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 Tballz420
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 vintage

Fairly hazy golden colored brew, non-stop rising bubbles produce a big white head. Scent is sour and fruity. Taste is fairly barny and quite a bit sour. Interestingly there is a pretty noticeable hop profile. Im not a lambic master, but i cant recall hops coming into play very often. Good amount of puckering fruit, lemon, grapefruit. Im almost picking up wheat tones as well. Some vinegar. Very interesting and tasty, i.e. cantillon

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.59/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Max's last night

A: Reddish orange with a thin white head, decent retention,

S: Incredible combination of citrus hops and funk. It's not a combination I typically care for, but this time, it works. The citrus/orange character is just unbelievable. Not as funky as the bottle I had, and the acidity is milder. Slightly aspirin-like.

T: Opens up sour, tart and acidic with massive hop flavor. Very very tasty. Complex. Finishes mildly hoppy and bitter with sourness. Mild grape character.

M: Light, good acidity, great finish

D: Very drinkable.

Try this beer fresh. It's quite different than older vintages!

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Photo of nickfl
4.59/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A hazy, light copper colored body, topped by a thin layer of light tan head. The foam recedes quickly and leaves little lace.

S - Floral funk with notes of coriander, pepper and perhaps some chamomile. Lots of musty funk and a bit of toffee and toasted malt.

T - Soft, smooth lactic sourness with fruity flavors of pineapple up front. Some acetic sourness in the middle along with toffee malt and sweet, candied citrus that creates a sweet/sour contrast that is a little reminiscent of a Flemish red. More citrus sourness in the finish with some vanilla malt notes.

M - Medium-thick body, moderately high carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - This is an exceptionally complex and drinkable lambic. The wild character is intense and complex, but the sourness is rounded and never overwhelms the palate. There is a lot of fruity complexity that works with the funk to create a sweet and sour character that reminds me a bit of a Flemish red. All of this is backed up by a nice malt character that is quite a bit more complex than that of most lambics. A great beer that deserves a place in any collection of sour beers.

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Photo of chOAKbarrell
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got to try a vintage bottle of this at a local bar, dated 1996. $12.

Bright vibrant red, like kool-aid or a crayon. No head. Extremely tart, strong nose. The taste was intensely tart and sour, maybe even beyond Dogfish Head's Festina Lente. I mean that in a good way, though. I really enjoyed this, and dont know what to compare it to, other than the above mentioned lambic. I dont know if the flavor was supposed to be cherry or raspberry or what. The lowest mark for this lambic was the drinkability. It is pretty intense, and I dont know how much the average lambic drinker could handle.

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Photo of 01001111
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Burnt amber.

S: Tart, Cantillon yeast funk.

T: Peach, state bitter hops, an odd mixture of medicinal and rotten. Simultaneously delicious and mildly disgusting.

M: A slight prickly tartness. Crisp but full bodied.

O: Unique. Oddly compelling. Cantillon are certainly the kings of funk.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.6/5  rDev +8%

totally different stuff from cantillon here. all barley malt instead of some amount of wheat in here make it quite a bit more sturdy then their lambic types, and the hops are definitely more aggressive in flavor, although still really mild, especially by American standards. the beer has a darker caramel color to it, plenty of hazy as per usual with cantillon, and a tall and lasting dull muted whited head of tiny bubbles. the nose is more funk than sour, with some textured sweetness in there, and then of course the oaky mature lacto thing to finish. the taste is just like the nose, exactly like it, with the barley malt influencing this beer more in terms of body I think than flavor. the hops have an earthy dried herbal character to them than likes the bigger body, and carbonation is effervescently bright. I like the slightly richer feel to this, and the longer finish not usually there in their lambic. maybe a little less unique and distinct than some of their other beers, like say fou foune or the lou pepe fruit beers, but I think its quality is as good as any, and its definitely a new direction for them. stoked to have shared this bottle with my brother, who loves sours and wilds but until now has never had a beer from cantillon. we both really enjoyed it.

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Photo of beerloverofbham
4.61/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Served in a tulip. Appearance is pale orange, like the color of apple juice. Smells like cheese aging in a damp tack room in an old barn. Tastes of lemon, crap apple, hints of different hop profiles come through--more so than any lambic I've had, which stands to reason considering it was brewed with fresh hops, than dry hopped later--rounds out with the sweet side of grapefruit. Not much lacing.

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Photo of ricke
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2006. Bottled in 2008.

Serving date: 2009-01-10.

Served in snifter.

Presentation: 750 ml bottle, corked and capped. Bottling date and freshness date on label (Bottled 2008-05-26, best before 2015-12). Some information about the production process on the back.

Appearance: The pour is golden/copper - almost reddish - and semi-clear. The color of this brew is very appealing. The white, 1 cm head is lively but quickly dissipates leaving a minimal ring of lacings. The head is not as big as anticipated (perhaps due to the chosen glassware).

Smell: The smell is rather complex: Scents of unripe green apples sit side by side with hints of grapefruit, and in the other corner vinegar tags up with a faint funky smell. Amazing smell.

Taste: The taste is even more complex than the smell. Where to start, where to start... First of all, this is a very sour beer. Sourness and tartness thus being its main characteristics. Tastes of especially lemon, but lime, are up-front and linger on throughout the experience. A fruity character of unripe green apples and grapefruits is also prominent. Vinegar also reappears in the taste, but is not as dominant as in the smell. A faint hint of yeast is also detectable. Subtle hints of a funky barnyard taste adds an interesting tension to the taste of the concoction. The very long finish is primarily sour and a bit dry.

Mouthfeel: The body is medium. Carbonation is good. The sourness sends a tickling feeling to the cheeks, which is a pleasant sensation.

Drinkability: I really like lambics and in my opinion this is a really good beer. The distinct sourness actually doesn't become overwhelming, even though the bottle is 750 ml. A highly recommended brew.

NOTE: I'm going to cellar a bottle of this for a year or two, and see how it turns out cellared.

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Photo of MiScusi
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Golden orange with a big white head, doesn't stick around too long.

S- There is a really nice funk to offset the sourness. Similar to a stinky cheese rind.

T- Sour, yet a light fruitiness to it as well.

M/D- you work a lot of carbonation out of it just by swirling it so much to keep bringing back the aroma but it really offers a nice intese sourness with a good funky bite to it as well.

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Photo of Goldorak
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled 15JUN2004. Many, many thanks to Beersignal for letting me participate in the tasting of this very rare find.

Peachy orange, clearer than I expected. The small white head dissapeared rapidly.

The minute I squeezed my nose in the tasting glass I knew I was about to experience something special. This Beer has enormous complexity. A citrus fruit start, than a very pepermint freshness, some green apple, pear, and a smell I could only compare to those leather tobacco pouches cowboys used to have on their belts! After a while it went back to citrus and started all over again, absolutely fantastic stuff!

The first sip sucks out your saliva glands from around your tongue and vanishes with them, not making any promises on their safe return. After a few more, I very faintly detected a nanosecond's worth of sweetness, then Bam! The great sourness takes command, scrambles your tastebuds with oak, grapefruit, and a distinguishable hop bitterness, leaving a very dry, crisp mouthfeel.

We debated somewhat on the drinkability, and pondered if we could spend a whole evening drinking nothing but this amazing brew. I'm definately up for it! Too bad this stuff is so hard to find.

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Photo of HossMcGraw
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this bad boy on tap at Monk's Cafe in Philly before a Mountain Goats show and man did it hit the spot. The appearance was pleasant but unexceptional, resembling an overcarbonated pale ale. The head was very nice however.

The aroma was sour lactic funkiness with very grainy notes that reminded me of eating rye bread in a horse stall-an appealing description that I'm grateful fellow beer enthusiasts can appreciate. The flavor followed suit with super intense blue cheesey flavors and complex grains. Paired wonderfully with the smoked trout.

Mouthfeel was wonderful with balanced sprightly carbonation. As for drinkability, although fairly acidic, the craftsmanship of this brew along with its addictively tart flavor certainly would keep me coming back for more.

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Photo of jjanega08
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2007 Bottled Feb 17, 2010

A= The pour looks thick. The beer pours totally golden with a white head on it that is about a finger high. The retention and lacing are all about average. Pretty hazy looking.

S= Sour, Cheezy, and Hoppy I would say. Lots of hay in this one. There is a significant barnyard smell that I have always sort of found in Cantillon beers but the sourness seems to be toned down a little more with this one letting the funk really come through. Another supising thing is the hop character that comes through in this one. Most sours are just so sour that they don't really get as strong of highlights as this one has. Great smell.

T= Again with the soft sourness. Really plesant. The initial taste is a light lemon taste then the other flavors come through much more. A lot of hay and funk to it. There is a defined hop flavor to it as well. Not bitter hops or fruity hops but a nice earthy hop flavor. There seems to be a slight hop bitterness that lingers after the swallow. This is a funky earthy beer in the truest sense of the word. Sour without being crazy. Really unique to say the least.

M= A nice light spritzy carbonation. Not nearly as thick as the pour made me think it was.

D= This beer is really nice. A wow beer for me. This beer is sour without being dominating and really sort of letting some of the beers complexities come through and shine. It has a real "beer" taste as well as some of those sour notes I love so much. I'll be buying more of this.

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Photo of TheSSG
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a frothy white head with great persistence. Sour aroma with soft floral notes. Umber color. Starts intensely sour and bitter; grapefruit hoppiness dominates. Malt comes through after this, and the finish is lingering bitterness over the malt.

This is amazing. The combination of sour and bitter is great (though I was skeptical). A surprisingly subdued aroma.

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Photo of rudzud
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A 2012 vintage enjoyed at Tree House Brewery. Reviewed from notes:

A - Poured in to my Tree House glass a nice golden hue with a quarter inch head that faded to leave light wisps. Solid lambic appearance.

S - Yeah, unreal. Goddamn to I love Cantillon. This is musty with nice sour funk. Faint herbal notes too with nice sour/tart fruits.

T - Sour, mouth puckering sour. Nice floral notes along with good fruits with lemon and grapefruit jumping out. Just delicious.

M - Mouthfeel is basically fluid awesomeness. Very good body and carbonation that works so incredibly well with flavor profile.

O - Overall, yeah, you know what you're getting with Cantillon. Just an excellent beer and so well crafted.

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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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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 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.

Cheers.

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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.

RE-REVIEW: SEPTEMBER 2011

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