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Cantillon Saint Lamvinus - Brasserie Cantillon

Cantillon Saint LamvinusCantillon Saint Lamvinus

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

1,240 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1240
Reviews: 426
rAvg: 4.52
pDev: 8.19%


Brewed by:
Brasserie Cantillon visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Lambic - Fruit |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: truthbrew on 03-20-2003)
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Ratings: 1,240 | Reviews: 426 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Vintage Bottled 2002, Sampled November 24, 2003.
It is with some trepidation that I open this bottle. When I peeled off the foil covering the top of the bottle, the cap was badly rusted and there were streaks of crusted beer running down the neck, as well as a small amount of fresh beer leaking from the cap. Since I was not going to get another one of these in the foreseeable future I let it settle down in my dedicated beer cooler.

There is perhaps a hint of a hiss as I pop the cap off the 750ml bottle; hopefully this beer is not too far gone. The cork feels very moist and is obviously fully penetrated from the beer, a slight acetic smell emanates from the cork. Well I go for the cork pull. The cork pops out, and yes, there is some carbonation here. Perhaps it won’t be as bad as I thought.

I pour the beer and low and behold it is very well carbonated. The carbonation produces a couple of inch thick pink to light purple colored head, which, lasts longer than I was expecting. The beer itself is a reddish/ light purple color, quite hazy as well. There is a definite acidic aroma that emanates from my glass. It is sour, though not intensely so.

As I take my first sip I note that there seems to be a large amount of body to this bone dry Lambic. I wonder if the grapes have added some structure, as I was expecting it to be quite thin. The grape character is certainly here, it is under the sourness, there is a bit of tannin here from the grapes. There are some berry notes, which compliment the lemony acidity, it sort of underscores & picks the beer up. As I peel the layers of this beer away I note that the berry–grape like flavor is definitely here.

As this beer warms slightly the wine grapes really start to pick up, especially in the finish. I get an austere vinous slightly tannic ending. The Lambic sourness definitely dominates, but this beer is infinitely better and more complex than the Cantillon Vigneronne. The typical suite of Lambic flavors are here; leathery, musty, and sour. Aromas of cat piss, musty cellar, citrus, vinegar, it is just wonderful to sniff away at. I must get more of this.

A Lambic on its own, when made properly, is incredibly complex. The Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and the Cabernet Merlot grapes just bring this to a whole other plane of existence. This has got it all, and the grapes did not thin out the body of the Lambic like the Muscat grapes did to the Vigneronne. This beer has convinced me to brew a grape-Lambic, perhaps a syrah.

Well I just finished my first glass of this wonderful beer; luckily I still have a second one yet to savor. In my second glass the sour aroma has receded a bit. The Brett character has become a much more noticeable, accompanied by some enteric notes as well. The aroma is just wonderfully complex; I could just smell this beer forever. So, I take an extended moment to do just that… which leads to some ruminations on my part. How can something that is described in such negative terms (enteric, sweaty – leathery – horse blanket, vinegar, barnyard, etc.) be so wonderfully enticing? Well I don’t know, but I truly love it. The taste is again sour up front, but the body and finish of this beer is where the grape character shines. Don’t get me wrong, don’t read too much into my description, this is by no means a wine, definitely a beer, definitely a Lambic, but the marriage of wine and beer is pure genius in the form of Lambic. The complexity here, I never would have guessed that grapes could add so much to the complexity of a traditional Lambic product. Unlike most fruit Lambics (including many that I really enjoy, even most Cantillon products) the grapes take nothing away from the Lambic character, they only add a whole other dimension that intertwines and picks up the character of this Lambic.

No one else should try this beer; I sincerely believe that it is all meant for me. No one else will be able to appreciate the stunning complexity and subtlety that is this beer. After reading this I am sure that anyone else trying this will be let down, so don’t get it, seriously, I’ve got dibs on the rest.

On a serious note, I really would not recommend anything less than an 8 oz serving of this (and a full 12oz would be adequate, but a 750 would be much better). This beer is just far to complex and needs, nay requires, deep contemplation and time to savor and explore this nectar. Please deeply explore this beer if you get a chance, it is well worth it.

Stunning, contemplative, world class; these are all words that just do not do justice to this beer. Please Jean-Pierre, make this a regular beer in your line-up.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2003 19:10:55 | More by Gueuzedude
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francisweizen

Arizona

5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Opening Notes: Geez, where do I begin? First off a big thanks to NGandhi for this ultimately rare, and pricey ($40+ a bottle) offering from the traditional lambic masters @ Cantillon. The presentaition is subtle, yet beautiful. A 750ml bottle which has a black overwrap, a crown and a cork. Like other aged Cantillon offerings the overwrap is rust-laden, the crown cap, is rusted to death, and the cork is really in there. The rust is gently washed off, the crown cap is pried off and the cork comes out flying with an immense rush of carbonation. Have I just released a beer genie from his bottle?, I ask myself...Note to those "in the know" this is a late 2002 vintage that we are dealing with here...

Appearance: The pour is extremely effervescent, and even noisy! a deeply turbid purple-ish liquid glugs slowly out of the 750 and into one of my best Alba wine glasses. The colour settles down to a deep reddish/pinkish liquid with a small pink/off-white head, that shimmers, fizzes loudly, and than all but dies, leaving only the slightest trace of a head, in the form of a white ring. This colour combination is very reminscent of the extravagent Alba red raspberry wine that I drank the other day. This is truly a beautiful beer to behold. Hold it up to the light and transport yourself to another dimension!

Aroma: The aroma is simply to die for! All of the traditional Cantillon gueuze/lambic aromas are here, and they are enhanced by the addition of the Cabernet-Franc and Merlot grapes from the Libourne region of France. This smells musty and earthy, with hints of leather, horse blanket, sheep, cobwebs, freshly packed dirt, cemeteries/graveyards, other various plants and animals, funky yeast, old barns, stewed shoes, and the general drunken monks, funky skunks, and dirty old drunks. However, the aroma is bolstered, and softened by the character of the different grape varieties that are added to this lambic beer. How can something this good be made so simply, and in such an old-fashioned way? That is a question that I find I ask myself often when I contemplate the greatness of Cantillon beers. Note to self: pick up some Saint Emillion and Pomerol wines soon!

Taste: The taste is what you would expect from a traditional Cantillon lambic offering. Oh wait, it is, and it isn't. The aromas ring true in the taste of this brew, but there is also much more here, than there is in any other lambic beer that I have ever sampled. By soaking the grapes in old French Bordeaux barrels full of lambic, Van-roy has really added a new depth of flavor and character to this offering. The taste is sharp, vinous, and acidic up front, with the classic acidity that one expects in a Cantillon offering. This acidity is than backed up by a new vino acidity that rides in on the coat tails of the previous acidic punch. It's a Cantillon, 1, 2 punch. After the acidic rush ends, the grape flavors mingle on the middle of your tongue. It is hard to describe all of the flavors, but to me it is very reminscent of a spring evening in a vineyard. Or when you ate perfectly ripened graps in your backyard as a child...Finally the finish really blends together the best of the French wine world, and the Belgian lambic world. The acidity makes one last charge on the back of your tongue, leaving a sweet and sour sensation and a bit of an alcoholic tinge on the front of your throat...until, Finally the grapes reappear once more to smooth out everything incredibly well. This is definately the easiest drinking Cantillon out there.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel of this masterpeice is also perfect. It is sharp, acidic, and effervescent at the beginning of your glass, but by the middle of your glass, it has changed. The mouthfeel morphs into a subtle rolling, gentle carbonation, that puts all of the flavors in your mouth and blends them together into one wonderful melange of ecstacy. Just take a sip and airate it through your teeth, swirl it around into your cheeks, and all of the tiny crevices in your mouth. Do you feel that soft, gentle, rolling carbonation releasing itself throughout your entire mouth? This is exactly how a lambic beer should feel. The mouthfeel is absolutely dead on.

Drinkability: The drinkability you ask? Well it was OK. No, no it was not OK, it was PERFECT! This stuff is so well balanced and so easy to drink, that if I was a King, I would demand to have this as my daily drink. I could easily drink this beer all day and every day. The flavors are just blended so well. Combine that fact, with the perfect and heavenly apperance, aroma, and mouthfeel of this brew, and you have the best drinking lambic ever created.

Final thoughts: Thank-you Mr. Van-roy, you are truly an artist and a master creator of traditional lambics, and I am grealty indebted to you. This is easily the best lambic, and probably the best beer that has eveer passed my lips, and I owe it all to you.

Closing Notes: Get this beer any way that you can, it *IS* most definately worth it!!!

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2004 19:18:44 | More by francisweizen
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beergeek279

Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served in the 750 mL bottle, into a goblet. The color is a ruby red, with a bubbly white head in the middle. The smell is the lambic sour mixed with a slight bit of dry wine tart. The taste is a more mellow sourness than other lambics (ie, no face puckering), and the wine grapes add just a bit of tartness, body, and a more complex depth. Mouthfeel is nice and smooth. As for drinkability, this is a lambic that I could session with almost all day without my mouth going numb.

Well, this is the first beer that I had as a college graduate. It's been a long, strange trip, but it's been worth it, and I'm glad that I learned to persevere throughout it. I want to thank ngandhi for sending me this rare bottle and for all of his kind thoughts and words of encouragement as I was preparing for this wonderful day. I also have to thank all of my BA friends that I've met and have yet to meet, and I wish you well at the AOBF and whereever else you may be, and just wish that I could be there with you (though I hope I am in spirit). Finally, I want to thank my family and friends...without their support and their love, I wouldn't be drinking this beer on one of the happiest days of my life, and I have to raise a toast to them.

As for the lambic, this is easily the best lambic in the world, and I hope that someday I'll be able to reminisce about my good 'ol days here at school with another glass of this. Cheers to Mr. Jean-Pierre van Roy for this masterpiece, and I know that I will have this one again.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2004 17:28:10 | More by beergeek279
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EPICAC

Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I let this warm to around 45º F and served it in one of my New Belgium glasses.

Appearance: Pours a hazy maroon with orange tints arounf the edges. A foamy, purplish-white, half-inch head tops the beer, before fading to a somewhat persistent ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Undisturbed an acidic tartness is predominant with light medicinal phenols, light hints of grapes and a light funkiness. Upon swirling the characteristic Cantillon earthy/funky/barnyard aroma becomes very dominant.

Taste: Sweet and tart grapes are evident upfront. The fruit is noticeable without being overdone or overpoweringly sweet. A strong acidic tartness appears in the center and mingles with a light residual fruitiness. The finish has a savory funkiness with a hard-to-place mouthwatering quality.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied with prickly carbonation. The finish is very dry.

Drinkability: Delicious, the light fruitiness provides a nice balance to the strong tartness.

Overall: A fantastic fruit lambic, the fruit is present without being overpoweringly sweet. There's also a nice strong tartness and funkiness that I like. This beer is definitely worth my first 5.0.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2006 01:52:41 | More by EPICAC
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jmalex

Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sampled at Capone's in Norristown, PA on 2-21-07. This review is from notes taken that night.

APPEARANCE: An incredibly cool Ruby red-purple color. Very very cool. The thinnest collar rings the small wine goblet it came in.

SMELL: Very strong aromas of red wine and barnyard funk with a hard hitting vinegar tartness.

TASTE: Extremely tart (which is a good thing!) Flavors of grapes, wine, cranberries explode in your mouth. The finish is, well, non-existant. The flavor just doesn't end. Even 5 minutes later, the strength of my most recent sip is still almost as intense as the moment it hit my tongue. Absolutely amazing!

MOUTHFEEL: Despite the lack of any head, the carbonation is great. The very fine bubbled carbonation is perfect for this beer.

DRINKABILITY: Given the price and the variety of the taplist, I really only planned to have one before moving on to other beers. But I cannot turn another one down. I MUST have more of this beer. It is simply stunning.

I am very hesitant to give anything a perfect 5. I certainly have not done it yet. But from the very first sips, I knew that anything less would not suffice. So, well done Cantillon! Saint Lamvinus gets my very first 5.0!

Serving type: on-tap

03-11-2007 20:46:12 | More by jmalex
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The day before I tried this (6-11-2007), I had to do the heimlich on someone who was choking. They got to live (and gave me a few $$ for beer because we talked about my love for it) and I got to try Saint Lamvinus on cask. Life is beautiful.

On cask at Spuyten Duyvil in Brooklyn for their special event for lambics and brett beers.

I have reviewed this before on the bottle. So forgive me if I don't get too detailed with the review and choose to just enjoy it a bit more without thinking too much.

Pours a clouded ruby red. A small ring of white head lines the top of the glass. Nose is straight up lambic funk. Taste brings the funk still. Mild sour attributes. At least I think they are milder than they were on the bottle. I am not sure if the cask has something to do with the rounding out of that, but who cares. There it is. Mild sweet tones off fruit and grapes. Obvious, but still slightly subdued grape characteristics there. Oh to hell with it. As you can see from my scores, I think this is as good on cask as it is from the bottles. A joy to be able to have on this special occassion. I'm sorry you weren't there to be able to enjoy it with me.

Serving type: cask

12-31-2007 09:47:40 | More by RblWthACoz
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gyllstromk

Belgium

5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a beautiful ruby with a thin pink head. Aromas of cherries, currants, and grapes on the nose, with a perfectly balanced funkiness. Flavor is vinous with more fruit (and even cranberry?), with a sharp but refreshingly acidic finish, complemented by hint of cloves or anise. This is a perfect fruit lambic.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2010 15:13:19 | More by gyllstromk
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CaptinRedBeard

Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Shared with raceway40. Poured into my Cigar City snifter.

A: Pours a beautiful ruby red color. A half finger of a pink head that dissipates quickly.

S: A strong red wine element from all of the grape elements used in this beer. Also a little bit of a funky barnyard aroma.

T: A bit sour but not excessively so. A very complex beer. the grapes are obviously a strong flavor element here. Nothing overwhelms though. This is extremely well balanced. Some notes of lemon, red wine, funk and berries all interplay together wonderfully.

M: Perfect. Carbonation is spot on. The finish is smooth and dry.

D: Fantastic. This is one of the best beers I've ever had. I now regret not buying every single bottle that sat on the shelf of my local bottle shop. If you ever have a chance to purchase this beer...yes, it's worth it.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2010 16:54:57 | More by CaptinRedBeard
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mondegreen

Georgia

5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle poured into a stemmed Cantillon glass. Bottle 27 October 2009. Purchased October 2010 in Athens, GA for $29.99.

Pours a gorgeous red/purple. Looks like a crown jewel sitting in the glass.

A soft funky aroma dances with the red wine grapes and mild oak notes. Nothing is out of place here.

Taste is on point for a Cantillon Lambic. The sour/funky component is present, but less intense than in other Cantillon offerings. The "sour" part of the beer meets a *very* slight sweetness perfectly, with the oak giving subtle yet essential tones to this beer. This is truly a masterpiece.

This beer is well carbonated. Light bodied, yet slick. Bone dry lingering tart finish. I can't find any flaws. Far, far above average.

This beer drinks like the finest wine or champagne. A joy to behold. I am glad I made it part of my New Years Eve 2010 celebration. Pricey? Yes. But do yourself a favor and try this one if you get the chance.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2010 22:13:35 | More by mondegreen
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Dreizhen

Georgia

5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured form a 75 cl bottle into a Cantillon chalice

I'm going to be honest, I'm not great at describing beers. But this one is amazing. It's one of my all time favorite beers. My absolute favorite in its style. If you're familiar with Cantillon, think the Zwanze, but more red wine, particularly a right bank Bordeaux, than white wine. Perhaps the reason I love this so much is that it is a perfect blend of Bordeaux and lambic. I've had almost every kind of Cantillon beer and loved them all. They are fantastic in different ways. But this is the one they really got right.

One hell of a beer, especially if you moonlight as wine snob.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2013 19:50:15 | More by Dreizhen
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truthbrew

Minnesota

4.97/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The cork removed with nary a pop, the expected semi-sour barnyard aroma pushed through the narrow neck and hit my nose. The aroma was very strong, very traditional Cantillon with slight hints of grape. The pour, while plenty vigorous, resulted in no head, merely a brilliant hazy red, semi-viscous liquid.. Little to no carbonation, but an excellent prickle during the swallow. Unlike many other Cantillon lambics, it was completely smooth and perfectly balanced, no overwhelming acidic or sour bite, just enough initial lambic traits, then smooth and satisfying. Wow… a traditional lambic with this perfect of drinkability; I could have sipped on it all night. For any lambic lover, worth spending the time, energy, and money to obtain a bottle. I don’t believe it will be a revelation for anyone who has enjoyed other Cantillon lambics, but a very, very nice addition to their line.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2004 04:04:45 | More by truthbrew
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marburg

Michigan

4.97/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very typical Cantillon quality. Vibrant red color has a touch of violet in it. Surprisingly still in appearance despite the bold effervesence on the tongue. Sour nose with an especially vomitous, bile-like aroma. Ah, lovely, lovely Cantillon. Pressing deeper, one is hard-pressed to evade the grape skin and cranberry redolence present under the initial funk. Fruity cranberry sweetness and mild bitterness blend nicely with a potent sourness. It's quite sour, though I think of their fruit lambics, this is more nominal and par for the course (meaning consistent, not poor) than it is exceptional. Spectacular beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2004 15:45:29 | More by marburg
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kmpitz2

Tennessee

4.97/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This rare treat was shared between 4 people last night, and I have to believe that I will have to drink this beer again, without the other 3 glasses being shared. The liquid pours a beautiful rosey ruby color with a finger of spritzey head that immediately fallst to ring the beer with large bubbles. This one is very wine-like in the color, somewhere between a blush and a dark red. The nose was true to the Cantillon form. Funky, sour, acidic, but with a nice fruity grape coming in behind the funk, smelling so damn good. The flavor. What can one say about liquid nirvana; something so awesome that I would be happy to drink exclusively for the rest of my life. What struck me most was how mellow and smooth this was. I've had a few of the Cantillon line, but this was every bit as funkey, but much more mellow. Still sour and acidic and tart, but not puckering. The grape flavor hits secondarily behind the initial burst of sour and acid, but it serves to polish this beer like the finest diamond. The feel was a weak moderate to moderate, wtih a light, dancing bubble on my tonge. Nothing that got in the way, but enough to know it was there. Awesome balance on the pucker factor. Wow...wow, wow, wow. If there is anything left to say about the drinkability that can't be drawn from what I've already said, I don't know what it would be. Hunt this beer. Drink this beer. Love this beer. So good.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2005 16:27:17 | More by kmpitz2
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nlmartin

Ohio

4.97/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The beer was served in a flute. The beer was the 2003 vintage.

Appearance: The beer has a clear red nearing burgundy coloration. The beer has ample carbonation. The beer has no head except a thin white film. The beer gives no lacing.

Smell: The beer has a very good sweet and sour combonation. The beer has plenty of sweet grapes and apple. The beer has a pleasing funky "blue cheese rind" smell. The beer has a earthy grassyness to it.

Taste: Wow! This is a wierd beer. The beer has a commanding sweet and sour assault on my palate. The beer is loaded with fruityness (apples, cherries, grapes). The beer has that oddly pleasing yeasty funkyness. The beer has a bit of a acidic taste. This beer is well done.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer has a very commanding sweet and sour smell and taste. The beer is light bodied. The beer is oddly refreshing inspite of the acidity. Dam this was a great beer! The beer is a bit expensive $30.00 but what a treat. The beer was very hard to put down. I had to make myself wait during the second pouring of the bottle for it to warm up. The beer went very well with semi sweet dark chocolate.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2006 07:41:35 | More by nlmartin
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DaveHS

California

4.97/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer rivals Fou Founne for best Cantillon ever. I had it at the FARMHOUSE in Emmaus, PA.
Smelled strongly of grapes and typical Cantillon funk.
Poured with almost no head, leaving a thin, foamy ring at the top of the glass. Hold it up to the light. A deep rose color.
Basically, this is one of the best beers I have ever had. The initial taste is all grape sweetness, which slowly gives way to a beautifully balanced acidity. And the almost indescribable Cantillon funk. I remember being on the Cantillon brewery tour, standing in the barrel room, and inhaling the atmosphere. I don't know how they do it. They bottled that smell, and the residual taste it leaves in your mouth. It's damp and musty...old wood and hay. Like the basement of an old house with bad insulation. It transports you.
There's not much else I can say about this beer. I think it was from 2003. One of the best.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2008 04:30:27 | More by DaveHS
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ktrillionaire

Florida

4.97/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2009 bottle courtesy of the ever-awesome ericfb18. The brew pours a luscious blood-red hue, although it is fully translucent; it is capped with a thin wisp of encircling white froth. The nose is pure Cantillon funk; delicious and complex. Notes of bushy mixed berries, acidity of the acetic persuasion more than lactic, tannic oak, and an overall unbelieveably delectable and well-rounded flavor make this one of the best beers on Earth. The wine and grape is there if you look for it, although I feel like the fruitiness could just as easily be cherry, raspberry, blueberry or a berry melange. The most succinct way to describe the flavor of St. Lamvinus: This is what I thought Blabaer was going to taste like. I am struck by the fullness of the fruit flavor; it is not mere nuance, the taste is big and jammy and unabashed. The feel is full and creamy for a Cantillon (a la Blabaer), and has a wonderfully dry and mouth-watering finsh. Overall, this is about as good as a beer (or any libation, for that matter) can be.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2011 02:57:56 | More by ktrillionaire
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Jon

Illinois

4.95/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Where do I begin? Ahem, OK, Cantillon Saint Lamvinus. A beer I've been looking forward to for quite some time. The holidays, of course, bring out the best in everyone, and in this case, a bottle from my stash of 2002 Saint Lamvinus. Yeah, it was worth it.

Deep pinkish-purple color with a lighter pink-hued head. Simply beautiful.

Musty nose emitted further aromas of leather, citrus, and earthiness. Deep and omnipresent aroma keeps one's attention all the way through.

Flavors range from typical traditional lambic notes of citrus zest and earth with a characteristic, profound acidity that lingers indefinitely. The Merlot and Cabernet Franc grapes used in the production of this lambic, however, share different flavor profiles to this beer and, in turn, soften (but certainly enhance) it. Some tannin from the Pomerol/St-Emilion-derived grapes appears in the mix and provides some definite acidity to the all ready acidic aged lambic. Almost indescribeable. I hate to sound like too much of a fan of Cantillon, but after sampling this beer, it's hard not to. Deep, eccentric and truly original.

Lively, carbonated and acidic mouthfeel is wonderful. Not acidic enough to peel the skin from the roof of one's mouth as it seems a bit softened, but lovely nonetheless.

Drinkable like you wouldn't believe, once you have the palate for these traditional fruit lambics, you will never go back. The question that everyone seems eager to ask, however: is it worth the price? Well, if you're a traditional lambic fiend like myself, most definitely YES. I look forward to seeing how some aged bottles come out in a few years. This beer clearly has the acidity and structure to fare well in a cellar. Hard to describe, but a delight to drink.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2004 04:14:46 | More by Jon
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flipper2gv

Quebec (Canada)

4.95/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

October 2009 vintage.

A: The beer shows a true red color, getting towards the purple a little bit. A bit opaque, good head retention (pure white) with very good lacing for the low ABV.

S: There is a LOT of funk in this. Very very strong smells of barnyard, hay and definitely horse blanket. Definitive earth-y elements to this. Then, it's all about the grapes and the lactic sourness. Good amount of wood tannins give the beer a very wine-like smell. Super strong smell.

T: Simply put, this is the best tasting beer I've ever had. The perfect balance of sourness (not as much as the Rosée de Gambrinus), fruits (aka grapes), barnyard funk, earth and wood tannins notes. It really is perfect. I really don't know what else I can add.

M: Very light and extremely dry. Absolutely perfect feel for a lambic. High carbonation (of course).

O: The best beer I've ever had. Nothing else to add. This is a beer that has been finely crafted throughout the generations. Although it might not be my favorite, I can objectively say this is the best crafted beer I've ever drank. Cantillon's almost "worship" of tradition is something that definitely paid off in the end.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2011 05:29:45 | More by flipper2gv
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TheLongBeachBum

California

4.93/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A 750ml green glass bottle that comes with a cork/crown cap, covered in a thick black foil that covers the slender neck. Unlike other Cantillon offerings, this beer has only an obverse label, which depicts a picture of a bunch of mouth watering dark grapes painted by Julie Van Roy, the Wife of the Cantillon Master Brewer.

Old Bordeaux wooden barrels are partially filled with a connubial mix of Merlot & Cabernet-Franc grapes, then filled with 2 to 3 year-old lambic. The resultant offering is then bottled without blending. Expensive ingredients & the small batch sizes, make this a *very* rare offering from Cantillon. It is not often that this beer is seen, let alone tasted.

It pours with a strong effervescence in the glass; indeed the fizz is quite audible as the surface literally effervesces for about 30 seconds, or so, whilst contributing to a 1” deep, light pink smooth head. But sadly this soon dies completely, leaving only a thin ring on the stunning deep turbid matte red surface. When back-lit, the beer resembles the red grape juice that many home-brewers use. It should do, the grapes used actually color this most amazing lambic.

A deeply pungent, acetic, vinegar nose that “screams” Cantillon & releases lambic-pheromones in such huge quantities, that my raised lambic-testosterone levels almost cause premature ejaculation. My nasal hair tingles as the acidic vapors enter the nostrils. I reel with sado-masochistic delight as I inhale deeply, again & again. Gorgeously astringent, eye-watering & incredibly nose puckering.

Mouthfeel is, as ever, spritzy. A dry fruity beer whose inherent carbonation waits until it hits your tongue until it decides to release itself from its liquid captivity. Rolling this lambic on the tongue has almost masturbatory overtones.

The taste starts with an experience of complete astringency. A Sahara dryness persists, the usual lambic sourness is off-set by the sharp vino-contribution from the Merlot & Cabernet-Franc grapes. A fruity middle exudes a winelike character that is heavenly. The finish has a Bordeaux-lambic ending that lingers. A juxta-posed Fine Wine-Lambic mixture, that works, but neatly sums up this beer.

Quite simply a Grand Cru of the Fruit Lambic World.

A truly traditional Esoteric Grape-Lambic. Only the Masters at Cantillon could ever consider even doing this, let alone pull it off with such incredible orgasmic finesse.

I am truly not worthy & forever indebted to yen157 for this offering, your Sainthood is in the Mail.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2003 00:26:29 | More by TheLongBeachBum
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victory4me

Pennsylvania

4.93/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

'06 vintage poured into a 6oz wine glass at Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia.

Pours a ruddy purple/maroon with substantial depth. A light coating of bubbles hovers over the lambic. Aroma is like nothing short of spectacular: earthy, cheddar, barnyard, armpit sweat, subtle red wine, acidic sourness. Incredibly complex.

The flavors mirror the aromas. The earthy and barnyard qualities hit you initially before allowing the sweetness of the grapes to push through followed by the tart and acidic finish. Finishes very dry despite having so many complex flavors complementing each other in perfect symphony. A true masterpiece among the spectacular lambics of Cantillon.

Mouthfeel is slightly puckering, but more comforting than the typical Cantillon sharpness and bite.

This is probably the best lambic I have ever had. Enjoyed this significantly more than the younger version I had a bottle of last year as all the flavors were more pronounced. Unbelievably complex.

World class in every respect.

Serving type: on-tap

08-10-2011 15:51:50 | More by victory4me
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frank4sail

New Jersey

4.9/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Rediculas neon raspberry color with a slight pale white head. Beauty in a goblet. Hand carried from the brewery by my good friend Andrew. Smells like (and I mean this in the best way possible) what my girlfiend puked up on the carpet in my dorm room after attending a very good high quality red wine tasting . Acidic rounded and berrylike in the nose. Very clean and dry upfront with a rounded fruity berry like (blackberry/raspberry) mellowness. A touch of barnyard love but it is a very clean drinkable brew. Smoothish soft loving mouth with little bubbles on the tongue. The brew just WONDERFUL!

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2004 00:55:21 | More by frank4sail
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biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

4.9/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

It's been said that in conceiving Florence's breathtakingly beautiful Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral no one had ever seen a building that looked like the one they wanted to build - its design was a matter of ambition and of idea. Likewise, before the masterful artistry of Cantillon's Jean Van Roy I doubt anyone had ever tasted a beer like the one he wanted to brew.

But I doubt even he could envision what would come of this experiment - using Bordeaux barrels to age Merlot and Cabernet-Franc grapes with 2-3 year-old lambic. Indeed, its result is something of a beer marvel...

375ml bottle found at the Bier Circus in Brussels. Bottled October 25, 2006 and list a "consumer avant fin 12/2009". Beautiful bottle art. How I savoured this...

Saint Lamvinus is graced by a most pristine colour, the beauty of which I can't easily describe. Something of a dark violet or eggplant purple. It has a strong, bright ruby shine and such pristine clarity. My eyes widen as I think to myself in French: "sa brille!" A short, only occasional stream of bubbles float up and contribute to a bold - but minimal - outlining ring of head.

The aroma is enchanting, ambrosial, downright divine. Lightly acidic and plenty full of tartness. The grapes cut sharply through the lambic. The merlot is so fresh and fruity! There is a certain softness imparted from the grape that plays so well with the underlying tartness of the lambic. This is not only incredibly balanced but also incredibly interesting as well as delightful. It easily elevates itself above even the best of malty barleywines, roasty Imperial stouts or fresh and hop filled double IPA's.

The mouthfeel is very sour but very graceful too. If one could only stop themselves from slowly savouring they would also realize it is quite refreshing! Every sip coats the mouth in sour grapes, a sensation which lasts all throughout. It is both soft and tart, dry but juicy, both sour and sweet - no part of the palate goes overlooked. It's also lightly acidic and slightly sugary, causing a real pucker. The blend, however, is perfect - a character of sharp tartness in the lambic and a fruity, luscious bouquet of wine grapes in the taste.

The taste, by the way, is out of this world. The merlot grape I found most predominant. It is very fruity. The grapes tend to impart flavours of other fruits also: grapefruit, passion fruit, lemon/lime, berry, plum and currant. Chalk full of fruity phenols. The flavours linger so gracefully, allowing them to truly be savored with every sip. They have lasting power.

It is incredible what flavours are captured from these grapes. The taste falls somewhere between the tasty "purple" flavoured grape candy/juice for children and the "Chateau OhLala" Grand Cru Vintage of a fine Bordeaux. Even experienced wine connoisseurs might wonder at how such flavour could come from a grape.

For me, I myself marveled at how such beauty could come of a beer. It is more than any hype, rarity or price tag that makes this special. This, to me, is the summer sun. When the cold, dark nights and never ending, harsh months of Canadian winter become relentless I will think of the Saint Lamvinus. I will remember the rare occasion I had of trying this beer, under an (equally rare) pristine blue Bruxelles sky in August. I will remember and smile.

At the conclusion of my notes there is a small part that reads:
"I'm in Love,
I'm in love,
I'm in love"

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2007 17:13:09 | More by biegaman
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Habanero58

United Kingdom (England)

4.9/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

As an eager inductee into of "The World of Belgian Beers" over the last 18 months or so, I have obviously quickly fallen for the wonders of Rochefort, Westmalle,
de Dolle and what's that other brewery? oh yes, that Westvleteren trio of super-beers :-)
But a word about Cantillon who are right up there with the very best of the Belgians.

Yes, the lambics and gueuzes are an acquired taste but one I will always be grateful I acquired.
I was lucky enough to attend Cantillon's open brewing session on March 1st 2008 and even luckier to come home with a bottle of St. Lamvinus and it's brother Vigneronne. The Vigneronne remains untouched but I have just finished off the St. Lamv and I'm stilll smiling!

These really are a masterpiece in a bottle, I love the unrelenting sourness and the slight fizz and the fruit without really being too fruity plus those strange farmyard smells that are so often mentioned. Our Cantillon guide mentioned (I believe) that there are 10 species of Brettanomyces yeast known and 9 of them fly into their beers via the Brussels air during the overnight natural wild fermentation.

Possibly the best thing to be done with a Merlot grape ...
I urge you to investigate if you haven't already!!

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2008 20:20:33 | More by Habanero58
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NittanyBeerFan

Pennsylvania

4.9/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A huge thanks goes out to Treyrab and cooljosh, two extremely generous BAs, who splurged on this 2008 bottle in thanks for my hosting them for our epic tasting. Split 5 ways, and poured into lambic glasses.

Once in the glass, the body is a hazy mahogany-tinted ruby. The rosy body is capped by only a thin layer of fine bubbles on top, while under the surface, tons of champagne-like bubbles cling to the edges of the glass. They hold on only briefly before rushing towards the surface, feeding the wispy foam that sits just below the rim of the glass, allowing me to swirl and bury my nose in the glassware...

The nose provides pretty much everything I dream of when I think about lambics. There is a big bacterial and vinegary sourness, coupled with a big bretty and cheesy funk. The Bordeaux character is somewhat muted, which is the only thing that I think can be improved. I don't know how this is fresh, but with age, it's phenomenal.

The Bordeaux that was unfortunately lacking in the bouquet comes through nicely here. It is followed quickly by that cheesy funk from the nose. Wine grapes seem to dominate the middle of the flavor profile. The sourness moves from the funky cheesiness to a mildly acetic sourness. This is one of the most well-rounded sours that I have ever tried. The flavor is absolutely insane for a relatively low-gravity beer. The earthy finish is incredible and catches me almost by surprise. Nice and woody, it really rounds out Saint Lamvinus in a perfect way.

Despite the notable carbonation immediately following the pour, the texture and feel of this beer are that of a decidedly low-carbonation level. There is a sourness that flows through the entire body upon drinking. I am sorry that I only had 5-6 oz to enjoy, as I could have enjoyed the whole 750mL bottle myself over a two-hour time span.

Make sure this is consumed at cellar temp. You don't want to miss a single aspect of this phenomenal brew.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2010 02:53:23 | More by NittanyBeerFan
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Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4.9/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle shared by drabmuh. Thanks Matt!

Dec. 2008 vintage.

A: Bright purple color with a slight haze. There is but a wee head that fades quickly, leaving no lacing.

S: A noticeably different aroma than the draft serving. I detected more of Cantillon's distinct, funky barnyard scent in the bottled version. Aromas also consist of berries, grapes, oak.

T: Though the serving type altered some of the characteristics of this beer slightly, this is a world class fruit lambic nonetheless. Fabulous grape flavors, though more subtle than the draft version, wrapped in a sour farm blanket make for a truly delicious beverage. There is a nice tannic presence to the beer, as well. This is extremely well-crafted, with a myriad of flavors coming through. Balanced to perfection, I give this beer my highest recommendation.

M: Nice and tart. Lip smacking, puckering and fabulous.

D: A terrific example of what a fruit lambic can and should be. A another masterpiece from one of the world's finest breweries.

***

On draft at Churchkey in D.C.

A: Radiant purple hue with pink foam head.

S: Less funk and barnyard aromas than other Cantillon beers. Prominent grape scents from a few feet away.

T: Absolutely delicious! Cantillon sour grape juice, with just enough sweetness to create an amazing balance.

M: Lingering pleasant sour aftertaste. Awesome feel.

D: Perhaps the most drinkable of the Cantillon brews. Simply wonderful. It would be easy to drink this all night.

Serving type: on-tap

Reviewed on: 03-27-2010

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2010 21:17:07 | More by Huhzubendah
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Cantillon Saint Lamvinus from Brasserie Cantillon
100 out of 100 based on 1,240 ratings.