Brasserie Cantillon Saint Lamvinus

Brasserie Cantillon- Belgium

Saint Lamvinus – 6% ABV

Served on tap at The Blue Dog Pub, Lansdale, PA.  $8.99 for an 11 oz. tulip glass.

“The grapes, of the Merlot and Cabernet-Franc grape varieties, soaked in Bordeaux barrels containing 2-3 year old Lambic.  Not blended before bottling…”

My glass arrived and I noticed how dark this Lambic looks.  Hazy, blood-red colored.  Magenta with purple highlights.  There is no head, and no visible carbonation.

The aroma is fruity and sour, with acidic notes.  There are some woody aromas, likely oak from the barrels.  The smell has a mouth-watering tartness.

The flavor is complex, there’s a lot going on here.  The tartness is extraordinary, almost astringent.  It really bites the tongue.  The fruit flavors come out in surprising variety.  The fruit is mostly grapes, but also some sour cherry and raspberry in there, too.  There are also some background flavors that lead toward red wine vinegar.  It’s not unpleasant, but definitely there.  The flavor is sour, but milder than I had expected.  Mostly grapes and oak.  It’s pretty amazing to be able to actually call this, “beer”, but it is…

Sparkling carbonation is readily noticeable in the light to medium-bodied mouth feel.  The carbonation is interesting in that it’s there, and then it’s not.  It’s effervescent for a second, then it fades… interesting.

The drinkability is nice and I certainly feel like I’m drinking a glass of wine.  At 5% ABV, one could certainly enjoy more than one, but I think the style calls for just one.  Also, the $9 price makes me wait for another day.

Saint Lamvinus is a great sour and grape influenced Lambic.  It is definitely worth seeking out to taste.  Try to get down here to taste it while it’s on tap.  Definitely worth a special trip.  I’m now going to sit back and enjoy the rest of my glass.

Overall – A

Published in: on April 7, 2011 at 9:55 pm  Comments (1)  
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