Cantillon Iris - Brasserie Cantillon

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Cantillon IrisCantillon Iris

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

464 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 464
Hads: 1,848
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 8.53%
Wants: 711
Gots: 419 | FT: 28
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 464 | Hads: 1,848
Photo of ArrogantB
3.9/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've seen this beer before and wanted to try it but Cantillon 750's are a little pricey $15-$25. Luckily I found this in a 375ml for $10 and who really needs more than 375ml of lambic or gueuze? The label read vintage 2005 and the cork read 2007 so three years old now. The cork was pretty disgusting, beginning to rot with a gross black liquid bubbling out of the cracks! Oddly, this did not deter me and seemed sort of normal...Anyway it looks like a gueuze, golden orange hardly any bubbles. It smells nice, fruity and malty with a slight earthiness. The flavor is bitingly sour, dry finish, dusty grapes, I think I taste hops? (630 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.89/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2003 edition. The blonde of lambics. Iris, Iris, fair and graceful in your looks. The smell of the earth, a pleasant mouthfeel. The taste of sweet apple not harsh. And livable sourness. A work of art not to punch a hole through. Satisfying like a very good white wine, 5 for satisfaction. (288 characters)

Photo of Rutager
3.89/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2012 bottle.

Appearance. Pours a hazy, rich amber-orange with a finger of off-white head.

Smell. Bright lemons and a bit of sweet funk with some herbal hops, more herb than hop.

Taste. Whole lemons and limes, earthy and savory herbs including, but not limited, to lemongrass and sage. I wasn't sure what aged hops really tasted like, but it's very clear that this is the primary flavour in this beer.

Mouthfeel. Medium body, lower carbonation.

Overall. My least favourite of the Cantillon beers so far, but still a nice beer. Interesting for sure, and an experience as this brewery's beer always is. I've heard this is nice when aged, I'll wait 5 or so years to try my other bottle. (688 characters)

Photo of jmarsh123
3.88/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours hazy orange with a finger of perfectly creamy white head and a few bubbles.

Intense hay like funk in the aroma. Some white wine, grapes, lemon and a whiff of flowers.

A little boring up front. The initial sip feels like it lacks a bit of punch. Floral flavors comes out a lot in the middle and finish. Finishes sour and floral with slight bitterness. I really enjoy the finish, just wish there were a bit more up front.

Smooth carbonation. A bit on the low side compared to some pricklers I've had, but still acceptable. Light mouthfeel.

Solid beer and one I'd be glad to pick up any day. (598 characters)

Photo of xnicknj
3.88/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at monks during the cantillon mad monday - I tried both 04 and 07 vintages

Pours a mostly clear deep reddish color with some cherry hues. A thin head dissolves into a halo of retained film around the glass, leaving little lacing.

A pleasant smack of tartness in the nose with unripe grape skin and some noticeable bitterness. Damp funkiness and some acidity as well.

Bitter and sour up front with a dark fruit presence. Damp funk and hay with some citrus. Soft sweetness and faint red wine tones. Finishes tart, dry, oaky, and bitter.

Lighter medium body, decent carbonation, lingers on the tongue for a bit. This was another tasty beer, although the combination of bitter and sour didn't completely fit my palate (unlike Cuvee des Champions). (757 characters)

Photo of Tnudish
3.88/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at Stoutfest. Label says its a 2007 vintage, but the cork says its 2010. I am gonna go with this being a 2007. Thanks to whoever brought this.

A-Pours a hazy orange in color with maybe a quarter fingers worth of tight white head.

S-Nose is exceptionally balanced. There is lemon and a fair amount of floral character to it. It resembles a Cuvée des Champions or Saint Gilloise in my opinion.

T- Flavor starts out with some bright lemon and then immediately turns to the floral aspect of the beer. It’s gentle grass and tartness....exceptionally balanced.

M-Mouthfeel is light, carbonation is gentle, as well as the acidity, a moderate finish.

O-Never had this before, but I am a big fan of this. I enjoy the floral character of the beer quite a bit and it adds some nice complexity to the lambic. (815 characters)

Photo of JohnQVegas
3.88/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle, 2005 vintage.

Pours orange with just a bit of haziness, fizzy off-white head that disappears post haste.

Aroma is a bit of sharp sourness, fruity - I got strawberries, just a bit musty. didn't get any hops, which I found surprising.

Taste is sour, sharp but not overwhelming, softened by the musty, earthy quality that comes in after the initial carbonation burst passes. Finish is a bit of citric, lemony sourness and a bit of a grassy, floral note that emerges from the sourness.

Crisply carbonated, light body. (528 characters)

Photo of kiddynamite920
3.87/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a pretty dull orange, with some yellow highlights. Served to me without a head whatsoever. Bubbles building on the side of glass showed the carbonation, and an unclean glass sadly. No points off for the glass, just poured a bit flat looking.

S: Barnyard, red wine vinegar, lemon and a very tart aroma. Big earthiness and lemongrass. A bit of stinky sock, but in a good way somehow. Very pleasant and inviting aroma.

T: Oof! That's puckering. Lemon and vinegar, grass and dirt. Just a very earthy beer with an outstanding sour note.

M: Carbonation was actually very high and added to the astringency/puckering quality of this beer. It was strange drinking this after having a Batch 9000. Overly sweet to overly sour took my palate for a ride.

D: I'd say I could have two of these, the sourness and citrus seems like it would upset the stomach after 2-3 of these. 1 was enough for me, my gums and tongue were dry and puckered enough for me. (955 characters)

Photo of kasper
3.87/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2004 Vintage

A: Pours a cloudy, faded amber with straw-colored highlights. Fizzy short-lived off-white yields no lacing.

S: Funky earthy and floral aromas, loads of brett, and maybe some sweet olive brine.

T: Not sure how to describe this one. Flavors are rather course and earthy, like flowers smashed on smooth wet rocks. Overall, fairly sour with hints of something that reminds me of pollen. This odd, bitter flavor lingers somewhat coarsely on the finish.

M: Almost a medium bodied brew. Well carbonated but shy of champagne -- bit tingly and fizzy.

D: Much different than the other Cantillon's I've tried, mainly due to the lack of wheat and fruit. It's also not as sour as some others, but certainly does the trick. Honestly, it's this is the least favorite yet of the Cantillon sours I've tried, but that's not saying much -- it's still an extraordinary and refreshing beer. I couldn't fathom turning another one down short of being offered some other more appealing sours. (990 characters)

Photo of alovesupreme
3.85/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Murky yellow with a big foamy head that dissipated rather quickly.
Floral mostly Petunia, hops,funk and slight barnyard.
Very floral taste with some vinegar and barn. Lots of Lemon Concentrate. The hops are very prominent for the style which make it obvious why hops are used sparingly traditionally in this style.
A full body which is all I would expect from the style.
A good beer, but over hopped.The bitterness is not pleasant or ideal in the style. (456 characters)

Photo of IronDjinn
3.85/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a capped and corked 750 ml green bottle, best before date 12/2020. Pours out what seems a sedate and low carbonated cloudy and turbid marmalade/amber hue. It's opaque but not dark. Very quick splash of fizzy beige head.

Sharp tart notes first on the nose, citrus zest, grassy and spicy hops, mild earthy horseblanket.

Sharp, acidic, tart character up front, to a level that I've never experienced before. It's not unpalatable, in fact the converse, but wow, that's sumpin'! The citrus presence is also remarkable, as if there's a bowl of whole lemons in there, I'm picking up juice, pith and rind seperately. Fortunately by the middle some hops appear to help tone down the acidity a bit and provide some green and earthy notes, with some very mild funk on the finish, and the hops finally gaining some momentum to linger on in the aftertaste with that ubiquitous acidity.

The mouthfeel is suprisingly full-ish considering, the lack of carbonation. Texture is slippery, gets stickier on the swallow.

I'm not craving any more of this, and can't foresee that urge, however I am grateful for having the chance to sample such a unique and rare beer. It's a bit of a good window on what a lot of beers must have been like hundreds and hundreds of years ago, although most likely not as good as this stuff happens to be. (1,323 characters)

Photo of RollBounce
3.85/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a different take then expected. sour dry and floral. not the same nose you get from their other beers. I feel other companies have copied this flavor. (158 characters)

Photo of harrymel
3.85/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2004
Served to me at delirium cafe, brussels.

A: bottle has appeared to be in a place with lots of soil as I can rub the label and it feels like man hands at the end of a day of landscaping - rough and granular. The beer pours a turbid and hazy honey color. Having been poured with vigor, bubbles appeared at the surface, but transiently. No lacing.

S: tart lemons come thru with some interesting earthy and bell pepper tones. Some cider vinegar and also some anise seed at the tippy tip of the tail.

T: zinga! Sour beer! This is so sour it burns the roof of my mouth, gangster. Flavors of sweaty leather, lemons, potting soil, sheet grass.

M: thin and dry, nearly no carb left here. As mentioned, top of mouth was burning and at the end, my tongue was quite raw.

O: although this may be the sourest beer I've had, which is awesome, I don't think this beer was particularly great for cantillon. Although still very good, and I would drink again and again. (973 characters)

Photo of wheelinshirt
3.85/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I find lambics to be very difficult to rate and review, but here goes. Poured from a 375 mL corked and capped mini-champagne bottle into a flute and split with a friend. $7.75 from Abe's in Bethlehem. Not really sure what to expect from an unblended lambic brewed with fresh hops. 2005 Vintage

Color is mostly clear orange gold, small head, fairly poor retention and no lacing. I guess all the acidity really kills the bubbles. Really nice color, though.

Smell is sour, tart and vinegary, obviously. This beer is fairly fresh for a lambic, but it is three years old and I think any hop aroma has faded.

Taste is sour but lacking in complexity. It tastes different from the other sours I have had, can't quite put my finger on it so I will chalk it up to hop bitterness. I wish I could describe it more helpfully.

Mouthfeel is nice, crisp, puckering. No complaints.

Drinkability is pretty high. I couldn't slam pint after pint of it, but that's not really the point. I could easily finish the small bottle myself, but what is the fun in that. Highly recommended as something different for fans of sours. (1,107 characters)

Photo of deliriumfest
3.83/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed on 1/9/09

2006 Vintage, bottled in 2008; 750 ml bottle

Served well chilled and poured into a champagne flute. Pours a nice copper color with a foamy white head. Has a very sour/funky aroma with a bit of citrus and very little fruit. The taste replicates the smell but also includes a barnyard taste and no real fruit or sweetness. Very little carbonation and a light body concludes with a dry finish. Easily drinkable though incredible tartness could be perceived as a turn off. Wish I would have bought a smaller bottle but would definitely try again. (563 characters)

Photo of stcules
3.83/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bronze color, very clean, with a beautiful compact almost white foam.
Malt in the smell, leather, slightly sour notes.
More delicate in the mouth, again some leather and malt feelings, but also some almost floral notes, delicate, anyway.
It is relatively sweet, with some honey note, too.
Less aggressive than other Cantillon products, still a very good beer. (359 characters)

Photo of Stigs
3.82/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

375ml bottle, vintage 2005 (corked 2007)...served in an Ommegang chalice

A - one solid finger of bubbly off-white foam, falls to a thin layer within a few minutes. the beer is very hazy, and slightly dark gold in color.

S - very crisp and tart lemons, apples and pears. fruityness comes off incredibly fresh despite its age with green apples taking the forefront. light layers of funky grass and crackery malt underneath. very mouth watering and enticing.

T - tartness comes to the front very quickly before a massive dose of vinegary acidity takes over. overly ripened apples and white grapes struggle to find their way through.

M - light bodied wit sharp but not overly aggressive carbonation. finishes massively dry with lingering lemony tartness.

D - i've heard a few times that Iris is best fresh, perhaps this is a little past its prime as the acidity is pretty dominating. still good, especially if you're in the mood for it. would seek this out again, and drink it on the spot. (992 characters)

Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.82/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Originally reviewed on December 6, 2005. Pours a gushing honey orange hazy pour, with copious off-white head. Sour, ascerbic aroma of brandied pears, olives and some green grapes. Also a little parmesan cheese and some cask aroma. Sour dry flavor of olives, oak and more cheese, all very funky. I don’t have much experience with true Lambics, so I never know what to expect or garner from the situation, but even since my run in with NG Sour Brown, I’m more interested in wild fermented beers. This is wildly funky beer. In a way, I feel like I’m drinking green olive juice. Very much pimento in this beer. There’s a nice subtle, floral sweetness in the background that’s lifting and airy, and really brings a lot to the table. This is much more quaffable than my previous experiences with past lambics. Palate is some how dry at first, then finishes sweet and supple. A softness and smoothness to this beer. My bottle keeps gushing. Interesting and woody, a lot of tooth and chewiness. Enjoyable. Tastes old, which I appreciate. (1,034 characters)

Photo of IBUnit63
3.8/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

100th review!

Vintage 2004 poured from bottle into champagne flute...

Honey-colored, amply-carbonated with yeasty head - slowly dissipates with moderate lacing. Sparkling characteristic provides a nice Champagne aura.

Tartness is very pronounced and pungent - aroma spreads with aid of carbonation quickly - when glass is on table can sense even when stepping away. Yeast and carbonation are very abundant here.

As expected, sour-sour-sour with strong backbone of yeast. Opens up after warming. Tastes very well-made but admittedly not for me. Slight rubber tire aftertaste - oxidation?

Bright, tingly feel and finish; burnt rubber from possible oxidation is off-putting but does not destroy.

Gets better as it warms - again, non for me but a very well-made effort nonetheless. (783 characters)

Photo of match1112
3.8/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: cloudy yellowish orange in color with a full finger head that quickly disappears.

s: fruits and yeast with a touch of vinegar.

t: enough tart fruits to make you pucker. with an overly vinegar finish.

m: tart and crisp with a tongue tingling vinegary acidic finish.

o: an alright beer, not my favorite wild ale. probably wont buy again unless someone wants one in a trade. (378 characters)

Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.8/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Dec 2011

The beer pours a rich looking, cloudy amber with a thin, yet consistent, blanketing of a tan head. The nose is herbal and tart with just enough sweetness. The taste is rather harsh and the herbal characteristics in the nose are blunted by the beer's intense sour tartness. The mouthfeel is tart and acidic, but not overwhelmingly sour. The aftertaste is a mix of sweet and sour with a slightly lingering bitterness, and tons of acidity. Not the best cantillon I've had and I'm not sure what the hype is...still a good sour. (545 characters)

Photo of mlhyatt
3.79/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 750ml into tulip glass

A- a murky brownish tan. Nothing impressive. Lots of foam that lasts and lasts.

S- this is the best part. Lots of fruitiness with a funkyness that makes your cheeks pucker before the first sip.

T- it starts off delicious. Again lots of fruit and a sourness that that wasn't as puckering as i expected it to be. It remembered me of a cider a little bit. Then there is this strange taste on the back. It's bitter and funky, and completely ruined the taste for me.

M- full bodied. Tenses up your cheeks. Very nice mouthfeel.

O- that weird bitterness on the back end of the beer completely ruined it for me. If it wasn't for that then this beer would have been amazing. (707 characters)

Photo of magictrokini
3.78/5  rDev -10.4%
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. (399 characters)

Photo of stakem
3.78/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml bottle, '07 vintage bottled in '09 shared with some friends and poured into a matching Cantillon long stemmed tulip. The brew appears amber in color with an off-white to tan cap that maintains pretty solid retention for the style from a constant stream of carbonation rising to the surface. A light swirl revives the tan cap once it fades.

The smell of this brew is bold with damp woody character upfront. More smells reveal a bit of herbal hop character that blends into a fruity aspect. A tangy lactic component is throughout with a very pronounced earthy, damp mildew-like character somewhat similar to moist cork. It smells quite enjoyable but individually the scents of this brew are a bit contrasting and unexpected when mixed together.

The taste is tangy initially with an equally bold flavor of damp old wood and must just like the aroma indicates. It is both herbal with hoppy bitterness and earthy with a bit of dark fruited aspect. It is quite tangy and drying on the palate yet brings forth some salivation factor. As the brew warms up, there is a toasty flavor that seems to be like a toffee sort of grain indication or perhaps more reasonably a toasty depth of character imparted by the barrel aging. If possible, I would give this a 4.25 for taste, so I'll round up to a 4.5.

This is a medium bodied brew with a lively level of modest to high carbonation. There is not much abv impact but the combination of sourness and herbal bitterness is very trying on the palate. I enjoyed this but the combination of bitterness and sourness overall degraded this brews drinkability for me. Even though this brew was split equally between 4 people, I had a hard time finishing my ~5-6 oz. To this brews credit it was very unique with bold enjoyable barrel character. I wouldn't mind having a fresh one of these for comparison. (1,839 characters)

Photo of dasenebler
3.78/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

375ml, 2007 edition, bottled January 2010.

For a three-year old beer, this stuff still looks great. A hard pour produces a thick, off-white head atop a hazy, light amber body. Great retention and lacing, which might have something to do with this being an atypical, all-barley Lambic.

Aroma is funky and acidic, bordering on vinegary. A touch floral, with a mineral character as well.

Man, this particular Cantillon is a double-wallop: not only is there that signature dry sourness, but also a high bitterness from the use of fresh hops. Funky barnyard flavors are apparent, enhanced by the earthy hop flavor. Touch of citrusy hops on the finish-- very different for a Cantillon. Acidity is citric, but also with that same ripe apple and strawberry thing I tend to get from most Lambics. Mouthfeel is fuller do to the exclusive use of malted barley. The carbonation was perfect and effervescent at first, but faded fast.

All of the Cantillon beers are intense, but this one is especially potent due to the bitterness. It borders on overpowering, but still remains drinkable, just not as refreshing as some of this brewery's other Lambics. (1,142 characters)

Cantillon Iris from Brasserie Cantillon
94 out of 100 based on 464 ratings.