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Cantillon Iris - Brasserie Cantillon

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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 wordemupg
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked and capped bottle poured into tulip 22/6/12

A slightly hazy amber with just a few slow tiny bubbles feeding a thumbs width of well retained light tan head that leaves no lace

S very earthy nose, wet wood, barnyard funk, there's some citric notes with some apple cider and just a little caramel apple to go with it, complex stuff that's working well for me

T more vinegary apple and heavy amount of oak compared to the nose, slightly herbal aspect that I don't quite understand and some rind, quite good but I preferred the nose

M its not turning my mouth inside out but it's tart and slightly sour, quite slick and it has some body too it. big aftertaste of woody funk lingers forever

O very interesting brew and the 750ml bottle wasn't big enough, not overly funky or sour like I expected and lots going on in all areas

2007 vintage and I'm curious to how a fresh bottle or a very old version would differ, not cheap in these parts so I may or may not find out

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Photo of scottfrie
4.48/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into 3F stemware. 2007 sticker, bottled in 2010 (cork).

A: Pours a clear light honey-amber color with two fingers of fine bright white head that actually held great retentions. A fuzzy, rather thick, film lasted until the glass was drained. Beautiful.
S: Heaven in a glass. The nose is dry, lightly tart, earthy, musty, funky, barnyardish and contains notes of caramel malt. Woody and dry oak is heavy as well, and there is even a splash of golden fruits, white grapes, and citrus.
T: The first thing I thought when I tasted this was “distinctive.” This beer very vinous and dry as expected, but there is something bitter mixed in with the funk and sourness that is akin to citrus pith and rind, but not as harsh. Hops could be the culprit, I’m not smart enough. There is a leafy earthiness to the brew. Maybe a bit of green fruit as well. The finish is vinous and full of light malts and straw, and the aftertaste is dry, lightly tart, bitter and mildly acid and citrusy.
M: Clean and refreshing body, crips, dry and smooth mouthfeel, with soft and delicate carbonation.
O: Another awesome beer from the masters of the style. I could drink this every day. Perhaps I should move to Belgium… Cheers!

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Photo of WillCarrera
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, bottled on 15 December 2011, best before 2015, poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a hazy golden orange color with a finger of white head, leaves some spotty lacing.

S- Very funky nose, hay and must, also a bit of fruit, wood and acetic tartness.

T- Quite tart, although not as much as other Cantillons, has a light lemon and apple character, some white wine and vinegar, big funky hay, horseblanket and wood flavors.

M- Medium-bodied leaning towards light, very smooth and crisp, very dry with a bit of astringency.

O- A really interesting beer, highly drinkable, great stuff.

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Photo of warnerry
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled Dec 15 2011

A – Pours a ruddy golden brown with tinges of orange. One-half finger of off-white head dissipates quickly, but maintains a collar, No lacing.

S – Nice Brett-y funk aroma, with wet hay, some grapefruit rind , oak, and earthy hops.

T – Nice earthy funk tart up front, combined with a very nice herbal hop bitterness. A bit of lemon and grapefruit rind. Finish is earthy, tart and bitter at the same time, and lingers for awhile.

M – Medium mouthfeel that starts a bit puckering, but a nice hop bitterness throughout.

O – I really enjoyed this. Not as “clean” as some of the lambic blends, but I’m glad I tried a relatively fresh bottle, as the hop bitterness complements the lambic characteristics very nicely. Tasty.

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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 cbutova
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

iPad review from sour tasting. 2007 sticker, December 2010 bottle date.

A- Cloudy dark apricot body with moderate yeast haze, bUbbly and foamy white head forms and falls to a cloud and ring fairly quickly, spotty lace patches.

S- Tart sour lemon and apples upfront with hints of oak, wine, vinegar, cheese funk barnyard (somewhat mild for Cantillon).

T- The hop addition adds a slight pine, floral aspect to the regular Cantillon flora, great and full flavor notes of sour lemon, apple, white grape wine,  oak barrel, pepper, lactic and acetic hints, hops add just enough.

MF- Silky and bubbly lighter overall body, slight spicy bitterness in the finish, great higher level of tart sours.

Drinkable sour and extremely flavorful Cantillon. Reminiscent of the gueuze but the differences are certainly there.

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Photo of dln646
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled (75cl) February 2011, the beer pours hazy amber with a blond tint of dissipating head. The nose is clean and complex of floral jasmine, juniper berry perfume, citrus fruit, hops and wood. On the palate Iris liberates razor sharp acidity, a well structured medium body, slight bitterness and even a subtle sweetness. Characteristics of grapefruit, lemon peel and jasmine comes to mind followed by a long aftertaste of perfume and hops. Balanced and refreshing! http://quaffable.org/?p=11

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Photo of russwbeck
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

1996 Vintage, enjoyed on 4/10/12 during Monk's Cafe Beers of the Cellar event.

Some of the bottles are really dusty, and the cork isn't the easiest to pull out. The beer itself pours out a hazy yellow with hints of pink and only a thin white head. It has held up beautifully in this department. 4.5

The aroma is really sour, but amazingly balanced with fruit. Musty and funky, the tart but sweet fruitiness is impressive. 4.5

This is the definition of an enamel ripper. Just out of this world sour, the rest of the taste is as tad watery, but the fruit is still there, I'm so impressed with how it has held up, but some fresher Lambics I’ve had I think were better. 4

The body is a little light, but the aftertaste is phenomenal. It just lingers forever. Hardly any carbonation left, but I don't miss it. 4.5

A truly amazing experience from popping the cork to the last drops. Can't wait for the rest of this. 5

2012 bottles enjoy on Zwanze Day 2012 at Churchkey.

A: Iris is as clear as it gets. Brown body that hints towards yellow at the edges. Absolutely no head or bubble activity. 3.5

S: Iris is tart, but fruity. The caramelized malt is noted with a little bit of must of well. 3

T: This beer is malty and the sour hides beneath some hops as well. The finish includes the hops, blended with only a slight amount of funk. This ber isn't as fruity as I expected, as the malt and hop are more in control. It's barely tart at all. 3

MF: Light and carbonated well. I found Iris to not be as drinkable as some of the other Cantillons available that day. 3.5

O: I just wanted this to be more sour. I guess I didn't appreciate this different take on the style this time around, as previously I didn't mind it at all. Still would try it again. 3

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.94/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pour sampled at mrbubbler's tasting.

2007 vintage.

Pours a slightly murky honey orange with a tan head that fades to wisps of film on top of the beer. No lacing on this one. Smell is sour, tart, and funky with some nice hoppy aromas. Taste is the same with an almost minty flavor on the finish. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good lambic with a nice hop presence.

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Photo of jsanford
3.94/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle courtesy of the CPJ!

Appearance - Pours a dark orange with a dense, off-white head and very high level of carbonation.
Smell - Lovely aromas of signature Cantillon funk (wet hay and earth) with a heaping dose of citrusy hops and oak.
Taste - Follows the nose nicely, a lovely blend of bitter and funk, oak and tartness. More earthy, barnyard funk with a slightly tropical citrus hop profile and some green apple skin.
Mouthfeel - Crisp and highly carbonated, with a medium-thin body and a very dry, tannic finish.
Overall - A nice Cantillon, but far from my favorite of their offerings.

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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 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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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 BARFLYB
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a handpump pull at Teresa's Next Door in a oversize wine glass.

Once the bright white frothy foam settled from the top of the glass about 10oz's of copper bronze shaded liquid graced the glass with a inch of settled layered foam that lasted, some splotches left behind.

This smells spectacular. A real nice hit of wet oak with some hay thrown in with light citrus. All together earthy with that Cantillon smell. Barnyard. damp basement.

This was just so flavorful from jump street. Im hit with that sourness up front with faded apple and hay. The oak is prominent yet not looming. This is sharp stuff. Earthy grass in the middle with an acidic nature, but not overkill.

After some time in the glass this settled down a bit. First sips off a loon are always mind bending, but after some time Iris comes into it's own. A small step up from light with alot of activity in the mouth. Strong aftertaste of sour apple and such.

I could have drank this all day. It really makes me appreciate the less sought after loons. This does the trick. I had some 5 years aged Iris on tap not to long ago and this blew it out of the water. I think this is a more recent vintage. Great stuff.

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Photo of nataku00
3.58/5  rDev -15.8%
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.

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Photo of auroracrisis
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml into a tulip, bottled on 2/17/2010

Amber with marmalade highlights, a small white head upon the pour that dissipates into a ring.

Sour grapes and sweaty cheese, with nice barnyard funk on the nose. Horse blankets and haystacks with a bright, citrus fruity tingle. Even more funk behind that similar to gym socks.

Opens with a tart green apple fruityness then after a few seconds, moves into a sweaty cheeseyness. Aftertaste of gym sock and wet horseblanket.

Medium bodied and dry.

Great nose with plenty of funk. Another good beer from Cantillon. Wish it were more available.

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Photo of kmatlack
4.17/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage. 750 ml bottle, surprise gift brought home by my dad.

A- Pours a hazy orange yellow. Aggressive pour into my Duvel tulip rendered a very small bubbly white head that rose up, and went right back down. Bummed there is no head.

S- Smells of strong lemons and vinegar. Getting some funk, grapefruit, grapes, green apple peels, unripe pears, sour malts. A small amount of spicy floral aroma present as well.

T- On the front of the palate it is moderately sweet, prickly carbonation intensifies the sourness. Mid palate, the carbonation dies down, and the funk kicks in. The green apple is strong in this one. Getting alot of lemons, sour fruits, oak. On the back end, there is a lingering bitterness and sourness reminiscent of grapefruits.

M- Surprisingly carbonated on the tongue for being flat looking in the glass. High drinkable, would be great on a spring/hot summer day.

O- Another great beer from Cantillon. Really look forward to all the offerings from them. Wish this shit wasn't so friggin expensive though.

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Photo of brewcrew76
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 Vintage

As I popped the bottle cap I noticed the cork was wet and leaking a black watery substance that smelled like garbage in the summer heat. I wiped the bottle off and slowed extracted the cork and wiped the inside of the bottle down. The room smelled like ripe garbage but luckily it appeared none got inside the beer or affected it. Very strange.

A - Hazy amber with 2 fingers of off white, rocky foam. Settles to a thin layer of foam.

S - Strong acidity and funk with ripe green apple, lemon, wet hay, white grapes and wheat malt.

T - Slightly biting sourness, earthy, wet hay, musty farmhouse, lemon and grapefruit. As the sourness fades off the tongue I get slightly bitter herbal hops that cleanse the palette.

M - Light side of medium with medium to low carbonation. Nice.

D - A little worried by the cap issue but since i have had this before it is safe to say it did not affect the beer. Becomes more restrained as it warms. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of dansmcd
3.92/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Burnt orange amber, with a thick haze through it. Two fingers of soapy white head saddles the beer.

S - Very fragrant. Apricot, spices and lemon peel. Some powerful floral and funky notes also.

T - Sour green apple and white grapes, brett, apricot, lemon and grapefruit.

M - Light bodied, sour and really tart. Nicely carbonated.

O - I haven't had a lot of lambics and can't say they have grabbed me as a style yet, but this grew on me as I made my way through it. I particularly admire the complexity.

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Photo of danieelol
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an apricot juice (if such a thing exists) colour with nice white head which rather rapidly recedes.

Have had this one fresher and the hops were a lot more dominant. This one starts with classic Cantillon Brett funk, really potent. Then you get the hops coming through in a balanced, integrated fashion. Lots of dried apricot and also some malt.

Taste features more funky notes with some dried apricot.

Mouthfeel is quite good.

Overall a nice beer.

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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 Slatetank
3.65/5  rDev -14.1%
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.

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Photo of tbeckett
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap at the Zwanze Day/DDC 15h anniversary party at DDC. I brought a bottle of this home the first time I went to Belgiu so this will be sort of an aggregate of those two tastings. From notes.

A - Poured a cloudy yellowish orange with one finger of white head. Minimal spotty lace with a film and ring of retention. The colour was quite striking. Sort of what you expect from lambic with better head.

S - Tons of grapes. Lot's of tart aromatics, lemon, acidic.

T - Lemon candy, quite sour, musty, nice lemon candy note. Not a sweet lemon candy note, but the puckering sourness is there. Definite acidity too.

M - Mild carbonation, medium body, dry in the finish but not overly so.

O/D - Wish I had a bigger pour and more time to contemplate this one. I remember it being very good the first time I tried it and it being quite an eye opening experience. A pleasure to revisit.

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Photo of stakem
3.78/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml bottle, '07 vintage bottled in '09 shared with some friends and poured into a matching Cantillon long stemmed tulip. The brew appears amber in color with an off-white to tan cap that maintains pretty solid retention for the style from a constant stream of carbonation rising to the surface. A light swirl revives the tan cap once it fades.

The smell of this brew is bold with damp woody character upfront. More smells reveal a bit of herbal hop character that blends into a fruity aspect. A tangy lactic component is throughout with a very pronounced earthy, damp mildew-like character somewhat similar to moist cork. It smells quite enjoyable but individually the scents of this brew are a bit contrasting and unexpected when mixed together.

The taste is tangy initially with an equally bold flavor of damp old wood and must just like the aroma indicates. It is both herbal with hoppy bitterness and earthy with a bit of dark fruited aspect. It is quite tangy and drying on the palate yet brings forth some salivation factor. As the brew warms up, there is a toasty flavor that seems to be like a toffee sort of grain indication or perhaps more reasonably a toasty depth of character imparted by the barrel aging. If possible, I would give this a 4.25 for taste, so I'll round up to a 4.5.

This is a medium bodied brew with a lively level of modest to high carbonation. There is not much abv impact but the combination of sourness and herbal bitterness is very trying on the palate. I enjoyed this but the combination of bitterness and sourness overall degraded this brews drinkability for me. Even though this brew was split equally between 4 people, I had a hard time finishing my ~5-6 oz. To this brews credit it was very unique with bold enjoyable barrel character. I wouldn't mind having a fresh one of these for comparison.

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Photo of aasher
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I received this beer in a massive trade with thagr81us, thanks Calton! This bottle is the 2007 vintage.

Upon popping the cap the cork was instantly saturated with lambic. The beer pours a light bodied amber in color with a light white lacing around the glass. It appears that it may be slightly oxidized. The aromas consist of perfume like qualities, floral acid, and moderate vinegar. It tastes quite acidic and has a particular spiced bite to it. It does have some floral and tea components as well. It's interesting to say the least. It drinks light in body and dries out your palate, yet not as much as other Cantillons. Overall it's an interesting beer and worth a try. I'm curious to know why they named the beer Iris.

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