Cantillon Iris | Brasserie Cantillon

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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
Reviews:
490
Ratings:
2,007
Avg:
4.26
pDev:
19.25%
 
 
Wants:
705
Gots:
463
For Trade:
47
User Reviews
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Reviews: 490 | Ratings: 2,007
Photo of br3wmeister
4.26/5  rDev 0%
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.

 873 characters

Photo of JLeege
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
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 -6.1%
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 +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2007
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 +1.4%
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 -2.6%
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 +0.2%
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 +3.3%
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 -3.3%
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 ericdavidmorris
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

My very first Cantillon experience. Had on tap at Torst. An amber color, light head, good lacing retention for a sour. Very tart taste with floral notes. Complex beer to taste, very happy I tried it.

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Photo of DaveJanssen
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
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 +3.8%
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 RollBounce
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a different take then expected. sour dry and floral. not the same nose you get from their other beers. I feel other companies have copied this flavor.

 158 characters

Photo of phichifiji00
3.75/5  rDev -12%
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.

 413 characters

Photo of Ellbert
3.16/5  rDev -25.8%
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%
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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Photo of 01001111
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Burnt amber.

S: Tart, Cantillon yeast funk.

T: Peach, state bitter hops, an odd mixture of medicinal and rotten. Simultaneously delicious and mildly disgusting.

M: A slight prickly tartness. Crisp but full bodied.

O: Unique. Oddly compelling. Cantillon are certainly the kings of funk.

 296 characters

Photo of Xul
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 Vintage 375ml bottle

A: Pours a slightly hazy orange/amber, capped by a frothy two finger white head. Head settles down to a half finger or so and lingers there for a while.

S: A good blend of acidity and funk. The acidity has a lot of citrus to it with strong lemon zest notes, along with some green apples. Funk is moderate in strength with a damp blanket character.

T: Strong tartness up front with even more lemon zest than in the nose, along with some very light green grapes. Funk comes in to balance the acidity, maintaining the damp blanket from the nose. Tartness comes back for the finish with a light fruity sweetness.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation, dry finish.

D: Very easy drinking with strong but not overwhelming tartness.

 769 characters

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

Vintage 2004

Opened a well settled bottle and got a bright and clear yellow pour with a rocky white head.

The aroma was full of brettanomyces barnyard funk, lactic acid, some acetic note, and mild cheesiness.

The flavor was pretty tart and acidic. The beer had a clean biscuity backbone (very subtle, but nice). As Iris is 100% barley malt, it was absent of the typical wheatiness that is in nearly all Cantillons. There was a nice grapefruit pith bitterness in the finish.

The carbonation was spritzy the mouthfeel was light and crisp. Slightly fuller bodied that the Classic Gueuze.

Very refreshing and highly drinkable. It's nice to have unblended lambics to be reminded of what these beers can taste like in their "naked" state.

 739 characters

Photo of Naugled
2.98/5  rDev -30%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

750ml corked bottle served in chalice
2004 vintage 2006 bottling date

A: cap was rusted from the inside out, cork had leaked and smelled damp. cork made no pop on opening, and pour produced no head almost flat. Has a gold orange color.

S: Musty peppery smalled with hints of greasy fried chicken but in a good way (that's the first I've ever experienced that in a beer)

T: Very sour, tart and tangy. has the classic guezey lambic taste. Dry and astringent and bitter finish that lingers too long.

M: slippery mouthfeel and leaves the mouth with a chalky feeling.

D: I don't think this beer is meant to be drunk, I think its just for collectors and blenders. I blended the remaining portion of the bottle with Muse a sweeter saison and the two together were fantastic.

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Photo of mondegreen
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz Bottle poured into a Samichlaus Tulip.

2007 Vintage, according to the cork it was bottle in 2009.

A: Hazy golden/copper appearance. Tons of tiny bubbles rushing to the head , keeping a healthy froth above the beer.

S: Funky & Strong. My wife commented that she smelled in from about five feet away when I walked into the room. Tough for me to put a finger on exactly what I am smelling, as I'm still fairly new to the world of Lambics. This one smells nice, though.

T: Heavy pucker factor all the way through this one. Sour fruits are evident, and the aftertaste is unique. I like the taste, but this one needs to be enjoyed slowly, as the aftertaste lingers.

M: Nice carbonation, beer is just thick enough to be enjoyable.

D: I'm enjoying this one, but I think 12oz will be enough for one sitting. Of course, it will take me awhile to finish this since the flavors are quite potent. I'd be up to have it again at another time, for sure.

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Photo of zoober911
4.71/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle date January 18, 2015 -

A - A rigorous pour yields a small head. Retains for a moderate length of time but fades into the glass. Pours a darker shade of amber, a brick color. Generally cloudy with some transparency.

S - The smell of beautiful funk. Slight hop presence from the dry hop but mostly masked by funk some fruit characteristics and oak vanillas.

T - Pleasant tartness, soft sourness. Plums. French oak vanillas. Blended together they linger, dancing I your mouth. Slight sour puckering on the back of your tongue, makes your mouth water thinking about it. Very well balanced.

F - Soft mouthfeel. Light carb level as expected. Crisp.

O - Overall, this is another great option from Cantillon. Very well balanced. Tart - sour - funky - delicious - refreshing.

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Photo of IPAcraig
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One of the beers I brought back from Belgium. Poured into an oversized wine glass. Drinking it while watching My Cousin Vinny


A - Pours a murky golden orange with just a wee bit of carbonation although more than their Gueze.

S - As with most of the Cantillon products, this has hugely funky aroma. However, this has something off in the nose, a gluey sour aroma. With that small critique aside, this does smell pretty good, smells of an earthy barnyard tartness.

T - Hugely sour, with a big acidic flavor. I was especting a bit more hoppiness from this one, but the hop bitterness is very slight. A big earthy extremely tart Lambic.

M - More carbonated than the average Lambic, very light mouthfeel.

D - It may be tough to finish the 750ml by myself, the tartness is huge.

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Photo of scott451
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml corked and capped bottle. Bottled in 2010, best before 12/2020. warmed from fridgetemperature and poured into a glass mug and some beakers.

A hazy rose apricot with a bubbly off white head which soon dissapeared to a few thin patches.

Vinous sour smell. Some citrous barn. Whoah! Very smooth, sharp, sour grapefruit pith. Apple, leather, oak leads followed by a long slide to a very long prickly astringent dry finish. Whew!

Medium light body. Well carbonated. The drinkability is outstanding. I could drink this long haul.

 532 characters

Photo of HiroProtagonist
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cantillon Iris was served from a corked (2001), capped, and foiled 750ml bottle. In a chalice, this beautiful beer was a brilliant and shiny copper color, and was topped by an everlasting, fine, and creamy off-white head that left sheets of luxurious lacing wherever it touched. The carbonation was varied and fascinating, consisting of slower small streamers, and large speeding bubbles that would hit the surface with such force they could be seen making bumps in the head from above. The nose presented an aggressive sourness with a soft musty grapefruit component followed by herbal juniper berry and powdery floral perfumy notes. On the palate, an up-front oaky dry sourness with an assertive raw lemon accent explodes then gains a tannic bitterness before slowly dropping off, leaving lingering herbal/grassy earthen lemony aftertastes. The body is very smooth, slick, and richly full, serving to counter and balance the dry oaken sourness. The vigorous carbonation matched well with the flavors and character of this lambic. I found this beautiful all-malt lambic to be wonderfully aromatic, robustly flavorful, and a pleasure to drink.

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Cantillon Iris from Brasserie Cantillon
4.26 out of 5 based on 2,007 ratings.
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