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Cantillon Iris - Brasserie Cantillon

Not Rated.
Cantillon IrisCantillon Iris

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,390 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,390
Reviews: 448
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 9.43%
Wants: 605
Gots: 325 | 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: 1,390 | Reviews: 448 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SkeeterHawk


4.33/5  rDev -0.5%

I got this bottle in Colorado about a year ago now and have been thinking about it ever since. Well, I have been in the mood for a sour beer over the last few days and I decided to try Lindeman's Faro that I got locally... I am still in the mood for a sour beer, so I thought that a sour howitzer was in order. The fresh hops should be softening up in this beer by this point, so let's give it a shot. I am taking a bath in this beer tonight as I am drinking the whole 750mL bottle myself. Woo Hoo!!!!

Appearance: Pours a dark burnt orange color with a lasting 1/4" head of creamy white bubbles on top. There are tons of bubbles rising to maintain the head. The beer looks to be somewhat clear if there weren't so many bubbles rising.

Aroma: My first impression was of the fresh hops adding some serious spicy complexity and the wild character of the yeast mixing together along with the very noticeable malt aromatics made me think that this was a wild Saison for a minute. I am anxious to see how it warms.

Taste: The beer itself is very dry with malt flavors and sourness being the dominant thing that your palate can get through on the first sip. The hops are there, but they are more noticeable late after the sip, once your taste buds stop "ringing". The second sip is much kinder on the palate. The beer has so much flavor at this point that it is impossible to pick out anything to pick on in particular. The sweet, sour, tart, bitter, acidity, wild character and everything that it needs is right there.

Opinion: I am thinking that I should wait and review this one some more as it warms up some. Right now I already know that it is an incredible beer, but I am thinking that it is too cold at this moment.

04-19-2010 01:35:12 | More by SkeeterHawk
Photo of alcstradamus


4.22/5  rDev -3%

Pours a copper color with a mountain of head. The aroma is of tart lemon and grapes, grass/earthiness, dusty funk, and sunflowers. Your typical (great) funky citrus Cantillon aroma.

The flavor is extremely tart and sour up front, with a big citrus body reminiscent of lemons and apples. Funk is present but not overwhelming. A bit cobwebby, and nicely integrated with the citrus profile and the earthy hoppiness.

The body is medium and carbonation is high but appropriate. Overall, another stellar beer from Cantillon. Can't say it really separates itself from the rest of their lineup, but is that really a critique? Speaks volumes for a brewery when an average beer by their standards is a solid A-

04-18-2010 04:03:26 | More by alcstradamus
Photo of Richardberg

New York

4.3/5  rDev -1.1%

2007 vintage in a pint glass.

A - rich hazy amber, lots of head (cork popped out explosively), lingers but doesn't stick to the glass.

S - big wild yeast aroma, almost funky like a saison at times, with substantial barley underneath. only slightly sour; at this point it's all about the complex yeast.

T - tart and malty at the same time. pear & green apple cider, but also plum and grape. almost too much fruit...I think a dry finish would suit it better, but it finishes borderline sweet.

M - lots of carbonation without being overbearing. big bubbles gives it zing on the tongue without the fizz that makes lagers & the like hard for me to drink.

D - perfect example of the style. only thing wrong with it is that it's gone already.

03-28-2010 23:01:49 | More by Richardberg
Photo of Reaper16


3.98/5  rDev -8.5%

12oz. bottle, 2005 vintage, served into a tulip

Pours a hazy orange, sort of pumpkin colored or gourd colored. The white head is only about a half-finger at the most, even with a vigorous swirl. It laces pretty strongly in spite of that. The orange lightens to a honeyed amber when held to light.

Nothing much in particular stand out on the first whiff of this beer but you can parse things out as you acclimate to it. There is certainly some tartness to the aroma, much more lemon juice than vinegar. The smell of wild yeast is unmistakable-- a light horseblanket funk grounds the nose. There is a respectable spice aroma here. Nutmeg, I think, and perhaps thyme though I could be mistaking the leafy hops for thyme. This lambic is dry hopped and also wet hopped (crazy!), though you can't really tell too much; this vintage is close to five years old after all. A touch of cat urine highlights everything. If you're expecting the wheat that lambic beer has then the lack of wheat smell will surprise you. Iris is 100% barley and you can tell.

Lemon, lemon, lemon. That is the predominant flavor here. It isn't overwhelmingly tart, which may be a bad or good thing depending on how much of a sourhead you are. It even begins to become sweet if you hold the drink in your mouth; the malted barley flavors really show. Upon the finish this beer changes dramatically. Dry tartness develops on the back of the tongue. A musty, Brett flavor fills the mouth like a cloud. The tartness and funk combine to achieve a flavor somewhat reminiscent of a whole-grain mustard. As the beer warms it becomes increasingly astringent.

This bottle is old. It has no carbonation that you can detect on the tongue. I feel that carbonation would take this beer to an even higher level. As is, this smooth (nicespeak for flat) drinker is medium-bodied and doesn't upset the lemon cart in any way. As far as unblended lambic beer goes, Iris is very drinkable. The malt characteristic and the hopping take away some of the impact of the sourness without taking away the depth of flavor.

I'm now curious to see how a fresher, 2007 vintage compares to the 2005 I just had. The hop character is likely to be entirely different, perhaps the carbonation level too. The 2005 is drinking fine though for what it is.

03-25-2010 02:22:14 | More by Reaper16
Photo of Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4.43/5  rDev +1.8%

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.

03-12-2010 16:25:15 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of ibbjamin


4.38/5  rDev +0.7%

Paid $13.99 for a 12.7oz bottle from Healthy Spirits. Poured into a wine glass to review. This is Vintage 2007 and I am tasting about 3 years after bottling.

Massive off white head consistent of very large carbonation bubbles. Very light and fizzy. Very cloudy orange in color. Nice layer of retention. No lacing.

Aroma is light and fine. Wild yeasts, white grape, lemon citrus and a minor touch of horseblanket and vinegar.

The first taste certainly heightens my senses. Quite tart with an abundance of wild yeast taste. A nice bit of funk thrown in the mix along with the sour lemon notes I detected in the nose.

Mouth is full of tannins; rather dry and astringent. Lighter bodied with prickly carbonation that is immediately killed by the extreme dryness. Dry was what they were going for and oh boy, they did succeed.

A fine beer that I will get again as soon as I see it. This sour habit I'm forming is so pleasant yet getting to be pricey.

03-09-2010 04:53:08 | More by ibbjamin
Photo of RenoZymurgist


4.83/5  rDev +11%

Poured beautiful light copper color with a nice white head. Surpringly carbonated I believe the extended aging allowed this enough time to become carbonated.
Aroma is lots of dry brett and a nice dry malt almost like white bread. Very clean and not as bretty as 100% brett beers tend to be.
The flavor begins with a nice sharp carbonic bite and it then moves onto a sharp acidic bite from the acid. Very dry and the brett is the dominant flavor yet everything is remarkably balanced. In some cases lambics can get out of hand yet Iris is very drinkable. I wish more lambics tasted like this, yet I am glad that such a rare beer exists and that I got to have some. Due to the nature of seasonal production and the changes that occur this beer might never be replecated exactly. This is the best lambic that i have ever had.

03-08-2010 06:08:04 | More by RenoZymurgist
Photo of SFLpunk


4.18/5  rDev -3.9%

2007 Vintage. Green glass cork and capped 375mL bottle. Cork says bottled in 2009.

Pours clear amber with thick white head and champagne-style tiny bubbles. Hugely carbonated compared to other Cantillons I've had. Nose has that wonderful mixture of sour citrus notes, lime, lemon, and grapefruit that make me start to salivate on cue. Apricot notes are mingled with some freshly cut pine board aromas. Palate is aggressively sour, immediately stealing everything up. As the shock subsides I get flavors of sour peach, sour apricot, lime zest, dates, and brine. The long long finish is dominated by a Castelvetrano olive flavor (large, dense green olives). Carbonation is crisp but not intrusive.


03-08-2010 02:28:57 | More by SFLpunk
Photo of hawks10


4.1/5  rDev -5.7%

2007 Vintage - 375ml bottle poured into my Duvel tulip...

Pours a hazy dark orange, bordering on light brown...even when poured carefully there was a large amount of light, puffy white head, like 5 fingers worth...

Smell is very tart as expected, vinegar, some sour citrus fruits with a bit of earthy Cantillon funk going on...

Taste is extremely puckering at first until you kind of get acclimated to the beer. Sour fruits, some barnyard and earthy qualities, a bit of oak...

Tart and dry, medium bodied with great carbonation levels. Good amount of malt makes this beer smooth in spite of the heavy drying character...

Have enjoyed every Cantillon beer I have sampled, as with the others, 375ml is a large enough serving for me. Would like to revisit this one in the future...

03-01-2010 07:51:30 | More by hawks10
Photo of adamette


4.22/5  rDev -3%

The following printed on the back label: An absolutely unique brew. Made from 100% pure barley malt, fermented by wild yeasts and aged for three years in oak casks, in the style of a lambic. From Cantillon, Belgium's foremost brewer of real lambics.

Live review. This is my 900th review. Poured from the corked, capped and black foil covered bottle that I purchased about 6 months ago from Rozi's Wine House in Lakewood, Ohio but I do not recall the price. "Vintage 2005" written on the bottom of the front label, the same year as the birth of my son Benjamin Owen. Poured into rather tall Petrus goblet. After opening, the cork stated "Bottled in 2007" which is probably because it was aged in Oak casks as stated on the label. Interesting side note: I chose this as my 900th review since I recall being at Brasserie Cantillon this past June and seeing hundreds of bottles with no label on them stacked on their sides and a small sign next to them stating "Iris" and it just really made an impression on me I guess. Those bottles were not ready to be consumed (hence the no labels).

A Light brown meringue like fluffy head of about 6 inches when first poured, bubbling down to within an inch after about 3 minutes. Body is a pumpkin like orange, translucent and it glows in front of direct light. 4.0

S Almost flowery tart lambic sweetness (could it be flowery like an Iris?) dominates without too much else to the nose for me. That classic Cantillon smell that I really like. 4.0

T That great lambic fruit/flowery/tart/sweetness along with an oaken softness. The almost dry tartness (if that is possible?) is certainly primary in the taste. Taste dissipates quickly but not completely as there is a long, thin aftertaste of the lambic goodness. 4.5

M As mentioned, first sensation is the tart/sweet lambic taste but then that kind of dissapears in the "dry" effect that I was trying to describe. 4.0

D With a manageable ABV, interesting and pungeant tastes balanced by the oak casks, this is a good, drinkable beer. I finished the 1 pint, 9.4 oz. bottle within 15 minutes. 4.0

Notes: Well, there it is, #900!

02-23-2010 14:35:52 | More by adamette
Photo of aglose45


4.1/5  rDev -5.7%

A: Pours a hazy brown/dark apricot color. The large white head quickly recedes, giving way to a thin head that sticks around for awhile.

S: The first whiff is of sour vinegar, followed by both leathery and lemon notes. Backing this is a sweet malty scent, maybe even sweet cherries.

T: There is a quick hit of tart citrus, lemon and apricot, then the taste moves on to some funk. What I'm getting from this funkiness is a bit of soapiness. Following this is a lingering sourness that is pleasant. I'm also getting a bit of oakiness.

M: Light and smooth, with a higher level of carbonation. The sourness lingers in the mouth well after the beer is gone.

D: This beer is good and sour, and it lingers awhile. My only complaint is that there isn't the same hint of sweetness in the taste that there is in the nose.

02-19-2010 04:55:19 | More by aglose45
Photo of LordAdmNelson


4.3/5  rDev -1.1%

2005 Vintage.

Pours a nice apricot orange with smallish white head that fades quickly. Smells good (which might be a first for my sours) some good horseblanket, lemon zest, some oak, and must. Taste has some vinous notes, some vinegar sourness, something that seems a bit buttery, and lots of apricot. MF is a bit smoother than others I've had, bigger body, dry finish. Very drinkable, a great sour. Glad I got to try it.

02-18-2010 05:53:36 | More by LordAdmNelson
Photo of jgasparine


4.2/5  rDev -3.4%

A- Poured from the tap with a thin white head, which quickly evaporated. The body was an opaque, moderately dark orange-amber color. No noteable traces of lacing or visible carbonation was observed.

S- Sweet malt and some vinous notes are detectable under a moderate, yet pervasive, acetic quality throughout the nose. Some charactaristics are akin to vinegar, others to cider. Overall, the aromas are notably balanced between the sweet and acetic notes, and this makes for an interesting and inviting nose.

T- Sweet candy-like malt character meets some acetic notes from infection... many shared characteristics with a Flemish Red Ale. Some oakiness comes through midway... and it finishes very dry with an echo of cider-like flavor.

M- Highly attenuated and thin, with almost no carbonation. Not overly impressed, but not underwhelmed either for the style.

D- Goes down really smooth. One of the easier drinking Lambics I've had.

02-13-2010 23:35:35 | More by jgasparine
Photo of mondegreen


4.13/5  rDev -5.1%

12oz Bottle poured into a Samichlaus Tulip.

2007 Vintage, according to the cork it was bottle in 2009.

A: Hazy golden/copper appearance. Tons of tiny bubbles rushing to the head , keeping a healthy froth above the beer.

S: Funky & Strong. My wife commented that she smelled in from about five feet away when I walked into the room. Tough for me to put a finger on exactly what I am smelling, as I'm still fairly new to the world of Lambics. This one smells nice, though.

T: Heavy pucker factor all the way through this one. Sour fruits are evident, and the aftertaste is unique. I like the taste, but this one needs to be enjoyed slowly, as the aftertaste lingers.

M: Nice carbonation, beer is just thick enough to be enjoyable.

D: I'm enjoying this one, but I think 12oz will be enough for one sitting. Of course, it will take me awhile to finish this since the flavors are quite potent. I'd be up to have it again at another time, for sure.

02-12-2010 21:14:28 | More by mondegreen
Photo of Sallerj


4.03/5  rDev -7.4%

This is a cloudy, gold orange beer without much head (my bottle is six years old). It has a powerful aroma of vinegar-- almost mustardy-- plus apple, lemon, nutmeg maybe, and something a little tropical, but mostly just that sour smell. When you taste this beer, the sourness keeps coming and coming until your cheeks hurt and your eyes water. What does it actually taste like? Sour. Green apple, grapefruit, funky, wood resin, and sour sour sour. Yum.

02-10-2010 06:18:50 | More by Sallerj
Photo of alleykatking


4.33/5  rDev -0.5%

2005 vintage split between my mother and I. She really was looking forward to trying it...haha. Review from notes.

A- Pours semi-hazy golden orange/amberish color. One and a half finger bright white head thast stays for a short while before leaving nice gobs of lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- There is a nice funky sourness to the front of this beer. White wine like notes all throughout this beer. Apple, pear, and lemon along with other "lighter" fruits make up a lot of the aroma. Musty dirty sock smell througout this beer as well. I was really diging it. Light sourness in the back end of this beer too. Well hell....it was throughout the entire thing.

T- This beer has the perfect balance between all of its aroma. Nothing is so overpowering the entire drink. The white wine like notes show themselves in the front of this along with a nice tartness. Lemon and apple notes along with a light yeasty taste make up a lot of the middle of this beer. There is a sourness that runs all the way through this beer along with some barnyard type flavors as well. It has a lot going on but at the same time not a whole lot in terms of lambics....I don't know if that makes any sence.

M- Light-medium mouthfeel. Carbonation levels are near perfect for this beer I think. Just a tart sourness is left on the palate with a white wine note in the aftertaste. Flavors are crisp and very clean for the style. Left a "funk" all in the mouth long after the beer was gone.

D- This was a very drinkable beer. I bought the smaller size and think that was perfect to have. I could have drank an entire bottle of this but I didn't want to spend the money that it was to do so!

02-09-2010 04:36:01 | More by alleykatking
Photo of hayesez


4.2/5  rDev -3.4%

Cracking open my first Iris sounded like a pretty good way to kick off Super Bowl Sunday. Poured into a tulip glass early in the afternoon.

Poured a dark copper with a massive off-white fizzy head. Caught all of the good stuff at the bottom with the last pour; left a dark tan trail on the head which dissipated throughout. Bunches of bubbles continued to surface throughout the beer. The head reduced quickly, but remained throughout the drink. No lacing left on this one.

Smells funky with a tart tinge...kind of like a sour fruit. Nothing to surprising in this guy...smells like I hoped!

Wow...sour. Dry. Astringent. Whew, the first drink got me right in the cheeks and the back of the mouth! Definite tart sour blast. Has that citrusy bitter finish...like the taste you get when you lick a lemon peel. The bulk of the flavor vanishes quickly and leaves behind a lasting bitterness that was a bit "off" to me.

I really did enjoy this beer. Fizzy, sour, musky, light to medium bodied, and dry. Excellent flavor. The only thing that detracted from this guy was the weird bitterness. When that first blast of sour hit me, I wasn't sure I was going to get through this, but about halfway through, I knew this one bottle wasn't going to be enough. Excellent!

Consumed: 2/6/2010

02-08-2010 04:59:08 | More by hayesez
Photo of hoegaardenhero


4.1/5  rDev -5.7%

picked this up on a trip to the brewery last year; 2007 vintage

a: amber body with mild golden highlights, light foam head that fades leaving a light white ring around the glass and small columns moving briskly up to the top

s: warmer caramel/toffee w/ a very acidic sour grape scent to balance; light dust; sweeter apples; banana bread; definitely has sourness of wild yeasts but is still sweet

t: sour apples; yogurt; warm sweet apples up front with sour apples and tart yeasts on the back

m: very carbonated with a medium/light body; nice and lively like champagne

d: definitely worth a try; very good and unusual; nothing quite like it.

02-06-2010 22:58:24 | More by hoegaardenhero
Photo of bum732


4.38/5  rDev +0.7%

Pours a cloudy orangish red, nice bubbly head. Smells of lemony tartness, pronounced oak, some caramel and earthiness, touch of vanilla. Tastes of tart and slightly caramel malt, decent earthy bitterness. Good caramel roundness working with a sour lemon bite. Finishes fairly bitter and quite dry with some lemon rind. Good high carbonation, nice semi-slick body.

A solid lambic. I really enjoyed the caramel and sweetness in this beer, rare in lambic. I'm assuming they added some kind of crystal or kilned barley, very impressive, adds a lot more layers. Highly recommend.

02-05-2010 03:41:35 | More by bum732
Photo of Casey10


4.4/5  rDev +1.1%

This beer is amazing. It has been sitting in my cellar for about 6 months. Lots of Carbination very tart, sour so nice. Aged for 2 years acording to th label and the front says vintage 2007. Not sure about the exact age but this is a really nice sour.

This beer has to be tried once. It is so different from the mainstream but yet surprising. A person drinking this may or may not enjoy this. That person enjoying needs to understand about sour/ tart beer and belgian lambics. If not may not like nor appreciate this beer. It is amazing so sour so tart so good .

I recomend this, others may not because of the complex taste, that is okay to me this is great.

01-31-2010 02:09:03 | More by Casey10
Photo of Reagan1984


4.15/5  rDev -4.6%

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.

01-26-2010 23:09:00 | More by Reagan1984
Photo of jwinship83


4.2/5  rDev -3.4%

750ml capped and corked bottle. bottled 2008, brewed in 2006. drank from my lindemans flute looking glass.

A- this one pours out a golden orange colored body with a tall finger of bright white head. the head fades faster than expected and left behind only small spots of lacing.

S- very white wine like with apples and pears as well. very "funky" and musty. it smells tart as well, but not overly so.

T- the first thing i think after tasting this is how well in balance the funk and tartness are. not too much of either one. light summer fruits and wine also in here with the complexities ive come to expect from cantillon.

M- light bodied and tart. high level of carbonation. mouth is left feeling very dry.

D- very enjoyable and easy to finish. very well balanced for a lambic. something id like to try more often.

01-17-2010 22:50:49 | More by jwinship83
Photo of ShogoKawada

Rhode Island

4.3/5  rDev -1.1%

In my half-assed attempt to cut down on beer I've been really trying to stick to low abv beers. Lambic? Perfect!

This is a 2005 vintage (bottled 2007) lambic I bought @ Nikki's Liquors for $17.99/750ml.

Poured into standard pint. Cork was sticky, black and blue in parts, and split 3/4 of the way down. At least it was intact. Don't know if this could sit for much longer though.

A- Hazy nutmeg and faint orange, impressive head. Really impressive retention. Like a DIPA head, no joke. Cloudy beer, thick and lasting head, minimal lacing.

S- Tart, mild vinegar, white wine, funk, medicinal notes.

T- Wow. Puckering at first. A crash of flavor. Tart, like a lemon. Sweet, very floral, incredibly drinkable. Again like the nose white wine and a bitter, chalky funk/yeast comes through. Very tasty.

M- Incredibly complex. Lots of assault on the tongue, but in a good way. A joy going down, easier than some other lambics I've had.

D- Moderately high. 750 was done in pretty good time. Wow, a great beer. I'll buy it again, one of the most enjoyable Cantillons I've had. Wonderful.

Didn't notice until the end of the second pour. Bits of what look like charred something or other in the head. Looks like charcoal. Strange, but no matter. Great beer!

01-14-2010 02:31:12 | More by ShogoKawada
Photo of tpd975


4.38/5  rDev +0.7%

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.

01-11-2010 01:15:07 | More by tpd975
Photo of jsh420


4.1/5  rDev -5.7%

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

01-09-2010 02:25:29 | More by jsh420
Cantillon Iris from Brasserie Cantillon
97 out of 100 based on 1,390 ratings.