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Cantillon Saint Lamvinus | Brasserie Cantillon

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Cantillon Saint LamvinusCantillon Saint Lamvinus

Brewed by:
Brasserie Cantillon

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

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Reviews: 474 | Ratings: 1,994
Photo of dogfooddog
4.62/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

served far too cold at the Monk's Cafe, Philadelphia. I let this sit 50 minutes (eating and drinking in meanwhile) before pouring. Pours dark orange with 15% active head which fades quickly, leaving next to no foam. I was not shown the cork for this bottle, so don't know the vintage.

Smell is a powerful classic cantillon nose, musty sour odor which is is more concentrated than I have found in their other lambics or gueuzes.

Taste is a strong attack of the above, but it fades quickly. It feels somewhat one-dimensional, but given that this is a single aged lambic that is not surprising - this is not a blended beer. It is enchantingly sour but I would like more prolonged taste and/or finish. Not sure what effect temperature issues may have had on this.

This beer has all of the classic taste elements that make cantillon THE traiditional lambic, but in this bottle they were not comprehensive. Just for the nose and front end of taste I would buy as much of this as I could.

Follow-up 4/8/06 After trying this at Monk's Cafe, I sourced some separately and tried it, wondering how the temperature issue at monk's had impacted taste. This bottle, cork-dated 2004, is very similar to the one reviewed above. maybe a little darker in color, less musty in nose, a LOT more carbonation, but the same issues with short taste and finish exist. This does seem to be a characteristic of lambics (this is a blend of 2 lambics AFAIK) versus complexity found in gueuze.

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Photo of egajdzis
4.4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2003... Poured a cloudy reddish color with a small white head that quickly diminished to nothing. Vinous, burgandy grapes, funky brett, and stinky socks aroma. Smooth but tart taste. This is very much wine like, grapes, light sweetness, and finishing with that signature tart Cantillon taste. Lots of tart lemon present in the taste. A very nice fruit lambic and one that I looked long and hard for.

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

Bought this 750 ml at Joe Canals in Lawrenceville, NJ for $29.99.
That's officially the most I've spent at a store for one bottle of beer. I paid more for others but that included shipping.

Pours a nice dark ruby red to purple, almost plum color with a light wispy head.

Smells of hay, horse blanket, earthy, grassy, lot's of different berries, grape fruit and a hint of grape.

Taste is incredibly complex. Tart, sweet and sour all in one. Like sweet tart candies. Strong taste of berries, grapefruit, slightly winey taste.

Mouthfeel is dry, carbonated and very refreshing.

This is the Grand Daddy of all Lambics!

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

Bottle at 3 penny taproom to hfs sniffer

A: a red plum color that I can best describe as Scarlett with a thin White lacing it is semi cloudy but not near opaque with no floaters

S:it's cleaner then I expected it to smell not a whole lot of funk though its there the grape must definitely comes out a very balanced smell

T:wow this is where this bee really takes the cake it is sweet sour and tart up front there is lot of fruit flavor of grapes and green apple it lasts all throughout the finish which is also very sweet

M: smooth and crisp goes down very easily lots of sweet but not overpowering the bubblyiness makes this really drinkable

O: probably the best sour I've ever had a balance d great sour/tart flavor with fruit grape and a crisp bubbly really drinkable feel I understand why cantillon is number one

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Photo of nas5755
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2009 vintage opened in honor of my gf Kristin

A- A very aggressive pour gave me a rather thin 3-finger head that faded quickly. The color of the foam was a wonderful light purplish-pink. The beer itself is a dark pink-purple, with interesting purple hues. A very pretty beer.

S- The first smell to hit my nose is Cantillons distinctive sourness, but this time it is slightly refined with more musty funk layered about the aromas. Upon a further inspection, I am happily greeted by a deep layer of funk and its elements, lots of grape tannins and then some of the distinctive aromas of welchs grape juice followed by a the bracing sourness only found in Cantillon.

T- Awesome! Leather funk, mixed into layers of lush Merlot with a slight creamy texture, unusually found in lambic. The finish is where the complexity shines, the grapes add another dimension to the oncoming and reoccurring waves of funk and sour. The funk in is this vintage is fantastic, the most refined Cantillon I have come across.

M- Carbonation is on the higher side and adds a very nice contrast to the flavors allowing them to sparkle and deviate bewteen the complexities. A creaminess is also present and is not something I am used to experiencing within lambic.

O- This is my favorite Cantillon and the best bottle I have had. The funk elements in this bottle are outstanding and more refined than the other Cantillons that I have had. Thus this is the most balanced Cantillon I have ever come across. I love the Merlot grapes, they are fantastic, the tannins really add some awesome elements and really allow this beer to shine and develop into just pure awesomeness.

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Photo of Mauerhan
4.15/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thank you to Olieipa for opening this on friday. review from notes.

poured into brewery tulip at just below cellar temp. a burgundy/purple pour with a half finger of lavender head. that falls flat leaving a slim layer of haze on the top. some splotchy lacing but only a bit.

smell is a combination of musky wood, cork and leaves, slight wisps of sour grapes. at first the smell is off putting but as i continue to leave my nose in it and let it warm a bit i like the smell more and more.

taste has a slight pucker enough to be enjoyed but not slap you in the teeth sour. the grapes really come into play here. sweet and smooth. i could have sworn that i got a oaky hint here and there but it might just be my palate playing tricks. a nice go between of beer and wine. I would definitely use this to bridge the gap between wine drinkers into craft beer.

overall I am very glad I had the chance to try this and would not mind trying it again. Thanks again mike.

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Photo of tshanahan
4.94/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A one year, nine day old. This is a marvelous lambic. The merlot grapes really bring the funk from Cantillon in with their tannins. Let this warm and decant it, it's worth the wait. Bright, smooth, fresh, clean. The perfect balance of sour, sweet, and funk. I get the hype. Grape lambic be bomb

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

Epic beer, pours a beautiful plum color. The fragrance hits you from a mile away. The flavor is just unbelievable, can't believe they use those grapes for anything else. Crisp, almost the perfect amount of sour...Will be seeking this one out again.

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

Cantillon Saint Lamvinus
Bottled on October 12th, 2011 served in wine glasses on November 22, 2012.
A: First glass had a decent head, each following glass had no head. Cloudy rose color reminiscent of a blood orange.
S: Sour yeast and some vinegar notes. Some light citrus notes and lots of fruity berry notes.
T: Sour, vinegar and well rounded fruit round out the taste.
M: Bubbles and sourness with some light berry notes.
O: Interesting, reminds me of the kriek or the rose de gambrinus. I’m not finding a lot of grapes here but its very good.

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Photo of SubpoenaDeuces
4.77/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice ruby huge to a light magenta. It has micro bubbles with wispy lacing. It looks like a majestic wine cooler. If bartels and james won the lottery and went all high brow, this would be the result.

S: Huge tart notes with great strawberry, cherries, sour currants, and bitter grapes. Granny smith apple skins are there as well. This smells incredible.

T: It has a crisp raspberry tartness that mellows into a smooth sweetness like a melted fruit rollup. It has a sour finish to it that imparts an incredibly refreshing dryness. This is the best Cantillon that I have had to date and it is the best Lambic that I have ever had. The vintage helped mellow it incredibly, even if it was only 2 years. The fruits interplay with the tart notes perfectly.

M: It is incredibly light and juicy with minimal coating and chardonnay dryness that just stings and crackles in a fantastic way. The carbonation is like an army of diligent effervesence that makes sure the bitter notes are imparted with incredible efficacy. Again, just amazing balance all around.

D: This makes Consecration look like an imperial stout and Lindeman’s look like candy syrup. It is leagues above all other sours and lambics that I am familiar with. I could drink this in a boat, with a goat, green eggs and ham; etc. You could drink this with any food, at any location and it would be well suited. I feel that this could give white and red wine equal competition with pairings because it is so original and dynamic. I can’t imagine how blaeber could improve on this model but I am anxious to try.

Narrative: Vitus Tanneen had been in some sticky jams before but this time, this time certainly was noteworthy. The walls of the trash compactor closed slowly, pressing the wine refuse closer into the chamber. The aluminum walls reeked of sweet grape skins and sticky notes. If not for the impending death, this would be an almost pleasant situation. “Well Sir Knuckles, looks like we are in a PRESSING SITUATION!” His friendly companion, Sir Knuckles, was an astute howler monkey with no penchant for puns. “WREE EE EE EEEK!” Sir Knuckles gestured imposingly to a hatch covered in sticky grape residue. “Well Sir Knuckles, this is one top that I have no hesitation to pop.” Using a wine opener, Vitus deftly unsealed the hatch and emerged into the bay area sunshine. “NOT TODAY KENDAL JACKSON! NOT TODAY!” He spun and his velvet tails swung after this athletic frame with the poise of a man, a man almost killed by grapes.

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

25.4 oz. bottle into a thin Lindemans pilsner.

slightly hazy raspbery-reddish amber with half an inch of pinkish head. lace sticks in thick clumps and rings.

traditional Cantillon aromas with tart apples, rindy bitterness, and funky cheese. slight hints of juicy sweet concord grapes and even some slight unripe cherry aromas; very reminiscent of their kriek.

taste initially hits with a slight grape sweetness, which is quickly washed away with a nice puckering tartness. powerful if slightly one-noted. light-medium body with a spritzy tight carbonation. underwhelming only due to the price (this is the most expensive beer i've ever had). there's really no off-notes and it comes through as tart, refreshing beer, but i can't see ponying up the cash for another for a long while.

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Photo of OldSock
3.73/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Presentation and Appearance – Big 25.4 oz bottle, with black foil, a cap and a cork. I’m a little concerned that the top of the cork is wet. It pours a magnificent clear crimson in my flute, with a creamy light pink head that has pretty good retention due to the carbonation.

Smell – Sour and yeasty with loads of mixed fruit. It smells similar to the other Cantillon fruit lambics that I have had. Vinegar mixed with wine is the best way I can describe it. Lamvinus really has a lot going on here, incredibly complex stuff.

Taste – Sour, but not as sour as many lambics. The yeast is strong, earthy and musty to balance of the sourness. This is as close to a wine as it is to a beer, with its mix of fruity flavors. Grapes are the main fruit flavor, but there are notes of passion fruit, strawberries and cherries. The more I drink the less I taste the sourness and more the fruit comes out.

Mouthfeel – Pretty light with high carbonation. The sourness makes the sides of the mouth tingle a little adding to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability and Notes – While I respect this beer, the exceedingly high price and sourness make this a one time purchase for me. I enjoyed this but not that much more than the standard Cantillon Kriek. If you have some extra money kicking around, and you love lambics, particularly those from Cantillon, pick one of these up for a special occasion.

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Photo of bigbeerdrinka
4.8/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Well after trying many of the Cantillon offerings I was ready to see what all the hype was about this brew. Pours a cloudy ruby red with a skimish white head that leaves no lace. Aromas are of a typical lambic, but almost a little more subtle. There was the classic barnyard, pungent sourness / tartness and just a slight slight hint of grape. For flavor this beer was just incredible. Smooth and well rounded this beer starts off sour and tart, but it just doesn't overwhelm the pallate like most Cantillon's. There was only the slightest hint of grape flavor and just a little carbonation, but it was enough to just add a little extra something to this beer. The Saint finished a little acidic but not overwhelming like so many other lambics, with just the right amount of sourness to keep this beer very drinkable. By far of all the Cantillon's this is the best, just well textured, good balance of flavors between the tartness and sourness, and the acidic fruit flavors. Though it may be a bit pricey, if you see this around, its definetly worth the pick up.

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Photo of amphion1065
4.4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2010 bottle enjoyed at Deep Ellum. Served in a wine glass.

Pours a dark, ruby purple. It's surprisingly clear, like magenta-tinted juice. A half-finger white head leaves nice lacing around the glass.

Wonderful tart and vinous funk in the aroma. I'm not sure I'd necessarily peg the fruit character as grape-like, as there are definitely some cherries at work as well. A light citric acidity adds another sour element, but this is quite a sweet-smelling beer.

Grapes are far more present in the taste, with a very grape-dominant aftertaste. It's quite sweet, though certainly less sweet than, say, Zwanze 2011. Very tart sourness, bordering on mouth-puckering at times. There's a cheesy funk, not unlike horse blankets/barnyards/etc. It goes without saying, but the tannic quality is quite wine-like.

Here's where St. Lamvinus crushes it - the mouthfeel is the best of any Cantillon I've ever had. Lush and thick, with a perfect medium level of carbonation. Not unlike a Lambrusco, though it's a little more viscous. An absolute delight to drink.

Another wonderful expression of fruit from Cantillon. Very well balanced despite some extreme flavors at work. A shame this is so difficult to find these days.

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

750ml bottle recieved from Kaydogg, thanks dogg
September 2010 bottling

A: Pours a light red wine, reddish-purple color. The head has a lavender tint that dissapates into a thin ring. Light lacing and active carbonation.
S: The smell on this had me giddy. It smells like a much more complex merlot. Merlot grapes are predominant with some cherry-raspberry-currant mix in the background. Plenty of barrel influence(oak, wild yeast, damp wood,etc).

T: At first this seemed bracingly sour but that wore off quickly. I'm glad my taste buds adjusted so I could appreciate all this had to offer. Ripe grapes and wild yeast dominate the flavor. There is a nice sweet and a hint of cherry. I get some vanilla that goes along with the sweetness that builds as this warms. The acidity is light.

M: This has a medium body and zesty carbonation. Its dry and refreshing at the same time.

O: As expected this beer is very wine-like. This a very complex beer that deserves a lot of time and some room temperature enjoyment.
Best fruit lambic I've had, probably my favorite cantillon to date, but I still have a hard time believe its worth that price; That said I'm not sure I could pass this up if it was sitting on the shelf. This is a real treat, glad I finally got to try it.

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Photo of selecter70
4.08/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A birthday bottle for my wife that I chose on a whim, a bit pricey but the occasion warranted it. I figured that she loves lambics & wine, so....The bottle poured a brighter than expected purple with pink edges to a light pink head that dissipated quickly & left a wee amount of lace afterwards. The aroma had a sour vinegar and wine-soaked cloth quality. The flavor definitely evokes the merlot, but is more complex as it shifts in even one sip from a tart & sweet cherry to vinegar sour and then changes to a flat but bright, crisp wine. The body is light, bubbly and easy to drink. A very interesting beer, but definitely worth it.

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Photo of Verecund
4.52/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

One of the freshest fruit lambics I've had from Cantillon. Bottled on November 21, 2010. Consumed on February 6, 2011.

Pours a bright, ruby red with reddish-brown hues and a ruddy pink half-inch head.

Fantastic nose: tart grapes; Cantillon barnyard funk; a tiny wisp of lactic acid. It leads tart and vinous, featuring merlot grape, sour apple and dark cherry. Then, damp hay and light oak, and a finish that combines the red wine components with the expected funk (like musty barn). Not as sour or funk as I had expected, which could be due to its youth. Greatly, potently grapey.

Fairly effervescent and lively, with a body on the lighter end of the spectrum. Finishes dry and tannic.

Really, really drinkable, though the tannic character builds as time goes on. I prefer the LP series to this, but not by much. A winner.

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Photo of bret27
4.38/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

S: Tart, grapes, oak

A: Very purple w/pink thick lacing.

T: Tart grape, little oak, dry tart refreshing finish.

M: medium thin, fairly high carbonation, kind of champagnish.

D: Super drinkable d/t sweet tart taste and no etoh presence.

Overall: Kind of one-dimensional w/grapes and tartness being only flavors that shine through, but still works. Kind of like a NG beer but w/grapes.

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Photo of punkrkr27
4.2/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared at the December 09 Metro Detroit tasting. Hazy pink pour with nice lacing. Wheaty barnyard funk aroma with some nice vinous fruit. The flavor is tart red wine and dry grain with a nicely balanced Cantillon sour finish. Dry medium body with moderate carbonation.

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Photo of ahalloin
4.66/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brought to our tasting by Will, thanks buddy.

Pours a dark blood orange flesh color with a white head with tight lacing and bubbles. Cloudy fluid.

The smell is quite complex with super fruit and lactic sourness. Lush oak richness.

Taste is superbly balanced between sweet fruitiness and sourness. Full oak tannins create a puckering.

Medium high carbonation and silky mouthfeel.

Overall, this is excellent lambing style.

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Photo of Azurescens
4.38/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL corked and capped bottle with bottled on date 18 November 2008, poured into champagne glass at Brouwer's, reviewed on 5/15/11

A: Pours an absolutely beautiful clear rosy color with light pink head that leaves some lacing around glass.

S: Lots of funk with some lactic sourness, hints of grapes and earthy notes.

T: Slightly sweet and sour with lots of barnyardy funk. The grapes are a great addition to what is surely a stellar lambic by itself.

M: Nice slightly acidic tingling with moderate carbonation, finishes dry.

O: Another great lambic from Cantillon, great all around, really drinkable and refreshing. Definitely one of my favorite sours.

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Photo of 0110x011
4.28/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Younger35 is the shiznizzle.

Pours a cloudy garnet with a thin, wispy head that disappears in seconds. Cherries, grapes, oak, red wine, and vinegar on the nose. Sour grapes & cherries hit first, with oakiness and sweet fruit flavors following. Very rich & complex. Tart for sure, but not overpowering, with the sweeter side providing a nice balance. Finishes crisp & dry.

This is the kind of sour that American brewers are trying to emulate. Easily up there with the best.

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Photo of tarheels86
4.55/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottles over the years. Many 2007+ bottles including some over the hill 2003 bottles. Pours a ridiculous muddy deep purple with a fizzy white head. Aroma of musty grapes, oak, Merlot, raspberry, cherries. Comes across almost as a Framboise and really not so different from Don Quijote. Taste is grape skin tannins, sweeter Merlot grapes, citrus tartness, lactic raspberry, sharply citric, tart blueberry and strawberry come to mind. High carbonation, effervescent mouthfeel. Full on yogurty lactic. 2010 and 2011 bottles are so good right now. One of my favorites.

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Photo of Beerisheaven
4.36/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had to crack one of these open. Just received from Mar02x in my first international trade. Fingers crossed that my side of the trade will find its way to the Netherlands in short order. Thanks Mark for sending me this beer.

A - Classic. Poured from a 2011 bottle into my Selinsgrove goblet. Belgium meets Pennsylvania. Beautiful plum/pinkish color with a willowy white head that quickly settles down to a white film. Interesting but you think that something this color would have to be sweet but you know what's around the corner.

S - Fairly aggressive with a sharp acidity and slight vinegar smell. All the usual characteristics in a classic sour present itself in the aroma. Obviously has a profile of wine in the aroma with a little more aggressive kick to it.

T - Sublime. Grapes, grape skin, some mustiness, and a fairly sharp acidic bite. In my mind, I was trying to compare and contrast this a bit to Supplication. Supplication obviously features cherries as the fruit whereas STL has grapes as its base, but I thought that they did cross paths in a certain way. Supplication is not as sharp in my opinion whereas the STL has a more sour bite but they are both divine. I think that this one is closer to the edge of being really sour. Any further and I am not sure I would enjoy this as much. Gives you the grapes and kick in fine balance.

M - I liked it. It has the right amount of carbonation to it but is very satisfying.

O - A great beer and worthy of its ratings. I am glad that I have a couple more to stock away for the summer.

Thanks Mark, let me know when my beers arrive and let's do it again sometime.

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

Pours a beautiful ruby with a thin pink head. Aromas of cherries, currants, and grapes on the nose, with a perfectly balanced funkiness. Flavor is vinous with more fruit (and even cranberry?), with a sharp but refreshingly acidic finish, complemented by hint of cloves or anise. This is a perfect fruit lambic.

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Cantillon Saint Lamvinus from Brasserie Cantillon
4.43 out of 5 based on 1,994 ratings.
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