Cantillon Brabantiae - Brasserie Cantillon
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Ratings: 57 | Reviews: 33 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by julian:
4.25/5 rDev +0.7%
What a rare, rare treat! Retired and expensive bottle, but I think definitely worth the price of admission to try something so old and filled with so much history and from one of the premier lambic makers in the world!
A: The bottle has clearly been cellared, in every literal sense of the word, and for quite a long time. The label is dusty and shows years of weathering. Some of it is torn at the corners and and the text is faded. This adds to the vintage feel and excitement of the pre-de-corkage :) The bottle was de-corked as if a bomb were being diffused...very gently and very carefully. The bottle gushed leaving no doubt that this was clearly going to be good, and that carbonation was still quite present. It poured a hazy golden color with hints of orange when held up to the light. Head was also there, and visible bubbles erupting on the surface. Wow. Unbelievable after over 2 decades of aging!
S: What immediately stuck in my head was green apples. Almost a cider like aroma, mixed with some earth, and barnyard funk. Slightly acidic and vaguely tart. A mild aroma of cork and musty oak. Lots going on here, and despite the age this has held up extremely well.
T&M: This definitely has the personality of a Cantillon gueuze and the expert blending abilities of the Cantillon family brewery. Again, following the nose there's some funk, earth and slight green apple accompanied by some tart citrus and mild acidity but none of this is over the top. You can definitely tell this was aged in oak barrels as that wet musty oaky goodness is also there. I can't even believe this is still very well carbonated. Just amazing. This has held up extremely well. The mouthfeel is crisp, yet somehow full. Not too prickly or dry and still has some body to it.
O: I can't believe I got to try one of these. I will probably never find one again. Given it's age, and history and how well it's held up this was simply delightful. If you can find it/trade for it, get it and drink it. It's worth it and you will not be disappointed. A once in a lifetime beer!
08-30-2011 03:47:32 | More by julian
More User Reviews:
4.55/5 rDev +7.8%
Bottle shared on Friday. Looked like this bottle was pulled out of a bomb shelter. Label barely in tact. To be honest, I was a bit nervous trying this as i really didn't know what to expect, and considering I have a few more bottles, this could have been a major bust from Belgium!
On the contrary, I feel like I hit the lottery. Cork pulled out in perfect condition, probably just the work of Thomas bottle popping skills but none the less it was impressive to see a 23 yr cork come out looking like the way it did.
The smell was of strong cheese, hay, barnyard. The cork, smelled like a finely aged cheese.
Taste was extremely sour. I had the first pour as well as the last and it got even more sour as this liquid gold came to room temperature.
Appearance was amber, with a cloud like head, with seltzer like bubbles.
Overall, I was really happy with this bottle and look forward to the next!
11-24-2012 22:13:18 | More by joel66
3.2/5 rDev -24.2%
Thanks to Jon for this one. Another rarity slayed at a tasting 12/8. Reviewed from notes. 4oz. pour into a Cantillon flute.
Pours a 1 finger white head with moderate retention. Beer is slightly cloudy orange-goldenrod. Spotty lace with little cling. Considering its 23 years old, the carbonation is pretty impressive here.
Nose is grassy with bits of lemon rind, dry hay, wet wood, and cobwebs. Smells like its age but with a surprising, nice grassy freshness.
Opens lemon tartness, hay, lemon and vinegar tartness. Cobwebs and funk. Rotting wood at the end. Finishes hay and more lemon rind. Pretty mellow overall and well balanced but there's a slightly unpleasant vinegar note developing in this one already.
Light to medium bodied with low carbonation. Spritzy and aggressive in the mouth and finishes dry. Decent but again, this one's clearly past its prime.
I'm as big a fanboy of Cantillon rarities as they come but this one is well over the hill. The vinegar notes developing are clear and the mouthfeel is dull and uninspiring at times. I'm glad I got to try it but I wouldn't seek this one out again.
12-09-2012 17:41:55 | More by SpeedwayJim
4.55/5 rDev +7.8%
750ml bottle thanks to nerd. 1991 vintage. What a phenomenal rare tick.
Hazy golden in color with a small whitish head leaving swirls and a ring. Some red/purple hues.
Funky aroma with big barnyard funk notes, oak, and slight port notes.
Phenomenal gueuze flavor with awesome dryness and tartness and intense funkiness. Good wine-like notes.
Excellent mouthfeel, extremely dry and crisp with great acidity level.
Wow, this is a real winner. One of the better aged gueuzes I’ve had.
08-19-2011 16:16:38 | More by nickd717
District of Columbia
3.8/5 rDev -10%
No listing on Ratebeer so I needed to post this up here. 1989 bottle brought to a tasting by jbatey. 750ml bottle actually gushed. Couldn't believe after 20 years in the bottle, it gushed. The bottle itself looks like it's been through hell. Pours a murky, burnt yellow with a thin, creamy white head. Nose is musty, leathery, salad dressing, burnt lemon peel, grapefruit, windex. Flavor is tart, lemon, grapefruit, wood pulp, vinegar, champagne grapes, a little wet cork. Full bodied, tart, acidic finish.
12-24-2011 13:51:14 | More by nimbleprop
4.22/5 rDev 0%
Had this by way of the swift and masterful Forgetfu at Popkas's second end of summer sour tasting (09/11). Thanks to both of these fine gentlemen for the rare opportunity.
Like an old champ coming out of retirement and returning to the ring for one last bout. Old school Cantillon to the point that some still don't believe it's tale.
The bottle had obvious age, dusty and somewhat moldy with a slightly rusted cap. The label was legible and in tact but again very fragile in appearance. The cork was an off putting color of dark brown and looked as if it needed some surgical attention for removal. Very carefully did the Doodler make the first incision. Surprisingly, as the cork was falling to pieces, the beer actually had so much carbonation and body that it was foaming it's way through the semi-opened cork channel.
Finally opened with sediment and all, the beer had a remarkable amount of bubbles . Very musty aromatics, some cellar and oak, a bit of cork for sure but not too off putting. Funky and wild on the nose with that typical lemon juice like tartness and a bit of earthy almost raw hide flavors. Quite an intriguing introduction as the aged element didn't seemed to be contributed by oxidation, instead it was like rummaging through old magazines and records long forgotten in the fruit cellar.
The flavor was quite a treat. Tart, almost overly so and quite sour actually. There was a big 'barnyard' comparison and a little dustiness, but together with how sour the beer actually was, it was a pleasure to drink. Very complex and as it opened the cellar floor and damp oak flavors blew off a little. This was remarkable as the mouthfeel wasn't thin but still had a soft precision to it. I wouldn't have guessed port barrels but a more distinct amount of wood was present than I usually get from Cantillon.
I'm excited to see that some of these bottles have made their way into the light of day as of late. If I had that bait to reel in a bottle of my own, I wouldn't think twice as the last two sips of my small pour were unraveling quite nicely and I would love to experience of committing to at least a half a bottle to see just how well things opened up. The older generations always have so much to teach us young whippersnappers. I will remember this one for a while.
09-12-2011 16:25:29 | More by Bardwashrind
3.5/5 rDev -17.1%
Thanks to the ever-generous nerd for sharing this last night.
Cloudy, turbid orange-amber. The head is thin and fleeting. Quite a bit of sediment.
Interesting nose, though perhaps dulled a bit by age. A lot of woody, earthy funk; a forest floor sort of aroma with soil, mushrooms and damp wood. There are citrus notes as well, reminiscent of grapefruit and a slight vinous quality that could be from the port barrels, though it makes me think of white wine more than port.
The palate is oak-heavy and earthy, though tannins are mild at this point. Nice mushroom/soil funkiness. Very sour, surprisingly so, with grapefruit and lemon acidity. Pretty sharp. Lightly carbonated, which isn't a huge surprise from a bottle this old. The balance of sourness, oak and funk is really nice, but I think the beer is somewhat over the hill at this point. It was probably great when it was younger. Still awesome to try, thanks Mike.
08-13-2011 20:08:48 | More by largadeer
4.48/5 rDev +6.2%
Bottle at the DC Lambic & Sour Tasting on April 14, 2012. Served in a Cantillon wine glass.
After we were finally able to get the clay off the cap and get the nearly-disintegrated cork out of the bottle, this one pours a hazy golden color with a very small head that actually feel to leave a spot or two of lacing.
The nose carries some light bread and a touch of oxidized malt. Over the top of that was a moderate barnyard aroma with a bit of cheese and dough. Light notes of sherry and a touch of woodiness in the background.
Long flavor progression across the palate with a bit of perceived sweetness followed by moderate acidity and funk. Very light carbonation, giving way to a finish of cheese and basement notes.
Overall, this was really interesting and I really dug the funk mixed with oxidation notes. A real winner for me.
04-17-2012 10:44:26 | More by Thorpe429
4.3/5 rDev +1.9%
Thanks to forgetfu for providing this rarity, along with many other old sours from decades yore. Being able to compare this with others really drew out how well constructed this beer is and how well it has withstood the test of time. The consensus was that this beer was still excellent and has held up amazingly well. My recollection is that this was bottled in 1988, but I could have misheard.
Poured a hazy orange with white head and lots of carbonation (unlike the other extremely old Cantillons we opened, which were essentially flat). The nose was sour, musty, funky, with notes of apple, leather, and other miscellaneous earthy qualities I can't put into words.
The taste was similar, except that there was less mustiness on the palate. Again, nice sour notes in here and lots of funk. We were very impressed with how bright and acidic the flavor still is here.
Overall, a very impressive beer. Glad to have had the chance to try this and see how a well constructed brew stands up to time. Gives me confidence that holding on to something like a Lente will be worthwhile.
09-06-2011 15:19:45 | More by waltonc
3.9/5 rDev -7.6%
750mL shared by jbeatty on RB. The cork pops out fairly easily but is soaked to the core and shriveling inside. Probably will not be holding up for too much longer. 1/3 of the cork breaks off upon opening and is deserted inside the bottle and refuses to come out. Who cares, we pour anyway for 10 people at Sour Epic Part 2.
Ap- hazy, bright golden with a medium, tight, white head. Looking good. Small yeast particulate and a piece or two of cork floaties.
N- Really crazy. Not necessarily good or bad. Big funk, sweaty arm pits, yellow apples, mild cider character, other oddities like flashes of white sushi vinegar. Pretty crazy to mull over.
T- Tart lemon and even some sugary yellow apple and cider character. Very sharp lemon acidity and fairly one dimensional. But easily is more integrated than the nose and is quite enjoyable. I savored about three different pours for at least 30 minutes trying to decipher what was going on.
P- tart, acidic, citric. No acetic flaws. Vinegar character flashes in the nose but no acetobacter character in taste profile thankfully.
Overall quite interesting, much better than expected at this age. No druiven geuze character anymore and no white grapes to speak of. But aesthetically this has held up well. More of a novelty to try and I'm thankful for the experience.
12-12-2011 16:29:46 | More by tarheels86
4.45/5 rDev +5.5%
Bottle thanks to cpferris, served in a Hill Farmstead glass. The bottle was a MASSIVE gusher - even through the cork. Cork cracked off at the bottom.
Pour: Hazy, lightly burnt orange with a finger of off white head. Lots of sediment and a few cork flakes floating around. Not the most beautiful beer, but hey, what else could you expect.
Smell: Lots of musty library book, intense banyard funk, dust, and cobwebs. A touch of vinegar. Lemony sour notes, and some lactic acid.
Taste: More sour than the nose, but in no way exceedingly sour. Lots of barnyard funk, cobweb, old leather, and old book. Light vinegar again, but it only creeps in. A touch of lemon and a nice dry oak.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Not too sour in any way. Dry on the finish.
Overall: For a beer this old, this bottle was at least a winner. Drinking well. Incredibly excited to get to drink a beer literally as old as I am. Thank you Chad for this highest want of mine!
05-11-2013 06:38:45 | More by cfrances33
4.73/5 rDev +12.1%
Bottle graciously shared by Joel. Thanks!
This is the dirtiest bottle I've ever held in my hands. Black, tarry remnants of old parchment imply they were once part of a beer label as they disentigrate in my hands. Cap is rusted to hell, yet the cork is in excellent shape. Loud POP when it's pulled lets you know the beast inside is still alive and kicking.
Active, scruffy orange-gold body beneath a beautifully thick, fluffy, white head. As beautiful as it is unexpected. Billowing aroma of barnyard funk ascends from my glass. Were my eyes closed, I'd swear I was standing on a hay-covered floor inside a barn. Cheesy must, soured yeast, dry and earthy. This is what I assume it's like to nibble on a 23-year-old Gouda.
First sip brings dry yeast and citrus to the palate. Puckering sourness sets in almost immediately. Deeply funky yeast shows a level of flavor maturation I've never experienced with yeast before. Tremendous complexity at every turn. This is the oldest sour I've had (by 13 years!), and I now understand the "aged Cantillon acidity" other reviewers often cite. If only every lambic were this sour (and good!)...
I enjoyed Brabantiae immensely. This gueuze held up like a champ since its bottling in 1989, and it makes a strong case for cellaring every Cantillon / 3F bottle you have for two decades. Cheers!
11-23-2012 21:18:04 | More by brystmar
4.47/5 rDev +5.9%
Big thanks to Mike for opening this beer I never expected to try. The bottle was somewhat difficult to open, with the cork breaking in half before success was achieved.
A: Hazy orange with a huge white head. Nice color.
S: Horsey notes are pronounced, blending with cheese and earth. Fruit is aromatic, redolent of apple, white grape, and pear. Musty barnyard melds with horse blanket. Light lemon. Smells great.
T: Cheese and lemon with a moderate citric acidity. Earthy and musty, with ample barnyard notes. Really dry, with evident oak. Finishes with a pronounced horsey funk and lingering citric acidity.
M: Light body and high in carbonation. The mouthfeel is dry and lightly tannic.
Overall: Surprisingly excellent, A pleasure to drink. I can't believe how well this has held up.
08-13-2011 17:34:44 | More by HopHead84
3.88/5 rDev -8.1%
Cloudy gold yellow with some particulates. Aroma of horse blanket and old fruit. Flavors of lemon, peach, sweet & sour tartness, lime rind. Strong sour bite on the back of the throat... lovely overall flavors. At 20 something years old this held up rather nicely.
09-05-2011 01:04:54 | More by DenverLogan
3.05/5 rDev -27.7%
Chilled bottle into a glass. Generously shared by nerd. Thanks, Mike.
A: Pours an orange body with (surprisingly) carbonation, leaving thin tendrils of lace and a ring of bubbles on the beer.
S: Small aroma of funk (thinking old feet here), faded oak, grape. Not a strong nose, but that's kind of expected given the age.
T: Mild, weak flavor. There is some citrus, a mild manifestation of oak and some residual grape sweetness. It's sour, but any mitigating and complexifying (?) flavors have dropped out a long time ago. Mild cardboard, mellow presence overall. Well past its prime, and a counterexample to the idea that lambics age forever.
M: Light-bodied, with good carbonation, which was unexpected. It finishes dry owing to some sour burn.
O: It's a Rare Tick (TM), so I'm sure it deserves an A, but this is a prime example of a beer well past its age. Sorry, Mike.
10-11-2011 04:38:57 | More by Arbitrator
3.33/5 rDev -21.1%
Thanks to Mike and Jeroen for this dusty delectation.
Old lambic is a time capsule. From this particular cache I can infer the following:
1) In the olden days, beer was stored in port barrels. This was due to a wood shortage or poor reading comprehension. Regardless of what the liquid looked like prior to embarrelment, it's now copper-colored and cloudy.
2) Breweries shared quarters with livestock. Or else they offered internships to farmhands. It explains the smell. 21 years of encapsulation and the beer still reeks of oak stables.
3) Yellow woodsorrel and apple trees once infested Brussels. This lambic tastes like sour grass and old cider. Something -- probably port leached from the -bals -- insulates my throat from all the acid.
4) Belgians were unconcerned with hygiene. When my glass was drained, solids became visible. Historical dandruff?
08-14-2011 00:14:02 | More by alfrantzell
Cantillon Brabantiae from Brasserie Cantillon
92 out of 100 based on 57 ratings.