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Cantillon Iris - Brasserie Cantillon

Not Rated.
Cantillon IrisCantillon Iris

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

1,673 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,673
Reviews: 457
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 9.43%
Wants: 660
Gots: 379 | FT: 24
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: 1,673 | Reviews: 457 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of PatandDavid
3.53/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I wonder if I am just not totally bowled over by lambics...while I enjoy them, they are not getting tremendous marks, I think it could be the mouthfeel..anyway, this was a light peach when poured. Again with the barnyard/horse aroma that could be off-putting to some, I'm just always pleasantly surprised when the beer doesn't taste like it smells. A dry crisp fruityness when tasted. The carbonation is not overwhelming. While not overwhelmingly tart, I can see that this would not be as much as a session beer as others. An interesting beer to drink and enjoy, maybe not one to drink a lot of at one setting. Pat

Photo of DannyS
3.53/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Served in a wine glass, poured from a 12 oz. corked & capped bottle. Label dated 2005, cork dated 2007.

A - Looks like most pale ales actually; a deep cloudy orange with little head.

S - Sour fruit on the nose, reminds me of cherries and citrus. Also contains some yeast on the aroma.

T - Not very complex, but interesting. Fairly sour and slightly bitter. Also carries some dry floral notes.

M - If you sip it right, it feels amazing. Nice and bubbly but not harsh; the acid cutting through the softness.

D - You've really just gotta sip this one, it's a pretty strong taste. And I wouldn't recommend more than one; i shared this bottle with a friend.

Overall - This would be great as a before or after dinner drink, or one for casual sipping. Definitely not for drinking quickly. But I enjoyed it nonetheless.

Photo of blakesell
3.56/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 1 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a belgian (st. bernardus) cereal bowl styled glass.

Vintage 2004

Appearance- Big problems with the cork and cap. The bottle is rusty and leaking slightly. The rust is all over the bottle area even with the cork in there. Cleaned it off as best I could but with the beer oozing out (I think that's the beer, it looks like glue). Cork pops off as if nothing is wrong but the cork looks quite aged and disturbing as well. It didn't fall apart beforehand and there were no eruptions on the bottle. That's a plus. But is it OK? Beer itself is orange and hazy.

Smell- Vinegar, Smells like I could put this on a salad and do OK. At this point I am not having the highest hopes for this beer.

Taste- Sour Patch Kids, Apple flavor, Lemonheads, and Funk O' the Barnyard. Lots of candy flavors and funkiness. It actually isn't bad! now that is a relief. There is also some grapefruit and orange flavor and sour grapes.

Mouthfeel- Tart, sour, drinkable. The more I try it, the more I like it. At this point I actually think it's good!

Drinkability- Yes! It's bizarre, funky, reeks, and is fruity. I like it. A strange and pleasant suprise from Cantillon.

Photo of dragonWhale
3.57/5  rDev -17.9%
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.

Photo of nataku00
3.58/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap poured into a tulip glass, 2007 batch. Beer poured a dark copper, hazy, with some thin wisps of head. Looks still, with little to no carbonation visible.

Nose is funky wet hay, earthy, herbal and woody, with some light white vinegar notes.

Follows the nose, some earthy and herbal hop notes, then some funky and woody flavor. Slight vinegar tang middle of the tongue leading to a dry finish with lingering earthy and woody flavors.

Light to medium body, no carbonation, but that is expected for an unblended lambic. Pretty interesting beer, but I'm not sure aging this one was idea as some of the dry hopping would have probably helped brighten up the flavorl.

Photo of Westsidethreat
3.6/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a champagne flute

A: Highly carbonated with a very spirited head on top of a hazy orange body.

S: Aroma is a bit funky with green apples and a touch of citrus

T: Sour like a standard lambic but somewhat rounded thanks to the pale malt. Had an earthiness opposed to pure general sourness. Finishes with a light was of bitterness. Different for sure.

M: Medium bodied and well carbonated fitting to the style

D: At first I was taken back by this beer but it grew on me. I couldn't get used to the earthy bitterness but finally adjusted after a while. Not bad.

Photo of ballewblake
3.6/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into my Duvel tulip.

Cap was rusted and cork and top of bottle were moldy. 2005 Vintage with cork saying bottled in 2007. Two finger head that dropped within a minute. Deep amber color in the body, opaque. Smell is funky, musty attic smell, earthy, sour, floral. Tastes like a battery, really not very appealing at first, gets better with more drinks, but then reverts back, there is something off here. Chemical like tastes, wow, its really off putting. I'm glad I shared this with a friend, I don't know if I could have drank the full 750. Mouth feel is good with carbonation, drinkabilty suffers from the weird off putting metallic/chemical flavors I'm getting. This might be my first unblended lambic.

Photo of Suds
3.62/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Lambics are an enigma to me…so much wildness and unrestrained flavors. This beer was no exception. I’ve been sitting on a bottle (cork says it’s from 2001), and finally gave it a try. It’s a truly unique brew. The cork, which was quite damp through half of its volume, was extruded with a loud “Pop”. The brew is a hazy orange with a billowing white head. Aroma is a mix of deep, woody oak and musty manure. There’s plenty of lemony, vinegar-like acidity going on in the smell as well. It’s a totally un-hinged, wild aroma. The taste is solidly acidic…it crosses the line from tart to downright mouth-puckering sour. No malt is detectable through the acidity, though there is a notable oak character and bitter hop finish. The oak is not unlike that of a decent Chardonnay. Unfortunately, the sourness made the beer very difficult for me to drink. Maybe it would be a wonderful aperitif, but in anything other than small quantities, it’s a rough-sell. Extraordinarily interesting, and completely wild

Photo of Nichols33
3.64/5  rDev -16.3%

Photo of zaphodchak
3.65/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Churchkey for Zwanze Day 2011.

One finger fine white head, golden-amber body.

Powerful vinegar funk on the nose.

The taste is incredibly sour; monolithic vinegar dominates. Slightly musty with some very bitter lemon and possibly arugula.

Mouthfeel is thin, not very carby.

Too much too late? I can't even imagine how sour this might be fresh. If you're seeking balance, avoid. If you're a sour fanatic with a palate to appreciate the super-tart, might be worth a shot.

Photo of Hojaminbag
3.65/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yellow body with a fluffy white head that doesn't stick around long or leave much lacing.

The smell has some sourness, a musty aroma and a bit vinegar, but all of these smells are rather subdued. Normally, I expect a more powerful aroma from a Cantillion.

This is an interesting one. A bit of sourness comes through, but nothing huge or puckering. Then the musty and vinegar notes come through, but they are even more subdued than the straight sourness. Of the three characteristics, the musty ones stand out the most. Next comes something one won't find in a Cantillion much: a hop profile. There is a definite spicy and slightly bitter hop presence here that is at least as prominant as any of the the other flavors in this brew. I would guess these hops are added with greater gusto than in other Cantillions, but I would also guess that they are not aged, or at least not aged very much.

Full mouthfeel, not especially puckering.

Drinkability is OK. This is definitely not my favorite Cantillion, but thing I will say is that it is interesting and not bad at all. In fact, I think I would recommend Iris for people who are new to sours and want to get started. With just a touch of sourness and a familiar hop presence, this is a good transition beer.

Photo of Slatetank
3.65/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Stakem for sharing this 2007 version bottled in 09 with kegatron and me. Enjoyed chilled from a cantillon tulip and allowed to gently warm.

The color is deep golden bordering on amber with a thick cap of light beige with ultra tight bead. Spots of lace stick with translucent clarity in general. The smell of wood, like a humidor with toasted oak and tobacco and mild hop accents with a herbal and light hint of earthy and sweet malt with light stone fruit presence w/ other dried fruit notes. The feel is highly acidic and bitter with tannic elements dominating, slight woody dry texture and dry earthy feel with tart fruit aspect and mild vinegar-like tinge giving an acidic edge to the toasted element w/ dry and warming w/ slight bitter feel in the mostly sharp finish.

The dry sharp flavor with lots of acidity is in the taste right off the bat with hops and oak that give a mild cedar like aromatic wood element w/ mellow bark and almost grapefruit like sour fruit in the tertiary. The woody and citrus combo is intense with both sour and bitter blending to give a bitter herbal and lemon rind taste which also has a gentle oak accent. The hops seem to come out more toward the finish as the woody sour flavors are all over the entry to middle taste. The taste is so puckering w/ light bitter leafy edge it seems at times like a juxtaposition and others like a wierd tug of war. The drinkability is not that high for me, it is interesting and intense, but overall seems like an assault on the palate without any where to retreat, this stirs the acid in the stomach and is a bit overwhelming mixed with other lambics enjoyed, it just comes off too sharp ...it would be difficult to have multiple samples in my opinion.

Photo of AgentMunky
3.66/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

From the Mikkeller bar in SF. 2004 vintage. Bottles in 2006.

A: Clear orange. Light lace. No bubbles.

S: Weird and funky and pleasant. Beautiful bright fruit and sweaty horses.

T: Huh. Initially very tart. It develops into something fruity and wild and barnyardy and floral and confusing. The finish is clean and full of Brett.

M: Dry-tart. Crisp? Nice.

O: I guess(?) I'm glad I tried it, but never would again -- especially for this price. I'm not sure I 'get' it. Something is going on, but what? Paired with Fiscali cheddar.

Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.68/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Drew for bringing this to a recent tasting so I could finally get around to trying it. Cheers.

Anno 2007.

Appearance -- Pours a rich ruddy amber with two fingers of foamy beige head.

Smell -- Salted lemon, red wine vinegar, and an iota of grainy malt sweetness. In addition, there is plenty of barnyard funky brett, though lacto tartness is not present.

Taste -- Very acidic, indeed. Tangy, slightly sharp cider vinegar and salted lemon is in the forefront with Granny Smith and horsey funk.

Mouthfeel -- Medium in body with lively effervescence.

Drinkability -- While I certainly enjoyed this, it seemed to lack a little bit of the character I normally associate with lambics, namely lacto tartness to offset the sharp acetic flavor, and perhaps the lack of wheat addition was throwing me off. As I was drinking it, I couldn't help but note the lack of depth that I associate with, say, Cantillon Gueuze. That said, it's unique, a must try, and one that I look forward to revisiting in the future.

Photo of cbl2
3.68/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11/1/2006 $14.99 750 mL 5.00% Bottled in 2004 according to the cork.

Appearance:

Pours a slightly hazy orange with extremely fine carbonation that leads to a quarter inch of foamy white head that settles rapidly.

Aroma:

Tart and funky with a slightly sweet pear aspect to it.

Taste/Mouthfeel:

Fine carbonation yields a smooth mouthfeel that is dominated by a tart oaky flavor. Hints of pear and apple are present underneath the intense tartness. Finish is wet wood.

Photo of victory4me
3.73/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

'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.

Photo of Spider889
3.74/5  rDev -14%
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.

Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of innominat
3.75/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of amstokesdb9
3.75/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of rastaman
3.75/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Kind of strange really, very sour yeasty aroma, with hints of parsley, lemongrass and flowers. Quite sour and then bitter, with a grassy earthy flavour, complex and different. I don't think this quite worked, that green stemmy, flowery quality, didn't seem to fit alongside the sour yeastyness. Still, hardcore.

Photo of Beerontwowheels
3.75/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of Crazydaddyo
3.75/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of NickT1218
3.75/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of HoldenDurden
3.75/5  rDev -13.8%

Cantillon Iris from Brasserie Cantillon
97 out of 100 based on 1,673 ratings.