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Cantillon Iris - Brasserie Cantillon

Cantillon IrisCantillon Iris

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

1,146 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1146
Reviews: 434
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 9.68%


Brewed by:
Brasserie Cantillon visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Lambic - Unblended |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: TheLongBeachBum on 12-05-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 1,146 | Reviews: 434 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Slatetank
Slatetank

Pennsylvania

3.63/5  rDev -16.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2011 12:50:34 | More by Slatetank
Photo of stakem
stakem

Pennsylvania

3.83/5  rDev -11.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2011 16:43:13 | More by stakem
Photo of aasher
aasher

Indiana

4/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2011 03:53:36 | More by aasher
Photo of eric5bellies
eric5bellies

Australia

4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy ornage colour witha tight White head that laces and retains.

S - Plenaty of funk and tartness, a little citrus and wood as well.

T - Nice balance of citrus, and woodyness with some barnyard funky sourness. The balance is very good indeed.

M - Medium body and light to medium carbonation.

O - One of the most drinkable sours around

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2011 13:37:18 | More by eric5bellies
Photo of cjacobsen
cjacobsen

Illinois

4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to sweemzander for cracking this one open!

Vintage 2007

(A) Clean orange color, almost like it was electric. Adequate white head that hangs around for the duration of the beer.

(S) Smells sour and tart. Lemon and limes with a touch of orange. Bit of funk present.

(T) Taste had a decent amount of funk in it. Citric acid and a bit of vinegar. Sourness is big.

(M) Tart but very smooth. Light body.

(O) It's always tough for me to review sours like these as the taste is so simple and delicious and refreshing. There isn't a whole lot going on in the taste and it's not a very complex beer, but it sure is quite amazing.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2011 12:49:50 | More by cjacobsen
Photo of AleWatcher
AleWatcher

Illinois

4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2011 18:34:18 | More by AleWatcher
Photo of oline73
oline73

Maryland

3.9/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I had this poured from the bottle into a flute at Teresa's Next Door.

Appearance: Pours a mostly clear amber with hardly any head.

Smell: Quite sour with strong herbal notes. There is a mild sweetness that is accompanied by some fruit notes.

Taste: Sourness dominates. There is a mild malt background with some fruity notes. The finish is bitter and funky.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and a finish that is a bit dry. This beer
almost flat.

Overall: I thought this beer was just ok as far as sours go. It was smooth, but I didn't find it to be very interesting.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2011 23:26:16 | More by oline73
Photo of KickInTheChalice
KickInTheChalice

Illinois

3.35/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2006 Vintage. Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a tasting glass.

Appearance: The pour is a golden caramel color with a delicate white head. A few spots of lace stick to the glass.

Smell: Lilac, some hay, and a good amount of barnyard funk provide the base of the aroma. An omnipresent sour aroma is there as well.

Taste: The taste is both fairly sour and also brashly bitter. These two sensations together are not very pleasant. There is a lemon zest sour flavor to go with the light malts, but as the flavor transitions to bitterness I feel like I am chewing on flowers. Overall it is a tart, funky, and flowery taste.

Mouthfeel: The body has dried out a fair amount while retaining a light oiliness. Medium bodied with light to medium carbonation.

Overall: This combination of flavors really did not do it for me. I prefer their other sours.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2011 19:36:10 | More by KickInTheChalice
Photo of BMoldy
BMoldy

New York

4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2011 15:10:32 | More by BMoldy
Photo of ThaCreep
ThaCreep

Belgium

4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden bronze. Tannic nose reminiscent of an unblended lambic but more mature. Once in the mouth, we get also this, that we are not to a bad end product and not intended for consumption.

In flavor, it perceives the roughness of the wood and the acidity of wood but with the addition of a touch of malted barley (with a small light caramel taste), which increases the complexity of the drink without altering the balance. The finish is acid, but retained, and the tannic side continues to be a nice way.

Unblended lambic a much more convincing than the Bruoscella, by far.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2011 21:40:15 | More by ThaCreep
Photo of onefalsemove711
onefalsemove711

California

4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2007, Bottled 15 December, 2010.

Bottle poured into an oversized wine glass.

A - Deep golden copper with a one finger head that dissipates relatively quickly to a silky white lace that lingers about for quite awhile.

S - Sour cherries and yeast with subtle citrus and floral notes.

T - Sour cherry, bitter orange and spicy hops.

M - Great carbonation and body really adding to a very enjoyable mouthfeel.

O - A very intriguing and complex ale that really kept me on my toes from the word go. My first Cantillon experience and I really enjoyed! I will definitely be seeking out Iris and any other Cantillon offerings that I can get my hands on.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2011 04:30:35 | More by onefalsemove711
Photo of birchstick
birchstick

Colorado

4.05/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 Edition; bottled 2010

A - pours an orangeish faint copper / caramel color with a really nice head that dissipates as the beer settles

S - smells of citric acids, honey, a little funk, and white grapes with oak tones

T - starts off with fresh lemon on the front of the tongue. This fades to a caramelized honey flavor throughout the middle of the palate. There was also a touch of bitterness coming through. Iris ends how it started - citricly sour. Not as mouth puckering as other Cantillons I have tried, however this is still pretty damn sour. Pretty solid!

M - thin and dry with a modicum of carbonation

D - Another winner from Cantillon. After reading some previous reviews I was expecting a different beer than what poured out of my bottle. As previously stated, not as sour as other Cantillons, but another quality product. I have one more in the cellar and am anxious to see what time does this one.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2011 23:54:02 | More by birchstick
Photo of match1112
match1112

Illinois

3.78/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: cloudy yellowish orange in color with a full finger head that quickly disappears.

s: fruits and yeast with a touch of vinegar.

t: enough tart fruits to make you pucker. with an overly vinegar finish.

m: tart and crisp with a tongue tingling vinegary acidic finish.

o: an alright beer, not my favorite wild ale. probably wont buy again unless someone wants one in a trade.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2011 00:59:07 | More by match1112
Photo of DearthVader
DearthVader

California

3.98/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 Vintage split with my girlfriend and brother. This was made possible thanks to the generosity of LSUPT. Thanks again for this Alex.

Poured into my Fantome tulip.

It pours a beautiful burnt yellow that gets brighter towards the center of the glass. A Ron of carbonation in this one which creates the billowing 2 finger off white head. The head sticks around for quite some time which I am nor use to with the style. Very nice.

Smell is a little underwhelming. The oak characteristic was the most prevalent feature. It overwhelmed the sour aromas and all the mashed fruits that were in this.

The taste is sour upfront. The sourness bleeds into some wonderful grape, apple, peach, and apricot flavors. The oak is very noticeable late in the sip.

Could drink this stuff all day. Nice and creamy mouthfeel that is still light bodied and very inviting.

My second chance with a Cantillon. They continue to live up to the hype.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2011 03:59:48 | More by DearthVader
Photo of jm1229
jm1229

California

4.1/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

4th review on BA. 2007 Vintage opened up on 8/4/11 into my Duvel tulip. My first Cantillon beer! Extremely excited. Let's get to it!

A- Lively carbonation on this one as expected. It pours a cloudy, murky rust-orange. Darker than I thought it would be for 5%, but looks ready to be enjoyed. No lacing on the glass.

S- Smells rather sour. Lots of sourness. Apples? Grapes? Can't quite put my finger on it, but I really want to taste it.

T- Sour. Funky. Oaky. I was right about the grapes and apples, they're there for sure. Really tasty and I can't find it in myself to put it down.

M- Carbonation is nice and coats the palate rather nicely. Really nice and light.

O- Nothing really overwhelming about this beer, but as a whole, it really comes together wonderfully. A great introduction to Cantillon and I can't wait to try the others when I get my hands on them.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2011 21:48:33 | More by jm1229
Photo of Spider889
Spider889

Ohio

3.75/5  rDev -13.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2011 07:02:15 | More by Spider889
Photo of Cmack15
Cmack15

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Does Cantillon make a bad beer, I think not!
Appearance: nice light golden color, like a ray of sunlight

Aroma: sourness, barnyard funk, with a hint of the oak

Taste: sour, funk, but some bright clean notes too little sweetness comes through too. finishes dry

Mouthfeel: awesome, carbonation is great and feels nice and light. cleans your palate

Another great beer from one of the best breweries in the world
Cheers

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2011 02:32:08 | More by Cmack15
Photo of billshmeinke
billshmeinke

California

4.08/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 33cl bottle. Poured into a wine glass.

Pours a honey golden color with straw yellow highlights. Hazy with evidence of lively carbonation. Half a finger white head that dies down to a ring on the edges of the glass. Really pretty looking.

Smells of hay, funk, a mild horse blanket note, quite floral and a touch spicy, some earthiness. Iris is an apt name considering how floral and perfumey the bouquet is.

Mostly acidic, lemony sourness up front with a husk like breadiness, then balsamic inegar, accompanied by a light resiny and spicy bitter finish. Lingering balsamic vinegar, rose petals, and bitterness. Quite a lasting finish.

Mouthfeel is light, spritzy, well carbonated and champagne like. Quite tart, but not too throat rapey. Low end of tartness for a Cantillon.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2011 17:15:47 | More by billshmeinke
Photo of harrymel
harrymel

Washington

3.88/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2004
Served to me at delirium cafe, brussels.

A: bottle has appeared to be in a place with lots of soil as I can rub the label and it feels like man hands at the end of a day of landscaping - rough and granular. The beer pours a turbid and hazy honey color. Having been poured with vigor, bubbles appeared at the surface, but transiently. No lacing.

S: tart lemons come thru with some interesting earthy and bell pepper tones. Some cider vinegar and also some anise seed at the tippy tip of the tail.

T: zinga! Sour beer! This is so sour it burns the roof of my mouth, gangster. Flavors of sweaty leather, lemons, potting soil, sheet grass.

M: thin and dry, nearly no carb left here. As mentioned, top of mouth was burning and at the end, my tongue was quite raw.

O: although this may be the sourest beer I've had, which is awesome, I don't think this beer was particularly great for cantillon. Although still very good, and I would drink again and again.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2011 19:37:06 | More by harrymel
Photo of RedHaze
RedHaze

Nebraska

4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 3/8/2011, 750ml.

Pours bright amber, with a two finger head that settles quickly to a thin scattered patches of foam and ring. Lacing is minimal, but what I've some to expect from Cantillon.

Smell; much more fruity than I was expecting. Citrus fruits, white grapes and sour apples. Fresh herbs and mild funk.

Taste; tart and sour right out of the gates, but as it warms the fruitiness really starts to step up. Lemons and orange peel, sour green apples, tangy white grapes meld with a grassy/herbal quality. Mixed with the fruit flavors the sourness never really becomes overly dominant, making this very easy drinking.

Mouthfeel is light, leaning jut a touch toward medium bodied with a nice crisp, palate cleansing carbonation.

Overall; sour and just a touch funky, but full of fruity hops that just beg for another sip. This is maybe the easiest drinking Cantillon I've had so far, and I would suggest this to anyone who was starting to delve a little deeper into sour beers.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2011 02:48:36 | More by RedHaze
Photo of jibbyvonjibb
jibbyvonjibb

California

4.2/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

bottle @ La Brocante, Brussels

brewed 11/13/2009
bottled 3/8/2011

A: Amber color. Almost completely clear. Little head and a lack of bubbles makes me conclude that this is relatively uncarbonated. Looking at the bottle date (2 months ago), I assume it probably needs to age for a few more months.

S: Some sweet fruit, like apricots or pears. Funk barely present (again, too fresh).

T: Dried apricots. Some sweetness (very slight) perceptible. Only slightly sour, with a clean aftertaste. Little astringency.

M: Flat. Light body.

O: It's definitely a unique lambic, probably due to it being made only with barley (traditionally ~30% wheat is used) and fresh hops (traditionally aged). It is pleasurable but flavors are a bit subdued. Again, this might be because it was bottled recently, and I would love to try a more aged one. Overall, not my favorite Cantillon, but still good.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2011 19:18:53 | More by jibbyvonjibb
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

4.08/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Excessive head: a quarter bottle (12.7 oz) filled a 24 oz glass with foam. It settles quickly in a dome-like way, leaving nearly no lace. The brew is dark amber and fully cloudy. A softer second pour resulted in half foam, half liquor.

Sweet and sour as one might expect. On the sweet side, there's caramelized sugar and faint flowers. On the sour side, I detect mild citrus and some yeast.

The flavor is overtly tart. Lip puckeringly strong. The finish is a dry bitterness--I don't think it's from any hops. No notable sweetness; this comes across like an unsweetened lemonade. The body is full while the carbonation is surprisingly light. If you like your lambics overly sour, then you'll love this one. Perhaps the sourest beer I've ever had.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2011 20:41:19 | More by smcolw
Photo of megahurts4
megahurts4

Louisiana

4.13/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cantillon Iris 2007

Appearance: dark orange, small head, and very good lacing.

Smell: oak and sourness.

Taste: mild sourness with a tad of skunkiness and spices.

Mouthfeel: medium-light.

Overall:
This goes down as a very mild sour. The flavors are subtle, yet very nice.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2011 05:44:23 | More by megahurts4
Photo of mltobin
mltobin

Connecticut

4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle picked up at a small store, 2007 vintage.

Appearance is a nice orange tone, bright, with quite a bit of cloudiness. There was an off-white head, that did not sit atop for too long. Upon sipping Iris, right away the sour element hits your palate. Some of the specific flavors are vinegar, tart lemon, straw. MF is low-med with good carbonation. This offering from Cantillon is quite nice... well worth your time and money.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2011 23:37:11 | More by mltobin
Photo of dragonWhale
dragonWhale

New York

3.5/5  rDev -19.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2011 04:35:03 | More by dragonWhale
Cantillon Iris from Brasserie Cantillon
96 out of 100 based on 1,146 ratings.