Zwanze 2019
Brasserie Cantillon

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Belgian Gueuze
Ranked #28
Ranked #5,899
4.27 | pDev: 6.79%
Brasserie Cantillon
Notes: The beer for this year's Zwanze was brewed in March 2016 and kegged January 26th 2018. Contrary to past Zwanze beers, this beer is not the result of a special blend or the addition of a special fruit, but of a wholly unique brew. On March 1st 2016, we brewed a smoked Lambic using a blend of classic pilsner malt and smoked malt. Rather than taking the beer to an extreme, we looked instead to find a balance between the acidic character of Lambic and the woodiness of the smoked malt. The result is a fine Gueuze with the classic notes of a Cantillon, complemented by an elegant smokiness in the nose and on the palate.
Reviews: 8 | Ratings: 28 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of elNopalero
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This pours a light golden tan with minimal foaming. Funk and smoke play well together on the nose, with a lingering wet straw finish as sipped. The smoke dominates, which could be divisive. I like it.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Redlight Redlight. Golden body and a little hazy. Smells of oak, light smoke, dried grass, and some cheese funk. Tastes of sharp citrus acidity, again light smoke, but pleasant. A touch of sweet grain flavor. Dried grass and oak in the finish. Smoke lingers with just a touch of meatiness blending with the oak. Low carbonation. Excellent lambic with a reserved but effective smoke presence.

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Photo of M-Fox24
4.17/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Entrance is orange with golden, yellow(ish) highlights and red tracings. The slight head is maintained against shallowly lacing

S: Smoked malt is fairly subdued at first with lemon, citrus coats, and honey lime in start. Development takes to sherry nectars, grassy-herbal terrains, and cedar shavings on straw. The smoked herbal malts make their stance, as aeration comes into play

T: A delicacy as it sits across green apple skins, white grape estates, acidic fruited commons, oaked-wooded topographies, and a quantified, spiced sharpness. The patience of time permits the peaty concourses: a timed scotch element of consideration

M: Feel is a tad shy of middling, and its effervescent start is lightly sweet before dry, with shrouded, minimalist workings of musty vaults, horse blankets, and flower petal hay stacks that will have more importance with years

O: The complications work: the traditional, classic elements find comfort in the smoked malt. Nonetheless, there’s a forbearing prominence that will grow with age, and more ventilation

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Photo of dcotom
4.37/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Schera's Restaurant in Elkader, IA. Sampled from a stemless wine glass. Hazy burnt-orange in color, with a decent white head that settled to a thin cap leaving a bit of spotty lacing. The first observation was that the smoky character is quite understated. (Underwhelming?) Earthy and bitter, with some citrusy tartness on the palate, a hint of smoke, and an unmistakable note of minerality. Medium bodied, with a dry finish and a bit of astringence. This would, IMO, make a mighty fine table beer (think grisette). I'm glad I had the opportunity to try it before it disappears forever.

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Photo of Tilley4
3.79/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The smoke was rather subtle in this and I don't know that it necessarily did any favors for the beer as it is... it was nice but nothing earth-shattering. The smoke was there, mind you, but it was very very subdued. Glad I was able to try this but I don't know that I would purchase it off of the shelf over other Cantillon offerings...a nice gueuze...

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Photo of snaotheus
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Got to try it at E9 for Zwanze Day.

Poured with a medium head. Hazy amber-gold. Smell is straw and tartness, to me it has a hint of smoke (maybe imagining it because I know it's smoked).

I definitely get smoke in the flavor, but it's definitely not dominated by smoke. Makes me think of hickory and barbecue. I get lemon and apricot flavors out of it (which kind of makes me want to find an apricot barbecue sauce).

Mouthfeel is light, airy, and dry. Overall, it was a much more successful beer than I was afraid it would be -- I've had some over-smoked beers in the past that really left me leery about this. But, it was well balanced, interesting, and enjoyable. Not my favorite beer of the day.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.81/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-draught @ Avenue Pub, New Orleans, LA.

Vibrant gold body. White floater ring.

AROMA: Honey. It's honestly such a faint aroma through my hyposmia all I get is honey, pale malt, and faint vinegar.

TASTE: Not smokey at all to me. Wouldn't know it was smoked to drink it blind. Tastes like a gueuze and a well brewed one at that. No overt cereal grains. Honeyed malt, pale/pils malt, acetic acid, apple skin, lemon-lime. Cedar. I don't get overt oak.

Clean lambicus funkiness. Mild (~5/10) sourness. Twang.

TEXTURE: Acidic, smooth, wet, light to medium-bodied, well carbonated, supple.

OVERALL: I started my Zwanze Day with Drie Fonteinen Armond & Gaston and this holds a candle to it but doesn't surpass it. It's a solid gueuze but doesn't evoke smoked malt as seemed the intention. Obviously, it's really good but it's no better than the gueuze regularly available at Cantillon.


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Photo of mothman
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Herman in Berlin.

White head. Golden color.

The most faint smoked flavor ever. I don’t know if I would be able to tell this is smoked malt had I not known. Very nice Lambic flavor. Earthy and oaky. Light stone fruit with a bit of citrus. Tastes like a nice gueuze to me.

Edit: as it warms I get more of a nice light Smokey flavor to it. Reminiscing a raunch beer.
Bottle at cantillon 10/19

Way more smoke, way more rauchbier flavor than the tap version. Amazing lambic flavor with a unique twist. Lemon citrus, a bit of acidity. Light bacon flavor. Such a treat. 4.6

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Zwanze 2019 from Brasserie Cantillon
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 28 ratings