Cantillon Saint Lamvinus | Brasserie Cantillon

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466 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
466
Ratings:
1,926
Avg:
4.43
pDev:
8.13%
 
 
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Cantillon Saint LamvinusCantillon Saint Lamvinus
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brasserie Cantillon
Belgium | website

Style: Lambic - Fruit

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by truthbrew on 03-20-2003

User Reviews
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Reviews: 466 | Ratings: 1,926
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

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Photo of aasher
4/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage. This one pours a lighter bodied dark cranberry red in color with a one finger slightly pink head. The nose is dry and musty with a nice amount of funk and acidity. The flavors are dry and tart and it has nice acidity. As a wine drinker, I must say that this has zero characteristics of a Merlot so it's nice to see the difference between the beer and wine. This one is musty as hell. It drinks light with nice acidity but I can't really like the flavor. It doesn't have enough fruit character for my liking. This is the best vintage I've had so far. The '07 smells like puppy farts in my opinion, as in "I just fed my dog too many rawhides" puppy farts. I definitely prefer this vintage to that one.

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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 John_M
3.03/5  rDev -31.6%
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).

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Photo of weeare138
4.59/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Capone's in Norristown. Considering I wrote the descriptions for the tap list last week, I should hope that people won't mind my notes looking similar to the brief descriptions seen in the restaurant. In any case...
Appears a ruby reddish toned pink with a small, bubbly head that quickly fades into nothing. No lacing is left and the spider legs are very faint when tilting the glass and brought back to center.
Smell is of tart, sweet raspberries, barnyard funk, rubber, wildness, light horseblanket, and oak.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with vinuous notes and oaky vanilla pushing through the raspberries and wild funk.
Mouthfeel is tart, medium bodied, vinuous, sweet & tart, dry, slightly acidic but mellow.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.7/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served to me blind by laituegonflable.

Pours a deep pink-red colour, tending to very pale at the edges, with a filmy head of white bubbles. Little carbonation present, even though it was served in champagne flutes. Colour is nice for the style, otherwise a little disappointing.

Pretty sour lambic character on the nose - tending almost towards barnyard funk. Little fruit is present, except those that evoke acidity - lemon and green apple. I'm expecting a riproarer on the tongue.

Wow, much more subtle than I would have expected from the nose - certainly not teeth-clenchingly sour, but a marked acidity leavened by touches of tannic grape must, a light bubblegum character, and a crisp, dry finish. It does feel a little thin - it has neither the strong, pungent acidity, nor the sweetness to be truly full-bodied, but it's not a bad drop all up. Mouthfeel is crisp, but the thinness is present here as well.

Still, this is a pretty refreshing sour ale. It just lacks a little something to me - the fact that I can't pick what is in it implies that the fruit characters are what is absent. Not bad.

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Photo of corby112
4.44/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cask at Teresa's Next Door.

Pours a dark purple/plum color with burgundy/blood red edges when held to a light. Completely opaque with a half finger off-white head that immediately fades leaving no lace behind.

Sweet vinous aroma with a very prominent dark fruit/red wine character. Nice earthy funk with subtle barnyard horsey notes and a prominent earthy oak barrel presence. Bursting with dark fruit, especially grape, as well as some currant and dark cherry.

Full bodied with a tart, mouth puckering sourness that lingers throughout over the sweet vinous and funky barnyard notes into a sweet, slightly dry finish. Bursting with vinous dark fruit, especially the grapes. A perfect marriage of wine and beer. Slight acidity in the finish with a lingering acetic vinegar presence that leaves me drooling for more. This beer is incredibly quaffable considering how funky it is. Perfectly balanced.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.47/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a very light purple color with good carbonation leaving a nice cap and some bubbles

S: Big grape character on the nose with funk and old oak/wood spirals

T: A musty but big and rich load of purple grapes with some oak, light vinegar and Earthiness. I believe a little tartness from a white grape was provided for good measure

M: Nice dry, medium body and well carbonated. The sourness really hangs in there as does the grapes.

O: Delicous!

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Photo of wl0307
4.47/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This 750ml brown, corked and capped bottle comes at 5%abv.; bottled on 22/11/2007, BB 12/2009, served cool in a large tulip-shaped wine glass.

A: the colour comes more like a strawberry-flavoured lambic, light purple-ish or dark pinky red, slightly translucent on top of very fine carbonation in action, while the thin, pink-ish white foamy head settles in time to a rim.
S: the pungent sourness of Lambic ale with all the typical trimmings (funky musts and tangy, old grapefruit peels) mingles with an aromatic main body of (merlot) grapes, with a clear gravity of lambic base, while mildly sour strawberry notes and salted citrus peels lag behind closely. A deep sniff reveals the depth of French oaks endowed by long oak-ageing, a hint that had already been given away by the cork's inner side as soon as the bottle was opened, actually; simultaneously, the richer note of fresh grape juice (hinting at fat, juicy grape flesh!) is accommodated in the middle. Overall, a true harmony.
T: supremely, if not brutally, tart/lactic-sour, funky, as well as nobly, intensely savoury (for an beer, that is) upfront, dominated by the lambic base where merlot grapes seem to have melted, with only the sour fruity bits wandering around... but, hang on, as the beer slips through the tongue, the Merlot-elements interact/converse with the remnant bit of air in the mouth almost like a true fine wine, generating a delicate whiff of oaky-wine aroma. Also, the tannic & oaky touch of a typical lambic ale expands from the middle of the tongue towards b/w the teeth, as the aftertaste turns semi-dry and tannic, showing lingering hints of mustiness in the end.
M&D: the texture is quite "stimulating", due to the level of musty tart-iness vis-à-vis the delicate carbonation, while, at 5%abv., this ale seems to taste "heavier" than normal thanks maybe to the tannins brought about by the red grape skins. All in all, this is another very very good novel-lambic invented by this uncompromising brewery, although personally I think the white-grape counterpart ("Vigneronne") has the upper hand for the finesse in aroma and overall. Just finished the whole 750ml bottle in an hour and I still can't have enough of it - really quaffable for a lambic!

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

(Served in a wide-body flute)
2002 vintage

A- When I peeled of the black foil the cap is very rusted and corroded with a black crust. The cork underneath has micro-bubbles oozing out of the middle forming a tiny layer of beer. When I pulled the cork it was all soaked through and a fine mist of beer covered the table with a pop.

This beer pours a raspberry red hazy body with a good strong carbonation. The head is a thick pinkish foam with peppered with little black specs from the bottle. The head soon dissipates to a mass of bubbles in the center of a thin ring around the rim.

S- The earthy smell of decomposition comes through with some strong notes of barnyard. There is a faint vinous dark red wine note in the background. The strong aroma of pigs comes through more than any other barnyard note.

T- There is a nice tartness that makes me pucker on the first few sips but then starts to blend with some sweet red grape notes which remind me of raspberries. The finish is a dry earthy quality that has a big fizz to the taste. As it warms a bit there are notes of plums in the fruit. The bright fruit taste hangs on the tongue after each sip. With the next glass the flavor changes more and more with each sip. The flavors of fresh red wine grapes of the wine with a faint mellon note before the taste of sweettarts comes through in the finish.

M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a champagne fizz in the texture.

D- This is an interesting fruit lambic but I thought the aroma was a bit one-dimensional and I didn't get the depth and complexity out of the fruit that I was expecting.

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Photo of akorsak
3.47/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A wine glass served at Capone's.

A: The ale has a a slightly hazy, dull red color that has some brownish notes darkening it a bit. The pour is the last of the keg and the head is gone to a far away place, making this ale look still as water.

S: The aroma is an amalgum of funky barnyard and intense sourness with a bit of grape sweetness.

T: The sourness of the beer is intense, coming across like a slightly sweet vinegar. As the sourness fades away, a dry red grape emerges adding a slight sweetness. Finally, some green grape tartness seals the deal before returning to intense vinegary sourness.

M: The mouthfeel stings, preventing anything big from emerging. Having had a bottle and a tap serving, I am not seeking this beer out as part of my standard rotation.

D: The bitter acidity is too tart to make for a reliable drink.

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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 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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Photo of rudzud
4.8/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed on tap at the Armsby Abbey's 3 year anniversary event on 8/24.

I knew this was going to be beer #400, so I wanted it to be somethin special.

A - Poured a beautiful pinkish purple/red hue with a one finger fizzy one head that fades slowly to leave a nice halo.

S - Excellent funk and light barnyard with nice sweet fruits (raspberries, grape, cherry). Just delicious, inviting lambic aromas.

T - Funky, fruity, raspberries. Nice sourness, nice tartness, good fruits (raspberry, grapeskin, etc).

M - Dry, crisp, super refreshing and incredibly mouthwatering.

O - Overall this was spectacular. So glad I got to try this on tap, and even more glad that I have a bottle tucked away in my cellar.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.84/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

'14 vintage, purchased at the Beer Belly in Albany, NY.

This one pours a light purplish red, with a quarter inch head, and no lacing.

Smells awesome, huge grape presence, some red wine, cherries, musty basement type funk, some leather, and oak.

This is just too good. It was just perfect sitting and drinking the majority of the bottle to myself. The grape flavor is so nice, not all that sweet, but still so fruity, with some nice barnyard/basement funk, a super vinous character, wet damp oak, and some earthiness. The sourness is moderate, about a 5/10, not super overwhelming, works well with the rest of the interesting flavors.

This one has a fairly dry mouthfeel and finish, with a soft, moderate level of carbonation.

This was wonderful, and up there with the best sours I've ever had.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.37/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

corked and capped 750ml bottle poured into tulip oct11 2010

A pours pink out of the bottle and it sits in the glass with a deep ruby red glow nice color for sure, head fizzes out pretty quick but from my limited understanding that's on par for the style

S quite funky, I expected much more of a fruity wine smell, it did have a little bit of a fruity wine thing going for it with some vinegar but the barnyard funk is in control and that's fine with me

T still big funk and much more from the grapes, not so much a wine flavor but a sour cherry and purple candy taste that's quite nice. Big earthy flavors to go along with it, a fair bit going on here on top of the heavy funk

M to say this was sour and tart would be an understatement, big carbonation gives it some body and I think I'll be tasting it tomorrow the flavors stick to your mouth pretty well

D not something I'd drink all day but I had no problem drinking the big bottle by myself

this one was bottled a year ago and I'm very curious how the flavors change over time but I doubt I'll find out because this stuff costs big bucks. Great stuff though if you like sour funk

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Photo of spinrsx
4.24/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750ml Bottle received through private import - 2013 vintage

Appearance - Burgundy colour with a large size fizzy/frothy white head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some faint lacing. The head lasted for 3-4 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Grapes, vinegar, Lemon

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste citric notes and grapes/cherries/currants. There is also a light vinegar flavour and a light amount of barnyard funk. It ends with tart yet fruity aftertaste.

Overall - You can really taste the quality and refinement in this beer. It has a perfect balance and a complex taste that keeps you wanting more. A perfect beer to pair with cheese.

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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 dar482
4.47/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The beer comes in a dark crimson purple color. Almost like a watered down red wine.

The aroma has tart red grape skins, berry notes. Some musty funk and barnyard. A good combination of red wine, fruit, oak, and funk. Reminds me slightly of the Kriek.

The flavor follows with that big tartness in the front. Tons of red grape peel and berry skin. It then follows into that funk and oak notes.

The fruit is slightly less obvious in this. A wonderful drinking lambic.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.87/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750mL corked and capped bottle poured into a stemmed glass. October 27, 2009 bottled date.

(A)- Pours a hazy blood red ruby color that produced a great pink effervescent head that dissipated quite quickly to transparent white bubbles.

(S)- A dry, yet has some tart dark grape aromas with a mild creamy woody oak vanilla accent typical of wine barrels. Mild funk too, so very wine-like. Has a very subtle lactic earthiness at the end.

(T)- A wonderfully acidic sour woody oak and grape fruit profile. Very wine-like as the smell, but has that dry, mildly lactic sourness and funk to remind you what it really is. Tasty and complex.

(M)- A great carbonation level and balance. A really perfect balance of acidic sourness, and dry woody fruits; nothing overpowers the other. A great character and feel because of this.

(D)- Yet another winner from Cantillon. A great seamless balance and feel to it. A nice acidity too. I would be curious what age will do to this. Quite drinkable for the style. Just everytime I have this it seems to get better and better in my eyes. If only this was easier to get my hands on (and perhaps a bit cheaper) would this be near perfect 5's. Superb both fresh and with some time on it!

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Photo of Viggo
4.47/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.73/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cork says 2003.

Beautiful looking hue of scarlet. With a dash of that cranapple juice look to it. This fucker literally radiates. There's a bubbly light pink froth that caps it off quite nicely. It recedes to a thick, bubbly collar that leaves sporadic clingy lace.

Aroma is quite nice. Soft notes of vinegar, mustiness and barnyard funk are complented nicely by some purple grape sweetness and wine characteristics.

I find that this lambic really finds a happy medium between sour and sweet. It's got that horse blanket and farmyard funk going on. And the acidic properties, acetic acid, etc... but to a lesser extent than most Cantillon offerings. On the flip side, this beer also has a touch of grape fruit sweetness and red wine. And it's an interaction that works to perfection.

This beer is Bone Dry. Sahara Desert Dry. And the carbonation is ever so subtle. The body is about medium or so. And this beer leaves you wanting more, sip after sip, until it is gone...

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Photo of mrn1ceguy
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My favorite Cantillon, St. Lam is just an amazing lambic with fruityness and sour blending perfectly to make an amazingly enjoyable beer. If I could turn every lambic & wild into St Lam, I would be happy.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.18/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 bottle thanks to shawnm213.

750ml poured into a Duvel Tulip glass.

A - Pours a dark reddish-purple with a nice white-light purple head. Good retention.

S - Funk, red grapes, wine-like.

T - Tart red grapes, some woody flavor, funky and musty.

D - Smooth, yet tart. Light body, good carbonation.

O - Nice balance between sour and soft.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.88/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow, this is quite the gem, truly, looks like merlot, a little lighter, but brighter, prettier, good sexy meld of purple and pink. The head is pink, and a good 1"+ deep. Truly a masterpiece worth looking at. Solid purple grape aroma, usual suspects of dry lemon.

Complex. Grapes, tannins, meld to produce a dry fruit presence, all the great sour flavor, none of it getting in the way of each other. A little bit of berry note to it. Just the right amount of tartness, substantial. I thought it was very clean, not barnyardy or horse blanket stuff you can read in almost every review.

Damn expensive stuff, but sometimes, you or she is worth it. Normally, I think the year round lineup from Cantillon (and Fantome) was usually superior to the harder to gets, but this one seems to be the exception to the rule.

Damn fine on a day at the end of summer, thanks Labor Day weekend 2011. This and 3F schaerbeekse in heaven.

EdIT: got to try some on tap at triple rock, wow, this beer just keeps getting better every time I drink it.

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Cantillon Saint Lamvinus from Brasserie Cantillon
98 out of 100 based on 466 ratings.