Cantillon Saint Lamvinus | Brasserie Cantillon

Cantillon Saint LamvinusCantillon Saint Lamvinus
BA SCORE
4.54/5
2,100 Ratings
Cantillon Saint LamvinusCantillon Saint Lamvinus
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brasserie Cantillon
Belgium
cantillon.be

Style: Lambic - Fruit

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Everyone knows some of our best friends are wine growers from the Libourne region in France, more specifically those who make Saint Emillion and Pomerol. They respect the tradition and let their wine ferment in a natural way.

Fermentation, origin and vintage are still kept up.

Our collaboration resulted in a product uniting the best of their wine and of our beer : the Saint-Lamvinus.

The grapes, of the merlot and cabernet-franc varieties, are soaked in Bordeaux barrels containing two to three years old lambic. The beer is not blended before the bottling. The foam is caused by the addition of a liquor which starts the fermentation.

Added by truthbrew on 03-20-2003

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#75
Reviews:
483
Ratings:
2,100
pDev:
7.49%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
1,420
Gots:
449
Trade:
41
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,100 |  Reviews: 483
Photo of Sammy
4.35/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Expensive. Powerful sourness from tannins of the skins, with bursting aroma of oak and berries. Beautiful. The Palate cleaner. Not for the novice, but certainly a hit. Astringent yet balanced. I saved this for the boys, Radekfest 05 sample 26. An experience to be had once.

 273 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
4.49/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of acurtis
4.25/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.44/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to drewone for sharing this one at jmgrub's tasting.

2010 vintage.

Pours a hazy orange-red with a foamy off-white head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is sour with malt, grain, grape, fruit, funk, and acidic aromas. Taste is much the same with sour grain, grape, and fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and dry mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer that is quite sour but refreshing to drink.

 617 characters

Photo of GRG1313
4.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Review updated - now 3 years later and from bottle. Numbers in review reflect bottle grade for 2013.

* * * *
What follows is original "on tap" review from 2011.

Pleased and surprised when I walked into City Beer in S.F. (only the second time there) and found this on tap. What a rare treat!

Pours a dark cranberry with purple tint. Very short quick fading white head. Looks fresh and appealing.

Nose is a really nice funk. The brett comes through and if you don't like brett perhaps one shouldn't be drinking these kinds of brews. This one shows greast "barnyard" "wet horse blanket" character with very nice undertones of purple grapes and hint of fruit. Told this can was fresh and expected a bit more from the nose. Nice but perhaps a bit disappointing.

Mouthfeel was medium/light, dry and pleasant. Well balanced with good carbonation but did not have the bright character one might expect in a well made Cantillon. However, it als was not as tart as expected or desired, likely a result of its freshness.

Flavor profile was "acceptable"and "pleasant." These are not the words one wants to use (or the character of a beer one wants to taste) when tasting Cantillon. Light, pleasant unassertive flavor profile. Hints of grape, hints of green apple with very little tartness. Probably the least tart Cantillon I've ever tried. Pleasant but that was about it. Nothing to rave about.

One loves that fact that this is rare to find on tap (at least in my experience here in California) and having any Cantillon is always a treat. All in all a disappointment from the Cantillon I've had in the past and I've had a great many. Candidly, the bottles I've had have much more character and distinction.

Kudos to City Beer and a great "bragging rights" experience. However, not a brew "to remember."

 1,802 characters

Photo of spycow
5/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.51/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

magic. pours raspberry pinky color, a little hazy, with a finger or more of tiny white bubbles stacked together. very very puckery sour nose, lambic funky, plenty of yeast, mouth watering aromas. i smell grape must in there with the tart lemon acidity. the flavor is true to the nose, with the sourness being every bit as intense. almost hurts the jaw its so sour. fruit provides more flavor than sweetness, and this may be the best grape or wine based beer out there. its dryish in the finish, but still mouth watering at the same time. brightly carbonated, very active, which helps to cut through some of the acidity, which is huge. the body is very light, but i dont think id feel good if i drank a whole 750ml bottle of this on my own. the acidity and sourness would turn the stomach. overall though this is awesome stuff from cantillon, one of my favorites ive had from them. the legend grows for me...

 907 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of djrn2
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of Knapp85
4.34/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This poured out as a really nice looking pinkish red color with a fizzy light pink head on top. The retention and lacing were very minimal here. The smell of the beer gives off plenty of Merlot Grape aromas along with the tart aromas of the wild fermentation this brew has gone through. The taste of the beer has a tart grape flavor up front with a dry funky aftertaste that would probably interest most wine lovers to try this beer. The mouthfeel is thick and dry, not overly carbonated at all. Overall this brew was pretty good, I'm not sure if I would ever buy this one again mainly because of the price tag on it. I enjoyed having it though, and would drink it again if it was offered to me.

 695 characters

Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.75/5  rDev +4.6%

Photo of metter98
4.4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear brownish red in color and does not have any signs of visible carbonation.
S: There are strong aromas of sourness in the nose.
T: Sourness dominates the overall taste and continues to persist through the aftertaste, although it isn't quite as strong as the smell. There are notes of grapes and vinegar in the flavors.
M: It feels light-bodied on the palate and has a low to moderate amount of carbonation. There is some dryness in the finish.
O: The beer isn’t that difficult to drink because it doesn’t have an “in your face” type of sourness.

 572 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's always a pleasure to sit down with such a prized beer. The lure and legendary status of Saint Lamvinus makes is appetizing and intimidating.

The beer bursts with fragrance before it even settles into the tulip glass. A billowing head of light burgundy color rises with an airy and musty quality. Vineous (as merlots should), tart, and acidic notes give a little perk to the brow and a twinge to the jawls- surely sour, astringent, and sharply acidic. Berries, grapes, and plumbs are all represented well in the nose, along with a woodsy, dusty, attic-like, musk that gives the unusual character that only brettanomyaces can.

Much more fruity and less sour to taste as it seemed by the smell. Expansive flavors of vineous merlot wine, but with the body and carbonation of a typical lambic to differentiate it from the true wine character. Again, the tartness of the wild yeasts give the beer a lot more complexity than is usually found in red wines. Berries, grapes, and plumbs dominate with a close back-up of apple cider vinegars and a cork-like wood taste. The musty, dusty, attic-ey notes don't carry over to the taste; just stopping at the nose. Still, a briney-Orval taste brings a somewhat salty-metalic taste that adds complexity rather than distorts it.

The blend of yeasts have cut through the barley malts and reduced them to nearly that of heavier red wines. Still, a mild malt flavor gives a bit of weight, maltiness, and substance to keep it from ultimate thinness. Still, acidic to cut through and residual sweetness. Pleasantly astringent all the way, giving a clean, refreshing tartness that challenges the palate but never overwhelming it.

Ok, the beer falls a bit too far on the wine side of things for me. I appreciate the clean, well-attenuated malt and fruit blends but the beer doesn't leave the malt backbone that I appreciate most. The first sip led me to beleive that this 750 mill. session would be laborous and tiresome but after 45 minutes, the glass is dry. Very drinkable, the beer evaporates on the tongue and leaves a powdery, fruity finish. Understandible why this beer ranks among the best.

 2,133 characters

Photo of biboergosum
4.38/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml Burgundian vessel, the October 27, 2009 bottling, and 5% ABV for Alberta's apparently healthy allotment. Sour beer made with Merlot grapes - sounds like a lark to me, Sideways be damned!

This beer pours a slightly hazy, ruddy bronzed amber hue, with three fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and mostly fizzy pale pink head, which scatters quickly, leaving virtually no trace of lace in the vicinity of my admittedly hastily-chosen chalice.

It smells of tart, indistinct citrus acids, farm-bred floral funk, earthy yeast, limestone chalk, and well-oaked, grapey red wine. The taste is another lip-puckering experience, the generic fruity acerbity overwhelming at first contact - tart red wine, deconstructed - grape peel and berry skin, a mild grainy woodiness, and pronounced tannins. After the expected acclimatization period, and some warming, the soft wheat and barley grains become apparent, with some other earthy, woody orchard fruitiness - cherries and under ripe nectarines, mostly - alongside some tame funky, earthy yeast.

The carbonation is clear and present, but quite fine, and certainly no danger (but it does make you actually think about it), the body medium-light in weight, but strangely full-seeming, with an egregiously smooth fruitiness, and not even within approach-shot distance of being cloying (acids, yo!). It finishes a twinge off-dry, the tartness abating a fair bit, the wheat malt dusting itself off, and more cherry wine notes popping up to party.

My previous exposure to beer blended with red wine (from Japan, at that) did not leave me expecting too much from this. Sacre bleu, it sure is nice to be surprised! This is a revelation, a lovely, fruity, and tangy beer analogue for the claret set. As a fan of contrasts in flavour, this works oh so well, and I'm suddenly craving some chocolate cake as an accompaniment, and pondering the Pinot Noir version of this.

 1,904 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.1/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is the second time having a draft sample from the Maproom.

Served in a 12 oz. tulip glass. It's a juicy deep red with purplish tones to it. No head at all this time, virtually still. Wonder if this is an unblended keg...

Aroma is mildly tart, not the exaggerated sharpness or funk i've come to love from Cantillon. Slight vinegar note, but mostly tart grape juice.

Flavor is mild compared to other Cantillons, subdued juicy tartness with a slight pucker. Very light wild element, minor cider character. Clearly defined wine grape flavors, without much wood to balance. Easy to sip or gulp, at the price, i'll be sipping.

 630 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.44/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy rose color with a small head that dissipates rapidly but leaves some specks of lace behind

Smell: Fascinating aroma of red wine grapes and barnyard funk; very tart, but with an underlying sweetness

Taste: Tart, dry grape flavors build in mouth-puckering sourness through mid-palate, with the barnyard funk storming in after the swallow to add woodsy complexity; the finish is long, dry and tart

Mouthfeel: Medium, almost creamy body, with low to moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A fascinating beer

 530 characters

Photo of oline73
4.33/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to foofaa for sharing. Served in a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a clear red color with two fingers of off white head that fades to a ring around the edge of the glass and leaves some lacing.

Smell: Quite funky with some fruit notes. I'm picking up herbal yeast, grape, and mild vinegar.

Taste: Tart and funky with lots of grape juice. Herbal and quite tart with a bitter finish. This is very good.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with smooth and tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is a great sour beer. The fruit and tart flavors mix well with lots of funk.

 573 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.55/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle: Poured a medium red color lambic with a huge bubbly head with average retention. Aroma is sour with some touch of sweetness. Taste is quite a surprise with less acidity then I would have expected from Cantillon with a nice balance between the grapes and the lambic. Carbonation is quite strong and body is quite light. Well balance tart and sweetness with the grapes less dominant then expected. Probably one of the only Cantillon that I wouldn’t mind drinking a whole 750ml by myself on a hot summer day.

 514 characters

Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A hazy but clear reddish-purple, beautiful in color. An inch or so of head rises and quickly dissipates, in the usual Cantillon fashion.

Smell: Intense funk from a mile away; barnyard, sweat, parmesan cheese, damp basement - it almost overwhelms the fruit, but not entirely; there's a note of grape beneath it all. Once the nose becomes accustomed to the funk the aroma takes on an almost soured red wine quality. This is definitely one of the more intriguing Cantillon beers. I should add that the last pour from the bottle (with sediment) had the most hilariously intense aroma of funk I've ever smelled.

Taste & mouthfeel: Utterly dry, sour and acidic with plenty of dry vinous flavor to balance things out. The lambic base is fairly dominant here, but the character of the grapes and barrel shine through just enough to give it depth beyond your average lambic. The marriage of lambic and red wine grapes makes for a profoundly dry mouthfeel.

 960 characters

Photo of zestar
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

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Cantillon Saint Lamvinus from Brasserie Cantillon
Beer rating: 4.54 out of 5 with 2,100 ratings
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