Brasserie Cantillon

Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Brasserie Cantillon
Lambic - Traditional
Ranked #3
Ranked #730
4.36 | pDev: 8.94%
Mar 31, 2022
Dec 05, 2002
Notes: It is a completely original beer which, contrary to the other products of the Brewery, is not brewed with 35% of wheat. The Iris, which is only made with malt of the pale ale type (giving a more amber colour to the beer) conserves the typical flavour of the spontaneous fermentation, the complex aromas and the vinous taste.

The hopping is different too. Lambic is made with 100% dried hops, for the Iris we use 50% of dried hops and 50% of fresh hops. The latter cause a superb acidity, the former, due to their tannins, enable to conserve the beer while preserving all its qualities. After two years in the barrel, the Iris undergoes a second fresh hopping two weeks before the bottling. A linen bag, filled with hops, is soaked in the beer for two weeks. This technique, called "cold hopping", gives the beer a more intense savour and makes the smell and the taste more bitter.

Iris is brewed only once every season and all the beers come from the same brewing. This is why the beer is dated. The second fermentation is obtained by adding liquor. 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.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Ratings by bark:
Photo of bark
4.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5
by bark from Sweden

Vintage 2005, bottled 2007.

The smell is sour with some malty sweetness, beach and seaweed, some stable. Smooth and matured flavours. Some honey and flowers, kiwi and green bananas.

The liquid is all clear; the colour is orange with a tint of red (20 EBC). Low white head, some lacing.

The taste is elegant sweet-dry with a moderate sourness. Elegant notes of fresh/wet hops, some honey and minerals. The aftertaste is mellow and rich in minerals with notes of honeydew melon, rosewater and flowers. The finish got a pleasant sourness.

The carbonation is mild, yet the small bubbles are fresh, almost sharp. The liquid is a little sticky.

One of the most elegant lambics I ever had: Great stuff!

Feb 04, 2011
More User Ratings:
3.94 by not2quick from Missouri on Mar 31, 2022
4.27 by ItsYourBoyBlue from Washington on Jan 17, 2022
Photo of Holderness
4.33/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Holderness from Massachusetts

2021 bottling. Medium amber in the glass with some haziness and a finger of dense off-white head that retains fairly well and leaves minimal lacing. The maltiness here is quite unique indeed, almost like a Flanders Red -- getting some toastiness and cherry pie notes in the aromas and flavors. Moderately acetic with a fluffy and lively effervescence. The hops impart a lightly bitter herbal flavor, but it's not too overwhelming and compliments the oaky barrel character. Happy new year!


Jan 01, 2022
4.27 by Eman17 from Illinois on Jun 12, 2021
4.5 by bigred89 from Maryland on Jun 09, 2021
Photo of zac16125
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25
by zac16125 from South Carolina

750mL bottle into a Teku
Bottled: 25 Feb 2019

Pours translucent with the slightest degree of haze. Golden copper in color with 2 fingers width of off white colored head. Aroma is very floral, grassy fields, some nondescript fruity esters and pungent cheese like funk. Tart citrus acidity rounds out the aromas. Very complex nose. Taste is somewhat tart upfront but not nearly to the degree of most Cantillons I’ve had and it’s also notably more funky with barnyard and pungeant cheese like funk. Prominent bitterness on the finish. There is a fairly prominent sweetness to balance. Mouthfeel is vibrant with high carbonation and excellent drinkability. Overal, far from my favorite Cantillon but a complex and exceptionally well done beer.


Apr 08, 2021
4.23 by Rothobinide from California on Mar 22, 2021
4.5 by carolinabeerguy from North Carolina on Mar 20, 2021
4.25 by Argento from Rhode Island on Mar 20, 2021
Photo of Sigmund
4.34/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Sigmund from Norway

750 ml corked and capped green bottle, vintage 2007, courtesy of Cardinal Pub & Bar, Stavanger. ABV is 6%. Deep golden to orange colour, moderate off-white head. Beguiling complex aroma, notes of farmhouse, rustic kitchen, oxidised apples, apple cider vinegar and hops. The flavour is sour but not extreme, hints of oxidised apples and spices, unlike other lambics it also has a distinct hoppy bite in the finish.

Mar 18, 2021
4.5 by ahbithwabm from Illinois on Mar 18, 2021
4.36 by fromthewood1 from California on Feb 22, 2021
4.19 by mrmsmith from District of Columbia on Feb 10, 2021
Photo of zonker17
4.43/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by zonker17 from Texas

Dec 2014 bottle opened Jan 2021. Cork perfect, amber-copper color, small white head, minimal lacing. Nose light funk, barnyard, grapefruit. Taste very complex, sourness seems to be both acetic and lactic, leaning on lactic, apple, grapefruit, mild bitterness, leather, earthy, dry finish.

Jan 31, 2021
3.77 by EasternIsh from California on Jan 11, 2021
4.33 by SG_H44 from Korea (South) on Jan 01, 2021
Photo of Benish
4.53/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Benish from Wisconsin

Poured a burnt orange color with a tall slight beige head. Strong hop aroma without distracting that classic lambic funk. Flavors start out really delicate and mild with notable hops. Vinous quality with hints of grapefruit. Then it gets all sorts of nuances as it warms up. Grapefruit rind becomes more robust. Vinous quality kicks in as well as the hoppy bitterness. A nice tang without overwhelming acidity. This is quite unlike other Cantillon’s I have tried. Far more hoppy than their traditional beers, heavy grapefruit. I love it.

Dec 24, 2020
Photo of SierraNevallagash
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25
by SierraNevallagash from Maine

750ml bottle - March, 2016 Vintage ('15/'16 cork) poured into a wine stem at 45°F.

Pours a very unique scarlet reddish-orange - slightly foggy, with zero head production, and just a razor-thin tan collar. No visible effervescence.

Nose: The aroma begins to fill the area as soon as it is opened. Oak, first and foremost. Tons of damp, musty, splintery white oak, with a whisper of acetone. There's some dusty grain, water cracker, green apple, apricot, fresh pumpkin, tangerine, grass, hay, rose water, flowers, fresh linen, grapefruit zest, raspberry, band aid, sea shell minerality, lemon, dried leaves, leather, old parchment, and some quiet farmhouse funk. Some nutty malt appears as it opens up. This is exceedingly complex and fragrant, with these beautiful floral, almost perfumey undertones.

Palate: Iris greets the palate with a bright, zippy acidity, which leans mostly acetic, with some apple cider vinegar. Immediately, it's so mineralic, that it almost lends a salty note - like sea shells. Complexity quickly unfurls, with notes of tart green apple, lemon, lemongrass, overripe apricot, overripe cherry, white wine, pear, wild green herbs, with a grassy, almost vegetal touch, raspberry, grapefruit zest, flower petals, cracked black pepper, and on the back end, a distinct thread of ripe brie cheese. There's some subtle lambic funk as well, lending a bit of sweat, fruit rot, and damp soil. Parallel to all of this, is a reserved malt presence, with a kiss of caramel and toasted bread, and after about an hour, a lovely malty nuttiness develops. Approaching the finish, the acidity slowly begins to curve, as a herbal, slightly pithy bitterness emerges, with grass, grapefruit rind, tonic water, arugala, and a leafy, spicy, Nobel-esque hop note. As the acidity disappears, a long lingering finish of dry white oak, bitter grapefruit pith, and hop resin concludes the sip.

Mouthfeel/Body: In typical lambic fashion, Iris is fairly light in body, although there is a roundness to it, as well as some malt weight. Effervescence is quite low - perhaps to its detriment, which also lends a fuller feel, as well as a slickness. The acidity is quite tart - sour, even, but remains shy of puckering. Dry, but not bone dry, with some pronounced tannic drying in the bitter finish.

Overall: A very unique offering that stays true to everything Cantillon is known for. While not technically a lambic because of the use of barley malt, it certainly retains most of the traditional Cantillon lambic characteristics, with an interesting malt element, and a whole other dimension of complexity from the unique hop treatment. It isn't "hoppy", but the hops certainly contribute some floral and bitter depth. Complex, cohesive, mature, and unique, yet entirely Cantillon and approachable. Definitely worth trying.

Nov 01, 2020
4.3 by jtk21351 from California on Sep 21, 2020
4.5 by mxracercam from Pennsylvania on Sep 16, 2020
4.56 by Chico1985 from Massachusetts on Aug 01, 2020
Photo of Franziskaner
4.36/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by Franziskaner from Missouri

Amber hued with a fingernail of off white around a third of the rim and covering a quarter of the top. Lightly murky in complexion. The aroma is of light barley and lightly funky lambic yeast. I’m tasted earthy malted barley, light funk, and oak. The mouth is moderately carbonated and crisp.

Jul 29, 2020
4.33 by moltch from Massachusetts on Jul 13, 2020
Photo of Snowcrash000
4.52/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by Snowcrash000 from Germany

Pours a cloudy, deep, dark amber coloration with a medium, frothy head that soon fades to a thin ring inside the glass and slightly visible carbonation. Smells of light biscuity malt and estery and hoppy fruit notes of green apple, apricot, grapefruit and white grape, as well as hints of blue cheese funk, rose petals and oak. Taste is an excellent balance of light biscuity malt, slighty tart and estery yeast and somewhat zesty hop notes of green apple, apricot, pink grapefruit, tangerine, white grape and peach, with some flowery accents, a distinct, somewhat tannic oak presence and pretty light blue cheese funk. Finishes semi-dry with a light bitterness, medium acidity and some pink grapefruit, white grape, peach and tannic oak lingering in the aftertaste. Smooth mouthfeel with a medium body and carbonation.

While I wasn't a huge fan of Cuvée Saint Gilloise, their other dry-hopped Lambic, I actually rather enjoyed this one due to the hops feeling more fruity and zesty here and not being quite as floral and earthy, intermingling very harmoniously with the esters and acidity to the point where you almost can't tell anymore where the fruity esters and lactic acidity end and and the fruity, zesty hops begin, although there clearly are some very distinct white grape and peach notes to this which, along with the oaky tannins a and dry character, almost evokes a certain white wine feel here, while the funk is somewhat soft and mild, but still distinct in its own way. A very unique and unusual, quite hoppy, Lambic that feels rather light and refreshing, but still has a good, soft complexity and sublime balance of sweetness, bitterness and acidity, with an intoxicating aroma of rose petals, citrus fruit and oaky, tannic funk. Vintage 2019/20, 10 weeks old at time of consumption.

Jul 12, 2020
5 by Ziosa from Missouri on Jul 06, 2020
4.32 by chitownfanatic21 from Nebraska on Apr 29, 2020
4.5 by IronTom from Illinois on Jan 20, 2020
4.25 by jayhunter357 from Massachusetts on Jan 13, 2020
4.27 by Uconnelmo from Connecticut on Jan 02, 2020
4.62 by JCAMPBELL from Maryland on Jan 01, 2020
4.25 by Dharmelink from Wisconsin on Dec 22, 2019
Photo of UncleJimbo
4.49/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by UncleJimbo from Massachusetts

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.

Nov 20, 2019
4.11 by Hop_God from California on Oct 31, 2019
Photo of Bouleboubier
4.44/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Bouleboubier from New Jersey

(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)

Oct 21, 2019
Photo of FLima
4.29/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by FLima from Brazil

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.

Oct 08, 2019
4.25 by edthehead from New York on Sep 19, 2019
4.62 by steverx8 from England on Sep 16, 2019
4.4 by csmrx7 from Canada (AB) on Aug 19, 2019
Iris from Brasserie Cantillon
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 2176 ratings