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Cantillon Saint Lamvinus - Brasserie Cantillon

Not Rated.
Cantillon Saint LamvinusCantillon Saint Lamvinus

Educational use only; do not reuse.

459 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 459
Hads: 1,856
Avg: 4.43
pDev: 16.7%
Wants: 1,363
Gots: 406 | FT: 34
Brewed by:
Brasserie Cantillon visit their website

Style | ABV
Lambic - Fruit |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: truthbrew on 03-20-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 459 | Hads: 1,856
Reviews by SkeeterBoganski:
Photo of SkeeterBoganski
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

More User Reviews:
Photo of BEERchitect
4.45/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's always a pleasure to sit down with such a prized beer. The lure and legendary status of Saint Lamvinus makes is appetizing and intimidating.

The beer bursts with fragrance before it even settles into the tulip glass. A billowing head of light burgundy color rises with an airy and musty quality. Vineous (as merlots should), tart, and acidic notes give a little perk to the brow and a twinge to the jawls- surely sour, astringent, and sharply acidic. Berries, grapes, and plumbs are all represented well in the nose, along with a woodsy, dusty, attic-like, musk that gives the unusual character that only brettanomyaces can.

Much more fruity and less sour to taste as it seemed by the smell. Expansive flavors of vineous merlot wine, but with the body and carbonation of a typical lambic to differentiate it from the true wine character. Again, the tartness of the wild yeasts give the beer a lot more complexity than is usually found in red wines. Berries, grapes, and plumbs dominate with a close back-up of apple cider vinegars and a cork-like wood taste. The musty, dusty, attic-ey notes don't carry over to the taste; just stopping at the nose. Still, a briney-Orval taste brings a somewhat salty-metalic taste that adds complexity rather than distorts it.

The blend of yeasts have cut through the barley malts and reduced them to nearly that of heavier red wines. Still, a mild malt flavor gives a bit of weight, maltiness, and substance to keep it from ultimate thinness. Still, acidic to cut through and residual sweetness. Pleasantly astringent all the way, giving a clean, refreshing tartness that challenges the palate but never overwhelming it.

Ok, the beer falls a bit too far on the wine side of things for me. I appreciate the clean, well-attenuated malt and fruit blends but the beer doesn't leave the malt backbone that I appreciate most. The first sip led me to beleive that this 750 mill. session would be laborous and tiresome but after 45 minutes, the glass is dry. Very drinkable, the beer evaporates on the tongue and leaves a powdery, fruity finish. Understandible why this beer ranks among the best.

 2,133 characters

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.85/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First things first, a beef with the presentation: a beer of this caliber should have a bottling date. From the bottle, purchased at the Map Room for $40, there was absolutely no indication as to whether this was a 2001, 2002, or 2003 vintage. It didn’t reduce my enjoyment of the beer but I would have liked to have known for future reference.

As for the beer itself…Cantillon’s St. Lamvinus is perfect.

Appearance: Pours into a white wine glass with a strong effervescent surge that leaves a ¼ inch, lovely pink head. The head dies off quickly but the body doesn’t disappoint. St. Lamvinus presents a deep, sexy purpled pink body. Color is not dissimilar to New Glarus’s Raspberry tart. St. Lamvinus is much deeper, however, and not particularly cloudy.

Aroma: Barnyard funk and vinegar balance flawlessly by sweet grape juice. Light amounts of cobwebs and dirt, oak tannins, and wet leather are found too but at the end of the day one has more of an impression of absolute cohesiveness then individualy unique attributes. I carry away a sense that is now possible, against the odds, for a beer to offer much, indeed most, of the character of a rabid geuze without offending. Likewise, I now see the possibilities of using grapes as a primary component of beer without creating a concoction that is either cloyingly sweet or overly wine like.

Taste: All of the attributes of a fine Bordeaux blended without defect with the entire range of excellent properties of the best lambics.

Mouthfeel: Spritzy and medium bodied. Astringent front, balanced center, lightly dry finish. Defining of balance.

Drinkability: Undoubtedly one of the most drinkable beers I have consumed to date.

Was it worth it? Yes and no…To try once, it was absolutely worth it. To drink regularly, I would have to say it would not be. For my dollar, I would take Oude Beersel or Hansen’s kriek geuzes on a regular basis over this. Still, I have to admit that a beer so well crafted is most certainly deserving of its high price. God bless Cantillon for this.

 2,059 characters

Photo of tectactoe
4.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Kevin R for bringing this to our tasting - Cantillon is always a treat. Saint Lamvinus pours like a garden of rubies with indigo hints. Good clarity all around, with a pink tinted head that makes no attempt to be quiet as it fizzles and eventually fades into nothing put a lavender collar around the crimson brew.

Cantillon's brewery is crawling with critters and they are some of the best critters in the world. You can pick these critters out of any line-up if you have even a semi-functional nose. Funky barnyard, musky cork, sweaty articles of expensive clothing, and a trifecta of dirt, earth, and must. Often imitated, never duplicated - no one does funk like this.

Vinous are present as well, like this was a well aged Cheval Blanc; dripping-wet oak barrels, sour grapes, wine-like acidity, and hints of vinegar in the back end. Grape, tannin, grape, tannin, sour, sour, funky, funky. The nose on this is simply beautiful; As with most Cantillon, I'm having a hard time getting my nose away from the glass long enough to take a sip.

One sip and Cantillon drops it heavy like Saint Lamvinus was Skrillex and grapes were the bass. Boom! A vinous explosion on the palate; tart, sour grapes, mild and bitter acidity, faint cherry skins, heaps of woody oak, and the funk of one thousand barnyard floors. Horse, cork, hay, sweaty feet, and grapes like you wouldn't believe.

Saint Lamvinus masters the art of making a beer that resembles a wine while keeping it accessible to people (like myself) who actually are not big fans of wine. It's that mouth clenching, ass puckering sourness, that stomach ripping acidity, and that nostril curling funk. Effervescence is big; plenty of carbonation with a fading, ghostly mouth feel and a sharp, dry finish.

Cantillon does it again, and I can't say that I'm surprised. These are the beers you hear about when you first start getting into craft beer. All your buds talk about this "Cantillon" place like it's some kind of holy grail for beer, and eventually months and months go by and you finally get to try one, and all of a sudden you're talking about it like you're some kind of sour expert. This shit is excellent; why does it have to be so far from me?

 2,220 characters

Photo of ricke
4.33/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: The color is reminiscent of the pulp in a red grapefruit. Hazy. Slightly off-white minimal head that settles into a nice little ring of lacings. Very good aesthetic qualities.

S: Pleasant qualities of red wine with tart fruity aromas (grapes). Beneath, the Cantillon signature smell lurks - Wet hay, matured cheese and yeast, rather funky. A delightful and edgy smell.

T: Plenty of tart fruit flavors with a prominent but subtle character of grapes. Noticeable taste of fruit pits. A light sweetness balances the tartness and the acidity that is gaining momentum. Not very funky, but there's definitely a taste of hay. In general, the taste have some similarities with a tart fruity sparkling wine. Subtle note of wheat, basically no barley. The finish is sour with notes of grass, earth, nuts and fruits.

M: Light body, very tingling in the mouth due to a lively carbonation. The finish is slightly dry. Excellent.

D: A fantastic lambic, a real work of art. The character of a sparkling wine this one showcases is fantastic. Highly recommended.

 1,054 characters

Photo of t2grogan
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of CavemanRamblin
4.73/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of brownbeer
4.52/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled 11-18-08

Pours a beautiful deep, cherry red with a fizzy purple head.

Mouthwatering aroma; leathery, vinous horseblanket, stinky cheese. Pure and in it's rawest form.

It's a fireworks display on the palate. Grapey, sweaty, leathery, oak tannins, and super sour cherry acidity. Light bodied, not as dry as some other lambics, but still has some dustiness.

This was a great beer, but I wouldn't suggest opening one alone(don't know why you would want to), it could become a little overwhelming. One glass will suffice.

 529 characters

Photo of StoutHearted
4.11/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had it on draft at Capone's in Norristown, PA. It poured a strawberry-red color, and while it looked thick, the texture was fine and smooth. The tangy grapefruit flavor prevents it from going down smooth, however. The sourness forces you to hold it in your mouth and that's when other flavors become apparent. I tasted some light berry and grape notes that gave a slight sweetness to balance the sour. The smell is not sweet, as it had a strong, funky barnyard odor. This is not a fruity beer for framboise fans. This one is perfect for Cantillon and geuze fanatics. Let it warm up and the flavor will be very enjoyable.

 622 characters

Photo of SkiBum22
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a beautiful deep blood red with a ring of white bubbles.

S - Lots of funk with some lactic sourness, hints of grapes and earthy notes.

T - Very similar to the smell. It's heavy on the red wine characteristics and this is where the bordeaux really shines. Lots of varying grape flavor. A fairly mild sourness through out with a very strong oak finish.

M - Very light and extremely dry. Absolutely perfect feel for a lambic. Medium-High carbonation.

O - One of the best lambics I have ever tried.

 508 characters

Photo of darkfallberg
4.03/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Dmann
4.85/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Having this be my first true Lambic will for sure make all other that I have pale in comparison. This one poured a great ruby red color with with not too much head but a great ammount of bubbles that added greatly to the visual appeal. The smell was nice and sour, with sour grape notes and sharp cheese scents. The taste was wonderfull with a great dry flavor of citrus and vinegar. The stuff was so smoothe I could have had the whole bottle! This is a beer to behold for sure.

 478 characters

Photo of Ben7773
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of newk340
5/5  rDev +12.9%

Photo of lateralundertow
4.66/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Photo of FadetoBock
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of joel66
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Todd the beer guy at McKean and Charles in Waldoboro got this beer and then cellared it for me until I managed to get up there for it. Just a quick plug to try his establishment. I was saving this beer for a special occasion. Nothing special was on the horizon, so I broke down and drank it after holding it for a month. A 750ml bottle, with the label stating it was bottled 25Oct2006. Poured into a tulip glass, it was an amazing ruby red color with a touch of orange. A small head quickly dissipated, leaving a very still beer. It had a fruity aroma which seemed mostly cherry, and was also on the musty side (I mean that in a good way). Pleasant fruity taste, but what really was really striking was the degree of tartness. I've had other lambics from Cantillon that were nowhere near this tart. A wonderful, smooth beer. Great to drink, although I couldn't do a steady diet of lambics. Share this with your wife or significant other.

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Photo of gregmoscetti
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of DaftPatrick
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of jamato3000
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of warnerry
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of Afroman
5/5  rDev +12.9%

Photo of Callmecoon
4/5  rDev -9.7%

Photo of bishopdc0
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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Cantillon Saint Lamvinus from Brasserie Cantillon
98 out of 100 based on 459 ratings.