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Cantillon Iris - Brasserie Cantillon

Not Rated.
Cantillon IrisCantillon Iris

Educational use only; do not reuse.

476 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 476
Hads: 1,925
Avg: 4.25
pDev: 19.53%
Wants: 706
Gots: 444 | FT: 34
Brewed by:
Brasserie Cantillon visit their 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: 476 | Hads: 1,925
Photo of spdyfire83
4.37/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

287th Review
75cl bottle poured into tumbler wine glass
Vintage: 2000 (cork date)

From notes. Enjoyed a couple summers back at a backyard BBQ with the usual suspects in the Mile High Knight's tasting crew. If memory serves correct, I can thank Jensen for this one. Cheers!

A: We've got a gusher! Lost nearly a third of this bottle as a result of its over-excitement to finally get opened. Medium peachy yellow. 3+ (white) fingernail head on gentle pour.

S: Very herbal and acidic. Touch of candied sugar sweetness with enjoyable overtones funk. Floral notes towards the end are nice as well. Very inviting!

T: Follows smell, but the floral notes are a bit more present in the taste as is the sugar. Very dry. Very tart.

M: Light bodied and very carbonated.

O: A fantastic beer! I was happy to find these old notes as I think this beer several summers back kicked off my love for Cantillon. Superb execution here with such a wonderful balance! Age has done this beer wonders and, as of the day I enjoyed this, it was the oldest beer I had the privilege of trying. Great stuff from an awesome brewery!

Side note: I laugh at my notes of smell and taste on this as I was quite the rookie back then and, sadly, could not do this beer justice with a proper review. As such, I've committed to re-reviewing it as I have some 2003 bottles aging for a special occasion.

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Photo of kiddynamite920
3.87/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a pretty dull orange, with some yellow highlights. Served to me without a head whatsoever. Bubbles building on the side of glass showed the carbonation, and an unclean glass sadly. No points off for the glass, just poured a bit flat looking.

S: Barnyard, red wine vinegar, lemon and a very tart aroma. Big earthiness and lemongrass. A bit of stinky sock, but in a good way somehow. Very pleasant and inviting aroma.

T: Oof! That's puckering. Lemon and vinegar, grass and dirt. Just a very earthy beer with an outstanding sour note.

M: Carbonation was actually very high and added to the astringency/puckering quality of this beer. It was strange drinking this after having a Batch 9000. Overly sweet to overly sour took my palate for a ride.

D: I'd say I could have two of these, the sourness and citrus seems like it would upset the stomach after 2-3 of these. 1 was enough for me, my gums and tongue were dry and puckered enough for me.

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Photo of wnh
4.78/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12.7 oz. bottle poured into a tulip. 2007 vintage, bottled in 2009.

A hearty and exuberant "pop" upon popping the cork on this beer. Pours a rich, bright, clear golden amber with a large, lasting, foamy white head. Lively, with groups of bubbles constantly rising to the surface. A pleasure to behold.

Mouthwatering aromas of horse blanket, lemon peel, cracked pepper, and red fruit. Dense, but relatively subtle. The kind of beer I could sit and smell for an hour before taking a sip. But...

Mouthpuckeringly sour and biting on the palate. Complex and contemplative. Barnyard flavor is heavier than on the nose, with a bitter pithy lemon peel note that lasts through the finish. Still fruity and sweet, though I can't specify what sort of red(ish) fruit I'm tasting. Bitter lemon peel flavor lingers, but the overall finish is quick and short, leaving just enough behind to beg me to take another sip. Iron-like flavor comes through as the beer warms, adding to the complexity.

Quite heavy bodied, with a moderate amount of carbonation that surely makes the body feel heavier than it is. Seems to be drying up front, while it somehow becomes "wet" on the finish, such that the overall effect is not a drying one. Perhaps this is just the result of a literally mouthwatering beer, so that the dryness of the beer is nullified by its effect on me. Whatever it is, it's wonderful.

I'm still relatively new to sour beers, but this leapfrogged its way right to the top spot. Fantastic.

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Photo of dbalsock
4.25/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of bs870621345
4.77/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to plenum for this bottle in a recent trade.

Pours amber with a huge white head. Leaves a very little bit of lacing down the glass.

Smells funky, lemony, vinegar, and a slight hint of wheat.

Taste is of funk, vinegar, apple, lemons, all mixed in with a hint of sweetness and pine resin.

Mouthfeel is very carbonated, moderately full on the mouth.

Drinkability is awesome, I decided to review so that I would slow myself down on drinking it.

An amazing lambic.

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Photo of mlazzaro
4.65/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

vintage 2007 375 ml bottle. corked and capped.

orangy/light rose color. well carbonated. great head retention.

refreshing smell. pungent tart aroma.

sweet, tart and sour. so tart, I feel like it hurts my teeth. it's awesome. light brew sour candy. excellent aftertaste.

I wish this beer wasn't finite. or so expensive. great sour lambic though. one of my favorites.

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Photo of output01x
4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 25.4 oz. bottle (Vintage 2007, Bottled On 12/15/10) into a tulip glass.

A strong pour yields a 3-finger creamy white head atop a hazy orange amber body. Slow moving carbonation bubbles can be seen through the haze. The head recedes after a few minutes to a decent dusting and thick foam ring. Very little lacing is seen throughout consumption.

Sweet, sour, and a tad bit funky in the nose. Red apple, white grapes, and lemony citrus notes can all be found.

Dry white grape juice, tart lemon peels, and sour apple notes combine to make this extremely complex. Each sip is a journey through multiple flavors and mouthfeels that truly makes this beer an experience.

Medium bodied with great carbonation, this beer is dangerously close to chuggable. The carbonation perfectly allows the carbonation to be experienced just as much as they should be.

Exceptionally sour and dry, Cantillon Iris should be enjoyed by anyone claiming to be a fan of sours. For those uninitiated to the style, this may be rather extreme.

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Photo of gmcfarre
3.5/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of Sephiroth
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

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Photo of boatshoes
3.93/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received this as an extra in a recent trade with nonstick. Thanks!

Appearance- Pours a murky tan with a few floaties despite decanting the yeast. About a finger of fizzy white head rises off the body of the beer and actually stuck around for longer than I was expecting. No discernible lacing but some visible carbonation.

Smell- A lot more funky than I was expecting. Lots of barnyard, wild yeast, lactic tartness, and fruitness coming through. Of the nature of green apples, lemon zest, and some pear. Very wild and tart smelling.

Taste- Big on the tartness and funk. Really a lot of the wild yeast funkiness and barnyard on the palate accompanied by a mouth puckering lactic tartness that dies back somewhat as the beer warms. Again, green apple and some pear show through but this lambic is on the less fruity and more sour/wild side than many I have had. Very nice though and an interesting change.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel is great for the style and not overly thin, though the carbonation is surprisingly spritzy. Drinkability suffers just a touch because of the high levels of funk and tartness but still pretty good.

Overall, interesting and a change from the lambics I've had recently. Another great offering from Cantillon and I would recommend it.

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Photo of br3wmeister
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Small wispy head with weak retention and mild lacing. The beer is a hazy orange/peach color.

S- Huge cedar wood aroma to this beer with some black pepper, orange peal, honey, Horse blanket, and honey. Also some floral smelling hops and spicy tart yeast.

T- Nice refreshing tart flavor initially, it taste like cedar smells, I have never eaten cedar but I think it might taste similar to this beer. Some nice fruity flavors as well, peach and orange mostly, some orange peal, light cracked black pepper and lemony tartness lingers in the end. This is a very good tasting beer, if i could get it for cheaper I would have a bunch of it in my cellar.

M- Medium light bodied and very smooth, some puckering tartness and mild finish.

This is an amazing beer, everything about it is good, maybe now awesome but very good. I might have to stock my cellar with this beer.

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Photo of JLeege
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 Vintage ~ Bottled in 2010
750 mL ~ Poured into a flute

Appearance- pours a slightly hazy light orange color, with a bubbly white white head. No lacing but there is a nice thin constant ring atop the drink.

Smell- Tart with lots of funk. Leather and barnyard, earthy.

Taste- Tart up front with sweet notes of lemon and peach. Fairly dry in the middle, where the earthy tones show up again, hay and grass, with some semi musty leathery notes. Lingering tartness on the palate with a sort of sharp acidic bite; green apple.

Mouthfeel- Fairly low carbonation, pretty sticky. A bit drying.

Overall- My first unblended lambic. So far, so good. Very drinkable considering the strong acidic notes.

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Photo of Sideswipe
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At Stone on Zwanze day

A- Dark orange, amber color. Little to no head.

S- Sour oranges and mild funk.

T- Sour and tart out of the gate with grapefruit rind and orange qualities. Some barnyard funk mid-palate followed by a citrusy, sour finish and a lingering sour aftertaste.

M- Medium to light body with low carbonation. Very nice.

O- Really enjoyed this. Interesting citrus characteristics which work quite well with the sour, funky qualities of the beer. Hope to have this agaIn. Recommended.

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Photo of RenoZymurgist
4.8/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured beautiful light copper color with a nice white head. Surpringly carbonated I believe the extended aging allowed this enough time to become carbonated.
Aroma is lots of dry brett and a nice dry malt almost like white bread. Very clean and not as bretty as 100% brett beers tend to be.
The flavor begins with a nice sharp carbonic bite and it then moves onto a sharp acidic bite from the acid. Very dry and the brett is the dominant flavor yet everything is remarkably balanced. In some cases lambics can get out of hand yet Iris is very drinkable. I wish more lambics tasted like this, yet I am glad that such a rare beer exists and that I got to have some. Due to the nature of seasonal production and the changes that occur this beer might never be replecated exactly. This is the best lambic that i have ever had.

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Photo of soper2000
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow, I've got a young one here, picked up at "From the Vine" in Columbus. Cork is dated 2004. Cork came out with no gushing. Pours a light orange with a minimal white head that retreats to just the sides of the glass fairly quickly. Nose is not as assertive as previous Cantillon's that I have had. A sharp fruity/citrusy aroma is well guarded by notes of cork. A slight musty smell creeps up at the end, but it remains in the background. Taste is very citric. Large hints of grapefruit are present. Finish is very tart and cutting. Musty flavors are only found in the middle as the finish reminds me a little of lime concentrate, pretty acidic as well. Very unique. I'd like to try this after cellaring for a few years. Out of all the Cantillon's I've had, this is easily the most accessible. A quality beer for sure, but if I had to choose one brand it would be their Gueuze.

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Photo of NorCalYeti
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

taste- superb acid, bitter and carmelized taste

color- amber

clarity- clear

smell- citrusy hop character, spice, earth, bitter, complex aromas

body- very tart, astringent, mouthwatering, medium-body and length finish

appearance- nice orange-amber color with white, active carbonation and nice lace

glassware: tulip

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Photo of capra12
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed at sputen dyvel with hoppymcgee and jeff,

Appearance: poured a frothy white and powder pink head, with a cloudy peach, orange and earth color.

Smell: Funk, this I get a hint of red hidden by a huge grainy, and almost briny mineral oyster like nose minus the sea and salt.

Taste: opens with a funk and tart red with a ton of earth with a dry and funk finish leaving my mouth puckering.

Mouthfeel: light bodied with ton of carbonation, and puckering.

Drinkability: I would def have this again and recommend this to those who enjoy a lambic with tons of sour and earth backbone.

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Photo of TallSaint
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

April 21st, 2013

It pours a dark hazy orange with a healthy finger of head.

The nose is dominated by very floral hops with a bit of citrus. Underneath is a nice biscuity sweetness.

On the palate it is inviting upfront with a huge floral, earthy quality. In the mid-palate the malt shows its teeth with a biscuity sweetness. In the back a big sourness hits with a touch of resinous hops.

Mouthfeel is quite dense for a Cantillon but that would make sense considering there is no wheat used, only pale malt.

An interesting lambic with a very different flavor profile that is dominated by the malt body and the floral hops, not the funk. I liked it, it is a very different lambic and I would love to see how it ages.

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Photo of hawks10
4.12/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 Vintage - 375ml bottle poured into my Duvel tulip...

Pours a hazy dark orange, bordering on light brown...even when poured carefully there was a large amount of light, puffy white head, like 5 fingers worth...

Smell is very tart as expected, vinegar, some sour citrus fruits with a bit of earthy Cantillon funk going on...

Taste is extremely puckering at first until you kind of get acclimated to the beer. Sour fruits, some barnyard and earthy qualities, a bit of oak...

Tart and dry, medium bodied with great carbonation levels. Good amount of malt makes this beer smooth in spite of the heavy drying character...

Have enjoyed every Cantillon beer I have sampled, as with the others, 375ml is a large enough serving for me. Would like to revisit this one in the future...

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Photo of ptykozoon
4.12/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Light auburn. Thin head and spotty lacing.

Sweets, funk and strong citrus.

Sour at the forefront, cherries, lemon peel. Oak, dry grassy flavors, light acidity in the finish.

Mouthfeel is perfect - not too light or dense. A lot of depth for a beer with such a light ABV.

Great beer. Strong sourness but not overwhelming, complex and sexy.

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Photo of DaveJanssen
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1/3 750 poured into tulip glasses. Reviewed 11/23/2009.

Ar: tart and funky, sweaty, horse, lemon, tart citrus, citric and acetic acids, very acidic, lightly herbal, light spice, light candy floral

Ap: very low head, clear copper, white head with fair retention

T: Tart and fruity though not as much as the aroma, herbal/vegetative end, apricot, light tomato?, acetic and citric acids, lemon, floral, delicate and complex, beautiful delicate floral, ends with warming acid, acid presence increases with warmth, mild peach, belgian sweet candy in mid taste, interesting hop quality, very acidic citrus, *chalky

M: Light body, low carbonation, peppery acid, warming acid end, light burn from the acid

O: initially not that great, gets better with each sip, beautiful mild complexity, less acid would be better, light strangeness, floral is very intriguing

*=ideas from fellow tasters

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Photo of cjacobsen
4.42/5  rDev +4%
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.

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Photo of phichifiji00
3.75/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a taster glass at Beachwood BBQ Sourfest:

Appearance: cloudy yellow/orange, white head which quickly fades.

Smell: Citrus, acidic, tart, sour, a little funky, sour apple, apricot aromas.

Taste: Citrus, Sour, honey flavors towards the middle, funky. Something seemed off towards the end.

Mouthfeel: light-medium bodied.

Overall: Not my favorite from Cantillon, but still well worth the experience.

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Photo of Ellbert
3.16/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Appearance: Orange color with a slightly fizzy white head. Not as bubbly as I expected.

Smell: Tart, sour, and rotten. I have had blended lambics before but never an unblended. Wow, I finally smell what I have heard so much about. Very different, almost a turn off but intreiging.

Taste: Sweet at first then sour, then very sour, and then very dry. Almost like a wine. It was better once I got used to it.

Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel was good but it was kinda hard to pay much attention to because of the tartness of the actual brew.

Overall a very different beer, something that you have to get used to. I would not be able to drink much of this.

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Photo of chOAKbarrell
4.6/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

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Cantillon Iris from Brasserie Cantillon
94 out of 100 based on 476 ratings.