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Cantillon Cuvée Des Champions | Brasserie Cantillon

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Cantillon Cuvée Des ChampionsCantillon Cuvée Des Champions

Brewed by:
Brasserie Cantillon

Style: Gueuze

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
Two year-old lambic, dry-hopped in the cask for three weeks.

Added by Dukeofearl on 01-23-2005

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Reviews: 273 | Ratings: 1,219
Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Churchkey in D.C. Served side by side with Fou' Fonne. Review from notes.

So this is the same brew as Cuvée des Champions. Apparently, I enjoyed this beer in the bottle much more than on draft.

This beer appears a hazy orange, with a little head that fades rather quickly. The beer smells spicy, funky, and noticeably more subtly sour than I expected from a Cantillon. Of course, I did drink this side by side with Fou' Fonne, which was incredibly tart. I found this to be an enjoyable beer, but it lacked the depth and/or complexity that Cantillon beers usually have in spades. This was a plain, decent offering from a brewery that I hold in the highest esteem.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled 7-19-2007. I believe this is my first unblended lambic. Pours a brown hued orange. Nose is slightly like a certain flavor of Ricola throat drops. I can't remember exactly what kind, but I think it was lemon and herbs or something like that. Antiseptic tone to it. Fair amount of wood is on there too. Flavor is sour indeed. Definite wood character to it. Just a pure mix of tart and wood. This is what a lambic is. Feel is as expected on the liquid and ripe with carbonation. Overall very drinkable. If you haven't had a real lambic and don't appreciate that sour funk, you won't dig this one. This is a purists dream. Very much worth taking the bus to Philly for a day to get a hold of.

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Photo of stakem
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle, 2010 dating with the St. Gilloise label. Split with friends and poured into a matching Cantillon long stemmed tulip. This brew appears a golden hazed color with some lighter yellow coloration around the edges. A white frothy head recedes leaving some finger-like patterns of lace and small patchy patterns. A swirl revives a finger of yellowish stained froth across the top.

The smell of this brew is of moist cork, damp woodsy notes with a light amount of lemony citrus and an indication of light cardboard quality. It is earthy around the edges with some deeper fruited quality throughout. As it warms up, there is a bit of a dirty gym sock character that brings on the funk.

The taste initially is of damp wood, funk and earthy notes. Citrus like lemon has a brightness to it that goes beyond lactic character or just zest, it is more of a deep rindy flavor of fresh lemon with a bit of bitterness. The combination of funk and earthy quality is very enjoyable with lots of layers of complexity to sift through.

This is a medium to light bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. There is seemingly no alcohol inclusion. This is a type of brew that is complex enough tht you can sit and ponder over it for a long time but it is easy drinking enough that you could take down a whole bottle effortlessly. Pleasantly tart without going overboard, as far as the geuze style goes, this is not harsh at all. Very well rounded and enjoyable. I will be seeking more of this out.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled 1/29/2010. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Barely a pop. Small white head atop a mostly clear body.

Smell - Herbal. Funky. Less acidic than a Cantillon usually is. More in the 3F vein. White pepper in the back.

Taste - Back to the true Cantillon sourness. Strong white wine notes and it gets herbal again after the sourness fades. The finish is far less acidic.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied. Strong wine presence that takes away from its spritz.

Overall - Excellent. Maybe lacking in complexity, but the flavors it has are phenomenal.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle at Churckey DC during Zwanze 2013 into snifters. Double helping woot!

Dull and opaque lemon body, with some deep orange center. Not much head given or presented.

Oh my god the bouquet on this brew just absolutely rips! Giant sour peach and pineapple topical fruit. Wonderful. Juicy. Quenching. Salivating. Mild funk aromatics hit the back but I litterally feel like I just ripped open a peach or sliced a fresh pineapple in front of me. Exquisite.

Palate seems less of a surprise, since the bouquet is so grand. The fruit notes hit nicely but come with a slightly wet body and feel. Light pepper finish and mild to moderate funk, with the acid a little downplayed. Watery finish unfortunately, but some good yeasty stickiness to match.

Overall I smelled this brew more than I drank it, if that's possible, but it's go some incredible impressive character.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage at Prairie Moon. Served in a tulip.

A - A finger of white foam settles to a thick cap but no lace. Mostly transparent golden body, until you get to the end of the bottle of course.

S - It's got that signature Cantillon funk, some light medicinal flavors, stone fruit malts, wet leather, gypsum, a bit of acidity, and minimal hop presence - guessing two years is too long for the dry hopping to stay present.

T - The taste is far more acetic than I was expecting. Sour lemons, under-ripe stone fruits, musty basement funk, a light brackish note in the finish.

M - Medium body, pleasant moderate carbonation, dry finish, and some growing acidity. A touch less delicate and more hearty than I was expecting.

D - I really enjoyed this vintage - I've had mixed success with Cuvée Des Champions in the past, but the bottles I've had most recently have ranged from very good to stellar. I'm looking forward to the bottle I have in the cellar.

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Photo of Billolick
4.39/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on tap at the Yeast fest @ Spuyten D in Bklyn. Poured cloudy light apricot, nose is of funky cheesy feet with a slight lactic sourness. Smokey, moderatly sour brew. With a long flavorful finish. Approachable Lambic, Brett present but not out of control, give a try of this one to Lambic newbies. Great brew to experience if you can find any more around.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is Cuvee de Champions, in case anyone was wondering. Popped this open at a recent tasting to share, since its dry hopped I realized I shouldn't let it age, plus there have been a few recent beer reviews of aged Champions that were less than encouraging.

Beer is yellow with a slight haze and thin head of white small bubbles that doesn't leave any lacing on the glass. Carbonation is moderate to low.

Aroma is a little grassy with some mild hop presences and mild acetic notes. There is also some lactic in there and some nice strong funk. Smells like I expected, Cantillon gueuze plus hops. Nice.

Beer is medium to light in body. In the palate, the hops are lost among the carbonic and acetic notes with a strong lactic background and a slightly funky finish. There is no aftertaste, just another great palate cleansing sour beer. Not as complex as some of the other lambics but this beer is quite good overall. Nice drinkability.


Transferred from my Cantillon Cuvée St-Gilloise review (that has now been deleted)

Best beer day ever. Amazing draft at Churchkey. Cantillon anything please.

Beer is straw yellow with moderate to high haze. Forms a big thick white head of medium bubbles, two fingers. Head falls away leaving some lacing on the glass. Carbonation is steady and moderate. Looks awesome. I think I got the first pint of this beer out of the keg.

Aroma is overall kind of mild. There are those classic Cantillon sour notes in there, citrusy, a little lemony, lactic and mild acetic. There is also a hoppy aroma in there, very interesting.

Beer is thin, as expected, and not as sour as I thought it would be. Interesting earthy bitterness to this beer, citrusy in a way, just like the aroma indicated. Finishes nicely with a slight dryness at the backend. Not bad, not bad at all. Overall sourness is lower than other Cantillons but this is a young unblended lambik, so what should we expect. A great beer none-the-less.

Serving type: on-tap

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Photo of GClarkage
3.18/5  rDev -26%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

10/14/08- Purchased at Whole Foods in Redwood City, CA. Paid $19.99.

Presentation- 750ml bottle, capped and corked. Cork says bottled in 2008. Poured into my miniature Cantillon wine-like glass. Think it's a 6oz glass as it took me 4 full pours to empty the bottle.

Appearance- Unfiltered peach or brighter pear juice in color. About a 1/2 inch head upon pour which disappears in a blink of an eye. Leaves ultra light spotty lace, which is all common for such a style.

Smell- Light farmy aspects, mostly a mid range sourness and a whaft of tart citrus fruits. A fair amount of oak as well.

Taste- Well, my bottle must have been from a different batch or something...not even up to the standards of those previous reviewers. From the first sip it was very watery. It became a tad less as I consumed the rest of the bottle, but for the most part, it was quite watery. It was sour, but not even to the standards to an unblended lambic. More tart than sour with some pera, lemon and maybe a touch of melon. Oak flavor is nice, which saved the overall flavor.

Mouthfeel- Thin, watery, but a nice carbonation level. Considerably dry.

Drinkability- I have to admit, it was refreshing and easy to drink, but the watery part made it a bit borning and dull to drink. I've had much much better from Cantillon. Maybe just a bad bottle. But, I don't think I am willing to shell out another $20 to find out.

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Photo of ShanePB
4.04/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle of Cuvée Saint-Gilloise, vintage 2011. Shared by mdaschaf, thank you sir! Served into a tulip glass.

A: Hazy bright golden sunset orange body with a rocky, foamy white head. Retention was decent but the lacing was a bit lacking. Nothing really out of the ordinary for the style.

S: Odd funk, very musty and dank smelling. Faint citrus notes orange and lemon peel. A bit grainy towards the back, just an overall strange smelling Gueuze.

T: Much better than the aroma, thankfully. Bright citrusy funk is up front and through the mid-palate. Through and through the classic funk character moves bringing in some minor tartness along with it. Refreshing, tasty and certainly hits all the marks for what it is.

M: Highly carbonated, again without much of a "pop" from the cork. Dry like I normally get but it's not overboard. Plenty of bubbles on the palate.

I enjoyed this one quite a bit. The aroma didn't set the bar high but the taste came through. Cantillon does it once again.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a hazy yellow that had a finger head and some good sticky lacing.

S: up front hits acidic lemons with slight oaky notes and slight hay like funk.

T: lots of lemon tartness that reminded me of the cantillon iris. Like the nose it also had slight oaky funky flavors going on in the mix.

M: meduim body with good carbonstion to accent the taste with a dry finish that cleansed the palate.

D: very good beer by cantillon but not my favorite from them, too expensive for what it is at $35 bucks. The iris comes close to the overall characteristic and is almost half the price of this one.

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Photo of Gavage
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had at Max's Belgian Fest.

Appearance: hazy orange yellow color with a short one finger head that falls immediately. No lacing develops.

Smell: muskiness is up front and dominates the nose.

Taste: strong initial sourness that mellowed after the tastebuds got accustomed to the flavors. Sour and tart grapes, tart green apples, fruity sweetness, and some mild bitterness wrapped in a musky barnyard blanket. Extremely dry beer.

Mouthfeel: smooth and very dry throughout. Long sour aftertaste. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: decent despite the strong sour flavors. This beer grew on me during the session, and the taste score rose as it warmed. Very interesting on tap.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A frehs bottle poured at the source itself. Poured into a Cantillon branded chalice. On to the beer:

This dry hopped gueuze is orange colored with a crisp, low head. Some creaminess is given off from the head, not common with the style. The aroma brings a big note of grassy hops, along with a little tartness and hay. It's not grossly sour or taste in taste. It's fun and refreshing. There's a mix of swert tart flavor and modest sour lemon with the vibrant grass notes. Medium bodied is the beer, with light carbonation and mellow texture.

A twist on the usual gueuze. Personally, I'm more fond of a more tart gueuze than a hoppy one, however there's little doubt that this is fun to drink.

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Photo of liamt07
4.19/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of freud, 375ml into a tulip. Review 600, label indicated this is the Cuvee Saint-Gilloise. Bottled January 29, 2 Pryed the cap off and there was a bit of fluid on top of the cork, and the cork came off with a light hiss.

Pours a light orange-gold, with a finger or so of bright white head. Carbonation isn't outstanding here, but there's some lace left in addition to a bit of head retention. Nose was prominent as soon as I popped the cork, tons of lemon and sour green apple, a hell of a lot of funk. White vinegar and a load of acetic acid. Love the funk and some semblance of barrel here. Taste wasn't as tart as I had expected, still more raw green apple and pear, Cantiloon funk, a touch of barrel and notable acetic acidity. Some interesting sweetness mid-palate, but a tart bite finishes off the palate. This gets more and more complex with each sip, each revealing the characteristics of this gueuze in a different tone. Quite a light body, with a fairly modest carbonation, not as effervescent and zippy as some others, but still works well for the drinkability. Still very nice, and something that I wish I could've enjoyed on a warmer day! A nice gueuze, thanks Fred!

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Photo of Mora2000
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to blutt59 for sharing this bottle. I have been looking forward to trying this beer for a long time.

2009 vintage. The beer pours a murky yellow color with a white head. The aroma is tart lemon with some oak and earthy qualities. The flavor is heavy on the lemon tartness with some oak notes. There is not as much funk as I was expecting. The beer is very acidic and is very, very dry which forces you to drink more and more. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Glad to find this On-Tap at Teresa's Next Door, I've had this out the bottle before the name change.

Champions came in a flute serving looking muddled/pale yellow almost like straw. A nice amount of white fluff on top. Small legs for stickage, there was not much.

Smells a bit funky, with light wood, some small earthy hop scents in the middle giving off grass. A small amount of barnyard and the Cantillon scent, which is basically goodness.

A nice amount of sour with a heaping of barnyard hay and grass. Earthy scents, earthy hops. This is dry hopped and it does make a difference from other offerings from Cantillon. After the initial sour barnyard, slight hopping, a bit of earth and wood and funk.

It's lively, especially off the tap, very refreshing. A little bit of everything. Light bodied and dry finishing. Very easy to drink but at nine bucks A flute I cant drink a bunch, I wish i could of had more, and I will.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2004 bottling, Sampled September 2005
Pours a hazy straw-orange color with a hint of ruby-grapefruit colored notes. The carbonation seems quite low, as the cork did not pop at all when pulled, it is carbonated though, but the head is wispy and a frothy pale color. Ah, the aroma; a suitable funky smell greet my nostrils as I take my first draught of the nose. The aroma is a mix of citrus, funky notes of mushroom, perhaps some notes of farmhouse cheese, and musty earth. The Brett character is quite pronounced, and the aroma just keeps the senses piqued for continued sniffing pleasure.

The beer is of course shockingly tart in the first sip, after that is through it becomes pleasingly tart with a bracing note of acidity. The beer is quite light, and has just enough carbonation to enhance the spritzy refreshing character. I do think that there is a bit of grassy herbal character here too from the dry hopping in the cask. This has a nice note of tart grapefruit, and is not nearly as funky in the taste as the nose suggests. There is a light note of funky cheese in the finish that seems to linger a bit in an astringent manner after the beer has been swallowed.

As this beer warms up it really begins to soften a bit, open up, and become quite a bit more fruity with lots of grapefruit and lemon notes. This is definitely quite enjoyable, and I definitely do not enjoy Lambics enough, it is definitely a special occasion type beer for me, and I would much prefer that it was an everyday beer for me.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage picked up at the COOP a while back and shared with the boys on the first night of Inflatablechair's hair cutting extravaganza.

Pours a hazed lite golden.. short lasting white head... descent lacing.

Nose is sour lemon and more barnyard funk than I am used to... but I dig it... oaky and hints of some grassy hops...

Wow.. did I mention lemon yet... tart.. puckery.. tannic woody notes with some white grape essence... dusty and dank.. juicy as it pulls from the salivary glands... again, something that I identify as hops in all the funky goodness...

Slightly bigger body than I was expecting... the carbonation was about right and still showed with every glass swirl.. but was more pronounced on the tongue where it magnifies the flavors.

Nice brew.... I wish my repertoire was more filled out with lambics.. but alas, I am still a NOOB.

I want more Lambics into Boise, but Christ... we fight for every interesting brew we get in already.


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Photo of biegaman
4.67/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Cantillon Saint-Gilloise on-tap at Moeder Lambic, in Brussels.

Funny that one of the highest rated beers of one of the rarest styles from one of the world's most sought out breweries look quite simply just like pineapple juice. Though a little more golden in colour, it is so murky that I half expect to find pulp. Its head is big (while it lasts).

The aroma has a blend of tart and sweet that makes me dizzy with glee. Soured, overripe apricot and sweet marmalade preserves rise above the notorious 'barnyard' notes of the Lambic. Something 'funky' is sensed, but it doesn't result in a dance party... more like a family picnic.

Indeed, Saint-Gilloise is a bit more agreeable than other wild-fermented ales. Make no mistake - it has an acidity every bit as tot and a tartness every bit as fierce, but these qualities are neither blustery nor menacing; they merely enhance an already stimulating mouthfeel.

Flavours of sweet apricot and pineapple also help downgrade the acidity from 'thorny' to a more pleasant, palatable citrus-level. They also temper the tartness - just a bit - and are an innate partner with the orchard- and farm-like elements that include hay, apple, earth and grass.

I don't think I've smiled this much since getting a puppy as a child (come to think of it, a few of my happiest memories involve drinking Lambic under a clear blue Brussels sky). Cantillon Saint-Gilloise should have stuck with its maiden name (Cuvée des Champions) because it is, in my opinion, a perfect Gueuze and one of Cantillon's finest offerings.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.34/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 bottle at Tap and Table in Emmaus, PA.

Pours a hazed golden orange color with a large whitish head that settles into a persistent film with clumps of scattered lace. Aroma is a my favorite part of the beer, a complex and potent blend of funk, lemon zest, yeast, must, oak, and mild hoppiness. Flavor is a little bit of a letdown from the nose and just general expectations of Cantillon. Flavor is a clean, dry punch of zesty lemon, mild funk, apple and earthy dry hops. Body is medium thick with sparkling fine carbonation, nothing too remarkable. Very drinkable, and refreshing. Another excellent offering, but not the best Cantillon.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle, I've got to pounce on a chance to try this rarity at Beachwood BBQ, brewed 1/07, bottled on 5/17/09, $32/750 mL,

A: Pours a hazy orange with a lightly fizzy white head, good retention for a lambic for sure.

S: Hoppier than any lambic I've had. Lighter than I expected in its pungency, lemons, definite Cantillon funk.

T: Great. Lemons and fermented oranges galore. Big lactic acidity and some Brett notes in the secondary mixed with an interesting dry hop character from the Hallertau.

M: Moderate acidity, the acid is not crazy here. Dry, absolutely. Very smooth and elegant with lots of complexity.

D: This is delicious, it really gets good when it gets near room temperature. Expensive, but where else am I going to get to try this.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at Novare Res earlier in the summer, and I've seen bottles around recently as well. Poured a hazy golden with a light head and lacing, which is fine for the style. Smells sour and funky with a noticeable band-aid aroma. The taste is similar. The band-aids are just restrained enough to make this enjoyable. Any more flavor from that department would just make this too challenging. Sour, but more horse-blanket funk than sourness, but some lemon does start everything off. The mouthfeel is smooth and very tannic. The extreme funkiness, band-aid flavor, and sharp tannins make this a bit challenging. You really better like gueuze to enjoy this brew. I do, but even so, this was pushing the edge of the envelope between great and undrinkable.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.76/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Blue Monk in Buffalo, NY.

This one pours a brilliant glowing yellow, slightly hazy, with a small head and a little bit of lacing.

This smells like super expressive citrus- orange, lemon, and grapefruit, with a big tart aroma, and funky hay aroma too.

This has a wonderful hoppiness to it that's uncommon in the style- it adds a nice citrusy and bitter dimension to the sour and funk. This is refreshing, tasty, and super drinkable.

This has a crisp, sparkling mouthfeel, with a high level of carbonation.

An unheralded gem from Cantillon. This was listed as Cuvée St. Gilloise, but I believe this is the right listing.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Vintage. Pours light hazy straw yellowish orange with a large white and pillowy head. Retention is good.

The aroma has the signature Cantillon Brett funk, but it's more restrained here, and notes of citrus seem more prominent than usual. Lemon is strong, as well as some orange and light floral notes. The Brett is musty with lesser notes of barnyard and horsey. The malt profile is light, with some graininess.

The flavor is of tart citrus in the form of lemon and grapefruit. Bitterness is at a low-medium level. Brett provides some funk but it's restrained, as it was in the aroma. Mustiness is apparent as well as a little cheesiness. The finish is very, very dry, with moderate acidity and a nice level of tartness.

Light bodied, effervescent. The mouthfeel is very dry. This is insanely drinkable. This was split 3 ways but finishing an entire 750ml alone would be very easy.

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Photo of rudzud
3.88/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle of this up in VT during my travels. This is a 2011 vintage. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a nice crystal clear vibrant gold with a one finger head that quickly faded to leave a super thin fizzy cap that never left.

S - Getting ALOT of musty funk on this one. Mostly the basement funk here with some super light citrus. Not really as potent as most Cantillons.

T - Very, very sour here. Which is pretty nice. Not getting much fruit/citrus just super sour dusty sacks/basement. Really different. Not a super huge fan but it is tasty. The finish is the lingering sour with light wood and some light vinous qualities. Not as complex as other Cantillons.

M - Mouthfeel is solid as usual. Nice light, carbonation, super dry and tart.

O - Overall, while this is a tasty beer its possibly my least favourite Cantillon. For me, it just lacks the complexity of others.

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Cantillon Cuvée Des Champions from Brasserie Cantillon
4.3 out of 5 based on 1,219 ratings.
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