Cantillon Saint Lamvinus - Brasserie Cantillon

Not Rated.
Cantillon Saint LamvinusCantillon Saint Lamvinus

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

1,608 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,608
Reviews: 443
rAvg: 4.53
pDev: 7.95%
Wants: 1,179
Gots: 353 | 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: 1,608 | Reviews: 443 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4.35/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Expensive. Powerful sourness from tannins of the skins, with bursting aroma of oak and berries. Beautiful. The Palate cleaner. Not for the novice, but certainly a hit. Astringent yet balanced. I saved this for the boys, Radekfest 05 sample 26. An experience to be had once.

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of spycow
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.44/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to drewone for sharing this one at jmgrub's tasting.

2010 vintage.

Pours a hazy orange-red with a foamy off-white head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is sour with malt, grain, grape, fruit, funk, and acidic aromas. Taste is much the same with sour grain, grape, and fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and dry mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer that is quite sour but refreshing to drink.

Photo of djrn2
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of zestar
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of acurtis
4.25/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.28/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2006 vintage on tap at Capone's - December 16, 2009.

A: Pours a nice dark crimson with ruby hues. Very minimal head. Looks a shade lighter than cranberry juice, with a bit of tawny paleness to it.

S: Not the best aspect of this beer--smells a lot like balsamic vinegar without much of the underlying fruit coming through. A tiny amount of underlying grape scent.

T: Quite tart with a bit of barnyard horse blanket. The vinegar from the nose is not nearly as dominant, and flavors of grapes, berries, and red wine come through.

M: Quite dry with very subtle carbonation.

D: Very high--every sip reveals greater complexity and no amount would seem to be enough.

Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of GRG1313
4.03/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kudos to City Beer and a great "bragging rights" experience. However, not a brew "to remember."

Photo of metter98
4.4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear brownish red in color and does not have any signs of visible carbonation.
S: There are strong aromas of sourness in the nose.
T: Sourness dominates the overall taste and continues to persist through the aftertaste, although it isn't quite as strong as the smell. There are notes of grapes and vinegar in the flavors.
M: It feels light-bodied on the palate and has a low to moderate amount of carbonation. There is some dryness in the finish.
O: The beer isn’t that difficult to drink because it doesn’t have an “in your face” type of sourness.

Photo of olradetbalder
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of brentk56
4.45/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy rose color with a small head that dissipates rapidly but leaves some specks of lace behind

Smell: Fascinating aroma of red wine grapes and barnyard funk; very tart, but with an underlying sweetness

Taste: Tart, dry grape flavors build in mouth-puckering sourness through mid-palate, with the barnyard funk storming in after the swallow to add woodsy complexity; the finish is long, dry and tart

Mouthfeel: Medium, almost creamy body, with low to moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A fascinating beer

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

It's always a pleasure to sit down with such a prized beer. The lure and legendary status of Saint Lamvinus makes is appetizing and intimidating.

The beer bursts with fragrance before it even settles into the tulip glass. A billowing head of light burgundy color rises with an airy and musty quality. Vineous (as merlots should), tart, and acidic notes give a little perk to the brow and a twinge to the jawls- surely sour, astringent, and sharply acidic. Berries, grapes, and plumbs are all represented well in the nose, along with a woodsy, dusty, attic-like, musk that gives the unusual character that only brettanomyaces can.

Much more fruity and less sour to taste as it seemed by the smell. Expansive flavors of vineous merlot wine, but with the body and carbonation of a typical lambic to differentiate it from the true wine character. Again, the tartness of the wild yeasts give the beer a lot more complexity than is usually found in red wines. Berries, grapes, and plumbs dominate with a close back-up of apple cider vinegars and a cork-like wood taste. The musty, dusty, attic-ey notes don't carry over to the taste; just stopping at the nose. Still, a briney-Orval taste brings a somewhat salty-metalic taste that adds complexity rather than distorts it.

The blend of yeasts have cut through the barley malts and reduced them to nearly that of heavier red wines. Still, a mild malt flavor gives a bit of weight, maltiness, and substance to keep it from ultimate thinness. Still, acidic to cut through and residual sweetness. Pleasantly astringent all the way, giving a clean, refreshing tartness that challenges the palate but never overwhelming it.

Ok, the beer falls a bit too far on the wine side of things for me. I appreciate the clean, well-attenuated malt and fruit blends but the beer doesn't leave the malt backbone that I appreciate most. The first sip led me to beleive that this 750 mill. session would be laborous and tiresome but after 45 minutes, the glass is dry. Very drinkable, the beer evaporates on the tongue and leaves a powdery, fruity finish. Understandible why this beer ranks among the best.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.55/5  rDev +0.4%
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 BuckeyeNation
4.43/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Glowing coral red with a considerable orangish tint; one of the most unique colors that I've ever seen in the world of beer. The rose petal pink cap is a stiff collection of brittle bubbles that looks good immediately after the pour, but doesn't look good on the way down, doesn't last and doesn't leave any lace. I've taken style into account when granting the appearance score.

My lambic experience is still limited. Having said that, it's hard to believe there are many lambics this vinous. That's understandable given the addition of red grapes. One source gave the breakdown as 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. Also prominent are red wine vinegar, oak and musty-earthy funk. My salivary glands are already beginning to squirt.

Cantillon Saint Lamvinus tastes like the perfect marriage of beer and wine. Even though lambics are anything but typical beer, the comparison still holds. It's much more lambic than wine (obviously) since grapes are only used for flavor and sweetness, not character. In other words, there's no red wine in the world that's this acidic, puckery, funky and dry.

I find full-bore versions of this style to be a little too aggressive to suit me. The addition of raspberries (Rose De Gambrinus) or grapes (in this case) tends to contribute just enough underlying sweetness to take the edge off the sharp, biting acidity and the saliva-sucking dryness. Any number of foods would match up perfectly with this beauty.

Since I have so little experience with the style, I'll have to trust my instincts when it comes to the mouthfeel. It's light, with a sneaky suppleness on the finish of the finish. I also enjoy the brisk, fine-bubbled carbonation that gives the beer a festive mouth presence.

Cantillon Saint Lamvinus is a unique beer from one of the world's most unique brewers. I'm not sure I have the chops to completely break it down and appreciate where it fits into the pantheon of great lambics, but I sure do love the inspired attempt at beer-wine fusion. This is a beer that is meant to be consumed with gusto and a beer that deserves to be celebrated.

Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -11.7%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

So here we are. I made it to review number 1000. It has been an interesting voyage to get to this point, and that number seems huge, especially in a year and a half's time. But alas I have arrived. So the question then became, what do you have for such a big number. Now you can get all crazy looking for the rarest and most sought after beers out there, however to be honest I have had a lot of them, and I decided to go for something, that while not being common, certainly isn't rare, but was something that I had wanted to try for a very long time. Being a fan of the sours, I knew this one would be a doozy, and since it is quite pricey, and not available to me locally, I felt it would make a good choice to go for the big number. A very nice, classic looking Cantillon 750ml bottle, wrapped in black foil with corked. I let this one come up just a touch above the fridge temperature before I opened it up and let it breath. Served in a brand new Terrapin glass( Thanks Ding) I felt ready to go for it.

Appearance - The pour was beautiful. A deep pinkish color, almost rose with a good amount of haze was dropped into the glass. Holding it up to a bright light really just let it shine through, the color was wonderful. A small crown of off white graced the top for just a few moments before setting down and leaving it open and bare. There was some side glass lace initially, but after that faded it was all pretty smooth and clear. The carbonation was apparent as it bubbled up toward the surface ever so gently throughout the session.

Smell - The aroma on this one was almost indescribable. It had that classic farmhouse funk to it, which naturally you expect to see from Cantillon, however there were some subtle differences between this and the others I have had. The sweet smell of grapes was percolating through on here, and as it warmed became easier and easier to pick up in the smell. It was not overpowering as the funk aroma was, but rather, just light enough to let you know there was some depth to it. Tart sour grapes stole the show, with hints of cherries and a wet hay back.

Taste - The flavor was beautiful, really these beers are more like works of art. It started out with a subtle dose of chardonnay like grapes, slightly sweet, but with the acidic touch to them. Beautiful work here, with a deep, resonant funk to it that just lingers on for what seemed like years to be honest. Subtle touches of cherries and grapes dropped in with this, really working the taste buds. As it warmed it just continued to evolve. It is so hard sometimes to try and describe that flavor, and I refuse to use the sweaty and other somewhat derogatory comments to describe it, and funk is a good thing in this case. Enormously try and tart finish just left you begging for another sip with an almost vinegar like finish to it, wow that was really damn good is the final thing running through your head.

Mouthfeel - This had one of the best feels it could have. Just a hair shy of being a medium bodied ale, the carbonation was enough to keep it very lively and the perfect balance of profile, never feeling thin, or watery, but rather just being very tight and crisp. A wonderful addition here for sure.

Drinkability - You really cannot get much better then this. The flavors were so complex, the ABV virtually non existent, lively feel, I mean what more can you ask for. Its not filling, and it keeps you engaged. I really could have had another on of these as soon as I finished the first, it was just that good.

Overall this may be my favorite of the Cantillon beers I have tried so far. It was just a touch shy of the Beatification in terms of being the funkiest, most sour thing I have ever had. I mean this was just delicious. I a, glad I was able to finally acquire a bottle of this as it was more then worth the weight. I have yet to get bored in this style and I wished more people were able to get into it. So complex and so rich, this is definitely the one to seek out. Well deserved of its reputation and something I would always pick up if I saw it!

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

A huge thanks to Dyan for sending me this one awhile back. I'd been holding on to it and decided a tasting over the weekend was the time to open it.

A: The pour is a murky reddish-purple color with a minimal rose colored head.

S: A fantastic aroma of grapes and must along with a wonderful acidity and yeasty barnyard funk character.

T: The flavor is similarly fantastic with plenty of lactic acidity to go along with sweet and sour grapes. The oak and Brett offer up some nice tannins and funk as well.

M: The beer is mildly carbonated with a dry finish and a medium body.

D: Possibly the best Cantillon beer I've had to date (yes, even better than Blabaer and Crianza). I'd pick up another one of these any day!

Photo of Knapp85
3.93/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This poured out as a really nice looking pinkish red color with a fizzy light pink head on top. The retention and lacing were very minimal here. The smell of the beer gives off plenty of Merlot Grape aromas along with the tart aromas of the wild fermentation this brew has gone through. The taste of the beer has a tart grape flavor up front with a dry funky aftertaste that would probably interest most wine lovers to try this beer. The mouthfeel is think and dry, not overly carbonated at all. Overall this brew was pretty good, I'm not sure if I would ever buy this one again mainly because of the price tag on it. I enjoyed having it though, and would drink it again if it was offered to me.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of SocalKicks
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

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Cantillon Saint Lamvinus from Brasserie Cantillon
100 out of 100 based on 1,608 ratings.