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Cassissona - Birrificio Italiano

Not Rated.
CassissonaCassissona

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

54 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 54
Reviews: 41
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 12.09%
Wants: 1
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Birrificio Italiano visit their website
Italy

Style | ABV
Fruit / Vegetable Beer |  6.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: stcules on 06-19-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 54 | Reviews: 41 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BirdFlu
3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a good fruit beer- the fruitiness doesn't overpower, yet it retains a playful flavor which makes it very drinkable. The berry taste is a very slight bit more towards the tart side than just a sugary sweetness. Also, you can detect sevral fruits to the flavor, not just focusing on one taste, which can tend to let fruit beers taste like just chemical flavoring. The appearance is sort of a orangish red and light, which is a bit disappointing as you are expecting a darker red color to aesthetically aid the flavor. It is above average for a fruit beer, but nothing to really lose your mind over.

BirdFlu, Jul 08, 2008
Photo of JDV
3.15/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle shared by humulone_red. Thanks!
Pours a murky amber with a filmy head. Smell is bright fresh fruity, cassis, and maltiness. Taste is very mild. Faint tartness, berry like flavor, and a thin body with light carbonation. Decent, and the fruity is surprisingly light in this one.

JDV, Jul 01, 2008
Photo of rdickey
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours golden orange into a goblet, which was somewhat startling after the very dark bottle. Two-finger off-white head, probably due to an overly enthusiastic pour. (Actually, my second pour was much more careful and I still got a lot of head; it's just a live one.) Head lingers for a moderate amount of time. No lacing.

Smell: The fruit notes are obvious and, yes, you can smell the currants. Sour notes come through and suggest this is going to be a little different from your average fruit beer.

Taste: It's definitely sweet and fruity, but not overpowering. Some tartness keeps it from being too sweet, and I think that's the key to this beer's enjoyability. After I read the label I expected for this to be lambic-like, but it's actually much more balanced in an unexpected way. This is a total surprise to me, and is quite nice.

Mouthfeel: Enjoyable -- moderate carbonation, and finishes very clean. Another surprise.

Drinkability: Surprisingly drinkable. I approached this one with some reluctance, given the style and the fact that it's not from one of the great beer nations of the world, but this is really a nice beer. I like Billolick's idea of drinking this one in the sun with some fruity deserts, cheese and bread; being in Italy wouldn't be bad either.

rdickey, May 21, 2008
Photo of grub
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

sampled on tap at coles may 10/08. thanks to biegaman for splitting his goblet with me after he got the last one!

pours hazy reddish orange with a small dense white head. the head drops fairly fast and leaves no lace.

aroma is good. light cider vinegar. lemon. light fresh cassis. touch of sweetness. horse blanket and leather. crackers. just a hint of alcohol.

taste is good. light cassis sweetness. a touch of vinegar and sourness again, but much more restrained than in the aroma. light horse blanket and leather. white bread. crackers. bit of alcohol. very light citrus, maybe orange peel, but it doesn't really jump out at you.

mouthfeel is good. medium carbonation level. light body with a fairly dry finish.

drinkability is good. the light sweet currants balance and offset the funk and sourness quite well. i really enjoyed the interplay between the two. very nice and enjoyable.

grub, May 11, 2008
Photo of Georgiabeer
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the Brick Store Pub. Italian beers certainly are getting interesting. Given that there is not a huge beer tradition there, I think they have not been hindered by style and have felt free to experiment with all kinds of ingredients. This cassis beer is one of the better ones that I have. Lighter and more refreshing than many others. Poured a hazy orange with a white fluffy head and great lacing. The smell is almost all black currant with its winey sweet/sour aromas. The taste is fruity, but the cassis is more restrained here. There is a note of it, but more as an accent. Instead you get berries, some lemon, and a touch of apricot in the main body. Smooth and spritzy and quite refreshing, and thankfully for the style, not overly sweet. Quite refreshing and a nice summer aperitif.

Georgiabeer, Aug 03, 2007
Photo of John_M
4.33/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What a lovely beer this was, and what a pleasure to find it on tap at Grand Cru in Baltimore. I've only ever seen this beer in bottle, the last time at the Portland International Beer festival. All the more reason why I was so pleased/surprised to see it here on tap.

The beer pours a warm, hazzy brown, amber color, with very good head retention and decent lacing. On the nose you really get the cassis aroma, but it's not overdone or overly sweet. There is also some sweet malt, but it's dominated by the cassis. On the palate this beer is delightful. There is sweet cherry, melon and apple flavors, and the beer reminds me of a somewhat sweeter version of Samuel Adams Lager, but with the added cassis flavor. The beer is on the sweet side, but is not overdone and is not the least bit cloying. The beer is not the least bit heavy and is absolutely perfect for summer quaffing. This beer is quite drinkable and finishes very nicely, even a bit crisply.

What a fine beer. Kudos to Grand Cru for carrying this excellent beer.

John_M, Jun 28, 2007
Photo of brentk56
4.15/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy peach color with a massive head that is very hard to handle but leaves lacing all over the champagne flute

Smell: Dominant aroma of currants, but complemented by toffee, vanilla and cashew

Taste: Starts with a toffee/peach flavor that is joined, mid-palate, by a blast of currants; after the swallow, the complex currant flavors dominate and provide a tart-sweet element that is long-lasting; there is an unusual yeasty flavor on the finish that adds complexity

Mouthfeel: Light body with overwhelming carbonation; tingly on the tongue from start to finish

Drinkability: An experience that I really enjoyed, once I was able to deal with the carbonation; this is a complex beer that really pushes the boundaries

brentk56, May 22, 2007
Photo of Billolick
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Unusually shaped bottle, thin label lets the imbiber know that this one was “Matured over six months” and “Bottled on January 18, 2006” Opened with a powerful pop, that had me fearing a nasty spill over. It never materialized thankfully. Pours with a lot of carbonation, threatening a pour over on every refill. Frothy, loose and long lasting mildly apricot head, slowly morphing to loose, splotchy lacing. Nose is of light grape jelly and a faint mustiness. Pours cloudy murky peanut butter light brown. Notes of the expected fruitiness, grapes, berries, yeasty gunk at the bottom of the bottle. Fresh, refreshing and went pretty well with some cheese and crackers. Not something I would drink that often but I would like to try some on a sunny summer afternoon, lying by the pool on a hill side in Italy with some fruity desserts, more cheese, salad and crusty bread……

Billolick, Mar 25, 2007
Photo of BeerBelcher
2.53/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

This beer has an extremely unique bottle and very un-beer-like labeling. Defintely something different!

The beer pours cloudy brown, and is extremely carbonated (more carbonated than champagne). This extreme head has great staying power and takes forever to dissipate, so take great caution when pouring, lest you get a tulip-ful of foam.

Smell is pretty much pure sour. I've had currant jelly before, but I can't profess to extreme amount of familiarity with the fruit so I might have a hard time smelling it, although I didn't pick up much in the way of fruit notes in the aroma.

Taste is a weird, totally unexpected maltiness. This was definitely not what I expected from a fruit beer. Surprisingly, this beer was just not fruity tasting.

Mouthfeel was also unique. The beer seemed to have a watery viscosity, but a bubbly mouthfeel like a sparkling wine. Very different, but not recommended.

BeerBelcher, Dec 09, 2006
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.98/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy peach-orange body beneath a massive head of pillowy foam. The head eventually dies down and exhibits good retention and lacing. The nose is bright with ripe, juicy, and lightly tart currants, as well as some berries, spice, and mustiness. In the mouth it's medium-light bodied and airy with a very fine-bubbled, natural carbonation. It's gently effervescent and tingly-smooth. The flavor is more fruit pulp-like than fruit juicy, but the currant is clearly expresses and some of the mustiness found in the aroma is also present and helps to give it depth. Delicate. Very little bitterness, as expected. It finishes fairly short and dry considering it's a fruit beer, with just a touch of residual fruit left in the mouth. Quite nice.

NeroFiddled, Nov 25, 2006
Photo of gbarron
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A fellow BA brought this to a BA gathering the other day, from a large bottle.

A - light amber/golden. Head is white and puffy, lacing and retention minimal until you stir it up at which point it bubbles up furiously.

S - strong aroma of dark fruits, currants, red grapes, apricot. Little bit of alcohol in there, too. Light toasted, honey malt aroma. No hops.

T - taste mirrors the nose. Assertive dark fruit flavor dominated by red grapes, dried berries. Light malt flavor mixed in, wheat, honey, wheat toast. Little bit of bitterness, but this beer is on the sweet side.

M - very thin body, carbonation high, a little too high in my opinion. Like a champagne.

D - tasty fruit flavor, but carbonation is off the charts for me.

gbarron, Nov 21, 2006
Photo of scruffwhor
2.65/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours a light, hazy amber with some descent bubbling. Plenty of sediment as well. More than expected or should be there on the first glass worth of my 750ml bottle. The aroma is almost a dead even mix of currants, definetly not black and apricots. The flavor is just as surprising. I've had curant flavored beers before, and they really put the currants flavor on center stage. Very little mixing around. But this beer has a mix of the currnat and some more light flavored fruits like apricots and pears. A little of the currants tartness sticks around the palate as well.

This beer had a lot of flavors I didn't expect. Sometimes they were a nice surprise, but for the most part. This beer was sub-par.

scruffwhor, Sep 14, 2006
Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.18/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - this beer pours a brick red color with a very thick fluffy white head, that takes up a third of the glass, my glass had tons of sediment

S - wheaty fruity malt filled aroma, the fruit nose resembles a blend of strawberries and apples

T - up front a very sweet malty flavor, the fruitiness from the nose has melted into a more buttery flavor, malt/hoppy characteristics still in the background

M&D - the mouthfeel at first is very bubbly and carbonated, then melts into a buttery smoothness, very nice, moderately drinkable

a decent beer, the flavor is rather pedestrian but a quality brew nonetheless

sinstaineddemon, Aug 16, 2006
Photo of jwc215
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Despite careful pouring, it was nearly all head to begin with. After a few minutes, it was cloudy orangish with a large white, foamy head and many tiny bubbles.
The smell was a light whiff of floral hops and black currants.
The taste began as bitter, but eventually was overpowered by a subtle sweetness. The currents were there, but not as noticeable as expected. Though not hoppy, some of the hop taste was also noticeable. Some orange seemed to be mixed in. An underlying metallic taste was present.
It was spritzy and fairly light, but left the mouth with a sweet, dry feel.
Overall, it was not bad, but something was missing. The currants were not as noticeable as they could have been. The slight metallic taste through it off a bit. Decent - but, not worth the price.

jwc215, Jul 09, 2006
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hugely effervescent, particulate-choked peachy orange that is barely visible at the bottom of the glass since the head takes up 99% of all available space. It's going to take multiple pours, each one followed by several minutes of waiting, to get the glass more than half full of beer. The crown is pale lemony ecru in color, is airysoft and unsticky, yet still manages to leave a decent amount of bubble bath-like lace.

The nose could be stronger. However, it's hard to find much fault since I'm trying to assess it through several inches of foam. Time to start slurping. There's a definite cassis presence that I wish was more sweetly fruity and more upfront. The aroma also has a subtle Belgian vibe with an appealing saison-like spicy yeastiness.

I like my fruit beers to contain more fruit flavor than this. Since I love cassis, I was looking forward to Cassissona is a big way, but even after several mouthfuls I can tell that it isn't what I expected or hoped it would be. I know that it's a different sort of fruit beer, a more elegant one for starters, but it has roughly one-third the black currant flavor of Lindemans Cassis.

The malt bill consists of pilsener, Munich and caramel, and the hop bill consists of Hallertau Magnum and Hallertau Hersbruker. The yeast strain is Saccharomyces Carlsbergensis for all you hyphaeheads out there. I don't have the most discriminating palate in the world, but not one of those ingredients is identifiable to me. That's not necessarily a negative, because this beer is unlike any other beer that I've ever had.

I'm betting that Birrificio Italiano hit their mark on the mouthfeel. It's light-medium with a light syrupy stickiness and carbonation that is very nearly Champagne-like in its bubbliciousness. More viscosity and fewer, more lethargic bubbles would be an improvement.

I love reading brewery websites, especially non-English ones where the translation is suspect. These guys want us to know that Cassissona "is suitable for unflappable folks or appropriate as a specific remedy for people suffering from hyper-efficiency". Yeah, gotta watch out for those hyper-efficient people.

Unfortunately, the beer doesn't match the supreme coolness of the bottle (which resembles the Magic Hat Thumbsucker bottle) and the label. I wanted to like it a lot, but only ended up liking it a little. It pains me to say it, especially given what I paid for the bottle, but in the end, Cassissona is just another pedestrian fruit beer.

BuckeyeNation, May 20, 2006
Photo of Crosling
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Cloudy orange color with an enormous foam, which is very wispy and lasting. Floral and herbaceous aromas, which I attribute to hops, along with various fruits, particular black currant, which to me, smells like cherry pie. A light touch of malt aromatics as well. The aroma scared me a bit, but the flavor, however, is very complex in its malt composition. Very toasty, with caramel, toffee and cashew flavors, along with a very light hint of black currant. I found it pretty tasty, but strange and not worth the price.

Crosling, Apr 13, 2006
Photo of Faustgeist
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My first craft Italian beer, albiet a fruir beer.

Not knowing what to expect, I served up a tall glass for my girl and I... and man was I lucky the glass was tall!

This thing was all head...and I poured it delicatly. Ok... wait a few minutes and the beer setted down, to reveal strong penny-iron notes and barly malt characteristics.

The flavors were bitter, with the promised penny metalic and background hints of grape and cassis. At first I was put off, but strangely.. it grew on me!

The finish was long, strong, and entirely pleasant. Overall the beverage may be a bit academic for me. I will endovour to try it again in a month and see how my palate responds. A solid 3.5 in my book, on all accounts.

Best,
~Robin

Faustgeist, Feb 20, 2006
Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.35/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the chalice clear orange golden with a HUGE off-white frothy head which filled the glass with more foam and head than beer and took forever to fall back but coated the glass as it fell.

The aroma was strongy fruity with cassis and a nice earthy component and a light spicy pepper character. The aroma almost had a grape presence as in fresh grape juice. There was also a nice candy aroma.

The flavor was fruity with a nice peppery spice flavor and a slight grape and stronger black currant flavor. The flavor was slightly metallic and definitely earthy with almost a farmhouse character that would remind one of a fruited saison.

The finish was dry with a lasitng fruit, pepper and earthy character into the aftertaste. The body was medium but seemed lighter due to off the chart carbonation levels. As the beer sat after being 1/2 consumed it still foamed out the top of the bottle. A nice fruit beer melded within a saison framework.

750 ml bottle. Purchased at Sam's in Durham. Bottled on February 14, 2005 so this beer was almost a year old.

GCBrewingCo, Feb 05, 2006
Photo of RoyalT
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – The body of this beer was very murky but somehow glowed at the same time. The head was monster with large bubbles.

Smell – The light, sour farmy aroma was rightly mixed with an abundance of beautiful currents.

Taste – The malts here are light and the spicing intense. The blackberry flavor mated well with the malts.

Mouthfeel – This beer was medium-bodied and fully carbonated. The carbs were pleasant in the cheeks and not that cheap effervescent you find with some pretenders.

Drinkability – This was more like a mild Fruit Lambic than anything else. It went down well enough thought it’s probably a tad too pricey to buy again.

RoyalT, Jan 21, 2006
Photo of HappyHourHero
3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Smells like blackberry champagne. Poured a huge, froathy, light cream colored head that Incredibliy light mouthfeel; almost like drinking foam. A storm of endless bubbles rise through the apricot colored beer. There is so much carbonation in this beer that it takes a second for the flavors to pull through. There is a candied sweetness to the beer and an equal amount of black currant. The peak of flavor comes midway through with a few plums and a glob of caramel. The slight bitterness at the end tastes like it comes more from the berries then any hops. The carbonation seems a bit overboard, but otherwise it's a nice beer. The currant tastes natural and does well in accenting the beer.

HappyHourHero, Nov 19, 2005
Photo of meathookjones
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottled Jan 27,2005
Pours out dark orange with a ridiculously large head that seemed to stand tall forever. When it finally dropped it left a decent wave of lace around the glass. Light fruity currant with some funky yeast notes in the aroma. A bit of spice was in there as well. Slightly sweet start to the flavor with underlying berry notes and more of the funky yeastiness. A bit spicy and earthy as well. Finishes on a funky fruit sweetness that lingered for awhile. A bit much on the carbonation hurts the mouthfeel and drinkability. If that was toned down a notch it would greatly help this brew out.

meathookjones, Nov 16, 2005
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.15/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled December 31, 2004, Sampled October 2005
Explosively carbonated, I barely get an inch and a half of beer into my Duvel Tulip, the rest of the glass is foam. The beer is a lightly hazy copper color, with a light tan creamy Meringue like head. The aroma is dry and fruity with notes of Riesling, and spicy notes like Sauvignon Blanc. I also get notes of raisins, hints of vanilla, a light acidic note. The aroma is really nice and fruity, I really have not done it justice to just how good it is, it really is like a fruity dry white wine.

The taste is pretty dry, yet it still has a fruity sweetness especially towards the middle and end. The fruit character is again reminiscent of a fruity white wine. The beer though is quite light on the palate, and of course entirely spritzy as it rolls across the tongue. There is a light acidity here, separate from the biting carbonic acid note in the finish, that helps to accent the fruit notes as well. I get notes of grape, peach, pear, a bit of ginger, and some definite honey notes. There are some beery notes here as well, it is not all fruit; the grain is definitely noticeable, especially in the finish with a light clean malt note.

I really like this beer, it is so light and refreshing yet still quite flavorful, really a good mix between sparkling wine and beer.

Gueuzedude, Oct 02, 2005
Photo of BeerBeing
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Presentation: 750ml greenish-brown glass champagne-style semi-custom bottle, pink on purple stripe label

Appearance: clouded light copper with ENORMOUS and VERY long living off-white head (I think, the biggest head I ever saw), a lot of lacing

Smell: very strong fruitness, some spiciness, minor black currant (cassis)

Taste: medium body, crisp and light mouth feel, very complex taste, malt, grapes, black cherry, spices, vanilla, again minor black currant

Notes: personally I wish more black currant taste in it, but still very crisp and refreshing

BeerBeing, Sep 26, 2005
Photo of BEERchitect
4.13/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

We always talk about offering quality brews for our BMC buddies to transition with. Well, this is the ideal beer for our wine drinking buddies to transition with. Smells of heavy fruits, tartness, red wine, and champaign qualities. Looks straw to golden with a slight haze (probably from light wheat additions). White fizzy carbonation sparkles like soda water. Tastes malty and grape-like sweet. Follows with mild and appreciated tartness. No souring or astringency. Grapes and berry flavors with mild and sweet hops and spices. Complex and varying on the toung. Medium body with effvorescent carbonation adds playfulness on the palate. Finishes mildly sweet and dry. Mild heat from alcohol. Aftertaste is mildly sweet and tart. Good for a fruit beer--especially for you lambic fans.

BEERchitect, Sep 25, 2005
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer pours a huge head that takes up all but a small bit of the bottom. The head is a creamy white that has strong lacing as the head dies down (it never fades). The body is a hazy orange with lots and lots of tiny bubbles.

S- The soft smell of wheat and a faint black currants. A slight tart note is in the background.

T- Soft sweet and tart currant note at the beginning followed by some pale malt and wheat and a faint peppery finish. As it warms there is some stronger dark cherry flavors but not overpowering.

M- light mouthfeel with a fizz from the carbonation. Not much of a bit from the carbonic acid.

D- This beer is pretty soft and subtle with a nice flavor. It was a bit frustrating to have to pour a few sips and let it sit for 10 minutes until the head died back enough to add more. It has potential and I would drink it over champagne but I would have to chill it ice cold to get a good pour.

rhoadsrage, Sep 24, 2005
Cassissona from Birrificio Italiano
83 out of 100 based on 54 ratings.