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Cantillon Zwanze 2008 - Brasserie Cantillon

Not Rated.
Cantillon Zwanze 2008Cantillon Zwanze 2008

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

213 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 213
Reviews: 74
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 7.55%
Wants: 165
Gots: 16 | FT: 3
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
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Ratings: 213 | Reviews: 74 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Overlord
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Overlord, Jan 11, 2011
Photo of Ineedabeerhere
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes from mikey's tasting.

Pours an orangey straw color, not much head, appears somewhat still. Super funky aroma. Footy, body odor and last year's wet ugg boots. Damp and musty smelling. The taste is similar, good rich, hearty funk. There is acid, but the taste wavers more towards this funk profile and is lacking a balance of brighter flavors. Rhubarb... hmm well I had been baking strawberry rhubarb pies in anticipation all week and the flavor is nowhere to be found. Very faint at best. There is some lemon, though it is not in its usual garb. Unearthed flowers in the dry finish, musty and earthy. And surprisingly active carbonation despite the appearance, though it is still not enough to highlight the tartness and sharpen up the profile of the palate at all.

Very glad to have tried it, but there are many more attainable lambics that are just as good if not better.

Ineedabeerhere, Oct 25, 2010
Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
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!

SpeedwayJim, Oct 17, 2010
Photo of womencantsail
4.5/5  rDev +3%
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!

womencantsail, Sep 17, 2010
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.98/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a dirty light beige color lambic with a generous white foamy head with good retention and some very good lacing. Aroma consists of acidic notes with some tart and sour notes also easily noticeable. Taste is also a nice mix between some sour lambic notes with farmyard and wet leather notes and a balance mix between acidic notes with some tart notes. Rhubarb is kind of hard to notice because of the resemblance between the tart notes of this fruit and the base tartness from the beer. Well done overall and this is one experience they should try to repeat.

Phyl21ca, Aug 12, 2010
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.97/5  rDev +13.7%
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.

Gueuzedude, Jul 29, 2010
Photo of craytonic
4.93/5  rDev +12.8%
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.

craytonic, Jun 10, 2010
Photo of alfrantzell
3.33/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml bottle into a decanter. This was served in one of those cute little bottle baskets, making the beer look like a baby in a cradle.

Lambic always wins in the end. Our server told us this when he poured it - you can add lambic to anything, but the lambic will consume anything given the time. This is two years old.

Straw colored, like a lambic. Smells faintly of strawberries and rhubarb. The taste is of rhubarb, strawberries, and lambic. Subsequent sips are mostly lambic, despite being separated by bites of quiche and malt. Thinner than the regular unblended lambic, and quite dry.

An interesting result. Fresh, this would have been more rewarding as I do like rhubarb. Now, two years later, it's a curiosity at best.

alfrantzell, Apr 16, 2010
Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A real find for Beer bistro to bring in this rare one. Pours lightly yellow/transparent with some foaming head. Takes tartness to the edge, and a little beyond, offset by some sugar. Masterful, rhubard like you never tasted it, I do like red cabbage salad with balsmatic vinegar, and it was a cousin to that taste. Supported by fruitiness, a tad strawberry and apricot. Good till the last drop.

Sammy, Aug 12, 2009
Photo of Viggo
4.47/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

Viggo, Jul 03, 2009
Photo of biegaman
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

biegaman, Jun 17, 2009
Photo of MasterSki
4.58/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

MasterSki, Jun 16, 2009
Photo of Dreizhen
3.84/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

75 cl bottle at Cantillon Brewery. Poured into a Cantillon chalice.

A: Poured a cloudy, golden yellow. Little, if any carbonation visible. Small foamy head that quickly dissipates.

S: Sour, signature Cantillon funk, and a little citrus. Reminded me of the Vigneronne.

T: The comparison to Vigneronne is close, but not exact. Less sour, particularly at the beginning but still with quite a pucker at the end. A friend I shared it with said "sour skittles." Not typical BA language, but it's kinda there. It's a very straight forward sourness with citrus. Doesn't seem to be a ton going on here, but what there is is certainly good.

M: Light, tart, and crisp. Reminiscent of most Cantillons.

O: I was a little disappointed with this beer. It's still very good, but the restrictions on taking it away and the price tag (the highest at the brewery per bottle, though still not bad) made me expect a bit more. I like where they're going with the beer, but I think it just turned out better with Saint Lumvinus.

Dreizhen, Jun 29, 2013
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Cantillon Zwanze 2008 from Brasserie Cantillon
96 out of 100 based on 213 ratings.