Cantillon Iris | Brasserie Cantillon

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
95
world-class
489 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Cantillon IrisCantillon Iris
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brasserie Cantillon
Belgium | website

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
Reviews:
489
Ratings:
2,001
Avg:
4.26
pDev:
9.62%
 
 
Wants:
706
Gots:
464
For Trade:
46
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 489 | Ratings: 2,001
Photo of mdfb79
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 11/05/10 notes. Had at a small tasting. 2007 vintage, 750ml bottle.

a - Pours a murky honey-golden color with one inch of fluffy white head and light carbonation.

s - Smells of floral notes, some barnyard funk, tart fruit, especially lemon and citrus.

t - Tastes of spices, tart lemon zest, peppers, and floral notes.

m - Light body and low carbonation. Quite dry and crisp, easy going down.

d - A nice lambic from Cantillon. Not my favorite Cantillon beer, but still good none the less. Lots of floral notes and tart lemon. Would drink again.

 553 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brewed 2005. Bottled 2007.

Compliments of Simon at La Cave à Bulles in Paris.

Pours a clouded amber gold with a surprisingly thin creme head as opposed to none that most of these lambics have. Nose is floral and funky. Flavor is not so abrasive as other lambics. Smooth funky barn tones with a smooth funky character as well. Citric acidity rides in the back. Feel is thicker on liquid. Carbnonation is light and nice. Quite easy to drink. Lou Pepe releases and Lamvinus aside, this is the easiest of the Cantillon releases to drink. A real pleasure. And definitely something lambic rookies might want to try if looking to dive into sours.

 642 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2007 vintage

A: Hazy orange, huge gushing head that fades rapidly, leaving minimal trace

S: Barnyard funk, hay, citrus fruits

T: Tart, as expected. Complex, intriguing, and certainly different from the other Cantillon brews I have had. Subtle citrus fruits with straw/hay flavors, wine-like tannins and a biting acidity, but not harsh. Iris is done so well (like all Cantillon brews), I find it quite enjoyable.

M: Dry and acetic finish

D: I would drink Iris anytime. It's always a good day when you're drinking Cantillon.

 528 characters

Photo of stakem
3.78/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml bottle, '07 vintage bottled in '09 shared with some friends and poured into a matching Cantillon long stemmed tulip. The brew appears amber in color with an off-white to tan cap that maintains pretty solid retention for the style from a constant stream of carbonation rising to the surface. A light swirl revives the tan cap once it fades.

The smell of this brew is bold with damp woody character upfront. More smells reveal a bit of herbal hop character that blends into a fruity aspect. A tangy lactic component is throughout with a very pronounced earthy, damp mildew-like character somewhat similar to moist cork. It smells quite enjoyable but individually the scents of this brew are a bit contrasting and unexpected when mixed together.

The taste is tangy initially with an equally bold flavor of damp old wood and must just like the aroma indicates. It is both herbal with hoppy bitterness and earthy with a bit of dark fruited aspect. It is quite tangy and drying on the palate yet brings forth some salivation factor. As the brew warms up, there is a toasty flavor that seems to be like a toffee sort of grain indication or perhaps more reasonably a toasty depth of character imparted by the barrel aging. If possible, I would give this a 4.25 for taste, so I'll round up to a 4.5.

This is a medium bodied brew with a lively level of modest to high carbonation. There is not much abv impact but the combination of sourness and herbal bitterness is very trying on the palate. I enjoyed this but the combination of bitterness and sourness overall degraded this brews drinkability for me. Even though this brew was split equally between 4 people, I had a hard time finishing my ~5-6 oz. To this brews credit it was very unique with bold enjoyable barrel character. I wouldn't mind having a fresh one of these for comparison.

 1,839 characters

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.

 663 characters

Photo of jwc215
4.09/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle - Vintage 2004 (four yrs. old):

Pours orangeish with a white head that immediately becomes a patch.

The smell is of loads of barnyard/horseblanket funk with vinegar, grapey with citrus (esp. orange). Plenty of complexities under the blanket of funk.

The taste is funky and grapey with sweettart fruitiness and citric fruity bitterness. Sour stays ahead, but is supported by a balance of sweettart and some bitterish notes. Quite the complex one beyond the dominant sour.

Light-bodied, but medium-to-full within that range. Effervescent with a sharpness to it.

This is an interesting one - very funky but with subtle complexities that are quite unique. Ver drinkable despite puckering/near-puckering quality.

 727 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This brew, merely my third from Cantillon, was used to christen my new Lion tulip-style glass, and it stood in quite well!
Rich orange appearance, enormous head on her, a flush, full bristling bundle, gracefully descending in size.
Aroma, sourness, yet balanced, overall citric, very ...damn, ...hard to pigeonhole, for certain, a great match, very lemon and orange-dominated. loads of lambic funk, the bass line beckons Bootsy...
Down the mouth, oooh! sour! let's put the pen down 'til i spend more time with her, ...yup, sour, but tasty, too!
Huge flavor, big presence on the palate, long, lingering finish,
ooo!
ooo!ooo, ooo, oooo!!!
wince, shudder, ...smile!
Only 1/3 of the 750ml is gone? got more to enjoy, hurrah!
A delight for lamibic-geeks only and an occasional treat for weird beer-freaks like yours truly...such an unusual ale, a rare treat, another horse-blanket treasure from the barnyard geniuses!

 923 characters

Photo of smakawhat
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap into a snifter at Pizza Paradiso Dupont DC. Vintage 2007.

An off white head that looks a little soupy is given, with some tight bubbles. Body is a dull somewhat cloudy orange amber. As it settles the beer gets clearer, and maintains a solid white collar while drinking.

Nose is immediatly juicy, of at first orange citrus and tartness. Small sense of apricot, and with brett feel that is kind of whispy hot.

Taste brings much from the nose, starting first with a classic orange tart sensation. Texture brings tight small soda fizz mineral water carbonation, and even a slight woody splinters feeling on the aftertaste. Juicy apricot and fuzz follows after subsequent tasting. Brett sense seems less noticeable after subsequent sips as well.

Overall just another fun Cantillon romp, really like this fruit action.

 830 characters

Photo of drabmuh
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

REVIEW #799!! 2007 vintage. Beer served in a snifter. Beer is dark amber and completely hazy. Forms a surprisingly big head (the cork really popped out fast) and the carbonation is really high. Head is off white and made up of small bubbles. Doesn't leave much lacing on the glass. Looks great (although I don't mind my unblended lambics to have almost no carbonation).

Strongly tart with mild fruit aromas in the nose. Apples, some apricots (I know these fruits aren't here, just saying what I can smell). Mild acetic acid notes, nice lactic notes. Smells good.

Beer is super sour and has a nice funk to it. Lots of carbonation in the mouth. This pushes the limits of what I think a sour can be. Very lactic / citric in the front and then oak and woodsy at the back with a lingering funk. Drinkability is good but its not my favorite lambic from them. Overall I still thoroughly enjoyed it.

 893 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.39/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Its one of the Beer axioms I live by, when you see Cantillon on tap, order it! So when I saw this on on tap at My Place in Ct. my choice was a no brainer...this one poured cloudy, dull light amber, with minimal head, lacing etc. Nose was the expected sour, funky ripe apples. IOn the tongue, this classic, unadulterated Lambic continued the theme of sour, but not too sour, apple notes, funky, flavorful, unique, intense, complex, what can I say I love the Cantillon brews and this one was just lovely. Support the producers of these world class artisinal creations.

 566 characters

Photo of GClarkage
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

03/28/07- Purchased at Plumpjack's in San Francisco, CA.

Presentation- 750ml bottle sealed in foil, capped and corked. Vintage 2005 on the cork. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Deep orange colored pour. Maybe a bit rust like. Clouded yeasty pour. Minor rim of a head upon pour. Light spots of lace remain and drip down the sides of the glass.

Smell- Not as much funk as would like, but a nice tart and sour grassy and fruity nose. Can't really pick up what fruit though. Maybe lemon?

Taste- Tart, but not outrageously tart as some of the other Cantillon brews I have had. A nice mixture of lemon, orange and grapefruit sour medly.

Mouthfeel- Makes you salivate for more. Good tartness and next to no carbonation.

Drinkability- Excellent output from Cantillon. Maybe my favorite of the bunch to date.

 826 characters

Photo of Gobzilla
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a murky burnt brownish orange with pale yellow highlights and had a thin bubbly head leaving plenty of lacing sticking to the glass.

S: huge citrus lemon aroma upfront with acidic, sour notes but had the signature bretty funky barnyard cantillon character with oaky barrel notes.

T: the taste was also big on the citrus lemon flavors as well alongside oaky barrel, bretty, funky, barnyard acdic accents but huge mouthpuckering sour character.

M: the brew was medium in body with fair amount of carbonation which had a citrusy, funky, bretty, oaky, and sour finish.

D: cantillon really knows how to brew these lambic beers and this one is no exception, really tasty and drinking fabulous.

 701 characters

Photo of tempest
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2005 Vintage.
Bottled 2007.

Picked up a short green bottle for about $8. This lambic is a bit unusual for it hop character and all-malt grain bill, but it's a nice change of pace. The aroma begins the drink with a mix of musty leather and orange blossom, and the flavor is dominated by a pleasant lemon-lime juice. Tangy sour candy notes dot the edges of the palate, while orange rind and grapefruit hops provide a mild bitterness. This is an excellent lambic and a bit wine-like for white-wine lovers. Highly recommended and worth the money every once and a while.

 567 characters

Photo of Gavage
4.14/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear yellowish orange color. 1/2" head lingers a bit before falling to some surface bubbles. No lacing develops.

Smell: yeast, barnyard funk, sour fruits and overall muskiness fills the nasal passage.

Taste: the flavors follow the nose as yeast, muskiness, sour green apples, honey sweetness, hints of oak woodiness, and some light alcohol tones make up an interesting dry lambic.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Smooth and dry throughout. Brief bold aftertaste sticking towards muskiness and sour apples.

Drinkability: a pleasant slow sipping lambic that some may be turned off by, but this grow on you. Pretty easy to quaff.

 648 characters

Photo of Mora2000
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle provided by ericandersnavy. 2007 vintage.

Pours and orange color with an off-white head. Aroma is a very tart, sour. Some spices and floral qualities also. The flavor is vinegary with some great tart fruit. You get some wood notes in the flavor as well as a good mix of citrus and some barnyard funk. High carbonation and extremely drinkable.

 351 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2007 Vintage on-tap at Beachwood BBQ, on to the beer:

Burnt orange yellow in color with a short lived head and no lace. A different lambic this is; a hoppy one. While it still holds that simple and appealing lactic acid, the late hopping adds a strong second dimension of grassy flavors. In comparison to other Cantillon's, this is not overly sour, which helps make Iris easy to approach.

 389 characters

Photo of BARFLYB
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a handpump pull at Teresa's Next Door in a oversize wine glass.

Once the bright white frothy foam settled from the top of the glass about 10oz's of copper bronze shaded liquid graced the glass with a inch of settled layered foam that lasted, some splotches left behind.

This smells spectacular. A real nice hit of wet oak with some hay thrown in with light citrus. All together earthy with that Cantillon smell. Barnyard. damp basement.

This was just so flavorful from jump street. Im hit with that sourness up front with faded apple and hay. The oak is prominent yet not looming. This is sharp stuff. Earthy grass in the middle with an acidic nature, but not overkill.

After some time in the glass this settled down a bit. First sips off a loon are always mind bending, but after some time Iris comes into it's own. A small step up from light with alot of activity in the mouth. Strong aftertaste of sour apple and such.

I could have drank this all day. It really makes me appreciate the less sought after loons. This does the trick. I had some 5 years aged Iris on tap not to long ago and this blew it out of the water. I think this is a more recent vintage. Great stuff.

 1,179 characters

Photo of Wasatch
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very nice cloudy golden orange color, very nice carbonation, nice little white creamy head, white little sticky lacing. The nose is very upfront, sour, with some yeast, slightly grassy. The taste is big time sour, slightly yeasty. Medium body, very sour, slightly bitter. Drinkable, this is a tasty beer, but too much for my tastes.

 340 characters

Photo of aasher
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I received this beer in a massive trade with thagr81us, thanks Calton! This bottle is the 2007 vintage.

Upon popping the cap the cork was instantly saturated with lambic. The beer pours a light bodied amber in color with a light white lacing around the glass. It appears that it may be slightly oxidized. The aromas consist of perfume like qualities, floral acid, and moderate vinegar. It tastes quite acidic and has a particular spiced bite to it. It does have some floral and tea components as well. It's interesting to say the least. It drinks light in body and dries out your palate, yet not as much as other Cantillons. Overall it's an interesting beer and worth a try. I'm curious to know why they named the beer Iris.

 726 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.77/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottled 2002, Sampled February 2004
This beer pours a hazy amber-copper color, which is in stark contrast to the typical light gold color of a traditional Gueuze. It is reasonably well carbonated. The carbonation creates an off white head that is persistent but only 1/4 inch in my tulip glass. Wow, the aroma has as the strongest element definite notes of cat-piss, surely the most I have ever experienced in a Lambic beer. Other aromas of musty barns and of course some sour notes as well.

Upon my first taste I notes that there is lots of hop character for a Lambic type beer, which mixes quite interestingly with the traditional Lambic character. Don't get me wrong, the hop character is fairly subdued but it is here, even after 3 years of aging in the cask. This beer is of course sour (what else would you expect from a Cantillon product), with notes of citrus (a lemon & grapefruit mix) as well as a hint of vinegar. The barnyard musty-leather Brettanomyces character is quite prevalent in this bottle. This concoction showcases what this fickle funky yeast can do. This beer is quite fruity as well, what comes to mind as an apt description for this fruitiness is that of sour apples.

The lack of wheat in this beer seems to make this beer a bit fuller/ richer in the mouth than a typical Lambic product. This beer is not overly hard either, especially for a Cantillon Lambic. This was a wonderful first beer on a Superbowl Sunday afternoon. It paired wonderfully with the aged sharp cheddar, prosciutto, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and rustic bread. Cantillon definitely delivered once more with this beer. This is a world class beer, whose only flaw, given the specialty designation on this beer, is that perhaps it is not quite distinctive enough from a traditional Lambic, but how can I really complain since I do love Lambic.

 1,847 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

25.4 oz. bottle with a flower on it, 2004 Vintage,

A: Pours a somewhat murky, though the first few pours are clear, amber, with a fizzy white head that hisses as it evaporates, though it leaves a good rim around the glass, satisfying for a lambic.

S: Very tart, not overly funky, though, though there is some barnyard character to it, with a lot of sweet malt.

T: A huge sour note of lactic acid hits you when you first taste the beer, then the complexities start to come in, with a light Brett character of horse blankets and aged cheese. The beer finishes with a very earthy hop note of wet hay, grass, and straw. Very tasty.

M: Very sour, not as sour as Berliner Weisse, but close, I'd reckon a pH of about 3-3.5, slightly vinegary, but still has a lightness about it that makes it real easy to drink, well done.

D: A great lambic beer from Cantillon, I probably won't buy this again due to the price, $18.99 plus tax for a 25.4 ounce bottle, but I'm definitely glad I tried it, an interesting experiment, a 100% malted barley lambic, and it worked.

 1,058 characters

Photo of flagmantho
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from 750mL bottle into a tulip. This is the 2007 vintage of Iris.

Appearance: rich golden-orange hue with tons of haze. Head is two dense fingers of creamy ivory foam. Looks very nice.

Smell: the aroma of a fresh, grassy meadow dotted with wildflowers and graced with a cool, free-flowing spring. On top of this is a light tartness which really seals the deal. I've had a lot of beers which were very autumnal in their aroma, but Iris is extremely vernal in nature. Very, very good.

Taste: matches the aroma in every characteristic, though it is quite a bit more tart than the aroma suggests. Fresh grass and cool spring water yield to a yeasty, bready after-flavor with an extremely clean, tart and slightly bitter finish. Magnificent.

Mouthfeel: body is on the light side of medium and creaminess is deliciously Belgian. I quite like it, but it's not as extremely well-done as the aroma and flavor.

Drinkability: this is my first Cantillon, so you might chalk it up to shock. I was really expecting to like this beer, and boy, was I right in doing so. Call it confirmation bias. I just call it damn tasty.

 1,119 characters

Photo of HopHead84
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy dark orange with a one inch head and great lacing. Nice looking beer.

Brett really dominates this aroma, imparting some really funky notes. Musty horse blanket and barnyard aromas. Lactic sour notes and some tartness. The flavor is also very funky, with the aforementioned horse blanket, alpaca piss, mustiness, and barnyard characteristics. I didn't notice any citrus in the nose, but it's present in the flavor. Lemon, with some vinegar. The beer has a medium level of tartness and a nice level of sourness in the long finish.

Light - Medium bodied with a good level of carbonation.

 599 characters

Photo of Derek
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Vintage 2004.

A: Bronze with a fizzy, white head, initially some retention and hints of lace.

S: Earthy, metallic-mineral aroma, cider, tart/acidic aroma. Relatively mild & not overtly funky with subtle hints of barnyard.

T: Tart cider with biscuity malt undertones; metallic-earthiness; very pleasant leather-like quality; crisp tartness that isn't at all puckering.

M: Light to moderate body is well-carbonated, smooth and slightly acidic.

D: Very drinkable for a lambic.

 478 characters

Photo of corby112
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes:

2005 vintage. Pours a dark hazy amber/orange color with a one finger frothy white head that quickly settles into a thin ring. Minimal spots of lacing. Visible carbonation bubbling up.

Funky aroma with a decent amount of barnyard/horseblanket character as well as hints of earthy oak, tannins, vinegar, light fruit and earthy hops.

Medium bodied and puckering without being acidic at all. Sour/tart up front with a decent balance of musty/earthy oak along with subtle pale malt, earthy, bitter hops and crisp light fruit. Very complex and well balanced with a nice amount of citrus and other sweet, vinous fruits balancing out the sour funk. In addition, the hops used make this beer very unique for the style. The dry and cold hopping results in a earthier, slightly more bitter lambic than usual, but not to the detriment of the other characteristics. There's still plenty of funk but this is slightly better balanced and easier to drink than some other Belgian sours. Recommended.

 997 characters

Cantillon Iris from Brasserie Cantillon
95 out of 100 based on 489 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe