Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Cantillon St. Lamvinus

It's not everyday (okay it's basically never) that you see any Cantillon on draft, let alone one that is pretty damn rare even in bottle form.  However, this past Tuesday, the Belgian Cafe put on Cantillon St. Lamvinus and I knew I had to stop in for a glass.  As the link will tell you, St. Lamvinus is two to three year old lambic placed in Bordeaux barrels with grapes and aged, I guess.  Okay, the link isn't terribly helpful.  It's an old lambic with grapes.  There, that's better.  Maybe someone smarter than me can explain what that link really meant.
Smelled sour with a little vinegar and notes of red wine.  A little funk but not too much.  Very little carbonation, almost still.  First sip is just crazy.  So many flavors.  Grapes, some funk, sour, tannin bitterness, wood and vanilla.  Hugely complex with one flavor flowing into the next.  It calmed down a little as I got used to it and the grapes, wood and vanilla came to the fore

A friend told me that as it ages, the grapes fade and the funk and tart come to the front and I imagine it then tastes like a completely different beer.  Lambics are awesome like that.  So glad I stopped to try this as I've never had anything quite like it.  I'm not really doing it justice, but hopefully you've gotten the idea and realize it was fantastically unique.  Too bad the bottles are scarce and expensive.  Ah well.  Now to hope I can get to Monks when they tap their keg of Fou'Foune they are rumored to have stashed away.

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