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Cantillon Lambic | Brasserie Cantillon

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55 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Brasserie Cantillon

Style: Lambic - Unblended

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by TheLongBeachBum on 12-30-2002

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Reviews: 55 | Ratings: 244
Photo of MasterSki
4.32/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Firstly, I'm not even sure what to call the serving type - Dave Schuster and I were at the Cantillon brewery and were getting our samples at the end of the tour. I politely asked if they had an Faro or unblended Lambic and was told that there wasn't any around. Then an older man put on an apron, grabbed a hammer, bucket, and pitcher, went off somewhere and came back with a pitcher full of the unblended Lambic. Much appreciated - lovely people at Cantillon. Served in a flute glass - this was 2 years old.

A - Well, as per the style it was totally uncarbonated - there was maybe a touch of wispy foam if one swished it around and the faintest ring around the edge of the glass. The brew was a hazed golden apricot color with some visible sediment. I'm not sure how to objectively review this - the color was nice, but as beer it was not what one generally seeks out. I guess it was good for what it was?

S - Super funk with some sourness, some white wine, oak, apple cider vinegar, horse blanket, and mustiness. The funkiness is quite potent and the other smells are mostly peripheral. Still it's not aggressive like some of the gueuze I've had, and it's quite nice.

T - The taste is much milder and more mellow - a lot of graham cracker and marmalade sweetness that ends with a sour and funky finish. It actually reminded me of Zwanze '08, which isn't surprising as the lambic portion is about the same age and is the "base beer" for Zwanze.

M - Very similar to white wine - soft, some residual dry sourness, light side of medium bodied. Not a ton to describe here, but it was nice.

D - I'd heard so much about unblended lambic being aggressive and harsh, but this wasn't any of those things. The cask-style texture, low ABV, and lovely taste make this extremely session-worthy. Indeed this used to be the most popular Cantillon product 100 years ago.

Highly recommended if you happen to be in Brussels.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.55/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is the "oude" version, a 1998 bottle shared by Brad (I believe that was the date). Thanks Brad! Beer served in a snifter, at the time of this review, this is #5 on the "Top Beers - Lambic - Unblended" list on beeradvocate.com.

Beer is clear and still, amber with no head, no carbonation, interesting.

Aroma is mildly sour, a little cidery, interesting aroma, there are hints of the Cantillon style funk in there but mostly there is this almost sweet note to it.

Beer is medium in body, a little cidery on the nose, the finish is nice with a little tartness coming through, a shadow of funk is in there as well. I really am looking forward to one day trying this beer at the source.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.98/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a rating for the 1 year old Lambic. This was served from the cask at the brewery. This one-year-old was quite mellow, the characteristic Cantillon acidity had yet to come into full force. Served completely flat. The beer released a musty sour aroma to my nose. The taste though not overly acidic tasted of citrus. Tasted slightly herbal as well, with a faint woodiness to it. Definitely interesting to taste along with the other more aged products, still has a ways to go in the complexity department.

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Photo of biegaman
4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at Moeder Lambic, in Brussels.

Cantillon Lambic has a honey hue and is topped with a pillow - no, strike that, a mattress - of white head. Its complexion is clear but the tone is significantly dulled by haze. There's nothing really in the appearance to indicate what an unusual and unique style of beer this is.

To modern mainstream drinkers, Lambic will smell as if quality control has not been invented yet. It is overtly sour and funky, with a vinegar-like tang and an earthy mustiness like that you'd find in a barnyard. Cantillon's personifies all these "unique" qualities unapologetically.

The tartness of the flavour, however, is somewhat dialed down on the palate by a crisp straw-like and lightly honeyed maltiness as well as minor hints of marmalade. It can be difficult to get a good grasp on the flavour, not only because it's so distinct from other beers but also because the mouth dries up almost instantly.

Despite the unyielding persistence of foam atop, the beer is entirely flat. This is no surprise since it's served from cask (and hence the only carbonation mustered comes from gravity). This sample is also rather on the warm side (again, no surprise given it's July). Combined, these factors allow the acidic tartness to invade and conquer the aftertaste unencumbered.

Unblended lambics have no smooth edges. They can typically be summed up in three words: funk, funk, and funk. Both literally and figuratively they lack the 'pop' of Gueuzes and instead really narrow in on those aspects of the style that most resemble, as Martyn Cornell has put it, "a rugby team changing-room after a tough match on a hot day". Sound appealing? Strangely, it is!

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had from cask at Moeder Lambic, not far from the Cantillon Brewery itself.

Pours with a frothy head, but definitely uncarbonated. A bright and hazed golden colour forms the body. It's misty, tantalising and very refined. Head froths itself out after a while; it's just a product of the disturbance from the pour. Looks good though.

Nose is sharp and brusque, with a green crisp acidity, and a hint of rubber. Green apple skin with a touch of moldy undergrowth. Not as pungent as the most rip-roaring gueuzes, for example. For some reason I expected an unblended lambic to be sharper and stronger.

Taste is good. So good. Crisp and biting, and almost bitter-sour. Complex green apple skin mixes with melon and grapefruit tartness with a raw green bite on the back that gives an almost tannic character. Smooth and fruity, but missing some complexity that the gueuze blending gives. Feel is slick, light and flat from cask.

Very drinkable, and very enjoyable. A really good experience. This is definitely worth trying when you get the chance. And the temptation is surely great enough that every beer geek will get the chance at some point.

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Photo of Stevedore
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

6oz pour out of an unlabeled bottle at Brasserie Cantillon at the conclusion of the brewery tour. Poured into a Cantillon taster glass 7/3/2014.

App- Hazy dark orange body, minimal white head, no lacing. Looks very placid.

Smell- Funky, lemon zest, orange, more funk, horse blanket and hay. Strong nose and very interesting. It smells an awful lot like the brewery itself!

Flavour- Lemon zest, oak, horse blanket, hay, straw, earth. Good amount of vinegar acidity, perhaps 6/10. Just about what I expected after the brewery tour, smelling and nearly tasting the air.

Mouthfeel- Low carbonation, a bit flat. Makes sense why they blend young and old lambic to make geuezes. Dry, acidic yet refreshing.

Overall- Interesting. It seems to basically be Bruocsella Grand Cru, but more raw and with a bit more carbonation.

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Photo of bylerteck
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Moeder Lambic in Brussels. From notes.

A - Poured with a great fluffy white head at two fingers. Slight haze on a blonde body. Great retention but not lacing. Retention made up for it as it stayed solid.

S - Hay with a little cobweb. Very grapey as well.

T - Really sour. Horse blankety and pissy. Not sure how to describe alot of the characteristics, but I enjoyed it quite a bit.

M - Light body with medium carbonation. Like every Cantillon beer, this really attacks every corner of your mouth nicely.

O/D - I'm so jealous that people in Brussels can session this so easily. Quite a nice little sour beer. Lot's of flavour and an ABV considered low these days. It's worth marvelling at.

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Photo of claspada
3.92/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ Monks during Zwanze Day 2012.

Pours a mostly clear bright orange color with just a few bubbles of white foam on top; little to no lacing as I swirl.

Aromas begin with a great deal of musty oak, the most oak I have smelled in a lambic to date. As it warms I get a little cheesy funk and a touch of lemon peel.

The taste follow the nose with the drying oaking tannic flavors up front which transitions into sour lemon and some musty, earthy hay or dried grassy. The acidity and tartness is quite light at this point being so young; there is almost a sweet maltiness to it.

The mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium with little to no carbonation; it's actually pretty much flat. Finish is drying and oaky with some lingering sweet and sour notes.

Overall this was an interesting experience to taste a lambic so fresh and unblended. It is really oaky but not overly so but the lack of carbonation hurts the drinkability. It is still quite tasty just kind of one dimentional considering the unblended nature and the youth. I would definitely have it again but I don't NEED to as with other Cantillon offerings.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.64/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had to wait 2 days for Moeder Lambic to tap this, but I made sure to come back and get a glass. This isn't my favorite way to enjoy Cantillon creations, I definitely prefer their gueuze or fruit-conditioned lambics, but I was very excited to try the raw young (medium?) lambic.

The liquid was clear and bright colored, light gold I guess, with a good layer of foam despite the still nature of the product. It smelled like, well, Cantillon. Mild funk and a few hints of lactic activity. This may have been very young, this really wasn't very sour. In fact I'd be hard pressed to get a second glass, particularly with the taps list at my disposal here at Moeder Lambic, but it's very nice to taste the essence of Cantillon. This is the basic unit, as it were, and as I'm an average student of the style its worthwhile to understand it's contribution. It would be nice to try a Cantillon Oude Lambic, not sure if the bottle lambics qualify (they may).

If you see this jump at the chance. Same with raw lambic from any of the majors.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.32/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on-cask at the brewery, consumed while waiting out some rain

reviewed from brief notes

appearance: served in cantillon wine glass, hazy straw body, light beige ring, low carbonation

smell: really raw, funky, oak, white wine

taste: one of the funkier cantillons on our visit - a completely raw unblended lambic on cask for 2 euros - give me a break. this lambic has a nice must to it with lots of barnyard funk, hay, sour lemon, and grassy characteristics.

mouthfeel: no carbonation as expected, nice tartness

drinkability: good

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On cask at the GBBF.
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours murky orange with no head. Sweet vinegar nose. Lemon with a musty edge, hay and a cider bite. Light, clean, dry.

My first unblended lambic, so not sure what this is supposed to taste like. Not unpleasant; I finished a half pint without struggling.

2nd tasting:
From the barrel at the brewery, Brussels.
Hazy dark gold with no head. 4
Soft yellow apple, oak, flowers, cider vinegar, and a touch of acetone on the nose. 4
More yellow apple, the gentlest sourness, white grapefruit zest, some Band-Aids, and a slightly earthy linger. 4.25
Crisp, soft, round. 4

Appley, but a bit rough, too. Supremely mellow either way. Second day’s tasting revealed a bit whack of acetone, though, so there may be some variation in what they serve up to the tourists. 4.25

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Photo of cpetrone84
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Moeder Lambic. Pour is a peachy yellow, mostly transparent with a thin off white head. The nose has a touch of lemon with a nice dusty funk to it, cob webbs and light leather, more lemon with some golden fruits faintly weaved in at the end. The taste is extremely dusty and funky, very old bookshelf. There is some tart lemon that comes in as peaches, golden fruits and some floral bitter hops present themselves behind in order. The body is light, very gentle, soft carbonation and rather dry in the finish. Funky is the focus, age may add some fruit as this is probably a newer oude lambic.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

King of funk at spiders head
what can I say that has not been said
Turibd, flat, lifeless glass
Light brown honey is the draught

No more head whe presented to me
funky cob webs, spider-y
Had on draught at spiders head
for lambic lovers it goes straight to the head

Aromas of funk, and brett and yeast
this is wilder than a korean on a beach
Taste is funky sour citrus
when in Belgium, you can't miss this

Mouthfeel is light and flat and sour
So refreshing, can drink this all hours
of the day or of the night
drinkability stays just right

Oh pure lambic such a treat
Regular availability would be sweet !

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.52/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cantillon lambic is probably the hardest of all Cantillon beers to find, as it is only available in draft format, so you have to travel to Belgium to try it. (Saint Lamvinus is rare, but at least it is bottled and exported!!). Indeed, you will have to travel to Brussels itself to sample this beer. Because, I believe that it is only regularly available in only a small handful of places, the best of which is the In t' Spinnekopke (see BeerFly) which is located not that far from the Brasserie Cantillon, and is the highpoint of the walk back into Brussels Central from the Brewery itself.
This where I tried the beer on November 27th 2002. I believe that it is sold at about 1 years of age in the Spinnekopke.
The lambic arrived with quite a bit of life, but this does eventually settle to a usual fresh draft lambic looking fluid - almost flat and lifeless. The beautiful color of lambic is hard to describe other than to say that it looks like a draft lambic, this was a light brown color, though aged lambics may be darker and do change year to year. The odors are typical, mainly a mustiness, though not as extreme as say an Oud Beersel or Girardin lambic. The usual hints of the damp horse urine soaked straw, cow-shit and other musty marvellous fresh farmyard aromas are feint as they are somewhat masked by a lovely citric hint in the smell. Early on it is spritzy (a word often used to describe lambics/gueuzes and highly appropriate here). After time, it is less so. Tastes are of lemon drops mixed with some wood, oak perhaps, but this has a mild citric bite. All washed away in the end with the feint mustiness of freshly picked earth encrusted damp mushrooms. A dry beer, a totally astringent experience start to finish, and with no bitterness whatsoever, well maybe the very merest of hints.
You are drinking a beer that is still alive, and it shows.
Love It, or Hate It - this is a true experience everytime.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cask at Moeder Lambic Fontainas, served in a Cantillon tulip.

A: Hazy deep gold body under a finger of surprisingly persistent off-white froth. Spotty lace, even. Great.

S: Delicate yet dirty, with hay, barnyard, lemon, apple, and straight acidity. Solid.

T: Very funky, with some cheese joining the barnyard and hay from the nose. Some fruity lends sweetness and tartness to the back half, with green apple being prominent. Fairly dry, tart finish. Great stuff.

M: Soft, light-to-medium body with delicate carbonation. Terrific.

O: This is probably the best unblended one-year-old Lambic I've had. It can't match the depth of a well-aged Bruocsella, or De Cam Oude Lambik, but it's still great stuff.


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Photo of Sean9689
3.65/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for sending me this, Cory! 1998 vintage, kegged in 2001. Poured into Cantillon tasting glass.

A - Pours a yellow/orange/reddish color (depending on the light), some bubbles here and there, but otherwise, not much carbonation.

S - High level of puckering tartness, some fruity sweetness, old cheesy funk, slight touch of citrus. The nose has a lot of funky sour notes to it...smells pretty "raw".

T - Lemon peel, slightly salty, citrus, light sourness, and oak. Finish is bleu cheese funk mixed with some tart notes. The taste isn't quite as tart/sour/funky as the nose suggests. There's more cheese/dust/funk then anything. The hops are pretty much nonexistent, being almost 14 years old. As it warms, it reminds me of a slightly tart apple juice (minus the huge sugar) with a big emphasis on tart green apple notes.

M - Light, pretty much flat, dry finish.

O - Pretty good but not one of my favorites from Cantillon. The nose is good, but I don't think the taste lived up to what I was expecting. There's less complexity, but it is damn easy to drink. Obviously, you're going to try it, no matter what I say. It's Cantillon.

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Photo of patre_tim
4.34/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Really couldy but fine particles floating within, slightly milky, no carbonation, no head.

S: The sour, grainy, mash and the same oak aged scent that pervades the brewery all come through in this beer. Dry and Fruity.

T: No carbonation, grain mash and oak, dry, almost an apricot quality, sour.

M: No carbonation, very dry.

O: Drank at Cantillon Brewery, awesome experience. This one came with the brewery tour.

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Photo of harrymel
4.73/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

NOTE: this was drawn directly from a barrel at Cantillon Brewery in Brussels, Belgium. It is a blend of 2009-2010 batches of their spontaneous lambic. It can only be had at the brewery from what I understand. The description is a bit deceptive in that the beer is blended, but not triple blended as a gueuze would be (thus, flat).

Scene: me at Cantillon, "can I get a glass of the lambic?"
Lady: "yeah...oh, I'm sorry, we have to get some from a barrel, I don't have any. I'm very sorry."
Me: (hardcore grin) "Awesome. Can I take a picture?!"
Then we went to the barrel and she drew me up some lambic, which had bugs in it, which is awesome.

A: Flat copper ale with hint of haze. There are still 3 flies in my glass even after she tried to remove all of them (there were countless). Looks much like dark apple juice. No bubbles, no lacing; anticipated as much.

S: Smells of wood, brett, lemons, grapes (fermenting), eggs, meringue. Tough to really get a full wiff.

T: Initially, this hits the palate and tastes bland. In this phase you can taste mother's nature: soil, dried alfalfa, biscuits, lamb (yes, lamb). Then as I let the beer roll over the tongue, beautiful sour flavors emerge in tones of lemon, grapefruit, apple. Upon the finish, the buttery flavor reminds me vaguely of a short oaked chardonnay in French Oak (very low levels of oak). The finish is long and hard (that's what she said). This is truly the most multi layered beer I've tasted to date, truly outstanding in the flavors and my diction cannot do it justice.

M: Thin and flat, as anticipated. I acutally feel like carbonation on this beer would inhibit the nuances. The beer feels also like it has high surface tension: as though it's beading over my tongue rather than soaking in.

O: This is an experience I will likely have only once, but certainly I will recall it so frequently. My wife will be tired of hearing this story over and over. One of my best experiences. If you ever have the chance, try this, and at 2 euro, it's a bargain in my book.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.92/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Cantillon Single Barrel Lambic served at Armsby Abbey. Into a Cantillon flute. Reviewed from notes.

Beer is clear and golden with a .5 finger white head with little retention. No lace. Average for the style.

Nose is lemon rind, citrus tartness, mild hay, barnyard funk. Light, crisp, and aromatic. Nice.

Opens soft pineapple, peach, apricot, and lemon tartness. Woody towards the end with funky notes of cobwebs, hay and wet wood. Tart finish and aftertaste. Very soft. Super drinkable with good complexity.

Light bodied with high carbonation. Spritzy and lively in the mouth with a dry finish and puckering aftertaste. Incredible feel on this one.

A decent beer with nice complexity and an incredible mouthfeel. I can see where the Cantillon magic stems from. Definitely worth seeking out on tap.

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Photo of snaotheus
4.4/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a wine glass from a pitcher at the Cantillon brewery. They told me it was 100% 16 month old lambic.

Pours straw yellow, with little head. Slightly hazy. Smell is mild, lemons. Tart.

Taste is soft, slow, rich, sour but not overpowering. Nice bitterness. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel is velvet. Just lovely. Overall, very good.

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Photo of Arbitrator
4.12/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a glass poured out of a pitcher at the Cantillon brewery -- same story as MasterSki below, so I'm going with the "cask" designation. I was informed that this was an unblended January 2008 lambic.

A: No carbonation, but that's expected for something that was served out of the casks or whatever they're stored in. It generated some bubbles when swirled in the tulip, but that's about it. The body was a apricot/gold color with swirling sediment that gave it a glowing, murky appearance.

S: Very funky, with horse blanket and musty aromas. A lighter sourness was also present, with definite apple and white wine character to it. Tannins, as well.

T: Starts off tasting like orange and grapes, but it gets sour shortly, and extremely funky shortly after that. The final flavor is a lightly dry assortment of horse blanket and barnyard flavors, with the white wine and apple that I picked up in the nose.

M: Light-medium bodied, no carbonation except the mildest touch of bubbles, and a slightly dry finish with lingering funk.

D: I found this to be a relatively mild beer after having my palate conditioned by a taste of the Rose de Gambrinus. It was funky, but not in nearly as aggressive a manner as, say, DF Hommage. Nor was it sharply dry. Overall, it was very pleasant to drink.

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Photo of hooliganlife
4.55/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

vintage 98 aged 3 years and kegged in 2001. poured from a 1/2 barrel i think, filled into a growler, and served an hour later. i had this on tap as well before growler filling. taste is the same. MASSIVE thanks to brent from stlhops.com for bringing this!

pours a vibrant ruby orange. no head at all, a few bubbles on the sides.

light lemon with light sour tones. very light funk.

nice light lemon flavor through out with a strong lemon finish. the funk starts at the beginning but quickly disappears. this is mainly lemon through out with very little other sour flavors except some light grape and apple at the very end.

very light and easy. virtually NO carbonation at all. body feels a bit thin.

this is painfully easy to drink and insanely delicious. very refreshing through out and no overly anything.

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Photo of jaasen64
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is the un-blended 2 year Cantillon lambic served on-tap at Lord Hobo for Zwanze Day 2012. 12oz serving in a tulip glass ordered twice and consumed alongside other Cantillons including Zwanze '12. Supposedly this is very rare and we were told not many bars got this even for Zwanze Day.

A- Appears a bright still golden color with hardly any carbonation and absolutely no head. Some faint small carbonation bubbles here and there, but overall hardly any carbonation and absolutely no lacing.

S- Musty, Funky, a little bit of Vinegar. Fairly aromatic and comparable to a nice aged cheese.

T- Musty, funky, some light vinegar, very light acidic sourness on the finish.

M- Medium bodied, easy to drink, not really carbonated but doesn't really take away anything from the taste.

O- I'm very glad I got to try this- not only was it very interesting but it was very good. It was awesome being able to try this alongside other Cantillons. I wouldn't say this was as flavorful as other Cantillons, but it definitely had the unique Cantillon funk that the microorganisms in the brewery creat. For an unblended lambic this was fantastic and practically just as enjoyable as any blended lambic. Overall this was an awesome experience and I would recommend any one to try it as well if they get the chance.

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Photo of WillCarrera
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Churchkey for Zwanze 2012, aged 2 years. Poured into a pint glass.

A- Pours a clear golden orange color with a thin white head that quickly fades.

S- Very funky, some barnyard character but also lots of musty cheese, lemony citrus and some wood.

T- Similar to the nose, lots of funk with hay and cheese, decent amount of lemony tartness and lactic acidity, the finish is super dry and astringent with some wood flavor.

M- Light-bodied, bone dry with light acidity.

O- A very interesting beer, not my favorite from Cantillon but it's still a great beer and cool to compare to Bruocsella.

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Photo of drtth
3.65/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at the Brewery in a flute glass. This beer was from the 09-10 brewing season and was drawn from the cask about an hour before I sampled it. Bottle of spring water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As poured the beer was faintly hazed orange color with a faint reddish tinge. There was no head on the beer but this is pretty much to be expected with an unblended lambic. There was a little ring of bubbles around the glass and swirling did generate some signs of carbonation, but there was neither head nor lacing.

Smell: The aromas were soft and gentle (or light and faint) but with a definitely grainy component and a hint of citric tartness. (I was reminded in some ways of the grainy bready aroma in maibocks.)

Taste: The flavor is quite mild with some bready character and a touch of grainy sweetness. There are hints of the sour tartness to come but not a lot of anything funky showing yet.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium bodied with a soft smooth creaminess despite the almost non-existent carbonation. The finish was towards the long side as the beer finally showed a tartness that left a faint astringency and after taste in the back of the mouth and palate.

Drinkability and Overall Impression: I thought this was a very interesting beer to sample since it is, or will become, one of the components of Gueuze. Since it has already passed its first birthday, but not by much, it clearly has some maturation in its future before being blended with the other lambics that will one day join it to make up a Gueuze. I’m guessing that this one has to be let age a lot longer so that more of the mustiness and sourness can develop. My overall impression, as I’m learning more about Lambics and Gueuzes, is that this was a great opportunity to taste one of the beers that the blender works with. While it was not an exceptional beer the experience was unique and worth seeking out if possible.

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Cantillon Lambic from Brasserie Cantillon
4.11 out of 5 based on 244 ratings.
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