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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Reviews: 451
Hads: 1,779
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.66%
Wants: 1,323
Gots: 388 | 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 emerge077
4.1/5  rDev -6.6%
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. (630 characters)

Photo of haz77
4.1/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

D - Cantillon continues to impress. Not as mouth puckering as their other beers that I've had. It's possible that the age had taken the edges off prominent aromas, flavours and carbonation and mellowed this into a absolute beauty. Incredible easy sipper. (1,147 characters)

Photo of PeterIngemi
4.1/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

O: this is a beautiful done sour, very tart and very delicious. Don't really know what else to say here (666 characters)

Photo of selecter70
4.08/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A birthday bottle for my wife that I chose on a whim, a bit pricey but the occasion warranted it. I figured that she loves lambics & wine, so....The bottle poured a brighter than expected purple with pink edges to a light pink head that dissipated quickly & left a wee amount of lace afterwards. The aroma had a sour vinegar and wine-soaked cloth quality. The flavor definitely evokes the merlot, but is more complex as it shifts in even one sip from a tart & sweet cherry to vinegar sour and then changes to a flat but bright, crisp wine. The body is light, bubbly and easy to drink. A very interesting beer, but definitely worth it. (634 characters)

Photo of OlieIPA
4.08/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750ml bottle into a Bruery tulip glass.

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

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

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

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

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

Overall: A great sour, but unfortunately...not the best I've had. A must try. Cheers! (1,021 characters)

Photo of Jmoore50
4.08/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

Very good Cantillon fruit beer, but I think I enjoy Fou Foune a great deal more. I need to try a more recent vintage in order to get the full experience.
(1,072 characters)

Photo of Reagan1984
4.08/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

Well done. (1,097 characters)

Photo of Aberration
4.07/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Armsby Abbey

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

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

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

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

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

Minor Edit: The nose didn't put me off from getting 2 pours of this. Just sayin'. (945 characters)

Photo of ritzkiss
4.07/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

Still, this is a finely crafted lambic - the wine barrels nicely integrated so as to showcase both the barrels and the base beer. Funky and sour, fine bubble carbonation - gladly have this over a champagne for any fine occasion. (979 characters)

Photo of birchstick
4.06/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

D - pretty solid fruit lambic from Cantillon. I was hoping for a bit more from them but this is another solid beer nonetheless. Given it's price point I think I'll go from something else by these guys next time but still pretty awesome. (784 characters)

Photo of dragonWhale
4.06/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Rattle N Hum.. The sexiest beer I've seen all day, a glorious dark red, low carbonation, a small ring of head. But that doesn't matter. This beer made me shriek for sheer joy upon its sight. Good goddamn it looks amazing. Smells funky, a little grape and berry action. The taste is barnyard, a touch of grape, tannic, woodsy. I was surprised I didn't get more grape out of it, merely hinting, but that's not a terrible thing. I'm just accustomed to grape sours tasting more vinous. This had a bit of that quality but was definitely more lambic than grapebeer. Good stuff. (581 characters)

Photo of GreenCard
4.05/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled in 2003...

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

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

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

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

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

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

Update (July 2008): Just tried the second of my 2003 S. Lamvinus bottles. As expected, the fruitiness of the grapes is gone, leaving the tartness of the lambic. The aroma is a lemony sourness with red wine vinegar and hints of sour socks and creamy goat cheese. The flavor is quite tart, but not overly lip-puckering. Hints of cork, mold, grape skins, popcorn, and an enteric bitterness in the aftertaste. I asked my wife to try it, too. She remembered the aroma, but grimaced at the sharp sourness. (1,548 characters)

Photo of dubinsky
4.05/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at City Beer Store - SF.

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

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

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

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

O - Overall this was a great treat.  I was amped to see this on the tap list.  At $10 for a 7 oz pour it was a bit spendy, but it was a luxury that I would try again. (1,096 characters)

Photo of steve8robin
4.05/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this at the Abbey...

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

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

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

M: It definitely makes your face pucker. Decent.

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

All in all, this was a decent brew. Very interesting for a sour. It seems with these types of brews, that you need to have a very strong stomach. I'd say this could be a good conversion brew into the sour field if you like grapes or wine. (744 characters)

Photo of GRG1313
4.03/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kudos to City Beer and a great "bragging rights" experience. However, not a brew "to remember." (1,802 characters)

Photo of IBUnit63
4.03/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

For a style that's very difficult to drink this does OK. Sip over an evening...interestingly I enjoyed this with a leftover beef stew, courtesy of the beautiful bride. It really balanced the overall meal out well. This one's a real trip. (1,371 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
4.03/5  rDev -8.2%
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. (748 characters)

Photo of jjanega08
4.01/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A= pours a rasberry red color sort of pink but a dark pink color. A nice two finger head comes out of it that has decent retention and only a small amount of lacing on it.
S= really just sourness. I suppose you can dig deep and get some grapes and barrel wood.
T= lots of great sourness. Really great grape flavor with a little wine in it. Soooo smooth and delicious. You can get a little barrel in it but not much as it warms the sour calms down and the full grape barrel flavor comes through more and more.
M= perfect dryness and crispness.
D= awesome beer here. Really great beer but the price tag wasn't right for me. (621 characters)

Photo of beerpirates
4/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL at cantillon Brussels

A: Pours an absolutely beautiful clear rosy color with light pink head that leaves some lacing around glass.

S: Lots of funk with some lactic sourness, hints of grapes and earthy notes.

T: Slightly sweet and sour with lots of barnyardy funk. The grapes are a great addition to what is surely a stellar lambic by itself.

M: Nice slightly acidic tingling with moderate carbonation, finishes dry.

O: great all around, really drinkable and refreshing. (481 characters)

Photo of aasher
4/5  rDev -8.9%
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. (713 characters)

Photo of dsa7783
4/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On-tap at the Memphis Tap Room in Philadelphia...
Pours a blood-red, thick, viscous syrupy liquid with a decent sized foamy and frothy head with a substanial amount of lacing around the edge of the serving glass...
Tartness all up in the nose with rose, hibiscus, and red fruit essences...
Extremely tart and sour, with a viney, oaky flavor...
Very thick and rich...
A top-notch depiction of the genre...
Definitely recommended if you're a fan of the style... (459 characters)

Photo of GClarkage
4/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

07/29/06 Purchased at Plumpjack's in San Francisco, CA.

Presentation- 750ml bottle. Capped and corked. Bottled in 2003. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Murky plum colored pour. Very very slight spritzy head which evaporates almost on contact with the glass. Slight and spotty lace left behind. Seems the norm for a lambic.

Smell- The wet horse blanket and wet hay scent really comes out as it warms to room temp. A bouquet of fresh assorted berries as well.

Taste- Hmmm, taste is pretty good, but I found grapes to be one of the tastes that was hardest to find. Just a touch of grape flavor, but mostly cherry and raspberries. Sour, but not the punishment that most beers from Cantillon carry. Sour enough to make it a very slow sipping beer though.

Mouthfeel- Super dry, very very light carbonation kick. After it warms it's smooth as silk. Sour as predicted and long lasting aftertaste.

Drinkability- Wasn't let down, but I wasn't really blown away either. I was expecting a bit more out of a $32 bottle of beer. Still a pretty good beer, just not willing to dole out that much money again for it. Am a novice at matching beers with cheese, but a cheese expert said that Pierre Robert cheese (brie like) would pair nicely with it. I really didn't see it though. It did pair really well with dried cherries though...wow, did it! (1,355 characters)

Photo of callmemickey
4/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

06 vintage on tap at Capones

A: Dark ruby-purple body. Tight bubbly head. Not much in the way of retention. Spotty, skim like lacing.

S: Sour cherries, oak, vinegar, burnt sugar, and grape skins.

T: More of the same. Nice sour cherry boldness, and subtle oak, sugar and grape skins. An everpresent vinegar component. Vinous notes toward the back end. Sufficiently tart.

M: Slick and smooth. Lightly carbonated. Lingering finish. Nice sour/tart puckering.

D: Nice, but doesn't live up to past experiences with bottled Saint Lamvinous where the flavors were truly sublime. Not sure if it can be chalked up to tap v bottle, or whether the difference is due to the vintage. (674 characters)

Photo of sonicdescent
4/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased this one at vintage estates in Boardman, OH after hunting this one down for a while.

Pours a very wine like dark red with minimal head. What is there is a crown.

Smell is surprisingly subdued from what I was expecting. Grapes, a little vinegar.

Taste is very good, not nearly as sour as kriek, nice mix of sour and grapes. Good, great even, but I'm a little shocked at how high this is rated.

Mouth is where a lambic should be, relatively thin and heavy on the carbonation.

Very easily drinkable but I don't think I'll stop back here due to the price. (571 characters)

Photo of Agold
4/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this beer on tap at Monk's at their Cantillon event today. The beer poured and looked much like a red wine would. It was a deep purple red color with no head to speak of at all. The aroma too, mirrored a red wine, but was less intense and had a bit of a vinegary thing happening along with a bit of mild funk. The red wine thing continues in the flavor. This beer very closely mirrors a lighter much more pleasant and enjoyable (for me anyway) version of a merlot. Very good beer, but not necessarily one that blew me away. (527 characters)

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