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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1334   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.

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   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
smith4498 (3588) - Winter Springs, Florida, USA - DEC 5, 2008
Vintage 2004. Pours dark golden orange color with minimal head. Tart, funky barnyard aroma. Flavor is tart and musty with a touch of sourness and earthiness. Medium body with soft carbonation and a smooth mouthfeel with a dry finish. Very nice.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
poolboy (66) - Lafayette, Indiana, USA - NOV 30, 2008
Sour. Flowery. A little sour. A good but not outstanding Lambic. Pours golden with a very white head. Acidic.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
beerbill (3616) - Laurel, New York, USA - NOV 30, 2008
2004 Vintage. 750 ml bottle. Pours a very hazy antique gold with a thin linen white head that completely disbursed after the first sip and left scant lace. The aroma is very bright and funky with some lemon notes. I was able to pick up the aroma well before moving the glass up to my nose. The flavor was funky as well, but had less of the lemon than the aroma and was accompanied by a musky flavor I wasn’t all that crazy about. Lingering tartness at the swallow. Lambic is a style I admit that I am still working on understanding and appreciating. More sampling and reading...

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
DrHomolka (761) - Portland, Oregon, USA - NOV 28, 2008
750ml with no date. Pours with a surprisingly dense eggshell white head that has good retention for the style. A beautiful sunshine orange color that glows is underneath. Funkiness detectable as soon as the cork comes out. Aroma shows intense floral notes, esters, fruity, earthy and peppery with some strong brettanamyces notes. This almost seems like a Bretted Saison, it’s certainly unique for a Cantillon brew. Lemon, urinal, and earthiness of normal Lambic nature are also evident. Slightly soapy as well. The beer is smooth, slick on the mouth, lowly carbonated and surprisingly subtle in the acid and sour department. This is sessionable. I would like this to be a bit more sour. I had another beer recently that this reminds me of but I can’t pinpoint it. This is good but the flavor is a little one dimensional and uninspiring.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
AskForJenny (1082) - Ontario, New York, USA - NOV 19, 2008
0.75l - Fleeting cream colored head over orange liquid. Wild, acidic nose. Spicy palate, hoppy finish. Really bizarre.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 19/20
santos999 (318) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 18, 2008
Pours a cloudy bright orange with a little off-white head. Incredibly musty aroma with hints of lemons, oranges, and acid. The taste is damn near abrasively acidic with a huge dry finish. Lemons in the mouth for sure, but also lots of must and oak. The wild yeast character is very big. My only complaint is the slightly watery palate. Aside from that, this is yet again another classic from Cantillon.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
davidpl (435) - Santiago, CHILE - NOV 2, 2008
Bottle from La Cave Bulles - Paris. Appearance: dark golden to amber. Medium to big head, white color, some rocky and lasting. Aroma: complex lactic and citric smells, a lot of aromatic reminiscences like quince, green grapes, green apples, flowers of lemon, honey with lemon, cedar and chardonnay wine. Pale malts touch. Flavor: sour start, lactic notes like natural-yogurt, a lot of citric-fruitiness similar to lemon, quince, grapefruits and green apples. Intensive wild yeasty, older notes and bicarbonate hints. Also, the wood and the flowers. The slight dry-hoppiness (but lasting) and the sourness give reminiscences of peel of citric fruits. Palate: medium body and low carbonation. Remark: I’ve had a great experience with this beer. A complex and intensive beer with own-character and multidimensional sourness. Lovely beer

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
durhambeer (2500) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - OCT 21, 2008
UPDATED: OCT 29, 2008 Bottle, not sure what vintage, but Id guess at least 3-4 years in the bottle. Golden orange pour; hazy and getting to cloudy as we kept pouring from the bottle. Surprisingly large bubbly white head. This beer was amazing, and every sniff yielded new aromas. Through the course of splitting a bottle, we started with soapy and bitter lemon notes, hitting next on old wood and dirty strawberries, a bitter hop presence. Next notes of gun leather and then cherries, with pits and skins included. Also big floral (lilies) and vinous qualities. There were times when I closed my eyes and could have thought I was drinking certain floral Italian red wines (Nero DAvola, maybe? Barbera dAsti or Alba?). In short, an amazing beer. Shared with gueuze_is_god.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 18/20
AtlAggie (241) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - OCT 19, 2008
2004 vintage from Bier Circus in Brussels. A murky golden color, with a strong aroma of sour hops. Surprisingly balanced flavor considering the sour aroma, with the sour balanced by sweetness of fruit, particularly grapefruit. Very very drinkable, just a lovely lambic.

   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
alassio (96) - USA - OCT 10, 2008
I hate how the rating categories conspire to yield a number that represents nothing about the beer. On tap at the new Malt House in Madison (outstanding craft beer pub--world class) this quenching, complex, tantalizing substance is transcendent, period.

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