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: 494 | Ratings: 2,047
Photo of bs870621345
4.77/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to plenum for this bottle in a recent trade.

Pours amber with a huge white head. Leaves a very little bit of lacing down the glass.

Smells funky, lemony, vinegar, and a slight hint of wheat.

Taste is of funk, vinegar, apple, lemons, all mixed in with a hint of sweetness and pine resin.

Mouthfeel is very carbonated, moderately full on the mouth.

Drinkability is awesome, I decided to review so that I would slow myself down on drinking it.

An amazing lambic.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.76/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On tap at The Beer Belly in Albany, NY.

This one pours a murky straw yellow, a little of orange, with a quarter inch head, and no lacing.

This one smells pretty damn sour, with lemon sweet tarts, and some sour grapefruit. Smells really nice and inviting.

This is interesting, I've never tasted an unblended lambic before. There is a bit of bitterness on the end, most likely from the dry-hopping. This has a good amount of citrus flavor, mainly sour and bitter grapefruit and lemon rind, with a pretty intense sweet tart candied flavor. There's some old woody flavors as well. This is pretty fantastically earthy, and just tasty.

This is light bodied, with a lively level of carbonation. Super super drinkable.

A pretty unique sour from Cantillon, and also a pretty delicious one.

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Photo of Stolenface1
4.76/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a light amber/copper color into Crooked Stave tulip. Aroma of lemon, grapefruit, oak, honey, hay, funk, earthy, floral, herbs and wheat. Flavor follows the aroma with a nice tart/sour level and a very miniscule sweetness on the finish that plays perfectly with the herbal/floral/earthy Hallertau dry hop. The feel is light with perfect carbonation. I have absolutely nothing bad to say about this wonderful creation from Cantillon. Could be a touch more sour for my tastes but balance is really the key here. A+

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Photo of JeffoC6
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

Sweet and sour tart right up front. A sense of sour funked out candied peaches and apricots that were left out in a damp basement for a few weeks. Tiny hint of some raspberries. Almost like a pollen filled spring day in a meadow. Fizzy carbonation (just right) leaves a perfect dryness to the finish. Almost champagne-like. Mild hop bitterness (as compared to American beers) dance well with the aforementioned flavors. A star! My first Cantillon- Enjoying in Le Maraise in Paris! Will go back and get more methinks.

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Photo of ausonius
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2007 Iris. Bottled Feb, 2010.

Enjoyed in a 22 oz. Riedel red wine glass.

Appearance - Deep golden copper bronze.
Two finger fluffy head that subsides in a couple minutes to a thin foamy head with a decent amount of foamy lacing.

Aroma - Big, round, wheaty, malty, floral, earthy key-lime, funky, Lambic Brett & lactic nose with a nice noble, earthy hint of hops.

Palate - Malty lactic. Medium-light sourness - less sour than standard Cantillon Lambic. Slightly grainy wheat in fore-palate. Round earthy hop bitterness comes in after mid-palate.
Round herbal lemon & key-lime fruitiness. Light funk, but typical Lambic complexity.
Amazing balance & combination of flavors. Hint of malt sweetness, but fairly dry.
Flavor is huge, intense & perfect.

Mouthfeel - Good carbonation. Grainy, creamy, full, slightly attenuated lambic/lactic with Great, full, complex, predominantly hoppy finish.

Drinkability - Pretty amazing considering all the flavors stuffed into this bottle.

96 Points

Love this stuff! One of the greatest brews on this planet.

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Photo of amano_h
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

75cl bottle from the Brewery.

Sharp citrusy sour notes of lemon and citron tickle the nose first, followed by hints of wood, flowers, and earthy hops. There's also a discernible amount of pale and caramel malts toward the back end. Barnyard funk is present in the back end, but isn't as dominant as it is with the Classic Gueze.

Lip puckering sourness leads the charge. Lemon drops and white grapes come into mind, but before the thought has time to settle, earthier flavors of french vanilla and oak shine through. Floral hops also makes a brief entrance before it's washed away by the Cantillon funk.

Medium bodied, prickly carbonation, with a dry dry finish.

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Photo of klewis
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a bubbly caramel color with a huge, porous head. Good sustain and lacing.

S: Lots of funktastic complexity with a slight minty aroma.

T: Sour, tart, and funky with citrus and a strong floral taste. Full-flavored and complex.

M: Medium-bodied with high carbonation. Lingering tartness.

D: For sour lovers, you can't go wrong with this one.

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Photo of Iguana
4.73/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this tonight on-tap at Concordia Ale House in Portland, OR. Was served in snifter glass. Came a golden orange with no head but some carbonation fizzling up. Smell is some tartness and white wine grapes. Taste was simply amazing, tart, hints of honey and chardonnay. Mouthfeel is slightly sweet and tart and really pleasant. Drinkability may not be great for some people, but i was amazed at how great this was. I could have drank this stuff all night.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.72/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow...purchased this bottle at avenue pub in New Orleans-bottled May 5, 2012. So pumped about this purchase.
Poured from 750L into Lindemans geuze glass. nice hazy orange color with a thin rim of foam that lingers.
Aroma is just fantastic. So sour and funky and tart with a subtle floral and lemon hint. Wow...
Flavor is floral tart lemony lambic. Its so nice. Some slight hop presence is barely there but im thinking thats where the lemon comes from.
Its so tart and just puckers the mouth but is so pleasant.
Such an awesome and nearly pefect, but unique, beverage. As nearly all cantillon brews, this is more than worth it.

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Photo of pmccallum86
4.72/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a magnificent golden amber color with a light frothy bubbly head. Very nice.

Smell is incredible, such great tart aromas and earthy notes. Slight hops are detectable as well. Amazing.

Taste is amazing, great tart funky notes with a bitter hop finish. Some barnyard funk and dry leather finish.

The drinkability here is amazing, such a terrific beer. Good carbonation, super refreshing on a hot summer day.

Extremely drinkable, I doubt it gets more drinkable then this.

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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 sweemzander
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

750mL corked and capped bottle poured into a tulip. 2005 Vintage.

(A)- Pours a clear yet hazy orange caramel color that produced a rather large bubbly; almost effervescent off-white head that sure is staying around for awhile. Some solid retention behind it.

(S)- A bone dry funk house of grass-like notes, hay, straw, and barnyard - style lactic acid/vinegar. Behind all that is a nice crisp and tart-like lemon and orange peel.

(T)- Wow, a big tart-like sourness on the forefront. Bits of a tart lemon grass profile and cider-like finish. Very dry throughout.

(M)- A crisp carbonation level with a good balance. The bigger hop addition this apparently has really comes through in the grassy bitterness. Nice tart lemon on the end.

(D)- An interesting take on the style. Also, very interesting how this has progressed age-wise after a few years on it. Rather crisp and tart and overall a solid example of the style. Further age will probably even make this better. Cantillon, you make way too many good beers; leaving me broke.
**To update, after having this much more (particularly with more time on the bottle), this might be one of the best beers from Cantillon to age, it gets so nicely rounded, balanced, and drinkable, that it definitely makes me wish I had more of this to sit on. **

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Photo of cyrenaica
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle
6% ABV
2006 Vintage
I tried this beer on June 10, 2009 at "The Beerbistro" in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I'm convinced that this brewery can do no wrong. The beer poured a relatively clear golden orange with a small amount of haze and a whole lot of effervescence. The aroma was sour apples, some earth and must. The mouthfeel was medium-bodied and highly carbonated. The taste was both sour and bitter, and a great experience for the tongue.

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Photo of dar482
4.69/5  rDev +10.1%

The beer comes in a hazy golden color.

The aroma hits of that signature Cantillon funk of wet hay and slight brine. A good amount of tart.

The flavor follows with that tart quality up front, then straight into that wet hay funk. The beer continues to a floral and honey sweet quality.

Pleasantly impressed. A subtle, delicate, yet still a complex delicious Cantillon.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.68/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Looked like a west coast ipa, that vibrant orange and yellow appearance, great white head, lace and retention, perfect.

Aroma was heavy lemon, floral, grapefruit situation with funkal overtones.

Taste, quite sour, green apples, white wine, you seem to be able to appreciate a slight hop existence. Tiny amount of oak mouthfeel accompanying the little dry hopping. Extremely dry. Solid tart product from Cantillon, as usual

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Photo of rye726
4.68/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

'05 375 for $10.

Pour a rich cedar brown and has a lacy light beige head. The nose has funky oak, tart fruits and a flowery herb presence. The taste is super complex and well balanced between musty funk, sour fruits, oak and again flowery hops. Crisp body goes down quite nicely. Another great brew from cantillon.

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

75cl bottle dated 2001.

Pour exhibits a darker-than-usual, amber-orange pale ale hue. Different for Cantillon, but this is, to them, not a "true" lambic as it's brewed with 50% malted barley rather than the 35% unmalted wheat required of traditional lambic. Alas....

Nose features earthy, barnyard notes in addition to a touch of oak and stone that open up around mid-bottle. Deep, aromatic whaffs keep the nose lively and inviting throughout.

Lemon and grapefruit flesh, lime rind, flinty minerality and oaky notes are accompanied by the characteristically bracing Cantillon acidity that's omnipresent in this brew. The fresh hop character appears, too, imparting some earthy, but not bitter flavors. While it's not "lambic," this rendering is quite indicative of Oude Gueuze.

Lively mouthfeel with refreshing qualities and penetrating acidity keep this beer interesting, and in turn, highly drinkable. Would work quite well on a hot summer day, very slightly chilled (45-50 degrees), with a sampling of robustly flavorful cheeses. I drank this one at cellar temperature and was most pleased with the results. Another wonderful offering from Cantillon's portfolio.

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

2007 vintage. $26 at The Brick Store Pub. 375 mL bottle corked and capped poured into a Cantillon tumbler.

A: It pours a hazy amber color with vibrant carbonation and a billowing foamy head that rises unevenly and a quickly as ginger ale but falls just as quickly, leaving a thin film with average lacing.

S: The aroma is incredibly pungent and is noticable immediately upon opening. It features lots of grassy and earthy notes, sour pears, some floral notes, lemon peel, and some overall funk. It is considerably less sour in the nose than on the palate, however.

T: Strong, acidic, citric, and somewhat hoppy sour notes combined with pear and apple fruitiness, a little grass, and a touch of cherry. It is so complex and delicious.

M: The body is rather light and heavily carbonated while the flavors lasted long after my glass was dry.

O: The price was hard to swallow but the beer sure wasn't. After trying my first Cantillon brew, I definitely understand the hype.

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

A: Pours a bright orange with about a 1/2 inch head.

S: Belgian funkiness, and sour yeastiness which is very reminiscent of ground up Flintstone vitamins.

T: Jaw-lockingly sour with a very acidic afterbite. It has that fruity sourness than only fruits like Granny Smith apple can provide. The pucker factor is strong, but I like it.

M: Many have stated that this finishes somewhat dry. Frankly, I didn't get that at all.

D: Not the best Cantillon I've ever had, but that would be like comparing one Hall of Fame quarterback to another.


I had this brew at Huhzabendah's (Matt's) place about a year ago when I was fairly new to sours, but now that I've had many since, I feel compelled to give this one another look.

This is Iris 2007.... on tap at Churchkey at Zwanze Day 2011.

A: Pumpkin orange, with a substantial haze in the translucence category, and with no head whatsoever.

S: It had a very sour, yet fruity quality that also attached itself to a what seem like an entire peppercorn. I also got the signature Cantillon, milk-like aroma in spades.

T: On the taste, I got a mere sillouette of the sour (tempered sourness) beer I got on the aroma, along with the same lactose Catillon taste profile.

M: Mildly acidic, and very organic in its fruit sweetness. The fruit lingered more than the sourness. No lacing really....

O: It is amazing how one's tastes change over the course of a year. This one is world class!

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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 CanuckRover
4.66/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2007 Vintage.

Always a bit odd judging the appearance of lambics. She's not a looker, like sparkling iced tea, but on style. Spritzy carbonation off the pour seems to settle down fairly quickly. Thin head has no retention at all.

Apples immediately on the nose, like a nice French farmhouse cider. Tartness in abundance. Noticeable hops, verging on American citrus notes. This is lovely, seems a shame to drink it!

Up front it's remarkably crisp and refreshing. Serious sour profile registers in the back of the mouth after a couple seconds. This is very cider-like. Tart apples, lively carbonation, great dry finish. Everything infused with an appropriate level of funk. Lingering hop bitterness.

This is one of my favourite Cantillon brews. Very complex, but still incredibly approachable. Need to do a side-by-side to figure out just how the wheat registers in their regular offering.

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Photo of montrealbcr89
4.66/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had this on-tap at the Dieu du Ciel! brewpub.

A: Poured a beautiful dark-orange coppery colour with two fingers of bright white head with tiny bubbled that dissipated quite quickly.

S: So much going on here, especially as the beer warmed: tartness, slight vinegar, oak, slight hop (sweet hop as it warmed). Could smell it for a long time and continually pull out different notes.

T: Again, nice tartness, a slight white-wine vinegar. Sweeter hop notes as the beer warmed. Very dry finish with an herbal quality towards the back of the pallet.

M: Fairly dry with medium carbonation. Had a light to medium mouthfeel.

O: Just a great beer. Could drink a couple of these in one sitting. Very well balanced and TONS of things going on at 5%. I didn't think I'd have a chance to try this on tap, but I am glad I did, as I will be able to let my sole bottle of this sit for a while and really evolve.

Great beer. Thanks to my girlfriend who rushed to the downtown pub with me to get a pour before the keg kicked.


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Photo of Amalak
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This has a refreshing tart taste and a very strong and lovely fruity scent. The fruity taste comes through at first. A malty grape taste and some lemon/apple, but a good floral finish. A bit of a hoppy bite, but not much. Good, dry finish. Very enjoyable.

Sadly I didn’t think to look at the year on the bottle, but it was brought from Belgian by some friends of mine who live there. So this will be of whatever the local-bought variety would be and they purchased in December 2013 timeframe.

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Photo of mlazzaro
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

vintage 2007 375 ml bottle. corked and capped.

orangy/light rose color. well carbonated. great head retention.

refreshing smell. pungent tart aroma.

sweet, tart and sour. so tart, I feel like it hurts my teeth. it's awesome. light brew sour candy. excellent aftertaste.

I wish this beer wasn't finite. or so expensive. great sour lambic though. one of my favorites.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
4.64/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

First pour from a “Botteld 2004” [sic] cork was a crystal clear light amber hue. Second pour has some cloudy hazy quality with zero head cap or lace.

Scents are a pure delight of tart mega tart lemon and lemon rind.

Lemon rind and lemon juice ultra tart flavor. Some hop balance eeks out but this is all about the sour tart lambic style. Quite acidic in the aftertaste.

Last swigs: This is an Imperial Lambic to me. Mega tart and sweet. Mostly tart. Thanks to fellow BA PopeDX for sharing the bottle. Overall, this is absolutely outstanding.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

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Cantillon Iris from Brasserie Cantillon
4.26 out of 5 based on 2,047 ratings.
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