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Cantillon Zwanze 2013 - Brasserie Cantillon

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Cantillon Zwanze 2013
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BA SCORE
83
good

225 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 225
Reviews: 25
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 14.56%
Wants: 5
Gots: 3 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brasserie Cantillon visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Tripel |  7.20% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

"This Zwanze is not a Lambic. As you know, everyone can produce an abbey beer in Belgium, and my goal was to brew a top fermentation 'abbey style' mixed with a double spontaneous inoculation (natural one coming from the wild yeast present in the brewery and from the 10% Lambic we added after the first fermentation."

"In Brussels dialect, 'zwanzer' is joking—and if we called this beer Abbaye de Cureghem, it's to laugh about the fake legend built around some belgian abbey beers. Cantillon is located in the Cureghem area but the Cureghem Abbey never existed!"

(Beer added by: MasterSki on 07-31-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 225 | Reviews: 25 | Display Reviews Only:
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3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On-tap at West Lakeview Liquors. Served in the accompanying Cantillon tulip.

A - Off-white foam settles to a solid cap, thick collar, and minimal lacing. Lightly hazed amber-orange body. Looks like a Belgian tripel alright.

S - Funky, musty, and earthy, with notes of mineral and green apple, layered over top of a candi sugar and stone fruit malt backdrop. Smells like a sweet, malty gueuze; a touch like Staffe Winter actually but not as complex or acidic.

T - The taste is quite similar, with a hefty dose of malt sweetness and some milled grains. Secondary notes of dry, earthy brett and a mildy medicinal finish. Not particularly acidic; more of a funky Abbey ale than a lambic. Alcohol is quite well-hidden.

M - Creamy, smooth, soft texture, with sufficient heft to support the higher ABV. Carbonation is pretty low, and the finish is fairly dry considering the pronounced malt character. Again, there's no alcohol heat.

D - An OK beer, but not one of Cantillon's strongest experiments; I preferred the Iris Grand Cru that was poured later in the day to be honest. That being said, I'm curious how this will develop as I was similarly indifferent to Zwanze 2010 and it is now quite excellent.

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3.86/5  rDev +6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Had a chance to try this on Zwanze Day back in mid-September at Mikkeller Bar SF, somehow, as it was almost gone by the time they let us non ticket holders into the bar. Poured into a 20cl glass for $12.

Pours an orange-amber color with slight reddish or tanned tones at the rim of the glass. Totally different from pretty much any Cantillon beer I've seen to date, which usually are far more vinous and glimmering in appearance. Contains an off-white head at the top of the glass that slowly dissipates but somehow leaves a ring behind in its wake. Relatively bubbly, but very mild overall. They definitely weren't trying to go for a traditional Lambic here, but this doesn't stand out as anything new or unique in this case.

The aroma is definitely a step up, but definitely different from the entire catalog of Cantillon's beers that I have tried so far. Rather than retain an acidic or tart uniform aroma, this contains, rather, the musty and slightly wild phenols that are consistent to their recipes - damp stone fruit, lemon peel, musty apricots, and tons of stone-y moldiness - the same kind that I've most certainly experienced from entering various old basements or stone caves at the bottom of houses or castles that were a hundred years old in my trips through Europe. There's a strong caramel and light sharp sweetness underneath, but I definitely enjoy the mineral-y, musty flavor that permeates throughout. It's a little too one dimensional but it's fun to see a tripel take on this mutated form of sorts.

The flavor and body are consistent with the aroma, displaying the same amount of stone fruit and mineral musty texture, but most definitely not as over-the-top as I anticipated. After all, this is merely a 10% spontaneously fermented beer, and there's mostly the emphasis to tweak the style as we know it. Notes of overripe peaches, apricots, bruised bananas and apples come with, with light tropical aromas combined with grape must (reminds me a bit of a slightly sweet Gewürztraminer) and more of the funk from the yeast and Cantillon's typical brewing environment. Creamy and thick, and definitely enjoyable to drink, albeit a bit lacking in complexity and diversity overall.

I can see why people have been let down by this, but I can honestly say that as a fan of tripels, and as somehow who's grown tired over the super sweet varieties (as well as those that play off of the "Abbey" legends), this is a pretty nice twist on the style. It could have definitely been more for the price, and it's not super memorable, but a lesser stellar Cantillon beer is definitely better than most funky beers out there. Just a bit pricey and a bit over-hyped.

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Cantillon Zwanze 2013 from Brasserie Cantillon
83 out of 100 based on 225 ratings.