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Cantillon Iris - Brasserie Cantillon

Not Rated.
Cantillon IrisCantillon Iris

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

1,690 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,690
Reviews: 460
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 9.43%
Wants: 689
Gots: 387 | FT: 24
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: 1,690 | Reviews: 460 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DrBier
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.77/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottled 2002, Sampled February 2004
This beer pours a hazy amber-copper color, which is in stark contrast to the typical light gold color of a traditional Gueuze. It is reasonably well carbonated. The carbonation creates an off white head that is persistent but only 1/4 inch in my tulip glass. Wow, the aroma has as the strongest element definite notes of cat-piss, surely the most I have ever experienced in a Lambic beer. Other aromas of musty barns and of course some sour notes as well.

Upon my first taste I notes that there is lots of hop character for a Lambic type beer, which mixes quite interestingly with the traditional Lambic character. Don't get me wrong, the hop character is fairly subdued but it is here, even after 3 years of aging in the cask. This beer is of course sour (what else would you expect from a Cantillon product), with notes of citrus (a lemon & grapefruit mix) as well as a hint of vinegar. The barnyard musty-leather Brettanomyces character is quite prevalent in this bottle. This concoction showcases what this fickle funky yeast can do. This beer is quite fruity as well, what comes to mind as an apt description for this fruitiness is that of sour apples.

The lack of wheat in this beer seems to make this beer a bit fuller/ richer in the mouth than a typical Lambic product. This beer is not overly hard either, especially for a Cantillon Lambic. This was a wonderful first beer on a Superbowl Sunday afternoon. It paired wonderfully with the aged sharp cheddar, prosciutto, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and rustic bread. Cantillon definitely delivered once more with this beer. This is a world class beer, whose only flaw, given the specialty designation on this beer, is that perhaps it is not quite distinctive enough from a traditional Lambic, but how can I really complain since I do love Lambic.

Photo of GClarkage
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

03/28/07- Purchased at Plumpjack's in San Francisco, CA.

Presentation- 750ml bottle sealed in foil, capped and corked. Vintage 2005 on the cork. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Deep orange colored pour. Maybe a bit rust like. Clouded yeasty pour. Minor rim of a head upon pour. Light spots of lace remain and drip down the sides of the glass.

Smell- Not as much funk as would like, but a nice tart and sour grassy and fruity nose. Can't really pick up what fruit though. Maybe lemon?

Taste- Tart, but not outrageously tart as some of the other Cantillon brews I have had. A nice mixture of lemon, orange and grapefruit sour medly.

Mouthfeel- Makes you salivate for more. Good tartness and next to no carbonation.

Drinkability- Excellent output from Cantillon. Maybe my favorite of the bunch to date.

Photo of duceswild
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of orangesol
4.05/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Max's Taphouse during their "Rare and Obscure" event.

A - Pours amber yellow with a small one finger tall white head leaving spotty lacing down the glass.

S - Smells of strong barn yard funk, light acidic sourness, and some white grape skin. Not as strong a nose as I was expecting.

T - Holy pucker batman. Lots of strong puckering sourness up front slowly giving way to a mix of green apples, grapes, and light brett funk. The alcohol is well hidden behind all that sourness. The finish is pretty dry, lingering for some time. More sourness than I was initially expecting.

M - Medium body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Strong, acidic, feel with a good bit of dryness in the finish.

O - I liked this one, just not as much as the other two. It was, surprisingly to me at least, the most sour of the three. I tend to like my sours with a bit more fruit in them but this was still very nice.

Photo of Gavage
4.14/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear yellowish orange color. 1/2" head lingers a bit before falling to some surface bubbles. No lacing develops.

Smell: yeast, barnyard funk, sour fruits and overall muskiness fills the nasal passage.

Taste: the flavors follow the nose as yeast, muskiness, sour green apples, honey sweetness, hints of oak woodiness, and some light alcohol tones make up an interesting dry lambic.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Smooth and dry throughout. Brief bold aftertaste sticking towards muskiness and sour apples.

Drinkability: a pleasant slow sipping lambic that some may be turned off by, but this grow on you. Pretty easy to quaff.

Photo of Halcyondays
4.52/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

25.4 oz. bottle with a flower on it, 2004 Vintage,

A: Pours a somewhat murky, though the first few pours are clear, amber, with a fizzy white head that hisses as it evaporates, though it leaves a good rim around the glass, satisfying for a lambic.

S: Very tart, not overly funky, though, though there is some barnyard character to it, with a lot of sweet malt.

T: A huge sour note of lactic acid hits you when you first taste the beer, then the complexities start to come in, with a light Brett character of horse blankets and aged cheese. The beer finishes with a very earthy hop note of wet hay, grass, and straw. Very tasty.

M: Very sour, not as sour as Berliner Weisse, but close, I'd reckon a pH of about 3-3.5, slightly vinegary, but still has a lightness about it that makes it real easy to drink, well done.

D: A great lambic beer from Cantillon, I probably won't buy this again due to the price, $18.99 plus tax for a 25.4 ounce bottle, but I'm definitely glad I tried it, an interesting experiment, a 100% malted barley lambic, and it worked.

Photo of dbrauneis
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of stakem
3.78/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml bottle, '07 vintage bottled in '09 shared with some friends and poured into a matching Cantillon long stemmed tulip. The brew appears amber in color with an off-white to tan cap that maintains pretty solid retention for the style from a constant stream of carbonation rising to the surface. A light swirl revives the tan cap once it fades.

The smell of this brew is bold with damp woody character upfront. More smells reveal a bit of herbal hop character that blends into a fruity aspect. A tangy lactic component is throughout with a very pronounced earthy, damp mildew-like character somewhat similar to moist cork. It smells quite enjoyable but individually the scents of this brew are a bit contrasting and unexpected when mixed together.

The taste is tangy initially with an equally bold flavor of damp old wood and must just like the aroma indicates. It is both herbal with hoppy bitterness and earthy with a bit of dark fruited aspect. It is quite tangy and drying on the palate yet brings forth some salivation factor. As the brew warms up, there is a toasty flavor that seems to be like a toffee sort of grain indication or perhaps more reasonably a toasty depth of character imparted by the barrel aging. If possible, I would give this a 4.25 for taste, so I'll round up to a 4.5.

This is a medium bodied brew with a lively level of modest to high carbonation. There is not much abv impact but the combination of sourness and herbal bitterness is very trying on the palate. I enjoyed this but the combination of bitterness and sourness overall degraded this brews drinkability for me. Even though this brew was split equally between 4 people, I had a hard time finishing my ~5-6 oz. To this brews credit it was very unique with bold enjoyable barrel character. I wouldn't mind having a fresh one of these for comparison.

Photo of imperialking
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of yourefragile
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of mothman
4.22/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to pmccallum86 for sharing this one. Randomly in the mood for a sour, I was alright with it!

2007 bottled in 2010

Poured into St. Bernardus chalice.

Pours 1/2 finger of off-white head that fades to a ring. Some active carbonation in the glass. Color is a clear dark orange gold.

Aroma: A decent amount of citrus with herbal flavors. Lemons and pears stick out a bit. It has a decent amount of funk to it with a touch of oak. I also get a bit of sweetness from it, along the lines of honey. Normally I can't detect hops in sours, but there seems to be a bit of floral hops showing.

Taste: First thing I notice is that there is a lot more oak showing here than other sours I have had. Second, the hops show a lot here. It has some acidic citrus here, mainly lemons. Also has some sour yeasty flavors. Pretty funky with some hay and horseblanket showing. The fruit flavors are a little more subdue here, but are in the backgound.

Mouthfeel: Herbal feeling with a sweet, yet tart feel to it. A light to medium bodied with a low to medium amount of carbonation. Ends dry and oaky with the slightest medicinal aftertaste to it.

Overall, this is a pretty drinkable sour. It has a lot of nice flavors to it and very unique from some of the other lambics I have had. More oak and more hops show from this one. A very solid offering.

Photo of Billolick
4.39/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Its one of the Beer axioms I live by, when you see Cantillon on tap, order it! So when I saw this on on tap at My Place in Ct. my choice was a no brainer...this one poured cloudy, dull light amber, with minimal head, lacing etc. Nose was the expected sour, funky ripe apples. IOn the tongue, this classic, unadulterated Lambic continued the theme of sour, but not too sour, apple notes, funky, flavorful, unique, intense, complex, what can I say I love the Cantillon brews and this one was just lovely. Support the producers of these world class artisinal creations.

Photo of Gonzoillini
5/5  rDev +14.9%

Photo of corby112
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes:

2005 vintage. Pours a dark hazy amber/orange color with a one finger frothy white head that quickly settles into a thin ring. Minimal spots of lacing. Visible carbonation bubbling up.

Funky aroma with a decent amount of barnyard/horseblanket character as well as hints of earthy oak, tannins, vinegar, light fruit and earthy hops.

Medium bodied and puckering without being acidic at all. Sour/tart up front with a decent balance of musty/earthy oak along with subtle pale malt, earthy, bitter hops and crisp light fruit. Very complex and well balanced with a nice amount of citrus and other sweet, vinous fruits balancing out the sour funk. In addition, the hops used make this beer very unique for the style. The dry and cold hopping results in a earthier, slightly more bitter lambic than usual, but not to the detriment of the other characteristics. There's still plenty of funk but this is slightly better balanced and easier to drink than some other Belgian sours. Recommended.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.27/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2011 Vintage.

A: A slightly hazy orange-golden color with a very large white head on top, very sudsy. I could actually hear the bubbles pop as the head reduced to a thin cap on top. Lacing forms on the glass and lasts momentarily before receding down into the beer.

S: Surprisingly, I get a bit of earthy hops right away. This gives way to tart citrus and flowery aromas with a heavy funk/cheese aroma at the end.

T: Less funky/musty than the aroma, much more fruit forward and floral. More green grape, sour apple, lemon, and a bit of peach. Has a slightly sweet, puckering finish.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation, not as tart as other Cantillons, this one is very balanced in that regard.

O: Different for Cantillon, definitely hoppier from the fresh hopping that they do to the beer. Definitely like it, would be interested to taste it with some age.

Photo of afsdan
5/5  rDev +14.9%

Photo of tempest
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2005 Vintage.
Bottled 2007.

Picked up a short green bottle for about $8. This lambic is a bit unusual for it hop character and all-malt grain bill, but it's a nice change of pace. The aroma begins the drink with a mix of musty leather and orange blossom, and the flavor is dominated by a pleasant lemon-lime juice. Tangy sour candy notes dot the edges of the palate, while orange rind and grapefruit hops provide a mild bitterness. This is an excellent lambic and a bit wine-like for white-wine lovers. Highly recommended and worth the money every once and a while.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2007 vintage

A: Hazy orange, huge gushing head that fades rapidly, leaving minimal trace

S: Barnyard funk, hay, citrus fruits

T: Tart, as expected. Complex, intriguing, and certainly different from the other Cantillon brews I have had. Subtle citrus fruits with straw/hay flavors, wine-like tannins and a biting acidity, but not harsh. Iris is done so well (like all Cantillon brews), I find it quite enjoyable.

M: Dry and acetic finish

D: I would drink Iris anytime. It's always a good day when you're drinking Cantillon.

Photo of BARFLYB
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a handpump pull at Teresa's Next Door in a oversize wine glass.

Once the bright white frothy foam settled from the top of the glass about 10oz's of copper bronze shaded liquid graced the glass with a inch of settled layered foam that lasted, some splotches left behind.

This smells spectacular. A real nice hit of wet oak with some hay thrown in with light citrus. All together earthy with that Cantillon smell. Barnyard. damp basement.

This was just so flavorful from jump street. Im hit with that sourness up front with faded apple and hay. The oak is prominent yet not looming. This is sharp stuff. Earthy grass in the middle with an acidic nature, but not overkill.

After some time in the glass this settled down a bit. First sips off a loon are always mind bending, but after some time Iris comes into it's own. A small step up from light with alot of activity in the mouth. Strong aftertaste of sour apple and such.

I could have drank this all day. It really makes me appreciate the less sought after loons. This does the trick. I had some 5 years aged Iris on tap not to long ago and this blew it out of the water. I think this is a more recent vintage. Great stuff.

Photo of DoubleJ
4.24/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2007 Vintage on-tap at Beachwood BBQ, on to the beer:

Burnt orange yellow in color with a short lived head and no lace. A different lambic this is; a hoppy one. While it still holds that simple and appealing lactic acid, the late hopping adds a strong second dimension of grassy flavors. In comparison to other Cantillon's, this is not overly sour, which helps make Iris easy to approach.

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of wl0307
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at the BSF bar, GBBF06. Coming in a 750ml green bottle, corked and capped, covered with black foil.. 2003 vintage, the cork states it's bottled in 2006. Served lightly chilled in a large Burgundy bulb wine glass. BTW, the ingredients printed on the bottle seem to suggest this lambic has no wheat malt in it--an "all-malt lambic" then?

A: translucent dark orangey amber hue, little beer head comes with the beer, gentle carbonation.
S: fragrantly hoppy, mildly sour fruity and mildly sweet malty aromas all blended well upfront, like apples+nectarine added with a touch of lemon zest, plus the classic funky edge like damp blanket, etc... overall the smell is not as intrusive as Cantillon bio Geuze or Lambic, showing a rather pleasant hop fragrance and balanced aroma achieved with malts--maybe due to all malted barleys and colourful hops used in this beer?
T: a funky and quite assertive salty-sour flavour of musty/moulded wood, dried grapefruit peels, and mature cheddar cheese comes to mind... the mouthfeel turns quickly tannic, rusty, woody, semi-dryish, with plenty of mineral elements to rub the tongue, while the saltiness keeps the company of bitter-sour fruits at each step. The aftertaste has an extra length of hop bitterness, along with a superb woody aroma and flavour lingering down the tongue. Overall the flavour is not so much fruit-dominated nor as sour as any other lambic/geuze I've tried, incl. Cantillon's own range, yet the additional hop bitterness is really pleasant I must say, making it perhaps the hoppiest lambic I've ever tasted~~
M&D: very smooth, almost no fizziness is detected on the mouthfeel, while the texture is rusty and chewy as usual. The body is pretty balanced for a lambic, perhaps due to the amount of hops used at different stages in making this beer. Distinctive from Cantillon's other offerings, with a pronounced edge of hop bitterness and fragrant flavour to make this nice beer apart from other great ales by this traditional brewery. I'd love to try the draught version if it's ever available. A really nice hoppy one this is~~

Photo of smakawhat
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap into a snifter at Pizza Paradiso Dupont DC. Vintage 2007.

An off white head that looks a little soupy is given, with some tight bubbles. Body is a dull somewhat cloudy orange amber. As it settles the beer gets clearer, and maintains a solid white collar while drinking.

Nose is immediatly juicy, of at first orange citrus and tartness. Small sense of apricot, and with brett feel that is kind of whispy hot.

Taste brings much from the nose, starting first with a classic orange tart sensation. Texture brings tight small soda fizz mineral water carbonation, and even a slight woody splinters feeling on the aftertaste. Juicy apricot and fuzz follows after subsequent tasting. Brett sense seems less noticeable after subsequent sips as well.

Overall just another fun Cantillon romp, really like this fruit action.

Photo of atrocity
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Cantillon Iris from Brasserie Cantillon
97 out of 100 based on 1,690 ratings.