Cantillon Iris - Brasserie Cantillon

Not Rated.
Cantillon IrisCantillon Iris

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

464 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 464
Hads: 1,845
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 4.27%
Wants: 712
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: 1,845
Photo of albern
1.76/5  rDev -58.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

This is either the worst Belgian beer I've ever had, or the beer went bad. I popped the cap and beer started to come through the cork. This is a bad sign, and it is possible that the beer just went south somewhere along the bottling process. If not, yikes. The beer pours a slightly frothy head, plenty carbonated, but the smell is rancid vinegar, maybe some safflower, and other tart flowery herbs. The taste was largely undrinkable. Bitter, sour, flower petal bitterness, perfumey, just not at all good. As I said, it is possible the beer went bad on me, which I hope, because otherwise this was a total waste of a ten dollar purchase. (637 characters)

Photo of Naerhu
2.16/5  rDev -48.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This is quite a shocker. Pour vinigar on a tatami mat and lick it and you will know what this beer tastes like. This was not even a novelty it was just sour (can be good) and bitter (usually a good thing), but together it foul. I kept looking for redeming qualities, but there are none. This is not refreshing, tasty or anything else. (334 characters)

Photo of bobhits
2.74/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Exceptionally well carbonated, funky yellow orange color. Champagne amounts of bubbles.

Nose burning sour. A good bit of barely and some very belgium hops.

Very sour, funky, with a lot of hops. a Kind of an wet blanket flavor in the back ground. Almost seems like Duval or something that has spoiled. As it warms and I get used to it the flavor is more and more going towards the sweet/sour flavors with the hops and the funky off putting flavor moves to the back ground where it adds complexity more to it vs just tasting weird to taste weird.

It's pretty nice drinking and feels well. Plenty of carbonation, light enough in body.

I'm a bit torn on where I stand here. I haven't reviewed many (any?) sour beers because I just don't have a feel for these things yet. This of the 4-5 I've had is in the middle. I've only had one that really impressed me. This doesn't impress me at all. (892 characters)

Photo of JDV
2.78/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottle shared by gueuzelover. Thanks!

Pours a cloudy orange dull color with a spritzy, non-lasting white head. Smell is sour peach, funky barnyard and fruity. Flavor was exceptionally dry to me, with almost no sweetness, and a light sour vinegary character and bland fruity notes than need a little more sweetness to make them pop. Honestly not too impressive flavorwise for me, with a thin dry unsweetened apricot or peach sourness. Unique and while not bad, didn't wow me with its dullness of flavors, complex as they were. (526 characters)

Photo of Naugled
2.98/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

750ml corked bottle served in chalice
2004 vintage 2006 bottling date

A: cap was rusted from the inside out, cork had leaked and smelled damp. cork made no pop on opening, and pour produced no head almost flat. Has a gold orange color.

S: Musty peppery smalled with hints of greasy fried chicken but in a good way (that's the first I've ever experienced that in a beer)

T: Very sour, tart and tangy. has the classic guezey lambic taste. Dry and astringent and bitter finish that lingers too long.

M: slippery mouthfeel and leaves the mouth with a chalky feeling.

D: I don't think this beer is meant to be drunk, I think its just for collectors and blenders. I blended the remaining portion of the bottle with Muse a sweeter saison and the two together were fantastic. (772 characters)

Photo of HopHobo
3.08/5  rDev -27%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

2007 vintage poured into a beer tulip

A-yellow honey colored pour with a respectible finger head that leaves a lacing over time.

S-tart sourness and yeast dominate the smell coming from this bottle...a wild one to be sure.

T&M-Sooo sour...I live in a state that has a great brewery for sour beers (jolly pumpkin) and this beer blows it away as far as sourness goes. Became hard for me to drink as it warmed so much so that I avoided letting it hit the sour sensors on my tongue. A great flavor that can be tasted beyond the sour, but difficult to get to because the sourness is so overpowering.

D-A good beer for the style no doubt about it, very glad I tried this beer, but I doubt I will ever buy it again given the price and some of the difficulties I had drinking it. (775 characters)

Photo of Ellbert
3.16/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Appearance: Orange color with a slightly fizzy white head. Not as bubbly as I expected.

Smell: Tart, sour, and rotten. I have had blended lambics before but never an unblended. Wow, I finally smell what I have heard so much about. Very different, almost a turn off but intreiging.

Taste: Sweet at first then sour, then very sour, and then very dry. Almost like a wine. It was better once I got used to it.

Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel was good but it was kinda hard to pay much attention to because of the tartness of the actual brew.

Overall a very different beer, something that you have to get used to. I would not be able to drink much of this. (655 characters)

Photo of deapokid
3.3/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Enjoyed at Craft Ale House in Limerick on 3/19. 2005 Vintage. Reviewed from notes.

Sparkling gold, like a glass of champagne. Very bubbly and topped with one faint lily pad of foam, a bit of white lacing and ring of head.

Aroma is slightly tart, boasting a potpourri of floral notes, a little lemon sourness, some grass and a mild dryness at the end.

Flavor is very acidic, packing in lemon, dandelion, chamomile and a concluding dryness. Taste seems to be a bit overwhelmed by the tea-like floral qualities present in the beer, making it a bit of a strong sipper.

Liquid is watery at first, followed by a very dry pucker. Bitter conclusion is a shade strong, but not unpleasant.

Although I enjoyed pick out the uncommon and unique flavors in this one, the "pissy" acidity and overly floral notes were a bit overwhelming. It was nice to try once, but I may not go back and it's certainly not one of Cantillon's best (those would be the Gueuze and Saint Lamvinus, in my opinion). (983 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
3.32/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

First had: ? (probably on tap at Monk's). This review is from a recent tasting.

Pardon my lower rating, but when it comes to Cantillon, I try to be as objective as possible and ignore the overhypage. Not sure what year this bottle was--I think it was 2011 or 2012--and it had some of that gnarly sediment on top of the cork. Hazy orange-yellow pour, effervescent, with a small, fizzy, white head; moderate retention and a bit of lacing. Aroma had a funky sourness to it, wet grass, citric acid and floral notes, some woodiness. There was a rather subdued sourness up front in the taste, lemon pith and grass, horseblanket, notable (and somewhat unpleasant) hop bitterness, floral and somewhat vegetal notes, raw celery, bitter and a bit medicinal in the finish. Dry mouthfeel, light-medium to medium in body. It's decent, but not really my thing. (847 characters)

Photo of ciderfaerie
3.35/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

appearance - amber, perfectly roasted marshmallow, creamy vanilla colored head, good carb

smell: strong floral fragrance and a nice burnt sugar (again with the toasted marshmallow, mmm)

taste: first sips were highly oaky, and either the oakiness decreased as the beer warmed or the bitterness (see mouthfeel) numbed my taste-buds

mouthfeel: thick, soft, bakers chocolate bitterness like biting into a dandelion (or iris?)

drinkability: far too bitter for my preference, however, the complexity is so intriguing and makes this an interesting lambic for sipping and pondering (585 characters)

Photo of Andreji
3.38/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Iris 2003, bought at the Brasserie in Brussels. Drank on [colombian] memorial day, 18 july 2005.

This beer I hauled on the airplane back from summer vacation. brought on some extra weight but what the heck, beer is always an unmissable commodity.

I popped the beer after letting it cool down a bit more in the fridge. the appearance immediately turned to a bronze although opaque orange, which did not seem to give off much light. the head was fizzy and abundant, white, a bit like a cross between champagne and beer.

The smell was very weak, and hinted only a bit of rotten fruits (mostly apples) which I was neither disgusted by or too appreciative of.

The taste was a bit of a turndown. very acidic and soury at first. unlike other cantillons comparable with white wine, for example, this one is comparable to a somewhat brut champagne-like beer: very strong sour feel, with almost no sweetness to it although somehow the fruity sense is perfectly perceivable: apples dominated the scene, maracuja a bit in the nostrils. immediately after, a strong appearance of salty taste- so far most cantillons appear to be brewed with salt-water- which swiftly converts into a bizarre bitter taste/mouthfeel on the sides of the tongue. carbonation is abundant but not strong; I mean, it doesn't sting like in other cases, but relaxes atop the tongue slowly mixing up the beer.

this is an ok beer, but some other offerings from Cantillon are certainly worthier of my time. (1,478 characters)

Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.4/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2006 Vintage. Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a tasting glass.

Appearance: The pour is a golden caramel color with a delicate white head. A few spots of lace stick to the glass.

Smell: Lilac, some hay, and a good amount of barnyard funk provide the base of the aroma. An omnipresent sour aroma is there as well.

Taste: The taste is both fairly sour and also brashly bitter. These two sensations together are not very pleasant. There is a lemon zest sour flavor to go with the light malts, but as the flavor transitions to bitterness I feel like I am chewing on flowers. Overall it is a tart, funky, and flowery taste.

Mouthfeel: The body has dried out a fair amount while retaining a light oiliness. Medium bodied with light to medium carbonation.

Overall: This combination of flavors really did not do it for me. I prefer their other sours. (848 characters)

Photo of beerhandy
3.43/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

cork 2004 chimay chalice

Orange hued haziness , a light beige head which stood 2" very frothy and lingering

Aromas... musty oak ,fresh mushrooms,honey , vinegar,green apple and moldy hay

taste..tart and tannic chenin blanc and vinegar but it works
the dryness helps the sourness and rounds out the intensity
of this lambic.

Very effervescent

Intense beer probably over the top for the uniniciated definitely something to be drank with fellow lambic lovers (474 characters)

Photo of LeeryLeprechaun
3.44/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Date November 22, 2012
Consumed November 24, 2012

Beer pours a cloudy light brown color with a nice white head. The carbonation level is high compared to most of the Cantillon beers that I have had.

Aroma is earthy and acidic. I can pick up a lot of acetic acid in the nose.

Wow. Sour. Very very sour. Makes your lips pucker. It is hard to pick up anything else the beer is so sour.

Mouthfell is full and acidic. It makes you run your toungue across the top of your mouth. Very nice.

Overall this beer is a giant war head. It is so sour that my lips pucker with every sip. It is suprising that there is almost no barnyard or goat in the aroma of taste. It was good but I would not call it one of the best beers that I have ever had, even in its catagory, it is just too sour. (781 characters)

Photo of Goliath
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours an amber color and is cloudy. A thin white head sits on top. Aroma is subtle for a lambic. Typical oak characteristics giving a sour nose. Also a little yeasty. Taste is extremely bitter. Essence of fruit, yeast and wheat is also present. Makes your mouth pucker and water for more. Mouthfeel is on the thin side with a low level of carbonation. Drinkability is fairly low as the tartness will eventually overwhelm the drinker. A nice bottle to share. (457 characters)

Photo of gmcfarre
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750mL corked bottle poured into New Belgian chalice
Cork dated 2005

A - Pours a very cloudy orange/gold color with 1 inch frothy head. Lacing is moderate.

S - Pungeant funky yeast with a tart cider-like scent. A good touch of earthy sourness accompanies.

T & M - Weel carbonated sourness with a light to medium body. Apple cider taste with strong acidity. Kindof weak in the middle, which is disappointing. Funky and interesting with its wild yeast.

D - A bit cloying overall. The kind of beer I want to like, but really have a hard time doing so. Not my favorite lambic, and not too easy to drink or even savor. Alcohol is not a factor. (650 characters)

Photo of walleye
3.52/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

from the bottle shared with bieristgut. poured a orangish with a off white head. aroma sour, musty, malts, and some nice hops come out, and hints of fruits. flavor not as sour as the aroma, pears, grapefruit, and malts. this is not one of the styles that I care for that much, but I did like this and glad I got to sample it (324 characters)

Photo of PatandDavid
3.53/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I wonder if I am just not totally bowled over by lambics...while I enjoy them, they are not getting tremendous marks, I think it could be the mouthfeel..anyway, this was a light peach when poured. Again with the barnyard/horse aroma that could be off-putting to some, I'm just always pleasantly surprised when the beer doesn't taste like it smells. A dry crisp fruityness when tasted. The carbonation is not overwhelming. While not overwhelmingly tart, I can see that this would not be as much as a session beer as others. An interesting beer to drink and enjoy, maybe not one to drink a lot of at one setting. Pat (614 characters)

Photo of DannyS
3.53/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Served in a wine glass, poured from a 12 oz. corked & capped bottle. Label dated 2005, cork dated 2007.

A - Looks like most pale ales actually; a deep cloudy orange with little head.

S - Sour fruit on the nose, reminds me of cherries and citrus. Also contains some yeast on the aroma.

T - Not very complex, but interesting. Fairly sour and slightly bitter. Also carries some dry floral notes.

M - If you sip it right, it feels amazing. Nice and bubbly but not harsh; the acid cutting through the softness.

D - You've really just gotta sip this one, it's a pretty strong taste. And I wouldn't recommend more than one; i shared this bottle with a friend.

Overall - This would be great as a before or after dinner drink, or one for casual sipping. Definitely not for drinking quickly. But I enjoyed it nonetheless. (818 characters)

Photo of blakesell
3.56/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 1 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a belgian (st. bernardus) cereal bowl styled glass.

Vintage 2004

Appearance- Big problems with the cork and cap. The bottle is rusty and leaking slightly. The rust is all over the bottle area even with the cork in there. Cleaned it off as best I could but with the beer oozing out (I think that's the beer, it looks like glue). Cork pops off as if nothing is wrong but the cork looks quite aged and disturbing as well. It didn't fall apart beforehand and there were no eruptions on the bottle. That's a plus. But is it OK? Beer itself is orange and hazy.

Smell- Vinegar, Smells like I could put this on a salad and do OK. At this point I am not having the highest hopes for this beer.

Taste- Sour Patch Kids, Apple flavor, Lemonheads, and Funk O' the Barnyard. Lots of candy flavors and funkiness. It actually isn't bad! now that is a relief. There is also some grapefruit and orange flavor and sour grapes.

Mouthfeel- Tart, sour, drinkable. The more I try it, the more I like it. At this point I actually think it's good!

Drinkability- Yes! It's bizarre, funky, reeks, and is fruity. I like it. A strange and pleasant suprise from Cantillon. (1,188 characters)

Photo of dragonWhale
3.57/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The second time that I've had this hard to find beverage, and, so, was not so disappointed this time. Pours orange, good carbonation with some lace. Funk and flowers in the aroma, a little barnyard and rosewater. Very interesting. Not super tart, only a little sour, but definitely is dominated by the funk. While the smell is quite interesting, the taste once again falls short for me of the excitement I crave. Probably I will try this again in the future and reexamine my world. (481 characters)

Photo of nataku00
3.58/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap poured into a tulip glass, 2007 batch. Beer poured a dark copper, hazy, with some thin wisps of head. Looks still, with little to no carbonation visible.

Nose is funky wet hay, earthy, herbal and woody, with some light white vinegar notes.

Follows the nose, some earthy and herbal hop notes, then some funky and woody flavor. Slight vinegar tang middle of the tongue leading to a dry finish with lingering earthy and woody flavors.

Light to medium body, no carbonation, but that is expected for an unblended lambic. Pretty interesting beer, but I'm not sure aging this one was idea as some of the dry hopping would have probably helped brighten up the flavorl. (673 characters)

Photo of Westsidethreat
3.6/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a champagne flute

A: Highly carbonated with a very spirited head on top of a hazy orange body.

S: Aroma is a bit funky with green apples and a touch of citrus

T: Sour like a standard lambic but somewhat rounded thanks to the pale malt. Had an earthiness opposed to pure general sourness. Finishes with a light was of bitterness. Different for sure.

M: Medium bodied and well carbonated fitting to the style

D: At first I was taken back by this beer but it grew on me. I couldn't get used to the earthy bitterness but finally adjusted after a while. Not bad. (583 characters)

Photo of ballewblake
3.6/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into my Duvel tulip.

Cap was rusted and cork and top of bottle were moldy. 2005 Vintage with cork saying bottled in 2007. Two finger head that dropped within a minute. Deep amber color in the body, opaque. Smell is funky, musty attic smell, earthy, sour, floral. Tastes like a battery, really not very appealing at first, gets better with more drinks, but then reverts back, there is something off here. Chemical like tastes, wow, its really off putting. I'm glad I shared this with a friend, I don't know if I could have drank the full 750. Mouth feel is good with carbonation, drinkabilty suffers from the weird off putting metallic/chemical flavors I'm getting. This might be my first unblended lambic. (725 characters)

Photo of Suds
3.62/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Lambics are an enigma to me…so much wildness and unrestrained flavors. This beer was no exception. I’ve been sitting on a bottle (cork says it’s from 2001), and finally gave it a try. It’s a truly unique brew. The cork, which was quite damp through half of its volume, was extruded with a loud “Pop”. The brew is a hazy orange with a billowing white head. Aroma is a mix of deep, woody oak and musty manure. There’s plenty of lemony, vinegar-like acidity going on in the smell as well. It’s a totally un-hinged, wild aroma. The taste is solidly acidic…it crosses the line from tart to downright mouth-puckering sour. No malt is detectable through the acidity, though there is a notable oak character and bitter hop finish. The oak is not unlike that of a decent Chardonnay. Unfortunately, the sourness made the beer very difficult for me to drink. Maybe it would be a wonderful aperitif, but in anything other than small quantities, it’s a rough-sell. Extraordinarily interesting, and completely wild (1,010 characters)

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