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Cantillon Iris - Brasserie Cantillon

Not Rated.
Cantillon IrisCantillon Iris

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474 Reviews
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Reviews: 474
Hads: 1,900
Avg: 4.25
pDev: 19.53%
Wants: 709
Gots: 439 | FT: 34
Brewed by:
Brasserie Cantillon visit their website

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: 474 | Hads: 1,900
Photo of HossMcGraw
4.62/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this bad boy on tap at Monk's Cafe in Philly before a Mountain Goats show and man did it hit the spot. The appearance was pleasant but unexceptional, resembling an overcarbonated pale ale. The head was very nice however.

The aroma was sour lactic funkiness with very grainy notes that reminded me of eating rye bread in a horse stall-an appealing description that I'm grateful fellow beer enthusiasts can appreciate. The flavor followed suit with super intense blue cheesey flavors and complex grains. Paired wonderfully with the smoked trout.

Mouthfeel was wonderful with balanced sprightly carbonation. As for drinkability, although fairly acidic, the craftsmanship of this brew along with its addictively tart flavor certainly would keep me coming back for more.

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Photo of jjanega08
4.62/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2007 Bottled Feb 17, 2010

A= The pour looks thick. The beer pours totally golden with a white head on it that is about a finger high. The retention and lacing are all about average. Pretty hazy looking.

S= Sour, Cheezy, and Hoppy I would say. Lots of hay in this one. There is a significant barnyard smell that I have always sort of found in Cantillon beers but the sourness seems to be toned down a little more with this one letting the funk really come through. Another supising thing is the hop character that comes through in this one. Most sours are just so sour that they don't really get as strong of highlights as this one has. Great smell.

T= Again with the soft sourness. Really plesant. The initial taste is a light lemon taste then the other flavors come through much more. A lot of hay and funk to it. There is a defined hop flavor to it as well. Not bitter hops or fruity hops but a nice earthy hop flavor. There seems to be a slight hop bitterness that lingers after the swallow. This is a funky earthy beer in the truest sense of the word. Sour without being crazy. Really unique to say the least.

M= A nice light spritzy carbonation. Not nearly as thick as the pour made me think it was.

D= This beer is really nice. A wow beer for me. This beer is sour without being dominating and really sort of letting some of the beers complexities come through and shine. It has a real "beer" taste as well as some of those sour notes I love so much. I'll be buying more of this.

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Photo of beerloverofbham
4.61/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Served in a tulip. Appearance is pale orange, like the color of apple juice. Smells like cheese aging in a damp tack room in an old barn. Tastes of lemon, crap apple, hints of different hop profiles come through--more so than any lambic I've had, which stands to reason considering it was brewed with fresh hops, than dry hopped later--rounds out with the sweet side of grapefruit. Not much lacing.

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Photo of chOAKbarrell
4.6/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

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Photo of 01001111
4.6/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.6/5  rDev +8.2%

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.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.59/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Max's last night

A: Reddish orange with a thin white head, decent retention,

S: Incredible combination of citrus hops and funk. It's not a combination I typically care for, but this time, it works. The citrus/orange character is just unbelievable. Not as funky as the bottle I had, and the acidity is milder. Slightly aspirin-like.

T: Opens up sour, tart and acidic with massive hop flavor. Very very tasty. Complex. Finishes mildly hoppy and bitter with sourness. Mild grape character.

M: Light, good acidity, great finish

D: Very drinkable.

Try this beer fresh. It's quite different than older vintages!

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Photo of nickfl
4.59/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A hazy, light copper colored body, topped by a thin layer of light tan head. The foam recedes quickly and leaves little lace.

S - Floral funk with notes of coriander, pepper and perhaps some chamomile. Lots of musty funk and a bit of toffee and toasted malt.

T - Soft, smooth lactic sourness with fruity flavors of pineapple up front. Some acetic sourness in the middle along with toffee malt and sweet, candied citrus that creates a sweet/sour contrast that is a little reminiscent of a Flemish red. More citrus sourness in the finish with some vanilla malt notes.

M - Medium-thick body, moderately high carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - This is an exceptionally complex and drinkable lambic. The wild character is intense and complex, but the sourness is rounded and never overwhelms the palate. There is a lot of fruity complexity that works with the funk to create a sweet and sour character that reminds me a bit of a Flemish red. All of this is backed up by a nice malt character that is quite a bit more complex than that of most lambics. A great beer that deserves a place in any collection of sour beers.

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Photo of Tballz420
4.58/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 vintage

Fairly hazy golden colored brew, non-stop rising bubbles produce a big white head. Scent is sour and fruity. Taste is fairly barny and quite a bit sour. Interestingly there is a pretty noticeable hop profile. Im not a lambic master, but i cant recall hops coming into play very often. Good amount of puckering fruit, lemon, grapefruit. Im almost picking up wheat tones as well. Some vinegar. Very interesting and tasty, i.e. cantillon

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Photo of Derek
4.57/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Vintage 2004.

A: Bronze with a fizzy, white head, initially some retention and hints of lace.

S: Earthy, metallic-mineral aroma, cider, tart/acidic aroma. Relatively mild & not overtly funky with subtle hints of barnyard.

T: Tart cider with biscuity malt undertones; metallic-earthiness; very pleasant leather-like quality; crisp tartness that isn't at all puckering.

M: Light to moderate body is well-carbonated, smooth and slightly acidic.

D: Very drinkable for a lambic.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.56/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

750 mL glass poured into a stemless wine glass.

Starts with a creamy cream-colored head over a grapefruit juice colored-body. Has a similar texture and cloudiness to grapefruit juice. 5

Tart citrus again reminds me of grapefruit. Funk-heavy, orchard-like and peach and apricot. 4.5

Grapefruit juice with earthy, grassy hops. Orchard funk kind of blankets the flavors leaving its mark. Peach tart flavors linger. Excellent. 4.5

Tart, lightly acidic, funky, and earthy. 4.75

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Photo of ericdavidmorris
4.55/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

My very first Cantillon experience. Had on tap at Torst. An amber color, light head, good lacing retention for a sour. Very tart taste with floral notes. Complex beer to taste, very happy I tried it.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.55/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Iris 2000. A 1 Pint 9.40 fl.oz green glass bottle, the front of which contains a small label containing a picture of a Marsh Iris (symbol of Brussels) painted by Julie Van Roy. Iris is different to all the other Cantillon beers, it is not brewed with the stipulated 35% wheat required of trad. lambics, but made only with pale ale malt. This is partly responsible for it’s amber color, which is quite a bit darker than the other offerings from the Brewery. Neither are 100% dried-aged hops used, Iris utilises 50% fresh-young hops. After 2 yrs in the Barrel, it is then “cold-hopped” with fresh hops before being bottled. Wow.
With this in mind I eagerly removed the thick black foil, the crown cap & cork and I poured the whole bottle in one go, first into a large Glass Jug & the remainder into a Cantillon Tumbler. I avoided pouring any yeast into the bulk of the beer that way. I served it at 55 Deg.F. It pours with a medium effervescence & a rich white short lived head which settles to a very tight 1/8” collar. Lines of bubbles slowly stream upwards throughout the experience. The body of the beer is a lovely deep amber-orange color that has ‘peachy’ twinkles when held to the light. Quite a bit darker than other Cantillon offerings I noted.
The beer in my Glass exhibited a slight haze as I finished the pour. I wanted every drop of this beer & picking up some of the yeast as a side-effect was perfectly acceptable to me in doing so. As I topped up from the Jug the clarity returned. A Gorgeous sexy amber-peach color. I wanted this beer so much.
Nose is vinous, sharp & acrid, but not as acidic as other offerings from the Brewery. Breath in deeply over this beer & you get the aroma from the 50% fresh hops used against a background of mustiness. As with all Cantillon beers, it does not pussy-foot around in the taste stakes – it is not for the feint-of-heart. Tastes are robust without apology. The first taste is dominated by the sensational mouthfeel, velvety, spritzy and lively – I am sure it reacts with the saliva in your mouth. Acidity is there & to a seasoned geuze-drinker, it may seem somewhat restrained, for it is neatly balanced by a bitterness (no doubt from the fresh hops) & a mild taste of burnt brown sugar & caramel which linger in the finish, culminating in an astringent shock finish, the trademark “Cantillon Mouth-Pucker”.
A truly unique beer, that is pseudo-lambic, rare for Cantillon the Masters of Tradition. Another excellent, high quality, offering.

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Photo of mjsarch
4.54/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1996 bottle numbered 163 of 500, consumed on my birthday. Wonder how many bottles from this batch are left on the planet?

A - Thin rim of head persists with no lacing, very minimal carbonation, some suspended yeast with the pour. Copper color.

S - Could smell this one about three feet away: sour, barnyard, horse blanket, acetic aroma.

T - Somewhat more mellow than some of the Cantillon brews. Grapefruit, lemon, floral, vinegar all present.

M - Mouth puckering sour.

D - Nice beer for savoring and observing a special occasion.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.54/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

350 mL bottle with 2007 vintage on the label and a 2009 bottling on the cork. Pours a very hazed, dark orange color with a bubbly white head that fades pretty quick to a light collar.

Light peachy and strawberry fruitiness compliments a barnyard funk that most certainly includes brettomyces. Has some sour notes and even a bit of flowery hops. Kinda like a starburst candy. Superb smelling beverage here.

Incredibly tart with some sour layering and woody brett flavor in the middle. Finishes off very dry with some more tannic tartness. The oak is readily apparent as it warms, toasted with plenty of acidity. Very good complexity and balance. Sourness diminishes as you work the bottle, but plenty of other flavors come up to fill the void. Very drinkable and went exceptionally well with some chevre goat cheese. I think I could live in Cantillon's cellar.

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Photo of ahalloin
4.54/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2007 poured at Churchkey on Zwanze Day.

Pours a cloudy dark gold with a leggy white lacing. Incredible lacing actually clinging the glass as I swirled it. Great look, hence the 5.

Candied orange, hay, grass, with slight garlic/onion notes come through for me in the aroma. The garlic/onion detracts somewhat.

The flavor is a different story. Beautiful mouth-filling funk and sour grapefruit fresh make up the taste.

The mouthfeel is quite outstanding. Full flavor and body yet a subtle drying finish. Medium carbonation works great with this.

This was my favorite Cantillon of the day next to Zwanze '10 and '11.

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Photo of heygeebee
4.54/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pale, hazy, one finger head.

S - tart, vinegar

T - funky, straw, a little wheat, also some wine notes.

M - zesty, lively, refreshing.

O - ok, Cantillons are difficult to rate.... They, to a large extent, are all a celebration of barnyard funk, vinegar, sour, tart, and refreshing. However, it's just by the end of a shared bottle you find yourself thinking, jeez this is just great beer.

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Photo of HiroProtagonist
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cantillon Iris was served from a corked (2001), capped, and foiled 750ml bottle. In a chalice, this beautiful beer was a brilliant and shiny copper color, and was topped by an everlasting, fine, and creamy off-white head that left sheets of luxurious lacing wherever it touched. The carbonation was varied and fascinating, consisting of slower small streamers, and large speeding bubbles that would hit the surface with such force they could be seen making bumps in the head from above. The nose presented an aggressive sourness with a soft musty grapefruit component followed by herbal juniper berry and powdery floral perfumy notes. On the palate, an up-front oaky dry sourness with an assertive raw lemon accent explodes then gains a tannic bitterness before slowly dropping off, leaving lingering herbal/grassy earthen lemony aftertastes. The body is very smooth, slick, and richly full, serving to counter and balance the dry oaken sourness. The vigorous carbonation matched well with the flavors and character of this lambic. I found this beautiful all-malt lambic to be wonderfully aromatic, robustly flavorful, and a pleasure to drink.

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Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured with a HUGE head, I'm not sure if there is some wheat in the malt bill or what, but its very pretty. The beer itself is almost entirely opaque, quite hazy, and is a light to medium brown color.

The nose here is very barn-yard funky. Its not nearly as "in your face" sour and acidic as the Cantillon Gueuze, but its got a good dosage of bitterness going on.

This beer starts with an almost malty sweetness as it first hits your palate, but that quickly subsides as the sour acidity literally EXPLODES into your mouth. I would put the sourness here at 6/10, its pretty sour, but not crazy sour. As the flavor rests on the palate its acidity really lingers for a long time. This beer is crazy complex, with the sweet, then bitter, then acidic; its Cantillon at its best.

I'll probably never see this beer on the shelves in Portland again, but by god it was worth $20.

PS. Big thanks to the guy at the store who was in line immediatly ahead of me, he gave the last bottle to my GF and I as we were the first in line not to get any.

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Photo of mtomlins
4.52/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a stemmed Teku glass
2014 Vintage; thanks to KeKeKumba for the bottle!

A: Poured a orange-hued amber color, clear, with two plus fingers of white head that settles nicely to a thin collar and no lacing.

S: The nose is brilliant, big and sour with some pleasant funk, lemon, white pepper and some floral notes. It smelled so good, that I kept smelling the glass after the beer was gone!

T: The very first sip was a shock to my palate, very dry and sour. After the first sip and my palate relaxed, all the subtleties started to come out. There is a lot of sour and dry hop bitterness, but also nice funkiness, barnyard, lemon rind, white pepper. The finish is very dry and bitter.

M: It has a medium body and nice carbonation keeping it light and refreshing.

O: This is the driest of all the Cantillons I have tried (which is not that many!). This was a real treat, a beer to be sipped and enjoy over a long period of time.

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Photo of flagmantho
4.52/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from 750mL bottle into a tulip. This is the 2007 vintage of Iris.

Appearance: rich golden-orange hue with tons of haze. Head is two dense fingers of creamy ivory foam. Looks very nice.

Smell: the aroma of a fresh, grassy meadow dotted with wildflowers and graced with a cool, free-flowing spring. On top of this is a light tartness which really seals the deal. I've had a lot of beers which were very autumnal in their aroma, but Iris is extremely vernal in nature. Very, very good.

Taste: matches the aroma in every characteristic, though it is quite a bit more tart than the aroma suggests. Fresh grass and cool spring water yield to a yeasty, bready after-flavor with an extremely clean, tart and slightly bitter finish. Magnificent.

Mouthfeel: body is on the light side of medium and creaminess is deliciously Belgian. I quite like it, but it's not as extremely well-done as the aroma and flavor.

Drinkability: this is my first Cantillon, so you might chalk it up to shock. I was really expecting to like this beer, and boy, was I right in doing so. Call it confirmation bias. I just call it damn tasty.

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Photo of LightnerLiquorKS
4.52/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very gorgeous lambic in glass. Not too much head but a wonderful hazy golden hue to this in a well-lit room.

The smell is almost Classic gueuze, with oak barrel abundance. Lambic yeast aroma is prevalent here. Barnyard funk, light fruit notes of citrus and grapefruit.

Taste is a lot like a Gueuze, with a bit more sweetness. There are citrus and other fruit notes in here that are incredibly deep, there are a ton of nuanced flavors all over this beer. Green apple acidic finish. Wine-like in overall taste, but definitely a Lambic.

Alcohol is not detectable. Light body, yet rustic at the same time. The tart bite on this beer should be classified as "high" but from all the sours and lambics i've tasted it is not overwhelming. This is a great intro beer for Cantillon.

Overall unique with the slight sweetness and amazing oak profile. If you do not read the ingredients you would really be bugged to understand what this is made of! You would swear this was slightly fruited at least!

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Photo of Brew33
4.52/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Cantillon Iris. Corked and capped 750, 2007 Vintage.

I opened the bottle and pulled the cork. I smelled the end of the cork and it smelled like straight red wine vinegar.... I got scared but the fright wouldn't last long. It poured a reddish amber. Good clarity, light carbonation. The aroma was excellent. Big sour twang. Apple skin, slight hoppiness. The taste was more of the same. Big fruit flavor and a nice sour kick. Not too sour though. Definitely the least sour Cantillon product I've had thus far. Nice hop bitterness and tremendous balance. The malts and hops play very well with the sour yeast notes.

Absolutely delicious. Good mouthfeel and amazing drinkability. I usually get burned out on Guezue's and Lambics after 2 glasses but I could literally drink Iris all night long. An absolute winner.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.52/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.7oz bottle, corked and capped, vintage 2005. The beer is clear with a touch of haze, copper colored with almost no head. The aroma is sour and barnyardy, kind of musty and a little metallic. The taste is just perfection, Cantillon makes the best lambics I've tried. I get a lot of sour citrus like lemon or puckering grapefruit juice, funkiness from the wild yeast, tart and delicious. Full bodied for a lambic (meaning light in body versus many other beer styles), I found the bottle disappearing quickly. I'll get the big bottle next time.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.52/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

25.4 oz. bottle with a flower on it, 2004 Vintage,

A: Pours a somewhat murky, though the first few pours are clear, amber, with a fizzy white head that hisses as it evaporates, though it leaves a good rim around the glass, satisfying for a lambic.

S: Very tart, not overly funky, though, though there is some barnyard character to it, with a lot of sweet malt.

T: A huge sour note of lactic acid hits you when you first taste the beer, then the complexities start to come in, with a light Brett character of horse blankets and aged cheese. The beer finishes with a very earthy hop note of wet hay, grass, and straw. Very tasty.

M: Very sour, not as sour as Berliner Weisse, but close, I'd reckon a pH of about 3-3.5, slightly vinegary, but still has a lightness about it that makes it real easy to drink, well done.

D: A great lambic beer from Cantillon, I probably won't buy this again due to the price, $18.99 plus tax for a 25.4 ounce bottle, but I'm definitely glad I tried it, an interesting experiment, a 100% malted barley lambic, and it worked.

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Cantillon Iris from Brasserie Cantillon
94 out of 100 based on 474 ratings.