overall
99
97
style
Brewed by Cantillon
Style: Lambic Style - Unblended
Brussels, Belgium

bottled
available

on tap
common

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1342   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.86/5   EST. CALORIES: 150   ABV: 5%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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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2.8
lb4lb (2587) - Austin, Texas, USA - FEB 4, 2008
Bottle shared by gueuzelover. Pours a cloudy orange dull color with a spritzy, non-lasting white head. Smell is sour peach, funky barnyard and fruity. Flavor was exceptionally dry to me, with almost no sweetness, and a light sour vinegary character and bland fruity notes than need a little more sweetness to make them pop. Honestly not too impressive flavorwise for me, with a thin dry unsweetened apricot or peach sourness. Unique and while not bad, didn’t wow me with its dullness of flavors, complex as they were.

4.2
oreogobbler (228) - Austin, Texas, USA - FEB 4, 2008
Musky, hay, yeast, and apricot aroma. Light yellow, cloudy a lot of sediment , no head. Tart sweet to sour acidic fruit flavor. Dry hop finish. Smooth Palate.

4.3
AbeerWolf (27) - USA - JAN 31, 2008
My favorite from Cantillon! Beautifully hoppy nose with hints of wood. Best when enjoyed at the brewery! A perfect blend of the hoppy ale and lambic tartness. A dry not overly bitter finish with earthy notes. One of the only Lambics made using the true open top fermentation process. A must for true beer connoisseurs.

4.3
kramer (6682) - Sunbury, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 27, 2008
37.5cl bottle, 2003 vintage, via magic_dave6. Pours a slightly hazy dark gold body under a thin fizzy beige head that settled to a wispy covering. Some light visible carbonation. The nose is full-on classic Cantillon funkiness. Moldy basement, barnyard, just light sourness, stinky feet, and just very earthy. The flavor is very sour and incredibly funky. It’s kinda like licking sweaty feet, yet I love it! It’s just so raw and and untamed. Not as cheesy and acidic as their gueuzes, it tastes old and relaxed. A little oakiness on the finish. Mouthfeel is bone dry and sharp with nice soft carbonation, just enough to keep it interesting. This was pretty great. Just all funk and minimal acidity, my prefect Lambic. Could have gone for a 75cl bottle of this bad boy.

4.1
illidurit (2341) - San Francisco, California, USA - JAN 26, 2008
2004 Vintage. Somewhere between orange and brown, this beer is hazy and forms a 2 finger off white head. No lacing, ok retention. Expected for a lambic. Aroma includes vinous grapiness, some apple, overtly tart. Tastes funkier than James Brown. Sour, lactic, acidic, but oh so good. Crabapple comes through strong. Kind of winey. Though the head dissipates pretty fast, the carbonation is alive in well in the liquid, though maybe a little subdued from the 3 years it has been aged. As is the norm for gueuzes and lambics, the tart finish begs you to have another sip. 750 mL bottle is easily finished, great refresher for summer.

3.9
beerbuzzmontreal (3487) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JAN 25, 2008
UPDATED: FEB 1, 2008 The pour reveals a cloudy amber color with a medium white head. The aroma doesn’t have the usual Cantillon punch in the face, it’s more about subtelty and nuances, there’s wood, sourness, wild yeast and mild cheese, it also feels musty. The flavor is a bit more powerfull than the aroma, again, wood, sourness, wild yeast and cheese are detected, there’s also a very mild hops flavor and it’s citric. The body has a medium thickness with an oily and slightly dusty texture and gentle carbonation. This is a very interesting lambic, but I prefer gueuzes.

4
Stew41 (2025) - Phuket, THAILAND - JAN 19, 2008
UPDATED: APR 14, 2012 Vintage: 2003
Consumed: May 2008

On tap at the Football Pub in Rome. Best example of Iris in living memory for me; lively, tangy, mild yet balanced sour cut right through the beer. Intriguing aromas of perfumed hops, or so it seems. Vinegar and salty lining to finish. Looks ’middle aged’ at 5 years.

Vintage: 2004
Consumed: Jan 2008

A classic of the genre. Pongy, sour and citrus fruits; ultra tangy. Quite and stern sour fruits run right through the palate, all serious stuff. Low fizz, as expected. Has at least 3 years left in it.

4.1
cheap (5862) - Beaver Valley, Beaver County, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 16, 2008
UPDATED: JUL 11, 2008 Just got this from hopscotch, THANKS! Big Green champagne 2005 corked bottle with a cork that was difficult to remove. My first blended lambic. Lambic beers symbolize the epitome of the beer world, the original style beer is still the best style. As far as looks go, this is some what like cloudy pink brown yellow reminiscent of raspberry gingerale. The smell is a tart aroma, which I think I can smell it even before the slowly moving cork is totally removed. Raw unrefined odors abound. With the first taste I notice perfect amounts of tingle on the palate. Taste is beautiful tartness that is tempered by a goodly amount of what I dare to say is grapefruit rinds. However, it is not the medicinal dull bitterness of typical hops, it is more rough and simple, or possibly the word I’m looking for is basic. Overall, I’m surprised lambics can be so hoppy, I rather didn’t expect such bitterness in a sour beer. Left me with the impression of coarse fresh grapefruit juice from grapefruits that were not really ripe. The hoppiness distracted me a bit from the real sour tart attributes I desire and this kept me from rating it really high. Even tho this was a big bottle, I got to the bottom of it with very little effort, it was gone and I was sad. Has an almost undesirable bitter linger.

4
hopscotch (11113) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - JAN 15, 2008
Bottle (2004)… This beer rocks!... Hazy golden ale with a mid-sized, creamy, white head. Good retention. The funky aroma is full of acetic and earthy notes… horse blanket, wet leather, sharp cheese and white wine vinegar. Medium-bodied and abrasive with soft carbonation. The flavor is of underripe fuzzy fruits. Medium sourness, moderate bitterness and little to no residual sweetness. Lengthy, medium sour, mildly bitter, drying finish. Another world class lambic from Cantillon!

3
unrulythings (73) - Bend, Oregon, USA - JAN 14, 2008
a clear golden body with a foamy white head. aroma is very vinegary, with some citrus and floral notes. flavor is super tart and astringent, with hints of lemon peel and damp grass.


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