Cantillon Iris | Brasserie Cantillon

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world-class
2,064 Ratings
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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
Ratings:
2,064
Reviews:
498
Avg:
4.26
pDev:
9.39%
 
 
Wants:
711
Gots:
475
For Trade:
47
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,064 |  Reviews: 498
Photo of jroof1
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle Opened on 8.27.12
Bottled Feb 20, 2012

A - Pours a medium to dark cloudy orange with a fizzy one inch yellowish-tan head that fades quickly.

S - Lots of barnyard funk and some wild flowers.

T - Lots of funk, tart red apple, dandelions, earthy.

D - Good carbonation, light body, very lively.

O - Very tasty, lively and tart. Try it if you can, you will enjoy it.

 373 characters

Photo of LBS15
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2004 Vintage metal cap and cork


A: beautiful peachy/orange. Slightly weak lace however.


S: Brilliant hop aroma with slight touches of oak, yeasty and definite citrus notes.


T: Very very tart but not in a bad way at all. The tart hits you right up front with a slightly yeasty mid palate. The hops help firm up a dry finish.


M: Quite nice. The tart shoots you in the jaw but the it is very refreshing.


D: Not very drinkable as a session beer obviously. I had no prob. getting my two wine glasses down, but i dont think i would go past that.

 564 characters

Photo of JohnParadee
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of NEhophead
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12.7 fl oz green bottle, capped and corked; served in a flute.
Vintage 2005; bottled in 2007.

Pours a light champagne in color with a slight haze. Carbonation-filled, somewhat creamy white head that recedes after a moment leaving a ring of bubbles around the flute's rim.

Intense notes of sourness: raspberry, apple, orange, cranberry. Moderate notes of oak giving a very dry cedar nose. Spicy, dry clove and pepper.

Slick, intense sourness imparting young, unripened berry and citrus flavors. The sourness lasts throughout the sip, but is practically overwhelmed by the swarming dry, cedar flavor. Pepper into the finish along with a grappa-like alcohol flavor that is just a touch too strong/young.

A light, medium in body; champagne-like in texture with lots of carbonation. Dry, almost waxy in spots due to the dry flavor profile.

As always, a unique and pleasant offering from Cantillon. Heavy on the cedar and notes of oak is how Iris will be remembered. Still quite young and not quite in balance. I would be very interested in sampling earlier versions.

 1,066 characters

Photo of BretSikkink
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served a pleasant orange-brown color with a solid white head, good stick, some legs. The nose is strongly earthy and sour enough.

The flavor is slightly sweet with a lot of citric-style sourness. Not full-on vinegar-style puckering, but a pleasantly crisp and fruity beer. Mouthfeel's just fine, drinkability hurts a bit as it finishes just a little off from this tap.

 370 characters

Photo of Jeffo
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one at the Bierkoning in Amsterdam.

From a 750 into a wine glass
Bottled 29 Jan 2013

APPEARANCE: Pours a small, fizzy, looser looking, off-white head with lousy retention. Head quickly fades to a wisp. Cloudy burnt orange with medium levels of carbonation. A ring remains until the end but leaves no real lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Tart lemon on the nose, with flowery aromas and some acidic vinegar as well. Nice, but not quite as forthcoming as hoped.

TASTE: Much more forthcoming than the nose, and very sour and acidic. Lemon sourness with flowery hops, bitterness and grapefruit flavors at the swallow. Bold finish is acidic with vinegar, sour grapefruit, lemon and a touch of floral bitterness. Quite sour and interestingly balanced with the hoppy bitterness. Very enjoyable.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Light and creamy on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes rather dry and puckering. Good stuff.

OVERALL: Really nice and very well balanced. The nose could be a little more present, but the flavor really delivered. A good dose of acidic sourness that's balanced really well with the hoppy bitterness this one provides. Even though my overall score might not suggest it, this one is well worth the effort. Highly recommended.

 1,277 characters

Photo of bobbypaulson
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of gyllstromk
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2006 vintage.

Pours a nice hazy orange, with a big frothy head. Nose is funk and sour lemon/tangerine with hints of juniper or ginger. Flavor is bitter citrus evoking primarily grapefruit, with little cloves on the finish, and a huge astringent/tannic aftertaste that builds and peaks at 5 seconds. Really adds to the feeling of biting grapefruit and is not entirely appealing (from maybe a few too many days in the barrel). The bitterness is tempered as the beer warms toward room temperature. The taste it on the thin side for a lambic and not overly complex, but the acidity is just right. Overall a nice lambic but drinkability suffers from the bitterness.

 661 characters

Photo of eyncognito
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at the Malthouse in Madison.

Yellow pour, gold-orange tint, with white head that disappeared quickly-yeah this is some acidic stuff. The aroma is pure sour funk, unripe fruit-lemon, apple, pear, vinegar. I now really understand barnyard funk, the faint fresh cut grass scent is inviting.

Taste follows, viscous acid taste-vinegar, tart lemon and grass. Dry and mouth puckering, slight unripe cherry taste. Nice and dry with strong carbonation, lively.

I am not a huge fan of lambics, but I do have some experience with them. This is one of the best unblended I've had. Quite refreshing and complex, but like nearly all lambics it's one and done.

 664 characters

Photo of NearerMyBeerToMe
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle with "2000" on the cork. The cork bursts out of the bottleneck and several ounces worth of foam goes rushing onto the countertop. I struggle to get the bottle under control. People are already complaining about the smell. I guess that's a good sign. Poured into a champagne flute, the beer is about the same color as raw honey or the light maple tabletop on which it is standing. A single thin, vigorous line of carbonation runs through the liquid, connecting to the bottom of a gruesomely pock-marked, 1/4" deep head that's the color of dirty dishwater. No cling or lacing. The smell isn't quite as offensive as I had hoped. It remindes me most of malt vinegar, the acidity being more acetic than uric. There are residual odors of cork and yeast. Tastes like sour dirt, and how. Sour enough that I'm wincing after each sip. Horrifying copper sourness rots through a layer of apple skins into a field of dead cabbages and finishes with leather and must. At first, the acids have my tongue trying to turn itself inside out, but the mouthfeel evolves to become refreshing and vibrant. Drinking it begets its own drinkability. Intense, intense stuff; and so complex it'll probably take me a few weeks to figure out if I actually liked it.

 1,248 characters

Photo of xtonytx
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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 phishphorce
4.04/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Marco_Gtz
4.04/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Chuckdiesel24
4.04/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jrfehon33
4.04/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of KristofH
4.04/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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

Vintage 2006

Light haze clouds its golden color. Orange or amber highlights are strong and have a nice effect on its appearance. A forceful pour yielded a very thin, off-white colored head. It covered the surface, but had no appreciable depth. Retention was very short and little to no lacing lines the glass.

It's a little weaker than I'd like on the nose. Barley and grains are apparent. It also has a musky, old barnyard scent. Sour cherries along with sweet apple, pear, and lemon give it a definite fruity character. Smells a little tart and sour, but not nearly to the extent I expected. I like that aspect quite a bit. It opens up a little as it warms, but not enough to warrant a bump in score.

A sour cherry taste hits first. It's definitely tart, but not to a mouth puckering degree. Citrus lemon, sweet apple, and pear are noted. It's a little sweet, but that aspect is negated by the sour/tart flavor quite a bit. A musky, funky, barnhouse element is easily noted. Probably the Brett effect. It's not nearly as strong as some I've encountered. That's not necessarily a good or bad thing. Suffice it to say that it works well here. It seems to get more tart as it goes down. Iris has a really nice flavor. I'm not quite loving it, but it is very good.

A very smooth, medium body works really well here. Carbonation seems to be dialed down low and really helps to give it a very creamy feel. Of all things here, Cantillon nailed this aspect. Drinkability is good, but falls a few steps shy of excellence. Perhaps it's just my preference, but I frequently feel that way about these types of beers. It's got a nice flavor and goes down pretty easy, but one bottle is more than enough for me.

Iris is a really nice, solid beer. It's well done in all respects and doesn't have any glaring flaws to discuss. I can't say I'm head over heels for it, but that's attributable, in part, to personal preference. I'm just not the biggest sour fan. Coming from a not so sour guy, this is good beer. That's saying something, right?

 2,032 characters

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

On-tap at Capital Ale House Innsbrook.

a - pours a bright golden color, very hazy, minimal white head with remnants around the edges

s - smells of sour grapes and wild flowers, some light vinegar, not as sour and tart smelling on the nose as many of Cantillon's other offerings,

t - like the nose, there are flavors of sweet then tart grapes up front, a little sour apple, quite earthy and woody with a less pungent sourness and tartness on the midpalate and finish, light vinegar notes, definitely isn't the palate encompassing sour-bomb that other Cantillons tend to be (and which I like), more reserved and subtle

m - I found this beer to have much less carbonation than other lambics, a bit too low, the lower carbonation made it kind of dull-feeling on the palate, I'd like to try this out of the bottle to see if there's more carbonation as other reviewers would seem to indicate, much gentler on the palate than many other lambics because of the more reserved sourness and tartness

d - as noted above, easier on the palate than many lambics, I enjoyed a large tulip no problem, I imagine a 750ml would be about right

Overall, another very nice sour ale from Cantillon. Definitely a different experience from the Kriek and Geueze, as this is more subtle and nuanced. Well worth trying.

 1,297 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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

2006 Iris, bottled Jan 2009. It's a 75cl bottle, which gave many pours into my Cantillon flute.

Pours a hazy brew, golden to orange in color. The offwhite head goes from a few fingers of foam to a ring around the glass fairly quickly, but is a pretty generous head for a lambic.

The smell brings me back to the brewery. It's the smell of the barrels, with the hint of tart goodness inside. It has the musty smell of farm cider, some hint of peach.

There is some tartness on the tongue from start to finish, but it doesn't wring my mouth out. Grapefruit sourness, with a hint of cider vinegar. A bit lemony as well. The hop bitterness is definitely present, especially in the finish. In the finish I also get some of the off funk flavor. Quite dry.

The mouthfeel is mostly of the tartness, on the tongue and tickling the throat. Carbonation is low to medium, just right.

I thought the unusual flavors would make this less drinkable than other lambics, but it's refreshing, balanced, and easy to drink for a sour tooth.

 1,022 characters

Photo of Sixpoint
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Served on-tap at Max's Taphouse during their "Rare and Obscure" event.

A - Pours amber yellow with a small one finger tall white head leaving spotty lacing down the glass.

S - Smells of strong barn yard funk, light acidic sourness, and some white grape skin. Not as strong a nose as I was expecting.

T - Holy pucker batman. Lots of strong puckering sourness up front slowly giving way to a mix of green apples, grapes, and light brett funk. The alcohol is well hidden behind all that sourness. The finish is pretty dry, lingering for some time. More sourness than I was initially expecting.

M - Medium body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Strong, acidic, feel with a good bit of dryness in the finish.

O - I liked this one, just not as much as the other two. It was, surprisingly to me at least, the most sour of the three. I tend to like my sours with a bit more fruit in them but this was still very nice.

 918 characters

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.

 789 characters

Cantillon Iris from Brasserie Cantillon
4.26 out of 5 based on 2,064 ratings.
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