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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1296   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.86/5   EST. CALORIES: 150   ABV: 5%
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 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Gorbalev (3000) - Ontario, CANADA - SEP 20, 2006
Bottle shared with hogtown Harry, GregClow, and Blankboy, my bottle. Dark yellow, big thick foamy white head. Looks great. aroma - super funky, acidic, earthy - very nice. Taste: a bit of a let down. Sour and acidic, but simple - no complexity at all. A very easy to drink Cantillon.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
MIBRomeo (2570) - Wisconsin, USA - SEP 19, 2006
I had this bottle twice and forgot a rating both times.. iím pissed and not buying another $14 bottle for it. But it smells extremly sour w/ a decent little berry flavor from memory and was a damn good lambic w/ a nice pucker affect Yes this is an unfair rating from memory out of anger.. Iíll fix it when someone else buys a bottle.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
gnoff (9569) - MŲlndal, SWEDEN - SEP 14, 2006
UPDATED: MAR 25, 2008 First rating
(Bottle from 2003 on RBESG 2006)
Shady orange color, small white head. Sour scent with some bitterness. Very sour taste, but also a bit too metallic. No bitterness.

Second rating
(Bottled 2007)
Shady orange color, small white head. Fresh fruity and acidic scent, also some almonds and apricots. Acidic and sour taste with a "strange" sensation of hops that Iím not used to. But then this isnít an ordinary Lambic either. Not sure I like the idea of fresh hops, Iíd rather take the oxidized ones. Spritzy mouthfeel, medium bitterness.

Third rating
At Aarschots Bierfestivn, Belgium, on March 23, 2008. (75 cl bottle) 1996 vintage
Shared with two others.
Shady amber color, fluffy white head. Acidic, sour, stable, horse blanket scent. Sour, acidic, a bit sweet maybe, taste. Not bitter as the fresh one. Slightly moussy mouthfeel, tart mouthpuckering as well. No bitterness.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
GregClow (3194) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - SEP 13, 2006
Bottle shared with blankboy, tupalev & HogTownHarry - tupalevís bottle. Reddish sunset gold with a small white head. Tart funky nose with some prominent herbal hop notes. Flavour is simple by Cantillonís standards, but is still very nice - has a subdued funkiness and mellow tartness, with some lemony notes, a bit of malt coming through, and a lingering bitter finish. A very interesting variation on a lambic - glad I could try it.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
larsniclas (6695) - Billdal, SWEDEN - SEP 12, 2006
Bottled at RBESG 2005. Hazy golden. No head. Rather sour, bt not as expected. Some diesel though.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
MPA (961) - Amager (form. NÝrrebro&Aalborg), DENMARK - SEP 12, 2006
Bottle. Orange with white head. Sour aroma of moist cellar and spiders web. Taste is sour and fresh. Delicious!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
MesandSim (7117) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - SEP 7, 2006
A Mes rate: 75cl bottle from Cantillon. As promised I drank this asap as I was recommended to do so by the wonderfully friendly Mr. Cantillon (so sorry I forget your name) This is very unusual stuff. Particularly for Cantillon. The fresh hops show very strongly throughout and as a result give what is for me, a unique drinking experience. The aroma is that of the hoppiest beer I have tried, almost totally devoid of all the characteristic Cantillon barnyard funk. That does not for one minute mean that it isnít fantastic, just most unexpected. Close your eyes and you could be sniffing at an extremely hoppy English ale. Almost. Oh, some marzipan and a slight sweetness to it also. Colour is akin to that of an Orval, cloudy and orange and therefore most inviting. Such a difficult one to rate. I was expecting the full on Cantillon sourness but in the mouth it is comparatively mellow. Well I say mellow but what you get is a huuuuuge kick from the hops that I think is fantastic. Followed by just the right amount of lambic tartyness which lasts until the start of the finish (if you get me) followed by another big dump of hops leaving what is a wonderfully clean, crisp and dry ending. A most intriguing blend of two different characters, one of which is not usually my bag but here it works extremely well. Its all down to the fresh hops really. Very grassy and lots of green stuff. If you are just getting a taste for lambics but love hoppy beers I would strongly suggest this.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
HogTownHarry (6375) - Toronto (Harbourfront), Ontario, CANADA - SEP 5, 2006
UPDATED: SEP 6, 2006 Bottle (750ml). Shared with blankboy, GregClow andI tupalev, tupalevís bottle. Mukry orange, average head. Funky, yeast, sour aroma - lemon juice, faint malt - spicy, a little unbalanced. Taste is even funkier and more sour, burnt rubber, spice, yeast - funky, yet the malt intrudes in the finish and tries to pull this back to the middle - aveage body, sourd, medium-acidic, only mildly carbonated - simple, lacks complexity, definitely sour, the barrel-aging comes through, but the malt juiciness unbalances it - still a nice beer, but not one of the top Cantillons.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Saarlander (1686) - Saarlouis, GERMANY - SEP 3, 2006
Poured a dull gold color, looked like applejuice. Musty flavor,acidic on the tongue, Citrus, champagne flavor to me, great beer, but I couldnít do it often, long aftertaste.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Svesse (7850) - Hšsselby, SWEDEN - AUG 31, 2006
(Draught at Akkurat, Stockholm, vintage 2003) Colour is amber, hazy, with white disappearing head. Nose is musty, harsh and acidic with notes of hay, fresh hops and juniper-wood. Taste is acidic and harsh with yeast, hay, apricots and rhubarb. Hoppy, bitter and spicy finish. The fresh hop character makes this one of the more balanced Cantillon beers (which may seem surprising) and probably the most refreshing. Very nice.

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