Cantillon Saint Lamvinus - Brasserie Cantillon

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Cantillon Saint LamvinusCantillon Saint Lamvinus

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

451 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 451
Hads: 1,779
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 4.33%
Wants: 1,323
Gots: 389 | FT: 30
Brewed by:
Brasserie Cantillon visit their website
Belgium

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
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Reviews: 451 | Hads: 1,779
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.88/5  rDev +11.2%
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. (1,033 characters)

Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.88/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A huge thanks goes out to Treyrab and cooljosh, two extremely generous BAs, who splurged on this 2008 bottle in thanks for my hosting them for our epic tasting. Split 5 ways, and poured into lambic glasses.

Once in the glass, the body is a hazy mahogany-tinted ruby. The rosy body is capped by only a thin layer of fine bubbles on top, while under the surface, tons of champagne-like bubbles cling to the edges of the glass. They hold on only briefly before rushing towards the surface, feeding the wispy foam that sits just below the rim of the glass, allowing me to swirl and bury my nose in the glassware...

The nose provides pretty much everything I dream of when I think about lambics. There is a big bacterial and vinegary sourness, coupled with a big bretty and cheesy funk. The Bordeaux character is somewhat muted, which is the only thing that I think can be improved. I don't know how this is fresh, but with age, it's phenomenal.

The Bordeaux that was unfortunately lacking in the bouquet comes through nicely here. It is followed quickly by that cheesy funk from the nose. Wine grapes seem to dominate the middle of the flavor profile. The sourness moves from the funky cheesiness to a mildly acetic sourness. This is one of the most well-rounded sours that I have ever tried. The flavor is absolutely insane for a relatively low-gravity beer. The earthy finish is incredible and catches me almost by surprise. Nice and woody, it really rounds out Saint Lamvinus in a perfect way.

Despite the notable carbonation immediately following the pour, the texture and feel of this beer are that of a decidedly low-carbonation level. There is a sourness that flows through the entire body upon drinking. I am sorry that I only had 5-6 oz to enjoy, as I could have enjoyed the whole 750mL bottle myself over a two-hour time span.

Make sure this is consumed at cellar temp. You don't want to miss a single aspect of this phenomenal brew. (1,945 characters)

Photo of frank4sail
4.88/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Rediculas neon raspberry color with a slight pale white head. Beauty in a goblet. Hand carried from the brewery by my good friend Andrew. Smells like (and I mean this in the best way possible) what my girlfiend puked up on the carpet in my dorm room after attending a very good high quality red wine tasting . Acidic rounded and berrylike in the nose. Very clean and dry upfront with a rounded fruity berry like (blackberry/raspberry) mellowness. A touch of barnyard love but it is a very clean drinkable brew. Smoothish soft loving mouth with little bubbles on the tongue. The brew just WONDERFUL! (598 characters)

Photo of Habanero58
4.88/5  rDev +11.2%
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!! (1,227 characters)

Photo of maximep
4.88/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- amber rosy raspberry color, with a pinkish tan head

S- dry, tart, rotten eggy, sulfuric, fruity, musky grape

T- warm, full fruity, hot tannic taste. very acidic, citrusy and musky

M- wispy, dry, tounge puckering tannic loveliness

O- one of the best Cantillons i've had. choosing a favorite between any Canty's is a spoiled choice. (338 characters)

Photo of rowingbrewer
4.88/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

All i can say is wow this beer is amazing. ordered a bottle at deep ellum with friends for $40, not bad considering that is the shelf price.

this beer pours a nice red color, I could not give you the exact shade as it was quite late and deep ellum is pretty dark inside anyways. the smell is acetic and sour right of the back with a little bit of funk in there but barely noticeable over the sour smell. the taste is sour with red wine notes and acidity a superb balance between the wine grape flavor and the sour lambic. the mouthfeel is light and mouth wateringly sour. overall this is the best sour beer i have ever had. (624 characters)

Photo of spaceycasey
4.87/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

There is a reason Cantillon is so highly regarded. This is one of them!

A- clear, bright ruby red with a thin creamy film of foam atop the beer in my tulip. Lovely.

S- Highly aecidic heavy on grape skin and hints of berries.

T- Sweet grape complimented by aecidic sourness finishing slightly dry.

M- Perfect for the style - crisp with a refreshing carbonation tingle.

D- If I could afford it, I'd drink this all the time! Only knock is that... well, I can't afford it! (473 characters)

Photo of Asher1982
4.87/5  rDev +10.9%
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. (489 characters)

Photo of BigAl723
4.87/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Ashley's in Ann Arbor. Thank you Monica!

A: Dark ruby red with a little haze going on. A dirty white head that stuck around for a while.

S: Funky and sour! This is one amazingly funky smelling Lambic...but I love it. It also has a tart raspberry smell too. But it was the funk I was really looking forward to.

T: Absolutely outstanding. The tart and sourness just stuck to the inside of my mouth as I wanted to savor every little drop.

M: It almost felt sticky inside my mouth. But I think it was because I wanted to savor it. Medium carbonation.

D: Saint Lamvinus drinks so easy. It's smooth and the alcohol is hardly noticeable.

Overall I enjoyed this very much. I had never heard of Cantillon until I saw this on tap and asked about it. Now I check it out on BA and come to realize it's in the "Top 100". What a treat! (838 characters)

Photo of sweemzander
4.87/5  rDev +10.9%
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! (1,221 characters)

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.85/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First things first, a beef with the presentation: a beer of this caliber should have a bottling date. From the bottle, purchased at the Map Room for $40, there was absolutely no indication as to whether this was a 2001, 2002, or 2003 vintage. It didn’t reduce my enjoyment of the beer but I would have liked to have known for future reference.

As for the beer itself…Cantillon’s St. Lamvinus is perfect.

Appearance: Pours into a white wine glass with a strong effervescent surge that leaves a ¼ inch, lovely pink head. The head dies off quickly but the body doesn’t disappoint. St. Lamvinus presents a deep, sexy purpled pink body. Color is not dissimilar to New Glarus’s Raspberry tart. St. Lamvinus is much deeper, however, and not particularly cloudy.

Aroma: Barnyard funk and vinegar balance flawlessly by sweet grape juice. Light amounts of cobwebs and dirt, oak tannins, and wet leather are found too but at the end of the day one has more of an impression of absolute cohesiveness then individualy unique attributes. I carry away a sense that is now possible, against the odds, for a beer to offer much, indeed most, of the character of a rabid geuze without offending. Likewise, I now see the possibilities of using grapes as a primary component of beer without creating a concoction that is either cloyingly sweet or overly wine like.

Taste: All of the attributes of a fine Bordeaux blended without defect with the entire range of excellent properties of the best lambics.

Mouthfeel: Spritzy and medium bodied. Astringent front, balanced center, lightly dry finish. Defining of balance.

Drinkability: Undoubtedly one of the most drinkable beers I have consumed to date.

Was it worth it? Yes and no…To try once, it was absolutely worth it. To drink regularly, I would have to say it would not be. For my dollar, I would take Oude Beersel or Hansen’s kriek geuzes on a regular basis over this. Still, I have to admit that a beer so well crafted is most certainly deserving of its high price. God bless Cantillon for this. (2,059 characters)

Photo of Dmann
4.85/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Having this be my first true Lambic will for sure make all other that I have pale in comparison. This one poured a great ruby red color with with not too much head but a great ammount of bubbles that added greatly to the visual appeal. The smell was nice and sour, with sour grape notes and sharp cheese scents. The taste was wonderfull with a great dry flavor of citrus and vinegar. The stuff was so smoothe I could have had the whole bottle! This is a beer to behold for sure. (478 characters)

Photo of deebo
4.85/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottled in November of 2010

A-Pours a pinkish white head that quickly breaks down. Brilliant light red color with good clarity.

S-Smells like a Cantillon, lots of funk, horse blanket, leather, can get hints of dark grapes.

T-Not an overly robust taste, the grapes are present but are a definite back note to the wild yeasts.

M-The aftertaste is not nearly as sour as some of their other beers-this is downright smooth.

D-Very high for a lambic, damn smooth.

O-Definitely a Cantillon, a very approachable beer for someone who is overwhelmed by the sourness of their straight guezue. (587 characters)

Photo of twelvsies
4.85/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is quite a wonder of a beer. Just totally unique. Definately something you should try at least once, and then treat yourself to once in a while when the money comes in. I bought this one for $32 at Premier in Buffalo, and I don't regret it. As I didn't want to drink this one hunkered down in front of a computer, I drank it outside in the breeze, and am reviewing from notes.
Appears a dark purpleish-red color, with a bit of your typical beery-amber color coming through, though it's taken over with the more exotic colors. Fairly brash smell, sharp and stinging, sour, and with hay and horse blanket hints. I don't usually use that adjective (horse blanket), and I usually think that typical lambic "funk" is more of a sweaty sock smell, but this one I have to admit is particularly horsey. Taste is all over the place, but comes together in a really subtle yet complex way. Whereas some labics taste blatantly like a particular fruit (rasperries or cherries, for example) this one has more of a blend of fruity tastes. Grapes, and grape skins, fresh from the vine, yes, but also hints of dark cherries and other fruits. There's also a great fresh wood character in there, that was particularly enhanced by drinking this beer outside, which I highly recommend. Everything about this beer was so fresh, it just feels like you're blending in with the grass outside. That sounded a little hippyish, but that's how I felt when I drank this beer. Super dry mouthfeel makes it all come together. Really a world class beer here, living up to all the hype. Though hype really isn't a good word here, and doesn't fit the beer. The Saint Lamvinus is simply a delicious beer, from one of the world's most distinct breweries. Enjoy it. (1,733 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.84/5  rDev +10.3%
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. (798 characters)

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.83/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Purchased at sub-zero. bottled in 2004. consumed 8/8/08.

Pours a beautiful glowing ruby red color with a stark white head that has a tiny tiny touch of pink to it. Nose is super duper tart with alot of brett funk and sugar. Taste follows. Tart and funky as hell with a ton of wild flavor and puckering sour taste. some great fruitiness towards the end of the drag. Very dry finish. Mouthfeel is great and wonderfully dry with ample carbonation for the style. Drinkability is the best I have ever had for the style. A wonderful offering from Cantillon, and one I would love to have a couple bottles of in the cellar. Awesome lambic and one I certainly recommend to any sour beer enthusiast. Now if they could just make it a little bit cheaper! (743 characters)

Photo of clvand0
4.83/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this at Rich O's Public House and shared with three other people. $40 for a 750mL bottle. Good thing we shared it. Pours a brilliant light red color with a very small head, which was expected. Lots of funky stuff going on in the aroma. Fruit (grape), sweetness, sour, acid, it's all there. The flavor was very much the same as the aroma predicted. Strange tart/sour character with a great background flavor from the grapes. Very complex. There's a lot going on here. Very enjoyable. Very odd as well. I'm glad I got to try this one. (536 characters)

Photo of elNopalero
4.83/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed at Open Baladin in Roma.

This pours a beautiful ruby red color with pink foaming. There’s a tart aroma, light and dry, which gets sweeter as it warms. It has a pleasing, rounded tartness. I keep tasting cherries, with a touch of a funky undertone. This was incredible, a real treat to try. (300 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4.83/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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. (729 characters)

Photo of laintringulis
4.83/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2003 poured into a beer flute. Beautiful ruby/burnt orange color, practically no head, thin body, but not watery. Very complex smell and taste. Smells or granny smith apple, tart cherries, musty grapes and a pleasant "funky yeast" smell. Taste as smells with the apple and cherry predominant and slight vanilla taste. Very nice mouthfeel, feels thicker than what one would expect. The taste is initially sweet then becoming sour and then sweet on the backtaste in a very nice way. This is possibly too drinkable. The alcohol is used exceptionally and I wanted more and more. Note: This pair very nicely with dark chocolate. (623 characters)

Photo of Gusler
4.82/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well, I’m finally going to sample this “Lambic” that has been “Numere Uno” on my top five beers to sample for many years, I’m almost hesitant to sample it as I’ve waited so long I’m afraid I’ll be disappointed “Not” I’m sure.

The beer, after the removal of the black foil, crown & cork from the 750ml green bottle it sets in the flute glass a beautiful dark ruby with a bit of purple, the head is minute, the color and off white, “WOW”, I can smell berry tartness from two feet away. Nose is acerbic, with hints of grapes, cherries, musk, also to me the odor of damp and old moss covered oak, a plethora of aromas in this nose. First taste, “WHAM”, a pungent mouth puckering sourness, with just a tiny bit of sweetness, top is light in feel. Finish is dominated by the tartness with a bit of the berries and grapes coming through, vinous, and absolutely the driest aftertaste I’ve ever experienced. My oh my what a brew this is, and I must say it was worth the wait and the $44.00 I paid for it.

Note: As I was enjoying this great beer, I was thinking what would go good with it to make a perfect Sunday Afternoon, so I slapped in a great Jazz CD (Monk's Dream), and opened another precious gift a Cuban Cigar, I was in Beer/Cigar & Music Nirvana! (1,270 characters)

Photo of OutlawJoseyWales
4.82/5  rDev +9.8%
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. (468 characters)

Photo of SheepNutz
4.82/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

$39.75 at Rich-O's Public House in New Albany, IN. 750mL bottle shared with kmpitz2, clvand0, and another fellow homebrewer and poured into a chalice. It pours a light burgundy color with one finger of head that dies down quickly. There is a touch of lacing left on the glass. The smell has that great Cantillon funk with some red grape sweetness. It really draws you in and keeps you wanting more and more. The taste is amazing. Lots of sweet and sour, with some funkiness. Dry grapes smashed under a horse's saddle. The complexity almost made my head explode. The mouthfeel had sizzling carbonation that just popped on the tongue, unlike any other beer I've experienced. The drinkability was through the roof. Going through a few of these would be hard on the wallet, but easy on the palate. This beer is everything a lambic was meant to be. (843 characters)

Photo of KingG
4.82/5  rDev +9.8%
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. (1,311 characters)

Photo of adamette
4.82/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ML bottle at the brewery in Brussels while on tour there 3 days ago by Madame Cantillon, Granddaughter of founder of Cantillon brewery. Purchased it for 8 Euro (about $12 USD). Poured into two snifter like clear glasses with "Cantillon" written on the side. Met fellow named Dan from the U.S. while sampling this beer.

A Rose colored red cloudy body with minimal light colored (light pink and purple hues) head. Very nice look.

S Sweet softened grapes smell, both red and white grapes. Gone is any of the bitter Kriek smells of other Cantillons tested today. The smell is simply divine. I took my time smelling and re smelling this to savor it. It cannot be improved IMO.

T Great explosion of various types of grapes over a minimal Kriek like bitter in the background. This is the closest beer to wine that I have ever tasted. It takes all the goodness of the grapes (their soft, drinkable sweetness) and complements that with a balanced bitterness that keeps it a beer. A work of art.

M Moderate with the grape sweetness and Kriek like background all happening at once. Lamvinus has a nice dry finish as well, again like a wine.

D Very drinkable. My wife and I shared the 750 ML bottle with our new friend Dan but we easily could have shared it between us and drank another one.

Notes: What a treat to have this beer at the brewery! (1,358 characters)

Cantillon Saint Lamvinus from Brasserie Cantillon
97 out of 100 based on 451 ratings.