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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: 1,852
Avg: 4.43
pDev: 8.35%
Wants: 1,361
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 459 | Hads: 1,852
Photo of codysjb
4.12/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cantillon Saint Lamvinus
Bottled on October 12th, 2011 served in wine glasses on November 22, 2012.
A: First glass had a decent head, each following glass had no head. Cloudy rose color reminiscent of a blood orange.
S: Sour yeast and some vinegar notes. Some light citrus notes and lots of fruity berry notes.
T: Sour, vinegar and well rounded fruit round out the taste.
M: Bubbles and sourness with some light berry notes.
O: Interesting, reminds me of the kriek or the rose de gambrinus. I’m not finding a lot of grapes here but its very good.

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Photo of Goldorak
4.12/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at In 't Spinnekeopke, Brussels.

Appearance: Cranberry juice red, with zero head.

Smell: Like cabernet Sauvignon, but with that recognizable Cantillon touch.

Taste: Not as sharp as the other Cantillons I've sampled, it has a more subtle flavor. The raisin cuts down the usual dryness. It's like wine, but with an acid finish, and with good carbonation.

I wouldn't pay the ~40 US$ price tag I saw at a few stores in the States, but if you can get one from the brewery at a very reasonable 8 euro, don't hesitate.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.12/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle split and poured into a Delirium tulip. 5% ABV, Bottled 18 November 2008, Instructions on temperature and pouring.

Thanks to bnieman's dad for sharing this expensive beer on his b-day!

A - This beer is majorly carbonated. Evidence comes from a large "pop" exploding on the cork release. A big puffy pink tinted head appears on top of the clear amber-pinkish color. Low retention but it leaves small bits of lace and a hefty ring.

S - St. Lamvinus is bursting with a funky nose of oaky wood and a massively funky barnyard and horse blanked Brett scent. The only thing keeping it from perfection in aroma is a burnt rubber hint that arose from a swirl. A small kiss of red grape is there too but not a prominent factor at all.

T - The flavor is almost overpoweringly tart with strong red grapes with a massively funky oak, horse blanket, and a hint of burned rubber on the finish. Strong acidity and bitterness as well. The funk overtakes all of the other things to the point of destroying any typical "beer" malt/hop flavor.

M - Very light-bodied and extremely tart with a crisp acidic finish and an overpowering funk to it.

D - It's pretty drinkable for how insanely funky it is. At 5%, it's easily drinkable in that regard. You've really gotta like funky Brett beers to enjoy this one.

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Photo of Derek
4.12/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage.

A: Rosee with a pinkish head, thin ring of retention, slight leg.

S: Pleasant tart aroma with hints of barnyard funk & vinegar.

T: Wine & cider with hints of vinegar, grape, modest tartness with a slight hint of bitterness.

M: Light body is very dry with a slight acidity.

D: A good drinker.

I'm not a fan of tartness, but I've been itching to try this for a while. Thanks bobsy!

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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.

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Photo of Chico1985
4.11/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Sharing this special beer with my special lady...and Kevin ;)
2012 bottling (bottle date is 11/21/12, ABV is 5%)

Pour is magenta red that gets darker and murkier with each pour. Pink head becomes a thick ring. Nice colors.

Smell is great, berry and red grape is somewhat tame but there at a good and noticeable level. Lemon, feety funk and oak, nice mixture overall.

The fruit in the taste is lighter, but mostly gives off notes of tart red and green grapes and lemons. Funk, farmy earthiness, farm and oak are a bit more powerful but it is all kept at a nicely subtle level, making this more easy-drinking than your average Cantillon.

Smooth and well-carbonated, nice amount of puckering tartness while still remaining very drinkable.

The first time I had this I wasn't as impressed, it comes off as maybe a bit too subtle, but this really is one of better Cantillons I've had. Love the drinkability and the fruit/funk balance.

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

Pours a nice reddish pink. A bit of nice white head. Looks very pretty. Smells like damp dog. Funky and sour. A hint of grape. Tastes grape heavy. Very tart and acidic. A bit harsh and abrasive and burns on the throat. But it's a nice flavour profile. Overall highly carbonated but very nice.

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Photo of tempest
4.1/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle at Abe's Cold Beer for $25. Honestly, this was a good beer, but not my favorite Cantillon. It poured a grape-juice colored purple-red with a short head. The beer drinks like a very dry red wine and isn't quite as sour as a lambic or gueze, but it still certainly on par with the good fruit lambics. I think the grapes here have overpowered a lot of the funkier elements, making this beer reminds me more of their framboise. I'd say this beer is worth a try if you can afford it.

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Photo of emerge077
4.1/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is the second time having a draft sample from the Maproom.

Served in a 12 oz. tulip glass. It's a juicy deep red with purplish tones to it. No head at all this time, virtually still. Wonder if this is an unblended keg...

Aroma is mildly tart, not the exaggerated sharpness or funk i've come to love from Cantillon. Slight vinegar note, but mostly tart grape juice.

Flavor is mild compared to other Cantillons, subdued juicy tartness with a slight pucker. Very light wild element, minor cider character. Clearly defined wine grape flavors, without much wood to balance. Easy to sip or gulp, at the price, i'll be sipping.

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Photo of haz77
4.1/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Bottled in 2003, according to the cork. Pours a dark strawberry red with an absolute minimum of head. What head there is dissapates almost instantly to a thin ring, but can be easily refreshed to the thinnest of layers. All as expected.

S - Yep, it's a Cantillon. Aroma fills the room. Funk, slight solvent, cherry and other red fruit, tobacco, leather. There's more there, but everything is so integrated it's hard to distinguish.

T - Delicious mellow sourness greets the palate initially. The flavour of the wine moves forward in the middle along with citrus peel and the aftertaste is still refreshingly tart, but has a slight edge of tobacco. Again, the flavours are all very mellow and well integrated, quite possibly due to it's age.

M - Light to medium mouthfell with perfect soft carbonation. It doesn't need any more spritz, as the sourness takes care of cleaning the palate.

D - Cantillon continues to impress. Not as mouth puckering as their other beers that I've had. It's possible that the age had taken the edges off prominent aromas, flavours and carbonation and mellowed this into a absolute beauty. Incredible easy sipper.

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Photo of PeterIngemi
4.1/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml @ lord hobo in Cambridge MAserved Ina snifter

A: pours a Purpley reddish pink, remonds me of a plum with 3/4 of a finger of slightly off white head, dissapates quickly, no lacing to speak of.

S: lots of funk going on here, musty oak, sure dry red wine grape/cheery skins, smells tart.

T: this is very tart, much like the nose i get alot of tart grape skin and cherry along with some dry barnyard funk an musty oak notes, very well balanced and tasty.

M: medium body and bone dry, leaving you with almost wine like mouth drying tannins.

O: this is a beautiful done sour, very tart and very delicious. Don't really know what else to say here

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Photo of selecter70
4.08/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A birthday bottle for my wife that I chose on a whim, a bit pricey but the occasion warranted it. I figured that she loves lambics & wine, so....The bottle poured a brighter than expected purple with pink edges to a light pink head that dissipated quickly & left a wee amount of lace afterwards. The aroma had a sour vinegar and wine-soaked cloth quality. The flavor definitely evokes the merlot, but is more complex as it shifts in even one sip from a tart & sweet cherry to vinegar sour and then changes to a flat but bright, crisp wine. The body is light, bubbly and easy to drink. A very interesting beer, but definitely worth it.

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Photo of OlieIPA
4.08/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750ml bottle into a Bruery tulip glass.

A: Pomegranate/reddish grape color that supported a somewhat decent off white colored head that I found a bit surprising for a limbic. On the other hand, the lack of lacing was apparent...which I usually find in most beers within this style.

S: Tons of wood! Like my buddy described, similar to what you would find in an old wooden cabinet thats been closed for quite some time. The grapes come off very wine-like and the sour qualities are subtle, but noticeable at the same time.

T: The merlot grapes really come through and the sour punch is very mild. Kind of reminds me of a sparkling wine, but in red form. The wood is still there as well, but seems to be much more subdued than the smell originally indicated.

M: Nothing too out of the ordinary. Nice light and mild carbonation followed by a medium-like body.

D: 5% ABV and a very nice flavor profile...enough said.

Overall: A great sour, but unfortunately...not the best I've had. A must try. Cheers!

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Photo of Jmoore50
4.08/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 vintage. When I popped the cap the cork had a purple wet residue all over it. The cork was wet and soggy and broke apart when opening.

It poured a nice purple-lavender color that was very hazy with sediment floating around. It had an off white head that did not stick around. Nice oily legs.

It was an okay smell, a smell that filled my nostrils with very specific wine grape, sour fruit, and a little wet dog. It has been about three years since this thing was made so I imagine the smells have declined a bit.

It had a great taste, a very strong vinous flavor that paired well with the funky flavor that only Cantillon can capture. Specific grapes were tasted in this, it had a very bold flavor that was very enjoyable. It was less astringent then expected, but still 'juicy' like the 2009 Fou Foune I had a while back. Even with this many years on this bottle it still captures a great fruit flavor.

Very good Cantillon fruit beer, but I think I enjoy Fou Foune a great deal more. I need to try a more recent vintage in order to get the full experience.

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.08/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cork indicates bottles in 2.009 and the bottle notes it's 5.0% ABV (vs. 6% listed in the beer's listing.)
Special Thanks to Warriorsoul for recommending this beer when I finally began to appreciate this style.

Wow, really a beautiful beer. Bright Clear purple color with some tiny carbonation bubbles escaping to the surface. A light pink head forms, says hello and then vanishes. You are left with a pink ring of foam around the edge of the glass.

Aroma is delicate but very inviting. Some acidity, earthiness, certainly some vinous qualities and a bit of wood.

Flavor is much more delicate than I would have ever imagined. I find this to be much more refreshing than I had ever imagined. Certainly some grape, some subtle sourness with tons of wine like qualities. Just a touch of funk in the background that adds a nice complexity. Finished quite dry.

Very light, crisp, refreshing and dry. Picked the right day to enjoy this as it's hot and sticky outside. Cuts through that quite nicely.

I really enjoy this beer. I am sure I can think of an occasion to enjoy another bottle.

Well done.

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Photo of Aberration
4.07/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Armsby Abbey

Beautiful light red appearance with a pink champagne-esque head that dissipated rather quickly. Looks very inviting.

The nose was funky to be sure, as expected. However, I got a very unpleasant smell that I can only associate with used diapers. Sounds horrible, and it kind of was. Unpleasant for me, and I don't really mind barnyard smell usually. Smell faded after a while but it really got me off the bat.

Tasted fantastic. Great Cantillon taste with oak and grape notes sprinkled throughout. Absolutely delicious and the nose didn't translate at all into the taste! (Thankfully)

Mouthfeel was as great. Good carbonation, though fleeting. Acid notes from the bacterium. Very pleasant.

Overall: Definitely recommend this beer. Gotta love Cantillon! The only thing that really threw me was the smell, it was unusually unpleasant!

Minor Edit: The nose didn't put me off from getting 2 pours of this. Just sayin'.

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Photo of ritzkiss
4.07/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle, 2005 vintage, can't remember where this one came from....

Pours a cloudy ruby color with hint of pink and purple, a finger of head on the pour. Nose is a beautiful beautiful horsey funk with a pleasant earthy characteristic to it, light sharpness from the acidity.

This is a fantastic beer as all Cantillons are but I was surprised by the level of acidity, expecting it to be one of the tamer ones. Beautiful bretty funk mingles with particularly heavy wood and earth notes, almost feels like chewing on a barrel. Light grapey sweetness, hint of tannins, and then a really tart acidity that sucks your cheeks in on the first sip. Man, I love me some sourness but this feels like I will pay for it later, hurts the drinkability a bit.

Still, this is a finely crafted lambic - the wine barrels nicely integrated so as to showcase both the barrels and the base beer. Funky and sour, fine bubble carbonation - gladly have this over a champagne for any fine occasion.

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Photo of birchstick
4.06/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a maroonish cherry red without any head to speak of

S - Smells of tart citrus with a bit of stale mushroom and funk and some cab soaked oak. A lot of Brett as it warms.

T - citrus tartness, but not nearly as sour as other sours I have tried, upfront. A bit of funky barnyard and light mushroom overpower the citrus/sourness on the front of the palate.
Finishes with a nice spicy cab vinous flavor. A nice grape / vinous flavor lingers after it is all said and done.

M - decent body-more full than I was expecting and goes down nicely

D - pretty solid fruit lambic from Cantillon. I was hoping for a bit more from them but this is another solid beer nonetheless. Given it's price point I think I'll go from something else by these guys next time but still pretty awesome.

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Photo of dragonWhale
4.06/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Rattle N Hum.. The sexiest beer I've seen all day, a glorious dark red, low carbonation, a small ring of head. But that doesn't matter. This beer made me shriek for sheer joy upon its sight. Good goddamn it looks amazing. Smells funky, a little grape and berry action. The taste is barnyard, a touch of grape, tannic, woodsy. I was surprised I didn't get more grape out of it, merely hinting, but that's not a terrible thing. I'm just accustomed to grape sours tasting more vinous. This had a bit of that quality but was definitely more lambic than grapebeer. Good stuff.

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Photo of GreenCard
4.05/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled in 2003...

Appearance: a beautiful cassis-red (deep purple-red), a bit hazy, no head at all, thin film of bubbles

Aroma: the usual Cantillon lambic nose (lactic sourness, a bit of sulphur and hay), a bit fruity but not out-right grape-like

Flavor: up front lemony sourness with a grape juice overtone, corky and a bit woody, enteric bitterness, sulphur, finishes dry and tart with a soft wine-like aftertaste... very nice

Mouthfeel: strangely full-bodied, low to no carbonation, slight warmth

Overall Impression: A "cross-over" beer for oenophiles? This one is quite young with lots of fruitiness and low carbonation. Very soft, but also a wine-like full body. No reason why this couldn't be the replacement for a nice Cabernet or Pinot.

As usual, I made my girlfriend (now my wife) try it. She didn't like it, but I poured a small glass for her and told her she could just sit and smell it. About 15 minutes later she was over to the bottle to pour a little more in her glass! She said it tasted good with dark chocolate. Go figure!

Update (July 2008): Just tried the second of my 2003 S. Lamvinus bottles. As expected, the fruitiness of the grapes is gone, leaving the tartness of the lambic. The aroma is a lemony sourness with red wine vinegar and hints of sour socks and creamy goat cheese. The flavor is quite tart, but not overly lip-puckering. Hints of cork, mold, grape skins, popcorn, and an enteric bitterness in the aftertaste. I asked my wife to try it, too. She remembered the aroma, but grimaced at the sharp sourness.

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Photo of dubinsky
4.05/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at City Beer Store - SF.

A - The beer was delivered in a 7oz flute and had a nice medium purple color to it.  Kind of what I would expect grape soda to look like.  Nice thin head topped the flute with a whispy witenagemot head.  The head fell quickly leaving behind no trace of lacing.

S - Definitely not the strong point of this beer.  It was very earthy, almost too earthy to the point of smelling like poop.  No kidding!  I had 4 ba's with me and they all agreed.  There was a definite sour funk present but the poop was strong with this beer.

T - The taste thankfully didn't reflect the aroma.  Nice vinous tartness.  Super tart.  There was also a very present earthy flavor that although similar to the smell was not off-putting.  I really enjoyed the flavor.

M - Super crisp, dry and refreshing.  Excellent spiky carbonation.  Like most Cantillon's this was a very well balanced and crafted beer.

O - Overall this was a great treat.  I was amped to see this on the tap list.  At $10 for a 7 oz pour it was a bit spendy, but it was a luxury that I would try again.

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Photo of steve8robin
4.05/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this at the Abbey...

A: Had a nice deep purple with hints of red. A small 1 inch white head that wuickly fades. Good.

S: Smells of oaky cherry with a tart sweetness blended in. Hints of port in the middle with some nice dark fruits on the backend. Interesting.

T: So good. A nice cherry tartness that makes your mouth pucker some. Hints of oak, sour patch kid, and dark fruit. Very good.

M: It definitely makes your face pucker. Decent.

D: Once you get through the tartness, it goes down decent.

All in all, this was a decent brew. Very interesting for a sour. It seems with these types of brews, that you need to have a very strong stomach. I'd say this could be a good conversion brew into the sour field if you like grapes or wine.

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Photo of GRG1313
4.03/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Review updated - now 3 years later and from bottle. Numbers in review reflect bottle grade for 2013.

* * * *
What follows is original "on tap" review from 2011.

Pleased and surprised when I walked into City Beer in S.F. (only the second time there) and found this on tap. What a rare treat!

Pours a dark cranberry with purple tint. Very short quick fading white head. Looks fresh and appealing.

Nose is a really nice funk. The brett comes through and if you don't like brett perhaps one shouldn't be drinking these kinds of brews. This one shows greast "barnyard" "wet horse blanket" character with very nice undertones of purple grapes and hint of fruit. Told this can was fresh and expected a bit more from the nose. Nice but perhaps a bit disappointing.

Mouthfeel was medium/light, dry and pleasant. Well balanced with good carbonation but did not have the bright character one might expect in a well made Cantillon. However, it als was not as tart as expected or desired, likely a result of its freshness.

Flavor profile was "acceptable"and "pleasant." These are not the words one wants to use (or the character of a beer one wants to taste) when tasting Cantillon. Light, pleasant unassertive flavor profile. Hints of grape, hints of green apple with very little tartness. Probably the least tart Cantillon I've ever tried. Pleasant but that was about it. Nothing to rave about.

One loves that fact that this is rare to find on tap (at least in my experience here in California) and having any Cantillon is always a treat. All in all a disappointment from the Cantillon I've had in the past and I've had a great many. Candidly, the bottles I've had have much more character and distinction.

Kudos to City Beer and a great "bragging rights" experience. However, not a brew "to remember."

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Photo of IBUnit63
4.03/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The cork says brewed in 2007. I say this was $34 at Julio's with the Wild Six discount. 750 ml corked and capped. No pop of the cork whatsoever; slight redness on the inside of the cap. Well, here it is, review #500...

Pours a darker Rose red with slight wisps up top - really no head at all. I enjoy the blue/purple translucent tinge topping this effort. Body is surprisingly clean - only mild haze. Slightly viscous.

Well, there's a raspy veneer on the nose. Really, it's a bit of a wet paint smell. Actually quite a bit of it. There's some perfumish acidity from the Merlot specimens. Let's see what happens to this.

Man, the clean sourness of this deal is stellar. Huge Brett lemon funk is positively electric. The husky tannins of the grapes come out in taste where they were not on the nose. Oak is huge and has that dry splintery feel. The wet paint briefly comes back so it's a little weird but it fortunately exits quickly.

I'm trying to figure out the palate with this. There's a hint of funk here and it's very disconcerting. It's really all over the place. Electricity, tang and funk and this weird paint thing. Huh.

For a style that's very difficult to drink this does OK. Sip over an evening...interestingly I enjoyed this with a leftover beef stew, courtesy of the beautiful bride. It really balanced the overall meal out well. This one's a real trip.

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

750ml purchased at Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA. Black foiled cap (extensively rusted) and cork. Cork noted bottled in 2002.

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 3/4" light pink head above the clear red brew, and it seems to glow when held up to the light. Head lasted pretty well, with minimal lacing. Aroma is barnyard tart, and apparent as soon as the cork was popped. Quite pervasive. Taste is super tart from the get-go, seems to shock the tongue in the middle, then you cross the hump, and it closes with a very dry grape tinge. Mouthfeel and drinkability are par for the style, although I admit I was hoping for a bit more depth in the fruit character. A nice treat, but I concur with others that the price is somewhat prohibitive.

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