Cantillon Saint Lamvinus - Brasserie Cantillon

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Cantillon Saint LamvinusCantillon Saint Lamvinus

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

1,763 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,763
Reviews: 455
rAvg: 4.54
pDev: 7.93%
Wants: 1,321
Gots: 386 | FT: 31
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,763 | Reviews: 455
Photo of zoso1967
3.79/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on October 27th 2009, imported to Calgary, purchased by TCgoalie, brought back to Grand Rapids and eventually transported to Traverse City where he, TCHopCraver, BuckyFresh and I all did a group audio review that I have turned into what I have posted here.

Cantillon Saint Lamvinus pours a bright red color that is very unique. Not necessarily a fruity color, though we decided raspberry red was as close as we could describe it. The pinkish head disappears almost as fast as it appears despite the significant amount of carbonation. This does not leave much lace, but it almost has “legs” to it like wine.

The aroma is quite vinous with plenty of character from the grapes coming through. Really the wine aspect of the aroma is second to the ever present sour and funky lambic aromas. Together they create a very enjoyable bouquet though.

Perhaps I am just not as into sour as some, but this beer was damn sour. It is extremely dry with lots of acidic sour and funky basement notes. The wine really plays second fiddle in the flavor and I cannot pick up a ton of the merlot notes. There is a definite citrusy pithy sort of character and also kiwi.

The mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium with a pretty invigorating amount of carbonation. This beer is so dry and acidic that it is an amazing palate cleanser.

Overall I have to say that this beer just had a bit too much sour going on for me. It was pleasant in the aroma, but really dominated the flavor. I wish it had a bit more balance, but then again it is possible that the age had mellowed the grapes and let the sour shine through more. It was definitely quite the experience to drink this beer though, especially in good company.

Photo of drseamus
3.79/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful color. A perfectly clear light red body filled with bubbles. No head of course.

S: Tight nose, especially for a cantillon. Definitely the lowest part of the beer.

T: actually a pretty light taste. Light fruitiness, obviously grapes and some good, but not heavy tartness. Definitely Brett in there.

M: Light as expected. Some roughness from the tart and some tingle from the carbonation.

D: Tasty but not cantillons best offering. I definitely enjoy it though.

Photo of Rifugium
3.78/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

'11 vintage had in Dec. '12.

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 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 acetic notes that might have been present, giving a good sense of balance. Medium body, again, crisp and very dry, a bit puckering, low to moderate carbonation, overall texture comparable to chewing on grape or apple skin. Pretty one-dimensional, but delivered what was expected. Not bad overall, and a good one to break open every once in a while.

Photo of JDV
3.78/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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

Photo of julian
3.78/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: deep raspberry red and black cherry in color. No head even on very aggressive pours. Looks like fruit juice, if it weren't for the visible carbonation bubbles.

S: Intense is one word for this beer! had a vinous wine essence even before decorking by smelling the cork. Definitely deserving of it's puckering qualities. This is a sour, vinegary, funky beer, almost completely overwhelming the fruit, which I can't really pick it out in aroma.

T&M: moutfeel has adequate carbonation for my liking. This is one sour beer where the aroma is almost completely inline with the flavor. Musty, sour, vinous, somewhat dry. Fruit flavors are definitely muted and pretty much completely overwhelmed by the tartness.

D: I think this would nicely compliment a dessert or equally tart salad, or maybe even a minced dish of sorts. 1 glass is all I could handle.

Powerful stuff, but overall for the style, top notch.

Photo of nickhiller
3.76/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: rosy, thin pink head around the edges, some patches of lace, low visible carbonation.

S: extreme funk, smells like fungi, kind of grosses me out, but there's also wine grapes. There's something about it that makes me a little sick, like rotten meat.

T: taste is much more subtle, nice grape skin, green olives, but also that signature Cantillon yeast. White wine, or maybe even rosé.

M: light-bodied, medium carbonation is well balanced to the taste.

O: Not the best I've had (especially from Cantillon) but still good, reminds me of Mediterranean food, like tapenade or putanesca sauce. Smell was really off-putting, I'm wondering if this bottle was infected.

Photo of ShogoKawada
3.76/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

2010 750ml bottle, split 3 ways. I took about 14oz of it, though.

A- Nice ruby red in the pour- everyone commented on the vibrant color. Simply glowing in the light. Nice rosy pink head in the snifter, not much in the wine glasses.

S- Sweet jammy grapes. Marmalade and some mild funk.

T- Signature cantillon funk comes on strong but is wiped away from the grapes. Very grape-y. The fruit is nice- tartness is a wonderful contrast to the funk, and there's enough sweetness to really make this mellow all-around. Nothing sharp or too wild about this. The grapes are too sweet as it warms.. too far in to wine territory for me.

M- There's too much grape skin flavor pulling this in the direction of wine. I know that's the idea behind the beer, but I'm not sold on it. Perhaps with time the grapes mellow.

O- Good, heck, pretty damn good maybe great. Too pricey though, and Cantillon has better fruit lambics. I'll be passing on this one in the future.

Photo of OldSock
3.73/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Presentation and Appearance – Big 25.4 oz bottle, with black foil, a cap and a cork. I’m a little concerned that the top of the cork is wet. It pours a magnificent clear crimson in my flute, with a creamy light pink head that has pretty good retention due to the carbonation.

Smell – Sour and yeasty with loads of mixed fruit. It smells similar to the other Cantillon fruit lambics that I have had. Vinegar mixed with wine is the best way I can describe it. Lamvinus really has a lot going on here, incredibly complex stuff.

Taste – Sour, but not as sour as many lambics. The yeast is strong, earthy and musty to balance of the sourness. This is as close to a wine as it is to a beer, with its mix of fruity flavors. Grapes are the main fruit flavor, but there are notes of passion fruit, strawberries and cherries. The more I drink the less I taste the sourness and more the fruit comes out.

Mouthfeel – Pretty light with high carbonation. The sourness makes the sides of the mouth tingle a little adding to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability and Notes – While I respect this beer, the exceedingly high price and sourness make this a one time purchase for me. I enjoyed this but not that much more than the standard Cantillon Kriek. If you have some extra money kicking around, and you love lambics, particularly those from Cantillon, pick one of these up for a special occasion.

Photo of ThaCreep
3.72/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Blood red color but not as red grapes. Low foam. Tannic nose with cork tip. The mouth is acidic, woody and strong enough. Despite what you may think, the taste of Bordeaux grapes is not present it. Found skin / grapes thereof in the strength of the bitterness of this lambic. The finish is tannic, oaky, slightly resembling the balsamic vinegar. Cantillon Lambic good but do not let the red grapes to express their full potential.

Photo of Brabander
3.72/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was visiting Digita7693 last sunday with a collegue of me in Kassel, Germany. We had a great time and after dinner Don cracked open this bottle for us.

I have had (only) one Cantillon before this one and that was a bit of a disappointment. This one however was much better to drink.

Don poured this beer, or should i say, half beer and half wine, in Westvleteren glasses. Nothing much to see after the pouring, no head of course, red to purple fluid.

The taste of grapes is strong in this beer, fruity and light sour.

Thanks for the treat Don!

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.7/5  rDev -18.5%
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.

Photo of BuckyFresh
3.67/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to TCGoalie for supplying this tasty beer. Enjoyed at a tasting party with TCGoalie, TCHopCraver, and zoso1967 quite a while back; just getting around to entering in some old audio reviews.

Appearance: Pours a raspberry color with lots of carbonation. Little to no head or carbonation. There are also some leg-like coatings running down the glass, similar to what you would find in a glass of red wine.

Smell: Lots of funky wild yeast type smells, with cherry, raspberry, and leather. Kind of a sting to the aroma and your nostrils get a bit of a workout if you stick your nose too far down into the glass.

Taste: This was extremely dry and sour like a handful of Sweet Tarts and Sour Patch Kids. The wine takes a back seat to the sour punch. There is some kiwi and raspberry there, but the face puckering aspect really dominates. Almost like sucking on a lemon at times.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied, good carbonation, dry, and acidic. Sour is the operative word for sure.

Overall: An interesting beer, but a touch too sour. There are some nice flavors going on there, but the sour aspect overwhelms everything else.

Photo of axeman9182
3.65/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

8oz pour on tap at the Rattle n Hum.

Saint Lamvinus pours a deep burgundy. I could mistake it for red wine, except for the thin layer of raspberry head that crowns the beer. The nose consisty of dark fruits (cherries and plums), acidity, and a bit of barnyard funk. The red wine notes should be the base that everything plays off of, but they are just a bit too far in the background to really carry things though. The funky aspect of the beer comes through a bit more in the flavor. I've heard funk sometimes described as being musty , but this is the first time I've personally tasted it. It tastes like I imagine the air in a long abandoned room would. It's a bit overpowering, blocking out the more tart edge and fruity notes from the wine grapes. It's amazing to contrast the mouthfeel here with the Cuvee des Champions I just had. This one comes across as bit more rich and full, though that may be more a function of a much lower level of carbonation than any increase in the body. The overall effect though is a certain dullness to the beer. Saint Lamvinus smoothed out a bit as it warmed, but it remained a class below my favorite sours/wild ales.

Photo of TexIndy
3.58/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had at Falling Rock Tap House during my Denver trip last week. Served in a 750ml bottle ($62) that Roberts and I split. Poured into a snifter. It's bar lighting so hard to nail down the color but looks to be ruby red. Some carb but no lacing. It had a small head that quickly settled to a thin collar.

The aroma was very funky. It was a heavy barnyard/manure smell. Almost smelled like a sewage plant on a hot day. Not saying that to slam it but it was that funky and had that distinct an aroma. Was a bit off-putting. Roberts disagreed with me on the aroma and didn't get the sewer smell. We pretty agreed on every other beer that weekend so odd that we were so off on this one. I couldn't get past the sewage connotation so really impacted the aroma score for me. The taste fortunately didn't taste anything like the smell. It was moderately sour and had a light finish. Was expecting more from it. The mouthfeel had a good carb tickle.

Overall, it was a good but not great and not a top 100 in my opinion. For the price ($62), it was definitely not worth it. Wouldn't mind trying again to see if we had a bad bottle or something but only if someone else is paying ;-). Can't really recommend unless you can get a free taste of it.

Photo of Jeffo
3.57/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this one at De Bierkoning in A'dam.

From a 750 into a wine glass
Bottled 21 November 2012
Lambic with merlot grapes

APPEARANCE: Pours a one finger, looser, fizzy, pinkish-white head with decent retention. Head fades to a ring and wisp. A dark red, carmine color with lots of active carbonation. A ring remains but leaves no real lacing down the glass. Really fizzy head, but the color is quite beautiful.

SMELL: Some grapes on the nose, with tart lemon, funky notes, oak, and some light acidity. A touch of vinegar. Nice stuff.

TASTE: Grape sweetness and tart lemon sourness up front, with oak and some acidity at the swallow. Bold finish is sour with sweet grapes adding some balance. Lemon tartness, oak, some acidity and light vinegar notes linger nicely. Enjoyable for sure.

PALATE: Medium-light body with medium carbonation for the style. Not quite creamy enough, goes down slightly coarse and finishes dry and puckering. Tart acidity lingers.

OVERALL: This was alright, but the feel kept it from being all it could be. The nose was enticing and there were good flavors in there as well, but a creamier and smoother feel would have helped this be top class. Still, an enjoyale fruit lambic worth checking out for sure. Cheers!

Photo of akorsak
3.47/5  rDev -23.6%
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.

Photo of dpnelson1978
3.46/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle into snifter.
55°F

$34.99 / ea.

A: Cloudy red body (pickled apples) topped with a small loose pink head that quickly dissipates leaving no lacing and only a ring of bubbles around the glasses circumference.

S: Classic lactic sour aroma with the grape only mildly noticeable in the background. Could have more nuance and depth.

T: About what I would expect from a merlot infused lambic. The grapes linger in the background much like the aroma, withe the lactic sour dominates. Not much depth. Needs *something* that I'm just not getting.

M: Light to medium carbonation and a light body that still retains a presence. Obvious sour sensation on the tongue, but not overpowering and does not linger. Crisp.

D: Needs food to enhance the experience. The beer is crisp, light, and interesting, if not deep. Ultimately not able to stand on its own with regard to session qualities.

O: At $35 a bottle I expected much more from this selection. It is good, and obviously a cut above your typical lambic, but not great. I was disappointed.

Photo of soupyman10
3.45/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Got this one on the recommendation of the bartender, Elliot, at Monk's, which I respect a lot. Pours an amazing deep pink-red, with a very mild head on top. Nose is quite sour, a little sweet fruit too. Taste is similar; this beer is incredibly sour, a hint of sweet raspberry deliciousness as well, but overall a quite not-sweet beer. Interesting, and respectable for what they've created, but not one I'd go out of my way for. Feel is full and tasty. Overall, a beer that one should try at least once, just because it's so out-there, but not one I'd enjoy more than every once in a long while.

Photo of sacfly
3.41/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pink/red/cranberry. Little light pink head, with some large and very small bubbles mixed together, disappear rather quickly. A small amount of very fine bubbles could be seen with a light swirl. Bacteriology lab smell dominates, with just a hint of sulfur and grape. Taste is acidic and tart. Thin to moderate mouthfeel. Tart, and more tart… no real grape, fruit, or any other flavors of note. The sides of my tongue were screaming, while the rest had nothing to focus on. Rather one dimensional. Dry finish. If you are looking for only tart, acidic character then this is for you if you are willing to pay the $30 price tag. Much more interesting Lambics (including other much less expensive Cantillons) out there for a fraction of the cost.
If you are new to Lambics and expecting or looking for Lambics with a balance of tartness and sweetness, look elsewhere. Also do not assume that since there are grapes on the label, that the product will taste anything like grape.
I enjoyed it, but nothing special.

Photo of mikereaser
3.38/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2006 version on tap at Capones in Norristown.

A - Pours a deep red with no bubbles at all

S - sour, oaky, some leather, the aroma was not as forward as i was expecting though

T - lighter and thinner than expected, some vinegar and light sweetness, cherries, but overall, very mild

M/D - very light and thin mouthfeel, I think I have read other reviews of it being better bottled than kegged, and I wonder how this would change my thoughts of it. As of now, its not that highly rated for me.

Photo of readbaron
3.36/5  rDev -26%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

9 oz tulip served @ Small Bar

A - Pours a beautifut deep blood red with a ring of white bubbles.

S - Lots of the standard lambic sour and funk. Huge leather and oak/wine presence. The oak is a lot stronger with this one than most of the sours/lambics I've tried. Overall, a really complex, subtle and pleasant aroma. However, at the very end there was a really odd finish - almost an olive like aroma.

T - Incredibly smooth for a lambic. Tart, but not puckering. Not as tart as I expected, which almost made this one seem a bit watery. Very complex - lots of wine influence - grape skins. Again, same issue as the nose. The tail end of a lot of sips finished with an overripe avocado/olive taste. Not pleasant. I'm not sure if it was an old/bad keg or what.

M - A bit undercarbed. Medium bodied and coats the mouth very impressively. Similar to wine - vinous. Both crisp and thick. Really impressive.

O - I'm glad I've got a bottle of this set aside as I imagine there was something off with the glass I had (at least I hope that's the case). Can see the potential for this one to be amazing, and am looking forward to trying it again.

Photo of DARIVA
3.35/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Light red beer with a minimal head.

S: Young grape and also a sweet and sour smell.

T: Young and sour gooseberries and sour elderberries.

M: No carbonation available, mouthfeel fast gone.

D: Nice experience with an a long aftertaste, drink well.

Photo of jjayjaye
3.2/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Writing down the side of the cork indicates that it was bottled in 2005.

Pours a clear deep ruby color with little head.

Doesn't smell like vinegar, but you can tell this ones going to be tart. Fruit of the vine and cherry

The mouth feel is light, tart, and crisp, with a bit of tartness that lingers towards the front of the tongue.

The flavor is a mouth full of SweetTarts.

Drinkability...not doing it for me, but it's the best sour beer that i've tried.

Photo of ccrida
3.11/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On draught at Belmont Station's Puckerfest, served in a flute glass, Saint Lamvinus is a chill hazed purple with a thin white collar. Very pretty color.

Smell is pretty muted, some sourness with a vinous tang.

Taste is also pretty muted sourness, a bit too heavy on the wine for my taste, slightly rubbery, with an acidic bite.

Mouthfeel is dry and slick, with a medium body.

Drinkablity is wasn't to high for me, with to much wine and not enough funk. Still, I assume this barrel isn't aged beyond the brewery, and will probably grab a bottle at some point to stash for a few years. Maybe not worth the price of admission by the bottle though, it was $7 or 8 for a 10-12 oz pour at Belmont.

Photo of John_M
3.03/5  rDev -33.3%
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).

Cantillon Saint Lamvinus from Brasserie Cantillon
100 out of 100 based on 1,763 ratings.