Cantillon Iris - Brasserie Cantillon

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Cantillon IrisCantillon Iris

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

464 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 464
Hads: 1,845
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 8.53%
Wants: 712
Gots: 419 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 464 | Hads: 1,845
Photo of JBogan
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2004 vintage.

Pours a nice light/medium gold with what starts as a good sized foamy white head which disappears soon after into nothing and leaves no lacing.

Funky barnyard sour smell, pretty similar to most beers of this type. Decent but not outstanding.

Now the beer comes alive. The taste is somewhat complex, with little alcohol presence but traces of citrus, hay, wood and even banana peel.Very pleasing.

Mouthfeel was excellent as well, with a light to medium body. It had a bit of slippery feeling, and not as much of the dryness accociated with many beers of this type.

This is a beer I'll be revisiting again. Very drinkable, I put the entire bottle away by myself before I knew it. (696 characters)

Photo of SiphonKing
4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 Cantillon Iris. One word: Delicious. Would love to compare to the '08 bet I would not be disappointed. Want to know about the beer? Buy one...and if you can't imagine this: Brett, pure un-adultered heavy Brett with no sour bite. Not your typical Belgian experience. Nirvana in a glass...no joke. Made with mostly barley and some fresh hops (according to Cantillon's description on their website). Worth seeking out. (420 characters)

Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2005 Vintage, Bottled 2007

a: Hazy orange body with a thin, but persistent white head.

s: Sourness above all else. Some good barnyard funk too.

t: Sour apple, oak, very woody. More of that barnyard hay/horse funkiness to it. Apple cider vinegar. Dry, not sweet. Highly wine-ish.

m: Sourness and acid get you on the side of the tongue like the tannins and malic acid you might feel from a wine. Acid makes you salivate.

d: Very good, unlike lambics or sours I have had previously. Really reminds me of acidic wine that has seen some oak. Wonderful. (554 characters)

Photo of russpowell
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Effervescent apricot with 1 finger of beige head. Good head retention & great lacing

S: Sourness, some horse blanket & a touch of leather

T: Puckery sourness, green, green apples, leather & tartness up front. Leather & cherry/green apple tartness dominate as this warms. Finishes crisp & puckery

MF: Dry, medium bodied & super puckery

Great example of the style, but 2 glasses max for me (391 characters)

Photo of rye726
4.68/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

'05 375 for $10.

Pour a rich cedar brown and has a lacy light beige head. The nose has funky oak, tart fruits and a flowery herb presence. The taste is super complex and well balanced between musty funk, sour fruits, oak and again flowery hops. Crisp body goes down quite nicely. Another great brew from cantillon. (315 characters)

Photo of Patrick999
4.24/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Getting high class now.

A - Like the guy below, cap had started to rust badly, with weird black goo emanating from it. Upon pulling the cork, it looks to be 2007, though the cork had seen better days. Didn't seem to harm the beer, though, as it poured an odd gold, the color of unfiltered apple juice. A couple little bits of the rust came into the glass with the pour, which was not cool. Nice snow-white head, settles to a small cap.

S - Aroma filled the kitchen upon opening, aroma of strawberries. Not overly ripe strawberries; actually fresh strawberries. Beyond that, the usual sour-lambic smells of cut hay and barnyard.

T - I'd never had an unblended lambic before, so I was expecting something raw and sour, especially since this is Cantillon. That is exactly what I got. There's no mistaking the sour, sour apples and peaches up front. Barnyard and old leather in the finish, but actually not too outlandish - the Brett is pretty well integrated here. Bottle doesn't mention anything about hops, but I could swear there's a little hop.

F - Feel is typical. Medium-light body with ample carbonation.

D - So this is raw, unedited, uncut lambic. It manages good complexity; it is keeping me interested through the 750. (1,235 characters)

Photo of ArrogantB
3.9/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've seen this beer before and wanted to try it but Cantillon 750's are a little pricey $15-$25. Luckily I found this in a 375ml for $10 and who really needs more than 375ml of lambic or gueuze? The label read vintage 2005 and the cork read 2007 so three years old now. The cork was pretty disgusting, beginning to rot with a gross black liquid bubbling out of the cracks! Oddly, this did not deter me and seemed sort of normal...Anyway it looks like a gueuze, golden orange hardly any bubbles. It smells nice, fruity and malty with a slight earthiness. The flavor is bitingly sour, dry finish, dusty grapes, I think I taste hops? (630 characters)

Photo of Antilochus
4.92/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Quaffed on...

VLAAMSVEST '08

Vintage 2005 - bottled 22/03/2007 (2 year old lambic). Unbranded (!) glass at Delirium Cafe, Brussel. Slightly hazy amber, 2cm white head. Perfectly even head and body, goes to collar. Sour apple, citric acid aromas. Musty, chalky. Incredibly smooth palate! Perfectly well balanced! Noted acidity, fruitiness, hop bitterness. This is awesome. Wirey sour grape notes, mildly fungal, haven't even swallowed yet. Not too carbonated, well attuned. Finish is the sourest thing I've ever tasted. Mild juniper, amazingly long finish on citrus, juniper again. Malt presence is minimal, only contributing to slight sweetness. Amazing that the hops can stick through this sourbomb. Slight yeasty sourdoughness comes through.

Fiendishly complex, superb. I'll remember this one forever - massive beyond its abv, and I appreciate that. An incredible beer, I'd love to try some 1990s vintages. (911 characters)

Photo of sanhedrin
5/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2005 Vintage. Amazing. It smells like a pig farm, and it tastes like old yeast, dirty socks and underripe grapes. Yet as unappetizing as that sounds, it's one of my favorite Lambics of all time. Probably too sour & funky for some tastes, I find it has just enough hoppiness to balance it out and crisp it up. This baby works on every level. (340 characters)

Photo of jwc215
4.09/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle - Vintage 2004 (four yrs. old):

Pours orangeish with a white head that immediately becomes a patch.

The smell is of loads of barnyard/horseblanket funk with vinegar, grapey with citrus (esp. orange). Plenty of complexities under the blanket of funk.

The taste is funky and grapey with sweettart fruitiness and citric fruity bitterness. Sour stays ahead, but is supported by a balance of sweettart and some bitterish notes. Quite the complex one beyond the dominant sour.

Light-bodied, but medium-to-full within that range. Effervescent with a sharpness to it.

This is an interesting one - very funky but with subtle complexities that are quite unique. Ver drinkable despite puckering/near-puckering quality. (727 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
4.12/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very nice cloudy golden orange color, very nice carbonation, nice little white creamy head, white little sticky lacing. The nose is very upfront, sour, with some yeast, slightly grassy. The taste is big time sour, slightly yeasty. Medium body, very sour, slightly bitter. Drinkable, this is a tasty beer, but too much for my tastes. (340 characters)

Photo of cjgator3
4.19/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1996 vintage
750ml bottle
Bottle 382 of 1000

1996 vintage! Wow! I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to have this at a small beer tasting. The aroma is very sour with some oak and funk. The taste like the aroma is very sour with a vinegar-like flavor, oak and touches of citrus. Extremely interesting beer, and I am very amazed at how well this beer has held up after 12 years considering it's low ABV. It was quite an experience for sure, really nice beer. (469 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a pretty pale blond color with nice clarity. The head rises to the height of two fingers, but dissipates pretty quickly.

Smell: Tons of barnyard funk and little else. Washed rind cheese, wet dog, dirty socks. Basically like taking a walk through a farm. Wonderfully funky stuff.

Taste & mouthfeel: Lemon rind and apple cidar vinegar. Very sour but not especially harsh. This is supposedly a hoppy Cantillon beer, but I'm not really getting any hop flavors. Very dry stuff through and through.

Notes: Excellent stuff, I'm going to have to revisit this soon. (577 characters)

Photo of irishkyle21
4.12/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 vintage is marked on the label. It pours with a nice foam, pretty good lacing but not the best retention. Has a hazy orange color to it.

Smells of that typical bbf (Belgian barnyard funk), sourness and citrus.

Tastes of tart fruits, funk, mouth puckering sourness and a bit of grass. Another well made beer from Cantillon. (329 characters)

Photo of joeysmokedporter
4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 750ml bottle into a goblet.

A: pours light coppery orange, hazy, with a light off-white head that dissipated quickly.

S: slight vinegar, but very sour aroma with a little underlying malt.

T: starts with a lemon-like sour flavor, which eventually gives way to a malt sweetness. The finish is a long, dry lingering sour note. upon exploring the sourness a bit more, it is mostly lemon but with a very slight cherry. not a lot of funkiness detected in this which made for a very pleasant and drinkable beer.

M: average to light body, the sourness can be somewhat puckering to the mouth. Carbonation average and maybe slightly low for a Belgian.

D: What a drinkable beer this is. It is very much on the sour side, but makes for a very refreshing drink. Try pairing this with Port Salut cheese. Pure. Heaven. (822 characters)

Photo of MiScusi
4.62/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Golden orange with a big white head, doesn't stick around too long.

S- There is a really nice funk to offset the sourness. Similar to a stinky cheese rind.

T- Sour, yet a light fruitiness to it as well.

M/D- you work a lot of carbonation out of it just by swirling it so much to keep bringing back the aroma but it really offers a nice intese sourness with a good funky bite to it as well. (396 characters)

Photo of grub
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

sampled may 24/08 as part of biegaman's annual summer saison tasting, with a mix of BA/RB represented. biegaman contributed this one. thanks again jan!

750ml bottle, capped and corked. front label says 2005, and the cork+back label say bottled 2007.

pours orangey amber with a small dense white head. the head drops fairly fast and leaves spotty lace behind.

aroma is good. floral, woody - cedar, oak, pine. bit of alcohol. lots of funk. horse blanket. it of leather. cider vinegar. lemon. bit of spice too that i can't quite place but i like.

taste is intense. lots of funk. big blast of sour lemon and malt vinegar. grapefruit. cracker and grain. white bread. hint of caramel, but no trace of accompanying sweetness.

mouthfeel is good. medium very fine carbonation level, well integrated and smooth. medium light body with a bone dry finish.

drinkability is good. the intense sourness makes it a bit of a sipper, but the other elements are balanced well. (962 characters)

Photo of WeisGuy
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Capital Ale House Innsbrook.

a - pours a bright golden color, very hazy, minimal white head with remnants around the edges

s - smells of sour grapes and wild flowers, some light vinegar, not as sour and tart smelling on the nose as many of Cantillon's other offerings,

t - like the nose, there are flavors of sweet then tart grapes up front, a little sour apple, quite earthy and woody with a less pungent sourness and tartness on the midpalate and finish, light vinegar notes, definitely isn't the palate encompassing sour-bomb that other Cantillons tend to be (and which I like), more reserved and subtle

m - I found this beer to have much less carbonation than other lambics, a bit too low, the lower carbonation made it kind of dull-feeling on the palate, I'd like to try this out of the bottle to see if there's more carbonation as other reviewers would seem to indicate, much gentler on the palate than many other lambics because of the more reserved sourness and tartness

d - as noted above, easier on the palate than many lambics, I enjoyed a large tulip no problem, I imagine a 750ml would be about right

Overall, another very nice sour ale from Cantillon. Definitely a different experience from the Kriek and Geueze, as this is more subtle and nuanced. Well worth trying. (1,297 characters)

Photo of Deuane
4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Offered at the 2008 Zeno's Belgian Beer Fest 4/26/08.

A-Honey goledn yellow with a thin white head that dissipates to nothing.

S-Sourness is pronounced and pungent. Very much like a glass of sour grapes...nice.

T-As one would expect this is a sour one! But while the sourness dominates it is amazing to me how balanced it is. Sure it is like a liquid sweet-tart but a totally enjoyable one!

M-Medium-light body. Somewhat thin a fairly unexciting. The carbonation helps keep it interesting.

D-I have some to expect nothing but good to great beers from Cantillon and this one does not disappoint. Gets better with each and every sip. This a a very nice example of style. (673 characters)

Photo of Derek
4.57/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Vintage 2004.

A: Bronze with a fizzy, white head, initially some retention and hints of lace.

S: Earthy, metallic-mineral aroma, cider, tart/acidic aroma. Relatively mild & not overtly funky with subtle hints of barnyard.

T: Tart cider with biscuity malt undertones; metallic-earthiness; very pleasant leather-like quality; crisp tartness that isn't at all puckering.

M: Light to moderate body is well-carbonated, smooth and slightly acidic.

D: Very drinkable for a lambic. (478 characters)

Photo of HopHobo
3.08/5  rDev -27%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

2007 vintage poured into a beer tulip

A-yellow honey colored pour with a respectible finger head that leaves a lacing over time.

S-tart sourness and yeast dominate the smell coming from this bottle...a wild one to be sure.

T&M-Sooo sour...I live in a state that has a great brewery for sour beers (jolly pumpkin) and this beer blows it away as far as sourness goes. Became hard for me to drink as it warmed so much so that I avoided letting it hit the sour sensors on my tongue. A great flavor that can be tasted beyond the sour, but difficult to get to because the sourness is so overpowering.

D-A good beer for the style no doubt about it, very glad I tried this beer, but I doubt I will ever buy it again given the price and some of the difficulties I had drinking it. (775 characters)

Photo of albern
1.76/5  rDev -58.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

This is either the worst Belgian beer I've ever had, or the beer went bad. I popped the cap and beer started to come through the cork. This is a bad sign, and it is possible that the beer just went south somewhere along the bottling process. If not, yikes. The beer pours a slightly frothy head, plenty carbonated, but the smell is rancid vinegar, maybe some safflower, and other tart flowery herbs. The taste was largely undrinkable. Bitter, sour, flower petal bitterness, perfumey, just not at all good. As I said, it is possible the beer went bad on me, which I hope, because otherwise this was a total waste of a ten dollar purchase. (637 characters)

Photo of IBUnit63
3.8/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

100th review!

Vintage 2004 poured from bottle into champagne flute...

Honey-colored, amply-carbonated with yeasty head - slowly dissipates with moderate lacing. Sparkling characteristic provides a nice Champagne aura.

Tartness is very pronounced and pungent - aroma spreads with aid of carbonation quickly - when glass is on table can sense even when stepping away. Yeast and carbonation are very abundant here.

As expected, sour-sour-sour with strong backbone of yeast. Opens up after warming. Tastes very well-made but admittedly not for me. Slight rubber tire aftertaste - oxidation?

Bright, tingly feel and finish; burnt rubber from possible oxidation is off-putting but does not destroy.

Gets better as it warms - again, non for me but a very well-made effort nonetheless. (783 characters)

Photo of JDV
2.78/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottle shared by gueuzelover. Thanks!

Pours a cloudy orange dull color with a spritzy, non-lasting white head. Smell is sour peach, funky barnyard and fruity. Flavor was exceptionally dry to me, with almost no sweetness, and a light sour vinegary character and bland fruity notes than need a little more sweetness to make them pop. Honestly not too impressive flavorwise for me, with a thin dry unsweetened apricot or peach sourness. Unique and while not bad, didn't wow me with its dullness of flavors, complex as they were. (526 characters)

Photo of Goliath
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours an amber color and is cloudy. A thin white head sits on top. Aroma is subtle for a lambic. Typical oak characteristics giving a sour nose. Also a little yeasty. Taste is extremely bitter. Essence of fruit, yeast and wheat is also present. Makes your mouth pucker and water for more. Mouthfeel is on the thin side with a low level of carbonation. Drinkability is fairly low as the tartness will eventually overwhelm the drinker. A nice bottle to share. (457 characters)

Cantillon Iris from Brasserie Cantillon
94 out of 100 based on 464 ratings.