Brasserie Cantillon

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Belgian Lambic
Ranked #3
Ranked #437
4.37 | pDev: 8.92%
Brasserie Cantillon
Notes: The Iris beer, a spontaneous fermentation beer made with pure malt, is really unique. It matures for two years in oak-wood casks and undergoes a natural second fermentation in the bottle afterwards. The fresh hops give the beer a bitter flavour. This characteristic, combined with the absence of wheat, constitute the main difference between the IRIS and the other Cantillon beers, that are made with Lambic.
Reviews: 517 | Ratings: 2,150 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of UncleJimbo
4.49/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage. Consumed 12/31/15. This bottle was purchased at the brewery in 2011. Sour and delicious. Nicely round on the palate. Good carbonation.

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UncleJimbo from Massachusetts, Nov 20, 2019
Photo of Bouleboubier
4.44/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(75 cl bottle, 6.5% abv, bottled: 25 February 2019; purchased at the brewery... shared between 2 oversize wine glasses)

L: cloudy amber liquid; excellent foam stand on pour, creamy cap after collapse; no lace

S: first whiff, explosively fragrant - floral punch, band-aid phenol... sweat, hay... perfumy linen, hint of dried apricot?... late, granola with dried citrus peel

T: grapefruit pith, tonic water; floral, herbal, funky greeting, surprisingly malty, bready as it goes... cereal malt relatively present in the aftertaste, semi-dry, mellow nuttiness; a mild subtly peppery-spicy, grassy bitterness... funk coloring the ends with sedate highlighting

F: feathery texture, subtle silty follow-through, quiet rinse drop to its finish... little friction across the palate, little residual mark

O: moderately-intense in its ghostly expressions of flavors... already looking forward to trying it again; can't help feeling a subtlety or two passed me by... saw this at a few Monk's (draft) events, but this is my first sampling (1587)

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Bouleboubier from New Jersey, Oct 21, 2019
Photo of FLima
4.29/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2019 bottle at Cantillon Brewery.
Amber orange color with a thick thin head that kept constant throughout the degustation.
Pungent sour aroma with notes of lemon, funky party, spices, grapefruit, leather, white grapes and oak.
Flavor with notes of lemon, malt, grapefruit, white pepper, white grapes, clear noble hops, peaches, white wine, horse sweat, earth, mild lactic acid and oak. Dry aftertaste with a sour finish.
Medium body with appropriate carbonation.
Quite complex and more like beer compared to their sisters. I liked the fact this is made just with barley malt; it felt more malt assertive making other nuances more visible. Also, it is sure more bitter than its counterparties. I guess this is how several beers were in the past. It brings lots of grapefruit, oak, lemony and Saaz hops notes.

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FLima from Brazil, Oct 08, 2019
Photo of Thomas_Wikman
4.49/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I just has Cantillon Iris a Belgian Lambic from Brassiere Cantillon in Brussels, ABV 6.00%. It is matured for two years in oakwood casks before it is refermented. It is simply delicious and one of the best Lambics I've had. Well actually, it is not a true Lambic because it does not have wheat in it. It is it's own type, maybe Belgian Wild Ale.

Look: Hazy dark golden with a thick white head

Aroma: crabapple, orange, oak

Taste: It has a tart and bitter flavor, crabapple, grapefruit, orange, followed by an oaky or woody dry bitterness.

Body/Overall: light to medium body

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Photo of darktronica
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750 mL bottle from the brasserie, bottled February 2019. Pours a darkish orange, somewhat hazy, with a half-finger of head with modest retention. Dried orange peel, white grapefruit, lemongrass, mild ammonia on the nose. Hoppy bitterness and acidic tartness on the first swallow, which is a roller coaster that becomes more stable with repeated sips and warming. Dank for a lambic, bitter crabapple and a slight mustiness that never really veers into funk and feet. Some balancing sweetness emerges as it warms. Very complex and interesting.

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Photo of superspak
4.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 12/26/2016. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy deep golden/amber/light orange color with a 2 finger dense and rocky off white head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice dense foamy lacing clings on the glass, with a light amount of streaming carbonation. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of big sour/tart/tangy lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, citrus peel/rind, peach, plum, pear, apricot, red/green apple, white grape/wine, oak, peppercorn, hay, straw, grass, leather, wet wood, barnyard Brett funk, cracker, and white bread dough; with lighter notes of caramel, toast, white wine vinegar, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of fruity/funky/acidic/spicy yeast, citrus/earthy hops, oak barrels, and bready malt notes; with big strength. Taste of huge sour/tart/tangy lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, citrus peel/rind, peach, plum, pear, apricot, red/green apple, white grape/wine, oak, peppercorn, hay, straw, grass, leather, wet wood, barnyard Brett funk, cracker, and white bread dough; with lighter notes of caramel, toast, white wine vinegar, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Light-moderate lactic tang/tartness, citrus peel/rind bitterness, and Brett/oak tannin spiciness on the finish. Lingering notes of tart/tangy lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, citrus peel/rind, peach, plum, pear, apricot, red/green apple, white grape/wine, oak, peppercorn, hay, straw, grass, leather, wet wood, barnyard Brett funk, cracker, white bread dough, light caramel/toast/vinegar, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Amazing complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/acidic/spicy yeast, citrus/earthy hops, oak barrels, and bready malt flavors; with an awesome malt/tang/tartness, and bitter/spiciness balance; with no puckering/astringent flavors after the finish. Fairly crisp finishing. Light-moderate increasing dryness from lingering tang/tartness and bitter/spiciness. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/bready/grainy, and acidic/tangy/sticky/tannic balanced mouthfeel that is great. Zero warming alcohol for 6%. Overall this is an amazing all barley malt lambic. All around incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/acidic/spicy yeast, citrus/earthy hops, oak barrels, and bready malt flavors; very smooth, easy, and fairly crisp to drink with the modestly acidic/bitter/tannic/drying finish; not overly lactic/tannic. Amazingly well rounded barnyard Brett/bacteria complexity with added hops; great oak presence and bready malts against acidity. Minimal residual sweetness with crisp drying. A highly enjoyable offering, and spot on style example as expected.

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superspak from Michigan, Jul 09, 2019
Photo of josanguapo
1.99/5  rDev -54.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.5

De Tercertiempocervezas. En copa Teku. Viendo Venom. Excesiva acidez, de la que da dolor de barriga, junto con un lupulado cuyo amargor dificulta su ingesta aun mas

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Photo of Vidblain
4.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Iris is one of many Cantillon beers that I've only been able to try just once - and would really like to try again. This particular bottle was shared at Dark Lord Day 2018. It was tremendously funky and just a bit tart. The mouth feel and taste felt a bit... young. Immature. I suspect this bottle would have greatly benefited from age.

Still - it was delicious. I'd definitely like to try an older bottle some day.

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Vidblain from Minnesota, Jan 08, 2019
Photo of DJ-Hophead
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tap @ Moor, Bristol, Zwanze Day 2018 - Pours hazy golden with small white foamy head. Aroma - Hoppy forefront, tart notes, oaky, barnyard funky feel. Taste - Sour, light bitter notes, barnyard funky notes, caramel malty feel, floral hops. Very nice hop forward well balanced lambic.

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DJ-Hophead from United Kingdom (England), Oct 03, 2018
Photo of kitch
4.24/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A 750ml corked and capped bottle, bottled on 9th January 2018. Poured into a Cantillon ballon glass.

Appearance: A lightly hazy golden orange colour with a one and a half finger off white head that dissipates fairly quickly to a thin layer, while leaving some sparse lacing.

Aroma: Tart, funky barnyard, oak, apricot, grapefruit, citrus zest and rind.

Taste: Sour, lightly bitter, a hint of sweetness, funk, oak, apricot, peach, grapefruit zest, lemon and leather with a hint of floral and herbal.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate to low carbonation.

Overall: Very enjoyable and great to drink. Even better when aged properly for a few years.

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kitch from Hong Kong, Sep 26, 2018
Photo of brewseidon
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Absolutely amazing lambic. The 2007 version was a delightful spontaneous ale the delivers the terroir of Cantillon in a succinct and impressionable flow.

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brewseidon from California, Jun 11, 2018
Photo of stevoj
3.95/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle from Jeremy. Medium golden with finely beaded head. Aroma of stone fruit, tart, floral. Taste is more of the same, light and effervescent. Finish is equally sweet and tart.

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stevoj from Idaho, Feb 26, 2018
Photo of Sabtos
4.06/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Almost fully opaque, the color of Iris is red grapefruit through and through. A loud, fizzy head dies to nothing except for a faint slick of white pond scum leftover on the surface.

Smell is malic and gummy apricot, acetic bright and vinous oak, peppery wood, dry lemon and grapefruit zests with smoky balsamic vinegar.

Taste starts ultra sour at first but only initially, bringing flavors of green apple, apricot, lemon, grapefruit, grassy and oniony hops and smoky balsamic vinegar with an oaky char. The hoppy bitterness and sour acidity decreases over time.

Feel is slick, slightly crisp with a semi-dry sharp chew.

2016 vintage

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Sabtos from Ohio, Sep 04, 2017
Photo of SourFaceEric
4.89/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

One of my favorite beers from Cantillon, which may be the greatest brewery in the world (assuming you appreciate lambics). Very dry and complex, aromatic and with a lovely appearance.

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SourFaceEric from Connecticut, Sep 04, 2017
Photo of Phineasco
4.36/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look: Orange/amber, clear, with thin head that recedes quickly.
Smell: Floral, earthy, funky, and caramel.
Taste: Funky, earthy, caramel, and a little hoppy bitterness.
Mouthfeel: Medium.
Overall: A good lambic from Cantillon. The malt made this my least favorite Cantillon offering.

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Phineasco from Massachusetts, Aug 22, 2017
Photo of MTKATL
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2004 Vintage. Very complex. Super funky barnyard nose. Taste is almost wine-like. Earthy, rustic. I look forward to trying a younger bottle to compare.

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MTKATL from Georgia, Aug 20, 2017
Photo of thebeers
3.86/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Hazy orange yellow with thin white head that quickly dissipates to a crown. Big floral aroma, some crackery malt with nice sourness behind. Weird sweetness mixes with the lambic beneath, the pilsner malts and florwery hops. Medium bodied with light carbonation. Nice, but not my favorite.

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thebeers from Pennsylvania, Aug 07, 2017
Photo of eppie82
4.37/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2017 bottle at Cantillon Brewery in Brussels, Belgium.

Amber appearance with descent bit of foam head upon pour. Strong barnyard funk smell. Taste doesn't necessarily follow the aroma with this beer. It has this white grape and wine like flavor. The aftertaste is also a bit more bitter than I would expect from a Cantillon lambic so it is quite a bit different. Almost like it has more hops than other Lambics. For people that are transitioning from already liking IPAs to starting to like lambics and sours, I can see that crowd really enjoying this beer.

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eppie82 from Illinois, Jul 25, 2017
Photo of Damian
4.76/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Drank from a 75cl corked bottle at Bir & Fud, Rome, Italy
Bottled: 20 May 2016
Served from a lambic basket into a slim pint glass

Hazy, dark amber appearance. The nearly flat looking liquid was capped by a barely-there film of white bubbles that quickly fell to a thin collar. No lacing whatsoever.

The aroma was signature Cantillon. Loads of must, horse blanket and oaky barrel. Quite woodsy too. Hay notes were also apparent. Bit of lemon. Fairly tart and acidic, but definitely more funky than sour. On the later pours, the yeast lent the beer a dry, powdery quality.

The flavor profile was just as spectacular as the nose. Huge oaky barrel and cellar notes. The sourness kicked in mid palate. Big lemon and lemon rind presence. More oak and mustiness on the back end. The hops appeared here as well. The beer finished with more bitter lemon and grapefruit rind, and dry, oaky tannins. Earthy hops, lemon/grapefruit rind and oaky notes lingered long after the swallow.

Pretty typical mouthfeel for an unblended lambic. The beer was subtly effervescent and contained a fine yet spritzy carbonation. Appropriate for the style.

Cantillon beers are always quite interesting, but the addition of fresh hops in this one gave it another layer of complexity. Overall, a fantastic lambic and one of the most underrated offerings by this brewery.

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Damian from Massachusetts, Jul 08, 2017
Photo of LanguedocRocks
4.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Had the pleasure of tasting this at Cantillon after the tour. Amazing. Funk, funk, funk and more funk. Super complex and tart. More body than a lot of the other beers they produce. Would again.

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Photo of Buck89
4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a pint glass. A hazy amber-golden color with a modest white head. Huge barnyard and floral notes on the nose. The taste was a mix of funk, grass, hay, tart apple, and citrus. The flavors were seamless together. Clean and dry but with a layered texture. Outstanding.

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Buck89 from Tennessee, May 07, 2017
Photo of Nicolaiw
4.31/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 2016.
Pours dark amber almost like apple juice, very small head.
Aroma has green apples, funk, bitter hops, lemon, wet wood.
Taste is lemon, grapefruit, oak, little green apple, not as funky as the aroma, wet cellar, dry bitter finish. Soft to none carbonation.

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Nicolaiw from Denmark, Mar 28, 2017
Photo of breadwinner
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Love the concept of Iris, fresh/cold-steeped hops, unique malt bill vs traditional lambic. Starts off nicely, really cool nose, light tire rubber, maybe some wet paint, touch of sweetness and some definite acidity. That acidity comes home to roost on the palate, exhibiting mild throat burn, alongside pale malt sweetness and a combined and balanced bitterness of hops and Brett. Personally, I thought the body a little too heavy/full, which amplified the sweetness, and the throat burn was strong enough to distract. Nevertheless, as ever with Cantillon, a thoughtful and interesting beer.

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breadwinner from California, Mar 23, 2017
Photo of TX-Badger
4.49/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Jester King during Zwanze Day. Pours a slightly hazy reddish color with off-white minimal head. Funk, barnyard, light fruits and must on the nose; follows onto the palate. Light bodied. Finishes with barnyard funk and some light fruits.

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Photo of Bruno74200
4.34/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

2 years old bottle (2014)
It's interesting to see the difference between a lambic and a gueuze, it's like history in a bottle. This one has definitely not the mouthfeel of a gueuze, it's lower in carbonation. The smell and taste are a lot about grass, lemon and flowers with a good hop presence. Almost bitter for the style, It's tart but never sour.

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Iris from Brasserie Cantillon
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 2150 ratings