Cantillon Iris - Brasserie Cantillon

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Cantillon IrisCantillon Iris

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

1,823 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,823
Reviews: 474
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 9.17%
Wants: 711
Gots: 417 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,823 | Reviews: 474
Photo of Suds
3.62/5  rDev -17%
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

Photo of Rutager
3.89/5  rDev -10.8%
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.

Photo of scottfrie
4.48/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into 3F stemware. 2007 sticker, bottled in 2010 (cork).

A: Pours a clear light honey-amber color with two fingers of fine bright white head that actually held great retentions. A fuzzy, rather thick, film lasted until the glass was drained. Beautiful.
S: Heaven in a glass. The nose is dry, lightly tart, earthy, musty, funky, barnyardish and contains notes of caramel malt. Woody and dry oak is heavy as well, and there is even a splash of golden fruits, white grapes, and citrus.
T: The first thing I thought when I tasted this was “distinctive.” This beer very vinous and dry as expected, but there is something bitter mixed in with the funk and sourness that is akin to citrus pith and rind, but not as harsh. Hops could be the culprit, I’m not smart enough. There is a leafy earthiness to the brew. Maybe a bit of green fruit as well. The finish is vinous and full of light malts and straw, and the aftertaste is dry, lightly tart, bitter and mildly acid and citrusy.
M: Clean and refreshing body, crips, dry and smooth mouthfeel, with soft and delicate carbonation.
O: Another awesome beer from the masters of the style. I could drink this every day. Perhaps I should move to Belgium… Cheers!

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 tpd975
4.35/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have had 1999 and 2005 vintage within the past couple months. The beer is always great but gets even better with a little age.

A: Pours a nice deep golden hue that is a bit hazy. Tight white head, okay retention with a spot or two of lace.

S: Light, tart, with bold citrus notes.

T: Nice tart citric acidity with strong lemon zest notes. Simple beer, but it is simply great.

M: Light, zippy, bubbly with a nice citrus bitterness.

D: Very good. Wonderful little beer we have here.

Photo of BMMillsy
4.31/5  rDev -1.1%

Had this one at the source: Cantillon Brewery itself. Pours golden, clear, with a nice fluffy white head on top and lots of floaties (got the bottom of the bottle here). Aroma is straw, a bit of tripel-like funky yeast, some vinegar, dryness. Flavor follows closely with funky yeast, straw hops notes, pears, apples, dryness on the finish with lingering grass and yeast funk together. Very light bodied, super crisp, and pretty refreshing. Unique brew with plenty of sour, but also an interesting note with the addition of the cold hopping. Liked this significantly more than I even expected. Good stuff.

Photo of hopdog
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared bottle provided by Eyedrinkale.

Poured a medium hazy amber color with a white head. Aromas of mustiness, peachy, with sour apples. Tastes of the same funky/mustiness, green apples, and citrus. Tart with a light sweet finish. I enjoyed this one.

Notes from: 12/11/04

Photo of Stevedore
4.14/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

75cl bottle, bottled 19 March 2013, poured into a Cantillon sherry glass today, 10/4/2013. Thanks for opening this one up, Shawn. Split 4 ways.

Review #276.

Pours a dark amber, almost an orange-brown body with a fairly solid white head with decent retention.

Smells hoppy.. hard to pinpoint a particular hop varietal, but it is definitely a fairly dank beer that suggests a bitterness.. Comes with the requisite Cantillon brewery bug population that gives off a nice earthy funk, with a small contingent of delicious vinegar acidity.

Very different palate than the nose. Barnyard funk and barrel wood is present throughout, and this is actually a fairly acidic beer compared to Mamouche, Classic Geuze/LPG. Its got a nice earthy bitterness to it; it's probably the most bitter Cantillon I've ever had. Sour quotient is above average Cantillon. It is quite complex and a somewhat intense lambic.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, good carbonation. Bitterness is actually a little off-putting in the sense that it doesn't make this one as drinkable as the other Cantillons we had tonight.

Interesting sour that is quite different from the others I've had. Tasty, sour with a nice complexity. Might be a little too bitter for me in comparison to the lambics I'm used to. Glad I tried this one though; don't know if I'll go after this one again as I would the more well-known Cantillon lambics.

Photo of deapokid
3.3/5  rDev -24.3%
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).

Photo of 2dogbrew
3.9/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lots of funk. Admittedly not my favorite style, but still enjoyed it.

Photo of birchstick
4.05/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 Edition; bottled 2010

A - pours an orangeish faint copper / caramel color with a really nice head that dissipates as the beer settles

S - smells of citric acids, honey, a little funk, and white grapes with oak tones

T - starts off with fresh lemon on the front of the tongue. This fades to a caramelized honey flavor throughout the middle of the palate. There was also a touch of bitterness coming through. Iris ends how it started - citricly sour. Not as mouth puckering as other Cantillons I have tried, however this is still pretty damn sour. Pretty solid!

M - thin and dry with a modicum of carbonation

D - Another winner from Cantillon. After reading some previous reviews I was expecting a different beer than what poured out of my bottle. As previously stated, not as sour as other Cantillons, but another quality product. I have one more in the cellar and am anxious to see what time does this one.

Photo of prototypic
4.05/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2006

Light haze clouds its golden color. Orange or amber highlights are strong and have a nice effect on its appearance. A forceful pour yielded a very thin, off-white colored head. It covered the surface, but had no appreciable depth. Retention was very short and little to no lacing lines the glass.

It's a little weaker than I'd like on the nose. Barley and grains are apparent. It also has a musky, old barnyard scent. Sour cherries along with sweet apple, pear, and lemon give it a definite fruity character. Smells a little tart and sour, but not nearly to the extent I expected. I like that aspect quite a bit. It opens up a little as it warms, but not enough to warrant a bump in score.

A sour cherry taste hits first. It's definitely tart, but not to a mouth puckering degree. Citrus lemon, sweet apple, and pear are noted. It's a little sweet, but that aspect is negated by the sour/tart flavor quite a bit. A musky, funky, barnhouse element is easily noted. Probably the Brett effect. It's not nearly as strong as some I've encountered. That's not necessarily a good or bad thing. Suffice it to say that it works well here. It seems to get more tart as it goes down. Iris has a really nice flavor. I'm not quite loving it, but it is very good.

A very smooth, medium body works really well here. Carbonation seems to be dialed down low and really helps to give it a very creamy feel. Of all things here, Cantillon nailed this aspect. Drinkability is good, but falls a few steps shy of excellence. Perhaps it's just my preference, but I frequently feel that way about these types of beers. It's got a nice flavor and goes down pretty easy, but one bottle is more than enough for me.

Iris is a really nice, solid beer. It's well done in all respects and doesn't have any glaring flaws to discuss. I can't say I'm head over heels for it, but that's attributable, in part, to personal preference. I'm just not the biggest sour fan. Coming from a not so sour guy, this is good beer. That's saying something, right?

Photo of rlee1390
4.15/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Cloudy orange/red, one finger head of the same color.

S-Oaky, cherries, grapes and mild funk.

T-Mild funk. Grapes, wheat, tad bit of hops and slight bitterness.

M-Medium bodied, nicely carbonated with a dry finish.

O-The dry hopping was an interesting addition to this beer, yummy but a tad different than the others.

Photo of jsh420
4.12/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

vintage 2004

pours hazy golden orange with a 1 finger white head that fades to a film and left no lacing

smell - wow so funky i dont know what i smell but i like it

taste is tart funky wild yeast and sour fruit

mouthfeel is a medium body beer that stings your mouth - good carb

drinkability is good - it may not be a brew you drink very often but i enjoyed sipping this beer

Photo of Deuane
4.22/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Offered at the 2008 Zeno's Belgian Beer Fest 4/26/08.

A-Honey goledn yellow with a thin white head that dissipates to nothing.

S-Sourness is pronounced and pungent. Very much like a glass of sour grapes...nice.

T-As one would expect this is a sour one! But while the sourness dominates it is amazing to me how balanced it is. Sure it is like a liquid sweet-tart but a totally enjoyable one!

M-Medium-light body. Somewhat thin a fairly unexciting. The carbonation helps keep it interesting.

D-I have some to expect nothing but good to great beers from Cantillon and this one does not disappoint. Gets better with each and every sip. This a a very nice example of style.

Photo of Sean9689
3.97/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 Vintage into Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a hazy/mirky copper orange with a fizzy off-white head. A decently aggressive pour yields about 2 fingers-worth of head. Some decent head retention leave a thin layer of head fizzy here and there.

S - Lots of funky, tart, and sour notes smacks you across the face right away. Barnyard, horse blanket, and some tart citrus notes as well but this is pretty much funk funky funkness.

T - Not quite as funky as the nose. Has tart orange-peel notes that stick out a lot and make the finish bitter. I don't know if I'm really digging that characteristic but it doesn't totally ruin this lambic. Citrus, tart/sour, some acidic notes in there as well.

M - Light and fizzy, just how I like 'em. Very champagne-esk dry finish.

D - There are other lambics I prefer over this one from Cantillon.

Photo of jrenihan
4.46/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Iris 2007. Bottled January 21 2010.

Beer is amber in colour with a moderately sized and very fizzy off-white head. Head dissipates very quickly, fizzing away to nothing.

Smell is seriously funky. Horse blanket, yeast, lemon, grass. A deep fruit smell accompanies it, apple sticks out. Wood. Clearly sour from the scent. Quite complex. Outstanding.

Taste is similar to the nose. Very funky, with lemon and yeast playing a big role. Sour, but not as intensely as expected from the nose. Apple. Vinous, some grape and cherry. A slight bitterness in the finish, but generally very dry. Aftertaste is barnyard funk.

Medium bodied, very low carbonation- almost none. Quite puckering.

Overall, a very complex and interesting beer. Body is limp but I suppose that is how it is supposed to be. Smell and taste are great. Pretty remarkable.

Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.72/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

Photo of ehammond1
4.3/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On Tap

Stone Brew Co.
Escondido, CA

Zwanze Day 2011

Hazy golden orange and yellow with a persistent white head. Spots and thin sheets of lacing mess the glass.

Bright aromas of barnyard funk and some tart yeast along with plenty of stinging sour notes. There's also a lingering sweetness throughout of mild citrus and some wood.

The flavor really shines far more than the aroma would initially indicate. A wonderful combination of bright citrus, earthy hay and grass, a bit of sour, and a warm blanket of barnyard, musty funk.

Medium bodied and ample carbonation. A joy to drink.

Incredibly drinkable and remarkably complex. Wonderful

Photo of homebrew311
3.99/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy deep goldish orange with minimal head. Nose is very aromatic with a strong presence of herbal hops paired with some acid and funk. The earthiness of the hop profile pairs nicely with the bacteria. There are also some notes of caramel and oak towards the end. Taste is acidic up front with a nice tart punch which quickly gives way to herbal/earthy/tea like hops. Notes of lemon, grass, and tart cherries all come through in the flavor. Overall, this is an interesting and complex beer. Definitely not my favorite from Cantillon, but that may be due more to personal preference.

Photo of Jeffo
4.02/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

Photo of pat61
5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours an energetic ruby tinged amber with incredible, very fine carbonation. The head rises to about one to one and a half fingers and then quickly recedes. It is very unusual to find such fine, champagne-like carbonation with the light beer body to hold the bubbles together and produce such a fine mouthfeel. The aromas include some fruit and citrus – maybe grapefruit punctuated by a little barnyard. There are so many tastes, they are so well blended and balanced and they create such a flow of flavor in your mouth that it is hard to identify them all. There is a little fruit, malt, and a couple of different hop aspects. You can taste both the old lambic hops (dull, stale with a lot of tannins) with the fresher hop character (spicy and bitterer). The beer also has a wine-like quality to it as well as the kind of oak you would get with an oaky chardonnay. The tartness balances well with the different varieties of the hop. The tannins from the old hops and the bitterness and spiciness from the newer hops, the lemony/grapefruity tartness, and the barnyard funkiness all blend together in a very amazing way.

Photo of harrymel
3.85/5  rDev -11.7%
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.

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

The beer poured into the chalice clear amber golden with a tight white head which fell rapidly to the edges of the surface as it tried to lace the glass.

The aroma was stinky cheese when first poured (at least that was the thought that came to mind). After the head dropped the aroma became fruity with a distinct grape aroma like that of skins and seeds. A definite lambic horsey and barnyard aroma was present, but not overly so. A slight sweaty aroma was also present.

The flavor was acidic sourness, but never over the top. The fruit flavor in the aroma was similar in the flavor with grape skins and seeds but also a nice citrusy orange and slight pineapple flavor were present but never sweet. The sourness most likely tricked the tastebuds into sensing those flavors like an assault and your memory failing. The beer was incredibly tart.

The finish was very dry and very tart with lasting sensations of citrus and pineapple. The body was medium and the carbonation was fairly low. The beer was easy to drink and complex, but lead to some awful beer belches that drove the cat out of the room.

750 ml bottle, corked and capped. Bottled in 2004 on cork. Purchased at Green's in Atlanta, GA.

Photo of Zach136
4.34/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled March 17 2014, enjoyed June 27 2015.


Appearance: Sunburst orange, solid carb and head retention for a sour.

Aroma: Spicey and earthy, with light acidity, and the intriguing 'loon funk.

Flavor: Earthy with mild acidity.

Mouthfeel: Bone dry, medium-low carb.

Cantillon Iris from Brasserie Cantillon
97 out of 100 based on 1,823 ratings.