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Cantillon Lambic - Brasserie Cantillon

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Cantillon Lambic
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BA SCORE
92
outstanding

156 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 156
Reviews: 47
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 9.18%
Wants: 40
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: 156 | Reviews: 47 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of lacqueredmouse
lacqueredmouse

Australia

4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: cask

07-17-2011 13:51:45 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of orangesol
orangesol

Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-24-2012 04:23:04 | More by orangesol
Photo of stakem
stakem

Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-10-2012 15:53:32 | More by stakem
Photo of zestar
zestar

California

4/5  rDev -3.4%

07-19-2014 08:21:22 | More by zestar
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

4.06/5  rDev -1.9%
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!

Serving type: cask

08-02-2013 16:15:29 | More by biegaman
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: cask

10-30-2012 02:44:31 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of smakawhat
smakawhat

Maryland

4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-02-2012 14:10:43 | More by smakawhat
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou

Washington

4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
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

Serving type: cask

06-04-2010 17:45:43 | More by dirtylou
Photo of TurdFurgison
TurdFurgison

Ohio

3.65/5  rDev -11.8%
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.

Serving type: cask

04-09-2011 22:59:22 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of bark
bark

Sweden

4/5  rDev -3.4%

04-30-2014 18:28:04 | More by bark
Photo of Rhettroactive
Rhettroactive

District of Columbia

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

12-01-2012 17:11:24 | More by Rhettroactive
Photo of claspada
claspada

New Jersey

3.93/5  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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-07-2012 18:44:17 | More by claspada
Photo of francisweizen
francisweizen

Alaska

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

King of funk at spiders head
what can I say that has not been said
Turibd, flat, lifeless glass
Light brown honey is the draught

No more head whe presented to me
funky cob webs, spider-y
Had on draught at spiders head
for lambic lovers it goes straight to the head

Aromas of funk, and brett and yeast
this is wilder than a korean on a beach
Taste is funky sour citrus
when in Belgium, you can't miss this

Mouthfeel is light and flat and sour
So refreshing, can drink this all hours
of the day or of the night
drinkability stays just right

Oh pure lambic such a treat
Regular availability would be sweet !

Serving type: on-tap

07-21-2008 02:45:45 | More by francisweizen
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
TheLongBeachBum

California

4.55/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-30-2002 13:42:49 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Photo of tbeckett
tbeckett

Ontario (Canada)

4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Moeder Lambic in Brussels. From notes.

A - Poured with a great fluffy white head at two fingers. Slight haze on a blonde body. Great retention but not lacing. Retention made up for it as it stayed solid.

S - Hay with a little cobweb. Very grapey as well.

T - Really sour. Horse blankety and pissy. Not sure how to describe alot of the characteristics, but I enjoyed it quite a bit.

M - Light body with medium carbonation. Like every Cantillon beer, this really attacks every corner of your mouth nicely.

O/D - I'm so jealous that people in Brussels can session this so easily. Quite a nice little sour beer. Lot's of flavour and an ABV considered low these days. It's worth marvelling at.

Serving type: on-tap

05-20-2011 21:54:17 | More by tbeckett
Photo of woosterbill
woosterbill

Connecticut

4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cask at Moeder Lambic Fontainas, served in a Cantillon tulip.

A: Hazy deep gold body under a finger of surprisingly persistent off-white froth. Spotty lace, even. Great.

S: Delicate yet dirty, with hay, barnyard, lemon, apple, and straight acidity. Solid.

T: Very funky, with some cheese joining the barnyard and hay from the nose. Some fruity lends sweetness and tartness to the back half, with green apple being prominent. Fairly dry, tart finish. Great stuff.

M: Soft, light-to-medium body with delicate carbonation. Terrific.

O: This is probably the best unblended one-year-old Lambic I've had. It can't match the depth of a well-aged Bruocsella, or De Cam Oude Lambik, but it's still great stuff.

Cheers!

Serving type: cask

04-04-2012 13:01:37 | More by woosterbill
Photo of cpetrone84
cpetrone84

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-20-2012 18:43:40 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of atrocity
atrocity

Virginia

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

07-21-2014 15:26:11 | More by atrocity
Photo of BGsWo22
BGsWo22

New York

4/5  rDev -3.4%

03-20-2013 22:25:22 | More by BGsWo22
Photo of UncleJimbo
UncleJimbo

Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +20.8%

11-14-2011 22:27:29 | More by UncleJimbo
Photo of Sean9689
Sean9689

Illinois

3.63/5  rDev -12.3%
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.

Serving type: growler

01-15-2012 01:55:02 | More by Sean9689
Photo of outoffocus
outoffocus

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -3.4%

05-26-2014 21:46:03 | More by outoffocus
Photo of harrymel
harrymel

Washington

4.78/5  rDev +15.5%
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.

Serving type: cask

06-21-2011 15:35:00 | More by harrymel
Photo of StJamesGate
StJamesGate

New York

3.65/5  rDev -11.8%
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.

Serving type: cask

08-09-2010 12:25:18 | More by StJamesGate
Photo of tom10101
tom10101

Quebec (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

03-13-2014 08:02:00 | More by tom10101
Cantillon Lambic from Brasserie Cantillon
92 out of 100 based on 156 ratings.