Cantillon Saint Lamvinus | Brasserie Cantillon

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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
Ratings:
2,048
Reviews:
479
Avg:
4.43
pDev:
8.13%
 
 
Wants:
1,418
Gots:
441
For Trade:
42
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,048 |  Reviews: 479
Photo of Gobzilla
4.26/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a pinkish purple in color with a very thin head which left a little lacing sticking to the glass.

S: you could definitely sniff out the Merlot grapes in the nose alongside the signature oakum funky character, some acidity and a slight amount of citrus as well.

T: the flavor was even dominated by the Merlot grapes, tons of funky horse blanket character, oakum accents and a touch of citrus.

M: the brew was light to medium in body with a low amount of carbonation which had a fruity, oaky, funky, and sour finish.

D: the beer was drinking amazing and a great sour bite. Very glad to have this one again.

 618 characters

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.59/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of liamt07
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of tempest
4.1/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle at Abe's Cold Beer for $25. Honestly, this was a good beer, but not my favorite Cantillon. It poured a grape-juice colored purple-red with a short head. The beer drinks like a very dry red wine and isn't quite as sour as a lambic or gueze, but it still certainly on par with the good fruit lambics. I think the grapes here have overpowered a lot of the funkier elements, making this beer reminds me more of their framboise. I'd say this beer is worth a try if you can afford it.

 497 characters

Photo of afsdan
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.23/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle dated 21 NOV 12.

A - Opaque medium purplish-red colour with one finger of raspberry red head.

S - Sour/vinegar notes with grape and oak.

T - Tart and slightly sour. A very light vinegar-like sourness. A big grape musk flavour is present, as expected and some oak/woody notes add another layer of complexity.

M - Very dry. Medium body. Light to moderate carbonation.

 378 characters

Photo of brandoman63
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of Sweffin
4.81/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of outoffocus
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of a77cj7
5/5  rDev +12.9%

Photo of DoubleJ
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of dar482
4.47/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The beer comes in a dark crimson purple color. Almost like a watered down red wine.

The aroma has tart red grape skins, berry notes. Some musty funk and barnyard. A good combination of red wine, fruit, oak, and funk. Reminds me slightly of the Kriek.

The flavor follows with that big tartness in the front. Tons of red grape peel and berry skin. It then follows into that funk and oak notes.

The fruit is slightly less obvious in this. A wonderful drinking lambic.

 468 characters

Photo of Mora2000
4.42/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had been saving this bottle for a special occasion and decided to crack it open for beer number 1500.

Bottled 11/18/2008. The beer pours a reddish-brown-amber color with a white head. The aroma is very tart with some oaked notes. The flavor is tart grapes with some oak. The tartness is very intense but it is not overwhelming. Light-medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. This is a great sour ale that was worthy of being beer number 1500. Cantillon has done it again.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought this for my anniversary, but we ended up drinking cocktails instead, so I decided to review this for my 500th review instead. I'd been wanting to try this for a while as I love Cantillon's brews, but it is quite spendy. Looks like cloudy pinot noir or unfiltered pressed cherry juice. Thin, wispy head. The smell is winey with cherries, sour aromas, and some funkiness. Woody bitterness at the end. Taste is somewhat similar- sour, bitter, and complex. Slightly funky bitter finish at the end. The mouthfeel is sharp, tart, and refreshing. Very drinkable, and although this is somewhat sour and funky, I find it less so than many of the other Cantillons. This one is winier and more delicate. All in all, I think I slightly prefer the slightly more robust products from them- though this is mighty fine.

 812 characters

Photo of redfox405
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of enelson
5/5  rDev +12.9%

Photo of eawolff99
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of BARFLYB
4.33/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A bottle split with oglmcdgl, poured into some nice glasses.

With the cork pry, the bottom of the wood had a light purple stain on it. The liquid in the glass looks a dark ruby red with some trace amounts of faint purple. The liquid slides in nice with a light purple inch of foam that stood around for a bit than vanished, no lace, but small bubbles rising up.

Smell is all grape for the first 30 minutes or so. The merlot comes out really nice in this fresh bottle. Trace amounts of leather and some minimal funk at this young stage. I don't get as much 'Foot' as in older vintages, which brings out the grape even more.

Very clean grape taste here with some kinda fresh lambic that brings the merlot out even more. Not so much grape that it becomes sweet, just enough to get the wine flavor blended in with the lambic. Trace amount of leather and more funky taste as time goes on.

Yes, this is a Cantillon, and yes, it is sour, but not really sour, I would say kinda tart. This beer has a body that is in between light and medium with some low cab in the mix. I think 5 years in the bottle may bring up the sour, but will for sure bring out the funk more. Lamvinus is not the mouth puckering sour bomb that you may expect, but a well integrated beer resembling wine. This stuff is kick ass.

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Photo of biegaman
4.9/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

It's been said that in conceiving Florence's breathtakingly beautiful Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral no one had ever seen a building that looked like the one they wanted to build - its design was a matter of ambition and of idea. Likewise, before the masterful artistry of Cantillon's Jean Van Roy I doubt anyone had ever tasted a beer like the one he wanted to brew.

But I doubt even he could envision what would come of this experiment - using Bordeaux barrels to age Merlot and Cabernet-Franc grapes with 2-3 year-old lambic. Indeed, its result is something of a beer marvel...

375ml bottle found at the Bier Circus in Brussels. Bottled October 25, 2006 and list a "consumer avant fin 12/2009". Beautiful bottle art. How I savoured this...

Saint Lamvinus is graced by a most pristine colour, the beauty of which I can't easily describe. Something of a dark violet or eggplant purple. It has a strong, bright ruby shine and such pristine clarity. My eyes widen as I think to myself in French: "sa brille!" A short, only occasional stream of bubbles float up and contribute to a bold - but minimal - outlining ring of head.

The aroma is enchanting, ambrosial, downright divine. Lightly acidic and plenty full of tartness. The grapes cut sharply through the lambic. The merlot is so fresh and fruity! There is a certain softness imparted from the grape that plays so well with the underlying tartness of the lambic. This is not only incredibly balanced but also incredibly interesting as well as delightful. It easily elevates itself above even the best of malty barleywines, roasty Imperial stouts or fresh and hop filled double IPA's.

The mouthfeel is very sour but very graceful too. If one could only stop themselves from slowly savouring they would also realize it is quite refreshing! Every sip coats the mouth in sour grapes, a sensation which lasts all throughout. It is both soft and tart, dry but juicy, both sour and sweet - no part of the palate goes overlooked. It's also lightly acidic and slightly sugary, causing a real pucker. The blend, however, is perfect - a character of sharp tartness in the lambic and a fruity, luscious bouquet of wine grapes in the taste.

The taste, by the way, is out of this world. The merlot grape I found most predominant. It is very fruity. The grapes tend to impart flavours of other fruits also: grapefruit, passion fruit, lemon/lime, berry, plum and currant. Chalk full of fruity phenols. The flavours linger so gracefully, allowing them to truly be savored with every sip. They have lasting power.

It is incredible what flavours are captured from these grapes. The taste falls somewhere between the tasty "purple" flavoured grape candy/juice for children and the "Chateau OhLala" Grand Cru Vintage of a fine Bordeaux. Even experienced wine connoisseurs might wonder at how such flavour could come from a grape.

For me, I myself marveled at how such beauty could come of a beer. It is more than any hype, rarity or price tag that makes this special. This, to me, is the summer sun. When the cold, dark nights and never ending, harsh months of Canadian winter become relentless I will think of the Saint Lamvinus. I will remember the rare occasion I had of trying this beer, under an (equally rare) pristine blue Bruxelles sky in August. I will remember and smile.

At the conclusion of my notes there is a small part that reads:
"I'm in Love,
I'm in love,
I'm in love"

 3,455 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Vintage Bottled 2002, Sampled November 24, 2003.
It is with some trepidation that I open this bottle. When I peeled off the foil covering the top of the bottle, the cap was badly rusted and there were streaks of crusted beer running down the neck, as well as a small amount of fresh beer leaking from the cap. Since I was not going to get another one of these in the foreseeable future I let it settle down in my dedicated beer cooler.

There is perhaps a hint of a hiss as I pop the cap off the 750ml bottle; hopefully this beer is not too far gone. The cork feels very moist and is obviously fully penetrated from the beer, a slight acetic smell emanates from the cork. Well I go for the cork pull. The cork pops out, and yes, there is some carbonation here. Perhaps it won’t be as bad as I thought.

I pour the beer and low and behold it is very well carbonated. The carbonation produces a couple of inch thick pink to light purple colored head, which, lasts longer than I was expecting. The beer itself is a reddish/ light purple color, quite hazy as well. There is a definite acidic aroma that emanates from my glass. It is sour, though not intensely so.

As I take my first sip I note that there seems to be a large amount of body to this bone dry Lambic. I wonder if the grapes have added some structure, as I was expecting it to be quite thin. The grape character is certainly here, it is under the sourness, there is a bit of tannin here from the grapes. There are some berry notes, which compliment the lemony acidity, it sort of underscores & picks the beer up. As I peel the layers of this beer away I note that the berry–grape like flavor is definitely here.

As this beer warms slightly the wine grapes really start to pick up, especially in the finish. I get an austere vinous slightly tannic ending. The Lambic sourness definitely dominates, but this beer is infinitely better and more complex than the Cantillon Vigneronne. The typical suite of Lambic flavors are here; leathery, musty, and sour. Aromas of cat piss, musty cellar, citrus, vinegar, it is just wonderful to sniff away at. I must get more of this.

A Lambic on its own, when made properly, is incredibly complex. The Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and the Cabernet Merlot grapes just bring this to a whole other plane of existence. This has got it all, and the grapes did not thin out the body of the Lambic like the Muscat grapes did to the Vigneronne. This beer has convinced me to brew a grape-Lambic, perhaps a syrah.

Well I just finished my first glass of this wonderful beer; luckily I still have a second one yet to savor. In my second glass the sour aroma has receded a bit. The Brett character has become a much more noticeable, accompanied by some enteric notes as well. The aroma is just wonderfully complex; I could just smell this beer forever. So, I take an extended moment to do just that… which leads to some ruminations on my part. How can something that is described in such negative terms (enteric, sweaty – leathery – horse blanket, vinegar, barnyard, etc.) be so wonderfully enticing? Well I don’t know, but I truly love it. The taste is again sour up front, but the body and finish of this beer is where the grape character shines. Don’t get me wrong, don’t read too much into my description, this is by no means a wine, definitely a beer, definitely a Lambic, but the marriage of wine and beer is pure genius in the form of Lambic. The complexity here, I never would have guessed that grapes could add so much to the complexity of a traditional Lambic product. Unlike most fruit Lambics (including many that I really enjoy, even most Cantillon products) the grapes take nothing away from the Lambic character, they only add a whole other dimension that intertwines and picks up the character of this Lambic.

No one else should try this beer; I sincerely believe that it is all meant for me. No one else will be able to appreciate the stunning complexity and subtlety that is this beer. After reading this I am sure that anyone else trying this will be let down, so don’t get it, seriously, I’ve got dibs on the rest.

On a serious note, I really would not recommend anything less than an 8 oz serving of this (and a full 12oz would be adequate, but a 750 would be much better). This beer is just far to complex and needs, nay requires, deep contemplation and time to savor and explore this nectar. Please deeply explore this beer if you get a chance, it is well worth it.

Stunning, contemplative, world class; these are all words that just do not do justice to this beer. Please Jean-Pierre, make this a regular beer in your line-up.

 4,674 characters

Photo of John_M
3.03/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

It's probably inappropriate for such an avowed sour hater like myself to review this beer. I did the best I could with it, but I absolutely cannot understand the attraction of beers such as this.

Had on tap during 72 hours of Belgium at Max's.

The beer pours a beautiful cherry red color with very good head retention and lacing. Alas, if only this beer would taste as good as it looks. The nose is quite complex, bordering on the bizarre. I get aromas of camel, dog sweat and barn yard. I guess that's a good thing if you're a gueuze/lambic lover. On the palate this beer is flat out undrinkable. The over-riding flavor I get is vinegar and sweaty socks. This is just disgusting. Mouthfeel is decent, but the sour in this beer is just overwhelming. No way I can drink the stuff.

Not my idea of a good beer. Trying to drink something like this is just absolutely no fun. Thank God I only got a very small glass (which even then I was unable to finish).

 955 characters

Photo of Derek
4.12/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage.

A: Rosee with a pinkish head, thin ring of retention, slight leg.

S: Pleasant tart aroma with hints of barnyard funk & vinegar.

T: Wine & cider with hints of vinegar, grape, modest tartness with a slight hint of bitterness.

M: Light body is very dry with a slight acidity.

D: A good drinker.

I'm not a fan of tartness, but I've been itching to try this for a while. Thanks bobsy!

 399 characters

Photo of Eziel
4.27/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of yourefragile
4.57/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

8 oz pour, served in a flute at Teresa's Next Door in Wayne.

Color is a dark, clear rose red with a wispy pink head that fades quickly to thin ring and no lacing. Aroma is dry, oaky blend of red grapes and non-acidic funky sourness. The flavor is surprisingly less fruity than expected, dominated by a subtle dry sour with merlot undetones. Body is very full and smooth with mild carbonation and a long lasting Pickering sourness. I'll need to try a bottle of this to appreciate the intricacies of this better, but so far I'm impressed.

 537 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
4.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From a 750 at Provisions,

A: Pours a gorgeous grape red with a soft white head, spotty lace.

S: As opposed to most fruit lambics, the barnyard dominates the nose here. Horse blanket and hay with that Cantillon funk.

T: Pretty, pretty, pretty. Delicious soft notes of grapes, passion fruit, plum and lilac. Very flowery, but maintaining the fruitiness at all times.

M: Medium-bodied overall, moderate acidity. Bright on the palate, very easy drinking.

O: If I had a bottle of this to myself, I could see myself finishing it in 10 minutes, it's just that good. I love good Right Bank Bordeaux, so adding Merlot and Cab Franc grapes to lambic makes sense to me. It certainly worked here.

 689 characters

Cantillon Saint Lamvinus from Brasserie Cantillon
4.43 out of 5 based on 2,048 ratings.
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