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Cantillon Iris - Brasserie Cantillon

Not Rated.
Cantillon IrisCantillon Iris

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

1,747 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,747
Reviews: 466
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 9.43%
Wants: 704
Gots: 395 | FT: 24
Brewed by:
Brasserie Cantillon visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Lambic - Unblended |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: TheLongBeachBum on 12-05-2002

From the brewery's website: "Although it is a spontaneous fermentation beer, the Iris is very different from the Lambic. The amber colour and the bitter and slightly caramelized taste make it a complex beer."
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,747 | Reviews: 466
Reviews by CalgaryFMC:
Photo of CalgaryFMC
4.39/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

75 cl bottle poured into a tulip glass. A murky ruddy orange-amber hue with almost no head once everything settles out, just a speckling of white bubbles floating there. There is a neat effect where a sip leaves some lacing composed of tiny bubbles that evaporate almost instantly. Sublime aroma, decidedly funky and sour with assertive lime, lemon, horse blanket, aspirin, flower shop, root cellar, and white wine all vying for one's attention but with nothing sticking out in an unpleasant fashion. Palate is similarly complex yet dominated by dry and sour hop and wild yeast elements with pretty minimal sweetness aside from a faint tinge of caramel, discernible in the finish if you concentrate. I get apple cider vinegar, lemon and lime peel/rind, baby aspirin, champagne, tannic grape skins, horse blanket or dry canvas sheet (seems like an apt descriptor, sorry!), and a general forest floor earthiness from start to finish. Supremely tasty sour and more pungent than some other common examples I've tried from Petrus and Rodenbach. No sugar in this sucker. The label is careful to state that this is not a lambic, which is interesting, probably on the basis of the lack of wheat and hopping regime. Very low carbonation but not flat, airy light body and a massively sour finish that manages to hit woody, hard candy, and hay elements before descending into a super-tannic green apple and white wine vinegar finale. What a beer. For some reason my ratings seem high but shall stand. I agree with Jeff Sparrow in "Wild Brews", this bridges the gap between lambic and American sours nicely.

More User Reviews:
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.6/5  rDev +5.7%

totally different stuff from cantillon here. all barley malt instead of some amount of wheat in here make it quite a bit more sturdy then their lambic types, and the hops are definitely more aggressive in flavor, although still really mild, especially by American standards. the beer has a darker caramel color to it, plenty of hazy as per usual with cantillon, and a tall and lasting dull muted whited head of tiny bubbles. the nose is more funk than sour, with some textured sweetness in there, and then of course the oaky mature lacto thing to finish. the taste is just like the nose, exactly like it, with the barley malt influencing this beer more in terms of body I think than flavor. the hops have an earthy dried herbal character to them than likes the bigger body, and carbonation is effervescently bright. I like the slightly richer feel to this, and the longer finish not usually there in their lambic. maybe a little less unique and distinct than some of their other beers, like say fou foune or the lou pepe fruit beers, but I think its quality is as good as any, and its definitely a new direction for them. stoked to have shared this bottle with my brother, who loves sours and wilds but until now has never had a beer from cantillon. we both really enjoyed it.

Photo of oldbizmark
5/5  rDev +14.9%

my favorite beer. period.

Photo of tectactoe
4.34/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Huge thanks to TheLostGringo for the bottle. Cantillon is always appreciated! Iris pours the color of a bruised tangerine, completely opaque and full of haze; top to bottom, left to right. The little, light beige head piles up quickly, then dissipates just as quick as it settles to a meek film atop the beer and a small ring that outlines the glass.

Lots of that signature, lovely Cantillon critter funk in the aroma; barnyard, sweaty funk, horsey, and a bit of soaking wet hay. There's a nice, soft wheat background and even a very mild bit of grassy and floral hops mixed in, too. Looks like the 50% dry hopping really did come through; the bottle is relatively fresh, too, so I'm sure that helps.

Other than the bludgeoning of funk, the rest of the aroma is filled out with notes of tart lemons, mild white wine and vinous oak notes, and a touch of acid and vinegar that reach out and give your nostrils and saliva glands a nice stroking. It doesn't smell as tart as many of the other Cantillons I've had, but it's easily as funky and definitely one of the most unique.

Well, well, well... tartness may not have been the king of the aroma, but it's the first thing that hits my tastebuds with the initial sip. Very nice sour introduction, with sour apples, lemon zest, mild lactic acid, and faint white wine vinegar leading the way. Funk abound, per usual; like licking a musty barnyard floor with a sweaty horse standing nearby.

Iris contains a nice woody character throughout its entire profile, too, that really stands out and sets this brew apart. Woody, bitch-like, and grassy, with a vinous, aged-oak kind of finish that scrapes the moisture from your palate and leaves your mouth bone dry. Beautifully crisp, fluid, and even a bit creamy on the palate; thin-medium bodied with high carbonation.

Another winner from Cantillon. Heavy funk, heavy tartness, and a good meshing of fruits, bugs, and vinous flavors. The dry hopping with fresh hops is surprisingly more noticeable than I thought it would be. Certainly there would be consequences in the form of acid reflux and stomach ulcers if you decide to tackle a 750 mL bottle solo, but believe me, when you try it, you're not gonna want to share.

Photo of ricke
4.62/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2006. Bottled in 2008.

Serving date: 2009-01-10.

Served in snifter.

Presentation: 750 ml bottle, corked and capped. Bottling date and freshness date on label (Bottled 2008-05-26, best before 2015-12). Some information about the production process on the back.

Appearance: The pour is golden/copper - almost reddish - and semi-clear. The color of this brew is very appealing. The white, 1 cm head is lively but quickly dissipates leaving a minimal ring of lacings. The head is not as big as anticipated (perhaps due to the chosen glassware).

Smell: The smell is rather complex: Scents of unripe green apples sit side by side with hints of grapefruit, and in the other corner vinegar tags up with a faint funky smell. Amazing smell.

Taste: The taste is even more complex than the smell. Where to start, where to start... First of all, this is a very sour beer. Sourness and tartness thus being its main characteristics. Tastes of especially lemon, but lime, are up-front and linger on throughout the experience. A fruity character of unripe green apples and grapefruits is also prominent. Vinegar also reappears in the taste, but is not as dominant as in the smell. A faint hint of yeast is also detectable. Subtle hints of a funky barnyard taste adds an interesting tension to the taste of the concoction. The very long finish is primarily sour and a bit dry.

Mouthfeel: The body is medium. Carbonation is good. The sourness sends a tickling feeling to the cheeks, which is a pleasant sensation.

Drinkability: I really like lambics and in my opinion this is a really good beer. The distinct sourness actually doesn't become overwhelming, even though the bottle is 750 ml. A highly recommended brew.

NOTE: I'm going to cellar a bottle of this for a year or two, and see how it turns out cellared.

Photo of brownbeer
4.85/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Rusty with a suprisingly big dirty white head.

S- A bouquet of fresh flowers, horse blanket, iron, and funk.

T- Floral flavors blend with an acidic backing. Truely wonderful.

M- Incredible texture. Perfectly carbonated with a pickle juice like acidity.

D- I'm sad that I don't have any more. I can't wait to see this again, a must own.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.8/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I shared this bottle last night with kmpitz2 at The Map Room. The Iris evacuated the bottle with a deep golden color and a big, bubbly three finger head. Tempting aromas of vinegar acidity, barnyard funkiness, hints of citrus/floral and a bit of dirty sweat socks thrown in for good measure. Wonderfully unique and tempting.

Beautiful sour acidic puckering opening with slight floral notes and hints of lemon. Super funky, each sip brings something new. Dirty hay and barnyard stable weaves in and out and keeps me guessing....possibly some green olives that have gone bad? An extremely challenging and rewarding lambic...simply wonderful.

Smooth, crisp mouthfeel with small bubbly carbonation. This is so easy to drink and each sip just leaves me wanting more and more. Gueuze and lambic are becoming some of my favorite styles and Cantillon has blown me away so far...I highly recommend Iris and I look forward to trying more of their beers.

Photo of chOAKbarrell
4.6/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got to try a vintage bottle of this at a local bar, dated 1996. $12.

Bright vibrant red, like kool-aid or a crayon. No head. Extremely tart, strong nose. The taste was intensely tart and sour, maybe even beyond Dogfish Head's Festina Lente. I mean that in a good way, though. I really enjoyed this, and dont know what to compare it to, other than the above mentioned lambic. I dont know if the flavor was supposed to be cherry or raspberry or what. The lowest mark for this lambic was the drinkability. It is pretty intense, and I dont know how much the average lambic drinker could handle.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.79/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 750ml bottle poured into a tulip glass. Vintage 2004 on the label, bottled 2006 on the cork. Hazy golden red color with a tiny head and little carbonation. A tart fruity aroma, very earthy. Citrus fruit taste, very sour, yeast, crisp, clean finish. Loved this beer. Could drink it all night if my salivary glands were up to it.

Photo of warnerry
4.32/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled Dec 15 2011

A – Pours a ruddy golden brown with tinges of orange. One-half finger of off-white head dissipates quickly, but maintains a collar, No lacing.

S – Nice Brett-y funk aroma, with wet hay, some grapefruit rind , oak, and earthy hops.

T – Nice earthy funk tart up front, combined with a very nice herbal hop bitterness. A bit of lemon and grapefruit rind. Finish is earthy, tart and bitter at the same time, and lingers for awhile.

M – Medium mouthfeel that starts a bit puckering, but a nice hop bitterness throughout.

O – I really enjoyed this. Not as “clean” as some of the lambic blends, but I’m glad I tried a relatively fresh bottle, as the hop bitterness complements the lambic characteristics very nicely. Tasty.

Photo of Billolick
4.39/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Its one of the Beer axioms I live by, when you see Cantillon on tap, order it! So when I saw this on on tap at My Place in Ct. my choice was a no brainer...this one poured cloudy, dull light amber, with minimal head, lacing etc. Nose was the expected sour, funky ripe apples. IOn the tongue, this classic, unadulterated Lambic continued the theme of sour, but not too sour, apple notes, funky, flavorful, unique, intense, complex, what can I say I love the Cantillon brews and this one was just lovely. Support the producers of these world class artisinal creations.

Photo of Mora2000
4.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle provided by ericandersnavy. 2007 vintage.

Pours and orange color with an off-white head. Aroma is a very tart, sour. Some spices and floral qualities also. The flavor is vinegary with some great tart fruit. You get some wood notes in the flavor as well as a good mix of citrus and some barnyard funk. High carbonation and extremely drinkable.

Photo of magictrokini
3.78/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2005 vintage. This is the first unblended lambic I've tried. Pours hazy orange-gold with a bubbly white head that quickly disappears. Musty aroma of yeast, lemon, apple, spice, and old wood. Taste is fruity, citrus sweet up front, but instantly turns into a dank acidic sourness with an apple wine/vinegar bite. As it warmed the sourness lightened up just a bit. Dry, sweet finish akin to a Flemish.

Photo of kingcrowing
3.98/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

37.5cl corked & capped bottle poured into an oud beersel glass at Delirium Cafe in Brussels. 2005 vintage.

Pours a crisp clear amber with a thin white head that fades quickly to nothing, very little bubbles visible. Nose is light, tart an sweet.

Taste is very sharp and sour but super smooth and easy drinking given the style. Hints of flowers, honey and tart candy. Finish is tangy and fruity.

Photo of pat61
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours an energetic ruby tinged amber with incredible, very fine carbonation. The head rises to about one to one and a half fingers and then quickly recedes. It is very unusual to find such fine, champagne-like carbonation with the light beer body to hold the bubbles together and produce such a fine mouthfeel. The aromas include some fruit and citrus – maybe grapefruit punctuated by a little barnyard. There are so many tastes, they are so well blended and balanced and they create such a flow of flavor in your mouth that it is hard to identify them all. There is a little fruit, malt, and a couple of different hop aspects. You can taste both the old lambic hops (dull, stale with a lot of tannins) with the fresher hop character (spicy and bitterer). The beer also has a wine-like quality to it as well as the kind of oak you would get with an oaky chardonnay. The tartness balances well with the different varieties of the hop. The tannins from the old hops and the bitterness and spiciness from the newer hops, the lemony/grapefruity tartness, and the barnyard funkiness all blend together in a very amazing way.

Photo of ehammond1
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On Tap

Stone Brew Co.
Escondido, CA

Zwanze Day 2011

Hazy golden orange and yellow with a persistent white head. Spots and thin sheets of lacing mess the glass.

Bright aromas of barnyard funk and some tart yeast along with plenty of stinging sour notes. There's also a lingering sweetness throughout of mild citrus and some wood.

The flavor really shines far more than the aroma would initially indicate. A wonderful combination of bright citrus, earthy hay and grass, a bit of sour, and a warm blanket of barnyard, musty funk.

Medium bodied and ample carbonation. A joy to drink.

Incredibly drinkable and remarkably complex. Wonderful

Photo of boatshoes
3.93/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received this as an extra in a recent trade with nonstick. Thanks!

Appearance- Pours a murky tan with a few floaties despite decanting the yeast. About a finger of fizzy white head rises off the body of the beer and actually stuck around for longer than I was expecting. No discernible lacing but some visible carbonation.

Smell- A lot more funky than I was expecting. Lots of barnyard, wild yeast, lactic tartness, and fruitness coming through. Of the nature of green apples, lemon zest, and some pear. Very wild and tart smelling.

Taste- Big on the tartness and funk. Really a lot of the wild yeast funkiness and barnyard on the palate accompanied by a mouth puckering lactic tartness that dies back somewhat as the beer warms. Again, green apple and some pear show through but this lambic is on the less fruity and more sour/wild side than many I have had. Very nice though and an interesting change.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel is great for the style and not overly thin, though the carbonation is surprisingly spritzy. Drinkability suffers just a touch because of the high levels of funk and tartness but still pretty good.

Overall, interesting and a change from the lambics I've had recently. Another great offering from Cantillon and I would recommend it.

Photo of jazzyjeff13
4/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 750ml green glass bottle with a bottled-on date of Feb 20th 2012. ABV is stated as 6%. Purchased at the brewery back in May, while on a trip to Belgium/the Netherlands. I was able to try this at Moeder Lambic while I was in Brussels - it was great!

Poured into a Duvel tulip (twice). A bright orange-amber hue with medium carbonation; much hazier on the second pour. Yields a small head of white foam that lasts for a couple of minutes before dissipating. A tart, dry aroma with notes of lemony acidity, musty barnyard funk, green apples, mild vinegar, hay, earthiness, yeast and faint hints of caramel and hop overtones. Complex and inviting.

The flavour is distinctly sour and dry, with layers of character and a slightly bitter finish. Notes of tart lemons, unripe apples, barnyard funkiness, subtle vinegar, musty yeast, hay/straw, faint citrus and a vanishing hint of caramel malt. Very faint aromatic hop overtones in the background. A mild hop bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is puckeringly acidic - bone dry and highly astringent. Quite light, with tingly carbonation and good body. Aftertaste of tart, dry mustiness with a hint of bitter hops. Incredible.

A fantastic beer. Not a true lambic, but superbly crafted nontheless. The spontaneous fermentation gives it a sour, funky character with amazing depth. My only (slight) complaint is that the hops are too subtle and attenuated - was hoping for more in the aroma. When I had this on tap in Brussels it seemed hoppier, but perhaps the time that has passed has allowed the hop notes to fade. I suspect this is a beer best consumed young. Anyway, another quality offering from Cantillon and well worth your time. Grab one if you come across it.

Photo of robertjbell
4.32/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy burnt orange color with a lucious looking, yet small, lingering head, spatches of lacing, with cloudy yeast sediment hazing the glass

Nose: Immediate characteristic of a lemon rind tartness followed up by intense barnyard aromas, brettanomyces, horse blanket, layer upon layer of funk, just what I want from a traditional lambic. Hints of black pepper and a bit of oak finish up the nose

Taste: A tangy mandarin orange and candied lemon is apparent on the back of the pallate, accompanied by savory yet light notes of hay and more brettanomyces yeast characteristics. The finish is intensely sour and vinous, with nods to an oaky chardonnany quite clear.

Mouthfeel: A light rolling carbonation keeps the body feeling light and puffy, with a tingling wine-like mouthfeel

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.68/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Looked like a west coast ipa, that vibrant orange and yellow appearance, great white head, lace and retention, perfect.

Aroma was heavy lemon, floral, grapefruit situation with funkal overtones.

Taste, quite sour, green apples, white wine, you seem to be able to appreciate a slight hop existence. Tiny amount of oak mouthfeel accompanying the little dry hopping. Extremely dry. Solid tart product from Cantillon, as usual

Photo of mondegreen
4.1/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz Bottle poured into a Samichlaus Tulip.

2007 Vintage, according to the cork it was bottle in 2009.

A: Hazy golden/copper appearance. Tons of tiny bubbles rushing to the head , keeping a healthy froth above the beer.

S: Funky & Strong. My wife commented that she smelled in from about five feet away when I walked into the room. Tough for me to put a finger on exactly what I am smelling, as I'm still fairly new to the world of Lambics. This one smells nice, though.

T: Heavy pucker factor all the way through this one. Sour fruits are evident, and the aftertaste is unique. I like the taste, but this one needs to be enjoyed slowly, as the aftertaste lingers.

M: Nice carbonation, beer is just thick enough to be enjoyable.

D: I'm enjoying this one, but I think 12oz will be enough for one sitting. Of course, it will take me awhile to finish this since the flavors are quite potent. I'd be up to have it again at another time, for sure.

Photo of 01001111
4.6/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Burnt amber.

S: Tart, Cantillon yeast funk.

T: Peach, state bitter hops, an odd mixture of medicinal and rotten. Simultaneously delicious and mildly disgusting.

M: A slight prickly tartness. Crisp but full bodied.

O: Unique. Oddly compelling. Cantillon are certainly the kings of funk.

Photo of jeonseh
4.16/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Hazy dark brown golden beer with small head to it.

S - Floral with juniper and iris. Lots of Bretty presence to it that gives it blue cheese and farmhouse funk

T - Floral up front with juniper and flowers before a slight vinegar comes through. The finish has some slight oak and and sweettarts near the finish

M - Light and effervescent. Finish is slight dry

O - Good sour with a nice floral presence that is well as balanced with the tartness

Photo of rastaman
3.75/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Kind of strange really, very sour yeasty aroma, with hints of parsley, lemongrass and flowers. Quite sour and then bitter, with a grassy earthy flavour, complex and different. I don't think this quite worked, that green stemmy, flowery quality, didn't seem to fit alongside the sour yeastyness. Still, hardcore.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a chalice) 2007 vintage bottled in 2009
A- This beer has a hazy deep copper body with an effervescent carbonation. There is a creamy head that fades to a few big bubbles of off-white.
S- The lactic acid tartness gives way to a barnyard nose that is perfumed with some faint apple pulp notes in the finish. There is a soft spicy wood note and some musty cellar notes aswell. The cheese rind note of brett comes through also.
T- The big sharp tartness fades to wet wood and grapefruit flavors with a stone fruit flavor to follow. The dry tartness in the finish lingers just a moment.
M- The medium-light mouthfeel has a crisp dryness from the carbonation and no real astringency just a good pucker.
D- This beer has a nice crisp tartness with some good depth of funk and fruit.

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Cantillon Iris from Brasserie Cantillon
97 out of 100 based on 1,747 ratings.