Brewed by Cantillon
Style: Lambic Style - Unblended
Brussels, Belgium


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1117   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.83   EST. CALORIES: 150   ABV: 5%
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The Cantillon brewery is closely linked to Brussels, a city which has the iris as its symbol. As the name indicates, the "marsh iris" is a plant growing in humid areas. The historical center of Brussels is built on swamps where this flower used to grow abundantly.
In 1998, the Brussels Museum of the Gueuze celebrated its 20th anniversary. The Cantillon brewery decided to make a new spontaneous fermentation beer for this occasion, named after this symbolic flower.
It is a completely original beer which, contrary to the other products of the Brewery, is not brewed with 35% of wheat. The Iris, which is only made with malt of the pale ale type (giving a more amber colour to the beer) conserves the typical flavour of the spontaneous fermentation, the complex aromas and the vinous taste.
The hopping is different too. Lambic is made with 100% dried hops, for the Iris we use 50% of dried hops and 50% of fresh hops. The latter cause a superb acidity, the former, due to their tannins, enable to conserve the beer while preserving all its qualities.
After two years in the barrel, the Iris undergoes a second fresh hopping two weeks before the bottling. A linen bag, filled with hops, is soaked in the beer for two weeks. This technique, called "cold hopping", gives the beer a more intense savour and makes the smell and the taste more bitter.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
heykevin (1274) - Decorah, Iowa, USA - NOV 21, 2003
Aroma is lemony, spicy and peppery. Ruddy copper color. It has a smooth and elegant sourness. (Much closer in personality to the lou pepe gueuze, say then the regular gueuze--more smooth sourness than assertive sourness) Some minty hop in the finish, which I agree is a nice departure from some of the other house products. Another gem from Cantillon.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
DavidP (1747) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - NOV 19, 2003
UPDATED: DEC 10, 2005 <h3>’00 bottle/h3> Pours with a foamy white head over clear copper body. Lightly sweet aroma with a citric acid tang. The initial sour flavor is so intense that it’s hard to pick out what’s going on. Once that subsides, the hops the description speaks of come out. The beer finishes out with a pleasant sweetness (relatively speaking, the tartness is still around) as your tongue recovers from the sour assault. I initially was going to mark this beer down for those intense flavors (too harsh), but after some reflection (and temperature increase) the big flavors grew on me. It’s nice to drink something very very far from the norm. <h3>’05 bottle sampled 12/10/05</h3> Tart orange juice and hop leaf aroma. The leafy, stemmy dry-hopping is evident in the flavor but at the same time its fresh grassiness blends well with the traditional lambic tart/funky flavors. Dry finish with a fresh hop twang.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Indra (2593) - Overland Park, Kansas, USA - NOV 2, 2003
UPDATED: NOV 23, 2003 Bottled 2002. Fresh, flowery, citrusy aroma, a touch of honeysuckle sweetness and lemon, faintly woody and malty as well. Golden with a slight amber cast, the effervescence and head are both present and accounted for. Classic lambic tartness up front, quickly becoming resinous and full of spicy, citric, very green hop flavors, and carrying through to the finish, which is otherwise dry and infused with lemon juice, faint malty grain and barnyard attributes (musk, wood, straw, cobweb, etc.). Light-medium bodied and some acidity on the palate, but not an overwhelming amount by any means. The increased hop presence is quite appreciable. An original and very enjoyable creation.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
DrGonzo (625) - Somerville, Massachusetts, USA - OCT 18, 2003
On tap at the Moan and Dove. Apple aroma with hint of hops. Lively carbonation, more hop bite (and wine flavor) than other guezes, very tart. (Not sure how this is classified as a fruit lambic, does it have anything to do with the hops?)

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
igneous1 (1492) - Davenport, Iowa, USA - OCT 1, 2003
light amber/deep golden color, with a lasting white head (mostly fine bubbles). great vinegary tartness to the nose and very floral/perfumey, hair of lemon in the flavor with the oak really showing up in the finish. damn good, but not as good as the others in this line.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Zach Diesel (906) - Sisters, Oregon, USA - SEP 30, 2003
intense sour aroma, cloudy light orange, growing sourness turns into a woody/winey finish, some creamy yeastiness and lots of grassy notes, a liquid flower

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Nuffield (3665) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - SEP 3, 2003
The bartender said they stopped serving this because they had a batch with a lot of exploding/gusher bottles, but this one opened without problems (though she took the precaution of stepping outside to open it). What a mouth trip! Peachy, hazy, with a lively white head. Up front there are interesting flavors of watermelon, grapefruit, lime, and a general citric-sour thing going on, most noticeably in the finish at the back of the mouth. Smooth, integrated carbonation, and a long grapefruit finish, although those words are far too simplistic to capture what was going on here. I'm a total sucker for Cantillon, though this isn't my favorite. (bottle at Monk's, Philadelphia)

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Kinz (3256) - Glen Allen, Virginia, USA - JUL 27, 2003
Ahh, the 100th! I thought long and hard about this, and in the end I decided I wanted to go with an old style beer, as opposed to a hopped up anthem to American brashness. Thus, the Cantillon beckoned me. When I had seen the bottle on the shelf a while back, I had even thought, "this could be The One." It had rested gently in the minifridge ever since, awaiting this moment. I selected a proper glass, and retrieved the delicate Iris from the fridge, bringing it to the kitchen. I carefully removed the foil and the metal cap, and gently coaxed the cork from the bottle with my trusty waiter's friend. Mother $#@%! A geyser of geueze gushed over my hand, spewing like a fire hydrant. I must have lost a 1/4 of the bottle across the length of my kitchen. I think I saw a 2000 on the cork as I was throwing the bottle opener across the room. Swearing under my breath, I caught a good bit of foam in the glass before things calmed down. The aroma was easy enough to rate, the stuff was all over me: Barnyard, sour apples, and urinal from a baseball stadium after about 5 innings. Appearance was what one would find in an unflushed stall at the same ballpark. I consider this to be appropriate for the style, so good marks! The flavor was sour, with some apple notes, cider vinegar, and cheap California Sauvignon Blanc that has turned in the bottle because it was left uncorked for a couple of days. This gave way to notes of green wood, and finally a gentle bitterness. Just fantastic. I wanted something memorable for number 100, and this didn't fail me.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Gusler (2653) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - MAY 14, 2003
On the pour a pearlescent orange color, the head Brobdingnagian in size, creamy in its texture, the color a magnificent light tan, the lace a satin sheet to drape the glass. Fruit sweetness followed closely by the vinous aromas tart, clean and quite appealing. Start lightly sweet but the stinging acidity and tartness hits your palate immediately, hops are mild and unassuming, also quite dry and lingering aftertaste, in my humble opinion a quintessential “Old Style Lambic”!

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
JorisPPattyn (7809) - Antwerpen, BELGIUM - APR 12, 2003
Light-amber, little white head, unstable. Nose gives lambic with fresh hops and cheesy odour of old hops. Plus something fruity, and hard exotic wood, wetted. Taste is fruity, a subdued bitterness, then very outspoken lactic sourness. Palate finishes completely like old lambic. No more hops. Third version. Every new one seems better. The dry hopping with extra hops, this time, has marvellously complexed the beer.

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