1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Cantillon Iris - Brasserie Cantillon

Not Rated.
Cantillon IrisCantillon Iris

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,397 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,397
Reviews: 448
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 9.66%
Wants: 604
Gots: 326 | FT: 24
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Cantillon Iris Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,397 | Reviews: 448 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of July2Nov


4.38/5  rDev +0.7%

Appearance: Hazy burnt orange color with a foamy 1 1/2 inch head that subsides to a 1/2 inch of froth.

Smell: Sweet and sour with a stickiness to it. Oh wait...there's the sour vinegar scent, too!

Taste & Mouthfeel: Slight peppery/smoke flavor at first....goes into a sour vinegar taste. Starts to end a bit dry, but then that gets debunked with a tasty wet tartness. The sourness reaches back on the throat and just stays there. Acidic in the aftertaste and has a good amount of tingling carbonation. Wonderful in both the taste and mouthfeel.

Overall: Another great Lambic from the people who know their stuff, Cantillon! You can never go wrong from anything from this great brewery.

03-23-2011 06:27:16 | More by July2Nov
Photo of BeerAndBourbon


4.35/5  rDev 0%

Reviewed from sour tasting notes.

A. Pours a pale amber with orange edges with a thin creamy white head that leaves bits of residual lacing.

S. Smells floral - honey dew melon like sweetness, roasted marshmallow; I love the light sweetness with roastiness this beer has going on. One of my favorite smelling beers.

T. Quite tart, with oak, a bit of the floral character comes out as it warms; unfortunately the flavor isn't nearly as wonderful as the aroma.

M. Medium body with medium carbonation level.

D. Good. I like the flavor of this, but I could sit and smell this beer all night - love this aroma.

03-11-2011 06:02:44 | More by BeerAndBourbon
Photo of bobhits


2.7/5  rDev -37.9%

Exceptionally well carbonated, funky yellow orange color. Champagne amounts of bubbles.

Nose burning sour. A good bit of barely and some very belgium hops.

Very sour, funky, with a lot of hops. a Kind of an wet blanket flavor in the back ground. Almost seems like Duval or something that has spoiled. As it warms and I get used to it the flavor is more and more going towards the sweet/sour flavors with the hops and the funky off putting flavor moves to the back ground where it adds complexity more to it vs just tasting weird to taste weird.

It's pretty nice drinking and feels well. Plenty of carbonation, light enough in body.

I'm a bit torn on where I stand here. I haven't reviewed many (any?) sour beers because I just don't have a feel for these things yet. This of the 4-5 I've had is in the middle. I've only had one that really impressed me. This doesn't impress me at all.

03-09-2011 23:06:37 | More by bobhits
Photo of scott451

Ontario (Canada)

4.38/5  rDev +0.7%

750ml corked and capped bottle. Bottled in 2010, best before 12/2020. warmed from fridgetemperature and poured into a glass mug and some beakers.

A hazy rose apricot with a bubbly off white head which soon dissapeared to a few thin patches.

Vinous sour smell. Some citrous barn. Whoah! Very smooth, sharp, sour grapefruit pith. Apple, leather, oak leads followed by a long slide to a very long prickly astringent dry finish. Whew!

Medium light body. Well carbonated. The drinkability is outstanding. I could drink this long haul.

03-02-2011 15:17:16 | More by scott451
Photo of Thorpe429


4.3/5  rDev -1.1%

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!

02-14-2011 21:48:58 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of Gobzilla


4.33/5  rDev -0.5%

A: poured a murky burnt brownish orange with pale yellow highlights and had a thin bubbly head leaving plenty of lacing sticking to the glass.

S: huge citrus lemon aroma upfront with acidic, sour notes but had the signature bretty funky barnyard cantillon character with oaky barrel notes.

T: the taste was also big on the citrus lemon flavors as well alongside oaky barrel, bretty, funky, barnyard acdic accents but huge mouthpuckering sour character.

M: the brew was medium in body with fair amount of carbonation which had a citrusy, funky, bretty, oaky, and sour finish.

D: cantillon really knows how to brew these lambic beers and this one is no exception, really tasty and drinking fabulous.

02-09-2011 19:09:05 | More by Gobzilla
Photo of bark


4.83/5  rDev +11%

Vintage 2005, bottled 2007.

The smell is sour with some malty sweetness, beach and seaweed, some stable. Smooth and matured flavours. Some honey and flowers, kiwi and green bananas.

The liquid is all clear; the colour is orange with a tint of red (20 EBC). Low white head, some lacing.

The taste is elegant sweet-dry with a moderate sourness. Elegant notes of fresh/wet hops, some honey and minerals. The aftertaste is mellow and rich in minerals with notes of honeydew melon, rosewater and flowers. The finish got a pleasant sourness.

The carbonation is mild, yet the small bubbles are fresh, almost sharp. The liquid is a little sticky.

One of the most elegant lambics I ever had: Great stuff!

02-04-2011 21:43:13 | More by bark
Photo of FernMaster


3.93/5  rDev -9.7%

2007 vintage, poured from the bottle into a white wine glass.

Some people may have read that first line and cringed a little, you do what you can with what you can. However, it wasn't a bad fit pouring it into a white wine glass and it's a perfect segue-way into my thoughts on this beer. I've often thought, as others have I know, that the perfect beer to help the transition of wine drinkers into the scary world of beer is a lambic. But has anyone ever said that the perfect beer to transition beer drinkers into wine drinkers is a lambic? If not, allow me to be the first to say it.

I brought this over to my newlywed friends apartment as well as a cabernet sauvignon called "Josh," which I bought for the sheer novelty that the wine and I share names. My buddy likes beer (sort of, I need to get him away from macros) and he doesn't like wine. She likes beer and is starting to get into wine, something I'm doing now as well. I introduced him to the lambic as a hopes of opening him up to the possibilities of liking wine, the thinner mouthfeel and more fruity components I thought would aid in this. I even served it at red wine temperature.

Pouring this into a white wine glass may seem weird, but the pour was incredible. There was so much head on this beer, an amount that seemed unnatural to lambics. It was quite awesome. There was also some decent lacing on the glass as well. Also wow, is it gorgeous looking.

There's some nice funky earthiness to the nose. There was definitely some fruit in the nose as well, some sort of cherry, floral, grape scent.

The taste wasn't as tart as I'd expect, maybe because of the temperature I served it at and if so that's the temperature I'm serving all lambics from here on out at. It was still tart and funky but the fruit flavors of citrus, lemony and kind of grape flavors with the earthy strange funkiness was a true joy. I was most interested in how my friend was going to go to this. I think he enjoyed it, but I think he may have skewed his thoughts a little to make it seem like he wouldn't disappoint me. Bah. So maybe my theory on using this to get beer people into wine is a little thin, but that doesn't mean it should be abandoned on one case study.

The mouthfeel is very big and frothy, it sits very well in the mouth and isn't as thin as it's look may make you believe. There's also some nice carbonation in the beer so that really adds to the apperciation of the drink. It's very drinkable, especially at that 50-55 degree temperature range. It's a little pricey, which keeps me from regularly buying something like this, but if I feel like I want to indulge, I will purchase this again. I may also purchase it again in getting either wine or beer people into the drink they're not into yet.

02-03-2011 00:31:36 | More by FernMaster
Photo of Dspohn


4.47/5  rDev +2.8%

My first Cantillon and my first unblended lambic. It did not disappoint.

2007 vintage, drank in a hotel room in Santa Fe. Served in a wine glass, reviewed from notes.

Poured a mild yellow with little head and lacing. Old cellar, subtle earth funk, some grassy and bitter notes imparted by the hops. White vinegar and tart green apples and lemon zest. Sour and slightly bitter white grapes. Overall quite sour and extremely enjoyable. Very complex, tart, funky, vinous, musty, fruity, floral, zesty, old wet oak, lively on the tongue, puckering and dry on the finish. One of my favorite beers to date. Highly drinkable, I tackled the bottle by myself with no trouble.

I need more Cantillon in my life.

01-27-2011 08:26:08 | More by Dspohn
Photo of bs870621345

New Jersey

4.8/5  rDev +10.3%

Huge thanks to plenum for this bottle in a recent trade.

Pours amber with a huge white head. Leaves a very little bit of lacing down the glass.

Smells funky, lemony, vinegar, and a slight hint of wheat.

Taste is of funk, vinegar, apple, lemons, all mixed in with a hint of sweetness and pine resin.

Mouthfeel is very carbonated, moderately full on the mouth.

Drinkability is awesome, I decided to review so that I would slow myself down on drinking it.

An amazing lambic.

01-26-2011 02:18:08 | More by bs870621345
Photo of corby112


4.47/5  rDev +2.8%

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.

01-22-2011 05:06:37 | More by corby112
Photo of CanuckRover

Ontario (Canada)

4.65/5  rDev +6.9%

2007 Vintage.

Always a bit odd judging the appearance of lambics. She's not a looker, like sparkling iced tea, but on style. Spritzy carbonation off the pour seems to settle down fairly quickly. Thin head has no retention at all.

Apples immediately on the nose, like a nice French farmhouse cider. Tartness in abundance. Noticeable hops, verging on American citrus notes. This is lovely, seems a shame to drink it!

Up front it's remarkably crisp and refreshing. Serious sour profile registers in the back of the mouth after a couple seconds. This is very cider-like. Tart apples, lively carbonation, great dry finish. Everything infused with an appropriate level of funk. Lingering hop bitterness.

This is one of my favourite Cantillon brews. Very complex, but still incredibly approachable. Need to do a side-by-side to figure out just how the wheat registers in their regular offering.

01-19-2011 20:44:30 | More by CanuckRover
Photo of JLeege


4.22/5  rDev -3%

2007 Vintage ~ Bottled in 2010
750 mL ~ Poured into a flute

Appearance- pours a slightly hazy light orange color, with a bubbly white white head. No lacing but there is a nice thin constant ring atop the drink.

Smell- Tart with lots of funk. Leather and barnyard, earthy.

Taste- Tart up front with sweet notes of lemon and peach. Fairly dry in the middle, where the earthy tones show up again, hay and grass, with some semi musty leathery notes. Lingering tartness on the palate with a sort of sharp acidic bite; green apple.

Mouthfeel- Fairly low carbonation, pretty sticky. A bit drying.

Overall- My first unblended lambic. So far, so good. Very drinkable considering the strong acidic notes.

01-13-2011 04:55:36 | More by JLeege
Photo of IronDjinn

Alberta (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev -11.5%

From a capped and corked 750 ml green bottle, best before date 12/2020. Pours out what seems a sedate and low carbonated cloudy and turbid marmalade/amber hue. It's opaque but not dark. Very quick splash of fizzy beige head.

Sharp tart notes first on the nose, citrus zest, grassy and spicy hops, mild earthy horseblanket.

Sharp, acidic, tart character up front, to a level that I've never experienced before. It's not unpalatable, in fact the converse, but wow, that's sumpin'! The citrus presence is also remarkable, as if there's a bowl of whole lemons in there, I'm picking up juice, pith and rind seperately. Fortunately by the middle some hops appear to help tone down the acidity a bit and provide some green and earthy notes, with some very mild funk on the finish, and the hops finally gaining some momentum to linger on in the aftertaste with that ubiquitous acidity.

The mouthfeel is suprisingly full-ish considering, the lack of carbonation. Texture is slippery, gets stickier on the swallow.

I'm not craving any more of this, and can't foresee that urge, however I am grateful for having the chance to sample such a unique and rare beer. It's a bit of a good window on what a lot of beers must have been like hundreds and hundreds of years ago, although most likely not as good as this stuff happens to be.

01-12-2011 07:58:03 | More by IronDjinn
Photo of stcules


3.85/5  rDev -11.5%

Bronze color, very clean, with a beautiful compact almost white foam.
Malt in the smell, leather, slightly sour notes.
More delicate in the mouth, again some leather and malt feelings, but also some almost floral notes, delicate, anyway.
It is relatively sweet, with some honey note, too.
Less aggressive than other Cantillon products, still a very good beer.

12-26-2010 12:33:21 | More by stcules
Photo of dirtylou


4.3/5  rDev -1.1%

750ml bottle, 2/17/10 - 2007 Vintage

appearance: split and served in new glarus flutes - classic label. cork crumbles and reveals a hazy copper body, active carbonation, pillowy white foam head

smell: raw lambic, hay, funky straw and grass, green hops, tart green apple

taste: another great sour lambic from cantillon -sometimes its nice to strip away all the fruit and have a nice unblended lambic. hay, straw, funky yeast, tart apple, great balance provided by the oak

mouthfeel: acidic, tart and light

drinkability: good

12-23-2010 02:59:46 | More by dirtylou
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
Cantillon Iris from Brasserie Cantillon
97 out of 100 based on 1,397 ratings.