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Cantillon Iris - Brasserie Cantillon

Not Rated.
Cantillon IrisCantillon Iris

Educational use only; do not reuse.

471 Reviews
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Reviews: 471
Hads: 1,893
Avg: 4.25
pDev: 19.53%
Wants: 709
Gots: 437 | FT: 33
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
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Reviews: 471 | Hads: 1,893
Photo of AleWatcher
4.42/5  rDev +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.

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Photo of stephendr
4.42/5  rDev +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

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Photo of bruachan
4.42/5  rDev +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

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.42/5  rDev +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

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Photo of thierrynantes
4.42/5  rDev +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.

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

Had this last night, poured into a goblet from a 2006 vintage. When it was gone, I wanted to vertical it with the 2004 I've got sitting right next to it, but have to show restraint.

Appearance: Hazy, musty, apple-juice colored brew with very little head of whitish foam and some champagne-like lacing.

Smell: Out of the bottle, the nose is all funk. Wow, probably the funkiest beer I've had to date. I've been drinking quite a few sours as of late, but none had this kind of skunky barnyard funk like this. Upon pour, the funk is still strong, with a lot of heavy apple peel, lemon, and vinegar peaking through the back-end. Wow, that's a nose.

Taste: Not overly sour, but some pucker with really powerful apple and citrus notes. Slighly white-grape character as well, with some slight hoppiness actually there as well. Leather brett-yeast character is definitely present as well, with more musty funk and strong barnyard. Really, really solid. To draw a comparison, I think it's a less sour (yet more funky) Duck Duck Gooze in the flavor and a more musty Temptation. Really, really cool.

Mouthfeel: A little thin and could be more biting, but leaves a nice aftertaste that isn't too sticky.

Drinkability: Wow, could've plowed through a lot more than I did. Easily a winner. If it were more readily available, I'd buy a case. It's that nice. The scores may not read out clearly how much I really liked this beer, but I'm just glad to have another bottle for a special occasion.

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

2007 vintage

A: Hazy orange, huge gushing head that fades rapidly, leaving minimal trace

S: Barnyard funk, hay, citrus fruits

T: Tart, as expected. Complex, intriguing, and certainly different from the other Cantillon brews I have had. Subtle citrus fruits with straw/hay flavors, wine-like tannins and a biting acidity, but not harsh. Iris is done so well (like all Cantillon brews), I find it quite enjoyable.

M: Dry and acetic finish

D: I would drink Iris anytime. It's always a good day when you're drinking Cantillon.

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4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Photo of BMoldy
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Photo of gbbass16
4.44/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

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Photo of crookedhalo
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of jayhawk73
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of ElGallo
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
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

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Photo of jrenihan
4.46/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

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

My first Cantillon and my first unblended lambic. It did not disappoint.

2007 vintage, drank in a hotel room in Santa Fe. Served in a wine glass, reviewed from notes.

Poured a mild yellow with little head and lacing. Old cellar, subtle earth funk, some grassy and bitter notes imparted by the hops. White vinegar and tart green apples and lemon zest. Sour and slightly bitter white grapes. Overall quite sour and extremely enjoyable. Very complex, tart, funky, vinous, musty, fruity, floral, zesty, old wet oak, lively on the tongue, puckering and dry on the finish. One of my favorite beers to date. Highly drinkable, I tackled the bottle by myself with no trouble.

I need more Cantillon in my life.

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

Ahhh. It's not my everday beer by any means, but when I get the itch there's nothing like a super fresh super sour funky lambic from Cantillon. Had this one on tap at Sunset. Appears a golden color, with little to no head, and great clarity and shinyness. The best thing about a world class beer like this is the freshness. Everything about it screams fresh and wild. The scents coming off this one are like apple and pear skins, a hayfield, and a slight grassy and herbal hop quality. Taste, as expected, is quite sour, but not unpleasantly so. Complex, musty, funk after taste supports the ripe fruityness and sourness. I don't know if it's just the power of suggestion, but this beer has a really nice hop quality to it that makes it particularly unique. Once again, tastes how a big wild field smells in the fall. Excellent slick yet super dry mouthfeel. An incredibly natural and hedonistic beer.

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

another fantastic beer from the masters of Lambic.

A- pours a hazy, almost unfiltered IPA color of a pale brown/amber, with a lager like head that settles quickly. nice lacing.

S- zesty, rotten egg, a bit sulfuric, fruity, floral, acidic

T- a bit disappointed here. not enough malt sweetness as i expected for an all malt unblended lambic. nonetheless delicious, however not the sweet tartness i expected. more tart, grassy notes of floral lemon.

M- very warm, lovely lightness of a worldclass Lambic. reminiscent of all great wild ales, thin yet not light, lovely small bubbles, a truly alive beer.

O- i tried this side by side with a 2005 Iris and the 2005 was much more subtle. this was review is of the recent bottle. had i reviewed the elder, it would have been near perfect. judgments are relative to the side by side comparison.

again, another smash home from Cantillon. I've only had two of their beers, can't wait to explore them all.

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Photo of corby112
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes:

2005 vintage. Pours a dark hazy amber/orange color with a one finger frothy white head that quickly settles into a thin ring. Minimal spots of lacing. Visible carbonation bubbling up.

Funky aroma with a decent amount of barnyard/horseblanket character as well as hints of earthy oak, tannins, vinegar, light fruit and earthy hops.

Medium bodied and puckering without being acidic at all. Sour/tart up front with a decent balance of musty/earthy oak along with subtle pale malt, earthy, bitter hops and crisp light fruit. Very complex and well balanced with a nice amount of citrus and other sweet, vinous fruits balancing out the sour funk. In addition, the hops used make this beer very unique for the style. The dry and cold hopping results in a earthier, slightly more bitter lambic than usual, but not to the detriment of the other characteristics. There's still plenty of funk but this is slightly better balanced and easier to drink than some other Belgian sours. Recommended.

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

I have had this beer on several occasions both were from 2007 and 750ml bottles

This beer pours a golden color with a nice amber hue to it and a decent one finger white head that dissipates fairly quickly. The smell is funky sour and there is a small but noticeable hop presence. The flavor is pretty similar

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

Vintage 2007

A - Pours with some nice hazy strong golden color with a large billowy head that is about 1 inch and very dense but begins to recede quickly. There are some orange hues in there. In terms of appearance this beer is almost perfect. Very good stuff.

S - Slight hop sweetness? what? Yes surprisingly this beer has some similar notes to a DIPA. That hop character is mixed in with some musty and funky farmhouse aromas form the yeast that are very complementing. Could this be a Lambic IPA!? There are some nice meadow like earthy aromas mixed in with some nice tart vinous character.

T & M - Flowers, musty with some nice mild tartness on the back end. Woody white wine tart flavor that is very appealing. Grassy, almost like there are fresh flowers in the wort. This beer definitely seems to get more complex with age. Dry character and dry tart flavor that has some nice bitterness on the back end which is very surprising. The aging really mellows the tartness and allows it to "play well" with the other flavors. This might be the best Sour Beer I've tried to date. As it warms the flowery and slight woody flavors get even better and more pronounced. Crisp and delicious.

D - Very drinkable in terms of ABV but the palette needs to get used to the tartness. especially for the younger vintages.

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Photo of Trizzle
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

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Photo of rapidsequence
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

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Photo of pluppykatie
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

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Cantillon Iris from Brasserie Cantillon
94 out of 100 based on 471 ratings.