Cantillon Saint Lamvinus - Brasserie Cantillon

Not Rated.
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: 1,320
Gots: 385 | 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 Pegasus
4.33/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Shimmering vermilion in color, with a faint dusting of foam, as the wrack and detritus of fallen years, and a shattered window of lacing, like ambition ground under the burden of Time.

Aroma: As a wandering through an antiquated stable, and a dalliance with dark cherries at harvest-time.

Taste: Begins with a brief moment of ancient sharp cheese. Dark cherries lie entombed beneath a ghost ocean of lemon juice and vinegar, with spectral emanations of dark grapes. With each taste begins an odyssey of tartness, with its penultimate destination an archipelago of piquant sourness.

Mouth feel: Replete with velvet fullness, with an arid desolation at the terminus.

Drinkability/notes: Quite sublime in its excellence, to experience it is to shuffle, however ineptly, towards greatness. My thanks to my friend and fellow BA HardTarget for his generosity in sharing this superb, rare, and costly fruit Lambic.

Photo of BillyB
4.57/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought this 750 ml at Joe Canals in Lawrenceville, NJ for $29.99.
That's officially the most I've spent at a store for one bottle of beer. I paid more for others but that included shipping.

Pours a nice dark ruby red to purple, almost plum color with a light wispy head.

Smells of hay, horse blanket, earthy, grassy, lot's of different berries, grape fruit and a hint of grape.

Taste is incredibly complex. Tart, sweet and sour all in one. Like sweet tart candies. Strong taste of berries, grapefruit, slightly winey taste.

Mouthfeel is dry, carbonated and very refreshing.

This is the Grand Daddy of all Lambics!

Photo of dherling
4.7/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out a transparent red brew producing a relatively thin head of creamy pink bubbles. The nose was musty, oaken, and earthy. Floral, fields of hay and alfalfa. Freshly turned earth. The taste was like tart grape skins, sour cherry, complex, clean oak, fruity, mildly acidic. Mouthfeel was medium with lingering subtle sourness in the finish and aftertaste. Minimal carbonation. Expensive. Worth it? I dunno. But really damn good.

Photo of EPICAC
5/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I let this warm to around 45º F and served it in one of my New Belgium glasses.

Appearance: Pours a hazy maroon with orange tints arounf the edges. A foamy, purplish-white, half-inch head tops the beer, before fading to a somewhat persistent ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Undisturbed an acidic tartness is predominant with light medicinal phenols, light hints of grapes and a light funkiness. Upon swirling the characteristic Cantillon earthy/funky/barnyard aroma becomes very dominant.

Taste: Sweet and tart grapes are evident upfront. The fruit is noticeable without being overdone or overpoweringly sweet. A strong acidic tartness appears in the center and mingles with a light residual fruitiness. The finish has a savory funkiness with a hard-to-place mouthwatering quality.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied with prickly carbonation. The finish is very dry.

Drinkability: Delicious, the light fruitiness provides a nice balance to the strong tartness.

Overall: A fantastic fruit lambic, the fruit is present without being overpoweringly sweet. There's also a nice strong tartness and funkiness that I like. This beer is definitely worth my first 5.0.

Photo of TastyTaste
4.57/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Capped and corked 750ml green glass bottle, no bottling or best-by date.

Appearance: Pours a murky purple brown color, almost no head, except for a ring of off-white foam around the glass.

Smell: Big sour and fruity nose, very malty, with cranberries, strawberries, raspberries, and a dose of citric.

Taste: Very smooth, yet tart, this has a nice flavor from the grapes. Maltiness dries, acidic, this has much in common with wine. Very good, but I am not sure it is worth the price tag.

Drinkability: This is probably the last time I will ever get to try this beer, it is just to expensive, but also very delicious and drinkable. I can appreciate what Cantillon does, they are very good at the craft of lambics.

Photo of GClarkage
4/5  rDev -11.9%
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!

Photo of MSchae1017
4.52/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was tasted in a wine glass from the 750mL capped and corked bottle. 2003 vintage.

This beer pours a rusty maroon with a thin white head and no lacing. The smells gives off the aromas of grapes along with some sourness characteristic of a lambic. The taste was fantastic. It hits you immediately with its sourness but turns into more of a sour grape taste mixed in with some granny smith apples. The mouthfeel was right on. Perfect body with nice carbonataion. Overall got to be one of the best lambics out there. Nice job to Brasserie Cantillon for brewing such an exceptional and unique beer.

Photo of nlmartin
4.97/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The beer was served in a flute. The beer was the 2003 vintage.

Appearance: The beer has a clear red nearing burgundy coloration. The beer has ample carbonation. The beer has no head except a thin white film. The beer gives no lacing.

Smell: The beer has a very good sweet and sour combonation. The beer has plenty of sweet grapes and apple. The beer has a pleasing funky "blue cheese rind" smell. The beer has a earthy grassyness to it.

Taste: Wow! This is a wierd beer. The beer has a commanding sweet and sour assault on my palate. The beer is loaded with fruityness (apples, cherries, grapes). The beer has that oddly pleasing yeasty funkyness. The beer has a bit of a acidic taste. This beer is well done.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer has a very commanding sweet and sour smell and taste. The beer is light bodied. The beer is oddly refreshing inspite of the acidity. Dam this was a great beer! The beer is a bit expensive $30.00 but what a treat. The beer was very hard to put down. I had to make myself wait during the second pouring of the bottle for it to warm up. The beer went very well with semi sweet dark chocolate.

Photo of laintringulis
4.83/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

Photo of Prufrock
4/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

25.4 oz. bottle into a thin Lindemans pilsner.

slightly hazy raspbery-reddish amber with half an inch of pinkish head. lace sticks in thick clumps and rings.

traditional Cantillon aromas with tart apples, rindy bitterness, and funky cheese. slight hints of juicy sweet concord grapes and even some slight unripe cherry aromas; very reminiscent of their kriek.

taste initially hits with a slight grape sweetness, which is quickly washed away with a nice puckering tartness. powerful if slightly one-noted. light-medium body with a spritzy tight carbonation. underwhelming only due to the price (this is the most expensive beer i've ever had). there's really no off-notes and it comes through as tart, refreshing beer, but i can't see ponying up the cash for another for a long while.

Photo of silenius
4.3/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a pleasing clear ruddy red with a more fuscia head that quickly diminished to a thin ring in the glass.

Smell was grape popsicle and soda, without the sweetness. Moderate round, woody balsamic vinegar scent and a touch of vanilla.

Taste was a pleasing grapey acid bite that made my mouth water. The aftertaste is a woodsy-bitter zing that lingers.

Mouthfeel is dry and acidic that made me salivate for another (small) sip.

Pleasing and drinkable, interesting and likeable.

Photo of HardTarget
4.33/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle Inspection: Great label art! Capped and corked.

Aroma: Vinegar, ass (aka funk), hints of grape skin

Appearance: Opaque red glass with a thin collar of off white

Flavor: Mouth imploding sour, but milder than other Cantillons I’ve had. Some cherry rind comes out, but very little grape flavors.

Mouthfeel: Puckering dryness with low carbonation

Overall Impression: Full taste, milder *pow*, but still hard core. I wish I had started with this one and stepped up to the more Funky versions.
Recommended, if only to blow your mind.
Thanks to Stonecrusher for the trade.

Photo of blitheringidiot
4.52/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Cork indicates 2003 bottling. A bit of wet ring around the cork at the top tells me that this was oozing at sometime.

Pours as a noisy aggressive fizzy offering. Body of bubbles and fizzy rising alka-seltzer appearance. No head cap to speak of. A ruby red jeweled hue.

Mouth watering sour scents with a touch of funk and wild breezes of metallic notes and copper. Olfactory overdrive of mineral Earthiness.

First swigs: Tart & dry sour sipper. THen the disection of this Cantillion creation can begin. Mostly a kriek aspect despite the grape label. Middle of tart dry white wine aspects. Ephemeral aftertaste of unripe raspberry. Actually, when you eat a tiny grape off of the vine, that is what this exemplifies: tiny green grapes. Loads of Granny Smith apple load up the finish. Clean

Feel is thin and gently carbonated. The pucker is surely present.

Last swigs: Dry Earthy ephemeral unripe white grape. Cantillion brews are so tough to discern. The sour acidic pucker takes my best palate all the time in the world to soak in. Cleanest finish.

Beer is good. Happy sour tart beering.

Photo of Gusler
4.82/5  rDev +6.2%
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!

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.25/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

(Served in a wide-body flute)
2002 vintage

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of dogfooddog
4.62/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

served far too cold at the Monk's Cafe, Philadelphia. I let this sit 50 minutes (eating and drinking in meanwhile) before pouring. Pours dark orange with 15% active head which fades quickly, leaving next to no foam. I was not shown the cork for this bottle, so don't know the vintage.

Smell is a powerful classic cantillon nose, musty sour odor which is is more concentrated than I have found in their other lambics or gueuzes.

Taste is a strong attack of the above, but it fades quickly. It feels somewhat one-dimensional, but given that this is a single aged lambic that is not surprising - this is not a blended beer. It is enchantingly sour but I would like more prolonged taste and/or finish. Not sure what effect temperature issues may have had on this.

This beer has all of the classic taste elements that make cantillon THE traiditional lambic, but in this bottle they were not comprehensive. Just for the nose and front end of taste I would buy as much of this as I could.

Follow-up 4/8/06 After trying this at Monk's Cafe, I sourced some separately and tried it, wondering how the temperature issue at monk's had impacted taste. This bottle, cork-dated 2004, is very similar to the one reviewed above. maybe a little darker in color, less musty in nose, a LOT more carbonation, but the same issues with short taste and finish exist. This does seem to be a characteristic of lambics (this is a blend of 2 lambics AFAIK) versus complexity found in gueuze.

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.42/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Rosy top in the look here, deeper burgundy beneath, under absolutely no head...par for style, though...

Aroma: bracing, yet invigorating, a blast of cherries and grape, twisted by sour...musty, rank, and deep...liking it...a deep well, dominated by fruit. Delectable.

Taste it, already! Oooo! Weeee! Owww! Bold, huge, fat puckeration,...ooo, ooo, ooo! Takes hold of the mouth and doesn't let go! A blend of dark fruits, cherries, and berries, and grapes. Luscious. Sour and flavorful. Mellows a touch, gets easy as we go, gets easier to take..

Not for everyone, but a particular treat for demanding palates, constant play on the tongue that is rewarding for some, punishing for others.

Hard to compare this to anything else on earth. Far beyond any other lambic, a definitive sui generis classic.

2004 bottling. too young? who's to say. worth the $33 spent? probably...

Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.3/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2002 rendition.

This beer has a beautiful red color. There is a head, but very little retention. No lacing to speak of. Small, constant stream of bubbles near the side. Reminds me of champagne. When it gets lower in the glass, more brown colors come through.

Taste and smell have a lot of typical Cantillon funky notes. Fruit flavor peak out at the end, but I would be hard pressed to identify them as Bordeux grapes unless I knew they were Bordeux grapes ahead of time.

Very drinkable, but I like Cantillon funkiness. I've had this before with more grape notes and less funkiness. This shant be the last time I try this one out.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.55/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle: Poured a medium red color lambic with a huge bubbly head with average retention. Aroma is sour with some touch of sweetness. Taste is quite a surprise with less acidity then I would have expected from Cantillon with a nice balance between the grapes and the lambic. Carbonation is quite strong and body is quite light. Well balance tart and sweetness with the grapes less dominant then expected. Probably one of the only Cantillon that I wouldn’t mind drinking a whole 750ml by myself on a hot summer day.

Photo of ppoitras
4.03/5  rDev -11.2%
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.

Photo of hero27
3.9/5  rDev -14.1%
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.

Photo of paterlodie
4.67/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 2003. Nice shortliving head and almost clear but opalising deep red beercollor. Nose is exceptional, bretty, good farmstable with lots of oak, dry hay and that sweaty horses in the back. Good sourness and obvious grapejuice make it and overall most impressive nose. Taste is sour but after getting used too most impressive too, giving grapes, oak, dry bitterness and sourish aftertaste. Yes this goes all the way and good carbonisation witch is high but fitting making mouthfeel IMO perfect too. Greatly enjoying every sip of it and wished wy girlfriend wouldn't like it so I could enjoy the whole 750 just by myself.

Photo of cypressbob
4.44/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2003

750ml, capped and corked

Pours with a murky pinkish purple body, fizzy off white head, retention isnt great

Smell, thick winey grapes, some sherbet fizz, slight whiff of cherries. Tart acidity on the nose, slightly funky but very slight.

Taste, sharp tart citrus, almost puckering, followed by a whack of warming rounded red wine grapes. Slight warming merlot alcohol on the finish. Zesty grapefruit throughout also. Some acidity throughout, lots of red wine vinegar type flavours

I'd had a few real lambics and gueuzes before this and they all impressed me, this did also. It grew on me, at first i wasnt overly impressed, i thought the body was very thin and the flavours a bit one dimensional but as you have a few more sips, then a few more it becomes a much more flavourful and deep beer, great stuff. A grade A lambic, but not something i'd drink everyday

Photo of egajdzis
4.4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2003... Poured a cloudy reddish color with a small white head that quickly diminished to nothing. Vinous, burgandy grapes, funky brett, and stinky socks aroma. Smooth but tart taste. This is very much wine like, grapes, light sweetness, and finishing with that signature tart Cantillon taste. Lots of tart lemon present in the taste. A very nice fruit lambic and one that I looked long and hard for.

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.

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