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Cantillon Iris | Brasserie Cantillon

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Cantillon IrisCantillon Iris
BA SCORE
4.36/5
Outstanding
2,091 Ratings
Cantillon IrisCantillon Iris
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brasserie Cantillon
Belgium
cantillon.be

Style: Lambic - Unblended

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

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."

Added by TheLongBeachBum on 12-05-2002

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#330
Reviews:
504
Ratings:
2,091
pDev:
8.94%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
711
Gots:
482
Trade:
49
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,091 |  Reviews: 504
Reviews by dmsohyea:
Photo of dmsohyea
5/5  rDev +14.7%

More User Reviews:
Photo of chrysanthemumbler
5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

i don't know if any of the people who say "barnyard" in a beer tasting have ever been in a barnyard. If they had ever mashed and bruised and rolled the hollow stem of an iris between their fingers until the cells between the strands turned into the watery, tugging, viscous, liquid that runs down your legs after the second time on a tart day in your cycle then I don't know why they wouldn't just say that this tastes like that.

 431 characters

Photo of kojevergas
4.21/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

75cl green glass bottle served at One Pint Pub in Helsinki into a Cantillon glass. Expectations were high given the brewery. Cost was 20 euro.

Bottled 17 March 2014. 6% ABV.

Reviewed from notes taken in July 2015.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: ~2 inches wide. Off-white colour. Not real frothy or foamy, but adequately thick for the style. Retention is nice - ~4-5 minutes. Leaves no rings of lacing on the sides of the glass as it recedes.

BODY: Clear vibrant gold with superb clarity. Clean, with no visible sediment within.

It's a nice looking lambic, but I've seen far better (especially from Cantillon). Appears adequately carbonated.

AROMA: Wild lambicus yeast(s) and intricate bacterial notes lend this its characteristic sourness - which seems to be about a 5-6/10 in terms of intensity, and is supplemented brilliantly by funkiness. Hay-like musty barnyard notes add more complexity, playing into the dry oak wood beautifully. Subtle wine-like fruit and rose grapeskin also come(s) through. The oak is marvelous.

Aromatic intensity is above average. Suggests a gestalt beer with remarkable intricacy, subtlety, and depth. I find little here in terms of hops (aside from the above-noted fruitiness), and no off-notes are evident.

TASTE: Hints of sour/green apple play into the guiding sourness nicely (which is indeed a 5-6/10 in terms of intensity), with complex layers of lactic acid, lambicus yeast, and wild bacteria lending the flavour profile stunning subtlety. Slightly vinegary but never acetic, with a gorgeous musty oak wood presence guiding the flavour profile and lending the beer natural cohesion, tying it together. Fruity grapeskin and appleskin acids play off the sourness at the heart of the beer. Make no mistake, this beer is alive.

Gestalt, with impeccable balance and notes of rose and white wines that will dazzle even the most sophisticated wine drinker. To nitpick, its depth of flavour could be more impressive, and fruiting this lambic might make it still better. But it's a lovely build for a lambic, and the neutral barley malt melts seamlessly into the sourness, succumbing to the spell of the wild bacteria.

TEXTURE: Acidic as hell, but somehow still refreshing. Hides its alcohol content completely. Smooth, wet, and perfectly carbonated. Light bodied yet supple, with a great overall presence on the palate. The acidity accentuates the sour flavour, giving this beer a rare harmony of taste and texture.

OVERALL: A sublime brew from Cantillon, and testament to their deservedly high reputation. I'm glad I sought it out, and would happily pay the 20 euro pricetag again. Stunning drinkability coupled with high quality makes this tough to put down. Truly wonderful; I'm not sure I'll try a better beer this year.

High A- (4.21)

 2,793 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.6/5  rDev +5.5%

totally different stuff from cantillon here. all barley malt instead of some amount of wheat in here make it quite a bit more sturdy then their lambic types, and the hops are definitely more aggressive in flavor, although still really mild, especially by American standards. the beer has a darker caramel color to it, plenty of hazy as per usual with cantillon, and a tall and lasting dull muted whited head of tiny bubbles. the nose is more funk than sour, with some textured sweetness in there, and then of course the oaky mature lacto thing to finish. the taste is just like the nose, exactly like it, with the barley malt influencing this beer more in terms of body I think than flavor. the hops have an earthy dried herbal character to them than likes the bigger body, and carbonation is effervescently bright. I like the slightly richer feel to this, and the longer finish not usually there in their lambic. maybe a little less unique and distinct than some of their other beers, like say fou foune or the lou pepe fruit beers, but I think its quality is as good as any, and its definitely a new direction for them. stoked to have shared this bottle with my brother, who loves sours and wilds but until now has never had a beer from cantillon. we both really enjoyed it.

 1,276 characters

Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, at BeerBistro in DT T-dot. 2006 vintage - and the cork says it was bottled in 2008.

This beer pours a mildly hazy, medium golden amber hue, with two skinny fingers of puffy, yet thinly foamy, and soapy dirty white head, which leaves little beyond a low ebbing lace wake around the glass as it evenly subsides.

It smells of sour lemon candies, mild earthy funk, a touch of brewers' sugar, pale cereal grain, white vinegar, American virgin oak, and faint noble hops. The taste kicks off rather abruptly with a lip-puckeringly sour lemon and apple fruitiness, followed by some further nondescript funky vinegary tartness, a decently supportive, and relatively sweet musty white graininess, and some weirdly plucky earthy, leafy hops, somehow not lost in the multivalent acrid morass.

The carbonation is averagely peppy, which is obviously difficult to discern beyond the sourly funky hit one takes in each and every sip, the body coming across as duly light and somewhat oily in its gay attempt at smoothness. It finishes rather dry, with that same tart, edgy, and funky fruitiness we've all come to tacitly accept and, er, love.

Nice to see what happens when things go 'unblended' in the Senne Valley - like this is all that different from this one's blended ilk - except maybe for any specific fruit's neutered contribution to the matter, and perhaps a heavier leaning on the wood vinegar way of things. At any rate, a heady, uncompromising affair of a beer, worthy, I suppose of the $30-plus price tag in tony King Street beer parlours.

 1,555 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Both intense and satisfying, the unblended Labics always gives an intimate view into an unadulturated flavor and process of brewing these magical beers.

Initial vinous aromas speak of super dry white wines, lemon rinds, must, and a mild cidery/vinegar note. Supportive dusty note take the shape of old woods, leather, and mildly horsey notes. Still, the lemon acidity and vinous oaky notes dominate the nose and give a tickle to the nose. Only a mild phenolic scent (band-aid) distracts from the clean lactic/malty nose.

Surprisingly, the beer pours with a light carbonation that fuels a very froathy whie head. Lacing well and retaining better yet, this lambic is much less 'still' than straight lambics should. Deep golden or strong-straw in color, the beer carries a mystic and foggy glow.

Initial flavors of citrus lemons and limes (and the rinds thereof) very much lead the way. Tart apple cider flavors are mixed with light vinegar, white wines (young white grapes), and an aged wood character more reminescent of sandlewood than oak. Leathery, musty, and savory- this beer leads to a long and transitioning bitter and acidic finish. Though it is easy to confuse the acidic sharpness with the pang of hop bitterness, the two are different and are displayed well with the early citrus flavor and the late bitterenss.

Medium at best, to start, the beer tries to become somewhat malty early on. But the beer lets go of that notion quickly and the pursues a lactic sourness, pleasant astringency, and late bitter dryness in the throat.

This beer has dramatic impacts from the split second that it hits the lips until extremely deep in the finish. For a light and thirst quenching beer, this beer has an impressive range that keeps the complexity going and going.

 1,769 characters

Photo of oldbizmark
5/5  rDev +14.7%

my favorite beer. period.

26 characters

Photo of aszatk01
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of tectactoe
4.34/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

 2,212 characters

Photo of ricke
4.62/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2006. Bottled in 2008.

Serving date: 2009-01-10.

Served in snifter.

Presentation: 750 ml bottle, corked and capped. Bottling date and freshness date on label (Bottled 2008-05-26, best before 2015-12). Some information about the production process on the back.

Appearance: The pour is golden/copper - almost reddish - and semi-clear. The color of this brew is very appealing. The white, 1 cm head is lively but quickly dissipates leaving a minimal ring of lacings. The head is not as big as anticipated (perhaps due to the chosen glassware).

Smell: The smell is rather complex: Scents of unripe green apples sit side by side with hints of grapefruit, and in the other corner vinegar tags up with a faint funky smell. Amazing smell.

Taste: The taste is even more complex than the smell. Where to start, where to start... First of all, this is a very sour beer. Sourness and tartness thus being its main characteristics. Tastes of especially lemon, but lime, are up-front and linger on throughout the experience. A fruity character of unripe green apples and grapefruits is also prominent. Vinegar also reappears in the taste, but is not as dominant as in the smell. A faint hint of yeast is also detectable. Subtle hints of a funky barnyard taste adds an interesting tension to the taste of the concoction. The very long finish is primarily sour and a bit dry.

Mouthfeel: The body is medium. Carbonation is good. The sourness sends a tickling feeling to the cheeks, which is a pleasant sensation.

Drinkability: I really like lambics and in my opinion this is a really good beer. The distinct sourness actually doesn't become overwhelming, even though the bottle is 750 ml. A highly recommended brew.

NOTE: I'm going to cellar a bottle of this for a year or two, and see how it turns out cellared.

 1,814 characters

Photo of t2grogan
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of CavemanRamblin
4.38/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jono0101
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of brownbeer
4.85/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Rusty with a suprisingly big dirty white head.

S- A bouquet of fresh flowers, horse blanket, iron, and funk.

T- Floral flavors blend with an acidic backing. Truely wonderful.

M- Incredible texture. Perfectly carbonated with a pickle juice like acidity.

D- I'm sad that I don't have any more. I can't wait to see this again, a must own.

 342 characters

Photo of cjn40277
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of SkiBum22
4.4/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I shared this bottle last night with kmpitz2 at The Map Room. The Iris evacuated the bottle with a deep golden color and a big, bubbly three finger head. Tempting aromas of vinegar acidity, barnyard funkiness, hints of citrus/floral and a bit of dirty sweat socks thrown in for good measure. Wonderfully unique and tempting.

Beautiful sour acidic puckering opening with slight floral notes and hints of lemon. Super funky, each sip brings something new. Dirty hay and barnyard stable weaves in and out and keeps me guessing....possibly some green olives that have gone bad? An extremely challenging and rewarding lambic...simply wonderful.

Smooth, crisp mouthfeel with small bubbly carbonation. This is so easy to drink and each sip just leaves me wanting more and more. Gueuze and lambic are becoming some of my favorite styles and Cantillon has blown me away so far...I highly recommend Iris and I look forward to trying more of their beers.

 949 characters

Photo of johnny_chimpo
4.31/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of oddlandf
2.75/5  rDev -36.9%

Photo of chOAKbarrell
4.6/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

 595 characters

Photo of joel66
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.79/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 750ml bottle poured into a tulip glass. Vintage 2004 on the label, bottled 2006 on the cork. Hazy golden red color with a tiny head and little carbonation. A tart fruity aroma, very earthy. Citrus fruit taste, very sour, yeast, crisp, clean finish. Loved this beer. Could drink it all night if my salivary glands were up to it.

 329 characters

Photo of freshflesh
4.63/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of warnerry
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled Dec 15 2011

A – Pours a ruddy golden brown with tinges of orange. One-half finger of off-white head dissipates quickly, but maintains a collar, No lacing.

S – Nice Brett-y funk aroma, with wet hay, some grapefruit rind , oak, and earthy hops.

T – Nice earthy funk tart up front, combined with a very nice herbal hop bitterness. A bit of lemon and grapefruit rind. Finish is earthy, tart and bitter at the same time, and lingers for awhile.

M – Medium mouthfeel that starts a bit puckering, but a nice hop bitterness throughout.

O – I really enjoyed this. Not as “clean” as some of the lambic blends, but I’m glad I tried a relatively fresh bottle, as the hop bitterness complements the lambic characteristics very nicely. Tasty.

 757 characters

Photo of Callmecoon
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

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Cantillon Iris from Brasserie Cantillon
Beer rating: 4.36 out of 5 with 2,091 ratings
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