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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1278   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 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
illidurit (2279) - San Francisco, California, USA - JAN 26, 2008
2004 Vintage. Somewhere between orange and brown, this beer is hazy and forms a 2 finger off white head. No lacing, ok retention. Expected for a lambic. Aroma includes vinous grapiness, some apple, overtly tart. Tastes funkier than James Brown. Sour, lactic, acidic, but oh so good. Crabapple comes through strong. Kind of winey. Though the head dissipates pretty fast, the carbonation is alive in well in the liquid, though maybe a little subdued from the 3 years it has been aged. As is the norm for gueuzes and lambics, the tart finish begs you to have another sip. 750 mL bottle is easily finished, great refresher for summer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
beerbuzzmontreal (3487) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JAN 25, 2008
UPDATED: FEB 1, 2008 The pour reveals a cloudy amber color with a medium white head. The aroma doesnít have the usual Cantillon punch in the face, itís more about subtelty and nuances, thereís wood, sourness, wild yeast and mild cheese, it also feels musty. The flavor is a bit more powerfull than the aroma, again, wood, sourness, wild yeast and cheese are detected, thereís also a very mild hops flavor and itís citric. The body has a medium thickness with an oily and slightly dusty texture and gentle carbonation. This is a very interesting lambic, but I prefer gueuzes.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Stew41 (1891) - Phuket, THAILAND - JAN 19, 2008
UPDATED: APR 14, 2012 Vintage: 2003
Consumed: May 2008

On tap at the Football Pub in Rome. Best example of Iris in living memory for me; lively, tangy, mild yet balanced sour cut right through the beer. Intriguing aromas of perfumed hops, or so it seems. Vinegar and salty lining to finish. Looks ímiddle agedí at 5 years.

Vintage: 2004
Consumed: Jan 2008

A classic of the genre. Pongy, sour and citrus fruits; ultra tangy. Quite and stern sour fruits run right through the palate, all serious stuff. Low fizz, as expected. Has at least 3 years left in it.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
cheap (5113) - Beaver Valley, Beaver County, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 16, 2008
UPDATED: JUL 11, 2008 Just got this from hopscotch, THANKS! Big Green champagne 2005 corked bottle with a cork that was difficult to remove. My first blended lambic. Lambic beers symbolize the epitome of the beer world, the original style beer is still the best style. As far as looks go, this is some what like cloudy pink brown yellow reminiscent of raspberry gingerale. The smell is a tart aroma, which I think I can smell it even before the slowly moving cork is totally removed. Raw unrefined odors abound. With the first taste I notice perfect amounts of tingle on the palate. Taste is beautiful tartness that is tempered by a goodly amount of what I dare to say is grapefruit rinds. However, it is not the medicinal dull bitterness of typical hops, it is more rough and simple, or possibly the word Iím looking for is basic. Overall, Iím surprised lambics can be so hoppy, I rather didnít expect such bitterness in a sour beer. Left me with the impression of coarse fresh grapefruit juice from grapefruits that were not really ripe. The hoppiness distracted me a bit from the real sour tart attributes I desire and this kept me from rating it really high. Even tho this was a big bottle, I got to the bottom of it with very little effort, it was gone and I was sad. Has an almost undesirable bitter linger.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
hopscotch (10532) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - JAN 15, 2008
Bottle (2004)Ö This beer rocks!... Hazy golden ale with a mid-sized, creamy, white head. Good retention. The funky aroma is full of acetic and earthy notesÖ horse blanket, wet leather, sharp cheese and white wine vinegar. Medium-bodied and abrasive with soft carbonation. The flavor is of underripe fuzzy fruits. Medium sourness, moderate bitterness and little to no residual sweetness. Lengthy, medium sour, mildly bitter, drying finish. Another world class lambic from Cantillon!

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
unrulythings (73) - Bend, Oregon, USA - JAN 14, 2008
a clear golden body with a foamy white head. aroma is very vinegary, with some citrus and floral notes. flavor is super tart and astringent, with hints of lemon peel and damp grass.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
DSG (10950) - Tel Aviv, ISRAEL - JAN 9, 2008
UPDATED: MAY 24, 2012 Re-rate 5/19/12: Bottle sample at a tasting at Rotemís place. Thanks beerandbeyond. Hazy dark orange. Great barnyard aroma with a bit of vinegar, some fruitiness and oak. Sour bretty flavor with some oak, some citrus and light sweaty notes. Slick mouthfeel. Great and refreshing. 8/4/8/4/16=4

Bottle. Vintage 2005. Clear, sparkling, deep golden color with a pretty white head that disappears rather fast. Acidic and earthy aroma, some barnyard notes, flowers and lemon. A rather dry sour flavor with citrus and some subdued malt sweetness. Finishes with a slightly weird mix of sourness and bitterness. Medium-bodied. Very good stuff. 8/4/7/4/15=3.8

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
UselessGdTaste (365) - Long Beach, California, USA - JAN 7, 2008
2004 Delicious. The sourness is very present in the beginning when chilled, but mellows a lot upon becoming warmer. I really like it warmer. I think it could deal with a bit more aging. If you can hang with the sours, this is one that should be on the try list.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
LinusStick (3156) - Moon Twp, suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 5, 2008
Thanks Maria for helping me complete my styles. 2003 vintage. Aroma was so so. Mostly funk and wet blanket with a hint of vinegar. Pour was a nice hazy burnt orange with no head. Taste was a little thick with a nice tart bitterness. Lemon and vinegar but more subdued that a guezue. Slight acidity on the tongue. The bottle has 5 years on it so maybe it has mellowed. A nice lambic.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Enjoyit (3734) - Vadum, DENMARK - JAN 3, 2008
Unclear amber of color with a beige head. A aroma of wood, spice, horseback, wet dog, dry and sour. A flavor of sour fruits, bitter, wood, spice, sour malt, bitter and sour finish.

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