Cantillon Crianza Helena | Brasserie Cantillon

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Cantillon Crianza HelenaCantillon Crianza Helena

Brewed by:
Brasserie Cantillon

Style: Gueuze

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ggaughan on 01-06-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 92 | Ratings: 205
Photo of alfrantzell
3.65/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to xpimptastikx for this bottle, vintage 2008. Shared at a tasting with Arbitrator, chswimmer, largadeer, nanoslug, nickd717, Sandstone, and 2oztoFreedom.

Smells like newly struck matches and -bal aged toes. Smacks of lemon juice, white wine, oak staves, and.. sugar? There's a residual sweetness that coats the mouth, probably from the cognac barrels.

Sweet sourness is the province of Flanders Reds; it doesn't do gueuze any favors. This is Boon territory. That in conjunction with the abundant carbonation makes me wonder if there was corporate sabotage at play. Rest assured, I'll get to the bottom of this. Just let me get to the bottom of my glass first.

Okay, I'm on it.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.67/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Chilled bottle into a glass. Shared by alfrantzell a while back. From notes.

A: Pours a hazy golden-straw body with off-white head. Standard for a lambic; nothing offensive or outstanding. I'd prefer more clarity, but I'm not sure if that's a fair expectation.

S: Footy, salty. Barnyard, grapes, leather, musk.

T: This is sweeter than I would expect a gueuze to be. Grape sugar, apparently cognac. It dominates the funk and leather, suppressing the gueuze characteristics I enjoy.

M: More carbonated than I like. Not impossible to deal with, but it's a criticism.

D: I wasn't particularly impressed with this. Too dry can be a problem for lambics, but this misses the mark in its own way. I might try again but I didn't go crazy enough to hunt it down once more. Thanks for sharing, Arne.

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Photo of Chaney
3.88/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thank you Brad (ygtbsm94) for bring this VERY sought after brew to an excellent tasting!

A: Pours a golden color, mildly cloudy, with a small frothy head.

S: Sour, but not in a fruity way, but in a "it just is..." kind of way. There is an unusual flame, or fire note in this. NOT BURNT, but just fiery!

T: Same as the nose, but with even a more pronounced cinder block undertow. The acidity is great for the style, and the finish is very dry.

M: A bit oily (in a good way), and the bubbly carbonation has a good bite to it.

D: The chances of me trying this brew again are slim, but I'm so glad (and lucky) to have gotten to try it. For my money, I could have used some fruit in the overall product .... but that's just me.

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Photo of stakem
3.98/5  rDev -10%
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.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.99/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared at a tasting. Poured 3oz. into a small snifter. Reviewed from notes.

A: Poured a 1 finger white head that dissipates quickly. Beer is a slightly cloudy orange-yellow. Lacing is sparse and with little cling.

S: Nose is wood, bark, tart, and stale rubber. Tickles the insides of my nostrils. Cognac barrels are present but relegated to the background. Aromatic and very style appropriate.

T: Opens mildly tart and slight woody in the back. Yeasty bitterness is present towards the middle and finish but this is mostly covered but a lemon, citrussy sourness. Slightly peppery. Brett funkiness appears towards the end just before the finish which dries out the palate. Aftertaste is tart.

M: Light to medium bodied, light carbonation. Sticky and oily in the mouth. Saliva enducing puckering sourness. Messy finish with a dry, lingering aftertaste.

D: A very solid offering from Cantillon but this isn't too much (if at all) better than an aged Classic Geuze. Cognac barrels are detectable but just barely and is lost on someone who's palate isn't sophisticated enough to appreciate the subtleties of that flavor. Again, a very good beer but not worth trading house and home for.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a slightly hazy golden color lambic with a huge foamy head with good retention and some great lacing. Aroma consists of sour notes with some light funk and some notes of oak and acidity are also clearly detectable. Taste is more similar to the regular lambic then I would have expected with the classic Cantillon acidity and the deep sour notes. I honestly can't say I really tasted the cognac or Bordeaux barrel. Still very much enjoyable though not as special as I was expecting.

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Photo of Sean9689
4/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Chris for breaking this bottle out for our tasting.

A - Pours golden yellow, fizzy head, thin cap on top and a ring around the glass and some spotty lacing.

S - Great funk notes, tart/sour, cheese, oak.

T - Not quite as funky as the nose was suggesting. Funk, cheese, barnyard, oak barrels, cognac. The cognac spirit is very-much pronounced on the palate while it barley shows up on the nose. This gives the beer a nice twist, which would otherwise make this a rare Classic Gueuze that I could buy down the street.

M - Light, champagne-esk, dry finish.

D - I finished my glass with ease, and would gladly have another. A very nice gueuze, but not sure I'd go crazy to find another bottle. That said, put it in front of me again, I'll drink it! Recommend.

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Photo of kbutler1
4/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Pours a clear slightly orange color with a light white head. Funky, barnyard, lemony aromas in the nose. Not a big cognac drinker so fo rme pinpointing that aroma was tough although this did have a barrel type aroma to it. Light mouhfeel with good carbonation. Slightly tart wih notes of pepper and lemon. Acidic and funky comes to mind. The pepper taste gets in the way of the overall enjoyment of the beer but it is really good. Very easy drinking.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.02/5  rDev -9%
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.

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Photo of DaveJanssen
4.03/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 split two ways at De Heeren. Poured into Cantillon wine glasses. Served at cellar temp. Reviewed 19 June 2011.

Ar: Floral, chalky, lemon, dirty, strong chalky/dusty, straw, mild cheesyness, strong dry earth, waxy, green

Ap: Thick off white head, good retention, very mild haze, straw colored

T: Chalky, lime, tropical fruit, restrained lemon acidity, dusty/dry celalr, unique dry earthyness, hay, wood, pleasant citrus, green/underripe fruit, waxy, mild bitterness, lingering waxy character, moderate funk, lightly herbal, storng applesauce

M: Light body, medium/high carbonation, chalky fiinsh, bright green acidity

O: Unique, strange waxy/dry earth character, srong applesauce, strange funk, original and good.

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Photo of beerwolf77
4.05/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another insane beer busted out by Jon at our tasting. dudes seriously got a bottomless bag of tricks. Thanks again Jon. Poured into my tasting glass from a bottle.

A: Golden yellow hue. Just a wisp of white head no lace.

S: Super funky. Loads of wet straw and horse blanket. Wet wood and plenty of sour lactic goodness.

T: Typical lactic sour. Lemons, green apples and wet wood. Modest amount of white pepper and earthy undertones.

M: Light crisp body. Teeth clenching sour and dry finish.

D: Another sour beer another pleasurable drinking experience.

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Photo of BearsOnAcid
4.08/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear golden orange hue, small fluffy head.

Soft lambic aroma fusing a sweet vinious aesthetic and mellow toffe scented cognac.

Mild brett accents with a tartness that is a bit subtle than most Cantillons but burns a little going down. Reminds of maybe a younger lambic. Cognac is most noticeable, lending a little bit of toffee and spice to the mix. An interesting experiment that executed successfully but seems to be made with some restraint.

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Photo of Khazadum
4.08/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

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Photo of alcstradamus
4.1/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to the "King of Beers" Jon for sharing this one.

Poured into a 5 oz. taster glass. Not a proper vessel for reviewing appearance, so my rating for this category is adjusted to create an accurate overall score.

Pours a clear effervescent golden color. The aroma is huge with a sweet and boozy corn/hay profile and some oxidation.

The flavor is sour up front with an apple juice and Cheerios mid-palate. Some apple skin and boozy sweetness in the finish.

The body is medium and carbonation is low and appropriate.

Overall this was tasty but not very complex at all in the world of Cantillon and really is not an improvement in any way over their standard gueuze. Nonetheless, it was a still a fantastic beer that is unfortunately too rare for its own good.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.1/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a tasting glass. Thanks to John for sharing this one!

(A)- Pours a clear goldenrod color that produced a good white head.

(S)- Dry, yet lightly earthy with light funk and must. Bits of lemon and a subtle underlying sweetness.

(T)- Rather sour up front with an added dryness. Minimal tart fruits with some mild background spice of some sort. Mild brett detectable.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Good sour profile. A touch of like a woody spice that I know learned was cognac barrels; makes sense now.

(D)- A nice profile to it for sure that fits the style, but dropped lower on the radar for me with everything else we were trying that evening. Still solid stuff though.

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Photo of Tnudish
4.1/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

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Photo of ArrogantB
4.1/5  rDev -7.2%
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. Choice. 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 like a special 'llon 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.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.12/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.12/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big ups to spycow for this 750ml bottle served in a tulip...appearance - nothing of note...The aroma is pretty nice however wish it was stronger, giving off more funk. Horse blanket, lemon, oak and on the finish a hint of the cognac. Gladly the cognac doesn't come through stronger...The taste is more sour than the aroma, its funky but not a pucker at all, more cognac comes through. A really nice feel on the palate.

Another good Cantillon, a hot beer because of the rarity but don't pursue if it costs a ton.

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Photo of MrFootstones
4.13/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to hobojon for bringing this back from De Heeren. Split two ways into a tulip glass.

Pours with a thick dense head which forms a lasting 5mm foam cap. Bright golden in color and fairly clear.

Smells like Cantillon! Light but sharp funk, ripe citrus, musty oak, a grassy meadow, even.

Tastes lemony (zest, pith, and juice). Clean, mild brett character, hay. Intriguing barrel notes and a touch of sweet malt in the finish.

Not overcarbed, slightly slick. Leaves teeth and mouth with tannic coat.

Very delicious. Not the most complex beer, but a clean and focused offering from Cantillon that is a step above their standard gueuze for me.

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Photo of baconsausage
4.15/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared at Lobo's Darkness Day get together.

yellow hay straw pour with thin white head that settles to a whispy crown. Aromas mostly of over-ripe mango and pinapple, some lemon and a bit of wet oak. Wow is this well balanced. A bit of tart acidity on the front that gives way to light funkyness and barrel notes. More of the overripe fruit, like a tropical apple sauce balanced out with a bit of tart lemon. Nice in the mouth, a bit smooth for a gueze (barrel booze?) but I wont hold that against it. Great to try this gem. Thanks!

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Photo of Jwale73
4.15/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I usually don't review small samples, but having been afforded the chance to try this rare beer by Chris Lively at the Lion's Pride's Vagabond post-release party, I had to take advantage of this rare opportunity. Served in a wide-mouth, stemmed tasting glass. Poured a honey gold with a swirl of foam comprising the head - some spots of lacing, but weak legs. Nose was subtle, yet complex - some funk, as well as an earthy/horse blanket quality, hay, followed by citrus and the scent of cork. Taste was light - some wood, a strong, yet not overpowering citrus quality formed the backbone, with some wood that comes out towards the latter half, followed by some cork. Mouthfeel was light in body with a lively background effervescence, culminating in a dry and clean finish. Incredibly easy drinking gueze - nice balance with no detectable abv - a pleasant spritz to the palette. I am truly thankful for the experience.

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Photo of nkersten
4.17/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared by Chris (thanks!) and reviewed from notes. Poured from bottle into tulip with a light golden body and small white head that quickly fades. Smell is characteristic Cantillon funkiness - very similar to iris, lemon tartness, barnyard funk, some oak. Taste is a pretty intense sour, barnyard, hay, some cheese flavors, a bit of cognac, oak, and apple skins in the finish. Mouthfeel is light bodied, medium to high carbonation and incredibly dry. The sourness of this beer is almost overwhelming when the dryness is factored in. A good beer and I happily finished my pour, but I would most likely not go out of my way to try this again.

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Photo of craytonic
4.17/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.19/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

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Cantillon Crianza Helena from Brasserie Cantillon
4.42 out of 5 based on 205 ratings.
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