Cantillon Saint Lamvinus - Brasserie Cantillon
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Ratings: 1,454 | Reviews: 438 | Display Reviews Only:
4.5/5 rDev -0.7%
Appearance: A hazy but clear reddish-purple, beautiful in color. An inch or so of head rises and quickly dissipates, in the usual Cantillon fashion.
Smell: Intense funk from a mile away; barnyard, sweat, parmesan cheese, damp basement - it almost overwhelms the fruit, but not entirely; there's a note of grape beneath it all. Once the nose becomes accustomed to the funk the aroma takes on an almost soured red wine quality. This is definitely one of the more intriguing Cantillon beers. I should add that the last pour from the bottle (with sediment) had the most hilariously intense aroma of funk I've ever smelled.
Taste & mouthfeel: Utterly dry, sour and acidic with plenty of dry vinous flavor to balance things out. The lambic base is fairly dominant here, but the character of the grapes and barrel shine through just enough to give it depth beyond your average lambic. The marriage of lambic and red wine grapes makes for a profoundly dry mouthfeel.
06-27-2008 17:33:38 | More by largadeer
4.4/5 rDev -2.9%
750ml Burgundian vessel, the October 27, 2009 bottling, and 5% ABV for Alberta's apparently healthy allotment. Sour beer made with Merlot grapes - sounds like a lark to me, Sideways be damned!
This beer pours a slightly hazy, ruddy bronzed amber hue, with three fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and mostly fizzy pale pink head, which scatters quickly, leaving virtually no trace of lace in the vicinity of my admittedly hastily-chosen chalice.
It smells of tart, indistinct citrus acids, farm-bred floral funk, earthy yeast, limestone chalk, and well-oaked, grapey red wine. The taste is another lip-puckering experience, the generic fruity acerbity overwhelming at first contact - tart red wine, deconstructed - grape peel and berry skin, a mild grainy woodiness, and pronounced tannins. After the expected acclimatization period, and some warming, the soft wheat and barley grains become apparent, with some other earthy, woody orchard fruitiness - cherries and under ripe nectarines, mostly - alongside some tame funky, earthy yeast.
The carbonation is clear and present, but quite fine, and certainly no danger (but it does make you actually think about it), the body medium-light in weight, but strangely full-seeming, with an egregiously smooth fruitiness, and not even within approach-shot distance of being cloying (acids, yo!). It finishes a twinge off-dry, the tartness abating a fair bit, the wheat malt dusting itself off, and more cherry wine notes popping up to party.
My previous exposure to beer blended with red wine (from Japan, at that) did not leave me expecting too much from this. Sacre bleu, it sure is nice to be surprised! This is a revelation, a lovely, fruity, and tangy beer analogue for the claret set. As a fan of contrasts in flavour, this works oh so well, and I'm suddenly craving some chocolate cake as an accompaniment, and pondering the Pinot Noir version of this.
05-21-2010 23:36:20 | More by biboergosum
4.6/5 rDev +1.5%
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!
03-03-2007 14:13:29 | More by NeroFiddled
5/5 rDev +10.4%
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.
12-31-2007 09:47:40 | More by RblWthACoz
4.6/5 rDev +1.5%
Pours a super effervescent blush/violet with minimal pink head up front. Hazes up a bit, a bit of viscosity to this as well, some head retention & lacing
S: Blueberries & a bit of grape are steamrolled by barnyard & sourness, fades a bit as it warms
T: Grassyness with much tart apple, a touch of sour elderberry around the edges up front. Dry apple cider, much tartness & sweet tarts do battle as this warms, the tart wins, with just a whisper of booze hiding in the background. Finishes bone dry with a hint of raspberry tartness followed by puckery sourness
MF: Light/medium bodied with much effervescence & mouth puckering tartness, plus a bit of wetness
Drinks pretty nice, I am very up & down on sours, but this one is living up to its world class tartness, which today I like/love. The sourness is done right, I don't think I'm drinking salad dressing unlike some others I've had. Sour freaks must try this, I'm a malthead & I still liked this a bunch, many may hesitate at the price, but got a deal at $25 a bottle (only one there). Not an every day beer for me, but if your want to get your Lambic freak on, this is your huckleberry!
08-26-2009 03:50:08 | More by russpowell
4.4/5 rDev -2.9%
Had this on-tap at Sheffield's sour night. Served in a Cantillon mini-tulip glass.
A - Judging by the other reviews it sounds as if the bottles have significantly more carbonation. The pour I got looked like it was a cask ale - just a bunch of big bubbles that stuck around for a while. The color was really nice - mostly transparent purple-red.
S - Sour cherry, Merlot, tart pink lady apples, sour green grapes, gooseberries, and hints of wood, funk, and musty barn. The smell is incredibly potent too.
T - The taste smooths out a lot of red wine flavor, and pushes the sour apple and cherry flavors up to the front. There's also a restrained sour grape-skin aftertaste. I feel like I don't have the necessary descriptors for a brew like this one, and that red wine loves would find all kinds of interesting things to say. It was definitely interesting and delicious though.
M - Dry finish - a bit of cotton mouth starts to happen. It's very smooth and thin-bodied, but doesn't come off as watery. The negligible carbonation is unfortunate, because because it starts to come off a syrup-like after a while and makes me feel like I want to brush my teeth.
D - Mild aftertaste, low ABV, cask-style texture. The only thing that keeps this from a perfect score is the outrageous price. It tastes wonderful, but at $40/bottle in Chicago it's too expensive to have regularly. Hopefully it pops up on-tap a little more often (albeit slightly more carbonated).
04-10-2009 03:23:13 | More by MasterSki
4.43/5 rDev -2.2%
Rosy top in the look here, deeper burgundy beneath, under absolutely no head...par for style, though...
Aroma: bracing, yet invigorating, a blast of cherries and grape, twisted by sour...musty, rank, and deep...liking it...a deep well, dominated by fruit. Delectable.
Taste it, already! Oooo! Weeee! Owww! Bold, huge, fat puckeration,...ooo, ooo, ooo! Takes hold of the mouth and doesn't let go! A blend of dark fruits, cherries, and berries, and grapes. Luscious. Sour and flavorful. Mellows a touch, gets easy as we go, gets easier to take..
Not for everyone, but a particular treat for demanding palates, constant play on the tongue that is rewarding for some, punishing for others.
Hard to compare this to anything else on earth. Far beyond any other lambic, a definitive sui generis classic.
2004 bottling. too young? who's to say. worth the $33 spent? probably...
03-09-2006 03:39:37 | More by feloniousmonk
4.85/5 rDev +7.1%
Beer on draft, I was shocked when this was on draft at Churchkey, promptly ordered. Beer was purple and cloudy. Had no head and carbonation was low. There were a few bubbles but they failed to generate any lacing. Looks really interesting, kind of like grape juice.
Aroma is sour, citric with a hint of acetic, perhaps a little lactic in there as well. There is a slight sulfur aroma to it.
Minimal front flavor, beer is light in body. Drinkability high. The tartness gets you, its grapey and slightly sweet but in a sour and sweet sort of way. The flavors develop better on the back palate than the front. Its a great beer. There is not a lot of body to it and there is nearly no carbonation in the mouth. I really enjoyed it.
03-16-2010 13:59:56 | More by drabmuh
4.55/5 rDev +0.4%
First off thanks Aaron for sharing this great Lambic with me! Congrats on opening Crush wine and Beer bar -a welcome addition to Lancaster PA.
Poured chilled into a wine glass.
A - Red plum hued w/ subtle translucent quality. The bubbles of white appear and recede moments later leaving a ring of beads around the glass
S - The aroma pops out immediately with the smell of wine skins and fruity sour aromas
M - The mouthfeel is what I expected and more, light sweetness devolves to a highly acidic almost vinegar-like feel. A puckering quality like lemon when biting the flesh off the rind
T - A exquisite complex blend of sweet eclipsed immediately by a tart granny smith flavor mix w/ a mild fresh red berry flavor- possibly currant or red raspberry. The flavor is acidic and tannic with grapeskin elements but also the alcohol mildly affecting flavor. Mainly red grape and possibly some boysenberry under the sour and gentle funk
D - A good flavor experience for me, so lush and highly drinkable. The hybrid of lambic and wine grapes and the very light feel for the 6%. The kind of flavor you want to sip, it has so much going on that it refreshes as you savor it.
07-19-2009 14:40:10 | More by Slatetank
4.55/5 rDev +0.4%
Tap at Armsby Abbey
Big fluffy head rises about the size of the beer but fades fairly quickly, rosy head fades semi quickly, hazy rosy pink maroon colored beer.
Nose has funk right out, funky brett or lacto, sour tart fruit, sour grape, cherry, nice lambic fruit, light barnyard, and a bit of a musty grape skin.
Taste comes on pretty sour, tart fruit, bit of cherry, some sour grape, light cabernet like grape skin, some light acidity and lacto funk, very light barnyard funk, light sweet sticky malts, light dry bready malts. Finishes tart fruit, dry, very mouth watering, little acidity, sticky syrupy too.
Mouth is med to a bit lighter bodied, decent carb, light lactic acid.
Overall awesome! Just friggen awesome.
08-25-2011 02:36:27 | More by jlindros
4.5/5 rDev -0.7%
magic. pours raspberry pinky color, a little hazy, with a finger or more of tiny white bubbles stacked together. very very puckery sour nose, lambic funky, plenty of yeast, mouth watering aromas. i smell grape must in there with the tart lemon acidity. the flavor is true to the nose, with the sourness being every bit as intense. almost hurts the jaw its so sour. fruit provides more flavor than sweetness, and this may be the best grape or wine based beer out there. its dryish in the finish, but still mouth watering at the same time. brightly carbonated, very active, which helps to cut through some of the acidity, which is huge. the body is very light, but i dont think id feel good if i drank a whole 750ml bottle of this on my own. the acidity and sourness would turn the stomach. overall though this is awesome stuff from cantillon, one of my favorites ive had from them. the legend grows for me...
01-14-2013 21:31:44 | More by StonedTrippin
3.63/5 rDev -19.9%
Thanks to Lauren for opening this at the Dec. '12 Philly suburbs bottle share!
Cranberry-tawny-colored pour, slightly hazy, with a minimal, fizzy head. Musty fruit aroma, grass, hints of acetic acid. "Something tells me it'll be a sour." Pretty tart on the tongue, strong flavors of grape and apple skin, thin wine, horseblankety, but not overblown in that aspect, grassy and very dry; the intensity of the fruit tartness overthrew any major acetic notes that might have been present. Medium body, again, crisp and very dry, a bit puckering, low to moderate carbonation, overall texture comparable to chewing on grape or apple skin, which made it a bit uncomfortable, but relatively appropriate for the style. Pretty one-dimensional, but delivered what was expected. Not bad overall, and I was glad to have tried it. It's not something I'd pay Cantillon pricetag prices for, however.
12-13-2012 07:37:22 | More by Rifugium
4.35/5 rDev -4%
Thanks to foofaa for sharing. Served in a goblet.
Appearance: Pours a clear red color with two fingers of off white head that fades to a ring around the edge of the glass and leaves some lacing.
Smell: Quite funky with some fruit notes. I'm picking up herbal yeast, grape, and mild vinegar.
Taste: Tart and funky with lots of grape juice. Herbal and quite tart with a bitter finish. This is very good.
Mouthfeel: Medium body with smooth and tingly carbonation and a dry finish.
Overall: This is a great sour beer. The fruit and tart flavors mix well with lots of funk.
03-09-2012 01:15:48 | More by oline73
4.43/5 rDev -2.2%
I had been saving this bottle for a special occasion and decided to crack it open for beer number 1500.
Bottled 11/18/2008. The beer pours a reddish-brown-amber color with a white head. The aroma is very tart with some oaked notes. The flavor is tart grapes with some oak. The tartness is very intense but it is not overwhelming. Light-medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. This is a great sour ale that was worthy of being beer number 1500. Cantillon has done it again.
05-19-2010 03:35:54 | More by Mora2000
4.58/5 rDev +1.1%
From 09/25/10 notes. Thanks to Matt (Drabmuh) for sharing this one!
a - Pours a pinkish-ruby red color with two to three inches of fluffy white head and moderate carbonation evident.
s - Smells of tart raspberries, oak, grapes, light fruity malts.
t - Tastes of grapes, oak, wine, tart fruits, mainly raspberry and dark fruit. Definitely some great sourness to it, but not an insane amount; very enjoyable and drinkable.
m - Light body and low carbonation. At 6% ABV, a very easy drinking lambic/sour.
d - I liked this one a lot. I thought it taste great and was very easy to drink for a sour. The light body and low ABV made this a beer I felt like I could drink a lot of, and I'd love to again sometime.
09-26-2010 21:15:13 | More by mdfb79
4.28/5 rDev -5.5%
Pours light red with a thin pink head.
The smell is fruity - cherry and raspberry - sour/tart aroma.
The taste is fruity - cherry/raspberry - tart with some sour. Very fresh and flavorful. As it warms, sweet grainy malt balances out the fruitiness. Rich and complex. The feeling of a grape skin sticks to tongue, giving it a long, dry finish.
Worth about $30 a bottle? As an occassional treat - it is a good lambic. Serves as a nice apperitif or to pair with a fruity desert.
12-28-2006 17:51:25 | More by jwc215
5/5 rDev +10.4%
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 wont 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 berrygrape 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 dont 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. Dont get me wrong, dont 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 dont get it, seriously, Ive 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.
12-09-2003 19:10:55 | More by Gueuzedude
4.6/5 rDev +1.5%
From a 750 at Provisions,
A: Pours a gorgeous grape red with a soft white head, spotty lace.
S: As opposed to most fruit lambics, the barnyard dominates the nose here. Horse blanket and hay with that Cantillon funk.
T: Pretty, pretty, pretty. Delicious soft notes of grapes, passion fruit, plum and lilac. Very flowery, but maintaining the fruitiness at all times.
M: Medium-bodied overall, moderate acidity. Bright on the palate, very easy drinking.
O: If I had a bottle of this to myself, I could see myself finishing it in 10 minutes, it's just that good. I love good Right Bank Bordeaux, so adding Merlot and Cab Franc grapes to lambic makes sense to me. It certainly worked here.
11-07-2011 22:33:37 | More by Halcyondays
Cantillon Saint Lamvinus from Brasserie Cantillon
100 out of 100 based on 1,454 ratings.