Cantillon Saint Lamvinus | Brasserie Cantillon

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Reviews:
466
Ratings:
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Avg:
4.43
pDev:
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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: 1,925
Photo of laituegonflable
3.92/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a rude red colour, minimal head. Slow but decent carbonation. Leaves some pleasant beige lace in lieu of head, patchy but decent. For what it is, pretty good, yeah.

Nose is fairly sour with acrid qualities, but a distinct fruitiness akin to red grape tannins, with some cherry character on there as well. Sourness has a woody aroma as well, oaky mostly, and almost takes on a smokey quality. Pleasant nose and nice complexity.

Taste is quite sour, quite bitey, affair, with some vinous grape acid on the front descending into a dry tartness that has elements of citrus and yoghurt cultures in it. Overlying it all is a nice grape element, very vinous. Aspects of light bark, dark cherry and a lacquer kind of character comingle for an impressive and quite enjoyable palate.

Nice tingle on the mouthfeel, an unusual viscousness without being particularly syrupy. Leaves very dry though, and frankly the dryness is one of the reasons I prefer beer to wine.

Very drinkable overall, like a good young wine. Bit of an acidic linger but otherwise pretty decent.

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Photo of stakem
3.9/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle with a bottled on date in '11 which makes this the most "fresh" tasting of St. Lamvinus ive had to date. Poured into a matching Cantillon long stemmed tulip. The brew appears a dark ruby with a stained pinkish color cap. The head fizzes away audibly and leaves faint spotty lacing effect on the glass.

The smell is mildly like vinegar with some sweet accents of grape juice. Quite a wild and funky nose of earthy Brett and lacto cheesiness. Some mild barrel presence is noted across the back.

The taste is acidic with juicy grape flavor. A tannic touch of raw oaked quality mixes in with a bit of harshness complimenting the acidity. Lots of raw, earthy grape flavor is present which transforms gradually into heartburn inducing sourness. The grape touch to this adds a nice complexity and a wine-like appeal.

This brew seemingly strips all te moisture from the mouth. It is excessively drinkable with a medium body and modest to lighter level of carbonation. Throughout the experience, there was little to no alcohol impact. While not my favorite Cantillon offering, this is still good and something I would try again if I could get a very young bottle or something quite old for comparison purposes.

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Photo of bonkers
3.9/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this ontap today at Capones, it was a 2006 vintage. The beer was a pretty purple red hybid with a thin little head. The nose was sour, almost like a cherry vinegar. There was a depth to the flavorss, cherry, oak and vinous flavors combined with an almost vinegary sourness. A very dry beer that took me a while to finish. In the end this was a bit too sour for my palate.

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Photo of Hophead101
3.9/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

had the pleasure of drinking this at Capone's for their sweet and sour draft promotion. this was a 2006 vintage.

Not sure if it was the glassware or what, but while this style normally has a very generous head, my glass had none. there were some small off white bubbles clinging to the edge of the glass. The color was nice, a bit hazy reddish brown color. the smell was rather interesting, rotten grapes, funk, fruity/cherry. Cherry funk would describe it in a nutshell - but the funk is not a normal 'brett' funk - but something else.

The taste is interesting to boot, but interesting in a very good way. the beer continued to get better with each sip. not nearly as much funk in the taste as there was in the nose. tart cherries, subtle funk. great balance, somewhat soft, not overpowering. tartness was a decent level and nothing to scoff at. would be interested to try a more recent version to compare and out of the bottle as well. Glad I had a chance to drink this one.

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Photo of hero27
3.9/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle. Bottled in 2003.

Beautiful pink/rose color with a white head that didn't last very long, but left some lacing on the glass. Aroma is very "Cantillon-like" (at least from the 3 other Cantillon brews I've tried). Pungent, tart, sour aroma with hints of grapes. Flavor is dry..Acidic, tart flavor and very wine-like qualities. Fruit flavor is complex and lingers forever on the tongue, as the harsh taste nearly numbs your tastebuds. A little sweetness to balance the astringency wouldn't kill these things..but maybe that's just me.
Too tart for me, regardless of the style. Doesn't live up to the hype, as far as I'm concerned, but that would be damn tough to do. The harsh acidity may taste fine to some, but it doesn't impress me.
The bottom line..it's not worth the $35 per bottle.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.88/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rose with fast-fading pink froth. Must, oak, and grape juice on the nose.
Vinegar tang, grape skin, some lemon rind, a slight bit of funk and balsamic bite to end.
Fruity finish and tart linger. Crisp, dry, lively.

With Merlot grapes in oak.

Tart, easy lambic. A good place to start for the novice. Not deep, but nice.

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Photo of PeprSprYoFace
3.87/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Finally reviewing this beer

Pours a cherry red. Almost like cranberry juice. No head but some champagne type small bubbles were rising. Color is awesome but the lack of head gives this a 3.5.

Aroma is the best part IMO. Very wine-ish with a funk. You can smell the merlot grapes for sure.

Taste is great. Tons of wine taste with a good funk. I wish it was a little more full on flavor and the sourness could be more but still an awesome beer.

Mouthfeel needs more carb. I understand what their trying to do with the wine grapes and stuff but I think it would be better if they were going for more of a sparkling wine.

Overall an awesome beer but pretty expensive. I would get it again but their too hard to come by and I don't think it's worth the effort.

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Photo of Soonami
3.83/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Rich (phillybeer7779) for procuring a bottle of St. Lamvinus to share--I appreciate the effort it took to obtain this treat. This is a a very expensive beer, retailing for $30-40 USD, and very hard to justify purchasing without a group of beer geeks that understand what it is and to share it with. I'm glad Rich brought in a bottle to share with our tasting group.

The beer is lightly carbonated with a quickly dissipating head that leaves just a ghostly halo of pink foam. The beer is a dark bloody purple and almost transparent with a rose tint. The beer smells a little funky but not nearly as much as some older aged gueuzes I've had. The grapes are present in the aroma, but that pedio and lacto acidity dominate the nose. The beer is surprisingly mild. I was expecting a tongue curling acidity, but this is just mildly sour with some astringency from the wine grapes and maybe from the oak barrels. The grapes give a little bit of fruity sweetness and contributes to the thinner texture of the beer. I was definitely expecting more lambic and beer character with brighter acidity and livelier carbonation.

I was a little disappointed in this beer, but perhaps it just needed some more aging to bring out the lambic qualities I was looking for.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
3.82/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Kyle for a long time want. Took a long time for the distinctive diaper smell to wane. Grapes are not overwhelming, but the big fruit tartness really hangs on. Appreciate the opportunity!

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Photo of ABCJiugui
3.82/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2006 vintage, poured into tulip

A- hazy, muddled rose pinkish/purple. Head of 1 finger recedes very quickly, minimal retention. Not expecting lacing due to it being a lambic, and it doesn't give any. Later pours increasingly murky due to sediment.

A note on appearance- this should be poured into a champagne flute. Anything larger made for a murkier pour, allowing for more sediment to flow in, muddling it up and taking away from the appearance, and I did pour into a flute later on.

S- Lambic yeast strains in evidence. From a distance right after opening, smelled of concord grapes/Welch's grape juice (the insanely purple kind). Little note of hay/barn/must, may be the yeast again.

T- Tart, but not bracingly so (rose de gambrinus is FAR sharper). Still, there is a sharp bite. Might imagine it as a truly tart/sour sparkling rose wine, with minimal sweetness from the grape character and that quickly is overtaken by the acidity and tart, dry finish, very keeping in line with Cantillon's other brews.

M- light bodied, carbonation is present, fizzing on the tongue, heightening the acidity.

Overall, I had higher expectations, which was very affected by the high price, and so admittedly, a bit unfair. I ran the gamut of food pairings (cheese, meats, sweets) and came up with hardly any pairings that were neutral at best. (Perhaps a very fresh, sweet, cow's milk cheese or HEAVY chocolate dessert may work? I did not have these available to me at time of tasting). Taken as an apertif, this has more appeal- it is excellent for opening taste buds for later food/beverages with its sharpness and fruit character, and is most definitely for sipping. But unfortunately, this is a fairly price prohibitive beer and for my tastes, did not justify itself.

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Photo of Parrotshake
3.81/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This stuff is finally available in Australia. Good times. Bring on Iris!

Pours a cloudy rose pink with a vigorous pink-tinted head. Wonderful to look at.

The nose on the fruit lambics is never as complex as the likes of a gueze, and this is no exception. Red wine vinegar at first, a bit of iodine and funk, dry champagne kind of thing but not much grape character.

More vinegar that other Cantillon lambics, IMO, but less of an assualt on the palate somehow. Tart apple & grape peels up front. Definite tannic red grape qualities, oak and a far more noticaeable sweetness (or illusion thereof) than any other traditional lambic I can think of, before the typical insanely dry finish.

Mouthfeel is lively, with a little stickiness. It's not as refreshing as other Cantillons, IMO; not as bracing up front, and a bit too much residual sweetness in the finish. It hurts the drinkability just a bit. Still, I haven't had a Cantillon I don't love and this isn't about to change that. I wish this was on the wine list at my favourite Italian restaurant. Splitting a bottle over dinner would be the way to go.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.81/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I drank this from the bottle into a chalice.

It pours a dark ruby red almost purple, with a very light pink. Not much head or lacing but it is surprisingly clear.

The aroma is very tart and funky and overwhelming from the start. Distinct horse blanket, tough to pick out any particular fruits. Its almost too strong in a negative way.

The taste is very light compared the aroma, the only traditional tart you get from a lambic is at the end and even then its still a light tart. There are notes of blackberries and cranbberries.

There is an ok mouthfeel nothing special and its drinkable for a lambic just becuase of its lack of s strong sourness.

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Photo of zoso1967
3.79/5  rDev -14.4%
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.

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Photo of drseamus
3.79/5  rDev -14.4%
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.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.78/5  rDev -14.7%
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.

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Photo of JDV
3.78/5  rDev -14.7%
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.

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Photo of julian
3.78/5  rDev -14.7%
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.

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Photo of nickhiller
3.76/5  rDev -15.1%
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.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
3.76/5  rDev -15.1%
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.

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Photo of OldSock
3.73/5  rDev -15.8%
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.

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Photo of ThaCreep
3.72/5  rDev -16%
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.

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Photo of Brabander
3.72/5  rDev -16%
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!

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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 BuckyFresh
3.67/5  rDev -17.2%
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.

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Photo of axeman9182
3.65/5  rDev -17.6%
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.

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