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Cantillon Iris - Brasserie Cantillon

Not Rated.
Cantillon IrisCantillon Iris

Educational use only; do not reuse.

476 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 476
Hads: 1,922
Avg: 4.25
pDev: 19.29%
Wants: 706
Gots: 444 | FT: 34
Brewed by:
Brasserie Cantillon visit their website

Style | ABV
Lambic - Unblended |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: TheLongBeachBum on 12-05-2002

From the brewery's website: "Although it is a spontaneous fermentation beer, the Iris is very different from the Lambic. The amber colour and the bitter and slightly caramelized taste make it a complex beer."
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 476 | Hads: 1,922
Photo of onefalsemove711
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2007, Bottled 15 December, 2010.

Bottle poured into an oversized wine glass.

A - Deep golden copper with a one finger head that dissipates relatively quickly to a silky white lace that lingers about for quite awhile.

S - Sour cherries and yeast with subtle citrus and floral notes.

T - Sour cherry, bitter orange and spicy hops.

M - Great carbonation and body really adding to a very enjoyable mouthfeel.

O - A very intriguing and complex ale that really kept me on my toes from the word go. My first Cantillon experience and I really enjoyed! I will definitely be seeking out Iris and any other Cantillon offerings that I can get my hands on.

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Photo of birchstick
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 Edition; bottled 2010

A - pours an orangeish faint copper / caramel color with a really nice head that dissipates as the beer settles

S - smells of citric acids, honey, a little funk, and white grapes with oak tones

T - starts off with fresh lemon on the front of the tongue. This fades to a caramelized honey flavor throughout the middle of the palate. There was also a touch of bitterness coming through. Iris ends how it started - citricly sour. Not as mouth puckering as other Cantillons I have tried, however this is still pretty damn sour. Pretty solid!

M - thin and dry with a modicum of carbonation

D - Another winner from Cantillon. After reading some previous reviews I was expecting a different beer than what poured out of my bottle. As previously stated, not as sour as other Cantillons, but another quality product. I have one more in the cellar and am anxious to see what time does this one.

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Photo of match1112
3.8/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: cloudy yellowish orange in color with a full finger head that quickly disappears.

s: fruits and yeast with a touch of vinegar.

t: enough tart fruits to make you pucker. with an overly vinegar finish.

m: tart and crisp with a tongue tingling vinegary acidic finish.

o: an alright beer, not my favorite wild ale. probably wont buy again unless someone wants one in a trade.

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Photo of victory4me
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

'07 vintage poured into a 6oz wine glass at Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia.

A truly beautiful beer, bright orange yellow with a perfect and fluffy 1.5 finger head like nothing I have ever seen on a Cantillon. Aroma is much hoppier than I expected from hallertau hops. My expectations from this noble hop were a more subtle presence of bitterness especially with this many years of age, but what I got was a surprisingly citrusy and floral aroma more akin to that of an IPA or Pale Ale than that of a pilsner.

The taste was flavorful and juicy with summer fruit and citrus tones from the hops and tart and funky from the Cantillon yeast. I honestly found this to be somewhat par for course and more in line with some of the American Wild Ales I have had and less in touch with what I am used to from Cantillon. Kind of surprised to be tasting something from Cantillon that immediately brought Victory Wild Devil and Ommegang BPA to mind (albeit much better).

Mouthfeel was standard, despite the head, less carbonation within the beer.

Tasty, but so much better to come out of Cantillon that I wouldn't go out of my way for this.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.88/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at monks during the cantillon mad monday - I tried both 04 and 07 vintages

Pours a mostly clear deep reddish color with some cherry hues. A thin head dissolves into a halo of retained film around the glass, leaving little lacing.

A pleasant smack of tartness in the nose with unripe grape skin and some noticeable bitterness. Damp funkiness and some acidity as well.

Bitter and sour up front with a dark fruit presence. Damp funk and hay with some citrus. Soft sweetness and faint red wine tones. Finishes tart, dry, oaky, and bitter.

Lighter medium body, decent carbonation, lingers on the tongue for a bit. This was another tasty beer, although the combination of bitter and sour didn't completely fit my palate (unlike Cuvee des Champions).

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Photo of DearthVader
3.94/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 Vintage split with my girlfriend and brother. This was made possible thanks to the generosity of LSUPT. Thanks again for this Alex.

Poured into my Fantome tulip.

It pours a beautiful burnt yellow that gets brighter towards the center of the glass. A Ron of carbonation in this one which creates the billowing 2 finger off white head. The head sticks around for quite some time which I am nor use to with the style. Very nice.

Smell is a little underwhelming. The oak characteristic was the most prevalent feature. It overwhelmed the sour aromas and all the mashed fruits that were in this.

The taste is sour upfront. The sourness bleeds into some wonderful grape, apple, peach, and apricot flavors. The oak is very noticeable late in the sip.

Could drink this stuff all day. Nice and creamy mouthfeel that is still light bodied and very inviting.

My second chance with a Cantillon. They continue to live up to the hype.

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Photo of jm1229
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

4th review on BA. 2007 Vintage opened up on 8/4/11 into my Duvel tulip. My first Cantillon beer! Extremely excited. Let's get to it!

A- Lively carbonation on this one as expected. It pours a cloudy, murky rust-orange. Darker than I thought it would be for 5%, but looks ready to be enjoyed. No lacing on the glass.

S- Smells rather sour. Lots of sourness. Apples? Grapes? Can't quite put my finger on it, but I really want to taste it.

T- Sour. Funky. Oaky. I was right about the grapes and apples, they're there for sure. Really tasty and I can't find it in myself to put it down.

M- Carbonation is nice and coats the palate rather nicely. Really nice and light.

O- Nothing really overwhelming about this beer, but as a whole, it really comes together wonderfully. A great introduction to Cantillon and I can't wait to try the others when I get my hands on them.

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Photo of Spider889
3.74/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2004 vintage from the cellar at Monk's Cafe.

Boy was this little guy expensive!

The server brought this up from the cellar and you could tell there was some water damage on the label, more than half was peeling/rotted off. I think there was something sludgy around the outside of the cork too, because right before using the corkscrew the server rushed away and opened this out of sight.

The beer looks nearly flat with absolutely no head at all. It was a dirty copper color.

Smelled very musty with quite sweet queuze-like moments. Under that rotted oak planks are strong. Dry brett and lactic hints of green apple also grew as the beer began to open up more.

The taste is very bitter up front for the style. Not puckeringly sour as some Cantillon can be. Super dry and smokey with notes of earth and trodden grass along with some black cherry as well.

Sadly neither the funk nor the sour quite lived up to my hopes for my first lambic so old.

The mouthfeel is very dry and as acidic as it can get before becoming outright sour. There was an almost gritty/dusty element as well that wasn't overly appealing.

Overall this was a nice beer to try, but I'd take Classic Gueuze over this any day. Would love to give this another shot though someday, especially on a fresh bottle to compare.

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Photo of Cmack15
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Does Cantillon make a bad beer, I think not!
Appearance: nice light golden color, like a ray of sunlight

Aroma: sourness, barnyard funk, with a hint of the oak

Taste: sour, funk, but some bright clean notes too little sweetness comes through too. finishes dry

Mouthfeel: awesome, carbonation is great and feels nice and light. cleans your palate

Another great beer from one of the best breweries in the world

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Photo of orangesol
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of billshmeinke
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 33cl bottle. Poured into a wine glass.

Pours a honey golden color with straw yellow highlights. Hazy with evidence of lively carbonation. Half a finger white head that dies down to a ring on the edges of the glass. Really pretty looking.

Smells of hay, funk, a mild horse blanket note, quite floral and a touch spicy, some earthiness. Iris is an apt name considering how floral and perfumey the bouquet is.

Mostly acidic, lemony sourness up front with a husk like breadiness, then balsamic inegar, accompanied by a light resiny and spicy bitter finish. Lingering balsamic vinegar, rose petals, and bitterness. Quite a lasting finish.

Mouthfeel is light, spritzy, well carbonated and champagne like. Quite tart, but not too throat rapey. Low end of tartness for a Cantillon.

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Photo of harrymel
3.85/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2004
Served to me at delirium cafe, brussels.

A: bottle has appeared to be in a place with lots of soil as I can rub the label and it feels like man hands at the end of a day of landscaping - rough and granular. The beer pours a turbid and hazy honey color. Having been poured with vigor, bubbles appeared at the surface, but transiently. No lacing.

S: tart lemons come thru with some interesting earthy and bell pepper tones. Some cider vinegar and also some anise seed at the tippy tip of the tail.

T: zinga! Sour beer! This is so sour it burns the roof of my mouth, gangster. Flavors of sweaty leather, lemons, potting soil, sheet grass.

M: thin and dry, nearly no carb left here. As mentioned, top of mouth was burning and at the end, my tongue was quite raw.

O: although this may be the sourest beer I've had, which is awesome, I don't think this beer was particularly great for cantillon. Although still very good, and I would drink again and again.

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Photo of RedHaze
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 3/8/2011, 750ml.

Pours bright amber, with a two finger head that settles quickly to a thin scattered patches of foam and ring. Lacing is minimal, but what I've some to expect from Cantillon.

Smell; much more fruity than I was expecting. Citrus fruits, white grapes and sour apples. Fresh herbs and mild funk.

Taste; tart and sour right out of the gates, but as it warms the fruitiness really starts to step up. Lemons and orange peel, sour green apples, tangy white grapes meld with a grassy/herbal quality. Mixed with the fruit flavors the sourness never really becomes overly dominant, making this very easy drinking.

Mouthfeel is light, leaning jut a touch toward medium bodied with a nice crisp, palate cleansing carbonation.

Overall; sour and just a touch funky, but full of fruity hops that just beg for another sip. This is maybe the easiest drinking Cantillon I've had so far, and I would suggest this to anyone who was starting to delve a little deeper into sour beers.

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Photo of jibbyvonjibb
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

bottle @ La Brocante, Brussels

brewed 11/13/2009
bottled 3/8/2011

A: Amber color. Almost completely clear. Little head and a lack of bubbles makes me conclude that this is relatively uncarbonated. Looking at the bottle date (2 months ago), I assume it probably needs to age for a few more months.

S: Some sweet fruit, like apricots or pears. Funk barely present (again, too fresh).

T: Dried apricots. Some sweetness (very slight) perceptible. Only slightly sour, with a clean aftertaste. Little astringency.

M: Flat. Light body.

O: It's definitely a unique lambic, probably due to it being made only with barley (traditionally ~30% wheat is used) and fresh hops (traditionally aged). It is pleasurable but flavors are a bit subdued. Again, this might be because it was bottled recently, and I would love to try a more aged one. Overall, not my favorite Cantillon, but still good.

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Photo of smcolw
4.09/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Excessive head: a quarter bottle (12.7 oz) filled a 24 oz glass with foam. It settles quickly in a dome-like way, leaving nearly no lace. The brew is dark amber and fully cloudy. A softer second pour resulted in half foam, half liquor.

Sweet and sour as one might expect. On the sweet side, there's caramelized sugar and faint flowers. On the sour side, I detect mild citrus and some yeast.

The flavor is overtly tart. Lip puckeringly strong. The finish is a dry bitterness--I don't think it's from any hops. No notable sweetness; this comes across like an unsweetened lemonade. The body is full while the carbonation is surprisingly light. If you like your lambics overly sour, then you'll love this one. Perhaps the sourest beer I've ever had.

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Photo of megahurts4
4.13/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cantillon Iris 2007

Appearance: dark orange, small head, and very good lacing.

Smell: oak and sourness.

Taste: mild sourness with a tad of skunkiness and spices.

Mouthfeel: medium-light.

This goes down as a very mild sour. The flavors are subtle, yet very nice.

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Photo of mltobin
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle picked up at a small store, 2007 vintage.

Appearance is a nice orange tone, bright, with quite a bit of cloudiness. There was an off-white head, that did not sit atop for too long. Upon sipping Iris, right away the sour element hits your palate. Some of the specific flavors are vinegar, tart lemon, straw. MF is low-med with good carbonation. This offering from Cantillon is quite nice... well worth your time and money.

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Photo of dragonWhale
3.57/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The second time that I've had this hard to find beverage, and, so, was not so disappointed this time. Pours orange, good carbonation with some lace. Funk and flowers in the aroma, a little barnyard and rosewater. Very interesting. Not super tart, only a little sour, but definitely is dominated by the funk. While the smell is quite interesting, the taste once again falls short for me of the excitement I crave. Probably I will try this again in the future and reexamine my world.

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Photo of krisandajt
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 Vintage straight from the cellar...

Appearance: Poured from the bottle into my DFH Chalice, this beer is a very foamy, cloudy, reddish amber color. Even with an easy pour there was at least three solid inches of bubbly white head. The retention is pretty good, not much in the way of lacing.

Smell: A musty mix of sour, tart, and some fruity vinegar mixed with just a bit of funk. I was in the mood for something funky, I think this'll hit the spot.

Taste: Oh yea buddy. Big tart and sour funk going on here with a slight sort of woody characteristic to it. There's also a nice clean, dry finish to it that really rounds it off nicely. Classic Cantillon.

Mouthfeel: Perfect carbonation, a refreshing light to medium body. Spot on here.

Overall (Drinkability): I'm a big fan of Cantillon, and this brew is a perfect example of why. Great flavor, some nice sour funk, everything you could ask for. Definitely recommend!

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Photo of woosterbill
4.13/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

375ml bottle of the 2007 vintage (bottled in 2010) into a Duvel tulip. Big thanks to my friends Jim and Michelle for getting this to me.

A: Pours an initially clear, orange-brown body that becomes slightly hazed when I willingly allow a bit of yeast to sneak in at the tail end of the pour. It's certainly darker than any other non-fruited Cantillon, and is topped by a lively inch of fine white foam. The loud head settles slowly into a solid cap, but leaves nary a speck of lacing. Weird, and beautiful.

S: Fascinating. Dry, sour funk is the first thing to jump out of the glass - plenty of lemon, tannic oak, and grape must. A more intent sniff yields hints of caramel malt, herbal hops, and white wine vinegar. It smells impressively sour for having been bottled just last year, but I'm not entirely convinced that fresh hops are a necessary or welcome addition to a Cantillon...

T: Bracing acidity opens things up, but the lemony, vinegary tartness quickly gives way to slightly sweet, bready malt. The funk reasserts itself on the tail end, with brett, must, and apple skin providing extreme dryness. Some hoppy bitterness adds to
this dryness, closing things out with a rather harsh astringency. The longer the aftertaste goes, though, the better it becomes - the astringency softens out into a softer dry fruitiness. Very tasty indeed, but kind of second tier for this particular brewery.

M: Soft, effervescent medium body. Very lively, and yet also substantial. Amazing.

O: I rather like the all-malt grain bill, but the hoppiness really doesn't add much - it was plenty dry already, and the hop flavor doesn't ever compete with the intense funk. I can see how someone unfamiliar with Lambics might find Iris more relatable to "normal" beer than other Cantillons, but I for one don't see the need. Still, I'm really, really enjoying this beer.


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Photo of ThoreauLikeAGirl
4.21/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Rich (phillybeer7779) for bringing this to our tasting.

Vintage bottle - Brewed in '05, bottled in '07.

Poured a hazy golden orange.
1 finger head with very good retention that stuck around for a while. Lots of bubbles and carbonation.

Smell: lots of lemon and funk. light and sweet smelling. makes my mouth water.

Taste: lots of lemon like on the nose. tart and sweet. some honey. finishes dry with some oak flavors. not as sour as i would have expected. very refreshing.

overall: one of the smoothest of the cantillons i have had. definitely not a sour bomb like some of them are. definite kudos to the smell over the taste.

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Photo of deapokid
3.3/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Enjoyed at Craft Ale House in Limerick on 3/19. 2005 Vintage. Reviewed from notes.

Sparkling gold, like a glass of champagne. Very bubbly and topped with one faint lily pad of foam, a bit of white lacing and ring of head.

Aroma is slightly tart, boasting a potpourri of floral notes, a little lemon sourness, some grass and a mild dryness at the end.

Flavor is very acidic, packing in lemon, dandelion, chamomile and a concluding dryness. Taste seems to be a bit overwhelmed by the tea-like floral qualities present in the beer, making it a bit of a strong sipper.

Liquid is watery at first, followed by a very dry pucker. Bitter conclusion is a shade strong, but not unpleasant.

Although I enjoyed pick out the uncommon and unique flavors in this one, the "pissy" acidity and overly floral notes were a bit overwhelming. It was nice to try once, but I may not go back and it's certainly not one of Cantillon's best (those would be the Gueuze and Saint Lamvinus, in my opinion).

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Photo of MbpBugeye
4.11/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2007, cork states bottled in 2010. Poured into a Minneapolis Town Hall flute, thanks Brad via random guy at DLD!

Not quite what I expected. It quite dark. A fully hazed bruised fruit orange. A nice big head rises up quickly but is short lived. A persistent, but thin, layer of foam rides on top. No lacing as the head is comprised of very coarse bubbles.

Ahh, I love a funk bomb. This one combines a large funky character with a citrusy dry hopping, and it's working very nicely. Lots of orange and lemon pair nicely with stinky, veiny cheese aromas. It smells like a cheese and fruit plate. Someone get me a piece of crumbly bleu, STAT! The malt base is there, and perhaps a bit sturdier than in many lambics. This is 100% malted barley, so it lacks the unmalted wheat that a typical lambic has. This seems to create a breadier base. Really this smells a lot like orange juice that has turned.

Very tame sourness, there's hardly any at all. It does grip the sides of the tongue especially towards the end in a meek sourness though. Lots of orange rind and juice. In many respects this is like drinking orange juice right after brushing your teeth. At the core, this beer is oaky and funky.

Carbonation is very low and it swirls away very quickly. The finish is bone dry. This is a pretty heft weighted sour, at a full medium.

This is a really good, tame sour. If you like IPAs this will probably suit you. The dry hopping has given it a unique citrusy spin.

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Photo of output01x
4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 25.4 oz. bottle (Vintage 2007, Bottled On 12/15/10) into a tulip glass.

A strong pour yields a 3-finger creamy white head atop a hazy orange amber body. Slow moving carbonation bubbles can be seen through the haze. The head recedes after a few minutes to a decent dusting and thick foam ring. Very little lacing is seen throughout consumption.

Sweet, sour, and a tad bit funky in the nose. Red apple, white grapes, and lemony citrus notes can all be found.

Dry white grape juice, tart lemon peels, and sour apple notes combine to make this extremely complex. Each sip is a journey through multiple flavors and mouthfeels that truly makes this beer an experience.

Medium bodied with great carbonation, this beer is dangerously close to chuggable. The carbonation perfectly allows the carbonation to be experienced just as much as they should be.

Exceptionally sour and dry, Cantillon Iris should be enjoyed by anyone claiming to be a fan of sours. For those uninitiated to the style, this may be rather extreme.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.68/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Looked like a west coast ipa, that vibrant orange and yellow appearance, great white head, lace and retention, perfect.

Aroma was heavy lemon, floral, grapefruit situation with funkal overtones.

Taste, quite sour, green apples, white wine, you seem to be able to appreciate a slight hop existence. Tiny amount of oak mouthfeel accompanying the little dry hopping. Extremely dry. Solid tart product from Cantillon, as usual

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Cantillon Iris from Brasserie Cantillon
94 out of 100 based on 476 ratings.