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Cantillon Saint Lamvinus | Brasserie Cantillon

472 Reviews
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Cantillon Saint LamvinusCantillon Saint Lamvinus

Brewed by:
Brasserie Cantillon
Belgium | website

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: 472 | Ratings: 1,964
Photo of DavidSeanNJ
4.63/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2009 Vintage.

I've been jonsing for weeks for a sour and funky beer. This was everything and more that I could have asked for.

Gorgeous looking and elegant glass bottle. Multiple slow pours into wine glasses shared amongst family. Not too warm or hot and a little colder than room temperature.

A- Light red/cranberry colored beer. Champagne like bubbles and vigorous carbonation. Rose' colored head.

S- Barnyard funk. Straw. Vinegar. Tart cherry and dark fruits. Sour grapes. Couldn't keep my nose away from the glass.

T- This one blew my mind. It was a lambic, yet so close to being a wine. Puckering sour grapes, fruit, champagne, funk, tart apple. Refined and clean finish.

M- Very carbonated, dry and pleasant. Fizzy.

D- Easy drinking. Somewhat harsh on the stomach due to all of the sour/funk. I want more. I loved this one.

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Photo of Kadonny
4.18/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from tap into a taster glass at Capones.

A: A deep reddish copper color with a one finger white head. No glass lacing.

S: Dark fruits with tartness and some yeasty funk. I get a distinct vinegar smell on the back.

T: Starts sweet with the dark fruits of cherry and grape coupled with some oaky flavors and some earthy spicy yeasty funk. Sweetness turns tart and sour with some hops bite. Finish remains tart and clean and crisp.

M: Good, coating, full, no alcohol and clean finish.

D: Very good, surprisingly good. Enjoyable.

Overall a great beer that I enjoyed much more than the Fou Foune. Less fruit but more tartness and funk, less sweet. A very good beer that I enjoyed.

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

750ml bottle served in a Hoegaarden thumbler glass.

A: First of all, beautiful bottle art. Beautiful label and corked and capped bottle. Pours a dark red to purple color. Slightly hazy. Forms a big bubbled and fizzy pink head when poured. Low retention and practically no lacings left in the glass

S: Very fruity in the nose. Very fruity with strong notes of grapes. Very tart with some notes of malts. Lambic yeasts in the end

T: Very fruity, tart and dry taste. Strong notes of grapes. Quite vinegar. Lambic yeasts

M: Light body. Medium carbonation. Tart and fruity aftertaste

O: Very drinkable beer. Delicious Cantillon is pleonasm ;)

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

Mid-2008 bottling

Pours a beautiful wild cherry shade of red with a half finger of light pink head resting up top.

Smell starts out with a light bit of tartness and cobweb, surprisingly somewhat subtle. Grapes, wild cherries, notes of chocolate, light citrus, and blueberries all seem to play a part in what is a mixed bad of complexity. Not too loud, but nonetheless still sweet and decadent and inviting. Some warming opens this one up a bit more and exposes the beauty.

The taste is immediately gratifying. The grapes and very noticeable, but do not dominate the overall flavor profile too much. There seems to be some citrus fruit creeping through, as well as a mixed bad of berries and some of that classic Cantillon dusty attic taste. Surprisingly not very tart, but still just enough so to satisfy that craving for the pucker. Truly a stellar fruit based lambic.

This one is medium bodied with one of the lowest levels of carbonation I've experienced yet in a lambic. Not quite wine-like, but starting to lean that way. The finish becomes extremely dry after the first few sips, so much so that I damn near feel like I can't swallow it because my throat is a sand dune.

Drinkability is solid for the style. I know the price on this is prohibitively expensive for some, but if you are a fan of lambics or fruit beers at all then you owe it to yourself to try this at least once.

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Photo of brendan13
4.47/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Light red body with a pinkish fluffy head that fell quite fast.
S - Quite fruity nose; grapes, a bit of berry & hints of dark fruits along with the musky & tart notes common to the style.
T - Sour but not as internse as expected.
Probably a bit more fruity than the smell with lots of grape & berry flavours with an abundance of barnyard funk.
M - Fairly light bodied and dry. High Carbonation.
D - Not something for everyday consumption but certainly something I'd drink again.

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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 Luk13
4.58/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Squishy cork and intense funk escaping the bottle got to me, I let it air out about an hour before pouring. Beautiful red/purple pour with a pinkish white head. After the first big whiffs of the classic lambic sweat and barnyard aromas, I pickup some distinctly winey aromas, lots of grapes, dried cranberries and a bit of oak. Taste is still very lambic like with some earth and a grape/wine finale. Absolutely fantastic palate, this beer demands to be drunk. As I drink, the strong sour aromas and taste fade out and make way for all the fruitiness this beer possesses.

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Photo of glid02
4.33/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Capone's in Norristown, PA.

Pours a hazy deep ruby color with opaque orange highlights and wisps of tiny white bubbles on top. The bubbles dissipate fairly quickly leaving a glassy top.

Smells of mild red wine vinegar with good amounts of Concord grapes and hints of barnyard funk.

Tastes very good. The flavor profile is comparable to not-quite-ripe Concord grapes, that is the sweetness is underlying but light enough to allow other flavors to shine uninhibited. The vinegar is barely present, instead giving way more to the funkiness that comes in midway through the sip and carries through to a decidedly tart ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a slick thickness with very light carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could very easily have a few more.

Overall I've been wary of the price tag of a bottle of this for a while and I'm glad I finally had the opportunity to try it on-tap. Very well worth the shot.

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Photo of MightyCow9
4.7/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was amazing. I did the tour of this facility when in Brussels and it was quite an experience. I highly recommend. If you are ever in the are check it out.

I have had trouble getting Cantillion in my area, so I bought several bottles last I found some. This grape fermented version was absolutely fantastic. It maintained the wonderful Cantillon sourness, yet added a sweet/sour tannin grip from the merlot grapes.

It truly is an experience to drink this. It is a sad moment when the last drop is gone.

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

Bottled 11-18-08

Pours a beautiful deep, cherry red with a fizzy purple head.

Mouthwatering aroma; leathery, vinous horseblanket, stinky cheese. Pure and in it's rawest form.

It's a fireworks display on the palate. Grapey, sweaty, leathery, oak tannins, and super sour cherry acidity. Light bodied, not as dry as some other lambics, but still has some dustiness.

This was a great beer, but I wouldn't suggest opening one alone(don't know why you would want to), it could become a little overwhelming. One glass will suffice.

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Photo of Ineedabeerhere
4.48/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Split this last night with a fellow BA, from notes. Why did I wait so long to try this one? 2008 vintage bought at DeCicco's.

Pours a beautiful ruby-pink color with a white-ish pink cap. Leaves some sporadic lacing and little retention.

Smells "dirty" according to a friend of mine. Funk all around, but this one isn't particularly cheesy. Leathery with sweaty gym socks from the 70s you found in the bottom drawer of a filing cabinet in your great grandmother's basement. Musty vag and red wine vinegar with some sour cherry. Vinous qualities are there for sure, combining with a generally acetic tartness seemingly from sour grapes.

Taste isn't quite as funky as the aroma would have you believe. A sharp lemony acetic start breaks way to the grape presence which is noticeable, but not forward. Underneath, a sturdy layer of earth, mustiness and funk increase complexity leading to a dry finish.

St. Lamvinus has a relatively low carbonation and is impressively drinkable for a beer of this intensity. I would consume it far more regularly if it were less expensive.

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

06 vintage on tap at Capones

A: Dark ruby-purple body. Tight bubbly head. Not much in the way of retention. Spotty, skim like lacing.

S: Sour cherries, oak, vinegar, burnt sugar, and grape skins.

T: More of the same. Nice sour cherry boldness, and subtle oak, sugar and grape skins. An everpresent vinegar component. Vinous notes toward the back end. Sufficiently tart.

M: Slick and smooth. Lightly carbonated. Lingering finish. Nice sour/tart puckering.

D: Nice, but doesn't live up to past experiences with bottled Saint Lamvinous where the flavors were truly sublime. Not sure if it can be chalked up to tap v bottle, or whether the difference is due to the vintage.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.21/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2006 vintage on tap at Capone's - December 16, 2009.

A: Pours a nice dark crimson with ruby hues. Very minimal head. Looks a shade lighter than cranberry juice, with a bit of tawny paleness to it.

S: Not the best aspect of this beer--smells a lot like balsamic vinegar without much of the underlying fruit coming through. A tiny amount of underlying grape scent.

T: Quite tart with a bit of barnyard horse blanket. The vinegar from the nose is not nearly as dominant, and flavors of grapes, berries, and red wine come through.

M: Quite dry with very subtle carbonation.

D: Very high--every sip reveals greater complexity and no amount would seem to be enough.

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Photo of hoppymcgee
4.16/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Sampled a 6 oz. pour at Brett Fest at Spuyten Duyvil in Brooklyn, NY in August 2009.

A: The best feature of this beer. Looks like cranberry juice, yet tastes a whole lot better.

S: Strong, flowery champagne-esque aroma.

T: Sharp and bitter, yet fruity at the same time.

M: Light on the tongue with little to no carbonation.

D: One of the defining characteristics of this beer. Can definitely drink the whole 750ml bottle in one sitting.

Overall, a solid offering from Cantillon and a neat one to have tried on tap.

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Photo of Hophead101
3.9/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

had the pleasure of drinking this at Capone's for their sweet and sour draft promotion. this was a 2006 vintage.

Not sure if it was the glassware or what, but while this style normally has a very generous head, my glass had none. there were some small off white bubbles clinging to the edge of the glass. The color was nice, a bit hazy reddish brown color. the smell was rather interesting, rotten grapes, funk, fruity/cherry. Cherry funk would describe it in a nutshell - but the funk is not a normal 'brett' funk - but something else.

The taste is interesting to boot, but interesting in a very good way. the beer continued to get better with each sip. not nearly as much funk in the taste as there was in the nose. tart cherries, subtle funk. great balance, somewhat soft, not overpowering. tartness was a decent level and nothing to scoff at. would be interested to try a more recent version to compare and out of the bottle as well. Glad I had a chance to drink this one.

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Photo of bonkers
3.9/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this ontap today at Capones, it was a 2006 vintage. The beer was a pretty purple red hybid with a thin little head. The nose was sour, almost like a cherry vinegar. There was a depth to the flavorss, cherry, oak and vinous flavors combined with an almost vinegary sourness. A very dry beer that took me a while to finish. In the end this was a bit too sour for my palate.

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Photo of steeltown71
4.7/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 bottle - Pours a cloudy carnelian red. Confession: I looked at the Wikipedia "list of colors" page & that was the closest hue. The nose features cherry, oak, and subtle funk. Upfront fruity flavors, slightly sweet but giving way to understated tartness. Definitely pronounced sour notes on the sides of the tongue. Oak emerges on the finish, with some lingering tart citrus flavors.

There is no shortage of flavor levels here, yet their combination is incredibly nuanced. A masterpiece from Cantiillon.

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Photo of prototypic
4.47/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Many, many thanks to ampzilla for this bottle. I looked for this one for a quite a while. Thanks, Andrew.

Saint Lamvinus is certainly an interesting shade of red. It's not quite pink, but far from scarlet. It lies somewhere in between. It's clear and looks a little orange or copper when held to light. A light pink head tops it off and reaches a finger and a half deep. Active carbonation causes it to evaporate to a surface covering quickly. Lacing was light and stringy.

The nose is incredibly deep and smells excellent. It's kicked off with a very strong oak aroma that is predominant throughout. That alone gives it a ton of character right out of the gate. It is quite musky and earthy. Grapes are very prominent. It smells like red and white varieties were used. It's very vinous and does bear some resemblance to wine. A vinegar-like scent emerges late, but isn't exactly subtle. It's quite complex and smells delicious. Alcohol is not noticeable in the least. This is one delicious smelling Lambic.

There's certainly no dropoff in the flavor. Wow! This is excellent. It's a little sweeter than I expected up front. The unique blend of red and white grapes tastes excellent and is somewhat sweet. That sweet flavor works really well with the earthy and musky flavors. It is a little vinegar-esque. Nice and tart. Not quite mouth puckering, but certainly tart. The collision of the sweet and tart flavors produces a very refined flavor that's right up my alley. Definitely tart, but not too tart. Oak is the x-factor that adds a ton of character and depth to the flavor. It's the perfect complement to the vast array of flavors present. Alcohol, while not strong, is almost impossible to pick up. It finishes a little tart and very dry.

Saint Lamvinus has a body that's svelte and very smooth. It seems more substantial and creamy with a little warming. Carbonation is active, but the bubbles feel light. It goes down far too easy. Did I mention how smooth it is? Drinkability is nothing short of excellent. I'm not the biggest Lambic fan in the world, but this is amazing beer. I've got a 750 here and it simply isn't enough.

Saint Lamvinus is one of those beers that achieved legendary status and it certainly deserves it. I'm always somewhat skeptical approaching Lambics, but this one delivers in a big, big way. I'll never have a shred of doubt about a Cantillon beer ever again. This one's damn near divine. The flavor is so complex and delicious. It truly is a special beer. If you don't have this beer available in your locale, it's well worth seeking out in a trade. Find a bottle. Thanks a ton, Andrew.

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Photo of Patrick999
4.16/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Popped the cork - it tried to break on me, but I got it out without incident. Vintage 2007 per cork. Poured into a Rochefort chalice a beautiful violet, perfectly appropriate for a red grape lambic. Some bubbles, but not overwhelmingly fizzy.

Aroma is not too different from a Lou Pepe Kriek or Framboise. Green viney aroma with some cherry and wood - indeed, I think this smells like an Oude Kriek rather than a grape lambic. Doesn't smell as much like a glass of Merlot as I thought it might...which I suppose makes sense as this is half the ABV of a typical Merlot so you're not getting the full-bore aromatic intensity of a wine.

Wow, now this is what I was after. Quite vinous on the palate. Very woody, definite tannic presence. High acidity - high sourness. Very, very sour, and bone-dry on the finish.

Feel is spritzy, like a wine cooler, only far better than any wine cooler out there.

Cantillon usually doesn't fail to disappoint, and this is no exception. If you're into vinous, wine-like beers, this is well worth the occasional indulgence. High-priced, but this is a time-and-space-intensive brew, so it's understandable.

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

Poured from 750ml bottle into a Bruery tulip glass.

A: Pomegranate/reddish grape color that supported a somewhat decent off white colored head that I found a bit surprising for a limbic. On the other hand, the lack of lacing was apparent...which I usually find in most beers within this style.

S: Tons of wood! Like my buddy described, similar to what you would find in an old wooden cabinet thats been closed for quite some time. The grapes come off very wine-like and the sour qualities are subtle, but noticeable at the same time.

T: The merlot grapes really come through and the sour punch is very mild. Kind of reminds me of a sparkling wine, but in red form. The wood is still there as well, but seems to be much more subdued than the smell originally indicated.

M: Nothing too out of the ordinary. Nice light and mild carbonation followed by a medium-like body.

D: 5% ABV and a very nice flavor profile...enough said.

Overall: A great sour, but unfortunately...not the best I've had. A must try. Cheers!

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.7/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served to me blind by laituegonflable.

Pours a deep pink-red colour, tending to very pale at the edges, with a filmy head of white bubbles. Little carbonation present, even though it was served in champagne flutes. Colour is nice for the style, otherwise a little disappointing.

Pretty sour lambic character on the nose - tending almost towards barnyard funk. Little fruit is present, except those that evoke acidity - lemon and green apple. I'm expecting a riproarer on the tongue.

Wow, much more subtle than I would have expected from the nose - certainly not teeth-clenchingly sour, but a marked acidity leavened by touches of tannic grape must, a light bubblegum character, and a crisp, dry finish. It does feel a little thin - it has neither the strong, pungent acidity, nor the sweetness to be truly full-bodied, but it's not a bad drop all up. Mouthfeel is crisp, but the thinness is present here as well.

Still, this is a pretty refreshing sour ale. It just lacks a little something to me - the fact that I can't pick what is in it implies that the fruit characters are what is absent. Not bad.

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.92/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a rude red colour, minimal head. Slow but decent carbonation. Leaves some pleasant beige lace in lieu of head, patchy but decent. For what it is, pretty good, yeah.

Nose is fairly sour with acrid qualities, but a distinct fruitiness akin to red grape tannins, with some cherry character on there as well. Sourness has a woody aroma as well, oaky mostly, and almost takes on a smokey quality. Pleasant nose and nice complexity.

Taste is quite sour, quite bitey, affair, with some vinous grape acid on the front descending into a dry tartness that has elements of citrus and yoghurt cultures in it. Overlying it all is a nice grape element, very vinous. Aspects of light bark, dark cherry and a lacquer kind of character comingle for an impressive and quite enjoyable palate.

Nice tingle on the mouthfeel, an unusual viscousness without being particularly syrupy. Leaves very dry though, and frankly the dryness is one of the reasons I prefer beer to wine.

Very drinkable overall, like a good young wine. Bit of an acidic linger but otherwise pretty decent.

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Photo of noeldundas
4.44/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A great lambic. 2008 vintage.

Oak, berries, and some barnyard in the nose, as it warms you get more funk and some leather. The body is light and playful like champagne, very soft acidity, with strawberry notes and definitive tartness. I was expecting more tannins, but none were present. Dry and clean, with a slight puckering finish.

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Cantillon Saint Lamvinus from Brasserie Cantillon
98 out of 100 based on 472 ratings.
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