1. American Craft Beer Fest is this weekend in Boston, Mass. Join us for 640+ beers from 140+ brewers! Tickets for Friday, May 29 are still available. Cheers!

Hanssens Experimental Cassis - Hanssens Artisanaal bvba

Not Rated.
Hanssens Experimental CassisHanssens Experimental Cassis

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

212 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 212
Reviews: 105
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 15.95%
Wants: 16
Gots: 23 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Hanssens Artisanaal bvba
Belgium

Style | ABV
Lambic - Fruit |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: JohnQVegas on 03-01-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Ale brewed with black currants and matured in oak barrels.
View: Beers (7) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 212 | Reviews: 105
Reviews by metter98:
Photo of metter98
3.38/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is relatively clear red in color and poured with only a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are very strong and pungent musty and sour aromas in the nose, similar to what you would expect from a very aromatic cheese.
T: The taste is very sour and has hints of black currants. It is a lot more palatable compared to the smell and isn’t nearly quite as funky.
M: It feels light-bodied and tart on the palate with little if any carbonation.
O: The strong funky aroma of this beer is not for the faint of heart, but the drinkability isn’t that bad if you can get past the smell.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.22/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer is pretty lightly carbonated; a careful pour only summons forth a wispy, pale pink head that only covers a third of the top of my beer. The beer is a darkish, red-plum color that shows a hazy, bright red color when held up to the light. Ah, this has that signature Hanssens funk, dirty as they come without becoming truly nasty. This smells of woody, moldy mushrooms, musty cellar notes, funky enteric notes, butyric barnyard notes, phenolic and sweat soaked dried leather, musky animal notes are the up front note, but there is a nice berry-like, fruity currant note that sort of ties the back end together. Other notes of spicy, woody oak and puffed wheat cereal notes that are actually quite strong. A lactic induced tartness is here, a touch of urea as well, and the fruit character also adds a tannic, berry skin note that helps to boost the currant character.

Only very lightly carbonate, and the beer is very dry and nicely tart. Subsequent sips see the chewy, fruitiness actually seems to suggest a very light sweetness that might not actually be here. The lactic sourness definitely is nicely aggressive with a bracing tartness that provides a nice puckering note. The currants and oak character provides a bit of a tannic structure that helps to also boost the body of this beer; it actually has a light viscousness to it that provides a touch of heft as it moves across the tongue. The currants also evoke thoughts of a light, fruity, but oaky red wine underneath the more dominant tartness. There is a fair amount of funkiness here, but it is not at the same level it is in the aroma, nor is it as funky as Hanssens' Lambics can sometimes get. Woody mushroom notes, musty earthy flavors, a touch of urea, with some enteric notes in the finish and a solid Brettanomyces character that provides some muskiness and some sweat dried blanket notes. A touch of puffed wheat flavor adds some grain notes towards the finish

The currants provide some nice character here, evocative of a berry-focused, oaked red wine at times, but still with a solid currant character that melds quite well with the funky base Lambic beer. I am definitely finding the puffed wheat cereal note in this beer quite interesting, it isn't very strong, but nicely accents the finish of both the nose and flavor of this beer. Some more carbonation and effervescence would make this more lively and would like make the flavors pop a bit more, but I honestly don't miss the carbonation that much. I hope they are making this a more regular item as I would love to see what they can do with this once they dial this beer in. I'll definitely say that a 375ml bottle was not enough for me as my bottle is gone way too fast.

Photo of dogfishandi
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2010 Vintage (3 years of age)
12.7 cork and caged green bottle at fridge temp poured into a snifter. Lot A.

Pours out a nice pure red color, maybe some hues of purple. The total lack of carbonation is noticeable with pretty much no head.

Nice sour funk, tart lemons, lactic funk, sour pie cherry. Smells more gym sock funky as it warms up.

Lots of sour, acetic and lactic acids, tart lemons, sour pie cherries, maybe some rotted wood and almost a hint of a cork like flavor. Hard to pull out much currant, maybe because I've never really tasted one, but there are definatly some grape and berry like notes.

Coats the palate with some really sour citrus that lingers. No carbonation, but it doesn't other me at all as this was to be expected.

A pretty exceptional lambic, there are better ones out there, but a lot more that are worse. Age has done this well and ill definatly be seeking out more Hanssens in the future.

Photo of ehammond1
2.79/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle

Holiday Wine Cellar
Escondido, CA

This beer pours a dark magenta and purple with very little carbonation. There's no head to speak of and very little cling to the glass. A pretty color, but a disappointing pour.

A very muted aroma; there simply isn't a lot here. That being said, what is here is nice. There's sweet and tart aromas of currants and a bit of tart sourness, but everything is all very faraway. As the beer warms, a mild funky yeast becomes present, the fruit becomes a bit stronger, and overall the aroma succeeds admirably.

A watery flavor with muted flavors of currants and a very mild sourness. Fruity, but also very watery. Disappointing, especially because I've had such fine examples from Hanssens.

Medium bodied with nearly no carbonation.

A very disappointing lambic mainly because I've had such fine beers from this brewery.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a tulip)
Lotar: A
A- This beer pours a slightly hazy dense glowing deep cranberry body with a few little bubbles turning into a wisp of microscopic bubbles attempting a head.

S- The tart musty note has a bright wet wood note to it and a very clean currant hint.

T- The sharp bright tartness has a rhubarb vegital tartness and a wet wood with some black currant notes that grow as the beer warms. There is a tartness in the finish that sticks to the tongue as it lingers. Some white cheese rind and brett character comes through in the finish aswell.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a soft astringent pucker that coats the mouth and a slippery texture.

O- The tart character and musty fruit notes blend with a really old barrel quality. There is a full bright tartness but lots of other character comes through in layers underneath it.

Photo of Sammy
4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lateral cassis tasting, with Kuhnenn to smooth the tongue. This one is vinegary and woody, the cassis is there, its a sipper but very good for what it is. Pours dark berry colour, with no head whatsoever. Nice winter night beer.Above average mouthfeel.

Photo of zaphodchak
2.14/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Lot number A

Garnet body, no head, no lacing, no nothing.

Smells... bad. Bretty and sour, sure... but uriney. For a lambic, offensive smells dominate the currant.

Taste is not much better. After several sips, I can reconcile that it has a red currant base, but it's waterier (which is just as well because they're so sour to begin with). There's some dull, musty taste on it as well that I can't quite place, sort of bitter.

Mouthfeel is flat, thin, doesn't help it at all.

This is kinda like red currant juice that someone left out (or in this case, in bretty oak barrels) for too long. One of the most expensive beers I've bought recently by volume, but probably the worst. If this was an experiment, I would tentatively call it a failure. I can't help but wonder if I got a skunked one somehow. Did the currant juice kill the yeast, maybe?

Photo of beertooth
4.01/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12.7oz bottle split into two goblets.

A dark juicy ruby red liquid with no head and very few bubbles.

The nose is sour funk. Old leather, dried olives, musty balsamic, rotten fruits, some buttery oak..

The taste is very sour and very, very tart. Lot's of vinegar, tons of vinergar and dried olives. Very oaky and musty. Not a ton of funk. It's a little one dimensional and the finish falls off fast.

Mouthfeel is slick and flat.

A very interested beer from one of my favorite Belgian breweries. I'm not sure if I could drink more than one glass, but I'm glad I was able to try it. Probably my favorite out of all of their fruit beers that I've had, but I think I'll stick to their Gueuze.

Photo of tempest
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Grabbed a $14 bottle to share with friends. After popping the cork, the ale poured a flat purple-ish red with a few bubbles but no head. I suppose a true lambic isn't carbonated, so this is right on.

I was hoping for more flavors to jump out, but relatively speaking it was a bit dull for a fruit sour, especially compare to a fruit gueuze. There was a very earthy, bread crust undertone with a grape (or really cassis) jam character and then a citric sour bite. I can't say it wasn't interesting, but I wouldn't buy it again.

Photo of mikey711
4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle of this last week.

A: nearly purple without any light getting through and NO carbonation at all. I like the color but other aspects of this should be better

S: Earthy and very berry fruitiness with plenty of sourness and barnyard funk.

T: Lots of tart berries with funk and wood notes that are very easy to sip. A bit of vineagar is present at well.

M: It is much milder than most sours and it leaves a nice coasting in my mouth. The sourness is very pleasant and fruity.

D: Maybe this was exactly what I was in the mood for, but it really hit the spot. I was able to sip on the bottle for a long time and the fruity flavors were great!

Photo of hooliganlife
4.02/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

released and bought in 2009

pours a deep ruby purple with tons of depth. basically no head minus a few bubbles.

nice light sour berries with subtle vinegar and oak. lots of grape and lemon.

black currants it is. this has massive black currant flavor, just tons. black currants in the raw are quite sour so this fairs quite well. the currant flavor has a nice depth to it. light grapes and lemons linger from the back.

this makes lost abbey look carbonated. its flat, a bit thin but works well. there is a hint of bite in the back of the throat through the finish. quite dry, very wine like.

overall, this is great, lots of flavor with a rather balanced sourness. i would buy this again as i would love to see what 10 years can do.

Photo of Neffbeer
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

poured from 375ml bottle into a tulip:

A: No head and no carbonation. For the style that is not necessarily out of the ordinary. Dark purple that reveals a light ruby hue when held up to the light. Gorgeous.

S: Funky and sour right out front. There are berries, oak, musty funk and dirty hay. Smells like a sour barnyard in a good way.

T: Pucker up, this is a really sour and delicious beer. The sourness gives way to the currants and berries with a touch of oak in the finish. Bone dry and tart at the end.

M: The mouthfeel is a little thin due to the lack of carbonation.

D: I have really enjoyed getting a chance to taste this wonder. A great take on the style that I would recommend highly.

Photo of akorsak
3.19/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to FooFaa for sharing this 375 mL corked and caged bottle.

A: The bottle opened without a pop - clearly an ominous sign. In my glass, the lambic had a dark red/purple hue that could go down either of the cherry or currant avenues. A wispy band of foam indicated more carbonation than initial opening let on.

S: The nose is disgusting. A rank combination of old sneakers, smegma and fromunda cheese, and other such nastiness. Seriously, this is ranker than many bleu cheeses that I've encountered. Stink! I like a bit of funk but this is just too damned much.

T: Luckily the body of the lambic is nothing like the nose. The gross funk is gone, replaced by a bone dry body that has been sucked dry of nearly all residual sugars. A mild fruit flavor is evident but it lacks oomph. The lack of carbonation is very apparent, allowing the tart funk to sit around and gather dust in my mouth. Barnyard and horseblanket accurately describe the flavor, which would benefit from just a little more in the cassis department. Surprisingly, the finish isn't that bad (not much funk lingers).

M: The mouthfeel is decent but you have to get past the aromas, which are much tougher and bolder than anything I've ever encountered. That's some serious funk.

D: Interesting and very authentic. I don't see myself having more than one glass though.

Photo of emerge077
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Weak pop as the cork is pulled, the cork itself is stained magenta on the bottle end. Served at 52º in a Hanssens tumbler glass. An aggressive pour yielded a thin layer of larger bubbles. After a few minutes they are reduced to a threaded strand of white foam at the edge. The color is a very saturated and vivid burgundy tone, it looks like cherry juice or the grape "communion wine" of my youth.

Traditional lambic funk of hay and barn stalls, musty old leather with some light acidic sweetness from the currants. Swirling brings out some wood and uric notes against the sweet fruit. A definite "house character" funk that runs through all of the Hanssens Lambics, hard to pin down but noticeable after trying their lineup.

Wet topsoil, cheese rind, dark berries, the flavor is literally earthy in the gardening sense. More and more it has the taste of currants, stems, leaves, roots and all. Dirty I guess. Some horsiness, rose petal, and minor sterile gauze (Brett) in the aftertaste. Very unique flavor with good complexity.

Very little to no carbonation, quite vinous, acidic and puckering with a drying finish. Really stimulates the salivary glands like none other. It's slick and a little briny, much like an unblended Lambic and Oudbeitje.

Definitely one to sip slowly and savor, strictly for the hardcore Lambic fans.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep red color lambic with a tiny bubbly head with no retention and no lacing. Aroma of barnyard and funky notes is quite powerful. Taste is also dominated by loads of barnyard and wet leather notes with nice tart cassis and some sour and light acid notes. Body is about average with no carbonation. Very complex beer with no sugar notes and loads of lambic really coming through even though cassis are still discernable.

Photo of Docer
3.32/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Small bottle snagged by a buddy of mine at the beermongers... cork removed without much of a sound...

- Cloudy currants... like a pinot... light fizz... bit of a ring... low carbonation....

- Funky horse blanket.. sour tart currants... oak, earthy... meaty....

- Slight earthy funk... horse blanket, leather... rawhide.. little dirt and farm manure... slight currants... oaky woody notes for sure.. but way funky. A little more funky than I like.

- Thin, and dry like gin....

- Overall not a big fan... a little more funk than sour... certainly interesting.

Photo of hoppymcgee
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at Brett Fest at Spuyten Duyvil in Brooklyn, NY in August 2009.

Approx. a 6 oz. pour from a 375ml bottle.

A: A dark and cloudy burgundy color.

S: Toasted tuna fish sandwich. Weird, I know.

T: Roasted chestnuts at the front, blueberries and raspberries in the middle and a "Warhead" type finish that explodes with Brett.

M: Smooth, just like you would expect a lambic to be.

D: A little too tart to drink a lot of, but some people enjoy that.

Overall, an "experimental" beer for sure. There was a lot going on, but I think needs a little more age to get that complexity you'd find in a Cuvee de Tomme.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.02/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ditmier cracked this gem at his house over the weekend... Thanks again Buddy!! I doubted I would ever have a chance to try this one.

Pours deep red with a definite orange hue.. No real head at all...

Tons of fruit and funk... smells pretty tannic.. currants run pretty deep and thick and a hefty blast of oak is there too... an acetic string runs through the nose throughout.

Flavor is a very tannic blast of bitter fruit skins and oak .... currants and hints of good balsamic add an illusion of sweetness, but really this is dry all the way through and then lactic notes suck the saliva from your cheeks on the finish .. dark cherries show on later pours... with warmth a perceived sweetness does really deliver and helps tie some of the stripping astringency together... also some bretty dank barnyard hay also shows.

Bubbles are few and far between... but they are there... more carbonation may have helped me wrap my palate around this one. A real thinker and a definite sipper... I had more than my fair share just out of the 375.

Man... I would love to score one of these to lay down for a year or two... Damn... on to the wants list you go.

Very interesting brew... you're a cool cat amigo... appreciated.

3.5/4/4.5/3.5/3.5

Photo of jsanford
3.37/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

375ml bottle poured into a Tumbler.

Pours a still burgundy-red with some very slight bubbles around the edges. Big, funky aromas of tart berry, jam, funky cheese, oak, and a touch of vanilla. Tart and funky flavors follow over from the nose, lots of currant, oak, and cheese. Gnarly sour, but surprisingly not as intense as I expected. Mouthfeel is light and crisp, with a fairly thin body, borderline watery really, with zero carbonation and a puckering, mouth-drying finish. I know it's supposed to be flat, but I'd kill for a few bubbles in the Hanssens beers. Overall it delivers on the "Sour" promise, but not like I expected. Underwhelming, watery, and a bit bland.

Photo of berkey
3.99/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle reviewed from a tulip glass 12/03/10. Cork is released with exactly zero 'pop'.

Pours a muddy dark reddish purple color reminiscent of sangria. Forms absolutely no head and good share of sediment found it's way into the glass even with a careful pour. Appears flat at first but some active fine carbonation can be seen upon close inspection.

Aroma consists mostly oak and wine but altogether less fruity than I expected. Actually this is not far off the aroma I remember from the Oude Gueuze bottled by the same blender.

Based on my experience with the Kriek and the previously mentioned Oude Gueuze from Hanssen's the flavor isn't as intense as I was expecting. Dry, woody, sour, funky and acid on the entry but relatively mellow after that. Fruity currant flavors are buried in the aftertaste but linger well after each sip and become more obvious toward the end of the tasting. Surprisingly balanced and easy to drink.

Very nice lambic but not personally it's probably not worth a second bottle; especially with the high price tag. Next time I go Hanssen's I'll likely stick with the Oude Gueueze.

Photo of jmarsh123
3.99/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours murky purple with no head or lacing.

Smells of grapes and sour musty brett. Pretty good aroma.

Lots of wine like flavors. Tannins, tart berries and a little bit of bretty mustiness. Finishes with a dry tartness. Tart, but not overly sour.

As with everything else Hanssens almost completely lacking carbonation although mouthfeel is good.

Some good flavors here. I just wish Hanssens would have some semblance of carbonation. Probably the best of theirs I've had although it could still be better.

Photo of take_it_sleazy
3.96/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12.7 oz bottle into lindemans flute glass

A: deep ruby red, almost a lighter shade of plum. What little carbonation that is present rests in a ring on top. Actually a pretty beautiful lambic.

S: balsamic, berry funkiness. Hints of lemongrass and cheddar cheese. Pleasent, but pretty mild and nothing especially unique.

T: barnyardy, but I like it. Kinda like what you get with goat cheese or something. Aged beachwood, current, mild plum flavors all poke through.

M: unique, astringent appeal. Very dry, what small carbonation that was present is just for show, folks. sits and hangs out on your tounge long after you've taken a sip.

O: would recommend to those seeking to try a new lambic or sour of another nature. Maybe not something a diehard sour fan would be itching to get at, but worth a try. Fruit flavor could shine a little more, but other than that a solid lambic.

Photo of JBIII
1.79/5  rDev -51.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

This was one of the worst lambic beers I have ever had. It's tastes of composting fruit, rotting wood and sandalwood. It's very tart and acidic.

Definitely exhibits qualities of wild yeast. Which although, common for this type of beer, yields too many inferior flavor and aroma profiles.

Maturing in oak barrels seems to have only added notes of inferior wood and seems inappropriate for this beer style.

At 13+ dollars for a 12.7 fl oz bottle, you'd be wasting your money. Unless you are looking for a cheap way to punish yourself without showing signs of bruising.

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 vintage 375 ml pours a clear red color with little to no head and no collar.

Nose is cantillon sour with a serious raspberry notes. Wonderful and totally awesome!!

Taste is one-dimensionally good. Man, the berry tartness is unbelievable and the roundness of the flavors are super. The mouthfeel is great and the beer even better. This is one of the best sours I have had recently. Mouthfeel - great. Flavor-subtle. Sourness factor- medium. I don’t know if ageing had something to do with it, but it is a tasty beverage fo sho!

Photo of Etan
3.46/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

375ml into a tulip.

A: Pours a dark magenta color with a tiny bit of light purple lacing.

S: Intensely funky aroma. Rotted wood, wet hay, lots of horseyness from the brett, light lactic notes and currant fruitiness.

T: Brett is equally as expressive in the taste. Very gamey, lactic and pedio acidity, very mild currant fruitiness (almost not there).

M: Medium-bodied, very light carbonation.

O: More carbonation would be good, as well as a little more balance in the bugs department. The brett is a bit overwhelming.

to view more.
Hanssens Experimental Cassis from Hanssens Artisanaal bvba
84 out of 100 based on 212 ratings.