Hanssens Experimental Cassis - Hanssens Artisanaal bvba

Not Rated.
Hanssens Experimental CassisHanssens Experimental Cassis

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BA SCORE
84
good

104 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 104
Hads: 218
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 12.16%
Wants: 16
Gots: 25 | 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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 104 | Hads: 218
Photo of DavidSomers
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nice fruit taste, but tastes very vinegary. No carbonation. Not a very good sour and certainly not worth the cost. Interesting experiment, but not terribly successful. (169 characters)

Photo of Tucquan
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had this on 2015-05-23 in Columbia, PA from a 350 ml bottle

Dark ruddy brown. Smells of Brett funk, sour and light fruit. Taste is VERY sour with lots of oak tannin. Black currant flavor is there but recessed. Almost on keel with a Cuvee des Jacobins Rouge but not top tier like Cantillon, Russian River or the Rare Barrel sours. (334 characters)

Photo of Danny1217
3.99/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This seems to have mixed reviews. I don't really get any off notes here, just huge sourness with some funky brett, tannic dryness, and jammy fruit. It's flat but that's just how Hanssens rolls. (193 characters)

Photo of Dreizhen
4.56/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Found this with a messed up label on clearance at Kroger. Wonderful surprise. Beautiful aroma really stands out. Taste isn't quite as good, but still comes out really strong. Black current taste was subtle, but enough to catch your attention. This was better than a handful of Cantillons I've had. Great with a cheese plate. (331 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
4.09/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled March 2013.

Pours a brown/rusty cloudy with almost no foam. Lacing? Nah.

The smell is 2 fold. Sour fruit and oak. Oak may be the bigger presence.

The taste is also 2 fold. Sour fruit with vinegar sourness, and that oak that for me, makes this brew more drinkable.

Light side of medium bodied, low carbonation.

My first for anything labelled Cassis. I quite like it. (378 characters)

Photo of Wayne17
2.65/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Funkier than James Brown. No carb at all which isn't necessarily a bad thing. the smell is muted, not getting much but maybe a little funk and no fruit. The taste is something like putting an old band-aid you dropped in the zebra pen at the zoo into your mouth. I wondered if maybe mine was super old or hadn't been cellared properly before my acquisition but I've read similar reviews. I also consulted a friend in Belgium who drinks lambics regularly and he said, "I poured this in the drain." (500 characters)

Photo of M-girard
3.91/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: The color is an amber brown with a red hue shining through. A moderately agitated poor only yielded slight head and little lacing.

Smell: At first, acidic tartness with notes of dark fruits and notes of barnyard, horse blanked Bretty funk.

Taste: The acidity hits the palate immediately, but the sour fruitiness of the black currants is felt all the way to the bottom of the palate. Bretty funk, comes and rounds out the almost overwhelming acidity.

Mouthfeel: The low carbonation makes the beer smooth and leaves you with a complete flavor spectrum despite the high acidity.

Drinkability: This is definitely a beer to share, half way through to bottle the acidity overwhelms the palate, hard to finish a bottle. (728 characters)

Photo of macrosmatic
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 12.7 oz. bottle into a Peg's snifter.

A: Pours a pinkish to reddish brown, mildly hazy, with a thin white head that fades quickly. Fairly low visible carbonation.

S: Some serious funk up front - barnyard, feet, musty basement and a bit of ripe cheese. Some tart underripe fruit provides some backbone.

T: Funky barnyard, tart currants and cherries up front. Then lactic lemony citric acid, musty hay, some cheese and feet, with a dry and tart/sour fruit at the end.

M: Medium body, average carbonation sensation. Low alcohol presence.

O: I thought this was tasty, but big on the funk for sure. Nice tartness to the fruit profile. The funk and tartness has a nice complexity to it, but the sheer level of it may be a bit over the top. (771 characters)

Photo of sjccmd
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Pours burnt light ruby with some haze and a tiny ring of head. More bubbles than I expected though.

Smell is definitely funk forward. Cheesy, farmy brett. Musty basement. Currants find their way through. Lemon rind. Old hops and oak. Pleasant wet dog aroma...as pleasant as that gets. Oxidation provides a nice red wine character.

Sour cherries, lactic, and some acetic acid. Very sour. Earthy brett mingles with oak. Acetic acid begins to build in the back of the throat. Dryness and tannins keep it from being overwhelming.

Slick mouthfeel, super dry, and very tannic. Very little carbonation, but not thin and watery on the palette.

Not quite as interesting as the Scarrenbecca Kriek, but still very nice. A touch less acetic acid would be nice. (752 characters)

Photo of Jonada
3.81/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

375ml bottle with no clear freshness date served in a wine glass

Appearance: Pours a dark ruby red color with only a thin ring of large bubbles. Appears very lightly carbonated. Body is a dark and hazy but still lightly translucent.

Smell: Really strong barnyard funk, lemon acidity, red berry, hay, oak, red grape.

Taste: Lots of brettanomyces funk, high acidic sourness, juicy sour cherry/berry/grape fruit character, slight oak. Dark black currant character comes through more in the finish and carries through for a moment into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Low/medium bodied, slick mouthfeel. Carbonation is very low, but just enough to keep from feeling flat.

Overall: Pretty nice lambic. Much more funky than I was anticipating with a strong acidic sourness. It's nothing crazy, but worth a try if you see it on a shelf. (830 characters)

Photo of spointon
3.89/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I poured this one from a corked and caged green bottle into a small stemmed tulip.

A= beautiful deep reddish purple in color, with decent clarity. There was very little head to speak of and zero retention as can be expected from the style.

S= Smelled like it should, with lots of acetic sourness, some jammy cassis notes, and a kiss of bretty funk.

T= Started off with a big punch of sourness that slowly yields to the fruit character. Later in the swallow the oakiness and the Brett come through, before a bone dry and well flavored fruity finish.

MF= very thin body, as is appropriate to the style. This was nearly devoid of carbonation, and could have used some more.

D= Not quite the acid bomb that I find many of the Hanssens lambics to be, and the cassis fruit is well integrated and quite pleasant. I would drink this again for sure, but hope for a bit more carbonation next time. (892 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.21/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

shocked these are rated so low here. this is delicious limbic with just the right amount of fruit. beautiful pink color to this and much more carbonation than some of their other beers, which i am thankful for in this context. a pucker nose so sour i can feel it in my jaw line and my whole palate begins to water. so tempting and alluring. a little sweetness on the nose, ripe fruit, but its hard to decipher black currant specifically. the taste starts lean and sharp, lots of lactic character not overshadowed by the fruit, which comes on slow and mellow, picking it up with a little sugar but not too much. mouth watering after the swallow, this is a beauty of a fruited sour. currants are an interesting choice, giving color and body, and a jammy property. i like that we have some real carbonation here, and the light body is a nice canvass for the flavors and textures to paint. prohibitively expensive, but absolutely delicious. (936 characters)

Photo of LambicPentameter
4.02/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was quite pleased to find bottles of this at Bier Station--they pulled out some of their cellared beers for a New Belgium Accumulation KC tapping party that also was offering bottles of Le Terroir and La Folie. So, sort of a sour beer theme, I suppose (albeit strange to connect the sour beers to a white IPA tapping). But i digress... Enjoyed out of a 375 mL green C&C bottle and poured into a narrow Boulevard Smokestack tulip glass. No dating to be found, but the label is notched with "lotnr C". Based on the scant info that I could find online, this bottle is likely 2-3 years old. Or not--that's just a stab in the dark.

Appearance - Further suspicion of the age is confirmed when the pour reveals a line of dark sediment lengthwise down the bottle. Clearly has some age, as well as some time being stored on it's side. I had this one upright for a good two weeks before opening. Anyway, moving on to the appearance in the glass. The pour yields an apologetic half finger of bubbly froth at the top of the glass that further suggests a bit of age to this bottle. I hesitate to call it 'head'. It's the color of purple-twinged parchment. Body is very beautiful, however, a deep amethyst jewel color with hints of reddish purple.

Smell - Dominated by the woody characteristic of the oak barrels along with a lightly tart and acidic fruitiness from the black currant. There are some almost wine-like tannin characteristics, as well as notes of pinot and syrah grapes. The acidity is sufficient to give my olfactory nerves that exciting pinch of anticipation of a sour beer.

Taste - Almost delivering on the promise of the smell, this is predominantly oak and currant. There is a wonderfully puckering element, but it's faint, and then a dry finish. As it warms, it becomes a little more lactic and sour. But it never rises to that level of pucker that I really like in a nice fruit lambic. This one is more on the sweet side, but not as sweet as what I expected based on what I'd heard about Hanssens.

Mouthfeel - Medium-to-light body with low carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall, I thought this was a quality fruit lambic and one that let the currant and barrel shine through. The only drawback is that I think I can find pretty comparable fruit lambics and sour beers for less than $15 for a single serving beer. Glad to have sampled it once. (2,354 characters)

Photo of kindacold
4.36/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Quick review:

Pours beautiful red with murky brown colors, no head. Beautiful.

Smells very sour. Vinegar, oak, fruit. Outstanding!

Tastes very complex. Of course starts with vinegar and oak. Currants follow, with some pepper and spiciness. There is a distinct bitterness throughout, but it balances with the tartness and sour flavors. Subtle meat flavor at finish.

Feels very dry and light bodied.

Love this beer. (419 characters)

Photo of woosterbill
4.18/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

375ml bottle, from a basket into a Fantôme tulip. Thanks, Tony! I believe this is the only bottled Hanssens offering that I haven't already ticked. Very excited.

A: Opaque maroon body with a thin cap of light purple bubbles that settles into a persistent ring. Light lace. Ok, but nothing memorable.

S: Um...smells like nice, traditional cow manure. Once I get beyond the shit, it's got some lovely jammy currant notes as well as tons of straight lemony acidity. Crazy, and I'm rather ashamed to admit that in this context I actually love it. Only Hanssens, only Hanssens...

T: Tons of juicy currant up front, with bright acidity and some nice earthy funk behind. Cleanly sour finish. Beautiful, and (for better or worse) entirely devoid of the...interesting...aromatics. Great tasting fruit Lambic, plain and simple.

M: Quite flat, slick medium body. Not great, but acceptable.

O: What can I say? Hanssens consistently makes the most offensively delicious, the most delectably obnoxious beers I've ever had. There's something comforting about that, don't you think?

Cheers! (1,081 characters)

Photo of jcurtis55
3.81/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I've had this one for a few months and decided to pull it out today, as I was in the mood for a sour beer. And it's definitely sour. Drank it in my Sam Adams beer glass.

Appearance: A rich looking brown with just some red-plum tones. No head whatsover, as there is very little carbonation. Just a few bubbles on the side of the glass. Still, a very attractive beer.

Smell: Funk. No over the top vinegar, but primarily sour. The dark currants don't seem to be present in the aroma.

Taste: Still primarily sour, but the currants are there at the back. Definitely closer to a straight funky lambic, rather than a fruit lambic. I don't find this overly sour, but then again, I really like sours.

Mouthfeel: Pretty thin. Doesn't cling to the glass or your mouth.

Overall: A good but not great lambic. It's not going to convert any non-sour drinkers but pleasant enough if you enjoy your beer on the funky side. There is no date on the bottle, so I don't know the age of the beer. I would definitely drink it again, but wouldn't go out of my way to find it like I would a Cantillon. (1,082 characters)

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. (924 characters)

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. (896 characters)

Photo of falloutsnow
3.82/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

From: Friar Tuck's, Savoy, IL
Date: None, but "Lot B" is notched
Glass: Girardin degustation glass

Hanssens' experimental currant lambic is a very tart, but vinous and berry-like fruit beer that is complex and satisfying when in the mood for the style. A bit on the expensive side, but locally available, which makes this a probably go-to when looking for a fruit-influenced lambic.

Pours a 1cm light purple to pink colored head of small to medium-sized bubbles, which fizzle fairly quickly to a thick ring around the center of the glass and some ghostly ripples of wispy foam atop the body of the beer. Body is an amber purple color, with light bringing out brighter amber red hues with a touch of purple and orange. Carbonation is visible through the transparent body, fairly minimal though rather active.

Aroma is quite pungent and sour, of very strong lemons combined with acetic and lactic acids with noticeable hints of strong red wine that are undoubtedly contributed by the red currants. There's a bit of light brettanomyces-influenced composting farm hay in the background, and with time, a bit of oak and graham-cracker crust peek through as well.

Overall flavor is quite sour, puckering, but berry-like and delicious. The tongue tingles from the tartness even some time after the sip is swallowed. Opens with light tartness, slight vinous characters, and berrylike fruit esters, particularly red and blackberries. Mid-palate finds tart Meyer lemons, oak, acidic and berry-like wine, fruit esters as from dark blackberries and raspberries. Back of palate is strongly tart with very flavorful berry-like esters and some oak and light funk. Aftertaste of oak, residual tartness from acids, and lingering dark raspberry and blackberry flavors.

Beer is medium to medium-light in body, with carbonation of low intensity, resulting in a faint effervescence that goes well with the sourness and tart fruit of the beer. While the carbonation could be stronger and aid this beer, the tartness effortlessly moves this across the palate. Closes quite dry, as one would expect, with little residual stickiness on the tongue and long-lingering mild astringency. In general, this doesn't feel poorly, but just average. (2,219 characters)

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. (522 characters)

Photo of stakem
3.34/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cheers to eagles22 for hooking me up with a bottle of this. Thanks again Ed! The brew pours from a 375ml bottle into a snifter, a clear ruby red color that is reminescent of cool aide. A few bubbles collect around the edge when swirled.

The smell is earthy with funk and lactic hints. Mild vinegar and its overall well.. a bit poopy. There is a wet wood character blending into some suggestions of berry and cheese and more funk. As it warms up, it give off a hint of plastic.

The flavor is dry with plenty of oak and tannin-like astringency. Funky wild character and hints of yogurt, cheese and vinegar are present before the onset of a mild fruity berry taste/alcohol ester. As it warms up some plastic and phenolics emerge mingling with minerals that almost leaves a meaty aftertaste inside the mouth.

This is a light bodied, still brew with a little booze impact. It is overall kind of nice and unique with a pleasant berry inclusion but with a big funk impact that isnt exactly clean. Its worth a try if you havent had it but its also not something I would see myself returning to considering the other options available. (1,130 characters)

Photo of wd40
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I actually refrained from reviewing this beer thinking that I had received a bad bottle with no carbonation. After reading a few reviews I realize that a lot of people had this problem! The beer was actually very good despite the lack of carbonation. I hope Hanssens will brew this again and fix whatever went wrong in the process that so many of us got bottles with little to no carbonation. It was a very nice and refreshing beer with some definite potential. (461 characters)

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! (535 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.42/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer is basically still. Radiant orange hued and pretty hazy. The aroma offers tart raspberries, funk. Very acetic. Berry presence is there, with a bit of vinegar in the finish. Tartness gains intensity as I progress through the beer. Lacking the complexity and depth found in my favorite raspberry lambics. Light in body and devoid of carbonation. Overall, this was ok, but I don't see myself purchasing this again, especially with the high price tag. (456 characters)

Photo of brystmar
3.24/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lot B, thanks Denise!

Deep purple body, minimal pinkish head. Aroma seems off: sulfuric fault is reminiscent of the scrambled eggs I had at brunch. Covers up almost everything else here, pretty lackluster so far.

Hearty currants dominate the taste; mild egg whites carry over from the aroma as well. Yeast imparts bitterness. Crisp tartness towards the end, and although the fruity character has depth it doesn't grab me the way other fruited lambics have in the past. Still, the taste is the best part of the experience -- and that's what *should* shine, right? (564 characters)

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Hanssens Experimental Cassis from Hanssens Artisanaal bvba
84 out of 100 based on 104 ratings.