In the middle of October a fellow homebrew blogger, bkyeast (Dmitri), offered up strains of Brettanomyces that he isolated from a bottle of Cantillon Iris. He did some minor experimenting to make sure they were viable. He was also generous enough to ship 4 different strains from NY to San Diego and was looking for some feedback.
Here were his brief (and edited) descriptions:
C1: ferments fast, produces some acid. very bright, very tart and lemony.
C2: The starter still emits that forest strawberry aroma.
C3: 1st week the beers smell very sulfurous and even vomity. 2nd week sweet, dark berry kind of thing. Then so much pineapple gradually gives way to mango and orange
I made a simple starter (re-boiled from frozen 2nd runnings of my Spelt Saison) back in October. I pitched the yeast right out of the vial into .5 gal containers. I swirled each container to aerate and then added an airlock. I had grand plans to use the strains pretty quickly in a large scale Brett experiment, but that has been delayed by boring life events like a new house and baby on the way.
The starters are all 3 months old. They have gone through a move and as you can see in the pictures (below), all have great clarity. C1 and C2 do not have a pellicle and I never remember them getting much of one. C3 has a very thin patchy film that I'm not sure that I would consider a pellicle.
Here are my quick tasting notes:
C1: High intensity aroma of apples and pear with just a hint of tartness. The tastes start with a light tartness that is well rounded (so maybe low amounts of acetic acid) and the esters are all apple and pear. I bet I could tell some people this is apple cider and they would believe it. There is very little traditional Brett (barnyard) aromas or flavors. I think this will perform well as a primary yeast strain
C2: Low intensity aroma with some slight sulfur notes and very pleasant traditional Brett (like Orval or like Wyeast Brett B finished beers) notes. The taste is lightly tart and has the similar well rounded (non-harsh) character. It has a nice balance between the Brett phenolics (smoky, barnyard) and Belgian esters (again apple and pear). I think this would work nicely in secondary with a Belgian Blonde or Saison
C3: Medium intensity aroma with dominate smoky phenols. Flavors are slightly tart (same as C1, C2) and the phenol/ester balance is more toward the smoky/plastic. There is a slight astringency in this sample that has a medicinal flavor.
You will notice that my descriptions are surprisingly pretty different from what Dmitri has posted. It has me scratching my head a bit about reasons why. It will be interesting to see if the yeast profiles change as they get stepped up and used in an actual batch. As a science person, this is only one data point for each of these yeasts and I have more testing planned in the future.