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Cantillon Iris - Brasserie Cantillon

Not Rated.
Cantillon IrisCantillon Iris

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

467 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 467
Hads: 1,863
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 4.27%
Wants: 705
Gots: 424 | FT: 28
Brewed by:
Brasserie Cantillon visit their website
Belgium

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
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Reviews: 467 | Hads: 1,863
Photo of orangesol
4.05/5  rDev -4%
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. (918 characters)

Photo of billshmeinke
4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
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. (782 characters)

Photo of harrymel
3.85/5  rDev -8.8%
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. (973 characters)

Photo of RedHaze
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
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. (991 characters)

Photo of jibbyvonjibb
4.22/5  rDev 0%
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. (886 characters)

Photo of smcolw
4.09/5  rDev -3.1%
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. (747 characters)

Photo of megahurts4
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

Overall:
This goes down as a very mild sour. The flavors are subtle, yet very nice. (279 characters)

Photo of mltobin
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
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. (438 characters)

Photo of dragonWhale
3.57/5  rDev -15.4%
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. (481 characters)

Photo of krisandajt
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
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! (927 characters)

Photo of woosterbill
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

Cheers! (1,867 characters)

Photo of ThoreauLikeAGirl
4.21/5  rDev -0.2%
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. (642 characters)

Photo of deapokid
3.3/5  rDev -21.8%
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). (983 characters)

Photo of MbpBugeye
4.11/5  rDev -2.6%
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!

Appearance
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.

Aroma
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.

Taste
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.

Mouthfeel
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.

Overall
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. (1,516 characters)

Photo of output01x
4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
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. (1,029 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.68/5  rDev +10.9%
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 (425 characters)

Photo of bucklemyshoe
4.67/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 vintage. $26 at The Brick Store Pub. 375 mL bottle corked and capped poured into a Cantillon tumbler.

A: It pours a hazy amber color with vibrant carbonation and a billowing foamy head that rises unevenly and a quickly as ginger ale but falls just as quickly, leaving a thin film with average lacing.

S: The aroma is incredibly pungent and is noticable immediately upon opening. It features lots of grassy and earthy notes, sour pears, some floral notes, lemon peel, and some overall funk. It is considerably less sour in the nose than on the palate, however.

T: Strong, acidic, citric, and somewhat hoppy sour notes combined with pear and apple fruitiness, a little grass, and a touch of cherry. It is so complex and delicious.

M: The body is rather light and heavily carbonated while the flavors lasted long after my glass was dry.

O: The price was hard to swallow but the beer sure wasn't. After trying my first Cantillon brew, I definitely understand the hype. (974 characters)

Photo of pmlondrigan
3.95/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2007 vintage poured from a bottle. Orange opaque ruddy beer with a really lovely two finger tight white head. Spotty belgian lace grows with each succesive sip. Lightly funky sour tang aroma, with wet horse blanket and heavy lemon. This is not the most sour lambic, although it is plenty funky, oaky, and pithy. Punchy lemon flavor blended with a dusty straw taste. Iris has an acidic and bitter finish, this is slightly off putting. I assume this comes from my buddies decision to age this beer. The mouthfeel isn't thin, or all that dry actually. Overall I'd have to try this with less age on it, but it was tasty. (616 characters)

Photo of Kinsman
4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Slightly hazy, burnt orange color. Thin white head makes a brief appearance.

Aroma is full of tart citrusy flavors mixing in with some funky barnyard aromas. Sweet apple fruitness can be detected too.

Taste is a wonderful mixture of tart lemon sours and green apple. Yeasty funk gives a notable flavor of vinegar.

Mouthfeel is puckering and dry with a crisp finish. Overall, it's really hard to beat the quality of Cantillon sours. Not sour for sours sake, but a nice well blended sweet and sour/tart flavor. (511 characters)

Photo of Brenden
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This, my first ever pure, unblended Lambic (as I recall), is a moderately hazy golden-amber in color. It forms a head one finger tall or so with good retention and stick to it.
There are essentially 3 major elements to the aroma: funk, hay, and tartness. There's quite a barnyard essence to it. All kinds of wild, appropriately adulterated yeasts are roaming around in here, throwing in lots of wet hay and grass with lots of white wine and green apple all over the place. Words being what they are, musty, vinegar and bark notes are also detectable. Deep in the back there seems to be something that shouldn't here. I'm no Lambic expert, but I do get some phenols that don't seem to belong. This is a very well-structured aroma, so the off element really only pushes it down to good.
Tartness and funk lead the charge, green apple actually being the first thing I taste. This is accompanied by the white wine dry tartness, just a touch sweet, and the apple cider element. There's plenty of earthy and grassy flavor throughout, with a sort of wood that's more like bark. Hops are actually not too difficult to detect, making a solid presence in the background. Mostly, more tartness pulls out of here with lots of complexity underneath, then throws a bit of sourness in the finish.
The body is light but not close to empty, with moderate carbonation. Each sip is crisp and smooth. (1,380 characters)

Photo of July2Nov
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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. (690 characters)

Photo of BeerAndBourbon
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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. (609 characters)

Photo of bobhits
2.74/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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. (892 characters)

Photo of scott451
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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. (532 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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! (626 characters)

Cantillon Iris from Brasserie Cantillon
94 out of 100 based on 467 ratings.