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Cantillon Iris - Brasserie Cantillon

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Cantillon IrisCantillon Iris

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1,676 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,676
Reviews: 457
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 9.4%
Wants: 659
Gots: 379 | FT: 23
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,676 | Reviews: 457 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Reagan1984
4.15/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2007

Pours with an erupting and loud head. (yep, loud fizzing) This slowly settles to a 1/8 thin cap of eggshell white head. The beer is a golden/amber colored beer with brass highlights. No lacing.

Aroma is initially sour/tart, but as it warms more malt tones come through. Some earthy notes and a little bit of roasted nuts..

Very nice flavor. While sour, not as much as the nose led you to believe. Lots of complexity below the surface here. There are some nutty flavors, tart green apple, lemon peel, slight woody flavors and a great deal of musty/earthy tones. Somewhat wine like. Some nice bitterness at the end that melds with the tart flavors.

Delicate mouth feel, light body, pin point carbonation.

Very drinkable and refreshing.

Excellent Beer.

Photo of hardy008
4.15/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 Vintage

Pours a hazy orange color with an almost one finger off white head which fades quickly, leaving no lacing. The aroma has tart green apples, grapes, lemon, Belgian yeast, and barnyard funk.

Tastes both tart and somewhat sweet with sour apples. grapes, lemon, oak, tannins, and light caramel. Acidic and dry.

Light to medium bodied with low carbonation. Has a tart green apple and lemon aftertaste. A very nice Lambic, worth trying if you get the chance.

Photo of SFLpunk
4.15/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2007 Vintage. Green glass cork and capped 375mL bottle. Cork says bottled in 2009.

Pours clear amber with thick white head and champagne-style tiny bubbles. Hugely carbonated compared to other Cantillons I've had. Nose has that wonderful mixture of sour citrus notes, lime, lemon, and grapefruit that make me start to salivate on cue. Apricot notes are mingled with some freshly cut pine board aromas. Palate is aggressively sour, immediately stealing everything up. As the shock subsides I get flavors of sour peach, sour apricot, lime zest, dates, and brine. The long long finish is dominated by a Castelvetrano olive flavor (large, dense green olives). Carbonation is crisp but not intrusive.


Photo of jeonseh
4.16/5  rDev -4.6%
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 Etan
4.16/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 100% barley malt, heavily hopped sour beer from Cantillon? Should be interesting. 750ml bottle into a Cantillon tulip. 2011 vintage.

A: Pours an amber body with a large white head. Already different from the usual light gold color of lambic.

S: Malt profile comes through in the aroma - it's slightly sweeter than expected. Mild caramel, lactic acidity, fresh hay, dry wood.

T: Puckering dried peach tartness, drying tannins, palpable yet subtle floral hop bitterness melds well with the acidity. Plenty of woody and cheesy funk, too.

M: Light-bodied with moderate carbonation. Very dry.

O: This beer is a bit of an oddity, but I really liked the way it worked.

Photo of Knapp85
4.16/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured out as a deep golden color with a light haziness to it. There are plenty of bubbles rising to the top of the beer that forms a generous white head on top. The retention is pretty strong but the lacing is minimal. The smell of the beer is funky, it's slightly acidic and has a bit of oak on the nose too. The taste of the beer is tart at first, it settles down as you drink it and the sweetness comes through a little more. There is plenty of fruity acidic elements in the flavor with the malt balancing it out a little. The mouthfeel of the beer was much thicker than I expected, I was surprised by it's thickness. Good amount of carbonation as well making this beer come to life. Overall it's a pretty good brew, it had some surprising elements to it which made this really enjoyable.

Photo of Nolen12
4.16/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of jkball01
4.16/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of largadeer
4.17/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a pretty pale blond color with nice clarity. The head rises to the height of two fingers, but dissipates pretty quickly.

Smell: Tons of barnyard funk and little else. Washed rind cheese, wet dog, dirty socks. Basically like taking a walk through a farm. Wonderfully funky stuff.

Taste & mouthfeel: Lemon rind and apple cidar vinegar. Very sour but not especially harsh. This is supposedly a hoppy Cantillon beer, but I'm not really getting any hop flavors. Very dry stuff through and through.

Notes: Excellent stuff, I'm going to have to revisit this soon.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.17/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2005, poured from a 12.7oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a light amber color with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a very thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is very sour and vinegary with apples, grapes and a little spice, but it's pretty pleasant and exactly what you expect from this type of beer.

T: The taste is likewise very sour up front with flavors of tart apples and grapes. Then there's a little bit of sweetness that comes in to provide some balance. After the first sip, the sourness and complementary flavors come together quite well.

M: Smooth and very crisp, light-to-medium body, light-to-medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this isn't the type of beer that I normally drink but this a very nice sour beer to drink for a long time.

Photo of SiphonKing
4.17/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 Cantillon Iris. One word: Delicious. Would love to compare to the '08 bet I would not be disappointed. Want to know about the beer? Buy one...and if you can't imagine this: Brett, pure un-adultered heavy Brett with no sour bite. Not your typical Belgian experience. Nirvana in a glass...no joke. Made with mostly barley and some fresh hops (according to Cantillon's description on their website). Worth seeking out.

Photo of womencantsail
4.17/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've had this one a few different times, all different vintages and ages. This review is from a 2009 bottle.

A: The pour is a really nice looking amber-orange in color with a light and fizzy white head.

S: Plenty of acidity and green fruit notes. I pick up apples and grapes with some lemon. A strong oak aroma with a somewhat subdued funk.

T: A nice tartness up front with some fresh sour apples and lemons. The back end is actually a bit bitter with lots of oak and tannins. A bit of must and leather finish things off.

M: The body is medium with a fair amount of carbonation, especially for a lambic that is so "young" in the bottle. A nice acidity and dry finish.

D: Not my favorite of the Cantillon beers, but still really nice and better than many American sours. A really pleasant beer to sip on after watching the Sharks beat the Wings.

Photo of cps98
4.17/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is the one I was waiting to try. I received Iris brett isolates from a guy who harvested yeast from the dregs of a 2007 bottle. I’ve got them on a lambic at home right now that I brewed and never having had this beer it was a must try so I had something to go by. It was much darker burnt orange than any of the other Cantillon offerings I had had the day of the tasting. Lots of floral notes in the nose, my guess would be from the late hop additions this beer receives. Had a really nice sweet, green apple tartness to it. This beer also had a more pronounced maltiness. I also noticed this beer had a much heavier mouth feel than the other traditional lambics that were tried. Overall I like to taste the difference of this beer with the different grain bill and hop additions against the traditional lambics.

Photo of illidurit
4.17/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2004 Vintage.

A: Somewhere between orange and brown, this beer is hazy and forms a 2 finger off white head. No lacing, ok retention. Expected for a lambic.

S: Vinous grapiness, some apple, overtly tart.

T: Funkier than James Brown. Sour, lactic, acidic, but oh so good. Crabapple comes through strong. Kind of winey.

M: Though the head dissipates pretty fast, the carbonation is alive in well in the liquid, though maybe a little subdued from the 3 years it has been aged. As is the norm for gueuzes and lambics, the tart finish begs you to have another sip.

D: 750 mL bottle is easily finished, great refresher for summer.

Photo of jwinship83
4.17/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml capped and corked bottle. bottled 2008, brewed in 2006. drank from my lindemans flute looking glass.

A- this one pours out a golden orange colored body with a tall finger of bright white head. the head fades faster than expected and left behind only small spots of lacing.

S- very white wine like with apples and pears as well. very "funky" and musty. it smells tart as well, but not overly so.

T- the first thing i think after tasting this is how well in balance the funk and tartness are. not too much of either one. light summer fruits and wine also in here with the complexities ive come to expect from cantillon.

M- light bodied and tart. high level of carbonation. mouth is left feeling very dry.

D- very enjoyable and easy to finish. very well balanced for a lambic. something id like to try more often.

Photo of alexgrahamlv
4.17/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Cloudy honey orange/amber color. Nice size creamy white head.

Aroma- Lemon, hay, reminds me a bit of a eucalyptus cough drop. Tad of honey and orange.

Taste- Not overly sour but has a nice tartness of lemon, honey and grapefruit. Quite refreshing actually.

Mouthfeel- Light to medium body, high carbonation, long lasting finish.

Overall- Very refreshing and would definitely love to try again.

Photo of joe1510
4.17/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Binny's, Orland

Vintage 2005

Iris fills up this here glorified flute with a russet red body and glowing orange highlights and a slight haziness. The orange grows when I hold this lambic up in front of a light and nearly takes over the body. A quick, fizzy white head grows to two fingers on the pour before fizzing down to a thin, swirling cap. A quick swirl of the glass brings the bubbly head back briefly.

The nose of Iris isn't near as funky or tart as other Cantillons I've had in the past. White vinegar acidity keeps it Cantillon while decaying wood, mousy and damp barnyard notes rise and fall with each aroma. The barnyard aromas are of the damp hay, grass, and wood variety as opposed to the animal aromas of others. There's a handful of fresh mint leaping from the glass that I'm sure comes from the dry hopping of this lambic. That spearmint characteristic bumps the aroma up a notch in my book. Each quick, hard swirl brings forward some white grapefruit.

The flavor follows the aroma with mild barnyard (more like forest floor) qualities and a quick flash of white vinegar that makes me pucker about half way through the mouth. The mint is more subdued but still in the flavor as well, I would have liked to see a bit more considering what the aroma led to. The acidity is moderate and much less than some of the other Cantillons. This is a very well put together beer and one of the easier drinking Cantillon. There's not a hop bitterness exactly but a tongue sapping nature that feels like it's been scrubbed by hoppy bitterness, it's oddly superb.

Iris has a great mouthfeel with a soft body and spritzy carbonation on the swallow. The carbonation, incredibly drying mouthfeel, and feeling of bitterness sap the mouth of all saliva and scrub the tongue dry; just how I like it.

I could handle a bottle of this easy with a little time. It's a sipping savoring beer but it's also quenching and easy to drink.

Iris isn't quite as bitingly sour as some of the other Cantillon lambics and could be considered good introduction to the Cantillon family. They never disappoint and Iris is another gem in their stellar lineup. I'm going to pick a few more of these up for cellaring; especially being that this is one of the cheaper Cantillon bottles out there.

Photo of kmatlack
4.17/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage. 750 ml bottle, surprise gift brought home by my dad.

A- Pours a hazy orange yellow. Aggressive pour into my Duvel tulip rendered a very small bubbly white head that rose up, and went right back down. Bummed there is no head.

S- Smells of strong lemons and vinegar. Getting some funk, grapefruit, grapes, green apple peels, unripe pears, sour malts. A small amount of spicy floral aroma present as well.

T- On the front of the palate it is moderately sweet, prickly carbonation intensifies the sourness. Mid palate, the carbonation dies down, and the funk kicks in. The green apple is strong in this one. Getting alot of lemons, sour fruits, oak. On the back end, there is a lingering bitterness and sourness reminiscent of grapefruits.

M- Surprisingly carbonated on the tongue for being flat looking in the glass. High drinkable, would be great on a spring/hot summer day.

O- Another great beer from Cantillon. Really look forward to all the offerings from them. Wish this shit wasn't so friggin expensive though.

Photo of Jonada
4.17/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottled on 22nd November 2012. Served in a Russian River stemmed glass

Appearance: Dark burnt orange color with 2 fingers of a soapy light tan (with almost a yellowish hue) head that dissipates fairly quickly to a thin coating and collar. Body is very hazy with a fair amount of fine carbonation streaming throughout the glass.

Smell: Sour lemon, peach/apricot, barnyard funk, herbal, with some floral hops.

Taste: Green apple, lemon, vinegar, fairly strong herbal quality, lactic acidity, with a floral hop character that becomes more noticeable in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with a soft mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Light lingering bitterness.

Overall: This is a really interesting beer. This is the first spontaneous fermentation I've had with a real noticeable hop presence, and I have to admit it works well. Not my favorite Cantillon beer, but still very good.

Photo of AlexJ
4.17/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My notes say 1996, which means it was bottled in 1999 (right?) Anyway, this well aged beauty pours out murky apricot colored with a thin white head that remains as a thin ring. Quite ugly to look at as mote lambics are.

Aroma is a powerhouse of crushed grape skins and musty rotting orchard fruit. There are notions of festering cut grass and dead horses. Cherry pie laced with vomit. If this was an unfamiliar liquid you would turn away in revulsion but in this respect it's fantastic. Part of the lambic appeal is that you are drinking something foul and wonderful at the same time.

Flavor starts with decaying concord grape skins and vinegar barrel must. It has dark cherry and currant notes with a pit fruit astringency. The barn notes are overpowering as is the cadaverous notion of a body decaying in wood. Why is this good I do not know but it is.

Body is light but leeches into your palate like acid. Light carbonation and the supremely wierd and tart nature make the mouthfeel difficult to assess.

Overall one of the most deliciously strange things I have ever tasted. Masterfull complexity.

Photo of DrJay
4.18/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2004 vintage.
This one poured very clear and a beautiful gold colour. There was a bit of fizzy, short-lived off-white foam, a bit of a ring supported by constant bubbling. The aroma was very floral with a nice tartness, a bit of acetic acid and light funk. The flavour was quite tart with berry notes, a bit of vinegar and a light sweetness. Dry, fruity sourness lingered. Apple/cider character developed as it warmed. Light bodied with some residual sugar present, ample carbonation and some dryness. A tasty, mouthwatering beer with restrained sourness that wasn't overpowering. Good stuff!

Photo of GilGarp
4.19/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Vintage 2005. Bottled in Feb., 2007.

12.7 oz. green glass bottle, corked and capped.

The cap comes off without the slightest hint of carbonation. The cork comes out like a bottle of wine. I fear at this point that it might be completely flat.

Served cool into my etched-bottom NB goblet, Iris is golden orange color with a faint pinkish hue. It's slightly hazy with a tight head that settles quickly.

Aroma is sweet, floral, funky, and sour. There is some vinous quality to it as well. It's definately one of those beers that you take a whiff and it makes your taste buds come to attention. It reminds me of La Folie in that way.

The flavor is really much more mild than I expected. The floral quality comes through here too and suddenly the name makes sense. The sour and funk are very light and easy to handle. Bright fruit and wild yeast blend perfectly.

Mouthfeel is light and crisp. Body is a little thin and the carbonation is very light. I wonder if this is how it's supposed to be or if the cork and cap weren't doing their jobs.

Overall a unique and special beer. I would definately recommend this to someone looking to break into the world of sours.

Photo of cjgator3
4.19/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1996 vintage
750ml bottle
Bottle 382 of 1000

1996 vintage! Wow! I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to have this at a small beer tasting. The aroma is very sour with some oak and funk. The taste like the aroma is very sour with a vinegar-like flavor, oak and touches of citrus. Extremely interesting beer, and I am very amazed at how well this beer has held up after 12 years considering it's low ABV. It was quite an experience for sure, really nice beer.

Photo of jgasparine
4.19/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Poured from the tap with a thin white head, which quickly evaporated. The body was an opaque, moderately dark orange-amber color. No noteable traces of lacing or visible carbonation was observed.

S- Sweet malt and some vinous notes are detectable under a moderate, yet pervasive, acetic quality throughout the nose. Some charactaristics are akin to vinegar, others to cider. Overall, the aromas are notably balanced between the sweet and acetic notes, and this makes for an interesting and inviting nose.

T- Sweet candy-like malt character meets some acetic notes from infection... many shared characteristics with a Flemish Red Ale. Some oakiness comes through midway... and it finishes very dry with an echo of cider-like flavor.

M- Highly attenuated and thin, with almost no carbonation. Not overly impressed, but not underwhelmed either for the style.

D- Goes down really smooth. One of the easier drinking Lambics I've had.

Photo of Brenden
4.2/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This, my first ever pure, unblended Lambic (as I recall), is a moderately hazy golden-amber in color. It forms a head one finger tall or so with good retention and stick to it.
There are essentially 3 major elements to the aroma: funk, hay, and tartness. There's quite a barnyard essence to it. All kinds of wild, appropriately adulterated yeasts are roaming around in here, throwing in lots of wet hay and grass with lots of white wine and green apple all over the place. Words being what they are, musty, vinegar and bark notes are also detectable. Deep in the back there seems to be something that shouldn't here. I'm no Lambic expert, but I do get some phenols that don't seem to belong. This is a very well-structured aroma, so the off element really only pushes it down to good.
Tartness and funk lead the charge, green apple actually being the first thing I taste. This is accompanied by the white wine dry tartness, just a touch sweet, and the apple cider element. There's plenty of earthy and grassy flavor throughout, with a sort of wood that's more like bark. Hops are actually not too difficult to detect, making a solid presence in the background. Mostly, more tartness pulls out of here with lots of complexity underneath, then throws a bit of sourness in the finish.
The body is light but not close to empty, with moderate carbonation. Each sip is crisp and smooth.

Cantillon Iris from Brasserie Cantillon
97 out of 100 based on 1,676 ratings.