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Cantillon Iris - Brasserie Cantillon

Not Rated.
Cantillon IrisCantillon Iris

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473 Reviews
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Reviews: 473
Hads: 1,899
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: 473 | Hads: 1,899
Photo of clayrock81
4.13/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured a bloodred brown (if that makes any sense) with practically no head or lace. Very sour and tart aroma, but thankfully the beer isn't as sour/tart/unbalanced as the somewhat wineline aroma. There is some funky spice and there's a touch of sweetness and oakiness that balances the sour, tart flavors of mostly cherry and touch of grape. Not a big red wine drinker but this reminded me of some light reds (no heavy merlots or cabs). Wish I could describe it better but it is a must try and enjoyable sipper.

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Photo of papat444
4.34/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed at DDC`s anniversary party/Zwanze Day.

Smooth yet lactic feel, aroma is of wood and cherries flavor is much the same but with some sour strawberries thrown in. Tiny bit of sweetness, not really tart, well balanced. This is some serious good stuff.

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Photo of Kirk_Grant
4.39/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I had this at a local bar in Southern Maine after giving away a bottle of it while I was in line at a local store to a guy and his girlfriend that had never had it before...so when I saw it listed on the menu I had to get a bottle.

Appearance is Hazy due to the sediment and the bar having to store these on their side...but I'm not one to complain. I love how this beer smells, it's funky, there's a barnyard, forest floor, citrus acid thing going on that is hard to pin down...but I could smell this for hours if I wasn't drinking it so fast.

This seems more sour than some of the normal Geuze that I've had...and it seems to get more sour with age. Buy it if you can find it!

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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 tectactoe
4.34/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Huge thanks to TheLostGringo for the bottle. Cantillon is always appreciated! Iris pours the color of a bruised tangerine, completely opaque and full of haze; top to bottom, left to right. The little, light beige head piles up quickly, then dissipates just as quick as it settles to a meek film atop the beer and a small ring that outlines the glass.

Lots of that signature, lovely Cantillon critter funk in the aroma; barnyard, sweaty funk, horsey, and a bit of soaking wet hay. There's a nice, soft wheat background and even a very mild bit of grassy and floral hops mixed in, too. Looks like the 50% dry hopping really did come through; the bottle is relatively fresh, too, so I'm sure that helps.

Other than the bludgeoning of funk, the rest of the aroma is filled out with notes of tart lemons, mild white wine and vinous oak notes, and a touch of acid and vinegar that reach out and give your nostrils and saliva glands a nice stroking. It doesn't smell as tart as many of the other Cantillons I've had, but it's easily as funky and definitely one of the most unique.

Well, well, well... tartness may not have been the king of the aroma, but it's the first thing that hits my tastebuds with the initial sip. Very nice sour introduction, with sour apples, lemon zest, mild lactic acid, and faint white wine vinegar leading the way. Funk abound, per usual; like licking a musty barnyard floor with a sweaty horse standing nearby.

Iris contains a nice woody character throughout its entire profile, too, that really stands out and sets this brew apart. Woody, bitch-like, and grassy, with a vinous, aged-oak kind of finish that scrapes the moisture from your palate and leaves your mouth bone dry. Beautifully crisp, fluid, and even a bit creamy on the palate; thin-medium bodied with high carbonation.

Another winner from Cantillon. Heavy funk, heavy tartness, and a good meshing of fruits, bugs, and vinous flavors. The dry hopping with fresh hops is surprisingly more noticeable than I thought it would be. Certainly there would be consequences in the form of acid reflux and stomach ulcers if you decide to tackle a 750 mL bottle solo, but believe me, when you try it, you're not gonna want to share.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.77/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled March 19, 2013.

Appearance - Deep orange. The head builds as I pour it. Ends up with a pretty decent creamy colored head. Murky body. Dark for a "lambic."

Smell - Quite hoppy. Hoppy with a citrus acidity. Equal quantities of maltiness and acidity.

Taste - Lemony sourness, but nothing like other Cantillons. Malt replaces grain and hay. Hoppy flavor throughout blends nicely with the sourness. Slightly bitter in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, but less spritzy than other lambics. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Interesting experiment, but I prefer regular lambics over this. A lot of complexity is lost.

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Photo of Jeffo
4.02/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one at the Bierkoning in Amsterdam.

From a 750 into a wine glass
Bottled 29 Jan 2013

APPEARANCE: Pours a small, fizzy, looser looking, off-white head with lousy retention. Head quickly fades to a wisp. Cloudy burnt orange with medium levels of carbonation. A ring remains until the end but leaves no real lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Tart lemon on the nose, with flowery aromas and some acidic vinegar as well. Nice, but not quite as forthcoming as hoped.

TASTE: Much more forthcoming than the nose, and very sour and acidic. Lemon sourness with flowery hops, bitterness and grapefruit flavors at the swallow. Bold finish is acidic with vinegar, sour grapefruit, lemon and a touch of floral bitterness. Quite sour and interestingly balanced with the hoppy bitterness. Very enjoyable.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Light and creamy on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes rather dry and puckering. Good stuff.

OVERALL: Really nice and very well balanced. The nose could be a little more present, but the flavor really delivered. A good dose of acidic sourness that's balanced really well with the hoppy bitterness this one provides. Even though my overall score might not suggest it, this one is well worth the effort. Highly recommended.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.66/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

From the Mikkeller bar in SF. 2004 vintage. Bottles in 2006.

A: Clear orange. Light lace. No bubbles.

S: Weird and funky and pleasant. Beautiful bright fruit and sweaty horses.

T: Huh. Initially very tart. It develops into something fruity and wild and barnyardy and floral and confusing. The finish is clean and full of Brett.

M: Dry-tart. Crisp? Nice.

O: I guess(?) I'm glad I tried it, but never would again -- especially for this price. I'm not sure I 'get' it. Something is going on, but what? Paired with Fiscali cheddar.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.32/5  rDev -21.9%
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.

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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 BEERMILER12
4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 28 January 2013

A: Pours a cloudy golden blood orange color with a fingers worth of head that slowly settles down to a thin cap

S: Starts off nice and tart with a bit of funk and some floral and earthy hops. Some maltiness also comes through

T: Starts off with quite a bit of sour funkiness and somewhat quickly goes into a smooth maltiness and some earthy and floral hops. The tartness doesn't last for too long, and doesn't linger. Finishes with a very light funk, but aside from that is surprisingly very clean

M: Medium bodied with low-moderate carbonation

O: A very unique lambic. It gives a nice burst of initial tart/sour and then transitions into a beer that focuses more on the malts and hops with the tart notes in the background. Unexpected, but yet another great beer from Cantillon

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Photo of spoony
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 750 ml bottle into a tulip. (Reviewed from notes dated May 27, 2013).

A-The brew has a slightly darker, more caramel color than other Cantillons. Head is pretty minimal, and the beer is nearly still in the glass.

S-The beer is mildly tart with a surprising amount of caramel-sweetness on the nose. The hops come through as vaguely bitter and floral scents. There is an oaky, almost cognac-like boozy scent. I'm intrigued.

T-The taste, like the smell, has only a mild tartness versus a full-on sourness. Again, I detect some caramel sweetness that balances well against a dry, slightly boozy oak flavor. The hops peak through to provide a bit of bitterness, but I knew I was drinking a lambic -- and not an IPA -- the entire time. The whole package is complex and delicious.

M-The beer is pretty flat with only a light whiff of carbonation to stir up the palate. Despite the lack of carbonation, the brew retains a lightness that is fitting for the style.

O-This is a tasty, but slightly different beer. I really enjoyed the cognac hints that I kept detecting on the nose and in my mouth. Although this beer is less tart than the base lambic on which it is based, the acidity is still here and would make this beer pair wonderfully with food.

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

750 bottle. Served in white wine glass similar to those used for serving at Cantillon tasting room.

Ap: Orange/Amberish color. Big lasting off-white head. moderately hazzy, but not opaque.

Ar: Sour/Tart is the first thing you pick up. with fruit and some floral/citruisy hop presence as well. Maltiness also present. A wonderful tart/sour smell to it though. As soon as I cracked the bottle I get hit with it.

T: Not the predominant flavor, but worth mentioning first is the Hop bitterness. This beer differs from most other cantillon offerings in that they use fresh hops as opposed to aged hops which provides noticable hop bitterness on the palate. Also of note is the maltiness present. Again, not overwhelming, but it's there. These two flavors combine with the classic gueuze like flavors to create a truly unique Cantillon offering. Fruity sourn/tartness is really the dominant flavor, but the others stand out despite being reserved simply because they are so unique for a beer of this type.

O: A fantastic beer. Perhaps my new favorite Cantillon. Wish I had multiple bottles because I could sit around and drink this like a session beer all day.

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Photo of Treebs
4.24/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2007 vintage courtesy of sweemzander. Lots of nice black mold around the cap and cork. 750 ml bottle served in a mini snifter.

A: Pours a hazy straw color with a white head forming on the pour. It recedes to a thin ring that leaves some sticky lace around the glass.

S: Really sweet smelling with a mix of flowery hops and light acidity. Very surprised at how hoppy it still is after 6 years. Slightly sweet mix of wheat and malt with a lactic lemon like quality to it.

T: Same as the nose with a little more barrel character. The smell of flowery hops is distinct and it has a fruity sweetness to it. Slightly lactic lemon character with some oak barrel and a mild hint of vanilla.

M: Light and airy with a spritzy carbonation. Smooth and lactic on the backend with a slight drying quality.

O: Not overtly sour and still very hoppy. This was an interesting take on a lambic and I really enjoyed it. I'd like to revisit some later and early vintages to have a comparison since my first experience is with this beer being 6 years old.

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Photo of Jonada
4.17/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

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

A - pours a cloudy amber with a beige head. A little lace. No bubbles.

S - pretty floral hops, citrus, peach, leather, wood, mild funk, herbal, soft caramel malt and a little bit of wet dog at times, unfortunately.

T - is just like the aroma minus the wet dog. Even the floral character translates to the flavor. Moderately sour. Acetic.

M - medium-full body. Oily. Viscous pour. Medium bitterness. Mouth watering. Mild sweetness. Long aftertaste.

O - unusual Lambic. Hop forward for the style. Thick body for the style. Pleasant flavors with a nice balance. Less sour and funky than Cantillon Gueuze, but that isn't a complaint. Complex beer that was a pleasure to drink.

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Photo of TallSaint
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

April 21st, 2013

It pours a dark hazy orange with a healthy finger of head.

The nose is dominated by very floral hops with a bit of citrus. Underneath is a nice biscuity sweetness.

On the palate it is inviting upfront with a huge floral, earthy quality. In the mid-palate the malt shows its teeth with a biscuity sweetness. In the back a big sourness hits with a touch of resinous hops.

Mouthfeel is quite dense for a Cantillon but that would make sense considering there is no wheat used, only pale malt.

An interesting lambic with a very different flavor profile that is dominated by the malt body and the floral hops, not the funk. I liked it, it is a very different lambic and I would love to see how it ages.

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Photo of Rutager
3.89/5  rDev -8.5%
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 montrealbcr89
4.66/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had this on-tap at the Dieu du Ciel! brewpub.

A: Poured a beautiful dark-orange coppery colour with two fingers of bright white head with tiny bubbled that dissipated quite quickly.

S: So much going on here, especially as the beer warmed: tartness, slight vinegar, oak, slight hop (sweet hop as it warmed). Could smell it for a long time and continually pull out different notes.

T: Again, nice tartness, a slight white-wine vinegar. Sweeter hop notes as the beer warmed. Very dry finish with an herbal quality towards the back of the pallet.

M: Fairly dry with medium carbonation. Had a light to medium mouthfeel.

O: Just a great beer. Could drink a couple of these in one sitting. Very well balanced and TONS of things going on at 5%. I didn't think I'd have a chance to try this on tap, but I am glad I did, as I will be able to let my sole bottle of this sit for a while and really evolve.

Great beer. Thanks to my girlfriend who rushed to the downtown pub with me to get a pour before the keg kicked.


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4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On-tap. 1/2pt glass. Enjoyed on mar´13. Amber color & foggy appearance. Yellowish froth leaves a thin layer on top. Yeast, citric/acidic & fresh bread aromas. Floral hues. Mild toasted malting & bread at first sip is overwhelmed by increasing tartaric touch. Light body but voluptuous palate. Moderate carbonation. Moderate hops in the middle. Long sweet/acidic finish. Grapefruit notes on the aftertaste. Delightful & refreshing.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.16/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

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Photo of kawilliams81
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed from notes. 2007 vintage. Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a Half Acre snifter.

A- Pours a cloudy dark orange, with a 2' white head. Minimal lacing.

S- Sour peaches and grapefruit, barnyard, funk, vegetal and floral notes.

T- Tart/sour citrus, dandelions, bitter grassy notes.

M- Light body and high carbonation. Acidic with slight dry finish.

O- 8/10 sourness. Good sour, very different with the no fruit added and dandelion/floral notes.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.72/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow...purchased this bottle at avenue pub in New Orleans-bottled May 5, 2012. So pumped about this purchase.
Poured from 750L into Lindemans geuze glass. nice hazy orange color with a thin rim of foam that lingers.
Aroma is just fantastic. So sour and funky and tart with a subtle floral and lemon hint. Wow...
Flavor is floral tart lemony lambic. Its so nice. Some slight hop presence is barely there but im thinking thats where the lemon comes from.
Its so tart and just puckers the mouth but is so pleasant.
Such an awesome and nearly pefect, but unique, beverage. As nearly all cantillon brews, this is more than worth it.

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

A 2012 vintage enjoyed at Tree House Brewery. Reviewed from notes:

A - Poured in to my Tree House glass a nice golden hue with a quarter inch head that faded to leave light wisps. Solid lambic appearance.

S - Yeah, unreal. Goddamn to I love Cantillon. This is musty with nice sour funk. Faint herbal notes too with nice sour/tart fruits.

T - Sour, mouth puckering sour. Nice floral notes along with good fruits with lemon and grapefruit jumping out. Just delicious.

M - Mouthfeel is basically fluid awesomeness. Very good body and carbonation that works so incredibly well with flavor profile.

O - Overall, yeah, you know what you're getting with Cantillon. Just an excellent beer and so well crafted.

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Cantillon Iris from Brasserie Cantillon
94 out of 100 based on 473 ratings.