RateBeer
overall
100
97
style
Brewed by Cantillon
Style: Lambic Style - Fruit
Brussels, Belgium

bottled
common

on tap
common

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 855   WEIGHTED AVG: 4   EST. CALORIES: 150   ABV: 5%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Aged in oaken Bordeaux wine barrels with merlot grapes.


5
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
FlacoAlto (3737) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - FEB 2, 2004
UPDATED: AUG 8, 2007 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 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 wonít 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 berryĖgrape 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 thatÖ which leads to some ruminations on my part. How can something that is described in such negative terms (enteric, sweaty Ė leathery Ė horse blanket, vinegar, barnyard, etc.) be so wonderfully enticing? Well I donít 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. Donít get me wrong, donít 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 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 donít get it, seriously, Iíve 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.

5
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
RblWthACoz (964) - Brooklyn, New York, USA - SEP 29, 2007
Off notes 4/2007. Cork reads "bottled 2005". Pours a slightly clouded ruby with a pinkish hue to it. Nose is the typical sour with slight wood attribute and a fairly firm antiseptic tone as well. I find the flavor a very smooth and traditional sour with the fruit influence. There are berries and a touch of wood on the flavor. It is extremely sour, but I still feel like it is well within acceptable limits as I am taking long swigs of this one. I canít help it. Feel is nice and thick on the liquid and slightly carbonated. Itís nice and smooth going down. Overall this is fairly sour, as these guys always are. But I think it is extremely smooth and doesnít really carry any harsh characteristics at all. Quite easily this might be the easiest drinking lambic I have had to date. Well worth the price. I had this on cask at Spuyten Duyvil 6/2007, and it was just as amazing.

5
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
knickskicks (638) - - SEP 19, 2012
75 cl bottled Oct. 12, 2011. Bright pink/red with a pink-white head. Nose is berries (mostly strawberry), leather furniture, some vinegar, vinous. Tart fruits, oak, wine, star fruit, bitter grapefruit. Tickling tartness. Not incredibly tart but left my mouth pretty numb 2/3 through. Soft spritzy body. Probably the driest finish of any beer Iíve ever had. Leaves the pleasant chalky dryness you get in your mouth after eating a banana or two. Just an incredible palate.

5
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
SPDickerman (881) - Texas, USA - MAY 17, 2013
Pours fuchsia with a fast fading pink head. Smells exceptionally vinous, clearly like merlot. Taste is sour and fruity, without a doubt sour grapes. Medium-bodied with an astringent texture and prickly mouth-carbonation, Cantillon Saint Lamvinus finishes with a soft tartness.

4.9
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
kmpitz2 (21) - Tennessee, USA - JAN 8, 2005
This rare treat was shared between 4 people last night, and I have to believe that I will have to drink this beer again, without the other 3 glasses being shared. The liquid pours a beautiful rosey ruby color with a finger of spritzey head that immediately fallst to ring the beer with large bubbles. This one is very wine-like in the color, somewhere between a blush and a dark red. The nose was true to the Cantillon form. Funky, sour, acidic, but with a nice fruity grape coming in behind the funk, smelling so damn good. The flavor. What can one say about liquid nirvana; something so awesome that I would be happy to drink exclusively for the rest of my life. What struck me most was how mellow and smooth this was. Iíve had a few of the Cantillon line, but this was every bit as funkey, but much more mellow. Still sour and acidic and tart, but not puckering. The grape flavor hits secondarily behind the initial burst of sour and acid, but it serves to polish this beer like the finest diamond. The feel was a weak moderate to moderate, wtih a light, dancing bubble on my tonge. Nothing that got in the way, but enough to know it was there. Awesome balance on the pucker factor. Wow...wow, wow, wow. If there is anything left to say about the drinkability that canít be drawn from what Iíve already said, I donít know what it would be. Hunt this beer. Drink this beer. Love this beer. So good.

4.9
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
Grzesiek79 (2974) - Radom, POLAND - JAN 21, 2012
UPDATED: FEB 11, 2012 nuts, floral, red, cloudy, brown foam, heavy cloying, medium bitterness, heavily sour, full body, thick feel, long finish, raisin, cough drop, minimal head, light sweetness, long finish,

4.9
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
colinize (317) - Dallas, Texas, USA - MAY 31, 2012
Pours a nearly opaque rose color. 3-4 finger head that quickly dissipates. You can really smell the fruit and oak on the nose. Taste is like delicious sour grapes. Light carbonation. Nice tartness with a crisp mouthfeel. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

4.9
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
bob_w (291) - new york, New York, USA - JUN 15, 2013
on tap at alewifeís beers gone wild event. it was decanted from a key keg via a modified connector, which helped increase the roundness of the lambic. beautiful clear garnet red color, no head, enticing sour note in the nose, very smooth sourness -- not sharp at all. some red wine character in the background.

4.9
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
KennethArd (192) - Odense, DENMARK - FEB 19, 2014
Sweet berry aroma of raspberries, strawberries & cherries. Cloudy pink with pink head. Fruity animal sour sweet taste. Medium body & lively carbonation.

4.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
GODiSSOUTHERN (343) - Virginia, USA - JUL 31, 2011
Amazing beer! Clear rose tinted appearance with a small head. Wonderful smell of musty wine and brett. The flavor follows through similarly. Great full mouthfeel while maintaining the characteristic Cantillon dryness. Unlike any beer I have had before or since.


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