Home   About

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Open It! - Cantillon Saint Lamvinus


I love Cantillon beer. A month or so ago I visited the brewery and my love deepened and grew, such a magical place. This bottle of Saint Lamvinus was carried back to London by hand on the return leg of that trip and it was so worth it! A blend of lambics aged in red wine barrels with Merlot grapes; it's one of the harder Cantillon beers to find.

Sweeter than expected but still Cantillon-epically sour. Red grapes and cranberries. Warm, sweaty goats. Something distinctly plastic or man-made, flip-flop foam perhaps. Blackcurrants. Under ripe redcurrants, the kind that are grizzly and difficult to chew through. Iron. Deep, rich, red wine. A full enough body to carry everything across your tongue and then a crisp, snappy finish that leaves you wanting the next sip. Utterly delicious.

See here or here for more on the Open It! event.

10 comments:

BeerReviewsAndy said...

i love st lamvinus! luckily got a bottle stashed as i know my dad wont share the one i gave him lol

just wish i had the glass ;op

i feel a trip to the brewery coming on soon...if only to buy a stack of iris and the gambrinus one.

John Clarke said...

St Lamvinus is fantastic beer - one I think for wine drinkers who say they don't like beer. I think this comes as close as anything to bridging that gap.

Luckily I'm off to Brussels for a few days next week and a visit to Cantillon is very much part of the intinerary.

smokingbottle said...

That is my favorite Cantillon brew. Not a sour as the others but has a real nice layered fruit that I dig. It is also one of the few beers I can get my wine-loving in-laws excited about

Mark said...

John, Andy: I can't praise Brussels and the Cantillon brewery enough! I bloody loved it there and I think any other beer fan would too. If you get the chance, you should definitely go.

It's a good point about being a gateway beer for wine drinkers. I agree there.

John Clarke said...

I visit Brussels two or three times a year and always try and get down to Cantillon. Usefully close to Midi, too, for bringing those bottles back.

Mark said...

That's what we did. That walk back with 20 odd bottles was PAINFUL! :P

Where else would you recommend in Brussels?

John Clarke said...

Mark, I would rate the new Moeder Lambic on Place Fontinas (just off Boulevard Anspach); Poechenellekelder (opposite the Manekin Pis), Hoppy Loft at the Delerium and the now less foody (and as beery as ever) Bier Circus (57 Rue de l'Enseignment). I also enjoy the Porte Noire (67 Rue des Alexiens - 100+ beers), Fleur en Papier Doree (55 Rue des Alexiens) - small and intimate with Oud Beersel Lambic on draught, Brocante (170 Rue Blaes) for probably best lambic range in town (also opens 5am!!) and a personal favourite is the Monk (42 Rue Ste Catherine) - not the biggest range of beers but enough to keep you interested (De Ranke XX and Guldenberg for example) and just a great place to have a beer.

Mark said...

Nice list, thanks. We visited a few of those but there are some on there that I'll head to next time. I loved both the original and new Moeder and the food at Poechenellekelder was great (and reasonably priced considering the tourist location it has).

Tandleman said...

I'd just like to know how you know what a warm sweaty goat smells like. (-;

Mark said...

Well, I'm glad you ask ...

You know when you're at the zoo? It's sunny, you've had a nice day, perhaps an ice cream, you've seen the Gorillas and the Leopards and the Lions too. Then you get to the end and there's that petting pen where kids are allowed to walk around with the goats and sheep and stuff. Like, actually go in there and walk around with them! Well, the smell that greets you when you open that wooden gate and walk into that pen ... that's what I always imagine when I taste sweaty goat in beer.

In small amounts I can handle it, even enjoy it, but in large amounts - no! This is why I can't understand why people eat Goats cheese. How can anything that tastes strongly like that smell be enjoyable?

Glad you asked? :P