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Hanssens Experimental Cassis | Hanssens Artisanaal bvba

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Hanssens Experimental CassisHanssens Experimental Cassis

Brewed by:
Hanssens Artisanaal bvba

Style: Lambic - Fruit

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Ale brewed with black currants and matured in oak barrels.

Added by JohnQVegas on 03-01-2009

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Reviews: 108 | Ratings: 239
Photo of wd40
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.97/5  rDev +7%
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!

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.42/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

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Photo of brystmar
3.24/5  rDev -12.7%
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?

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.15/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Hanssens Experimental Cassis
Style: Lambic - Fruit
ABV: 6.00 %

LOOK: Corked and caged. Opens with a decent pop. Pours a bright pinkish red color, just a ring of small bubbles around the glass other than that really no head. The final pour made the beer a bit cloudy.

SMELL: Funk, vinegar, shoe polish, feet, leather and berry are all there in full force. The scent is so strong when the bottle was opened it filled the room.

TASTE: Upfront straight acetic sour, and pretty much remains sour. It is wine like, with a small berry presence. Lemon, warheads candy, earthy oak, white wine vinegar, and a touch of alcohol that is more felt than tasted. Unripe berries in the finish with some funk that sticks to the palate.

FEEL: Light bodied, with a very soft, low carbonation level. Has enough life to it to carry the beer. Delicate carbonation like a very well aged sparkling wine. Soggy wood, berry wine and drying tannins round out the finish.

OVERALL: Hanssens Experimental Cassis is a traditional lambic beer with the intense sourness that is now coveted by extreme beer fans in the states. Has a good depth of flavor and a sharp dryness. Mellow feel but the flavors the real deal.

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Photo of BostonHops
2.42/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12.7 corked and caged bottle served in an oversized wineglass.
no freshness info. (ABV 6%)

pours a murky dark purple shade wth the complete absence of a head. lackluster pop from the cork hinted at that. nose is decent; very tart smelling with strong notes of funk and yeast. my mouth is puckering just from the aroma.

flavor, unfortunately, is a letdown. the funky and yeast are there with the currants, but just over the top tart/sour and vinegary; very dry. not enjoying this one. medium bodied mouthfeel with virtually zero carbonation.

the long and short of this one is it's just not for me... $14 down the drain, pretty literally. will not buy again.

(originally reviewed: 05-16-2011)

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Photo of pokesbeerdude
3.56/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.7 oz bottle from Wilburs in Ft. Collins, around $10. Into an old school NB Globe. Lot #B.

A: Pours a nice deep red verging on purple color. An aggressive pour yields a light pink head with practically no head retention. Nice clarity.

S: Straight up acetone, not much else going on. Slight amount of funk, and a little fruity, but for the most part this smells like fingernail polish remover.

T: Much better than the nose leads on, still a fair amount of acetone on the tongue but a lot more currant flavor. Tart berries, sour lemons, and a bit of oak barrel combine for a flavorful lambic, but it is a bit lacking. The sour is definitely there, would like a little more funk though.

M: Just a small amount of carbonation, nice amount of lacto to make the spit a little thicker. Finish is nice and dry. Not too bad.

O: If the acetone were knocked back a touch and the fruit flavor brought to the forefront, I think this would be a much more enjoyable beer. Still a good beer, I wish there were more cassis out there.

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Photo of jmarsh123
3.99/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

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Photo of ArrogantB
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml bottle that I paid the outrageous sum of $16 for the pleasure of sampling this crazy lambic. I normally wouldn't pay so much but I really wanted to try this one. Dark reddish-purple color, minimal bubbles. Smell is funky like manure and fruit.Flavor is slightly sour and has a pretty robust fruit flavor that almost reminds me of blackberries. I have no experience with black currants so this is the closest thing I can reference. Overall this is a good fruit lambic but given the cost this will be my only bottle.

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Photo of russwbeck
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: This beer pours out of the bottle a deep red with an amazing lack of head. No bubbles foam up, nothing. The color is really nice, but there's nothing else there.

S: Pretty focused on the sour, funky side of the Lambic style. The Black Currants are definitely noted where I typically like the cherries to be, but don't do enough to balance the aroma. Oak barrel aging is also noted without a doubt. Nice and tart, but not a whole lot else.

T: The taste is certainly much more balanced than I expected, but is still a bit light. A really nice tart sour character with the fruitiness to back it up and curb the oakiness I was expecting. It's goes down tart, with a fruity albeit watered down middle, and a dry oaky finish.

MF: Very light body completely void of carbonation. The finish is pretty clean, but I wish it had some bit of carbonation. The drinkability is not hit, however, which is a true testament to how well this was crafted.

O: I really liked this, but I wanted it to be a little better. Nice Lambic, but probably not worth the price tag.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.69/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Lotnr B.

Pours a murky dark cranberry juice color with no head and no lace. There is some sediment floating around in the beer after the pour into the glass. Smell is of balsalmic vinegar and a sour/tart black currants. Taste is of watery balsalmic vinegar, watery and mildly sour black currant juice, and an off cork-like flavor on the finish. This beer has no carbonation with a super flat mouthfeel. I was expecting this when the cork came out without even the slightest pop. Overall, this just isn't a very good beer for many reasons but it is definitely much better than the Oudbeitje Lambic of theirs. That isn't saying much however.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.42/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

330mL bottle poured into tulip - thanks to cjo

Pours a hazy bright cherry color with some pinkish hues. Head is pretty nonexistent, minus a few wisps of bubbled film around the collar.

Fairly sour and acidic in the nose with some oaky tannins. Tart cherries are prevalent with some wet funkiness.

Pretty intensely sour up front with a load of liquid sour cherry flavor. Some funkiness lurks underneath the lactic sourness. Finishes with a lingering, intense dry sourness that grips the tongue for a while after swallowing.

Medium body, nearly completely flat, lingering and dry on the tongue. This has a nice sour cherry flavor going on but I don't get why these Hanssens lambics are flat so often.

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Photo of DCon
4.67/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a 12.7 FL OZ bottle of this @ The Hair of the Dog in St. Louis, MO for $14. Poured from the Scroll looking label w/ Pink writing & outlining into a 12oz Tulip Glass. Has lotnr: H stamped off on the side.

Aroma- Has a big time "stinky" aroma including big time barnyard and a "horse blanket" attribute I've found in many of these. An unknown fruit aroma is blended but definitely compliments all of the sour notes nicely. Well planned out aroma!

Appearance- Pours almost no head at all and same goes for the non-lace finish. Has the darkest red/light-medium brown colored body that has good clarity but deep.

Flavor- Black currants are the main attraction here! A very ripe and dark cherry/sour berry flavor comes in next. Most acidic brew I may have ever tasted! High barnyard level and has a bit of oak in the finish. Wonderful!

Mouthfeel- Light Bodied, HIGHEST carbonation level, Puckers the mouth big time, and finishes tart with berries and a taste never enjoyed before. You have to have this yourself!

Overall Impression- While finding that after each drink, it made my mouth water and pucker up, I would have to say they did a fantastic job of aging and making this one of their most complexed brews! May be one of my favorite sours this month so far! Pick up a 12.7oz bottle and share if your not brave enough to take on this type of brew. For me, this was spot on!

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Photo of Gushue3
3.35/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

A No head as its poured into a Hill Farmstead Wine glass. Red hazy raspberry colored body.

S acidic and sweet nose. Sweet and tart berries are hiding behind the acidity

T Sweet and tart off the bat with the tartness really comming through in the middle to the finish. Mainly getting acidic tastes with some sweetness. The currents can be tasted, but muted.

M Unfortunately this is flat as a pancake. Medium bodied feel that otherwise feels pretty nice, but lack of carbonation isn't helping at all.

O Decent tasting stuff but the carbonation really killed it.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.13/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear ruby red with absolutely no head whatsoever. There is no visible carbonation and no lacing present on the glass.

S: The aroma of this beer is very offputting, pungent, and slightly unpleasant. There is a certain sour mustiness to aroma which is very intense but not altogether enjoyable.

T: The flavors of this beer are also slightly unpleasant with hints of vinegar, sour, musty, and slightly metallic.

M: Light bodied with very little carbonation and a little bit of tongue puckering caused by the flavors.

O: This beer reminds me of aromatic cheeses which are something that I really enjoy but this is not a beer that I would want to sample again.

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Photo of metter98
3.38/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

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Photo of jsanford
3.37/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at West Lakeview Liquors a while back. Served in a Cantillon tulip.

A - Still. Body is moderately hazy purplish-brown color, with a nice fiery glow to it. There are a few tiny spots of lace left behind as the beer is consumed. I'm not particularly bothered by lack of carbonation in a beer like this.

S - The funk is somewhat rancid and bilious, with notes of diaper and barnyard present as well. Tart currants, vinous oak, and nostril-tingling acetic sourness round things out. The sulfur and manure notes dissipate quite a bit as the beer warms up, revealing some musty attic and hay flavors I didn't initially perceive.

T - The taste is largely puckering tart currants and medium-high levels of acetic acid. There's some dry oak, earth, and mushroom in the finish. The complexity and depth suffers quite a bit compared compared to the aroma, and the acidity is somewhat excessive. Still, fairly enjoyable.

M - Intensely dry, medium body, with plenty of barrel tannins lingering well into the finish. Texture is vinous and slightly oily. No alcohol present, but the acidity incites some stomach churning after nary a few ounces.

D - Some bubbles might have brightened up the flavors a bit, but as is this is a pretty enjoyable cassis lambic - particularly if you like them sour. I prefer Spontancassis as the fruit and lambic flavors are a little better balanced. Much better than the barbaric Experimental Raspberry - I had no problem slowly working through 375ml on my own.

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Photo of ehammond1
2.79/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2


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.

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Photo of drtth
4.12/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel tulip glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically. This bottle is from Lotnr A.

Appearance: As poured the beer is a deep reddish purple color with virtually no head, just an island of relatively large bubbles that rapidly recede to a tiny ring of bubbles around the edge of the liquid.

Smell: The aroma definitely has traces of dark fruit, the currents, all intertwingled with traces of barnyard, old used leather, and some woody, musty notes. What is remarkable is both how well they blend together and the fact that aroma is so complex and subtle.

Taste: The flavor is both tart and dry with a definite presence of both berry and oak. While there almost seems to be a trace of sweetness from the fruit the sourness over rides that impression. Almost hidden in the background there are traces of the old leather and the horseblanket.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium bodied and smooth but with a total absence of carbonation. None. Nada. Zip. Zilch. The finish is relatively long and dry with tartness fading into the faintest traces of berry made more prominent by the fact that they are made most notable by the effect of the dryness.

Drinkability and Overall Impression: I’m finding this one interestingly drinkable and something I’ll be happy to have again in the future if I find more of it. My overall impression is that this is a no-holds barred fruit lambic lover’s beer and I’m more impressed with it than I expected to be.

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Photo of mrfrancis
3.94/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from the bottle into a Lindemans lambic glass (not the ideal way of sampling this one). Experimental Cassis pours a dark maroon topped with a thin wisp of salmon.

S: Great complexity on the nose. I detected aromas of cream, vanilla, currants, blackberries, and raspberries.

T: A surprisingly delicate entry gives way to flavors of elderberries, currants, blackberries, black raspberries, must, cream, pomegranate, and vinegar. Finish is rounded and layered with notes of dark fruit, must, salty brine, and vinegar.

M: Full-bodied compared to most Belgian lambics. Surpringly smooth, almost creamy feeling with some weight to it.

O: This is probably the most authentic cassis lambic I've run across. It's exactly what I have come to expect from Hanssens-an honest, authentic lambic that does not try in the least to appeal to anyone who is not a serious enthusiast.

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Photo of brewandbbq
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

375ml bottle.

No pop from the cork and a stretch-pour kicked up only a few large bubbles on the surface. Ugh, a $14 flat beer. Dark purple, murky body with a placid surface and zero lacework for the duration.

Aromatics lead off with soured dark fruits and heavy barnyard. Currants, goats breath, horse blanket, fecal matter, and diaper.

Light bodied with a flat mouthfeel and a bit watery. Thinnish and dull.

Tart currants with lemon-spritzed hay start the palate. A moderate amount of bright acid pulls through along with hints of raspberries and grapeskins.

Finishes with lingering sour fruit, oaky tannins, and a crisp tartness.

Very tasty beer. The currants are more subdued than I had hoped but I'm sure the lack of any carbonation doesn't help.

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Photo of mlazzaro
4.32/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375 ml cork and cage "lotnr a" labeled as being 6%ABV. raspberry colored trim on label.

no carbonation. pours a murky plum color. No head. Actually my first still lambic - which is historically accurate for the style. I'm under the impression that the Geuze was the only traditionally carbonated Belgian sour.

smells sour, seriously complex Brettanomyces character. A dark musky Brett which is not what I am used to. -Actually smells acidic. Slight dark fruit finish. Really interesting. I'm surprised it has so much of an aroma even though it isn't carbonated.

Taste is similar to smell. Tastes very well aged. Can't perceive any malt flavor. Initial flavor goes straight into sour funk - wild yeast. (Fruit->Sour->Oak->Brett). Black Currant is tannic and sharp enough of a flavor to compete against intense wild yeast character. Tannins leave a coating mouthfeel (which I think is a good thing). Moderate fruit aftertaste.

Thin body as expected. Highly acidic, really packs a punch. Sourness lingers a bit. Better as I sip on and my palate adjusts bit.

I was really worried after reading some of the reviews. But this is awesome lambic. It might have been a good bottle, or properly aged and stored. I noticed many of the more positive reviews were from my immediate area.

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Photo of metal850
3.06/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

A: No head even with a strong pour, color is deep red with pink highlights.

S: It reeks in a good way, horse sweat and damp basement a bit of acetic sourness, along with a great wine barrel smell from the combination of oak and grapes.

T: Taste like a sweeter fruitier version of what it smells, although not as strong.

M: No carb and a little thin, disappointing.

O: Would be a good lambic if it had any carb.

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Photo of zaphodchak
2.14/5  rDev -42.3%
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?

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Hanssens Experimental Cassis from Hanssens Artisanaal bvba
84 out of 100 based on 108 ratings.