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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1310   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 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Brigadier (3580) - Chagrin Falls, Ohio, USA - JUN 30, 2008
4 oz sample

This was my second sample. While I liked the Grand Cru slightly better I would not pass up this either. As I drink more of the Cantillon line up I come to appreciate them in small doses. It would be tough to knock off a 750ml alone but with a few friends it would be a fun evening.

Aroma / Appearance - The slightly carbonated body swirled lazily around the small sample glass. Rose, oak and strawberries made a fruity combination backed by cedar chips and a light tartness. A residual dryness reminded me of red wine.

Flavor / Palate - Much more sour than the first sample this was still not exceptionally aggressive. I was able to work my way through the sample without any difficulty. Raspberries, bark and vingery notes marked the blending of fruit and sourness. The acidic finish had that hallmark Cantillon intensity. I wouldnt have been able to drink much more than two more ounces in a sitting without my stomach giving me grief but it was a nice beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
douglas88 (8571) - Portland, Oregon, USA - JUN 29, 2008
2004 edition bottle thanks to the Bayou, what a place. Pours a bright orange with a tiny head. The aroma pretty much said it all; very sour notes. The taste was very sour, some apple, wood, and floral hops come through, but the sourness dominated. I enjoyed this one, but it took me some time to drink it all. Interesting.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
dchmela (3022) - Orlando, Florida, USA - JUN 24, 2008
750ml bottle courtesy WeeHeavySD. Shared with my wife on a lazy Sunday and poured in champagne tulips. Cloudy orange amber pour with a thick white head. Big sour dry apple and dry oak aroma. Taste is more sour apple, very dry, lots of funk dryness like old sun dried wood. Light dry sour finish, but much smoother than I thought it would be (maybe the oak?). A very elegant brew and while this is not my normal taste, was excellent.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
gottalottaibu (243) - charlotte, North Carolina, USA - JUN 15, 2008
hazy light orange pour with very little head that quickly left. aroma is big and inviting. musty, acidic and farmy. flavor was very enjoyable. crisp and tart with great dryness in the finish. lemon grass and vinegar. sour throughout with constant remnants of an old basement. very drinkable and refreshing. (old basement and refreshing? strange but true). great beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Jonte (1413) - Gothenburg, SWEDEN - JUN 14, 2008
UPDATED: SEP 6, 2009 Bottle. Golden orange color with a white head. The aroma is sour/acidic with notes of wood, horse blanket, lemon, and light sweetness. The taste has balanced sourness, notes of funk, sour lemon, hop bitterness, wood, sour apples and tartness. Dry finish. Very good. Re-rated 090905.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
BMan1113VR (7917) - Los Angeles, California, USA - JUN 13, 2008
2004 vintage bottled in 2006. My first unblended, but let me preface by saying that I am not a lambic fan (with the exception of the single Faro that I have tried). Pours with a small, foamy, off-white head covering a chill hazed, sparkling golden body. Somee light lacing. Complex barnyard funk aroma with leather, damp horse blanket, some light wood, gooseberry, even lighter notes of honey and lemon. Taste is extremely tart with some citrus and light wood elements. Dry mouth with light bubbles. Call me a heretic, but this stuff makes an excellent (and for me, more drinkable) Lambic Kir.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
willblake (2654) - Bel Air, Maryland, USA - JUN 10, 2008
20080610 750ml bottle, cork says bottled in 2004. Its hot in hrrr, so I thought it was a good time to bust this one out. Im a bit surprised Ive never rated it. Also a bit surprised to see that Paul never rated it until just a few days ago! hazy dark amber with light greenish motor oil tinge. Little to no head, whatdya expect? Aroma is musty, floral (clover), funk with light bit of dust and hints of wet wood. Palate is a bit on the full side for a lambic, but also unexpectly effy. The requisite Cantillon sourness is most apparent and yet its not overly sour, more like a sharp funk that lasts. After the first few sips, this beer is nothing but refreshing and the finest choice I could have made from what was on hand tonight. the astringency is not at all overwhelming. Lingering bitterness, grassy (weeds, lemongrass), and woody sourness.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Dickinsonbeer (5074) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - JUN 8, 2008
750 ml bottle 2000 vintage at Spuyten. Thanks to Meguire for sharing. This was one of my favorite beers of the day actually. It was in great condition, and had everything I like about Iris, but this one seemed more powerful and even more acidic than usual. Pours a typical slight shade darker than cantillon lambic or gueze, mostly golden copper with a fizzy head which dissipates, first pours clear, then hazy towards the end. Aroma is the typical iris funk, along with its hoppier nose (hops were still apparent despite its 8 year age), dull dusty hops as well, some light funky cheese, sweaty wet animal, goaty and more farmhouse funk with a nice citric and lacitc acidity. Flavor is musty and slightly copper- metalic with tons of nice powerful lemon rind-grapefruit rind acidity, earthy hops, tons of woody tannins- vinous as well with some nice sour notes and astringent woody character. This stuff never has failed me.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
mjs (6636) - Helsinki, FINLAND - JUN 5, 2008
(Draught at Pikkulintu on 2008-06-04) Golden/orange colour. Hazy. Sour and slightly malty nose. Medium palate which dries. Some fizziness. Hops, wood and bread in sour taste. Interesting and nice.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
JK54B (1539) - Helsinki, FINLAND - JUN 4, 2008
Draught. Pale brown/amber colour. Fruity nose. Fullfilled sourness. Some lemon , toffee and butter in in the taste. Also some grapefruit and some peach in the finish. Also some cellar in the taste. A fine lambic from Cantillon.

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