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Cantillon Iris - Brasserie Cantillon

Not Rated.
Cantillon IrisCantillon Iris

Educational use only; do not reuse.

476 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 476
Hads: 1,925
Avg: 4.25
pDev: 19.53%
Wants: 706
Gots: 444 | 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: 476 | Hads: 1,925
Photo of zoober911
4.71/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle date January 18, 2015 -

A - A rigorous pour yields a small head. Retains for a moderate length of time but fades into the glass. Pours a darker shade of amber, a brick color. Generally cloudy with some transparency.

S - The smell of beautiful funk. Slight hop presence from the dry hop but mostly masked by funk some fruit characteristics and oak vanillas.

T - Pleasant tartness, soft sourness. Plums. French oak vanillas. Blended together they linger, dancing I your mouth. Slight sour puckering on the back of your tongue, makes your mouth water thinking about it. Very well balanced.

F - Soft mouthfeel. Light carb level as expected. Crisp.

O - Overall, this is another great option from Cantillon. Very well balanced. Tart - sour - funky - delicious - refreshing.

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Photo of JackieKu
3.74/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle. Bottled on 2015-01-19. It has a beer cork as well as a wine cork.

A: Hazy amber. Poured with small amount of foam.
S: Tart sourness. A little balsamic. Figs.
T: Sharp sourness. Balsamic. Plum. Low bitterness. Fruits seeds.
M: Light bodied.
O: Initially I thought I am not a big fan of the beers that sour, but I found it is more complex and interesting than that.

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Photo of brentk56
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a cloudy amber color capped by an inch of foam; stands of lacing hang around

Smell: Funky and sour with a pithy aspect

Taste: Sour and funky, with a pithy character; the funk builds into the finish which is also quite dry

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate to high carbonation

Overall: Intensely sour and well-crafted; the hops add a very interesting edge

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Photo of Phil-Fresh
4.34/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Deep sour, funkiness upfront with a delicate aroma followed by a bit of oak.

A: Clear amber color with a thick off-white head with solid retention.

T: Complex layers of sourness with a subtle woody oak presence. Slightly acidic and lightly tannic, the beer has an almost white wine quality.

M: Light bodied with moderate carbonation. The beer is refreshing and not overly acidic. Moreover, it completely masks any alcoholic warmth.

O: Tasty! The subtle complexity of the aroma and flavors make this beer easy to drink and quite enjoyable.

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Photo of kojevergas
4.21/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

75cl green glass bottle served at One Pint Pub in Helsinki into a Cantillon glass. Expectations were high given the brewery. Cost was 20 euro.

Bottled 17 March 2014. 6% ABV.

Reviewed from notes taken in July 2015.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: ~2 inches wide. Off-white colour. Not real frothy or foamy, but adequately thick for the style. Retention is nice - ~4-5 minutes. Leaves no rings of lacing on the sides of the glass as it recedes.

BODY: Clear vibrant gold with superb clarity. Clean, with no visible sediment within.

It's a nice looking lambic, but I've seen far better (especially from Cantillon). Appears adequately carbonated.

AROMA: Wild lambicus yeast(s) and intricate bacterial notes lend this its characteristic sourness - which seems to be about a 5-6/10 in terms of intensity, and is supplemented brilliantly by funkiness. Hay-like musty barnyard notes add more complexity, playing into the dry oak wood beautifully. Subtle wine-like fruit and rose grapeskin also come(s) through. The oak is marvelous.

Aromatic intensity is above average. Suggests a gestalt beer with remarkable intricacy, subtlety, and depth. I find little here in terms of hops (aside from the above-noted fruitiness), and no off-notes are evident.

TASTE: Hints of sour/green apple play into the guiding sourness nicely (which is indeed a 5-6/10 in terms of intensity), with complex layers of lactic acid, lambicus yeast, and wild bacteria lending the flavour profile stunning subtlety. Slightly vinegary but never acetic, with a gorgeous musty oak wood presence guiding the flavour profile and lending the beer natural cohesion, tying it together. Fruity grapeskin and appleskin acids play off the sourness at the heart of the beer. Make no mistake, this beer is alive.

Gestalt, with impeccable balance and notes of rose and white wines that will dazzle even the most sophisticated wine drinker. To nitpick, its depth of flavour could be more impressive, and fruiting this lambic might make it still better. But it's a lovely build for a lambic, and the neutral barley malt melts seamlessly into the sourness, succumbing to the spell of the wild bacteria.

TEXTURE: Acidic as hell, but somehow still refreshing. Hides its alcohol content completely. Smooth, wet, and perfectly carbonated. Light bodied yet supple, with a great overall presence on the palate. The acidity accentuates the sour flavour, giving this beer a rare harmony of taste and texture.

OVERALL: A sublime brew from Cantillon, and testament to their deservedly high reputation. I'm glad I sought it out, and would happily pay the 20 euro pricetag again. Stunning drinkability coupled with high quality makes this tough to put down. Truly wonderful; I'm not sure I'll try a better beer this year.

High A- (4.21)

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Photo of peensteen
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Amber with a hazy ring of white head, no lace. Smell is funky, lemons, wet wood, orange, oak and white wine. Taste is tart and sour with citrus fruits, lemon and orange, vinous flavours, oak, a bit of floral hop. Medium-light carbonation, medium body. Another outstanding beer, certainly something I will be coming back to again as often as possible.

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Photo of swanfungus
4.31/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a beautiful auburn/orange color with a fantastic funky, fruity aroma. What follows is a delicious balance between the barnyard funk, sour/tartness, and fruit. Nice dry finish. A fantastic lambic.

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Photo of Roguer
4.36/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful bright orange/yellowish brew. Just a ring and light film of head, typical of the style.

The smell is amazing: a truly impressive amount of funk greets the nose in a few different ways. "Barnyard" or "horse blanket" as some would call it; I'm going with rustic, hay, almost a touch dirty, but in a delicious way.

The brew cannot truly deliver that incredible aroma to the palate perfectly, but it's a very funky, rustic brew. Straw, wheat, grainy malt; almost no sweetness; tart and lightly sour without being fruity.

Lively and very drinkable.

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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 MakeMineADoubleJack
4.48/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

My very first Cantillon!!! I practically trembled with the 6oz glass in my hand. I was very nervous about spilling it. Anyway, had it on tap at Norey's in Newport, RI as part of their "Sours and Lambics" tap takeover. This was a delightful beer. Floral, earthy, very tart. Bit of a citrus bite to it. What I enjoyed most was how delicate it was to the palate. Not cloying at all, not overly mouth puckering, and the back of my tongue didn't feel the burn certain sours provide. But these are masters of the art. Cantillon delivers!

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Photo of RollBounce
3.85/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

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Photo of JohnCassillo
4.99/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

An incredible lambic. Absolutely on-the-nose with its sour flavor and aroma notes; a bright mix of citrus and fresh-cut grass that possesses just the right amount of bite. Feel is appropriately tart on the finish. Just a wonderful beer that does everything right for the style and then some.

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Photo of Zach136
4.34/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled March 17 2014, enjoyed June 27 2015.

Appearance: Sunburst orange, solid carb and head retention for a sour.

Aroma: Spicey and earthy, with light acidity, and the intriguing 'loon funk.

Flavor: Earthy with mild acidity.

Mouthfeel: Bone dry, medium-low carb.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.76/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On tap at The Beer Belly in Albany, NY.

This one pours a murky straw yellow, a little of orange, with a quarter inch head, and no lacing.

This one smells pretty damn sour, with lemon sweet tarts, and some sour grapefruit. Smells really nice and inviting.

This is interesting, I've never tasted an unblended lambic before. There is a bit of bitterness on the end, most likely from the dry-hopping. This has a good amount of citrus flavor, mainly sour and bitter grapefruit and lemon rind, with a pretty intense sweet tart candied flavor. There's some old woody flavors as well. This is pretty fantastically earthy, and just tasty.

This is light bodied, with a lively level of carbonation. Super super drinkable.

A pretty unique sour from Cantillon, and also a pretty delicious one.

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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 lowers87
4.23/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: Amber, cloudy, very carbonated, decent head
Smell: Very strong sour, grapes, green apple, faint apricot
Taste: Extremely sour, apricot comes out, green grapes and apple in the background, strong alcohol
Feel: Slightly syrupy, strong alcohol
Overall: If you drink sours than this is your beer, not overly complex and almost drinks like a champagne.

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Photo of ptykozoon
4.12/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Light auburn. Thin head and spotty lacing.

Sweets, funk and strong citrus.

Sour at the forefront, cherries, lemon peel. Oak, dry grassy flavors, light acidity in the finish.

Mouthfeel is perfect - not too light or dense. A lot of depth for a beer with such a light ABV.

Great beer. Strong sourness but not overwhelming, complex and sexy.

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Photo of TheSSG
4.63/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a frothy white head with great persistence. Sour aroma with soft floral notes. Umber color. Starts intensely sour and bitter; grapefruit hoppiness dominates. Malt comes through after this, and the finish is lingering bitterness over the malt.

This is amazing. The combination of sour and bitter is great (though I was skeptical). A surprisingly subdued aroma.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.99/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy deep goldish orange with minimal head. Nose is very aromatic with a strong presence of herbal hops paired with some acid and funk. The earthiness of the hop profile pairs nicely with the bacteria. There are also some notes of caramel and oak towards the end. Taste is acidic up front with a nice tart punch which quickly gives way to herbal/earthy/tea like hops. Notes of lemon, grass, and tart cherries all come through in the flavor. Overall, this is an interesting and complex beer. Definitely not my favorite from Cantillon, but that may be due more to personal preference.

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Photo of pat61
5/5  rDev +17.6%
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.

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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 aleigator
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful subtle, big head, with a vibrant amber orange, nearly brown color.

Zippy, sour, fruity aromas, with hints of malts, appleskin, leather and wet hay.

Intense sourness from the very beginning, but more complex than the usual lambic with the help of a well developed malt foundation. Creates a vivid, tart mouthfeel, driven by a dough, leathery funkiness. The taste inherits both, green apples and musty white grapes among a gentle amount of white citrus peel, accompanied by their earthier stonepits. Malts turn even more intense during the finish, calming the brews lactic acidity, while creating a very interessting counterpart to citrus peel and mild hops.

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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 CrazyDavros
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Pours amber with a large head.
Nose shows spicy notes, lemon rind, elderflower, peaches, some funk and a hint of catnip.
Very acidic flavours. Some lemon pith in addition to the rind providing some astringency along with some more peach and floral notes.
Nice high carbonation.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.31/5  rDev +1.4%

Had this one at the source: Cantillon Brewery itself. Pours golden, clear, with a nice fluffy white head on top and lots of floaties (got the bottom of the bottle here). Aroma is straw, a bit of tripel-like funky yeast, some vinegar, dryness. Flavor follows closely with funky yeast, straw hops notes, pears, apples, dryness on the finish with lingering grass and yeast funk together. Very light bodied, super crisp, and pretty refreshing. Unique brew with plenty of sour, but also an interesting note with the addition of the cold hopping. Liked this significantly more than I even expected. Good stuff.

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Cantillon Iris from Brasserie Cantillon
94 out of 100 based on 476 ratings.