1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Cantillon Zwanze 2008 - Brasserie Cantillon

Cantillon Zwanze 2008Cantillon Zwanze 2008

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

194 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 194
Reviews: 72
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 7.57%


Brewed by:
Brasserie Cantillon visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Lambic - Fruit |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

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

Rhubarb in 2008, remade in 2012.

(Beer added by: MasterSki on 06-16-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 194 | Reviews: 72 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

4.97/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sampled from the bottle at Chez Moeder Lambic Fontainas; July 2010
The beer pours with a lightly hazed, pale gold / hint of honey color and is topped by a pale, white colored head. The beer would have been visually perfect if the head had any staying power as it started out quite voluminous and impressive looking. The nose smells musty and musky, of damp clay, with hints of medicinal phenolics, a light urea note, of dried leather and French Farmhouse cheese that has been lightly funkified (not quite totally ripe / dank). The aroma is quite funky over-all, though not aggressively so.

The beer feels effervescent as it hits my mouth; it is light feeling and tart which combine to make this quite refreshing. The lactic sourness is accented by a citric-like quality that is perhaps contributed by the rhubarb. While this beer is light feeling, it has just enough lactic character to add some textured viscousnous such that it does not come off as thin or watery. My first sip was surprising in that I noticed rhubarb like flavors towards the middle / end through to the finish; I wasn't expecting there to be any rhubarb character left for some reason. I am not quite sure how to describe it, but it is not really herbal (but sort of), not really "green" tasting, not bitter, but it is soft and seems to combine into the citric tartness that is found here.

This is a very integrated, balanced and shows a consumate finesse. I really like the hints of rhubarb character that still comes through in the flavor. This is a very tasty beer that I wish I had a lot more of. It is so well balanced, it is everything you could want in a complex Lambic; nothing dominates, but there are many, many, complex notes that contribute and are noticeable in the whole. This is quite fantastic, though I probably wouldn't have guessed that this was brewed with rhubarb if I was handed this blind. Still, this is quite simply a fantastic bottle conditioned Lambic, and while I have not really done it justice in describing why, I find this an incredibly, incredibly impressive beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2010 02:40:40 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of craytonic
craytonic

District of Columbia

4.93/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A truly rare, hard to acquire, and excellent treat! Served half from a snifter and then half from a cantillion tumbler.

Appearance: Almost gueuze-like in appearance, nice foam head, is a semi-transparent straw-golden yellow. The label on mine was a bit more elegant thatn the one in the picture.

Smell: Incredibly potent, this one brings the funk! Rhubarb adds an interesting twist and dominates, followed by musty attic, mildew and cat piss. This one has nothing to hide, very in-your-face. This beer smells alive - like Cantillion raw. It almost transplants you to a musty attic brewery full of cobwebs and old leather.

Taste: Rhubarb like no other, followed by a healthy dose of funk, straw, oak, honeysuckle, vinegar, mildew, and cat piss. Not a drop of sugar. I can see why someone who isn't familiar with the main note wouldn't like it. Seems to be aging beautifully and I would think it would only get better. Apparently Jean Van Roy himself is a big fan.

Mouthfeel: Bone dry (as rhubarb should be), each sip leaves you wanting another, finishing clean with minimal aftertaste of the strong rhubarb and cantillion flavors but with a nice mouth coating. Light and pleasant carbonation.

Drinkability: highly drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2010 02:37:52 | More by craytonic
Photo of tendermorsel
tendermorsel

Massachusetts

4.7/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was lucky enough to have Jean share a glass with me at a recent visit to the brewery. He said it was a Rhubarb lambic that was going to be the Zwanze 2012.

Redish in color. Head was very typical for lambic. Whispy and thin.
Slightly fruity in the nose. Sour upfront but fruity flavors mixed in.

Extremely well balanced. Wonderful and delicious stuff. Much more balanced and subtle compared to the Zwanze 2008. One of the more balanced and better Cantillon's I have tried.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2012 13:35:04 | More by tendermorsel
Photo of AleWatcher
AleWatcher

Illinois

4.7/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was delicious. The rhubarb flavor was spot on-- I need to hit the minimum character requirement so I can Mark this beer as "had."
It seems like a glitch in the programing because I can't jist mark this as "had," so I I'll tell whoever reads this that this beer was pretty fucming spectacular.
Sadly it is not available. Tough shit. You missed out.
Seriously.

Serving type: on-tap

09-14-2013 23:50:43 | More by AleWatcher
Photo of backbaybrewer
backbaybrewer

Massachusetts

4.61/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at Cantillon on 4/23/2013.

Ap: Hazy Orange with a nice head that dissapates slowly.

Ar: Fruity and sourness up front dominates. some earthiness.

F: I personally didn't taste the rhubarb at all until I was told that it was in there. Rhubarb is a pretty tart vegetable so I had trouble differentiating it from the tart/sourness that is in any sour beer of this sort. Lots of funk.

M: Very effervescent. Dry finishing.

O: Love it. Perhaps my favorite of the day at Cantillon, although it's a toss up between zwanze and fou fone.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2013 02:24:43 | More by backbaybrewer
Photo of sweemzander
sweemzander

Illinois

4.6/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap for Zwanze day 2012

(A)- Pours a cloudy but vibrant yellow hue. Some good quickly dissipating white froth.

(S)- Not the biggest expert on rhubarb, but if this doesnt smell like rhubarb, I do not know what does. Not overly funky, but a cleaner sour stony oaky background. Great rhubarb aroma to the smell.

(T)- Similar to the smell. A bit less on the fruit side, but gives way to some awesome oaky mineral-like sourness. Ever so slightly funky.

(M)- A smooth yet crisp carbonation level. A classic Cantillon balance of superb fruit and high acidic oak sourness. With rhubarb being the "fruit" in this, I think it definitely adds perhaps a slightly higher sourness, but also lends a mild sweetness that balances this out so nicely.

(O)- Well, it was a hell of a wait to get this, but it really was worth the wait. Expertly balanced, and just another superb offering from Cantillon. More places should start trying rhubarb, cause this was excellent. Far superior compared to the Zwanze 2009/Mamouche I had a number of years back now.

Serving type: on-tap

12-02-2012 01:20:22 | More by sweemzander
Photo of jmarsh123
jmarsh123

Indiana

4.6/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy light ruby color with a still head outside of a few bubbles on the edge of the glass.

Typical Cantillon funk with some musty basement smell with some bright lemon and berry fruitness.

Never had a rhubarb beer before, but should have known Cantillon could pull it off. Typical Cantillon stuff up front with a general berry flavor, some funk and some sour, but the finish is supremely tart rhubarb like the kind you get when you sample the rhubarb pie before adding the sugar.

Crisp creamy mouthfeel. Finishes somewhat oaky and dry. Pretty spot on like always.

Nice beer and glad I got to attend my first Zwanze day! This one ended up overshadowing the Fou Foune I had along with it and was one of the best ones in a day full of great beer.

Serving type: on-tap

12-03-2012 17:19:51 | More by jmarsh123
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

4.58/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

"A mix of 2 years old Lambic and rhubarb." A single run beer made by Jean, who seems to be doing some experimental stuff these days. Served in a Cantillon mini-pint glass at Beer Bistro in Toronto.

A - One finger of egg-white foam, decent retention, and clarity that ranges from transparent to slightly hazed depending on how much sediment makes it into the glass. There are a few tiny bubbles making their way to the top of the glass. Looks like most lambic.

S - Horsey funk, tart rhubarb, musty barn, graham cracker malt, acidic lemon, mellow herbs, and a light touch of barrel. The smell is incredibly potent, but the plethora of flavors are quite well-balanced somehow.

T - Explosive tartness and rhubarb at the onset that morphs into graham cracker sweetness and sour lemon. The funk is significantly milder in the flavor. Ends with a shockingly clean finish with minimal aftertaste - I'm not even sure how this is possible for a Cantillon beer.

M - Dry finish, with some mild pucker and cottonmouth. Not palate destroying in the slightest, actually quite refreshing with light carbonation and a thin body that never verges on being too watery.

D - Somehow Jean has created a great session lambic here - low ABV, mild aftertaste, mild carbonation, yet somehow tons of flavor. The 375ml was sadly not enough (especially since I had to share some with my wife). Hopefully I get another crack at this stuff in Belgium this summer. I'm looking forward to Zwanze becoming a yearly thing with rotating oddball ingredients.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2009 13:49:21 | More by MasterSki
Photo of Gatch
Gatch

Massachusetts

4.55/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Armsby Abbey for Zwanze Day.

Seriously good stuff. Beautiful color and typical head for the style. Very dry and tart with hints of oak, earth, and fruit. You get the rhubarb. Incredibly smooth and full of flavor. A pleasure to drink and well worth the effort to seek out. Goes down so quickly and easily that its tough to review. Very unique.

Serving type: on-tap

12-01-2012 20:47:40 | More by Gatch
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I must start off by expressing my extreme gratitude to Greg for trading this bottle to me. This has been my biggest want for as long as I've been interested in lambics. At long last, I can tick it off my list and a very worthy beer for review 1300.

A: The pour is the very typical cloudy golden-orange color with a fizzy white head that settles to a thin layer of bubbles.

S: Plenty of lactic tartness in the nose along with a very diverse wild character. Lots of wet straw/hay and oak, grass, must, and a lot of dry, leathery character too. No inherent rhubarb, aroma, unfortunately, but still quite enjoyable.

T: A very green and wild funk to this beer lead by grass and hay. A very citrusy sort of lactic sourness that is not quite as lemon-forward as I usually expect. There are some surprisingly floral notes as well. I do pick up some mild rhubarb flavor, but maybe that is just me wanting it to be there.

M: The body is quite usual for a lambic. Light on the tongue with a soft but lively carbonation.

D: What can I say, the chase is done. I am quite pleased to have tried this, though I wish I could have done so when it was fresher. Still, a good lambic if nothing else. Thanks again, Greg!

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2010 08:16:30 | More by womencantsail
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

8/12/2011

Huge thanks to Mike for opening this rarity.

A: Yellow gold with a big white head. Nice retention and scattered lacing.

S: Oak and lemon with horse blanket and a brackish presence. Wet leather with musty and lactic notes. Faint floral profile.

T: Salty cheese with musty barnyard notes. Lemon blends with oak and a moderate citric acidity. Finish has a lot of citrus and oak. I think I can taste some rhubarb, but I can't be sure. The finish is dry and lightly tannic.

M: Light in body with high carbonation. Mouthfeel is dry.

Overall: Really good. Definitely the best Zwanze I've had.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2011 16:44:43 | More by HopHead84
Photo of rudzud
rudzud

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed at the Armsby Abbey on Zwanze day 2012.

A - Poured into a stemmed mini chalice an almost crystal clear rosey straw with a half a finger white head that left a thick and creamy halo with a nice creamy cloud.

S - Aromas are very tart yet earthy. Nice acidity from almost veg rhubarb with an almost creamy acidity in it. Not really vinegar or super bright very earthy almost mushrooms and funk. Nice.

T - Taste is very dart ans sour. Puckeringly rhubarb notes here so tart and crisp with gentle funk. Its lightly puckering with good tartness and light sweetness. Delicious.

M - Mouthfeel was a bit lower carbed with super drinkability for the style. Incredibly enjoyable beer.

O - Overall this was a delicious beer. Not maybe mt favourite Cantillon but it is worth the hype and super enjoyable. Well worth swinging down.

Serving type: on-tap

12-01-2012 20:37:33 | More by rudzud
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4.48/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Cantillon wine glass shaped glass because it makes the beer taste better, try it sometime. Beer is yellow with a thin lazy white head of small bubbles, no lacing, moderate carbonation.

Aroma is bright, strong lactic, a little grassy and fruity with a mild finish. Smells good.

Beer is sulfury and you can taste a fruit in there but I wouldn't identify it as rhubarb. Interesting but the fruit has considerably faded out of this one. I like the bright palate, the dry finish, the mild oakiness, the mild grassiness. I'd have it again.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2012 17:19:56 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4.48/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed at our sour and wild ales tasting on April 14, 2012. The only Zwanze I have yet to try, and a rhubarb lambic...yeah, I am pretty excited about this one.

Served in a Cantillon gueuze tumbler.

The beer is clear and golden yellow hued with a small white head that leaves a few random spots of lacing on the glass.

The aroma is lactic, acetic, classic Cantillon funk, hay, lemons, earth.

The rhubarb aspect emerges more in the flavor than in the aroma, though I would not be able to single out rhubarb if I was not aware it was used in the making of this beer. Lemon zest, hay, lemon juice, a hint of fruity sweetness, oak. Though the rhubarb seems to have faded (I would love to try this beer fresh!), this is still a fantastic tasting brew.

Pretty light in body, with some light, prickling carbonation. Lingering notes of lemon, hay, citrus, funky lambic.

Overall, what a treat it is to have finally tried this beer. Cantillon makes the finest beverages on the planet.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2012 15:41:36 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of WillCarrera
WillCarrera

Ohio

4.48/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Churchkey for Zwanze Day 2012, this is the 2012 version of the rhubarb lambic, poured into a snifter.

A- Pours a slightly hazy golden color with a finger of white head, nice retention and very spotty lacing.

S- Really interesting aroma, lots of the usual acidity and light citrusy aromas, but once it warms up some really cool earthy, funky rhubarb aromas come out as well as some wood.

T- Similar to the nose, the rhubarb is actually pretty understated but works really nicely, its tartness complements the sourness of the lambic while lending some mild earthy vegetable flavors and a very mild sweetness, lactic acidity and mild wood flavors are also noticeable.

M- Light-bodied, really nice, effervescent feel, dry finish, the feel makes it hugely drinkable and I had to really try to pace myself through the glass to avoid drinking it too quickly.

O- A delicious beer, one of the more subtle Cantillon lambics I've tried, but it's highly drinkable and very tasty, a real treat.

Serving type: on-tap

12-01-2012 21:43:15 | More by WillCarrera
Photo of Fux
Fux

France

4.48/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 version on tap @ La Fine Mousse on a wonderful Zwanze Day.

A: Pours clear orange / copper. Small white head that fades quickly to nothingness.
S: Smell is very sour, bright, fruity with lots of citruses (orange), ripe fruits. Rhubarb is quite faint.
T: Very sharp, sour attack on the palate, very fruity (orange, white grape). Rhubarb is more present on the palate than on the nose, enhancing the natural sourness from the beer. (orange, A bit sweet with a mild acidity. Woody tartness. Quite deep and complex. Still very fruity on the finish with a light bitterness and more pronounced rhubarb along with some yellow fruits like apricots or peaches.
M: Puckering carbonation. Very refreshing, very easy to drink.
O: Very enjoyable, more complex than the usual Cantillon stuff, still very easy to drink, with the usual acidity and carbonation. Hopefully, this will be made again!

Serving type: on-tap

12-02-2012 01:23:15 | More by Fux
Photo of jaasen64
jaasen64

Massachusetts

4.48/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This review is for Zwanze '12. Served at Lord Hobo for Zwanze Day of course!! Drank side by side with the Cantillon unblended 2-year lambic (see separate review).

A- Pours a slightly hazy golden without very much of head, just a slight white ring along the side of the glass that wasn't present on the unblended lambic. Slightly hazier and more carbonated then the unblended lambic, but other then that it was slightly similar.

S- Funky, musty, smells kind of like a basement, rhubarb definitely comes out giving it a little bit of an earthy smell. Smells similar to the unblended lambic but the rhubarb definitely comes out and gives it more character.

T- Funky, some must, a little bit of vinegar acidity, a nice rhubarb quality that comes out and blends very well with the must. Fairly similar to the unblended lambic with a little bit more of an earthy rhubarb quality. Similar funkiness as the other Cantillons.

M- Medium bodied, decent carbonation for a lambic, easy to drink.

O- Zwanze '12 was very good and definitely lived up to my expectations. It was awesome being able to drink it side by side with the unblended 2-year lambic which was pretty much the base beer. You could definitely tell how the rhubarb imparted a nice slightly fruited earthy taste that balanced very well with the musty funk characteristic of the Cantillon lambic. Overall I wish I could drink this much more often and I think it was better then the '10 Zwanze which is the only other I've had. You definitely missed out if you missed Zwanze day!

Serving type: on-tap

12-02-2012 04:51:54 | More by jaasen64
Photo of oline73
oline73

Maryland

4.48/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on-tap at Churchkey on Zwanze day 2012. Served in a Gueuze glass.

Appearance: The beer pours a cloudy orange/golden color with a half finger of fluffy white head that fades to a small layer on top of the pour.

Smell: This is a very tart smelling beer. I'm getting traditional lambic funk, but the overall smell is rather light. Some barnyard funk and lemon juice as well. There is also a nice presence from the rhubarb.

Taste: This is quite tart for a lambic that hasn't been aged. The sour notes from the lambic and the tart notes from the rhubarb work very well together. There is a slight herbal component along with some lemon juice and funk. Very light and refreshing. The finish is quite tart.

Mouthfeel: The body is medium with a lot of tingly carbonation and a finish that is super dry.

Overall: This definitely lived up to my expectations. So light and refreshing. I would love to try the 2008 version. I only with this was easier to come by.

Serving type: on-tap

12-02-2012 22:39:51 | More by oline73
Photo of Viggo
Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Corked and caged 375ml bottle.

Pours a very lightly hazed golden/amber, got chunky near the bottom though, almost no head forms, thin ring of bubbles, no lacing, looks like a lambic! Smell is awesome, sweet and sour, lemony, horse and barnyard funk, hay and straw, light rhubarb sweetness, oak, honey, very earthy, acidic, nice. Taste is similar, rhubarb jumps out, earthy, lemony tartness, wood, hay and straw, barnyard funk, toasty sweetness, more rhubarb and a nice acidity in the finish. Mouthfeel is light bodied with medium carbonation, almost spritzy, very acidic, light burn going down but very drinkable for a Cantillon. This was great, and from what I hear they didn't make much of it.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2009 19:02:36 | More by Viggo
Photo of deebo
deebo

Minnesota

4.44/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of Alberto.
A-this is a lively lambic. Looks like their guezue. A lingering film of white head atop a clear golden brew.
S-Typical Cantillon. Funky. Notes of leather, must, and stable. Sour, not picking up rhubarb but then again rhubarb doesn't have much of an aroma.
T-like the aroma. The sourness is quite high. The rhubarb seems to give this beer some astringency. Lots of that Cantillon funk.
M-very light bodied and dry.
O-distinctly Cantillon. No problem to drink a bottle of this at the brewery. Refreshing brew.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2014 15:52:26 | More by deebo
Photo of SpeedwayJim
SpeedwayJim

New York

4.43/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml corked and caged bottle. Shared by Ineedabeerhere. 40z. pour into a Founders snifter. Reviewed from notes at a tasting on 10/16/10.

A: Pours near no head. Just a thin white wisp atop a golde, slightly cloudy, yellow beer. No lacing. Very lightly carbonated but appropriate for its style.

S: Nose is slightly tart, Brett, horse blanket, and very cheesy. Intensely pungent funk character almost like sour feet dipped in spoiled cottage cheese... mmm... tasty right?

T: Brett character upfront is very noticeable. A pleasant, muted tartness on the back end. Flowery, cheesy and funky towards the middle to end. Cobweb and band-aid finish with a dry, floral, esthery aftertaste.

M: Light to medium bodied, lightly carbonated but surprisingly abrasive. Tickles the tongue and lively on the palate. Finsh is dry and aftertaste is filmy and lingers.

D: I can't really recall the last time 375ml of ANY Cantillon offering was enough and this is no exception. Great feel and complexity with a very appropriate, funky, cheesy nose. Hard to find but definitely worth a try!

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2010 16:47:03 | More by SpeedwayJim
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

4.43/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Somehow didn't review this the first time around, but now I get a second chance thanks to Zwanze Day at Armsby Abbey.

Very light fizzy head covering, typical for lambic, hazy golden orange color.

Nose great tart fruit funky lambic, light sour rhubarb, light bready malts, lambic like, hint lemon, little cherry like.

Taste rhubarb right off, tart funky sour fruit, funky earthy wild, sour cherry and lemon fruit, light bready malts, yeasty, funky, delicious lambic flavors. Light acid compared to other lambic, but nice. Finish is dry and sour, tart fruit and rhubarb, dry bready malts and light yeast lingering.

Mouth is med to lighter bodied, tart fruit and nice acidity, light but nice carb.

Overall awesome.

Serving type: on-tap

12-02-2012 04:02:11 | More by jlindros
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

4.4/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375ml corked and capped bottle at Beer Bistro in Toronto.

Bruised yellow delicious apple with a very witbier-like complexion. There is a fair bit of foamy lining along the perimeter but its center remains bare. The beer is heavily blurred, it has a Nimbostratus cloud-like overcast despite being accented by bright, almost fluorescent strokes of white. The shadow of a finger - but nothing more - is had on the other side of the glass. (The common beer drinker may see murkiness but I see authenticity).

Musty attics, mildewed oaks, damp, earthy and fragrant air; you can smell Cantillon - you can smell the barrel room, you can smell the yeast spores coming in through the open slats in the wall of the coolship room, you can smell the antique brewing equipment, you can smell the cobwebs and the spiders. I've been to Brussels, I've seen the museum at Cantillon and this fragrant must and underlying tartness comes from exactly there.

Tartness surpasses must in flavour. Juicy, sun-ripened orchard fruits have long since departed and faded. Apples curdled, peaches wilted, pears all mushed up and decomposing under the tree branches from which they fell. I did presume those fruits before rhubarb, even while I knew rhubarb was in fact the produce used. Still, there is a faint vegetable-like leafiness that lends a pronounced tartness and makes the connection believable.

Unlike the more popular (and cheap) commercial examples, traditional Lambic makers like Cantillon don't use fruit to sweeten the beer. In fact, without using juices or synthetic syrups, a lot of the fruit flavour is never soaked into the beer. Does it really need a fruity flavour? Given the wheat and barley and wild yeasts of this two year old blend offer plenty of dried, musty barnyard straw and soured, funky citrus: no, just a hint is enough.

This has a residual sugariness that is not quite as sugary as a faro but is still plenty sweet. It's not as puckering as a traditional gueuze either but is still rightfully tart. Likewise, the acidity is better restrained than most of this brewery's offerings and as result is something more drinkable (by conventional standards) than most typical traditional Lambics. This beer needs no carbonation, you want flavours like this to linger.

I share Cantillon's values and I love everything they do. I love the idea that this brewery does an 'open to the public' brew session every year and I think it's a great idea that they've now decided to bottle the beer made that day into an annual special release. The concept of adding a new ingredient every year is ingenious. I'm happy to have tried the inceptive release and hope to be there in person to see the next year's batch being made.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2009 22:04:58 | More by biegaman
Photo of woosterbill
woosterbill

Connecticut

4.4/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 re-brew, on-tap at Spuyten Duyvil during Zwanze Day 2012.

A: Hazy amber body, ultra-fine off-white head. Great.

S: Sour, fruity, and vegetal. Apples, rhubarb, and edamame. Leafiness. Starch. Weird, and interesting.

T: Nicely tart up front with familiar green apple acidity leadin the way to profoundly bizarre rhubarb, asparagus, edamame, and sweet potato notes. Apple skin and dryness on the finish. So weird it's terrific.

M: Fairly light, frothy, and creamy. Excellent.

O: This was great and unique, but frankly it was a distant third behind St. Lamvinus and Mamouche in the best Cantillon of the day contest. I'd love to savor a larger pour some time, but it's not killing me that that almost certainly won't happen. There are many better Lambics out there.

Cheers!

Serving type: on-tap

01-11-2013 02:20:59 | More by woosterbill
Photo of Overlord
Overlord

California

4.38/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Jerz for hosting an awesome tasting, and for so many generous beer connoisseurs who made the event possible.

Pours a hazy golden yellow. Some light bubbling. White foam.

Smells lightly of lemons and strongly of a yeasty, slightly funky zest. Smells pleasant!

Taste is surprisingly puckeringly sour. Lemon and earthy funk, with some abrasive wood/oak/tree branch harshness. I LOVE IT!

Pity they retired this recipe. Despite its strong, sour-y oak-y flavors, not palate wearying. Very nice mouthfeel. Seems like it is at its peak now.

**also, I learned that rhubarb is NOT a berry. Knowing is half the battle.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2011 05:20:33 | More by Overlord
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Cantillon Zwanze 2008 from Brasserie Cantillon
96 out of 100 based on 194 ratings.