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Cantillon Saint Lamvinus - Brasserie Cantillon

Not Rated.
Cantillon Saint LamvinusCantillon Saint Lamvinus

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

460 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 460
Hads: 1,884
Avg: 4.43
pDev: 16.7%
Wants: 1,388
Gots: 410 | FT: 37
Brewed by:
Brasserie Cantillon
Belgium | website

Style | ABV
Lambic - Fruit | 5.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

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

Everyone knows some of our best friends are wine growers from the Libourne region in France, more specifically those who make Saint Emillion and Pomerol. They respect the tradition and let their wine ferment in a natural way.

Fermentation, origin and vintage are still kept up.

Our collaboration resulted in a product uniting the best of their wine and of our beer : the Saint-Lamvinus.

The grapes, of the merlot and cabernet-franc varieties, are soaked in Bordeaux barrels containing two to three years old lambic. The beer is not blended before the bottling. The foam is caused by the addition of a liquor which starts the fermentation.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 460 | Hads: 1,884
Photo of illidurit
4.67/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rating #1100! Thanks to Devon for shelling out $40 for this particular bottle, which had been staring at me from a shelf in the local bottle shop for a year's worth of visits. Shared at the December Santa Cruz tasting.
Pours a cranberry juice color with a small white head that evaporates quickly from all the acidity.
Aroma is funky and sour with plenty of blue cheesy bacterial aspects aside lemons and unripe grapes.
Flavor is extremely characterful, even for Cantillon. Very sour but also quite sweet with rich winey grape notes and other jammy fruits. Very acidic, unripe berries and lemons. Tons of funk as well. Horsey and cheesy and musty. Some tannic/oaky stuff too. The whole gamut.
Dry finish on a medium, fulfilling body. What a classic.

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Photo of taylorhamrick
4.67/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours out a perfectly hazy red, almost a light purple. There was very little head. I poured it slowly, of course, but using the same procedure with any other wild ale has given me an inch or more of head. The smell is kind of hard to pick up on with such a small head, but I can get this oxidized red wine scent immediately. Definitely a good, strong wild yeast character. The taste is what really shines. There's the standard wild ale, the tart, sour candy sitting on top of a lighter bodied red wine. Kind of a vinegar taste, really a great example of a lambic, though I've never had one with grapes. The mouthfeel is right on, none of the chalky tartness, not overcarbonated, great. And I sped through this one, loving every drop, and it may not hit me too hard at 6%. I know its expensive, but don't give it a pass if you can afford it.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.67/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Capped and corked 750, cork dated 2003 - This is my 3rd bottle of this stuff that I've been able to enjoy. The first 2 bottles were dispersed during a couple of parties I had, one of which a certain few special BA's were there for and coaxed me to open one up.

This one was shared with just a few friends and I was finally able to sit and write my review notes.

Appearance is of a dark cranberry juice mixed with a splash of grape juice. Has some lively carbonation lineage along the sides. Crunchy threaded bubbles of foam decorate the top in a dusty pinkish white. Very active and popping and light amounts of lacing in thin strings. Shrinks down fairly fast as its surface smoothes out some then to a nothing-like misty haze on top and a thin collaring.

Outstandingly strong aroma, which is nothing out of the ordinary for Cantillon. Lots of brisk and lively sour-tartness fully dancing amoung a floor of acidic fibers. Whole mustard seeds, sharp white cheese, dirty barn floor hay, and vinegar all add to a vineous strength of sour stuff tickling the nose. Like a red wine on lambic steroids.

Taste is no different. Tons of tickling sour-tart-acidic stuff. Vineous vinegars, layers of highly sour bread grains, old cheese, puckering sugars, and lambic yeast all make for a big effect of smooth and delicate dryness. Each sip brings another layer of dryness after the tart stuff clears a path. Not as funky as the smell eludes too. What I found unique and mcuh more to my liking about this compared to other Cantillon's I've had is that this was much more easier on the palate to control. It reminded me of a Saison with a kick of extra sour dough breads, yeast, and an addition of grapes.

Feathery medium/heavy dryness and tart supplied, multi-layered, acidicness keep this sucker pretty tongue tingly and cheek-scraped dry. One of the things I couldn't quite get used to was its overall dryness. The sour stuff leads right into it and it takes every corpuscle in your mouth prisoner as it ghostly leaves all sorts of weird cottony-tart left overs. Again, like a grapey saison.

Drinkability is OK, takes a good while to get used to. It has a nice saison quality to it that I tend to like over the other true lambics that Cantillon is known for. Think of it as a vinegar spiked red wine blended with a saison.

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

Brought to our tasting by Will, thanks buddy.

Pours a dark blood orange flesh color with a white head with tight lacing and bubbles. Cloudy fluid.

The smell is quite complex with super fruit and lactic sourness. Lush oak richness.

Taste is superbly balanced between sweet fruitiness and sourness. Full oak tannins create a puckering.

Medium high carbonation and silky mouthfeel.

Overall, this is excellent lambing style.

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Photo of elricorico
4.65/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottled 27 October 2009. My bottle says 5% ABV.

Dark red bordering on purple while it is being poured, but appearing cherry red in the glass. Generated a finger of pink head, that falls to a thick cap fairly steadily. Pretty nice to look at.

Aromas of wood, wine and tart cherry all whipped together. A certain underlying mustiness that is unique even amongst the wild ales/lambics I've had in the past.

First taste made me say "wow" out loud, as a fairly aggressive tartness/sourness was right up front. Next notable impression was the slightly sweet grape flavour that finished the first mouthfull. Oak flavour carries much of the middle. Peach comes to mind within the tartness, along with cherry. Flavour is massive and complex, each sip opens up more.

Very natural feel to the carbonation, it comes across as very fine but quite active. There is a certain fruit juice type weight and feel. Quite good.

This is a pretty amazing beer, meant to be savoured, and every aspect of it supports that. This could easily become my "special occasion beer".

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Photo of Dspohn
4.65/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 Vintage

Kind of a murky raspberry/peach color in my tulip with some bright white foam that had some staying power.

Quite sour vinous character from the merlot grapes with a bit raspberry lemon side to the profile. The grapes lie somewhere in between ripe red grapes and underripe green grapes. I generally prefer younger fruit lambic and at about 2 years old the level of fruit presence seems ideal. Has a very rich aspect of funk to it that's pretty animal like, sort of a leathery flavor. A really pleasing balance between sour and funk that keeps everything in check. Maybe couldve used a little more carbonation. Very drinkable.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.65/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Part of a sour tasting. This stood out as one of the best of the night.

The beer is a beautiful pinkish grapefruit color with a large white head that slowly recedes.

The Brett is very apparent in the aroma. Notes of horse blanket, musty barnyard, and wet dog are strong. Adding to the superb brett character are the tart grapes that have vinegar notes with some acidity. The aroma has a hint of sweetness.

The flavor also has a lot of musty barn yard Brett to it with some tannin and a little vinegar. The grapes are slightly sweet and very tart, mouthpuckeringly so. I'm looking at my notes and the next word looks like fatsick. I think that should read fantastic. Other flavors are of oak and a hint of citrus to add to the funky grape flavors. The finish is dry, sour, and tart.

Light - Medium bodied with a medium level of carbonation and a very dry mouthfeel. A superb beer. I'm very excited that a new batch should be around soon.

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Photo of ckeegan04
4.65/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep red, almost purple....beet juice in color? Big pink head that quickly fades to leave a thin cap on the beer. Lots of active carbonation bubbles quickly rising to the top.

S - Mix of red wine vinegar, barnyard funkiness and grape juice. The vinegar and funk are the mroe dominant aromas with an excellent balance given by the sweet juice aromas.

T - Rather sweet initially with the taste of the grapes coming through very strong. An acidic and sour taste quickly comes in and balances the sweetness. Hints of red wine vinegar as well. An excellent balance of sour, funky, fruity and delicious.

M/D - Light and crisp with excellent carbonation. A touch dry and leaves the mouth somewhat puckered. Easy drinking...an excellent beer and certianly worth the $30 at least once

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Photo of zoober911
4.64/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Bottle date - 21 October 2014

L - A brilliant shade of deep red. Like a red raspberry. A slight head attempts to form with a vigorous pour, but never fully forms and dissipated fairly quickly.

S - A lot of funk with grape sweetness. Never understood the use of 'barnyard' to describe the smell, but now I do.

T - Funk overpowered by merlot grape sweetness.

M - Not as soft as I had expected, hence the lower rating. Definitely does not detract from the beer, just had expected a softer feel. Carb was right.

O - Overall this is a really delicious beer. Vibrant, refreshing, worthwhile. I could drink it by the bucketful.

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Photo of DavidSeanNJ
4.63/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2009 Vintage.

I've been jonsing for weeks for a sour and funky beer. This was everything and more that I could have asked for.

Gorgeous looking and elegant glass bottle. Multiple slow pours into wine glasses shared amongst family. Not too warm or hot and a little colder than room temperature.

A- Light red/cranberry colored beer. Champagne like bubbles and vigorous carbonation. Rose' colored head.

S- Barnyard funk. Straw. Vinegar. Tart cherry and dark fruits. Sour grapes. Couldn't keep my nose away from the glass.

T- This one blew my mind. It was a lambic, yet so close to being a wine. Puckering sour grapes, fruit, champagne, funk, tart apple. Refined and clean finish.

M- Very carbonated, dry and pleasant. Fizzy.

D- Easy drinking. Somewhat harsh on the stomach due to all of the sour/funk. I want more. I loved this one.

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Photo of sukwonee
4.63/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle consumed at The Publican (Chicago). Review via phone

A: reddish dark pink body with one finger head. Lots of bubbles

S: brett, citrous, oak. That's about it.

T: amazing. Grape does come thru in the taste (not much in the nose). Typical lambic to start finishes like red wine with carbonation.

M. Perfect amount of carbonation, dry finish.

O: probably my fav sour to date. I love this stuff.

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Photo of raoulduke37
4.63/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this at the Cantillon brewery in Brussels, served by the man, himself, Jean van Roy. This was an exceptional treat in a non-exceptional town.

Poured into a large, oversized wine glass from a bottle that didn't even have a label on it yet - beautiful light color, like a Beaujolais, it seems to sparkle and radiate an energy all its own.

Smelling this is pretty amazing. Given that this is Cantillon, I was ready for sourness and pungency, but it really is like smelling an incredible red wine.

The flavor of this beer is not from planet Earth. It is like a perfect union of wine and beer. The flavors take an incredible amount of time to reveal themselves completely, but present here are traces of kriek, juicy grapes (both colors), tartness, grapefruit, apple, and a lingering astringency. Doesn't get better than this.

Drinking this beer in the brewery, from the brewer himself, is one of the great beer experiences of my life. Mr. van Roy was friendly, intelligent, and very passionate and confident about his beers. I hope that this brewery stays in business for centuries to come.

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Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.63/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle poured into a Darkness snifter, sharred with a fellow BA.

Bottled: November 21, 2010

A- Pours a two finger light pink head, really attractive color, ruby red/ maroon color, looks very appealing.
S- Wow incredible, big funky aroma, cobwebs, musky, barnyard funk, sour grape skin, raspberries notes, nice oak characteristics from the oak casks, cannot wait to try this.
T- Wow so smooth, puckering at first but then mellows out, really impressive, I get the grapes upfront, barnyard funkiness, muskiness comes out, sour lemon notes come out as well.
M- Medium mouth feel, perfect amount of carbonation, sour, puckering, surprising clean finish.
O- I am really impressed with this, the aroma was amazing, and I was expecting the taste to be really puckering but it was very mellow and balanced, I absolutely love this beer, definite gem from Cantillon.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.63/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Can't remember the vintage, forgot to write it down but it was younger.

A: Beautiful color, like a purple to red hue that is quite brilliant. Nice ring of head and even some lacing. Really quite pretty, amazing what they can do with colors.

S: Classic Cantillon wild yeast and barnyard funk and very refined grape notes. Round oak meld and smooth out some of the funk. Not as aromatic as I'm used to from Cantillon, but this still smells quite nice and has a light wheaty malt berry/grape pie smell.

T/M: Great dry old taste with a semi bitter fruit pit aftertaste with some nice tart white grape and light berry fruits. This almost seems like a slightly sweet fruit tart or pie with the crust. I also get a fruit tart burst at the back of the palate. Effervescent bubbles help lift the yeasty notes and funky straw to the fore to compete with the fruit. The oak also has a nice moderating role to make sure nothing sticks out too much. Nice dry finish as well.

Overall a great beer, definitely worth seeking out.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.62/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Delivered to the bar in a short wine glass, the flat ruby body was mainly clear. Beautiful color! Just a thin collar of white was seen at the first moment, but there was no foam beyond that. An underlying carbonation was present though, and it gently tingled on the tongue.

The aroma offered a brash nose of sweat and manure, a vivid, vinegar and vinous sour-tartness, some deeper earthiness and mineral character, and some sharp, hard, "foot-like" cheese.

The flavor was intensely tart, with all of the barnyard and sweat character of the aroma, but less intensity. The mustiness and barnyard was wrapped within a fuller, non-descript fruit tartness... suggestions of grape and cherry, perhaps from the wine barrel. Metallic and mineralish within. Initially puckering, it finishes just as dry, but short-lingering. Utterly intense!

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Photo of jmarsh123
4.62/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage poured into RR tulip.

Pours dark red nearing purple with a small pink head and lots of bubbles.

Smells typical Cantillon. Some musty horseblanket with a lot of red grape sweetness.

Similar flavors. Lush red grapes with the underlying Cantillon funk profile. Very vinous qualities. A little tartness, but sourness is not extreme on this one. The fruit provides more sweet than sour.

Creamy mouthfeel with prickly carbonation.

One of my favorite Cantillon and would be a great gateway beer to convert your red wine loving friends over to our side. Very enjoyable and curious to see what some age does to this.

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Photo of Rastacouere
4.62/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2003 edition had at the Moan and Dove. Deep pinky brownish cherry body. Almost no head, but there’s that mysterious cloudiness I love in some bottle-conditioned beers which just seems to make the color complex. Huge aroma, very clean, balsamic, lightly farmy and surprisingly pretty sweet. Floral sweetness, dessert sauce, red wine-ish.. This defines classy. Field notes. Complex woody oak-like character. On the tongue, you really taste the grape skins out of it. Acidity level is masterfully controlled. Just the right lactic bite. It evolves into a malic fruitiness, passes through a moldy temporary state and finishes very leafy with remarkable mouth puckering properties. Cantaloup, pomegranate.. Big mouthfeel, full bodied, moderately carbonated, perfectly fitting imo and enhances global flavour deployment. Dryness hits you up and leaves a toy of an astringency with which I spent several minutes experimenting sips of water. What can I say, water tasted just sooo good after a sip of st-lamvinus. A beer that will haunt my memories for a long while. Post taste actually doesn’t last all that long, but I still found myself trying to suck out the remaining flavours out of my tongue, like struggling for the last red grape of a whole harvest. Unique. This is to sip with respect, not that it’s not drinkable.

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Photo of champ103
4.62/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A huge thanks to Dajtai007 for my most recent taste of this. A very generous shared bottle between me and several other BA's. This is a 2009 bottle.

A: Pours a surprisingly clear, and beautifully bright garnet red color. A slightly white/pink head forms that gently rises to a finger. The foam recedes to a ring, but sticks around throughout.
S: That great funky Belgian yeast is up front and center. Funky barnyard and horse blanket is just awesome. Vinous grapes that is up front. Tart, lactic acid lingers, but it is not dominate.
T: Follows the nose. Tons of funky, horse blanket aromas. Musky, vinous grapes. Just as you think the flavor is gone, sour and acidic flavors come out that are great. Again, the sourness is never over barring. Vinous grape is the dominate flavor, with the sourness hitting much later on. I love it.
M/D: A full body that is perfectly crisp, though creamy at the same time, dry, and refreshing. Very textured. So easy to drink. I can never get enough of this.

A great beer that I have enjoyed several times, and every time is a treat. Because of the vinous character, this is something that could appeal to wine drinkers as well. One of those beers that is more of an experience than anything, and an experience I am glad to have at every opportunity. I can't recommend this enough.

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Photo of Wildman
4.62/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cork says 2003: This beer poured a couldy amber color with red undertones and formed a light pink bubbly head that left circular lace as it subsided. An aroma of lambic elements, with a definate red wine character to it. The flavor is a very traditional non sweet lambic with a good deal of sourness to it without overpowering it. The body is medium light and slightly heavier than most lambics. The finish is quite astrigent with some if the winelike sourness present. This is a very outstanding beer.

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Photo of dogfooddog
4.62/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

served far too cold at the Monk's Cafe, Philadelphia. I let this sit 50 minutes (eating and drinking in meanwhile) before pouring. Pours dark orange with 15% active head which fades quickly, leaving next to no foam. I was not shown the cork for this bottle, so don't know the vintage.

Smell is a powerful classic cantillon nose, musty sour odor which is is more concentrated than I have found in their other lambics or gueuzes.

Taste is a strong attack of the above, but it fades quickly. It feels somewhat one-dimensional, but given that this is a single aged lambic that is not surprising - this is not a blended beer. It is enchantingly sour but I would like more prolonged taste and/or finish. Not sure what effect temperature issues may have had on this.

This beer has all of the classic taste elements that make cantillon THE traiditional lambic, but in this bottle they were not comprehensive. Just for the nose and front end of taste I would buy as much of this as I could.

Follow-up 4/8/06 After trying this at Monk's Cafe, I sourced some separately and tried it, wondering how the temperature issue at monk's had impacted taste. This bottle, cork-dated 2004, is very similar to the one reviewed above. maybe a little darker in color, less musty in nose, a LOT more carbonation, but the same issues with short taste and finish exist. This does seem to be a characteristic of lambics (this is a blend of 2 lambics AFAIK) versus complexity found in gueuze.

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Photo of DrJay
4.62/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

So here it is, review #1000. I had to treat myself to my first Cantillon product. I enjoyed this one with my wife Piera and Amit (who was visiting from Singapore).
Ruby red with garnet highlights and a light haze, the foam was a vibrant pink and quite fluffy. As the head settled to a thick ring, there was a bit of lacing, but nothing that really stuck. Incredible, complex aroma. There was strong barnyard funkiness, the distinct smell of horse, and a little vinegar. Also thrown in were light tobacco notes, some tart fruit, and a vinous character (like a merlot or burgundy). Very tart flavour, like raspberry seeds with a bit of sour cherry thrown into the mix. Puckering. Some earthiness became evident as it warmed, with notes of leather and barnyard increasing. Sweet grapes gave it a bit of red wine quality as well. Crisp carbonation to start, but this faded quickly to a gentler texture mid-sip. Nice body with significant dryness. I really enjoyed this and I'm glad I have some more Cantillon bottles to try out soon. There was a lot of complexity if you looked for it, but on the surface was a wonderful tart beer that was quite drinkable.

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Photo of drpimento
4.62/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Quite the lambic. Poured into small sample glasses with only a bit of off white head and no lace. Color is a copper amber. Aroma is musky, malty, yeasty, oak, hint of the grape and acid. Flavor is much the same with the grape coming out in the finish. Great body and carbonation. Finsh is like flavor and medium in length. Clean finish but not really a session. This is a beer for the true lambic afficianado minus the fu fu.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
4.61/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2013
Appearance: pours the color of really fresh and ripe plum flesh. a finger or so of a white head with good retention and leaving behind a solid lacing. pretty hazy and almost to opaque.

Smell: spicy red wine grapes and oak barrels, fruits from cherries to plums. slight vinegar and funk

Taste: opens with red grapes with a strong and spicy red wine character, the presence of oak red wine barrels are apparent. after the initial red wine comes lots of other fruits, mostly cherry and plum. towards the end a strong funky flavor comes in and mixes with some oak.

Mouthfeel: medium. Super funky. Slight acid.

Overall: another killer sour by Cantillon. the amount of fruit flavor they get in the beers is amazing. also the funkiness is unlike any other breweries and they are the almost at the level of refreshing as berliners and goses

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Photo of ggaughan
4.6/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had previously tried this beer in bottle a year or so ago. Now on tap. The beer was served with no head to speak of but with a vibrant red hazy body. The nose was very Cantillon as expected. Nice and earthy with a real vinous quality to it. As if the nose was not enough, the taste gives you even more. There is a sweet but yet very sour, barny punch to this beer. It all works out very well if you are a fan of lambics and very sour ones for that matter. Just really really tastey and pleasing to the taste buds.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.6/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle at Churchkey DC into a snifter glass.

Deep solid cherry colored body, orb glowing, with a little hint of pink throughout. Slight pink collar and thin ring presented. Looks like a jewel.

Fantastic bouquet on the beer. Great notes of light sweetness of cherry, bright funk and dry peppery action. Good chewy sense of malt (wheat?), subtle and balanced, with a nice effervescent and clean quality. This looks like something good.

Palate comes with a great champagne crispness but a decent malt depth to carry forward. Carbonated pepper and mild sourness. Tart fruit action of red raspberry and cherry, with subtle aromatics. Tastes like dusted funky fruit in a bowl, and champagne.

Overall a subtle yeast funk character and chewy texture to match with floating funky red fruit in a champagne glass. But it's beer. It's a winner and one of the most enjoyable Cantillon beers I've had.

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Cantillon Saint Lamvinus from Brasserie Cantillon
98 out of 100 based on 460 ratings.