RateBeer
overall
99
97
style
Brewed by Cantillon
Style: Lambic Style - Unblended
Brussels, Belgium

bottled
common

on tap
common

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1129   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.83   EST. CALORIES: 150   ABV: 5%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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.


1
   AROMA 1/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 2/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 2/20
hotstuff (4069) - Indiana, USA - FEB 14, 2004
2001 bottle. The head was average sized, off-white with fine-medium sized bubbles that quickly dissipated. The nose was rank...it reminded me of animal urine. The body was carbonated and hazy with a yellow-gold hue. The flavor was sour and fruity and there was no lacing. This is by far THE WORSE lambic I have had so far.

2.7
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
thedm (4935) - Fort Wayne, USA - FEB 14, 2004
This 2001 bottled corked brew poured a very large head of foamy fineto medium sized whire colored mostly lasting bubbles that left behind a minimal lace. The body is softly carbonated hazy and dark yellow brown colored. The aroma is clearly indicative of a flowery dry lambic. The mouth feel is siur dry and full of bitter lambic qualities. The flavor containes notes of tannic acid dry hops dishwater dough and fruity qualities.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
envane (567) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - FEB 8, 2004
Old bottle bought at a dodgy store. Popped the cap, saw rust. "Flat beer for me" I thought. Popped the cork, and, three seconds later - gush! Lost an ounce or two to that. Damn. Inspection of cork revealed it to be a 2000 bottling. Aroma of sour. Starts sour, but much "lighter" than regular Cantillon - I can taste some fruit along with the sour. Sourness wanes as it goes, and it gets almost pleasant by the end of it. The usual barnyard detrius flavours, a trace of hops. I'm still not completely cold on lambics, but I enjoyed this one the most so far.

4.6
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
fiulijn (14380) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - FEB 3, 2004
UPDATED: JUL 10, 2013
2012-10-02, draught at La Fine Mousse, Paris, 9-5-9-5-18=46
Cloudy light amber color with copper shades, and a generous compact head. The aroma is fantastic, with cellar smell, lemony acidity, and most of all a cheesy character that binds all together and adds complexity. The mouthfeel is very smooth; it has a nice delicate malt flavor, but most of all an evident citrusy character, mostly grapefruit and pink grapefruit; the acidity is very moderate compared to other Cantillon lambics; the final has a correct bitterness level and mild astringency.
Some Drie Fontainen was more complex, this is more straight forward.
Fantastic.

2004-01-24, bottle; brewed in 2000, bottled in 2001, sampled in 2004, 9-5-8-4-17=43
Beautiful gold to orange color, persistent perlage, generous thick head. Wonderful aroma, biting: magnesia, wood, malt, dry flowers, hay, fruits. Difficult, astringent, pungent; sour, but with the necessary malt body. Strong sour and bitter end, fruity, like bitter oranges.

4.5
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
FlacoAlto (3800) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - FEB 2, 2004
UPDATED: MAY 14, 2013 5 May 2012 bottle date; sampled March 2013
A steady pour into my New Belgium globe glass produces a two finger thick, light tan colored head. The beer is a rich amber color that shows an almost brilliantly clear, bright copper hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells lightly tart, somewhat herbal, definitely floral, and even citrusy, the last three definitely from the hop character. The aged malt and hops combine to form a note that is not unlike lemon infused, southern sweet-tea that is quite a bit different from what one usually gets from an overused of crystal malt. Musty oak / wood aromatics, touches of tobacco, some hints of urea, and touches of pinesol add some complexity. The malt character takes on some oxidation here, this accentuates the tobacco note, as well as the sweet tea character, but there is also a fresh, whole grain, sweet brown cracker like note here once you start to pay attention. I really like how hoppy this still is; I really like that the citrusy hop notes are still able to come through.

Bitter, sour, with woody and pine flavors that coat the tongue, this beer is definitely green and hoppy compared to a Lambic. The malt / grain character isnít quite so different from a traditional Lambic, but this doesnít have the grassy grain character, and perhaps has a touch more whole grain cracker flavors to it. Effervescent and fairly carbonated, the beer is fairly light bodied, but does have some palate presence; the latter contributed by the malt, and oak tannins. The oak character here is subtle, but does seem to influence the perceived hop flavors; it gives a woody edge that accentuates the pine notes, brings out a nice tobacco notes, and the spice / astringency from the oak also seems to bring out the same in the dry-hop flavors (hints of pepper, something a bit like arugula and other peppery herbal notes). Grapefruit hop notes are hard to pick out as it melds well with the lactic sourness and grapefruit Lambic character, but are definitely here even if at an integrated, low level.

Just a fantastic brew, I wish I had a whole lot more of this, and I had certainly forgotten how good, and just how unique this brew was. For some reason this makes me even more excited to try the Amphora Lambic when that finally gets released. The tobacco notes are quite distinct in this brew, and the citrusy hop character, though light, is also a nice addition. Really, I just canít get enough of hops and Lambic, of which this beer is a great marriage. It is hard to not absolutely love this beer, the complexity and balance is pretty phenomenal across the board; this is the freshest (still almost a year out) that I have tried this beer, and I am thinking that fresher is better for this one.

Bottled 2002, Sampled February 2004
4.3,
8/4/9/4/18
This beer pours a hazy amber-copper color, which is in stark contrast to the typical light gold color of a traditional Gueuze. It is reasonably well carbonated. The carbonation creates an off white head that is persistent but only 1/4 inch in my tulip glass. Wow, the aroma has as the strongest element definite notes of cat-piss, surely the most I have ever experienced in a Lambic beer. Other aromas of musty barns and of course some sour notes as well.

Upon my first taste I notes that there is lots of hop character for a Lambic type beer, which mixes quite interestingly with the traditional Lambic character. Donít get me wrong, the hop character is fairly subdued but it is here, even after 3 years of aging in the cask. This beer is of course sour (what else would you expect from a Cantillon product), with notes of citrus (a lemon & grapefruit mix) as well as a hint of vinegar. The barnyard musty-leather Brettanomyces character is quite prevalent in this bottle. This concoction showcases what this fickle funky yeast can do. This beer is quite fruity as well, what comes to mind as an apt description for this fruitiness is that of sour apples.

The lack of wheat in this beer seems to make this beer a bit fuller/ richer in the mouth than a typical Lambic product. This beer is not overly hard either, especially for a Cantillon Lambic. This was a wonderful first beer on a Superbowl Sunday afternoon. It paired wonderfully with the aged sharp cheddar, prosciutto, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and rustic bread. Cantillon definitely delivered once more with this beer. This is a world class beer, whose only flaw, given the specialty designation on this beer, is that perhaps it is not quite distinctive enough from a traditional Lambic, but how can I really complain since I do love Lambic.

4.2
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Jayb0 (1022) - Cherry Hill, New Jersey, USA - JAN 21, 2004
hazy yellow orange, little head eventually disappears altogether. Strong sourness in the nose belies a much less sour taste. Musty, damp, vinous. Lot's of great cantillon character while achieving the original goal of making a unique offering with perhaps more citrus and hop character and a dry finish. This beer rouses underused taste buds, it's fun.

4.4
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
beermatrix (1497) - Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA - JAN 18, 2004
Color is a rusty deep golden clouded yellow, tall fluffy white head bursts up quickly becoming big bubbley and fizzy. Then lays flat to leave a fizzy collar. Lots of thin webby lacing. Aroma is pungently strong, albiet a bit more pleasing then the vulgarly pleasing Vigneronne. This has a steady waft of the funky horse blanket - barnyard thing, without the canned tuna and arrogance that the Vigneronna has. Otherwise its nearly the same with citrusy notes of grapefruit, lime, and lemon, floral deepness with the roots and all, earthy and highly sweet. Taste is quick and tart with citrus rinds of all kinds, moslty lime and grapefruit, dry and sour puckering sweet with nice floral notes creeping in. Lots of layers to the souring tartness, musk, fresh flowers, grasses, sour candies, citric acidicness, dirt, sour, sour, sour. Whew, its packed. Full on tartness, sourness, and sweetness. Its actually not bad, it takes a few sips to get used to, but as you snap your senses around it and it warms, its pretty good. Still though, its a big time sipper with all that tongue drying, cheek puckering, lip tingling sour tartness.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
flutetokill (523) - Fresno, California, USA - DEC 28, 2003
Hazy orange color with a golden glow. Large white head. Typical gueuze aroma-sour and barnyard like. Nice initial flavor-very sour lemon and hops. Slight metallic aftertaste that I don't care for. Other than that, it's pretty enjoyable.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
loweredsixth (946) - Clovis, California, USA - DEC 28, 2003
Slightly hazy dirty orange color with a large (quickly dissipating) off-white head. The aroma was full of outdoorsy tones...citrus fruits, freshly cut grass, hay, wet animal fur. The flavor was very tart...lemon (actually it reminds me of lemonade powder, without the sugar, from a kool-aid pack)...just a little barnyard funkiness, sharply bitter hops in the aftertaste. More carbonated than I expected...soft feel, mildly crisp on the tongue...wet finish.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
GermanBrews76 (678) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - DEC 10, 2003
1998 slightly hazedvibrant golden brown body. quickly dissolving foamy white head. Tart, intense, slightly fruity and real tanmgy. Some dyr barley character. Citrucy and sour flavor. some saltiness. Full, lively and tart. Bitter, flower petal nose emerges very strongly. Champagne and cider. Most mild and smooth lambic I've ever had


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