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Cantillon Iris | Brasserie Cantillon

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BA SCORE
95
world-class
486 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
486
Ratings:
1,971
Avg:
4.26
pDev:
19.25%
 
 
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706
Gots:
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Cantillon IrisCantillon Iris
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brasserie Cantillon
Belgium | website

Style: Lambic - Unblended

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

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."

Added by TheLongBeachBum on 12-05-2002

User Reviews
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Reviews: 486 | Ratings: 1,971
Photo of ptykozoon
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Light auburn. Thin head and spotty lacing.

Sweets, funk and strong citrus.

Sour at the forefront, cherries, lemon peel. Oak, dry grassy flavors, light acidity in the finish.

Mouthfeel is perfect - not too light or dense. A lot of depth for a beer with such a light ABV.

Great beer. Strong sourness but not overwhelming, complex and sexy.

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Photo of TheSSG
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a frothy white head with great persistence. Sour aroma with soft floral notes. Umber color. Starts intensely sour and bitter; grapefruit hoppiness dominates. Malt comes through after this, and the finish is lingering bitterness over the malt.

This is amazing. The combination of sour and bitter is great (though I was skeptical). A surprisingly subdued aroma.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.99/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy deep goldish orange with minimal head. Nose is very aromatic with a strong presence of herbal hops paired with some acid and funk. The earthiness of the hop profile pairs nicely with the bacteria. There are also some notes of caramel and oak towards the end. Taste is acidic up front with a nice tart punch which quickly gives way to herbal/earthy/tea like hops. Notes of lemon, grass, and tart cherries all come through in the flavor. Overall, this is an interesting and complex beer. Definitely not my favorite from Cantillon, but that may be due more to personal preference.

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Photo of pat61
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours an energetic ruby tinged amber with incredible, very fine carbonation. The head rises to about one to one and a half fingers and then quickly recedes. It is very unusual to find such fine, champagne-like carbonation with the light beer body to hold the bubbles together and produce such a fine mouthfeel. The aromas include some fruit and citrus – maybe grapefruit punctuated by a little barnyard. There are so many tastes, they are so well blended and balanced and they create such a flow of flavor in your mouth that it is hard to identify them all. There is a little fruit, malt, and a couple of different hop aspects. You can taste both the old lambic hops (dull, stale with a lot of tannins) with the fresher hop character (spicy and bitterer). The beer also has a wine-like quality to it as well as the kind of oak you would get with an oaky chardonnay. The tartness balances well with the different varieties of the hop. The tannins from the old hops and the bitterness and spiciness from the newer hops, the lemony/grapefruity tartness, and the barnyard funkiness all blend together in a very amazing way.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.56/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

750 mL glass poured into a stemless wine glass.

Starts with a creamy cream-colored head over a grapefruit juice colored-body. Has a similar texture and cloudiness to grapefruit juice. 5

Tart citrus again reminds me of grapefruit. Funk-heavy, orchard-like and peach and apricot. 4.5

Grapefruit juice with earthy, grassy hops. Orchard funk kind of blankets the flavors leaving its mark. Peach tart flavors linger. Excellent. 4.5

Tart, lightly acidic, funky, and earthy. 4.75

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Photo of aleigator
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful subtle, big head, with a vibrant amber orange, nearly brown color.

Zippy, sour, fruity aromas, with hints of malts, appleskin, leather and wet hay.

Intense sourness from the very beginning, but more complex than the usual lambic with the help of a well developed malt foundation. Creates a vivid, tart mouthfeel, driven by a dough, leathery funkiness. The taste inherits both, green apples and musty white grapes among a gentle amount of white citrus peel, accompanied by their earthier stonepits. Malts turn even more intense during the finish, calming the brews lactic acidity, while creating a very interessting counterpart to citrus peel and mild hops.

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Photo of 01001111
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Burnt amber.

S: Tart, Cantillon yeast funk.

T: Peach, state bitter hops, an odd mixture of medicinal and rotten. Simultaneously delicious and mildly disgusting.

M: A slight prickly tartness. Crisp but full bodied.

O: Unique. Oddly compelling. Cantillon are certainly the kings of funk.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Pours amber with a large head.
Nose shows spicy notes, lemon rind, elderflower, peaches, some funk and a hint of catnip.
Very acidic flavours. Some lemon pith in addition to the rind providing some astringency along with some more peach and floral notes.
Nice high carbonation.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.31/5  rDev +1.2%

Had this one at the source: Cantillon Brewery itself. Pours golden, clear, with a nice fluffy white head on top and lots of floaties (got the bottom of the bottle here). Aroma is straw, a bit of tripel-like funky yeast, some vinegar, dryness. Flavor follows closely with funky yeast, straw hops notes, pears, apples, dryness on the finish with lingering grass and yeast funk together. Very light bodied, super crisp, and pretty refreshing. Unique brew with plenty of sour, but also an interesting note with the addition of the cold hopping. Liked this significantly more than I even expected. Good stuff.

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Photo of cultclassic89
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Have had Iris a few times. Last bottle I had was good but not great, but most bottles are great. Gives a nice hoppy twist on the profile of their regular gueuze, although it isn't a gueuze. Hops are grassy and slightly spicy.

Plenty of detailed reviews so I'll skip.

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Photo of LambicPentameter
4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed out of a dark green 750 mL bottle with a wine-style cork and cap. The bottling vintage--2013--is stamped on the cork. Poured into a Boulevard Smokestack series tulip glass.

Appearance (4.5) - Pours a beautiful hazy reddish orange with some lighter amber highlights where the light manage to penetrate the murkiness. Initially, the pour doesn't seem to generate much foam, but by the end of the pour, there is a two-and-a-half finger cap of tan head with an orangish twinge. Retention is slight-to-moderate and when it disappears, it leaves no lace and the faintest of ringlets on the edges

Smell (4.00) - I'm surprised that the smell is a little milder than expected. Musty oak and vinous characteristics are present alongside notes of wet hay and funk from the Brett. There is also a nice citrus element that I imagine is from the hops, but it's hard to tell--it could also be coming from the residual flavors imparted by the wine barrel aging.

Taste (4.25) - In a nice changeup from the smell, the taste on this is both subtle and complex. It's not face-meltingly sour--far from it. But there is a nice tartness from the wild yeast. I also get some subtle sweetness from the grain that, when combined with the sourness, gives off a sort of sour candy aftertaste, but in a good way--not artificial tasting. The finish also has a nice level of grapefruit-like bitterness from the dry hopping that gives this lambic a greater level of depth than your run-of-the-mill lambic.

Mouthfeel (4.25) - Light bodied and moderate carbonation with a slightly puckering finish.

Overall (4.25), an really nice beer from Cantillon that stands out from their other beers for the higher presence of hop characteristics. Given that it's unblended, I can only imagine that the beer itself changes somewhat from year to year, with the fermentation being spontaneous. I would be curious to sample other vintages to see how different it actually gets.

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Photo of JeffoC6
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

Sweet and sour tart right up front. A sense of sour funked out candied peaches and apricots that were left out in a damp basement for a few weeks. Tiny hint of some raspberries. Almost like a pollen filled spring day in a meadow. Fizzy carbonation (just right) leaves a perfect dryness to the finish. Almost champagne-like. Mild hop bitterness (as compared to American beers) dance well with the aforementioned flavors. A star! My first Cantillon- Enjoying in Le Maraise in Paris! Will go back and get more methinks.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.6/5  rDev +8%

totally different stuff from cantillon here. all barley malt instead of some amount of wheat in here make it quite a bit more sturdy then their lambic types, and the hops are definitely more aggressive in flavor, although still really mild, especially by American standards. the beer has a darker caramel color to it, plenty of hazy as per usual with cantillon, and a tall and lasting dull muted whited head of tiny bubbles. the nose is more funk than sour, with some textured sweetness in there, and then of course the oaky mature lacto thing to finish. the taste is just like the nose, exactly like it, with the barley malt influencing this beer more in terms of body I think than flavor. the hops have an earthy dried herbal character to them than likes the bigger body, and carbonation is effervescently bright. I like the slightly richer feel to this, and the longer finish not usually there in their lambic. maybe a little less unique and distinct than some of their other beers, like say fou foune or the lou pepe fruit beers, but I think its quality is as good as any, and its definitely a new direction for them. stoked to have shared this bottle with my brother, who loves sours and wilds but until now has never had a beer from cantillon. we both really enjoyed it.

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Photo of amano_h
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

75cl bottle from the Brewery.

Sharp citrusy sour notes of lemon and citron tickle the nose first, followed by hints of wood, flowers, and earthy hops. There's also a discernible amount of pale and caramel malts toward the back end. Barnyard funk is present in the back end, but isn't as dominant as it is with the Classic Gueze.

Lip puckering sourness leads the charge. Lemon drops and white grapes come into mind, but before the thought has time to settle, earthier flavors of french vanilla and oak shine through. Floral hops also makes a brief entrance before it's washed away by the Cantillon funk.

Medium bodied, prickly carbonation, with a dry dry finish.

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Photo of Mikeypnh
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a light brown/amber, with a pretty generous head.

Smell is dominated by funk. Smells sour. Sour grapes.

Taste is sour. Vinegar upfront, fades to some funky flavor, not sure how to describe it. There's not a huge aftertaste. Starts big and ends pretty quickly. Interesting flavor.

Mouthfeel is a little carbonated, nice and bubbly and coats the mouth pretty well. Best feature of this beer.

Overall, underwhelming for me. My least favorite Cantillon to date, although it's still pretty tasty.

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Photo of hardy008
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 Vintage

Pours a hazy orange color with an almost one finger off white head which fades quickly, leaving no lacing. The aroma has tart green apples, grapes, lemon, Belgian yeast, and barnyard funk.

Tastes both tart and somewhat sweet with sour apples. grapes, lemon, oak, tannins, and light caramel. Acidic and dry.

Light to medium bodied with low carbonation. Has a tart green apple and lemon aftertaste. A very nice Lambic, worth trying if you get the chance.

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Photo of jeonseh
4.16/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Hazy dark brown golden beer with small head to it.

S - Floral with juniper and iris. Lots of Bretty presence to it that gives it blue cheese and farmhouse funk

T - Floral up front with juniper and flowers before a slight vinegar comes through. The finish has some slight oak and and sweettarts near the finish

M - Light and effervescent. Finish is slight dry

O - Good sour with a nice floral presence that is well as balanced with the tartness

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Photo of mtomlins
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a stemmed Teku glass
2014 Vintage; thanks to KeKeKumba for the bottle!

A: Poured a orange-hued amber color, clear, with two plus fingers of white head that settles nicely to a thin collar and no lacing.

S: The nose is brilliant, big and sour with some pleasant funk, lemon, white pepper and some floral notes. It smelled so good, that I kept smelling the glass after the beer was gone!

T: The very first sip was a shock to my palate, very dry and sour. After the first sip and my palate relaxed, all the subtleties started to come out. There is a lot of sour and dry hop bitterness, but also nice funkiness, barnyard, lemon rind, white pepper. The finish is very dry and bitter.

M: It has a medium body and nice carbonation keeping it light and refreshing.

O: This is the driest of all the Cantillons I have tried (which is not that many!). This was a real treat, a beer to be sipped and enjoy over a long period of time.

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Photo of MarcWP
4.48/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2014 vintage into Iris balloon.

Pours dark burnt bronze with tiny, fizzy head that dissipates quickly to nothing. A dark lambic that's for sure.

Aroma is musty, horse coat, wet earth, orange rind, pungent field flowers, and subtle malt vinegar. A little less citric than standard Gueuze most likely due to the maltier base and hopping.

Taste is apple peel, lemon zest, old Pinot Grigio, flowers and dry prairie grass, with a resounding yogurt culture acidity. Again, maltier than regular Gueuze and slight bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel is light with soft carbonation around the 30 percent mark. Slicker mouthfeel than typical Gueuze which is related to the heavier malt base. Dry throughout with a touch of malt sugar coming through

Overall a nice lambic slightly maltier than the norm with a noble hop bitterness throughout. Delicious now but only gets better with age :).

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
4.39/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

75 cl bottle poured into a tulip glass. A murky ruddy orange-amber hue with almost no head once everything settles out, just a speckling of white bubbles floating there. There is a neat effect where a sip leaves some lacing composed of tiny bubbles that evaporate almost instantly. Sublime aroma, decidedly funky and sour with assertive lime, lemon, horse blanket, aspirin, flower shop, root cellar, and white wine all vying for one's attention but with nothing sticking out in an unpleasant fashion. Palate is similarly complex yet dominated by dry and sour hop and wild yeast elements with pretty minimal sweetness aside from a faint tinge of caramel, discernible in the finish if you concentrate. I get apple cider vinegar, lemon and lime peel/rind, baby aspirin, champagne, tannic grape skins, horse blanket or dry canvas sheet (seems like an apt descriptor, sorry!), and a general forest floor earthiness from start to finish. Supremely tasty sour and more pungent than some other common examples I've tried from Petrus and Rodenbach. No sugar in this sucker. The label is careful to state that this is not a lambic, which is interesting, probably on the basis of the lack of wheat and hopping regime. Very low carbonation but not flat, airy light body and a massively sour finish that manages to hit woody, hard candy, and hay elements before descending into a super-tannic green apple and white wine vinegar finale. What a beer. For some reason my ratings seem high but shall stand. I agree with Jeff Sparrow in "Wild Brews", this bridges the gap between lambic and American sours nicely.

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Photo of SpasmWaiter
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am pretty sure this is my favorite beer on the planet. I just simply cannot bring myself to give anything a perfect score because what is perfect? Call me jaded, call me what you will, but there is always room for improvement, no matter how subtle.

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Photo of jbaker67
3.94/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Orangey amber color, fluffy foam beige head that diminishes and aroma of sour yeast, barnyard, citrus rind. Taste is tart lemon rind, grapefruit, woody, yeasty, with light malt & caramel notes and some lingering bitterness. Smooth mouthfeel, medium bodied, soft to medium carbonation, dry sour finish. Complex and tasty, very drinkable.

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Photo of Beervana
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A 2015 bottle.

Pours a burnt orange, an extremely thin white head lines the outside of the glass. Some citrus fruit on the nose, mostly lemon, a definite oaky character as well, also some savoury blue cheese funk but nothing too crazy. Taste is much less fruity, maybe a slight vinous character. There is an old cellar funk flavour that comes on in the middle as well as a honey-like sweetness, a light dry-hopped bitterness does hit the palate as well but it's the huge dry oak flavour that really takes over and stays with you in the aftertaste. Feel is on the thicker side, almost syrupy, little in the way of carbonation.

Very complex but not necessarily the most delicious. Though not my absolute favourite from Cantillon, it is still well worth seeking out.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.34/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

In celebration of my new baby girl. Bottled March 19, 2013, served in a tulip glass

A- pours a clear, deep golden-amber color with a small fizzy white head that dissipates quickly, leaving only a few carbonation bubbles shooting to the top

S- vinous aromas up front of white wine, lemon peel, earthy must & apple cider vinegar. Some woodsy aromas mesh with old leather and some horse aroma, sweet floral notes, with an oaky and slight phenolic finish

T- lots of tart apple cider vinegar flavors up front quickly followed by bitter lemon and lime rind, leather and sandalwood flavors mesh with white wine grape flavor, earthy and herbal forrest floor, dried hay, leading to a slightly citric hop finish with lingers of apples & phenolic notes

M- medium body with light foamy carbonation leads to a foamy, slick mouthfeel and a dry and tart puckering finish

O- my first Cantillon beer, I'm very impressed with the complexity of flavors and aromas that seem to keep coming out. A great choice for the birth of my first child!

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Photo of pmarlowe
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

(Bottled 19 March 2013. Tulip glass.

A: Pours a clear, light amber color with fine, bright white head. Very good retention but minimal lacing.

S: Bouquet of flowers, grass, and herbs, with some funkiness and lacto sourness coming through, with cherry and fruity malt. Delicate.

T: Some stone fruit mixed with herbal notes, a little honey, with a moderate but well balanced and well integrated (if that makes sense) lacto sourness which builds through the finish. Finishes quite dry and a bit of tannins, with a decent amount of bitterness especially as it warms.

M: Medium-light body and medium-light carbonation.

O: A tasty, lighter, easy drinking tart beer. Nice floral flavors and integrated tartness.

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Cantillon Iris from Brasserie Cantillon
95 out of 100 based on 486 ratings.