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Cantillon Lambic - Brasserie Cantillon

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Cantillon Lambic
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BA SCORE
92
outstanding

196 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 196
Reviews: 49
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 9.95%
Wants: 44
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie Cantillon visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Lambic - Unblended |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: TheLongBeachBum on 12-30-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 196 | Reviews: 49
Reviews by Seanniek91:
Photo of Seanniek91
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notes from Cantilon Brewery. Served from a ceramic jug into a sherry glass. Room temp.

A-Cloufy golden/orange with no head or lacing.

S-Some lemon and orange with that Cantillon funk. Some hay and earthy aromas.

T-Lemon and grass. Earthy citrus with a bitter lemon peel finish.

M-Smooth, dry, flat. Room temp is perfect. I think I'd dislike it if it was cold.

O-Nice treat to be able to try it at the brewery. Good, but not the best of their offerings by any means.

More User Reviews:
Photo of ggaughan
4.37/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Monk's in the back bar. The beer poured a hazy golden color with no carbonation into a tall flute glass.The aroma gives you citrus and a bit of farmy funk that you would expect from Cantillon beers. The taste is a very citrusy, barnyard mix that is enjoyable to the mouth and tastebuds. This is enjoyable for a sour beer as I found myself looking for another and another as it is drinkable.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.92/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Cantillon Single Barrel Lambic served at Armsby Abbey. Into a Cantillon flute. Reviewed from notes.

Beer is clear and golden with a .5 finger white head with little retention. No lace. Average for the style.

Nose is lemon rind, citrus tartness, mild hay, barnyard funk. Light, crisp, and aromatic. Nice.

Opens soft pineapple, peach, apricot, and lemon tartness. Woody towards the end with funky notes of cobwebs, hay and wet wood. Tart finish and aftertaste. Very soft. Super drinkable with good complexity.

Light bodied with high carbonation. Spritzy and lively in the mouth with a dry finish and puckering aftertaste. Incredible feel on this one.

A decent beer with nice complexity and an incredible mouthfeel. I can see where the Cantillon magic stems from. Definitely worth seeking out on tap.

Photo of dirtylou
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on-cask at the brewery, consumed while waiting out some rain

reviewed from brief notes

appearance: served in cantillon wine glass, hazy straw body, light beige ring, low carbonation

smell: really raw, funky, oak, white wine

taste: one of the funkier cantillons on our visit - a completely raw unblended lambic on cask for 2 euros - give me a break. this lambic has a nice must to it with lots of barnyard funk, hay, sour lemon, and grassy characteristics.

mouthfeel: no carbonation as expected, nice tartness

drinkability: good

Photo of hooliganlife
4.55/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

vintage 98 aged 3 years and kegged in 2001. poured from a 1/2 barrel i think, filled into a growler, and served an hour later. i had this on tap as well before growler filling. taste is the same. MASSIVE thanks to brent from stlhops.com for bringing this!

pours a vibrant ruby orange. no head at all, a few bubbles on the sides.

light lemon with light sour tones. very light funk.

nice light lemon flavor through out with a strong lemon finish. the funk starts at the beginning but quickly disappears. this is mainly lemon through out with very little other sour flavors except some light grape and apple at the very end.

very light and easy. virtually NO carbonation at all. body feels a bit thin.

this is painfully easy to drink and insanely delicious. very refreshing through out and no overly anything.

Photo of vandemonian
3.75/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I had this at Churchkey on Zwanze day 2012. It was on draft and was referred to as "Cantillon unblended 2 year". It was a sour lambic with lots of unusual, funky flavours. As one would expect for the style, it was a little out of control.

A: No head. Yellow. 3.5

S: Sour. Slight rotten apple smell. Some sweetness 3.5

T: Sour with a slight blue cheese flavour in the finish. Super interesting. Vomit finish. I enjoyed it though. 4

M: Flat. 3

O: 4

Photo of smakawhat
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap into a tumbler at Churchkey as part of Zwanze day 2012. From notes, 2 year unblended.

Ok I am sure I am going to get some hatred on this one, but I have to be honest with myself here from all the Cantillon fanboys (and ladies). I know of course lambics can come out without any head, that's fine. That's not my issue with appearance on this. My issue is this looks in the glass like a urine sample. Golden urine yellow, the odd tiny bubble creeps up or sticks to the glass, and clear. I am sorry gang this doesn't look appetizing appearance wise, that's just me. Let's get to the more enjoyable parts of this now shall we.

Bouquet has a real nice brine salt character, and mixture of classic funk notes. Lemon tang punches in nicely also.

Palate hits with a real big almost thick vinegar body. Somewhere between white wine and rice vinegar acid, chewy and dense. Finish hits with a real hint of strangely faint sweetness slightly masking over the sourness. Heavily earthy and lots of soil dirt in the mid palate, also bringing much of the classic lemon sensing nose to taste.

Overall it's a solid lambic, even if it doesn't look like something I would want to drink.

Photo of oline73
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this on cask at moeder lambic fontainas. Served in a Cantillon tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a mostly clear orangish amber with a layer of off white head that fades to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: This is a mild smelling beer, slightly tart and sweet with a hint of funk.

Taste: More assertive than the smell. Tart with a very slight funk. Just enough malt to back up the funky tartness. The finish is quite sour.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with almost no carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: The smell was nice but not strong enough. I enjoyed the balance and the fact that this one didn't try to kill you with tartness. I would have it again given the chance.

Photo of claspada
3.92/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ Monks during Zwanze Day 2012.

Pours a mostly clear bright orange color with just a few bubbles of white foam on top; little to no lacing as I swirl.

Aromas begin with a great deal of musty oak, the most oak I have smelled in a lambic to date. As it warms I get a little cheesy funk and a touch of lemon peel.

The taste follow the nose with the drying oaking tannic flavors up front which transitions into sour lemon and some musty, earthy hay or dried grassy. The acidity and tartness is quite light at this point being so young; there is almost a sweet maltiness to it.

The mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium with little to no carbonation; it's actually pretty much flat. Finish is drying and oaky with some lingering sweet and sour notes.

Overall this was an interesting experience to taste a lambic so fresh and unblended. It is really oaky but not overly so but the lack of carbonation hurts the drinkability. It is still quite tasty just kind of one dimentional considering the unblended nature and the youth. I would definitely have it again but I don't NEED to as with other Cantillon offerings.

Photo of patre_tim
4.34/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Really couldy but fine particles floating within, slightly milky, no carbonation, no head.

S: The sour, grainy, mash and the same oak aged scent that pervades the brewery all come through in this beer. Dry and Fruity.

T: No carbonation, grain mash and oak, dry, almost an apricot quality, sour.

M: No carbonation, very dry.

O: Drank at Cantillon Brewery, awesome experience. This one came with the brewery tour.

Photo of Queenw19
3.82/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

smell is the best part- it smells fruity. a little bitter for my taste though.

appearance- rosy color. over time it turns into a darker amber color. dark at the bottom, light at the top.

smell- cherries, spices, peaches, grapes

taste- hops, cherry- sweet when it first hits your tongue, then it becomes sour as it goes down. It is tangy at the back of your throat.

mouthfeel- small bubbles

overall- a good beer. great if you like tart flavors. great if you like bitter flavors. not so great if you don't like the taste of hops.

Photo of drtth
3.65/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at the Brewery in a flute glass. This beer was from the 09-10 brewing season and was drawn from the cask about an hour before I sampled it. Bottle of spring water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As poured the beer was faintly hazed orange color with a faint reddish tinge. There was no head on the beer but this is pretty much to be expected with an unblended lambic. There was a little ring of bubbles around the glass and swirling did generate some signs of carbonation, but there was neither head nor lacing.

Smell: The aromas were soft and gentle (or light and faint) but with a definitely grainy component and a hint of citric tartness. (I was reminded in some ways of the grainy bready aroma in maibocks.)

Taste: The flavor is quite mild with some bready character and a touch of grainy sweetness. There are hints of the sour tartness to come but not a lot of anything funky showing yet.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium bodied with a soft smooth creaminess despite the almost non-existent carbonation. The finish was towards the long side as the beer finally showed a tartness that left a faint astringency and after taste in the back of the mouth and palate.

Drinkability and Overall Impression: I thought this was a very interesting beer to sample since it is, or will become, one of the components of Gueuze. Since it has already passed its first birthday, but not by much, it clearly has some maturation in its future before being blended with the other lambics that will one day join it to make up a Gueuze. I’m guessing that this one has to be let age a lot longer so that more of the mustiness and sourness can develop. My overall impression, as I’m learning more about Lambics and Gueuzes, is that this was a great opportunity to taste one of the beers that the blender works with. While it was not an exceptional beer the experience was unique and worth seeking out if possible.

Photo of ebin6
4.45/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Cloudy/opaque. Very interesting pour.

S - A whole lot going on. Nice herbaceous smell that draws you in

T - Absolutely amazing. As soon as it touches your tongue there is a whole lot going on. I really dig the sourness, but understand how some cannot

M - Quite possibly the best mouth-feel I've experienced. Swished it around in my mouth for quite a while and it kept getting better and better. Almost too good to swallow!

D - My enjoyment tapered off a little as I drank more, but that is of course relative to the impeccable initial taste

Photo of LeeryLeprechaun
4.06/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is a murky pale yellow/golden color. No head on the beer and no carbonation, still.

The beer is sour in aroma like vinegar. Notes of lemon grass, a lot of funk, some goat, and you can smell the acidity.

The beer bites your tongue, very sour and acidic with some lactic acid.

Mouthfeel is medium and a little hard to make our with the sourness.

The beer is very sharp in the finish, not a rounded sourness.

Serving type: bottle

Photo of Thorpe429
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On cask at the Cantillon Brewery and Museum during last week's Belgium trip. Reviewed from notes.

Served in a Cantillon big-bowl wine glass.

Pours a clear bright orange color with just a few bubbles on top. No head or lacing at all. Pretty color though.

The nose brings forward a light funky cheese along with a touch of lemon peel. The flavor goes more toward the cheese with a bit of a blue-cheese character and light acidity. A slight lingering bitterness is present as well.

Light body with no carbonation. Super thin. Light acidity. Very nice sipper.

This was our first beer after getting off the plane and it did not disappoint. Great way to start the trip.

Photo of WillCarrera
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Churchkey for Zwanze 2012, aged 2 years. Poured into a pint glass.

A- Pours a clear golden orange color with a thin white head that quickly fades.

S- Very funky, some barnyard character but also lots of musty cheese, lemony citrus and some wood.

T- Similar to the nose, lots of funk with hay and cheese, decent amount of lemony tartness and lactic acidity, the finish is super dry and astringent with some wood flavor.

M- Light-bodied, bone dry with light acidity.

O- A very interesting beer, not my favorite from Cantillon but it's still a great beer and cool to compare to Bruocsella.

Photo of Beerenauslese
4.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Body is an orange gold with no head or carbonation.

Smells of wet hay, citrus, old wood, and leather.

Taste follows the nose. Light malt, wet hay, horse blanket, lemon rind and grapefruit rind. Characteristic Cantillon funkiness. Starts a little sweet, ends dry and bitter.

Mouthfeel is flat, as lambics typically are, so it is more about the taste sensation. This is delightfully sour with a dry finish.

Overall, a very refreshing beer and infinitely drinkable. This is the foundation of many Cantillon beers.

Photo of harrymel
4.73/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

NOTE: this was drawn directly from a barrel at Cantillon Brewery in Brussels, Belgium. It is a blend of 2009-2010 batches of their spontaneous lambic. It can only be had at the brewery from what I understand. The description is a bit deceptive in that the beer is blended, but not triple blended as a gueuze would be (thus, flat).

Scene: me at Cantillon, "can I get a glass of the lambic?"
Lady: "yeah...oh, I'm sorry, we have to get some from a barrel, I don't have any. I'm very sorry."
Me: (hardcore grin) "Awesome. Can I take a picture?!"
Then we went to the barrel and she drew me up some lambic, which had bugs in it, which is awesome.

A: Flat copper ale with hint of haze. There are still 3 flies in my glass even after she tried to remove all of them (there were countless). Looks much like dark apple juice. No bubbles, no lacing; anticipated as much.

S: Smells of wood, brett, lemons, grapes (fermenting), eggs, meringue. Tough to really get a full wiff.

T: Initially, this hits the palate and tastes bland. In this phase you can taste mother's nature: soil, dried alfalfa, biscuits, lamb (yes, lamb). Then as I let the beer roll over the tongue, beautiful sour flavors emerge in tones of lemon, grapefruit, apple. Upon the finish, the buttery flavor reminds me vaguely of a short oaked chardonnay in French Oak (very low levels of oak). The finish is long and hard (that's what she said). This is truly the most multi layered beer I've tasted to date, truly outstanding in the flavors and my diction cannot do it justice.

M: Thin and flat, as anticipated. I acutally feel like carbonation on this beer would inhibit the nuances. The beer feels also like it has high surface tension: as though it's beading over my tongue rather than soaking in.

O: This is an experience I will likely have only once, but certainly I will recall it so frequently. My wife will be tired of hearing this story over and over. One of my best experiences. If you ever have the chance, try this, and at 2 euro, it's a bargain in my book.

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.52/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cantillon lambic is probably the hardest of all Cantillon beers to find, as it is only available in draft format, so you have to travel to Belgium to try it. (Saint Lamvinus is rare, but at least it is bottled and exported!!). Indeed, you will have to travel to Brussels itself to sample this beer. Because, I believe that it is only regularly available in only a small handful of places, the best of which is the In t' Spinnekopke (see BeerFly) which is located not that far from the Brasserie Cantillon, and is the highpoint of the walk back into Brussels Central from the Brewery itself.
This where I tried the beer on November 27th 2002. I believe that it is sold at about 1 years of age in the Spinnekopke.
The lambic arrived with quite a bit of life, but this does eventually settle to a usual fresh draft lambic looking fluid - almost flat and lifeless. The beautiful color of lambic is hard to describe other than to say that it looks like a draft lambic, this was a light brown color, though aged lambics may be darker and do change year to year. The odors are typical, mainly a mustiness, though not as extreme as say an Oud Beersel or Girardin lambic. The usual hints of the damp horse urine soaked straw, cow-shit and other musty marvellous fresh farmyard aromas are feint as they are somewhat masked by a lovely citric hint in the smell. Early on it is spritzy (a word often used to describe lambics/gueuzes and highly appropriate here). After time, it is less so. Tastes are of lemon drops mixed with some wood, oak perhaps, but this has a mild citric bite. All washed away in the end with the feint mustiness of freshly picked earth encrusted damp mushrooms. A dry beer, a totally astringent experience start to finish, and with no bitterness whatsoever, well maybe the very merest of hints.
You are drinking a beer that is still alive, and it shows.
Love It, or Hate It - this is a true experience everytime.

Photo of BucBasil
3.7/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a pitcher drawn out of a cask into a lambic glass at Cantillon Brewery in Brussels.

A: A cloudy pure orange color with no head, just a few bubbles at the top of the glass. Much like a fruit juice.

S: Light hints of fruit. Some sour grape. Hint of citrus. Very light and faint smell.

T: Very dry, rough, and sour with hints of pure orange juice, grapefruit and grape seeds. Musty taste in the middle and yeast all over. Very unique.

I kept asking myself "This is beer?"

What a special experience to have this at the Cantillon brewery. Not exactly my favorite thing (I like the blends better), but very cool to have after seeing exactly how it's produced.

Photo of orangesol
4.07/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap at Churchkey on Zwanze day 2012.

A - Pours slightly hazy straw yellow with a small half finger tall bubbly white head, dissipating down to nothing at all, leaving no lace at all down the glass.

S - Smell is pretty muted until it fully warms up. Hints of funky cheese, damp oak, basement must, some lemon zest and a dash of vinegar.

T - Starts off with a big sour kick that fades as quickly as it hit you leaving behind hints of lemon zest, musty funk, dry oak and a dash of booze burn. Finish is funky with a moderate amount of dryness, doesn't stick around too long tho.

M - Light with very light carbonation. Its has a tart feel but it does't linger for very long, allowing it to be consumed quite easily.

O - I feel like this is exactly what an unblended two year old lambic should taste. Sure its a little rough around the edges, but thats why its perfect for blending and fruit additions. I am glad I got to try this, I look forward to having it again one day, hopefully a little closer to the source.

Photo of stakem
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft offering of a 2 year year old unblended lambic. The brew appears a clear golden orange through body and more yellowish around the edges. A few larger sized bubbles hang around the perimeter of the glass.

The nose has notes of cheese, oak and vinegar with a slight edge of something fruity like pear and citrus zest. Very clean smelling with a nice complexity and overall enjoyable set of balanced aromatics.

The flavor is a bit like coder at first and surprisingly more focuse on alcohol esters than I would have guessed. Some notes of pear mix with a woody earth inclusion and an herbal bitterness brings in the finish.

This is a medium bodied brew with a lower level of carbonation. A kiss of alcohol keeps things interesting. This was tart but not puckeringly so. I found myself crushing my glass quicker than I wanted to was left wanting to drink more. I dont know how often a treat like this comes around but if you get a chance, you need to try this.

Photo of 99bottles
4.55/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a keg from November 2002, put on-tap at Monk's Cafe.

The beer is a cloudy golden peach color with nothing in the way of a head. Only the slightest trace of carbonation can be found, and only that when the beer is drank. Smells of tart apple, wheat and tangy pear greet the nose. I realize this is straight lambic with no fruit added, but a non descript frutiness comes about from the funky Brett. The taste is quite clean on the pallete and starts with a muted sweetness and grassy flavor which quickly spins on it's head to a citric acidity and back again. Amazingly sour and amazingly refreshing. I could have drank this all night, and any ulcers would be worth the risk. The body is light and the beer drinks incredibly easy. Seeing as this is nearly 3 years old, I tend to think some of the sharp funkiness and biting acidity has been smoothed out. Although this probably won't be embraced by drinkers new to the style, the straight lambic Cantillon puts out is fantastic and is worth getting whenever it can be found. Many thanks to Monk's for bringing this treat to Philly.

Photo of cps98
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A – Cloudy, deep yellow light orange color. No head was seen but light lacing was present for the better part.

S – Really sweet aroma, lots of Brett funk present also some hints of citrus.

T – I got a lot of citrus notes like lemon, and grapefruit. Lots of lactic acid.

M – light bodied, really dry. Little to no carbonation.

O – This was a really nice 2 year lambic on tap. Clean crisp flavors, some layers of funk and acid. I really liked this since the Brett didn’t get too funky.

Photo of StJamesGate
3.65/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at the GBBF.

Pours murky orange with no head. Sweet vinegar nose. Lemon with a musty edge, hay and a cider bite. Light, clean, dry.

My first unblended lambic, so not sure what this is supposed to taste like. Not unpleasant; I finished a half pint without struggling.

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Cantillon Lambic from Brasserie Cantillon
92 out of 100 based on 196 ratings.