1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. 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.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

1,541 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,541
Reviews: 454
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 9.43%
Wants: 614
Gots: 347 | FT: 20
Brewed by:
Brasserie Cantillon visit their website
Belgium

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: 1,541 | Reviews: 454 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.22/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a chalice) 2007 vintage bottled in 2009
A- This beer has a hazy deep copper body with an effervescent carbonation. There is a creamy head that fades to a few big bubbles of off-white.
S- The lactic acid tartness gives way to a barnyard nose that is perfumed with some faint apple pulp notes in the finish. There is a soft spicy wood note and some musty cellar notes aswell. The cheese rind note of brett comes through also.
T- The big sharp tartness fades to wet wood and grapefruit flavors with a stone fruit flavor to follow. The dry tartness in the finish lingers just a moment.
M- The medium-light mouthfeel has a crisp dryness from the carbonation and no real astringency just a good pucker.
D- This beer has a nice crisp tartness with some good depth of funk and fruit.

rhoadsrage, Jul 28, 2010
Photo of LucienDeRubempre
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into champagne flutes from a 2007 Vintage bottled on February 16, 2010.

My first Cantillon. The flutes really showcase the long-lasting carbonation, the bubbles keep coming up through the glowing amber body, maintaining a thin skim of foam as a memory of the thick tan head. Lots of sour and funky notes in the bouquet, with a hint of hops. After the first taste, the sourness is very strong and pleasantly intriguing. Lots of layers here, with faint soapy hops in the finish. Looking forward to comparing this to a Cantillon that is not dry-hopped, don't think I'll miss the hops too much as they're almost like an afterthought in this beer. Very refreshing carbonation keeps the sourness from being overwhelming on the palate, and call me crazy, but I could drink this (and any sour) to excess easily.

LucienDeRubempre, Jul 26, 2010
Photo of DaveJanssen
4.28/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1/3 750 poured into tulip glasses. Reviewed 11/23/2009.

Ar: tart and funky, sweaty, horse, lemon, tart citrus, citric and acetic acids, very acidic, lightly herbal, light spice, light candy floral

Ap: very low head, clear copper, white head with fair retention

T: Tart and fruity though not as much as the aroma, herbal/vegetative end, apricot, light tomato?, acetic and citric acids, lemon, floral, delicate and complex, beautiful delicate floral, ends with warming acid, acid presence increases with warmth, mild peach, belgian sweet candy in mid taste, interesting hop quality, very acidic citrus, *chalky

M: Light body, low carbonation, peppery acid, warming acid end, light burn from the acid

O: initially not that great, gets better with each sip, beautiful mild complexity, less acid would be better, light strangeness, floral is very intriguing

*=ideas from fellow tasters

DaveJanssen, Jul 24, 2010
Photo of KAP1356
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle dated February 17, 2010 into my new Lindeman's flute glass...

A - Pours a light copper/amberish color with a nice 1.5 finger eggshell whit head that recedes to a nice .5 finger head. Bubbles are going crazy! Tons of them screaming to the top of this beer.

S - Smell is funky sour barnyard scent mostly. Some nice light fruit scents as well; peaches and nectarines mostly. There is a hop presence though. Nothing that overpowers the aforementioned scent, but a very noticable one; much different than other lambics I have had.

T - Great light fruity flavors with a nice sourness, but not too sour that it takes over; like other Cantillon's I have tried. A great funkiy, barnyard taste is present here and it is tremendous. The oak is noticable and there is a slight musty, "old book" like flavor going on as well. The hops add a great variation to this style and adds a great balance as well.

M - Very light touch with a great carbonation. Very nice and soft on the palate.

D - VERY drinkable at 5.00% and for how great it tastes, this one could be drunk for quite a while. I would like to see how this tastes with a more subdued hop profile. Might have to age a few.

KAP1356, Jul 23, 2010
Photo of Tballz420
4.6/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 vintage

Fairly hazy golden colored brew, non-stop rising bubbles produce a big white head. Scent is sour and fruity. Taste is fairly barny and quite a bit sour. Interestingly there is a pretty noticeable hop profile. Im not a lambic master, but i cant recall hops coming into play very often. Good amount of puckering fruit, lemon, grapefruit. Im almost picking up wheat tones as well. Some vinegar. Very interesting and tasty, i.e. cantillon

Tballz420, Jul 20, 2010
Photo of emerge077
4.15/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2005 750mL

Decanted into wine glasses from a lambic basket. There was quite a bit of sediment in the bottle, at least the last 1/2 inch left in the bottle. Color was darker amber, glowing orange in the light. Nice puffy head with a sticky collar, though it didn't stick around for the whole glass. First pour had bright clarity, the others had some haze.

Signature Cantillon citric aroma with lemon, wet wood, leather, and grassy hay (hops?). After cellaring so long, any clear indication of hops have vanished.

The pale malt unique to the Iris blend come through in the taste, slightly sweet with a mild staleness. Luckily the strong citric lemony sourness steamrolls it, leaving nothing but dry oakiness in the end. Some tannic astringency. It's slightly slippery with medium to low carbonation.

I have to say i've enjoyed this more when it was fresher (clear hop flavor and bitterness). Cellaring at length seems to deplete what makes Iris unique, the dry hopping and pale malt. Will try it again fresh and update this review.

emerge077, Jul 11, 2010
Photo of Stigs
3.78/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

375ml bottle, vintage 2005 (corked 2007)...served in an Ommegang chalice

A - one solid finger of bubbly off-white foam, falls to a thin layer within a few minutes. the beer is very hazy, and slightly dark gold in color.

S - very crisp and tart lemons, apples and pears. fruityness comes off incredibly fresh despite its age with green apples taking the forefront. light layers of funky grass and crackery malt underneath. very mouth watering and enticing.

T - tartness comes to the front very quickly before a massive dose of vinegary acidity takes over. overly ripened apples and white grapes struggle to find their way through.

M - light bodied wit sharp but not overly aggressive carbonation. finishes massively dry with lingering lemony tartness.

D - i've heard a few times that Iris is best fresh, perhaps this is a little past its prime as the acidity is pretty dominating. still good, especially if you're in the mood for it. would seek this out again, and drink it on the spot.

Stigs, Jul 05, 2010
Photo of jjanega08
4.65/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2007 Bottled Feb 17, 2010

A= The pour looks thick. The beer pours totally golden with a white head on it that is about a finger high. The retention and lacing are all about average. Pretty hazy looking.

S= Sour, Cheezy, and Hoppy I would say. Lots of hay in this one. There is a significant barnyard smell that I have always sort of found in Cantillon beers but the sourness seems to be toned down a little more with this one letting the funk really come through. Another supising thing is the hop character that comes through in this one. Most sours are just so sour that they don't really get as strong of highlights as this one has. Great smell.

T= Again with the soft sourness. Really plesant. The initial taste is a light lemon taste then the other flavors come through much more. A lot of hay and funk to it. There is a defined hop flavor to it as well. Not bitter hops or fruity hops but a nice earthy hop flavor. There seems to be a slight hop bitterness that lingers after the swallow. This is a funky earthy beer in the truest sense of the word. Sour without being crazy. Really unique to say the least.

M= A nice light spritzy carbonation. Not nearly as thick as the pour made me think it was.

D= This beer is really nice. A wow beer for me. This beer is sour without being dominating and really sort of letting some of the beers complexities come through and shine. It has a real "beer" taste as well as some of those sour notes I love so much. I'll be buying more of this.

jjanega08, Jul 01, 2010
Photo of cpetrone84
4.22/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2007 Bottle

A-pours a beautiful deep hazy golden amber color with a dense thinner off white head.

S-very nice nose, fresh damp wood, lots of peaches and tangeriness with hints of sourness to it, faint touch of musky cellar funk in the back.

T-soft subtle peach, notes of oaky wood, a little leather, funk subtle but does seem to be there, a good acidity in the back.

M-a little grainy, strong carbonation, light body, dry in the back.

D-pretty solid brew, nice oak aging with a good level of acidity to it, nice balance and not too sweet at all but still a good flavor and some earthy characteristics. Very good!

cpetrone84, Jun 29, 2010
Photo of cyrenaica
4.72/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle
6% ABV
2006 Vintage
I tried this beer on June 10, 2009 at "The Beerbistro" in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I'm convinced that this brewery can do no wrong. The beer poured a relatively clear golden orange with a small amount of haze and a whole lot of effervescence. The aroma was sour apples, some earth and must. The mouthfeel was medium-bodied and highly carbonated. The taste was both sour and bitter, and a great experience for the tongue.

cyrenaica, Jun 26, 2010
Photo of Soilworker
4.1/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Vintage 2005 poured into a tulip glass.

A: Cloudy opaque golden amber with a pinkish and orange tint. Half finger bone white head with minimal head retention.

S: Nice tart and sour aromas right up front with some musty yeastiness to go along with it. Predominate notes of woody oak, more predominate than I have previously experienced. There is some slight vinegar notes, (the cork was particularly vinegary). Little bit on the earthy side with notes of barnyard-like aromas.

T: Mouthpukeringly tart with an odd bitterness to go with it. The bitterness is a bit on the rough side. The sourness/tartness has a sour grapefruit character to it and there is some overtones of oak to go along with it...though its hard to pick up on. Finish is sour with some woody notes.

M: I want to say its moderately bodied but with the sourness its hard to pinpoint it.

D: Quite sour and tart so I find this to definitely be a sipping beer. I don't think I would drink this all night due to the intense tart and sourness.

Notes: This was one of my first few lambics I've tried so I'm not terribly experienced at tasting these but I did like this one for the most part. It was a bit on the overpowering side but I think this is just due to my inexperience. I would still but this again if the price was right :)

Soilworker, Jun 24, 2010
Photo of Brew33
4.53/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Cantillon Iris. Corked and capped 750, 2007 Vintage.

I opened the bottle and pulled the cork. I smelled the end of the cork and it smelled like straight red wine vinegar.... I got scared but the fright wouldn't last long. It poured a reddish amber. Good clarity, light carbonation. The aroma was excellent. Big sour twang. Apple skin, slight hoppiness. The taste was more of the same. Big fruit flavor and a nice sour kick. Not too sour though. Definitely the least sour Cantillon product I've had thus far. Nice hop bitterness and tremendous balance. The malts and hops play very well with the sour yeast notes.

Absolutely delicious. Good mouthfeel and amazing drinkability. I usually get burned out on Guezue's and Lambics after 2 glasses but I could literally drink Iris all night long. An absolute winner.

Brew33, Jun 23, 2010
Photo of dgilks
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is an odd beer to say the least. The aroma is sour, citrussy, a little spicy and has a moderate touch of funky, barnyard.

Clear, golden colour with a small, tight, white head.

Really interesting flavour. The sourness in this 2007 Vintage is mild by Cantillon standards but the really surpirsing note is the complex fruit flavours that become evident over the funk. The hops impart a moderate bitterness. The whole thing is sort of like an infected pale ale, but in a good way.

Medium-light body with moderately-high carbonation. The crispness helps to cut the potentially astringent beer.

A good beer with lots going for it. Interesting, different and well worth a try.

dgilks, Jun 23, 2010
Photo of kiddynamite920
3.88/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a pretty dull orange, with some yellow highlights. Served to me without a head whatsoever. Bubbles building on the side of glass showed the carbonation, and an unclean glass sadly. No points off for the glass, just poured a bit flat looking.

S: Barnyard, red wine vinegar, lemon and a very tart aroma. Big earthiness and lemongrass. A bit of stinky sock, but in a good way somehow. Very pleasant and inviting aroma.

T: Oof! That's puckering. Lemon and vinegar, grass and dirt. Just a very earthy beer with an outstanding sour note.

M: Carbonation was actually very high and added to the astringency/puckering quality of this beer. It was strange drinking this after having a Batch 9000. Overly sweet to overly sour took my palate for a ride.

D: I'd say I could have two of these, the sourness and citrus seems like it would upset the stomach after 2-3 of these. 1 was enough for me, my gums and tongue were dry and puckered enough for me.

kiddynamite920, Jun 17, 2010
Photo of kingcrowing
3.98/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

37.5cl corked & capped bottle poured into an oud beersel glass at Delirium Cafe in Brussels. 2005 vintage.

Pours a crisp clear amber with a thin white head that fades quickly to nothing, very little bubbles visible. Nose is light, tart an sweet.

Taste is very sharp and sour but super smooth and easy drinking given the style. Hints of flowers, honey and tart candy. Finish is tangy and fruity.

kingcrowing, Jun 15, 2010
Photo of drabmuh
4.03/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

REVIEW #799!! 2007 vintage. Beer served in a snifter. Beer is dark amber and completely hazy. Forms a surprisingly big head (the cork really popped out fast) and the carbonation is really high. Head is off white and made up of small bubbles. Doesn't leave much lacing on the glass. Looks great (although I don't mind my unblended lambics to have almost no carbonation).

Strongly tart with mild fruit aromas in the nose. Apples, some apricots (I know these fruits aren't here, just saying what I can smell). Mild acetic acid notes, nice lactic notes. Smells good.

Beer is super sour and has a nice funk to it. Lots of carbonation in the mouth. This pushes the limits of what I think a sour can be. Very lactic / citric in the front and then oak and woodsy at the back with a lingering funk. Drinkability is good but its not my favorite lambic from them. Overall I still thoroughly enjoyed it.

drabmuh, Jun 13, 2010
Photo of capra12
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed at sputen dyvel with hoppymcgee and jeff,

Appearance: poured a frothy white and powder pink head, with a cloudy peach, orange and earth color.

Smell: Funk, this I get a hint of red hidden by a huge grainy, and almost briny mineral oyster like nose minus the sea and salt.

Taste: opens with a funk and tart red with a ton of earth with a dry and funk finish leaving my mouth puckering.

Mouthfeel: light bodied with ton of carbonation, and puckering.

Drinkability: I would def have this again and recommend this to those who enjoy a lambic with tons of sour and earth backbone.

capra12, Jun 11, 2010
Photo of Xul
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 Vintage 375ml bottle

A: Pours a slightly hazy orange/amber, capped by a frothy two finger white head. Head settles down to a half finger or so and lingers there for a while.

S: A good blend of acidity and funk. The acidity has a lot of citrus to it with strong lemon zest notes, along with some green apples. Funk is moderate in strength with a damp blanket character.

T: Strong tartness up front with even more lemon zest than in the nose, along with some very light green grapes. Funk comes in to balance the acidity, maintaining the damp blanket from the nose. Tartness comes back for the finish with a light fruity sweetness.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation, dry finish.

D: Very easy drinking with strong but not overwhelming tartness.

Xul, May 31, 2010
Photo of cpone
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into a flute. A very hazy orange/straw body with tons of head. Not much lacing.

S: Great funky, old barn smell - damp hay. Very strong oak. Some citrus

T: Extremely sour. Lots of citrus - sour lemon. Get some of the oak there, or something earthy. Great finish.

M: Fairly light bodied, clean. Leaves with a clean, tart finish.

D: Perfect on a warm day. Could easily keep drinking this if my wallet were fatter.

cpone, May 16, 2010
Photo of womencantsail
4.15/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've had this one a few different times, all different vintages and ages. This review is from a 2009 bottle.

A: The pour is a really nice looking amber-orange in color with a light and fizzy white head.

S: Plenty of acidity and green fruit notes. I pick up apples and grapes with some lemon. A strong oak aroma with a somewhat subdued funk.

T: A nice tartness up front with some fresh sour apples and lemons. The back end is actually a bit bitter with lots of oak and tannins. A bit of must and leather finish things off.

M: The body is medium with a fair amount of carbonation, especially for a lambic that is so "young" in the bottle. A nice acidity and dry finish.

D: Not my favorite of the Cantillon beers, but still really nice and better than many American sours. A really pleasant beer to sip on after watching the Sharks beat the Wings.

womencantsail, May 09, 2010
Photo of ktrillionaire
4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 vintage

A - Pours a rusty orange with no head.

S - Way tart aromatics; lactic, sour apples, briny olives.

T - Mostly lactic, somewhat underwhelming in relation to expectations. There are some generally sour, citric and tart flavors and some generally fruity nuances, perhaps apple-grape-pear, rounded out by a slight but pungent sulfur-wood-char flavor.

M - Fairly substantial weight, pretty dry in the mouth, somewhat undercarbonated (perhaps for the better in this case) with a drought-inducing dry finish.

D - This is very good stuff; it just isn't head and shoulders better than, say, the widely available Gueuze Boon or Girardin Black Label.

ktrillionaire, May 07, 2010
Photo of midnite2sixman
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 Vintage. Courtesy of Steven Smith the chief beer geek at the Hop Cat in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Poured into 3 tulip glasses. Appears a ruby orange minimal head. Small globby lacing.

Sour greenhouse floral smell. Granny smith apples. Mild citrusy. Smells kind of like a rainy morning in a garden.

Taste is more of the same. The greenhouse thing is really what I am emphasizing here. Smells like the local garden center mixed with some sunshine and a tinge of citrus.

Mouthfeel is smooth and light, the green grassy taste lingers for quite a while.

Drinkability: Don't pass this beer up if you have the chance.

midnite2sixman, May 03, 2010
Photo of AdamGarcia
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 vintage, bottled in 2008.

750 poured into Duvel tulip.

A: Big, rocky, meringue-like head. Murky reddish, golden color. Head vanishes a little quicker than expected. Laces nicely.

S: Tart & sour as soon as the cork is pulled. So much going on it is difficult to pin it all down. Granny smith apples. Unidentified citrus. Some pear. Maybe even some mint hiding in there. Barnyard funk. Stellar.

T: Quite sour, but pleasantly so. All tartness up front. Very grassy and fresh. Delicate Golden Delicious and Granny Smith apple peal. Asian brown pear. Lots of funk. Faint oak and vanilla notes. Just a hint of tobacco. Slightly acetic in the finish. The complexity is impressive.

M: Light and spritzy. Lively carbonation that is very well suited to the style.

D: When it comes to drinkability I feel that true lambics and geuezes have a low threshold relative to other styles. However, based on style I would rate the drinkability as high.

My first venture into sour beer was a Cantillon Geueze several years back and I just wasn't ready for it at the time. I literally had no idea what I was getting into. Lately I've been making an attempt to try more wild/sour styles now that I have a better understanding of such beers. I really enjoyed Iris and I will continue to pick up different Cantillon beers (dispite the high price) as I have the opportunity.

AdamGarcia, May 02, 2010
Photo of craytonic
4.1/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle at Monk's tavern in Philadelphia, PA. I have sampled this one several times, recently tried 2005 and 2007 side-by-side, the 05 seemed to have brett in it; very odd.

Appearance: Pour is a very light honey-orange with a small white head.

Smell: Lots of citrus, vinegar (some cat piss), and barnyard funk. Also some white grapes and orange.

Taste: Similar to the aroma, vinegar, tart apples, citrus, orange, wheat/yeast, white pepper, and barnyard funk.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, smooth and dry; very sour

Drinkability: Highly drinkable, like any cantillon. Does not disappoint, but does not stand out either.

craytonic, Apr 25, 2010
Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a 12.7oz bottle of this from Supermarket Liquors in Ft. Collins. $10. 2005 Vintage.

A: Pours a hazy orange with a stark white head which disappeared as soon as it arrived. No lacing to speak of from the lack of head. Really quite a beautiful beer. Simple yet nice, very appealing color.

S: Signature Cantillon, smells of spider webs, and piss, but in a wonderfully delightful way. Huge barnyard nastyness and an even stronger more potent raw sour power. Unmistakable Cantillon. Behind that is a relatively strong spicyness which I can only imagine would be from the fresh hops used, definitely has faded in the last five years, but still a hoppy note there. The smell makes my mouth water and the enamel on my teeth cringe for what is about to follow.

T: Intensely sour right up front, followed by the tastes of straight barley malt, the wheat is noticeably absent here, which is an interesting flavor when compared to other lambics. More pronounced bitterness, which is nice and helps cut the sour a little bit. Malty but not rich or sweet. As it continues to breathe and warm the bitterness starts to shine. Fantastic.

M: Pretty low on carbonation, incredibly tart and lactic, puckeringly sour, and incredibly dry. Awesome.

D: Very enjoyable, I don't think this could be a session though. Just a little too much everything, and entirely too complex to disrespect by drinking so many. This is a fantastic beer. Highly recommended.

pokesbeerdude, Apr 22, 2010
Cantillon Iris from Brasserie Cantillon
97 out of 100 based on 1,541 ratings.