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Cantillon Iris - Brasserie Cantillon

Not Rated.
Cantillon IrisCantillon Iris

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

481 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 481
Hads: 1,952
Avg: 4.26
pDev: 9.62%
Wants: 708
Gots: 448 | 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: 1,952
Photo of tempest
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2005 Vintage.
Bottled 2007.

Picked up a short green bottle for about $8. This lambic is a bit unusual for it hop character and all-malt grain bill, but it's a nice change of pace. The aroma begins the drink with a mix of musty leather and orange blossom, and the flavor is dominated by a pleasant lemon-lime juice. Tangy sour candy notes dot the edges of the palate, while orange rind and grapefruit hops provide a mild bitterness. This is an excellent lambic and a bit wine-like for white-wine lovers. Highly recommended and worth the money every once and a while.

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Photo of tmoneyba
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle cap & corked from Dilly Deli.

Poured hazy yellow color with an minimal frothy off-white head that mostly lasted with fair lacing.

Moderate sour yeasty raw wet woody aroma.

Light to medium body with a tingly texture.

Medium sour citrus flavor with a medium bitter finish of moderated duration.

This is a standout beer for style.

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

Cantillon Iris, Vintage 2005, courtesy of proteus93 - thanks! Split three ways w/ proteus and dkachur, w/ my portion poured into a brandy snifter.

Appearance: Pours an incredibly hazy, turgid golden yellow, dirty and gross, with no head of which to speak and only a very thin, fine-bubbled collar of off-white bubbles. Not unreasonable for the style, but I can't say it's pleasant to look at.

Aroma: Fruity and funky as hell, though only slightly sour. Cherry notes and apple skins, tossed around in a barn. The earthy funky horseblanket is intense in this one, and the sourness - though delicate and well-blended - has a slight acidic, vinegary quality. Pretty good, nonetheless.

Taste: Sour funk. 'Nuff said. There are very few notes here other than that. Acidic, only slightly-fruity tartness, all-encompassing, though not really overpowering. That is, it's not as flavorful as I'd like, either up front or any other way. Slightly disappointing.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, due to the sourness, but in a thick blanket. Overall, it's a little less lively than I'd expected or would like, though not bad, as it is incredibly soft and delicate.

Drinkability: If you like the aforementioned sour funk, it's quite possible that you'll enjoy this brew immensely - I just didn't find it too terribly complex, unfortunately. I can appreciate what it was and what it was trying to be however, and that, coupled with the low alcohol, makes me think that it must be pretty drinkable.

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

Shared bottle provided by Eyedrinkale.

Poured a medium hazy amber color with a white head. Aromas of mustiness, peachy, with sour apples. Tastes of the same funky/mustiness, green apples, and citrus. Tart with a light sweet finish. I enjoyed this one.

Notes from: 12/11/04

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Photo of ricke
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2006. Bottled in 2008.

Serving date: 2009-01-10.

Served in snifter.

Presentation: 750 ml bottle, corked and capped. Bottling date and freshness date on label (Bottled 2008-05-26, best before 2015-12). Some information about the production process on the back.

Appearance: The pour is golden/copper - almost reddish - and semi-clear. The color of this brew is very appealing. The white, 1 cm head is lively but quickly dissipates leaving a minimal ring of lacings. The head is not as big as anticipated (perhaps due to the chosen glassware).

Smell: The smell is rather complex: Scents of unripe green apples sit side by side with hints of grapefruit, and in the other corner vinegar tags up with a faint funky smell. Amazing smell.

Taste: The taste is even more complex than the smell. Where to start, where to start... First of all, this is a very sour beer. Sourness and tartness thus being its main characteristics. Tastes of especially lemon, but lime, are up-front and linger on throughout the experience. A fruity character of unripe green apples and grapefruits is also prominent. Vinegar also reappears in the taste, but is not as dominant as in the smell. A faint hint of yeast is also detectable. Subtle hints of a funky barnyard taste adds an interesting tension to the taste of the concoction. The very long finish is primarily sour and a bit dry.

Mouthfeel: The body is medium. Carbonation is good. The sourness sends a tickling feeling to the cheeks, which is a pleasant sensation.

Drinkability: I really like lambics and in my opinion this is a really good beer. The distinct sourness actually doesn't become overwhelming, even though the bottle is 750 ml. A highly recommended brew.

NOTE: I'm going to cellar a bottle of this for a year or two, and see how it turns out cellared.

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Photo of hwwty4
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2004.

Poured sparingly into my Koningshoeven goblet. This beer pours a hazy, muddled, orange with a thin inch head that left no lacing and no retention. The aroma is extremely tart, citric with orange and lemon zest. White wine vinegar, and bit of apple, and a whole lot of funkiness. The flavor is very citric and funky. I don't know if you can make vinegar out of lemon juice, but if you can I would imagine it would have some similarities to this. Also there are a whole lot of earthy undertones. The mouthfeel is very dry, leaving a very tart flavor on the palate. I really enjoy this beer but I find it very hard to drink a 750ml by myself. This is definitely a beer to share among several people.

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Photo of deliriumfest
3.83/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed on 1/9/09

2006 Vintage, bottled in 2008; 750 ml bottle

Served well chilled and poured into a champagne flute. Pours a nice copper color with a foamy white head. Has a very sour/funky aroma with a bit of citrus and very little fruit. The taste replicates the smell but also includes a barnyard taste and no real fruit or sweetness. Very little carbonation and a light body concludes with a dry finish. Easily drinkable though incredible tartness could be perceived as a turn off. Wish I would have bought a smaller bottle but would definitely try again.

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Photo of Proteus93
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2005 vintage, picked up in New York and held onto for a special night. Split with dkachur and CrellMoset. Cap had a fair bit of rust under the wrappe, which I don't believe to have been caused by

A: A deep orangish-amber... rich and deep. Can't see through it, but it's not due to fog or haziness. A big, foamy white head. Retention is decent, not much for lacing.

S: A tartness, but not the standard fruitiness that is often found in sours. The funk is definitely there, and a fair bit of barnyard aroma. There are some citrus hints in there. Quite delicate and nice.

T: Grapefruit, but not sweetened at all. Quite a big horsey flavour going on. Some hints of sour apple and the like, but just not very fruity. Quite an intriguingly tart beer, without the sweet edge I'm used to.

M + D: A mellow carbonation, no real bite or sting at all. A bit of a tingly foaminess, giving way to a moderate body that finishes remarkably dry. Quite an interesting brew... I'm quite glad to have tried it and would be more than happy to go about having it again were it to cross my path.

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

Had this on tap at the Malthouse in Madison.

Yellow pour, gold-orange tint, with white head that disappeared quickly-yeah this is some acidic stuff. The aroma is pure sour funk, unripe fruit-lemon, apple, pear, vinegar. I now really understand barnyard funk, the faint fresh cut grass scent is inviting.

Taste follows, viscous acid taste-vinegar, tart lemon and grass. Dry and mouth puckering, slight unripe cherry taste. Nice and dry with strong carbonation, lively.

I am not a huge fan of lambics, but I do have some experience with them. This is one of the best unblended I've had. Quite refreshing and complex, but like nearly all lambics it's one and done.

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

I'm going to note for the record, this is a tough beer to review. It's like drinking liquid sadness, and applying a blow torch to your tongue. In a good way.

Pours a golden yellow. Surprisingly long lasting white foam head. Smells like ... unripe apples/pears, and a bunch of vinegar/lemon/citrus. Damn, it even smells sour.

The taste is amazingly sour. Just insane vinegar, lemon, barnyard funk, and a bunch of unripe fruit flavors. I love sours, and this hit the spot, although there is a strange current running through it I didn't like ... very hard to identify, and it was very subtle, but almost a rotten (in a bad way) fruit tone.

Mouthfeel was lively.

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Photo of BeerTruth
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml corked bottle poured into a tulip.

Vintage 2005, bottled in 2007.

Pours a semi-clear sunset orange with a big 'ol two finger fluffy white head that quickly dies down to a thin layer of fluff. Virtually nothing in terms of stickiness, if anything, a possible spot here or there. Good god this is a sour beast. Grass, lemon, and vinegar explode in the nose with some sour apple underneath. A very powerful aroma overall, but in a good way. Taste begins, well, pretty tart. Lip smaking grapefruit and white grapes with some crisp hay underneath. Vinegar and lemongrass midway with a hint of unripe cherries. Aftertaste is pretty earthy and dry with leather and dust flavors on the tongue. Light and dry body with a big puckering mouthfeel. Pretty strong carbonation but it fits very well with the style. The abv is pretty low, but the crazy tartness is a bit much for my tastebuds. Not bad, but the price tag is a bit of a turnoff.

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Photo of magictrokini
3.78/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2005 vintage. This is the first unblended lambic I've tried. Pours hazy orange-gold with a bubbly white head that quickly disappears. Musty aroma of yeast, lemon, apple, spice, and old wood. Taste is fruity, citrus sweet up front, but instantly turns into a dank acidic sourness with an apple wine/vinegar bite. As it warmed the sourness lightened up just a bit. Dry, sweet finish akin to a Flemish.

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Photo of slayer3604
4.97/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- golden amber, with nice sticky foam thats forms a 2 finger head, and settles to a ring of white foam on the sides of teh glass with small traces of lacing.

S- I can tell this beast is going to be sour, it has lemon, brown sugar, little bit of funk and its RICH. i can smell this thing even when its not by my face.

T- Extremely sour, sending tinges of acidity to the back of my jaw, lots of lemon peel, buttery on my teeth and tounge, with a rich ripe semi dry finish. Lots of cloying sour notes. awesome. awesome.

M- Very well balanced body, with a lot to discover every time you take a sip. The acidity and prolonged finish make this an epic beer.

D- At 19 bucks a bottle, its kind of steep, but i cant think of any other beer i'd rather have with key lime pie. hands down best cantillon ive tried.

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Photo of wheelinshirt
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I find lambics to be very difficult to rate and review, but here goes. Poured from a 375 mL corked and capped mini-champagne bottle into a flute and split with a friend. $7.75 from Abe's in Bethlehem. Not really sure what to expect from an unblended lambic brewed with fresh hops. 2005 Vintage

Color is mostly clear orange gold, small head, fairly poor retention and no lacing. I guess all the acidity really kills the bubbles. Really nice color, though.

Smell is sour, tart and vinegary, obviously. This beer is fairly fresh for a lambic, but it is three years old and I think any hop aroma has faded.

Taste is sour but lacking in complexity. It tastes different from the other sours I have had, can't quite put my finger on it so I will chalk it up to hop bitterness. I wish I could describe it more helpfully.

Mouthfeel is nice, crisp, puckering. No complaints.

Drinkability is pretty high. I couldn't slam pint after pint of it, but that's not really the point. I could easily finish the small bottle myself, but what is the fun in that. Highly recommended as something different for fans of sours.

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Photo of peabody
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a really cloudy yellow amber with 1/2 finger of white small suds. Not a lot of lacing here.
Smell is sour lemons and grapefruit rind with a strong yeast aroma. Very sharp and spicey.
Taste is grapefruit dry sour with a very bitter grassy aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is a little dirty but leaves some nice oaky notes. The last sweet aftertaste is just wonderful.
Drinkability is good here. I like this beer from Cantillon. They can do no wrong.

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle, foiled and corked, poured into a flute glass. Vintage 2005.

A: Pours a clear, light amber copper and topped with a fizzy, pure white head that fades into a thin cap but the acidity in this beer makes me think head retention was a near impossibility, but what it does give off is pretty while it lasts; very rocky and there is even a bit of lacing clinging to the glass after a few more sips. The ropes of carbonation bubbling up from this glass is truely something to behold, looks like a dark champagne.

S: Oak, lemon zest mixed with a slight bit of grapefruit juice. It's really tough to put a finger on just what it is I am smelling here because it's more than just this. There is a certain kind of freshness/tartness that is mixing in with these other aromas and giving some additional character to this beer.

T/MF: Woody, hay-like, barn yard, horse blanket, all those other adjectives like that, that you might want to throw at this beer and they would all stick. I know it's lame but I think I'm in France when I am drinking this, it tastes much more like champagne than any beer I've ever tried. But there is more here than just simple funk, layered behind these dominate flavors hides fruity characteristics, grapefruit and lemon, but cherry also works its way into this beer as well. The finish is something akin to champagne as well, but without that trademark sweetness. This beer finishes with a strong oaky and pine finish with a strong hit of brett all the way though. I would not call this beer overly sour, tart to be sure but nothing off the charts, and this is what I think makes the beer truly great. Mouthfeel is excellent as well, apart from the bright bits of bubbly carbonation this beer always displays an excellent chewiness, it has a wonderfully substansive quility to it as it rests on the tongue and continues on long after the finish.

D: Amazing, holds up well after a number of years and I would assume, years to come. Incredible complexity, wonderful taste and fell and not too sour to give you heartburn. This beer demands attention and it should be given its due. A beer that I would gladly return to or give to someone else who is interested in getting into beers of this style.

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Photo of neenerzig
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes seeing as how I drank this 8 days ago now.

Served to me in a goblet. This beer is a sort of hazy medium copper/amber color that reminds me of apple juice, only this one is a bit darker. No head or lacing at all here. The nose has a tarty, floral hop presence along with some oak. Was this beer aged in oak barrels? Has a very sour flavor with some green apple and tart along with the floral hops. Has a crisp, smooth mouthfeel with light carbonation and a light to medium bodied mouthfeel. Fairly easy to drink. Never had a lambic like this one before and I liked this one quite a bit.

Eric

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Photo of JBogan
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

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Photo of SiphonKing
4.17/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

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Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

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Photo of russpowell
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
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

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Photo of rye726
4.68/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

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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.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
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?

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Photo of Antilochus
4.92/5  rDev +15.5%
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.

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