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Cantillon Lambic - Brasserie Cantillon

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Cantillon Lambic
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51 Reviews
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Reviews: 51
Hads: 226
Avg: 4.13
pDev: 17.43%
Wants: 46
Gots: 13 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie Cantillon visit their website

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 51 | Hads: 226
Photo of alfrantzell
3.08/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

On handpump at Moeder Lambic Fonteinas. Not sure of how old it was, but Jean Van Roy was kind enough to draw me a glass from the barrel earlier that day, which he said was 18 months old and which was very similar to the one at Moeder Lambic.

Gold in color with no head but good air retention. Smells like minerals. Tastes like minerals and white wine. In the barrel version, the vinous quality tastes almost like plastic. Thin mouthfeel in both cases, little of the trademark funk or sourness. Moderate oak, though.

Very interesting to try, but ultimately I prefer Cantillon's lambic older (Bruoscella Grand Cru) or blended.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.55/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is the "oude" version, a 1998 bottle shared by Brad (I believe that was the date). Thanks Brad! Beer served in a snifter, at the time of this review, this is #5 on the "Top Beers - Lambic - Unblended" list on beeradvocate.com.

Beer is clear and still, amber with no head, no carbonation, interesting.

Aroma is mildly sour, a little cidery, interesting aroma, there are hints of the Cantillon style funk in there but mostly there is this almost sweet note to it.

Beer is medium in body, a little cidery on the nose, the finish is nice with a little tartness coming through, a shadow of funk is in there as well. I really am looking forward to one day trying this beer at the source.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.64/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had to wait 2 days for Moeder Lambic to tap this, but I made sure to come back and get a glass. This isn't my favorite way to enjoy Cantillon creations, I definitely prefer their gueuze or fruit-conditioned lambics, but I was very excited to try the raw young (medium?) lambic.

The liquid was clear and bright colored, light gold I guess, with a good layer of foam despite the still nature of the product. It smelled like, well, Cantillon. Mild funk and a few hints of lactic activity. This may have been very young, this really wasn't very sour. In fact I'd be hard pressed to get a second glass, particularly with the taps list at my disposal here at Moeder Lambic, but it's very nice to taste the essence of Cantillon. This is the basic unit, as it were, and as I'm an average student of the style its worthwhile to understand it's contribution. It would be nice to try a Cantillon Oude Lambic, not sure if the bottle lambics qualify (they may).

If you see this jump at the chance. Same with raw lambic from any of the majors.

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Photo of drtth
3.65/5  rDev -11.6%
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.

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Photo of Sean9689
3.65/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for sending me this, Cory! 1998 vintage, kegged in 2001. Poured into Cantillon tasting glass.

A - Pours a yellow/orange/reddish color (depending on the light), some bubbles here and there, but otherwise, not much carbonation.

S - High level of puckering tartness, some fruity sweetness, old cheesy funk, slight touch of citrus. The nose has a lot of funky sour notes to it...smells pretty "raw".

T - Lemon peel, slightly salty, citrus, light sourness, and oak. Finish is bleu cheese funk mixed with some tart notes. The taste isn't quite as tart/sour/funky as the nose suggests. There's more cheese/dust/funk then anything. The hops are pretty much nonexistent, being almost 14 years old. As it warms, it reminds me of a slightly tart apple juice (minus the huge sugar) with a big emphasis on tart green apple notes.

M - Light, pretty much flat, dry finish.

O - Pretty good but not one of my favorites from Cantillon. The nose is good, but I don't think the taste lived up to what I was expecting. There's less complexity, but it is damn easy to drink. Obviously, you're going to try it, no matter what I say. It's Cantillon.

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Photo of BucBasil
3.7/5  rDev -10.4%
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.

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Photo of soulgrowl
3.7/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Amber-honey in color, slightly hazy with no head. Lemon, rubber, aspirin, and vinegar mingle with honey and shortbread for a thoroughly strange and mish-mashed aroma, even for a lambic. The flavor is oddly salty, sour but not powerfully so, full of green apple, orange juice, and pickled plum, with a finish of toasted grain and a dollop of butter. Generally speaking it is reminiscent of seawater - savory, salty, tangy, and a perfect match for seafood or Japanese food, I suspect. The cask carbonation is all wrong, though - this needs to be fizzier and more lively, and colder. Not a brilliant beer - in my mind this is more Gose than gueuze - but drinkable and potentially a very good food beer.

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Photo of vandemonian
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%
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

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.82/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

1, 2, and 3 year lambic poured from boxes. 1 year is much paler than 2 and 3 year. No head. 1 year is soft and almost sweet smelling. Straw and wheat. Low acidity. 2 year smells almost vinegary and oaky. 3 year is extremely oaky and yogurty. Tastes are dramatically different as well. 1 year has some sweetness with straw and grain. 2 year is extremely sour. 3 year is an incredibly complex lambic. Oak is prevalent. Moderate acidity, but less than I expected. Funky and yogurty tartness. All are flat and medium light in body. Fantastic experience to try these three components next to the gueuze they are blended into. They are interesting to taste, but the refinement of the gueuze they become belies their abrasive characteristics.

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Photo of Queenw19
3.82/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

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Photo of MattSweatshirt
3.87/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

20 month old lambic tasted at the brewery.

Looks like apple juice. Golden yellow and orange. Small white bubbles formed from the pour dissipate quickly as there is no carbonation.

The aroma is mostly apple vinegar with some funk/must and light white grape.

The taste mirrors the aroma but with an added sour bite. Sort of mild sourness compared to some of the other 'Loon offerings.

Light bodied so no carb is not a problem.

Nice to try the regular unblended lambic.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.92/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

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Photo of claspada
3.92/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

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Photo of oline73
3.93/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.98/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a rating for the 1 year old Lambic. This was served from the cask at the brewery. This one-year-old was quite mellow, the characteristic Cantillon acidity had yet to come into full force. Served completely flat. The beer released a musty sour aroma to my nose. The taste though not overly acidic tasted of citrus. Tasted slightly herbal as well, with a faint woodiness to it. Definitely interesting to taste along with the other more aged products, still has a ways to go in the complexity department.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Moeder Lambic. Pour is a peachy yellow, mostly transparent with a thin off white head. The nose has a touch of lemon with a nice dusty funk to it, cob webbs and light leather, more lemon with some golden fruits faintly weaved in at the end. The taste is extremely dusty and funky, very old bookshelf. There is some tart lemon that comes in as peaches, golden fruits and some floral bitter hops present themselves behind in order. The body is light, very gentle, soft carbonation and rather dry in the finish. Funky is the focus, age may add some fruit as this is probably a newer oude lambic.

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Photo of Stevedore
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

6oz pour out of an unlabeled bottle at Brasserie Cantillon at the conclusion of the brewery tour. Poured into a Cantillon taster glass 7/3/2014.

App- Hazy dark orange body, minimal white head, no lacing. Looks very placid.

Smell- Funky, lemon zest, orange, more funk, horse blanket and hay. Strong nose and very interesting. It smells an awful lot like the brewery itself!

Flavour- Lemon zest, oak, horse blanket, hay, straw, earth. Good amount of vinegar acidity, perhaps 6/10. Just about what I expected after the brewery tour, smelling and nearly tasting the air.

Mouthfeel- Low carbonation, a bit flat. Makes sense why they blend young and old lambic to make geuezes. Dry, acidic yet refreshing.

Overall- Interesting. It seems to basically be Bruocsella Grand Cru, but more raw and with a bit more carbonation.

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Photo of Seanniek91
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

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Photo of cps98
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

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Photo of LeeryLeprechaun
4.06/5  rDev -1.7%
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

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Photo of Slatetank
4.06/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this 1 yr old lambic side by side with the bottled Geuuze at Cantillion, served slightly chilled in a taster.

The color is golden with light haze and no head with some small bubbles -but it has a 'cask look' meaning lightly carbonation appearance and no lace.
The smell is great with sour aroma of wild yeast with light funk and wood with mild malt and lemon rind with tangy tropical scent. The feel is dry and tangy with light body and very sour effect with woody tannin and dry vinous and sour finish with practically no carbonation -(cellar temp/flat)

The flavor is good with a raw yet not extreme sour flavor of lambic with mild funk -still refined in its unblended young form fresh with lemony and woody elements yet the nice tropical tangy juicy flavor is not as intense with light acidity. Overall very good and was interesting to try side by side with a more finished tasting fresh bottle of Gueuze which lets you understand the progression of the flavor and feel better.

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Photo of orangesol
4.07/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

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Photo of biegaman
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at Moeder Lambic, in Brussels.

Cantillon Lambic has a honey hue and is topped with a pillow - no, strike that, a mattress - of white head. Its complexion is clear but the tone is significantly dulled by haze. There's nothing really in the appearance to indicate what an unusual and unique style of beer this is.

To modern mainstream drinkers, Lambic will smell as if quality control has not been invented yet. It is overtly sour and funky, with a vinegar-like tang and an earthy mustiness like that you'd find in a barnyard. Cantillon's personifies all these "unique" qualities unapologetically.

The tartness of the flavour, however, is somewhat dialed down on the palate by a crisp straw-like and lightly honeyed maltiness as well as minor hints of marmalade. It can be difficult to get a good grasp on the flavour, not only because it's so distinct from other beers but also because the mouth dries up almost instantly.

Despite the unyielding persistence of foam atop, the beer is entirely flat. This is no surprise since it's served from cask (and hence the only carbonation mustered comes from gravity). This sample is also rather on the warm side (again, no surprise given it's July). Combined, these factors allow the acidic tartness to invade and conquer the aftertaste unencumbered.

Unblended lambics have no smooth edges. They can typically be summed up in three words: funk, funk, and funk. Both literally and figuratively they lack the 'pop' of Gueuzes and instead really narrow in on those aspects of the style that most resemble, as Martyn Cornell has put it, "a rugby team changing-room after a tough match on a hot day". Sound appealing? Strangely, it is!

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Photo of Beerenauslese
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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Photo of Arbitrator
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a glass poured out of a pitcher at the Cantillon brewery -- same story as MasterSki below, so I'm going with the "cask" designation. I was informed that this was an unblended January 2008 lambic.

A: No carbonation, but that's expected for something that was served out of the casks or whatever they're stored in. It generated some bubbles when swirled in the tulip, but that's about it. The body was a apricot/gold color with swirling sediment that gave it a glowing, murky appearance.

S: Very funky, with horse blanket and musty aromas. A lighter sourness was also present, with definite apple and white wine character to it. Tannins, as well.

T: Starts off tasting like orange and grapes, but it gets sour shortly, and extremely funky shortly after that. The final flavor is a lightly dry assortment of horse blanket and barnyard flavors, with the white wine and apple that I picked up in the nose.

M: Light-medium bodied, no carbonation except the mildest touch of bubbles, and a slightly dry finish with lingering funk.

D: I found this to be a relatively mild beer after having my palate conditioned by a taste of the Rose de Gambrinus. It was funky, but not in nearly as aggressive a manner as, say, DF Hommage. Nor was it sharply dry. Overall, it was very pleasant to drink.

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Cantillon Lambic from Brasserie Cantillon
91 out of 100 based on 51 ratings.