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Cantillon Iris - Brasserie Cantillon

Not Rated.
Cantillon IrisCantillon Iris

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

1,618 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,618
Reviews: 456
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 9.43%
Wants: 627
Gots: 352 | FT: 22
Brewed by:
Brasserie Cantillon visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Lambic - Unblended |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: TheLongBeachBum on 12-05-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Cantillon Iris Alström Bros
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Ratings: 1,618 | Reviews: 456 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.93/5  rDev -9.7%
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.

Sammy, Oct 14, 2007
Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -8%

t0rin0, Aug 29, 2012
Photo of spycow
5/5  rDev +14.9%

spycow, Dec 07, 2011
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.95/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

UCLABrewN84, Apr 09, 2012
Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -8%

djrn2, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

zestar, Oct 27, 2013
Photo of acurtis
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

acurtis, May 26, 2013
Photo of Thorpe429
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 vintage generously shared by Huhzubendah to help me finish off both the top Belgian list and the top Unblended Lambic list. Served in a tulip.

Pours copper with a very, very large off-white head with really good retention. The nose is pretty interesting with some slight funk and a few floral notes. There's a bit of acidity there as well. Mild earth. The taste takes this to the next level. There is a light acidic presence with some notes of light stone fruits plus some damp earth and general musk. Body is fairly light and low in carbonation. Finish is tart, yet not too bracing. Quite drinkable. Thanks again, Matt!

Thorpe429, Feb 14, 2011
Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

nmann08, Sep 24, 2012
Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Texasfan549, Mar 21, 2012
Photo of metter98
4.15/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is cloudy golden orange in color and poured with a finger high white head. The head has good retention properties and never completely faded away, consistently leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface. A light to medium amount of carbonation is evident.
S: There are aromas of sourness and barnyard funk in the nose along with some hints of flowery hops.
T: The beer tastes very sour and tart. It also has a strong amount of acidity.
M: It feels light-bodied and vinous on the palate; the finish feels somewhat dry..
D: The intensity of the sour flavor in the taste makes this a beer that needs to be slowly sipped.

Note: Vintage 2007, bottled in 2010

metter98, Sep 06, 2010
Photo of GRG1313
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

GRG1313, Aug 20, 2012
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -8%

kjkinsey, Mar 21, 2012
Photo of BEERchitect
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Both intense and satisfying, the unblended Labics always gives an intimate view into an unadulturated flavor and process of brewing these magical beers.

Initial vinous aromas speak of super dry white wines, lemon rinds, must, and a mild cidery/vinegar note. Supportive dusty note take the shape of old woods, leather, and mildly horsey notes. Still, the lemon acidity and vinous oaky notes dominate the nose and give a tickle to the nose. Only a mild phenolic scent (band-aid) distracts from the clean lactic/malty nose.

Surprisingly, the beer pours with a light carbonation that fuels a very froathy whie head. Lacing well and retaining better yet, this lambic is much less 'still' than straight lambics should. Deep golden or strong-straw in color, the beer carries a mystic and foggy glow.

Initial flavors of citrus lemons and limes (and the rinds thereof) very much lead the way. Tart apple cider flavors are mixed with light vinegar, white wines (young white grapes), and an aged wood character more reminescent of sandlewood than oak. Leathery, musty, and savory- this beer leads to a long and transitioning bitter and acidic finish. Though it is easy to confuse the acidic sharpness with the pang of hop bitterness, the two are different and are displayed well with the early citrus flavor and the late bitterenss.

Medium at best, to start, the beer tries to become somewhat malty early on. But the beer lets go of that notion quickly and the pursues a lactic sourness, pleasant astringency, and late bitter dryness in the throat.

This beer has dramatic impacts from the split second that it hits the lips until extremely deep in the finish. For a light and thirst quenching beer, this beer has an impressive range that keeps the complexity going and going.

BEERchitect, Aug 04, 2010
Photo of Phyl21ca
4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (per label 2003 batch – per cork 2005 batch) drank in 2006: Poured a hazy orange color lambic with a quite big foamy white head with pretty good retention. Aroma of hops is clearly detectable and I thought it provided an interesting ‘’mariage’’ with the sour and brett character of the original lambic. It also seems to help balance the level of acid in the beer, which is a real, plus since I sometime find the Cantillon lambic to be too acid. Horse blanket and farmhouse quality are still apparent as well as the citrusy hops. Very nice experiment from the folks at Cantillon.

Phyl21ca, Mar 16, 2006
Photo of kylehay2004
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

kylehay2004, Dec 16, 2013
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -19.5%

ygtbsm94, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of mikesgroove
4.4/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2004 Vintage, capped and corked bottle, served right out of the fridge and poured into a chalice

A - Poured a very nice and very hazy orange colored amber. Some small bits of sediment floating through but not really too much at all. A nice amount of carbonation could be seen upon the poor, bubbling up from the bottom in the form of nice chains reaching toward the top. A nice and tight small head of white colored foam graced the top of the glass, perhaps being about one inch high, before finally sliding down and leaving nothing more then the tiniest of films across the top. The side glass presence was there, but very thing, and towards the end of the session, essentially non existent.

S - The aroma was hugely filled with sour yeast. Just an enormously big aroma here with lots of fruity esters floating around and mingling inside. The main player I found here had to be the yeast. Such a big presence you could almost pick it up from across the room. Lots of notes of sour grapes and apples, perhaps a cherry in there as well. There was a light and delicate presence of earthy grass notes which I was able to pick up in the background, as well as a light note of some yeast. Very intriguing and welcoming. But the big story here, by far was how sour this one was, really a very bitter exploration of the senses and very bright.

T - The flavor followed along with the aroma perfectly, keeping lock step with each little subtly I had found inside the aroma. There was a deep sour and tart flavor explosion right off the bat, as soon as the first sip hit your tongue, you new how it was going to be. Lots of yeast, giving it a very grape, prune, or peach like flavor. Very light though, in as much as the flavors themselves was not heavy, but rather quite welcoming and inviting. Huge fruit like flavors here coming from all angles, as each sip seemed to open the door to the next flavor coming through. There was some cherry like sweetness buried in here as well, with just the slightest notes of a grassy hoppy like flavor mingling in underneath everything. The base was solid with a good wheat like flavor, and some light cereal grains. The finish, was excellent, really letting the flavors bend around and explore. Long drawn out sour finish, that you could taste for a good few minutes after it was done.

M - The feel on this was excellent as well. A light to medium bodied ale, which really had a very nice little kick to it courtesy of the carbonation. Never really thin or slick, and not really dull in any way, this was simply a nice way to let the flavors speak for them selves and really start to explore.

D - Outstanding. Sometimes you will have something that is so sour that it is hard to take more then just the mildest of sips; however this was not the case here as this one was really very drinkable. Such a nice light profile mixed in with a solid carbonation, and very low ABV, made it a sipper, but only at of courtesy for the style. You could easily finish the bottle and come back and ask for some more later on.

Overall I would have to say that this one is an absolutely excellent selection. If you were just getting into sour beers this might be a good stepping stone as well, because it is not extremely mouth busting, but at the same time will give you a very clear picture of where the style can go. I would definitely have to recommend this one and will more then likely be trying it sometime in the near future.

mikesgroove, Feb 05, 2008
Photo of womencantsail
4.15/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

womencantsail, May 09, 2010
Photo of Knapp85
4.16/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

Knapp85, Mar 07, 2013
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

SocalKicks, May 25, 2013
Photo of largadeer
4.15/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

largadeer, Jul 06, 2008
Photo of emerge077
4.15/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2005 750mL

Decanted into wine glasses from a lambic basket. There was quite a bit of sediment in the bottle, at least the last 1/2 inch left in the bottle. Color was darker amber, glowing orange in the light. Nice puffy head with a sticky collar, though it didn't stick around for the whole glass. First pour had bright clarity, the others had some haze.

Signature Cantillon citric aroma with lemon, wet wood, leather, and grassy hay (hops?). After cellaring so long, any clear indication of hops have vanished.

The pale malt unique to the Iris blend come through in the taste, slightly sweet with a mild staleness. Luckily the strong citric lemony sourness steamrolls it, leaving nothing but dry oakiness in the end. Some tannic astringency. It's slightly slippery with medium to low carbonation.

I have to say i've enjoyed this more when it was fresher (clear hop flavor and bitterness). Cellaring at length seems to deplete what makes Iris unique, the dry hopping and pale malt. Will try it again fresh and update this review.

emerge077, Jul 11, 2010
Photo of JAHMUR
5/5  rDev +14.9%

JAHMUR, Nov 14, 2011
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Cantillon Iris from Brasserie Cantillon
97 out of 100 based on 1,618 ratings.