Cantillon Don Quijote | Brasserie Cantillon

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Cantillon Don QuijoteCantillon Don Quijote
83 Ratings
Cantillon Don QuijoteCantillon Don Quijote

Brewed by:
Brasserie Cantillon

Style: Belgian Fruit Lambic

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
A fruit lambic brewed with Italian grapes similar to Concord grapes or Fox grapes (Vitis Labrusca) brewed exclusively for a Florence, Italy, Pub in 2008.

Added by kappldav123 on 06-12-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 83 |  Reviews: 47
Reviews by Dreadnaught33:
Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, never thought I'd try this but there it is. Thanks to Brad (of course) for sharing this amazingly rare and awesome beer. 2008 vintage.

A: Beautiful ruby red with a orange-yellow core to it. Little head to top it off.

S: fruit juice nose with some lactic, woody notes and dry tart grape, berry and raspberry in the nose. Some malt, but it's really about funky fruit here with some barnyard smells mixed in.

T: Wow. Stunning crisp grape and berry mix of flavors with the classical cantillon sour edge that is perfect. Subtle malts intertwine the fruit and wood. Dry to finish.

M: Awesome feel, just right carbonation. Amazing.

D: What can I say, it's great man.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of joel66
4.83/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

If i could have sex with a beer, id fuck the shit out if don q. Its that good!
Grape jam , flavor and taste, ton of fruit, light tartness, incredibly well balanced. Pinot di aunis is a very close second but jesus this beer is good. If only it was readily available!

Until we meet again

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Photo of jegross2
4.87/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewing the infamous Don Quijote from Brasserie Cantillon out of Belgium. This grape lambic was brewed exclusively for the Goblin Pub in Italy.

Score: 98

2008 vintage bottle served in an Iris balloon glass and enjoyed on 04/25/14. Review is from iPhone notes.

Appearance: Pours a lovely pinkish-brownish-orange color with gorgeous fade towards the edges. No head off the pour. No lacing or retention. Real nice color, however. 4.5/5

Smell: Bold and distinctive Kedeem Kosher-for-Passover concord grape juice mixed with a lovely and bright tropical fruitiness and a light oakiness. Hint of vinegar too. I really dig the sour tropical fruit-spiked grape juice nose here. No funkiness. 5/5

Taste: Less complex and bold than the nose, but nonetheless tasty. Upfront is a relatively mellowed grape juice flavor that does not come across as sugary-sweet as it did in the aroma. Good tartness upfront too. Muted fruitiness towards the finish, with a lasting sourness. The grape flavor is somewhat crisp, with the linger being more of the lemon, hint of mango and mineral water character typical of Cantillon. This beer is quite lovely tasting, but the taste is not quite the fruity Kedeem grape juice bomb that the nose is. No real funk, save for a hint of such towards the finish. 4.75/5

Mouthfeel: Super juicy mouthfeel with a lightly dry finish. Lovely tartness that is not too subtle nor too intense, and a marvelously balanced acidity. 5/5

Overall: Supremely well-balanced and pleasantly fruity with minimal, if any, funk. This is one of the few whales out there that lives up to its mythos. While not cheap, it was certainly worth the once-in-a-lifetime tick. My only regret is that there was not more in the bottle to sip and savor.

Cost: $900 for a 375 ml bottle.

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Photo of lawsonciv
5/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is unbelievable. I have never had a beer so hyped (and so damn expensive) but it was worth every penny. The hype is real on Mr. Donnie Quijote. Tons of grapes on the nose with a more subtle grape flavor in the taste. I imagine a bit of the grape has gone away in the last 6 years this bottle has been aging. Beautiful beer. I would spend $100 an oz again. haha

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.62/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

4oz. sample poured into a Founders snifter. 750ml capped and corked bottle. Reviewed from notes. The beer of the night! Shared at Mikey711's tasting on 10/16/10.

A: Pours a filmy white lace atop the brew that reveals very little carbonation. Not the most impressive but very lambic-like. Beer is a cloudy reddish-tomato. Lacing is thick and sparse with good cling.

S: Grape peel and pulp upfront with a huge, pungent cheese, cobweb, and funky feet aroma. Holy moly, this beer doesn't hide a thing! Sweet with just the smallest hint of booze in the background. Very pungent and spoiled (in a good way) but absolutely, unmistakably delicious.

T: Tart and sweet grape upfront. Spicy, floral, and very very cheesy. Tartness creeps in towards the middle and end with the fruit never really fading but rather, sharing in the display. Absolute perfect balance the whole way through. Dries right before the finish which is fruity and and sours with a quick, sweet aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied and very lightly carbonated. Smooth and silky in the mouth and goes down so easily, caressing the palate all the way through. It doesn't get any better than this. Finish is relatively clean with a quickly dissipating aftertaste.

D: With this and Blabaer, Cantillon can do no wrong! Almost perfect in every sense of the word. Not the most complex beer but very well balanced and I feel like it does what it sets out to do perfectly, which is display a prominent fruit in a lambic setting. Worthy of all the praise!

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Photo of mikey711
4.77/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I couldn't have been any more excited to try this one!

A: It pours a cloudy ruby red with a light level on fluffy white head that leaves behind nice lacing.

S: Oak and grapes prevail, but the longer this one breathed, the more funk and hay notes came out of it. there is quite bit of a welshes grape juice fruitiness that bblends very nicely with the oak.

T: Grape skins, tart lemon, some woodiness, barnyard hay funkiness. The welshes grape juice characteristic was definitely there but it also had a bit of a grape and lemonade mixture that i found quite enjoyable

M: Very smooth with some spritziness. pretty clean with a bit of dryness in the finish

D: I wish i could drink this all day everyday. incredibly easy to drink and super refreshing. Must get more

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Photo of hooliganlife
4.57/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

never ever thought i would be doing this....

pour was a faint red with some violet. head was white and frothy with a hint of faint color like light red in it. some retention and lacing. pour was from towards the top so it was fairly clear and clean.

scent was interesting. lots of cheese, old sweat, musty, with this light sharpness and intense concord grape. very complex and interesting.

starts out quite sour and intense, then starts to fade out with a just amazing combination of subtle oak, mustiness, and straight grape in the finish. the grape just sits on the tongue. yes.

nice and dry with some help from the oak. nice mild carbonation, slight sweetness.

this was amazing, lots of interesting characteristics all over it.

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Photo of nickd717
4.12/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

RATING #1000!!! MILESTONE TICK HERE I COME!!! The tick train keeps rolling on, plowing over anyone who stands in its way. 750ml bottle shared by MasterSki.

The color is hazy reddish-copper and the white head leaves a thick white ring on the glass. Good lacing.

The aroma is interesting - red grapes, funk, earth, and cobwebs.

The flavor has a lot in common with Welch's grape juice, but in a very good way. Concord grape, goat blanket, and typical Cantillon funk.

Nice palate - medium acidity with medium body and somewhat lively carbonation.

Very good fruit lambic overall. Justifies the hype for the most part.

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Photo of BOLTZ7555
4.84/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle acquired via trade with daknole and shared @ RBWG...Dak you ROCK!!! Honestly, I love sours but have never seen/appreciated the wizardry of Cantillon. All prior brews were so jaw-locking that I didn’t really enjoy them. This one has made me reconsider and has opened my eyes to what this brewery can do. Popped the cork on this one and immediately noticed the fragrant aroma. I was awe-struck...this is the best smelling sour I have ever had the pleasure of inhaling. Incredible grape, tart cherry skin, lemon pith, and balsamic vinegar make their way to the nose. Extremely bright fruit presence, minimal funk in the aroma. Visually, this one was watermelon in color with a nice wispy white head. Solid carbonation. Beautiful. Flavor is vastly different that the aroma (and reading the ratings, it appears that everyone’s perception was skewed based on where in the bottle you got a sample). Tons of funk, horse blanket, and lemon Jolly Rancher accompany raspberry, grape, and wild cherry. Extremely acidic. Could drink this all day, every day. Truly incredible.

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Photo of durwoodx
4.75/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of largadeer
4.32/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for sharing this, Alex.

The body is hazy reddish-amber, almost purple, and nicely carbonated. A half-inch head slowly settles to a collar, leaving scattered lacing.

It smells unlike any other beer I've had. Leathery and dusty with a unique musty grape character that smells both sweet and earthy. The similarity to concord grapes is apparent, it has a trace of that candy-like sweetness.

While the aroma hints at sourness, on the tongue it's sharply sour, surprisingly so, lactic in character. The grapes lend an interesting musty, earthy, semi-sweet flavor that does a good job of balancing the acid. It's very mouthwatering and fruity, and light on the tannins and oak for a Cantillon beer. The finish is clean and bright, and it's very easy to drink despite the strong acidity. Very enjoyable, one of the most unique beers in Cantillon's lineup.

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Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.67/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

One of my contributions to our Pittsburgh tasting. This was a 750mL bottle that I was lucky enough to procure from a very generous person.

The color is an interesting pink-highlighted red that glows an almost DAY-GLO orange when it is in the presence of a light source. There is very coarse head that dissipates as quickly as it forms. Streamers of bubbles work their way upwards from 5 nucleation points around the bottom of the glass. The body is somewhere in between clear and translucent.

The aroma blows me away with the most insane funky, sweaty hoseblanket that I have ever smelled. It completely dominates the initial impression of the aroma. It gives way to a sweet grape aroma that is still steeped in funky stank. The bouquet is rounded out by a big earthiness.

Drink this one at cellar temp and above. It starts off great, and steadily improves as it warms. Around 60F, it really hits its peak. There is a medium-range sourness that is quickly dominated by the huge bretty and wild funkiness that was so powerful in the nose. Florentine grapes add a notable and welcome fruity sweetness to an otherwise funky and sour beer. Don Quijote finishes up by drying out the palate with an awesome dryness and oodles of earthy tannic notes. As good as this is right now, age will only serve let this mature and improve even more.

In typical Cantillon fashion, the DQ has a spritzy initial feel with a spot-on light-to-medium texture. The finish is bone dry. Complex and deep, and extremely delicious. There is way more to that funk than I am capable of describing with my vocabulary. This is, without a doubt, one of the driest and funkiest lambics I have ever had the pleasure of enjoying. The grape fruitiness serves only to bring this back closer to center on the sour spectrum, while adding some very subtle and well-balanced fruit notes to the otherwise dry and earthy brew. Cantillon does it again. Easily one of my favorite offerings from one of the world's best lambic brewers. Hype aside, this is a worthwhile beer to pursue.

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Photo of BearsOnAcid
4.16/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy brick red color. Small collection of tiny bubbles along the wall of the glass. The smell combines mild mushrooms, damp earth, slight vinegar, sweaty feet, grape skins, and some faint smell I could only compare to a box of crayons. Ultimately this beer is straight up funky as hell. Like someone dumped a bag of top soil into a locker filled with dirty gym clothes.

The flavor has a lot of super tart berries and dry wine characteristics. Almost like a cross between a Rose and Labrusca wine. Tannins from the grape skin aren't really noticeable. Slight waxy flavor that is linked to the crayon smell I got. A little oily on the palate. This beer is very tart. Dry brett finish. Once again, Cantillon made another super complex grape lambic. And an interesting choice in using labrusca grapes.

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Photo of ChrisPro
4.75/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of aasher
3.8/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of alcstradamus
4.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to myself for destroying my credit score for this one. Shared with a group of like-minded gentlemen.

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 with a crimson hue. The aroma is Welch's Grape Poop. OK, actually I didn't get a lot of manure, I just wanted to say Welch's Grape Poop. The Welch's Grape is definitely accurate, however.

The flavor is insanely delicate and balanced. Tart grapes and a quickly disappearing sourness up front. Rich fruitiness that meshes perfectly with earthiness and funk. Brilliant, really.

The body is slightly high on the carbonation. Overall this is a sublime fruit lambic, but I think it also still has room to mature and gain complexity. Opening my only other bottle is going to take a lot of guts.

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Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -12.5%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.6/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very excited to be able to try this one. 375mL bottle.

Pours a bit lighter than cranberry juice. Maybe a slight golden tint, but not much--this is pretty much all red. Absolutely gorgeous color. Nice thin white head and some lacing as it goes down. Nose brings forth plenty of sour grapes along with some Brett and a bit of sourness. Also some hay and oak in there. The flavor really accentuates the grapes, and leaves the funk and the sourness in the background. I really like where it ended up. Mouthfeel is nice, as the interplay between the fruit flavors and the funky sourness are really carried by the carbonation. Drinkability is really quite great, as this finds a very nice balance between fruit, funk, and sour.

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Photo of grub
3.56/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

lantern corps beer summit 2010 - day 2, oct 9/2010. tpd975 contributed this one. thanks greg!

750ml corked and capped bottle.

pours muddy red, a bit clearer toward the top of the bottle. no head and no sign of lace.

aroma is ok. feet. alcohol. bit of nail polish remover. earth and a bit of wood. malt vinegar. bit of dark fruit. nutty.

taste is nice. similar to the aroma, but with less of the feet and other harsh notes. leather. horse blanket. sherry. low bitterness level. medium acidity.

mouthfeel is goood. light body with a fairly dry finish. medium-low carbonation level.

drinkability is good. not the worst sour i've had, but certainly not the best either. a little rough around the edges, but not unpleasant overall.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.7/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Review #500. Big thanks to a very generous Sean9689 for succumbing to peer pressure and popping this treat open.

A - Orangish color with a slightly offwhite head that looked a little bit carbonated, surprisng for the type of beer this is. Has some nice brownish, purple hues to it, giving the hint of the concord grapes in there.

T - Oh God, I hate doing this after drinking the beer because it was nice and tasty, but I got the very distinct smell of horse manure. It litererally smelled so much like horse shit, that I had to not breath through my nose while I was drinking this (I worked with horses for a while, and it was like mucking out the stables). HUGE manure smell, not just kind of stinking, but like I stuck my face in a pile of it, wow. I don't know how everyone else was enjoying the smell, it got described by them as "horsey" or "farmy" but it was so bad for me I was repulsed. So strange, maybe just an off nose that day but I couldn't stand it. On the plus side, some nice grape came through, but I really couldn't keep sticking my nose in this much.

T - As long as I wasn't breathing through my nose, it tasted very well. Surprised that I couldn't taste horse shit, or at least my perception of it, given how closely smell and taste are linked. There is definately a lot of old barn smell in there, slightly damp hay, horse leather and blanket, and the concord grapes have a very strong, but not overpowering, grape taste. Some nice funk and tartness, it is the nicest bit jammy.

M - Jammy, smooth, dry, has a bit of a sparkling bubble carbonation, which suits it well.

D - I got it all down, but I had to hold my breath due to the horse shit taste. Other than that, this was a great beer.

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Photo of Jw347
4.92/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

375ml bottle pours a cloudy orangish red with a small beige head. Smells of wonderful fruits with a nice hit of funk. Amazingly smooth, much more so than any other Cantillon I have had to date. .Tastes of strawberries and a slight hint of grape but strawberries is the forfront flavor with a slight acidity to follow. Wonderful beer for sure, and will probably only get better with age.

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Photo of BucketBoy
4.77/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Review from notes. Tasted at Ryan's Labor Day tasting 2011. I forget exactly who brought it, but thanks for sharing this awesome bottle! I had this again a second time (thanks, Dan and Trey!) in March 2012 and that bottle seemed to have somewhat significantly faded fruit (the bottle was turned every few months; perhaps that had something to do with it). This first bottle was just sheer awesomeness - a real grape jam bomb.

L - Juicy red-purple haze - what a distinct color. Amazing!

S - Shit and Welch's grape jelly. Deep horse blanket, two-day-old uncleaned barn stalls, jammy red grapes, grape skins.

T - So delicious. Near perfection for a fruited lambic. Cantillon always kills it with the grape sours, and needs to continue to make more. Just delicious and deep - lactic tartness, grass, sharp cheese, ripe socks, and that huge Welch's concord grape jelly fills the mouth.

M - Soft, smooth, infinitesimally small grainy vinousness sticks to my tongue.

O - I love this beer! This bottle was fantastic, but the second bottle I tried in 2012 was faded in the fruit (though still very tasty) - I would need to taste this again before trading for a bottle, as I am fearful that what made it so spectacular, the grape, may be falling off. Could simply have been bottle variation or storing differences too.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.82/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a tasting glass. Crazy thanks to Adam for sharing this one!

(A)- Pours a hazy mahogany yet reddish hue. Has some golden orange/caramel highlights. Some transparent bubbles.

(S)- First off, yes, the consensus was that this smells like manure, but I find that it did have that "poop" aroma, however it was far more like that earthy barnyard sense with some poop in there. That combined with a rather fruit forward dark grape aroma really made it almost straightforward, yet a dynamic smell for me; I like it.

(T)- Like the smell, it is quite fruit forward with a delicate tart sourness. Really is quite harmonius with that earthy aspect and some nice mellow acidic fruits.

(M)- A slightly bigger carbonation level that I expected, but not really bothersome to me. It is really well balanced without being too sour or acidic.

(D)- A refreshing offering by Cantillon. Has a really nice profile that I enjoyed immensely. Great fruit profile. Not necessarily the best beer of the night, but certainly perhaps one of the more unique ones.

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Photo of Ilovebrew
4.75/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of randomdanger
5/5  rDev +9.4%

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Cantillon Don Quijote from Brasserie Cantillon
Beer rating: 4.57 out of 5 with 83 ratings