Cantillon Cuvée Des Champions | Brasserie Cantillon

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Cantillon Cuvée Des ChampionsCantillon Cuvée Des Champions
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brasserie Cantillon
Belgium | website

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:
272
Ratings:
1,207
Avg:
4.3
pDev:
8.14%
 
 
Wants:
549
Gots:
267
For Trade:
32
User Reviews
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Reviews: 272 | Ratings: 1,207
Photo of SportsandJorts
3.6/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2014 drank early 2015

Appearance: pours a golden yellow. forms a small white head with no retention. Very slight lacing as it swirls around. Hazy and almost opaque.

Smell: mix of hops and sour. the mixture makes it hard to figure out what hops are used. underneath the mixture are some funky and oaky flavors. some vinegar and lemon juice.

Taste: opens with an almost candy like mixture of sweet and sour. hops are resiny and maybe a little fruity. vinegar and lemon juice make up most of the bee, lots of oaky flavor and funky yeast.

Mouthfeel: medium in body, lots of residual funkiness and hop flavor. a bit acidic.

Overall: a solid beer but as far Cantillon beers go this is one the lower end of the spectrum. Lacks the complexity of other beers of the style, and as far as dry hopped sours go they seem to be more on the miss side of the spectrum.

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Photo of LambicPentameter
4.44/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed as part of a tasting group out of a green 750 mL bottle with a regular cork and crown. I didn't write down the bottling date, but I'm pretty sure it was February 2014. Poured into a Belgian-style tulip glass.

Appearance (4.5) - Pours a hazy, bordering on cloudy body the color of apricot skin, but a bit brighter, almost glowing from the ambient light. Atop the body sits a finger of off-white foam that consists of predominantly smaller bubbles, a la champagne, but with far more staying power. Retention is moderate, and lasts longer than I'm willing to wait before taking my first drink. Lacing is sparse, but present in places along the sides of the glass.

Smell (4.25) - A nice blend of ripe fruits--mainly in the vein of stone fruits like apricot and peach, with some white grape tartness--and souring bacteria, lending a nice lemony acidity and sharpness to the nose, like pickling liquid. There is also a more subtle note of citrus zest and grapefruit pith, and a hint of what might be white pepper? Hard to tell, because the stone fruit and souring bacteria are the predominant players in the aroma.

Taste (4.5) - What was a very bright and refreshing smell has become a taste with the same bright, acidic notes, but a little more presence from some complementary flavors. Again, stone fruit and now some green apple rule the roost, with overly-ripe peach coming to the forefront, and the lacto provides a puckering sour citrus that reminds me of really tart lemonade, but without the sweetness. The sense of white pepper and some earthy funk comes back, but this time more recognizable than in the smell.

Mouthfeel (4.5) - As noted, this one is bright and acidic, with just enough pucker to make it refreshing. Body is light and the finish is predominantly dry.

Overall (4.5), just another fantastic offering from Cantillon. From what I'm aware of, both this one and Iris are hopped up lambics, but I think I prefer this one a little more, as it's a lighter lighter in body and less bitter. Perhaps the blending that takes place in this one (that I don't believe takes place in the Iris) has smoothed out the rough edges a bit.

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

Bottle picked up at Bruisin Ales on my way back home from Myrtle Beach.
Brewed in January 2007, bottled on May 2009.

Pours a very murky, light gold in color. Decent amount of froth around the edges of the glass.
Smell is oak, a good amount of funk, and just the slightest hint of hops, but not that much.
Flavor is funk and lots of it. There's just a hit of hops at the very end of each sip. Nice and different touch. Can't believe how funky this is. Can't wait to see what some age will do to this beer.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

shared with mark, kristi and allie.. a real nice treat.

orange overall and clear.. sparkling with carbonation following a loud pop of the cork (previous pop-less reviewer, try another bottle!). aroma exists in funkytown with a sweet lime tourist and pear essence passerby. lactic with slight plant-like quality, most likely a generous hop addition masked by the barnyard pissyness. some candy apple wafts could be my imagination, and are certainly not supported by the extreme musty but mouthwatering flavor. lemony tart and mellower sourness makes it more drinkable than the usual suspects (see iris, fou foune). bready finish and age depth gives this beer some serious body for 5% lambic. sum this one up with an earthier than usual taste with obscure differences in lambic style. still great, love cantillon.

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Photo of FeDUBBELFIST
2.67/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

***EDIT: I didn't realize Cantillon Cuvée Des Champions was an unblended lambic when reviewed. I will re-review when possible***

Draft pour into an 8 oz tall and narrow flute. $8.

A: Two fingers of dense foamy pristinely white head. Excellent retention being aided by lazily paced bubbles. Very hazy and opaque except when held to light. Pale straw golden yellow body. Looks divine in the glass.

S & T: Nose foreshadows sour and tart flavors, yet they are very restrained by Cantillon standards. Sweet, fruity and citrusy. Orange and lemons, some peel and spices. Bit of barnyard funk but again restrained. There is an off-putting sulfuric note, very recognizable. This follows through on the palate but only on the backend. Phenolics come through much less on the palate and make for better flavor than aroma.

M: Tame and on the disappointing side. Light body, inadequate carbonation.

D: Low. And the high price adds insult to injury.

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Photo of t8dd
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

750ml bottle. 2013 vintage. Aroma-wow, lots of funk, citrus, bleu cheese, pepper. A lot going on here. Poured a hazy straw color with no head, minimal carbonation. Taste-again, wow. Sour, tart, funky, mild citrus sweetness. As it warms flavors of spice and white pepper peek through. Finish stayed with me for hours. Lucky to try this. Simply amazing.

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Photo of putnam
4.97/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Green apple paste, lemon marmelade and oak aromas emerge from the brown paper and orange colored liquid. The top is a scummy slick of dirty white. Sweet cherry and strawberry pulp flavors detail a huge thrust of leafy, lemony hop aromas which are, in turn, buried by gastric, sour, cidery mustard extractions. Solid, tender textured but scarcely sweet. Monumental.

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Photo of sukwonee
3.5/5  rDev -18.6%

On tap at Brouwers!

I was a bit disappointed! It just wasn't sour enough for me. Compared to other Cantillons I tried, this was the least puckering for me.

Very complex though. Lemon, white grapes, barn yard.

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Photo of RichD
4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass.

L: Pours a golden yellow color. There is a pretty big sudsy head that makes me think that this will be quite carbonated as many Cantillon beers are.

S: Huge green apple notes mixed with vanilla and oak come through immediately. I pick up a bit of the hops on the back end. I also get some vinegar, which is obviously expected. Actually, when I popped the cap off, the cap smelled of straight malted vinegar which made me cringe and think that I wasn't going to get anything that resembles a good tasting beer. Good thing that didn't happen.

T: The taste as expected follows the nose pretty well. Very nice green apple flavors come through and some vanilla oakiness are also present on the back end. There's a moderate level of sourness. I can also tell that this is dry hopped. There's a bit of pine that comes through as well.

F: This definitely has the feel of any other Cantillon that I've had. Easy to drink with a bit of tartness. It's definitely enjoyable and I'll have no problem polishing off the 750.

Overall: This is a really nice beer. The dry hopping adds a really nice touch to this. I don't like it quite as much as I did Iris, but it's still fantastic. Truly a great beer and I wish these Cantillon's were easier to get a hold of.

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Photo of rowingbrewer
3.8/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my friends brought this to a tasting a little while back I don't know why it took me so long to get around to reviewing this.
poured from 750ml (cuvee de dhampions labe forget the bottling date)
Pours a slightly cloudy yellow color with a thin white head. the smell is slightly funky, tart and a little hop presence. the flavor is sour, but not overly sour with a little bitterness. the mouthfeel is dry and well carbed. overall this is a a good gueuze not a great one

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 Vintage. Poured from a 750 mL corked and capped bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: My pour has a cloudy tangerine orange color with a delicate white froth. The head only remains for a minute before fading to a ring and a thin film, but it still leaves a few wisps of lace.

Smell: The aroma is full of barnyard funk, horse blanket, and leather. Slightly musty as well. There is some good tart acidity to the nose. Tons of Brett in this one.

Taste: The flavor is pleasantly sour, blended, and balanced. Some light grains prelude lemon zest and a little grapefruit sour flavor. Some straw and grassy notes draw out the flavor, and the finish has some musty earthiness.

Mouthfeel: This is acidic, with some lactic character. Fairly dry, medium bodied with delicate carbonation. A bit more dry at the finish.

Overall: This was one of the first gueuzes that I was able to really get into, and now I think I am an addict of the style.

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Photo of craytonic
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Sunlit, straw-orange-golden pour, nice mother-of-pearl foamy head

Smell: Tart and funky, some cat piss along with lemon/lime citrus, musty cheese (I don't often notice this one), white grape juice, fresh pear, and green apple

Taste: Tart and funky again, faint cat urine, dry hops (?), white grape juice, pears, and apple? Not as bracingly sour as other cantillion offerings, although I prefer their other lambics.

Mouthfeel: Decent body, nice tingly light carbonation.

Drinkability: Very drinkable; not my favorite cantillon but not one to turn down either!

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Photo of pwoods
3.77/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to FtownThrowDown for sharing this bottle.

Brewed 1/07, bottled 5/09

750ml corked and capped green bottle poured into a GLBC snifter.

A: Pours a murky burnt lemon color. Decent head on the pour with a little retention. Decent lacing.

S: Loads of hops. Piney, somewhat resinous, lots of pungent lemon. Very spicy as well, helped along by the yeast. Peppery. Some tart lemon.

T/M: Lots of hops, pine and lemon, lemon zest. Very spicy and peppery. Some tart lemon and citrus tartness. Funky but hard to describe. Not really cheesy or moldy, and only light horse blanket. Funky nonetheless. Some subtle and smoothing barrel to kind of hold things togeher. Body is medium to medium light with average carbonation.

D: Low ABV and tasty but something in there that doesn't make me continue to reach for the glass.

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Photo of soulgrowl
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Looks like clover honey, hazy and golden. Not much head. Funky, classic lambic aroma with lots of plasticky medicinal notes, ripe pears, dried apricot, a faint hint of lychee, and pleasant, grassy hops. Lip-smackingly, puckeringly acidic and very refreshing. Sour apple, sourdough, white grapefruit... really juicy, relentlessly sour but very moreish and mouthwatering. There's a touch of passionfruit and this intriguing violet-like floral quality in the finish, as well. Not quite 'easy drinking' on account of its acidity, but really very delicious.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Purchased at La Bodega in midtown Anchorage. Cork reads 2009.

Pours a slightly hazy yellow with some light orange highlights and good carbonation. The head rises pretty quickly, but turns to a skim and ring around the glass pretty quickly and leaves mediocre at best lacing.

Nose is full of green apple and lactic armpit. Some good lemony zest and slight spicey oak notes.

Wow. This is an excellent lambic. Excellent. Very large green appley awesomeness. A great lemon zest spritz and oaky dryness. The finish is exceedingly dry with the perfect amount of sourness. Very refreshing, green apples linger into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is pretty damn solid. Very spritzer-like carbonation, exactly where it should be for the style, almost like a champagne yeast was used. The dryness is exquisite.

Drinkability is hard to beat for the style. Very refreshing, and incredibly easy to drink.

Overall, this is one of the best lambics ive had in a while. The green appleyness almost rivals that of Ithaca Brute (almost). Can't wait to see how this does with some age. The Drinkability is downright amazing right now. Certainly one of the best lambics on shelves. Great, great beer.

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Photo of nataku00
3.7/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap poured into a small flute. Beer pours a dark orange, slight haze, with a finger of loose off white head. Head dissipates after a while with some minimal lacing. Carbonation is minimal, a few streams of tiny bubbles.

Nose is earthy and grassy hops, mild wet soil funk, and a bit of bright lemon peel. Not super aromatic though.

Taste is a bit muted, mainly earthy and grassy flavors, but not much brett character. Maybe a touch of lactic tang on the finish.

Light body and mildly carbonation. Smooth and easy to drink but not all that interesting. I last tried this out of a bottle about two years ago and remember more fresh hop character with a nice lambic base, so this keg may have been on the old side.

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

As described by my Brussels friend, BelgianBeers (who kindly presented this to me during the Belgian Beer Paradise festival in Brussels, September 2004), after he acquired it on its first day of release:

“It tastes very much like their regular geuze, but with the added bonus of a delicate bitterness, especially in the finish, brought about by dry-hopping. Another difference with the regular geuze (which, as you probably know, is a blend of one, two and three-year old lambics) is that this is a blend of two-year old lambics only. The refermentation in the bottle is sparked by adding a tiny dose of priming sugar (with regular geuze, the sugar-rich young lambic performs this function). From the brewery's last email: "The "Cuvée des Champions", made to celebrate the promotion of the Royale Union Saint-Gilloise football team to the second division, is available. Just like the "Cuvée 1904", made to commemorate the centenary of the team's first title, it is a selection of two years old lambics which underwent a cold hopping in the casks and a second fermentation in the bottle."

Presentation: 75 cl bottle with a yellow and purple label with an emblem of “USG” in yellow and purple circles (the team’s colors, I assume). “In celebration of the title..." (in French) proclaimed on the label. Cantillon Brewery is only identified in small type on the label.

Appearance: Pours dark golden, slightly cloudy with a thin head and a small stream of steady carbonation.

Aroma: Oh, there it is, that familiar lambic sour. Not as strong as some, sour apples, sour champagne fruitiness hidden behind the sour sourness.

Flavor: Sour, tart, sour, dry, and with that barnyard flavor so similar to this style of beer. To be honest, I can’t tell the difference between this and Cantillon’s gueuze- I wish I had done a side-by-side taste comparison.

Mouthfeel: As is common with this style, a very tart, mouthpuckering event. Full mouthfeel (if full is the opposite of watery).

Drinkability: As with the other products, I really like this when the mood strikes (when it’s warm, with a good meal, when I don’t want a strong, high-ABV beer, when I want to reflect on travels to Belgium). But it’s not something I would drink all the time.

Overall: I like this as I like the Cantillon products, but to be honest, I have yet to learn to fully appreciate these beers. I’ll keep trying though, because I do like this one (and it’s siblings).

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

Thanks to freud for this one! I'm not convinced that this is the same beer as Cuvee des Champions. On RB the Commercial Description says it's hopped with Styrian Goldings, but the back label on this bottle says Hallertau...

375mL green glass corked & capped bottle. Cork dated 2010.

Pours a beautiful golden yellow with thin white head. Nose is full of apricot and freshly cut white oak, hay follows and lovely lovely funk.

Taste is nicely crisp and tart. Lemon zest, tangerine and lime oil. A little residual sweetness in the middle helps balance things out and makes for a really pleasant un-fruited gueuze blend. Nice faint hop bitterness.

Excellent beer. Like it better than Iris which I consider to be a fair comparison.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.55/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pale hazy yellow, small head, no lacing.

S - Very faint - lemon and grapefruit with tart white grapes. Way too faint.

T - Sour, slightly funky. Strongly tart lemon citrus with a touch of grapefruit. A touch of barnyard funk with a faint earthy yeasty fruitiness. Alright.

M - Slightly smooth, thin a little refreshing, carbonation is noticeable.

D - It is mild and not to sour. PLeasant overall. I wouldn't mind having this one again. Not fantastic, but definitely worth trying.

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

Enjoyed on Cantillon Night during Sour Week at the Flying Saucer.

Golden apricot body with a white head.

The nose is peach and orchard fruit, floral notes and barnyard.

Green apple, fresh hay, lime zest, mouth watering acidity that bursts with a snap. Very sharp acidity, but no acetic character. More complex than my vocabulary can describe.

The mouthfeel is crisp and medium bodied.

Awesome beer. Not very musty or earthy. Brett is big on the nose, but acidity rules the palate. Seems like a fresher batch.

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Photo of axeman9182
4.49/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Rattle n Hum, this one was an 8oz pour.

Cuvee des Chamions pours a mildly hazy orange, lightening to tangerine when backlit. There's a thin white head that dissipates quickly into nothing. The nose is a bit delicate, and it's largely a blend of sweet pale fruits (apricots and peaches) and woody oak notes. There's a faint tart aroma present as well. The sour notes noticeably increase in intensity in the taste. The resulting balance between sweetness, barrel notes, and acidity is just about perfect. It's still not nearly as aggressively tart as some of the other Cantillon offerings I've had, but that only allows the other flavors to really shine through. The body is as dry and light as I'd anticipate from a 5% brew that probably has little in the way of residual sugars, but the carbonation is a pleasant surprise. It doesn't really come alive until mid palate, but when it does a torrent of tiny bubbles appear and liven the beer up. Cuvee des Champions maybe isn't as challenging as Cantillon's other beers, in terms of how much the wild yeast and bacteria have taken over, but it's subtle and artfully balanced. I imagine it would be accessible to someone new to sours/wild ales, but at the same time still has more than enough depth to please a seasoned drinker. My favorite sour to date.

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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!

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Photo of aleigator
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Cuvee des champions '14 vintage

Yields a cloudy, vibrant orange color, with a huge, froth head.

Offers a huge amount of grassy, american hops, giving the beer a unique note, which provides more depth, due to herbal, matured hops. There is a layer of subtle tartness underneath the hops, quite funky, together with leather, yogurt and a whiff of glue. The nose comes perfectly together, between sourness, grass, bitterness and even a fruity indication, leading to a fantastic aroma.

Has an incredible soft mouthfeel to it, with a fitting carbonation.

Tastes of leavy, grassy hops with a decent amount of citrus peel, bread and an enjoyable tartness. Blends perfectly into the slightly metallic, lively carbonation, unfolding matured hops among grass and acrid herbs. Finishes with a lively dryness and old hops, while a lot of the grass is still there, evoking an almost fruity impression as the malts tend to get a little sweeter.

As there is a belgian IPA, this in my opinion comes closest to an IPAed lambic . Dont get me wrong, this is unmistakely a lambic, but the hop integration is pretty much character defining. The beer has a highly unusual taste for a lambic, coming incredible well together, with hops doing a huge part of the work, among your typical cantillon lambic foundation. Very rich in flavor, the beer emphasizes a lot subtle flavors, cutting through the matured hops. Reveals a perfect interplay between sour and bitter.

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Photo of gcamparone
4.49/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 cork date. Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Cantillon taster glass. Acquired in a trade.

Pours a somewhat hazy golden straw body with a two finger slightly fizzy white head that reduces fairly quickly but leaves a layer of retention and no lacing.

Aromas are of typical Cantillon character - upon opening it a funky cheesiness, grassy, musty hay, peppery, tart aromas, citrus, white wine, and a slight hoppiness in the background.

One the tongue is an immediate dry tartness, and borderline sour citrus notes which fades to open up distinct oak / barrel notes, funky yeast, and is followed by pepper, grass, and a muted hoppy bite on the finish. The dry tartness sticks on the tongue for a minute or so. Mouthfeel is medium light, carbonation is medium.

Overall world class, which is not surprising at all coming from Cantillon. Really enjoyed this one, lots of flavor and balance.

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

Labeled Saint Gilloise. October 2010 European release, 5 months old

Pours a golden yellow color with 3 fingers of head that leaves wisps of lacing.

The aroma is somewhat unique for a Cantillon, you can tell that something is different here (in this case, the dry hopping). Not as much dusty attic or farmhouse funk as expected, instead it is mostly lemon, grapefruit, pine needle, and flowers. There is still a bit of the signature Cantillon beneath, but the dry hopping has added a thick layer on top.

The flavor is excellent. Musty attic and sunflowers lead the way, with a sour lemon finish that is both acidic and vinegary. Quenches my craving for sour and doesn't sacrifice depth in the process. Some earthy nuttiness, oak, and grass. Faint banana sweetness and stank cheesiness.

The body is medium to light and carbonation is high and feels appropriate.

Overall this is yet another top quality offering from the best brewery in the world. If you see some, pick it up!

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Cantillon Cuvée Des Champions from Brasserie Cantillon
95 out of 100 based on 272 ratings.
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