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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1144   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 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
marcus (6537) - Sacramento, California, USA - MAY 12, 2006
2005 bottle. This golden lambic poured with a fluffy off-white head. The aroma is acidic, but also floral. Tastes a bit like gueuze, but with a lot of citrus (grapefruit) and not at all sweet. There is a very bitter hoppy finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
henrikb (1258) - Aarhus, DENMARK - MAY 9, 2006
(Draught at Akkurat, Stockholm 27 April) – Unclear orange body, huge white head, some laces; Very full nose with loads of malt, some fresh green apples, fresh citrus and some spicy hop (strange for a lambic); Full sour body; Long finish , very sour and fresh, strange hints of malt.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
bfeldmann (1048) - Wilmington, Delaware, USA - APR 28, 2006
"Slowly slowy lambics are growing on me. Poured a medium orange color, not much of a head, did lace okay. Aroma was funky, maybe some rubber in it. Flavor was refreshing, citrus wild and crazy flavors were there, very different from the grand cru which was soooooo tart."

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
Beerdedone (2642) - Croydon, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 25, 2006
UPDATED: APR 26, 2006 Bottle sampled at my house for beer night with Stegosaurus. Pours a depp golden color with a white head. Aroma of a white wine, citrus, and fruit and flowers. Flavor is flowers, sweet, carbonation, fruit, with a dry finish. I did not enjoy this, but i did finish it.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
SpringsLicker (3151) - Tennessee, USA - APR 19, 2006
Thanks to Beer_Hawk for bringing this one out for the tasting! Dark sparkling yellow body with a frothy white head. Sour citric aroma, earthy yeast. Tangy citrus flavor that’s delivered on a lively light body. The sourness is well balanced in this one. I’m not a big sour beer fan, but this wasn’t sour in an objectionable way.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
BeerHawk (1810) - Huntsville, Alabama, USA - APR 17, 2006
Bottle. Pours a hazy orange with a white head that fizzed to a head quickly. Some partials noted. Aroma is an earthy, musty cellar mix. The flavor was of tangy fruits and light spices. Slightly acidic. More bitter than sour. Enjoyable. Thanks to my bro (Vac) for sending this one out for the Tennessee Tasting!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Suttree (5148) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - APR 16, 2006
Cloudy copper, with some sedimant. Lemon lime aroma, with a slightly acidic edge. Traditional lambic flavors at first, but nicely restrained. Finishes rather bitter. Thanks to Beer Hawk for sharing this one.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
ALLOVATE (2416) - Perth, AUSTRALIA - APR 12, 2006
I was expecting this to be good but in a different way than what was delivered. This was a lovely beer, easily sessionable as I imagined the summer months- at a quiet café in the back streets of Brussels, maybe- as I hastily sipped this, lapping up its intoxicating flavours. Ignoring the fact it is freezing cold right now here in Oz. Anyway; tasted from the crown-corked bottle and poured into a shallow chalice. Presented well in the glass; a bright sunny orange with very, very fine whispy carbonation raising up to a thin layer of creamy white froth that lasted and left some fine lacing. Took a moment for the aroma to release, but then it all flowed freely for the length, tickling the nose in good Cantillon fashion. Fresh, grassy herbs, biting spices and driftwood up first before some sour, acidic grapefruit and lemon, sweaty ’goat hair’ yeasty notes, soft watery cheese and an odd hint of fresh kilned clay. Interesting and pleasing, even to my not-all-too-impressed wife. Tart, bitter and dominated by fruit in the mouth. Light hints of pine-needles, almonds and cork sit under layers of unripened grapefruit, tart and bitter oranges and some vine-clippings. Lambic base-beer is soft and musty, only adding it’s fuel to the long fruity aftertaste. Light sweetness shows as it warms. Body is extremely light, delicate and softly, prickly on the tongue. I had more notes but I fear I’m starting to ramble on. I could honestly sip this all day as it changes character as it goes along. Perfectly balanced and fine tuned Lambic from one of Belgium’s finest. Absolutely lovely!!! (75cL, 2003 vintage, Int’l Beer Shop, W. Leederville)

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Cable (286) - SE, Oklahoma, USA - MAR 18, 2006
Sampled from magum bottle (bring a corkscrew to this party). Iris pours peach in color. It’s cloudy with a thin white head. Aroma is tart fruit and earthy. Flavor is balanced, quite tart with wild yeast esters dominating the profile. Pretty clean finish for the style. Medium-bodied and well-carbonated. Very enjoyable and unique.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Boutip (4738) - Gatineau, Quebec, CANADA - MAR 16, 2006
Bottle (per label 2003 batch – per cork 2005 batch) drank in 2006: Poured a hazy orange color lambic with a quite big foamy white head with pretty good retention. Aroma of hops is clearly detectable and I thought it provided an interesting ‘’mariage’’ with the sour and brett character of the original lambic. It also seems to help balance the level of acid in the beer, which is a real, plus since I sometime find the Cantillon lambic to be too acid. Horse blanket and farmhouse quality are still apparent as well as the citrusy hops. Very nice experiment from the folks at Cantillon.

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