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

bottled
common

on tap
common

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1118   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.


3.4
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
mullet (849) - Melbourne, AUSTRALIA - NOV 10, 2005
Brewed 2003. Didn’t really get into this the last time I had it - in fact I poured most of it out, though in fairness I was drinking it warm in a Brussels hostel. Nice clear amber-gold, with a nice thin head which lasts. The initial aroma is difficult to describe, but there’s something in there that I just don’t like. Quite herbal, cheesy hops, with a fair whack of pineappley esters, cream cheese and lots of plasticy, sweaty phenols. After a while it improves with that heathery Styrian character and more of the musty Cantillon imprint. There’s a smooth, biscuity, vanilla milkshake malt flavour, with a mild, vinous (Riesling) acidity and a ferrous bitterness with a rasping aftertaste which kind of mimics the feeling in the back of your throat after vomiting. Some apricot juice character, and it’s sweeter than the usual Cantillon. Features elements which are pretty reasonable in their own right but they don’t work too well together. More an interesting experiment than something I’d like to drink regularly, though towards the end of the bottle I began to like it a whole lot more - like an old Orval or something (and yes, I’m aware I compare every second beer I drink to Orval.)

4.1
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
SoLan (1550) - Florida, USA - OCT 23, 2005
Hazy copper/orange. Big, bubbly, white head. Wild yeast, strong malt, and subtle hops-aroma. The sour yeast predominates the flavor, underneath the malt and hops are well balanced, more so than in the aroma. Dry finish, sour aftertaste. Some wine like character in the texture. Medium body. Excellent.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Rastacouere (6122) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - OCT 13, 2005
2002 edition. Smelly grassy, floral hops ponctuate the tart, highly woody, vinous and cidery bouquet. The pour is almost headless, of a rusty golden tone. A fair bitterness adds a dimension to the already interesting beer, pushing the dryness even further. I imagine the sour, but not agressively so, nature contributes to the overall balance with the aromatic hops. Medium bodied, tart, moderately high carbonation. The result is a pleasant experiment with powerful wood flavors and magical unexplainable moments.

4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
tiggmtl (4548) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - OCT 13, 2005
Strong sandalwood, spicy, floral, aroma is quite hoppy and grassy. Opaque, orange-tan body is topped by a low but lasting, off white head that leaves some nice lacing. Fruity, apricot, pear flavour offers fair bitterness, grassy, herbal hop notes and undertones of vanilla and oak. Not a lot of barnyard or brett character but wood, wax and leather make up for it nicely. Medium light body with moderate to lively carbonation. Bottle (2000 vintage) sampled at Den Tatorverede Enke in Copenhagen.

3.9
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
HungChad (13) - Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA - OCT 12, 2005
UPDATED: OCT 16, 2005 Bottle 2001. This is our 6th bottle of Cantillon Iris, so we obviously like it. Our first three bottles were from the original 1998 brewing and came in hand numbered bottles - cool touch. Every single bottle has had a grotty, rusty bottle top - some with liquid bleeding through the cork. Never mind, beer is fine. You are wise to remove the metal top and wash the bottle top with cool water before removing the cork. The aroma is wonderful and immediately announces that Cantillon lambics are no ordinary beer - huge citrus, lime skin and light hints of flowers and spruce. Pours with a nice head that diminishes. The color is an absolutely gorgeous amber - very appealing to the eye. The initial flavor is huge sour citrus with a long, astringent, bitter finish - think GRAPEFRUIT. The bottom of the bottle, with increasing yeast, really changes the character. Not for everyone, but I like it.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
hughie (3996) - Bedford, Bedfordshire, ENGLAND - OCT 9, 2005
Cloudy orange beer with a firm white head. Peach and citrus aroma with a little sweetness. Sourness and cidery apple blend in the taste and there is a sharp, dry finish. I think this would be a good introduction to the Cantillon range, being more familiar in its taste than some of the others.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
rlgk (10092) - Göteborg/Jönköping, SWEDEN - OCT 2, 2005
Yellow nice white head. Quite mild sourish aroma with some leather and some rubber.Flavor from sulpherleather, grape and citrus. Sourish and quite fresh.

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
bluevegie (3051) - Perth, AUSTRALIA - OCT 2, 2005
Slightly murky dull straw coloured body. Aroma of limes seems to jump out of the glass. Lots of citrus in the taste, grapefruit, lemon and lime, not as sour as I expected but that probably made it drink better.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
heemer77 (5096) - Urbandale, Iowa, USA - SEP 14, 2005
Pours a medium amber and orange color. The aroma is slightly sweeter than I expected. Flowers, limes, a hint of vinegar and barnyard all all present. There is also some old musty cheese and leather. Interesting aroma that is more earthy than fruity. The taste is very leathery. Not nearly as sour as I expected. There are limes, and some light piney hops. This is dank and musty. Very interesting twist on the style. I prefer a little more tartness in a Cantillon.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
jimmack (1222) - Nutley, New Jersey, USA - AUG 29, 2005
750ml. bottle. Nice golden color with a medium white head. Aroma hit me from three feet away. Typical Cantillon aroma. Musty, tart, slight metallic, wet leather. Very dry on first sip, sucking all the moisture from my mouth. Becomes less and less dry with each sip. Tart fruits abound, along with some straw and a touch of hops. Very nice.


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