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Cantillon Zwanze 2008 - Brasserie Cantillon

Not Rated.
Cantillon Zwanze 2008Cantillon Zwanze 2008

Educational use only; do not reuse.

75 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 75
Hads: 239
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 14.49%
Wants: 163
Gots: 15 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Brasserie Cantillon visit their website

Style | ABV
Lambic - Fruit |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MasterSki on 06-16-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Rhubarb in 2008, remade in 2012.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 75 | Hads: 239
Photo of fmccormi
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Redlight Red Light in Orlando, FL; poured to a small wine glass (4oz pour, as per the directions of Cantillon for Zwanze Day).

Appearance (4.0): Poured with minimal white head, with little retention or lacing. The body is a chill-hazy peach color, and very pretty. Head could be a bit fuller, but otherwise this is about right for the style, and the body is just gorgeous.

Smell (4.0): There’se a nice, even mix of lactic and acetic acid tones in the nose, smelling a bit like kombucha. Some tart peach and just the lightest rhubarb scents make their way into the nose, but really it’s mostly composed of the scents you’d expect from a well put-together, light-bodied sour.

Taste (4.5): Quite a bit more rhubarb that in the nose, and it’s quite tart. More lactic than acetic, and the funk is minimal. It finishes with a clean, mildly acetic finish, but leaves some mild cheesy-funky tones in the aftertaste. Incredibly drinkable. The rhubarb is unmistakable, though—very well-balanced and well-integrated into the sour character. The tartness is present and full but not harsh in any way—this is a very approachable, but dry, full-flavored sour.

Mouthfeel (4.5): Very, very nice—spritzy, without being prickly or tingling too much, and has a light body with a palpable character nonetheless. Very dry finish, never too sour at all.

Overall (4.5): Excellent—well-done. This feels like the balanced product of a brilliant idea and a natural fit: using rhubarb in a light, golden sour ale, and it’s a delightful little beer. Appetizing, entertaining, and palate-cleansing all at once. Could easily drink a large bottle of this by myself—4oz is far too little! Glad to have gotten to try this beer.

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Photo of rand
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Zwanse 2012

On tap at Toronado SD for Zwanse Day, reviewed from notes.

A. Orange apricot in color, no head, effervescent.

S. Rhubarb, unripe fruit, light vinegar, orange zest.

T. Nice tart front, unripe citrus, rhubarb. Lemon zest, white pepper, straw funk.

M. Light and bubbly, clean, no residue

Lives up to hype, refreshing.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at the DC Lambic & Sour Tasting on April 14, 2012. Served in a Cantillon wine glass.

Pours a mostly clear, though somewhat-hazy, yellow-golden color with a small white head that left a few spots of lacing before falling to a collar.

The nose brought some light barnyard and earthy notes behind a surprising amount of rhubarb. Both the flavor and mild acidity from the rhubarb came through along with a bit of lactic acidity.

The flavor took the rhubarb component to the next level, as the signature Cantillon lemon and citric acid components combined quite well with the rhubarb and bit of backing earthiness and funk.

Flavor held for a long time on the palate after swallowing, followed by medium-heavy acidity and a light funk. Body was light with average carbonation and a very dry finish.

I was really, really impressed with this one and it was one of the big standouts to me. The fruit character held much more than I thought it would.

Glad to finally have this as well. To quote Sean below, "Final Zwanze tick." Let's hope the draft Zwanze days continue so I can easily keep this streak alive.

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Photo of cfrances33
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at 2012 Zwanze day at WLV Liquors in Chi. Reviewed from notes.

Pour: Hazy orange with a nice finger of white, fluffy head. Head doesn't lace, and sticks around as a fizzy rim.

Smell: Lemony tartness and funk up front, followed by some earthiness. Some vegetal rhubarb sweetness, and a rootiness... almost like sweet earthy radish. Funk throughout.

Tate: Tart lemons up front again, along with more earthy funk. Big sweet rhubarb throughout, both vegetal yet fruity (citrus and... well, rhubarb - think of that one flavor in a strawberry-rhubarb pie that you just don't know what to do with... that one). Lots of funk for a relatively young lambic. Finishes earthy and tart.

Mouthfeel: Superb tartness, and quite dry. Incredibly drinkable... arguably the most drinkable offering I've had yet next to fresh kriek. Tartness lingers.

Overall: A really, really nice lambic from Cantillon. I would love to see this in bottles regularly, and it has the uniqueness of Mamouche, yet the familiar aspects of something like Fou'Foune.

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Photo of russwbeck
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at Churchkey!

A: Very hazy with about a finger of white head. plenty of bubbles hold the head up. Sunlight flitters through in small amounts, highlighting the haze and bright yellow color of the beer. 4

S: The aroma is of rhubarb and tartness. I grew up in a family where rhubarb is grown in your backyard for various cooking purposes, so I'm quite exposed to the stuff. The acidity overall is very nice in the aroma, as it's sour throughout. 4

T: The taste is amazingly balanced. Sour up front Zwanze boasts a nice amount of rhubarb in the middle that carries it home. It's funky and tart throughout and finishes with a nice dry aftertaste. Berries and lemons both seems to make appearances as well, making this simply another wonderful lambic produced by Cantillon. 4.5

MF: The beer has a medium body and is carbonated very well. I thought that, even as the sixth sour beer enjoyed today, Zwanze still stood out and was very drinkable. 4.5

O: Best tasting Cantillon of the day. I found it to be an outstanding sour. I loved what the rhubarb did to it and how that worked with the tartness. I'm very impressed. 4.5

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Photo of Overlord
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

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Photo of mltobin
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at Spuyten in BK for Zwanze Day in small snifter.

Appearance is a light golden color with a very thin head. Its` nose contains apple, white grapes and some vinegar. A bit sour in the nose but not too much so. Sipping on this small 6 ounce pour and I taste more of the white grapes, the rhubarb also comes through, and certainly a sour aspect is present. But not too sour, very nicely done. Mouthfeel is just right, medium, some carbonation. All in all, this is a great beer. I went into it hoping for another solid beer from Cantillon and that is what I got, along with a big crowd toasting for this special event !

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Photo of beerpirates
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thx to Jean @ cantillon for sharing a glass with me !

Nice hazy golden / redish pour with nice degree of carbonation. Nice mild lambic aroma has some pedio. Can definitely smell the rhubarb. Smooth, soft carbonation. Really smooth, almost nutty palate is fabulous. Not so sour but a good degree of funk. the fruitiness is barely there, which I like, allowing the lambic to come forward and leave its gently assertive character on my tongue.
A very smooth beer , very well balanced

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Photo of snaotheus
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Cantillon Zwanze 2012 served from a 750ml bottle in a basket, split amongst a bunch of a wine glasses at the Cantillon brewery. Not sure why the 2012 link takes me to the 2008 listing, but who am I to argue?

Pours a hazy golden. Looks flat. Smell is vaguely tart.

Taste is bright -- sweet and sour with a slight rhubarb flavor. Seems more citrusy thank anything else to me.

Mouthfeel is light and effervescent. Overall, this is a very good beer.

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Photo of Tnudish
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage sampled on tap at West Lakeview for Zwanze Day.

A-Pours a cloudy light orange in color with a thin, tight white head.

S-It’s hard to judge the nose here. Our bartenders just washed a bunch of glasses so it started out smelling dirty and awful right after she washed them. The longer I held onto it, the more the rhubarb opened up. It is tart, a little earthy and vegetal, some lemon, and must.

T-Rhubarb pops pretty well in the flavor, this is a well executed lambic. The rhubarb is the forefront, backed by lemon rind, and some must. The secondary characteristics are pretty nuanced.

M-Light mouthfeel, light acidity, gentle carbonation, and a moderate finish.

O-Great lambic, very distinct. The rhubarb adds a funky dimension that I really enjoy. Well done Jean, looking forward to popping my ’08 to see how it compares.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Zwanze 2012 at Churchkey in DC 12/1

Pours a nice healthy orange with a nice ring of bubbly white head. Really nice look. 4.5

The smell has a great potpourri of interesting sweet and sour smells, the rhubarb shines through brilliantly. It has a nice berry note to it as well, with a crust like malt as well it truly seems like a rhubarb pie. A nice tartness in the nose but it's more subtle than other beers by cantillon. 4

The taste follows suit and again is quite tart but maybe not sour like some other cantillon beers certainly are. The rhubarb is there and the malt is elegant and pastry crust like in taste, a very balanced and round flavor profile. Some oak and vanilla notes there to help with the evenness of flavor. This isn't an in your face kind of sour, but I think it's very nice and quite tasty. 4.5

The mouthfeel is nice and has a great carbonation level and density to prop up the tastes. 4.5

Overall another great beer from cantillon I certainly enjoyed this one very much, though it isn't my favorite beer of theirs I've had. 4

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Photo of megahurts4
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cantillon Zwanze

Appearance: grapefruit colored, small head, and some good lacing.

Smell: nice sour fruit.

Taste: nice lambic sourness with a light fruit finish. 4

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy sourness.

This is a good sour. The potent nature of it makes it hard to admire all of the complexity inside it.

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Photo of Bendurgin
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012 version. Poured into a chalice. This one pours a hazy light brownish red with a small cap of white foam.

The aroma has a nice tart aroma with sour woody notes. Rhubarb for sure with some grains in the background. The pallet is tart with a bit sweet in the middle with nice finish that lingers of rhubarb.

The body is light with ample carbonation. Lingering flavors. Overall a nice nique endeavor from these guys. Great to try!

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Photo of EdKing
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Keg in Earl of Essex, Sept 2012. Colour is clear amber, no head, some oiliness on the surface. Nose is burnt lambic yeasty, rhubarb, sour yeast. Taste is sour green apples, fresh rhubarb, cheesy burnt lambic, sour green fruit. Finish is tongue curling sour and some nice rhubarb fruit.

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Photo of Florida9
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at WLV Liquors:

Cloudy pinkish yellow. Served with just the slightest bit of head. No lacing. Ara smells of a combination of sweet/tart berry fruits and decay. Strawberry, raspberry, but the there is a stinky note of fermentation. Taste is similar, but with a brighter, more sour quality. Flavor is more reminiscent of berries than rhubarb. Sweet sour mouthfeel. A nice beer. Can't say it's worth $10 for a 2 oz pour, but never the less a good beer.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on tap into a large tumbler at Churchkey for Zwanze Day 2012. From notes, happy Zwanze Day!

Cloudy unfiltered looking, orb glowing, lemon yellow and nectarine/peach body as the light punches through. Not much of a head given, but a small crown is presented with a nice collar of off white. The king has apparently been summoned and we are off. Very nice looking.

Nose comes off a little simple. Light sour melds with a good amount of grass. Slightly earthy, with a nice sense of acid quality coming. Rhubarb? not a favorite flavor of mine, and I am not detecting it, however it does smell like a solid Cantillon lambic without fail.

Palate is a very quick tartness on first sip. Grass and malt action (no doubt it's that dang rhubarb with that grass angle) come first, but also some good lemon fruit too. Finally that plant hits on the aftertaste and swallow, yup rhubarb but mostly bringing a peppery white angle. Kosher salt dry, and slightly brine in the middle palate also, crackly in a sense. Going back to the nose that white pepper/rhubarb action just will not go away, it's practically stuck in my nostrils. Feel is quite solid with good acid, and a little bit of depth. Not quite as juicy as I would want it, but gets there almost.

Overall this is a pretty fun one, and the flavors really stick with you for quite some time.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%

Bottle drank at the source as Zwanze 2012 on 9/6/14. Cantillon in Brussels. Pours clear golden colored with a big fluffy white head. Aroma of sweet sugars, tart rhubarb, dusty oak. Flavor has lots of funk, sweet and sour with light fruitiness, tart rhubarb with some twigs and dirt to go along, lemon tart finish. Very light bodied but with plenty of flavor and lots if carbonation. This was really nice, with the rhubarb influence subtle but noticeable.

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Photo of claspada
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Draft @ Monks in Philly for Zwanze Day 2012.

Pours a hazy golden orange color with a small white head that leaves some minimal lacing.

Aromas begin with musty funk, light earthy herbaceous notes and fruit skins. As it warms I get some more emergin tart sour fruitness.

The tastes follow the nose with notes of tart grape skin, juicy citrus grapefruit, earthy oak, cheesy funk and some light berries. There is something else there which could be the rhubarb but I cannot say for sure. Our course there is the standard fantastic Cantillon lemon and barnyard yeasty funk.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium to low carbonation. Finish is mildly fruity, oay and acidic.

Overall I really enjoyed this lambic and I believe it is one of my favorites I have had from Cantillon. It had so many sublte qualities that make it difference that many other fresh Cantillon lambics. The tart, tangy, fruity aspects were restrained and balance the underlying musty and earthy notes. Wish this was in a bottle, but super glad to have had the opportunity to sample

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Photo of cbutova
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012 on-tape at Armsby Abbey at 3PM on Zwanze Day. Reviewed from notes.

A- Really hard to see where I was in the room with the lighting but it appeared to be a golden-peachy color with a fair amount of yeast haze. A bubbly head formed initially but didn't retain for a great length of time, similar looking in all aspects to other Cantillons I have had.

S- Cantillon bugs and funk like the classic Gueuze with a definite rhubarb influence. I have a hard time describing rhubarb since I have had it like 3 times in my life but there is a vegetal, herbal fruit trait here that cannot be missed. Not as in your face as other Cantillon offerings.

T- The main flavor is certainly the classic Cantillon microflora and barrels. Big funky sour white grape, apple, lemon juice/zest, oak and general fruit tartness. Some great horse funk and barnyard from the Brett. Slightly sweet vegetal, herbal rhubarb really adds a nice dimension to the flavor.

MF- Feels like pretty much most other Cantillon offerings. Thinner body but greatly supported by that puckering sourness and nice carbonation.

Everytime I have a Cantillon I just get more and more impressed by what they get out of their house microflora. The flavors produced by the bugs are amazing and go good with added fruits and rhubarb in this case. Give it some time and the rhubarb seems to gain strength with each sip.

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Photo of brystmar
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Spuyten Duyvil for Zwanze Day ’12. Sure rhubarb is an herb (not a fruit), but for simplicity's sake it will be referred to as a fruit in this review.

Fruity, slightly vegetal aroma. Dry, soured fruits on the palate with high acidity -- considerably moreso than most fresh Cantillon fruit lambics, likely a factor of the rhubarb’s inherent tartness. This was *considerably* better than Zwanze '11 and should age like a champ.

I only discovered the deliciousness of rhubarb earlier this year, and its inclusion in Zwanze ’12 met my lofty expectations. Take a fruit with inherent tartness, convince Jean to blend it with lambic, and blissfully sip on it until the world ends.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 04/14/12 notes. Had at our DC Sour Tasting.

a - Pours a clear golden yellow color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of funk, light fruits, some sour fruits, floral notes, citrus hops. Very nice nose, sour and funky.

t - Tastes of nice funk, earthy, light fruits, oak, some spice. Not as sour as the nose and more spice, a step down for me.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Nice crisp body.

o - Overall this was my favorite of the Zwanze's... I liked it a little better then Zwanze 2010 and a ton better then 2009/Mamouche. Worth checking out, would like to have it again.

EDIT from 12/01/12: Had this again as Zwanze 2012 on tap in Brooklyn. 4.2 still sounds about right, though I found it a little fruiter and less sour fresh. Good stuff, would like to have it again.

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Photo of largadeer
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to nerd for opening this up out of nowhere.

Clear burnished amber with little head or lacing.

A lot of woody funk and spiciness on the nose. Floral, peppery, acidic. Nothing overtly rhubarb-like on the nose. Smells like a nice gueuze more than anything.

Palate is very good, again very gueuze-like, with a more floral/spicy element. Rhubarb comes through a bit more on the palate, contributing a unique sourness that's complementary to the sourness of lambic. Quite dry, a little peppery and oaky. I like the subtle rhubarb element here, wish I had a chance to try this when it was fresh. Still quite good, however.

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Photo of Treebs
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is for Zwanze 2012. Enjoyed on tap at WLV Liquors at Zwanze Day, 2012. Served in my Zwanze taster.

A: Pours a cloudy peach color with a fluffy white head forming on the pour. It recedes slowly to a thin ring and leaves some splotchy lace down the glass.

S: Strong rhubarb with some spicy oak. A little funk with a mild sweetness on the finish.

T: Big lactic sourness up front, bitter rhubarb and oak. Light berry with a little funk and sweet finish.

M: Spritzy carbonation with a sweet and tart finish. Light bodied with a little dryness as well.

O: Very good. Rhubarb is a unique flavor that is different from anything else I've tried in a lambic. Glad I got the opportunity to try it.

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Photo of Ineedabeerhere
4.19/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

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Photo of andrewinski1
4.19/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a chalice. The color is hazy orange. There is a small layer of white bubbles.

The aroma is full of rhubarb! Wow this takes me back to my days of eating raw rhubarb.

This starts out similar to a typical Cantillon, but the rhubarb character is overwhelming. The vegetal rhubarb tartness particularly lingers strong in the finish.

This is medium bodied with a smooth mouthfeel. Delicious!

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Cantillon Zwanze 2008 from Brasserie Cantillon
94 out of 100 based on 75 ratings.