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Cantillon Iris - Brasserie Cantillon

Not Rated.
Cantillon IrisCantillon Iris

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,381 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,381
Reviews: 447
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 9.66%
Wants: 604
Gots: 321 | FT: 23
Brewed by:
Brasserie Cantillon visit their website

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
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Ratings: 1,381 | Reviews: 447 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Neffbeer


4.08/5  rDev -6.2%

From notes on 12/18. 375 ml bottle dated 2007, Pour into a tulip:

A: Straw colored body with a billowing white head that quickly recedes leaving little to no lacing.

S: This smells so good. Huge citrus aroma, apple, hops, and some big ol' funk. Very tart and juicy, even to the nose. Oh my god this is right up my alley.

T: A ton of citrus, apples, grapes, hops, and some bretty funkiness (hay, grass). Finishes oh so dry and crisp. I wish I had a 750ml of this!

M: Smooth and slick. Not as carbonated as the appearance would leave one to believe.

D: This is one fantastic beer. I have never met a Cantillon offering that I have not liked, and this is no exception.

12-19-2010 16:34:35 | More by Neffbeer
Photo of drewd0g

New York

4.3/5  rDev -1.1%

Vintage 2007 on the label. Bottled 2009 on the cork.

Awesome beer...really good
the appearance is a dark orange color. almost brown. it smells like white grapes, very strong sour smell. tastes very sour and funky, tastes really sour, kind of like grapes too but i don't know if they use them or not citrusy too. really good mouthfeel with high drinkability. the taste is just phenomenal, cantillon makes great beers and this is one of them.

12-18-2010 00:02:09 | More by drewd0g
Photo of hooliganlife


4.13/5  rDev -5.1%

vintage 2005, served in a Bruery tulip

pours a nice dull hazy orange with slight brown and yellow tones. little to no head, very light retention.

light lemon and earthy notes. light oak and funk. scent was a bit faint.

i pick up lots of lemon and a hint of lime. not as tart and puckering as most cantillon i have had. an underlying sweetness and funk carry through out. i pick up a nice light pineapple flavor throughout the finish. I was going to say this was a 4.0, but i am really digging this pineapple flavor in the end.

moderate carbonation. light dryness. the oak comes alive the most in the mouthfeel.

great stuff, not sure why i waited so long on this but time treated it well. i will be buying more for sure.

12-15-2010 02:02:45 | More by hooliganlife
Photo of dasenebler


3.78/5  rDev -13.1%

375ml, 2007 edition, bottled January 2010.

For a three-year old beer, this stuff still looks great. A hard pour produces a thick, off-white head atop a hazy, light amber body. Great retention and lacing, which might have something to do with this being an atypical, all-barley Lambic.

Aroma is funky and acidic, bordering on vinegary. A touch floral, with a mineral character as well.

Man, this particular Cantillon is a double-wallop: not only is there that signature dry sourness, but also a high bitterness from the use of fresh hops. Funky barnyard flavors are apparent, enhanced by the earthy hop flavor. Touch of citrusy hops on the finish-- very different for a Cantillon. Acidity is citric, but also with that same ripe apple and strawberry thing I tend to get from most Lambics. Mouthfeel is fuller do to the exclusive use of malted barley. The carbonation was perfect and effervescent at first, but faded fast.

All of the Cantillon beers are intense, but this one is especially potent due to the bitterness. It borders on overpowering, but still remains drinkable, just not as refreshing as some of this brewery's other Lambics.

12-14-2010 17:39:32 | More by dasenebler
Photo of drewba


4.22/5  rDev -3%

A - murky, blood orange. Super small bubbles, one finger head.

S - huge vinegar, apple, lemon, lime, pear cider vinegar.

T - high cider vinegar, huge funk, lemon-lime citrus. Biting sour with a slight sweetness. I think I can detect a little dry hopping.

M - So crisp, so clean. This would overpower any beer previously drank.

D - quite sour; not sure how long I could sustain without my taste buds melting, but I'm going to try because this is delicious.

12-08-2010 08:00:23 | More by drewba
Photo of Pahn

New York

4.55/5  rDev +4.6%

750ml bottle poured into Duvel tulip. 2007 vintage, bottled in 2010. Stored in refrigerator and let sit about 30 minutes at room temperature before opening. There was a bit of sludge between the cap and the cork, but the cork came out with minimum effort and resulted not in any gushing, but just a gust of some very beautiful effervescent, lambic aroma.

Appearance: Free pour yields a two inch, puffy and fizzy, just-offwhite head that dissipates steadily into a small, persistent foam ring around the surface of the glass. Pours a translucent amber and neither head nor beer leave any lacing besides the short-lived islands that pop up with every sip.

Smell: Slightly acetic, with some vaguely herbal hops, and a sort of soft, creamy funk. Fruity, like strawberries. With warmth the smell evens out into a kind of strawberries and creaminess. Doesn't much enrich the flavor, but it does smell good.

Taste: First sip: strong, immediate sourness and an almost dirt-like barnyard funk (not as off-putting as that sounds if at all), with a nice creaminess to the funk and some hop bitterness near the end. Strong, sharp sourness gives way to a more permeating tartness.

At this point, each sip follows a similar pattern: there's a very pronounced fruit flavor up front that's indistinct but reminiscent of strawberry and apricot, the entire flavor coated by the pervasive tartness but softened by the mild sweetness, giving way to a core of barnyard funk and hop bitterness. It's a great balance, and a very complex, satisfying flavor (evoking grand, perhaps ridiculous descriptions that employ words like 'coating' and 'core', as if the flavor were a landscape).

As the beer warms, a lot more citrus comes out, with the fruit flavor up front veering strongly towards red grapefruit. The funky character also develops and expands, getting tangier and fuller rather than appearing as the kind of harsh, dirt-reminiscent note from earlier. The flavor never gets stagnant; different fruit notes come up, the Brett flavors continue to change, and it always remains decidedly palatable and balanced.

I have to give this beer a 5.0 for taste; it's just too good at being what it's supposed to be. The strong influence of hops (there's an oily, resiny character to the taste and feel that's reminiscent of some of the danker American IPAs), along with the interplay between hop bitterness and tartness is excellent.

I cynically expected the brewery's talk of "cold-hopping" (dry hopping, i.e. steeping hops in the already fermented beer rather than during the pre-fermentation boil) to be simple ad copy about fancy ingredients and techniques--"how could dry hopping not be overwhelmed by the giant, sour influence of spontaneous fermentation?" It's not a mere marketing gimmick though; what the hops are doing in this beer exceeds what you could even want them to do. The execution proves the idea to be genius.

Mouthfeel: Lighter side of medium bodied. Creamy and juicy feel, with a lingering tartness and bitterness. Doesn't feel nearly as carbonated as it looks, but there's a moderate amount of carbonation. Some slick, oily texture that is actually quite pleasant despite how it might sound.

Drinkability: This beer scores points all over your palate, and delivers more complexity and delicious flavor at 5% ABV than your average 11%+ beer. I'm savoring this beer over the course of hours, and would happily get another bottle and do it again.

After being a bit disappointed with Rosé de Gambrinus (my bottle of which, I think, I drank too young), I was a little afraid of trying another Cantillon beer, thinking that perhaps my expectations had become too raised and my preferences had perhaps moved away from lambics. However, these doubts were unfounded. Iris is, *exactly*, the kind of refinement and complexity I signed on for when I paid those extra dollars for a bottle of Cantillon at a store full of world class beer.

12-07-2010 06:42:41 | More by Pahn
Photo of gatornation


4.33/5  rDev -0.5%

poured from a 2007 vintage 750ml bottle it was an orange/amber color with a fresh 2 finger head smell was spice and hops with a malt and biscuit presence before the sour fruit like lemon and apples..taste was spice ,then some tart lemon with slight hops.malt and biscuit it ended with a nice sour .tart taste ..mouth feel was crisp and tart not as sour as other offerings..but it is not meant to be..this is unlike most cantillon offerings ive had not as sour but with a slight hops taste and malts,,still its outstanding and so drinkable..i loved this one will buy more

11-26-2010 22:49:38 | More by gatornation
Photo of VelvetExtract


4.35/5  rDev 0%

Vintage 2007, 375ML

A-Pours hazy, super carbonated rich orange/amber. Huge fluffy head recedes slowly. Looks the part.

S-Funky and sour. Tart fruits. Vinegary. Acidic. Maybe some hoppyness as well.

T-Super tart. Woody. Tastes of wine. Some floral aspects as well. Tastes like it was brewed in a barrel in my backyard, covered in leaves. Hop bitterness. Very dry. Very delicious. Very unique.

M-Light and crisp. Very bubbly, lots of carbonation. Refreshing and earthy.

D-Lots of wacky flavor. But I find it super drinkable and delicious.

My third Cantillon, all have been superb.

11-26-2010 22:20:14 | More by VelvetExtract
Photo of JAXSON


4.22/5  rDev -3%

2009 rate.

750ml 2006 bottle. Darker orange pour with a large beige head. Shows much of the typical Cantillon brashness on the nose. Lemon, grapefruit, and some really funky herbal note. Not too bracing in the mouth. Very soft, in fact. Full-bodied for a lambic. Extraordinary balance, finish is long and beautiful. I prefer this to the harder Cantillons, it may be the best lambic I've tried in fact.

Had this since a couple times, was never as good as that first 2006 bottle.

11-24-2010 05:08:40 | More by JAXSON
Photo of NorCalYeti


4.13/5  rDev -5.1%

taste- superb acid, bitter and carmelized taste

color- amber

clarity- clear

smell- citrusy hop character, spice, earth, bitter, complex aromas

body- very tart, astringent, mouthwatering, medium-body and length finish

appearance- nice orange-amber color with white, active carbonation and nice lace

glassware: tulip

11-15-2010 05:52:01 | More by NorCalYeti
Photo of mdfb79

New York

4.05/5  rDev -6.9%

From 11/05/10 notes. Had at a small tasting. 2007 vintage, 750ml bottle.

a - Pours a murky honey-golden color with one inch of fluffy white head and light carbonation.

s - Smells of floral notes, some barnyard funk, tart fruit, especially lemon and citrus.

t - Tastes of spices, tart lemon zest, peppers, and floral notes.

m - Light body and low carbonation. Quite dry and crisp, easy going down.

d - A nice lambic from Cantillon. Not my favorite Cantillon beer, but still good none the less. Lots of floral notes and tart lemon. Would drink again.

11-08-2010 23:27:42 | More by mdfb79
Photo of yeahnatenelson


3.68/5  rDev -15.4%

Big thanks to Drew for bringing this to a recent tasting so I could finally get around to trying it. Cheers.

Anno 2007.

Appearance -- Pours a rich ruddy amber with two fingers of foamy beige head.

Smell -- Salted lemon, red wine vinegar, and an iota of grainy malt sweetness. In addition, there is plenty of barnyard funky brett, though lacto tartness is not present.

Taste -- Very acidic, indeed. Tangy, slightly sharp cider vinegar and salted lemon is in the forefront with Granny Smith and horsey funk.

Mouthfeel -- Medium in body with lively effervescence.

Drinkability -- While I certainly enjoyed this, it seemed to lack a little bit of the character I normally associate with lambics, namely lacto tartness to offset the sharp acetic flavor, and perhaps the lack of wheat addition was throwing me off. As I was drinking it, I couldn't help but note the lack of depth that I associate with, say, Cantillon Gueuze. That said, it's unique, a must try, and one that I look forward to revisiting in the future.

11-08-2010 04:36:56 | More by yeahnatenelson
Photo of Chaney

District of Columbia

4.7/5  rDev +8%

A: Pours a bright orange with about a 1/2 inch head.

S: Belgian funkiness, and sour yeastiness which is very reminiscent of ground up Flintstone vitamins.

T: Jaw-lockingly sour with a very acidic afterbite. It has that fruity sourness than only fruits like Granny Smith apple can provide. The pucker factor is strong, but I like it.

M: Many have stated that this finishes somewhat dry. Frankly, I didn't get that at all.

D: Not the best Cantillon I've ever had, but that would be like comparing one Hall of Fame quarterback to another.


I had this brew at Huhzabendah's (Matt's) place about a year ago when I was fairly new to sours, but now that I've had many since, I feel compelled to give this one another look.

This is Iris 2007.... on tap at Churchkey at Zwanze Day 2011.

A: Pumpkin orange, with a substantial haze in the translucence category, and with no head whatsoever.

S: It had a very sour, yet fruity quality that also attached itself to a what seem like an entire peppercorn. I also got the signature Cantillon, milk-like aroma in spades.

T: On the taste, I got a mere sillouette of the sour (tempered sourness) beer I got on the aroma, along with the same lactose Catillon taste profile.

M: Mildly acidic, and very organic in its fruit sweetness. The fruit lingered more than the sourness. No lacing really....

O: It is amazing how one's tastes change over the course of a year. This one is world class!

11-06-2010 17:14:08 | More by Chaney
Photo of kbutler1


4/5  rDev -8%

Bottle. 2006 vintage. Pours a golden orange color with minimal head into my stemware. Very floral and funky type aromas in the nose. I'm taken aback slightly as this smells like nothing Cantillon I have had before. Beyond the floral notes are some fruity and lemony aromas. The taste is quite good although again, different, from other Cantillon beers I have had before. Fairly tart and sour. Lemony aftertaste with some barnyard. Light mouthfeel. Love to try this one again.

10-18-2010 12:39:54 | More by kbutler1
Photo of Parrotshake


4.22/5  rDev -3%

Had this once before and happy to have it again. Hard to say what kind of beer this is - the brewery doesn't consider it a lambic and it's a world away from the Grand Cru Bruocsella I had yesterday.

Pours an opaque dark orange with a healthy 2 fingers of head. This is already different to any lambic I have ever seen, slight but noticeable lacing and all. Very earthy and slightly funky nose at first with wet wood and an enticing underlying floral note which is not present in other Cantillon beers I have had.

Notably hoppy. Quite flowery and grassy at first, but it's only a split-second before a tart green apple flavor makes itself known. After that, grapefruit followed by a little medicinal herb/cheese rind twang and... is that a hint of malt sweetness or am I imagining things? The finish is almost confusing; bitter and tart with the funk outlasting the hops. Oak rounds it out.

Well carbonated with a slightly lighter than medium body. Feels fine in the mouth... without food, your stomach might suffer though. Hard to not want more of.

10-16-2010 16:21:47 | More by Parrotshake
Photo of OneDropSoup


4/5  rDev -8%

2006 vintage, bottled in 2008.

Poured into a stemmed tulip: Medium russet body, translucent -- pretty sure some sediment got in there, as it was transparent earlier in the pour. Head has a mind of its own: Fast-rising & aggressive, but sinks ot a thick & porous coating. Head's an intersting color, splotches of light tan & beige. Can see around the edges some nucleation.

Smell is wicked complex: Green apple, semi-dry champagne, there's an "open field" smell that halfway between barnyard funk & bright, airy, grassy. Some mild orange & grapefruit. There's a kind of "hidden" sweetness, too -- not sure if I'd call it vanilla or sweet grapes or just plain sugar, but it's just subtly peeking out from behind the tart, funky notes. Strongly tart, I'm really liking the aroma. There's some leather, rawhide too.

Taste is -- whoa! Formidable is an understatement. First few sips are highly acidic, with citric & fruit peel tartness. Some oak shows up. Ends puckeringly sour & very dry. Whew.

This one makes me salivate, big time. Medium-bodied, with sharp acidity. Dry, yessir.

This is an engaging & complex brew. I can't say I have any other straight lambics to compare it to, but found it very satisfying. That said, it's also intense & I don't think I could take more than a glass of this.

10-03-2010 21:06:57 | More by OneDropSoup
Photo of oakbluff

Manitoba (Canada)

4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

2007 vintage- poured into a Cantillon logo wine glass. Thought I would review a relatively fresh version of Iris vs. more aged versions previously had.Popped the cork and not a wisp of air- concerned about carbonation but was not an issue. Pours dark golden/copper with a nice level of carbonation and head. Micro bubble lacing that coats the glass.Nose- apricots, lemon, green apple, oak, but overall very fresh fruit forward. Taste- hops are definitely in the foreground- woody bitterness intertwine with the moderate acidity. Lack of wheat gives the malt more sweeter flavour to the malt. Finish is drying from the hops and cheesy.

10-03-2010 19:07:26 | More by oakbluff
Photo of ToasterChef


4.1/5  rDev -5.7%

Reviewed from my notes. Colored opaque orange, with a deeper color in the center. A tiny off-white head caps the liquid. Some musty sour yeast and slight hops make up the aroma. It is flavored slightly like apricot. Soon after, a good sour flavor kicks in. It isn't too puckering. Some yeast flavors linger. I find it very tasty. It has a medium body and low carbonation. As I said, very little puckering sensation--just enough to let you know its there. Not much coat, just what you would expect from this style. It's very drinkable. Not too sour and very refreshing. The low ABV keeps them coming.

09-30-2010 11:43:04 | More by ToasterChef
Photo of brendan13


4.13/5  rDev -5.1%

A bottle from April 09.

A - Pours a hazy dark orange with a huge off white fluffy head that slowly falls away.
S - Earthy barnyard, sour lemon citrus notes and vinegar touches.
T - Earthy barnyard also in the taste with some sour citrus flavours and dirty, wet animal character.
M - Very high carbonation. Light bodied. Pretty damn sour.
D - Another interesting beer from Cantillon. Good for a treat every now & then.

09-27-2010 11:05:02 | More by brendan13
Photo of abrand


4.33/5  rDev -0.5%

on tap at iTap

Iris pours a golden orange color with pretty good clarity. Very well carbonated with bubbles and a nice fizzy head fizzes quickly. Aromas are herbal, vinegar, floral, and sour. Taste is similar to the nose with sourness being the dominant characteristic. Very smooth with plenty of acidity. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and very well carbonated. I was loving this beer other than the fairly high price tag. I would love to keep a few of these bottles and see how it ages.

09-22-2010 21:30:13 | More by abrand
Photo of mlazzaro


4.68/5  rDev +7.6%

vintage 2007 375 ml bottle. corked and capped.

orangy/light rose color. well carbonated. great head retention.

refreshing smell. pungent tart aroma.

sweet, tart and sour. so tart, I feel like it hurts my teeth. it's awesome. light brew sour candy. excellent aftertaste.

I wish this beer wasn't finite. or so expensive. great sour lambic though. one of my favorites.

09-16-2010 02:54:14 | More by mlazzaro
Photo of axeman9182

New Jersey

4.35/5  rDev 0%

750 mL bottle, purchased to celebrate the end of graduate school and opened to mark my 100th review, poured into my Duvel tulip.

Iris pours what initially appeared to be a murky dark orange/brown, but proper lgihting revealed it's true nature, a relatively clear and radiant orange. A most impressive three finger creamy bone cap forms, and head retention is excellent. Lacing is nonexistent, but this doesn't come as a huge surprise. The nose is enticing, but fairly one dimensional. It's pure, unadulterated musty barnyard funk, the same classic smell associated with many wild ales. It's not bad, but I was hoping for a bit more, and I hope the beer is a little more exciting than this. After even the first sip any fears were assuaged. A brief splash of malt and oak segues beautifully into a wave of tartness. It's half sour apple and half citrus, like a sour apple blow pop dipped in a little bit of citric acid (and I mean this in a good way). The earthy barnyard funk that so dominated the nose finds its place here on the back end, closing each sip and lingering just long enough. Body is on the thin side, as one usually finds with a beer fermented with such voracious yeast, but it coats my tongue with each sip. I do find myself wishing the carbonation was a bit more lively and expressive though. I find that any true sour or wild beer can't be rushed and must be savored, and the same is true here. Aroma and mouthfeel are minor chinks in Iris's armor, but I'm happy to overlook those when faced with a beer that tastes as fantastic as this one does.

09-13-2010 03:13:47 | More by axeman9182
Photo of metter98

New York

4.15/5  rDev -4.6%

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

09-06-2010 18:16:34 | More by metter98
Photo of GilGarp


4.2/5  rDev -3.4%

Vintage 2005. Bottled in Feb., 2007.

12.7 oz. green glass bottle, corked and capped.

The cap comes off without the slightest hint of carbonation. The cork comes out like a bottle of wine. I fear at this point that it might be completely flat.

Served cool into my etched-bottom NB goblet, Iris is golden orange color with a faint pinkish hue. It's slightly hazy with a tight head that settles quickly.

Aroma is sweet, floral, funky, and sour. There is some vinous quality to it as well. It's definately one of those beers that you take a whiff and it makes your taste buds come to attention. It reminds me of La Folie in that way.

The flavor is really much more mild than I expected. The floral quality comes through here too and suddenly the name makes sense. The sour and funk are very light and easy to handle. Bright fruit and wild yeast blend perfectly.

Mouthfeel is light and crisp. Body is a little thin and the carbonation is very light. I wonder if this is how it's supposed to be or if the cork and cap weren't doing their jobs.

Overall a unique and special beer. I would definately recommend this to someone looking to break into the world of sours.

09-05-2010 23:40:52 | More by GilGarp
Photo of flagmantho


4.53/5  rDev +4.1%

Poured from 750mL bottle into a tulip. This is the 2007 vintage of Iris.

Appearance: rich golden-orange hue with tons of haze. Head is two dense fingers of creamy ivory foam. Looks very nice.

Smell: the aroma of a fresh, grassy meadow dotted with wildflowers and graced with a cool, free-flowing spring. On top of this is a light tartness which really seals the deal. I've had a lot of beers which were very autumnal in their aroma, but Iris is extremely vernal in nature. Very, very good.

Taste: matches the aroma in every characteristic, though it is quite a bit more tart than the aroma suggests. Fresh grass and cool spring water yield to a yeasty, bready after-flavor with an extremely clean, tart and slightly bitter finish. Magnificent.

Mouthfeel: body is on the light side of medium and creaminess is deliciously Belgian. I quite like it, but it's not as extremely well-done as the aroma and flavor.

Drinkability: this is my first Cantillon, so you might chalk it up to shock. I was really expecting to like this beer, and boy, was I right in doing so. Call it confirmation bias. I just call it damn tasty.

09-04-2010 01:09:58 | More by flagmantho
Cantillon Iris from Brasserie Cantillon
97 out of 100 based on 1,381 ratings.