Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Cantillon Cuvée Des Champions | Brasserie Cantillon

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
95
world-class
274 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Cantillon Cuvée Des ChampionsCantillon Cuvée Des Champions
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brasserie Cantillon
Belgium
cantillon.be

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
274
Ratings:
1,230
Avg:
4.3
pDev:
16.98%
 
 
Wants:
546
Gots:
268
For Trade:
32
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 274 | Ratings: 1,230
Photo of mikesgroove
4.57/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What a night, Went through a good bit today driving around with the kids and shopping, and did not get home till after 8 oclock. I reached in the fridge and the first thing I grabbed was this gem. Served cold I opened it and let it breath before decanting into an oversized wine glass. Consumed on 09/12/2009.

The pour produced a very nice golden color. Nice darker color with a nice head of near two inches that settled down nicely into a covering of about a quarter of an inch. Rich aroma of barnyard funk, lemon, hints of grass and nice funk coming through very nicely. Clean, crisp and very tart. The very first sip yields a very clean and fresh taste. Lots of lemon and hints of hops right off the bat. Letting it warm brings forward a nice grape skin and funky fruit like note. Nice and well balanced here. Near perfect carbonation lends to a light feel and very crisp finish. I could have easily had another bottle of this one right after I finished this one.

Overall it was very solid. This was just amazing crisp and clean and really just incredibly drinkable. I was really very pleased and think this one needs a bit more attention. One of the light of the Cantillon brews and worth every penny.

 1,207 characters

Photo of nectar14
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From bottle purchased, once again, by Chad at Toronado, SD. When RRV Publication didn't show up as advertised, we went with this instead.

A: Into a tulip, this pours gold and cloudy with a thin white head, minimal lacing. Nice luminescence.
S: More subtle than American sours/Geuse that we've imbibed of late. Nose has wet metal, barnyard, green apple candy (as it warms), and a touch of oak/vanilla. Inviting.
T: Puckery and acidic, which is just what you want. Apple, lemon, a bit of malty sweetness, and brett to go with. Just enough of the funk.
M: Medium-bodied, with good carbonation to boot. Goes down easy.
D: High marks for this. Could put a whole bottle away on my own, if I didn't have to work in the AM>

 720 characters

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

2009 750ml caged and corked bottle

Appearance: The body is btw straw and golden yellow in color with a slick appearance. Carbonation is minimal, the head is an off white 1 inch crown that shows little retention and leaves little lace.

Smell: Hops, barnyard funk, and a touch of urine soaked hay.

Taste: Same as nose. I had heard that the recipe was different for the new vintages (hops addition) and thats why I tried this bottle fresh. I figured lets try it while the hops are shining. Well the sourness/tartness is minimal when its fresh but it fuses nicely with the hop treatment. Different and well done.

Mouthfeel: On the lite side of medium bodied with minimal carbonation.

Drinkability: Low abv and not very sharp....so easy to drink.

If you are looking for that classic "Cantillon Sharpness" that will make you pucker, this isn't the right Cantillon for you. This new recipe is quite sessionable.

 911 characters

Photo of rhinos00
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a tulip glass. Bottle was dated May 19, 2009.

A- Poured a dark maize color. Three fingers width of white head, reduced to a ring over time. Very murky.

S- Very nice blend of various aromas. Getting lots of oak and a familiar barnyard mustiness in the nose. Also noticeable is distinct sour lemon/citrus fruit aroma.

T- Upfront there is a definite note of lemon tartness with oak underneath. This tartness eventually fades towards the middle, giving way to a earthy, grass-like flavor. There is some oak, wood flavors in there as well. The beer finishes with slightly bitter hops.

M- One of the better mouthfeels on a lambic. Light body, yet carries a feeling of fullness due to the carbonation. Finishes rather dry.

D- This one goes down very easily, given that this beer was not overly tart. Could be a great session beer.

Overall, definitely one of the more unique lambics I have had to date. The dry hops were definitely something I have never experienced in a beer of this style. That being said, I'm a huge sour head and this one lacked a lot of tartness that other Cantillons have. If you don't like your lambics really sour, drink this one now and just enjoy the unique hops flavors. If you like your them very sour, try aging this one.

 1,286 characters

Photo of philipquarles
4.57/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle from 2009. Pours cloudy orange-gold with a surprisingly large head. Smells of wonderful lactic tartness and lots of Brett character. Very musty and oaky. Some citrus and other fruit, as well as a bit of grassiness. Sharply sour taste with strongy earthy, musty notes from the Brett. Very fruity--almost vinous. A bit of mineral character. Incredible dry. Light-ish body with low carbonation. This is a hell of a beer.

 430 characters

Photo of jampics2
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle split with the future Mrs. at the Beer Engine. Mobile review, so excuse the brevity.

A- nice color, not too cloudy, golden orange and small head that stuck around for a bit

S- smells good, but not great. Classic gueze but thankfully a bit brighter and w/o any skunky dirty diaper smells some put out

T- woah! Nice tartness followed by an apple or tart berry-ish flavor from the dry hop. This is sublime and probably my favorite unfruited lambic to date.

M- champagne bubbles dance on the tongue. Exceptional!

D- I could seriously drink 3 bottles of this, no problems. Not too sour but true to the style. Love it! Great treat, get some if you can, even if the other Cantillons are too acidic for you. Not an entry level sour beer, but not too crazy advanced either.

 778 characters

Photo of mcallister
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reminds me of the skin of a pear multi colored and even looks fuzzy and opaque. a small slightly off white head last quite a few minutes.

Tart fruits and berries with a good fresh earthy grassy hop character. Just a great effervescence with a bit of a funky character.

Nice tart front and finish but things seem thin in the middle. Slight acidity with a plethora of fruits, starfruit, stonefruits, some berry flavors, hints of wood and tannin with a nice hop bitterness on the finish with a bit of the grassy and earthness throughout.

 537 characters

Photo of botham
4.37/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2003 vintage poured into a tasting glass. pours a midlly hazy orangish amber with a single finger of tight white head that has moderate retention and leaves no lacings.

aroma is vinous, with an acidic sour note and a light funk. a lightly yeasty fruit note hides behind the sour note and grounds the overall profile. very pleasant and sour in the nose.

taste is of a sharp sourness up front with a light funk and a decent fruit presence. a mild funk note on the back end eases a bit of the tartness after the fact, with a sharp sourness on the way down. residual fruit and sour/tart notes linger.

mouthfeel is tart and sour with a vinous character and a supremely sour texture. the brew smooths out as the palate gets used to the sourness, with a finish that carries a light bite and leaves the palate with a distinct tartness.

drinkability is great. wonderfully sour and just mellow enough to keep a bite and remain drinkable. a solid sour with a very drinkable aura (for those BAs who love a good sour beer). cheers!

 1,022 characters

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

750 ml bottle, big thanks to oakbluff for bringing this one over.

Pours a lightly cloudy orange amber, thin white head forms, quickly disappears but drops some spots on the glass. Smell is insane, woody, crazy acidic, very lemony, hay, funky and sour, almost a grapefruit or tangerine acidity going on, touch of vinegar, pretty awesome. Taste is just as good, for woody and acidic, lemons, nectarines, light toasted/ashy oak, funk, very sour in the finish, but pleasant and balanced. Mouthfeel is light bodied with low carbonation, very drinkable stuff. Damn this was a good lambic, thanks Scotty!

 599 characters

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.

 889 characters

Photo of wisrarebeer
4.62/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in 2008.
A: straw colored with a slight haze
S: musty, earthy, acidic
T: phenomenal!, one of the great beers of the world, tart but so much so that it takes the enamel off of your teeth, earthy
M: great, lively
D: truly a summer beer, temps right now in low 80s and perfect for quaffing, just wish the price wasn't so high

 330 characters

Photo of Nickls
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(From notes)

A - Light marigold color; poured with a thinner white head

S - Hops jump out at first; bit of hay; tart; bit funky as well. Quite wonderful

T - Nice stuff; not as hoppy as suggested in the nose; tart; citric; not that puckering or funky, though

M - Thinner to medium body; a bit chalky and dry; subtler carbonation

D - Pretty darn good drinking as I enjoyed the dryness and lower abv

Overall, definitely worth a look!

 436 characters

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

A 750 mL corked and capped bottle with '2008' stamped on the cork.

A: The ale is an apple juice yellow, hazed up by both temperature and sediment from the bottle. The current mugginess is making the glass very sweaty with condensation. A small white head arose on pour only to quickly dissapate.

S: The aroma is sharp, tart with citric lemon and grass flavors. A mild hoppiness and cereal grain profile stands out on the back end.

T: The first impression is citrusy tartness, sour but fleeting. On second and third sips, the sourness lasts much longer, well into the last quarter of the sip. Lemon and green apples are dominant behind the tartness. The cereal malts and a stronger than normal hop flavor linger near the end. Sweet fruits fill the void near the end, but the lasting memory is more citric tartness. A nice beer for a warm day.

M: The lemony mouthfeel is tart but not astringent. A grassy mint and lemon aftertaste doesn't overpower.

D: At 5% or so, this is a very easy sipper, which explains why this first glass took all of 20 minutes to get through.

 1,071 characters

Photo of Suds
3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked this brew up from a small beer store on one of my last days in Europe. It pours a clear golden color with lots of effervescense. The beer sports a very nice white head...thicker than expected, and long-lasting. The smell is not as intense as it could be, but there's a very pleasant grain and horse-blanket smell. Modest funk, with a little wood scent. The flavor is very well balanced. Not as sour as most Cantillon's, this one is incredibly drinkable. The flavor is still strong, despite the medium-sourness. Medium to medium-light in body. Very nice beer!

 567 characters

Photo of hopdog
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared bottle courtesy of egajdzis (and I've had this one multiple times to boot!).

Poured a medium and cloudy orange color with a smaller sized white head. Aromas of horseblanket, leather and musty. Tastes of green apples and light lemons. Nice lighter sour and tart finish. Very good.

Notes from: 4/24/05

 309 characters

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.26/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 6/11/08. On tap at Spuyten Duyvil Brett Fest. Pours orange with no real head. Aroma is not very strong, mostly of sour funk. Flavor of lemon, slight sourness, and slight hop bitterness. The hops add an interesting dimension to this lambic, but I'm not sure they blended well with it. The palate also seemed weak and unlike other Cantillons I've had. Tasted like an American sour ale/lambic-esque beer and didn't quite impress.
6/4/7/3/15 (3.5/5)

 457 characters

Photo of illidurit
4.11/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brewed in 2005, bottled in January 2008. Poured into a Duvel tulip. Gorgeous translucent gold with a touch of amber. One finger of dense, compact, snow-white head that fades into a partial cap and halo. Thin but solid sheets of lacing. Aroma consists of lemon juice, crabapple, and grapefruit rind. Sour but not really funky. Flavor is similar. Citric acid, big sourness, vinous/chardonnay notes, and an earthy finish that must be from the dry hopping. This beer is medium on the palate with great carbonation. A little sticky but still a pretty good mouthfeel overall.

 569 characters

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

01/10/2006 vintage, almost three years in the bottle. Nice golden color, sports a white head but quickly becomes semi-still, smells like a hint of cobweb, tastes wheaty and sour lambic, citrus, especially sour lemons. Funky a bit but very drinkable, some cheese, I like it.

2010 vintage tastes in April of 2011

This is the freshest sample I've had yet and it is a completely different beer. The dry hopping is powerful and reminds me a bit of Le Terroir. Very nice and I won't bother to cellar this in the future. Wish it was easier to get fresh.

 548 characters

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.

 1,399 characters

Photo of stumac
4.51/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was already a little bit drunk at this bar when some crazy cowboy walked up to me and said with a thick southern accent, "You drink from the fountain of youth?" "From time to time," I replied. He looked at me and grinned and muttered, "Boy, you have a lot to learn," as he filled my empty glass with this golden elixer....

pours a light gold color with a big white head. the nose is sour with aromas of wood in there. the taste is very earthy, oaky, mellow sourness, some lemons. medium body, dry dry beer.

I've never been the same since...

 544 characters

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.

 758 characters

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

Bottled in 2008. I don't know why this beer is "retired" since it commemorates something that happened in 2003-2004, has 2 year old lambic in it according to the bottle, and was bottled in 2008 . . .

But I'm not one to question the ways of the beer gods. I'm just here to enjoy a fantastic beer from one of the world's greatest breweries.

My overall impression of the bottle I got is that the beer is a little young. There was plenty of sourness (I got a pinch of acid-reflux from the beer, which I do not normally experience even with their Grand Cru) as well as a hefty dose of bretty barnyard funk that married quite well with the earthy hops . . . but there seems to be something off about the beer. Perhaps I am just not sure about dry hopped lambics, since aging the lambic would clearly destroy the delicate hop. But at the same time, the flavors of the beer don't quite feel like they have blended into each other.

I mean, all the classic lambic flavors are there, don't get me wrong. But they hit me one-by-one on their own. Bam! Barnyard! Bam! Sour! The sort of interplay that I've come to expect from Cantillon seems to be missing.

But that doesn't mean it isn't an incredible beer. I am absolutely loving this bottle, my birthday beer. But if I had a few bottles, I would sit on them. That is all.

 1,314 characters

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

Appearance: Clear (for the first glass at least) and straw colored with a fast-fading one finger head that leaves a few wisps of lace.

Smell: Strong funk and earthy/herbal hops - unusually hoppy for a Cantillon beer, in fact. Refreshingly different and enjoyable.

Taste & mouthfeel: Pretty mild sourness for Cantillon. Fruity notes of green apple and lemon peel are met with an interesting herbal hop flavor. Carbonation is fairly low here, but it's ample enough to make it dance a bit on the tongue. Really a remarkably subtle and balanced beer.

 548 characters

Photo of Floydster
3.73/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew is what my buddy recently brought back for me from Brussels, 750 ml bottle that was around twenty dollars supposedly, poured into my Duvel tulip glass

A-Hazy but bright golden color, thin 1/2 inch white bubbly head, disappeared quickly, not much retention but did leave some rings of lace

S-Sourness, lemon juice, citric acid, some horse blanket, almost some vinegar, cherries, and funkiness

T-Sour and dry right from the beginning, some herbal and floral accents mix with the lemon juice in the middle, finish is acidic with a strong citrus tart, mellowed out after the first sips and the sourness turned to a more sweet fruit flavor, got some funk in the aftertaste that was leaning towards the barnyard aroma I noticed later on, the dry flavor of this beer was super strong and I could not seem to get over it even by the end, needed more sweet accents in my opinion, I love sour beers but this took it to another level

M-Medium body, tart, dry, and chalky mouthfeel, tons of carbonation, taste lingered a long time mainly because of the dryness

D-Tasted better as it warmed and the tart settled down a little bit, low ABV allows for fairly easy drinking, sourness can be a little much though, did not finish the whole bottle

I did not know anything about this brew but I am glad I got to try it, also saw in on tap the day before down at Churchill's in San Marcos left over from CBC week, probably will not get to drink this again because I have never seen it in bottle form in the US, recommended

 1,518 characters

Photo of soupyman10
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opaque golden color with a finger of basically white head. Looks good. A bit of lacing that shows up as you drink.

Nose is crazy sour, with a nice spicy malt sweetness that comes over the top. All kinds of swirling fruit flavors. Incredibly strong - sort of a sour wheat, coriander nose.

Straight up sourness in the taste. Starts to break down; increasing, rough, roasted sour apples. Very biting sourness on the back. Strong biting hop backbone that shows. Light caramel, watermelons, and some strong citrus. Distinct oakiness.

Body is medium, with carbonation the works right into the sourness.

A fairly amazing beer. Almost a wine, in terms of the oakiness and vinous sourness. A real treat.

 701 characters

Cantillon Cuvée Des Champions from Brasserie Cantillon
4.3 out of 5 based on 1,230 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!

    Subscribe