1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Cantillon Crianza Helena - Brasserie Cantillon

Not Rated.
Cantillon Crianza HelenaCantillon Crianza Helena

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

174 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 174
Reviews: 90
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 7.17%
Wants: 415
Gots: 32 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Brasserie Cantillon visit their website

Style | ABV
Gueuze |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: ggaughan on 01-06-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 174 | Reviews: 90 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Thorpe429
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Huge, huge thanks to nerd for opening this bottle up at DLD. This has been one of my top wants for quite some time now. Served in a SAVOR snifter.

Pour yields a nice golden-bodied brew with a thin white head that fades a bit quickly but leaves some nice bubbles behind. The nose brings forward a really nice funk element with quite a bit of barnyard plus some lemon and straw. Light oak character, but I don't get much of the cognac character. Not going to complain, as the aroma is one of the better aromas I've encountered from a gueuze.

The flavor backs off a bit and the funk is slightly more restrained. Light oak character plus moderate straw and funk. Fairly light acidity in the background. Feel hits the spot with a really nice dry and crisp finish and good carbonation. Really dry finish with a good level of pucker factor. All around, a really solid beer that I was thrilled to finally try.

Thorpe429, May 11, 2011
Photo of BearsOnAcid
4.08/5  rDev -8.5%

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.

BearsOnAcid, Apr 17, 2011
Photo of fewa
4.43/5  rDev -0.7%

The beer pours a dark yellow golden color, with a thick white head which is very long lasting. Smell: Sourness, very funky sourness. Also a lot of wooden notes (cognac oak barrel). A bit red wine like, with grass and citrus notes. Smells simply fantastic. Taste: Tartness up front, dry and fruity (peach, citrus). There is also a nicely balanced wooden taste, with hints of cloves. Funky! Dry mouthfeel, but incredibly easy to drink. medium carbonation. What a beauty.

fewa, Apr 11, 2011
Photo of nkersten
4.15/5  rDev -7%

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.

nkersten, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of beerwolf77
4.05/5  rDev -9.2%

Another insane beer busted out by Jon at our tasting. dudes seriously got a bottomless bag of tricks. Thanks again Jon. Poured into my tasting glass from a bottle.

A: Golden yellow hue. Just a wisp of white head no lace.

S: Super funky. Loads of wet straw and horse blanket. Wet wood and plenty of sour lactic goodness.

T: Typical lactic sour. Lemons, green apples and wet wood. Modest amount of white pepper and earthy undertones.

M: Light crisp body. Teeth clenching sour and dry finish.

D: Another sour beer another pleasurable drinking experience.

beerwolf77, Nov 12, 2010
Photo of Chaney
3.9/5  rDev -12.6%

Thank you Brad (ygtbsm94) for bring this VERY sought after brew to an excellent tasting!

A: Pours a golden color, mildly cloudy, with a small frothy head.

S: Sour, but not in a fruity way, but in a "it just is..." kind of way. There is an unusual flame, or fire note in this. NOT BURNT, but just fiery!

T: Same as the nose, but with even a more pronounced cinder block undertow. The acidity is great for the style, and the finish is very dry.

M: A bit oily (in a good way), and the bubbly carbonation has a good bite to it.

D: The chances of me trying this brew again are slim, but I'm so glad (and lucky) to have gotten to try it. For my money, I could have used some fruit in the overall product .... but that's just me.

Chaney, Nov 08, 2010
Photo of sweemzander
4.1/5  rDev -8.1%

Bottle poured into a tasting glass. Thanks to John for sharing this one!

(A)- Pours a clear goldenrod color that produced a good white head.

(S)- Dry, yet lightly earthy with light funk and must. Bits of lemon and a subtle underlying sweetness.

(T)- Rather sour up front with an added dryness. Minimal tart fruits with some mild background spice of some sort. Mild brett detectable.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Good sour profile. A touch of like a woody spice that I know learned was cognac barrels; makes sense now.

(D)- A nice profile to it for sure that fits the style, but dropped lower on the radar for me with everything else we were trying that evening. Still solid stuff though.

sweemzander, Oct 26, 2010
Photo of kbutler1
4/5  rDev -10.3%

Bottle. Pours a clear slightly orange color with a light white head. Funky, barnyard, lemony aromas in the nose. Not a big cognac drinker so fo rme pinpointing that aroma was tough although this did have a barrel type aroma to it. Light mouhfeel with good carbonation. Slightly tart wih notes of pepper and lemon. Acidic and funky comes to mind. The pepper taste gets in the way of the overall enjoyment of the beer but it is really good. Very easy drinking.

kbutler1, Oct 25, 2010
Photo of SpeedwayJim
4/5  rDev -10.3%

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.

SpeedwayJim, Oct 25, 2010
Photo of alcstradamus
4.1/5  rDev -8.1%

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.

alcstradamus, Oct 25, 2010
Photo of mothman
4.3/5  rDev -3.6%

Pours a 1/2 finger of white head. Color is a clear golden orange. A lot of active carbonation.

Aroma: Classic cantillon funk. Sour lemons with acidity. Oaky and musky. Horse blanket with some leather. The cognac barrels are not very present. A bit of white pepper.

Taste: A bit sour, tart funk to this beer. Very acidic. Lemon citrus is huge. The cognac barrels show a bit here that I can taste it. It has a bit more of white pepper as well. Has some pears and apples. Some farm house horse blanket. A nice amount of oak as well. In the after taste I get some grapes.

Mouthfeel: Sour, tart, acidic. Lighter bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends tart and dry.

Overall, it is a great beer, but I have a hard time telling it too far apart from the regular classic gueuze. It is better, but the cognac barrels do not show too much. They are there and it adds a hint of a layer to this beer.

mothman, Oct 23, 2010
Photo of Bendurgin
4.6/5  rDev +3.1%

Shared this bottle the other night with some friends. We can definitely chart this under the beers I never thought I would have category. I was trembling I was so excited. Poured into a stemmed glass. Reviewed from notes.

A - Pour resembles a glass of champagne. Thin white head leaves thin lace to sit atom a deep honey colored body.

S - The smell was strong. It was noticeable across the table as soon as the beer was being poured. Slightly vinegary with hints of oak, tart apples and a slightly musty/yeasty finish in the nostrils.

T - Sour as all hell! Tart apples are very noticeable with hints of vinegar and traces of cognac.

M - Good carbonation and a light body makes this a rockin' gueze. The finish seems to have a bit of tannin.

D - I would be happy if this was the only gueze I could drink for the rest of my life. Simply a stunning beer.

Bendurgin, Oct 11, 2010
Photo of andrewinski1
4.2/5  rDev -5.8%

Poured into a stemmed glass. Nice medium orange color with spritzy bubbles that are not unlike champagne. Head is off white and leaves just a bit of lacing.

The aroma of this one was very prevalent while being poured across the table. Nice green grape smell. After examining my glass, I detected the similar smell of sour green apples. A bit of mustiness follows the slight aroma of tartness.

Taste is like lemon with a hint of rind. The start is mostly clean, but follows with just the slightest bit of dirty blanket. The finish is very sour.

Great mouthfeel and light body. The carbonation really fills the mouth in this. Quite possibly the best part of this one.

Great great beer. Couldn't quite detect the Cognac barrels, but perhaps they help mellow out the flavors into each other. It was hard not to finish this one too quickly.

andrewinski1, Oct 11, 2010
Photo of Sean9689
4/5  rDev -10.3%

Thanks to Chris for breaking this bottle out for our tasting.

A - Pours golden yellow, fizzy head, thin cap on top and a ring around the glass and some spotty lacing.

S - Great funk notes, tart/sour, cheese, oak.

T - Not quite as funky as the nose was suggesting. Funk, cheese, barnyard, oak barrels, cognac. The cognac spirit is very-much pronounced on the palate while it barley shows up on the nose. This gives the beer a nice twist, which would otherwise make this a rare Classic Gueuze that I could buy down the street.

M - Light, champagne-esk, dry finish.

D - I finished my glass with ease, and would gladly have another. A very nice gueuze, but not sure I'd go crazy to find another bottle. That said, put it in front of me again, I'll drink it! Recommend.

Sean9689, Oct 04, 2010
Photo of jrallen34
4.1/5  rDev -8.1%

Big ups to spycow for this 750ml bottle served in a tulip...appearance - nothing of note...The aroma is pretty nice however wish it was stronger, giving off more funk. Horse blanket, lemon, oak and on the finish a hint of the cognac. Gladly the cognac doesn't come through stronger...The taste is more sour than the aroma, its funky but not a pucker at all, more cognac comes through. A really nice feel on the palate.

Another good Cantillon, a hot beer because of the rarity but don't pursue if it costs a ton.

jrallen34, Oct 03, 2010
Photo of MasterSki
4.38/5  rDev -1.8%

Big thanks to spycow for opening this highly-regarded brew. Served in a Lost Abbey rastal teku.

A - Quick-dissolving white foam that settles to a thin ring and some light film, leaving behind minimal lace. Transparent golden body. Looks like gueuze.

S - Funky, cognac and spirit notes, lemon citrus, and a high amount of wood and oak character for the style. Typical Cantillon must and cobwebs.

T - There's more sour and acetic character in the taste, mixed with lemons, grapeskins, floral notes, hay, and smooth, mellow cognac. There's a slightly salty tanginess to it I can't totally describe - more for modesty's sake than because I'm unable to articulate.

M - Super dry, medium-light body that is quite refreshing. There's some pucker and tartness to it, but not a huge amount.

D - Extremely drinkable, although it was getting a bit acetic and stomach-churning (although that might have been a result of all the other sour beers that preceded it).

This is a very good, if somewhat atypical, gueuze, but after having it a handful of times I can honestly say that it has never wowed me. I much prefer J&J Blauw or a vintage De Cam. Still, it's the sort of high-quality beer that I've come to expect from Cantillon, and I'd gladly have it again.

MasterSki, Oct 03, 2010
Photo of Arbitrator
3.63/5  rDev -18.6%

Chilled bottle into a glass. Shared by alfrantzell a while back. From notes.

A: Pours a hazy golden-straw body with off-white head. Standard for a lambic; nothing offensive or outstanding. I'd prefer more clarity, but I'm not sure if that's a fair expectation.

S: Footy, salty. Barnyard, grapes, leather, musk.

T: This is sweeter than I would expect a gueuze to be. Grape sugar, apparently cognac. It dominates the funk and leather, suppressing the gueuze characteristics I enjoy.

M: More carbonated than I like. Not impossible to deal with, but it's a criticism.

D: I wasn't particularly impressed with this. Too dry can be a problem for lambics, but this misses the mark in its own way. I might try again but I didn't go crazy enough to hunt it down once more. Thanks for sharing, Arne.

Arbitrator, Sep 27, 2010
Photo of Schmaltzy
4.97/5  rDev +11.4%

First off I have to say that I am eternally grateful to an awesome BA who wishes to remain anonymous, no he's not on my trading list, that hooked me up with this beer to celebrate the birth of my son.
Just discharged from the hospital and just waiting to get home and try this epic wale. Perfect timing with my first son and my 100th review.
A- Pours a lively slightly hazy golden hay color with 1-2 fingers of white whispy head which reduced to a thin ring of foam, light lacing. Very nice guezue, but not a 5.
S- Nice funkiness here, musty attic, lemongrass, citrus, definate fresh cut grass, barnyard, hay, heavy dry oak, very complex, as it warms I pick up light hints of sweet/dry congnac but it is very light and hard to find.
T- Nice lemon, citrus, with loads of grass/lemongrass, nice funk, must, barnyard hay taste, slight spicy pepper flavor, slight apricot flavors on the back end which I think comes from the lemon blended with the slight sweet congnac tastes, finishes very very dry and oaky, very nice and complex flavors constantly changing on you as it warms.
M- Probably the the best mouthfeel I have had, very nice light body with lovely lively carbonation, finishes super dry with loads of oak.
D- Easy to drink, very easy to drink. Great flavors, extremely complex, loads of sour flavors and just an extreme pleasure to try this great beer.
Well I don't know if my rating was bias due to the fact that I just got home with my baby boy and opened this beer to celebrate, but it is definately the best beer I have had so far.

Schmaltzy, Sep 15, 2010
Photo of callmemickey
4.68/5  rDev +4.9%

Bottle shared with the wife on August 12 2010 at De Heeren van Liedekerke. Little Helena happened to be in attendance running around behind the bar placing with old bottle caps and beer glasses.

A: Bright golden-wheat colored body. Medium sized off-white cap. Stuck around for a few minutes before settling down. Spotty lacing left behind on the glass as the head receded.

S: Bright lemon, possibly some orange and grapefruit, musty oak, wheat, and farmhouse funk. Quite dynamic and pungent.

T: All the notes from the nose are present here, but come together even better. The citric notes are quite profound and well defined. Lots of musty oak comes through. Very tart and sour.

M: A bit too effervescent for my liking with a bit of bracing sharpness which comes from the aggressive sourness. With age, this beer should become even more epic as the flavors start to mellow and the carbonation mellows some.

D: A superb younger gueuze. I can't wait to try this again in a few more years.

callmemickey, Aug 20, 2010
Photo of mdfb79
4.72/5  rDev +5.8%

From 07/24/10 notes. Review #500

a - Pours a hazy golden-amber color with a little bit of fluffy white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of lemon, citrus, floral hops, earthy malts, and some funkiness as well. Some funk and tartness comes out as it warms.

t - Tastes of funk, almost cheese like, as well as tart fruit, lemon, grapes, and maybe a hint of oak.

m - Light to medium body and light carbonation. Quite dry and crisp. Pretty easy to drink.

d - An amazing gueuze; one of the best I've had in the style. Lots of nice tart and funky fruit and very easy to drink. Glad I got to try and would love to have again.

EDIT: Got to try this a second time on 11/05/10 thanks to ygtbsm94 (thanks Brad!), and enjoyed it even more than the first time. The smell is absolutely amazing and I felt like I could have drank a whole bottle.

mdfb79, Aug 03, 2010
Photo of Damian
4.65/5  rDev +4.3%

Drank from a 75 cl bottle at De Heeren Van Liederkercke, Liederkercke, Belgium
Presented in a lambic basket and served in a Cantillon tumbler at cellar temperature

Review #525

Hazy, glowing straw yellow in appearance. The liquid was topped by a small, fizzy cap of bubbly white froth. Within seconds, the head dissipated to a thin yet resilient film.

The aroma was very dry and powdery initially. As the beer warmed, the nose became a bit more interesting. Slightly musty and oaky. Somewhat tart with subtle notes of wheat. Overall, much more mild than I was anticipating.

Unlike most Cantillon beers, Crianza Helena was quite restrained on its sourness. What it lacked in this aspect however, it more than made up for in complexity. Musty and somewhat funky up front. Oaky. Lots of wheaty tartness, hay and green apple notes. Crisp and snappy. Although the beer was aged in Bordeaux and cognac barrels, the beer had a very white wine-like quality about it. The finish was tart and dry with lemon notes coming through strong.

The mouthfeel was soft and pillowy with a fine, mild, tongue blanketing effervescence. Quite smooth and creamy, particularly for the style.

Drinkability was outstanding. Helena Crianza is a sublime example of a balanced gueuze. The beauty of this beer lies in its subtleties.

Damian, Jul 16, 2010
Photo of kingcrowing
4.33/5  rDev -2.9%

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.

kingcrowing, Jun 27, 2010
Photo of nickd717
4.45/5  rDev -0.2%

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.

nickd717, Jun 24, 2010
Photo of alfrantzell
3.63/5  rDev -18.6%

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.

alfrantzell, Jun 24, 2010
Photo of boothbeer
4.8/5  rDev +7.6%

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.

boothbeer, May 29, 2010
Cantillon Crianza Helena from Brasserie Cantillon
98 out of 100 based on 174 ratings.