Crianza Helena
Brasserie Cantillon

Crianza HelenaCrianza Helena
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Lambic - Gueuze
4.48 | pDev: 7.14%
Brasserie Cantillon
Retired (no longer brewed)
Crianza HelenaCrianza Helena
Reviews: 92 | Ratings: 209 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of jaken0ss
jaken0ss from New Jersey

4.56/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

750ml Bottle opened on 7/20/15..tasted blind at a share

The aroma on this beer prior to breathing was absolutely horrendous, like reminiscent of urine bad.

After about 30-45 minutes at room temp, the beer opened up beautifully. The taste and nose were the most complex on any beer I've ever had. Truly a treat, but wish I was lucky enough to have one of the bottles of this that have been considered mind-blowing.

Jul 21, 2015
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kevanb from Illinois

4.64/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

750ml bottle, 2008 cork, October 23, 2008 on the label, poured into a Cantillon scipt flute. Enjoyed on 12.6.14, reviewed from Tasting Journal.

The beer pours a hazy orange color, light amber hues with a few bubbles racing to the top of the glass where a white head crests, barely a finger that has little to retention or lace. The aroma is just incredible, very delicate, lightly funky, strong grain presence but loads of citrus, fresh stone fruits, tart apple, wildflower, bordeaux, a bit of sweetness form the cognac that also brings out some richness with plenty of oak barrel. The flavors are impeccable, super juicy and fruity, loads of citrus, peach fuzz, red grapes, wildflower, red wine provides a bit of a sturdy backbone to balance the sweetness and decadence from the cognac, while both prop up the oakiness and mustiness while the funk lingers so nicely against the tart backdrop of flavors. The complexity is fantastic and the unique expression of barrels works so perfectly. The mouthfeel is nice, soft, delicate and coating yet crisp and assertively carbonated where it needs to be and the finish is super easy.

Verdict: A splendid beer from Cantillon, so unique and unexpected. All of the barrel elements really work and each pick out various nuances to celebrate, the red wine really adds to the fruitiness and acidic sourness although kept in balance by the cognac which is sweet and helps center the beer, allowing the musty funkiness complimented by the wildflower and light citrus to really shine like their traditional gueuze would, but with such stellar undertones. A truly beautiful beer and one of the best examples of true experimentation and showmanship.

Dec 18, 2014
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WillCarrera from Ohio

4.8/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Bottle at De Heeren.

A- Pours a slightly hazy golden color with a thin white head.

S- Lots of funk, citrus and oak along with an interesting sweetness of honey, grapes and subtle cognac.

T- Layers of complex funkiness, barnyard funkiness and damp wood, citrus. The grape and cognac are very subtle but add a nice accent to the awesome flavors of the lambic, but are definitely much less forward than on any other cognac barrel lambic I've had.

M- Smooth, soft and dry with nice acidity.

O- A fantastic beer, the lambic flavors themselves are stellar and the barrel aging from the components just adds another layer of complexity.

Jun 06, 2014
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Alieniloquium from Florida

4.19/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Golden body until the end of the bottle, where it gets murky. Medium white head.

Smell - Herbal with some lemon acidity. Kinda fruity from the cognac barrel. Woody and a little bit of hay.

Taste - Sharp lemon sourness. Hay and grainy wheat. Yeasty. Light fruitiness. Lemon sourness lingers in the finish. Really funky.

Mouthfeel - Moderate sourness. Kinda bitter, surprisingly. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Very different from Classic Gueuze. I wasn't impressed, initially, but after drinking it for a bit, it was really good.

May 18, 2014
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jegross2 from Illinois

4.94/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewing Crianza Helena from Brasserie Cantillon out of Belgium.

Score: 99

Bottle is dated October 23, 2008. Served in a Goose Island taster glass and enjoyed on 08/25/13. Thank you Paul for sharing this treat! Review is from iPhone notes.

Appearance: Orange body with a murky yellow-orange layer on top and bottom; has a nice color fade. Pours less than a finger of head that settles to a thin, whispy coating. Average lacing and retention. 4/5

Smell: Huge notes of lemon zest, orange citrus, straw, and just a hint of earthy musty funk. Really excellent balance between these qualities. 5/5

Taste: Very tart, not overy funky. Orange and lemon citrus plus oak, followed by earthy/musty/bretty flavor in the finish. A little vinegar too (but it is very understated here). Light grain flavor. There is a delicate and complex balance between the citrus, tart and funk characters here. 5/5

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, spot on low carbonation for the delicateness of the flavor. Has a zest tartness, that is juicy and savory. Really lovely mouthfeel. Has a lively electricity on gums. 5/5

Overall: This beer has a lovely tart citrus character with just a little bit of funk for complexity. Reminds me of a "softer" tasting, more complexly flavored Drie Fonteinene Oude Gueuze Vintage 2008. This one is not overrated in the least. Seek out with confidence!

Cost: Approximately 40 euro for 750 ml.

Aug 25, 2013
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ArrogantB from Colorado

4.1/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle courtesy of one of you gentleman traders and poured into Zwanze day tulips that my cuz picked up. Appearance is identical to Cantillon gueuze, orange, good foamy head, bubbly. Aroma is real close to Cantillon Classic gueuze and I'd be hard pressed to find the difference, moldy orange and lemon rind, slight funk. The flavor was also very close to the classic, acidic, lemony, not much brett or farmy qualities. I did not taste any trace of cognac barrel. I will say that this is a lot smoother than a one or two year old bottle of classic gueze but this didn't really feel special. more like a select blend which I guess makes it special but it was still just Cantillon gueuze to me. I wouldn't go out of my way to acquire any more of this since the classic is just as good if not better at times. Also the price and availability of this is ridiculous.

Sep 18, 2012
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scottfrie from California

4.47/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Jared! 375ml bottle 10/23/08. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a light golden color with a thin bubbly head that faded into a lasting collar.
S: Vinous and funky nose with notes of white grapes, sweet stone fruits, tart peach, earth and straw.
T: Sweet tasting with lots of lemon and peach with maybe some apricot. Citrus bite is low, not super tart, with a little bit of fruit pith flavor coming through. Funky earthy straw and vinous barrel bring up the rear.
M: Dry mouth, low carbonation, easy to drink tartness. Goes down smooth.
O: Very good, one of the better loons. Thanks for sharing J.

Sep 12, 2012
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jethrodium from California

4.34/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

375 ml bottle. Pours a clear light amber with almost no head. A bunch of bubbles at the edge of the glass and no lacing. The aroma is musty with lots of funk and a bit of apricot. There is also a strong mineral note and a some slight oak. There is also a hint of white grapes. The taste is dry and tart. There is musty funk, apricot, some white grapes, a bit of oak, and some pear. There is also a pretty strong mineral note. The finish is quite dry with a hint of oak and a lingering mineral presence. Medium-full body. Low carbonation. Quite good.

Aug 30, 2012
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johnnnniee from New Hampshire

4.12/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes sampled Aug 19 2010 at Eb's
Pours a fairly clear golden color with a decent white head that shows some retention. Smells of light fruit, grainy and bready with a bit of sweet honey and an earthy funky yeast edge. I get a hint of vanilla or wood tannins but its very faint. The flavor is light fruity and refreshing with just enough tartness to provide some balance. A little bit of sour a little bit of a little bit of funk and a little bit of oak. Medium to light body with a crisp bubbly mouthfeel. I like this beer a lot, but I can really taste the rare. I'm glad I got to try it, but I wouldn't stress over having it again.

Aug 26, 2012
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brystmar from Texas

4.56/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks, Marcos!

Golden-orange body, minimal ring of white head forms on the surface. Plenty here to smell: funky, bright aroma shows off sharp lemon tartness. Cheesy. Tons of depth and strength in the nose. Might be the best aroma from any Cantillon I've encountered.

Tastes similar to the nose, but throttled back slightly. There's a unique twist on the flavors here that I can't quite finger; must have something to do with the cognac barrels (which seem absent). I love what cognac does to beer, so I must say I was a little disappointed it didn't show up. A little grassy, lots of lemon citrus, pleasantly puckering, nicely rounded overall. Excellent!

Sublime. My favorite Cantillon right now.

Aug 21, 2012
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spdyfire83 from Ireland

4.75/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

250th Review
37.5cl bottle poured in a Cantillon gueuze glass
Vintage: 23/10/2008

Enjoyed at DHvL in early June 2012. This beer kicked off the dinner session of an enjoyable day with Joost, Jessie, Helena, Tom & Co.

One-quarter of the way to a thousand reviews deserves something special - here goes...

A: Clear amber yellow. 2+ (white) fingernail head on gentle pour.

S: There is a very distinct and sharp edge on this nose. Smells of aged cheese, must, dried hay, and funk. Loads of lemon and citrus zest too. Cantillon never disappoints in the nose. Superb!

T: Taste parallels smell closely, but a bit softer and more dull (in a good way though). A very rounded and crisp gueuze.

M: Light bodied with plenty of carbonation. Yum!

O: A very nice, crisp, and balanced beer. This will hold up over time like the rest of the Loons and I'm sure will only get better. Also, it was fun to enjoy this beer while little Helena was running around De Heeren van Liederkercke before the dinner rush picked up.

Jul 26, 2012
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Tnudish from Wisconsin

4.1/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Broke this open for Loonfest 2012. Sampled alongside a 2010 classic gueuze.

A-Pours a hazy golden orange, with maybe a fingers worth of white head.

S-In comparison to the classic gueuze, this nose is incredibly funky. It is intense mustiness, some mineral character, cob web, etc.

T-Flavor is exceptionally sour and funky. The cognac barrel is lost in the flavor, but I do get some bordeaux in it.

M-Mouthfeel is light with gentle carbonation, with some moderate acidity.

O-Very nice gueuze, wish the cognac would come out more but it’s still an incredible beer. Can’t wait to see how this is with another couple years on it.

Jun 21, 2012
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Khazadum from Illinois

4.08/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Great head and carbonation level, good lacing.

Great effusive funk... Eggy. Light tannic character, a back end that's just... Different then normal gueuze.

Tasted of tannins, hay, horse saddle, grape tannins, and just a faint faint fruity. The finish is different then you'd expect, but hard to tell from classic gueuze.

Body is bright, crisp, medium bodied. Long lasting tannin bitterness, fruit body edges.

May 19, 2012
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craytonic from District of Columbia

4.17/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared at our insane sour and wild ale tasting on April 14, 2012.

Appearance: Orange-golden pour, nice head and lacing.

Smell: light citrus, funk and barnyard with a touch of orange and hay.

Taste: Very sour with light notes of citrus and funk with hints of cognac and Bordeaux.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy and soft, nice addition of some tannin from the barrels.

Overall: very good, but not the absolute best Cantillon has to offer.

Apr 30, 2012
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Fux from France

4.4/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at de Heeren van Liedkercke. Worth the visit for their vintage beers list as well as their really nice food pairing !

A: Pours hazy light golden with a small head but leaving a persistent film on top of the glass.

S: Aroma is fruity (yellow fruits, apricot, peach, citruses also, orange, lemon) and also a bit funky.

T: Taste is tart but smooth, also fruity (I got orange, apricot, tangerine, green apple). Superb balance of the mild tartness and fruity flavors. The presence of ageing on oak barrels (Cognac and Bordeaux) is perceptible there.

M: Mouthfeel is wonderful. The attack on the palate is sharp, with a good carbonation, but it becomes smooth and sweet on the length.

O: Wonderful brew. Balanced, complex and so easy to drink. I hope I will be able to have this again.

Apr 30, 2012
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ngeunit1 from Massachusetts

4.79/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a slightly cloudy golden orange color with a thin ring of white head with some nice lacing.

S - The aroma is a mix of white grape, lemon, sour/tartness, good amount of funk, and some oak coming through.

T - Starts off with a mix of lemon, sourness, and some tartness with a bit of funk. Through the middle some more barnyard funk comes through with some oak and grass. The finish is a mix of acidic lemon, sourness, green apple, and a touch of the barrel flavors.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels very smooth with a nice tart finish.

D - Very drinkable. Excellent balance between all of the flavors and the beer really feels like it all comes together. The different barrel flavors add a nice extra touch to the beer.

Feb 26, 2012
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cpetrone84 from Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour is a lighter golden yellow and a small tight bubbly head of off white color. The nose is extremely dusty, tons of cob webb funk, dry newspaper. Some faint mineral salt aroma transitions to a subtle semi ripe apricot. The taste is glorious, so funky and dry, newspaper, cobwebb, dusty cellar, faint sweetness and light bit of mineral. Lemon zest and soft peaches balance and a delicate sourness make it complex and extremely drinkable. The body is extremely light and delicate, so soft and smooth on the tongue, lighter carbonation and a dry finish.

Feb 20, 2012
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orangesol from Pennsylvania

4.39/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to stakem for bringing this one to our recent gueuze tasting. Another want bites the dust.

A - Pours golden straw yellow with a nice one finger tall white head leaving spotty streaks of lace down the glass. Not the best pour of the night but certainly not the worst either.

S - Smells of green apples, lemons, dulled spice, light acidity, barnyard funk and some dry oak. The mustiness and acidity are light, allowing most of the other flavors to shine through.

T - Starts off with a bright sour tinge quickly giving way to hints of lemon zest, granny smith apples, light spice, dry oak and the ever present barnyard funk. It has a good balance of sour funk to the other complementary flavors. Finish is pretty dry, lingering for some time. Little to no alcohol is detectable.

M - Medium body and flavor with moderately light carbonation. Crisp, tart feel that leaves the pallet dried long after the finish. I would have guessed this one would have a more aggressive pallet but it was very nice.

O - I really liked this one. It was easy to drink and was very approachable compared to some of the other beers we opened. I wouldn't trade away everything I own for one, but I wouldn't turn it down either.

Feb 15, 2012
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AleWatcher from Illinois

4.82/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared with urbancaver, backfat, and Brad from Jackie O's.

Bright shiny golden color with a fizzy white head head. Great retention.
Smells great-- lots of funky oak notes with a good lemony cities spritzer vibe.
The flavor holds notes of; bright lemony citrus, big cheesy oaky funk, and a great sourness level that really brings it all together.
The body is effervescent and well carbed-- glorious.

Overall-- I love gueuze. I love Cantillon. I think this beer is amazing. Much brighter and less earthy than the regular Classic, and more sour than the Monk's Cafe.

Jan 21, 2012
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stakem from Pennsylvania

3.98/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a matching Cantillon tasting glass, this brew appears golden in color with a bit of haze about it. A finger of white froth sits atop and slowly recedes leaving some patchy lace on the glass. A swirl revives a finger of white back to the surface that displays decent retaining powers.

The smell includes some fruity hints of lemon and pear mixed with the expected funk of stinky cheese. There is a mild oak inclusion that brings forth some musty quality and more scents of apples. As the brew warms up, there is a bit more focus on the barrel qualities as well as some tartness of lemon across the nose.

The taste is earthy with funky cheese, grass, sulfur and some citrus to herbal notes. The herbal quality mixes with the oak flavoring across the back and brings out more musty barrel properties. There is a lot of barrel nuance going on here with mild vanilla indications splashed with faint vinous quality.

This is a medium bodied brew with a light level of carbonation. There is seemingly no alcohol inclusion which really enhances the overall drinkability. This was more herbal than expected for a Cantillon offering but it was well rounded and enjoyable. Perhaps the best aspect of this brew was how easily approachable it was and how subtle the nuances were. Nothing harsh or overbearing about it. I probably could have tanked this whole bottle myself without issue but where is the fun in that. Worth seeking out but nothing I would give an arm an a leg for.

Jan 17, 2012
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Slatetank from Pennsylvania

4.02/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

thanks to stakem for sharing this bottle at a gueuze tasting held by foofaa.

I got the last of the bottle so the minute amount was sufficient to get some notes -Appearance is lightly golden with an amber hue and good clarity with a quick dropping white cap. The smell is unique in ways I didn't expect -the nose is floral, earthy and has a hint of cedar with moderate amount of horsey brettiness with the funk low and sour fruit notes rounding out the aroma. The feel is a bit high puckering and sour astringent with light bitter tinge with woody tannin and spicy with very tart middle to finish lasting after the taste actually.

The taste is as intense as the aroma with a a bit of bitter lemon and woody flavors with slight rind accent with pithy dry notes with a slight grapefruit edge. The taste has bitter and sour flavors working in tandem with the woody tannin and wild yeast combining for a very unique taste. The wood almost gives off a cinnamon like floral and earthy tinge with lots of wood and spice continuing mid-taste to the finish. The overall drinkability is pretty high and has a rind like element that makes it pretty complex with puckering flavor in the finish. If you like Cantillon's extreme sour profile this is something that may appeal to you.

Jan 10, 2012
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hooliganlife from Missouri

4.55/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

poured into a drie fonteinen tulip

vintage 2008

pours a burnt golden yellow with a fizzy white head. great retention. slight haze through out, yet bright.

musty oak and stale lemon. funk is bright and zesty. strong, with a complex mix of sour and funk, sharp.

very similar to the nose with the added oak, oak is strong and dominating in the finish. up front is the bright funk mixed with a tart and sour lemon. low lying white grape and green apple. subtle yet complex and perfect.

light, soft, but with a strong carbonation to bring out the best of every flavor.

this is stunning, seek out asap.

Jan 01, 2012
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JohnGalt1 from Idaho

4.47/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Entering in some old review... Ditmier provided this one a while back, thanks a ton buddy. '08 bottle... pours hazed lite gold... solid white head... nice lacing.

Nose is everything expected.... dusty brett funk... lemon... musty damp basement.

Flavor is very tart.... a lot of lemon... green apple skins... dusty dirty brett... faint oakiness tends to get lost a bit among the other big flavors... long dry finish.

Body is light with a spritzy carbonation.... flavor lingers forever.

Thanks again Eric... You are a good BA.


Dec 27, 2011
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Mora2000 from Texas

4.52/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to ericandersnavy for sharing this bottle. Really excited to try this one. Dated 2008 on the label.

The beer pours a yellow color with a white head. The aroma is full of the classic Cantillon funk with some yeast, wheat and lemony notes. There is also a little bit of wet wood mixed in to the aroma, which smells amazing.

The flavor is a little more complex than the aroma. I get a lot of tart wheat and lemon notes, with some really nice funk and some oaked notes. There is also a little bit of apple notes as well as some nice sour notes. The sour and funk notes are not overpowering and are very well done. The beer is extremely easy to drink and very enjoyable.

The carbonation is absolutely perfect and the mouthfeel and about medium and very smooth.

Dec 12, 2011
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thagr81us from South Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review #1200!!! Massive thanks goes out to my boy beeruser for busting this out just because he knew I wanted to try it! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured a slightly hazy golden orange with a one finger pure white that subsided to a half finger slowly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, funk, fruit, tart, tart cherry, vinegar, wood, and sour apple. The flavor was of sweet malt, funk, sour apple, tart, fruit, subtle vinegar, wood, lemon rine, and tart cherry. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was an excellent brew. It is hard to believe that I finally got the chance to tick this one after chasing it for so long on the ISO:FT forum. It did not let me down at all... The aroma was surprisingly complex with all of the notes that I was able to pick up on. And the flavor took the same complexity and ran with it. Mouthfeel was spot-on for the style and made this one drink quite well. Worth the trade value if you have the weight to pull it. I plan to be trading for a bottle of two in the future based on this experience myself...

Dec 11, 2011
Crianza Helena from Brasserie Cantillon
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 209 ratings