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Cantillon Lambic - Brasserie Cantillon

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Cantillon Lambic
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BA SCORE
92
outstanding

163 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 163
Reviews: 48
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 8.94%
Wants: 41
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie Cantillon visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Lambic - Unblended |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: TheLongBeachBum on 12-30-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 163 | Reviews: 48 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Thorpe429
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%

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.

Thorpe429, Sep 15, 2011
Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -3.4%

zestar, Jul 19, 2014
Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -3.4%

ygtbsm94, Jun 10, 2012
Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -3.4%

spycow, Jan 10, 2013
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of MasterSki
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%

Firstly, I'm not even sure what to call the serving type - Dave Schuster and I were at the Cantillon brewery and were getting our samples at the end of the tour. I politely asked if they had an Faro or unblended Lambic and was told that there wasn't any around. Then an older man put on an apron, grabbed a hammer, bucket, and pitcher, went off somewhere and came back with a pitcher full of the unblended Lambic. Much appreciated - lovely people at Cantillon. Served in a flute glass - this was 2 years old.

A - Well, as per the style it was totally uncarbonated - there was maybe a touch of wispy foam if one swished it around and the faintest ring around the edge of the glass. The brew was a hazed golden apricot color with some visible sediment. I'm not sure how to objectively review this - the color was nice, but as beer it was not what one generally seeks out. I guess it was good for what it was?

S - Super funk with some sourness, some white wine, oak, apple cider vinegar, horse blanket, and mustiness. The funkiness is quite potent and the other smells are mostly peripheral. Still it's not aggressive like some of the gueuze I've had, and it's quite nice.

T - The taste is much milder and more mellow - a lot of graham cracker and marmalade sweetness that ends with a sour and funky finish. It actually reminded me of Zwanze '08, which isn't surprising as the lambic portion is about the same age and is the "base beer" for Zwanze.

M - Very similar to white wine - soft, some residual dry sourness, light side of medium bodied. Not a ton to describe here, but it was nice.

D - I'd heard so much about unblended lambic being aggressive and harsh, but this wasn't any of those things. The cask-style texture, low ABV, and lovely taste make this extremely session-worthy. Indeed this used to be the most popular Cantillon product 100 years ago.

Highly recommended if you happen to be in Brussels.

MasterSki, Jul 13, 2009
Photo of Slatetank
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%

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.

Slatetank, Aug 05, 2014
Photo of drabmuh
3.55/5  rDev -14.3%

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.

drabmuh, Jun 11, 2012
Photo of oline73
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%

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.

oline73, May 16, 2012
Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +20.8%

Rochefort10nh, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of Gueuzedude
4/5  rDev -3.4%

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.

Gueuzedude, Sep 04, 2003
Photo of yourefragile
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

yourefragile, Jan 18, 2013
Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%

Had from cask at Moeder Lambic, not far from the Cantillon Brewery itself.

Pours with a frothy head, but definitely uncarbonated. A bright and hazed golden colour forms the body. It's misty, tantalising and very refined. Head froths itself out after a while; it's just a product of the disturbance from the pour. Looks good though.

Nose is sharp and brusque, with a green crisp acidity, and a hint of rubber. Green apple skin with a touch of moldy undergrowth. Not as pungent as the most rip-roaring gueuzes, for example. For some reason I expected an unblended lambic to be sharper and stronger.

Taste is good. So good. Crisp and biting, and almost bitter-sour. Complex green apple skin mixes with melon and grapefruit tartness with a raw green bite on the back that gives an almost tannic character. Smooth and fruity, but missing some complexity that the gueuze blending gives. Feel is slick, light and flat from cask.

Very drinkable, and very enjoyable. A really good experience. This is definitely worth trying when you get the chance. And the temptation is surely great enough that every beer geek will get the chance at some point.

lacqueredmouse, Jul 17, 2011
Photo of orangesol
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%

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.

orangesol, Dec 24, 2012
Photo of stakem
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%

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.

stakem, Dec 10, 2012
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%

New review. The bottle I had before was suspect. This time, I tried the beer at Moeder Lambic Fontainas. The next day I had this again at Cantillon.

The beer is hazy and copper hued with a thick head. The aroma is funky and fabulous, and of course, embodies that classic Cantillon scent I have come to love. The flavor is fabulous. Earthy, fresh, funky, musty, damp basement, rain, straw, hay, farm. Complex and yet so easy to drink. Light in body but not thin. A wonderful lambic.

***Original review 07 July 2012***

Bottle shared by ygtbsm94. Thanks Brad.

1998 vintage

The beer is transparent and copper to amber in color. No head whatsoever. The aroma brings basement, rain water, funk. The taste is much sweeter than anticipated. A bit of Cantillon funk in the finish, but not to the usual level. Notes of ripe fruit. Overall, this was just ok. I look forward to trying this from the source and comparing to this vintage bottle version.

Huhzubendah, Oct 30, 2012
Photo of biegaman
4.06/5  rDev -1.9%

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!

biegaman, Aug 02, 2013
Photo of smakawhat
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%

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.

smakawhat, Dec 02, 2012
Photo of DrBier
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

DrBier, Jul 15, 2014
Photo of TurdFurgison
3.65/5  rDev -11.8%

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.

TurdFurgison, Apr 09, 2011
Photo of dirtylou
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%

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

dirtylou, Jun 04, 2010
Photo of Rhettroactive
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Rhettroactive, Dec 01, 2012
Photo of bark
4/5  rDev -3.4%

bark, Apr 30, 2014
Photo of atrocity
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

atrocity, Jul 21, 2014
Photo of claspada
3.93/5  rDev -5.1%

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.

claspada, Dec 07, 2012
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Cantillon Lambic from Brasserie Cantillon
92 out of 100 based on 163 ratings.