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Cantillon Saint Lamvinus - Brasserie Cantillon

Not Rated.
Cantillon Saint LamvinusCantillon Saint Lamvinus

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

1,604 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,604
Reviews: 443
rAvg: 4.53
pDev: 8.17%
Wants: 1,173
Gots: 355 | FT: 26
Brewed by:
Brasserie Cantillon visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Lambic - Fruit |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: truthbrew on 03-20-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,604 | Reviews: 443 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of prototypic
4.47/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Many, many thanks to ampzilla for this bottle. I looked for this one for a quite a while. Thanks, Andrew.

Saint Lamvinus is certainly an interesting shade of red. It's not quite pink, but far from scarlet. It lies somewhere in between. It's clear and looks a little orange or copper when held to light. A light pink head tops it off and reaches a finger and a half deep. Active carbonation causes it to evaporate to a surface covering quickly. Lacing was light and stringy.

The nose is incredibly deep and smells excellent. It's kicked off with a very strong oak aroma that is predominant throughout. That alone gives it a ton of character right out of the gate. It is quite musky and earthy. Grapes are very prominent. It smells like red and white varieties were used. It's very vinous and does bear some resemblance to wine. A vinegar-like scent emerges late, but isn't exactly subtle. It's quite complex and smells delicious. Alcohol is not noticeable in the least. This is one delicious smelling Lambic.

There's certainly no dropoff in the flavor. Wow! This is excellent. It's a little sweeter than I expected up front. The unique blend of red and white grapes tastes excellent and is somewhat sweet. That sweet flavor works really well with the earthy and musky flavors. It is a little vinegar-esque. Nice and tart. Not quite mouth puckering, but certainly tart. The collision of the sweet and tart flavors produces a very refined flavor that's right up my alley. Definitely tart, but not too tart. Oak is the x-factor that adds a ton of character and depth to the flavor. It's the perfect complement to the vast array of flavors present. Alcohol, while not strong, is almost impossible to pick up. It finishes a little tart and very dry.

Saint Lamvinus has a body that's svelte and very smooth. It seems more substantial and creamy with a little warming. Carbonation is active, but the bubbles feel light. It goes down far too easy. Did I mention how smooth it is? Drinkability is nothing short of excellent. I'm not the biggest Lambic fan in the world, but this is amazing beer. I've got a 750 here and it simply isn't enough.

Saint Lamvinus is one of those beers that achieved legendary status and it certainly deserves it. I'm always somewhat skeptical approaching Lambics, but this one delivers in a big, big way. I'll never have a shred of doubt about a Cantillon beer ever again. This one's damn near divine. The flavor is so complex and delicious. It truly is a special beer. If you don't have this beer available in your locale, it's well worth seeking out in a trade. Find a bottle. Thanks a ton, Andrew.

Photo of Patrick999
4.2/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Popped the cork - it tried to break on me, but I got it out without incident. Vintage 2007 per cork. Poured into a Rochefort chalice a beautiful violet, perfectly appropriate for a red grape lambic. Some bubbles, but not overwhelmingly fizzy.

Aroma is not too different from a Lou Pepe Kriek or Framboise. Green viney aroma with some cherry and wood - indeed, I think this smells like an Oude Kriek rather than a grape lambic. Doesn't smell as much like a glass of Merlot as I thought it might...which I suppose makes sense as this is half the ABV of a typical Merlot so you're not getting the full-bore aromatic intensity of a wine.

Wow, now this is what I was after. Quite vinous on the palate. Very woody, definite tannic presence. High acidity - high sourness. Very, very sour, and bone-dry on the finish.

Feel is spritzy, like a wine cooler, only far better than any wine cooler out there.

Cantillon usually doesn't fail to disappoint, and this is no exception. If you're into vinous, wine-like beers, this is well worth the occasional indulgence. High-priced, but this is a time-and-space-intensive brew, so it's understandable.

Photo of Mauerhan
4.15/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thank you to Olieipa for opening this on friday. review from notes.

poured into brewery tulip at just below cellar temp. a burgundy/purple pour with a half finger of lavender head. that falls flat leaving a slim layer of haze on the top. some splotchy lacing but only a bit.

smell is a combination of musky wood, cork and leaves, slight wisps of sour grapes. at first the smell is off putting but as i continue to leave my nose in it and let it warm a bit i like the smell more and more.

taste has a slight pucker enough to be enjoyed but not slap you in the teeth sour. the grapes really come into play here. sweet and smooth. i could have sworn that i got a oaky hint here and there but it might just be my palate playing tricks. a nice go between of beer and wine. I would definitely use this to bridge the gap between wine drinkers into craft beer.

overall I am very glad I had the chance to try this and would not mind trying it again. Thanks again mike.

Photo of OlieIPA
4.08/5  rDev -9.9%
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!

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.73/5  rDev -17.7%
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 laituegonflable
3.93/5  rDev -13.2%
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.

Photo of noeldundas
4.43/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A great lambic. 2008 vintage.

Oak, berries, and some barnyard in the nose, as it warms you get more funk and some leather. The body is light and playful like champagne, very soft acidity, with strawberry notes and definitive tartness. I was expecting more tannins, but none were present. Dry and clean, with a slight puckering finish.

Photo of jjanega08
4.03/5  rDev -11%
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.

Photo of Sean9689
4.33/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750ml bottle into Duvel tulip.

A - Pours dark reddish with a light purple hue. An off-white head fizzes up on a semi-aggressive pour and quickly slows down until a thin layer of white bubbles remain on top.

S - As soon as I opened this one up, the barynard must hit me in the back of my head. Lots of cheese, horse blanket, and tart, nostril-opening sour.

T - A nice tart/sour funk mixed in with some dark fruity notes. A nice blend of the awesome funkyness, some oak backbone, and fruity sweetness. Not quite as sour as I was expecting, but the sweet grape notes really make up for that. I am digging this.

M - Light bodied and fizzy carbonation reminds me of a gentle champagne. Smooth and refreshing, really covers the palate well and finishes dry.

D - So easy to drink and so damn good. I really dig the funk, grapes, and oak mixed together. A perfect combination worthy of it's top 100 rating.

Photo of Parrotshake
3.83/5  rDev -15.5%
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.

Photo of ADZA
4.35/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a pink grape colour with nice carbonation that produces a one finger bubbling,fast vanishing head with average lacing,the aroma is barnyard sour funk,red grapes and vinegar,i can see why this beer is classed as a good balance between the beer culture and wine culture as the first taste is sour merlot grapes then its followed by a nice funky sour lambic after taste but not overly mouthpuckering and finishes very nice,dry and crisp and for me a very drinkable lambic with a nice easy light mouthfeel almost wine like at some stages on the palette,i definately enjoy my lambics and would highly recommend this to any who hasnt tried it and likes a good lambic.

Photo of jrallen34
3.85/5  rDev -15%
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.

Photo of nickd717
4.35/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2008 bottle from the brewery, shared at a BA tasting.

A - Cloudy reddish-purple color with a white head.

S - Aroma of tart grapes, funk, and horse blanket.

T - Really nice, full, tart flavor with oak, funk, red wine grapes, and cherries. A touch of sweetness balances out the acidity a bit.

M - Palate is sharp and biting yet fairly full and smooth with lingering funk.

D - High for a beer this tart. Really solid lambic overall.

Photo of ghostwalker
4.4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A; Rose-burgundy body with a white finger of head.

N; Tart, sweet. Fruity but dry. Funkadelic-ness evident.

T; Tartness up front, smooth on the finish. Cranberry like flavors. Really nice stuff.

M; Tartness falls off a cliff into sweetness. Surprisingly low pucker factor.

D; Good stuff, an easy sipper.

Thanks to juicestam for the opportunity to try this great stuff!

Photo of russpowell
4.6/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a super effervescent blush/violet with minimal pink head up front. Hazes up a bit, a bit of viscosity to this as well, some head retention & lacing

S: Blueberries & a bit of grape are steamrolled by barnyard & sourness, fades a bit as it warms

T: Grassyness with much tart apple, a touch of sour elderberry around the edges up front. Dry apple cider, much tartness & sweet tarts do battle as this warms, the tart wins, with just a whisper of booze hiding in the background. Finishes bone dry with a hint of raspberry tartness followed by puckery sourness

MF: Light/medium bodied with much effervescence & mouth puckering tartness, plus a bit of wetness

Drinks pretty nice, I am very up & down on sours, but this one is living up to its world class tartness, which today I like/love. The sourness is done right, I don't think I'm drinking salad dressing unlike some others I've had. Sour freaks must try this, I'm a malthead & I still liked this a bunch, many may hesitate at the price, but got a deal at $25 a bottle (only one there). Not an every day beer for me, but if your want to get your Lambic freak on, this is your huckleberry!

Photo of spaceycasey
4.88/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of Arbitrator
4.38/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Lightly chilled bottle into a glass. Shared at a tasting by nickd717. Thanks for bringing this, Nick!

A: Pours a beautiful ruby red with chestnut tones, although it's kind of hard to see in the dim light. The head is a pink hued cap with short retention and no lacing. I guess that's expected in this style.

S: Barnyard funk, vinegar, earth, hugely tart grape / red wine, and oak. Really blasts the nose.

T: Works over the mouth, too! Leads off with tart, red vinous flavors and balancing bitter tannins. Barnyard and hay in the mid-taste, but the vinegar really begins to kick in and make for a beautiful combination of funky and sour. The finish is neatly dry.

M: Fine-bubbled effervescence that keeps the taste crisp and lively. Still, there's some residue toward the end of the taste that builds up and makes the beer mouth-coating. I never enjoy this in a beer, particularly in one with strong flavors.

D: I enjoy drinking this, and I wouldn't turn it down if it were shared again. I just haven't really picked up a love for Cantillon and have no strong desire to seek it out [yet].

Photo of BigAl723
4.88/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of webmanspidey
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at Ashley's in Ann Arbor. Served in a 5 oz flute.

Light brownish/red in color. A vinegarish sweet/sour smell, slightly cider-like. Not overly sour, but a nice mix of tangy fruit flavors. Hints of several fruits especially apples and pears. Very drinkable and refreshing with essentially no alcohol presence whatsoever.

Photo of brc
4.45/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Mine was bottled Nov 18, 2008, and I served it in the brewery's flutes.

Ruby color, very bright and clear. There is a fine white mousse when I pour it - it seems they got the carbonation just right.

The smell is pretty tame for a lambic, letting you get some depth behind the slight funk. Smells a bit cidery, with hints of cherries and vanilla.

It seems that they used a very smooth batch or blend of lambic for this. The sourness is very light, and there aren't any offensive tastes in the mix. Tart apple and cherry, for sure, a bit of ripe peach flavor.

Mouthfeel is crisp, light, and refreshing. There is a light carbonation, and a light sour pucker.

Very drinkable, especially for a traditional lambic.

Photo of Slatetank
4.55/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

First off thanks Aaron for sharing this great Lambic with me! Congrats on opening Crush wine and Beer bar -a welcome addition to Lancaster PA.
Poured chilled into a wine glass.

A - Red plum hued w/ subtle translucent quality. The bubbles of white appear and recede moments later leaving a ring of beads around the glass

S - The aroma pops out immediately with the smell of wine skins and fruity sour aromas

M - The mouthfeel is what I expected and more, light sweetness devolves to a highly acidic almost vinegar-like feel. A puckering quality like lemon when biting the flesh off the rind

T - A exquisite complex blend of sweet eclipsed immediately by a tart granny smith flavor mix w/ a mild fresh red berry flavor- possibly currant or red raspberry. The flavor is acidic and tannic with grapeskin elements but also the alcohol mildly affecting flavor. Mainly red grape and possibly some boysenberry under the sour and gentle funk

D - A good flavor experience for me, so lush and highly drinkable. The hybrid of lambic and wine grapes and the very light feel for the 6%. The kind of flavor you want to sip, it has so much going on that it refreshes as you savor it.

Photo of ElGordo
4.43/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Got a glass of this on draft during Puckerfest at Belmont Station. Served in a tulip glass, the body is a pretty orange color with rose highlights, topped by a wispy, thin, creamy layer of head. Aroma of wine grapes, peach, some general tropical fruit notes, and a good dose of sour, all with an underlying layer of booze.
Palate is not overwhelmingly sour up front, but has good notes of wine grapes and ripe white peach. The tartness takes over after the swallow, with a sour, fairly boozy finish that has a touch of astringency. Body is just about perfect to convey the flavors here - more creamy than bubbly, it provides a substantial base that allows the fruit flavors to linger but never overpower the sour. This is a more approachable offering than the gueuze or other Cantillon beers, but is still deliciously complex. Well-done.

Photo of raoulduke37
4.65/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this at the Cantillon brewery in Brussels, served by the man, himself, Jean van Roy. This was an exceptional treat in a non-exceptional town.

Poured into a large, oversized wine glass from a bottle that didn't even have a label on it yet - beautiful light color, like a Beaujolais, it seems to sparkle and radiate an energy all its own.

Smelling this is pretty amazing. Given that this is Cantillon, I was ready for sourness and pungency, but it really is like smelling an incredible red wine.

The flavor of this beer is not from planet Earth. It is like a perfect union of wine and beer. The flavors take an incredible amount of time to reveal themselves completely, but present here are traces of kriek, juicy grapes (both colors), tartness, grapefruit, apple, and a lingering astringency. Doesn't get better than this.

Drinking this beer in the brewery, from the brewer himself, is one of the great beer experiences of my life. Mr. van Roy was friendly, intelligent, and very passionate and confident about his beers. I hope that this brewery stays in business for centuries to come.

Photo of david18
4.38/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Love this beer. The perfect blend of sour and fruit. All of the Cantillons are outstanding but this is one of the best. The price is very high, and i'd recommend getting it on the east coast instead of the west, but it's an amazing treat.

will be going to europe this weekend and will definitely try and check it out when I go.

Photo of adamette
4.83/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notes: What a treat to have this beer at the brewery!

Cantillon Saint Lamvinus from Brasserie Cantillon
100 out of 100 based on 1,604 ratings.