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Cantillon Iris - Brasserie Cantillon

Cantillon IrisCantillon Iris

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

1,136 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1136
Reviews: 433
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: 1,136 | Reviews: 433 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-25-2007 20:18:20 | More by Gavage
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Phatz

Pennsylvania

4.53/5  rDev +4.4%
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!

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2007 06:25:25 | More by Phatz
Photo of dbalsock
dbalsock

Vermont

4.28/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Almost clear light amber with a good, balanced white head (good retention too). There was no lacing on thet glass which was nice, and the carbonation looked alright.

Smell: Oaky, flowery (similar to an Iris actually), honeysuckley, pungent cheese, peaches and some tropical fruits. It also picks up smells from the air really well.

Taste: Sharp cheese, like a good cheddar, sublter oakness than from the taste. These mix nicely with the flower taste and honeysuckle.

Mouthfeel: Sour like a lambic and sharp like good cheddar with the slightest bitterness to round it out. The little carbonation balances the light body.

Drinkability: This is definitely a celebratory beer, but I could give this a go fairly often with the right food pairing.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2007 17:15:20 | More by dbalsock
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scott

Ohio

4.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

V.05 per cork
Sublime golden-hued flute of a thousand bubbles. Great head.
Aroma was peculiar, but so inviting. Rich. Complex. Beastie.
Awesome flavor of many complexions. But, to my dismay, the "tart funk" was rather subdued. I was hoping for a pucker, but I could drink this all day long without being intruded upon.
Cantillon makes an awesome product, hands down.
If this style is what you are looking for, then here is your drink.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2007 04:37:29 | More by scott
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ciderfaerie

California

3.33/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

appearance - amber, perfectly roasted marshmallow, creamy vanilla colored head, good carb

smell: strong floral fragrance and a nice burnt sugar (again with the toasted marshmallow, mmm)

taste: first sips were highly oaky, and either the oakiness decreased as the beer warmed or the bitterness (see mouthfeel) numbed my taste-buds

mouthfeel: thick, soft, bakers chocolate bitterness like biting into a dandelion (or iris?)

drinkability: far too bitter for my preference, however, the complexity is so intriguing and makes this an interesting lambic for sipping and pondering

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2007 18:40:01 | More by ciderfaerie
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CAMRAhardliner

Ontario (Canada)

4.88/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I picked up a bottle of this for 17.99 at Premier Gourmet in Buffalo. Using 50% fresh hops and no wheat in a lambic sounds really interesting, and this must be a first.

It pours a dark straw color with a wispy long lasting head that leaves a good smattering of lace on the glass. The aroma is magnificently funky and barnyardy, but without the yeast edge of other Cantillons. Hops arent really perceptable to me in the nose, the funk and acidity subsume them.

The taste is lambic perfection with an amazing twist. A huge amount of brett funk (you know, musty horse blanket, wet horse hair, a dung heap in a verdant meadow, sweaty gym socks, rotting straw, strong cheese, uric acid, all the good stuff!) and sharp sourness takeover the palate. The middle reveals a herbal, leafy hop aroma that sort of reminds me of a well hopped German Pilsner. The finish is mostly sour with some bitterness on the edges, and it lasts forever. I can definitely sense the absence of the wheat 'tartness'. The mouthfeel is full and lightly carbonated.

This is one kick ass experimental lambic, one of the tastiest Cantillons Ive had the fortune of tasting. The fresh hops and sourness work better then I was expecting.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2006 03:04:30 | More by CAMRAhardliner
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bruachan

District of Columbia

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

the cap came off and foam started to force its way through or along the cork. hopefully the beer doesn't taste like cork

suuuper pungent. the glass and open bottle are filling the room with funk and sourness. truthfully, this aroma would be quite alarming in any other context (except perhaps a barn). i regret to say urine is in there, too. when i take a closer whiff fruit is much more evident: pear, kiwi. the color is a peachy amber with a slight haze and thin head

it's not as sour as the rose de gambrinus but much funkier. up front it's all citric acid and the finish is chalky, bitter horsiness. i can't help but think that the first of this variety was nothing more than an accident. the funkiness is quite multifarious; more so than othe lambics i've had

it's fairly hoppy, actually. bitter with a decent noble aroma. burps are hoppy

i like this beer, but i couldn't drink two in a row. as much as i enjoyed it, all i wanted afterward was the maltiness of a nice scottish ale

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2006 05:00:54 | More by bruachan
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CharlesDarwin

Rhode Island

3.85/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Originally reviewed on December 6, 2005. Pours a gushing honey orange hazy pour, with copious off-white head. Sour, ascerbic aroma of brandied pears, olives and some green grapes. Also a little parmesan cheese and some cask aroma. Sour dry flavor of olives, oak and more cheese, all very funky. I don’t have much experience with true Lambics, so I never know what to expect or garner from the situation, but even since my run in with NG Sour Brown, I’m more interested in wild fermented beers. This is wildly funky beer. In a way, I feel like I’m drinking green olive juice. Very much pimento in this beer. There’s a nice subtle, floral sweetness in the background that’s lifting and airy, and really brings a lot to the table. This is much more quaffable than my previous experiences with past lambics. Palate is some how dry at first, then finishes sweet and supple. A softness and smoothness to this beer. My bottle keeps gushing. Interesting and woody, a lot of tooth and chewiness. Enjoyable. Tastes old, which I appreciate.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2006 20:55:34 | More by CharlesDarwin
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cbl2

New York

3.68/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11/1/2006 $14.99 750 mL 5.00% Bottled in 2004 according to the cork.

Appearance:

Pours a slightly hazy orange with extremely fine carbonation that leads to a quarter inch of foamy white head that settles rapidly.

Aroma:

Tart and funky with a slightly sweet pear aspect to it.

Taste/Mouthfeel:

Fine carbonation yields a smooth mouthfeel that is dominated by a tart oaky flavor. Hints of pear and apple are present underneath the intense tartness. Finish is wet wood.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2006 22:35:07 | More by cbl2
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wl0307

United Kingdom (England)

4.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at the BSF bar, GBBF06. Coming in a 750ml green bottle, corked and capped, covered with black foil.. 2003 vintage, the cork states it's bottled in 2006. Served lightly chilled in a large Burgundy bulb wine glass. BTW, the ingredients printed on the bottle seem to suggest this lambic has no wheat malt in it--an "all-malt lambic" then?

A: translucent dark orangey amber hue, little beer head comes with the beer, gentle carbonation.
S: fragrantly hoppy, mildly sour fruity and mildly sweet malty aromas all blended well upfront, like apples+nectarine added with a touch of lemon zest, plus the classic funky edge like damp blanket, etc... overall the smell is not as intrusive as Cantillon bio Geuze or Lambic, showing a rather pleasant hop fragrance and balanced aroma achieved with malts--maybe due to all malted barleys and colourful hops used in this beer?
T: a funky and quite assertive salty-sour flavour of musty/moulded wood, dried grapefruit peels, and mature cheddar cheese comes to mind... the mouthfeel turns quickly tannic, rusty, woody, semi-dryish, with plenty of mineral elements to rub the tongue, while the saltiness keeps the company of bitter-sour fruits at each step. The aftertaste has an extra length of hop bitterness, along with a superb woody aroma and flavour lingering down the tongue. Overall the flavour is not so much fruit-dominated nor as sour as any other lambic/geuze I've tried, incl. Cantillon's own range, yet the additional hop bitterness is really pleasant I must say, making it perhaps the hoppiest lambic I've ever tasted~~
M&D: very smooth, almost no fizziness is detected on the mouthfeel, while the texture is rusty and chewy as usual. The body is pretty balanced for a lambic, perhaps due to the amount of hops used at different stages in making this beer. Distinctive from Cantillon's other offerings, with a pronounced edge of hop bitterness and fragrant flavour to make this nice beer apart from other great ales by this traditional brewery. I'd love to try the draught version if it's ever available. A really nice hoppy one this is~~

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2006 21:40:05 | More by wl0307
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Billolick

New York

4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Its one of the Beer axioms I live by, when you see Cantillon on tap, order it! So when I saw this on on tap at My Place in Ct. my choice was a no brainer...this one poured cloudy, dull light amber, with minimal head, lacing etc. Nose was the expected sour, funky ripe apples. IOn the tongue, this classic, unadulterated Lambic continued the theme of sour, but not too sour, apple notes, funky, flavorful, unique, intense, complex, what can I say I love the Cantillon brews and this one was just lovely. Support the producers of these world class artisinal creations.

Serving type: on-tap

10-01-2006 19:49:20 | More by Billolick
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Westsidethreat

California

3.58/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a champagne flute

A: Highly carbonated with a very spirited head on top of a hazy orange body.

S: Aroma is a bit funky with green apples and a touch of citrus

T: Sour like a standard lambic but somewhat rounded thanks to the pale malt. Had an earthiness opposed to pure general sourness. Finishes with a light was of bitterness. Different for sure.

M: Medium bodied and well carbonated fitting to the style

D: At first I was taken back by this beer but it grew on me. I couldn't get used to the earthy bitterness but finally adjusted after a while. Not bad.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2006 02:57:40 | More by Westsidethreat
Photo of dogfooddog
dogfooddog

Panama

4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle bought some time ago, the first of this batch of bottles exploded 2/3 of liquid contents into living room; this time a muted pop (cork dated 2000) opens this beer.

typical cantillon mustiness with some odd malty content opens the nose on this beer.

Oddly, first taste adds more backbone than most gueuzes or lambics i have tasted in my life. the front taste is still very sour and bitter, but there is a back elemen present that is lacking in all of the cantillon products I have had recently. I am familiar with the ingredients of this beer.

this is a very sour but good beer. and a good example of unique craft from cantillon. Well worth a try!

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2006 08:39:26 | More by dogfooddog
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beveragecaptain

New Jersey

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

750 ml bottle. Iris pours out an orange color topped with a white head. The aroma is more beer-like than the average lambic. There's actually some maltiness in the aroma, along with the expected tartness. The flavor is tart, with a strong lemon flavor. This beer has a pronounced bitterness, probably from the fresh hops used. There's a bit of a woody flavor too. Perhaps not as intense as the gueuze or some of their other beers (or maybe I've built up a tolerance), but this one is not at all lacking in flavor. Spritzy carbonation. Great drinkability. This is a delicious and unique lambic.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2006 01:02:03 | More by beveragecaptain
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Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

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

Bottle (per label 2003 batch – per cork 2005 batch) drank in 2006: Poured a hazy orange color lambic with a quite big foamy white head with pretty good retention. Aroma of hops is clearly detectable and I thought it provided an interesting ‘’mariage’’ with the sour and brett character of the original lambic. It also seems to help balance the level of acid in the beer, which is a real, plus since I sometime find the Cantillon lambic to be too acid. Horse blanket and farmhouse quality are still apparent as well as the citrusy hops. Very nice experiment from the folks at Cantillon.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2006 15:06:09 | More by Phyl21ca
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Crosling

Colorado

4.18/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Attractive blended orange in color with a small, quickly diminishing and extrememly noisy head of white foam.

Whiffs of soaked oak, fish, fruits and leather along with another spicy element that may insinuate the dry hopping.

Extremely characterful, dry, vinous, woody taste that does in fact taste much different than other unblended lambics.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2006 03:35:46 | More by Crosling
Photo of sacfly
sacfly

Maryland

4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml 1996 written on label. (Score!)

Pours a light, cloudy straw color. Becomes more hazy and red after getting some yeast in the pour. You can tell strait off from the aroma that this is going to be tart, tart, tart!

Puckering Cantillion flavor. The sides of my tongue light up. TART, acidic, citric… I feel my mouth dumping huge amounts of saliva to try and compensate. But no! I drink again! HA HA HA! Flows down light and easy. Tastes great, but like most Cantillions a bit one dimensional. If nearly overwhelmingly tart is what you want, that is exactly what you will get.

Was tempted to order another (it was only $12 for a 750!) but was distracted by a great (and cheep) beer selection. Will defiantly make it back to pick up some more of this one.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2006 01:43:12 | More by sacfly
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chOAKbarrell

Maryland

4.63/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got to try a vintage bottle of this at a local bar, dated 1996. $12.

Bright vibrant red, like kool-aid or a crayon. No head. Extremely tart, strong nose. The taste was intensely tart and sour, maybe even beyond Dogfish Head's Festina Lente. I mean that in a good way, though. I really enjoyed this, and dont know what to compare it to, other than the above mentioned lambic. I dont know if the flavor was supposed to be cherry or raspberry or what. The lowest mark for this lambic was the drinkability. It is pretty intense, and I dont know how much the average lambic drinker could handle.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2006 03:37:39 | More by chOAKbarrell
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Sephiroth

Indiana

4.22/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled in 2005: There was standing beer on top of the cork. It pulled from the bottle with seemingly no carbonation. The pour alleviates my fears, however. Body is light orange, with a decent head. Smell is dirty, funky, citric, and acidic.

Taste is a little tart, and possesses all the characteristics of the smell. This must be sipped to fully appreciate the compexity. Mouthfeel is full, but not thick. Drinkability isn't the best, and I do like this beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2006 03:02:22 | More by Sephiroth
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KarlHungus

Minnesota

4.18/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This brew pours a clear bronze-amber color. The head is billowy and white, and the lacing is thorough. The aroma is tart, sour, and sweet. The sip is tart with sweetness in the finish, and more tartness in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is light bodied and dry, with nice carbonation. Overall, this is a fine, tasty, relaxing brew.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2005 19:17:08 | More by KarlHungus
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twelvsies

Maine

4.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ahhh. It's not my everday beer by any means, but when I get the itch there's nothing like a super fresh super sour funky lambic from Cantillon. Had this one on tap at Sunset. Appears a golden color, with little to no head, and great clarity and shinyness. The best thing about a world class beer like this is the freshness. Everything about it screams fresh and wild. The scents coming off this one are like apple and pear skins, a hayfield, and a slight grassy and herbal hop quality. Taste, as expected, is quite sour, but not unpleasantly so. Complex, musty, funk after taste supports the ripe fruityness and sourness. I don't know if it's just the power of suggestion, but this beer has a really nice hop quality to it that makes it particularly unique. Once again, tastes how a big wild field smells in the fall. Excellent slick yet super dry mouthfeel. An incredibly natural and hedonistic beer.

Serving type: on-tap

10-21-2005 16:26:16 | More by twelvsies
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francisweizen

Arizona

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

From Notes: Tap version sampled at Redbones on a dinner stop home from Maine. Dark slightly hazy orange/sunflower with a nice small but tightly packed head of white/off white foam. Aromas of barnyard funk, and wild yeasts abound, with a nice actual malt base, and some real heavy handed hoping (for a Cantillon) making this one quite unique and different, for a brewery that prides itself on being unique and different. Taste is sharp and funky, sour, with all of the gueuze qualities we know and love. The hops add a slightly citric sharpness to the finish of this one, which is as dry as ever. Mouthfeel is refreshing and bubbly, making this brew totally drinkable. Another great brew from these master lambic makers...

Serving type: on-tap

09-13-2005 08:27:01 | More by francisweizen
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NearerMyBeerToMe

Pennsylvania

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

750ml bottle with "2000" on the cork. The cork bursts out of the bottleneck and several ounces worth of foam goes rushing onto the countertop. I struggle to get the bottle under control. People are already complaining about the smell. I guess that's a good sign. Poured into a champagne flute, the beer is about the same color as raw honey or the light maple tabletop on which it is standing. A single thin, vigorous line of carbonation runs through the liquid, connecting to the bottom of a gruesomely pock-marked, 1/4" deep head that's the color of dirty dishwater. No cling or lacing. The smell isn't quite as offensive as I had hoped. It remindes me most of malt vinegar, the acidity being more acetic than uric. There are residual odors of cork and yeast. Tastes like sour dirt, and how. Sour enough that I'm wincing after each sip. Horrifying copper sourness rots through a layer of apple skins into a field of dead cabbages and finishes with leather and must. At first, the acids have my tongue trying to turn itself inside out, but the mouthfeel evolves to become refreshing and vibrant. Drinking it begets its own drinkability. Intense, intense stuff; and so complex it'll probably take me a few weeks to figure out if I actually liked it.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2005 00:15:41 | More by NearerMyBeerToMe
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eclectic

New Jersey

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

On tap at The Publick House

Poured a hazy golden color with thin lacing. Typical cantillon sour/acidic aroma. Initial taste is as expected, mouth puckering tart with a hint of lemony citrus mingling with a fruity funkiness that is incredible complex. Light bodied and easy to drink, only wish it was served in a larger glass.

Another amazing cantillon that not only matches, but exceeds its bottled form.

Serving type: on-tap

08-16-2005 03:03:47 | More by eclectic
Photo of Andreji
Andreji

Colombia

3.38/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Iris 2003, bought at the Brasserie in Brussels. Drank on [colombian] memorial day, 18 july 2005.

This beer I hauled on the airplane back from summer vacation. brought on some extra weight but what the heck, beer is always an unmissable commodity.

I popped the beer after letting it cool down a bit more in the fridge. the appearance immediately turned to a bronze although opaque orange, which did not seem to give off much light. the head was fizzy and abundant, white, a bit like a cross between champagne and beer.

The smell was very weak, and hinted only a bit of rotten fruits (mostly apples) which I was neither disgusted by or too appreciative of.

The taste was a bit of a turndown. very acidic and soury at first. unlike other cantillons comparable with white wine, for example, this one is comparable to a somewhat brut champagne-like beer: very strong sour feel, with almost no sweetness to it although somehow the fruity sense is perfectly perceivable: apples dominated the scene, maracuja a bit in the nostrils. immediately after, a strong appearance of salty taste- so far most cantillons appear to be brewed with salt-water- which swiftly converts into a bizarre bitter taste/mouthfeel on the sides of the tongue. carbonation is abundant but not strong; I mean, it doesn't sting like in other cases, but relaxes atop the tongue slowly mixing up the beer.

this is an ok beer, but some other offerings from Cantillon are certainly worthier of my time.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2005 18:12:46 | More by Andreji
Cantillon Iris from Brasserie Cantillon
96 out of 100 based on 1,136 ratings.