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Cantillon Iris - Brasserie Cantillon

Not Rated.
Cantillon IrisCantillon Iris

Educational use only; do not reuse.

475 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 475
Hads: 1,925
Avg: 4.26
pDev: 19.48%
Wants: 707
Gots: 445 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 475 | Hads: 1,925
Photo of IronDjinn
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

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Photo of RollBounce
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
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 harrymel
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

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Photo of wheelinshirt
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

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Photo of kiddynamite920
3.87/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

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Photo of kasper
3.87/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

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Photo of jmarsh123
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
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).

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Photo of Tnudish
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

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Photo of Sammy
3.89/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

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Photo of Rutager
3.89/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

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Photo of oline73
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I had this poured from the bottle into a flute at Teresa's Next Door.

Appearance: Pours a mostly clear amber with hardly any head.

Smell: Quite sour with strong herbal notes. There is a mild sweetness that is accompanied by some fruit notes.

Taste: Sourness dominates. There is a mild malt background with some fruity notes. The finish is bitter and funky.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and a finish that is a bit dry. This beer
almost flat.

Overall: I thought this beer was just ok as far as sours go. It was smooth, but I didn't find it to be very interesting.

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Photo of wedgie9
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2007, tasted from 375mL bottle at Lush West Town. Pours light amber orange with a quickly fading white head. Nose is brett funk with some burnt rubber, vinegar, and a dandelion florality and just a hing of lemon and green apple. Taste is very bitter on the tip of the tongue and very sour with some citrus. The body is medium minus with sparkling carbonation and a medium finish.

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Photo of hwwty4
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2004.

Poured sparingly into my Koningshoeven goblet. This beer pours a hazy, muddled, orange with a thin inch head that left no lacing and no retention. The aroma is extremely tart, citric with orange and lemon zest. White wine vinegar, and bit of apple, and a whole lot of funkiness. The flavor is very citric and funky. I don't know if you can make vinegar out of lemon juice, but if you can I would imagine it would have some similarities to this. Also there are a whole lot of earthy undertones. The mouthfeel is very dry, leaving a very tart flavor on the palate. I really enjoy this beer but I find it very hard to drink a 750ml by myself. This is definitely a beer to share among several people.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
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?

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Photo of dansmcd
3.92/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Burnt orange amber, with a thick haze through it. Two fingers of soapy white head saddles the beer.

S - Very fragrant. Apricot, spices and lemon peel. Some powerful floral and funky notes also.

T - Sour green apple and white grapes, brett, apricot, lemon and grapefruit.

M - Light bodied, sour and really tart. Nicely carbonated.

O - I haven't had a lot of lambics and can't say they have grabbed me as a style yet, but this grew on me as I made my way through it. I particularly admire the complexity.

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Photo of boatshoes
3.93/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received this as an extra in a recent trade with nonstick. Thanks!

Appearance- Pours a murky tan with a few floaties despite decanting the yeast. About a finger of fizzy white head rises off the body of the beer and actually stuck around for longer than I was expecting. No discernible lacing but some visible carbonation.

Smell- A lot more funky than I was expecting. Lots of barnyard, wild yeast, lactic tartness, and fruitness coming through. Of the nature of green apples, lemon zest, and some pear. Very wild and tart smelling.

Taste- Big on the tartness and funk. Really a lot of the wild yeast funkiness and barnyard on the palate accompanied by a mouth puckering lactic tartness that dies back somewhat as the beer warms. Again, green apple and some pear show through but this lambic is on the less fruity and more sour/wild side than many I have had. Very nice though and an interesting change.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel is great for the style and not overly thin, though the carbonation is surprisingly spritzy. Drinkability suffers just a touch because of the high levels of funk and tartness but still pretty good.

Overall, interesting and a change from the lambics I've had recently. Another great offering from Cantillon and I would recommend it.

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Photo of FernMaster
3.93/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2007 vintage, poured from the bottle into a white wine glass.

Some people may have read that first line and cringed a little, you do what you can with what you can. However, it wasn't a bad fit pouring it into a white wine glass and it's a perfect segue-way into my thoughts on this beer. I've often thought, as others have I know, that the perfect beer to help the transition of wine drinkers into the scary world of beer is a lambic. But has anyone ever said that the perfect beer to transition beer drinkers into wine drinkers is a lambic? If not, allow me to be the first to say it.

I brought this over to my newlywed friends apartment as well as a cabernet sauvignon called "Josh," which I bought for the sheer novelty that the wine and I share names. My buddy likes beer (sort of, I need to get him away from macros) and he doesn't like wine. She likes beer and is starting to get into wine, something I'm doing now as well. I introduced him to the lambic as a hopes of opening him up to the possibilities of liking wine, the thinner mouthfeel and more fruity components I thought would aid in this. I even served it at red wine temperature.

Pouring this into a white wine glass may seem weird, but the pour was incredible. There was so much head on this beer, an amount that seemed unnatural to lambics. It was quite awesome. There was also some decent lacing on the glass as well. Also wow, is it gorgeous looking.

There's some nice funky earthiness to the nose. There was definitely some fruit in the nose as well, some sort of cherry, floral, grape scent.

The taste wasn't as tart as I'd expect, maybe because of the temperature I served it at and if so that's the temperature I'm serving all lambics from here on out at. It was still tart and funky but the fruit flavors of citrus, lemony and kind of grape flavors with the earthy strange funkiness was a true joy. I was most interested in how my friend was going to go to this. I think he enjoyed it, but I think he may have skewed his thoughts a little to make it seem like he wouldn't disappoint me. Bah. So maybe my theory on using this to get beer people into wine is a little thin, but that doesn't mean it should be abandoned on one case study.

The mouthfeel is very big and frothy, it sits very well in the mouth and isn't as thin as it's look may make you believe. There's also some nice carbonation in the beer so that really adds to the apperciation of the drink. It's very drinkable, especially at that 50-55 degree temperature range. It's a little pricey, which keeps me from regularly buying something like this, but if I feel like I want to indulge, I will purchase this again. I may also purchase it again in getting either wine or beer people into the drink they're not into yet.

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Photo of DearthVader
3.94/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 Vintage split with my girlfriend and brother. This was made possible thanks to the generosity of LSUPT. Thanks again for this Alex.

Poured into my Fantome tulip.

It pours a beautiful burnt yellow that gets brighter towards the center of the glass. A Ron of carbonation in this one which creates the billowing 2 finger off white head. The head sticks around for quite some time which I am nor use to with the style. Very nice.

Smell is a little underwhelming. The oak characteristic was the most prevalent feature. It overwhelmed the sour aromas and all the mashed fruits that were in this.

The taste is sour upfront. The sourness bleeds into some wonderful grape, apple, peach, and apricot flavors. The oak is very noticeable late in the sip.

Could drink this stuff all day. Nice and creamy mouthfeel that is still light bodied and very inviting.

My second chance with a Cantillon. They continue to live up to the hype.

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Photo of jsanford
3.94/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle courtesy of the CPJ!

Appearance - Pours a dark orange with a dense, off-white head and very high level of carbonation.
Smell - Lovely aromas of signature Cantillon funk (wet hay and earth) with a heaping dose of citrusy hops and oak.
Taste - Follows the nose nicely, a lovely blend of bitter and funk, oak and tartness. More earthy, barnyard funk with a slightly tropical citrus hop profile and some green apple skin.
Mouthfeel - Crisp and highly carbonated, with a medium-thin body and a very dry, tannic finish.
Overall - A nice Cantillon, but far from my favorite of their offerings.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.94/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pour sampled at mrbubbler's tasting.

2007 vintage.

Pours a slightly murky honey orange with a tan head that fades to wisps of film on top of the beer. No lacing on this one. Smell is sour, tart, and funky with some nice hoppy aromas. Taste is the same with an almost minty flavor on the finish. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good lambic with a nice hop presence.

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Photo of thryn
3.94/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Labeled 05, bottled in 07 according to the cork.

I feel like this beer should have a nice head, and it does not. Other than that, it is attractive. A cloudy pale copper, with a small head that recedes immediately to a halo.

nicely tart and sour on the nose. This is full of green apple notes, with a bit of mustiness. Some pear as well, with tons of oak scent.

This does not taste nearly as delightful as it smells, sadly. There is a lot of tartness and that musty blanket flavor, with some nice sour apple up front that fades and is followed by a weird overripe fruit whang. Great at first, then just bitter and weird. I'm not hugely familar with true lambics, so maybe I haven't got my palate around them, but I tend to like sour and funky beers better than I like this. The flavors come in waves and don't mesh terribly well.

... OK, I'm upgrading. The flavors blend much better as it warms, and the unpleasantness I was getting is gone. It's gone from a strange bitter and rotten finish to a nice sour finish. Some citric and spice notes are coming out nicely, too. Lesson -- let this one air out and warm a bit before sipping. It's still not great, though.

Mouthfeel is very nice. A medium to light body with plentiful sharp carbonation despite the lack of head.

I'll finish it, and may buy another to compare, as I feel this one may not be the best representation.

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Photo of jbaker67
3.94/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Orangey amber color, fluffy foam beige head that diminishes and aroma of sour yeast, barnyard, citrus rind. Taste is tart lemon rind, grapefruit, woody, yeasty, with light malt & caramel notes and some lingering bitterness. Smooth mouthfeel, medium bodied, soft to medium carbonation, dry sour finish. Complex and tasty, very drinkable.

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Photo of BeerTruth
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml corked bottle poured into a tulip.

Vintage 2005, bottled in 2007.

Pours a semi-clear sunset orange with a big 'ol two finger fluffy white head that quickly dies down to a thin layer of fluff. Virtually nothing in terms of stickiness, if anything, a possible spot here or there. Good god this is a sour beast. Grass, lemon, and vinegar explode in the nose with some sour apple underneath. A very powerful aroma overall, but in a good way. Taste begins, well, pretty tart. Lip smaking grapefruit and white grapes with some crisp hay underneath. Vinegar and lemongrass midway with a hint of unripe cherries. Aftertaste is pretty earthy and dry with leather and dust flavors on the tongue. Light and dry body with a big puckering mouthfeel. Pretty strong carbonation but it fits very well with the style. The abv is pretty low, but the crazy tartness is a bit much for my tastebuds. Not bad, but the price tag is a bit of a turnoff.

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Cantillon Iris from Brasserie Cantillon
95 out of 100 based on 475 ratings.