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Cantillon Lambic - Brasserie Cantillon

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Cantillon Lambic
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BA SCORE
92
outstanding

176 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 176
Reviews: 48
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 8.7%
Wants: 42
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: 176 | Reviews: 48 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Monsone
5/5  rDev +20.8%

Monsone, Nov 15, 2011
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5/5  rDev +20.8%

UncleJimbo, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of Beerenauslese
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | 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.

Beerenauslese, Sep 24, 2011
Photo of Thorpe429
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Thorpe429, Sep 15, 2011
Photo of Queenw19
3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

Queenw19, Aug 26, 2011
Photo of lacqueredmouse
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.

lacqueredmouse, Jul 17, 2011
Photo of harrymel
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.

harrymel, Jun 21, 2011
Photo of tbeckett
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.

tbeckett, May 20, 2011
Photo of drtth
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

drtth, Apr 16, 2011
Photo of TurdFurgison
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.

TurdFurgison, Apr 09, 2011
Photo of BucBasil
3.73/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

BucBasil, Nov 04, 2010
Photo of StJamesGate
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.

StJamesGate, Aug 09, 2010
Photo of soulgrowl
3.73/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

soulgrowl, Aug 04, 2010
Photo of hooliganlife
4.6/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

hooliganlife, Jun 20, 2010
Photo of dirtylou
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

dirtylou, Jun 04, 2010
Photo of alfrantzell
3.05/5  rDev -26.3%
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.

alfrantzell, Apr 15, 2010
Photo of Arbitrator
4.1/5  rDev -1%
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.

Arbitrator, Oct 17, 2009
Photo of MasterSki
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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 ebin6
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
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

ebin6, Jul 02, 2009
Photo of francisweizen
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 !

francisweizen, Jul 21, 2008
Photo of ggaughan
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

ggaughan, Feb 12, 2006
Photo of ark57
4.7/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was quite happy to find this at Monk's not too long ago. I'm npot sure how many more chances I'll have to sample this, so I made sure I savored a few.

It was a hazy golden color with no head and no carbonation. The aroma is musty with some floral and citrus notes.

The body was light, but it has more mouthfeel than expected. It tastes of fresh lemon peal, honey, and of course barnyard. It finishes very clean for a sour beer and it leaves you with just enough to always want more. I don't feel it is as agressive as other Cantillon beers, but it is still fantastic. A wonderfully complex beer that I would enjoy any time, but I think it goes especially well at the begining of a meal.

ark57, Jul 02, 2005
Photo of 99bottles
4.6/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

99bottles, Jun 28, 2005
Photo of Gueuzedude
4/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

Gueuzedude, Sep 04, 2003
Cantillon Lambic from Brasserie Cantillon
92 out of 100 based on 176 ratings.