Cantillon Iris - Brasserie Cantillon

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Cantillon IrisCantillon Iris

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

1,827 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,827
Reviews: 474
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 9.17%
Wants: 710
Gots: 417 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,827 | Reviews: 474
Photo of Trizzle
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Amber body with minimal head. Hazy with some fine carbonation.

Delicious aroma of citrus peel, grape skin, old wet hay, subtle grassy fresh hops and tart apple cider.

Medium light mouthfeel, dry up front, some green apple tart develops with a decent malt body. Great bit of grassy hop action on the back palate. Mandarin peel, more green grape skin, dry orange liquor, good hit of brett barn funk with a long tart finish. Maybe the brett could be funkier but thats about it. Hugely complex. Something new on each sip.

Will definitely be going back to this one.

Photo of rapidsequence
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle. Bottled Feb 20, 2012. I picked this one up at Cantillon earlier this year.

Appearance: Other folks who said this pours hazy either had old bottles, or drank it cold. There is initially some chill haze, but it clears almost completely. Pretty amber, very short lived head, no lacing.

Smell: Tart and funky. Lemon and musty old shed. Some pale malt sweetness.

Taste: As above. Pretty tart, but not overbearing. Very nice combination of malty sweetness, tart lemon, and funk. While I smelled no hops, there is a nice herbal/grassy hoppy flavor that extends though the finish.

Mouthfeel: Lower carbonation than the gueuze, which I would change. Finishes dry and bitter.

Overall: Very nice twist on a normal lambic. The extra pale malt and hops add makes it different and interesting.

Photo of pluppykatie
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drinking out of a mini Duvel glass.

Appearance - A slight hint of red to the brownish color.
Smell - Very to the point. I feel like it's a peak.
Taste - Very sour, very good.
Mouthfeel - Puts your mouth on an adventure. I feel like I'm quenching my jaw and pulling back my tongue as a reaction.
Overall - Very enjoyable. I wonder how many pours I'll be able to have until I've reached my limit.

Photo of krisandajt
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
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!

Photo of wl0307
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at the BSF bar, GBBF06. Coming in a 750ml green bottle, corked and capped, covered with black foil.. 2003 vintage, the cork states it's bottled in 2006. Served lightly chilled in a large Burgundy bulb wine glass. BTW, the ingredients printed on the bottle seem to suggest this lambic has no wheat malt in it--an "all-malt lambic" then?

A: translucent dark orangey amber hue, little beer head comes with the beer, gentle carbonation.
S: fragrantly hoppy, mildly sour fruity and mildly sweet malty aromas all blended well upfront, like apples+nectarine added with a touch of lemon zest, plus the classic funky edge like damp blanket, etc... overall the smell is not as intrusive as Cantillon bio Geuze or Lambic, showing a rather pleasant hop fragrance and balanced aroma achieved with malts--maybe due to all malted barleys and colourful hops used in this beer?
T: a funky and quite assertive salty-sour flavour of musty/moulded wood, dried grapefruit peels, and mature cheddar cheese comes to mind... the mouthfeel turns quickly tannic, rusty, woody, semi-dryish, with plenty of mineral elements to rub the tongue, while the saltiness keeps the company of bitter-sour fruits at each step. The aftertaste has an extra length of hop bitterness, along with a superb woody aroma and flavour lingering down the tongue. Overall the flavour is not so much fruit-dominated nor as sour as any other lambic/geuze I've tried, incl. Cantillon's own range, yet the additional hop bitterness is really pleasant I must say, making it perhaps the hoppiest lambic I've ever tasted~~
M&D: very smooth, almost no fizziness is detected on the mouthfeel, while the texture is rusty and chewy as usual. The body is pretty balanced for a lambic, perhaps due to the amount of hops used at different stages in making this beer. Distinctive from Cantillon's other offerings, with a pronounced edge of hop bitterness and fragrant flavour to make this nice beer apart from other great ales by this traditional brewery. I'd love to try the draught version if it's ever available. A really nice hoppy one this is~~

Photo of tmoneyba
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle cap & corked from Dilly Deli.

Poured hazy yellow color with an minimal frothy off-white head that mostly lasted with fair lacing.

Moderate sour yeasty raw wet woody aroma.

Light to medium body with a tingly texture.

Medium sour citrus flavor with a medium bitter finish of moderated duration.

This is a standout beer for style.

Photo of jrenihan
4.46/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Iris 2007. Bottled January 21 2010.

Beer is amber in colour with a moderately sized and very fizzy off-white head. Head dissipates very quickly, fizzing away to nothing.

Smell is seriously funky. Horse blanket, yeast, lemon, grass. A deep fruit smell accompanies it, apple sticks out. Wood. Clearly sour from the scent. Quite complex. Outstanding.

Taste is similar to the nose. Very funky, with lemon and yeast playing a big role. Sour, but not as intensely as expected from the nose. Apple. Vinous, some grape and cherry. A slight bitterness in the finish, but generally very dry. Aftertaste is barnyard funk.

Medium bodied, very low carbonation- almost none. Quite puckering.

Overall, a very complex and interesting beer. Body is limp but I suppose that is how it is supposed to be. Smell and taste are great. Pretty remarkable.

Photo of crookedhalo
4.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cork dated 2001 vintage. Pours a glowing orangey-gold color with a frothy off-white colored head. Rich barnyard funk with a bit of honey, oak barrel and pale malts in the aroma. Initially tart, but a honeyed sweetness does shine through, sometimes reminiscent of sour apricot or peach. Ooh, there's some hops in there, too, they interact with the tartness very nicely. Oak barrel aging is evident in the taste, as well. Delicate carbonation is good for this ale. Probably one of the best lambics I've tried.

Photo of jayhawk73
4.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2006- Shared by Huhzubendah.. Thanks Matt!

Iris pours an auburn color, with an off white head. Good lacing on my tulip glass. The nose is wet hay, oak, grass, hops and funk. Really amazing/complex smell. Excellent. The taste is the same profile as the nose w/ some pepper added into the mix. The feel has a pepper bite, with good acidity, and mellowness around the edges. Overall, an amazing 6 year old beer- Really glad I got to try this one. Cheers.

Photo of skyroach
4.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

December 2013 bottling. Taster at a share.

Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle 5,0% Abv.
Served lightly chilled in an oversized wine glass.
2007 Sticker date, 2010 cork date.

Appearance: What a beautiful pour! Moderately hazed golden-orange body, topped by a large white head. The head lasts well for a lambic, but sadly doesn't leave much in the way of lacing.

Smell: Mmmm, this smells absolutely delicious and to my surprise, there is actually still some hop character. Notes include: Tart citrus fruits, oak, orange marmalade (distinctly reminiscent of English hops), cider vinegar, old wood, hay, overripe peaches and a touch of farmhouse cheese.

Taste: As with the nose, the flavour here is absolutely fantastic! Tart fruits (citrus, white grapes, green apples and a hint of apricot ) dominate the flavour with notes oak, musty basement, old wood, hay, orange marmalade and some overripe stone fruits also present.
Iris is actually pretty tart and borders on being puckering - one of the tarter Cantillons I have had recently. The finish is pretty dry and displays a light bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium body, with a fairly high level of relatively smooth carbonation. Thankfully the carbonation settles down to a medium level pretty quickly.

Overall: Iris is a fantastic lambic - I will certainly be having a ton more of this in the future.

Photo of ElGallo
4.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tried this on tap at Ebenezer's Pub. It definitely lived up to the hype I had heard. Great nose and color, and just the right amount of tart, funk, and bitterness. I liked it so much I sought out a bottle the next day - Tully's in Wells, Maine was able to support my fix.

Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle served in a Flute glass.

Bottled in 19th of January 2010. By the way, a 6% ABV and not 5%, as described above.

A: Pours a deep orange to amber cloudy color forming a big fizzy bubbled aired beige head. Medium to low retention and many lacings and chunks of foam around

S: Sweet and fruity with the strong presence of the characteristic Lambic yeasts. Tart, but not aggressively

T: Really smooth and intense. Mild sweet caramel upfront. You can actually feel the caramel malts and hoppy bitterness. Fruity, with notes of white grapes and apples, mainly. Metallic. Excellent sweet-tart-bitter combination

M: Light to medium body. A bit creamy and heavier than her sisters. Upfront is mild sweet passing through the tartness and leaving a pleasant mild tart-bitter aftertaste

O: Absolutely drinkable. One of the best Cantillons I've ever had

Photo of gbbass16
4.44/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 bottle pouted into tumbler. Thanks baboiler for sharing.
Opened the morning of The Bruery member initiation party in Anaheim, CA.

Pours a bright orange with an off white head of about half an inch that stayed thought the first glass. The smell is nothing but sour ith just a hint of alcohol. Taste is crazy good. Sour, bitter, and slightly sweet all at the same time. Sour enough to give you the twinge in your jaw, but the the slightly sweet comes through to mellow the twinge. The mouthfeel is very light and foamy, just as it should be. Overall, another wonderful sour from Cantillion.

Photo of GONZALOYANNA
4.43/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On-tap. 1/2pt glass. Enjoyed on mar´13. Amber color & foggy appearance. Yellowish froth leaves a thin layer on top. Yeast, citric/acidic & fresh bread aromas. Floral hues. Mild toasted malting & bread at first sip is overwhelmed by increasing tartaric touch. Light body but voluptuous palate. Moderate carbonation. Moderate hops in the middle. Long sweet/acidic finish. Grapefruit notes on the aftertaste. Delightful & refreshing.

Photo of BMoldy
4.43/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Tasted on 09/14/11. From notes:

A: Medium amber, relatively clear, with golden hues. Quite beautiful, really. No head or lacing to speak of.

S: Mildly fruity, with a wine-y grape presence. Woody yet slightly floral.

T: Tart and sweet, but surprisingly balanced for a lambic. Slight bitterness. Oaky tannins as well. Very smooth.

M: Medium-bodied. Small but brisk carbonation.

O: Absolutely delicious. A few days after I tried this (fresh) one, I got to try one from 2006, which was phenomenal. Still tastes like a good, tart lambic, but the extra bitterness adds some great balance to the beer. My favorite by far.

Photo of cjacobsen
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to sweemzander for cracking this one open!

Vintage 2007

(A) Clean orange color, almost like it was electric. Adequate white head that hangs around for the duration of the beer.

(S) Smells sour and tart. Lemon and limes with a touch of orange. Bit of funk present.

(T) Taste had a decent amount of funk in it. Citric acid and a bit of vinegar. Sourness is big.

(M) Tart but very smooth. Light body.

(O) It's always tough for me to review sours like these as the taste is so simple and delicious and refreshing. There isn't a whole lot going on in the taste and it's not a very complex beer, but it sure is quite amazing.

Photo of output01x
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (per label 2003 batch – per cork 2005 batch) drank in 2006: Poured a hazy orange color lambic with a quite big foamy white head with pretty good retention. Aroma of hops is clearly detectable and I thought it provided an interesting ‘’mariage’’ with the sour and brett character of the original lambic. It also seems to help balance the level of acid in the beer, which is a real, plus since I sometime find the Cantillon lambic to be too acid. Horse blanket and farmhouse quality are still apparent as well as the citrusy hops. Very nice experiment from the folks at Cantillon.

Photo of jakon
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12.7oz bottle purchased for $8.99 on 1-2-1 at Whole Foods Portland.

2004 Vintage

Wow do I love Cantillon. I remove the crown and give it a sniff and my taste buds are already up and running.

The cork comes out just fine. No flakiness to hassle with like is so often the case for me with Cantillon brews.

The beer pours a bright orange-amber color that, like so many other fine lambics, appears to be alive and glowing. Minimal head and retention as expected.

The aroma is stunning. It has all that barnyard funky sourness that you expect form Cantillon, but it's different. I detect a bit of honey and floral notes.

Mouth already watering something furious, I take my first sip and prepare for the inevitable punch to the jaw. Wow, this guy didn't hit me nearly as hard as some of his cousins have in the past! The sourness is most definitely alive and well, but it's not overpowering at all. There is a ton of complexity here. Unlike any other Cantillon product I've tried, I can taste hops in this one. That light bitterness is unmistakable and very enjoyable in this format.

Overall, this is a very unique beer that I wish I could savor more often. Not sure how I'd rank it next to some of the other Cantillon offerings, but I don't think I need to.

I think this beer has excellent long-term aging potential. It would be a completely different beast a few years from now.

Photo of AleWatcher
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2007 vintage on the label
Bottled in Jan 2011.
Served in an RR -ation glass.
Shared by Whitemomba.

I've had this one before a few times, but it seems I never reviewed it... Well, here we go!

Glowing orangey colored body with a fluffy creamy tannish head of two fingers. Nice thick oily legs with sticky sheets of bubbles clinging hard.
Smells flowery... Candy sugar and tartness with a huge funky sourness. A biting acidity tries to cleanse the palate, but the sugary sweetness won't be cut out entirely.
The finish dries out a bit, but not entirely. Some gritty sugary sweetness lingers amidst a huge sour note that pulls in my cheeks and numbs my tongue.

Medium body with plenty of carbonation. Very nice.

This is another great beer from Cantillon. The oaky funk is dirty and yet refreshing. Tons of flavor and huge sourness helps keep this quite enjoyable.

Photo of stephendr
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

between crown cap and cork was a clear liquid layer that smelled of madeira , and vinegar 750 ml. bottle- color of orange honey , with a tick eggshell colored head – delicate nose of sweet white grapes (chardonnay , riesling ) , yeast , lime , sour grass , yellow apples ,and hint of floral hops – taste of wonderful sourness , and tartness , white wine vinegar , chalky , slight maltyness , slight caramel , and barnyard – body is dry , acidic , and a little harsh– aftertaste of chalk , white wine , and astringent

Photo of bruachan
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

the cap came off and foam started to force its way through or along the cork. hopefully the beer doesn't taste like cork

suuuper pungent. the glass and open bottle are filling the room with funk and sourness. truthfully, this aroma would be quite alarming in any other context (except perhaps a barn). i regret to say urine is in there, too. when i take a closer whiff fruit is much more evident: pear, kiwi. the color is a peachy amber with a slight haze and thin head

it's not as sour as the rose de gambrinus but much funkier. up front it's all citric acid and the finish is chalky, bitter horsiness. i can't help but think that the first of this variety was nothing more than an accident. the funkiness is quite multifarious; more so than othe lambics i've had

it's fairly hoppy, actually. bitter with a decent noble aroma. burps are hoppy

i like this beer, but i couldn't drink two in a row. as much as i enjoyed it, all i wanted afterward was the maltiness of a nice scottish ale

Photo of BEERMILER12
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 28 January 2013

A: Pours a cloudy golden blood orange color with a fingers worth of head that slowly settles down to a thin cap

S: Starts off nice and tart with a bit of funk and some floral and earthy hops. Some maltiness also comes through

T: Starts off with quite a bit of sour funkiness and somewhat quickly goes into a smooth maltiness and some earthy and floral hops. The tartness doesn't last for too long, and doesn't linger. Finishes with a very light funk, but aside from that is surprisingly very clean

M: Medium bodied with low-moderate carbonation

O: A very unique lambic. It gives a nice burst of initial tart/sour and then transitions into a beer that focuses more on the malts and hops with the tart notes in the background. Unexpected, but yet another great beer from Cantillon

Photo of thierrynantes
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer bottle (75cl, 2002), tasted in 2005.
Appearance: developed in spontaneous fermentation, but only from fresh malt and hops, which provides a special bitterness (no wheat: lambic normally contains 35%). Mature 2 years in cash and bottled fermentation naturally. Amber colour.
Taste: high notes of citrus, taste very long
Drinkability: a success.

Review added 10-27-2007, translated from french 1-31-2008.

Cantillon Iris from Brasserie Cantillon
97 out of 100 based on 1,827 ratings.