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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
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 481
Hads: 1,953
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
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Reviews: 481 | Hads: 1,953
Photo of Axnjxn
4.36/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle into a tulip.

pours a hazy dark orange with a nice head. smell is quite dry hopped and funky. taste is extremely dry and funky. traditional cantillon farmhouse flavor. slight sourness but much more funk. mild body with mild carbonation.

overall just a superb dry hopped lambic. YESSIR.

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Photo of dar482
4.69/5  rDev +10.1%

The beer comes in a hazy golden color.

The aroma hits of that signature Cantillon funk of wet hay and slight brine. A good amount of tart.

The flavor follows with that tart quality up front, then straight into that wet hay funk. The beer continues to a floral and honey sweet quality.

Pleasantly impressed. A subtle, delicate, yet still a complex delicious Cantillon.

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Photo of gueuzedreg
4.34/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

'13 750ml into a CS snifter.

A- Beautiful golden/cider color. Minimal head with pretty large lacing for this style.

S- Acetone, granny smith apple, gueuze funk (I know, unblended...), barnyard funk/horseblanket (never smelled one, but going with the flow)

T- Such a light and delightful lambic. As for straight lambic unblended, I can't imagine it gets better than this. Glorious. So happy I pulled the trigger to open this one!

M- Medium to medium/light body for the style. Nice amount of carb follows down throat.

O- What a treat. This is one of Cantillon's least hard to acquire lambics, but I believe it is one of the purest beers/lambic that I have ever had.

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Photo of bcp5296d
4.79/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The only thing I can say about this beer that is not absolutely perfect is the fact that there are one or two cantillons that are even better than this one. Its a fantastic sour and its pretty tart but not too bad. The balance is on par with most of Cantillons stuff so you really can't go wrong. Thinking about ordering this from belgiuminabox

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Photo of LeeryLeprechaun
3.44/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Date November 22, 2012
Consumed November 24, 2012

Beer pours a cloudy light brown color with a nice white head. The carbonation level is high compared to most of the Cantillon beers that I have had.

Aroma is earthy and acidic. I can pick up a lot of acetic acid in the nose.

Wow. Sour. Very very sour. Makes your lips pucker. It is hard to pick up anything else the beer is so sour.

Mouthfell is full and acidic. It makes you run your toungue across the top of your mouth. Very nice.

Overall this beer is a giant war head. It is so sour that my lips pucker with every sip. It is suprising that there is almost no barnyard or goat in the aroma of taste. It was good but I would not call it one of the best beers that I have ever had, even in its catagory, it is just too sour.

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

A: A kind of ruby gold... or amber orange? The head from my bottle fizzles up to about a finger then sizzled away to lacing pretty quickly.

S: Funky, earthy, lemon citrus, and woody. Tart apple skins?

T: That old funk taste - the oak barrel is noticable and combines with the earthiness of the hops. Its age is obvious, in a good way. Lemon bitterness and apple cider vinegar. The additional dry hopping makes this a unique Cantillon despite its familiarity in many senses.

M: Gentle and fine carbonation, light, crisp and dry.

O: Familiar yet different, I really enjoyed this beer. My girlfriend took a sip and had a puzzled look while stating "kind of tastes like an IPA?"... the hops really makes this interesting and I'm glad for the variety, though it doesn't make it necessarily better than other Cantillons. I really enjoyed it, but I'd go for a Rose or Kriek first.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.14/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

75cl bottle, bottled 19 March 2013, poured into a Cantillon sherry glass today, 10/4/2013. Thanks for opening this one up, Shawn. Split 4 ways.

Review #276.

Pours a dark amber, almost an orange-brown body with a fairly solid white head with decent retention.

Smells hoppy.. hard to pinpoint a particular hop varietal, but it is definitely a fairly dank beer that suggests a bitterness.. Comes with the requisite Cantillon brewery bug population that gives off a nice earthy funk, with a small contingent of delicious vinegar acidity.

Very different palate than the nose. Barnyard funk and barrel wood is present throughout, and this is actually a fairly acidic beer compared to Mamouche, Classic Geuze/LPG. Its got a nice earthy bitterness to it; it's probably the most bitter Cantillon I've ever had. Sour quotient is above average Cantillon. It is quite complex and a somewhat intense lambic.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, good carbonation. Bitterness is actually a little off-putting in the sense that it doesn't make this one as drinkable as the other Cantillons we had tonight.

Interesting sour that is quite different from the others I've had. Tasty, sour with a nice complexity. Might be a little too bitter for me in comparison to the lambics I'm used to. Glad I tried this one though; don't know if I'll go after this one again as I would the more well-known Cantillon lambics.

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Photo of Beer-A-Lot
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Probably the best beer I had on Zwanze Day,(although I actually liked Zwanze more than many people). I'd been waiting for this for quite some time, and it did not disappoint. Perfect blending of sourness and citrus flavors, super smooth, and very complex despite the low abv. I'm sure it's great in a bottle, but it's just amazing on tap. Loved it.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Cloudy orange/red, one finger head of the same color.

S-Oaky, cherries, grapes and mild funk.

T-Mild funk. Grapes, wheat, tad bit of hops and slight bitterness.

M-Medium bodied, nicely carbonated with a dry finish.

O-The dry hopping was an interesting addition to this beer, yummy but a tad different than the others.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured a bloodred brown (if that makes any sense) with practically no head or lace. Very sour and tart aroma, but thankfully the beer isn't as sour/tart/unbalanced as the somewhat wineline aroma. There is some funky spice and there's a touch of sweetness and oakiness that balances the sour, tart flavors of mostly cherry and touch of grape. Not a big red wine drinker but this reminded me of some light reds (no heavy merlots or cabs). Wish I could describe it better but it is a must try and enjoyable sipper.

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Photo of papat444
4.34/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed at DDC`s anniversary party/Zwanze Day.

Smooth yet lactic feel, aroma is of wood and cherries flavor is much the same but with some sour strawberries thrown in. Tiny bit of sweetness, not really tart, well balanced. This is some serious good stuff.

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Photo of Kirk_Grant
4.39/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I had this at a local bar in Southern Maine after giving away a bottle of it while I was in line at a local store to a guy and his girlfriend that had never had it before...so when I saw it listed on the menu I had to get a bottle.

Appearance is Hazy due to the sediment and the bar having to store these on their side...but I'm not one to complain. I love how this beer smells, it's funky, there's a barnyard, forest floor, citrus acid thing going on that is hard to pin down...but I could smell this for hours if I wasn't drinking it so fast.

This seems more sour than some of the normal Geuze that I've had...and it seems to get more sour with age. Buy it if you can find it!

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Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured with a HUGE head, I'm not sure if there is some wheat in the malt bill or what, but its very pretty. The beer itself is almost entirely opaque, quite hazy, and is a light to medium brown color.

The nose here is very barn-yard funky. Its not nearly as "in your face" sour and acidic as the Cantillon Gueuze, but its got a good dosage of bitterness going on.

This beer starts with an almost malty sweetness as it first hits your palate, but that quickly subsides as the sour acidity literally EXPLODES into your mouth. I would put the sourness here at 6/10, its pretty sour, but not crazy sour. As the flavor rests on the palate its acidity really lingers for a long time. This beer is crazy complex, with the sweet, then bitter, then acidic; its Cantillon at its best.

I'll probably never see this beer on the shelves in Portland again, but by god it was worth $20.

PS. Big thanks to the guy at the store who was in line immediatly ahead of me, he gave the last bottle to my GF and I as we were the first in line not to get any.

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Photo of tectactoe
4.34/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Huge thanks to TheLostGringo for the bottle. Cantillon is always appreciated! Iris pours the color of a bruised tangerine, completely opaque and full of haze; top to bottom, left to right. The little, light beige head piles up quickly, then dissipates just as quick as it settles to a meek film atop the beer and a small ring that outlines the glass.

Lots of that signature, lovely Cantillon critter funk in the aroma; barnyard, sweaty funk, horsey, and a bit of soaking wet hay. There's a nice, soft wheat background and even a very mild bit of grassy and floral hops mixed in, too. Looks like the 50% dry hopping really did come through; the bottle is relatively fresh, too, so I'm sure that helps.

Other than the bludgeoning of funk, the rest of the aroma is filled out with notes of tart lemons, mild white wine and vinous oak notes, and a touch of acid and vinegar that reach out and give your nostrils and saliva glands a nice stroking. It doesn't smell as tart as many of the other Cantillons I've had, but it's easily as funky and definitely one of the most unique.

Well, well, well... tartness may not have been the king of the aroma, but it's the first thing that hits my tastebuds with the initial sip. Very nice sour introduction, with sour apples, lemon zest, mild lactic acid, and faint white wine vinegar leading the way. Funk abound, per usual; like licking a musty barnyard floor with a sweaty horse standing nearby.

Iris contains a nice woody character throughout its entire profile, too, that really stands out and sets this brew apart. Woody, bitch-like, and grassy, with a vinous, aged-oak kind of finish that scrapes the moisture from your palate and leaves your mouth bone dry. Beautifully crisp, fluid, and even a bit creamy on the palate; thin-medium bodied with high carbonation.

Another winner from Cantillon. Heavy funk, heavy tartness, and a good meshing of fruits, bugs, and vinous flavors. The dry hopping with fresh hops is surprisingly more noticeable than I thought it would be. Certainly there would be consequences in the form of acid reflux and stomach ulcers if you decide to tackle a 750 mL bottle solo, but believe me, when you try it, you're not gonna want to share.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.77/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled March 19, 2013.

Appearance - Deep orange. The head builds as I pour it. Ends up with a pretty decent creamy colored head. Murky body. Dark for a "lambic."

Smell - Quite hoppy. Hoppy with a citrus acidity. Equal quantities of maltiness and acidity.

Taste - Lemony sourness, but nothing like other Cantillons. Malt replaces grain and hay. Hoppy flavor throughout blends nicely with the sourness. Slightly bitter in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, but less spritzy than other lambics. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Interesting experiment, but I prefer regular lambics over this. A lot of complexity is lost.

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

Got this one at the Bierkoning in Amsterdam.

From a 750 into a wine glass
Bottled 29 Jan 2013

APPEARANCE: Pours a small, fizzy, looser looking, off-white head with lousy retention. Head quickly fades to a wisp. Cloudy burnt orange with medium levels of carbonation. A ring remains until the end but leaves no real lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Tart lemon on the nose, with flowery aromas and some acidic vinegar as well. Nice, but not quite as forthcoming as hoped.

TASTE: Much more forthcoming than the nose, and very sour and acidic. Lemon sourness with flowery hops, bitterness and grapefruit flavors at the swallow. Bold finish is acidic with vinegar, sour grapefruit, lemon and a touch of floral bitterness. Quite sour and interestingly balanced with the hoppy bitterness. Very enjoyable.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Light and creamy on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes rather dry and puckering. Good stuff.

OVERALL: Really nice and very well balanced. The nose could be a little more present, but the flavor really delivered. A good dose of acidic sourness that's balanced really well with the hoppy bitterness this one provides. Even though my overall score might not suggest it, this one is well worth the effort. Highly recommended.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.66/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

From the Mikkeller bar in SF. 2004 vintage. Bottles in 2006.

A: Clear orange. Light lace. No bubbles.

S: Weird and funky and pleasant. Beautiful bright fruit and sweaty horses.

T: Huh. Initially very tart. It develops into something fruity and wild and barnyardy and floral and confusing. The finish is clean and full of Brett.

M: Dry-tart. Crisp? Nice.

O: I guess(?) I'm glad I tried it, but never would again -- especially for this price. I'm not sure I 'get' it. Something is going on, but what? Paired with Fiscali cheddar.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.32/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

First had: ? (probably on tap at Monk's). This review is from a recent tasting.

Pardon my lower rating, but when it comes to Cantillon, I try to be as objective as possible and ignore the overhypage. Not sure what year this bottle was--I think it was 2011 or 2012--and it had some of that gnarly sediment on top of the cork. Hazy orange-yellow pour, effervescent, with a small, fizzy, white head; moderate retention and a bit of lacing. Aroma had a funky sourness to it, wet grass, citric acid and floral notes, some woodiness. There was a rather subdued sourness up front in the taste, lemon pith and grass, horseblanket, notable (and somewhat unpleasant) hop bitterness, floral and somewhat vegetal notes, raw celery, bitter and a bit medicinal in the finish. Dry mouthfeel, light-medium to medium in body. It's decent, but not really my thing.

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Photo of heygeebee
4.54/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pale, hazy, one finger head.

S - tart, vinegar

T - funky, straw, a little wheat, also some wine notes.

M - zesty, lively, refreshing.

O - ok, Cantillons are difficult to rate.... They, to a large extent, are all a celebration of barnyard funk, vinegar, sour, tart, and refreshing. However, it's just by the end of a shared bottle you find yourself thinking, jeez this is just great beer.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 28 January 2013

A: Pours a cloudy golden blood orange color with a fingers worth of head that slowly settles down to a thin cap

S: Starts off nice and tart with a bit of funk and some floral and earthy hops. Some maltiness also comes through

T: Starts off with quite a bit of sour funkiness and somewhat quickly goes into a smooth maltiness and some earthy and floral hops. The tartness doesn't last for too long, and doesn't linger. Finishes with a very light funk, but aside from that is surprisingly very clean

M: Medium bodied with low-moderate carbonation

O: A very unique lambic. It gives a nice burst of initial tart/sour and then transitions into a beer that focuses more on the malts and hops with the tart notes in the background. Unexpected, but yet another great beer from Cantillon

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Photo of spoony
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 750 ml bottle into a tulip. (Reviewed from notes dated May 27, 2013).

A-The brew has a slightly darker, more caramel color than other Cantillons. Head is pretty minimal, and the beer is nearly still in the glass.

S-The beer is mildly tart with a surprising amount of caramel-sweetness on the nose. The hops come through as vaguely bitter and floral scents. There is an oaky, almost cognac-like boozy scent. I'm intrigued.

T-The taste, like the smell, has only a mild tartness versus a full-on sourness. Again, I detect some caramel sweetness that balances well against a dry, slightly boozy oak flavor. The hops peak through to provide a bit of bitterness, but I knew I was drinking a lambic -- and not an IPA -- the entire time. The whole package is complex and delicious.

M-The beer is pretty flat with only a light whiff of carbonation to stir up the palate. Despite the lack of carbonation, the brew retains a lightness that is fitting for the style.

O-This is a tasty, but slightly different beer. I really enjoyed the cognac hints that I kept detecting on the nose and in my mouth. Although this beer is less tart than the base lambic on which it is based, the acidity is still here and would make this beer pair wonderfully with food.

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Photo of beerloverofbham
4.61/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Served in a tulip. Appearance is pale orange, like the color of apple juice. Smells like cheese aging in a damp tack room in an old barn. Tastes of lemon, crap apple, hints of different hop profiles come through--more so than any lambic I've had, which stands to reason considering it was brewed with fresh hops, than dry hopped later--rounds out with the sweet side of grapefruit. Not much lacing.

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Photo of backbaybrewer
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750 bottle. Served in white wine glass similar to those used for serving at Cantillon tasting room.

Ap: Orange/Amberish color. Big lasting off-white head. moderately hazzy, but not opaque.

Ar: Sour/Tart is the first thing you pick up. with fruit and some floral/citruisy hop presence as well. Maltiness also present. A wonderful tart/sour smell to it though. As soon as I cracked the bottle I get hit with it.

T: Not the predominant flavor, but worth mentioning first is the Hop bitterness. This beer differs from most other cantillon offerings in that they use fresh hops as opposed to aged hops which provides noticable hop bitterness on the palate. Also of note is the maltiness present. Again, not overwhelming, but it's there. These two flavors combine with the classic gueuze like flavors to create a truly unique Cantillon offering. Fruity sourn/tartness is really the dominant flavor, but the others stand out despite being reserved simply because they are so unique for a beer of this type.

O: A fantastic beer. Perhaps my new favorite Cantillon. Wish I had multiple bottles because I could sit around and drink this like a session beer all day.

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Photo of Treebs
4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2007 vintage courtesy of sweemzander. Lots of nice black mold around the cap and cork. 750 ml bottle served in a mini snifter.

A: Pours a hazy straw color with a white head forming on the pour. It recedes to a thin ring that leaves some sticky lace around the glass.

S: Really sweet smelling with a mix of flowery hops and light acidity. Very surprised at how hoppy it still is after 6 years. Slightly sweet mix of wheat and malt with a lactic lemon like quality to it.

T: Same as the nose with a little more barrel character. The smell of flowery hops is distinct and it has a fruity sweetness to it. Slightly lactic lemon character with some oak barrel and a mild hint of vanilla.

M: Light and airy with a spritzy carbonation. Smooth and lactic on the backend with a slight drying quality.

O: Not overtly sour and still very hoppy. This was an interesting take on a lambic and I really enjoyed it. I'd like to revisit some later and early vintages to have a comparison since my first experience is with this beer being 6 years old.

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Photo of Jonada
4.17/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottled on 22nd November 2012. Served in a Russian River stemmed glass

Appearance: Dark burnt orange color with 2 fingers of a soapy light tan (with almost a yellowish hue) head that dissipates fairly quickly to a thin coating and collar. Body is very hazy with a fair amount of fine carbonation streaming throughout the glass.

Smell: Sour lemon, peach/apricot, barnyard funk, herbal, with some floral hops.

Taste: Green apple, lemon, vinegar, fairly strong herbal quality, lactic acidity, with a floral hop character that becomes more noticeable in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with a soft mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Light lingering bitterness.

Overall: This is a really interesting beer. This is the first spontaneous fermentation I've had with a real noticeable hop presence, and I have to admit it works well. Not my favorite Cantillon beer, but still very good.

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