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Cantillon Saint Lamvinus - Brasserie Cantillon

Cantillon Saint LamvinusCantillon Saint Lamvinus

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,240 | Reviews: 426 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of mhewes
mhewes

Colorado

4.55/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A : Poured a purplish-red color with a good head. It was bubbly and hazy

S : Lots of sour with a grape/wine aroma

T : Sour, sour, and more sour. There was less grape/wine flavor than I was expecting but it provided just enough flavor to add to the sour flavor and not overpower it.

M : Fizzy and thin. Perfect for the taste

D : Except for the price, this is probably my favorite lambic and I would love to have more.

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2008 18:00:42 | More by mhewes
Photo of robbyc1
robbyc1

Illinois

4.55/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep Burgundy look, wow what a view, redish and hazy, big expectations from the look.

Smell is hugely funky, barnyard, puke, tartness, wine smells, unbelievable that a beer could have this nose!

The taste has all the funk, fresh asparagus, stark dryness, you love it or hate it, I love it.

Easy drinker, must have more, estimate was $35 per bottle, these guys are geniuses aren't they? I can't think of another beer that is more interesting, but more than a glass I'm not sure.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2008 00:02:06 | More by robbyc1
Photo of JDV
JDV

Texas

3.8/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Dewbrewer, I believe. Thank you!!
Pours like a cranberry spritzer with transluscency and a bubbly appearance. Smell is fruity, sour and acidic and slightly funky and sweaty. Taste is very fruity with some grapes, and red fruit like notes. Tart grape, and cranberry come to mind. Smooth and lightly thin in the middle and finishes dry. Carbonation is light but sufficient. Very unique and enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2008 19:34:08 | More by JDV
Photo of johnmichaelsen
johnmichaelsen

Oregon

2.93/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

It's probably inappropriate for such an avowed sour hater like myself to review this beer. I did the best I could with it, but I absolutely cannot understand the attraction of beers such as this.

Had on tap during 72 hours of Belgium at Max's.

The beer pours a beautiful cherry red color with very good head retention and lacing. Alas, if only this beer would taste as good as it looks. The nose is quite complex, bordering on the bizarre. I get aromas of camel, dog sweat and barn yard. I guess that's a good thing if you're a gueuze/lambic lover. On the palate this beer is flat out undrinkable. The over-riding flavor I get is vinegar and sweaty socks. This is just disgusting. Mouthfeel is decent, but the sour in this beer is just overwhelming. No way I can drink the stuff.

Not my idea of a good beer. Trying to drink something like this is just absolutely no fun. Thank God I only got a very small glass (which even then I was unable to finish).

Serving type: on-tap

04-02-2008 18:18:32 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of DaveHS
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
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

4.1/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-25-2008 19:08:36 | More by emerge077
Photo of SacoDeToro
SacoDeToro

California

4.5/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a slightly cloudy purplish-red with a rocky pink head.

The aroma was bursting with sour funk, vinous grapes, and citrus notes.

The flavor was tart and sour. The flavors of tart grapes were bright and punchy. The fruit bleneded well with complex brett funk, lacto, and pedio sourness with a slight, but pleasant cheesiness faint in the background. The grape flavor was more on the concord side of things, whereas Vigneronne has more of the white grape flavor if ya know what I mean...

The beer had prickly carbonation with a light mouthfeel. The beer finished very dry and had a mild astringency that complemented the sour charateristics.

A wonderful lambic with some amazing fruit flavors blended in. While this is an outstanding beer, I'm not sure it beats out Fou Foune in my ranks of Cantillon sours.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2008 22:55:11 | More by SacoDeToro
Photo of Sigurd
Sigurd

New York

4.83/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Clear mostly red and pink with a little orange. Clear, watery edges.

S: Funk. Similar to other Cantillon's I've had, but a little less overpowering with more fruit in the nose.

T: Sour, as expected. Grape is definitely present but not overpowering. Well balanced between the lambic sour and the fruit flavor.

M: Fizzy and thin. Fairly clean taste but the sour pleasantly lingers and fades.

D: I could drink this all night. This may be my new favorite lambic.

Highly recommended to any lambic fan, or a fan of good beer in general.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2008 04:56:45 | More by Sigurd
Photo of Mudpuppet
Mudpuppet

Massachusetts

4.63/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Sigurd for the chance to try this.

A- Poured from a 750ml bottle that was gross around the foil. I think this is normal with Cantillon. Pours a reddish-pink with no head.

S- Funky! I get definite barnyard and horsey nose from this. I also get grapes. Odd but interesting.

T- Really nice lambic. Some definite lacto and pedio in this. There is some bretty character in the background though. You get the grape fairly strong. Not as sours as others but medium sour.

M- Higher carbonation which is right for this style of beer. Thinner mouthfeel.

D- I like this beer a lot. Not overly sour and quite drinkable. Really nice lambic from Cantillon.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2008 04:44:33 | More by Mudpuppet
Photo of Habanero58
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
Photo of Viggo
Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

4.45/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared with grub and Lexx. 2004 vintage, 750 ml bottle corked, capped and wrappered, acquired from my man Goldorak, thanks Martin!

Pours a hazed ruby red/pink, thick and fizzy pinkish head forms, leaves some lace on the glass, settles to a thin ring around the glass. Smell is wicked, grapes, fruit, citrus acidity, wine, sulphur, wheat, cherries, funky barnyard, really complex. Taste is crazy, very tart, cherries and concord grapes, oak, vinegar, citrus, bread, wheat, fruity acidic finish. Mouthfeel is light bodied with low to medium carbonation, puckering sour, still very drinkable. Amazing Lambic, deserves all its praise.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2008 23:55:47 | More by Viggo
Photo of ABCJiugui
ABCJiugui

Massachusetts

3.83/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2006 vintage, poured into tulip

A- hazy, muddled rose pinkish/purple. Head of 1 finger recedes very quickly, minimal retention. Not expecting lacing due to it being a lambic, and it doesn't give any. Later pours increasingly murky due to sediment.

A note on appearance- this should be poured into a champagne flute. Anything larger made for a murkier pour, allowing for more sediment to flow in, muddling it up and taking away from the appearance, and I did pour into a flute later on.

S- Lambic yeast strains in evidence. From a distance right after opening, smelled of concord grapes/Welch's grape juice (the insanely purple kind). Little note of hay/barn/must, may be the yeast again.

T- Tart, but not bracingly so (rose de gambrinus is FAR sharper). Still, there is a sharp bite. Might imagine it as a truly tart/sour sparkling rose wine, with minimal sweetness from the grape character and that quickly is overtaken by the acidity and tart, dry finish, very keeping in line with Cantillon's other brews.

M- light bodied, carbonation is present, fizzing on the tongue, heightening the acidity.

Overall, I had higher expectations, which was very affected by the high price, and so admittedly, a bit unfair. I ran the gamut of food pairings (cheese, meats, sweets) and came up with hardly any pairings that were neutral at best. (Perhaps a very fresh, sweet, cow's milk cheese or HEAVY chocolate dessert may work? I did not have these available to me at time of tasting). Taken as an apertif, this has more appeal- it is excellent for opening taste buds for later food/beverages with its sharpness and fruit character, and is most definitely for sipping. But unfortunately, this is a fairly price prohibitive beer and for my tastes, did not justify itself.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2008 19:10:05 | More by ABCJiugui
Photo of Asher1982
Asher1982

Maryland

4.88/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I tried this beer on tap at the Belgian festival at Max's in Baltimore, Maryland. The bartender recommended it, and I was glad he did. It had a beautiful pinkish color, with just a finger's width of white head. The smell spoke very strongly for the sip that was to follow. Slightly sour, slightly sweet, and a nice floral fruit taste. You get a nice pucker in your throat that adds to the experience of the beer. If you have a chance to try this beer, I would highly recommend that you do.

Serving type: on-tap

02-08-2008 03:23:07 | More by Asher1982
Photo of grub
grub

Ontario (Canada)

4.55/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Viggo was nice enough to share this one. big thanks eric!

750ml bottle, capped and caged. bottled 2004. sampled jan 11/08.

pours slightly hazy orangey pink with a big fluffy white head. the head drops fairly slow and leaves spotty lace.

aroma is excellent. as soon as we started to pour you could smell it - fruit and funk. bit of lemon. lactic sourness. horse blanket. leather. light sweetness, but mostly as fruit. light acidity. grape and raisin. there's a bit of a minty herbal character hiding in there too. really interesting.

taste is great. lemony sourness. big funky horse blanket blast. barnyard funk. i still get that minty herbal character here, and i like it, though the other tasters don't really get this. bit of lemon. light fruity sweetness. nice wine character, white more than red. touch of vanilla. light acidity. bread and crackers. bit of grain. no trace of alcohol. bit of other citrus too - light grapefruit, tangerine, and orange.

mouthfeel is good. medium-low carbonation level. medium body with a fairly dry finish. sour, but not acidic.

drinkability is great. excellent depth. great funky sourness without acidity. no trace of alcohol. nice balance between the funk, sourness, and other character. curious how other vintages compare. i'll be on the lookout for this one.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2008 01:35:13 | More by grub
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
Photo of KingG
KingG

California

4.85/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this beer on my honeymoon in Belgium at Delirium Cafe and loved it.

This bottle comes from my buddy jeffkrenner, thanks bro!

Served at cellar temp and poured into my Triple Karmeliet glass.

Appearance is good. Cranberry juice colored brew taht started off with a big soapy head off of the aggressive pour then quietly thinned out to nothing. Carbonation is evident yet not strong.

Smell is very good. Lemony, sour, tart funk. Fruit sweetness is there yet subtle and in control with the wild yeast and juicy lemon taking the front.

Taste is exceptional. Tart unripe light fruit with a fantastic subtle sweetness. Fruit is much more pronounced in the flavor compared to the smell yet is beautifully balanced by the tart funk. Oak is very big in the finish. Large flavor here without being over the top in any one department. Extremely balanced between tart and fruit. Crafted exceptionally well.

Mouthfeel is exceptional. Starts off juicy and finishes with the perfect level of dryness. The bottle i had in Belgium was more fruity than this but i seem to prefer the dryness of this one.

Drinkability is exceptional. Give me more is the only thing I'm thinking as this bottles dies.

Overall: One of, if not the best, lambic beer I've ever drank. Hefty price tag but well worth it every once in a while.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2007 07:08:22 | More by KingG
Photo of Georgiabeer
Georgiabeer

Georgia

4.5/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought this for my anniversary, but we ended up drinking cocktails instead, so I decided to review this for my 500th review instead. I'd been wanting to try this for a while as I love Cantillon's brews, but it is quite spendy. Looks like cloudy pinot noir or unfiltered pressed cherry juice. Thin, wispy head. The smell is winey with cherries, sour aromas, and some funkiness. Woody bitterness at the end. Taste is somewhat similar- sour, bitter, and complex. Slightly funky bitter finish at the end. The mouthfeel is sharp, tart, and refreshing. Very drinkable, and although this is somewhat sour and funky, I find it less so than many of the other Cantillons. This one is winier and more delicate. All in all, I think I slightly prefer the slightly more robust products from them- though this is mighty fine.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2007 18:35:55 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
DarkerTheBetter

Pennsylvania

4.45/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

his beer pours a pale strawberry and cranberry color with a slightly pink gentle foam atop.

Smells of a coppery tart funk with undertones of sweet carrots and celery along with a dry cranberry and cherry.

tastes of a tart electric onslaught that has a thin honey beneath it along with a pinch of salt and a great cranberry character. There is also a sour dough bread that is hiding beneath. The finish leaves me with a great lingering dirty funk.

Feels light but dense with an ultra fine carbonation.

A nice take on the style. The cranberry that came up in just about every description was a nice change of pace.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2007 02:05:57 | More by DarkerTheBetter
Photo of peabody
peabody

Kentucky

4.7/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours out a clear burgandy with two fingers of white suds.
Smell is so strong,you can smell it in the other room.
Strong apple cider with orange and lemon peel. Sweet Tart dryness attacks the nose. With repeated shaking I get a dark cherry aroma.
Taste sour grape skins, orange peel and sour green apple with just a hint of sugary dark cherry candy.
Mouthfeel is excellent. While the carbonation goes away quickly, the fruitiness bombards the tip of the tounge and excites the rest of the mouth with a heavy aftertaste of sour apple/grapes.The oilyness stays with the mouth for quite a while.
I know it's expensive but I could drink this over an over.
My daughter-in-law says it is much better cold.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2007 00:28:21 | More by peabody
Photo of biegaman
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
Photo of OutlawJoseyWales
OutlawJoseyWales

Georgia

4.83/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into a snifter and a tulip for a friend.

appearance was pinkish/magenta with a finger white head.

smell was band-aid, grapey and slight funky horseblanket

taste was all of the above, except for much more intense grape skin sourness, waves of sourness cascaded into my tounge and into muscles in the back of my jaws. mostly sour grapes, and raspberry, and a wonderful medicinal nursing home funkiness. the best lambic i've had, and one of my favorites.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2007 21:51:30 | More by OutlawJoseyWales
Photo of CAMRAhardliner
CAMRAhardliner

Ontario (Canada)

4.6/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have been waiting to try this beer for longer than any other and I finally got my hands on it! I purchased it for 40 bucks at Downtown Wines in Somerville Massachussetts.

The painting of a branch of grapes on the label is both minimalist and surreal, very cool. There was some leakage through the cork when I popped the cap, you'd think this is a bad thing but Ive seen it before in Cantillons and the beer always tastes fine.

The pour reveals a enigmatic reddish pinkish color with a lightly pink head. The head quickly becomes a miniscule ring that emits very little lace. Streams of tiny carbonation bubbles are visible in abundance. Lambic smells burst out of the bottle with this one. Some musty damp barnyard mingles with cider and some tannins. the taste follows suit with plenty of earthy brett flavors, some cidery and sharp flavors and loads of puckering sourness. A spectacular balance comes from the expanse of fruit flavors in tow. Very ripe grape flesh, bitter grape skin and assorted berries and citrus in the background. It reminds me of a good full bodied red wine. The finish is long and complex with biting acidity melded with fruit sweetness. The mouthfeel is very lightly carbonated and somewhat viscous, something Ive noticed in many lambics.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2007 01:00:54 | More by CAMRAhardliner
Photo of lordofthewiens
lordofthewiens

Maine

4.4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2007 13:49:40 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.43/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Glowing coral red with a considerable orangish tint; one of the most unique colors that I've ever seen in the world of beer. The rose petal pink cap is a stiff collection of brittle bubbles that looks good immediately after the pour, but doesn't look good on the way down, doesn't last and doesn't leave any lace. I've taken style into account when granting the appearance score.

My lambic experience is still limited. Having said that, it's hard to believe there are many lambics this vinous. That's understandable given the addition of red grapes. One source gave the breakdown as 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. Also prominent are red wine vinegar, oak and musty-earthy funk. My salivary glands are already beginning to squirt.

Cantillon Saint Lamvinus tastes like the perfect marriage of beer and wine. Even though lambics are anything but typical beer, the comparison still holds. It's much more lambic than wine (obviously) since grapes are only used for flavor and sweetness, not character. In other words, there's no red wine in the world that's this acidic, puckery, funky and dry.

I find full-bore versions of this style to be a little too aggressive to suit me. The addition of raspberries (Rose De Gambrinus) or grapes (in this case) tends to contribute just enough underlying sweetness to take the edge off the sharp, biting acidity and the saliva-sucking dryness. Any number of foods would match up perfectly with this beauty.

Since I have so little experience with the style, I'll have to trust my instincts when it comes to the mouthfeel. It's light, with a sneaky suppleness on the finish of the finish. I also enjoy the brisk, fine-bubbled carbonation that gives the beer a festive mouth presence.

Cantillon Saint Lamvinus is a unique beer from one of the world's most unique brewers. I'm not sure I have the chops to completely break it down and appreciate where it fits into the pantheon of great lambics, but I sure do love the inspired attempt at beer-wine fusion. This is a beer that is meant to be consumed with gusto and a beer that deserves to be celebrated.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2007 15:50:58 | More by BuckeyeNation
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smcreator

Texas

4.25/5  rDev -6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This was the second lambic beer I have tried, although I had a hard time deciding if this was a wine or a beer. It looked beautiful; it had the color of wine (a rich burgundy red) as well as the head from a beer. The taste was nothing but strange. It was dry-ish like a wine, but it was well balanced and had beer attributes. My palate was very confused the whole time as it was trying to decide if it was drinking merlot or beer. I enjoyed the drink overall, and I had no trouble drinking it since I like the dryness of wine. A very balanced beverage.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2007 21:33:15 | More by smcreator
Cantillon Saint Lamvinus from Brasserie Cantillon
100 out of 100 based on 1,240 ratings.