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 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
npdempse (934) - St. Petersburg, Florida, USA - JUL 10, 2008
(Tasted 6/08, bottled 2005) Clear, with a dark straw color and good-sized white head of smallish bubbles. Nose is initially sour enough to curl the hairs in the back of your nose, but lightens up after a few moments to allow some very nice bready undertones through, not to mention ample notes of musty hay and lemons, as well as some spice--oregano perhaps. Flavor is not too brutally sour. Lots of green grass in there, some lemons, rye, grapes, and more hay. A wonderful refreshing drop for a hot summer’s evening.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 6/20
blipp (8882) - La Mesa, California, USA - JUL 9, 2008
Bottle. Vintage 2004, bottled 2006, imbibed 2008. Pours golden orange with an off white head. Aroma has a nice sour and tart fruit note, like rhubarb or cherry, but is dominated by a dusty basement presence, very musty. The flavor is very dusty, far too much so. Notes of tart fruit, sour fruit, rhubarb, and citrusy hops try to peek through, but the dust is far to overpowering and completely dominate everything else. It was tough getting through 1/2 a bottle of this. That being said, I’m glad I tried it, it’s certainly worth trying, and in a few years I’ll try it again and see if my tastes have changed.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
jeff789 (1408) - West Chester, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 9, 2008
Vintage 2004 bottle... Pours an orangish amber... Aroma is subtle, not a kick in the face with the sour/tart notes that are about it hit you, with a certain slightly fruity hint... Flavor is tart/sour, overpowering for many first timers i enjoyed this with, never too sour for me... A bit acidic in the finish with more hints of fruityness... Amazing lambic

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
goldtwins (4320) - Nesconset, New York, USA - JUL 2, 2008
Vintage 2000 bottle shared by Mary. Poured a hazed gold. The aroma was dry and dusty overall but with a definite tartness. Light on the funk with some citrus on the base. The flavor was tart and acidic with notes of citrusy lemon. Funk was there but again leaning toward the softer side. Light-medium bodied.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Brigadier (3635) - 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 (8942) - 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 (3049) - 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 (7922) - 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.

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