Cantillon Iris Grand Cru | Brasserie Cantillon

very good
30 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Brasserie Cantillon

Style: Lambic - Unblended

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
"Classic" Iris is a pure malt brew, matured for about 2 years in barrels. The beer gets a dry hopping with Saaz before being bottled and champagnized. This "Iris Grand Cru" was made in the same philosophy as for a "Lambic Grand Cru Bruocsella". We kept the beer for 3 years in barrels and we didn't make the dry hopping and champagnisation. The "Iris Grand Cru" is less bitter and more dry then the "Iris". The beer is still, very fine, with malted notes and a nice lingering finish.

Added by MasterSki on 09-03-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 30 | Ratings: 215
Photo of emerge077
4.09/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap during Zwanze Day 2013. Quick review from written notes.

Dark amber, wine like appearance. Still on the surface, bright clarity, with the occasional stray bubble. No foam or lace, as to be expected for the style.

Aroma is soft, lightly woody and funky, mellow malt presence.

Supple feel, initial sourness moves into a firmly bitter aftertaste that lingers. Medium bodied with a lightly mellow maltiness to the taste. It has a fullness and maturity, the bitterness leaves more of a barrel tannin impression than from the dry hopping of Iris. Overall it's an interesting variation of Iris to try, but i'd prefer the regular Iris or Bruocsella over it.

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Photo of mothman
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very little head. Golden orange color.

Floral and herbal notes. Lots of funk. Cobweb and basement. Lemon with light acidity. Touch of sweetness. Honey maybe. Very bitter/hoppy for a lambic. Oily. Sweetness and syrup.

Light bodied. Fairly still.

Really awesome beer to try! This beer would be awesome to age for years. It needs time to round out. Better cold than warm.

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Photo of Kurmaraja
3.45/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Zwanze day Chicago 2015. Quite dissapointing. Flat and murky red with orange highlights. Barnyard, malty, malt vinegar, some citrus pith, surprisingly bitter. Taste, even beyond the stillness, is old and lifeless ... hints of complexity (leather, wood) but seems dessicated.

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Photo of Rifugium
2.77/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

First had: on tap at Monk's

Yikes. Medium brownish-amber pour, no head, practically no noticeable carbonation, maybe a few stray bubbles on top. Aroma of stale malts, light rindy fruit notes, dank wood, herbal with a bit of funk. First sip revealed what was hinted in the appearance: this beer was essentially flat. Quite woody in the taste, tannins, herbal and earthy hop notes, harsh bitterness, dry and stale, syrupy sugar, bland malts, medicinal. I'll say it again: yikes. Almost a struggle to get through a 6oz. pour. Light-medium body, flat, watery mouthfeel, dry and slightly puckering. Put any other brewery's name on this beer, and the ratings would plummet.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From 09/19/15 notes. 8oz. pour on tap at Zwanze Day in NYC at Fool's Gold.

Pours a dark reddish brown color, with no head and still, no carbonation. Sour fruits, wine, oak, tannins, vanilla, funk, and floral and earthy hops. Nose is not very strong, a bit musty too. Medium body and no carbonation.

Overall a decent lambic but probably the worst Cantillon of the day. Fun to try but on need to seek it out.

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Photo of orangesol
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served on-tap at Monk's during Zwanze Day 2014

A - Pours murky brown with a very small white head, quickly dissipating down to nothing at all, leaving no lace what so ever on the glass.

S - Smells of typical Cantillon must, sweet grain, some light funk, oak and some light fruitiness. Not as bright of an aroma as I was expecting it to have but still nice.

T - Starts off with the sweet bready grains quickly being joined by a nice lemony lactic sour kick, barnyard funk, musty basement, woody oak, dash of grassy hop bitterness and some earthen minerals. Finish is quite dry, lingering long after the finish.

M - Medium body with moderate carbonation. Slick, flat feel from start to finish. The dryness is pretty tiring on the palate, doubt I could drink a whole bottle of this.

O - An interesting experimental lambic to say the least. I would love to have this again once it has some years to develop, I think it could really improve with some time on it. As it is a nice thing to try but with so many other great Cantillon beers out there I doubt I would revisit it anytime soon, if given the chance.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

An enormous thank you goes out to Matt for ensuring I was able to try this. 6 ounce sample into my Cantillon taster.

The beer is copper to auburn colored and still. The aroma brings a grandiose funky oak character, with notes of sourness, perhaps gooseberries. Musty vanilla and wet wood. Smells like a rainy day on the deck. Hey, it is a rainy day on the deck. Tart and funky, finishing dry. The feel and elegance of white wine. I really enjoy this.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Redlight Redlight.

Appearance - Flat deep reddish brown. Lifeless and a little hazy.

Smell - Very oaky. A little vinegary. Malty with a complex acidic aroma. Lactic, acetic, everything going on. Sweetness, sourness, oak, caramel.

Taste - A variety of malt flavors. Caramel and toast. Sourness kicks in. Lemony at first, but vinegar behind it. Oak rounds it out nicely. Complex.

Mouthfeel - Well it's flat. Bit it doesn't bother me much. The flavors come out more due to the lack of carbonation, so it's a trade off.

Overall - Stunned that this could be as good as it was. The absence of hops really lets the malt complexity shine through. Reminds me of a well-put-together BFM beer.

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Photo of stakem
4.31/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Super excited to have another opportunity to drink this beer. I had it a couple years ago and for some reason never took notes (or lost them.) Served on tap in a wine glass at Monks during Zwanze day. The brew appears copper orange in color with a thin veil of yellow highlights and clarity around the edges.

The aroma is strikingly fruity in a really unique way. Its full of lemons mixed with floral notes and a soft vanilla inclusion. It seems slightly tropical but at no point can I really tell if im smelling the hop addition or if this is all bacteria driven. Regardless, I like it a lot.

The taste is tart and lemony with a raw oak flavoring becoming fairly evident right upfront. More sips reveal an earthen touch of herbs and funk that gets almost vegetative with a solvent alcohol feel towards the back. The flavors in this are very atypical of standard iris and everything melds together very nicely.

This is medium to light bodied. It has a gentle acidity and being served still reduces the perceived sharpness and overall really increases the drinkability in my opinion. Highly complex to the point where I like this quite a bite more than normal iris and the fruited iteration that is zwanze this year. I really want more of this in my life.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on tap into a snifter at Churchkey during Zwanze 2013.

Peach amber body, fairly opaque and somewhat cloudy. No head presented and barely a faint collar presented.

Bouquet is slightly sweet vinegar, but more of an acidic kick. Some interesting fruit angles of cherry and lemon.

Palate brings some mild vinegar with a good malt backbone. Deep malts and light airy funk with a good soft acidic body. Mild finish with good depth, almost a minty hot aftertaste, with some slight white pepper heat.

Overall a good solid Cantillon.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at West Lakeview Liquors' Zwanze 2013 celebration. Served in the supplied Zwanze 2013 glass.

A - White foam settles to a big collar, partial cap, and spotty lacing. Hazy amber body that seems a tad darker than your typical Cantillon offering.

S - Fairly tart, with notes of lemon, grapefruit, and under ripe stone fruits. Light mineral and slightly brackish, with some earthy and medicinal brett for good measure. Malt shines through a bit more than your typical lambic.

T - The taste is heavier on the mineral and slightly salty flavors. There's a decent amount of lemony lactic acidity, and less malt character than I noticed in the aroma. Still surprisingly bitter even though the descriptions claims it is less so than regular Iris; I don't see why dry-hopping would affect that flavor element anyway.

M - Dry, medium body, very low carbonation, with mild acidity and minimal stomach churning. The description says it is supposed to be still, but I guess there was still some live bacteria in the keg that gave it a low level of spritz?

D - Odd that my pour showed evidence of carbonation; perhaps there was still a bit of Zwanze '13 in the line? In any case, I thought this was the superior Cantillon offering of the day, although I didn't love it. That's probably not surprising considering Grand Cru Bruocsella and Iris are probably my least favorite offerings in Cantillon's core lineup. Still, it was interesting and easy to drink.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.87/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at Zwanze day at Churchkey in DC. Beer is dark amber and hazy and completely still.

Aroma is oaky and bright, mild acetic bite.

Beer is thin and wet on the finish and oaky throughout. Not my favorite, I like Iris with some age on it much more than this one but interesting none the less. I'd have it again.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.39/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

On tap at Blue Monk in Buffalo, NY.

This one pours a still looking murky amber, with no head or lacing.

Smells like grapefruit, vinegar, pickle juice, intense barnyard, and some bready malt.

This is fairly peculiar, definitely interesting but not sure I actually like it. The entire lack of carbonation is somewhat off putting, and there's a pickly vinegar character. Beyond that, there is some nice tart fruit, old leather, barnyard, and damp basement. It's funky as all hell.

This is completely still and lifeless, not a sign of carbonation to be found. It hinders drinkability.

Pretty cool to try, but not that great.

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Photo of John_M
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

On tap during Puckerfest at Belmont Station. Have no idea how old the keg was, but I assume this beer had some age on it (assuming it really is no longer being made by Cantillon).

The beer pours a light orange amber color with minimal head retention and lacing. The beer is pretty close to being completely still. The nose is just outrageous, and I guess it depends on the consumer whether that's a good thing. On the nose I get light vinegar, wet blanket, head cheese, light barnyard funk and maybe a hint of vanilla, fruit and dry malt. The flavor profile was just as odd, but no where near as complex. There was something of a mouth filing, cream cheese flavor, along some light lemon lime. The notes for this beer indicate that the beer is less bitter and more dry than the regular Iris, and I would agree. This beer is very dry and lean on the finish, with only some light bittering on the fairly short and abrupt finish. Mouth feel is fairly light and lean otherwise. Alcohol is completely unnoticeable.

Shrug. Hadn't had a Cantilllon beer in some time, so I thought it would be interesting to try a small glass of this at Puckerfest. My sour tolerance has increased significantly over time, but even so, it was slow going with this stuff. Definitely won't need to try this again any time soon.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Brasserie V in Madison, Wisconsin. 12oz served in a wide stemmed glass 7/17/2014.

A- Slightly hazy mahogany-oak reddish-brown body. Half finger head consisting of fairly large bubbles for the lambic style, not much retention, fairly flat appearing. No lacing.

S- Oak, a small bit of Cantillon funk, white vinous character, a bit of earthiness. A fairly strong malt sweetness. Slight tartness to the nose. Not particularly strong or impressive, in fact the nose is a bit underwhelming in comparison to all of the other Cantillon offerings.

F- Solid Cantillon funk presence, with a bit of a cidery tartness and white wine character to accompany it. Fairly oaky with bread, caramel and a touch of earthiness. Tarter than it smells, but not particularly tart or funky at all. I am reminded of fresh Bruocsella Grand Cru as far as the flavour profile goes but this is sweeter, yet has less of the funk and tartness that I liked about Bruocsella.. it overall has less of a "pop" to it as well.

M- Medium bodied, smooth and creamy as can be for a lambic that's relatively undercarbonated (if carbonated at all). Drinkable and refreshing, missing a bit of the crispness that I'm used to with carbonated geuzes. But this is still quite nice to drink.

O- Decent lambic; I didn't have high expectations coming in, and my expectations were met. This is a decent Cantillon to tick off if you're a fan or if you're bored, but otherwise this is not anywhere near the best that Cantillon has to offer.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Hop and Vine the day after Zwanze day. Leftovers!

A still reddish brown with no head, this looks decent. Served too cold, as it warms up, it opens up nicely. Very grainy, moderate malt character with some caramel, the all-malt base is clear and unique. Plenty funky,there's earth, must, lactic acid, rotting lemons as well as some fruit- pluots in particular. Really good.

The palate opens quite sour with lactic acid, preserved lemon, some malt powder, a surprising caramel sweetness that, while modest, lends a unique touch. Medium in body, there's a long finish with lingering fruit ( the flavor of syrup steeped preserved lemons really comes to mind) . carbonation is mild. Quite excellent.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.04/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A-Cloudy red pink, two finger light head.

S-Oak, funk, grapes and cherries

T-Rather acidic, grapes, wheat, oak and mild funk. Balance wasn't where it could have been.

M-Light, well carbonated, tad watery.

O-My first Cantillon, was expecting more. But on tap at Zwanze day I really couldn't complain.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.72/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap for Zwanze Day. Pour is dark copper amber with thin bubbly white ring. Nose has a strong oak presence, dusty and a hint of vanilla. Light cellar musk but faint. I hint of apricot in the back. Taste is heavily sour, virtually no carbonation on a tight creamy body. Lots of vanilla and oak, some notes of toffee and and caramel. Interesting beer, heavily sour with an interesting malt complexity. Faint earthy lambic notes but not much. More dusty wood and sour notes with an unusual malt presence that is enjoyable.

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Photo of jrenihan
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On-tap at Volo's 25th Anniversary.

The beer has a minimal white head, which is gone quickly. Dark reddish brown in colour.

The small is quite faint, perhaps due to temperature. Some light fruit scents and grassy hops.

Taste is nice, but surprisingly mild for Cantillon. Hops give some slight bitterness and grassy flavours. A bit funky, mildly sour. Malty and wheat focused. Finish is dry, bitter and has some fruity flavours. Certainly the most tame Cantillon beer I have encountered.

Medium bodied, zero carbonation as expected. Goes down smoothly.

Overall, quite good, but I would take the regular Iris over it in a second.

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Photo of Roguer
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Classic Cantillon funky aroma, with added oak sourness. Surprisingly dark brown brew.

Malty, tart, and musty; earthy, woody, with strong tannins and a touch of vanilla.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Small wine glass pour at Slow Boat Tavern for Zwanze day. This was my least favorite beer of the day.

Poured a clear light brown with no head. Smell is a hint of cherry, wet earth.

Taste is moderate tartness, strong bitterness, long bitter finish. Very strangely, running back through my lineup a second or third time, this one distinctly brought to mind a black cat firecracker -- gunpowder and gunsmoke.

Mouthfeel is Cantillon's signature velvet magic. Love it. Overall, it's definitely not my favorite Cantillon.

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Photo of pmarlowe
3.61/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

On tap at ChurchKey for 2013 Zwanze Day.

A: Pours a medium clear amber color with no head or lacing. Denser color in the center and gradiates lighter outward. No bubbles.

S: Mild stone fruit, pleasant funkiness, sour red cherry, mild oak. Warms up to a decidedly iced tea aroma. Very unique.

T: Tannic, mildly harsh, floral, wood bark. Most of the action is on the back tongue. Mild tartness, very earthy with moderate funk. A little red fruit peaks out at the finish along with mild gripping bitterness and a bit of oak presence.

M: Essentially flat with medium body.

O: Overall, it tastes off and the flavors definitely don't come together. I would pass on this in the future.

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Photo of rodmanfor3
3.12/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured like murky, unfiltered city water.

The beer itself has no carbonation.

The taste pulls in three different directions, with tart, bitter, and sweet, all unable to come together nicely.

If I did not know that this was a Cantillon offering, I would not have finished my 6oz. pour.

I kept hoping that it would get better but it never did.

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Photo of aleigator
3.48/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a flat, slightly hazed golden yellow color.

Smells of funky cream cheese, mold, old cork and wet hay. Leather adds to sun dried earth and old oak, while a flowery lemon inclusion is responsible for a prominent tartness.

Almost no carbonation in this, which leads to a sour smack on the tongue, refreshing and soft in the finish, while challenging sour and dry until the swallow.

Flowers, grass, dusty old wood and lots of blue cheese establish the foundation in this. Lemon zest hits the palate in an uncompromising, almost harsh fashion, numbing the teeth from the outside. Its flowery quality cuts through this dominant tartness during the finish, establishing a late softness on the tongue.

Big, as for its sour-dry blend, which is a bit too powerful for my palate, making it hard to pick up anything else. Has a nice finish though, with a great aqueous softness to it, soothing the lime.

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Photo of Phil-Fresh
4.24/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Very floral and hoppy slightly spicy with a lemon/grapefruit aroma, pretty funky and lightly sour aroma.

A: Copper color, totally clear, with a moderate head that has adequate retention. There is light lacing in the glass.

T: Floral and hoppy upfront, slightly spicy, moderately funky, with a lemon/grapefruit note, very clean lingering sourness and a very dry finish.

M: Med-light bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: Tasty; the elderflower and dry-hopping process provides an interesting floral/hoppy aroma and flavor that’s slightly spicy and well compliments the gueze base.

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Cantillon Iris Grand Cru from Brasserie Cantillon
3.86 out of 5 based on 215 ratings.
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