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:
465
For Trade:
46
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 489 | Ratings: 2,001
Photo of mtomlins
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a stemmed Teku glass
2014 Vintage; thanks to KeKeKumba for the bottle!

A: Poured a orange-hued amber color, clear, with two plus fingers of white head that settles nicely to a thin collar and no lacing.

S: The nose is brilliant, big and sour with some pleasant funk, lemon, white pepper and some floral notes. It smelled so good, that I kept smelling the glass after the beer was gone!

T: The very first sip was a shock to my palate, very dry and sour. After the first sip and my palate relaxed, all the subtleties started to come out. There is a lot of sour and dry hop bitterness, but also nice funkiness, barnyard, lemon rind, white pepper. The finish is very dry and bitter.

M: It has a medium body and nice carbonation keeping it light and refreshing.

O: This is the driest of all the Cantillons I have tried (which is not that many!). This was a real treat, a beer to be sipped and enjoy over a long period of time.

 959 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 LightnerLiquorKS
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very gorgeous lambic in glass. Not too much head but a wonderful hazy golden hue to this in a well-lit room.

The smell is almost Classic gueuze, with oak barrel abundance. Lambic yeast aroma is prevalent here. Barnyard funk, light fruit notes of citrus and grapefruit.

Taste is a lot like a Gueuze, with a bit more sweetness. There are citrus and other fruit notes in here that are incredibly deep, there are a ton of nuanced flavors all over this beer. Green apple acidic finish. Wine-like in overall taste, but definitely a Lambic.

Alcohol is not detectable. Light body, yet rustic at the same time. The tart bite on this beer should be classified as "high" but from all the sours and lambics i've tasted it is not overwhelming. This is a great intro beer for Cantillon.

Overall unique with the slight sweetness and amazing oak profile. If you do not read the ingredients you would really be bugged to understand what this is made of! You would swear this was slightly fruited at least!

 996 characters

Photo of Brew33
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Cantillon Iris. Corked and capped 750, 2007 Vintage.

I opened the bottle and pulled the cork. I smelled the end of the cork and it smelled like straight red wine vinegar.... I got scared but the fright wouldn't last long. It poured a reddish amber. Good clarity, light carbonation. The aroma was excellent. Big sour twang. Apple skin, slight hoppiness. The taste was more of the same. Big fruit flavor and a nice sour kick. Not too sour though. Definitely the least sour Cantillon product I've had thus far. Nice hop bitterness and tremendous balance. The malts and hops play very well with the sour yeast notes.

Absolutely delicious. Good mouthfeel and amazing drinkability. I usually get burned out on Guezue's and Lambics after 2 glasses but I could literally drink Iris all night long. An absolute winner.

 812 characters

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

12.7oz bottle, corked and capped, vintage 2005. The beer is clear with a touch of haze, copper colored with almost no head. The aroma is sour and barnyardy, kind of musty and a little metallic. The taste is just perfection, Cantillon makes the best lambics I've tried. I get a lot of sour citrus like lemon or puckering grapefruit juice, funkiness from the wild yeast, tart and delicious. Full bodied for a lambic (meaning light in body versus many other beer styles), I found the bottle disappearing quickly. I'll get the big bottle next time.

 544 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 backbaybrewer
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750 bottle. Served in white wine glass similar to those used for serving at Cantillon tasting room.

Ap: Orange/Amberish color. Big lasting off-white head. moderately hazzy, but not opaque.

Ar: Sour/Tart is the first thing you pick up. with fruit and some floral/citruisy hop presence as well. Maltiness also present. A wonderful tart/sour smell to it though. As soon as I cracked the bottle I get hit with it.

T: Not the predominant flavor, but worth mentioning first is the Hop bitterness. This beer differs from most other cantillon offerings in that they use fresh hops as opposed to aged hops which provides noticable hop bitterness on the palate. Also of note is the maltiness present. Again, not overwhelming, but it's there. These two flavors combine with the classic gueuze like flavors to create a truly unique Cantillon offering. Fruity sourn/tartness is really the dominant flavor, but the others stand out despite being reserved simply because they are so unique for a beer of this type.

O: A fantastic beer. Perhaps my new favorite Cantillon. Wish I had multiple bottles because I could sit around and drink this like a session beer all day.

 1,159 characters

Photo of Phatz
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation: a 12 ounce heavy bottle with foil cork and cap.

Allowed to warm and served in a Flute glass.

Appearance: Pours a soft orange amber color with a think white head in my Brooklyn Flute glass. When the head fades there is no notable lacing.

Smell: Musty sour lemon aroma with strong suggestion of old wood barrels, and hints of the yeast and Lambic funk.

Taste: Wow! I Love it!! I was expecting much more intense than this. It is tart yes but somehow it seems even less intense than the Cantillon Kriek. This is smooth and easy sour. With an apple cider acidity and dark dryness. but there it also a level of depth, with Muscat grapes and woodiness (vinous) and a sweetness that came out long after the beer is swallowed and the sour fades the aftertaste continues to shine.

Mouthfeel: Perfectly dry with just the right acidity and sour to make me smack my lips and salivate for more long after each swallow.

Drinkability: As a sour beer fan, I loved this one. It is up there with, if not even better than Vigneronne. WOW. I need to get more of this stuff. If only the 750s were less than $17.99 I'd be drinking this beer every night. That said, this style is not a transition beer. This is an acquired taste, I love.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

 1,281 characters

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

Thanks to duffextracold for bringing this up from the cellar. 2007 bottle.

Dark gold with a pristine white head. Great retention for a sour. Smells like Sweet Tarts, yellow grapefruit and must. Tastes like it smells with a litte extra straw, hayloft in there.

It's Cantillion. You could open ferment a bucket of spit in that brewhouse and it would be great.

 360 characters

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 BEERchitect
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
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 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 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 midnite2sixman
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 Vintage. Courtesy of Steven Smith the chief beer geek at the Hop Cat in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Poured into 3 tulip glasses. Appears a ruby orange minimal head. Small globby lacing.

Sour greenhouse floral smell. Granny smith apples. Mild citrusy. Smells kind of like a rainy morning in a garden.

Taste is more of the same. The greenhouse thing is really what I am emphasizing here. Smells like the local garden center mixed with some sunshine and a tinge of citrus.

Mouthfeel is smooth and light, the green grassy taste lingers for quite a while.

Drinkability: Don't pass this beer up if you have the chance.

 619 characters

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

A: Poured into a flute. A very hazy orange/straw body with tons of head. Not much lacing.

S: Great funky, old barn smell - damp hay. Very strong oak. Some citrus

T: Extremely sour. Lots of citrus - sour lemon. Get some of the oak there, or something earthy. Great finish.

M: Fairly light bodied, clean. Leaves with a clean, tart finish.

D: Perfect on a warm day. Could easily keep drinking this if my wallet were fatter.

 424 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 Bighuge
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cork says 2000.

This lambic is actually copper in color. Gas bubbles rise quickly and steadily. Head is creamy and tan. And also long lasting. Aroma is yeasty, lemony, musty and funky. Pretty cool. The mouthpuckering quotient is pretty high for this one. (Higher than the Cantillon Gueuze I just had the other day.) Tart as hell. Acidic. Lemon Juice. Grassy. A little of that funky barnyard stuff going on. It's almost like sucking on one of those sour gobstoppers. Interesting to say the least. Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated. Maybe medium body at best. Yet again, Cantillon does not disappoint. The masters of the authentic lambic.

 636 characters

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

From Notes: Tap version sampled at Redbones on a dinner stop home from Maine. Dark slightly hazy orange/sunflower with a nice small but tightly packed head of white/off white foam. Aromas of barnyard funk, and wild yeasts abound, with a nice actual malt base, and some real heavy handed hoping (for a Cantillon) making this one quite unique and different, for a brewery that prides itself on being unique and different. Taste is sharp and funky, sour, with all of the gueuze qualities we know and love. The hops add a slightly citric sharpness to the finish of this one, which is as dry as ever. Mouthfeel is refreshing and bubbly, making this brew totally drinkable. Another great brew from these master lambic makers...

 721 characters

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

2007 vintage- poured into a Cantillon logo wine glass. Thought I would review a relatively fresh version of Iris vs. more aged versions previously had.Popped the cork and not a wisp of air- concerned about carbonation but was not an issue. Pours dark golden/copper with a nice level of carbonation and head. Micro bubble lacing that coats the glass.Nose- apricots, lemon, green apple, oak, but overall very fresh fruit forward. Taste- hops are definitely in the foreground- woody bitterness intertwine with the moderate acidity. Lack of wheat gives the malt more sweeter flavour to the malt. Finish is drying from the hops and cheesy.

 634 characters

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

i'm going to go ahead and say it... this is my favorite cantillon beer to date. everything i love is going on here. sharp citrus notes and bright green apple coupled with funk and earth and horse and mushroom and more fruit and a touch of caramel/honey sweet malt and a beautiful, subtle hoppiness that is totally unexpected, but does wonderful things to round the beer out and help give it some clarity and definition. zippy, tart, sour, earthy, wild, malty, hoppy. to me, this is the most approachable cantillon beer, and one i could drink almost every day. still definitely not for everyone, but one of my favorite beers. more please!!!

 639 characters

Photo of warrenout330
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 capped and corked bottle

A- pours a muddy honey color... fluffy white head.... dissolves to a thin ring around the glass...minimal lacing to the glass

S- acidic tartness dominates .... fresh cut green apples... lingering vinegar

T- huge acidic flavors, green apples... vinegar... a tad of malt backing making this a odd lambic ... but different in its own way

M- metallic mouth and tongue... medium bodied with decent carbonation .... lingering metal feel

O- my first cantillion .... probably not my last... very pleasing for all the hype behind this brewery and they definitely delivered the goods...

 610 characters

Photo of reebtaerG
4.49/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at pizza paradiso on 5/8/14

A-Pours unclear orange with a lasting and lacing medium off-white head.

S-Aroma is leather, fresh flowers, sour fruit, grass, and apple.

T-Taste is light+ sweet, bitter and tart.

M-Mouthfeel has a light/medium body, texture is oily, carbonation is moderate. Finishes dry and bitter with a nice bite.

O-another great lambic way to go cantillon

 389 characters

Photo of scottfrie
4.48/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into 3F stemware. 2007 sticker, bottled in 2010 (cork).

A: Pours a clear light honey-amber color with two fingers of fine bright white head that actually held great retentions. A fuzzy, rather thick, film lasted until the glass was drained. Beautiful.
S: Heaven in a glass. The nose is dry, lightly tart, earthy, musty, funky, barnyardish and contains notes of caramel malt. Woody and dry oak is heavy as well, and there is even a splash of golden fruits, white grapes, and citrus.
T: The first thing I thought when I tasted this was “distinctive.” This beer very vinous and dry as expected, but there is something bitter mixed in with the funk and sourness that is akin to citrus pith and rind, but not as harsh. Hops could be the culprit, I’m not smart enough. There is a leafy earthiness to the brew. Maybe a bit of green fruit as well. The finish is vinous and full of light malts and straw, and the aftertaste is dry, lightly tart, bitter and mildly acid and citrusy.
M: Clean and refreshing body, crips, dry and smooth mouthfeel, with soft and delicate carbonation.
O: Another awesome beer from the masters of the style. I could drink this every day. Perhaps I should move to Belgium… Cheers!

 1,232 characters

Photo of MakeMineADoubleJack
4.48/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

My very first Cantillon!!! I practically trembled with the 6oz glass in my hand. I was very nervous about spilling it. Anyway, had it on tap at Norey's in Newport, RI as part of their "Sours and Lambics" tap takeover. This was a delightful beer. Floral, earthy, very tart. Bit of a citrus bite to it. What I enjoyed most was how delicate it was to the palate. Not cloying at all, not overly mouth puckering, and the back of my tongue didn't feel the burn certain sours provide. But these are masters of the art. Cantillon delivers!

 531 characters

Photo of pagriley
4.48/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Dec. 2014 750ml into snifter

Pours slightly hazy amber gold with slight head and ring. Good cascade of carb
Funk, tart and a touch of sweet malt / caramel on the nose
Taste is classically funky Cantillon with a bit of bitterness to finish
A touch stickier and less dry than regular gueuze

Overall a delicious beer - something worth seeking out

 346 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