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Cantillon Iris - Brasserie Cantillon

Not Rated.
Cantillon IrisCantillon Iris

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

481 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 481
Hads: 1,954
Avg: 4.26
pDev: 19.48%
Wants: 708
Gots: 450 | FT: 38
Brewed by:
Brasserie Cantillon
Belgium | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 481 | Hads: 1,954
Photo of jakon
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

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Photo of AlexJ
4.17/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My notes say 1996, which means it was bottled in 1999 (right?) Anyway, this well aged beauty pours out murky apricot colored with a thin white head that remains as a thin ring. Quite ugly to look at as mote lambics are.

Aroma is a powerhouse of crushed grape skins and musty rotting orchard fruit. There are notions of festering cut grass and dead horses. Cherry pie laced with vomit. If this was an unfamiliar liquid you would turn away in revulsion but in this respect it's fantastic. Part of the lambic appeal is that you are drinking something foul and wonderful at the same time.

Flavor starts with decaying concord grape skins and vinegar barrel must. It has dark cherry and currant notes with a pit fruit astringency. The barn notes are overpowering as is the cadaverous notion of a body decaying in wood. Why is this good I do not know but it is.

Body is light but leeches into your palate like acid. Light carbonation and the supremely wierd and tart nature make the mouthfeel difficult to assess.

Overall one of the most deliciously strange things I have ever tasted. Masterfull complexity.

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Photo of mmmbeer
4.41/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap in a flute at the Capital Ale House in Richmond, this beer arrives orangey and crystal-clear, with low carbonation and a thin, vanishing head. Smells sour, lactic, tart, and lemony acidic. The flavor adds to this a slight woodiness, medium bitterness, and a delicious, fresh mozzarella character. There is little, if any sweetness, which enhances the extreme dryness of its medium, mildly carbonated body. Very refreshing; assertive, but not overwhelming, and I think the cheesy element to the flavor is a tasty novelty.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

25.4 oz. bottle with a flower on it, 2004 Vintage,

A: Pours a somewhat murky, though the first few pours are clear, amber, with a fizzy white head that hisses as it evaporates, though it leaves a good rim around the glass, satisfying for a lambic.

S: Very tart, not overly funky, though, though there is some barnyard character to it, with a lot of sweet malt.

T: A huge sour note of lactic acid hits you when you first taste the beer, then the complexities start to come in, with a light Brett character of horse blankets and aged cheese. The beer finishes with a very earthy hop note of wet hay, grass, and straw. Very tasty.

M: Very sour, not as sour as Berliner Weisse, but close, I'd reckon a pH of about 3-3.5, slightly vinegary, but still has a lightness about it that makes it real easy to drink, well done.

D: A great lambic beer from Cantillon, I probably won't buy this again due to the price, $18.99 plus tax for a 25.4 ounce bottle, but I'm definitely glad I tried it, an interesting experiment, a 100% malted barley lambic, and it worked.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
4.07/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was rather impressed with this beer, although reading the commercial description I realize that I missed out on some of the flavors injected into the beer (lots of hops and iris). Nonetheless, this beer packs some intense and refreshing sourness that I found very pleasant. If you like gueuze or are into sour, I would definitely recommend this beer.

Appearance was a hazy orange with a head of tiny bubbles. Aroma was lots of great sourness and a candy-sugar sweetness. Flavor was full-on sourness, which reminded me (if memory serves - which it probably doesn't) of the Cantillon Grand Cru I've had before. I also got some sour apple flavor. I didn't taste the hops or iris included in the brew, but enjoyed the taste very much nonetheless. Mouthfeel was astringent (owing to the sourness) and good.

Definitely recommended for those into lambics/gueuze or sour flavors.

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Photo of thierrynantes
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
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 lordofthewiens
4.79/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 750ml bottle poured into a tulip glass. Vintage 2004 on the label, bottled 2006 on the cork. Hazy golden red color with a tiny head and little carbonation. A tart fruity aroma, very earthy. Citrus fruit taste, very sour, yeast, crisp, clean finish. Loved this beer. Could drink it all night if my salivary glands were up to it.

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Photo of Sammy
3.89/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2003 edition. The blonde of lambics. Iris, Iris, fair and graceful in your looks. The smell of the earth, a pleasant mouthfeel. The taste of sweet apple not harsh. And livable sourness. A work of art not to punch a hole through. Satisfying like a very good white wine, 5 for satisfaction.

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Photo of KingG
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375ML bottle. 2004 vintage but bottled in 2006.
Served at cellar temp and poured into my Abbaye des Rocs chalice.

Appearance is good. Nice murky blood orange colored beer with absolutely no head at all. Lighter orange color around the edges.

Smell is very good. Strong and wonderful aromas of tart lemons, funky yeast, horse blanket and a mild hop presence as well.

Taste is good. Starts off with a sharp tart lemon bite with a big dose of sour funk. Acidic but not overly so. Hops are noticeable but are in the background and round out the finish with a nice bitterness. Crafted well and different than your typical lambic flavor.

Mouthfeel is good. Mild dryness for a lambic. Below-average levels of carbonation. Salty and heavy on the palate. Finishes with a slight acidic harshness on the swallow.

Drinkability is very good. Like most good lambics, i can drink this all night.

Overall:
Nice change-of-pace lambic when I'm in the mood for funk but done differently. Certainly not one of the best beers Cantillon makes but without a doubt a very good one. Recommended.

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Photo of gmcfarre
3.5/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750mL corked bottle poured into New Belgian chalice
Cork dated 2005

A - Pours a very cloudy orange/gold color with 1 inch frothy head. Lacing is moderate.

S - Pungeant funky yeast with a tart cider-like scent. A good touch of earthy sourness accompanies.

T & M - Weel carbonated sourness with a light to medium body. Apple cider taste with strong acidity. Kindof weak in the middle, which is disappointing. Funky and interesting with its wild yeast.

D - A bit cloying overall. The kind of beer I want to like, but really have a hard time doing so. Not my favorite lambic, and not too easy to drink or even savor. Alcohol is not a factor.

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Photo of Viggo
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at Goldoraks Post-Mondial tasting 2007, courtesy of Goldorak himself! 2003 vintage!!!

Pours a hazy orange/red, thin white head forms, nice layer, lacing, looks great. Smell is sweet, sour, very acidic, lots of fruits, funky, trademark Cantillon, but more malt in the aroma. Taste is caramel, sourness, very funky and acidic, almost pungent on the tongue, clean bitter finish with more acidity. Mouthfeel is lighter bodied, medium carbonation, nice bitterness, malty, more backbone than most Cantillon, nicely done. Thanks Martin!!

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Photo of blakesell
3.56/5  rDev -16.4%
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.

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Photo of illidurit
4.17/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2004 Vintage.

A: Somewhere between orange and brown, this beer is hazy and forms a 2 finger off white head. No lacing, ok retention. Expected for a lambic.

S: Vinous grapiness, some apple, overtly tart.

T: Funkier than James Brown. Sour, lactic, acidic, but oh so good. Crabapple comes through strong. Kind of winey.

M: Though the head dissipates pretty fast, the carbonation is alive in well in the liquid, though maybe a little subdued from the 3 years it has been aged. As is the norm for gueuzes and lambics, the tart finish begs you to have another sip.

D: 750 mL bottle is easily finished, great refresher for summer.

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Photo of IPAcraig
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One of the beers I brought back from Belgium. Poured into an oversized wine glass. Drinking it while watching My Cousin Vinny


A - Pours a murky golden orange with just a wee bit of carbonation although more than their Gueze.

S - As with most of the Cantillon products, this has hugely funky aroma. However, this has something off in the nose, a gluey sour aroma. With that small critique aside, this does smell pretty good, smells of an earthy barnyard tartness.

T - Hugely sour, with a big acidic flavor. I was especting a bit more hoppiness from this one, but the hop bitterness is very slight. A big earthy extremely tart Lambic.

M - More carbonated than the average Lambic, very light mouthfeel.

D - It may be tough to finish the 750ml by myself, the tartness is huge.

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Photo of LBS15
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2004 Vintage metal cap and cork


A: beautiful peachy/orange. Slightly weak lace however.


S: Brilliant hop aroma with slight touches of oak, yeasty and definite citrus notes.


T: Very very tart but not in a bad way at all. The tart hits you right up front with a slightly yeasty mid palate. The hops help firm up a dry finish.


M: Quite nice. The tart shoots you in the jaw but the it is very refreshing.


D: Not very drinkable as a session beer obviously. I had no prob. getting my two wine glasses down, but i dont think i would go past that.

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Photo of akorsak
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 75 cL corked and capped bottle.

A: The ale is an amber orange color, quite brilliant as light shines through. The head was large on pour and disappeared rather quickly.

S: The beer smells like a stable, full of funky wet hay elements. Some tart green apple and grape aromas round it out.

T: An intense bitterness, full of brettanomyces and other gamey natural vermin. That tartness masks a rather strong hop presence that is earthy and quite bitter. That bitterness nicely compliments the tartness of the body. Finally, some of the grape and apple tartness of the nose comes through, adding a certain sweetness that helps to offset the impressive tartness.

M: Tart, this beer will make you pucker up! The finish is quite dry, forcing you to reach for another sip.

D: This style is not my favorite, the acrid tartness is too intense for my likes. My wife though, she loves this stuff. Crazy!

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Photo of rallison
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2004 Bottle. Curious to try this, as it's the only Cantillon to be brewed with hops.

A: Slightly cloudy golden amber color with a 1/2 finger white head that mostly ends up disappearing.

S: Tart apple cider mostly with a bit of a white wine like character.

T: Tasty! Of course, you get the tasty tart apple cider sort of flavors, although it's also not nearly as intense as some sour beers. This is followed by a nice fruitiness - very vinous and grapelike. Tis a perfect warm afternoon beer, and a great intro to the style. Hops are mostly overwhelmed by the sour aspects, but are apparent in the slightly citric taste of this beer - of course, the hops have likely mellowed being a 2004 vintage.

M: Very nice. Good carbonation level to give it a bit of a bite, but still lets the flavors shine.

D: Hmmm, how to rate this? Always tough for a lambic, as they are generally beers that I couldn't session. Well, for the style, I have to give this pretty good marks.

Recommended. A nice, unblended lambic. Well done, Cantillon.

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Photo of dmbfrat420beers
3.98/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in 2004

Slightly hazy pale orange with centimeter white head that dissipates fairly quickly. Nice hue, and the lack of head retention is standard for the style.

Sharp and crisp, not as musty as I have come to expect from Cantillon. Notes of grape fruit and grape.

Flavor is similar to a white wine, with lots of sour and tart notes, grapes and a sharpness akin to cheddar.

Good carbonation up front, settles in a smooth medium bodied feel with a dry finish.

Anyone that can overcome the sourness should find this a highly drinkable beer.

I don’t know if I would take this beer over their Kriek or the blended Gueze, but a delicious beer from a superb brewery.

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Photo of steorn
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

vintage 2001 opened 2007

My patience finally ran out after sitting on this one for about 4 years
Solid pop! as the cork is removed. Instant horse barn,vegetable,but
with a sweetnes too.

Pours a bright orange-gold color with plenty of fizzy head.
Poured into a large champagne style flute,great presentation.

The first sip is all lambic.Musty yet lively with a great fizz.
Unlike the last time I met Iris there is a definite honey sweetness under
the usual Cantillon flavors.
Great mouthfeel,just enough carbonation without thinning it out.
Six years in the bottle has served this beer well. The aftertaste just gently lingers,begging me to drink more.

A very drinkable beer for me in spite of its high acidity.
The further into the bottle the better the flavors blend and balance.
Wow

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Photo of shbobdb
3.77/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hmmm . . . I've had this beer before, but where? Ahh, yes, the De Proef Flemish Primitive Series!

What, blasphemy, you say? Not in the slightest. What a difference wheat makes, coupled with some hops, eh? This beer has the distinctive 'dead grandmother' taste found in the De Proef beers, with a nice earthy hop presence and just a hint of a lactic twang at the end. But this beer is much less sour than standard Cantillon fair.

A very interesting beer, to say the very least.

But let's get down to the specifics -- it pours a hazy bronze/orange with less bubbly than I'm used to in a gueuze (which isn't surprising, since it isn't a gueuze) and shockingly poor head-retention.

It smells strongly of rotting corpses and sour apples.

The taste continues the theme of the smell, with the corpse predominating followed by apricots and granny smith apples. There is a surprisingly hoppy finish -- tastes like an earthy continental hop to me, but I can't be sure which one, mingled with a very slight lactic edge.

The mouthfeel is quite thin, probably due to the lack of bubbly. Not unpleasant, mind you, but I think some added acidity from the carbonation would have helped the finish on this beer, as well as flesh it out a little. And this is with the 1900 Grand Cru being one of my favourite beers! So it isn't just a general aversion to lack of carbonation.

The drinkability on this beer is good. A strange experiment to be sure, and I guess the dead grandmother taste doesn't just come from brett, but rather brett's interaction with either the hops or the absence of wheat . . . or some other variable I'm not considering.

An interesting brew, but I'd rather have either gotten their gueuze (which I think tastes better) or a Flemish Primitive (which I think tastes similar, but at half the cost). But no regrets on purchasing it! And at $20 a bottle, that is saying something!

Bottled in: 2005
Drank: Early 2007

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Photo of GClarkage
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

03/28/07- Purchased at Plumpjack's in San Francisco, CA.

Presentation- 750ml bottle sealed in foil, capped and corked. Vintage 2005 on the cork. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Deep orange colored pour. Maybe a bit rust like. Clouded yeasty pour. Minor rim of a head upon pour. Light spots of lace remain and drip down the sides of the glass.

Smell- Not as much funk as would like, but a nice tart and sour grassy and fruity nose. Can't really pick up what fruit though. Maybe lemon?

Taste- Tart, but not outrageously tart as some of the other Cantillon brews I have had. A nice mixture of lemon, orange and grapefruit sour medly.

Mouthfeel- Makes you salivate for more. Good tartness and next to no carbonation.

Drinkability- Excellent output from Cantillon. Maybe my favorite of the bunch to date.

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Photo of Iguana
4.73/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this tonight on-tap at Concordia Ale House in Portland, OR. Was served in snifter glass. Came a golden orange with no head but some carbonation fizzling up. Smell is some tartness and white wine grapes. Taste was simply amazing, tart, hints of honey and chardonnay. Mouthfeel is slightly sweet and tart and really pleasant. Drinkability may not be great for some people, but i was amazed at how great this was. I could have drank this stuff all night.

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Photo of stephendr
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
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 Gavage
4.14/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear yellowish orange color. 1/2" head lingers a bit before falling to some surface bubbles. No lacing develops.

Smell: yeast, barnyard funk, sour fruits and overall muskiness fills the nasal passage.

Taste: the flavors follow the nose as yeast, muskiness, sour green apples, honey sweetness, hints of oak woodiness, and some light alcohol tones make up an interesting dry lambic.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Smooth and dry throughout. Brief bold aftertaste sticking towards muskiness and sour apples.

Drinkability: a pleasant slow sipping lambic that some may be turned off by, but this grow on you. Pretty easy to quaff.

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Photo of Phatz
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation: a 12 ounce heavy bottle with foil cork and cap.

Allowed to warm and served in a Flute glass.

Appearance: Pours a soft orange amber color with a think white head in my Brooklyn Flute glass. When the head fades there is no notable lacing.

Smell: Musty sour lemon aroma with strong suggestion of old wood barrels, and hints of the yeast and Lambic funk.

Taste: Wow! I Love it!! I was expecting much more intense than this. It is tart yes but somehow it seems even less intense than the Cantillon Kriek. This is smooth and easy sour. With an apple cider acidity and dark dryness. but there it also a level of depth, with Muscat grapes and woodiness (vinous) and a sweetness that came out long after the beer is swallowed and the sour fades the aftertaste continues to shine.

Mouthfeel: Perfectly dry with just the right acidity and sour to make me smack my lips and salivate for more long after each swallow.

Drinkability: As a sour beer fan, I loved this one. It is up there with, if not even better than Vigneronne. WOW. I need to get more of this stuff. If only the 750s were less than $17.99 I'd be drinking this beer every night. That said, this style is not a transition beer. This is an acquired taste, I love.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

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Cantillon Iris from Brasserie Cantillon
95 out of 100 based on 481 ratings.