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Cantillon Iris | Brasserie Cantillon

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Cantillon IrisCantillon Iris

Brewed by:
Brasserie Cantillon

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

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Reviews: 492 | Ratings: 2,013
Photo of AleWatcher
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2007 vintage on the label
Bottled in Jan 2011.
Served in an RR -ation glass.
Shared by Whitemomba.

I've had this one before a few times, but it seems I never reviewed it... Well, here we go!

Glowing orangey colored body with a fluffy creamy tannish head of two fingers. Nice thick oily legs with sticky sheets of bubbles clinging hard.
Smells flowery... Candy sugar and tartness with a huge funky sourness. A biting acidity tries to cleanse the palate, but the sugary sweetness won't be cut out entirely.
The finish dries out a bit, but not entirely. Some gritty sugary sweetness lingers amidst a huge sour note that pulls in my cheeks and numbs my tongue.

Medium body with plenty of carbonation. Very nice.

This is another great beer from Cantillon. The oaky funk is dirty and yet refreshing. Tons of flavor and huge sourness helps keep this quite enjoyable.

 870 characters

Photo of oline73
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I had this poured from the bottle into a flute at Teresa's Next Door.

Appearance: Pours a mostly clear amber with hardly any head.

Smell: Quite sour with strong herbal notes. There is a mild sweetness that is accompanied by some fruit notes.

Taste: Sourness dominates. There is a mild malt background with some fruity notes. The finish is bitter and funky.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and a finish that is a bit dry. This beer
almost flat.

Overall: I thought this beer was just ok as far as sours go. It was smooth, but I didn't find it to be very interesting.

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Photo of zaphodchak
3.65/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Churchkey for Zwanze Day 2011.

One finger fine white head, golden-amber body.

Powerful vinegar funk on the nose.

The taste is incredibly sour; monolithic vinegar dominates. Slightly musty with some very bitter lemon and possibly arugula.

Mouthfeel is thin, not very carby.

Too much too late? I can't even imagine how sour this might be fresh. If you're seeking balance, avoid. If you're a sour fanatic with a palate to appreciate the super-tart, might be worth a shot.

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Photo of BdubleEdubleRUN
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap, Zwanze Day @ Stone.
Pours a hazy dark yllowish orange with a decent white head the clings to the glass. The nose is stong of sour citrus oranges, apricot, apple and a funkiness. The tast is sour lemons and sweet orang with a earthy funk. Its got a medium feel that is well carbonated. A very tasty beer.

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

I had 2007 Cattallion Iris at Pizzeria Paradiso in Dupont Circle Washington DC. It was a delicious sour beer with some subtle fruit character. Not too much vinegar flavour.

A: Orange color and 4mm head that fades leaving decent lacing. 4.5

S: Sour aroma with some fruit character. 4

T: Tart and slightly bitter with a little metallic flavour. Fresh bitter aftertaste. A little vinegar at the end but not as much as most wild ales. 4

M: Foamy 4.5

O: Yum Yum. So tart. 4

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.4/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2006 Vintage. Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a tasting glass.

Appearance: The pour is a golden caramel color with a delicate white head. A few spots of lace stick to the glass.

Smell: Lilac, some hay, and a good amount of barnyard funk provide the base of the aroma. An omnipresent sour aroma is there as well.

Taste: The taste is both fairly sour and also brashly bitter. These two sensations together are not very pleasant. There is a lemon zest sour flavor to go with the light malts, but as the flavor transitions to bitterness I feel like I am chewing on flowers. Overall it is a tart, funky, and flowery taste.

Mouthfeel: The body has dried out a fair amount while retaining a light oiliness. Medium bodied with light to medium carbonation.

Overall: This combination of flavors really did not do it for me. I prefer their other sours.

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Photo of petacutlasaurus
4.67/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a draft of Cantillon's Iris 2007 at the 2011 Zwanze pouring party at ChurchKey. Personally, I enjoyed the Iris more than any of the other beers poured (Zwanze 2010/11). The nuances of the wildness integrated really well with the original crisp, sweet ale.

Unlike the two Zwanze's (especially the 2011), this beer doesn't knock you out. The 2007 vintage, after four years, has had considerable time to mellow out, and that it has. But in losing acute sourness, it's gained some pretty remarkable depth in the sourness's specific taste. And to have all of that among an ale that's otherwise so simple really let's it shine.

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Photo of BMoldy
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Tasted on 09/14/11. From notes:

A: Medium amber, relatively clear, with golden hues. Quite beautiful, really. No head or lacing to speak of.

S: Mildly fruity, with a wine-y grape presence. Woody yet slightly floral.

T: Tart and sweet, but surprisingly balanced for a lambic. Slight bitterness. Oaky tannins as well. Very smooth.

M: Medium-bodied. Small but brisk carbonation.

O: Absolutely delicious. A few days after I tried this (fresh) one, I got to try one from 2006, which was phenomenal. Still tastes like a good, tart lambic, but the extra bitterness adds some great balance to the beer. My favorite by far.

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

Golden bronze. Tannic nose reminiscent of an unblended lambic but more mature. Once in the mouth, we get also this, that we are not to a bad end product and not intended for consumption.

In flavor, it perceives the roughness of the wood and the acidity of wood but with the addition of a touch of malted barley (with a small light caramel taste), which increases the complexity of the drink without altering the balance. The finish is acid, but retained, and the tannic side continues to be a nice way.

Unblended lambic a much more convincing than the Bruoscella, by far.

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Photo of ehammond1
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On Tap

Stone Brew Co.
Escondido, CA

Zwanze Day 2011

Hazy golden orange and yellow with a persistent white head. Spots and thin sheets of lacing mess the glass.

Bright aromas of barnyard funk and some tart yeast along with plenty of stinging sour notes. There's also a lingering sweetness throughout of mild citrus and some wood.

The flavor really shines far more than the aroma would initially indicate. A wonderful combination of bright citrus, earthy hay and grass, a bit of sour, and a warm blanket of barnyard, musty funk.

Medium bodied and ample carbonation. A joy to drink.

Incredibly drinkable and remarkably complex. Wonderful

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Photo of afdempse
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On Draft at ChurchKey during Zwanze Day 2011

Hazy dark-ish orange amber color. Great foam cap that clings.

Tart aroma with a slight mustiness

Sour up front, with a spicy, bitter edge. Definite herbal-hop flavor, with bready barley notes in the finish. Lemony sour character that is smooth and not too astringent. Brett character is mild, not quite as funky as others from Cantillon, and not as mouth-puckeringly sour, either. Finishes sweet-tart and semi-dry.

Very complex ale that I enjoyed a lot. Would love to pick up an older vintage and let it sit around for a while in the cellar.

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

813th Review on BA
Draft to Goblet

@Stone Zwanze Day

App- The pours more like an IPA in my opinion. A nice head formed at about 1” and with a touch of dotty cling and had a lot of nice swirls in the glass. A glowing looking orange with a bit of yellow intermixed.

Smell- This was an interesting mix to me. Had a fairly dry note with a bit of yeastiness mixed in. At the same time presented with a bit of tart/funk and a fair bit of citrus rind and zest.

Taste- A very nice dry beer. Lots of bitter hops on this one with a fairly gueuze like style in terms of a bit acidic and spicy at the same time with a citrus, hay and funk note.

Mouth- Very dry and I liked it. Medium bodied and medium carbonated. A little bit of grassy, lemony after taste.

Drink- A very nice beer. A lot going on here but all seems to be working together and not to muddled or overpowering of each other. I would like to see a couple more bottles of this one with a little age to it.

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Photo of ahalloin
4.54/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2007 poured at Churchkey on Zwanze Day.

Pours a cloudy dark gold with a leggy white lacing. Incredible lacing actually clinging the glass as I swirled it. Great look, hence the 5.

Candied orange, hay, grass, with slight garlic/onion notes come through for me in the aroma. The garlic/onion detracts somewhat.

The flavor is a different story. Beautiful mouth-filling funk and sour grapefruit fresh make up the taste.

The mouthfeel is quite outstanding. Full flavor and body yet a subtle drying finish. Medium carbonation works great with this.

This was my favorite Cantillon of the day next to Zwanze '10 and '11.

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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 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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of onefalsemove711
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2007, Bottled 15 December, 2010.

Bottle poured into an oversized wine glass.

A - Deep golden copper with a one finger head that dissipates relatively quickly to a silky white lace that lingers about for quite awhile.

S - Sour cherries and yeast with subtle citrus and floral notes.

T - Sour cherry, bitter orange and spicy hops.

M - Great carbonation and body really adding to a very enjoyable mouthfeel.

O - A very intriguing and complex ale that really kept me on my toes from the word go. My first Cantillon experience and I really enjoyed! I will definitely be seeking out Iris and any other Cantillon offerings that I can get my hands on.

 657 characters

Photo of birchstick
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 Edition; bottled 2010

A - pours an orangeish faint copper / caramel color with a really nice head that dissipates as the beer settles

S - smells of citric acids, honey, a little funk, and white grapes with oak tones

T - starts off with fresh lemon on the front of the tongue. This fades to a caramelized honey flavor throughout the middle of the palate. There was also a touch of bitterness coming through. Iris ends how it started - citricly sour. Not as mouth puckering as other Cantillons I have tried, however this is still pretty damn sour. Pretty solid!

M - thin and dry with a modicum of carbonation

D - Another winner from Cantillon. After reading some previous reviews I was expecting a different beer than what poured out of my bottle. As previously stated, not as sour as other Cantillons, but another quality product. I have one more in the cellar and am anxious to see what time does this one.

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Photo of match1112
3.8/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: cloudy yellowish orange in color with a full finger head that quickly disappears.

s: fruits and yeast with a touch of vinegar.

t: enough tart fruits to make you pucker. with an overly vinegar finish.

m: tart and crisp with a tongue tingling vinegary acidic finish.

o: an alright beer, not my favorite wild ale. probably wont buy again unless someone wants one in a trade.

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Photo of victory4me
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

'07 vintage poured into a 6oz wine glass at Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia.

A truly beautiful beer, bright orange yellow with a perfect and fluffy 1.5 finger head like nothing I have ever seen on a Cantillon. Aroma is much hoppier than I expected from hallertau hops. My expectations from this noble hop were a more subtle presence of bitterness especially with this many years of age, but what I got was a surprisingly citrusy and floral aroma more akin to that of an IPA or Pale Ale than that of a pilsner.

The taste was flavorful and juicy with summer fruit and citrus tones from the hops and tart and funky from the Cantillon yeast. I honestly found this to be somewhat par for course and more in line with some of the American Wild Ales I have had and less in touch with what I am used to from Cantillon. Kind of surprised to be tasting something from Cantillon that immediately brought Victory Wild Devil and Ommegang BPA to mind (albeit much better).

Mouthfeel was standard, despite the head, less carbonation within the beer.

Tasty, but so much better to come out of Cantillon that I wouldn't go out of my way for this.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at monks during the cantillon mad monday - I tried both 04 and 07 vintages

Pours a mostly clear deep reddish color with some cherry hues. A thin head dissolves into a halo of retained film around the glass, leaving little lacing.

A pleasant smack of tartness in the nose with unripe grape skin and some noticeable bitterness. Damp funkiness and some acidity as well.

Bitter and sour up front with a dark fruit presence. Damp funk and hay with some citrus. Soft sweetness and faint red wine tones. Finishes tart, dry, oaky, and bitter.

Lighter medium body, decent carbonation, lingers on the tongue for a bit. This was another tasty beer, although the combination of bitter and sour didn't completely fit my palate (unlike Cuvee des Champions).

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Photo of DearthVader
3.94/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 Vintage split with my girlfriend and brother. This was made possible thanks to the generosity of LSUPT. Thanks again for this Alex.

Poured into my Fantome tulip.

It pours a beautiful burnt yellow that gets brighter towards the center of the glass. A Ron of carbonation in this one which creates the billowing 2 finger off white head. The head sticks around for quite some time which I am nor use to with the style. Very nice.

Smell is a little underwhelming. The oak characteristic was the most prevalent feature. It overwhelmed the sour aromas and all the mashed fruits that were in this.

The taste is sour upfront. The sourness bleeds into some wonderful grape, apple, peach, and apricot flavors. The oak is very noticeable late in the sip.

Could drink this stuff all day. Nice and creamy mouthfeel that is still light bodied and very inviting.

My second chance with a Cantillon. They continue to live up to the hype.

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Photo of jm1229
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

4th review on BA. 2007 Vintage opened up on 8/4/11 into my Duvel tulip. My first Cantillon beer! Extremely excited. Let's get to it!

A- Lively carbonation on this one as expected. It pours a cloudy, murky rust-orange. Darker than I thought it would be for 5%, but looks ready to be enjoyed. No lacing on the glass.

S- Smells rather sour. Lots of sourness. Apples? Grapes? Can't quite put my finger on it, but I really want to taste it.

T- Sour. Funky. Oaky. I was right about the grapes and apples, they're there for sure. Really tasty and I can't find it in myself to put it down.

M- Carbonation is nice and coats the palate rather nicely. Really nice and light.

O- Nothing really overwhelming about this beer, but as a whole, it really comes together wonderfully. A great introduction to Cantillon and I can't wait to try the others when I get my hands on them.

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Photo of Spider889
3.74/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2004 vintage from the cellar at Monk's Cafe.

Boy was this little guy expensive!

The server brought this up from the cellar and you could tell there was some water damage on the label, more than half was peeling/rotted off. I think there was something sludgy around the outside of the cork too, because right before using the corkscrew the server rushed away and opened this out of sight.

The beer looks nearly flat with absolutely no head at all. It was a dirty copper color.

Smelled very musty with quite sweet queuze-like moments. Under that rotted oak planks are strong. Dry brett and lactic hints of green apple also grew as the beer began to open up more.

The taste is very bitter up front for the style. Not puckeringly sour as some Cantillon can be. Super dry and smokey with notes of earth and trodden grass along with some black cherry as well.

Sadly neither the funk nor the sour quite lived up to my hopes for my first lambic so old.

The mouthfeel is very dry and as acidic as it can get before becoming outright sour. There was an almost gritty/dusty element as well that wasn't overly appealing.

Overall this was a nice beer to try, but I'd take Classic Gueuze over this any day. Would love to give this another shot though someday, especially on a fresh bottle to compare.

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Cantillon Iris from Brasserie Cantillon
4.26 out of 5 based on 2,013 ratings.
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