Cantillon Iris | Brasserie Cantillon

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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:
464
For Trade:
46
User Reviews
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Reviews: 489 | Ratings: 2,001
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.

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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.

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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.

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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...

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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.

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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!!!

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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...

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured with a HUGE head, I'm not sure if there is some wheat in the malt bill or what, but its very pretty. The beer itself is almost entirely opaque, quite hazy, and is a light to medium brown color.

The nose here is very barn-yard funky. Its not nearly as "in your face" sour and acidic as the Cantillon Gueuze, but its got a good dosage of bitterness going on.

This beer starts with an almost malty sweetness as it first hits your palate, but that quickly subsides as the sour acidity literally EXPLODES into your mouth. I would put the sourness here at 6/10, its pretty sour, but not crazy sour. As the flavor rests on the palate its acidity really lingers for a long time. This beer is crazy complex, with the sweet, then bitter, then acidic; its Cantillon at its best.

I'll probably never see this beer on the shelves in Portland again, but by god it was worth $20.

PS. Big thanks to the guy at the store who was in line immediatly ahead of me, he gave the last bottle to my GF and I as we were the first in line not to get any.

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Photo of mjsarch
4.54/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1996 bottle numbered 163 of 500, consumed on my birthday. Wonder how many bottles from this batch are left on the planet?

A - Thin rim of head persists with no lacing, very minimal carbonation, some suspended yeast with the pour. Copper color.

S - Could smell this one about three feet away: sour, barnyard, horse blanket, acetic aroma.

T - Somewhat more mellow than some of the Cantillon brews. Grapefruit, lemon, floral, vinegar all present.

M - Mouth puckering sour.

D - Nice beer for savoring and observing a special occasion.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.54/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

350 mL bottle with 2007 vintage on the label and a 2009 bottling on the cork. Pours a very hazed, dark orange color with a bubbly white head that fades pretty quick to a light collar.

Light peachy and strawberry fruitiness compliments a barnyard funk that most certainly includes brettomyces. Has some sour notes and even a bit of flowery hops. Kinda like a starburst candy. Superb smelling beverage here.

Incredibly tart with some sour layering and woody brett flavor in the middle. Finishes off very dry with some more tannic tartness. The oak is readily apparent as it warms, toasted with plenty of acidity. Very good complexity and balance. Sourness diminishes as you work the bottle, but plenty of other flavors come up to fill the void. Very drinkable and went exceptionally well with some chevre goat cheese. I think I could live in Cantillon's cellar.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.54/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Looked ipa-ish, vibrant orange and yellow. Lots of lemon and aged hops in the aroma, complex, super nice. Bright oak, french.

Taste lots of white wine notes, green apple, super mild caramel still comes out dry. Damn I love this beer.

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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 heygeebee
4.54/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pale, hazy, one finger head.

S - tart, vinegar

T - funky, straw, a little wheat, also some wine notes.

M - zesty, lively, refreshing.

O - ok, Cantillons are difficult to rate.... They, to a large extent, are all a celebration of barnyard funk, vinegar, sour, tart, and refreshing. However, it's just by the end of a shared bottle you find yourself thinking, jeez this is just great beer.

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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 TheLongBeachBum
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Iris 2000. A 1 Pint 9.40 fl.oz green glass bottle, the front of which contains a small label containing a picture of a Marsh Iris (symbol of Brussels) painted by Julie Van Roy. Iris is different to all the other Cantillon beers, it is not brewed with the stipulated 35% wheat required of trad. lambics, but made only with pale ale malt. This is partly responsible for it’s amber color, which is quite a bit darker than the other offerings from the Brewery. Neither are 100% dried-aged hops used, Iris utilises 50% fresh-young hops. After 2 yrs in the Barrel, it is then “cold-hopped” with fresh hops before being bottled. Wow.
With this in mind I eagerly removed the thick black foil, the crown cap & cork and I poured the whole bottle in one go, first into a large Glass Jug & the remainder into a Cantillon Tumbler. I avoided pouring any yeast into the bulk of the beer that way. I served it at 55 Deg.F. It pours with a medium effervescence & a rich white short lived head which settles to a very tight 1/8” collar. Lines of bubbles slowly stream upwards throughout the experience. The body of the beer is a lovely deep amber-orange color that has ‘peachy’ twinkles when held to the light. Quite a bit darker than other Cantillon offerings I noted.
The beer in my Glass exhibited a slight haze as I finished the pour. I wanted every drop of this beer & picking up some of the yeast as a side-effect was perfectly acceptable to me in doing so. As I topped up from the Jug the clarity returned. A Gorgeous sexy amber-peach color. I wanted this beer so much.
Nose is vinous, sharp & acrid, but not as acidic as other offerings from the Brewery. Breath in deeply over this beer & you get the aroma from the 50% fresh hops used against a background of mustiness. As with all Cantillon beers, it does not pussy-foot around in the taste stakes – it is not for the feint-of-heart. Tastes are robust without apology. The first taste is dominated by the sensational mouthfeel, velvety, spritzy and lively – I am sure it reacts with the saliva in your mouth. Acidity is there & to a seasoned geuze-drinker, it may seem somewhat restrained, for it is neatly balanced by a bitterness (no doubt from the fresh hops) & a mild taste of burnt brown sugar & caramel which linger in the finish, culminating in an astringent shock finish, the trademark “Cantillon Mouth-Pucker”.
A truly unique beer, that is pseudo-lambic, rare for Cantillon the Masters of Tradition. Another excellent, high quality, offering.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.56/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

750 mL glass poured into a stemless wine glass.

Starts with a creamy cream-colored head over a grapefruit juice colored-body. Has a similar texture and cloudiness to grapefruit juice. 5

Tart citrus again reminds me of grapefruit. Funk-heavy, orchard-like and peach and apricot. 4.5

Grapefruit juice with earthy, grassy hops. Orchard funk kind of blankets the flavors leaving its mark. Peach tart flavors linger. Excellent. 4.5

Tart, lightly acidic, funky, and earthy. 4.75

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Photo of Derek
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Vintage 2004.

A: Bronze with a fizzy, white head, initially some retention and hints of lace.

S: Earthy, metallic-mineral aroma, cider, tart/acidic aroma. Relatively mild & not overtly funky with subtle hints of barnyard.

T: Tart cider with biscuity malt undertones; metallic-earthiness; very pleasant leather-like quality; crisp tartness that isn't at all puckering.

M: Light to moderate body is well-carbonated, smooth and slightly acidic.

D: Very drinkable for a lambic.

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Cantillon Iris from Brasserie Cantillon
95 out of 100 based on 489 ratings.
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