Cantillon Iris | Brasserie Cantillon

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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:
2,061
Reviews:
497
Avg:
4.26
pDev:
9.39%
 
 
Wants:
711
Gots:
473
For Trade:
46
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,061 |  Reviews: 497
Photo of Sammy
3.89/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2003 edition. The blonde of lambics. Iris, Iris, fair and graceful in your looks. The smell of the earth, a pleasant mouthfeel. The taste of sweet apple not harsh. And livable sourness. A work of art not to punch a hole through. Satisfying like a very good white wine, 5 for satisfaction.

 288 characters

Photo of acurtis
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of kylehay2004
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of GRG1313
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of jaydoc
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.94/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pour sampled at mrbubbler's tasting.

2007 vintage.

Pours a slightly murky honey orange with a tan head that fades to wisps of film on top of the beer. No lacing on this one. Smell is sour, tart, and funky with some nice hoppy aromas. Taste is the same with an almost minty flavor on the finish. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good lambic with a nice hop presence.

 426 characters

Photo of spycow
5/5  rDev +17.4%

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.

 1,276 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of Knapp85
4.16/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured out as a deep golden color with a light haziness to it. There are plenty of bubbles rising to the top of the beer that forms a generous white head on top. The retention is pretty strong but the lacing is minimal. The smell of the beer is funky, it's slightly acidic and has a bit of oak on the nose too. The taste of the beer is tart at first, it settles down as you drink it and the sweetness comes through a little more. There is plenty of fruity acidic elements in the flavor with the malt balancing it out a little. The mouthfeel of the beer was much thicker than I expected, I was surprised by it's thickness. Good amount of carbonation as well making this beer come to life. Overall it's a pretty good brew, it had some surprising elements to it which made this really enjoyable.

 797 characters

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of metter98
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is cloudy golden orange in color and poured with a finger high white head. The head has good retention properties and never completely faded away, consistently leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface. A light to medium amount of carbonation is evident.
S: There are aromas of sourness and barnyard funk in the nose along with some hints of flowery hops.
T: The beer tastes very sour and tart. It also has a strong amount of acidity.
M: It feels light-bodied and vinous on the palate; the finish feels somewhat dry..
D: The intensity of the sour flavor in the taste makes this a beer that needs to be slowly sipped.

Note: Vintage 2007, bottled in 2010

 676 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 biboergosum
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, at BeerBistro in DT T-dot. 2006 vintage - and the cork says it was bottled in 2008.

This beer pours a mildly hazy, medium golden amber hue, with two skinny fingers of puffy, yet thinly foamy, and soapy dirty white head, which leaves little beyond a low ebbing lace wake around the glass as it evenly subsides.

It smells of sour lemon candies, mild earthy funk, a touch of brewers' sugar, pale cereal grain, white vinegar, American virgin oak, and faint noble hops. The taste kicks off rather abruptly with a lip-puckeringly sour lemon and apple fruitiness, followed by some further nondescript funky vinegary tartness, a decently supportive, and relatively sweet musty white graininess, and some weirdly plucky earthy, leafy hops, somehow not lost in the multivalent acrid morass.

The carbonation is averagely peppy, which is obviously difficult to discern beyond the sourly funky hit one takes in each and every sip, the body coming across as duly light and somewhat oily in its gay attempt at smoothness. It finishes rather dry, with that same tart, edgy, and funky fruitiness we've all come to tacitly accept and, er, love.

Nice to see what happens when things go 'unblended' in the Senne Valley - like this is all that different from this one's blended ilk - except maybe for any specific fruit's neutered contribution to the matter, and perhaps a heavier leaning on the wood vinegar way of things. At any rate, a heady, uncompromising affair of a beer, worthy, I suppose of the $30-plus price tag in tony King Street beer parlours.

 1,555 characters

Photo of kojevergas
4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

75cl green glass bottle served at One Pint Pub in Helsinki into a Cantillon glass. Expectations were high given the brewery. Cost was 20 euro.

Bottled 17 March 2014. 6% ABV.

Reviewed from notes taken in July 2015.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: ~2 inches wide. Off-white colour. Not real frothy or foamy, but adequately thick for the style. Retention is nice - ~4-5 minutes. Leaves no rings of lacing on the sides of the glass as it recedes.

BODY: Clear vibrant gold with superb clarity. Clean, with no visible sediment within.

It's a nice looking lambic, but I've seen far better (especially from Cantillon). Appears adequately carbonated.

AROMA: Wild lambicus yeast(s) and intricate bacterial notes lend this its characteristic sourness - which seems to be about a 5-6/10 in terms of intensity, and is supplemented brilliantly by funkiness. Hay-like musty barnyard notes add more complexity, playing into the dry oak wood beautifully. Subtle wine-like fruit and rose grapeskin also come(s) through. The oak is marvelous.

Aromatic intensity is above average. Suggests a gestalt beer with remarkable intricacy, subtlety, and depth. I find little here in terms of hops (aside from the above-noted fruitiness), and no off-notes are evident.

TASTE: Hints of sour/green apple play into the guiding sourness nicely (which is indeed a 5-6/10 in terms of intensity), with complex layers of lactic acid, lambicus yeast, and wild bacteria lending the flavour profile stunning subtlety. Slightly vinegary but never acetic, with a gorgeous musty oak wood presence guiding the flavour profile and lending the beer natural cohesion, tying it together. Fruity grapeskin and appleskin acids play off the sourness at the heart of the beer. Make no mistake, this beer is alive.

Gestalt, with impeccable balance and notes of rose and white wines that will dazzle even the most sophisticated wine drinker. To nitpick, its depth of flavour could be more impressive, and fruiting this lambic might make it still better. But it's a lovely build for a lambic, and the neutral barley malt melts seamlessly into the sourness, succumbing to the spell of the wild bacteria.

TEXTURE: Acidic as hell, but somehow still refreshing. Hides its alcohol content completely. Smooth, wet, and perfectly carbonated. Light bodied yet supple, with a great overall presence on the palate. The acidity accentuates the sour flavour, giving this beer a rare harmony of taste and texture.

OVERALL: A sublime brew from Cantillon, and testament to their deservedly high reputation. I'm glad I sought it out, and would happily pay the 20 euro pricetag again. Stunning drinkability coupled with high quality makes this tough to put down. Truly wonderful; I'm not sure I'll try a better beer this year.

High A- (4.21)

 2,793 characters

Photo of oline73
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I had this poured from the bottle into a flute at Teresa's Next Door.

Appearance: Pours a mostly clear amber with hardly any head.

Smell: Quite sour with strong herbal notes. There is a mild sweetness that is accompanied by some fruit notes.

Taste: Sourness dominates. There is a mild malt background with some fruity notes. The finish is bitter and funky.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and a finish that is a bit dry. This beer
almost flat.

Overall: I thought this beer was just ok as far as sours go. It was smooth, but I didn't find it to be very interesting.

 561 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a cloudy amber color capped by an inch of foam; stands of lacing hang around

Smell: Funky and sour with a pithy aspect

Taste: Sour and funky, with a pithy character; the funk builds into the finish which is also quite dry

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate to high carbonation

Overall: Intensely sour and well-crafted; the hops add a very interesting edge

 393 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of emerge077
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2005 750mL

Decanted into wine glasses from a lambic basket. There was quite a bit of sediment in the bottle, at least the last 1/2 inch left in the bottle. Color was darker amber, glowing orange in the light. Nice puffy head with a sticky collar, though it didn't stick around for the whole glass. First pour had bright clarity, the others had some haze.

Signature Cantillon citric aroma with lemon, wet wood, leather, and grassy hay (hops?). After cellaring so long, any clear indication of hops have vanished.

The pale malt unique to the Iris blend come through in the taste, slightly sweet with a mild staleness. Luckily the strong citric lemony sourness steamrolls it, leaving nothing but dry oakiness in the end. Some tannic astringency. It's slightly slippery with medium to low carbonation.

I have to say i've enjoyed this more when it was fresher (clear hop flavor and bitterness). Cellaring at length seems to deplete what makes Iris unique, the dry hopping and pale malt. Will try it again fresh and update this review.

 1,045 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (per label 2003 batch – per cork 2005 batch) drank in 2006: Poured a hazy orange color lambic with a quite big foamy white head with pretty good retention. Aroma of hops is clearly detectable and I thought it provided an interesting ‘’mariage’’ with the sour and brett character of the original lambic. It also seems to help balance the level of acid in the beer, which is a real, plus since I sometime find the Cantillon lambic to be too acid. Horse blanket and farmhouse quality are still apparent as well as the citrusy hops. Very nice experiment from the folks at Cantillon.

 590 characters

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Cantillon Iris from Brasserie Cantillon
4.26 out of 5 based on 2,061 ratings.
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