo of hobojon
4.32/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Crianza Helena with MrFootstones.
Tulip style glasses

App- Clear orange golden. white foam. nice layer of creamy foam caps the beer with about 1/4"

Aroma- musty funk like Cantillon's cellar (yeah I went there MrFootstones). nice acidity, fruity aroma. some pineapple, tropical fruit, mango and peach. very nice. musty. damp oak.

Taste- very nice. lots of nice acidity and tropical fruit. very good. not harsh at all for cantillon. mellow oaky character. hints of sweetness from oak and some white wine grapey sweetness and hints of acidity. mostly green apple and tropical fruit. the cognac comes through a bit, but is subtle. nice lip smacking acidity and nice finish. notes of floral honey as it warms. some light crackery malt.

Mouthfeel- very nice. high fine carb. dry but with enough balancing sweetness. very well done.

Overall- I love Geuze. This is one of the best Cantillons I have ever had. Nice green apple and tropical fruit with musty dusty oak and deliciousness balanced and blended together very nicely.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a slightly hazy golden color lambic with a huge foamy head with good retention and some great lacing. Aroma consists of sour notes with some light funk and some notes of oak and acidity are also clearly detectable. Taste is more similar to the regular lambic then I would have expected with the classic Cantillon acidity and the deep sour notes. I honestly can't say I really tasted the cognac or Bordeaux barrel. Still very much enjoyable though not as special as I was expecting.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.47/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Entering in some old review... Ditmier provided this one a while back, thanks a ton buddy. '08 bottle... pours hazed lite gold... solid white head... nice lacing.

Nose is everything expected.... dusty brett funk... lemon... musty damp basement.

Flavor is very tart.... a lot of lemon... green apple skins... dusty dirty brett... faint oakiness tends to get lost a bit among the other big flavors... long dry finish.

Body is light with a spritzy carbonation.... flavor lingers forever.

Thanks again Eric... You are a good BA.


Photo of jegross2
4.94/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewing Crianza Helena from Brasserie Cantillon out of Belgium.

Score: 99

Bottle is dated October 23, 2008. Served in a Goose Island taster glass and enjoyed on 08/25/13. Thank you Paul for sharing this treat! Review is from iPhone notes.

Appearance: Orange body with a murky yellow-orange layer on top and bottom; has a nice color fade. Pours less than a finger of head that settles to a thin, whispy coating. Average lacing and retention. 4/5

Smell: Huge notes of lemon zest, orange citrus, straw, and just a hint of earthy musty funk. Really excellent balance between these qualities. 5/5

Taste: Very tart, not overy funky. Orange and lemon citrus plus oak, followed by earthy/musty/bretty flavor in the finish. A little vinegar too (but it is very understated here). Light grain flavor. There is a delicate and complex balance between the citrus, tart and funk characters here. 5/5

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, spot on low carbonation for the delicateness of the flavor. Has a zest tartness, that is juicy and savory. Really lovely mouthfeel. Has a lively electricity on gums. 5/5

Overall: This beer has a lovely tart citrus character with just a little bit of funk for complexity. Reminds me of a "softer" tasting, more complexly flavored Drie Fonteinene Oude Gueuze Vintage 2008. This one is not overrated in the least. Seek out with confidence!

Cost: Approximately 40 euro for 750 ml.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.77/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

reviewed from notes from my bday sour fest. this was poured into a snifter.

Very nice bright amber color with a huge amount of white fizzy head on top. At least four inches of white foam topping off this one made it look wonderful, with a deep cloudy and hazy look to it, I knew it was aged well.

The aroma was so sour and bitter, I had a cheek to cheek grin immediatly. Simply a wonderful aroma here, tons of yeast coming through, lots of light sour grapes and tartness. The flavor was superb, really one of the best I have ever had. The first light notes of sour yeast roll across the tongue and just explode in your mouth, rippling and shredding taste buds all the way. Nice white grapes, light grains, and fresh grass all coming through. As it warmed some more subtle pear and apple characters were coming through now, this was astoundingly complex, so much so I did not really even know where to begin with this. I was floored by the flavor here. The carbonation was huge, keeping it light and airy and really letting every get to a depth that was confoundedly complex.

Photo of largadeer
4.82/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

HopHead84 shared this one last weekend. Thanks, Shane.

Hazy amber with a fluffy white head that retains very well. The aroma has a bold spicy oak presence, tart white grapes, green tea and beautifully balanced funk. There are subtle hints of cognac. On the palate, it opens with a big tannic woody character, sharp lactic sourness, green apple and grape skin. This is unusually oaky and tannic for Cantillon. Carbonation is medium-high, and the mouthfeel is extremely dry. The finish is woody and tart with flavors of lemon peel and grape seed. I could session this stuff, it's so balanced and delicious. Cantillon can't make a bad beer it seems.

Update: This gueuze grows on me more each time I revisit it. It's up there with the best of them. The fruitiness and basement-like funk on the nose, strong tannins and slight barrel sweetness make it unique and thoroughly enjoyable.

Photo of baconsausage
4.15/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared at Lobo's Darkness Day get together.

yellow hay straw pour with thin white head that settles to a whispy crown. Aromas mostly of over-ripe mango and pinapple, some lemon and a bit of wet oak. Wow is this well balanced. A bit of tart acidity on the front that gives way to light funkyness and barrel notes. More of the overripe fruit, like a tropical apple sauce balanced out with a bit of tart lemon. Nice in the mouth, a bit smooth for a gueze (barrel booze?) but I wont hold that against it. Great to try this gem. Thanks!

Photo of vacax
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours cloudy, fuzzy, lots of white head and good lacing present. Smells of Belgian funk, surprising amounts of flora, pears, and fruity tartness. Tastes richly sour up front with pleasing funk that transitions into a fruity and floral experience on the midpalate. The finish ends it all on a note of near perfection, fruity floral and puckering. Body is medium with a higher but creamy carbonation. Very easy to quaff, I went back to this bottle a number of timesl. This was just a treat, one of the best gueuzes I have tasted.

Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.35/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another bottle that the generous Chris of Lion's Pride opened today and gave samples of. Bottled 2008.

Pours a golden yellow with a good sized head, leaves a little bit of lacing but barely.

Smell isn't as powerful as the J&J Roos that preceded this, but I won't fault it for that, light funk aroma melded with a slight woody presence.

Taste is much more sour though, good sour funk kick that hits the sides but still isn't over-the-top as some others can be, the citrus is more evident as well.

Cantillon certainly knows their stuff and I'm glad Chris has the connections he has otherwise I probably would have never been able to try a couple wonderful beers today.

Photo of BearsOnAcid
4.08/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear golden orange hue, small fluffy head.

Soft lambic aroma fusing a sweet vinious aesthetic and mellow toffe scented cognac.

Mild brett accents with a tartness that is a bit subtle than most Cantillons but burns a little going down. Reminds of maybe a younger lambic. Cognac is most noticeable, lending a little bit of toffee and spice to the mix. An interesting experiment that executed successfully but seems to be made with some restraint.

Photo of Habanero58
4.88/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sitting on a very sunny patio at De Heeren van Liedekercke on April 23rd, the waiter approaches with a Cantillon tulip and a wicker pouring basket containing a 375ml bottle of "Crianza Helena".

I asked him for some history on this beer, and he kindly obliges explaining this was a special bottling, whereby three lambics were specially and carefully chosen by Helena's parents and blended and bottled at Cantillon to celebrate the birth of their daughter in October 2008.

The blend was from a 3yr old cognac vat aged lambic from March 2005, a 2yr old Bordeauxvat (Chardonnay, I believe) aged lambic from Jan 2006 then a younger lambic was chosen from Mar 2007 to re-ignite the two older lambics into this celebratory gueuze.

Crianza Helena pours a rich golden yellow, slightly hazy, and creates a deep foamy white head. The bright, sunny setting could not have been more appropriate to catch the colour and highlight the appearance of this beer.

For me the taste was a sort of epiphany of everything a perfect gueuze should be. Sour, but not aggressively so and I could defintely pick up the cognac oaking very strongly, and this flavour reminded me very much of the 50N 4E Cantillon unblended lambic (I do not know if 50N 4E was actually used in the blend itself)? but Crianza Helena had the added spritziness and zest of a gueuze.

Drinkability was incredibly high, but this was more a desire to drink it in bigger volumes. Reality told me to take it easy, to take it slowly, and to relish every sip of this relatively small bottle. (and then revisit the empty bottle occasionally to gather any stray drips that may have accumulated... sad, but true)

I deliberately chose to drink a regular Cantillon Gueuze after this one, and for the first few sips I noticed less depth and a relatively less powerful taste in comparison, but then I just got re-acclimatised to what was another world class beer, albeit not quite so rich in flavour as the Crianza Helena.

I also managed to buy one 750ml bottle to take away, which is now stored safe and sound in my little beer cellaring chiller.

As the bottle label says ... Vivan de gees! Vivan Helana!

Photo of alcstradamus
4.1/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to the "King of Beers" Jon for sharing this one.

Poured into a 5 oz. taster glass. Not a proper vessel for reviewing appearance, so my rating for this category is adjusted to create an accurate overall score.

Pours a clear effervescent golden color. The aroma is huge with a sweet and boozy corn/hay profile and some oxidation.

The flavor is sour up front with an apple juice and Cheerios mid-palate. Some apple skin and boozy sweetness in the finish.

The body is medium and carbonation is low and appropriate.

Overall this was tasty but not very complex at all in the world of Cantillon and really is not an improvement in any way over their standard gueuze. Nonetheless, it was a still a fantastic beer that is unfortunately too rare for its own good.

Photo of boothbeer
4.77/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Graduation Sour Tasting- Split 4 ways

A: 1 finger of off white head that reduces slowly to a thin film. Pours a bright golden yellow color.

S: Smells almost like a German lager..has a musty aroma. Pick up that bandaid smell.

T: Very nice sour flavor. Definitely got a bandaid or rubbery flavor to it. Also its a little grassy and earthy. I pick up some grapefruit pith/rine. Really just a complex great tasting beer.

M: Super dry! Nice light body here that is well carbonated. There is a tingle at the finish, but left me parched and wanting more.

D: Super easy to drink. Not too sour, but just enough. Nicely balances and very complex. Really liked this beer. 2nd favorite. J&J Blauw edged it out by a little.

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Cantillon Crianza Helena from Brasserie Cantillon
98 out of 100 based on 189 ratings.