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


on tap

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RATINGS: 1078   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.82   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.

bootsjohn's rating

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
bootsjohn (68) - Texas, USA - JAN 29, 2013
Thank you to my friend Tobey for bringing this fine souvenir from Copenhagen. Vintage 2011, 750 ML, poured into Three Floyds Teku glasses to split with my wife. The aroma is classic Cantillon. Enticingly sweet and remarkably sour in the nose. Barnyard and fresh cut, wet hay meld with green apple, honey, and lemon zest. Color and appearance are both notable given the beer’s amber hue, which is a clear contrast to the usual golden straw of Gueuze or Cuvée St. Gilloise. Clarity is nearly perfect, and the beautiful pure white ring of carbonation provides another fine contrast in appearance. First sip at 45 degrees is full on sour. Sour apple, white grape, citric acid dominate. As the beer warms past 55 degrees, lightly floral notes become present in the finish, likely a function of the growingoy present hopping. The tartness begins to linger in full funk as I continue sipping. This isn’t as pleasant as Cuvée St. Gilloise, but it’s close. The lambic has a greter body than most of its siblings, which I enjoy immensely. The lingering funk and tannins keep the taste buds at attention. Also interesting is a lactose-like creaminess that lingers on the back of the tongue. Definitely unique in Cantillon’s already impressive oeuvre Overall, Iris is not my favorite from this brewery. However, it is enjoyable, delicious, and is worth seeking out again. I’d love to try it weeks old as well as perhaps 5-10 years old to taste the evolution of the hop presence.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
OldMrCrow (1716) - Seattle, Washington, USA - APR 13, 2014
10 years old. Vintage 2004 (bottled 2006) shared with prufrockstar.

I’ve been sitting on this one for years waiting for just the right occasion, and this is it -- a long sunny weekend afternoon, the first warm one of the year. The bottle opens with a weak puff, and pours yellow tan, slightly hazy, close to still. The aroma is divine -- unmistakably Cantillon, characteristic dry rubber. Hugely funky in that Cantillon way, amazing fruitiness, hard to place but I’m going to say Asian pear. Spectacular. The flavor is almost startlingly leathery at first, not quite as sour and much less fruity than expected from the aroma, lemon juice of course but even more very chewy, very dry. Totally delicious especially as the palate acclimates. Lack of carbonation is not a problem on the tongue. I think the acidity compensates. Lovely beer. 10/4/8/4/18=4.4.

3 years old. Vintage 2011 (Bottled 2013) shared with prufrock.

Pours just slightly darker than the older bottle, with an expansive if short-lived white head. Aroma is totally different from the 2004: explosive herbal (mint? not quite) notes from the hops, recalling fresh(er) Orval. Much less leather than the 2004, instead a sweet-ish grapefruit pith. Compared to the old bottle, the mouthfeel is downright spritzer-ish. This is quite a bit more approachable than the older one, but doesn’t soar to the same heights 9/4/8/4/17=4.2.

tl;dr summary: Aging loons is worthwhile, but try ’em fresh first.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Douberd (1697) - Arnhem, NETHERLANDS - APR 12, 2014
Bottle 750 ml at home, 2011 vintage. Poured into a tulip, ABV 6% Pours a deep orange golden colour, with a clear body and a big soapy head on top, off-white in colour with good retention, leaving light lacing on the glass/ Aroma is grape-y, with wood and cork notes, just a tiny bit of funkyness. Quite sour and acidic taste with white grapes, lemon leaves, nice bitterness on the aftertaste. Tart on the palate and very tangy too, average carbonation. Overall nice and refreshing, maybe a bit too tangy though.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Habanero (2134) - Tranbjerg, DENMARK - APR 10, 2014
Bottled. Pours slightly hazy golden with a small white head. Aroma of citrus, vinegar, barnyard and brett. Sweet and acidic flavor that ends up dry and tart. Medium bodied, watery texture and soft carb. A very nice and crisp Sour.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Linnet (1029) - Umeå, SWEDEN - APR 5, 2014
Acidity, fruity, funky, lovely, hazy colour, medium white head, lacing. Big tartness, funky, yeasty, slightly bready, very nice indeed!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Osprey87 (1161) - London via, WALES - APR 4, 2014
Pleased to get this on Keg at Craft100. Hazy orange with a big foamy head. Aroma of apple peel, lemon, sour sherbert. Body is medium, slightly foamy, carbonation is medium. Taste is sour, apple, orange, lemon, metallic, acidic, long dry finish. A slow drinker. Nice flavour but I generally don’t like the palate of lambics and this is no exception - my teeth feel like they’re going to fall out.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Tide (1458) - Espoo, FINLAND - APR 2, 2014
Bottle at Nüetnigenough, Brussels. Amber color, white head. Sour taste with citrus, tart, hops, mango, toast and a bit of acidic notes. Sour finish with peach, hops, tart and acidic notes. Exquisite lambic.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
culchiem (2298) - Berlin, GERMANY - MAR 30, 2014
Draught. Hazy amber with a thin head. Aroma is acidic and wood. Flavour is apple, zesty wood on a long dry mouth finish

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
solidfunk (2999) - Washington D.C., Washington DC, USA - MAR 26, 2014
Among the lighter Cantillons that I’ve had but that’s by no means a bad thing. Pours clear ruby without much head or lacing. Crackery Cantillon yeast with grapefruit and sour plum aromas. More watery than other Cantillons. Finishes lightly sour. Tap at Churchkey.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
ametras (212) - Gatineau, Quebec, CANADA - MAR 24, 2014
[2013] 75cl bottle. Thanks to Craig for this one. Hazy copper with a foamy off-white head. Flavors are apples, lemon, grapes, cheese, oak, funk and hay with earthy, floral and spicy notes. Perfectly sour, tart and bitter. Light body, moderate carbonation, oily texture.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
k0mpsa (940) - Järvenpää, FINLAND - MAR 18, 2014
Bottle at cantillon brewery, brussels. Bronze color, small white head. Fruity sour aroma. Sour taste, fruity, dry, yeasty.

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